Student budget skincare and makeup brands

Shift’s favourite brands to look good for less

Shift highlights three brands maxing out their cost-to-value ratio in the skincare game. Read on to discover which trio of beauty brands is clogging up our student cupboards while unclogging our pores.

First up is Elf, the skincare and make-up brand that hit the beauty scene after becoming an affordable favourite for big beauty brand dupes. It has been on a roll since then, and Elf was also one of the first, and most interactive beauty brands on TikTok. Remember that Eyes. Lips. Face. song? The products back up the marketing.

Elf Halo Glow has quickly become one of the brand’s best-selling products for Gen Z and millennials. This product is a light, yet full coverage product that acts as a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. It is described as a makeup-skincare hybrid and serves as a multipurpose liquid booster. As described on the Elf cosmetics website the Elf Halo Glow can be worn four different ways. It can be worn alone, under makeup or over makeup, it can be mixed with a different foundation, and can also be used as a highlighter. Elf created the Halo Glow with 12 different shades to match skin tones and undertones, with a dewy finish, leaving you with glassy smooth skin.

Avid Elf user and high school Geography teacher Sana Ilyas talks about her experience using the Halo Glow: “I’ve used Elf Halo Glow for almost a year now. I was initially drawn to it because of its likeness with the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter but didn’t want to pay that price. I’ve used various Elf products before and always loved the quality and finish and was very impressed with the Halo Glow. It’s my go-to skin product, I rarely use foundation now!”

A few other fan favourites by Elf cosmetics include the power grip primer, the Glow Revival lip oil and the Camo Liquid blush. Makeup and skincare product prices range from £2 to £30, makeup brush sets costing up to £58.

For many people, before makeup comes skincare. Skincare is a vital step in keeping your skin looking and feeling youthful and healthy. Enter the second of our trio: staying on a budget Superdrug has a number of own brands to choose from. Focusing on its skincare lines, Superdrug has four brands to choose from. B, Me+, Vitamin E and Extracts. Each brand caters for all different skin types, so there is something for everyone. 

B skincare has five different skincare options to to choose from that target certain areas. Age define, Glow, Hydrate, Oil control and Cleanse. On the Superdrug website you can take a B skincare routine finder to find which of these ranges is best for your skin. B Skincare prices range from £3 to £93.

Me+ focuses on skincare booster serums and sheet masks to supercharge your skin. The brand has a variety of different serums and acids to cleanse and brighten your skin. Me+ focuses on actives for skin. Active ingredients include antioxidant ingredients such as Vitamins A, C and E. Stronger ingredients include Probiotics, Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Hyaluronic Acid. Me+ prices range from £2.50 to £31.

Vitamin E is self explanatory and produces skincare products that are rich on Vitamin E. Vitamin E products leave skin feeling smooth and supple. Vitamin E prices range from £1.50 to £34.

Extracts is the most affordable out of the four lines, it focuses on creating high quality prodcuts at an affordable price for shoppers. Extracts prices range from £1.99 to £10.

Long time Superdrug own-brand user and University of Leicester student Emily Boylan spoke about her experience with these products. She has been using them for four years after going for a facial to treat fungal acne on her forehead. The beautician reccommended her to try salycilic and hyaluronic acids.

“I looked around and Superdrug seemed to be the cheapest option, so I thought I’ll just try that to see if it’s good and it was good and I still use it to this day.”

She says: “It cleared my skin up within a month and my skin was quite clogged up and quite hard to manage at the time. I’ve never had any irritation problems and I have quite sensitive skin as well so that’s important to me that I don’t get irritated from my skincare.”

Boylan talks about the products she has used which include the salycilic and hyaluronic acid, the nycinimide and she has also tried the caffeine eye cream. She also uses the face washes and toners. She talks about the Me+ range that has helped with her sensitive skin and has not caused any irritation.

Our third and final endorsement is CeraVe, which hit the skincare scene on TikTok and quickly became popular globally. It is a dermatologist recommended brand that has been deemed affordable by consumers.

The sudden rise in popularity came from positive reactions on TikTok. Notable influencers and skincare accounts have been seen using the brand, which has led to the brand going viral. 

Regular CeraVe user and Head of Business at Chiltern Academy Stephen Robertson says: “I use the SPF every day in the morning, I find it a high-quality product as it keeps my skin from getting dry all day. It is super affordable for such a good quality product. I find the same with the cleanser, I use this every day in the evenings, it keeps my face clean. I also use the night moisturiser. All of this is affordable as it’s quite cheap and lasts a long time.”

CeraVe has become a reliable skincare for many people across the globe. CeraVe prices range from £7 to £35.20 on the Boots Website. 

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