Yes, you read that right, these are our absolute favourite beauty bits for pound shop prices. There’s a lot of nail things on here, but when we say holy grail we really mean we don’t think more expensive products are any better, which is hard to say for most makeup that’s under a pound.
Cotton pad essentials
Aldi Lacura cotton pads – 69p
I am very fussy about cotton pads – and there are quite a few brands that I’ve tried that I have completely hated (Superdrug), and a few are just bizarrely expensive (Boots – why do yours cost £1.89 for 100 when Aldi can make equally good packs of 200 for 69p?).
My main bugbear with cotton rounds (especially cheap ones) is that the two “sides” come apart too easily and reveal the fluffy innards. So when I take one out of a pack I always seem to pick up half or one and a half cotton pads and get lots of fluff everywhere.
These Aldi ones are the absolute best of both worlds. They are incredible value, they’re a fraction (less than a fifth) of the price of the pads at Boots, and they’re even cheaper than the Primark version at about a third of a pence per pad. Quality wise, the two sides are very firmly attached to each other, and they do the job.
They’re perfect for taking off eye makeup or using acid toners.
These are the small sized rounds, which I definitely prefer. Aldi don’t sell a dupe of these but if you’re a fan of the Boots oval double faced pads (the big ones), Primark sell a pack of 100 for 90p, vs £1.89 for 50 – so less than a quarter of the price. I’ve tried these too, and I do like them, I just favour a smaller surface.
I did warn you that I’m fussy about my cotton pads… hahaha.
Lint free nail wipes – 71p
Something I don’t use cotton pads for is removing my nail polish, I find them too fluffy, and it isn’t pretty when fibres from cotton pads end up ruining a manicure.
I once had my nails painted at an event and the nail artist used these on me, I’d never seen them before and they worked well so I had to investigate. They’re lint free nail wipes – (71p for 400 from Amazon with free delivery).
They don’t leave fluff on your nails, they’re very cheap and they don’t take much room to store.
Makeup Gallery single eyeshadow – 2 for £1
The only colour of eyeshadow I EVER hit pan on is a cream/beige/nude/light pink colour that’s very close to my skin tone. So when I recently got this as a freebie (full 50p disclosure haha) I thought I’d give it a shot.
I have the shade nude 2.
It does exactly what I want this sort of colour to do – it sets my eyeshadow primer to a matte finish, so my other eyeshadows apply more smoothly on top of it.
When I’m using shadows for this purpose I’m not looking for insane pigmentation – the colour is almost my skin tone, anyway, and I’m not going to be devastated if it doesn’t blend like a dream or if the shades aren’t incredibly unique. I really like the texture of this shadow, it isn’t chalky or powdery and it’ll cost you only FIFTY PENCE.
Another Poundland bargain that gets a mention in my how to (actually) make your nails last a whole week post. I’m on my third bottle of this, and while I don’t have noticeable ridges in my nails, I do get peeling/flaking that the plumping properties of this base coat easily hides.
Apart from the price, what I really like about this base coat is that it has a flattering light pink tint to it – so it neutralises any yellow staining you might have, and it keeps your polish on for a really long time.
It’s even quite pretty on its own for a very work/school appropriate look.
Nail polish ring holder – 91p
I love doing my own nails, and this nail polish ring holder – 91p delivered at Ali Express makes it really easy. It’s a dupe of something called a Tweexy, that sells for £10, and you put your bottle of nail varnish into it and wear it like a ring.
Mine fits all kinds of bottles from Nails inc to OPI, and you can do your nails watching TV because you don’t need a table to put the nail polish down on.
Maybe the niftiest feature of it, is that the “ring” part of it isn’t two complete circles. So you can pull it upwards to take it off your hand instead of sliding it off the end of your fingers, and you won’t smudge your polish.
My last holy grail beauty item for under a quid is a silicone face brush – you can pick one up for 57p delivered at Ali Express. It’s great if you want light physical exfoliation, just put some cleanser on and massage it all over your face. It makes my skin super smooth. It’s silicone so you can put it in the dishwasher to keep it clean, it’s 57p, so if you’ve ever thought about buying a Foreo cleansing gadget (at £30-£100+), this is worth a go.
And there you go, if you bought all six products mentioned in this blog post, you’d still have 62p change left from a fiver. Do you have any products for less than £1 that you wouldn’t be without? Let us know in the comments…
Hey! I’m Bronni and I’m a financial journalist and deals hunter in my mid 20s. I’m really into cats, pop music, the internet and barely substantiated celebrity gossip.