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The best budget beauty buys for students

The best budget beauty buys for students
Penny Lafferty
Writer and expert5 months 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.

Filter by Molly-Mae Tanning Mousse – Extra Dark

Top up your tan with Filter by Molly-Mae’s Tanning Mousse, an airy, easy-to-use formula that casts a flawless glow across the skin, leaving you beautifully bronzed with a smooth-as-silk finish.

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!

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!

Morphe x Nikita Artistry Palette

Level up your look with this colourful eyeshadow palette, designed to draw out your creative side. The palette features 35 playful shades – that’s less than £1 per eyeshadow – and arrive in a range of finishes, from shimmering metallics and eye-catching glitters so essential matte hues. Plus, it’s in collaboration with YouTube star Nikita Dragun – what more could you ask for?!

Maison Margiela Replica Bubble Bath Eau de Toilette 30ml

Cheat your way to the clean girl trend with this Maison Margiela fragrance, brushed with soft notes of lavender flowers, coconut milk and soap bubble accord for your freshest signature scent to date.

Spectrum Collection Exclusive 10 Piece Blush Brush Set

Kit out your collection with this 10-piece Brush Set, starring a full line-up of vegan complexion brushes suitable for face and eyes. Complete with a signature blush colourway and gold-toned ferrules, these makeup brushes will look amazing in your makeup bag too!

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.

Under £100

Beauty Works x Molly-Mae Curl Kit

Leave your locks looking ultra-glam with the Beauty Works x Molly-Mae Curl Kit, starring a high-performance 32mm barrel with adjustable temperature settings, ten pin-curl clips and an oval paddle brush to assist with all your hairstyling endeavours, from the simple to the striking!

BaByliss Rose Blush Dryer Bundle

Boost your blow-drying experience with BaByliss! This rose-hued hairdryer supports a smooth, frizz-free mane, thanks to super ionic frizz control, a slim concentrator nozzle and advanced airflow technology. The hairdryer even has 3 heat settings and two speed settings (plus a cool shot button). What’s more, the set arrives with THREE brushes, lending themselves to all your haircare needs.

Spotlight Oral Care Water Flosser

For those who take their university life a little more seriously, Spotlight Oral Care’s Water Flosser is the essential for you! It helps to leave your mouth fresher than ever, using impressive water pressure, three different pulsation modes and four interchangeable tips to dislodge bacteria that may be trapped between your teeth.

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 after their ideal placement. 

PMD Clean Mini Pink

Upgrade your cleansing ritual with this mini facial device by PMD, equipped with SonicGlow™ technology to help breakdown dirt and oil that may be lingering on your skin. The cleansing device achieves 7000 vibrations per minute to give complexions the ultimate refresh.

Penny Lafferty
Writer and expert
View Penny Lafferty's profile