Posts tagged £5
This year seems to have gone incredibly fast, and Christmas is almost upon us. I’m sure by now we are all well into our Christmas shopping (I’ve been extremely organised this year and only have a couple of bits left to get!), but I thought I’d put together a few festive themed posts over the next week or two to help with that last-minute rush. I have spent a while lately trawling the shops and internet for stocking filler ideas, so today’s post features my pick of the best beauty stocking fillers for £5 and under.
Clockwise from Top Left:
Orly Nail Polish £3.99 from Fragrance Direct / Lacura Aqua Moisture Cream £1.99 from ALDI / SuperDrama Mascara £5.00 (was £10.00) from Avon / Halo Futuristic Nail Glitter £4.50 from ASOS / Denman Small Styling Brush £4.99 from Fragrance Direct / Ginger Sparkle Hand Cream £4.00 from The Body Shop / Momiji Mini Gift Set £5.00 from M&S / 3 in 1 Nail Art Pearl Gem Pen £4.50 from Claire’s / MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer £3.00 from MUA / MUA Luxe Glitter Palette £4.00 from MUA / Montagne Jeunesse Strawberry Souffle Face Mask £0.99 from New Look / Snow Fairy Shower Gel £3.50 for 100g from LUSH / Metal Eyelash Curler £3.25 from John Lewis
I hope you all find this edit helpful! If you have any £5 or under stocking filler ideas to add, please comment below as I’d love to see what you’ve come across.
Check back soon for my next Christmas post, featuring Spend and Save Christmas Gift ideas.
Models Own are one of my favourite nail varnish brands, mainly because they constantly come up with new and exciting colours and finishes, and they haven’t disappointed with their latest offerings for Spring/Summer. Last week, Models Own launched their Ice Neon and Fruit Pastel collections in Boots stores, and since I had a £10 Boots voucher to spend I decided to pick up a colour from each. I couldn’t wait to give them a go, and since we’ve been having a lot of snow lately I decided it would be fitting to use the Ice Neon varnish first, which is the one I will be reviewing today.
The Ice Neon collection features five shades – Bubblegum, Toxic Apple, Luis Lemon, Pink Punch and, the shade I own, Pukka Purple. Each shade is intensely fluorescent, and comes packaged in a frosted glass bottle which is intended to be stored in the fridge, in order to preserve the vibrancy of the varnish.
As with every other Models Own varnish that I’ve ever tried, Pukka Purple has a wonderful creamy consistency and applies effortlessly thanks to the easy grip lid and long brush. The varnish is very opaque, and looks flawless after just one coat, but I still find it necessary to apply two coats in order to intensify the colour. It also dries impressively quickly – within a few minutes of application I was able to go about my business without any worry of smudges or dents.
All of the Ice Neon varnishes have a matte finish (which may explain why it dries so quickly, as mattes tend to in my experience), but can be made shiny with a gloss top coat. Unlike some matte varnishes, this one applies well over a base coat, so there’s no need to worry about staining. Though I love the matte finish of Pukka Purple (which is still a little bit shiny, but not in a glossy way), I did find that it didn’t last too well without a top coat. Within a day my nails were showing wear at the ends, and after two days the varnish was chipping. Not ideal, but the amazing colour makes up for the poor lasting power.
Pukka Purple is an absolutely beautiful indigo purple, and is unlike any other purple varnish that I own (and I own a lot!) I’m not usually a fan of neons as I think they can look quite tacky, but this has the bold brightness of a neon colour but manages to remain classy with its matte finish and blue undertone. It’s definitely an attention grabber, and has brought me many compliments over the last few days!
Overall, despite its tendency to chip easily, Pukka Purple is a stunningly unusual varnish and boasts Models Own’s characteristic high quality formula. A definite must if you’re looking for something a little bit different and on trend this season. All of the Ice Neon collection is available online, individually or in a box set, and can be found in Boots stores around the country. At £5 each (or £20 for the set) they are kind on the bank account too, and worth every penny.
Check back later this week for my review of Grape Juice from the scented Fruit Pastel collection.
Though I’m usually quite happy to go out of my comfort zone and try new beauty products, there are still a few things that I can’t bring myself to try! I’ve pondered each of them several times and come close to giving them a go, but every time I back out. Here they are, and here’s why…
I have naturally pale skin so the bronzed look doesn’t really become my “English Rose” (as my mum would say) complexion. Due to my lack of experience with bronzer, I also wouldn’t know how or where on my face to apply it, so I’d probably end up looking like a shiny penny, which is a definite no.
The thought of having my hair ripped out from the root horrifies me. I know they say no pain, no gain, but the whole epilating process just seems a bit drastic! I’m not that desperate for long-lasting hairlessness anyway. I’ll stick to razors, thanks.
3. Facial Oil
I have combination skin on my face which is quite patchy, so though I have dry areas which would benefit from facial oil, I’m worried that the already oily parts would end up looking hideously greasy and shiny.
4. Permanent Hair Dye
I’ve always been happy with the colour of my brunette locks, but every now and then I fancy a change. I’ve experimented with wash in/wash out colourants in the past, but permanent dyes are just too permanent for my liking, especially if I change my mind or don’t like the colour! I also don’t want bleach anywhere near my head.
5. Cuticle Pusher
The sensation of pushing my cuticles back actually turns my stomach, so to me a cuticle pusher actually looks like an instrument of torture. Luckily, my cuticles don’t grow that much, so I don’t really need to use one anyway.
So, what do you think – am I right to steer clear of these beauty products? Or should I take the plunge and try them out? I’d be happy to hear any suitable recommendations you may have! Also, please vote below and let me know which of these you think I should try, and if I’m brave enough I might just do it!
What products are you too afraid to try?
Earlier this month, not long after I decided to ban myself from spending for a while, I received an email from Illamasqua to say that they had added more lines to their winter sale, and I couldn’t resist a browse. There were so many lovely things going cheap that I had to restrain myself, but I made a compromise and let myself buy two things that I wanted the most – a gorgeous red lipstick in the shade Tramp (which I will review at a later date), and this beautiful nail varnish, Velocity.
Illamasqua nail varnish usually retails for £13.50, but Velocity cost me just £5 in the sale, which is obviously a massive saving. I love Illamasqua for several reasons – they’re British, they’re cruelty-free, they challenge conventions, their packaging is chic and, importantly, their products are amazing quality, and this varnish is no different.
Velocity is a very beautiful shade with a bit of an edge, which oozes individuality and class. Illamasqua’s website describes it as a dusky grey-purple which is spot on, and it looks fantastic no matter what level of light you’re in. In natural light it looks the colour of vibrant purple heather, with a tinge of grey which stops it being overly bright, and indoors it has a deep plum look to it, which is equally as gorgeous. The varnish also has a glossy finish which gives incredible, eye-catching shine.
The varnish itself has a lovely creamy consistency, which when paired with Illamasqua’s quality varnish brush allows for smooth, easy coverage. It’s also very highly pigmented and gives full coverage with only one coat, but I applied two for a more intense look. The varnish dries quickly too… I was playing Balderdash with my family about ten minutes after painting my nails with Velocity, and I didn’t suffer any smudges or dents!
I’m also really impressed with how long this has lasted so far. For some reason, I didn’t apply a top coat over the top, and after three days the varnish is still wearing well. One nail on my left hand has chipped a bit, but the rest look almost as good as new!
Here is how Velocity looks on the nails, in natural light, after two coats…
I really can’t put into words how much I love this varnish! The colour is stunning and you can really tell when using it that it’s a good quality product. I would happily pay full-price for Illamasqua nail varnish, so I feel very lucky that I managed to get this little gem for only £5. If you want to follow in my footsteps, it’s actually still available in the sale here, but be quick because I think the sale ends soon!
Which Illamasqua nail varnish shade is your favourite?
As I’m sure many of you will have found out the hard way, the cold, harsh winter weather can cause damage to your skin, especially your lips, leaving them sore and dry. As such, I find it is essential to use a good lip balm regularly to combat this damage, and I have found the ideal balm in Tropic Skin Care’s Lip Love Balm, as it is not only great for your lips, but can be used to protect other areas of dry skin too.
Tropic Pure Plant Skin Care was launched in 2007, and has three main principles – their products are Pure, their pricing is Honest, and they are also Effective. Everything in the Tropic range is vegan, which is great news for veggies like me, and it’s all made from completely natural plant extracts, so is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The company is also keen to reduce its carbon footprint so they use recyclable, sustainable packaging materials wherever possible. Tropic’s ethical image really appeals to me as my aim for 2013 is to go completely cruelty free, and to top it all off their products are wonderful too. Here’s what I thought of their Lip Love Balm…
Tropic’s Lip Love Balm comes in a dainty 10ml pot, which is the perfect size to carry with you in your pocket or bag. The packaging is simple, but the orange metallic lid makes it stand out, giving it a more luxurious look than the average lip balm. The lid is also a screw top, a minor detail which is actually quite important, as it won’t fall off in your bag like press on lids sometimes do!
As you can see from the photo above, every single ingredient in the lip balm is natural, and comfortingly recognisable, meaning you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals damaging the delicate skin of your lips. Rather, each natural plant extract combines to form a beautiful, versatile lip balm. Believe me, once you’ve tried it you’ll be a convert!
In the pot the balm looks a stunning sunset orange colour, and it gives your lips a gorgeous golden tint. The balm isn’t strongly scented, but it has a sweet, subtle aroma of lemon, orange and peppermint, which is really quite refreshing as the peppermint adds a slight cooling effect.
Lip Love Balm has a soft, creamy texture and is easily applied with a fingertip. Thanks to the nourishing Shea and Cocoa butters, it feels intensely moisturising on the lips and forms a long-lasting protective layer which helps heal dry and cracked skin – perfect for this time of year! I’ve been using this for about a week now, and I have already noticed a big difference. My lips have shed their winter dryness so look a lot healthier, and feel a lot softer, which I’m very happy about. The balm isn’t greasy either, yet it makes your lips look incredibly shiny, and works really well over matte lipstick – it keeps it in place for a lot longer than usual and gives it a lovely glossy sheen.
As I mentioned earlier, Tropic’s Love Balm is also great for hydrating other areas of skin. Their website states that it can be used on your nails, cuticles, elbows and heels, but I’ve also been using it on my knuckles as they’re quite dry, and it’s been working wonders. My favourite alternative use, however, is as a cuticle cream. My cuticles have taken a bit of a battering over the past few months, what with all the nail varnish I’ve been using, and again because of the cold weather, and as a result haven’t been looking their best. Impressively, I found that within a few days of using the balm on my cuticles every morning, they were a lot neater and more supple. Carrot oil, avocado, rosehip and macadamia are known for their skin renewing properties, and for improving skin elasticity, and their concentrated levels in this balm really help it to work its magic very quickly.
Tropic Skin Care Lip Love Balm costs just £5.00, and considering the small amount you need to feel the benefits and make a difference, it really is worth every penny. If you’re looking for a high quality, multipurpose balm to take you through winter and into spring then this is definitely it – choosing natural products really does pay off! If you’d like to try this for yourself, now is your chance as Tropic Skin Care are currently offering FREE UK P&P on all orders placed before midnight on the 31st of January. Just enter the code ‘TROPICTREATS‘ at the checkout.
You can view the full Tropic Pure Plant Skin Care range here – they have such a wide range of products, from Cloth Cleansers to Body Butters to Body Oil, and its all affordable! Which Tropic product would you most like to try?
*I was sent this Lip Love Balm by Tropic Pure Plant Skin Care for review purposes. All opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own.*
As my regular readers will know, earlier this week I reviewed No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in ‘Violetta’. Since I had another £5 No7 voucher to spend, and I was fairly impressed with ‘Violetta’, I decided to add yet another nail varnish to my collection and went back to Boots to pick up ‘Totally Teal’ for £2 (rather than the usual £7).
Since I’ve recently reviewed Stay Perfect Nail Colour, I won’t go into too much detail about this one, as the consistency, drying time etc are the same as ‘Violetta’. What I will say though is this… I know I moaned about the flimsy brush last time, but now I’m used to it I found the application of this a lot easier as I now know how to control the brush properly. Because of this, the application was quick and neat – the brush is wide so you can apply an even coat in one stroke, which results in very little mess!
‘Totally Teal’ is a very pretty shade, sort of a deep bluey green that reminds me of the sea and mermaids. I have to say though, it goes on a lot darker than it looks in the bottle, which is slightly disappointing as it isn’t as bright as I had hoped. I still have a soft spot for it though, and I think it would like great as a pedi. It is definitely one of the more conservative nail shades that I own, but I’m looking forward to incorporating it into some aquatic nail art designs!
I took my own advice and did my mani a long time before bed this time, and it stopped the fabric imprints appearing on my nails. The varnish hasn’t stayed looking neat for long though… The picture above was taken this morning, and you can already see wear on the tip of my little finger nail. Since then, six more of my nails have chipped or scuffed, and I’ve been wearing it for less than a day! Not good.
Though I like the shades in the Stay Perfect range, I wouldn’t pay the full £7 for them. I’d rather spend a fiver on a Models Own polish as I know they’re great quality and good value for money as they last a long time. If I get any more £5 No7 vouchers though, they’ll probably go on more nail colours.
I have been lusting after this Models Own nail polish shade since my birthday in February, and yesterday (after a very busy day) I decided that I deserved a treat, so I nipped into Boots and bought ‘Disco Mix’ for £5! I was so excited that I finally had it that I applied it as soon as I got home, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I have many Models Own nail polishes, but this is my first glitter polish by the brand. I have lots of glitter polishes by other brands though and, to be honest, most of them don’t give great coverage and are best layered over coloured polish. However, I applied ‘Disco Mix’ over a clear base coat and after three layers the coverage was surprisingly opaque! It has a nice consistency and applies smoothly like most Models Own polishes, despite the glitter. I added a single layer of Models Own top coat on top and it seemed to sink in between the glitter, making the coverage sturdier, but also leaving the nail surface feeling slightly gritty rather than smooth, but that’s to be expected with glitter.
The absolute best thing about this nail polish is the colour. My favourite colours are purple, turquoise and pink, and ‘Disco Mix’ combines turquoise and pink glitter to create a polish which looks purple at a distance. The glitter colours are SO bright and bold – I’ve already had several comments on how good my nails look and I’ve only been wearing it for a day! I can’t get enough of how pretty this is – I keep staring at my nails from all different angles haha.
I can’t really comment on the lasting power as I’ve not had it on for long enough, but there is already a little bit of wear at the tips – it’s hardly noticeable though, and other than that there has been no chipping or peeling so far. Looks promising! If other Models Own nail polishes are anything to go by, I imagine this will stay on for a good while (I’ll let you know!)
What do you think? Isn’t it pretty? I am very glad I finally invested in this and it is worth the fiver I paid. A definite repurchase once it runs out!
As I’m sure my fellow UK beauty fans will know, Boots are currently giving out £5 No7 vouchers. I’m not sure how much you have to spend to get one, but I received mine on a less than £10 spend. I’d never tried anything from the No7 range before, so after spending quite a while browsing the full range, I decided to use my voucher to get this Stay Perfect Nail Colour in ‘Violetta’ for £2, instead of £7. The bottle boasts that the nail varnish has ‘Pigment Rich Colour’, so obviously I had to put this to the test!
I first used Violetta late last week on top of Avon’s Mineral Fix, which I’ve been using lately as a base coat (I’ll review that at a later date). The brush is soft and wide which made application smooth and barely streaky, and the handle is a good size to hold which should give you more control over it. However, the stem of the brush is quite flimsy so it was actually fairly difficult to control at first. Also, the neck of the bottle is long so by the time you pull the brush out most of the varnish has dripped off, so don’t be shy about loading it up!
I really love the colour of this nail varnish. It looks like quite a deep blue at first glance, but you soon notice that it has a gorgeous undertone of pinky purple, which looks really luxurious. You also get completely opaque coverage in two coats, and to be honest one thick coat would probably have been enough, so it definitely lives up to the ‘Pigment Rich Colour’ claim!
The nail colour seemed to dry quickly, but the tackiness lasted a lot longer than I expected it to. I applied this an hour or two before I went to bed, which I thought would be okay, but when I woke up the next morning I noticed that my nails had fabric imprints on them from my sheets! Not impressed. Having said that, it did have lasting power. I removed this a few hours ago after three days of wear and it had only chipped a little bit, despite the fact that I spent all of today cleaning and gardening.
My overall thoughts on this Stay Perfect Nail Colour are mixed. The shade is beautiful, and the pigmentation is fantastic, as is the lasting power, but the fact that I was left with imprints on my nails is slightly disappointing! The brush could also be improved. I won’t let those things put me off though… I’m already planning on buying ‘Totally Teal’ tomorrow with my other £5 voucher I probably wouldn’t pay the full £7, but for £2 you’re definitely getting a bargain. I guess I’ll just have to get used to the brush and apply the varnish earlier in the day so it dries properly!
Which No7 Nail Colour shades do you own? What do you think of them?