Beauty on a budget – it’s what we all need right now with the rising cost of living and the summer months fast approaching. We’re all trying to save money, but we also want to look good when we go out and socialize during the summer months, so it’s worth knowing where you can find the beauty bargains.
When it comes to beauty essentials, I tend to vacillate between Boots and Superdrug, but wondered if one store was actually cheaper than the other when it came to packing your everyday essentials. . So I went on a shopping spree to find out what beauty products and toiletries I could get.
I ventured into the stores with a few main things in mind – stick to the basics, buy what you usually visit in those stores, and also buy what most people would consider everyday essentials. With that game plan in mind, I headed to both stores to see what I could find, and it’s quite surprising what you can buy for cheaper prices by sticking to the own-label ranges of the stores. You don’t need to spend money on a few items that will help you feel good about yourself and maintain good hygiene.
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Let’s start with a staple – face wipes. Many women have it in their bathroom cabinets to help get rid of makeup, and it’s something most people have on hand to clean their face.
I managed to get a pack at Boots for £1, and they came in for the same price at Superdrug. Not a bad price for a beauty essential at either department store.
Another staple that I always have on hand – mainly for applying face and eye cleansers – are cotton pads. I managed to pick up a pack for 60p from Boots but got a larger size from Superdrug for £1.99.
I never tend to check the price of these when I pick them up, but it’s probably worth noting how much you get for your money when comparing product sizes at each store.
I hate not having cotton swabs at home because I use them most of the time for my makeup. They’re really useful for removing eye product smudges and perfecting the eye contour when eyeliner or mascara gets in places you don’t want it to be!
A box of 200 in Boots came in at just 89p, which I thought was incredible. Then I bagged a box of 300 in Superdrug for £1.09 so you get more for your money at just 20p more!
If you’re like me, you’ll always have a lip balm in your bag, especially during the summer months. It’s easier for lips to dry out slightly when the weather warms up, but you don’t have to break the bank to keep your lips hydrated.
A Boots lip balm came in at just £1, and Superdrug is offering one for 99p, so with very little difference between them it’s safe to say you can pick up a reasonably priced lip balm.
We’re approaching the time of year when we’ll all start worrying about our smell – yes, it’s warmer! I thought I’d see how cheap the department store name brand deodorants were, so I picked up a box from each store.
You can get one from Boots for just £1, while the Superdrug alternative is a little more expensive at £2.79.
The cost of living is rising, but no woman should worry about the amount of sanitary products that could cost you, and that’s exactly why I included them.
A packet of towels costs just 70p if you opt for Boots’ own range of brands, and at Superdrug I managed to get a slightly larger packet for 85p.
Another staple I have in the closet is nail polish remover, especially during the summer months. Some people may get their nails done regularly, while others may start painting their nails now that flip-flop season is upon us.
Either way, you can get reasonable movers on the high street. A bottle came to £1 at Boots, but the nourishing remover came to £1.99 at Superdrug, so almost double the price difference there.
When talking about nails, I always make sure I have nail files. Not least because you never know when a nail is going to break and you have to quickly find something to soften the sharp edges.
But it’s also good to think about keeping your nails healthy during the summer months, so it’s good to have them in the closet. I bought a pack of 10 from Boots for £1 which is a bargain as they will last me a long time.
They didn’t have multipacks when I visited Superdrug, but I managed to get a slightly larger two-pack that seems to be of good quality. Two nail shapers came in at £1.99 so I think Boots convinced me with this one as far as what I could get for my money.
Stick with me on this one, as I’m going to offer you some valuable razor tips. I picked up a pack of Boots brand razors, and they were 75p for a pack of five double blade razors.
If you want to get rid of body hair, a two blade razor won’t do anything for you unless you have very fine or little hair. You need a fair amount of blades to cut through stubborn hair (believe me I’ve tried most razors) so when I saw these Wilkinson Sword razors were reduced from £4.50 down to 2 £.99 I bought them.
These are great razors and always good to pick them up anywhere when they’re down. To prove it – they came in at £4.49 at Superdrug – so if you’re investing in something for the summer make it a good razor and grab some bargains when you can!
We all need plasters in the closet – they’re just an essential part of everyone’s home kit. I usually go for the clear ones as they are obviously more subdued and look a bit more attractive (like band-aids!)
At Boots I managed to get a pack of 40 for £2, and at Superdrug the same deal came in at £1.99.
It may seem like a curve to some, but I’ve found it incredibly difficult to find certain tights over the past few years. And by some tights – I mean sheer tights, with sheer toes, that you want for special occasions to just add a sheer finish to your legs.
These are the kind of tights you can’t find everywhere – they’re rare – and I usually head to Boots or Superdrug to buy them when I need them.
As expected, there weren’t many people. I managed to buy a two-pack from Boots, which cost £7, but they sometimes have offers, so watch out for those when they pop up.
I was convinced I could buy some from Superdrug as that’s usually my go-to place when they’re out of stock at Boots, but they were out of tights when I visited. There were only winter blacks left on the shelves.
They did however have a set of two pairs of foot socks, which I often wear during the summer, so I compromised and bought those instead. If you haven’t worn them before, they’re really handy during the summer as they keep your shoes from chafing, but are much thinner and more discreet than bulky sports socks.
I often stock these during the summer months, and at Superdrug you can get them for £2.99. At this price, you will get a two-pack.
What did I learn?
Overall, I found that you can indeed buy reasonable products by just sticking to the stores’ own brands. I think I was quite surprised at how expensive some things were at Superdrug when I compared them to the prices at Boots when I got home.
While some products arrived at fairly similar prices, others were significantly different, and I can’t stress the importance of getting the bargains while you can.
If you see products like razors from other brands on offer – buy them while they’re discounted – it’s silly to leave them there when they’re good quality. Other than that, I think it’s safe to say that you can pack your beauty essentials at a great price if you’re willing to look around.
Overall I spent £21.16 at Superdrug and £18.18 at Boots .
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