The £10 spring makeup challenge: Part 5

If you’re on a budget, but you still want to look good, join me on the spring makeup challenge – I’m looking for the best ways to update my makeup bag without spending more than £10 in total. Tricky? Maybe. Impossible? Definitely not!

Today we’re looking at nail colour, particularly in spring shades: neutrals, pastels, pinks, peaches and corals. One thing I will say is that everything under the £3 mark really benefits from the use of a good quality base and top coat, but there are some great colours out there.

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If you only have £1 to spend, have a look at the MUA nail polish range (1). They’re great for £1, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re dupes for Essie.

NYC does New York Color Minute quick-dry nail shades for £1.79, and Expert Last for £2.49 (2). Nice range of colours, and since they’re part of the same company that owns Sally Hansen and OPI, the formulation is better than you’d expect for the money.

At £1.99, 2true’s Fast Dry colours (3) are good value and they’re surprisingly long lasting too. They’re also included in the long-standing ‘3 for £5’ offer.

Barry M’s Nail Paints are a reasonable £2.99 and the range of fashion colours is wide, but I’d suggest paying the extra quid this season and getting one of their £3.99 Gelly Hi Shine colours (4) – they go on in one or two coats, don’t need a top coat, and have lovely intense colours. I’ve also found them to be very resistant to fading and chipping. They may be a little slow to dry, but that’s a small price to pay.

Avon’s Nailwear Pro+ (5) line is worth a look too, and it’s currently on sale for £2.99.

Also at £2.99 is Boots 17 Lasting Fix (6), available in lots of fun colours.

For a little more, £4.09 to be exact, there’s Maybelline Forever Strong PRO (7). It’s pretty hard wearing, it gets rave reviews, and there are some great shades including a fab new range of nudes, so it’s definitely worth a try.

GOSH also does some rather good Nail Lacquer for £4.99, although the bottles are quite small.

It’s also well worth looking out for discounts on slightly more pricey brands. For example, Sally Hansen products regularly turn up for 99p to £1.99 on the larger cut-price cosmetics websites, and occasionally in pound shops.

My favourite nail colour brand by miles has to be OPI because it’s the best quality and staying power I’ve ever found in a home manicure, but unfortunately it costs a small fortune. If you’re quick, FragranceDirect is selling about 30 different OPI colours for £3.99 each. Check online for beauty blogger swatches before buying as the shades on the FD website aren’t representative. One of the best spring colours they have is Barre My Soul (8), which is a sheer white-beige with a peach undertone. You could also try Care to Danse (white-lilac), My Pointe Exactly (white-grey), or Don’t Touch My Tutu (white jelly).

Do you have any favourite cheap nail colours? What are they?


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