The Guardian’s beauty editor shares her pick of affordable makeup, hair and body products that don’t skimp on quality
Beach essentials, in-flight moisturisers, festival favourites and summer party makeup: these were the products I was imagining when I began work on this summer beauty bargain special many months ago, before it had become clear that, for a second summer on the bounce, few of us would be straying far from home. Some rejigging ensued to incorporate less seasonal skincare, but I make no apologies for my optimism and hope that some of my final 50 will become firm favourites, both now and in more ordinary times ahead.
Besides, our instinct for both self-care and the desire to save money have become more important during the pandemic. Every woman I know has experimented during the past 15 months, whether by learning satisfying new makeup skills away from outside scrutiny, changing hair colour or making time for body treatments. As jobs have become less secure, cost has rarely been more important. My usual £15 RRP benchmark has been nudged upwards by a fiver, in line with inflation and the (sometimes Covid-related) rising cost of raw ingredients, but it’s worth noting that, at time of writing, the vast majority of products listed were available at a good discount somewhere on the high street or online.