Monday, 16 February 2015

Budget Week

(I know these aren't all budget - it's just an example!)

Ah the time is upon us. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned on Instagram that I would be having a week dedicated to budget products in February.
So starting today, I will be posting as many reviews as possible on budget products, and using as many as possible in my routines.
I'm actually still shopping during the week with an aim to make it a more regular thing going forward on the blog, so if you do have any particular favourites, please let me know in the comments and I'll try and get to as many as I can.
I'm also interested in what you consider the upper limits £$-wise for budget skincare. I know what I think, but what do you think?

Watch this space!

132 comments:

  1. I do spend an awful lot of money on products (thank you lady Hirons) so budget skincare is a great idea.
    My favourite budget product is the Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm by Boots Botanics. (I hope that's the right name).

    Vanessa x
    www.theglowhunter.com

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  2. SR Good Genes or Artemis?? Dry, flaky skin, sometimes dehydrated, acne prone.

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  3. Really looking forward to this Caroline! I would say £20?! Jess xx

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  4. I'd consider under £20 to be budget for most face products - maybe up to £30 for something like an oil or serum, less for lip balm or nail polish remover. £8-15 for makeup depending on the item (£8 for a pencil, £15 for a palette or foundation) . For body/hair I'd consider about a fiver for shower gel, £8 for body lotion and a tenner for hair products budget.

    Looking forward to reading what others think.

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    1. The vast, vast majority of people probably don't consider £5 for a shower gel budget

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    2. Who are you the budget police? It's not like she said £50 or anything. Jeez

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    3. I agree with Caroline! I want my items to be sls free, mineral oil free and as clean as possible i.e no PEGs and the like, parabens dont bother my skin so I'm okay either way. If you can find that under 5 bucks I applaud you.

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  5. I just bought the Hydraluron jelly today. I was thinking about returning it cause when I returned home and saw that u hadn't done a review on the jelly yet only the serum. I would love to hear what u think. Keeper or not? thank u for taking the time to do what u do.

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    1. I've been using it for a week now after the serum, I'm definitely smoother, it just doesn't feel very luxurious to use or very moisturising, but i do like it and it hasn't irriated my skin xx

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    2. I've been using it for several weeks. It's great. You dont notice anything amazing initially but when you touch your skin it will feel lovely and plump, your skin doesn't feel greasy so great for oily or combo skin and not a spot in sight. I know caroline did mention it somewhere in a YouTube clip??? Saying she had just purchased it to try??

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  6. There is a product called "Hada Labo" - super popular in Japan and Asia, often considered a dupe for high end acid toners. Worked wonders for my skin. I also love the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum (less than 20$).

    As much as I love GlamGlow SuperMud I think it is too pricey for what it does. Found a great replacement for it in another Asian brand called Innisfree which makes great clay masks.

    Really excited to see your recommendations.

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  7. Hi Caroline,
    Sounds great!
    You should try something from La Mav or YUVA if you can get hold of them, both lovely Australian brands
    xoxo

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  8. I don't really have a set budget beyond which a brand is considered high end or budget, I guess I just go by wherever I buy them, which is silly.
    Exited to see your picks.

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  9. You truly are amazing! I mix my spending eg I purchased Ole Henriksen Advanced Hydration on your recommendation. It is fab. At €63 I only use it at night. I do use Estée Lauder advanced (is there a theme going on!!) serum underneath it (love Christmas presents!). I also got the above cleanser from the body shop. I think it's very similar to Nude Omega Cleanser and at less than half the price I will be repurchasing.

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  10. Really looking forward to this one! Upper limit approx £30 but would also be nice to consider how accessible a product is. I hate finding a good budget product thats no longer good value when you add on the cost of p&p. Thanks again.

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  11. Hello :) I've just bought some bits from Botanics (Rose Water Toning Spritz, Radiance Concentrate Serum and All Bright eye make up remover) and Super Facialist (Salicylic Acid cleansing wash) and would love to know your thoughts on both ranges as they are reasonably priced! x

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  12. I am a big fan of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. What are your thoughts new to your blog and haven't seen it being mentioned. Thank you.

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    1. http://www.carolinehirons.com/2012/07/most-requested-reviews-and-why-i-havent.html

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  13. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish..thoughts? I would say £20. Thank you.

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  14. I'm a mature (40ys) student so budget recommendations are highly anticipated. Currently living off Body Shop Nutriganics and Ultrabland with Ole Henriksen cleanser as a birthday treat. Under £15 is budget - that said happy to 'spend' on one amazing product and have others as treats on the Christmas and Birthday list. Would love to spend more, but seriously cash strapped due to tuition fees and trying to keep family fed, warm and housed!

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  15. I'd be interested to know what you make of the Good Things range, particularly the Manuka Honey line ☺️

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    1. Ooh me too as I've just bought my daughter the moisturiser and planning on the rest of the honey range.

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    2. Me too! I'm trying the blemish control mask.

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    3. She's mentioned an item or two in her budget skincare YouTube videos, maybe the one she did for asda?

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  16. I am interested to know what you think of the time bomb, ave got the one with a shot of choyl & am just not sure what it is & the best way to use it or even what I can use alongside it so I tend to use it after cleansing. Budget for me cleansers under £20 -£25, moisturisers in the £30 bracket, face oils the same again & I suppose the same goes with serums & masks. I usually spend a lot of money on skincare but it would be great to know what to put my money towards as I will pay £100 on something if it'll work on my skin. Thanks

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  17. You recently did a post on where we should spend the most/least money in our skincare regime. I'm over 40, so the answer was serums. I'm lucky to get tons of both high-end and parapharmacy samples from my French mother-in-law, but it made me think -- I can spend a lot on many different brands of serums, but what ingredients should I specifically be looking for that make some worth the cost? I guess what I'm saying is I don't want to pay YSL prices for a serum and think I'm doing the right thing if the quality is not even equal to Boots. Thanks!

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  18. I love the hydroluron jelly, it's become such a stable in my routine. I would love to know if there are any budget serums out there!

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  19. When on a budget, I use SR-Skincare products so I'm not skimping on quality ingredients, just packaging and pretty fragrances. I find they still do the job, just not as luxuriously. They're about a fiver for a moisturiser, about a tenner for serums but basic serums like a Vit C/E/Ferulic serum are just £4.50 & hyaluronic serum just £6.00 so it's easy to keep going with good ingredients when you're not feeling so flush.

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  20. Caroline you have brightened my day no end!!! Its February - gloomy and cash is still in the post-Christmas phase for lots of us. My budget limit would be £25ish tops and products that are easy to find on the high street without resorting to online P&P. Its great to think there are good products out there that you don't have to spend a fortune on. Your Bodyshop Nutriganics recommendations have been a revelation! Love, love, love your blog and videos. Thank you!

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  21. The Boots Botanics Hot cloth cleanser is the best budget cleansing balm i've used. La Roche Posay overall. My arbitary budget barrier is if you can buy it in a drugstore or supermarket - £15 max depending on the product category ie £15 cleanser is not a budget item but for an oil or serum I would say that was.

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  22. I would say budget is for a cleanser under £15 and similar for a toner. Moisturiser £20 or under. Thanks Caroline!:) xx

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  23. For genuinely budget stuff, I'd say under £20, with the caveat that the £20 - £30 range is high end budget (so, Indeed Labs products, as an example). Anything over £30 is getting into properly high end. Over £80, you're getting into luxury products.

    That picture made me grin, as I just bought that Time Bomb serum. Haven't even used it yet!

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  24. Budget is £15 and under for a cleanser or moisturiser. I would love to see some reviews of herbfarmacy products - I'm thinking of buying the Just Face Cream but not sure if it will react with my acne-prone, dehydrated, sensitive skin.

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    1. Herbfarmacy do these dinky little trial size pots for £0.75 (one per customer), but not sure if it would be enough for you to get a decent trial of the product though. Their service is fantastic and they include free samples of their choice. (No affiliation!

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  25. Hi Caroline, I would love to know what you think of Olay products, particularly the 3 point serum and the super renewal elixir night. They're not super cheap but not expensive and most time on promotion.
    I would also live to know your opinion on the nip + fab cleansing pads.
    Thanks

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  26. Hi Caroline!
    Could you review the Boots Botanics range, the Nip and Fab range, the Super Facialist range, and perhaps La Roche Posay?
    I am currently using the Boots Botanics exfoliating toner, and the Nip and Fab exfoliating pads, and I have noticed a real difference in my skin in a short space of time-I would highly recommend them! Even my Mum has commented on my skin at the moment! (I have also lectured her in the joys of cleansing and she just purchased the Clinique Take the Day Off balm to use which I shall be sampling myself!)

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  27. My upper limit would be £20. Personally, I'm interested in what is best from The Body Shop and French pharmacy, but I would also love to know if you consider there is something worth trying from the drugstore. A budget serum recommendation would be wonderful too. Thank you. :) X

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  28. Hi Caroline. Im enjoying the Superfacialist by Una Brennan Range at the moment and also some of the Botanics range, all which I would class as budget friendly.
    Thank you so much for all your time tips and help x

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    1. Seconding the Una Brennan range - the treatment oils, the moisturisers - all excellent.

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    2. Third(ing) (am aware it's not even a word :) Superfacialist.

      Their rose cream is a HG product in my case. Love all products I've tried from the range (most rose/neroli/vitamin C products). One product I cannot recommend is the Neroli mask which was... sweet baby jesus... it was on my face less than a minute and I had to take it off. My face looked sunburned - kinda like I had Leo DiCaprio "King of the world" moment in a middle of the day without sunscreen :) Am pale as a ghost normally so beetroot doesn't even begin to describe it.

      Most of the products I use are within the affordable range but some of the stuff that has made the biggest difference: Avene Eluage (retinol), Silk Naturals AHA toner (lactic acid), also concur on Hada Labo mentioned above. Lierac eye gel (for puffiness). Missha Time revolution night repair ampoule thingy (a dupe for ANR). Cosrx Galactomyces essence (niacinamide).

      And if I can ask/add suggestions:
      - would love your opinion on cleansers (namely Boots Botanics/Boots balm cleanser? Also NSPA cleansers that are available at ASDA? Supedrug vitamin E hot cloth cleanser? (the ingredients seem to be ok and price is definitely affordable, but I tend to stick with French pharmacy stuff like Vichy and Avene since it's available here).

      - would love your opinion on more of the affordable serums.

      Will be in the UK in March and am putting a shopping list together so much obliged and thanks in advance :)

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    3. Ditto on Una Brennan, I like the hydrating rose cleanser, but adore the Vit C+ oil cleanser, smells divine!!

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    4. Throwing my hat into the Superfacialist ring. I'd love to hear more thoughts on it. Also Superdrug own-brand (cruelty-free, which is important to me) if possible.

      I'd consider £20 or less to be budget, and £30 mid-range. But that's approx, depends on the volume, type of product, etc etc.

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    5. Superfacialist is the bomb - everything I've tried, I've loved

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  29. Hi Caroline, my budget picks would include Nip & Fab glycolic fix pads, Body shop Vit C facial mist, Olay Luminous serum, Olay Regenerist micro sculpting cream, Suntivity by Cetaphil Oil free face SPF, Body shop Aloe serum, Michael Todd Lemon Toner and Cranberry toner...

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  30. I'd say budget products would be up to £20. I'd love to find some good budget products for when your skin is a bit spotty-not necessarily for acne, just to sort it out when you might have had a bit of rogue chocolate etc! Like a budget version or Aesop Control.

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  31. I'd say for a cleanser (first cleanse) it has to be under €15 to be a budget buy, for second cleanse maybe under €20. same with moisturizer. I haven't really tried that many serums and the ones I use religiously are NOT budget buys (Night Repair and Ultimune) but I recently tried the Olay Regenerist Luminous and that's under €20. I guess then for serums I'd consider anything under €30 affordable. Moisturizer ... probably anything under €20.

    Thanks so much for doing this!

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  32. Hi Caroline. I would love to know your thoughts about liz earle ( cleanser, toner and moisturiser ) and superfacialist (vitamin c and rose ranges)... it's what i'm currently using. thank you x

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    1. You can search Caroline's blog to read her thoughts on C&P and Liz Earle. She's not a fan of C&P in general but likes the toner.

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    2. July 2012 - Caroline's review of C&P which doesn't suit her but, Quote I love the Deep Cleansing Mask, Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Intensive Nourishing Treatment. End quote

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  33. Hi Caroline, I am really looking forward to this week!! I consider anything under £20 to be budget and my favourite budget product is the vitamin c+ brighten skin renew cleansing oil by Una Brennan. It removes all of my makeup, leaves my skin feeling beautiful and smells amazing!! F xx

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  34. As a student, 'proper' budget stuff for me is under a tenner, but I'd spend up to £15! My favourite budget products are the Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser which is dreamy, and Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream which I've used basically everyday for the last 18 months! Love it. X

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  35. Hi Caroline, I've always been of the (probably misguided) belief that most chemist/supermarket brands aren't that great, although Hydraluron has been a revelation. I'd love it if you could rec products that you think are just as good if not better than their high-end counterparts…. for me, if they're only "almost as good" I'd rather stretch my budget and pay more. I know these "as good/better" budget products must exist, and I know you're the woman to find them! Thanks so much Caroline -- you're my longtime skincare guru and I am so grateful for everything you do. xxx

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  36. I'd class budget as £20 and under - some of my favourites are the Cowshed Natural Lip Balm (so good); Burts Bees Cleansing Cream, REN Clarimatte Clarifying Toner and Superfacialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Day Cream.

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  37. Hi Caroline, have you ever looked at the M and S range? They stock a whole load of well known (and to me high end brands eg Emma Hardie) as well as their own products. I like the fact that all their own products are cruelty free, but does that come at the cost of quality? Budget wise I think £15 for cleanse and tone, £30 for moisturiser/serum. Keep up the good work and thanks xx

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  38. Avene clearance K - after some health issues (IBD diagnosis) I had a few blemishes (I'm 34 -and had always had clear skin) that needed sorting and this did the job brilliantly but it was also my first acid product. As well as sorting my spots it also massively improved the texture and evenness in tone of my skin. I now use it daily and love it and it's only about £12.

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  39. I agree with the 20€ watermark. I use Origins oil cleanser, Pixi Glow Tonic, rosewater, Eyesilix & Hydraluron and Vichy Nutrilogie 2, all around this price (rosewater is probably 3€). Above that price I have Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Overnight Biological Peel, but they last forever. I'd be very happy to find a new cleanser as the Origins is ok but not "wow"! I use such little eye make up that I'd expect it to remove it easily after the first cleanse but nope. I got the Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth cleanser out of curiosity as I read good things about it and it was on offer but I was disappointed - after three runs with the cloth skin still feels greasy.

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  40. Budget for me is £15 and under or £20 if it's especially good. As a student, it's all I can afford!

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  41. I'm fairly flexible as to what I would spend on skincare (up to about a £50 limit) and have sometimes been disappointed by the more expensive products that I forked out for (Clarins Double Serum, for example, did nothing for me). I would love to try Sunday Riley, Zelens et al but just cannot justify that level of expenditure.
    I use REN most often, it's pretty reliable, not too £££ and you can normally find a 20% off code for online stockists.

    As to "budget" buys I would say as follows:
    Serum: £25
    Moisturiser - £15-20
    Cleanser - £15
    Toner - £12
    Mask - £15
    Other "treatment" (acids, spot creams etc) - £20.

    I realise this would add up to quite a lot still but I would be happy to spend that much on products I knew that would work.

    One last thing - any recommendations for budget moisturisers without a lot of silicones? Most that I have tried seems to be pretty heavy on the old '-ones' in the ingredient list, and I know that my mother in particular struggles with product 'rolling' under make-up.

    Thanks for all your posts - your advice has made a real difference to my skin!

    Alex

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    1. Alex, give a look at the Vichy Nutrilogie 2. I got it in Boots two weeks ago as I was looking for a silicone-free moisturiser for dehydrated skin. It is quite thick to the touch but absorbs pretty well. A bit heavy on the flowery fragrance; approx 25€. Should suit mature skin (your mum's) too - I'm in my early 30s!

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  42. I tend to set a monthly budget of £40 for skincare, then pick and choose what I want/need to spend my money on. Definitely works better than a price point for products, and since I have never successfully used up two products at the same time (shampoo and conditioner, what is up with that?), it keeps me well stocked and on a predictable spending pattern. REN gets all my love for ever and always, as does Bravura, and the No. 7 range and which seems to be gloriously, permanently on 3 for 2.

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  43. I like Una Brennan Vit C oil cleanser, it's really effective & smells great, I think it's better then Shu Uemera cleansing oil. I wouldn't call Zelens products budget! Haha

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  44. Thanks. My preferred review would be: cleansers: Akin Rose and Geranium Cleanser, Una Brennan Anti Blemish Salicylic Acid one. Exfoliants: Aveda Botanical Kinetics (Is it strong enough for early thirties acne skin) Serums: Olay 3 point Regenerist, Manuka Apiclear Skin treatment (second in inci is alcohol)

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    1. And the budget bracket I would consider: cleanser £10 for 100ml, toner £10, serum £20, moisturiser £10-15. I am happy to spend more but to consider them in budget category I will go by these numbers.

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  45. I would love to know what you think of the body shop vitamin c face mist, nspa cleansing gel, LRP effaclar mat & Vichy aqaualia serum, would you consider including some of your TBS faves? I would say anything under £30 is budget. xx

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  46. Would love to know your thoughts on Superdrug's own brand 'Naturally Radiant' hot cloth cleanser - I keep hearing good recommendations from friends who, like me, are cleansing snobs of the highest order! Its totally budget at 5.99. Also, Lush Ultrabland - my friend says it rivals Organic Pharmacy's carrot butter! Thank you Caroline - skincare goddess that you are x

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    1. Caroline has already reviewed Ultrabland http://www.carolinehirons.com/2014/09/skin-cleansers-and-video.html

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  47. Interested to hear what you make of Aldi's Lacura range. The day/night moisturisers are £2 and their serum £3.49. I'm using the day moisturiser and then the serum at night (I use Balance Me radiance oil as my day serum/oil). I can't say they seem miraculous but I've nothing bad to say about them either and would certainly consider buying again.

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    1. I'd love to read reviews of Aldi's range too! I wasn't too taken by their moisturisers but I'd be curious about the serums.

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    2. That would definitely be interesting, as Aldi and Lidl do good quality products in general id be very interested to know if their skin products are also, and i think that would really suit people who are on a very low budget like students might be.

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  48. Hi, this is a really interesting topic to me. I would say under £12 for cleanser/toner and under £25 for serum/moisturiser would be budget. So many times I have tried cheaper products to save money, only to find they don't do anything for my skin or irritate it so I end up buying the more expensive product I was trying to avoid and the cheaper one goes in the bin - and I hate waste! Having said that, both Alpha H and Green People have some great products which work and don't break the bank. Looking forward to the recommendations. x

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  49. Hi, pls review nip fab guy colic pads. Ty.

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  50. I've heard Superdrug do a glycolic acid mask, would be great to know your thoughts.

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    1. Hi Jane, hope you don't mind me jumping in but I've just picked up this mask and having tried it I don't honestly think I'd buy it again. It went on kind of lumpy like glue & didn't peel very well when dry. I have however also used the Sanctuary Spa glycolic peel mask that comes with a brush for application & a serum to use afterwards, and that is just gorgeous. If you catch it when it's on a third off in Boots, it comes in at just over £14, and to my mind is well worth spending that bit more as it's a really beautiful product and my skin always feels amazing after I've used it. Peels off well, feels good on the skin while drying and is nicer experience all around.

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  51. Would love to know your thoughts on Lush products - esp the UltraBland cleaner and their moisturisers. Sorry if i missed that before!

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  52. Id be interested in what you think of the Lush range (other than ultrabalm that you reviewed before) and also vichy as that seems to be quite popular. :-)

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  53. I would love a budget (anything £30 or under) serum for very dry and very dehydrated skin, you already know about my condition so I won't bore you, I have yet to find a serum that doesn't break the bank and don't want to waste more money searching, thank you in advance and lots of love xxx

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  54. Hi Caroline. I was wondering if you could ask: do certain foods irritate acne universally, and if so what foods are on the blacklist? Or does this vary person to person.

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  55. Hi Caroline, I'd like you to review the Body shop vitamin C and E range of products. Also the Olay total effects and regenerist range of products. I believe these can totally fall in the 'Budget Skincare'. Thank you for considering.

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  56. Yay thank you Caroline! I think the upper limit for a budget cleanser is $20, toner is $10, serum is $50, and moisturizer is $20 (see how i listed them in the CORRECT order? You drilled that into me!) . Thanks!

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  57. I usually turn to French pharmacy brands as they are easy to get there, LRP, Vichy etc. My upper budget would be €50 (which I currently haven't reached, but would be willing to!). I'm currently using a mix of LRP, Vichy, Decleor, Roc, Hydraluron and an Astalift serum (loved astalift! Don't understand why it's gone!). I'm 38 so probably need to step it up a gear but what I would be really interested in is "cheaper" alternatives to products I simply won't be able afford, such as Sunday Riley oils/serums, that pack a good all round anti-ageing punch. So a good serum, treatment. Thank you!

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    1. I'll second that!

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    2. thirded, I just cannot manage the cost of the lovely looking SR products.

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  58. Would LOVE a post on budget acids.. there aren't many I can find under £20 :(

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    1. Check out Caroline's Pinterest - she's just started a board on exfoliating toners and there's one on there for I believe £2.71!!

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    2. txs thats brilliantm the problem might be that here in Czech republic we hardly have any exfoliating toners not to mention budget options and these budget ones which are available in the UK usually do not ship given that they are from various boots superdrugs etc..but txs anyway I had no idea that Caroline uses pinterest like this - very smart idea

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  59. Hi there

    Budget lines you may wish to try are two antipodean brands I like - Natio (available from John Lewis I think). Very popular down under. I like their mask. Another is Trilogy from NZ - they use a lot of rosehip oil... i am not convinced on their antiaging promises as not sure if enough "actives" but as general oil/moisturiser I like. Price wise once it goes over £25 it isn't budget for me.

    J

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  60. For a budget product, $20 (about £13) would be my limit, and that would be for a serum. (An Olay serum would probably retail for $25, but if I were truly budgeting, I could find it on sale for $20.) I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of treatment serums you find in the "budget" category, as it's my favorite part of my skin care routine to play with, and some less expensive, but effective, options would be welcome.

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  61. A lovely cleansing balm by Spiezia Organics:
    http://www.spieziaorganics.com/spiezia-shop/organic-facial-skin-care-for-her/organic-cleanser-large-facial-skin-care.html

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  62. L'Oreal Facial Oils, they seem to have very good oils in them, there are two of them, and would love to know your opinion of them. The Olay Regenerist Range (3 point), L'Oreal Revitalift Dark Spot Cream and Night Peeling Lotion and Plumping Hyaluronic Acid Cream and Serum, Avene Aqualia Thermale, nSPA (ASDA), Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix, Stridex Maximum Pads, Superdrug Own Range, La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo, Soap and Glory skincare, no7 Protect and Perfect Serums, Paulas Choice 2% BHA, Garnier Ultralift, Avon, Ponds, Embryollise, Eucerin, Neutrogena, ANYMORE TO ADD ANYONE, IF YOU WANT TO SECOND ANY OF THESE PLEASE DO!

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    1. I'll second wanting to know about No7 protect and perfect range, Avon and Superdrugs own range.

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  63. I'm pretty new to this blig and i'm saving up for the kate summerville norish and good genes after getting samples at sephora. I'm in Canada and ive been using the cleansing oil from Rocky Mountain Soap for years and love it. Id be interested to hear what you think if you could get a hold of it. Its only $35 cad and absolutely lovely.

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  64. Hi Caroline, I would consider budget for me, to be anywhere between £1- £25. I'd go to nearer £30 for a serum or good facial oils though.
    Some of my absolute favourites are Sanctuary Spa Stop the Clock day cream and the Peptide repair eye cream, neither contain mineral oil. I was using a lot more of their range until I found your blog and then subsequently discovered that both of their night creams and their two higher end serums do contain it. Gutted wasn't the word, but if you're going to make a decision to avoid an ingredient then I believe in doing it right. I also am really liking the Loreal revitalift laser renew serum, also m/oil free. Can I also ask out of interest if you have time, do you avoid mineral oil in body products too or just facial skincare? Ty :)

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    1. Caroline I'd be very interested in what you think about the Nivea Cellular range. I've been reading up and am astounded not to see any mineral oil anywhere in the listings, for such a budget brand.

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  65. TLDR: "Just above budget" options for serums, creams and eye creams. We're talking around ~$50 (~£35) here.

    Long version: I am a graduate student, so my budget is somewhat limited (I still consider myself quite lucky, and I don't like to complain about it - I know people have it much worse). I do use products that seem to be just above the budget level, so I would be most interested in that: if one has the means to go just a bit above the budget range, what should one get in order not to feel dissatisfied?
    Here's what I consider 'just above budget':
    Clinique's Take The Day Off balm (it just does the job)
    REN's Evercalm Cleansing Milk or Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser (I love them and cannot find a dupe for them to save my life - I have The Body Shop's pomegranate cleanser now too, but it's just not the same)
    FAB Radiance Pads (I don't know what I will do if they ever discontinue the series)

    These are all great and I will happily stay with them. It's the serums, creams and eye creams that give me a hard time. I've tried Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, but it was really bad under make up (it rolled badly), and I wanted something to fight the free radicals etc (I'm not sure if it would work so great, but I wanted to believe). At night, I am using Pepta Bright right now (I'm a victim to my own hands, i.e. self-extractions), it seems to be doing a good job. I use that on my T-zone, and Caudalie Vinosource Thirst Quenching Serum on my cheeks, neck and decollete - this seems to be quite good, but I'm not head over heels over it. Cream: I've got REN's V-cense now, it seems to be really good, but I can't stand the smell - it's like smelling pepper, great in my kitchen, not on my face. And eye-creams: I've got Lierac Diopti-Calm and Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate - both have no 'oomph' to me. Lately I got a sample size of Philosophy's Hope in a jar, and this seems to have a potential to become a staple.
    So yeah, I'd love to know some semi-budget options for serums and (eye) creams, that give the kind of feeling that the TTDO balm or FAB beauty pads. This thought 'Ahhh, this is good. This one stays'.

    In any case, thanks for putting this budget week together, you're awesome!

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    1. I've just read some other comments are realized I'm a stupid cow. These really aren't budget prices at all, and not even just above the budget. *bangs her head against the wall*

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  66. i would be glad to explore the market and see if there are any amaizing things hidden on the shelves. my "budget" limits would be:
    Serum: £50
    Moisturiser - £40
    Cleanser/Toner/Mask/treatment - £20

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  67. As a student I consider a product budget if its cost falls below £5 a month of using.

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  68. Gosh reading through the comments I feel people's budgets are very high, someone mentioned £5 as a budget price for a shower gel?! please remember us 20 something students living off £7000 a year! And that's before rent etc, we would love to have a budget of £25 for a cleanser and £30 for a moisturiser but unfortunately it just isn't possible, please please please maybe do some posts for the people with lower budgets, as well as those who consider £30 budget. I'd say £10/£15 max for anything. Anything more and it's not budget just mid range price. I don't want to feel like my skin is a lost cause just because I can't afford to spend £50 on a cream, if we could, we definitely would (I used to! It makes it worse, rubs it in that I'm now a poor student!)

    much love to you Caroline!! You are amazing!! Thank you for putting the time into the blog for us :)

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    1. Couldn't agree more. I'm on a very limited budget but still want to look after my skin

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  69. I wonder what do you think about NIB+FAB range, especially glicolic fix pads or dragons blood fix pads?

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  70. I'l tell you an idea Caroline, why don't you do weekly video livestreams, like google hangouts, that are about 30 - 60 minutes long and we can send you questions to answer in that livestream or you could focus on certain things like cleansing/facial massage/how to get into the beauty industry/acne/toners anything?

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  71. I think alot of people i know who are on a budget would say £15-20 is their limit, and for £20 would want something that will last a while. I'd be interested to hear of any eye creams you'd recommend under £15. Thanks for your hard work!

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    1. Definitely second a recommendation for budget eye creams. Thanks

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  72. I'm a student and feel you have to pick and choose what you spend on - under £15 moisturisers and cleansers and spritzes, around 20-28 exfoliatants, serums , treatments but it's a product by product decision. £2 max soap and shower gel!! And I save on hair care too and clothes but think skin is more important! If I had to spend more to get good results I would but a lot of the products Caroline reviews are reasonably priced, and sometimes you have to compromise on quality with cheaper products xx

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  73. Anything under £20 I would think budget. Would love to hear your views on the Vichy Serums. My best budget cleanser is Superdrug Vitamin E hot cloth cleanser and their Vitamin E Serum is lovely too.

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  74. Oh just remembered-Organic Surge products? Had a quick look and the most expensive product appears to be around £15! Very budget friendly!!

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  75. Cleanser, €15, Toner €15, Serums €50, Masks €15, Exfoliaters €30, Moisturizer €20.

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  76. Natural white silk cocoons. There's all kinds of spin that they put the collagen back into your skin. But all I know is they're the perfect size to slip on your finger and scrub the remnants of that make up off from all the nooks and crannies. From £3, depending on how many and where from.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVERMARKET-Organic-Natural-Cocoon-Healthy/dp/B00PUGKP6I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424123803&sr=8-1&keywords=silk+cocoons

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  77. There are some affordable lines at my local ULTA that I am curious about: Altchek MD, Nip + Fab, Retinol, Reviva Labs, AHAVA, Alpha Hydrox. If you can get your hands on any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

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  78. My favourite balm cleanser is the one from the M&S Pure range. It's about £9.50 and I much prefer it to the Boots Botanics one. It's less gritty and leaves less residue. I also just bought the Nourish refreshing toning mist. £11 for 100ml I think!

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  79. Anything under £15/20 is what I'd consider budget buys. I prefer to splash out on things that will last me a long time, like serums, eye creams or masks. I'm struggling with dry/dehydrated and spotty skin (hooray!) and have found La Roche Posay to be very effective. I love their Physiological Cleansing Milk, it's great as an eye make up remover too. Avene's Hydrating Serum is a current favourite of mine - their facial sun screens are great too as are their regular moisturisers. The natural/organic brands Weleda and Lavera are great for sensitive skin (in my own experience) and very affordable too.

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  80. Could you please review the MADARA brand? Thank you

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  81. I'd love you to review the M&S Pure Range. I would consider anything under £20 as budget.

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  82. Hi caroline... I'm inclined to agree with many of the above - Budget should mean Budget! I realise that budgets are different for everyone depending on their earnings/fortunes but the word budget suggests Cheaper than what we're used to seeing from yours truly! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending out on serums and oils etc just like the next 'Skincare Junkie' but I'd love to add to my collection but can't afford to always do so! Having some cheaper and almost/equally as good alternatives would be amazing! I would love to hear your views on the Avon Clinical range, No 7, Boots Botanics and Nip & Fab!
    Thank you so much for all your hard work on your blog this year... My days wouldn't be complete without my evening Hirons Fix! :-)

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  83. I'd pay around £15-30 for skincare depending on what it is, I pay £26 for my eye cream, and I'd pay a little more for a serum or a mask and a little less for a day cream. I'm only in my early 20s now, I intend to spend a little more as I get older!

    I'd love to know what you think of the Super Facialist range, I'd consider in budget & they do it in Boots. I use a lot from that range and it seems good quality for a good price. Also the Yes To range, I'm not sure what to think of them!

    Love that you're doing this, looking forward to the upcoming posts! :)

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  84. It depends on the product... on your cheat sheet it said to spend money on serums so I would spend about £25-30 on that. Is hydralon a serum?? (sorry of thats a stupid question)

    A good night Dedicated Night Cream probably £20-£25

    Facial oils about £20

    Exfoliating acids about £15 - £16.

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  85. Hi Caroline your thoughts on temple spa truffle cream it was recommended in beauty bible ? I did see an offer for day and night cream £150

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  86. Hello Caroline, I would very much like to have dome specific product recomendations from La roche posay (I find always suits me better) and the other french pharmacy brands, esp. Nuxe, Caudalie and Avene, Vichy, whichever product you consider to be good. I know these aren't exactly considered budget but they are much easier to get for me. Good drugstore brands products are of course welcome (Loreal, Olay, Garnier if any).
    I would also love to have Korean brands products cause they are usually quite affordable.

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  87. I think I'm like wonderlusting - anything I can buy in a high street shop is budget. I am trying out Boots Time Delay daily brightening toner, Nip+Fab Draginblood pads, and some clarifying pads from Avon - all as acid toners. I also like Prai dual action facial peel.

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  88. ohhh what do you think of the botanics facial oil…… and any reviews on budget eye creams would be fab, thank you ….. bobs your uncle ;) xx

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  89. Please try superdrug naturally radiant hot cloth cleanser. So good I get my mum to post it to me in Australia. Plus its really cheap!!! Xx

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  90. Hi I think that there is a difference between 'budget' and 'affordable'. I think a lot of what you use normally is out of financial reach for a lot of us, although its fun to look at! Personally I am happy to pay around £20-£30 give or take, so I would consider your first day affordable rather than budget. It might well just be semantics but I think the word 'budget' means very different things to people, 'budget' is often used to mean as cheap as possible which might well not be what you are aiming for here. ps I think you are great esp the videos - more please xxxxx

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  91. As a (some what mature) student I'd consider anything under £10-15 budget with £15 really being affordable rather than budget... However, I am willing to spend a bit more on a product if it's something I literally could not live without, i.e. Caudalie SOS serum. My skin, and I, could not carry on without it. It has been an absolute game changer, and so far it as been the only game changer. I have tried more expensive stuff, like the Emma Hardie cleansing balm, but I've found that cheaper products often suffice.

    I've recently moved to Sweden and oooh laaaawd is it hard to find budget skincare around here. I don't know how they manage to mark up the prices of the Body Shop products so much either. There's not a massive difference in VAT.

    Anyhow, my favourite budget products are:
    Boots Botanics cleansing balm.
    Una Brennan cleansing oil.
    Body Shop camomille cleansing oil (the price of this is marked up beyond belief over here though, and as such I wouldn't really consider it budget unless bought in the UK...).
    Eucerin 5% Urea face cream (this has been one of my hero products since my late teens).
    Nip+Fab glycolic acid exfoliating pads.

    I'd happily choose all of the above over more expensive products!

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  92. I would say a max of £30 or $35 to $40usd but that is based on my budget and what I want out of a product. I am perfectly happy to spend $100+ on SR, Claudalie, Ole etc for those products that are going to really help my skin and that make a difference. So it would be nice to see what you consider "budget" vs maybe staying under a certain dollar amount. I guess for me budget would be Body Shop or Fab or Pixi, I dont know if this will help but your advice is always amazing and insightful!!

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  93. Yes! Love this idea Caroline. I'd love to hear more about the French pharmacy brands - Avene, La Roche Posay, RoC, etc.

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  94. The older I get the less I seem to spend on skincare. When I was single and earning loads it wasn't a problem, but now I'm 56, not earning much and still have 3 children at home so am on a tight budget. I'm a fan of Boots Botanicals, French pharmacy products (I live in France) and Una Brennan. I've got ultra sensitive skin which is an extra problem, but Neal's Yard Frankincense suits me. I do like to splurge on a decent facial oil however, currently using Trilogy Rosehip which I got on offer. Watching with interest.

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  95. I would love to see more reviews on Clinique products as I find them within the majority of everyones budget and it's just so easy to find, I can go into Debenhams or Boots instead of having to order them online.

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