Lately I’ve noticed a recurring theme with some of my current favourites; they can all be picked up with change from a tenner. If you already have that middle-of-the-month feeling, here are ten of my favourite slightly more affordable buys.
This cream-to-powder blush is one of my daily staples. The micro shimmer and buildable, peachy hue make paler skin tones look alive and awake. I find it works best with the warmth of fingertips, but it also blends nicely with a soft buffing brush.
Somewhere in between a steely grey and khaki green, Topshop ‘Easy Peasy’ is like a little ode to the murky river Thames – and a nice alternative to autumnal burgundies. The formula lasts a solid five days on my nails too. I can only find this on the website in a matte finish, but it’s just as elegant.
Matte bronzers can be tricky to find on the highstreet, but this one blends beautifully onto pale skin with no muddy or orange undertones. My tan fades much more rapidly on my face, so I’m currently relying on this to keep things more even.
I found ‘Nude Delight’ via Lisa Eldridge and it’s become one of my favourites to gently tap across lips for a slightly sixties hint. The formula is really comfortable to wear and there’s just enough peachiness to keep it flattering.
I found Avalon in Waitrose when my hair was looking a bit dull and bought the Lemon Clarifying Shampoo (it smells just like lemon sherbets) in the hope it would help to wash away product build up without irritating my scalp. As much as I love John Masters Unscented range, I’ve been testing more styling lotions and potions than usual for LayeredOnline, and it can struggle to remove heavier products. I’m now onto my third bottle and it easily rinses away residue without leaving my scalp or hair feeling stripped.
I tried Bioderma’s cult micellar water for the first time this year and I seem to be one of the few that aren’t a fan. I find Garnier’s equivalent much gentler on my eyes and just as, if not more, effective at shifting eye makeup pre-cleanse. It’s probably the best cleansing water I’ve tried and much lighter on the wallet than most too.
Una Brennan has been filling the void left behind by my sad empty tube of Aesop Parsley Seed Masque. With honey, Shea butter and avocado oil it’s not as drying as some drugstore masks, leaving skin deeply cleansed but still comfortable. (n.b. This appears to have been renamed and reformulated as Una Brennan Superfacialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask, which I haven’t yet tried, but historically the brand have been fairly reliable as a whole.)
The uses of coconut oil are practically endless, but it really comes into its own when travelling. I took a small tub of this away with me on holiday and used it as an eye makeup remover, hair oil and body moisturiser. I’m also partial to a teaspoon stirred into black coffee to stock up on MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides – which can help keep your metabolism ticking over).
Muji Hinoki Wood Candle £3.50
Although Muji do a great dupe for Diptyque Feu de Bois, my favourite of their candles is Hinoki Wood. As the name suggests, it has a slightly green, woody cypress scent with a hint of incense that makes the whole room smell like a Japanese temple – and at £3.50 each I don’t feel too guilty about lighting them to burn away cooking smells.
A slightly weird find (with an even more awkward name), I’ve been using Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter as a lip balm, to smooth any dry patches and smothering my feet in it before putting socks on to help soften the skin. The ingredients list is reassuringly tiny (olive oil, chamomile oil and vanilla) and it smells just like white chocolate buttons.