I Only Use Low-Maintenance Makeup, and My Current Routine Only Costs £97

I am far from a makeup lover. While other beauty journalists play with eye shadow palettes, foundations and liners for hours on end in order to refine technique and help narrow down the best formulas around, the very sight of a new makeup product fills me with dread. While I appreciate the wonders of makeup, the sheer volume of products, combined with the fact I'm not very good at applying the stuff, makes me feel totally overwhelmed.

Because of this, my makeup collection consists solely of products that are incredibly easy to use. For the most part, I like to be able to apply my makeup with my hands. In order to achieve glowing, convincing results, such products require clever, unique formulas. And such formulas typically come at a price. As a result, for as long as I can remember, my makeup collection has mostly consisted of high-end, luxury products that have foolproof, creamy, melt-into-skin textures. But in recent months, in a bid to save some cash and make my recommendations more accessible, I have been experimenting with more affordable makeup products to see if they can live up to my high expectations. 

And after many, many months shopping around, I can finally say I've got somewhere. In fact, the majority of the products I find myself reaching for every single day cost less than £15. While my previous daily makeup stash would have cost somewhere around the £500 mark, the collective cost of my current routine comes in at less than £100. 

The formulas are creamy, the products are easy to use and, most importantly, the results look surprisingly high-end. Keep scrolling to discover the 11 products I use every day in my affordable, full-face makeup routine.

1. Primer

Over the years, I have discovered that the key to easy, glowing makeup application is all down to skin prep. Sadly, I find most of the affordable primers out there too thick and sticky. Instead, I prep my skin with a soothing layer of this stuff and apply product straight over the top. It helps to give skin a natural-looking glow that blends perfectly with whatever you put on next.

2. Foundation

I must admit, it's rare that I'll reach for foundation. Most days, I find that a healthy smattering of concealer, combined with a glow-boosting moisturiser, is all I need. However, for times when my skin needs a little more help, this CC Cream is ideal. It packs some impressive coverage and doesn't leave skin looking cakey. Plus, it contains skin-loving ingredients like peptides and niacinamide to give your natural complexion a bit of a treat while it works.

3. Concealer

Some of my favourite concealers cost less than £10, but this one is really special. A great alternative for the cult Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, the finish is slightly more matte, but for £4, it's as close to perfection as you can get. 

4. Powder

This stuff was a recent discovery and I picked it up on a whim. I have never been a big fan of matte-finish powders (I'm all about the glow), but my T-zone can be seriously oily and Nikki Wolff recently told me that glow should be kept to the outside of the face. All of my favourite powders take down oil but keep a bit of glow shining through. They are also eye-wateringly expensive. I spotted this in Boots and thought it was worth a shot. It is definitely heavier than some of my other go-tos, but it doesn't leave skin looking dry and void of moisture.

5. Bronzer

There are few things I love more than matte, powder bronzers that mimic a sun-baked effect. The trouble is that they need to have a certain creaminess to them which means they don't cling to dry patches. This stuff is absolute perfection. A light dusting over the nose, cheekbones and forehead is the ultimate way to inject some life into a tired complexion.

6. Blusher

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If you ask me, a cream blush is an absolute everyday stable. Along with concealer, I wouldn't dream of leaving the house without a dab of blush on my cheeks. This stuff is creamy, glossy and gives a lit-from-within glow that goes totally unrivalled. Trust me, I've tried them all. It is, without a doubt, the best blush out there.

7. Highlight

Trust me, I was as shocked by this formula as you are by seeing it on this list. Missguided beauty doesn't scream out as something I'd be into, but this highlighter has really surprised me. It's lightweight, super-easy to apply thanks to the handy doe-foot applicator and leaves skin looking beautifully radiant. I've been reaching for it every single day.

8. Brows

Finding an affordable product that delivers the laminated brow effect is no mean feat. In fact, there are only a handful of high-end products that do it well themselves. This stuff, however, gives them a run for their money. It quite literally sticks brow hairs in place for the ultimate fluffy finish.

9. Eyes

For days when I want to look a little bit more glam, one swipe of this pretty, shimmery shadow is all it takes.

10. Mascara

If you haven't heard about the wonder that is this mascara, then it's time to listen up. It gives next-level length and adds gradual, buildable volume with each layer. Plus, it gives a lift unlike any other I have ever tried. If you're asking me, it truly is the best mascara out there.

11. Lip

When it comes to lip gloss, I usually opt for luxe brands whose formulas tend to be silky as opposed to tacky. However, this plumping gloss has become a recent favourite. It has a slight tingling sensation to leave lips looking fuller, and the non-sticky finish is perfect for everyday wear.

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