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Beauty on a Budget: Skincare for less

Beauty on a Budget: Skincare for less

You might have seen our Beauty on a Budget: Makeup for less blog in January, and as promised we are bringing you the second instalment to this beauty-bargain series with Beauty on a Budget: Skincare for less!

It’s that awkward time of the year when the weather is up and down making it really confusing for our skin, so why not give it some TLC?

However, TLC doesn’t mean that you need to spend mega money on skincare products. Our digital marketing contributor and beauty fanatic Holly Clemens has been out and about finding dupes of some of the most coveted items in skincare, and in this blog, she talks you through her finds.

Skincare can also be quite confusing and daunting with the number of products on the market, so we also have our team member and beauty guru Ruth Ellen Davis AKA The Beauty Bolt on hand to talk you through each step in the routine!

Ruth Ellen Davis by Venetia Norrington Photography

So, put your hair up in a bun, chop up some cucumber for your eyes, and slip on your slippers as it’s time to relax…


Just like cleanser is step one of any skincare routine, this is where we will begin the blog!

Ruth says: “If you do one thing for your skin, aside from wearing a decent SPF (essential!), then cleanse it. I cleanse once in the morning and twice in the evening using the hot cloth method. Rub a coin-sized amount of cleanser onto dry skin, then wipe away with a warm damp flannel.” 

Photo credits: Liz Earle/ Aldi UK

Lize Earle’s Cleanse and Polish has been a big player in the skincare industry for quite some time now, but I have always shied away from it due to the high-end price.

While on my weekly shop in Aldi I was floored when I saw their Lacura dupe. The box that it comes in (not pictured) is so similar to the Liz Earle cleanser even though the bottles themselves aren’t, so it’s easy not to miss it on the shop floor.

This was the first time I used a hot cloth cleanser, and I have now fully converted. My pores felt so refined and my skin felt so clean and glowy when I woke up the next morning and the tube lasts ages!

Both pictured are 200ml, with Aldi’s dupe coming with 1 cloth and Liz Earle’s coming with 2. For the price difference, you can’t complain!

Aldi is re-stocking their cruelty-free dupe-filled skincare range this month due to popular demand, so get your baskets ready!

If you’d prefer not to use a hot cloth cleanser, Aldi’s Lacura also has a dupe of GLAMGLOW’s charcoal Cream-to-Foam cleanser which is currently available online.

Photo credits: SpaceNK/ Aldi UK

Labelled Mud-to-Foam, Aldi’s charcoal cleanser has a 5-star rating on their website with some calling it ‘by far the best cleanser [they’ve] ever used!’


Ruth says: “I love an exfoliating toner. These contain gentle acids that gobble up dead skin cells, leaving brighter, fresher skin. Some can be used daily; some a couple of times a week. They efficiently exfoliate the skin without the need for an abrasive scrub. SPF is even more essential when using these though.”

Photo credits: Pixi By Petra/ Aldi UK

UK brand Pixi by Petra knocked it out the park with their alcohol-free exfoliating glow tonic, which won big at the Teen Vogue 2017 awards and has since blessed many people with dreamy glowy skin.

*cue Aldi*

So, of course, Aldi had to create a dupe, didn’t they? This excited many people in the beauty industry as they had the realisation that they can get their skincare staple for less, labelling it ‘practically identical.’

As noted previously, Aldi is re-stocking their beauty range this month so keep your eyes peeled for this gem!


Ruth says: “Serums are where you want most of your active ingredients. Your serum goes on after cleansing and exfoliating, and before any moisturiser, SPF or face oil.”

Photo credits: Estée Lauder/ Look Fantastic

When I worked for Estée Lauder I adored their Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum, and I still do because there’s no denying that it’s an amazing product, as Cosmopolitan magazine calls it- it’s ‘pretty much the OG of serums’.

However, it does have a luxury price tag, ranging from £55-£94. Pictured is the 30ml, priced at £55.

Friends of mine have been raving about The Ordinary as an up and coming skincare brand, taking a pared-back approach in the beauty industry but yet rising up the ranks. I’m yet to try it, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about their anti-ageing Retinol Serum 1% in Squalane. What a mouthful?!

With an almost £50 price difference for the same amount of product, it’s definitely worth trying this new little brown bottle. Plus, if you purchase it from Look Fantastic at the moment you get a free gift set worth £13!


Ruth says: “Think of moisturisers as a lovely cashmere blanket for the skin, wrapping everything up. They don’t have to be expensive. My favourite moisturiser is £10. You do need to get one that is right for your skin type – i.e if oily and spot prone, avoid ones with mineral oil and shea butter on the ingredients list.”

Photo credits: Clarins/ Aldi UK

Clarins call their beauty flash balm the ‘ultimate pick-me-up for tired skin’, that ‘instantly moisturises, brightens and tightens facial contours so tired skin looks rested and relaxed,’ and I can vouch that this is 100% accurate and their balm is a vital part of my pre-makeup skincare routine.

But in swooped Aldi (again) with a perfect dupe. This product even looks and smells the same and its performance is incredible. Every time I use it I can’t believe that it is only £2.29. It. Will. Change. Your. Life. So, stay tuned for that re-stock!

This product looks amazing when used before makeup, however it does not contain SPF, so ensure that you use with other beauty products that contain SPF.


Ruth prefers to use exfoliating toners instead of scrubs as they are gentler on the skin, but for those who do prefer the latter, then looking at the below could save you some money with the same fruity scent:

Photo credits: Selfridges/ Boots


Ruth says: “Masks are lovely as and when you have time. Great for tackling specific issues. I love them every now and then because they make me stop for 20 mins!”

Photo credits: GLAMGLOW/ Aldi UK

GLAMGLOW is very well known for its mask products, as they have a mask for every skin concern; clearing, hydrating and firming to name a few. 

The ingredient of charcoal has been a huge trend in recent years, known for its pore-clearing benefits, so no wonder GLAMGLOW’S charcoal clearing mask is a best seller as who doesn’t want clear pores?!

Aldi’s bargain dupe is available on their website for just £5.99, and they also had other dupes from the GLAMGLOW range that are anticipated to be making a comeback.

Eye care

Ruth says: “If you don’t have sensitive or puffiness-prone eyes, you may well find you can take your normal serum and moisturiser over the eye area without causing any issue. Don’t feel you have to spend more on a specific eye product. But you may want your eye product to contain something your face product doesn’t – such as caffiene to help with puffy eyes.”

Photo credit: Nordstrom/ Beauty Bay

The hand-in-hand product to Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum is their eye version, focusing on repairing the sensitive skin around our eyes. 

Ideally, just like their face serum, The Ordinary have an anti-ageing anti-fatigue serum, which again is an absolute bargain and worth a try to save some money.


Photo credits: Creme de La Mer/ Beauty Bay

Although the La Mer cream is specifically for the eyes, and the Mario Badescu is a night cream for the face, beauty-giant Huda Beauty claims that this cream is a great dupe for the Creme de La Mer original even down to the ingredients. If you can get over the specifics you’ll bag yourself a £141.50 saving!

Lip care

Photo credits: Lush/ Primark

Whether you rate them or hate them, Lush has stocked different flavoured lip scrubs for years, and now Primark’s brand PS… has followed suit copying Lush’s branding to a T. Finish off with your favourite lip balm and I guarantee you won’t notice the difference of product performance!


Finally, if we total up all the high-end items we get an expenditure of £419, and if we total up all of the dupes we get £59.54!

What are your thoughts? Are the high-end items worth the investment or are the dupes worth the switch? Let us know your thoughts @theimageconsco!