Sculpted Liquid Lights
A standout makeup product for me this year is Sculpted by Aimee’s Liquid Lights. Cream blushers and highlighters rolled into one; these miniature wonders light up any complexion and glide onto the skin however you apply them. Palm-sized perfection (and an ideal size for travel, too). Be warned; you won’t be able to stop at one.
- Available in five shades. €14 each from Sculpted by Aimee.
Note Cosmetics BB Concealer
One of the last launches of 2022, this affordable concealer from Note Cosmetics is a brilliant addition to any makeup bag. Medium coverage, with a smooth and buttery formula that glides onto the skin thanks to its cooling metal tip applicator, this is radiant, long-lasting and less than 12. What’s not to love?
- €11.95 from McCabes Pharmacy.
L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
Still, one of the best mascaras on the market nearly six years after it first hit shelves (and our lashes). L’Oreal Lash Paradise thickens, lengthens, separates and delivers dramatically dark, luscious lashes with every application. Many other formulations have followed in its wake, including waterproof and additional colour options, but the original is still king.
E.L.F 16 Hr Camo Concealer
This excellent concealer has been much-loved for quite some time thanks to its stellar formulation and brilliantly large doe foot applicator. It’s matte, full-coverage, brightening and beautifully creamy. It covers everything but still manages to look fresh hours after application (hence the name), and it’s less than 7. No, you’re not seeing things.
- Available in 24 shades. €6.84 from feelunique.com.
NYX Born to Glow Foundation
One of the best budget beauty brands around, NYX consistently bring out such incredible products that I could easily dedicate an entire feature to them. Born To Glow Foundation is one of their award winners, as far as I’m concerned. Medium coverage with a beautiful, radiant finish, and it looks better as it wears.
- Available in 18 shades. €11 from Boots.
Trying to care for dry lips but want to look cute while you’re doing it? Say hello to HydraLip from Sculpted by Aimee. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and jojoba seed oil, these are creamy, beautifully pigmented lipsticks and nourishing lip balms all in one (with a gorgeously glossy finish).
- Available in six shades. €17 each from sculptedbyaimee.com.
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid
An oldie but a goodie, The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid makes my best-budget beauty buys list every year. Why? Because it works. Apply to damp skin after cleansing and before moisturiser, and watch as your skin becomes plumper, happier and more hydrated. Fingers crossed for a supersized version any day now.
- €8.95 from cloud10beauty.com.
The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Masque
Try this outstanding mask from The Ordinary if you’re struggling with blackheads and general congestion on your nose and chin. A deep cleansing, exfoliating, miracle worker, this clarifies, smooths and gets right down into the pores, leaving you with brighter, significantly less congested skin. It is strong, so make sure to leave it on no longer than the guide time of 10 minutes.
- €11.95 from cloud10beauty.com.
A skincare line that arrived on Irish shores earlier this year, all products I’ve tried so far from Byoma have impressed, particularly this cleanser. A lightweight, pleasing jelly texture, it’s gentle, hydrating, packed with ceramides and antioxidants, and cleanses the skin without stripping away essential moisture. The packaging is cute, too.
The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment
One of the best spot treatments I’ve used in recent times, Succinic Acid from The Inkey List, stops a spot in its tracks, reduces redness and inflammation, and gently exfoliates the skin so the spot won’t try to come back. A great cream-like texture, it’s non-drying and works great under makeup.
- €9.99 from McCauley Pharmacy.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate
I can’t remember the last time I was without a tube of Lait-Crème. A true skincare classic, this 72-year-old (yes, really) cult product can be used as a gentle cream cleanser, a moisturiser, a makeup primer, and, my personal favourite, an intensely repairing face mask. One of the most outstanding beauty products of all time. And it’s affordable, too.
- €16.99 for 30ml from embryolisse.ie.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
A gentle, hydrating, repairing cleanser that everyone in the family can use. This ceramide-packed, barrier-repairing, super affordable cleanser is sensational for all skin types, particularly sensitive. If you haven’t tried it already, you’re missing out.
- €11.50 for 236ml from Boots.
The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum
A less irritating alternative to Vitamin C, The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum helps to moisturise and brighten the skin, reduce redness and irritation, balance oil, and slow down the production of hyperpigmentation. An affordable, practical addition to any skincare routine.
- €6.60 from cloud10beauty.com.
Garnier Micellar Water
One of the gentlest and most affordable micellar waters around, this removes makeup and cleanses the skin without irritation. A whopper 400ml bottle will set you back less than 8 (and it’s often on offer, depending on where you buy). Look out for the tiny travel-size version, too.
- €7.69 for 400ml from Boots.
Andrew Fitzsimons Apres Sexe Texture Spray
For texture and volume in an (affordable) hurry, I love Andrew Fitzsimon’s Apres Sexe Texture Spray. It’s lightweight, non-sticky, and adds soft movement and body to the hair in just one use without weighing down the hair.
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
One of the more expensive products in The Ordinary’s line for skin and hair, this excellent concentrated serum helps to increase the hair’s density, leaving you with fuller, thicker, and overall healthier hair. It’s a leave-in treatment and can be applied daily.
- €18.50 from Brown Thomas.
K18 Leave-in Mask
The smallest size of this leave-in hair mask just about makes it over the line of this budget-based feature, but it’s worth every euro. An incredible, and clinically proven treatment, that helps to repair damaged hair in just four minutes. It works, it works, it works.
- €25 for 15ml from www.k18hair.ie.
Klorane Oil Control Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
One of my all-time favourite dry shampoos, Klorane’s exceptionally gentle oat-based formula helps to soak up oil, cleanse the scalp, and add volume and texture in just one use. It’s quick and easy to use, feels refreshing on the hair and scalp and leaves zero residue.
Kristin Ess Purifying Micellar Shampoo
This gorgeous shampoo from celebrity stylist and colourist Kristin Ess, deeply cleanses the hair, removes buildup, and adds serious shine without dryness. Gentle enough for everyday use, this is luxurious, salon-quality haircare at an affordable price (it’s usually on 3 for 2 at Boots, too).
Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray
I picked this up during the summer on a friend’s recommendation and have repurchased twice since then. This is a brilliant texture spray for the price. It’s lightweight, not sticky or powdery, and adds beautiful texture and movement without weighing down the hair.
Garnier Body Superfood Nourishing Body Cream
A beautifully lightweight yet rich and nourishing moisturiser that instantly banishes dry patches and leaves your skin feeling intensely hydrated. It smells supremely fresh too. A gorgeous option all year round, but especially during the colder months.
Eucerin Dry Skin Urea Repair Shower Foam
If your skin feels dry, itchy or tight, especially after a hot shower or shaving and exfoliating, slather yourself in this incredible foam from Eucerin. Specifically designed for dry, itchy, rough skin, this gently cleans, balances and soothes the skin without dryness or irritation.
- €13 from McGorisk’s Pharmacy.
Seoulista Magic Cleanse
Ditch the cotton disks and pick up these clever cleansing pads from Seoulista Beauty. Reusable and double-sided with one side for cleansing and one side for exfoliation, use with your regular cleanser or just with water to gently sweep away makeup and SPF. Replace after approximately 200 washes.
€16.50 from McCabes Pharmacy
The brainchild of Irish businesswoman and entrepreneur Aine Kennedy, The Smooth Stick is a mascara-like tube that contains a Vitamin E and Aloe Vera-based formula. The densely bristled wand slicks back and smooths flyaway hairs without adding grease or crunchiness. Brilliant for taming eyebrows, too.
€14.99 from thesmoothcompany.com.
Facial Ice Roller
When you need to depuff in an emergency, look no further than Beauty Bay’s affordable ice roller. Quick and easy to use, keep it in the fridge and simply glide over puffy or too-hot skin anywhere on the face and body when needed.
€14 from beautybay.com.
- Product prices are subject to change and may differ across retailers.