Words by Maria McKenzie, NoSpringChicken.ie.

I’ve forever been obsessed with beauty. I’m an advertisers dream and have spent thousands and thousands of euro on various products over the years. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows that I’m here to show you exactly what I think is worth the money.

As we face into uncertain times, budgets will be tight for many (myself included). Therefore, it’s good to know where you can save your cash when it comes to some products and only splurge on those that really do work.

It’s so important to only spend what you can afford. However, if you can manage to save a little in the long run and buy one really good active product rather than waste your money on a couple of cheaper ones, all the better. We all spend a fortune on our kids and others when they need it, so a bit of TLC for you is important too! Goodness knows we all need some self-care in these trying times!

Firstly, where to spend your money is in the middle of your routine – i.e. the acids, serums & oils. These products are made to be active and penetrate the skin. Their molecules are smaller and their consistency is runnier. Therefore they penetrate the skin better. Cleansers are there to clean. Moisturisers are there to seal in the hydration.

I’ve included examples of lower/mid-price range and higher price range options for each step of your skincare regimen – so you can choose whatever you can afford. These are all products I’ve personally tried and found to do the job but try do your own research when it comes to active ingredients. Buy what your skin can tolerate and what your bank balance will allow!


Try to use a good oil or balm cleanser that can be used on dry skin and sit on the skin for a few minutes while you brush your teeth to break down grime and makeup.

Always double cleanse – once your cleanser doesn’t contain mineral oil or alcohol it should be sufficient.

Lower/mid-price range:

Higher price range:


The best tend to be more expensive and as we age, we need these more and more.

You can buy cheaper versions to prevent damage if you’re in your 20’s and 30’s but my advice is to try to save a bit for ones with a bit more oomph if you’re of a certain vintage!

Lower/mid-price range:

Higher price range:


This is where we need to spend a bit more because technology costs money!

High performing active ingredients don’t always come cheap. Yes, you can look at a brand such as The Ordinary, but you may need to buy three or four bottles to get everything your skin needs. Plus, you need to balance the amounts yourself and if you’re not confident, then spending that bit more on a high-grade laboratory formulated product makes sense.

Expect to get the most out of your serum. It should meet your concerns whether that be anti-aging, hydration, resurfacing, brightening etc.

Mid/High price range (here’s where to spend):

Facial Oil

Oils are one of my personal favourites, so I like to spend a bit more here. There is a difference between basic oils and ones formulated with specific concerns in mind. Yet again if you’re under 30, it’s all about prevention, so you can go for the lower price option.

Lower/mid-price range:

Higher price range:


Whether it’s daytime or night-time, your moisturiser is there to seal the deal. It will help to lock in hydration and stop your skin from becoming parched throughout the day. Some creams have some ingredients that will do a better job so if you can afford it, then spend that bit more. Otherwise, here is where you can save.

Lower/mid-price range:

Higher price range:

Eye Creams

I use my serums around my eyes so have never really used them. However, two that I did notice a difference with, are both high end so don’t get yourself into debt to buy. However, if you can afford them, they’re really good. I’ve never saw a difference with a cheaper eye cream that couldn’t be achieved with your active serum around your eyes.

Higher price range:

Below is a handy picture to have when you’re wondering how much product you should use? It’s not always as much as you think!

You can find me on Instagram @_nospringchicken for more beauty tips and tricks!