Affordable beauty products from the high street that actually work

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Hanna Ibraheem and Jacqueline Kilikita
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The high street is home to some unexpected, but brilliant, beauty ranges. Here are the ones that rival the most luxurious of brands…

While it’s always a treat to make a purchase from a luxurious brand, high street shelves are packed with beauty products that are just as impressive.

Just last year, high street retailer Zara unveiled its new make-up collection, while Topshop relaunched its popular beauty range. And the products are enough to rival even the fanciest, most advanced product lines out there.

Here are the make-up and skincare ranges you need to look out for next time you go shopping…

Zara Beauty collection

Zara is known for its chic, fashion-forward clothing. And now, the high street brand has launched its first ever cosmetics line. Inspired by the backstage happenings at Zara campaigns, the line-up consists of 12 rich matte lipsticks, eight full matte liquid lipsticks and a set of three Ultimatte lipstick shades. To create the collection, Zara consulted a group of experienced beauty professionals

Must try…

Zara Ultimatte UM17 Lipstick, £9.99

Velvety yet highly pigmented, Zara’s Ultimatte lipsticks give impressive colour pay-off with one easy swipe. Plus, the formula is comfortable to wear all day long.

Topshop Beauty collection

Beauty fans were devastated when Topshop discontinued its popular make-up line. Little did we know, it was working hard behind-the-scenes to produce something even better. Late last year, Topshop Beauty launched its reformulated and repackaged beauty collection – and it covers everything. The range includes some of the previous line-up’s hero (yep, Rio lipstick has made a comeback), along with new products. Step into your nearest Topshop (or head to the website) and you’ll find highlighters, eyeshadows, lipsticks, blushers, bronzers, eyeliners, lip liners, mascara, foundation, concealer, powder and tools. We told you it covered everything.

Must try…

Topshop Beauty Glow Liquid Highlighter in Blaze, £15

Come rain or shine, highlighter is always suitable. This liquid highlighter is easy to apply, thanks to its pipette-style packaging. Simply dot it across your cheekbones for instant luminosity or mix it in with your foundation for an all-over glow.

H&M Beauty collection

It’s near impossible to enter a H&M store and not peruse the beauty section. The retailer, known for its fashion-forward yet affordable clothing, has expanded its beauty range to cover make-up, bath and body care, hair, tools and nails. 

Must try…

H&M Nail Polish in Cream Saffron, £3.99

The gorgeous shade of this H&M nail polish works just as well in spring as it does in autumn. Just one coat will leave you with a high-gloss shine, but opt for two to avoid premature chipping.

& Other Stories Beauty range

Stylist’s beauty editor, Lucy Partington, is a big fan of & Other Stories’ body range - in particular, the Fig Fiction Body Scrub. At £10, it smells incredible - but the bath and body collection is full of gems. In response to our demand for more natural beauty, the high-street store has developed their products with an impressive 85% natural ingredients. You might want to clear some space in your beauty arsenal…

Must try…

& Other Stories Nomad’s Poem Body Lotion, £7

Hydrating, lightweight and quick-to-sink-in, this body lotion smells delicious, too. It’s infused with notes of coconut, earthy musk, peach nectar, black amber and pink petals.

Hotel Chocolat skincare collection

Forget the truffles and liqueurs, there’s another important reason to get yourself down to Hotel Chocolat – a chocolate-inspired beauty range. Taking inspiration from the brand’s St. Lucian chocolate plantation, the collection, Rabot 1745, boasts everything from lip balm to body lotion, shower gel to handwash. Of course, the star ingredient is cacao, but aloe vera, coconut and almond also feature heavily. Granted, slathering chocolate-laden products all over your face and body might be an alternative way to get your sugar fix, but it’s ten times more indulgent - trust us.

Must try…

Hotel Chocolat Honey Lip Balm, £7

A dream team of almond oil and cacao butter take parched, deflated lips and make them soft and plump.

The White Company skincare range

They’re known for their ultra-chic interiors and Instagrammable candle collection, but The White Company have recently turned their hand to skincare, and the range is going to take your bathroom shelfie to new heights. There are currently three products to choose from: A serum jam-packed with antioxidants to ward away skin scavenging environmental aggressors like UV and pollution, a balm cleanser to dislodge make-up and everyday grime and a moisturiser filled to the brim with complexion-perfecting ingredients like hyaluronic acid to banish tightness and lines and aloe vera to treat irritation. Fun fact: This collection was created in partnership with global skincare experts at DECIEM, who are the brains behind Stylist-approved beauty brands, The Ordinary and Niod.

Must try…     

Super Balm Gentle Daily Deep Cleanser, £25

A good cleanser is arguably the most important step in any skincare routine - and they don’t come any more blissful than this one. The silky balm texture melts on contact with the skin to eradicate tough mascara, foundation and excess oil, leaving skin feeling squeaky clean yet soft. The best part? It smells like a spa.


Birkenstock natural skincare range

Ok, it’s not a high-street store as such, but footwear brand Birkenstock has an impressive skincare collection. Foot balms, hand creams, facial moisturisers and cleansers, to name but a few essentials, make up their extensive product range and the mainstay ingredient in all of them is skin-plumping suberin, which is found naturally in the cork they use in all of their sandals. The brand is certified natural, cruelty-free and mostly vegan. Sold.  

Must try…

Birkenstock Natural Skincare Moisturising Hand and Nail Cream, £18

Cracked knuckles, flaky cuticles… This silky hand cream reverses winter damage to make hands soft, plump and flawless. It absorbs in seconds and smells like a sweet shop – obsessed.


Images: Courtesy of brands