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The best budget beauty buys for students

The best budget beauty buys for students
Penny Lafferty
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Penny Lafferty's profile

Fresher’s Week is in full swing, calling on the next group of scholars to carry the legacy of those students who came before. But between all that partying, you might notice your bank balance is starting to look a little worse for wear. We know – we’ve been there too!

So what if we told you that you could still enjoy quality beauty, self-care and wellness products without causing a financial faux pas? That’s right – we’ve got a whole line-up of budget beauty to boost from top-to-toe that won’t cost you the earth. What are the best budget beauty buys for students, we hear you ask? You’ve come to the right place…

Best budget beauty buys for students

Under £10

MONDAY Haircare Volume Shampoo

On a mission to make salon-quality haircare available to the masses, MONDAY Haircare is the strand-saving brand that pride themselves on powerhouse formulas at accessible price points. The Volume Shampoo delivers a thorough (yet gentle) cleanse, building body and boosting shine for a bouncy, enviable mane. Why not try the Volume Conditioner too for best results?

Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette – Sugar & Spice

If value for money is important to you, Makeup Revolution’s Blush Palette features eight – EIGHT – ultra-silky shades to flush, sculpt and highlight your complexion. You can even blend the pink hues together to create a bespoke blush colour, unique to you!

grüum SPF50 Face Sunscreen

Of all the things to scrimp on, SPF shouldn’t be one of them. Fortunately, you can get the best of both worlds with grüum, offering a high-performance SPF50 at an extremely reasonable price point. The sun cream provides high UVA and UVB protection, warding off the sun’s harmful rays with a lightweight, quickly-absorbed formula.

Maybelline Lifter Gloss Plumping Hydrating Lip Gloss

Plump up the volume with this hydrating gloss, designed to create the illusion of fuller-looking lips while nourishing them with a surge of hyaluronic acid. Available in a range of radiant shades, this lip gloss promotes a plumper pout in minutes – perfect for flat parties and spontaneous nights out!

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Shop smarter with this versatile glycolic acid solution by The Ordinary. The potent, 7% AHA can be used to refine uneven texture, nibbling away at dulling dead skin cells to reveal soft, radiant skin beneath. What’s more, the multi-purpose product can even be used under your arms in place of deodorant – yes, you read that right!

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Palette Iconic 3.0

Create mesmerising eye looks with this everyday eyeshadow palette. The palette is stocked with long-wearing neutral tones in a range of finishes, perfect for adding warmth and dimension from day to night!

Under £25

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque

Your locks deserve some TLC, which is exactly what they’ll get with Shea Moisture’s affordable hair mask. Enriched with Jamaican black castor oil, the curl-loving formula nourishes strands from root-to-tip, helping to detangle and deeply hydrate dry, damaged or brittle strands.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara

Take your lashes to new lengths with this amplifying mascara, creating instant volume while extending every lash for a fuller, fanned-out effect with none of the weigh-down. The mascara even washes away easily, making it suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Tan-Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Tanning Lotion

Glow likea naturally bronzed goddess with this gradual tanning lotion. This formula sinks into the skin, providing nourishment while giving a sunkissed glow. This is free from the traditional fake tan smell, and instead has a light, floral fragrance, allowing you to feel fresh and radiant. Gradually build this lotion to your desired finish for the ultimate tanned look. 

CeraVe Blemish Control Gel Moisturiser with 2% Salicylic Acid & Niacinamide

Endless nights out and regular takeaways may wreak havoc on your complexion. If blemishes do occur, reach for the CeraVe Blemish Control, a targeted treatment for acne-prone skin that helps to soothe, smoothen and minimise the appearance of angry blemishes – all for £11!

NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette – Warm Neutrals

Create dazzling looks, no matter your budget, with this compact eyeshadow palette. The wearable palette stars 9 must-have shades in satin, shimmer and metallic finishes, allowing you to get creative with your makeup without costing you the earth!

Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream

Perfect for lightweight hydration, this jelly-like gel-cream delivers a refreshing boost of moisture, helping to hydrate your skin while supporting the skin barrier, thanks to a blend of sodium hyaluronate, aloe leaf juice and green tea.

NIP+FAB Vitamin C Fix Serum

Give your skin a brightening boost with this glow-getting serum, designed to create a more even tone and texture for a smooth, radiant and youthful-looking complexion

EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Kit

Apply flawless makeup with this vegan brush set by EcoTools, equipped with 5 essential makeup brushes crafted with highly-sustainable bamboo handles, recycled aluminium ferrules and cruelty-free synthetic taklon bristles.

Rimmel Volume Thrill Seeker Mascara – Black Brown

Gravity-defying length and curl is easy with this powerhouse mascara, featuring a whipped, panthenol-infused formula to condition every lash while enhancing them with a clump-free, voluminous finish.

Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel

Purify your complexion with this efficient, biodegradable cleansing gel, designed to sweep away stubborn impurities and excess sebum for shine-free results. This one’s perfect for oily, blemish-prone skin!

Morphe 9T Neutral Territory Artistry Palette

Perfect for on-the-go, this eyeshadow palette is one for the nude eye lover. With 9 blendable brown, nude and champagne gold shades, in matte and shimmer formulations. Create endless daytime looks or build up for the ultimate evening glam. This shadow palette is equipped with a mirror, allowing you to touch-up the eyes, no matter whereyou’re heading. 

Under £50

Magnitone London PluckIt 2-in-1 Super Glide Compact Epilator

If an effective body hair removal device is always on your student wishlist, look no further than Magnitone’s 2-in-1 Compact Epilator. The clever device effectively removes hair for long-lasting results, perfect for targeting areas like the legs, bikini line or under-arms. It even features two interchangeable heads so you can use on larger and smaller areas!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Soft Glam Palette

For those seeking a little luxury with their eye looks, this palette is a match made in rich chocolate heaven. From neutrals to deep browns and shimmers, create your go-to eye look which will last. These creamy, pigment packed shadows are an on-the-move must, finished with a compact mirror. Get the perfect eye look in just one swipe with this multiple look mini palette. 

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

After a long day, removing makeup can often feel a chore, but with the power of Clinique’s cleansing balm, you can give your routine a welcome upgradeEasily and effectively removing stubborn makeup and SPF without over-scrubbing or removing the skins moisture.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

We know many of us would struggle to survive a night out without our trusty Vitamin Enriched Face Base – it provides the perfect canvas for locking your look in place, creating a smooth, even platform for flawless foundation application. Perfect for normal to oily skin types, the formula even lends a hit of hydration, acting as a 2-in-1 primer and moisturiser!

NUDESTIX Nudies Bloom

Flush your cheeks with a fresh pop of colour with this innovative blush stick. The dual-ended design features a velvety blush and one end and a handy blending brush on the other, supporting a dewy, seamless glow.

SILKE London Heatless Curler

Achieving dreamy curls seems impossible without the use of heat, but thanks to SILKE London’s Curler,you can create the perfect curl while keeping your hair protected. Simply wrap hair around this heatless curling tool before bed and wake up with effortless, salon-worthy waves. Saving you time as well as your strands fromheat, say goodbye to heat damage, snagging and breaking and hello to curly and healthy locks. 

BaByliss Salon Pro 2200 Hair Dryer

Get a salon-worthy blow dry in the comfort of your home with this ultra-fast drying hair dryer. Powered by an AC salon motor and Tourmaline- ceramic technology for powerful airflow, helping to tame-frizz, revealing smoother, shiny locks. Customise your hair look with Babyliss’s variable heat and style settings, with a cold shot button to lock your hairstyle in place. 

Under £100

FaceGym Acne Light Shot Device

Approved by dermatologists, the FaceGym Acne Light Shot is designed to help reduce the appearance of blemishes and imperfections, thanks to the LED blue light therapy. This hands-free treatment also helps visibly tighten the appearance of pores as well as reducing excess bacteria from the face, leaving you with a clearer-looking complexion. 

Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer

Achieve a natural-looking, flawless finishing base with Chantecaille’s tinted moisturiser. This 3-in-1 skin boosting formula hydrates the complexion and can be built up to your desired level of coverage with SPF 15. Minimising the appearance of blemishes and discolouration while soothing the skin with thyme and butterfly bush extracts. The perfect makeup-skincare hybrid. 


Mermade Hair Blow Dry Brush

Save on a salon blowdry with this handy device by Mermade Hair. The blowdry brush creates an instant, 90s-style blowout, creating shape, volume and bounce from root-to-tip. Ionic technology helps to lend shine while the flexible bristles resist knots and tangles, suitable for all hair types and lengths!

Natasha Denona Glam Palette

The Natasha Denona Glam Palette offers a range of sumptuous neutral and golden taupe shades, ideal for creating both daytime and evening looks. The innovative palette features exclusive insider tips from Makeup Artist Natasha Denona herself, with shade names.

Penny Lafferty
Writer and expert
View Penny Lafferty's profile