Just because a beauty product is cheap (or more flatteringly described as affordable) doesn't mean it's no good. But as adults, we often equate cost with quality, unlike when we were teens and it was all about value. Do you remember as a teen spending hours meandering around the shops in your local high street with your mates? Wandering up and down the aisles in Boots and Superdrug, testing the makeup and hoping it would transform us into one of the Spice Girls was a real Saturday highlight (along with popping into Miss Selfridge for a new party outfit).
As I’ve grown up, I tend to look to our high-street chemists more as places of function; it’s where I go to get 3-for-2 on razors, collect my prescriptions and stock up on whatever shower gel happens to be on offer. But lately, I've been drawn back into those makeup and skincare aisles. Why? Because I know there are some really great products on those shelves. And it's not just me; these stores are real-life meccas for many makeup artists, veritable treasure troves of affordable beauty products that work so brilliantly that they make it into their own makeup bags as well as their professional kits.
Now, having worked in Boots on the till and restocking shelves to make extra cash during university, I know all too well how many products that store stocks (a lot) and Superdrug is just the same. So I called on makeup artist and Instagram influencer Katie Jane Hughes to reveal which products she stocks up on in everyone’s favorite local chemists.
Keep scrolling for her six top beauty picks.
"This is the best cleansing water out there. It balances the skin's pH, which means you'll have a healthier, happier complexion when you start using this."
"This is awesome. Its super-fine point makes it very easy to draw a big or small wing, as less product means more control."
"GOSH's drops are these little liquid highlighters that pack a full-on punch. Small and concentrated, you only need a drop. They're also super shiny, which makes them great for editorial shoots. In real life, they are just perfect for mixing into your foundation for an added glow when your complexion looks lackluster and needs a boost."
"A great little product, this comes in so many shades and is comfortable to wear. I love the nude shades London, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo."
"This is a brush I have in my kit and my personal stash. It's just so good at diffusing any hard lines of eyeshadow or pressing on colored pigment. The Real Techniques brushes wash really well and last a very, very long time."
"Every time I'm home (I live in New York right now), I rush to Bourjour, as we don't get it here in NY. I love the mascaras. Everything from the brand feels high-end for a low price point. They just perform, ya know?"
Follow Katie Jane Hughes for tons of makeup ideas on Instagram at @katiejanehughes.