Fashion

Best beauty under $20

Give your makeup bag a makeover without breaking the bank

Looking to update your makeup bag, hair-care collection or skin-care regime for spring?
Don’t want to spend a lot of money?
You’ve come to the right place. Read on to find the five best new beauty buys for less than $20.

Best no-fuss eye colour:
Clarins Soft Cream Eye Colour Long-Lasting, $19
Forget about blending colours and contouring creases. This spring, nothing is as fresh as a wash of a single shade over your lids – and nothing is easier to apply than Clarins Soft Cream Eye Colour Long-Lasting, $19. The light, creamy formula glides on smoothly and will last from your morning meeting until well after the kids are in bed. Choose from six luminous shades, including tried-and-true neutrals (wheat and chestnut) and pale pastels (pale pink and violet). All you need is a fingertip, a light touch and you’re done.

Best just-right lipstick:
Red Earth Secret Garden Helix Silky Lipstick, $18
Ever wish you could change your lipstick colour midday without toting around more than one tube? Then Red Earth’s Secret Garden Helix Silky Lipstick, $18, is what you’ve been waiting for. Roll up the stick and you’ll find two complementary colours (such as a light and a dark pink) swirled together. One swipe and you’ll get an even blend of the two colours; use a specific side or angle and make it lighter or darker. Choose from Bubblegum Pink, Butter Toffee and Raspberry Ripple (shown here).

Best one-step hair styler:
Joico Ice Gripper Spray Wax, 5.1 oz/$15
When it comes to your hair, do you have the time (or the patience) for multiple styling products? Didn’t think so. If you want something that gives it all – texture, shine and a soft hold – then Joico Ice Gripper Spray Wax, 5.1 oz/$15, may become your new best friend. This alcohol-free hybrid combines the convenience and grip of a liquid spray with the versatile styling options of a wax, all in one handy bottle. The result: hair that is defined and shiny without being weighed down. Joico Gripper is available at fine salons.

Best cleanser for hard-to-treat skin:
Evian Affinity Remineralising Cleansing Cream, 200 mL/$16
If you have dry sensitive skin, you know the frustrating catch-22 of treating it: dry skin desperately needs moisture, but sensitive skin reacts easily to many ingredients. Evian Affinity Remineralising Cleansing Cream, 200 mL/$16, ends the cycle of abuse with a gentle cleanser of pure Evian water and minerals such as magnesium, copper and zinc. The milky formula is tough enough to remove eye makeup – yes, even waterproof mascara – but leaves skin nourished and soothed: two words that dry- and sensitive-skin sufferers love to hear.

Best hair-colour enhancers:
Pantene Pro-V Expressions shampoos 384 mL/$10 and conditioners, 400 mL/$10
We all want shiny, richly coloured hair, but there are so many things that leave tresses dull and damaged: mechanical tools (your brush); thermal tools (your trusty hair dryer); chemical damage (perms, hair dyes and relaxers); and finally, environmental damage (the sun). Since the chances of you throwing your comb away and going on strike against your flat iron are slim, invest in a shampoo and conditioner that are specially made to enhance the depth of your colour, while keeping hair healthy. Available in five shades, from light blond to dark red, Pantene Pro-V Expressions shampoos, 384 mL/$10, and conditioners, 400 mL/$10 (shown here in Brunette), are packed with natural extracts that restore your hair’s strength while bringing out its natural (or not-so-natural) colour.