I didn’t spend a lot of money this week but I still seem to have accumulated quite a lot of ‘stuff’. So, I thought I would share some of my bargain finds and little treats with you in a collective haul post!
I spent hours in town this week but I didn’t come away with much at all. I bought a hoodie, but I took it back the next day as it didn’t suit me. I also went to both Superdrug stores in Leicester, twice, to look for MUA’s new Nail Varnish shade ‘Frozen Yoghurt’, but neither had it I must keep looking! My shopping trips weren’t completely unsuccessful though. I repurchased a couple of essentials, namely a duo pack of wipes from Primark for £1 and my favourite budget Face Powder by MUA for £1, and I also picked up some NYC Nail Polish in ‘High Line Green’ (which I’ve already reviewed here), and a 10x magnifying cosmetic mirror for just 49p!
Whilst in town I also picked up this Team GB scarf from NEXT for just £5. I absolutely adore this scarf as it has such a special meaning behind it – all the illustrations in the background symbolise different things, including our Olympic Athletes, their supporters and all the Olympic sports. All profits from this scarf (and the bigger £10 scarves) go to the British Olympic Association which is a very worthy cause. I bought it to show my support for Team GB, and after yesterday’s performance I am very keen to show it off! Did you see Team GB win their SIX golds yesterday, including three in Athletics? So inspiring! All of our athletes make me so proud.
My Avon order arrived this week too. I repurchased my favourite Mango and Ginger Shampoo, but everything else is new to me. The Skin So Soft Body Cream contains Argan Oil and I can’t wait to try it. The make up bag, ANEW sample, nail varnish and lipstick that you can see were all free, and the beautiful ring trio cost just 85p! As an Avon Rep, I get a preview brochure for each campaign, which also contains sale items (which is where I ordered the rings from). The Cuticle Oil Pen that you can see was from the preview brochure and cost £2.10. It will be available for everyone else to buy in Brochure 16
This free sample bottle of Estee Lauder Perfectionist Serum arrived in the post yesterday. I don’t actually remember sending off for it, but I think I signed up for it via a form on their Facebook page. I’m looking forward to trying it out anyway! I also got a big package of PR samples in the post, but they’re remaining top-secret for now 😉
These are one of my favourite finds of the week… I love cooking, I love Jamie Oliver, I love books and I love thrifting. Combine these things and you have a mission to find Jamie Oliver recipe books in charity shops and at car boot sales. For months and months my Mum and I have been searching but have found nothing – until today! I got a text from my mum this morning whilst she was at a car boot sale to say that she’d FINALLY found me a Jamie Oliver book, and a couple of minutes later she found another 😀 As you can imagine, I was very pleased indeed. My mum bought both books for me for just £1 each – BARGAIN.
And of course, what would a week be without some CHOCOLATE!
What did you buy this week?
After four days of camping near the beautiful moors of Dartmoor I am finally back in the shire. I had a great time on my little trip with my dad and sister – I’ve been camping every year since I was born and I really love being close to nature and away from all the stresses of the city. We spent a good portion of the holiday hiking on the moors. We found a couple of stone circles and saw lots of wild horses, and of course some stunning views…
We also spent a day in the beautiful little Cornish town of Boscastle, browsing the shops and sitting on the cliffs overlooking the sea (which was very, very blue). And, as you do, we ate a lot of decadent meals – not good for the diet but great for the soul
Whilst I was camping it was really hot and sunny – quite unexpected after two months of rain! I’ll admit, I hadn’t really thought about buying sun lotion this year because of all the rubbish weather, but I recently received a free sample bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration lotion in the post. So, before I set off, I chucked it in my suitcase to use if it was sunny… and as I said, it was.
On first impressions I love the look of this lotion. The flower design on the bottle is pretty and the lotion itself looks different to the boring white stuff you usually see on shelves. If you look closely, you can see that the lotion in the bottle is white, swirled with orange. These orange swirls are the ‘hydrating ribbons’ that the packaging boasts, which are supposed to provide twelve-hour moisturisation. When you squeeze the bottle the lotion comes out easily and the colours mix into a paler orange shade, as you can see below.
So… does this lotion protect AND moisturise? In a word, yes! The lotion is a wonderful consistency – not too runny and not too thick, so it rubs in with ease. I noticed that it was absorbed very quickly so it didn’t leave any streaky white marks and didn’t rub off on my clothing. The lotion has an SPF of 15, so I applied this several times a day to ensure that I was protected at all times. I usually use SPF 25 or 30, so this did need more regular application, but it’s so lovely to apply it didn’t matter too much. As you would expect, I didn’t burn whilst using this, not one little bit. I did get a slight tan on my arms and chest though, but I’m not complaining. But now for the real test, the hydration factor! I didn’t use any other moisturiser whilst I was camping, which for me is unusual as I suffer from fairly dry skin. However, the Silk Hydration did just the job My skin felt so soft all day and night, even after a shower, and I didn’t suffer with any dryness. I really wish you could buy the moisturising aspect of this on its own to use all year round because it really is impressive.
The absolute best thing about this lotion though is its scent. It smells so light and fresh… Slightly fruity but also floral, with a strong creamy overtone of sweet coconut. The scent lingered on my skin all day, and I couldn’t stop sniffing my arm! Haha.
I would highly recommend this lotion to anybody, especially if you suffer from dry skin and want something hydrating as well as protecting. I’ve seen it around in lots of shops, including ASDA and Boots so it’s very easy to find, and it has an RRP of £14.99 for 180ml, meaning this 59ml sample bottle is worth about £4.99. It may be slightly more pricey than other high street sun lotions, but I think the quality of the product reflects the price. I for one would definitely invest in a bigger bottle.
Have you tried Hawaiian Tropic’s Silk Hydration sun lotion?
*I won this product in a 10,000 bottle giveaway and this is an honest review. I am in no way affiliated with Hawaiian Tropic or any other companies mentioned*
Last Thursday was the day that the August issues of the women’s glossies hit the shops. After a fantastic month of magazine freebies last month (Benefit AND Ciaté – wow) I wasn’t expecting to find anything too thrilling this time, but was pleased to see that Glamour were giving away products from the natural skincare brand, Balance Me. I had heard of Balance Me before and had been keen to try their lip salve for a while, so of course this was the freebie that I went for! Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve.
I really like Balance Me’s packaging – I think the simple white tube and basic font with a swirl of colour is really classy and pretty. I’m also pleased the salve is accented with purple as that’s my favourite colour haha.
The salve comes in a lip gloss style squeezy tube, but unlike gloss it isn’t sticky. In fact, it’s probably the creamiest lip salve I have EVER used. You only need a tiny amount to cover both of your lips, say, a 2mm blob, and it smoothes your lips as soon as you apply it. I tend to use my finger to put it on instead of the tube applicator as too much comes out of the tube if you do it that way. As you can see below, the salve has a yellow tinge to it. This is the only thing I don’t like about this product as I think it looks a bit like earwax – not good!
The best thing about this salve, for me, is the smell, as well as the fact that it is 100% natural in origin! It is scented with various essential oils, including several different Rose oils, Ylang Ylang, Mango, Lavender, Red Mandarin and Patchouli, amongst others, and they combine to give a strong scent which is really quite fantastic. I put this on whilst in the car the other day and everybody else in the car could smell it and commented on how lovely it was. I can even smell it on myself when I’m wearing it which is quite pleasant! Some of the ingredients used to make the salve so moisturising are Virgin Coconut, Beeswax, Sweet Almond, Shea, Jojoba and Cocoa Butter.
The tube claims that the lip salve ‘plumps, smoothes and hydrates’. Though the latter two are true, I haven’t yet felt or seen any plumping effects from it, but that’s fine by me as plumping products tend to irritate my skin! I’ve definitely noticed a difference to the texture of my lips though… They’re quite obviously softer and they feel protected when I have it on.
Balance Me are a UK based company which pleases me as I am a huge advocate of supporting British business. This is honestly the best lip salve I have used, and I will be buying another tube once this one runs out. It’s just beautiful!
Which Glamour freebie did you choose this month?
Just a quick post from me today, but if you love a freebie then it’s a good one! Avon have developed a new facial treatment for their ANEW Clinical range, which will (hopefully) reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after just two weeks of use. The product is called ‘Pro Line Corrector Treatment with A-F33′, and is not yet available to purchase. However, Avon have created a 28 day VIP trial pack, which 10,000 lucky entrants will receive.
If you want to apply for a VIP pack and be in with the chance of becoming one of the lucky 10,000, then you can visit the Only From Avon website here to apply. The trial will be divided between four randomly selected focus groups, and those picked will be notified just before the start of each trial, which will be running in August and September this year.
Good luck! Let me know if you receive a pack
After much deliberation I caved and ended up buying two copies of Glamour this month, just for the freebies! The first copy I bought contained this, the BADgal Lash Mascara, and the copy I bought today contained a little tube of Porefessional which I’ve been dying to try, but I’ll be reviewing that another day.
The mascara you get with the magazine is not full-size, but you do get a generous 4g, which is about half the size of the £16.50 big tube. Not bad for £2, the price of the magazine!
Magazine freebies rarely come packaged in boxes, and neither do samples, so that and the slick black and silver tube immediately make this product look classy and high end.
When I first opened the tube I was really surprised to see such a big, bristly brush. I don’t usually like chunky brushes as they tend to hold too much product which can make application a bit gloopy and thick, but this one looked promising as it wasn’t too loaded with mascara.
When I initially applied the mascara I didn’t think it had made much difference, but I was wrong. The first thing my mum said to me after I’d put it on was something along the lines of “wow, your eyes look nice”. I looked in the mirror again and I realised that, actually, this is a very good mascara!
BADgal Lash is a very, very deep black so it makes your eyelashes really stand out. It doesn’t clump either which means that your lashes stay separate, giving the false lash look that this mascara boasts. The best thing about it for me though is that your eyelashes stay soft. I’ve tried countless mascaras in my life and most of them have made my eyelashes feel stiff, which can make your eyes a bit sore, but BADgal is so light that you can hardly tell you’re wearing it, so your lashes feel supple and natural.
My mum has always struggled with mascara as her lashes aren’t the longest, so it never makes much difference on her, or it blobs all over her eyelids and makes a mess. I let her try this one out and we were both amazed – her lashes looked longer and darker, but still natural, and there was no mess whatsoever. It didn’t smudge either when she rubbed her eyes, which is fantastic! And contrary to what other reviews have said about BADgal, it has lasted all day on both of us.
My overall thoughts on this? A truly impressive product and very high quality! If only I could afford to spend £16.50 on one mascara haha.
Last week I received my free Garnier Intensive 7days Challenge pack in the post and I couldn’t wait to try it out! Each pack contains 7 individual 6ml sachets of Garnier’s new Intensive 7days Softening Lotion…
and two Skin Readers…
The challenge states that before you use any of the sachets, you have to press the sticky part of Skin Reader 1 onto one of your shins for 3 seconds. You are then left with an idea of how dry your skin is by how many white skin cells there are left on the reader. I have to say, there was quite a lot of white on mine (as you will see later), but I wasn’t too shocked or surprised as I know I have fairly dry skin anyway, which is why this challenge is perfect for me!
Once you’ve used the Skin Reader, it is time to start moisturising! Every morning for seven days I used a sachet of the lotion on my legs. There was a very generous amount of product in each sachet to the point that I had enough left over to use on my upper arms too! And that’s saying something because I’m 5’10” so have a lot of leg haha. The sachet says that the lotion contains shea butter so I was expecting it to have that distinctive shea butter smell, but it didn’t. In fact, I found the scent to be fairly unremarkable, and somewhat non-existent! The texture of the lotion was quite greasy, which I don’t usually like in a moisturiser, but it absorbed quickly and easily so I didn’t really mind in the end.
The challenge packaging says that Garnier Intensive 7days ‘leaves skin hydrated, feeling smoother and softer’, so after the 7days I used Skin Reader 2 to see if the product lived up to its word! This was the result…
The Skin Reader on the left is Skin Reader 1, and as you can tell there is a LOT of white skin on the sticky bit. The Skin Reader on the right is number 2, and obviously has far less skin on it that the other one. I know the results look good, but I wasn’t too pleased with them at first as the second reader had a big patch on it which wasn’t sticky, so obviously any loose skin wasn’t going to stick to it! I don’t know whether it was done on purpose, but I think I’ll give Garnier the benefit of the doubt on that one and focus on the bits that were sticky. And well, yes, my skin did seem a lot less dry after the challenge, and felt smoother as a result, which is always good
It’s been a few days now since I completed the challenge and I’d say that the Intensive 7days lotion has DEFINITELY made a big difference. My legs still feel really soft and smooth, even though I’ve not used the lotion for a couple of days. The fact that it has made a long term improvement is the best thing about this in my opinion, as it proves it doesn’t just leave a layer of grease on your skin, but actually gets to the root of the problem. Because of this, I think I am going to invest in a bottle to use throughout the summer to keep my legs looking nice for when I wear dresses and shorts!
Have you completed the 7days Challenge yet? If not and you want a challenge pack, you can find out how to get one here.
Over the last month or so I have received a LOT of make up and skincare samples in the post, so today I thought I’d review one of the samples that has intrigued me the most – Garnier’s Skin Naturals B.B Miracle Skin Perfector.
Garnier’s new product is described as a ‘Daily All-In-One B.B. Cream’. B.B. Creams have been all over the place lately and I have seen several variations on what the B.B. actually stands for! They’ve been called Beauty Balms, Blemish Balms and Blemish Bases, and Garnier have settled for the Blemish Balm title. I have to say, on first impressions I found this sample quite confusing. Is it a Skin Perfector? Is it a B.B. Cream? Is it a face cream? Or are they all the same thing? I decided to do some research and found that, in short, a B.B. Cream is a hybrid product that merges the light, softening elements of a moisturiser with the pigmentation of foundation, to give brightening, smooth, flawless coverage of the face. It can be used on its own, or as a primer for make up, so basically they are all the same thing! I thought the B.B. Cream sounded quite similar to a tinted moisturiser, which I’ve tried and disliked before so I wasn’t expecting miracles from this sample, but you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
What first hit me about this sample was the smell. It has quite a strong, fresh scent, almost lemony, with a nutty undertone. I didn’t like the smell at first but once it settled down I found it quite pleasant.
I tried the product on my hand to start with and was slightly worried by how orange it looked. I always use the lightest shade in foundation ranges, and though this was ‘Light’, it definitely didn’t look as light as the other products I use. It sat in the creases of my hand too which is never a good thing. However, after remembering that B.B. Creams are somewhat like moisturisers, I decided to rub it in as I would a lotion, and luckily it blended in nicely to more suit my skin tone.
I have slight dark circles under my eyes and a few open pores on my nose, so as Garnier’s Skin Perfector is intended for the face, I then tried it out on my problem areas. As with most people, I have fewer fine creases on face than I do on my hands, so the product obviously gave better coverage on my face. It blended quickly and definitely softened my skin which is a plus. Surprisingly, my dark circles were left lighter and my pores were also noticeably smoother, which is pretty impressive for a cream. It is not as good as a foundation though which is what I was expecting really!
After trying this Garnier sample, I’m not sure I’d use a B.B.Cream on its own, but it was infinitely better than I expected and did what it claimed, which is never a bad thing. I would, however, consider using a B.B. Cream as a primer. The face perfectors I have used in the past have been quite heavy and have irritated my skin, but the light formula of this B.B. Cream seems to agree more with my skin.
I’ve been on a bit of a spending ban lately (mainly out of necessity!) but I’ve still managed to acquire quite a few bits and bobs! Admittedly, most of them have been freebies… They seem to be coming at me from all angles at the minute and, hey, I’m not complaining 😀 Here are some pictures of all my new stuff…
- Being one of my absolute essentials, I bought a couple more pots of Avon Care Renewing Moisture Firming Face Cream as they were on offer for 99p to all Reps!
- The Lip Gloss is from the Glazewear Sparkle range, in the amazing purple shade of ‘Violetta Sparkle’. This was in the clearance section for just £2.00 and I am SO disappointed that it has been discontinued as it is gorgeous. I don’t usually wear dark lip colours but this looks really lovely on, lasts for ages and moisturises your lips nicely. It is full of micro-glitter too for added twinkle!
- The foundation is Avon’s Ideal Shade Cream to Powder Foundation in ‘Ivory’. I already have this a shade darker but I have quite a pale complexion so this is more suited to my skin.
- The little tube on the end is my go-to concealer, Colortrend Perfect and Hide Concealer in ‘Light’.
- The Dermatological Cotton Gloves were £1.85 from eBay. I’m trying my damn hardest to sort out the dry skin on my hands and these will be my next experiment!
- The Star Gazer Nail Varnishin the middle was a little present from my dad whilst we were out shopping yesterday. It was £1.25 from a local hippy shop, and is black with silver glitter. I have swatched this and will be reviewing it tomorrow!
- Again, I bought the Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail Conditioning Lotion in order to sort out my hands and nails. It was £2.62 in Wilkinsons, which is a lot cheaper than anywhere else! Also, the small 50ml tube of this was £2.48 so you’re getting a bargain for the price.
- I bought the Daisy Belts at the bottom of the photograph yesterday from New Look, and they were on offer… £3.00, down from £4.99. Bargain!
- I was handed a full sized packet of new Andrex Washlets in the local shopping centre recently. I then joined the Andrex Clean Campaign via Facebook and ended up winning 3 prizes! My Dirty Works Shower Gel and Kleenex Make Up Remover Wipes are yet to arrive, but the bottle of Fenjal Creme Bath Oil that you can see was one of my prizes
- The Decleor Aroma Cleanse with Cloth is my favourite freebie of recent weeks. To get one, all you had to do was share their link on Facebook and then email them your address. I did that and received the sample a couple of days later. The tube is a generously sized 15ml and I was surprised to receive the cloth too. Facebook really is the place for free stuff, it would seem!
- I was also sent a sample of Garnier’s BB Cream, a half sized tube ofSensodyne Rapid Relief anda 3 day trial of Nivea Q10 Pore Refining Day Cream. I’ve also been sent samples of other foundations, moisturisers and BB creams lately but I can’t find them at the minute!
I hope you’ve all had a great week!
As you may have gathered by now, I am a sucker when it comes to freebies, so when I saw this fragrance sample advertised on the Boots Samples website, I just had to send away for it. I was expecting a tiny little vial or one of those scented sheets you get in magazines, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a generous 1.5ml glass spray bottle of Stella McCartney’s new fragrance, L.I.L.Y.
The card which came with the sample says:
L.I.L.Y is a journey through the senses.
It begins with the smell of a spring
morning, dappled sunlight through the
trees, a vision of delicate lily of the
valley. It is the passage of time
across a forest floor.
From this description, I was expecting floral and fresh, and quite rightly this is what I got. The perfume has an initial heady aroma of lily of the valley, which over time fades to a more delicate and light flowery scent – L.I.L.Y obviously has a sophisticated set of notes to it. I was quite impressed with how long the perfume actually lasted too. I applied it in the morning and could still smell it on my skin in the evening.
I don’t usually wear floral perfumes as I prefer ambery scents, but L.I.L.Y. is definitely quite pleasant. I can’t say I’ll be rushing out to buy a full size bottle of this, but I’ll be keeping the sample in my handbag for spring/summer evenings out. For those of you that like floral fragrances though, this is for you, and I think this will become a key scent this year.