Thursday, 13 June 2013

Sampling: Skincare

I have quite a collection of mini skincare goodies in my stash, I usually dip into them when I'm feeling bored of my current routine or if my skin is starting to play up. After this weekend I've broke out on my cheeks and chin, unfortunately I blame the booze and lovely indian takeaway I had - in addition to the glasses of milk with chocolate digestives (I knew I would suffer after I had even one sip of that cows milk grrr) I just couldn't resist. The trusty Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm and Caudalie Beauty Elixir combination aren't quite working their magic at the moment so I've turned to my stash of samples in the hope of finding something new which will give my skin a kick up the arse. Above is just a selected few samples I have at the moment.

I find that good skincare can be so expensive that it's reasonable to want to try before you buy - the amount of money I've spent on products which do not work for my skin is ridiculous. I am never successful when asking for samples at beauty counters - I've never had a single brand ambassador give me samples unless I was buying something from their counter - ridiculous in my opinion. It's not like in the US where we can return products which don't work for us. So here are the alternative ways I get samples and save money in doing so.
1) Email skincare companies
For me this has been the best way to try out new products for my skin. Not all brands are generous enough to give out skincare advice or send out a bundle of samples in the post, but some are. The companies which have stood out to me as having excellent customer service are Aesop and Elemis. When I want to try a product I start off with emailing the company directly (contact details are found on their official website), I just say that I'm interested in trying their product(s) as I'm not sure if it/they would work for my skin. I ask if they wouldn't mind sending some sample and I also add that I don't mind paying. This is because I don't mind paying a small fee for a sample as it still saves money as opposed to buying the full sized product. When I emailed both Aesop and Elemis, I had a speedy reply from both asking me a few questions about my skin. Following this I then received a detailed email recommending the products which they think might suit my skin and stating that samples had been sent out in the post. Brilliant. Some (most) companies however do not offer this service and suggest asking for samples at beauty counters (hmmmmn).
2) Choosing samples with online orders
A great way to try new products from some of your favourite brands. Most brands offer to send out samples when you make an order from their official website, whereby they allow you to choose a few samples upon checkout. Ren are one of my favourite companies for this (I always choose mini masks as they are great for travelling), but I think the majority of companies will send/give samples when making a purchase.
3) Buying mini travel size products
Some brands offer the option to buy travel/mini sized products for a cheaper price which I think is really handy if you're unsure of purchasing the full size. Off the top of my head I've noticed Elemis, Aveda & Soap and Glory do this.
Other ways include;
4) Looking through magazines Often when brands are advertising a new product in a magazine they will sometimes include a small sachet sample inside.
5) 'Liking' beauty companies on Facebook Many companies will state on their Facebook wall when they are sending out samples. You just input your home address and email address and the product sample is sent out.
6) Beauty Boxes A great way to try new lotions and potions is to subscribe to a beauty box. I was subscribed to the FeelUnique beauty box which I thought was brilliant, but unfortunately they stopped selling them. I've never subscribed to any others so I couldn't give advice there but it's a good way to try out new things.
I find I do save money with my stash of samples, many a time I've tried a sample only to realise it's not good for my skin or that it's just not worth the money. If you have any more tips please leave me a comment. Do you have luck when asking for samples at beauty counters?
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Topshop Lipstick: Macaroon Review and Swatch

Topshop Lipstick - Macaroon £8 (Topshop)
I added this lipstick to my online basket last week as I was shopping for another Lip Bullet and new statement necklace. Topshop makeup never fails to impress me, as with other lipsticks in the line Macaroon is pigmented and creamy. The lipstick doesn't dry out your lips and also the colour is very long lasting, I wore this colour all evening last night after drinking and eating and it was still on my lips 5 hours later. The shade is a bright pink, it reminds me of Revlon Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake, just a little darker. The colour is slightly deeper on me than I expected, maybe due to my pigmented lips. I'm really happy with the shade, I think it would suit most skin tones and looks great for summer.
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Monday, 3 June 2013

New Beauty Bits

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser, Miss Sporty Nail Polish 320 Popfiction, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

I've bought these goodies within the last week and I am happy with all three. I thought I'd give my two cents on each one as I didn't want to dedicate a whole post to each product. 

1. Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser
First up is the Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner for Dry Skin £3.56 (Boots). This is basically what it says on the tin, a moisturiser which is used in the shower. I am a lazy girl when it comes to moisturising after every shower/bath so I think this is a great idea! I apply the product after I've washed off my shower gel and then rinse it off in the same way. Skin feels silky smooth afterwards, as though you have just used a moisturiser! It feels a bit weird when you are putting it on in the shower as it doesn't lather up and just feels like you're putting moisturiser on wet, but it really does work. I will be using this every time I have a shower now especially as the weather is getting better and i'll be wearing summer clothes, showing more flesh.

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner for Dry Skin £3.56 (Boots)

2. Miss Sporty Nail Polish 320 Popfiction
I tweeted earlier that I couldn't stop looking at the lovely colour on my painted nails. That was because I was wearing this little beauty, Miss Sporty Nail Polish 320 Popfiction £1.99 (Boots). I was browsing the nail polishes in Boots, hoping to find a cheaper dupe for Nails Inc Baker Street - no such luck but this shade caught my eye. It's a purply blue shade which I love, perfect for summer. The quality of the nail polish is surprisingly good, the brush is thick (bonus) which makes applying it a dream. The only thing I would say is that the product claims to be's not. More than 24 hours have gone by with no chipping yet, so I have my fingers crossed. I would definitely be purchasing more shades from the Miss Sporty Nail Polish collection.

Miss Sporty Nail Polish 320 Popfiction £1.99 (Boots)

3. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
The smell of summer in a bottle. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent 100ml £44.50 (The Perfume Shop) is described as a warm scent with hints of coconut, tahitian gardenia petals, bergamot and mandarin. Whenever I spritz this on my skin I can imagine myself on a beach tanning myself up with a cocktail in my hand. If only! I love the packaging too and almost don't want to throw the box away. I bought mine from The Perfume Shop on Saturday, at the time they had 10% off all perfumes and giving out a load of samples with each purchase - I'm not sure whether the offer is still on or if it was just for the day.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent 100ml £44.50 (The Perfume Shop)

Have you tried any of the above, what are your thoughts?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush Soft Pink Review

I picked up another cream blush to add to my collection after a bad day at work last week, MaxFactor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in 14 Soft Pink. I'm a big fan of cream blush especially in the summer as it helps to give that dewy natural glow to the cheeks, I also think cream blushes look great with a tan.
I found this blush to be less creamy than my Topshop and Bourjois cream blushes, it wasn't as easy to blend into my skin with my fingers. Saying that the colour of the product is lovely, when applied it looks like a natural 'soft pink' but the colour is buildable and you can keep adding if you prefer more colour on your cheeks (like me). The product is longlasting and stays on my cheeks all day without needing touch ups - my skin is quite dry at the moment though, not sure how well it would fare on oily skin.
The packaging could be a bit fancier in my opinion, it has a cheap plastic cover on it which makes the product look tiny! The quality of the blush itself is what's important here, gorgeous colour which doesn't compare to any other blush in my collection and one which lasts all day. I'm a fan!