Here's What Happened When We Put Poundland's New Make-up Range To The Test. And Yes, It's All One Pound

Here's What Happened When We Put Poundland's New Make-up Range To The Test. And Yes, It's All One Pound

    By Stevie Martin Posted on 20 Oct 2014

    Yes Poundland have released a brand-new make-up range called Make Up GALLERY. It hit over a hundred stores yesterday and later this month is set to go nationwide - while I’m no beauty journalist, I know what’s good and what’s shit, so decided to put a sample of this new range to the test. As in the proper test. Will the lipstick survive a snog? Will the liquid eyeliner survive a glass of water to the face? If I wash dishes, will the nail varnish come off? And above all, sure, it might not be akin to the upper range slap, but still – is it worth a pound?

    BTW these vines are not to be viewed while with old people, children or those with heart complaints due to my blotchy no-make-upped face. (‘Oh no you look fine’ etc etc ‘just a bit pale’ blah blah ‘call a priest’).

    Oh, and special shout-out to my mum who helped me film half the vines despite the fact she was a first-time viner.


    Packaging: If you saw this in someone’s make-up bag you would never think it was a quid.

    Review: First up, it’s the big boy. How can a £1 foundation remotely compare to my usual £20 one? Well, even though I’m not willing to swap, this was the biggest surprise of the whole range. I’m very fussy about my skin due to being roughly the colour of a dead person and prone to acne breakouts at around 3pm on a Friday, so a foundation needs to a) blend in and b) stay on. This one (in Ivory) smells nice, has Vitamin E in it and goes on as smoothly as you’d expect something that costs less than a fiver. Once you’ve blended it all over your face, the coverage was… impressive. The tiny little spots forming around my mouth (hey guys, I’m expecting to ride the crimson wave next week) were pretty much covered. Although don’t try to use it as concealer for under your eyes. It clogs up and looks a bit mental. But hey, it’s got UV/UVB filters and it’s a pound. You can’t fail to be impressed by that.

    Bonus vine – 15 minutes later, and after having a glass of water thrown in my face (see below for the liquid eyeliner review), the foundation didn’t budge. I demonstrated this by pressing my face against a hardback copy of Lost Girls by Andrew Pyper minus the paper overlay. It’s a very good book, but look! No marks! AND IT’S A POUND.

    Any good? It’s definitely a budget foundation, but it’s got decent coverage, didn’t look either orangey nor Tipp-Exy, and stayed on after having water thrown on it. Plus it’s got sun protection. Yes, it’s pretty good but I wouldn’t cash in my current £20 one for it because overall it does feel a bit cheap on your face.

    Worth a quid? Weirdly, yes! Stash it in your cupboard for emergencies. Or use it for theatrical make-up, if you’re putting on a panto/doing Halloween and don’t want to waste your normal foundation.

    Lengthening Mascara

    Packaging: Again, this is pretty swish packaging and I don’t care how iconic it is, way better than that pink and green one that everyone goes on about (you know who you are).

    Review: I’m a mascara snob. If I lived my life like my attitude to mascara, I’d only ever drink at the Groucho Club, eat at [insert whatever new, cool restaurant is in central London] and would live in the penthouse suite in Mayfair with a manservant called Reginald. And have lots of friends. My dream life aside, when a mascara says ‘lengthening’, I’m expecting eyelashes that get trapped in doors and have to politely ask for help. Obviously, this doesn’t deliver because it’s a pound and even a £300 version wouldn’t achieve the bounteous lengths I’m after. Also, it took a while for it to fuse to my eyelashes and, when it did, didn’t really make much of a difference. Not bad, exactly, but certainly not something I’d buy.

    Any good? Sort of as expected – not great mascara, but offers some definition. A mascara that’s living in a flat-share and is unemployed but has good chat, you might say.

    Worth a quid? I mean why not? But seriously, this would be fine if you’re 13 and want to buy your first mascara. For anyone else, you can get better lengthening action elsewhere for not much more cash.

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    Kohl Eyeliner

    Packaging: It looks like any other kohl pencil you’ve ever seen in your life.

    Review: I went for brown and can confidently say it’s the same as every other brown kohl eyeliner pencil I’ve ever used in my life. I don’t understand people who spend lots of money on eyeliner pencil because you can’t go wrong unless you end up pencilling around your ears by accident etc.

    Any good? Yes, it’s kohl eyeliner.

    Worth a quid? 100 per cent yes.

    Liquid Liner

    Packaging: Again, nice one guys. You’ve really nailed the packaging here.

    Review: Great pigment, easy-to-use brush, and I managed to draw a normal line on my upper lashes which is more than I can say for some brands. There’s nothing worse than a liquid eyeliner brush that’s too thin. I mean, literally nothing worse. I don’t know why people devote all these column inches to Isis when there are people in the world who cannot draw a straight line, not because of a physical defect in themselves or their technique, but a defect in the brush. Think of the loss of confidence. The lack of catty flicks. Anyway, this eyeliner worked and I’ve stolen it from The Debrief office, which says a lot (sorry everyone). *


    Any good? Yep, it’s got a better brush than the last one I bought for two quid more.

    Worth a quid? Again, 100 per cent yes.

    Lipstick (Dark)

    Packaging: Probably should have gone for an opaque lid, because it looks a bit cheap.

    Review: Ah. Now. I searched long and hard for the perfect dark purpley brown lipstick (Illamasqua, with lipbalm underneath to counteract the dryness FYI) so was pretty intrigued as to what a Poundland version would look like. Unfortunately, you can’t fudge a good lipstick and this feels like actual purple lard on your face. It’s also frosted, which is the wrong elements of the early noughties (as in, way too accurate) and took about four coats to get any sort of colour. Then, when I snogged Ryan Gosling (I’m not even lying, watch the bloody vine), it not only all came off, but it sort of ran off my lips on to my chin. Which isn’t really what you’re looking for in a lipstick.

    Any good? No, sorry.

    Worth a quid? You know what? No.

    Lipstick (Pink)

    Packaging: See above.

    Review: Less ‘Ah.’ and more ‘Aha!’ – this is a great, and really contemporary colour if you like pink lipstick (which I don’t, but I can still appreciate a good shade). Plus it’s matte, which is a relief. And, after kissing my hand – because Ryan Gosling had to go hose himself down thanks to my superlative snogging technique – the lipstick blotted on to my hand and settled as a really nice, softer, colour. Yeah it tastes of nothing, and still feels a bit lardy, but if you want a mega-cheap pink lipstick to mess around with then you can do worse (see above).

    Any good? The colour was good, but it still feels like a stick of lard.

    Worth a quid? Yup.


    Packaging: Looks like lipgloss you’d get in a Christmas cracker and also confusingly called ‘Dare to Bare’, which is odd considering you’re putting lipgloss on. Anyway.

    Review: This is vile. Sorry. Tastes like a robot dreamt of a strawberry then forgot before giving it a go anyway, and feels like you’ve been vommed on by a ghost. A friendly ghost, like Slimer from *Ghostbusters,* but still, it’s not ideal for a cosmetic product. One thing: it didn’t come off when I ate cheese and crackers and drank wine, nor did it stick in my hair, but that’s not really the point. The point is what I said about robots and ghosts, which is exactly the reason I’m not a beauty journalist. Either way, I used to buy mega-cheap lipgloss when I was 13 and it at least tasted of berries. FYI I look happy in the vine because, by this point, I was a bit drunk.

    Any good? No

    Worth a quid? No

    Nail Varnish

    Packaging: Yeah, nice one. Looks proper posh.

    Review: Went on well, didn’t need another coat and I really like the colour range they’ve got going on. Unfortunately, after doing the dishes for 10 minutes, the varnish had chipped a bit on my sponge-scrubbing hand (the right one) but that’s sort of par for the course with any nail varnish. I’ve never found one that doesn’t chip during the dish-washing including a designer one I have that I won’t name here. Also, I got it as a present, I don’t just flounce about buying designer nail varnishes because I’m not The Queen. Anyway, I’m still wearing it two days later and while it’s cheerfully chipped, I can’t see any difference from the mid-range varnishes I usually wear. Well done, Poundland!

    Any good? Just as good as a mid-range nail varnish five times its price.

    Worth a quid? Deffo.


    Packaging: Not bad, certainly not obviously cheap or anything.

    Review: I don’t wear any other colour than the odd bit of brown when I’m smoking it up (ie creating a smokey eye, not inhaling any illegal substances), but opted to try out the silver sparkly shadow because, if the eyeshadows were shit, then this would be the litmus test. How many times has your gran given you a weird brand of silver/gold eyeshadow only to find it doesn’t show up on your eyes? Just me? K. The Poundland one has excellent pigment and would work really well if metallics were your thing; I didn’t even need to wet the brush to get a stronger colour. Same goes for the other ones I tried: brown and rosy pink. I’ve bought more expensive eyeshadows and got way worse results (or rather, my gran has).

    Any good? Yeah!

    Worth a quid: Hell yeah!

    Summary: Poundland have pretty much knocked it out of the park. Bar two major slip-ups (lipgloss and the dark lipstick), the guys behind Make Up GALLERY have delivered really solid basics in a range of cool colours. You might not want to realistically swap your entire make-up bag for these badboys, but if you can get a good liquid eyeliner, kohl pencil and nail varnish for under a fiver, why wouldn’t you?

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    Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

    This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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