Poundland is selling makeup for, well, £1 - but is it any good?

In for a penny...

04 May 2019

Imagine if you could buy your entire makeup bag for under £20? Well, you can, thanks to extensive makeup range, which is priced at precisely £1 per product.

And while the range including everything from foundations, to nail polishes, to powders and eyeshadows, the startlingly low price point begs the question - is it any good?

We put it to the test, reviewing the pigment payoff, longevity, ingredients and usability of the most popular products in the range...

The foundation

First and foremost, the shade selection sucks. At a time where many beauty brands are expanding their shade ranges to above 50, Poundland's range is 8, which seems almost inexcusably low.

If you're lucky enough to be able to find a shade that works for you, you'll find a pretty standard foundation. And I say that in the nicest possible way. The ingredients list consists of common ingredients used in many other of their more premium counterparts. It's a standard formula - the only difference is the price.

There are a few that standout - Vitis Vinifera Leaf Extract (grape seed extract), which is a good source of antioxidants, and Benzophenone (a sunscreen agent that protects against UVB, and some UVA), which are commendable. There are also parabens, surfactants and talc, which are more contentious but not uncommon in the makeup world (chances are, you current makeup collection contains at least one of the three).

Coverage-wise, it's medium and buildable, and it is genuinely long-wearing. The finish is velvety, but my skin became oily by midday (to be fair, it does this no matter what makeup I'm using).

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The powders

I'm generalising here because they all present the same problem - there's no pigment. I was swishing, swatching and even scratching at the powders (blusher, bronzer and eyeshadows) and barely anything was coming off. Even the darker eyeshadows left only a pitiful hint of colour on my skin. Not worth it - even for £1.

The liquid eyeliner

I have to admit, I was hesitant to try this. I have always questioned the sanitation standards of Poundland since the rat incident that hit headlines in 2012, and the thought of putting a Poundland product anywhere near by eye was less than appealing.

Prejudice aside, the liquid eyeliner was impressively precise, leaving a jet black flick in its wake. I would have given it full marks, except after a few hours or wear, it began flaking. Shame.

The nail polish

These polishes are banging. They dry down completely in four minutes flat, come in a wide range of shades including a few glittery finishes, and provide a rich colour that only requires one coat.

Plus, it doesn't contain Dibutyl Phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or camphor - five toxic chemicals that can be found in nail polish. Winning.

Final thoughts...

While I'm overall pretty impressed by the makeup range, I'm struggling to understand how they can sell at such a low price without exploiting something or someone along the production line. If I were to continue to use the range, I would make sure I took a deeper look into it.