22 Budget Beauty Products That Outperform Their Luxury Counterparts

As a beauty editor, I'm lucky that I get sent and test a number of new makeup, fragrance, hair and skincare products for a living. However, those of us in this line of work are aware that if we were not fortunate enough to be in this position to have access to luxury beauty products then, realistically, we might not actually be in a position to buy many of the high-price-point products that we are sent. That's not to say that expensive products are bad but rather that, in the real world, forking out £100+ for a product is not feasible for a large portion of the population (myself included).

What's more, in an age of de-influencing (where many are taking to social media to share the products they think are overhyped or not worth the money), we've never been more conscious of the products that are being pushed on our algorithms, and we're beginning to raise an eyebrow when we're served a video that claims a product is a so-called must-have ("Run, don't walk!"). This is particularly true given the cost-of-living crisis that has many of us re-evaluating what and where we spend our money. And it can be a real let down when a hyped-up or expensive investment turns out to be, well, a bit rubbish.


(Image credit: @chiarasatelier)

The good news is that there are so many affordable beauty products on the market. I'm a big believer that you don't have to spend a lot of money on your beauty products to see the results you want. Sure, it can be a good idea to spend a little more on products that are proven to have more of an effect or that you've seen previous success with. For me that product is a serum, which I consider to be a powerhouse in my skincare routine, but as for expensive moisturisers? I'm not that convinced. In my opinion, there are plenty of affordable moisturisers that rival the expensive ones, so this is a place I know I can save over splurge. And I know I'm not the only one. Being totally totally truthful, there are so many good affordable beauty products that beauty insiders swear by. I'd encourage anyone to spend within their means when it comes to building their beauty routine.

To find out what affordable beauty products are really worth it, I asked fellow beauty editors and those in the know to share their favourite budget beauty buys under £20. You'll find our honest thoughts below.

The Best Affordable Beauty Products 


(Image credit: @alicezielasko )

Ata-Owaji Victor, Freelance Beauty Editor and Who What Wear Beauty Contributor

"My pick is Pacifica's Reusable Undereye Masks. I love a great multitasker, and nothing says 'I can do it all' more than an easy-to-clean beauty tool, and this has been a game changer. Not only does it travel well—thanks to a handy metal case—but any product that boosts the benefits of my existing products is a winner in my book."

Grace Day, Freelance Beauty Editor, Esthetician and Who What Wear Beauty Contributor

Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK

Mollie Burdell, Freelance Beauty Editor and Who What Wear Beauty Contributor

Tori Crowther, Freelance Beauty Editor

Joy Ejaria, Social Media Editor, Who What Wear UK

Hannah Almassi, Editor in Chief, Who What Wear UK

Florrie Alexander, Acting Affiliates Editor, Who What Wear UK

Rebecca Rhys-Evans, Senior Fashion & Beauty Branded Content Editor, Who What Wear UK

Vanese Maddix, Freelance Beauty Editor

Eleanor Vousden, Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Grace Lindsay, Junior Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

More Affordable Beauty Products the Who What Wear Team Loves

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.