Drugstore Beauty Bargains: January

Hola mi amores! (I feel way less cheesy saying this kind of thing in a foreign language. Plus I'm really into Gael Garcia Bernal right now after watching s.2 of Mozart in the Jungle! ;-0). It kind of just occurred to me that British people don't call it a drugstore. I think the generic term here is "pharmacies" but that seems weirdly French to me. They mostly call the stores by their given names, like we do in America, but well, this series is related to any cosmetic/skincare you can buy on the high street I guess.

Anyway...the expat struggle continues!...(I do find I have issues with names, especially things like brand names, one of the hardest things to re-learn/let go of). So I think from now on it will just be "Beauty Bargains", that covers all the bases I think!

My beauty bargains this month are a mix of old faithful things I think deserve a shout out and a few new things I'm enjoying.

First up, the thing in my makeup bag I most take for granted but often rely on the most: blush. I'm pretty fickle and experimental when it comes to blush, I go through phases where I'll only do a cream or cheek stain. But I want to give a shout out to my go to, everyday favourite powder blushes: Boots No.7 blushes (You can buy these in Target in America). They've been around forever, but they are really worth a mention if you've never tried them before. They have great pigmentation but are subtle/buildable, have little to no sparkly bits (that I can see anyway!), and the three colours I have all work well on my pale skin, which is rare for me in a drugstore blush line. My only complaint is I wish they would come out with a wider selection of shades!
I really love them all, Honey is great in the winter for a more subtle bronzer type effect on pale skin, and the pretty pink Petal (it is much brighter looking in real life) makes me look alive if I'm looking washed out. The Soft Damson is more subtle, possibly slightly too matched to my skin tone, but a great everyday blush nonetheless.

My next "old faithful" is Max Factor Master Touch Concealer. 
I keep re-purchasing this, because it's good stuff, plain and simple. It's more pigmented than many drugstore concealers and does a better job on my dark under-eye circles without being too ageing. The only thing I don't like about it is I seem to run out of it quite quickly, so I'm not entirely convinced it's particularly good value for money. So I try to buy  it when it's on offer ;-)

Next up are my latest skincare favourites:

The (Boots again, also available in Target in America!) Botanics line is one I like to dabble in. It's cheap and cheerful and has some nice skincare finds. I am into hot cloth cleansers (this one isn't technically but that's how I use it), and I would say the All Bright Cleanser is a winner. I don't know if it has "brightened" my skin but it's nice and non-drying on the skin. It has botanical AHA's in it for exfoliating/brightening, and in general it agrees with my skin (winter plays havoc with it generally so I do struggle a bit when trying to judge things....just me?)

L'Oreal's Youth Code moisturiser is not one I had tried before. I'm pretty sure it's designed for younger skin than mine, but I really struggle to find moisturisers in my "age bracket" that don't break me out or make my skin oily. This one is lovely and light but does a good job moisturising my skin. I tend to use a simple day mosturiser and concentrate on getting my "anti-aging" in at night with serums and the like. I do wish it had an spf in it though, I probably won't be able to wear it in warmer months.

The Boots No.7 Gradual Facial Tan is one I recommend for a nice "winter glow". A LOT of people find this too subtle, it must be said, but that is what I like about it! It just gives my skin a hint of warmth, so I don't have to worry about it not matching my otherwise pale skin (i.e. I don't have to fake tan if I don't want to). You can seriously wear it for a week before it starts to look "tan". It's not the lightest cream in the world but it doesn't smell too badly or break me out. Plus it has an spf 15, bonus!

Last is a lipstick from Makeup Revolution. I had tried and liked their eye shadow palettes but never tried their lipstick -and I was wanting a dark, experimental (for me) sort of deep plum shade that I didn't want to splash out on as I knew I wouldn't wear it much. So I picked up this one:

It's more properly deep purple looking in the tube, i.e. not your average berry, which is why I bought it. But on my lips it's not quite as plummy as I'd hoped. These shades always pull more red on me than I would like - if I buy a purple lipstick, I want it to be PURPLE! Anyway ;-0, it's nicely pigmented but a little bit dry in texture. For a cheap as chips dark/bold lip though I would recommend it!

So how about you, do you have any beauty bargains you are loving at the moment?


  1. I could definitely do with a gradual face tanner (and the blusher)- had my hair cut today and there's nothing quite like staring at myself for 2 hours straight to make me realise how pasty and pale I look! I'm super boring when it comes to make-up, I've been using the same handful of products for years now. Revlon foundation, Clinique powder, Rimmel blusher (which is actually pants but it's force of habit), Collection 2000 eyeliner pen (which is fantastic considering how cheap it is) for my black eyeliner flicks, and Revlon mascara.

    1. I buy lots of makeup but tend to stick to a handful of things, I don't know why! ;-) I hate the hairdresser's mirror, thing of evil! I should say again how subtle this face tan stuff is, I know a lot of people don't like it for that reason. But there is a voucher on just now though for No.7 stuff :-) I have never tried Revlon mascara or foundation, which seems weird to me as I dabble in most brands. I used to like their long lasting lipsticks though with the stain/gloss combo :-)

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  2. Favourites of mine are Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation, I use ivory. It doesn't feel pore clogging. Bourjois Rose Anbre blush, a great colour for me. And a new discovery, Maybelline Nudes eyeshadow palette, fantastic colour range.
    Also trying Boots Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Relief serum.

    1. I have the Maybelline palette too :-) Mousse foundation doesn't work on my skin :-( I have never seen that serum, will check it out!

  3. Serum on reduction at the mo I think. Also like Soap and Glory lipsticks, currently Naked Beige...smells like chocolate!

    1. I have never tried any Soap & Glory makeup, I keep reading rave reviews about it though thanks! x

  4. Oh, the Max Factor concealer and that lipstick both look great.
    I have heard a lot of British writers/TV shows/movies refer to it as "the chemist," which I think is hilarious, though accurate in a way, I guess.
    Ah, that lipstick is such a pretty color.