At mamabella, we’re all about saving you time and money by recommending products and beauty hacks designed with busy lifestyles, and budgets in mind.
For those of us who barely have time to shower, let alone stick to a skincare or hair care routine, we recently revealed our favourite overnight hair masks, face masks and foot treatments that do the work while you sleep.
We’ve also started listing ways you can cheat your way to MUA-worth looks with our timesaving hacks.
For this article, we’re taking things a step further by rounding up the best one-palette wonders and multi-purpose makeup, skincare and haircare that offer fantastic value for money; whether it’s a lipstick you can use as an eye cream, a cheek and lip stain, a cleanser that doubles up as a moisturiser, or a foundation with in-built skincare ingredients. We call these our mamabella miracles.
We’ll be adding to this article as we discover more multi-purpose makeup and if you have any recommendations of your own, let us know in the comments!
Each recommendation in this list saves money by combining multiple tasks and products into one price. Even those which are slightly on the expensive side are likely to be cheaper than buying individual products of the same quality separately. For example, the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look palettes are at least £70 cheaper than buying all the items on their own.
They each save space on your dressing table and draws. Not to mention the baggage space you can save when taking these products on weekends away or on holidays – when we’re allowed out of the house again that is!
They can also save you time rooting around for different products in your collection or applying three skincare products when one will do the job.
We’re huge fans of Charlotte Tilbury’s Luxury Palettes at mamabella, so much so there are two in our list of best eyeshadow palettes. They’re not cheap but they’re versatile and there’s something for all skin tones and eye colours. Check out our Eye Colour Magic page for more on colour theory and matching eyeshadows to your eyes.
It’s unsurprising then that the brand’s Instant Look palettes feature so high in this list when compared to its rivals. There are two Instant Look palettes on offer: Glowing Beauty and Stoned Rose Beauty. Each palette contains seven shades for your face and eyes including eyeshadows, bronzers, blushers and a highlighter.
READ NEXT: How to do eyeshadow
A standard four-pan eyeshadow palette from Charlotte Tilbury usually costs £40. The Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette costs £49 on its own, while a cheek swish and cheek pop blusher costs £30. This means you’re getting the best of all of these products for £70 less than if you bought them separately!
The Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Glowing Beauty palette includes:
£35 | Buy now from Beauty Pie
As the name suggests, the Beauty Pie One Palette Wonder is the very definition of time- and money-saving makeup. It’s incredibly similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look palettes but doesn’t offer quite the same variation in tone.
That said, Beauty Pie does claim that the more neutral tones and colours are designed to suit “almost everybody”, and the palettes are £14 cheaper than Charlotte Tilbury’s (for non-members), or just £7.25 if you sign up to the Beauty Pie platform.
There are two palettes to choose from: Cool Naturals and Warm Naturals and both include a matte bronzer, two blushers, a highlighter and three eyeshadows in matte and shimmer finishes.
£29.50 | Buy now from Benefit
This flamingo-inspired eye, lip and cheek palette was originally released as Christmas gift set. It comes with two shades of the brand’s Hoola bronzer, two Box o’ Powder blushes, four powder eyeshadows, two lip shines and two lip colours. A number of these eyeshadows and lip shines are unique to this palette, as well.
The powder eyeshadow comes in Pearls Night Out, In Your Tangerine Dreams!, Hey Coralfriend, and Hot Copper. The lip colours are Young, Wild & Coral (Coral) and Don’t Blow a Fuse-ia! (Fuchsia) and the lip shines are in Party to the Pink (Bubblegum Pink) and Nice Watermelons! (Watermelon Pink).
The two shades of Hoola include the matte powder bronzer and the Hoola Lite, then there’s the GALifornia sunny golden-pink blush and Dandelion baby-pink brightening face powder. This has everything you need for both daytime and nighttime looks all in one place.Buy now from Benefit
£20.50 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
In a super easy-to-apply cream, Milk Makeup’s Lip & Cheek stick can be used on, you guessed it, your lips or cheeks, as well as on your eyes if you’re feeling adventurous. Packed with avocado and castor seed oil, the tint also hydrates while providing colour. The beauty of using the same product on your lips and cheeks is that the tone will always match.
We love the dusty rose shade ‘Werk’, but it comes in four other colours and like all Milk Makeup products, it’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
The Milk Makeup Lip & Cheek stick comes in:
£25.50 | Buy now from Debenhams
We have loved this product for years and it’s one of the original – and best – lines from Benefit Cosmetics. You can read more about the brand and why we love it so much in our Spotlight on Benefit article.
Both a cheek and lip tint, Benetint can be used as a blusher or to provide lip colour that lasts hours. It smells gorgeous, is easy to apply and has been sold by Benefit since the 1970s. A tiny bit goes a long way, so although £25.50 is a lot for one small bottle, it really does last months and months.
There appears to be a shortage of Benetint as it’s out of stock from Benefit and Cult Beauty, but it’s still on sale at Debenhams so if you want it, be quick!
£25 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
This creamy, eye colour doubles up as an eyeliner and eyeshadow. You can quickly apply a wash of colour, or blend a single colour or a combination of shades to create a smudged smoky eye or add definition. You can learn more in our how to apply eyeshadow guide. Alternatively, it can be used as a simple tight-line shadow, bold block of eyeliner or a subtle feline flick. If you’re opting for the latter, though, we do recommend using a brush for a more precise application.There are 25 shades to choose from, from nude brown to bright berry and pink.
£32 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
When it comes to multi-purpose facial products, you can’t get better than the Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics. Honestly, this little tube does almost everything – it combines the primer properties of a BB cream, the colour correction of CC cream and the coverage of a foundation and concealer. We love it so much, it’s the best foundation we’ve used.
It’s also buildable, so you can use it for a minimal makeup look, or dial it up when you’re going more glam. On top of that, this wonder cream has SPF 50, meaning you don’t have to apply a separate SPF or worry about the sun damaging your skin – which is the main cause of dreaded age spots and premature ageing.
READ NEXT: How to get rid of age spots
And if that wasn’t enough, it’s absolutely packed full of hydrating skincare ingredients includinghyaluronic acid, soy extract, firming collagen and hydrolysed silk, along with grapefruit, orange, bergamot and lemon oils. At £32, this isn’t cheap but it can literally replace your primer, foundation, concealer, BB cream, CC cream and SPF moisturiser.
What’s the catch? This wonder cream is only available in 12 shades, which should still be enough to cover most skin tones but this is the only sacrifice you’ll need to make.
FURTHER READING: The truth about the acids in your skincare
Although Charlotte Tilbury made her name as a makeup artist, her brand has since pushed into skincare and the results are equally as impressive. Her Magic Cream, for example, is the best moisturiser we’ve used and she recently released a Magic Serum within the same range that we’re in the process of testing as we speak.
If you’re looking for a product that triples up as a cleanser, a mask and a moisturising balm, look no further. We love Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow because it can be used daily as a cleanser, throughout the day as a balm, or as a mask when your skin is particularly dry or you want to give it a treat. We recommend leaving it as a mask overnight for the best results. It smells great and you’ll wake up with skin feeling smooth and soft.
FURTHER READING: The best overnight face masks
£23 | Buy now from Glossier
Both an oil and a serum, futuredew is designed to be used as the final stage of a skincare routine, providing instant hydration and glow. According to Glossier, in a third-party clinical trial involving 31 people between the ages of 21 and 59, 93 per cent of subjects saw an increase in radiance after 12 hours. After four weeks 96 per cent of users saw an improvement in their skin’s texture.
It’s hard to argue with those numbers and in our experience, we’ve certainly seen similar. We love it because it’s dispensed using a pump rather than a dropper, which can often make oils and serums messy to apply.
£22 | Buy now from Smashbox
This hydrating spray can be used to refresh your skin, as a primer, or as a makeup fixing spray. Unlike other kinds of setting spray that can leave your face feeling sticky or tight, this spray is incredibly hydrating but also helps to keep makeup in place. It’s also great to keep in your bag to spray mid-afternoon for a little wake-up, or after a long journey.
Due to its fine-mist formula, it’s hydrating enough for dry skin types but doesn’t cause excess oil for combination or oily skin, and it’s non-comodogenic, meaning it doesn’t block pores or cause blemishes/make acne worse.
FURTHER READING: What is setting spray and what does it actually do?
£11.99 | Buy now from African Extracts
When African Extracts calls this oil multi-purpose, it’s not exaggerating. The light, non-greasy treatment oil is full of antioxidants including Bio-Active Rooibos extract, Vitamin E, soybean and geranium botanical extracts in a blend of grapeseed and sweet almond oils. What’s more, there’s no colourants, preservatives or added fragrances, making this ideal for sensitive skin.
It can be used on:
That’s just to name a few. We place a couple of drops in our bath, use it as a makeup remover, massage it into the dry skin on our heels. We’ve also found it helps soothe patches of eczema, too.
£35 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: Olverum Bath Oil is a cult classic. It smells incredible – made from a blend of ten essential oils including lavandin, juniper, rosemary, lemon, lavender and exotic verbena – with a highly concentrated formulation meaning you only need one or two drops in a full bath to feel the benefits. It helps you relax and soothes aching muscles, relieves stress, and we’ve definitely been sleeping better since we’ve been using it.
It’s won many awards and it’s entirely vegan. Although it’s designed for the bath, we often put a tiny amount on our rough cuticles and dry elbows. We also put a drop on our feet before putting on Avon’s moisturising socks (see our guide to the best overnight treatments for more info on these socks) and this helps us chill.
And, we’ve occasionally used a small bowl of it in our front room of an evening. We can’t get enough of its smell!
£18.50 | Buy now from The Body Shop
Why we love it: Face peels aren’t only perfect for brightening and clearing your complexion. They can also do wonders for the dead skin on your feet. It’s far from a catch-all treatment, but it helps shift the stubborn outer layers of dead and dry skin making it easier to target and moisturise the lower layers of skin.
Any peel will do but we are big fans of The Body Shop Drops of Light Liquid Peeling Solution. It comes it at £18.50, which isn’t cheap, but you’re effectively getting two products for the price of one. And if it finally helps you get rid of dry skin on your feet, then it’s more than worth the money!Buy now from The Body Shop
Bad hair day? This is the only product you’ll need. Invented by celebrity hair stylist and author of Great Hair Days & How To Have Them, Luke Hersheson, the cream really does almost everything. It can be used when you are fresh out of the shower as a conditioner, or on dry hair to help tame stray ends, tame frizz, and boost shine. Or put it on overnight as a hair mask. At only £10, this cream is a bargain.
Abigail is a leading science journalist writing about space, sustainability, technology and culture. She is author of The Art of Urban Astronomy, a must-have guide to the night sky that guides you through the seasons and learn about the brightest stars and constellations, the myths and legends of astronomy and how to identify star clusters and galaxies.