Splurge VS Save – The Makeup Products You REALLY Need to Invest In

I don’t know about you, but for me, entering the beauty haul of my favourite department store is like stepping into a giant candy store…

Free tasters? Yes please! Try before you buy, bright colours and inviting, tempting samples right before your eyes. Except in this candy store, you can walk away quite easily having blown an entire week’s wages. It’s all too easy to get swept up during a beauty shopping spree, and boy will it cost you. Thankfully, there are now some seriously great options for those of us without an unlimited budget. Brands are creating some epic dupes which give you the same finished effect as the high end alternatives. Read on for my tips on how to get the makeup bag of your dreams but without the hefty price tag.

Firstly – foundation.

The most important part of your makeup routine to master is your base, so you need to ensure that your drugstore foundation offers all the benefits that we expect from the high end options. I’m talking about a super light formula that doesn’t cake or go patchy on the skin, and a long lasting smooth yet dewy complexion. Now while I know I can almost always rely on these benefits with my high end foundations, I do wince at their hefty price tags (since when did foundations become so darn expensive?!) so finding these benefits within a more affordable option has become a top priority for me. Recently I tried the W7 Genius foundation – the smooth liquid formula blends seamlessly for just the right amount of coverage, but importantly you don’t feel like you’re wearing anything on your skin.

One thing I usually miss when it comes to more affordable foundations is the luxe packaging, but the Genius foundation has a dropper applicator so it never gets messy, and you can control the perfect amount of product. The glow I get from buffing it into my skin replicates my favourite high end foundation and yes, it really does last on the skin all day long.

Now I just love it when a brand is so confident in their dupe-ability that they even design their products to emulate those that they are a dupe of! No prizes for guessing which bronzer and contour kit these W7 products are dupes of!

When it comes to bronzer, I’d previously avoided dupes, always opting for more expensive options for their blend ability and natural looking shades. However, the finely milled Honolulu Powder gives an application as smooth as any of my high end alternatives, and the brand have matte and shimmer options too.

The Hollywood Bronze & Glow is equally as impressive; with one half of the product giving the perfect bronze shade to add warmth to the complexion or to use as a contour, while the lighter half brightens and can be applied to cheekbones, on the brow bone or even on the nose and chin to highlight and give a soft glow when the light hits the skin.

Oh, did I mention that both are just £5.95?!


Another way to save on your beauty basket is looking out for multi tasking products, and W7s Cheeky Trio contains 3 large size products in one affordable palette. The bronzer, blush and highlight are all highly pigmented – and unlike even some of the more expensive palettes, all 3 products are flattering and usable so you won’t be left with a dud powder that you never touch!

The highstreet has always had blushers to rival high end options when it comes to lovely formulas, but finding the right shade for my skin tone often proved more challenging. I discovered the W7 Blush With Me collection and opted for the Getting Hitched Quad which offers lighter pinks for just a subtle pop of colour. You can sweep the brush across all four shades; or do as I do and use a smaller brush to be even more selective with your tones.

The reason why I would often reach for higher end eyeshadows is that usually, drugstore options look great in the pan, but simply don’t translate well onto my eyelids. My judgement on more affordable eyeshadows was swiftly corrected however once I tested out the W7 Beat It! palette, just one swipe of the golden ‘Loaded’ shade added a dramatic wash of colour and with very little fallout throughout the rest of the day too. The palette contains matte and shimmer, and for a nude makeup lover like me, it has everything from nudes and pinks, to coppers and metallics all covered – in the most wearable of shades.

Top Tip for application! If you want a softer look for Spring or Summer, avoid using eyeliner, and simply use a more precise brush to apply a darker shadow shade to the lashes. Press the shadow close to the lash line to give a more intense look.

Mascara has always been a product that the drugstore has done well, in fact, bar one (which looks remarkably similar to this W7 dupe!) all the mascaras that I use regularly are in fact drug store options. I mean, how much can the formula of mascara really change, right?!

For those looking for curled and dramatic lashes, use a lash curler before applying the W7 Absolute Lashes. The spiked brush allows you to comb through and coat lashes with the volumising formula – the result is a flirty defined lash look which will equal or surpass any look from a high end alternative.


Until recently, the highstreet has been unable to match higher end lip options when it comes to the formula and lasting power of higher end alternatives. As you may have guessed though judging from the theme of this post, once again I’ve been proved wrong and discovered a satin finish lipstick that not only gives the perfect pinky nude shade, but also feels conditioning on my lips and lingers for hours too. The W7 Fashion Lipstick, at just £3.50 took me truly by surprise, and when paired with the co0ordinating Lip Twister, gives a lip look that rivals my most expensive of shades. By pairing the two together you get a volumised effect on the lips; and both are creamy, soft and incredibly comfortable to wear.

Have you discovered any great Beauty Dupes recently? Have you tried W7 yet?

Let me know in the comments below!

This post is in collaboration with W7 Cosmetics! Shop the range here.