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5 Affordable Makeup Swaps

Good makeup is hard to come by. Affordable makeup is even harder!

If you’re like me and got into makeup a bit later than your peers and are now looking for all the best, affordable makeup staples, look no further: here’s a list of 5 affordable makeup essentials.

Essence is an amazing, affordable makeup brand. Back in the good old days, you could find essence in any Wilko’s, but you can generally find this brand in any general store.

This was the first eyeliner I ever bought, and I wore it daily for nearly a year and a half without having to buy another!

Even if you don’t wear eyeliner much, the expiry date is 36 months (3 years) so it will last you a long time.

The tip is sharp and doesn’t wear down with use, and they’re really not joking about the ‘24ever’ label. Blood, sweat, and tears - this eyeliner will see you through it all.

Oh, and if it matters to you - this eyeliner is vegan!

I’m not particularly loyal to any mascara brand, but when I picked this up from my local Boots - honestly, because it was the cheapest - I was pleasantly surprised!

The mascara has an almost ‘tubing’ quality, and wipes off easily with any makeup or baby wipe. I use cold water, and the mascara comes off quickly without leaving any residue on my cheeks.

Fully buildable, and with the wand shape giving a natural curl, this is a great mascara to start out with, or to grab in a pinch if you can’t find your usual.

At just £5 per tube, this lipstick has gone viral for all the right reasons.

I picked this up in the shade ‘Vampire’, and although the colour applies a little more purple-toned than I’d like, the quality can’t be faulted. The finish is silky, and the lipstick stays on all day without being a pain to wipe off.

Here’s a tip about lipstick shades I wish I’d remembered when I last bought lipstick:

the colour the lipstick appears when applied will differ to what you see online, and even what the shade looks like in the tube.

This depends on skin colour and the natural undertones in your skin. This TikTok trend shows it in action!


While you’re over there, you should give us a follow on TikTok: @hollrsite.

Surprise, it’s Essence again!

I can’t help it; they’re the brand for affordable makeup.

Like their eyeliner, I carried this highlighter in my makeup bag for about a while before, thanks to Cumbrian weather, the container broke in my bag and made all of my makeup look like a Cullen sibling…

I’ve tried other highlighters, including pens, and nothing comes close.

This recommendation comes from my little sister - hi, Tarleah!

If you’re getting into makeup, you might find yourself wanting to explore eyeshadow, contours, or foundation.

Even if you’re keeping it simple with mascara and highlighter, you’ll probably want a good set of brushes to keep you from applying makeup with your fingers - and reducing acne.

While I’m yet to find a brush set that wow-ed me, my sister recommends these:

“16 brushes seems like a lot, but it’s better to have more options. Especially if you’re just starting to get into makeup, you might not need the eyebrow spoolie or fan brush now, but you’ll be glad you have it already later.

"The brushes are really soft and the different sizes can help you add detail in eye looks.”

TTT (Tarleah’s Top Tip):

“If you’re going to buy brushes, remember you need to wash them too. Once a week is good enough.

"You can use a special machine, or any textured surface and a sink with hot water and makeup-remover. Then just leave them out to air-dry.”

Machines are a little more pricey, usually around £22, but textured matts come in at a modest £3.

Makeup is an amazing way to express yourself, but it’s intimidating as a newcomer!

You don’t need to go out and buy every product I’ve listed. It’s your makeup, and your style.

Whatever you do, have fun with it - hopefully, this list will have sent you well on your way.

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