When to save and when to spend on beauty products

When to save and when to spend on beauty products

Meet the experts

When to spend more


Face wipes may be cheap and convenient, but according to skincare expert Antonia Burrell, they’re not good for our skin. “Cleansing wipes strip skin of natural oils, which can be ageing,” says Antonia. “It really is worth spending more on a good cleanser.”

Day Cream

“Sun damage is impossible to repair and is very ageing, so it’s essential to use a moisturiser with a high SPF,” says Annette Close. “Cheaper products tend to have a lower SPF and a higher water content, meaning they evaporate more quickly on the skin and the protective benefits are more short-term.”

Night cream

“Skin goes into repair mode at night so it’s worth investing in a night cream with retinol to speed up cell regeneration and make skin look brighter,” says beauty expert Annette Close. “A more expensive night cream will have a higher concentration of retinol than cheaper products, so you’ll see results more quickly.”


When it comes to make-up, it pays to invest in a good base. “Expensive products tend to contain more pigment, so they last longer as you get the same coverage using less,” says make-up artist Victoria Waite. “Liquid foundations tend to work best on mature skin, but apply with a light hand and gently build-up coverage. Look for products that say ‘illuminating’, ‘radiant’ or ‘hydrating’.”


If you often find your eyeshadow disappears after a few hours, using a premium brand may be the answer. “A more densely pigmented shadow means you can apply less and still get great colour and a longer-lasting finish,” says Victoria. “Matte shadow tends to be more flattering on mature eyes, but don’t be afraid to put a dab of shimmer in the inside corner of your eyes to make you look wide awake.”

Where to save


Regular gentle exfoliation (every two to three days) can keep skin looking younger and fresher. “Choose a facial exfoliator with fine particles, so as not to damage your skin,” says Antonia.


Designed to remove traces of make-up and refresh skin, an inexpensive toner won’t differ much to a pricey product. “Look for one low in alcohol, so it doesn’t dry out skin,” says Antonia. 

Nail varnish

“The cost of expensive nail varnishes is often in the packaging,” says Victoria.
“A cheap varnish will have a similar formula to a pricey one – it’s how you apply it that gives it staying power. Wipe nails clean with a cotton pad soaked in nail varnish remover to eliminate oil. Then apply a base coat to stop staining, and finish with a top coat to protect.”


“As mascara should be replaced often (every two to three months) and the high street has some great formulations, it doesn’t make sense to splash too much cash,”
says Victoria.

Blusher and lipstick

Lower-priced blusher will leave you in the pink, as long as you follow one simple rule. “Powder blush isn’t flattering for mature skin, so opt for a cream formula,” says Victoria. “Apply to the apples of your cheeks and blend out and up towards the hairline. You can also use it as a lip colour.”
If you still want a lipstick, aim for a creamy formula between matte and gloss. “You don’t need to spend much as again, the formulas are similar and you’re paying more for packaging,” says Victoria. “The trick is to use a lip pencil first on the lip line and blend onto the lips to stop lipstick from feathering.”


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