Editor Anna Evdokimou on her favourite beauty products headshot picture

11 affordable beauty products that editors actually buy

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Beauty editors are lucky enough to be sent testers and samples of new makeup, hair and skincare products frequently. So, if anyone knows what the best buys are — it’s them. We spoke to 10 of our favourite editors to find out their pick of affordable beauty products

Any beauty-lover knows the importance of trialling products to work out the perfect colours, tints and shades for you. And, although most makeup aficionados have probably built up quite the collection, we all tend to stick to our favourites, those staple products that we reach for every day. So, we spoke to 10 beauty experts to discover their favourite affordable beauty products for £30 and under — we are in a ‘cozzy livs’, after all.

Anjan Sachar, editor of The Red Lipstick Club and Vogue India contributor

Anjan’s pick is the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub, £10.36, Look Fantastic. Infused with 3% glycolic acid and salicylic acid, this clever product cleanses deeply to reveal a refined and purified complexion. The scrub gently sloughs away dead skin cells and helps to tackle impurities — just don’t use it more than three times per week maximum, as you don’t want to over exfoliate.

Ata-Owaji Victor, freelance beauty journalist at British Vogue and other titles

Beauty journalist Ata is a big fan of eye makeup, including everything from liners to shadows. “I want it all,” she says. “But recently, I’ve found myself particularly reaching for false lashes. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that, although my own lashes form quite a uniformed curl perfect for mascaras, it can be quite a pain to wash away come night-time.” When it comes to daytime friendly yet defined looks, Ata finds herself reaching for Eyelure Individuals (£8, Boots), or its handy ¾ Length Lashes (£6.25, Boots), both of which are perfect for day to night wear or when you want to add that little extra something to your makeup.


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Zeynab Mohamed, author of Face Value newsletter, and Elle, Who What Wear and Stylist contributor

Zeynab, author of beauty newsletter Face Value, is currently obsessing over the new e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Gel-Yeah moisturiser, £12, from Boots. “I took this away with me on a recent trip to a very hot, dry climate, and it was literally a tall glass of water for my skin,” she says. “My skin was instantly hydrated and you really feel it when you’re in the desert. It felt refreshed and soothed, without feeling heavy or greasy. Bold claim, but I think it’s the perfect holiday moisturiser.”  


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Laura Mulley, beauty and wellness editor at Reach Plc

Laura is currently beauty and wellness editor at Reach Plc, which means she receives a lot of beauty goodies on a regular basis. Among her favourite affordable beauty products is Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara (a firm favourite of mine, too), which costs just £9.59 on Look Fantastic. She specifically loves the Cosmic Black version, which she describes as lifting, volumising, non-smudging and a must for locking lashes in place. “I buy it on repeat,” she says.


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Florence Reeves-White, senior beauty writer at Hearst

For those that love a lasting lippie, Hearst’s senior beauty writer, Florence Reeves-White, loves Revlon’s Colorstay Lipsticks (£9.99, Look Fantastic). Available in a wide range of colours, from classic red to deep purples and muted pinks, the lipstick claims to have eight hours of transfer-proof wear without drying lips out, thanks to its vitamin E-infused formula. The angled bullet design allows for easy application and great colour pay off in one simple swipe. “They have good staying power and are hydrating, all for a bargain price,” says Florence.


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Read more: Are celebrity beauty brands really worth buying?
Manahil Zafar, freelance beauty journalist at Get The Gloss and other publications

Freelance beauty journalist Manahil is of the opinion that you don’t need to break the bank in order to find a primer that works for you. “E.l.f. Power Grip primer (£10, Boots) literally sticks makeup on to the skin,” she says. “It’s so affordable and does its job well. It works for all skin types and shows that you don’t need to buy a pricey primer for it to work.” Loved also by the online beauty community, this primer is infused with hyaluronic acid for a plump complexion and goes on clear, meaning it’s great for all skin tones, too.  


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Anisah Audu Evans, managing editor at DesignMyNight and lifestyle content creator

If you don’t already follow Anisah on Instagram or TikTok, you probably should. Not only is she managing editor at DesignMyNight, where she regularly writes about the best food and drink spots in London, but she’s also a successful lifestyle content creator. As for her favourite beauty picks, she’s a big fan of The Ordinary AHA BHA peel (£8.90, Look Fantastic). The product, which has divided users of social media, is an exfoliating skin treatment designed to re-texturise the skin. I’m actually a big fan of this product, too — just be sure not to use it more than once or twice a week, otherwise you’ll be at risk of damaging your skin barrier.  

Sacha Scoging, project editor at National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Sacha is currently project editor at National Geographic Traveller (UK), meaning that she regularly gets to jet off to exotic places around the globe. Of course, while travelling, it’s imperative that you look after your skin, especially in dehydrating environments. A firm favourite in Sacha’s travel bag is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid (£8.80, Look Fantastic), which she says makes her skin both dewy and glowy. In fact, she went as far to describe it as the ‘cheapest Botox ever’ (though don’t quote us on that). Use every day after cleansing and before moisturiser for the best results.



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Humeara Mohamed, freelance beauty writer and editor for Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and other various titles

Humeara regularly writes for some of the most prestigious beauty titles in the UK, so when she tells us to go and buy something, we’re going to take her word for it. Her favourite affordable beauty buy is Utan’s Pen Freckle and Lip Overliner (£17.99, Superdrug). The smart formula develops uniquely to your skin tone for natural-looking freckles and, once applied, lasts for up to 48 hours. “I’ve always adored my mum’s freckles, but I don’t have any of my own,” she says. “So, ever since I was 14, I’ve experimented with every type of freckle pen/tattoo/pencil known to man. Utan’s is by far the best — it lasts all day, looks natural, and I even use it to line my lips, too.” We’re sold.


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Anna Evdokimou, deputy editor at Living360

Anna is deputy editor for Living360, and regularly receives exciting beauty packages at our friendly office. If there’s one thing she won’t leave the house without, though, it’s a lip balm. “For me, lip balm is the most essential beauty product,” she says. “Carmex has been my go-to for many years now, and for good reason. A Carmex lip balm will last you for ages and will be your saviour as we approach warmer weather. The SPF30 Tropical Click Stick (£3.99, Superdrug) is currently my balm of choice, and it has the added benefit of protecting your lips from the sun, too.” So, there you have it. There’s really no need to spend loads on a lip balm when the affordable options do their job so well.  

Layla Turner, content editor at Living360

There’s some great picks in this list but, for me, my desert island beauty buy will always be a moisturiser. As someone with combination skin, I have to be quite careful with what I put on my skin — anything too thick can trigger a breakout, and anything not hydrating enough will cause me to get dry patches in some spots. For me, a perfect happy medium is Aveeno’s Oat Gel Moisturiser (£11.59, Boots). Formulated with prebiotic oat, this lightweight gel cream soothes and repairs the skin barrier, and provides just the right amount of hydration without feeling heavy or sticky. It’s one of the only moisturisers I trust to use on my acne-prone skin.


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