I really hate food shopping. The crush in the aisles. The stress of the checkout. The godawful unpacking once home. It truly is one of my least favourite things to do. I do much of my shopping in Aldi these days, and I don’t think this helps any of the problems aforementioned. Our town offers only Waitrose as an alternative, which on a weekday is pretty much a polite and gentle haven of lovely things, but seeing as a basket of lovely Waitrose things generally costs the same as a weekly shop in its German counterpart, Aldi generally wins the day.
I was wandering round, harrumphing to myself earlier this week when I happened upon the make up. The lack of aisles of lovely make up and beauty prods and surprisingly nice supermarket clothing, is, if I’m honest, Aldi’s major downfall as far as I’m concerned, so my eagle eyes spotted it from some distance. Happy to be distracted from the tedium of pork mince and frozen tuna, I subjected the display to a thorough examination and, in the interests of research and indeed, public service, brought a selection of items home. I have been using them for a few days now and feel qualified to pass judgement.
This is a bit of a departure from my usual posts, but, frankly, I think knowing where to find a well-priced, long-lasting mascara is essential to every woman. Certainly more vital than knowing how to make a cheese sauce.
Having been engaged in a search for the perfect mascara for the last 25 years, I was particularly interested to see what a £2.49 Aldi mascara would be like. Answer: not bad at all! There were three types to choose from – I chose the 3D Effect, which seemed to promise the most. I have been using benefit They’re Real! which I like, and gives good volume and length, but I do find it a nuisance to remove. AND it’s £21.
This, I found, gave a more natural result, but lasted well, didn’t smudge (and I have a very smudgy face) and came off easily with face wash. I will use this one and will probably buy another. It seems great as an every day. It’s not my dream mascara – which doesn’t actually seem to exist – but is most definitely comparable with the L’Oréal/Max Factor/No 7 price bracket, which cost 3 or 4 times as much. Verdict: stock up!
I use a lot of Nip+Fab products and was pleased to see the Aldi dupe of these. To be completely fair, I have only used them a couple of times and perhaps haven’t given them chance to make a difference. However, early impressions haven’t blown me away.
I love the citrus smell of the Nip+Fab (approx £13 for 60, but almost always half price/2 for 1 in Boots or Superdrug) and found the synthetic floral fragrance of the Lacura quite off-putting, but of course this is very personal and you might love it. I also found the pads weren’t quite as wet as they needed to be, like the last baby wipe in a pack you find in the bottom of an out of season handbag, even though the pot had just been opened. I’ll carry on using and will update, but so far, even for £2.49, I wouldn’t bother rebuying.
I’ve been quite diligent with face masks since being found somewhat wanting when I had a facial recently. This Lacura charcoal facemask looked a bit fancy in its silver case and for £5.99, was rather pricey for Aldi beautyware. However, I’m rather pleased with this purchase. I have used it twice and, whilst it hasn’t given me skin like my 5 year old daughter’s – my aim with all products – it left my skin feeling pretty smooth and fresh and clear. I applied it thinly – it seemed appropriate?! – and have barely used any, with two applications, so I would expect it to last some time. I don’t think it would be suitable for sensitive skin – it is quite strongly scented with something invigorating and I found it quite tingly whilst it was on and for some time after – but on my oily skin it seemed pretty good. I can see I’d rebuy this, when the Special Buy rolled around again.
These John Frieda dupes aren’t Special Buys – they’re always in store, priced £1.49 – but I had been sniffy about Aldi shampoo after buying one once and the resulting itchy scalp giving me nits panic. (No nits.) Nobody needs that. Anyway, in a moment of gay abandon, I launched these into my trolley and I’m quite glad I did. The smell is pleasant and they left my frizzy hair smooth and fairly well-behaved, after a very thorough rinse. I couldn’t see any significant difference between this and a more expensive version (FrizzEase by John Frieda is £5.99, for comparison). If you want to save £9, I think this could be a painless way to go. There are also Blonde and Brunette versions – now I have some confidence that my scalp won’t punish me for my frugality, I may check out the Blonde next time I go shopping.
It’s hardly a glam post, I know – the aisles of Aldi are no Selfridge’s Beauty Hall – but I DO enjoy a new product, and may approach food shopping with greater enthusiasm in the future. I would absolutely love to hear of any other recommended products – please do leave a comment if you have anything!