Being a full time student can leave my bank account pretty low, meaning limited spending is afforded to beauty products. So for any money-concerned student, purchasing products that don’t do what they promise to do can be the most infuriating thing. Rather then believing exactly what the brand has to tell you, we here at The Sphinx have tried and tested some popular items that we see frequently advertised, but also a selection of secret products that might just surprise you for all the good reasons. Over the past three to four months my flatmate and I have been spending the cash on some pretty impressive but also some rather disappointing beauty items. We wanted to give all products a reasonable amount of time in order to see how much of a difference it had made- just to make sure it worth whatever you lovely lot decide to spend.

My top product has to be Hairburst shampoo and conditioner. I am almost positive that you have heard, seen or have it sitting in your bathroom right now. I was slightly skeptical about buying this product as I didn’t want to listen to the hype and give into something that only leaves your hair smelling good. But I can honestly say that my hair has never felt so strong even my hairdresser noticed the difference when I last got my hair cut. I wouldn’t say it has made it any thicker but it has 100% grown very quickly and the damage I normally would cause it from heat appliances such as straighteners is not as noticeable as before. And it really does leave your hair smelling fresh and fruity.

I have tried hundreds of masks in order to help balance my skin, make it clearer from spots and break outs and give it a healthy glow. But with the average mask costing three to four pounds, this can’t just be a wing it sort of decision. From trying and testing what has felt like hundreds of different masks, brands and price ranges I have found the best option is to go with a pot where there is multiple uses out of it. I was hooked on the idea of a single mask or sheet masks but these can only be used once which means more money needs to be spent! So, if I was you I’d invest in the L’Oreal Pure Clay mask. I have been using this since early January and can honestly say it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft.

Essie is my favourite nail varnish brand and it has never failed me since I started using it in November 2017. Although its a little more pricey then the other brands, it’s definitely worth spending a little more on this one. There’s plenty of beautiful colours so you will always find the right one.

I have tried numerous foundations for years, but still struggled to find the right shade, texture and consistency that would work with my skin. I found my skin either looking very oily/shiny, dry and flaky or no coverage for my breakouts at all. I had also grown tired of putting heavy amounts of make up on my face so that it couldn’t breathe which would cause even more spots that I could do nothing about. It was a vicious make up circle I found myself  in. I had tried BB creams once or twice before as a substitute in order to avoid that heavy coverage that I didn’t feel was me. But I still remained unlucky with no BB cream helping my skin look even and bright. Well… that was until I discovered Number 7 BB Cream. I have used this product from the beginning of summer 2017 and have not changed it since. There are three shades so it has its limitations, but because it is a BB cream it works differently from a foundation. It doesn’t need to be an exact match because it works as a tinted moisturiser. This option is perfect if you are not into wearing lots of make up or if you just want a light coverage. I tend to wear this on a daily basis and my skin doesn’t react badly in the way it does when I wear other brands or types of foundations.

Everyone loves to have a sun kissed tanned look throughout the year but no one wants a streaky patchy cheesy puff look. So I avoided using tanning lotions/oil/creams because the ones I tried never seemed to work. However, Christmas-time last year I had grown tired of missing that summer glow and decided to give a tanning mouse a go, I went for Bondi Sands. Although I was dubious on the first application, I found once you got use to the consistency and properly massaged the mousse into the skin it left a light even tan.

This has got to be the simplest but most useful product I have found on the market at the moment. Tangle Teezer is a type of hairbrush/comb; it’s the perfect item to untangle my crazy curly locks. I’ve not been blessed with soft flowing hair that doesn’t get hundreds of little knots every time its washed. Rather, my hair gets in a bit of a mess to say the least and brushing through it is a fight. Well, this all stopped when I purchased the Tangle Teezer. The bristles are made from a rubber-like material so instead of it ripping through your hair, it eases knots out gently.

I’ve given you all my favourite products to help form the beauty guide, but I also wanted another perspective from my housemate who has got very different skin, hair and nails to me. We both agreed on lots of items that over the years before we met at uni have been our beauty saviours and disasters. But one thing is for sure, every one is unique therefore certain brands and products may work for you and not someone else. Its a tricky field to figure out but we hope reading about our experiences, problems and solutions will help Sphinx readers with their beauty dilemmas.

The Body Shop Tea tree range has worked absolute wonders for my housemate Lucy’s skin. Everyone has different skin types and it can take time to find what works for you but I could not get a better recommendation for this particular brand and choice of product. As her housemate, I see her extensive skin routine day and night and I have to admit she is very loyal to this skin range. She explained to me how it helps to control the amount of break outs that happen to her skin. It also helps to leave the skin soft and is not a harsh product for those with sensitive skin.

Everyone knows the pain of trying to find a good quality but reasonably priced concealer and I think Lucy’s saved us the hassle. Collection Lasting Perfection concealer is definitely one to try for the summer months, keeping your make-up in place and looking stunning.

Lucy’s top secret to deal with frustrating break outs that can leaves marks on the skin is the magic of Bio oil. I didn’t believe what this little beauty could do but it does make a massive difference. I have a small scar on my stomach which has annoyed me for ages, especially during summer months, so I decided to give this a try. I started using it in January 2018 and it has slowly faded the scar. Admittedly, I was expecting it have disappeared but in all truthfulness it has made a difference. My housemate tends to use it on her face as part of her skin care routine. She will apply it before using moisturiser. Don’t panic- it is very oily and can feel slightly odd at first, but hopefully this will be your salvation just like Lucy’s.

As a self-confessed make-up lover with endless boxes of products, Lucy really is your best person to listen to on the highlighter advice. The Jeffree Star Skin Frost in Ice Cold is her favourite to date. The white icy shade makes the highlighter pop against Lucy’s pale skin. It’s a more expensive option, but it is good value as you only need a little to get that perfect striking glow.

Hopefully, this will give you some guidance on what beauty products to invest in and tips on what we saw really made a difference to our beauty routine. Look out for our next edition where we’ll be testing even more of this year’s favourite products and get to know whether they really keep their beauty promises…