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Today we're doing a bit of a whistle-stop tour of Primark Beauty, from makeup to body to hair to skincare (of course!) Obviously, these products are only available in-store and there aren't INCI lists online, so definitely check that out in person to make sure the ingredients are right for your skin. This post is more meant to be like a 'next time you're passing by, look out for this one', it's kind of the only way I can reasonably review products that you can't research online before buying. Let's get into it...

The first range I tried from Primark Beauty was their collaboration with Alex Steinherr and I still rate it, particularly the Maximum Moisturise line. The Maximum Moisture Moisture-Locking Everyday Moisturiser* | £5. This is a product I can use AM or PM; it moisturises and softens the skin without feeling remotely heavy, melting effortlessly into my skin. It's formulated with glycerin and hyaluronic acid (water-attracting humectants), moisturising and replenishing fatty alcohol, squalane (a skin-mimicking plant oil), a couple of peptides (which could have some well-ageing benefits), a Vitamin E derivative as an antioxidant, plus soothing ingredients like allantoin and Sodium PCA. Yes, it's simple, it's not flashy, but it works! And I actually think it would work for a pretty decent range of skin types. 

I also wanted to mention the Maximum Moisture Milky Softening Lotion* | £5 | which is almost like a K-beauty or a J-beauty product. It's weightier than a toner and really does soften the skin and add a welcome extra layer of moisturising hydration. Like the moisturiser, it's fragrance-free and ingredients include lactic acid (it's an AHA exfoliant but in low concentration, it actually has impressive hydration benefits), we have the peptides again and also centella asiatica (or cica) - a skin-soothing botanical often found in Korean skincare. Finally, I have to shout out the Sleep Spa Overnight Lip Mask | £4. This reminds me so much of the Laneige formula, but I actually prefer this a little because it comes in a tube, which I just find easier, so it's a kind of thick pink gel-oil. Apply it before bed for soft, smooth, happy lips in the morning!

P.S. Creamy Cleanser with Vitamin E & Organic Rose | £2. I was honestly a bit disappointed in this as I was expecting it to be more like a hot cloth cleanser that would be nice for removing makeup at the end of the day, however it's more like a melting, foaming cleanser. It can be worked into a decently-rich lather and it's not a bad option as a one-step solution to get your sunscreen off at the end of the day. Thanks to the moisturising ingredients, I don't find this stripping, it just depends on your preference. The rose scent does add a touch of the luxury to this very budget-friendly product, though,. Also from the P.S. line, we have the Future's Bright Featherweight Gel Moisturiser* | £3. This is a humectant-based formula that also contains fruit extracts, which give it a bit of a scent (so avoid it if that's not your thing). It's very light (as you'd expect from the name!) so it's not one I'd wear on my skin at this time of year but it is hydrating and it does give my skin a fresh glow. During the summer, you could easily cleanse, use this and then slap on your sunscreen in the morning and be good to go; it's breathable but does work as a hydrating moisturiser. It's not as good as the Alex Steinherr formula for me, but if you have oilier or younger skin, it's worth checking this out for £3!

Lastly for the P.S. skincare line: let's talk about the Retinol Booster Serum* | £3.50 | because this was a pleasant surprise for me! Retinoids as a category (which retinol comes under), of course, are all-star class of topicals. This is the only group of ingredients that we know stimulate collagen production in the skin, but they can also be great for acne and the resultant scarring. You use it at night and apply your sunscreen the next day and starting low and going slow is really important whilst your skin acclimatises to it (the retinisation period can lead to dry, peeling skin). With all that in mind, this is a 0.5% retinoid complex in an oil base. That means 0.5% of this formula is retinol + other stuff, and we don't know the exacts of that. For all we know, it could be 0.05% retinol and then a bunch of moisturising ingredients, so that's important to understand. I did observe a mild smoothing effect whilst using this product and it was very skin-softening and moisturising. It's not a game-changer but if you've never used retinol before this is a budget-friendly way to start the process of getting your skin used to it. I've been using this on my neck and it's been great and not irritated the sensitive skin there at all.

Let's transition from skincare to makeup with two primers from the P.S line. The first I tried was the CBD Primer* | £4 | which also contains Vitamin E, jojoba oil and aloe, so this is moisturising and may possibly have some soothing, anti-redness benefits. I'm personally of the mind that this sort of primer isn't necessary if you have a good skincare routine, but I did enjoy using this and how moisturising and softening it felt. It also left that nice bit of tackiness that makeup grips onto. So, if you're someone who likes this type of primer: it's a good one to check out. I didn't get on so well with the Primed for Life Probiotic Priming Mist* | £3.50. I do like probiotics (an inert form of good bacteria for this skin) but honestly would prefer to get them via a different step in my routine (my moisturiser, serum, toner or even cleanser). The formula itself was just a bit wet and the spray a bit heavy and I didn't see any benefits when I applied makeup over it, so this is a pass from me.

Onto complexion. I picked up the P.S. Pro Longwear Natural Luminous Serum Foundation (222) | £6. This just wasn't the right shade for me (it was too light) so I can't comment too much on it, because it's hard to see past that! This had a satin finish and a good medium coverage but I couldn't wear it long enough to judge longevity. I guess the whole 'no testers because of COVID' thing doesn't help, but I personally found the numbering system a little confusing and the fact they aren't named beyond providing the undertone means you can't even make a stab at 'deep rich' or 'medium golden' or 'fair peach' and so on. However, I did enjoy the P.S. Pro Brightening Radiant Under Eye Concealer (312) | £3.50. The shade-matching was easier due to the clear, non-frosted tube but I'd say this is my skin tone so if I was buying it again I'd go a shade lighter to get that under-eye brightening effect. However, I actually really rated this! It has a nice fluid texture that blends easily under the eyes with a dense little brush or a damp sponge. It gives a medium coverage that's substantial but doesn't look unnatural. This doesn't crease when set with a little powder and it doesn't fade throughout the day or look dry. It gets a thumbs up from me!

Rounding out the complexion category, I also tried the P.S. Skin Conditioning Blurred Out Skin Conditioning Blurring Powder | £3.50. Before testing this out I’d been using the Hourglass loose translucent setting powder and this actually isn’t that dissimilar in how finely milled it is! I was so impressed! Yes, obviously this is a small pot in comparison but it's actually quite a long slog to finish a setting powder, so I really don't mind. This definitely has a bit of a blurring effect, and I'd say it's slightly more matte than the Hourglass formula I'd been used to but it's still not too flat or dry. I personally think this is a great powder and I prefer it to anything I've found at the drugstore in recent years.

I also enjoyed the P.S. 3-in-1 Brow Pencil | £2. I have no idea what the full shade range is but this is a dark brown. I'm not entirely sure how it's 3-in-1 as opposed to 2-in-1 either (unless I'm missing something, which is totally possible...), but this has a brow pencil end and a tinted gel end. This is that kind of thick, angled brow pencil I'm sure you've used before, and again it's a little reminiscent of the Arch product that Hourglass does. It creates a fairly bold look, but it still feels quite controlled. The tinted gel is quite natural too and gives a gentle hold to the brows. I'd personally have preferred if it was clear, but that's personal preference. My only negative is that the shade is a tad warmer than I'd normally go for, but that won't prevent me finishing this product up.

I have one body product, so let's talk about it! Well, it's more of a multi-oil, actually. The P.S. Sheer Glow Strengthen And Condition Hair And Body Oil* | £3.50 | contains lots of fatty and nourishing oils and is a small, handy product to travel with. I personally love a body oil on my very dry skin and my hair is always craving moisture. This has a really nice texture that absorbs into the skin nicely without having a greasy feel and it nourishes my hair but doesn't weigh it down. I wouldn't say it's a standout product; it's decent, I'll use it up but it's probably not exciting enough for me to repurchase.

Then I have a few hair bits. I won't dwell too long on the Andrew Fitzsimons Repair Replenishing Shampoo* and Conditioner* | £4 each | because they just weren't enough for my hair and I didn't feel they really softened or moisturised things as much as I wanted them to based on the name of this line. I also tried the Luxe Hair Oil* | £3.50 | from this line, but to me this felt like a serum as opposed to an oil. It did soften, smooth and moisturise but it's more something I'd recommend for someone who wants this but has a finer hair type they don't want to overload. I did have better luck with the Repair Hair Mask* | £3.50 | from this line, though. Although it was a little lighter and more fluffy than the hair masks I usually go for, I do feel it added that soft silkiness that was missing with the other products.

The other hit from this line was the Fresh Dry Shampoo* | £2.50. If you come here often, you probably know that I suffer with a dry, irritated and often itchy scalp. This means that I have to be very careful with dry shampoos that can cause sensitising buildup at the roots and make everything 10 times worse. This one doesn't irritate my scalp and has a very fine mist with none of that unpleasant talc-y feeling! It refreshes the hair so you can stretch out our last wash for that one more day you need to but also adds a nice bit of volume. Absolutely fantastic for £2.50 and blows most of the popular drugstore products out of the water.

So, if you find yourself killing some time in or passing through the Primark Beauty section, the products I think are well worth keeping an eye out for are: the three Alex Steinherr products, the retinol serum (oil), the concealer, the powder and the dry shampoo. Whilst some of the other products were fine, the aim of Affordable Beauty Month isn't to shrug and say 'well it's not bad for the price', it's to nail down what's great irrespective of price. This is the shortlist of products that meet this threshold and I recommend keeping an eye out for if you pass through Primark!

Have you tried Primark Beauty?

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