Updated Best 30 Buys Under £15


I wrote this exact blog post (minus some of the categories, there were only 25 back then) a few months back – read it hereHowever, not only do I feel like I’ve changed in those months, but I have tried a heck of a lot more products since those days. This formal originally came from one of the Boots magazines that you can get for free with your Boots cards – except I up-ed the budget to £15 to include, basically, the entirety of the drugstore.

So I’ve linked both my previous and current favourite (or just one if it hasn’t changed), and tried to explain why the change in heart, because I thought that would be even more useful and interesting!


Max Your Mani

1. The Polish – I don’t actually think my love of the Barry M Gelly Hi Shine £4.99 will ever end. Being the first formula of Nail Polish I fell in love with, and now… oooh… 35 (?) bottles later and 14 months later, these are still my favourite Nail Polishes!

2. The Base Coat – My nails are dire – guess that’s what I get for chewing them for 18 years – and the only thing that gives them any sense of being a ‘normal nail’ again is the Nails Inc Base Coat £15. This base coat is full of so much good stuff, it dries really fast, helps to stop your nail from getting stained… and basically this is the main reason I increased the budget to £15… again.

3.  The Top Coat – Obviously, while I love my glossy top coats, nothing quite has my heart in the same way that the Barry M Matte Top Coat £2.99 does. Seriously, while I still use my old love, the Barry M 3in1 £3.99 and the Barry M Sunset Secrets Top Coat, this Matte Top Coat is amazing! Not only does it give you a really elegant matte finish that I am all over right now, BUT it prolongs the wear of your nail polish by days!

4. The Remover – I found this really really hard, because there are 2 Nail Polish Removers that I love, and go back to over and over again. They are, the new, Cutex £1.20 and, the one I spoke about before, the Collection Nail Polish Remover £1.99. Both super affordable, don’t smell too dreadful and remove Nail Polish easily.


Go For Glow

5. The Powder Blush – I think my all time favourite blush is one by Model Co, however, I still have to give a lot of love to my super affordable dupe, the Collection Blush £2.99, more specifically in the shade Cheeky. While I still love the MUA Blushes £1.00, the Collection ones have just the right amount of pigment (the MUA ones are a little OTT), and their packaging is perfect – small, compact, and sturdy.

6. The Cream Blush – When Rimmel came out with their new Rimmel Royal Blush £5.49 I was all over them! I actually obsessed over them. And while I still love the Collection Speedy Blush Stick £3.99, the Rimmel Blushes get the upper hand because they layer so perfectly even on top of power!

7. The Bronzer – Bronzing was something I struggled with for AGES! I found bronzers were too dark for my super pale skin, or too orange, or to bleh… basically I really struggled. In the last blog post I spoke about the Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder £5.99, and while, at that point in time, it was the best bronzer I’d tried… it has nothing on The Body Shop Bronzing Powder £13. For any of you pale girls (or guys) out there, this will be your best friend! It works for both contour and bronzing, it’s not too dark, orange, or in your face. I just LOVE this bronzer!

8. The Highlighter – I wrote this blog post before highlighting had really taken off, and before people were obsessed with it. And so the Sleek Solstice Palette £9.99 wasn’t even in my radar (or it may have not even been out.. idk). But, since trying it, I have to say I’m kinda obsessed. There’s only really one shade I use all the time (the other three don’t get a lot of love), but just that one shade on it’s own is enough. I love it! And while the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder and Highlighter £7.99 was a great first try, the Sleek Solstice Palette has significantly more highlight to it!


Give Eyes A Glam Over

9. The Kohl Pencil – Eyes are where nothing much has changed, I feel like I tended to get a lot of these right fairly quickly – as eye makeup was the first thing I really experimented with. So the No.7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eye Pencils £7.50 are still my favourite. They are soft (but not so soft they’re getting all over the place), you can smudge them out really nicely, they set down and stay in place really well. And I just love them.. still!

10. The Liquid Eyeliner – This is such an easy category for me, there is only one liquid eyeliner that I have used more or less non stop since I discovered it nearly a year ago. And that is the Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner £6. This stuff can do no wrong, if you suck at liquid eyeliner, this just makes it fool proof!

11. NEW The Gel Eyeliner – A new category, as this is something I hadn’t even tried back in the days of when I first wrote this. And while I don’t use gel eyeliner often, because I still suck at it, the one I use whenever I want a super dramatic cat eye is the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Gel Eyeliner £6.99. This is super black, actually a lot easier to work with than you’d think and basically the only gel eyeliner I’d use. The brush that comes with it sorta sucks though.. so I use a Real Techniques one.

12. NEW The Thickening Mascara – I’ve split mascaras up this time, like it did in the Boots magazine. And so for this super thick, verging on clumpy (but not hideously so) lashes, I always go for the Maybelline Push Up Drama Mascara £7.99. This has some serious volume in 2 coats.

13. NEW The Lengthening Mascara – I’m not 100% sure whether this counts as ‘lengthening’, but when I want to go for those super fluttery eyelashes (if you get what I mean), I use the Max Factor Masterpiece MAX Mascara £9.99. This gives you beautiful eyelashes without clumping.

14. The All Round Mascara – Just like every other bblogger in the Universe, my All Round Mascara favourite has always been the Maybelline Lash Sensational £7.99. It gives nice length, volume, definition, it doesn’t clump, it doesn’t fall down your face throughout the day, it’s not impossible to remove at the end of the day! The only downside to this mascara is a I feel like it gets better with age – much like wine… hmmm.

15. The Eyebrow Product – When I last wrote this blog post I actually only ever used the Benefit Gimme Brow. So I mentioned the Barry M Brow Kit £5.99 because it was basically the only other brow product I’d tried – sorry! However, I actually still like it. However, on an everyday basis I use the Maybelline Brow Satin Eyebrow Pencil £5.99. It’s a mechanical pencil with a slightly waxy texture, it’s so easy to use, looks super natural, and if you like a more natural brow, try using this!

16. The Cream Eyeshadow – For cream eyeshadows you need look no further than the Maybelline Colour Tattoos £4.99. These are beautiful! Pigmented, creamy, bendable, stay in place ALL DAY, come in a nice selection of colours. The only downside is that they dry up quite quickly, and as they dry they become increasingly difficult to work with…

17. The Powder Eyeshadow – I find this a challenging category, as I only own a couple of individual eyeshadows – one of them being the aforementioned No.7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow £7, which I still love – so I thought I would take this to say some my favourite formulas from the drugstore (even if they’re included in palettes); No.7 (as mentioned above), GOSH (I will be writing a review on one of the palettes soon, so keep your eyes peeled), Revolution and Sleek.

18. The Eyeshadow Palette – I find this a slightly weird topic, because there are a few eyeshadow palettes I love. I previously mentioned the W7 Eye Colour Palette Lightly Toasted £9.99 £4.99, and while this Naked dupe palette is still a great palette, I feel like it doesn’t get a lot of wear from me anymore – which I think has to do with the bulky packaging. So, I feel like this has been slowly replace by the Sleek Eyeshadow Palette in All Night Long £8.99 and GOSH To Enjoy In New York £10.99. I feel like both these palettes have a beautiful selection of colours (the sleek more coppery, gold and earthy, the GOSH more purple toned), and they are staples for me now.


Get HD Ready

29. The Primer – Guys come on, it wouldn’t be a KatieEmmaBeauty blog post including primers without my raving about the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer £10.00. For those of you who – like me – prefer the primer with a moisturiser texture, then this is 100% the one! I literally love it!

20. The BB Cream – I’m not one to wear BB creams any more – I prefer the coverage of a foundation. However, the only BB cream I’ve ever tried and actually liked is the Rimmel BB Cream 9in1 £6.99. However, I have to admit, I have owned it for a few months now…

21. The Matte Foundation – I have to admit this is a tie between two of the best Matte foundations that the drugstore have. While they’re both not advertised as matte formulas, and probably fall more under a satin finish, they both give me a matte look once everything is applied on top. My 2 favourites are the Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless Foundation £12.99 and (as mentioned in the previous post) the L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation £9.99. Both super high coverage, come in really pale shades, and wear beautifully on my skin.

22. The Dewy Foundation – I definitely have a favourite from this category, and that is the Bourjois City Radiance Foundation £9.99. I use this on a daily basis, it has taken over the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation £8.99, because it gives a dewy finish, rather than a shimmery finish… which I find the Rimmel one gives. The Bourjois foundation also has better coverage, and layers better.

23. The Blemish Concealer – PAH! This is the easiest decision ever, still my all time favourite is the Collection Lasting Perfection £4.19. Need I say anything more about this raved about concealer?

24. The Dark Circle Concealer – For under the eyes, I have fallen head over heels with the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer £7.99. It’s a light, brightening concealer, with just enough coverage for what I need. It blends like a dream, doesn’t crease, and I love it! I still love the formula of the Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer £7.99, however the Bourjois concealer wins as it comes in a lighter shade – and I am very pale…

25. The Pressed Powder -In the last blog post I mentioned the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder £8.99, and while I still love this powder, I feel like I tend to reach for my Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder £12.00 just a little bit more. I think it may, purely, be because the Soap and Glory one is translucent…


Love Your Lips

26. The Matte Lipstick – My first lipstick I ever owed was one of the satin finishes of Rimmel Kate Moss, and I still love that formula (and it would be the choice of 27 – but I didn’t want to be that boring). Then I heard everyone raving about Rimmel Kate Moss Matt Lipstick £5.49 107, and I jumped on the band wagon, and haven’t looked back!  I love these lipsticks so much! And 107 is just a complete classic.

27. NEW The Satin Lipstick – When I first wrote this blog post I don’t think I even knew what satin meant (oh how naive I was) – hence why this is a new category. However, this isn’t a new love, I have loved the Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick £6.99 for nearly as long as the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks. Velvet Beige is probably my favourite colour. These are really balmy on the lips, they’re pigmented, ever so slightly glossy, and just super comfortable.

28. The Lipliner – My love still goes to the Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners £3.99. They’re a tad drying, but nothing prolongs the wear of your lipsticks like a Rimmel Lip Liner. Plus they’re mechanical, which gets my vote..  so…

29. The Lip Crayon – When I first discovered the No.7 High Shine Lip Crayon £9.00 a few months back, I knew I would love them – they’re balmy, comfortable, pigmented, glossy, and just stunning. I also feel super happy wearing bold colours with these. And while I still love the Bourjois Paris Colour Boost Lip Crayons £7.99, they’re not as good (in my opinion) as the No.7 lip crayons.

30. NEW The Liquid Lipstick – Another category that wasn’t such a big thing when I last wrote this. But my liquid lipstick of choice would be the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick £8.99. They come in a number of finishes – matte, shiny, sheer – and so they fit every season, look and style. Their colour selection is amazing. They’re easy to apply, last ages, feel comfortable.. what more do you want?

What’re your favourites?


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