Okay, I admit that the title was meant to draw your attention. but since so much attention is paid to the elements of luxury and exclusivity in the fashion world, I thought it would be prudent to visit the other end of the spectrum. In other words, cheap stuff that you can get easily and without mortgaging your home. And so, with no further ado and in no particular order, I give you the Highland Fashionista's Top Five Cheap Thrills Beauty Picks (from on both sides of the pond).
Lacura Body Lotion £1.39 ( UK ).
This great all-purpose body lotion is available in your local Aldi store. It may very well also be available in the US , but in my experience, the Aldi stores in Europe and the ones in the USA are quite different indeed. Lacura lotion certainly did not hold any allure in the packaging department. Although certainly not offensive to look at, it also did not jump out at me, begging me to notice it there, hidden amongst the other bottles and sprays. In fact, I think my husband was actually the person who brought it home for the first time. We had been on a sunny holiday, and were as scaly as hell in its aftermath. He apparently had read a great review online (yes, my husband, the big, tough lifeboat captain, was reading reviews of lotions online….that is certainly a testament to how very scaly our post-holiday selves must have been). The lotion itself is indeed a bargain. Although quite thick and a wee bit difficult to rub in at first, it soaks in after a few minutes, and leaves a lingering softness that lasts all day. I am not crazy about the smell…..that sort of powdery, little old lady smell that they seem to dump into everything that is not either “cucumber”, “citrus”, or “flower”. But the scent wears off quickly, and the effectiveness of the result is undeniable. They make a sensitive version of this as well. Although it is much easier to rub in and does not have the Little Old Lady smell, it is also not nearly as moisturizing. I usually have both options in the house, saving the regular version for winter and post holiday-sun scales, and keeping the sensitive for the rest of the year when a quick slap-coat will do just fine.
Pacifica Solid Perfume $9.00 ( USA ) £8-10 ( UK ). I have always been a fan of Pacifica perfume. The company creates delicious scents out of natural and essential oils, and puts them in a small, easy-to-carry, soy and beeswax base that is about the size of a lipgloss. These are GREAT for travelling, as they hold-up well and the scent is light and very layerable. I am currently using grapefruit as one of my warm-weather vacation scents. Check them out at the Pacifica Perfume website, and you can see the full range of scents. They are also carried at Sephora and QVC. If you are in the UK or elsewhere, a google search will bring up various vendors that sell the product. A must-have for the savvy travelling gal.
Cover Girl Remarkable Washable Waterproof Mascara $4.99 ( USA ). I have reviewed this mascara in a previous post, so I will not dwell, but as products go, this mascara is the dog’s bullocks. The above quoted price is from Drugstore.com’s US website. I did find this mascara available on the web in the UK , and they wanted £13.99 for it! That’s almost $20 to you American readers, and that, officially, does not qualify as a cheap thrill, but I digress.
Waitrose Pure Moisturizing Body Wash £1.94 ( UK ). The clean design of the bottle was what drew me in at first. I know, I’m a sucker that way. A graphic design sucker. But I was equally sucked in by the low price. Pure body wash is one of those less is more products that is free of just about everything other than what it needs to do its job. In other words, it is completely free of any dye or perfume. And unlike many of the other less is more products that I have tried over the years, this body wash is super gentle, in and out of the shower. I often find with “natural” products that even when they feel lovely when I am using them, I often exit the shower to overly-dry skin, frizzy hair, etc. This did none of those things. If feels gentle when you are using it, and does not dry out your skin. I even started using it on my face when I realized how gentle it was, and will probably buy more as it is a fantastic multitasking product. Granted, you will not be surrounded in a cloud of lovely-smelling suds with this one. Actually, you won’t be smelling of anything at all. So if smelling amazing right out of the shower is important to you, you may want to look elsewhere. But what it lacks in aromatherapy, it more than makes up for in simple, gentle effectiveness. You can always add your scent with your lotion. Or whatever else it is that you wish to smell of on any given day. Insert your own joke here.
CQ Eyeshadow $about two dollars ( USA ). I purchased a single CQ eyeshadow in Charcoal Frost about two years ago at Wal Mart when I was home visiting my parents. It was really not so much of a conscious choice as it was that it just happened to be one of the only single charcoal-colored eyeshadows in the whole shop. But what a happy accident it was! I still use this eyeshadow almost every day, usually to set my liquid liner and/or soften the edges a bit and smoke out my lashline. The formulation is smooth, the pigment even and intense, the color lasts all day and doesn’t turn all yellowy, and because of the elegant formulation, the amount of product lasts a really long time. Mine is two years old and has only a small to midsize dent in it. This stuff is a serious bargain. I think I paid under three US dollars for this two years ago.
Caveat alert. I just did an online search for CQ eyeshadow, and even though the company still has a website up and running, I cannot seem to find any product for sale over the internet. Historically, they sold at Wal Mart and Rite Aid, but neither of these retailers seem to have this product in stock, at least in their online stores. Could it be that the Evil Beauty Product Discontinuation Fairy has paid a visit (like she always does when we find products that we like)? Alas, because I don’t live in the US , I can’t just go in to the shop and check. But you can. Have a look the next time you are in. If they have it, by all means, give it a go. And by all means, let the Highland Fashionista know where it is available. Especially if you live in the greater Minneapolis area. The Highland Fashionista has family there who can smuggle her some eyeshadow out of the country. Seriously, it’s that good.
Want to try some of my stuff?