Save or Splurge: Mascara, Lipstick & Concealer!

It’s always a big dilemma for me when beauty shopping – to go for a product which is affordable but a little plain, or something expensive and extravagant which makes me feel sophisticated when pulling it out of my makeup bag – it’s a bit of a brain vs heart thing.  

When Voucher Codes got in touch about their new SOS (Steal or Splurge) Box, which contains 3 lipsticks, concealers and mascaras, all from different price brackets, my inner-product tester-outer became really excited.  I’ve taken the challenge on to see if the extra money is actually worth it, and choose my favourites out of the bunch.


Under £5 – Collection Lasting Perfection
Ultimate Wear Concealer in Fair 

I adore this concealer and it is by far my
favourite of the bunch and also the cheapest. 
It has incredible coverage for even the most stubborn of spots and also
matches my pale skin perfectly.  Admittedly I have already been through about 10 tubes of this and that just goes to show that I really bloody love it AND it’s affordable to keep repurchasing.

Under £10 – No7 Concealer

This was my least favourite of the
concealers – despite being a pale shade it’s still quite dark for my skin and
also hasn’t got as great a coverage as the other two.  It’s a creamy stick in a tube but it takes a
while to warm up and I felt it also clung on to any dry patches also.

Under £20 – Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in

This was my second favourite; it’s a good concealer which covers
imperfections well but it is a little bit too creamy for my liking.  It means I definitely need to set it with a
powder otherwise I feel quite sticky.  I
love the packaging though (there’s a tiny mirror in the lid for on the go touch



Under £5 – Miss Sporty 24h Pump Up Booster

I wasn’t incredibly impressed with this mascara. Although it’s
affordable and has a nice big brush, it’s not too great at adding product to
the lashes.  It makes a good ‘base’
mascara (adding one of the below on top) but I wouldn’t wear just this.

Under £10 – Maybelline The Falsies Volum’

This is my winner of the bunch – affordable, easy to find in on the
highstreet and a really great mascara at lengthening and adding volume to my
short lashes.  This is buildable without
being clumpy and the curved brush makes application easy.  

Under £20 – Clinique High Impact Mascara
I really, really like this mascara.  I
think Clinique are great at creating good quality mascaras but I preferred
Maybelline just because it’s more affordable. 
This gives me beautiful long lashes but is just quite pricey for a
product that needs to be replaced every three months.


Under £5 – Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Russian Roulette
Sleek Makeup is possibly my favourite high
street brand for their incredible lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes.   I’m already a huge fan of their lippies and
so this was a nice bonus to my collection – it applies with the most gorgeous
pigment and lasts well.

Under £10 – Lord & Berry Lip Crayon in

This was the first Lord & Berry product I’d ever tried and I was
really, pleasantly impressed.  This is a
gorgeous, high quality product which is immensely pigmented (and also smells
delicious)!  I think this is my favourite of the bunch – it also smells delicious. 

Under £20 – NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in
Red Square

I’d always wanted to try this product after hearing so many
bloggers rave and review it and it lived up to expectations.  The colour is the perfect postbox read but it
is slightly drying on the lips so lipbalm before hand is a must.

Winners: Collection Lasting Perfecting Concealer, Maybelline The Falsies, Lord & Berry Lip Crayon!

I’ve loved taking part in this challenge – it’s been quite an eye-opener that I didn’t choose one high end product as my winner.  I think this goes to show that even though packaging may be beautiful, the actual quality of the product itself might not be so up to scratch.  This post has also inspired me to get thinking about other products – blusher, foundations, eyeliners and how they compare, so stay tuned for more of these posts!

Do you tend to Save or Splurge? What is your favourite affordable product?




  1. May 8, 2014 / 8:54 am

    lovely post! i love the barry m lip products! they are fab for a great price!

    This Girl Loves Chic 

    Facebook : ThisGirlLovesChic 


  2. May 8, 2014 / 9:06 am

    The falsies is my faaave! I always save. I literally wouldn't spend over a fiver on things (except maybe foundation)

    xxx | daisydaisyxxo

  3. May 8, 2014 / 9:11 am

    Great post! I'd tend to save on products I know I'll be using a lot, like concealers and mascaras (super expensive mascaras don't make much sense, when you have to throw them out after a few months!). There are loads of great affordable options on the high street, but it's also nice to splurge on a luxurious high end product every once in a while 🙂 x

  4. May 8, 2014 / 9:15 am

    Every time I splurge, even if its a good product, I kinda feel like it wasn't worth it. So I'm definitely a saver now. 🙂

  5. May 8, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Really interesting to read- just shows that you can find good products in all price ranges :o) Xx

    Makeup by Candlelight

  6. May 8, 2014 / 9:31 am

    Great post! I love the Nars lip pencils, they're amazing! I'm with you on the collection concealer – that's probably my favourite affordable product (at the moment anyway).

  7. May 8, 2014 / 9:31 am

    Such a "bookmarks Worthy"post! thanks a lot!

    Nail Fix for Summer |

  8. May 8, 2014 / 9:33 am

    I love the Falsies mascara! My go-to mascara for months!
    xx Stephanie (

  9. May 8, 2014 / 9:46 am

    Mine is also the Collection concealer – I love it! I also love the Revlon lipsticks, I love the colour range and the fact they are so affordable

  10. May 8, 2014 / 9:47 am

    Love the shade of that Sleek lipstick! Gorgeous!

    Alex | PinkElephantBlog

  11. May 8, 2014 / 9:49 am

    I'm not a huge fan of the Clinique mascara, I prefer volume over length and I don't find it gives me any volume. I use NYC mascara, it's like £3 but really good! I love the shades of these lipsticks, I might try the Lord & Berry as I keep seeing the brand around but haven't tried anything yet 🙂
    Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  12. May 8, 2014 / 9:50 am

    The box sounds like such a wonderful idea! Is everyone sent the same thing or can you choose according to skin colour? will look into this as you for some amazing stuff!

  13. May 8, 2014 / 9:51 am

    I love these kinds of posts, it's really interesting to see how you didn't up choosing any high end products. It just shows that the drugstore are really picking their game up.

    Kristy |

  14. May 8, 2014 / 9:56 am

    I always spend money on mascaras and then see what I have left. Great reviews, I can't wait to try some of those products!

  15. May 8, 2014 / 9:58 am

    For me it is definitely a head vs heart thing too, i love all of the high end products but I would rather get a better deal 😛 I love the natural collection concealer! <3

  16. May 8, 2014 / 10:18 am

    Great post -I'd say on the whole I try to save. The bobbi brown concealer creases on me like no other & I ended up passing it over to a friend.
    I have tried a few products from Lord & Berry and its a brand I want to try more from this lip crayon you tested looks & sounds wonderful.
    My favourite affordable product is a Miss Sporty Concealer & elf eye primer. Great value for money

  17. May 8, 2014 / 10:23 am

    I love this post, so informative and set out really well. I love the falsies mascara! I tend to save as I'm on a student budget but I love the ELF Eyebrow Kit, 17 Stay Time Concealer (I may even prefer this to the Collection Lasting Perfection) and 17 Blow Out mascara!

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  18. May 8, 2014 / 10:28 am

    I tend to save by bying drugstore products that can be as good as high end, but there are also some times I get a little crazy as everyone I think and hope! Favourite affordable products definetly some e.l.f., you can find good quality in some of them, also Bourjois and Revlon…

  19. May 8, 2014 / 10:54 am

    Really want to try the BB concealer! My favourite affordable product currently is my seventeen doll’d up mascara! Its amazing!

  20. May 8, 2014 / 12:50 pm

    i'm a bit of both – i love my maybelline mascara but MAC lipsticks and foundations are my favourites, such great quality. I like to mix it up a bit !
    Lauren x
    Please nominate my blog for Best Lifestyle Blog and Newcomer here !
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography –

  21. May 8, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    I actually mix the two sometimes I save. I used to think only high end concealers would work, until I found the wonderful lasting perfection, and wake me up. Lovely post.

    Jess x

  22. May 8, 2014 / 2:56 pm

    Desperate to try the Nars lip pencil it looks such a gorgeous shade! I tend to splurge more on lipsticks as I feel the formula of high street lipsticks never sits right on me but I think the high street has a lot to offer when it comes to eye products such as mascara & liners, & of course my favourite collection concealer!

    Jen | x

  23. May 8, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    This is such a great challenge.

    I'm definitely a make-up "saver" (except for foundations). I tend to be a bit more splurge-y with my skin-care as I think that you need a good base to start from! xx

    Katy | Little Miss Katy

  24. May 8, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    For me I always save on my mascara; I'm obsessed with all of L'Oreal's mascaras, though the voluminous million lashes is the one I always go back to. I always splurge on my concealers; being a women of colour I find it hard to get a perfect match from the drugstore so I don't mind paying more for my base products. And when it comes to lipstick I'm on the fence. I do like to splurge on a MAC lipppie every once and while, but I also love to find a good drugstore dupe. Great post!! c:

    xo.Janiecy.xo|A Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  25. May 8, 2014 / 4:56 pm

    I always have a problem, what should I buy, one expensive thing but qood quality or a few cheap things… I hate that, I always go for the second option…

  26. May 8, 2014 / 5:16 pm

    I REALLY need to try out Maybelline's The Flasies. Thank god I'm almost out of mascara, so that's an excuse to pick it up! I've heard such great things about it!

    XO, G from grace'd

  27. May 8, 2014 / 5:29 pm

    This is such a fun post! I love the Maybelline Falsies mascara too, it's my favourite

  28. May 8, 2014 / 5:39 pm

    As a rule, I usually save when it comes to buying mascara because it's something I buy frequently and I can't justify spending huge amounts of money on something so short-lived. Having said that though, I have a soft spot for Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara and I'll pick it up occasionally if I'm in the mood for a treat 🙂

  29. May 8, 2014 / 7:39 pm

    I love the Bobbi Brown corrector and concealer! I definitely need to try the Nars lip pencils. I like to think quality over quantity, but that doesn't always mean splurging.
    These are great post!

  30. May 8, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    Great post! I would really like to try Nars matte lip pencil 🙂

  31. May 8, 2014 / 8:11 pm

    Definitely save on lip products, although I love the 1 Mac lippie I own. Splurge on concealer and mid range on mascara. 🙂 xx

  32. May 8, 2014 / 8:29 pm

    Great post
    L x

  33. May 8, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    I have that Clinique mascara and absolutely love it, I feel I've tried so many other ones and nothing compares to it so for that I would have to go for the splurge! Loved this post though, open you upto many more choices 🙂


  34. May 9, 2014 / 3:08 am

    I actually switched from Diorshow to Maybelline the Falsies and was hooked the first time I tried it. The spoon brush makes it super easy to get the roots of my pigmentless blonde eyelashes, which the massive Diorshow brush always made impossible.

    Looks like you tried the flare one, but if you want something super dramatic in one coat they have one called "Black Drama" that has actually gotten me accused of wearing false lashes on more than one occasion.

    Blurry, taken without glasses picture:

  35. May 9, 2014 / 4:39 am

    i totally agree with you on what you said about the maybelline mascara. i'm going to buy another tube again once i use up the one im currently using.

  36. May 9, 2014 / 9:25 am

    For mascaras I often tend to go budget! I am also a big fan of the Maybelline Volum' Express series, and Covergirl has great mascaras as well.

  37. May 9, 2014 / 10:21 am

    I love Nars matte lip pencil. Nice post

    Lakme 9 to 5 Super Suncreen Review

  38. May 9, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    I would normally say I would splurge on concealer as I prefer to invest more into my base but I recently bought the collection one and have been reaching for that over my others as it's so good! I save on mascaras and lipsticks for a day to day basis but splash out on ones I can use for nights out/special occasions as I do think high end mascaras are better but just not worth all the extra money for everyday X

    Zandra // AZTEC DOLL Fashion & Beauty Blog

  39. May 9, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    Hi, Great post and also great idea…do we save or splurge on make-up…for me it's always save! Mostly because I'm a student and I can blow my entire student loan for each semester on just 10 products from Clinque or Benefit! I'd much rather blow it on 50 items from drugstore! 😉 For me Mascara's are better if they are somewhere in the middle- like the 'Falsies' but lipsticks don't really matter to me- high end or low-end as long as they're pigmented I don't mind! 🙂

  40. May 9, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    I agree with you, B.Brown's concealer is too dense and creamy for me too!


  41. May 10, 2014 / 2:08 pm

    I really want the NARS velvet lip pencil

  42. May 11, 2014 / 8:13 am

    I think I agree with you I love the Collection 2000 Concealer! But I've never tryed the Lord & Berry Lip Crayon I might have to pick it up next time I go shopping 😀

    Random Brilliance With Me

  43. May 11, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    I splurge on base makeup– concealers, foundation, bb cream. I always save on mascara as they need to be replaced frequently anyway. I agree with the Maybelline the Falsies– good quality and very affordable!

  44. May 11, 2014 / 5:57 pm

    This is such an interesting post, especially because you didn't pick one high end product! I prefer to save, but I'll treat myself to something more pricey every now and again – on a night out or special occasion it's nice to get ready with something a little more 'luxury'.


  45. May 12, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    I'm also in love with the collection concealer, I've tried most high street concealers and this for me is the best it doesn't budge and it's like cement in terms of covering imperfections yet it still feels quite light weight.

  46. May 14, 2014 / 5:30 am

    I have wanted to try the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil for ages I am definitely going to go for it now! Thanks for the great post xx

  47. May 14, 2014 / 3:55 pm

    It really depends on what it is. For certain skin care I am a creature of habit and won't compromise despite the cost. I have noticed thought that my Barry M red lipstick is a much higher quality than some more premium brands I have tried and it costs half the price!

    Writer’s block and broken lenses

  48. May 16, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    I only have a few high end products in my collection as some of the cheaper alternatives out there are amazing. I am in love with all of sleeks products there amazing.

  49. May 22, 2014 / 6:21 am

    Fantastic post. Really enjoyed reading this.

  50. May 31, 2014 / 7:29 pm

    I really like this post and the way you have thought about the people who can't afford the high end products and given a wide price range. LOVE IT LOTS

  51. June 19, 2014 / 1:02 am

    I love this! I also think it's awesome that the three winners were more affordable options! I tend to splurge a lot on bases (such as foundations/concealers) and save more when it comes to lip, cheek and mascara products because there are such great options in the drugstores now.

    Morgan //

  52. October 7, 2015 / 8:55 am

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