Budget Beauty: Raiding Other’s Makeup Bags

One of my favourite ways of saving money on beauty is…now wait for it, this is a brilliant tip…not buy it! Or at least not until you are doubly, triply sure that it will work for you. Doing this won’t just save your money in the short term, but it may also prevent you from buying things that really aren’t for you.

A few months ago I tried Bourjois Healthy Mix, using some of my housemate Libby’s bottle. The colour (lightest shade) was far too yellow toned for me (I have a typical ‘English Rose’ complexion – i.e. pasty, pink-toned, blushing cheeks and not nearly as attractive as it sounds) but I was willing to overlook that as I did love the feel and finish of the foundation. What I did not like was the reaction I suffered the next day – I had raised, red, dry, itchy patches over much of my face. It was extremely sore, although luckily all but one patch did disappear after a while. What I’m really trying to say is that trying this foundation from someone else’s makeup bag saved me from making a £10 mistake…

 photo LoePic_zpse2e1430d.jpgOver Easter I decided to raid my mum’s makeup drawer and see if she had any goodies worth borrowing – and I feel I made a winning find with this palette from Makeup Essentials. It contains virtually everything you need for a few makeup looks, and seems ideal to take on holiday. I know I’ll definitely be taking it on my trip to Edinburgh in June!

 photo 2014-05-02192620_zps243a8bc4.jpgThere’s a selection of lip glosses – I’m not really a gloss person, but some of these are lovely and natural looking so perfect for day time. Next to these are some lovely eyeshadows. The pigmentation of all of them is unexpectedly good (I have to admit I’m a bit of an eyeshadow snob, after using a higher-end palette I really struggle to get on with cheaper ones as they make my eyes itch, which in turn makes me dislike lots of things about them!), they last well throughout the day using a creme eyeshadow as a base, and I’ve found I can get a variety of looks from them.

 photo 2014-05-02192629_zpsd9f93ee4.jpgOn the other side there is the most perfect ‘bronzer’ which to me makes a great contouring shade. I used to contour virtually everyday (way before it became ‘fashionable’) as my cheeks were often puffy due to a medical condition. I’d gotten out of the habit of doing this, and subsequently lost the powder I used to use, so finding this means I’ll make the effort to contour more often. This powder is doubled up with a highlighter than gives sheen without glitter – perfect for my taste!

Continuing on the cheek theme there’s a selection of three blushes. These aren’t hugely pigmented, but add a lovely natural flush to the cheeks. The palette also comes with an eyeliner and mascara – neither of these I have tried as it is my mum’s makeup after all!

Finally the palette comes with a few brushes. As someone who prefers to use her own Bodyshop brushes these also pleasantly surprised me, as they are soft and don’t seem to shed. Still not the best quality, but I could definitely make do with these for a few days if necessary.

 photo 2014-05-02192609_zps0ab3a907.jpgAll in all – a winning palette that will definitely be in my case on my short holiday. It definitely paid to rummage through mum’s makeup over Easter!

Do you test products out by borrowing before buying?