Beauty Clinic: Make-up on a budget

Q. I am on a tight budget and wonder if you can advise on good cosmetics with a small price tag?  I like to look good but I can't afford much. A. There are some really fabulous affordable brands, according to X-Factor head make-up artist Julia Carta, who we met at a recent launch for US mineral brand Sheer Cover. (It is good but one snag, which we mentioned to the brand, is that you can currently only buy it online - at  However, if you know and love it already, then you are good to go!)

GOSH Velvet Touch PrimerIn-store brands that Julia rates include Danish beauty steal range GOSH, which is available at Superdrug stores nationwide: we are big fans too, incidentally.  ‘I love GOSH for its extensive choice of products with a wide range of colours and textures that cater for all skin tones.  It’s affordable, high quality and the pigments are strong,’ says Julia. One hero product is the new GOSH Click‘n Conceal concealer: ‘it’s brilliant and can be applied under the eyes to conceal dark circles and brighten the whole eye area, as well as reducing puffiness.’  GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer, was one of the award-winning products in our book Beauty Bible Beauty Steals.  See the range online at

Julia also rates Rimmel highly: ‘again the range is extensive, affordable and there are some real heroes such as the Kate Moss lipsticks and lip pencils, which are long-lasting and will take you anywhere’.  Julia also recommends Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara, ‘which have a fabulous big brush to lengthening and volumising corner to corner’, also their eyeliners, ‘some of the softest I have ever used’.  Find Rimmel at Boots stores and online at

Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep EffectFoundation-wise, if you prefer to see products on the flesh, rather than online, Julia recommends Bourjois.  Again that’s a big favourite of ours.  There’s a wide range, including Bio Detox Organic, fresh and even foundation (just £10), and 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation, from Boots nationwide.  (Remember Bourjois is owned by the same company as Chanel and has access to the same R&D…)

For blushers, both cream and powder, we suggest you explore Maybelline, Max Factor and Bourjois, which all did well when our Beauty Bible Beauty Steals testers trialled them.  All available at Boots in store and online.

For eye shadow, Julia particularly rates MUA MakeUp Academy shadows and palettes:  'Tthey offer a wide range of colours, with great pigment and super long-lasting’.  Again MUA is only available online from so if you prefer to play before buying, try Bourjois.  (Ordering online is great for exploring your options and for second time round, when you know exactly what you want.)

Follow Julia Carta on Twitter (@julia_carta) and watch her on click here

• GOSH Click‘n Conceal concealer/£6.99 at - buy here

• GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer/£7.99 at - buy here

• Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara/£6.99 at - buy here

Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation/£9.99 at - buy here