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      Do our beauty products really have to cost the world to do a good job? We asked beauty writer Ali Whittle for her take on the subject. It's time to wise up. Spend where it's worthy, and scrimp where it makes sense. Happy beautifying!

      Are there any ingredients we should 100% avoid and be aware of when shopping for budget beauty options?

      Great question. There are definitely some ingredients I personally try to avoid and I highly recommend for everyone to do their own research into this type of thing as the more educated we are, the more empowered we'll be when shopping.

      But one thing I prefer to avoid is aluminium. It's usually found in antiperspirant deodorants and it's something so many budget/supermarket/pharmacy brands put into their deodorant. I avoid it because it may prevent toxins from leaving the body through sweat, causing the toxins to build up and become harmful. It's not a definitive thing and it may seem a bit 'woo woo' but better to be safe than sorry. I made the switch to aluminium-free deodorant a few years ago and while it's not the exact same experience as a traditional deodorant, it's not an issue. In terms of supermarket options, check out Sukin's deodorants.

      ali whittle beauty cabinet

      Do you think there is a big difference between lower-priced and higher-priced face moisturisers?

      I think you can definitely get away with spending less on a moisturiser so if you want to save some money in your skincare routine, this would be the best step to do so! This is because your moisturiser is really just the step in your routine to lock in all the goodness you've applied beforehand. Your serums are the steps that really do the work in your routine and therefore, arguably, you could spend more money there.

      Some supermarket/pharmacy options I love are the QV face oil-free moisturiser, Bioderma Sensibio Light Soothing Cream, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Prebiotic Moisturiser, Cerave Daily Moisturising Lotion, Avene Hydrance Hydrating Emulsion Light.

      ali whittle beauty avene

      Are there certain brands we should definitely gravitate towards that do well in this space?

      Look into Bioderma, Avene, Cerave, QV, La Roche-Posay, The Ordinary, Trilogy, The Jojoba Company, Andalou Naturals, Klorane - the list goes on!

      Do you have any go-to products you regularly use from the pharmacy?

      I certainly do! I always have Bioderma Micellar Water on hand plus back-ups, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+, Avene A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum, John Frieda Frizz Ease hair treatment, Bioderma Hydrabio Serum, Dermaveen Extra Hydration Soap Free Wash, Klorane Dry Shampoo - I especially love their new Detox Aquatic Mint range. And many more!

      ali whittle beauty bioderma

      What are your top product recommendations for:

      Mascara - MCo Beauty XTend Lash, Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Volumizing Mascara, Revlon So Fierce Mascara 

      Concealer - Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Concealer Blemish Stick, Revlon Photoready Candid Concealer, Maybelline Fit Me Natural Average Concealer

      ali whittle thursday plantation concealer

      Do you have any tips for making any face of makeup look flawless?

      It all comes down to skincare, honestly. If your skin is hydrated and healthy, your makeup is going to look better! Dry, flaky skin is always going to interfere with a flawless makeup base. Being consistent with your skincare routine will help. Using hydrating serums will also help. And ALWAYS make sure to use sunscreen every single day.

      Before applying makeup, an illuminating primer is a great place to start - if you love a glowy look. Once you've applied your makeup, a face mist is always great to add extra moisture to your skin too. 

      Are there any Instagram accounts of websites we can look for further tips and information?

      For beauty content - check out my dear friend Hannah English (@ms_hannah_e) - she is a scientist and creative and I always learn so much from her content! Emma of @emmahoareau - her content is art and also so very informative. Websites I love include Rose Inc, Into The Gloss, Gritty Pretty and Byrdie Beauty.

      Images via @aliwhittle_
      Opening image via @looking_back_from_the_future

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