Student Style: Bargain Beauty Brands at H&H, Penneys and New Look

By | May 14 2010 | 23 Comments

budget buys from H&M and Penneys

It seems to me that everyone and his mother is sporting an in-store makeup range these days. Now, far be it from me to wonder what gives a boots, blouse and bra merchant any expertise for expansion into the cosmetics field, but I generally write off shop-brand makeup as, eh, crap. Still, my penchant for new, cheap finds spurred me on to see if my instinct was on the money.


Disappointingly, their lip glosses are of that annoying brush-on, as opposed to sponge-on, variety, and are reminiscent of the sticky, gloopy mess of teenage discos. Avoid like the plague is my advice; ditto the eyeliners. My absolute star find, however, was a delish eyeshadow in a sandy, khaki gold, with a light shimmer. It is divine. They stock some handy makeup bags too, from €3 to €8.

New Look

Let me register, straight off the bat, my surprise here; I honestly was not expecting to be impressed with my New Look swag. While Stargazer isn’t an exclusive-to-New Look-brand, it would seem I’m going through a bit of an aqua phase, so the Stargazer kohl pencil in number 29, €2.80, is my latest fix. It’s a tad too firm to really be a kohl; I suggest warming it up between your hands before applying to prevent any possible scratchiness. The absolute winner for me is the metallic, acidic eyeshadow in Envy Green, €4.90. A primer is absoLUTEly needed, but it is dynamite!


Surprise surprise – Penneys enters the mix with a stellar eyebrow kit, €4 … and a not so stellar set of four nail polishes, Beauty Babes, €2.50. Although I proclaim to love all my children equally, my Benefit Brows A-Go-Go kit is usually top of the pile – and I have to say that Take A Brow matches it. I’d throw out the tweezers and stencil, mind.

The nail polishes come in a peach, magenta, icing pink and lavender – all of which need approximately seven million coats, each coat taking the lifespan of an ITV mini-series to dry. Results were chip-free for a week, though.

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23 Replies to "Student Style: Bargain Beauty Brands at H&H, Penneys and New Look"

  • Aphrodite says:

    Great post! I’ve found myself buying a few Stargazer bits and pieces – though agree you absolutely need to use primer with everything and preferably hairspray to glue it in place!

  • alchemystee says:

    Love this post :)

    Orlando – do you remember the name of this lovely H&M eyeshadow??

  • sevda says:

    I have a H&M eyeshawdow in silver and so far it’s great.

  • SJ says:

    I like those h&m lipglosses with the brushes ..

  • Scarie says:

    I’ve heard that the penneys primer is fantastic, like benefit that gal. Also I think the Penneys make up is only in bigger branches, havent seen in Longford anyway :(

  • BerG says:

    Have to make a trip to Penneys later so will check out the brow gismo.

  • Macloon says:

    I quite like the tweezers and the stencils! I have fairly sparse brows naturally so the stencil was handy

    The wax stuff is crap though.

    Essence do a brilliant brow kit. It’s teeny so it fits in the handbag too.

  • Orlando says:

    Alchemystee – I searched far and wide along the packaging and couldn’t for the life of me find a name! It’s simply the very basic single eyeshadow, not the naff little strangely-shaped pots of glitter.

    Macloon – I’m a bit partial to the bigger brow myself so I just couldn’t rock the stencil – and I loved the wax! Spose that’s the great thing about the kit being so big, you can mix and match :)

    SJ- :lol: each to one’s own, of course! :lol:

  • Tigerlily says:

    Hmm will have to check out that brow kit – I had a quick glance but was a bit nonplussed. Will have a proper looksee this weekend.

    Scarie -the primer from Penneys is good – but, now I dunno if its just mine, but theres a strange vein of red cream running through it. In that when you put it on your skin theres a very tiny red line in the product. very weird

  • Kirstie says:

    went into penneys yest to pick up that kit for orlando’s piece so I could shoot it and came out with about 56 other things, loads of the stuff is really nice! It’s all gone down in a parcel to Cork for her to have a gander, so we might see some reviews soon!

  • Alethea says:

    I think that penny’s has some makeup gems. I recently got a blusher/bronzer duo that is a dead ringer for Benefit perfect 10, with the exception that is has more shimmer in it for 50c!! The normal price is 3.50 euro, but they were having a clearance sale to make room for new stock-I was very pleased with it :-)

  • Sinead says:

    Havent tried any of the Pennys stuff yet,but they are definately ripping off benefits packaging!!!

  • sweetie says:

    H&M nail polishes are not too shabby :D

  • Amy says:

    Picked up a bottle of H&M nail polish yesterday evening in a lovely coral shade. It went on so well and so far no chips (i’m very hard on my hands) Only thing is the colour in the bottle looked a bit difference when applied. But it’s brill and a bargarin a €4.90.

  • trina says:

    Pennys also have a smoky eyes kit I got it last week, ok the brushes are cheap, but its actually quite good, the shadows blended well, and did not crease or fall off my eyes all night! It definitely matches the benefit one I think, it has a guide to smoky eyes for those unused to it. All for €4! I would only have 2 recommendations with ut – warm up the eyeliner its teeny bit hard, and use your own makeup brushes!

    They also have a new tan in a little box, 2 shades, its quite nice. I am loving that they are a cheaper version of Benefit :)

  • Macloon says:

    Penney’s kabuki brush yokes are brilliant. I must have six of them. I’ve been using them for a while for blusher and bronzer however today for the first time EVER I applied my MAC studio sculpt foundation with the brush.

    Up to today I always applied it with my fingers however I wasn’t happy with how the foundation was sitting on my skin – it just looked patchy and obvious.

    So – seeing as so many people on here bang on about the Mac 187 and foundation brushes giving an airbrushed look – I tried applying the studio sculpt with the Penney’s kabuki brush.

    WOW!!!!!!!! is all I can say.

    It’s actually like a different foundation. It’s flawless, yet really natural looking. I’m converted.

  • Orlando says:

    Kirstie – EEEEK!! Did not know that! Jeez, you have me spoiled!

    Trina, Amy & Sinead – TOTES agree… :lol:

    Macloon – must give one of them a whack…it’s hard work *sigh* :P

  • Sinead says:

    I was curious after reading this post today so I bought the Bronzer Duo,The Kabuki Brush and the fatal retraction eyeliner.
    Didnt actually use the kabuki brush yet but it feels soooooo soft!!!

    The eyeliner is only okay,its a shade called ‘steely blue’,the main reason I bought it though, was because it has one of those smudge brushes on the other end of it….not bad for 50c.The Bronzer Duo is packaged in a similar way to Benefit’s dallas blush except there are only two colours…one is kind of dark but it’s good for me to use to define my non existant cheek bones and the lighter colour is nice too…shimmery.
    I dont know if they will last long though as i’ve only applied it now!!

  • Gemma says:

    H&M eyelash curlers are the best I’ve ever used!

  • SugarAndSpice says:

    Orlando, what primer would you use for the eyeshadow?? My eyeliner and eyeshadow is always coming off on nights out so I could do with a decent primer!!

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