Prestige Versus High Street Beauty

Image: Nivea Visage - Radiance Boosting Moisturiser
Nivea

If you want to invest in a daily skincare or makeup regime but cannot afford the prestige and designer brands such as Clinique, Clarins and Chanel, there are some excellent off-the-shelf skincare brands all with much cheaper price tags. 

Our particular favourite cheaper skincare brands include Nivea Visage and Garnier for those on a shoestring budget; and Soap & Glory, The Body Shop, L'Oreal and Olay for those with a little more to spend. While for makeup, Bourjois, Rimmel, Max Factor, Revlon and Maybelline are all fabulous low- to mid-budget brands.

If you just love visiting the beauty counters, the items we think are particularly still worth buying from prestige brands (having tried many from both the prestige and high street brands!) include foundations, mascaras and serums. You want your foundation to feel like a second skin which is comfortable on application. Some of the cheaper brand's foundations feel itchy on the skin, give way to oil quickly, have short staying-power and come in fewer shades. Being able to visit a prestige brand's beauty counter to get your colour matched by a beauty adviser, who can also tell you which type of foundation will be best for your skin type, often makes up for the products price and ensures you go away with the perfect foundation. At JMA, we particularly love Chanel and Lancome foundations.

Mascaras also need to have a pleasing smell and consistency with a good glossy or kohl colour.  Some of the cheaper mascaras on the market can clog on the lashes and smell rubbery; they often need a lot more makeup remover to remove them as well.  You may also want to try before you buy with a mascara which can give different effects on different people. Christian Dior are renowned for their mascaras, read our Top 5 dramatic look mascaras.

Nevertheless, it will always be a matter of personal preference and if you have never tried the prestige brands you will not be able to compare the difference anyway.

Serums from prestige brands such as Estee Lauder are usually worth the investment because of their advanced technology and silky smooth, thirst quenching consistencies. We would definitely recommend Estee Lauder's youth dew Advanced Night Repair for its patented formula revered by beauty editors worldwide for its ability to repair skin already damaged by the environment and protect it from further stresses.

Although the research and technology gone into perfecting facial skincare may be more evident in many of the prestige brand's products, don't forget that the high street brands often use many of the same ingredients in their products but just have cheaper packaging.

While most other makeup products including eyeshadows, eyeliners, lipsticks, nail varnishes and the skincare products face washes, exfoliators and moisturisers can definitely be as good from the high street and off-the-shelf brands. 

At JMA, we particularly love Rimmel's Colour Mousse eyeshadows (RRP £4.99) which provide shimmery colour and Bourjois powder eyeshadows (RRP £6.99) which give good luminous colour that can be built up. As for eyeliners, Maybelline Volume Express Kohl Eyeliner (RRP £3.99) glides on easily for colour which can be smudged. Revlon Colour Burst lipstick (RRP £7.99) provides rich, creamy colour and is very long lasting; plus, its glamourous black packaging will look great on your dressing table.

 

While for skincare, The Body Shop are great for exfoliators -- Aloe Gentle Exfoliator (RRP £7.50) is a gentle and refreshing exfoliator perfect for frequent use. Try Soap & Glory for face washes that are sure to give great effects but not break the bank. Face, Soap & Clarity (RRP £6) is a fab cleanser for combination and oily skins and leaves your face feeling super clean, fresh and radiant. The Soap & Glory skincare range also comes in funky packaging. For a cheaper alternative, Garnier's Clean & Fresh Cleansing Wash (RRP £3.19) lathers up for a creamy wash and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean. Nivea Visage's moisturisers are very affordable, as are Garnier's, and we particularly like their Natural Beauty Radiance Boosting Moisturiser (RRP £6.49) for those wanting luminous and conditioned skin. L'Oreal are renowned for their skincare too, and have some great serums and moisturisers for all ages and skin types.

One brand which seems to sit on the fence neither obviously a prestige or high street brand is Boots' No7. Their skincare products are particularly well known with many such as Perfect & Protect Serum having been successfully independently trialled. No7 makeup is also popular among all ages. Typical prices start at about £9.50 for a lipstick, £11 for a mascara, £7.50 for a single eyeshadow and foundations range from £11 to £15.

So if you don't want to spend too much on a good skincare regime or high quality makeup, remember you don't have to!