Ask the beauty editor

Save or splurge? Are expensive beauty products always more effective than cheaper brands?

Ask the beauty editor

Words by Sara Niven, Beauty Editor.

I'm often asked if high-end beauty products are worth the outlay, particularly at this time of year when people can feel their skin needs extra help. I've been lucky enough to try out a few very luxurious brands – including a recent product from the new Swiss-made natural skincare range Ananné (www.ananne.co.uk), which is certified by the Vegan Society. Prices start at £18 and go up to £130 for the Nectar Cutis Serum which I sampled. This lightly scented and easily absorbed oil has definitely given my dry skin a boost, but I will be making the most of every last drop as it doesn't fall within my personal beauty budget!
If you do want to invest in something a little more special, I would recommend the Neal's Yard Remedies Frankincense range, which includes an Intense Concentrate at £65, cream at £55 and a newly launched eye cream at £45.
However, I'm not always blown away by pricier products and am often pleasantly surprised by the quality of relatively inexpensive ones. Award-winning vegan-friendly organic company MuLondon's shea butter-based moisturisers are great for dry skin, last ages and are good value at £15 (www.mulondon.com).
If organic isn't a concern and your budget is tight, Superdrug's own beauty range is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and includes a Clearly Youthful Resurfacing Night Serum at just £6.99.
Another to consider is Nspa's Beauty Rituals range, which launched at ASDA last year. I'm currently using their Moisture Boosting Body Butter (£5), and the Skin Glow Mud Mask (£7) is great if you're prone to breakouts.
If budget is a factor, I'd recommend spending more on day and night facial creams and a decent foundation with light-reflecting properties and SPF, and try budget brands for extras such as hand and body creams and other make-up. However, whether you spend £6 or £106, if the products suit your skin type, you can still have an effective beauty routine and see the benefits.

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