Classic makeup products that are worth the hype

Luxury makeup products on marble background

We all know those classic makeup products; the ones that (at one point in time) every beauty guru had in their collections, fellow beauty lovers raved about, and were out of stock constantly – making it very tricky to actually get hold of them yourself. We’ve all been there, right?

As someone who has been ‘into’ beauty for around 4 years, I’ve tried many hyped up products. Fortunately, many of them have been definite hits and have found a permanent place in my make-up collection. In fact, some have been repurchased over and over again, and will continue to be.

With the beauty industry being valued at a whopping $532 billion in 2019, we’ve become accustomed to brands releasing new must-haves every week and feeling like we need to buy them – and I must admit that I’ve fallen for the type more than a few times in the past, and I still do now (I just like makeup, okay). With so many products being released up until now (which I’m sure will continue when the world starts to return to normal), I thought it would be nice to talk about some of the classics that are worth the hype and have become long-term favourites…

Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow

Let’s start with one of my ride or dies. In fact, this might actually be my favourite makeup item of all time; the Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow. Let’s start with a disclaimer that the price reflects the luxuriousness of its packaging – in fact, I waited until I found a decent discount before I initially purchased this. However, with a standard luxury bronzer or highlighter costing upwards of £20, it isn’t that bad and it lasts for ages. I must have bought my second one a year ago and am still yet to hit pan.

This duo is just perfect for day-to-day or amped up for night outs. I have the Light-Medium shade and find both the bronzer and highlighter compliment my pale warmer toned skin really well. The bronzer is quite neutral, making it great for sculpting, but it adds a nice subtle glow to your skin too. The highlighter is also a lovely champagne shade that isn’t too shimmery or glittery.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

I’ve been through a fair few of these powders over the years. Many products from MAC are extremely popular, and this a product that I was inspired to pick up after Anna from The Anna Edit recommended it. Judging by the fact that I keep buying this, you already know it didn’t disappoint! The MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder in Light Plus is a great setting powder for me; due to its baked finish, it looks natural and sets my base without making it look too dry or powdery. As someone with skin that is often dehydrated, this is exactly what I’m looking for in a powder.

Close up of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and Charlotte Tilbury makeup

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel

I feel bad including this product because I’m pretty sure it’s been reformulated; it’s now called the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream. I’m not sure how different the new version is as I’m still yet to try it, but hopefully not much has changed besides from the name because the original really is the perfect cream bronzer. One of the things that used to concern me about using cream products is that they might not sit nicely over powder. My skin is combination, so I prefer to set my concealer and foundation, and this blends seamlessly over the top like a good powder bronzer would.

This is quite warm-toned (the original at least), but I personally like this – it adds some much needed colour to my face and I think it helps make my skin look sunkissed (well, as sunkissed as my translucently pale skin can look). As much as I love this product though, Chanel really needs to release this in more shades so everyone can enjoy it – as is the case with many of their products. Another downside is that this is pricey. but you do get a lot of product.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury is my favourite makeup brand, so of course I had to feature another of her products in this line-up – and this is one of her most iconic ones. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks in general because they’re a comfortable, creamy matte with very decent staying power (my favourite colours are Hell’s Bells and Super Cindy), but Pillow Talk is the one that I want to highlight today. Even if you haven’t tried anything from the brand, you’ve probably heard of the Pillow Talk lipstick before – and (of course) the product that started the hype in the first place; the matching lip liner.

Like I said, the formula of her lipsticks are really nice, and it’s no surprise that this shade is so well-loved; it’s a cooler toned pink nude that looks great on a range of skin tones. However, I’m really glad that the brand brought brought out a darker version of Pillow Talk to suit even more skin tones (which also looks gorgeous). If you love the liner and lipstick, the matching blusher and eyeshadow quad are wonderful too!

BareMinerals Original Loose Mineral Foundation

I understand that power products aren’t for everyone. If you have dry skin, you’re probably not jumping at the chance to try this one. However, the BareMinerals Original Loose Mineral Foundation doesn’t look powdery at all on my combination skin (which can be a bit dry in places, oily in others). It actually has quite a silky feel and gives a subtle glow to the skin. To be honest, I like anything that makes me look glowy.

This gives good coverage (medium, but can be built up to full), is quick to apply (I like to buff it in using a dense brush) and it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a face-full of heavy foundation. This is always my go-to when I’m running late in the morning and need to get my face on fast!

Close up of Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow and Benefit eyebrow pencil

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

Once everyone’s favourite, I feel like this is a bit of a polarising product these days. I’ve seen a few people try the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in recent years and say that it’s too heavy; that it doesn’t sit nicely on their skin. However, I’ve never had a problem with that. For me, this always looks good no matter what mood my skin is in; whether it’s relatively clear or blotchy and breaking out. The name might be confusing as it doesn’t have a dewy finish (it’s more satin, I’d say) but it provides exactly what the name describes; a sheer glow. It has a liquid-y texture, so it’s easy to build up if you need to, and has a decent shade range too; I feel like the shade Deauville is my perfect match.

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil

A brow pencil is a brow pencil – right? While there isn’t a lot of difference between extremely thin ones like the Benefit Precisely, My Brow (I also like the Hourglass Arch Brow Micro Pencil and the Fenty Beauty Brow MVP), this is the one that I’ve purchased over and over again. I just find this really easy to use; it’s not too waxy or smooth, which can make your brows look too harsh or melt off your face halfway through the day. I like to brush my brows up with the spoolie, then lightly draw in hairs and add texture with a fiber brow gel like the Benefit Gimme Brow. Benefit just excels when it comes to brows.

Which classic beauty products do you love – or simply do not understand the hype around at all? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know!

Current favourites in beauty, style, television and more: March 2020

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It’s difficult to know how to start this post, because it’s an understatement to say that the world is going through a difficult time right now. Many of us are having to adjust to losing our usual routines; to working from home in our spare rooms, to not seeing our friends and loved ones and not being able to pop out to our favourite pub or restaurant whenever we fancy on a Saturday night. 

On a more serious level, a lot of people are also facing a great deal of uncertainty in terms of their finances. With shops, pubs and eateries being forced to close with no idea of when they can reopen, small business owners are wondering if their livelihoods will be able to survive, and so many hard-working people have sadly lost their jobs. With the world’s death toll and the number of people being infected rising by the day, and the UK being the latest country to be put on lockdown, business as usual is just not possible right now. But I am staying hopeful that it will be soon.

At a time like this, it might seem weird to start blogging again; especially about something as trivial as fashion and beauty products. However, I feel like distractions are much-needed for many of us. I, for one, definitely need to step away from the negative news which is feeding my already overly anxious brain.

So, I’m back with some current favourites from beauty, fashion and more. Grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and try to forget about how worried you feel, if only for 5 minutes.

Lush Let the Good Times Roll Body Spray

A few years ago, back when Benefit Cosmetics still made perfume, I fell in love with one called So Hooked on Carmella (anyone else remember this?). It was the perfect sweet vanilla-ry, caramel-y scent – and then they went and discontinued it. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to find the perfect replacement. This Lush body spray doesn’t quite smell the same, but it has a similar vibe; it’s very sweet, though this is lighter and fresher.

I always get compliments when I wear this – probably because you can smell it from the other side of the room. You really don’t need to worry about the scent not lasting with this!

The Body Shop Mango Hand Cream

Yep, I am a bit of a magpie for nice smelling products – whether it’s perfumes, candles, pillow sprays or haircare products. I must admit, I have bought far too many skincare products because they’ve promised to smell of rose or lavender. This hand cream has a very refreshing fruity scent, and is nice and light. It sinks in quickly, making it perfect for slathering on my dry hands between typing in my makeshift home office.

Urban Decay Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette


I have fallen in love with many an eyeshadow palette in my time. I’m a floozy for eyeshadows. But this? It really is something special. If you’re anything like me (or any other beauty lover has been for the past few years), then you’re always on the lookout for the perfect easy warm toned eyeshadow for everyday – and this palette has plenty of ’em.

This is a great neutral palette; all of the colours make sense to me, and there a few different combinations you can go with. I actually feel as though Urban Decay’s shadow formula has gotten better over the years, and I’ve found these very quick and easy to blend in a hurry. Gold stars all round.

Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Cake

Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Cake

I’m a big fan of a nude lipstick and this is the perfect everyday one. Not only is the perfect neutral shade to pair with a bronze-y eye (this looks almost terracotta on me), bit because it’s matte with a balmy texture, I find this quite quick and easy to apply and it looks pretty natural and pared-back too. I haven’t tried any of the other Generation G lipsticks from Glossier, but I definitely want to pick up more shades.

Star and polka dot prints

Leopard print will always be the on for me, but I’m having a moment with polka dot and star printed items lately too. For this, I blame Nasty Gal; I don’t know what it is about their models, but they make me want to buy anything with a star or polka dot pattern on it. I guess it’s probably the fact that they’re all gorgeous and at least 5’7″.

Nonetheless, they’re both great ways of adding interest to an outfit, with polka dots making me feel like I’m somewhat channeling the 60s, and the stars making me feel mystical and witch-y. Neither of which I am. Check out some of my current fave patterned items below.

Friday Night Dinner on E4

Now that we’re all staying indoors (and if you’re not, then you really, really should be), it’s the perfect time to binge watch a new TV show – and this is just the ticket if you want some light relief. If you love the Inbetweeners (which also stars Simon Bird), I’m sure you’ll like this. It’s equally as funny and will have you cringing just as much, if not more. Plus, social distancing doesn’t feel so bad when you’re watching this as the majority of the episodes are set solely in the Goodman’s family home…

Amy Serrano on YouTube

Now that I’m spending so much time at home, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube. I’ve been following Amy for a while and have always been a fan of her videos, but I’ve been reminded of how much I love her content after watching her recent video that showed how to achieve a Bella Hadid inspired ‘foxy eye’ look.

I love her ‘get the look’ tutorials – they’re really informative, extremely well done, and I like that they focus more on techniques than the projects used. She also gives really great styling tips and I love how creative she gets in her thrifting videos. If you like beauty and style content, then definitely check her out.

What products have you been loving lately? What has been keeping you occupied while you’re at home? I hope you’re all keeping safe and embracing the great indoors!

Review: Natural World Coconut Water Hydration & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner and Weightless Hair Oil

Natural World Coconut Water Hydration & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Oil reviewNatural World Coconut Water Hydration & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Oil review

It’s no secret that I love coconut. In food, perfumes, and beauty products; if it has coconut as an ingredient, then I probably want to try it. However, coconut isn’t one of my favourite skin and haircare ingredients just because of its amazing scent (who doesn’t get reminded of their last summer holiday when they catch a whiff of the stuff?). In fact, I’m also a big fan of coconut water (especially in haircare products) because of the countless benefits it can have on the hair.

Not only is it rich in Vitamin K and Iron (which makes hair roots stronger, resulting in thicker, healthier hair), but it also tames frizz and is very moisturising, making it the perfect ingredient for someone with bleached hair, like myself. So, when Natural World reached out and asked if I wanted to try some products from their new Coconut Water Hydrate & Shine range, I jumped at the chance!

Created in the heart of Soho, London, Natural World’s aim is to provide affordable luxury haircare products that use naturally derived ingredients from across the world. Free from parabens, phosphates, phthalates, dyes, and gluten, the range is certified organic and uses 95% natural derived ingredients.

I was sent three products to try from the new Coconut Water Range; the Hydrate & Shine Shampoo*, the Hydrate & Shine Conditioner*, and the Hydrate & Shine Weightless Hair Oil*. Each of the products in this range have been designed to add lightweight moisture and shine to dehydrated and dull-looking hair, and their natural nourishing ingredients include Certified Organic Coconut extract, plus Rosemary, Lemongrass, Orange, and Ylang Ylang essential oils.

I’ve been trialling the Natural World Coconut Water range for the past few weeks, and my hair definitely feels a lot softer and easier to manage when I use it. Although I use the hair oil every time I wash my hair, I tend to alternate the shampoo and conditioner with a more volumising shampoo and conditioner, and I’ve found that this is a great way to add some moisture back into my hair without weighing it down.

As someone with a lot of fine hair, I need something that’s nourishing without making my hair feel as if it’s full of product, and the Hydrate & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner both have a light texture that’s easy to wash out. The Hydrate & Shine Weightless Hair Oil also has a lovely light texture, and I love mixing it into a leave-in treatment to smooth down my drier bleached ends. It’s definitely made styling my hair easier, and it’s quickly become my favourite product from the range.

The Natural World Coconut Water range can be found in Tesco stores with prices starting from just £4.00, so it’s also extremely affordable for the amount of product you get!

Have you tried anything from Natural World? Will you be trying the new Coconut Water range?

*The products in this post have been gifted to me for my consideration. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

First impressions: Kat Von D Beauty

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Kat Von D Beauty is one of those makeup brands that I’ve always been drawn to, despite the fact that it’s not that easily available in the UK. From the more alternative branding (that suits Kat’s style oh-so-well), to the bright colours and much raved about product formulas, I just knew it was a brand that I’d instantly get on with- and I wasn’t wrong.

When the Debenhams website first started stocking the brand last year, it wasn’t long before I’d ordered a few of the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks to try (including the famous Lolita). From then on I was hooked, and I quickly added the foundation and powder to my wishlist. So, when the counter finally arrived at the Cardiff Debenhams store, I knew I had to pick those up (as well as a few more things for good measure).

If you want to try some Kat Von D Beauty products but don’t know where to start, here are my thoughts on the products I’ve tried and tested so far…

Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation

The Lock-It foundation was the product that I was most excited to try because I’d heard great things about the shade range and the high level of coverage, and it sounded like it would hold up well on my oily t-zone.

With that in mind, let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed with this foundation! Not only was it easy to find my perfect colour match (there are 30 shades to choose from), but the level of coverage is comparable to Estee Lauder’s Double Wear; although I don’t, I could get away with not wearing concealer with either of these. I also think the Lock-It foundation does a good job of smoothing out pores, and it doesn’t look cakey on the drier areas of my skin either. It’s quickly become one of my favourites!

Kat Von D Lock-It Brightening Loose Powder

As someone with combination skin, I need to use powder, but find they can sometimes look too cakey. This isn’t an issue I have with the Lock-It powder though; it’s pretty matte, but it provides a smooth finish and it seems to work with every foundation I’ve worn it over (it’s translucent in colour). It’s not as luminous as my HG, the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, but I do really like it.

Shade and Light Contour Palette

I’ve only used this a few times so far (and I am yet to try the two darker highlight and contour powders), so I can’t give a full review. However, let’s just say that my first impressions are very good! The powders seem to blend seamlessly on top of other powder products, and the lightest contour powder is the right amount of cool-toned for me. With three matte contours and highlighters to choose from, I also think this will work for most skintones.

Even as someone who’s on the paler side (I’m around a NC15-20 in terms of MAC shades), I can find a use for all of these powders; I use the first cool-toned contour powder to add definition to my checkbones, then the second, warmer shade to bronze up the rest of my face. I then sweep the lightest highlighter across the tops of my cheekbones, my chin, my forehead, and anywhere else I want to highlight, and the more yellow-toned one under my eyes. The lovely girl who served me at the counter also said I could use the two darker shades as eyeshadows, which I can’t wait to try out!

Shade and Light Eye Contour Quad in Rust

When I saw this eyeshadow palette, I knew I just had to have it. I’m really loving the current trend of bright, very warm-toned eyeshadows, and the orange shade is unlike anything else in my collection. Plus, you get four eyeshadows for £17, which I think is a good deal in comparison to other high-end makeup brands.

The four colours in the quad work really well together to achieve a more dramatic night time look, but I do think you could just use the light pink and orange shades for something more day appropriate. In terms of formula, they’re also easy to blend, and I didn’t get a lot of fall out when I used them.

Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Because I bought a few things on the day the Kat Von D counter opened in the Cardiff Debenhams, I was lucky enough to get a mini of the Tattoo Liner and a makeup bag for free. Now, I’m not the best at applying liquid eyeliner (especially the cat eye flicks), but this does make it a little easier. The end of the brush is very thin as it’s made up of lots of small bristles, so it glides very smoothly, and you can achieve a very thin and precise line. This is the part I struggle with, so it’s great news for me!

Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks

As I already mentioned, I’m a big fan of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, and I now have a few in my collection. Not only are there over 30 colours in the range (including bright reds, pinks, and purples, and cool and warm-toned nudes), but I just love the formula; they don’t dry straight away, so it’s easy to fix any mistakes, and when they do, they’re very matte and long-wearing.

I wore the shade Santa Sangre (a warm red) on a recent night out and I only had to re-apply it once where it had started to fade in the middle.

Have you tried Kat Von D Beauty yet? If not, which of the products are you most excited to try?

Quick and easy everyday eyeshadow picks

Easy eyeshadow picks

Eyeshadow is one of products that I love to apply, and I think it can really help to pull a look together. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it makes you look like as though you’ve put a lot more effort into your appearance than you actually have.

However, as I need to be up quite early in the morning, I don’t always have time to apply a full eyeshadow look before I run out the door, and I always find myself reaching for concealer, an eyelash curler, mascara, and brow pomade as my first port of call if I’m in a rush. So, here are my quick and easy eyeshadow picks for when you need to get your eyeshadow on pronto…

An eyeshadow palette might not seem like the obvious choice for a quick eyeshadow look, but hear me out here. Famous for its light bronze, brown and gold toned shades, the Urban Decay Naked Palette is actually one of my easiest palettes to use. The shadows are smooth and easy to blend, and they all work really well together. My favourite daytime look to go for is Half Baked on the lid, Naked in the crease, and Darkhorse in the inner corners.

If you find the choice from a full eyeshadow palette overwhelming, then one of the NARS Duo Eyeshadows is a good option as the look has already been chosen for you; just pop the lighter shade in the duo onto the whole lid, and blend the darker one out into the corners! The one I’ve pictured is Surabaya, which contains a ‘brown sugar’ and ‘chestnut’ shade that pair together beautifully.

Alternatively, cream eyeshadows (in either stick or pot form) are ideal if you really don’t have much time on your hands, but you still want to put something on your lids. My top picks in this category are the Chanel Illusion D’Ombres, Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24HR EyeshadowsBy Terry Ombre Blackstars and Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleons as they’re all shimmery (which adds dimension), and can be easy blended onto the lid without the need for anything else. They’re the ultimate easy eyeshadows.

As the Charlotte Tilbury ones also have a hint of glitter, they’re perfect for night too!

What are your favourite quick and easy eyeshadow picks? Do you share any of these favourites?

Lush Cosmetics products for the perfect pamper

Lush pamper picks

Since attending the Lush Swansea store opening event last week, my already big obsession with Lush has just intensified further. This has caused me to dig out some of my new and long-time favourites from the brand, and I’ve noticed that all of these products have one thing in common; they’re perfect for an evening of pampering…

As someone with dry, sensitive hands, I do my best to take care of them, and I’m never too far from a hand cream (I have one sitting on my desk at work, as well as one in my bathroom at home). The Handy Gurugu Hand Cream is the one I kept at home and it’s the perfect pampering pick; it’s very thick and creamy (as it contains shea, peanut, cashew and almond butters), so it’s great one to pop onto your hands before bed.

Before using this, however, I’m also really enjoying the Salted Coconut Hand Scrub. As the name suggests, this smells amazing, and the fine, gritty texture leaves your hands really soft. Sure, you could probably use a regular body scrub instead, but I just adore the texture and smell of this hand scrub. Plus, I think a little of this will go a long way!

I’m a big advocate for moisturising your body, and Lush’s Dream Cream is my current favourite body lotion. It has a nice mild smell that I find really calming, and it contains oat milk and rose water, so it’s soothing on the skin too. I also love that it sinks in fairly quickly; although I slather this on, there’s no risk of me slipping all over the place.

Last but not least in my Lush pampering products round-up is the Retread Hair Conditioner. The texture of this is a little unusual, and it doesn’t feel extremely moisturising when you first apply it (it doesn’t contains silicones, which gives many hair products a smooth, slippery feel). Nonetheless, it makes my bleached hair very soft, and just more manageable. It does need to be rinsed out thoroughly though!

What are your favourite Lush products to use when you’re having a pamper evening?

An evening with Lush Cosmetics: Lush Swansea new store opening event

Lush Swansea new store opening

Lush Cosmetics has been one of my favourite brands since I first ventured into one of their stores early last year, and I now love nothing more than popping in, smelling the gorgeous displays, and finding something new to try.

Living just half an hour away from Swansea, I was obviously pretty excited to hear that they’d be moving to a new bigger space. So, when I was invited to check out the new Lush Swansea store before it officially opened with my friend, Siobhan, I didn’t waste any time in accepting!

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The new Lush store can be found at 808 Oxford Street, which is just around the corner from their old home. It’s also conveniently located a couple of doors up from the likes of Topshop, Marks and Spencer, Next, and Starbucks, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it!

Inside, the store is a lot bigger than their old one, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how far back it went. It’s also beautifully set out with everything in its own special place; haircare, bubble bars and perfumes can be found on the right, body products at the back, and skincare, makeup, and shower gels on the left.

You’re also greeted by a wonderful display of bath bombs and FUN as you enter the store (with plenty of sinks for you to see the products in action), and the famous Fresh Face Mask Bar towards the back (is this anyone else’s favourite part of the store?).

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I swear only one of these drinks was mine…

The store opening also gave us the opportunity to see some of Lush’s new releases in the flesh, such as the Jelly Bombs, Jelly Face Masks, Body Sprays, and Hot Oil Treatments. I was very excited to be able to demo one of the new Jelly Bombs during the event, and was very grateful to be gifted some of the new products to take home with me. I can’t wait to try them out and share my thoughts!

Another highlight was making my very own Intergalactic and Dragon’s Egg bath bombs, which turned out pretty damn good (if I do say so myself). My skills aren’t a patch on Lush’s Bath Bomb Makers, though…

Although I was nervous to attend my first blogger event, I had a great evening and the lovely, friendly staff quickly put me at ease. I was also given a bunch of product recommendations to suit my needs, and I now have a wishlist as long as my arm.

I’d definitely recommend giving the new Lush Swansea store a visit if you can, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to Lush for letting me see the new store early!

Will you be popping into the new Swansea store to grab some goodies? What are your thoughts on the new store and product releases?

How to save money when buying beauty products

Saving money

If you’re as much of a beauty lover as I am, then you’ll know that it can become quite the expensive hobby; especially if you get through certain products very quickly (such as face powder or eye makeup remover, in my case), or you’re a sucker for a new release.

Fortunately, you can save a few pennies if you know the right tricks. Here are my top tips for saving money when buying beauty products…

Get a points reward card

Most of us have a Boots Advantage Card, but did you know that most beauty retailers now have their own points reward systems? Debenhams, House of Fraser, and Space NK are just a few of the stores that have their own version, and I actually prefer their systems to Boots’ because you can use your points as soon as they reach £5 (or £10 or £15…) and have been transferred to your card.

The time this takes varies from retailer to retailer, but I think it’s still worth the wait to be able to pay with a mixture of points and cash.

These retailers also often run offers that are exclusive to reward card holders (such as ‘earn double points’, or ‘spend £50 to get £10 worth of points’), so try to wait for these before doing a big restock!

Take advantage of offers and voucher codes

Feelunique and Lookfantastic are two of my favourite beauty retailers because their delivery is pretty quick and free (although you need to spend £15 for this to apply to Feelunique). They also stock a wide range of brands between them, from Estee Lauder and Urban Decay, to Oskia and Jurlique.

As well as regularly running great offers (such as flash sales or a certain percentage off your order), on the off chance that there isn’t a promotion on, voucher codes that give you between 10 and 20% off your order can often be found on Hot UK Deals.

Signing-up for newsletters can also be a good way to get offers sent straight to your email inbox (as long as you don’t mind getting a lot of emails). In fact, many retailers will send you a reward just for signing-up; Cult Beauty, for example, will give you free shipping on your first order.

Look out for free gifts with purchase

Estee Lauder, Clinique, and Clarins frequently run a Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotion when you visit their counters, and these can be a great way of discovering a new favourite product that you never would have thought of trying! As these are usually miniature products, they’re also very nice to have if you travel a lot; more often than not, they’ll come in a makeup bag.

However, one thing to be wary of is spending more money just to qualify for a free gift; you’ll typically need to purchase two products for that gift, so make sure you’re buying things you definitely want! There’s also no need to spend more money for the free gift if  it doesn’t contain products you’ll use, so always ask about the contents first.

Ask for a sample!

For a beauty lover, there’s no worse feeling than buying a pricey foundation, getting it home to try out, and realising the colour or the formula just doesn’t work for you. This is especially annoying considering the fact you can only return beauty products in the UK if you’ve kept the receipt and have had an allergic reaction (and even then, not all brands will take it back).

Foundations, primers, moisturisers, cleansers, and many other skincare items are just some of the products you can get samples of before you splash the cash, and many high-end counters will be happy to give you one if you ask! MAC, Dior, Benefit, BareMinerals, Chanel, and Estee Lauder are just some of the brands I’ve  snagged samples from without needing to spend a penny, though they’re usually pretty generous if you do ask for one when you purchase something else…

Search for affordable dupes

Finally, if you really can’t afford that £40 eyeshadow palette (or can’t justify buying it if you’re not going to use it all that often), then check out Makeup Revolution; they make really good quality dupes of some of the most hyped-up beauty products. Many of Sleek‘s products have also been claimed to be similar to certain high-end products.

NYX and KiKo are also very affordable brands with a wide colour range, and the quality of their products is comparable to that of more expensive brands. Definitely check them out!

What are your top tips for saving money when buying beauty? Share them in the comments!

The bad skin day saviours: 3 skincare products for clear and glowing skin

Bad skin day saviours

Bad skin days: they suck, and they happen to the best of us. In fact, despite having a solid skincare routine that I follow pretty much religiously (even when I stumble in from a night out at 3:00am), there are a couple of things that cause it to become sensitive and a bit spotty; a.k.a. stress, a lack of sleep, and one too many chocolates.

For these occasions, I present to you three products that help almost every type of bad skin day…

The one that brings the glow back

The REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is the product I always reach for when my skin is looking a bit dull and blotchy, which is often the case after a breakout. This thick, fruity smelling face mask exfoliates using four AHAs (including glycolic acid and lactic acid), so it always leaves my skin feeling soft, as well as looking clearer and more even in tone.

Although it provides quite an intense exfoliation (meaning my face can be a bit red after use), this tends to disappear quickly, and I don’t find this product to be too harsh for my sometimes sensitive skin.

The one that calms sore and angry skin

Next up in my bad skin day toolkit is the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, which is a product you’ve probably already heard a lot about! It’s received its fair share of praise from the blogging community and for good reason; it’s a light, hydrating mask that soothes angry, red skin, while the antiseptic properties of the honey tackles spots and helps them to clear up quicker.

This face mask is basically just a great all-rounder, and I’d recommend it for all skin types!

The one that gets rid of spots

If I have a particularly bad spot and I want to get rid of it fast, then I know the one thing that’ll always have my back; the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Containing a mixture of salicylic acid, zinc oxide, sulphur, and titanium dioxide (the pink mixture at the bottom of the bottle), and isopropyl alcohol (which sits on top of the mixture), this dries your spots out as you sleep, and I find it only takes a few days for mine to disappear completely.

Just remember not to shake the bottle, and to apply the pink mixture directly to the spot without rubbing it in!

What are your go-to bad skin day products? Have you tried any of my picks?

Brand focus: 5 products to try from Charlotte Tilbury

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Alongside NARS, Bobbi Brown, and Urban Decay, Charlotte Tilbury is one of my favourite makeup brands- and it’s not just because of that luxurious rose gold packaging. I just love that many of the products have been collated into specific looks (making it super easy to pair them together), and the colours are gorgeous.

It’s not just that, though; the quality of the products inside definitely live up to their outer packaging.

Having been a fan of Charlotte Tilbury for a few years now, I’ve tried a number of products from the range, and I’ve found a few firm favourites. So, if you’re unsure of what to try from the brand, here are the top five products I’d recommend…

All of the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes are lovely, but it’s the Dolce Vita that has my heart. The brown and red shades are really pigmented, and they work perfectly together to create a warm toned smokey eye. The red can also be used with the lightest shade for a more day appropriate look, making this palette more versatile than it looks at first glance.

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When it comes to base products, Charlotte Tilbury just gets it. The Filmstar Bronze & Glow is probably one of my most used palettes, and for good reason; the contour in the Light-Medium version never looks muddy on my paler complexion, while the highlighter adds some serious glow.

I also love The Retoucher for brightening dark circles (although I do layer it over another higher coverage concealer), and the Magic Foundation. A little of this goes a long way, and it gives a good level of coverage with a satin finish. Definitely a good option for more oily or combination skin types!

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Finally, I’m a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s matte lipsticks. Not only are they really comfortable to wear, but they do stick around! My favourite shades are Glastonberry from the Matte Revolution range (a very vampy dark plum), and Super Cindy and Hell’s Bells from the Hot Lips collection. The first is a peachy nude, while the latter is a more pink-y version of Glastonberry.

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury makeup? What are your favourite products from the brand?