There are actually a surprising number of make up brands that offer amazing, high quality products at a low price. A lot of these companies are online only. This removes the requirement of renting and maintaining their own stores, in return saving their business a lot of money, which they then pass on to you, the customer, in the form of generous price reductions.
Perhaps the most popular brand using this business model is ELF. Short for Eyes Lips Face, their products are available online to UK customers and most are priced between £1.50 and £3.50. On top of that, they often have promotions running, offering further generous discounts of up to 50%. Their make up can be somewhat hit and miss, but at least your bank balance won't have to sustain too much damage from a regrettable impulse buy. Personally, I highly recommend their Eyelid Primer and the entire minerals range. If you're unsure about a product, Google some reviews to get some opinions. ELF has some dedicated followers who will gladly share their views.
Another cult favourite is MeMeMe. Available online and from Superdrug, this brand is famous for their convincing doubles of high end cosmetics. Impoverished Benefit fans nationwide adore MeMeMe lip and cheek tints, remarkably similar to Benefit's Posietint and Benetint, and their Beat The Blues illuminators, pearlescent highlighters that are practically identical to Benefit's High Beam and Moon Beam. Of course, the icing on the cake is that while Benefit's products retail at £23.50, MeMeMe's are available for just £5.25 and are regularly on sale.
Taking a look at more mainstream make up brands, Avon's cosmetic range should not be overlooked. Chances are that there's an Avon lady near you, if not a whole team of Avon ladies. While, again, it's true that their products aren't all perfect (if you do happen to find a 100% perfect cheap make up brand, then please share because I'm still searching!) Avon earns huge praise for their varying offers, reductions and sales. If you flick through the pages of any Avon catalogue you'll see that there's a reduced item on almost every single page.
Due to their high product turnover, they also often include a small sales booklet containing their excess end of the line stock at guilt-free prices. As an additional bonus, if you order through your local Avon consultant you won't have to pay any delivery costs. My absolute favourite item is the Magix Face Primer, which I've spotted stashed away in the collection of more than a few make up artists.
Finding high quality make up for a reasonable price can certainly be a challenge, but there are some real bargains out there. When considering cheap beauty items, it's so important to do your research first. Browse through some reviews before you buy so that you don't end up with something that will just be thrown away. The brands and products that I've mentioned here are in no way a complete list, so do some searching and I'm sure you'll find plenty of bargains.