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 I love nothing more than discovering that a cheap as chips beauty product can turn out to be a must have favourite and permanent part of my beauty regime, however, drug stores such as Boots and Superdrug can be a bit of a minefield! This is coming from a girl who has nearly four years experience working in the cosmetics industry; I couldn’t even imagine how difficult the lack of an advisor makes it for your average customer! Because of this, products become very much a bit of a hit or miss lottery and I’ve had countless numbers of Rimmel, L’Oreal and Maybelline products which have been extremely disappointing, and although cheap(ish) it’s still wasted money I could of put towards an extra round of vodka diet cokes ;)

I have, in my time of working in the make-up industry, picked up some of the worst products I’ve tried, after a little browsing sesh around Boots turns into a full on splurge where my self-control goes completely out the window and I find myself unable to resist a 3 ‘4’ 2 offer. It almost turns into a bit of a “Primark” effect where everything is so cheap, you buy three times as much as you normally would but end up paying just as much at the checkout as you would have done in a cheaper store, to say it is a false economy is to put it mildly!

Occasionally, however, I am delighted to find a product in my little splurge session which brings on a bout of déjà vu – once rummaging around my make-up collection I often find the randomly selected Bourjois gloss, is in fact, an almost exact copy of a high end gloss that I already own but cost an arm and a leg!

I wanted to share with you some of the best of these which I have found, to save you those precious pennies! Why pay Chanel prices when you could get the same thing in a drug store for a fraction of the cost? This is also completely risk free, as the cheap and expensive versions of these products have all been tested out and discovered by yours truly!


1.     Benefit “Brow zings” vs. Sleek MakeUP “Brow Kit”

Cost: Benefit £22.50

          Sleek £8.50

          You save: £14

Okay, this product really got me because I’ve had an extremely long standing love affair with Benefit’s Brow zings! One side of the dainty palette has a shaping wax and the other is a fixing powder, you then also get an angled brush for the wax application and a flat rounded brush for the powder application as well as some mini tweezers which are exceedingly handy!

I first bought this product because I randomly decided to have a sit down make over session at my local Benefit counter, I realised I have nothing for eyebrows, and so, being the make-up kleptomaniac I am I decided something had to be done about this; and so Brow zings was welcomed into my life! It sat relatively unnoticed in my make-up collection until I got into eyebrows in a big way and realised what a huge difference a groomed brow and well defined arch makes to eye make-up and your overall look. As I had nothing else, I reached for the Brow zings and boy was I impressed; the wax glides on like a dream, giving just enough colour to fill the brows without it being extremely harsh and fixing the unruly hairs in place. The angled brush gives a real preciseness which is absolutely needed for the tapered end of the brow and the neatness of the whole shape. Then you just pop the fixing powder on top (using a lighter or heavier hand, depending on how strong you like your brows!) and away you go.

After this initial experience of self-application me and Brow zings had been inseparable for nearly three years (with a little foray into pencils to see if I was missing out…I wasn’t!) but on a chance trip to Superdrug, I noticed that they had a product which looked like an absolute doppelganger. Given my good past experiences with Sleek I decided for £8.50, why not give it a go! I am so very glad I did because it works literally in exactly the same way as my beloved Brow zings but it costs a whopping £14 less!

Benefit Brow Zings is available in light, medium and dark & Sleek Brow Kit is available in light, dark, extra dark and black.


2.     Estée Lauder “DayWear sheer tint release” vs.  L’Oreal Paris “Nude magique BB cream”

Cost: Lauder £36.00 (50ml)

         L’Oreal £9.99 (30ml)

         You save:  £26.01

Okay so it might be thrown a little bit off whack because the sizes of the products aren’t quite the same, but even taking that into consideration, the L’Oreal would only be £16.65 if it were a 50ml size so still a saving of £19.35!

I have worked for Lauder many, many times and this is without a doubt one of their best selling products, it really is fabulous for people who want an all in one product which quickly perfects the skin, gives a little bit of colour and makes you look more alive! Not only this but it also is your moisturizer and SPF in one, which means for a quick fix it is essential. Personally I had never actually bought the product for myself as I am more of a heavy make-up kinda gal and had always chosen to splurge on a bit of DoubleWear foundation over what is in essence, a tinted moisturizer.  But having worked with this product on many a face I could really ascertain that it is a fab product for those who prefer a slightly more natural look. It is a white lotion base (which is more on the runny side) with hundreds of little beads, these are what are filled with the “tint” and release their contents (and thus, their colour) when rubbed into the skin. This part is slightly gimmicky but it’s still fun! They say that this mechanism makes it a colour adapting product but really it’s just that the colour slowly goes from white to coloured and so is not such a shock as putting a dark opaque liquid straight onto the face!

I got sent a sample of the L’Oreal cream and instantly thought that it was almost exactly the same as the DayWear sheer tint release and given the much reduced price, I decided to buy a full size one for myself for beach days and low maintenance 3 hours of lecture days!

Estée Lauder DayWear Sheer Tint Release comes in one shade with an SPF15 & L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream comes in two shades; light and medium, with an SPF12.


3.     Chanel “Joues contraste powder blush” vs. Bourjois Paris “Little round pot blusher”

Cost: Chanel £31

         Bourjois £7.49

         You save:  £23.51

Chanel blushers are an absolutely beautiful little bit of kit which I enjoy incredibly; there is something so satisfying about whipping out the sleek, black, glossy packaging with the obnoxiously obvious double C’s, even just to use the mirror! Apart from this though the blushers are extremely pretty and flattering shades which are not too soft helping to keep a natural light flush which is buildable. They also don’t go too cray cray with the glitter/shimmer making them perfect for a “au naturel” beauty day and for skin of all ages/types (too shimmery blush can bring out imperfections in the skin, so lines in mature skin can be exaggerated and enlarged pores highlighted), taking this out means the product is very versatile and all you have to do if you do want some glitz is whip it on top! The colour range is great and always makes me swoon, some will look slightly flat and unappealing in the pan but when I put them on for customers, they are always amazed at how flattering they are. Now a good friend of mine (also in the industry) hinted to me that Bourjois and Chanel make up are manufactured in the same factory, so me being me, I just had to do some investigating!

As it turns out, I am 75% convinced that they are – I picked up some of the blushers as from a quick look and play in the shop, they seemed very similar to the Chanel blushers. When I got them home I was amazed at just how similar they are – I had even gone for colours which were similar! They are both baked mineral style blushers which means that they have a slightly harder consistency than standard powder blushers, but the colour pay off can be built up and controlled more easily.

These little pots are fab, they come with a mirror & brush (as do the Chanel blushers) and so are perfect for on the go touch ups, as well as nights out (even if you lose it, it is not the end of the world, whereas I would probably cry for a day straight and maybe kill somebody if I lost my Chanel!)


Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush is available in 8 shades & Bourjois Powder Blush is available in 12 shades.

Make up, skin care and beauty tool reviews/recommendations from a whole hearted make up junky! I've long been involved in the cosmetic industry as a free-lance make-up artist whilst furthering my academic studies as a Biology student at The University of Nottingham. I have worked for Estee Lauder, Lancome, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Elizabeth Arden, Kiehls, Origins, Guerlain, Giorgio Armani, PUIG, KGA, P&G Prestige, Aramis, La Prairie and Aveda. I love nothing more than purchasing new and exciting items, and what better way to excuse myself of this naughty habit than to use it to help others make educated beauty choices! Much love and Enjoy - Amy x
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