Posts tagged Bargain
H&M Cropped Jumper / George Net Frill Skirt / Primark Cosy Tights / Dr Martens Crackle Suede Pascal Boots / Curiology Snow Globe Necklace
Well, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I last posted, but I think it’s about time I made a blog comeback! The last few months have been incredibly busy, and I may do a life update post soon to share a few things, but for now I thought I’d kick back off with a good ol’ outfit post – my favourite!
Last weekend we had our first snow of the season, and though there wasn’t much, Charles and I went for a lovely wintry walk around the local meadows. My outfit of choice for my snowy walk was put together around one piece – my skirt. I actually thrifted this skirt for just £3.25 from a charity shop a few weeks ago, and I absolutely adore it. The full tiered net looks so feminine, but still has the Gothy edge that I love, and is surprisingly warm when worn over tights.
I teamed the skirt with one of my favourite basic jumpers from H&M, and my newest pair of Dr Martens, which kept my toes toasty from the cold. The necklace was a Christmas gift from my mum, and is pretty damn cool. It’s by Curiology, and was one of their Winter 2015 pieces. It doesn’t show up well in the photo, but the necklace is layered, and depicts a gothic castle scene, with teeny bats included. So cute.
Did you get any snow last week?
After a stressful week of work, job interviews and getting caught in the rain, I fancied a bit of a day off today. Granted I had to go food shopping and do some washing, but other than that I’ve had a chilled day of taking photos for my blog/eBay, and writing. A relaxed day calls for a relaxed outfit, so I decided to wear my new sloppy joe jumper, which has to be one of my favourite sale buys of the season.
House of Fraser Label Lab Men’s Jumper / Primark Grey Skinny Jeans / H&M Black Ankle Boots / Claire’s Bird Skull Necklace
Here’s a bit of advice from me… never bypass the men’s department just because you’re a woman! I found this little beauty in the men’s section of House of Fraser, and it’s by a brand called Label Lab. This was the only one left and it’s a size XL, but I think it looks great as an oversized slouchy jumper. I’d even wear it as a jumper dress over leather-look leggings. The jumper feels incredibly soft, and is soooo comfy and warm. I love it, and at £14.40, down from £45.00, it was an absolute bargain.
This outfit also features two other bargains from my January Sale haul. The grey skinny jeans were a snip at just £5.00 from Primark. I was actually surprised to find these, as Primark jeans are usually too short for me, but these are long length and fit me perfectly.
I bought this cute little bird skull necklace yesterday whilst in town. I spotted a £1 stand in the doorway of Claire’s and just had to have a look, and picked up this necklace and two others for a total of £3. Not bad!
Do you have a sloppy joe jumper that you turn to on lazy days?
This review has been sitting in my drafts for ages now, so I thought it was about time I shared it with you all!
Whenever I’m tired (which is most of the time) I tend to get dark circles under my eyes. Not bags, just circles, and I’ve always had trouble finding an affordable concealer that will cover them. In the past I’ve mainly used concealer sticks, but they’re more suited to covering blemishes and they never do a very good job, so a few months ago I decided to pick up a liquid concealer to try. Whilst browsing Superdrug for the perfect shade I tried many concealers from different brands, most of which were too orange or too dark for my pale skin tone, but whilst checking the cheapest stand in the shop, 2True, I was surprised to find the ideal match – their 3 in 1 Concealer in Shade 1, for just £1.99.
The concealer comes packaged in a very basic looking tube, complete with a soft, angled wand for easy application. The packaging is nothing to shout about, and in all honesty it is fairly impractical as it gets very messy, very quickly (as you can see below), and it’s impossible to get the last dregs of product out of the tube. But for £1.99 I’m not complaining too much!
The concealer has a light, creamy consistency and can be blended easily with a fingertip into all nooks and crannies. It also dries fairly quickly so it’s perfect for the morning rush, and it doesn’t go powdery or tight on the skin. In fact, I actually find it quite moisturising, without being greasy, and it leaves your skin looking smooth with an even tone.
The concealer goes on very pale, but once blended it is a brilliant match for light skin tones, with its lightness giving the skin a little boost of radiance. For a bargain concealer the coverage is actually quite impressive, and it covers up my dark circles well, and stays put for a good while. By the evening the dark circles start to show through again however, so it does need touching up/reapplying if you’re heading out anywhere.
Other than the impractical packaging, this concealer is a little gem and at £1.99 you really can’t go wrong. I’m already onto my second tube and it makes a nice little addition to my make up bag, and I use it on a daily basis for work to hide the signs of tired eyes. It gets a big thumbs up from me!
If there’s one thing I absolutely hate shopping for, it’s coats. Every year I end up trailing around shops for hours, trying on coats that just don’t look or feel right, before eventually settling for something that I don’t particularly like. This year, however, was different. I walked into Primark, picked up the first coat that caught my eye, tried it on and, much to my surprise, I loved it! And, to make things even better, it only cost £25 – a third of what last year’s coat cost me.
Primark Coat / Primark Leggings / Deichmann Boots / Butler & Wilson Skull Necklace / Royal British Legion Poppy Pin
I’m usually really fussy about coats as I don’t like them too long or too short, and I don’t like them to be shapeless either, but I absolutely love the length and shape of this coat. It fits really nicely and the slightly puffy shoulders balance out the flared bottom. The coat fastens with an off centre zip and a faux leather tie belt, which is perfect for this season’s leather trend, and it also has a large lapel collar and good-sized angled pockets.
Though it’s not the warmest of coats, it’s been keeping me toasty on windy Autumn days, and its simplicity means it can be dressed up throughout Winter with cosy scarves, snoods, hats and gloves. For me, that’s a bonus, as bulky hoods tend to annoy me and I’d rather accessorize anyway. I also went up a size so I could wear jumpers and layers underneath, as going one size bigger with this coat doesn’t look bulky and wrong, due to its fitted shape.
What do you think of my Primark bargain?
As my regular readers will know, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, and last week something special caught my eye through the window of my local Oxfam charity shop – a gorgeous little bag with a rabbit motif on the front. Unfortunately the shop was closed, but I knew I needed that bag, so the next morning I whizzed on down to buy it, with my fingers firmly crossed in the hope that it hadn’t already been sold. Luckily it hadn’t, and I was surprised to find that a) it was an ASOS bag (I half expected it to be from Primark), and b) it looked brand new!
A quick Google search revealed that, though ASOS no longer stock this bag, it was quite a popular design last Autumn/Winter, and cost £20.00 on their website, and is regularly being sold on eBay second-hand for close to that. I paid the small sum of £4.99 for mine, which I’m very pleased with considering it looks new!
The bag itself is made of mink coloured faux leather and is also lined. It has a nice sturdy shape to it and is accented with gold corners and, of course, that beautiful little rabbit motif. The strap is long so it fits across the body, and adjusts with a buckle. I just love it, and though it’s not a colour I’d usually wear, it’s neutral enough to go with almost anything.
What do you think of this thrifty find?
Let’s face it, we all like to look good, and new clothes, shoes and accessories really help with this, but when you shell out a lot of money for the pleasure the mood can be soured somewhat. So, what if I told you I’d found five websites that will not only help you look fantastic, but will save you money in the process, making you feel good too? Read on to find out how to get fashion with big discounts, for £5, or even for FREE…
1. Everything 5 Pounds
For unique fashion at a low price, Everything5Pounds.com is the place to be. As it says in the name, absolutely EVERYTHING they sell costs just £5 each, meaning you can get yourself a full outfit for around £20. I’ll admit not everything on the site is the most stylish, but if you spend a little while browsing there are some real gems to be found. Everything 5 Pounds’ bags and shoes really stand out for me, but in my experience you have to get in there quickly as they’re so popular they can sell out in minutes (it pays to join their mailing list/follow them on Facebook, believe me). Check out this bag I ordered from them a few months ago – the quality is amazing and people are always asking me where I got it!
2. Fashion Vouchers
My go-to website for all the latest sale news and voucher codes in the world of fashion is FashionVouchers.com. With categories including womenswear, footwear, accessories and beauty covering the most extensive list of fashion stores I’ve seen on any voucher website, Fashion Vouchers has a bargain for everyone – you just have to hunt it out! It really is an internet treasure trove of discount gold, and you can be savings savvy at just the click of a mouse. Any time I want to order something online from one of the popular fashion sites, I always check Fashion Vouchers first and more often than not I’ll find a code for money off or free delivery. Current offers include up to 50% off at Clarks, £20 off when you spend £100 at Lipsy and 10% off at Missguided.
3. Big Wardrobe
A few years ago I came across a website called Big Wardrobe, ‘The Worldwide Fashion Exchange’, and it has become a firm favourite of mine. Big Wardrobe is a cross between eBay and Facebook, in that you make yourself a profile, list the fashion items that you want to get rid of, and communicate with other users to negotiate swaps and sales on your things. The whole concept is a brilliant way to get new clothes for practically nothing, and you can even make yourself a bit of money too. After losing weight, I swapped items that were too big for me for some beautiful new clothes that fit perfectly. The swapping process is just so much fun and I highly recommend you try it!
The old classic for saving on fashion is eBay. When I was teenager I probably saved hundreds of pounds on clothes and accessories by buying from eBay, and I’m still fond of spending evenings scrolling through pages of dresses and shoes to see if I can bag myself a bargain. eBay is great for picking up unique pieces that can’t be found in stores, or even for finding highly sought after items that have sold out everywhere else. They often run special offers too, such as the current Summer Holiday Shop where you can get up to 50% off women’s fashion. I’m currently lusting after this Animal Swimsuit, down from £35.00 to just £13.00!
5. Fragrance Direct
No outfit is completely without make up, nails and perfume to match, and Fragrance Direct has it all. The website boasts hundreds of top brands at just a fraction of the RRP, and the icing on the cake is postage is cheap too! As a nail varnish fanatic, Fragrance Direct helps me feed my obsession whilst saving me some hard-earned pennies, as you can get brands such as Essie for just £1.99, and even OPI for £3.99, which is almost £10.00 off. Of course, they sell loads of designer fragrances too, with everything a lot cheaper than you’d find it on the high street. For instance, you can currently get the Vera Wang Princess Gift Set for £24.90, instead £45.00. Impressive, right? Here’s one of my recent Fragrance Direct hauls…
Which websites do you use to save money on fashion?
There has been a big buzz on Twitter lately about Fragrance Direct, mainly because they have been selling a wide range of Dainty Doll make up for just a couple of pounds each. Dainty Doll is a brand that I’ve been wanting to try for a while as it is formulated for people like myself who have fair complexions, so when I heard the bargainous news I went straight to the website to place an order. I soon discovered that Fragrance Direct stock a LOT of other brands at incredibly discounted prices, and I ended up ordering a couple of other things too.
I plan on reviewing everything I purchased from Fragrance Direct in the coming weeks, but for now I thought I would show you my collective haul. The website is restocked almost every day, and also runs out of products just as quickly, so I ended up placing three separate orders in order to get hold of everything I wanted. It did mean I had to pay three lots of postage, but postage is only £1.99 and I split it with my mum and sister as they ordered a few things too, so everything still works out dirt cheap.
Here is what I received in my first two orders… (The third hasn’t arrived yet, but it only consists of two Essie nail varnishes so I’ll add them at a later date).
Dainty Doll Powder Blusher in ‘My Girl’ – £1.99 (RRP £13.50) and Dainty Doll Cream Blusher in ‘Paper Roses’ – £1.99 (RRP £13.50)
Dainty Doll Concealer in ‘002 Abracadabra’ – £1.99 (RRP £14.50)
Dainty Doll Lipstick in ‘Couture’ – £1.99 (RRP £12.50)
Essie Nail Polish in ‘Orange It’s Obvious’ – £1.99 (RRP £7.99)
(‘Bikini So Teeny’ and ‘Cascade Cool’ are currently in the post.)
Manhattan Rock Topia Nail Polish in ‘5’ and ‘6’ – £0.49 each (RRP £2.99 each)
(My mum ordered shades 2, 3 and 4 and they are all absolutely gorgeous.)
Dr Ciate Prescriptive Nail Care File for Brittle Nails – £0.99 (RRP £3.99)
Excluding postage, this little lot cost me just shy of £12.00, but is worth a whopping £72.00 in total! I’m really happy with all of my items and I can’t wait to receive my next order and place even more in the future. Keep an eye out for swatches and reviews of everything coming soon.
Have you ever ordered from Fragrance Direct? What did you buy?
I have been buying things from eBay since I was 13, firstly through my mum’s account, and then when I was old enough to have one, through my own account. That’s 9 years of bargain hunting, which I think makes me a seasoned eBay user. Everybody loves finding a hidden gem on eBay, but over the years I have noticed that it has become increasingly difficult to find nice things selling cheap. I used to be able to nab gorgeous items of clothing for just pennies, but sellers are more savvy now, bidders more abundant, and resultantly prices are on the rise. Of course, high postage costs don’t help either, and neither does the sheer volume of items you have to sift through! Despite all the issues that you may come up against on eBay, my hours of browsing have taught me that there are still ways to find a bargain. As such, I thought I would share with you all my guide on how to find an eBay bargain, so read on if you want to know my tried and tested tips!
1. Shop Abroad
Have you ever seen a quirky piece of costume jewellery or clothing in a fashion boutique or on a trendy market and fallen in love, only to be disappointed that you can’t afford the stupidly high price tag? Well, chances are you could find those very same items (or at least similar ones) on eBay for just a fraction of the cost. How? By shopping abroad! I have found that there are a lot of sellers on eBay from countries such as Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and China, all selling unusual pieces of costume jewellery and clothing for very low prices, and often with free postage. They are easy to find too… With a simple search such as ‘skull necklace’ or ‘flower ring’ you will get hundreds of results from overseas sellers, with bids sometimes starting at just a penny, or ‘Buy It Now’ items for a pound or two. They might take a bit longer to arrive than if you order something closer to home, but it’s well worth the wait. I’ve collected lots of amazing necklaces this way, and have never paid more than about £2.50 for an item, and most of them have only cost around £1 each. This Bird pendant is a recent favourite of mine.
2. Spell Things Wrong
We all make accidental spelling mistakes and typos every now and then, and eBay sellers are no different, which is a good thing to remember when searching eBay for specific items, especially branded ones! Incorrect spellings mean that items won’t always show up in the right place, which obviously means fewer people will see them. So, next time you’re searching for something, purposefully spell it wrong – you never know what you might find. Earlier this year I won a brand new Lipsy dress on eBay for 99p because the seller had spelt it with an added ‘e’, as ‘Lipsey’. You won’t always find something, but every now and then you will stumble upon something great.
3. Include Postage in the Price
When making a bid on an item always decide how much you would be willing to pay for it, and STICK TO THE PRICE. Easier said than done I know, but shrewd bidders must have willpower. Don’t just think about the bid price though, think about the postage too. Some sellers list their items with low starting bids, but will really sting you on postage. Second class Royal Mail postage for a standard packet is £2.20 but I’ve seen sellers charging close to £5, which just isn’t on! So, if you decide you’d be willing to pay £10 in total for an item and postage is £3, only bid up to £7. If it goes above your upper limit, learn to let it go and move on.
4. Always Make an Offer
Sellers who list items as ‘Buy It Now’ sometimes give you the option to make an offer on their items too. If a seller allows this, you will see a ‘Make Offer’ button on the item. Wherever you see this option on an item that you want to buy, use it, as it gives you the opportunity to negotiate a price with the seller. Often this price is pre-set and your offer will be accepted or rejected straight away, but some sellers consider offers on an individual basis. Either way, be reasonable with your price as you only have three chances to make an offer on any one item, but buying an item this way will always save you money from the set ‘Buy It Now’ price.
5. Use the ‘Sort By’ Option
eBay automatically organises your searches into what they consider to be the ‘Best Match’ to your search term. Best matches aren’t necessarily the best items though, as they can already have lots of bids on with several days to go. To get the best offers, take advantage of the ability to sort the items by using the ‘Sort By’ drop down box, which can be found at the top of your search. Organising the search items into ‘Time: Ending Soonest’ will bring up everything ending soonest, enabling you to discover items which finish soon which may have slipped through the net with no bids, meaning you can snipe an item last second and win it at a very low price. Choosing the ‘Price + P&P: Lowest First’ option is another great one, as it shows you the items with the lowest combined prices.
6. Choose your Times Carefully
The best times to browse eBay items which are ‘Ending Soonest’ is at times when more people are likely to have listed items. This is usually in the evenings, when people are home from work and have had their dinner, or at weekends when they have nothing else to do. You’re bound to have more to choose from if you browse at busy listing times, as items listed a week earlier will be coming to an end, so you might be able to snipe a cheeky bargain. Weekends, especially Saturday afternoons, are especially good for finding items ending soon with no bids as this is when most people are out and about doing things, so fewer people are at home, online, browsing eBay!
7. Keep ‘Watching’
Last but not least, keep ‘Watching’! A lot of high street shops have started selling their stock on eBay, as well as on their own website and in-store. Their items are mostly sold at full price, but it’s a good idea to ‘Watch’ your favourite items as you may find that they gradually reduce in price, during sales or if they are end of line items. Off the top of my head, the example I will use is Schuh… Earlier this year Schuh were selling a pair of Dr Marten boots that I LOVED, but couldn’t afford. I decided to ‘Watch’ them anyway just in case, and it paid off as after a few weeks I noticed that the price of the boots had been reduced by around £30 because they only had one pair left, and the style had been discontinued. This is a risky strategy as you could miss out, but if you’re willing to take the risk then it may pay off. Oh, and it’s not just high street shops that do this, independent sellers will often do it too if they’re struggling to get rid of something, so keep an eye out!
And there you have it, my seven tips for bagging yourself an eBay bargain! Will you be trying any of these methods yourself, or do you already use them? Please feel free to share your bargain hunting tips too!
A couple of weeks ago I ran out of my usual Avon foundation and I realised that I didn’t have any spare in my make up drawer. Since my Avon delivery was a little way off, I nipped in to town to pick up a cheap foundation to use in the mean time. I headed straight for the MUA stand in Superdrug as I’d been wanting to try their Professional Matte Foundation for a while, and I picked it up in Shade 1, ‘Soft Sand’, for £2.
‘Soft Sand’ is a light, natural shade which would suit most fair skin tones, but there are three other shades in the range for medium and dark skin tones.
The tube states that the foundation has ‘A creamy texture that blends beautifully for that perfect velvet finish and long-lasting matte complexion’. Though the foundation is creamy, it is also a lot thicker than I’m used to. At first I was worried that it would look caked on because of its consistency, but it does in fact blend beautifully to give amazing coverage. I took some photos to demonstrate how well it covers…
The top photo shows a small burn scar on my left wrist which has left a pinky-brown area of discolouration on my skin. The bottom photo shows the same area after being covered with a small amount of MUA’s Matte Foundation. As you can see, the foundation is a very good colour match to my skin tone, and the scar is hardly visible at all. If you ask me, that’s impressive for a £2 product! The foundation gives the same coverage on any blemishes on the face, and it even covered my sunburnt nose this morning. The coverage lasts a while too, a good 5 hours or so before any touch-ups are needed, which is fair for a budget foundation but in an ideal world I’d like it to last a little longer.
One of the things that drew me to this foundation was the fact that it is matte and claims to offer a long-lasting velvet finish. I suffer from an oily T-zone (especially during the summer months) and I don’t like the shine that the oil creates, so I am always looking for ways to minimise the shine. MUA’s Matte Foundation, as you would hope, does give a matte complexion, and it keeps most of the shine at bay. I wear powder on top of my foundation which often needs reapplying throughout the day over the oily areas, but I only need to reapply it once whilst wearing MUA’s Matte which is a definite improvement.
Overall, I think this is a great product. For £2, the quality is fantastic and it does what it says on the bottle. I will definitely be repurchasing this – once again MUA save the day!
Just a heads up to my UK readers who might like a bargain or two… I recently discovered that B&M Stores are an unlikely place to find branded beauty products on a budget. It’s the kind of shop you expect to just sell furniture and garden stuff, but the one near me has a whole aisle of cut price cosmetics and toiletries. I went for a browse on Sunday and I picked up these two Sally Hansen Continuous Treatments for only £1.49 each! I’ve seen them retail in other shops for a lot more, sometimes around £6-£7, so you’re really saving quite a bit. I got the Base & Top Coat and the Time-Released Strength Formula. I’ve only tried the Strength Formula so far (and so far, so good!) but I’ll be reviewing both once I’ve given them a good go. I spotted several other brands in the shop too, including Maybelline, Nivea, Garnier and Lypsyl… You just have to keep an eye out!
Happy Bargain Shopping