Thursday, 27 May 2010

Frugal Friday - Cheap Make-up Review: Tesco's All About Face range

Tuesday morning, I was a mile from Site when I brushed some dried mascara from my eye and realised that I'd forgotten to pack my make-up.  I had a lipstick but nothing else so, after work, I headed into the nearest major town and went to the supermarket.

It's ages since I've bought make-up base, so ago long that I'm not even sure what is on offer now.  Several years ago, I struck gold on the clearance shelf at Boots The Chemist - 6 bottles of their "17" brand make-up base, in my shade, at 50p a bottle.  I thought they'd last, maybe, a total of two years.  Instead, each bottle lasts about 10 months (and I've still got one left!).  Also in my stockpile at home are a couple of containers of Max Factor Pan Cake (perfect for hot, humid weather when regular make-up vanishes in your sweat), and a tube of Pan Stick*.

On Tuesday, my goal was to find the cheapest suitable products in colours that suit me.  I wandered up and down the make-up aisle in Tesco and checked out the special offers.   As a minimum, I needed make-up base, powder, blusher and mascara.  Oh, and a make-up sponge, possibly brushes too. 

After a couple of minutes, I noticed a small range of make-up that wasn't in the glossy display cases: Tesco's All About Face range.  At £1.49 a product or £3 for three products, it was the cheapest too.  They only had a couple of shades to choose from and no testers.  However, I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I'd waste £3 and be back there the next night buying products from a "known" range.  So I purchased a base in Ivory, a powder blusher in Rose, and translucent compressed powder (no shade specified).

They had a black mascara, too, but it isn't waterproof so I opted to buy my regular Maybelline mascara (£4.99) instead.  And I bought some own-brand make-up sponges (£1.50) and a Tesco make-up brush set (£4.79).

So how good it is?  Well, the make-up base is light and a good match for my skin.  I didn't use a massive amount, just dotted it on my cheeks, nose, forehead, and blended with a sponge. The powder covers well and is the same shade as the base.  The blusher goes on lightly with a brush, spreads out well and blends in.  The make-up holds up well to daily wear and tear.  And doesn't look cheap and nasty.  I asked a friend for her opinion and she thought  the colours were great on me and that it still looked fresh at 3 in the afternoon.  She was surprised when I told her how little they'd cost.

So, if you don't have much money and are looking for some decent make-up, do consider Tesco's All About Face range.  It's very good value for money and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

- Pam  (the brushes are very nice, too)

(Edited later to add: Skip the makeup base. It beads on the skin and isn't easily absorbed. When it does dry, it dries blotchy. The product that does all the work to get a good finish is the powder, so just buy that.)

* To use Pan Stick and not feel like you've applied a heavy layer of lard to your face or have it come off, apply as follows:
  • Draw a cross on your forehead.
  • With the angle pointing towards your nose, draw a ">" on one cheek and a "<" on the other.
  • Put a one inch line across your chin.
  • Dot once on each side of the tip of your nose.
Using a make-up sponge, spread the Pan Stick over your face.  Dust with loose translucent powder to "fix".

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