Why you shouldn't buy makeup at Poundland and other things you probably already know

I tested out some pound shop makeup and it ended badly.
Publish date:
July 10, 2012
jane's stuff

This started out as a pretty optimistic piece - one in which I would throw all makeup misconceptions out the window, free individuals from the shackles of their high-end cosmetics and have them embrace the unknown and bountiful treasures of pound shop beauty. I would single-handedly propel Poundland's makeup sales to never before seen heights, and watch as desperate crowds fought tooth and nail for that last cellophaned packet of volume boost mascara.

I was wrong.

Poundland - where cosmetics are a quid for a reason

To say everything was absolute rubbish isn't fair - but I am laying out all my hostility, aggression and anger on one product in particular: Chit Chat foundation. In a finish that could only be described as "sheer sweaty mess," this stuff made my face feel like a Christmas turkey - basted in butter then placed in the oven at 190°C.

Oxidizing into a shade of light carrot, the foundation's Lynx-esque aroma was topped only by the red bumps that began to develop on the top of my forehead after thirty minutes of wear. Disaster. But this is a "you should have known better" type of complaint, one I probably should have registered after reading "Discontinue use if irritation occurs" on the clear plastic bag the foundation came in. Duh.

Everything else on offer was standard fare, some products I would happily throw into my makeup bag. The bronzing pearls, my favourite of the Chit Chat lot, doubled nicely as a bronzey/brown eyeshadow, and the blusher had decent colour payoff. The "limited edition" black gel liner went on smoothly, and for a quid, there's no room for complaints - unless you go blind.

Instant multi-faceted eyeshadow in the form of small bronzed balls

For posterity's sake, I have also prepared three looks - one created using department store makeup, another with chemist cosmetics, and the third, using the dubious bargain wonders of the aforementioned Poundland.

To me, the biggest difference is in the base, with high-end foundation nicely mattifying my combination-to-oily skin. To be honest, I rarely wear foundation but when a makeup artist used Makeup Forever HD on me at a wedding, I was sold. Undereye circles - the bane of my existence - are camouflaged best with the help of corrector under concealer, otherwise I am out of luck. Thank you, heredity. I cheated because the eyebrows in all the photos are courtesy of Mac brow set in Beguile because in my opinion, there's just no alternative.

Department Store

Department store beauty

1. Makeup forever high definition foundation £29.95 2. Armani master corrector #2 orange (best thing in the world) £25.00 3. Bye Bye Undereye concealer (Cat Marnell favourite, y'all) £15.50 4. Benefit blush in Dandelion £23.50 5. Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette £36.00 6. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet 34 (My mum went through a lipstick phase, then sent me all her hand-me-down lipsticks in the post. Yes!) £25.00 7. Eyeko mascara (this used to be available at Superdrug for a fiver, and now it's at Harvey Nicks for £15, but I'm telling you, it's still worth every penny) £15.00

Total cost: £169.95


Chemist beauty

1. Boots No. 7 tinted moisturiser £12.00 2. Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer (second best thing in the world) £4.19 3. Me Me Me blusher in Pink £8.50 4. Sleek eyeshadow palette in Storm £6.49 5. Collection 2000 cream puff lip colour in Cotton Candy £2.99 6. Burts Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus (third best thing in the world) £4 7. Boots No. 7 Exceptional Definition mascara £12.50 (The full size is currently part of a free gift with purchase offer at Boots right now)

Total cost: £50.67


Poundland beauty

There's also some weird, shiny, glow thing happening on my cheeks and under my eyes which I can only assume is the "highlighter concealer" in action - I'll pass. Credit where credit is due however, because there was at least some circle coverage - a task many concealers have failed me with in the past.

1. Chit Chat foundation in Oatmeal (avoid like the plague) £1 2. Chit Chat limited edition highlighter concealer £1 3. Chit Chat blush in Desert Flower £1 4. Chit Chat bronzing pearls - also used as eyeshadow £1 5. Esprit lip gloss £1 6. Chit Chat limited edition gel eyeliner £1 7. NkdSkn Whip Lash mascara £1

Total cost: £7

Now that we've established that you probably won't find any makeup miracles at Poundland any time soon, here are some beauty supplies you may want to consider purchasing here:

1. Makeup sponges 2. Razors 3. Eye makeup remover pads 4. Fake nails

There is always a silver lining at Poundland

So is cheap as chips, amazing makeup merely a dream? Have you found anything at the pound shop that's worth sharing? Let me know.

Now that my spontaneous forehead rash has cleared, rest assured that for foundation, it's only fancy shmancy, non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested from here on out - unless I find something cheap in the Superdrug clearance bin, whichever.