Pretty please: Beauty on a budget
There is a good reason beauty addicts trawl drugstore aisles - solid products at reasonable prices.
With so many brands from around the world easily found i shops here, there is no need to hop on a plane to get your beauty fix. Check out these releases - available at Guardian stores - to look and feel great on a budget.
Botaneco Garden Organic Trio Oil Hair Elixir (Europe)
Enhanced with chamomile extract, this light hair elixir helps control frizziness well when applied to damp hair and left to dry .
But on its own, it didn't quite nourish my extremely dry and damaged hair (thanks to multiple bleachings and chemical treatments), so this should be used more as an anti-frizz product to help keep tresses looking tamer and smoother.
Dr. Groot Anti-Hair Loss Control Shampoo & Conditioner (Korea)
Price: $25.90 each
I suffer from pretty scary hair loss, especially after I wash my hair. While I cannot declare for a fact that this shampoo and conditioner set helped solve my problem, it did leave my scalp feeling clean and healthy without feeling stripped.
Either way, the products lather well, smell great and I do see less hair in the drain after use.
TRESemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo (US)
Formulated with argan oil and keratin, this shampoo lathers up really nicely and left my hair feeling smooth, nourished and easy to brush out after.
That said, like any other shampoo, I would try to avoid using it every day.
Maybelline Hypertight Eyeliner (US)
I welcome any new tool that claims to be able to help create the perfect winged liner (a skill I seem unable to perfect despite years of practice), and this decently waterproof, jet black one ranks pretty high on the list of those that actually work.
With a soft tip that delivers product evenly without stabbing my eye, and a shape that allows me to get close to my eye, this really does help get that perfect eyeliner on - even in the back of a car while I am rushing to get to work.
I'm Meme I'm Tic Toc Lipstick Satin (Korea)
It is all so cute and sweet, from the adorable packaging that resembles a felt marker to the heart-shaped bullet.
But do not let its appearance fool you - this lipstick packs a real punch. Its velvet formula is highly pigmented and stays on all day - even after a very greasy fish and chips meal. I just wish it was a little more moisturising, and the heart-shaped bullet does take a bit of getting used to.
Candylab Black Mellowcara Long Lash (Korea)
When it comes to mascara, I am very picky. Mostly because I have got oily lids and a tendency to tear up every time I yawn, sneeze or just breathe too hard.
Despite its blah packaging, this one surprised me. Aside from being waterproof and smudge-proof, the product left my lashes clump-free, nicely separated and noticeably lengthened.
Definitely more natural-looking than dramatic, it does not really hold much of a curl, but can be a daytime mascara I might just start using regularly.
Kingirls Macaron Raspberry Extract Invisible Face Mask (Taiwan)
This super soft and thin sheet mask felt wonderfully cooling and comfortable and left my dull, parched skin feeling much softer and more moisturised. Infused with raspberry extract, the mask smells pleasant and did not leave a sticky residue.
Barry M Unicorn Primer Drops Beauty Elixir (Britain)
Infused with acai berries, goji berries, watermelon and tamarind, the light formula left a soft, smooth and even canvas for my make-up to go over.
I felt the product worked best on the parts of my face that were more dry, and took a little more time to set on the oilier areas like my forehead.
While the primer does claim to have skincare properties, I don't think it can replace a proper routine.
Saborino Fresh White Morning Mask Ultra Moisturizing (Japan)
Call me lazy, but I find sheet masks to be something of a hassle, which is why when I heard of this one-minute daytime version, I had to give it a try. Plus, it claims to cleanse, moisturise and prime, all in one.
I do not know how well it actually cleanses, but it makes for a refreshing pick-me-up. With its great fragrance and minty feel, I felt more awake for sure.