Student Style: Bargain Beauty Brands at H&H, Penneys and New Look

budget buys from H&M and Penneys

It seems to me that everyone and his mother is sporting an in-store makeup range these days. Now, far be it from me to wonder what gives a boots, blouse and bra merchant any expertise for expansion into the cosmetics field, but I generally write off shop-brand makeup as, eh, crap. Still, my penchant for new, cheap finds spurred me on to see if my instinct was on the money.


Disappointingly, their lip glosses are of that annoying brush-on, as opposed to sponge-on, variety, and are reminiscent of the sticky, gloopy mess of teenage discos. Avoid like the plague is my advice; ditto the eyeliners. My absolute star find, however, was a delish eyeshadow in a sandy, khaki gold, with a light shimmer. It is divine. They stock some handy makeup bags too, from €3 to €8.

New Look


Let me register, straight off the bat, my surprise here; I honestly was not expecting to be impressed with my New Look swag. While Stargazer isn't an exclusive-to-New Look-brand, it would seem I’m going through a bit of an aqua phase, so the Stargazer kohl pencil in number 29, €2.80, is my latest fix. It’s a tad too firm to really be a kohl; I suggest warming it up between your hands before applying to prevent any possible scratchiness. The absolute winner for me is the metallic, acidic eyeshadow in Envy Green, €4.90. A primer is absoLUTEly needed, but it is dynamite!


Surprise surprise – Penneys enters the mix with a stellar eyebrow kit, €4 … and a not so stellar set of four nail polishes, Beauty Babes, €2.50. Although I proclaim to love all my children equally, my Benefit Brows A-Go-Go kit is usually top of the pile – and I have to say that Take A Brow matches it. I’d throw out the tweezers and stencil, mind.

The nail polishes come in a peach, magenta, icing pink and lavender – all of which need approximately seven million coats, each coat taking the lifespan of an ITV mini-series to dry. Results were chip-free for a week, though.

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