High End vs. Low End: The Beauty Edition

Team STELLAR rounded up our favourite budget and spend beauty bits for your inspiration.


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For any makeup lover, there are certain products that you could never be without. But what where we’re super nosy about, is what makes the cut? Which products could you not be without?

For most of us, our favourites are usually a high/low mix of prices, with some products we’ve been repurchasing since our broke teenage years to newer, more luxurious products. We delved into the beauty cupboards of some STELLAR staffers to find out their favourite high-end and low-end beauty must-haves…

Megan Roantree, Editor KISS.ie

High: Benefit Hello Happy Velvet Powder Foundation, €33

I’m not a massive spender when it comes to beauty because a lot of my favourite ones happen to be really cheap. Other than some long-lasting palettes, my most expensive product that I currently buy is Benefit Hello Happy Velvet Powder Foundation. I just adore how easy it is to use, not to mention travel friendly in its cute compact.

I love how versatile it is too; I can swipe it on if I’m in a rush and just need to look alive, or you can really build it up for a velvety smooth coverage but using a primer underneath. It’s matte, but not in a cakey way. I’d buy this no matter how expensive it was because I use it so much.

Low: Essence Superlast Eyeliner Waterproof, €3.50

Most of my makeup bag is Catrice and Essence, and for good reason. Their foundations, concealers and mascara are all amazing, and my loyalty to these brands definitely started with the waterproof eyeliner from Essence.

I’ve been using it probably since I started wearing liquid eyeliner, and though I’ve tried others which were more expensive, I just find this one the easiest to use the longest-lasting and the one that’s the best consistency, wet enough to glide on but not so wet that it smudges or runs. It’s definitely the product I’m most loyal to!

Hannah Hillyer, Weekend Digital Editor

High: Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, €43

As someone who only ever flirts with the idea of fake tan, bronzer never used to be a regular makeup bag must-have for me. However, after years of hearing about Chanel’s famous bronzer, I have it a whirl and now you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands (probably still clutching the bronzer brush).

With its easy to use, creamy texture it blends perfectly over foundation to sculpt and define but it’s also my must-have for ‘no makeup days’. A quick flash of this all over the face makes you look alive but not ‘done’. It’s fairly pricey for a bronzer but it lasts for ages and also doubles up nicely as a cream eyeshadow if you’re packing light.

Low: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, €5.79

I first found this concealer in the early days of beauty YouTube, when my acne plagued skin needed serious help. That came in the form of lashing on as much concealer as possible which also meant it couldn’t cost the earth. I tried every budget concealer out there before landing on this one from Collection.

Now, in my late twenties my acne has gone (thanks to supplements and the right skincare) but this concealer I just can’t give up. I might need less of it now than I did before but it’s still my ride or die beauty product.

Vicki Notaro, Editor in Chief

High: Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore, €150

This is a comfort cream so not designed for every night, just a couple of nights a week when you feel like you need it. My skin ADORES it in the winter when the weather and heating are playing havoc with it.

I’m oily and it doesn’t ever break me out; it’s a really sophisticated cosmeceutical blend of the exact ingredients your skin needs when it’s feeling parched or irritated.

Low: MissLyn Black Off Liner, €6.80

My bargain product is MissLyn Black Off Liner, which is the very best black liquid liner of them all for flicks – and believe me, I have literally tried them all!

You can get it in Penneys, but also in pharmacies online. Black, matte, doesn’t dry out easily and has the best nib I’ve come across.

Amie Edmonds, Staff Writer

High: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer, €49

Initially, I didn’t know how good a bronzer could be for €50, but I absolutely love it. The packaging is stunning for a start, but it always is with Charlotte’s products. The bronzer pan itself is fairly big, and a little goes a long way. It’s also that perfect bronze shade that doesn’t look too orange or ashy on the skin and blends like a dream.

Although, my one tip for it would be to do a slight powder beforehand, as the finish is nicer over powdered skin than going straight on top of foundation.

Low: The Cleanse Off Mitt, €6.50


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Since I moved from micellar water and cotton pads to remove my makeup to actual cleansing cloths, I haven’t looked back. It removes all of your visible makeup with just water (although I’ll always go in with a cleanser afterwards), feels soft on the skin and is ideal for travelling too.

Denise Curtin, Digital Editor

High: Lucia Magnani Retexturing Radiance Mask, €225

My most expensive product is a face mask. It’s Lucia Magnani’s Retexturing Radiance Mask, which I will admit was a press sample. I’m totally obsessed with it but I will be hard-pressed to repurchase it at the price *sobs*.

Low: The Ordinary Retinol 0.5%, €5.25

My cheapest product is my The Ordinary Retinol in 0.5%. I totally love retinol and this product is amazing (once used correctly!) and so affordable. All the products from The Ordinary are the biz!