Cheap Thrills: 25+ Brilliant Beauty Buys Under €30 - The Gloss Magazine

Cheap Thrills: 25+ Brilliant Beauty Buys Under €30

Here’s what we think is worth (a little less of) your hard-earned cash …

We asked for your feedback as we set up our new beauty panel, The GLOSSiest. And many readers said that while they enjoy aspirational purchases, they’re always interested in affordable beauty buys. So this month we’re focusing on lower-priced star items that deliver, from lipsticks to daily cleansers, with most at €25 or less.

Some things we won’t compromise on; it’s absolutely worth investing more on sun protection. Save on shower gels and cleansers (going down the drain) and invest more in what’s staying on your skin all day (foundations). Skincare is a key interest for most readers, so we’ve selected some favourite staples. Many panellists report that they’re buying Irish more than ever – one noted that “people feel better about paying for beauty products if they know they are supporting an Irish company – or at least one that is sustainable and ethical.”

Here’s what we think is worth (a little less of) your hard-earned cash…


1&2 Pharmacy brand Vichy have several winners under €30, including Neovadiol Rose Eye Cream (€29), ideal for ages 45-plus, with caffeine to depuff and a lovely light texture. Their LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoules (€30, ten-pack) are a neat way to introduce brightening vitamin C into your routine, and a fraction of the price of many other vitamin C serums. At pharmacies nationwide.

3 Embryolisse Lait Crème Sensitive for Body & Face is a French staple that primes, moisturises and is fragrance-free so won’t irritate. €26,

4 Fenty Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser smells lovely, works well and is fragrance-free. Love the twist-close tube too. €23 at

5 My teens use CeraVe cleansers as they’re plain and simple – and can be found for under €10 (for a generous 236ml) at pharmacies. Their newest launch is the lovely light but robust Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, €18, at pharmacies nationwide and online.

6 I recommend Skingredients Preprobiotic or Sally Cleanse (€25), depending on skin type – they are really reliable, with no unnecessary ingredients;

7 Glossier’s Priming Moisturiser is great for combination skin. €21, (plus €5 delivery).

8 For a vegan option, try silicone-free Belle & Basil Wild Seaweed Comfrey & Rose (€21.95,


9 In terms of bang for your buck, Clarins Everlasting Concealer is a bargain at €26; and pharmacies. Absolutely does what it says on the tube.

10 For me, Fresh Hydrating Lip Balm has desert island status; there are cheaper ones, but these are a treat. €17.30 at

11 & 12 Much as we love luxury lipsticks, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche lipsticks come in excellent textures and shades, under €13. Rimmel London Lasting Finish are also long-lasting and punchy, €7.99. Both at pharmacies nationwide.

13 US brand e.l.f. keeps nearly everything under €15. Blush palette, €10.95, at and pharmacies nationwide.

14 For brows, look to Catrice; their brow pencils are less than a fiver and similar to pricier versions.

15 Minis mean you try different brands and don’t waste product; try Nars Climax Mascara (€12) or MAC lipsticks (€14) and Strobe Cream (€10). At


16 Even if you’re not paying Kerastase prices, you can find quality: head to for brilliant, eco-conscious Italian Davines haircare, around €20.

17 Pantene’s Hair Biology range suits various hair types, including silver, from €7.99, at Boots.

18 OGX has a new upgraded pH-balanced collection with argan oil, coconut milk, biotin and collagen, and Brazilian keratin oil (and sulfate-free), all under €10, at Dunnes Stores and pharmacies nationwide.


19 L’Occitane lip scrubs (€16.50) are delicious to use, while their Almond Shower Oil (€22, refillable) would be good at twice the price.

20 Modern Botany’s excellent deodorant doubles as a body scent. From €15;

21 Rituals’ new collection smells of orange and cedarwood; The Ritual of Mehr Invigorating Body Scrub is a 92 per cent natural sugar and oil exfoliator, €14.90;


22 Affordable doesn’t have to mean acrid candyfloss. Many top perfumers quietly work for high-street brands. Byredo’s Jérome Epinette has created several scents for & Other Stories, including Fig Fiction, plus the Floral Street scents; discovery set from £9stg (

23 EQ Factories Try Erin Quinn’s distinctive perfumes from €6; try bestseller Can’t do Without You. A steal.

24 Roger & Gallet may seem old-school but punch above their weight fragrance-wise. and pharmacies, from €30. The star is Dominique Ropion’s light and sunny Bois d’Orange; you’d be hard-pushed to tell it’s not Armani.

25 Go retro: my teen favourite Cacharel LouLou is €18 at pharmacies; 4711 colognes are under €25, and you can nab Clinique Aromatics Elixir body wash, a fabulous forgotten scent, for under €30 at Boots.

26 Nab a fragrance discovery kit for less than €30 from NY brand Malin+Goetz, at

27 Essential oils are beautiful and versatile – add drops to a diffuser or the bath. The Nature of Things does an exquisite jasmine oil (€21) – see their website to learn how to make a solid perfume. Oils start from under €8.


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