We’re all about budget-friendly beauty products, especially when it comes to skincare. We’re in love with The Ordinary and have even tested out Poundland’s £6 skincare line, but it’s the latest budget range from Primark that’s really got our attention,. “Why?” we hear you ask, because everything is under £5.
They’ve partnered up with legendary beauty editor and influencer, Alex Steinherr, to deliver a 20-piece skincare collection which is suitable for every skin type and concern; and what Alex doesn’t know about skincare isn’t worth knowing.
There are five collections within the range, all designed to be mixed and matched, each addressing a different skincare concern: Sleep Spa, Pore Balance, Pump & Glow, Maximum Moisture and Pollution Solution. Everything in the range is vegan, cruelty-free and fragrance-free, and every product contains high-end ingredients that deliver the same results as luxury products, but without costing your entire monthly salary.
So naturally we had to try the range out; I roped in our Head of Content, Katie Ecclestone, to help test out 10 products from the range. Here’s what we thought…
Sleep Spa, Every Night Eye Mask, £4
Katie says, “Alessandra herself called this a “genius, genius, genius” product and I wouldn’t disagree for the £5 price tag. As with the rest of the Sleep Spa range, it’s infused with hyaluronic acid, willowherb and chamomile, and feels rich yet light. I currently use a ‘designer’ eye cream, and while I’d say my expensive one I use feels more ‘active’ (I literally feel a tightening effect when using), this would make a welcome addition to my rotation.”
Sleep Spa, Overnight Lip Mask, £5
Katie says, “This clever little lip mask is now officially part of my bedtime routine. Welcome to the party! Infused with fashionable hyaluronic acid, willowherb and chamomile, it has a pleasant pink tint and a thicker-than-lip balm consistency, meaning it really does feel like a ‘treatment’ for the lips. This product does exactly what it says on the label – what more could you ask for?”
Plump & Glow, The Power Mask, £3
Katie says, “Infused with two types of acid – amino and hyaluronic – which, contrary to the scary insinuation, is very moisturising, The Power Mask from the Plump & Glow range is a ‘two-step concentrated skin refresher’ containing a sheet mask and essence which are designed to be used in combination. In general, I avoid sheet masks as I find they are more hassle to apply than they are beneficial, but the formula itself is great, so I’ll definitely be gifting them for Christmas.”
Plump & Glow, Facial in a Stick, £5
Ciana says, ”This genius little stick is the ultimate multi-tasker – and I’m all about saving time as well as shelf space in my bathroom. It acts as both a cleanser and an overnight moisturiser in one, containing hyaluronic acid, dragonfruit and cactus flower extract which all promote hydration. I have to admit I didn’t test out its cleansing properties on a full face of make-up, but it did remove the mascara residue my regular cleanser missed. I swiped the stick all over my skin, massaged it in and left it overnight and not to toot my own horn, but I woke up with visibly ‘glowier’ and softer feeling skin.”
Maximum Moisture, Moisture-Locking Everyday Moisturiser, £5
Ciana says, “Alex describes the Maximum Moisture range as your ‘perfect white T-shirt’ because it’s suitable for all skin types and allows you to build the rest of your skincare ‘wardrobe’ around it. It’s packed with skin protecting and repairing ingredients like squalene and peptides, and I found it to be the perfect no-frills everyday moisturiser. It left my skin feeling hydrated but without any greasy residue; I would definitely repurchase this.”
Maximum Moisture, Supreme Sheet Mask, £3
Katie says, “An essence soaked sheet mask that claims to help increase the hydration levels of the skin, the Supreme Sheet Mask is a heavy-hitter and likely to become essential in my winter skincare arsenal. While I consider sheet masks in general a bit of a novelty (the nose and eye holes never sit properly!) I found this easy to apply, comfortable to wear and it did leave my skin with a notable afterglow.”
Maximum Moisture, Micellar Cleansing Gel, £5
Ciana says, “I was most intrigued by the gel formula of this product as I’ve only ever used micellar water before, but I was pleasantly surprised with it. Because of the thicker consistency I used my hands to massage it into my face, and it removed my make-up efficiently and left my skin feeling much more hydrated than a regular micellar water.”
Pore Balance, Super Detox Clay Mousse Mask, £5
Ciana says, “As someone with combination skin, a good clay mask is a must in my routine, so I was pretty pleased to see this one. The mask contains kaolin clay which reduces oiliness and removes imperfections, along with charcoal and raspberry leaf which both contain antioxidant properties, as well as niacinamide, an ingredient which reduces blemishes. The mousse-like consistency was a first for me, but I just found it to be like a classic clay mask – just a bit lighter. It did a great job of detoxing my skin and I can see myself adding it to my current routine.”
Pore Balance, Blemish Rescue Stickers, £3
Katie says, “A sleek solution to unsightly spots (not that I ever get any, ahem), the clear patches are very discreet, no bigger than your forefinger thumbnail. I found them very ‘sticky’ – a good sign they’d stay put if you decide to wear them under make-up throughout the day – but I wasn’t confident there was enough blemish fighting product saturating the sticker. Maybe I’m just too used to big globs of toothpaste?”
Pore Balance, Anti-blackhead Stick, £5
Katie says, “Undoubtedly the most fun of all the products I trialled, this stick is a neat way to tackle the daily face wash. Forget messy squeeze bottles or slippery tubs, just rub this gritty stick over your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and wash off for bish-bash-bosh skin-clearing simplicity. It left my skin feeling exfoliated and genuinely cleaner. I love this!”