If you’ve ever walked down the aisles of Aldi and dismissed the beauty lines without a second thought, we’d highly encourage you to reconsider. Although the low prices and lookalike packaging appear to be too good to be true at first glance, Aldi beauty products have become big business for the store – and for good reason.
According to trade title The Grocer, Aldi has racked up double-digit value sales gains in the beauty category – thanks, mostly, to its ever-growing Lacura range. The figures show that there’s been a 14.1 per cent increase in Aldi’s beauty value sales – more than any other discount retailer, and ahead of Boots and Superdrug too.
As for why? Well, more often than not, Aldi’s beauty dupes do actually live up to the hype – not just in terms of the dangerously close copies of popular branding, but with the formulas and ingredients lying inside the containers as well.
SpecialBuys come and go, but some core lines are available all year round. So, which products should you be picking up on your next supermarket shop?
Aldi eyeshadow palette
Urban Decay’s Naked range are probably the most famous series of eyeshadow palettes in the world – and even the Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly a fan. Perhaps she could consider switching to Aldi’s version, which although smaller, contains similar universally-flattering nude shades. There’s also Essentials, a take on Naked Basics, and a smokier Nuit version.
Aldi says: ‘The ideal item to have in your make-up collection, this contains 12 neutrally toned eye-shadows that’ll work with all skin tones. With textures that include shimmer, matt and satin this has everything you could need, including a dual-headed brush and mirror inside the box’s interior.’
The bottle may be squarer around the edges, but the formulas of Aldi’s liquid illuminator and Instagram’s highlight of choice, Iconic, might just be on par. Choose from three shades: Champagne, Bronze or Halo.
Aldi says: ‘This stunning, shimmering, liquid illuminator is infused with light-reflecting particles to give you a radiant complexion.’
Rely on Smashbox’s much-loved Photo Finish primer to keep your make-up in place all day? Aldi’s oil-free alternative is infused with vitamin A and E, plus grapeseed extract, claims to offer similar benefits.
Aldi says: ‘Get your skin looking picture perfect with this clear primer. Whether you’re using this alone or under make-up your selfies will never be the same again!’
Aldi setting powder
Another matte miracle worker, there’s a reason why thousands of us buy a tub of Laura Mercier’s product each year – but Aldi’s is one sixth of the price. The finely-milled powder is designer to absorb excess oils, blur fine lines and set your make-up all day.
Aldi says: ‘A lightweight powder that blends effortlessly for a natural, flawless look. Set your make-up for the day and you’ll look stunning right up until the evening. Create a look that lasts with the addition of this setting powder to your make-up collection.’
There’s no doubt that Benefit They’re Real! gives us amazingly long lashes, but Aldi’s lookalike Too Legit apparently does the same for much less. Maximum volume, curl and flutter for £6? We might just be sold…
Aldi says: ‘The first thing everyone notices about you will be your eyes with this brilliant mascara. Long-lasting, this make up essential will make sure your eyes pop by adding curl, definition and dramatic length and volume to your lashes. Perfect for everyday or evenings out, this will soon become your new go-to item.’
The reviews say: ‘I have purchased 4 of these mascaras. They are the exact same as Benefit’s at a fraction of the price. Lasts all day and gives incredible length! Highly recommend!’
Aldi booty balm
A cult beauty favourite, the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is an icon on the internet thanks to its firming properties from the inclusion of Guaraná, a native Amazonian plant whose fruit contains one of the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet. Aldi’s version doesn’t contain the wonder fruit, but apparently offers comparable results in its equally colourful tub.
Aldi says: ‘Firm skin and add glow with this luxurious Lacura Booty Balm. With a summery fragrance, this is a great easy way to get summer body ready. Whether your day takes you to the beach or the park, make sure you are always dressed for the occasion when you have this in your cosmetic collection.’
The reviews say: ‘What can I say? I smell fantastic, and my skin feels amazing. Especially those lumpy, bumpy bits that you get after winter. I’ve bought two more. I don’t want to run out. Ever.’
Aldi pink clay mask
When Aldi first dropped this Sand & Sky dupe last year, it sold out fast. Now for 2019 the store is bringing it back, along with a pink clay hot cloth cleanser (£3.99) and pink clay exfoliator (£2.99).
Aldi says: ‘Created to reduce the appearance of imperfections, this Pink Clay Mask is the ideal addition to your beauty regime. This mask is sure to detoxify your skin, leaving you feeling fresh and new and your skin looking clearer and brighter.’
The reviews say:‘This face mask is almost identical to the luxury brand. It smells and feels amazing on my skin and the brush was fab quality too. Will be buying more for prezzies for friends. Highly recommended.’
Aldi night cream
Dupe for: Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, £384, La Prairie
One of the first products to put Aldi on the beauty map, Lacura’s night cream brings you the benefits of caviar extract, as well as a generous dose of hyaluronic acid, without the high-end price tag. If you already know and love this tub, try the Day Cream, which also retails for £6.99.
Aldi says: ‘With its anti-ageing formula, you can be sure that you are looking your best as this rich cream helps regenerate skin during the night.’
The reviews say: ‘I absolutely love this cream! I normally buy top brand face cream but thought I’d give this a try as I was fast running out of my normal cream, well wow! I wish I’d tried this years ago!’
Aldi hot cloth cleanser
The cult Liz Earle cleanser loved by stars like Holly Willoughby won’t break the bank – but Aldi’s alternative will save you even more. The outside might not look like a direct match, but devotees to the original say what’s inside is just as good.
Aldi says: ‘Harnessing the powers of rosemary, cocoa butter, chamomile and eucalyptus oil, this two-step cleansing system contains a creamy cleanser to remove make-up and a muslin cloth to gently exfoliate your skin.’
The reviews say: ‘I have used a more expensive brand before I tried Aldi’s version and I have to say Aldi beats it hands down! Aldi’s is more creamy but still has the lovely ingredients such as eucalyptus. It really removes all make-up and leaves your skin feeling super moisturised.’
Soothing chapped lips, fixing cracked heels, nourishing dry hands – is there anything that Elizabeth Arden’s multipurpose wonder can’t do? Not really – but the same is also true of Aldi’s version.
Aldi says: ‘Designed to help your face feel fabulous, this cream works to soothe any dry skin whilst also containing anti-inflammatory benefits. The Miracle Cream will also work to comfort minor weather burns, scrapes and abrasions.’
The reviews say: ‘Super “cheat” of a very well known high end “8 hour cream” brand, same quality, 95% as good, at a tenth of the price, have stocked up, keep this on your regular list please Aldi!’
Dupe for: Pixi Glow Tonic, £18, Cult Beauty
The Laura Glow Exfoliating Tonic contains the same percentage of glycolic acid (5 per cent) as the Pixi original, and the packaging looks strikingly similar too.
Aldi says: ‘Not only does it remove impurities and brighten your face, the glycolic acid improves your skin texture – leaving you feeing soft and smooth.’
The reviews say: ‘This product resembles a more expensive brand. It works equally well refining pores and as an exfoliant. I love it and of course it has saved me ££££ to spend on Aldi products. Everyone’s a winner.’
Aldi glycolic pads
Tub make you do a double take? We thought so. If the Pixi-inspired toner isn’t the glycolic for you, you might like Aldi’s take on Nip + Fab’s popular pads, which are saturated in an exfoliating solution.
Aldi says: ‘These exfoliating facial pads are an effective skin re-surfacing pad, helping to improve your skin’s tone and texture while leaving you with a brighter and more radiant complexion.’
The reviews say: ‘I’m usually a bit of a skincare snob but bought with an open mind. Effective, fantastic value for money and leave my skin fresh, smooth and clean.’
GLAMGLOW’s blend of glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids, has earned it skin-clearing legend status amongst beauty buffs, but Aldi’s eucalyptus-infused charcoal mud mask offers many of the same purifying benefits.
Aldi says: ‘Going on black before turning clear and foamy once water has been applied, this mask will help remove excess oils and gently exfoliate your skin. This all works to leave you with a clear complexion and a refined, balanced skin tone. With ingredients such as clay, charcoal powder, and extracts of coconut, bamboo and eucalyptus oil, the mask targets problem skin, leaving behind a radiant and healthy glow.’
The reviews say: ‘This is my first ever beauty product I purchased at Aldi and I’m so glad I did! After first use my skin was so soft and had the healthy look that next day I went to Aldi and bought another 2!’
Dupe for: Touche Eclat, £26, Yves St Laurent
Not content with skincare, Aldi’s Lacura range has branched out into the world of beauty, taking on Yves St Laurent’s iconic concealer and illuminator. The shade range isn’t as broad, but if it works for you, you’re in luck.
Aldi says: ‘Must-have cream in a handy push button pen, ideal for smoothing dark circles and covering blemishes. The light reflecting cream is also ideal as an eyeshadow base.’
The reviews say: ‘This has to be the best concealer I have ever used. It blends beautifully, leaving eyes looking bright and covering up dark shadows or blemishes. Well worth the money.’
Aldi’s Luxury Fragranced Candles are 290g, while the luxe Jo Malone version comes up at 200g. The throw of the former isn’t quite as strong, but it still burns evenly and fills a space with ease. The Aldi candles are also available in several other Jo Malone-esque scents – Blackberry Bay, Peony Blush, and Lime Basil & Mandarin. Top tip: there’s perfume versions too.
Aldi says: ‘Giving your home a cosy warmth with the flicker of the flame, the delicious smell will comfort you throughout cold evenings.’
The reviews say: ‘This candle was recommended by a friend so I bought it to try, then ordered another 5 online. Amazing smell looks fabulous and incredible value.’