Tried And Tested: 4 High-End Versus 4 Budget Makeup Products

This is my first official blog post as Dollface Magazines new Beauty Blogger! I thought I’d start with a little about me, so you lovely lot get to know me a bit better!

I’m Melanie Brown, a London based makeup artist and beauty junkie! I’m a freelance makeup artist who specialises in Fashion, Beauty and TV. You can read more about me and my work on my website, if you so wish, As you will soon tell I’m obsessed with makeup and a cosmetic product junkie! That being said I thought I’d start my first post sharing some of my insider knowledge on some of my favourite beauty buys. Having tried and tested lots of beauty products, both on myself and clients, I wanted to show you all that sometimes high-end beauty products aren’t always necessarily the best and that there are some amazing budget product dupes out there that are just as good and/or sometimes better than their more expensive counterparts.

I hope to share in the post, where you can save some money, and even sometimes premium beauty products just cannot be beaten for quality.

Mac Paint Pots $18.50 (
Maybeline 24hr ColourTattoo $6.99 (

These are cream colour shadows, which can be worn along as a cream shadow which dries to a crease resistant shadow, or as a cream shadow base, used under eyeshadow as primer for added depth and staying power.

I love using these products as a shadow bases to intensify shadows, and act as a lid primer, especially in summer when makeup has a tough time staying put. Having a combination of both in my professional kit, they both offer outstanding staying power, and live up to there crease free claims  (even used on my own very oily eyelids!), the pigment and colour payoff in both products are great. Maybeline’s consistency is slightly thicker than the Paint pots, however this thickness does not hinder the blendabilty, they both blend beautifully.

Mac’s Paint Pots, come in a range of more neutral shades, whereas Maybeline have a great range of metallic and bolder shades.

Verdict; I have to say Maybelines 24 hr Colour Tattoo are the winners for me, they are amazing pro quality and a mere third of the Mac Paint Pot price!

Makeup Forever HD Foundation 30ml $42.00 (
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation 30ml $8.99 ( /

Both Foundations claim to give a flawless natural coverage with a radiant glow. Both are oil and paraben free. These foundations both live up to claims, giving a really gorgeous natural finish. Rimmels Wake Me Up is of a slightly thicker consistency, which allows you to use less product, whereas MUFE HD is lighter and more buildable, both offer a medium coverage and work with most skin types.

Rimmel has an SPF 15 which is great for everyday wear and protecting your skin, although I’d recommend teaming with a higher SPF moisturiser if you want to protect your skin fully. This does, however, mean this foundation is not suitable for flash photography, as the SPF will give a white flash back on camera. MUFE HD has no SPF protection so is less suitable for everyday wear (unless teaming with an SPF product), but great for professional use when using flash photography. Having used MUFE myself on shoots, I can confirm it photographs beautifully, and looks even better on camera.

For makeup longevity, the MUFE HD wins every time, it’s extremely long lasting, whereas with the Rimmel I find it does not last anywhere near as well, and touch ups would be needed to maintain.

Verdict; Rimmel is a strong contender, and you really do get a lot for your money, the finish is really beautiful. However for MUFE HD wins every time, based on personal and professional use, for longevity and finish it just cannot be beaten. MUFE HD is a heavy weight contender beating most other premium brands I have tried, so Rimmel had a tough job against this, and for a budget brand foundation it really should not be overlooked!

Nars Blush in ‘Orgasm‘ $29.00 (
Sleek Blush in ‘Rose Gold‘ $6.99 (

These blushes are radiant shimmer infused powders, pinky blushes with gold highlights. Nars is slightly more on the pinker side, whilst Sleeks is a more coral hued pink. Nars Orgasm is more finely milled than its bargain counterpart, which means you need to build the colour more than with Sleeks, which with one sweep offers great colour payoff. Sleeks highly pigmented products never fail to amaze me at the price. Nars Orgasm works best on fairer skin Tones, whereas Sleeks Rose Gold works well on most, especially darker/olive toned skin.

My winner is Sleeks Rose Gold, the colour payoff and pigmentation at a snippet of Nars’ price has to be a winner for me!

Benefit’s They’re Real mascara $23.00 (
Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion $13.54 (

The blogging world went crazy at the release of Benefits They’re Real mascara, posting glowing reviews. I think many women find getting the perfect mascara the hardest task. Years of wasted money on mascaras that don’t live up to their claims has left women skeptical of bold claims. However with the beauty industry all singing its praises, and with women now trusting the word of bloggers/beauty writers over company marketing, this mascara had a lot to live up to.

For me I feel like all the hype on They’re Real was a real thorn in its side, and has backlashed a bit, with a whole new wave of reviews stating the product is well over rated. I have used both mascaras, and both offer great lengthening and separation.
With Benefit’s, initial application is great, you do get the lengthening as claimed, however for me the product does go on slightly clumpy, and the curl created by the mascara drops shortly after application. Whereas the Max Factor curls and lengthens lashes without any clumps and the curl to your lashes lasts a lot longer.

Verdict; Max Factor is the clear winner for me, better performance, staying power, and price!

Until next time beauty lovers! M xxx

Melanie Brown


Melanie Brown is a beauty blogger for Dollface! Having studied at the prestigious AOFM in the heart of London, and having assisted various top makeup artists in the industry, Melanie has both the excellent technical and creative skills which have moulded her into a highly sought after and in demand makeup artist!