Best Budget Cruelty-Free Beauty Products with Mrs. Mummypenny
Getting Makeup & Skincare Savvy With The British Financial Guru
In this episode of the Glamour & Gains podcast we had international guest Lynn James aka Mrs Mummypenny on the show. We became friends a few years back when she was in Vegas (after a conversation over shoes-my favorite sparkly Louboutins-in a bar) although she actually lives in England and is the founder of Mrs. Mummypenny, a personal finance lifestyle blog. Lynn is winner of Best Parent & Money Blog 2017, and you might have seen her on ITV and the BBC, or in the Sunday Times or Huffington Post, the list goes on; she’s incredibly accomplished and I love chatting away with her.
Listen to the Glamour & Gains podcast, read the show notes below, or even better, do both. All of the products Lynn mentions are linked below.
So you might be wondering why I had a personal finance expert on the show, well we know that cruelty-free beauty and natural products can be more expensive as they’re not produced cheaply the way many of the brands do in China. Many brands also live off of their name and aren’t so concerned about the quality of their ingredients or environmental impact. So I thought, who better than someone who knows how to manage money and budget. Lynn shared her favorite cruelty-free budget friendly beauty picks that offer the same benefits as the more expensive luxury brands but minus the animal cruelty or hole in your pocket. Lynn gets most of hers from Aldi but since you can only buy them in store in the US Aldi’s (you can shop online at Aldi UK), I’ve linked all of her recommendations via Amazon. Everything here comes in at under $15! I used to be scared of budget buys as you, like me, might assume that because they’re cheap they’re crap. In some cases that can be true but thankfully with these products, that isn't the case!
Lynn has had her blog for 6 years which has been super successful as it hits on a really good niche and is relatable, interesting, and full of valuable advice. I was a podcast on her SG1 Radio Show mrsmummypennytalks if you want to have a listen:
Lynn’s a savvy shopper who loves her beauty and she actually visited me at Dawes Custom Cosmetics Lipstick Lab when she was in Las Vegas to make her custom lipstick. One of the many benefits of custom lipstick is that it may seem like a splurge but it actually ends up being a save as you get exactly what you want the 1st time, for example, you don’t have to buy 10 different reds before finding the right one. Now whenever she wears it she says she’s reminded of Vegas because of the custom scent and fragrance we added. Dawes Custom Cosmetics always wanted to be about the experience and creating memories not just another lipstick company so I love hearing feedback like this.
One of her favorite cruelty-free vegan brands is Kat Von D which I love too (great foundations and mascara) but sometimes these brands can be a little bit out of reach for everyone so Lynn shared with us how to do beauty on a budget and where to save and where to splurge.
Back in the day when she used to work in the corporate world in London she’d spend a small fortune on her makeup and skincare, ridiculous amounts of money on hundreds of the best beauty and skincare products like Bobbi Brown moisturizer and a lot of products that she doesn’t use anymore for various reasons. What she’s been trying to do since she turned self employed, as she had to significantly change her outgoings, (before her blog found the current success she’s having with it) and spending habits and one of the first things she cut was her beauty obsession.
She tried to experiment with some cheaper value brands to see the impact on her skin as we often assume big name luxury brands will be better and it really isn't the case. What she found in general was that with moisturizers, toners and even serums she can get away with using products from Aldi!
They have a beauty brand called Lacura and they do a great day moisturizer which costs around $8 which compared to her old Bobbi Brown moisturizer which costs $60 is a complete steal. Aldi just released it’s Lacura Caviar line $20 which sold out in 7 minutes and has been hailed as a dupe of La Prairie ($575). Watch this space for when it comes back in stock as I’ll post a link, if I don’t beat you to it! TIP: Don’t go to Amazon to try and buy it, some savvy shoppers snapped them up and are reselling it for $99.95, ouch! I’ve linked 2 versions of their anti-aging day cream, one with and one without SPF. Now, I struggled to find a complete list of ingredients but what I did find is that LaCura Q10 is said to be made from plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and innovative substances that are designed to protect and replenish your skin. Made with coenzyme Q10, bioflavonoid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Glycerin (responsible for the hydration brought by the product), Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract and Jojoba Seed Oil.
It’s really nice, it’s cruelty-free, it sits really nicely on the skin, so I’m really happy with that.
But what she has found is that with your face, if you want have some coverage (Lynn has great skin so only wears a little), you have to spend a little bit more on your foundation or at the moment she’s wearing primer mixed with concealer as that’s what Kat Von D recommended. So spending a little more to get your skin looking flawless and looking for products with SPF are worth the investment.
Aldi’s really famous in the UK for creating dupe products (copies of other more expensive brands) even down to making the packaging look the same. Even their mascara is a complete copy of the very famous Benefit mascara but the Aldi version is about 3 pounds ($3.50)...I really need to go shopping with Lynn, she’ll save me a fortune! They’ve also got a YSL Touche Eclat equivilant ‘Lacura Cashmere Concealer Pen’ an under eye concealer that’s 2.99 ($3.77) that she swears is the exact same, as she’s tried both products, and means getting away from YSL that still tests on animals. I did my own digging to find out more and have found really positive reviews with a minimum of 3.6 out of 5 in various ratings, most were 5* ratings so I can’t wait to stock up on this gem. Aldi says:
“lines and fine wrinkles around the eyes are concealed, pigment disorders are covered, surface irregularities of the skin are balanced out…based on high quality ingredients like amino acid, urea and alantonin, reduces dark shadows around the eyes and keeps the sensitive skin in the eye area soft and supple and stops it from drying out.”
The other brand she’s just noticed recently is e.l.f. I love their under eye brightening powder which is about $4 and it works so well and again, they’re totally cruelty-free. She has their contouring palette (which I’m going to have to try, as when they launched in the UK she was invited to their launch party where they threw a load of makeup at her which was her idea of heaven (and mine!).
When it comes to haircare it gets interesting! Lynn kind of has this theory that she’s not sure if it’s just her but that if you change your shampoo and conditioner every time you buy a new product, she thinks it keeps her hair fresh. So every few weeks she tends to change it up as she finds her hair copes better by not getting used to the same products, it appreciates the change up of products. I have to say, I tend to agree, I don't know I don't know enough about hair care but I find the same thing. The only product she’s really loving at the moment, as she’s starting to struggle with going grey and having it done at the hairdressers every 3 months, then coloring it herself in between to fill in the gaps, is as it's getting older and a bit more brittle, is a 3 minute conditioner mask once a week. I even sleep in mine, the more time I can leave it on the better for extra nourishment. It’s another value product that leaves it beautifully soft.