December 18th, 2015
High street beauty products are getting better and better every year, with some brands almost indistinguishable from more expensive products. Competition is fierce, driving them on to create products for the mass market, but pro artists would be making a mistake to avoid the aisles of Boots and Superdrug. We’ve looked at the main brands on the high street and sussed out what you should pick up from each of them.
Barry M’s fast fashion approach and seemingly limitless array of colours are definitely the brand’s calling card. Highlights include their nail varnishes, especially their Speedy Quick Dry shades for pastel perfection, and their potted Dazzle Dust (£4.59). Available in more than 20 shades, these work well when pressed straight onto the eyelid, or combined with a mixing solution to create a high-shine slick of colour.
Well known for their excellent foundations, we would actually argue that their cheek products are some of the best on the high street. We were blown away the first time we tried their Aqua Blushes – pigmented colour delivered in a light-as-air creamy mouse formula, you need only the smallest amount. Sheered out with a duo-fibre stippling brush, you can achieve a natural flush of colour which lasts for hours. Their bronzers are also worth checking out – their chocolatey Délice de Poudre is lovely and warming, while their latest Matt Illusion bronzers deliver a more subtle radiance.
The team behind Strictly Come Dancing rave about Collection’s affordable Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Eyeliners, which they go through by the bucket-load. Eyes are their forte, with their mascara selection also a highlight. A huge variety of brush styles and formulas, they’re also not going to break the bank – considering how frequently you should replace your mascaras, it’s worth bearing in mind. Their new Divine Lash mascara has a brush similar in design to Benefit’s They’re Real, and delivers fluttery, voluminous lashes. Last but not least, their recent Eyes Uncovered eyeshadow palettes really surprised us with their quality and pigment.
Foundations are what we think of when it comes to L’Oreal. Their bases are always reliable, with good distinctions in undertones and a variety of finishes. L’Oreal Infallible 24H is a solid, long-lasting base, and we love how the new Infallible Matte foundation looks on skin – mattifying, but not mask-like. L’Oreal True Match has one of the most extensive colour ranges on the high street, making it a good choice when stocking up on a wide variety of shades without spending a fortune.
Max Factor lends itself well to kit staples, products which you can always rely on. Whether it’s their classic mascaras – Masterpiece mascara and 2000 Calorie mascara – or their handy CC Sticks, they benefit from well-thought out products, rather than trendy gimmicks.
Lip options are what we reach for at the Maybelline counter. Their Color Drama lip pencils remind us of the NARS Matte versions, and we like the soft, colourful formula of the Color Elixir glosses. Their extensive lipstick ranges are broken down by colour and texture, making it easy to find exactly what you need – keep an eye out for the new Creamy Matte lipsticks, the shade Divine Wine is perfect for winter.
Rimmel are good all-rounders. Their mascaras are good (we like the Wonder’full mascara for thick yet natural-looking lashes), as are their lipsticks. Their product ranges normally include plenty of shades, from their nail varnishes to their eyeshadow quads, and their Match Perfection foundation is one of the few high street options which caters for more neutral undertones, while many have a tendency to lean either pink or yellow.
Space-saving palettes are Sleek’s calling card. Their i-Divine palettes are fantastic, both in terms of pigment and value for money. Blusher is covered by their Blush By Three palettes, which contain a mix of cream and powder textures, and their Contour Kits contain bronzer, highlighter and a blush shade – we’re sold!