I made a little purchase from Elf last week whilst they had a code available for free p+p for orders over £15. I ummed and ahhed over ordering for a while but The Fiance told me he thought I should do it and, as I’ve been really wanting to get their spray brush cleaner, I gave in and found some products to bring my total up to £15.

I’ve got a few more hauls coming up this week, and I know I had some last week, but the weird thing is that, this month, they’ve mostly been free due to collecting points with various companies and the likes. Other than my primark purchases, this Elf order is one of the only things I’ve spent money on this month – I like being able to get so many free things!

Anyway, on to my order (this is a very picture heavy post):

 I got a few things from the studio range and some of their essentials line as I haven’t tried much from that section before. 
This was the main reason for my order – I really wanted something to spot clean my brushes on a day-to-day basis in between big cleans. This bottle is £3.75 for 60ml which is just so much cheaper than you can get in most places. Unfortunately I’ve only been able to use it twice as it’s leaked after both uses, I’m currently waiting to hear back from their customer services to try and get this resolved. The times that I used it though, it was good for getting blusher off my blush brush – It does have  a pretty strong alcohol smell, though, so I’m wary of getting it too close to my brush handles in case it comes in contact with the glue holding the bristles in place.
I have a serious thing about peachy, orangey, coral colours at the moment so I just had to pick up this Matte lip colour in Coral (£2.50 in sale, normally £3.75) – It’s a lovely colour, and applied nice and smoothly. It’s not totally matte but has a nice creamy look to it and I enjoyed wearing it. It’s a bit drying but matte colours tend to be I guess. Here’s a swatch:
I also picked up this concealer stick in Ivory (£3.75) – The packaging was surprisingly nice, as it feels metal and is nice and sturdy. I’m not too sure about the product, though, as it’s got very little coverage but I’m going to keep trying with it. I wanted to try their maximum coverage concealer but it  was out of stock.
This is the all over colour stick in the shade pink lemonade – It’s a nice pinky colour, with a nice sheen to it, I’ve not tried it yet but I’m going to try it as a blush. It says it can be used for eyes, lips and cheeks but I can’t imagine wanting that colour on my eyes at all (May try it on my lips just to see what it’s like) – This one is priced at £1.50 – Swatch here: 
I got this because it was £1 in their spring sale (normally £1.50) – It’s in the shade Ethereal and although they’re not super pigmented, I think they’ll be nice for a soft wash of colour on the lid. Swatches: 
I quite like the taupe shade on the far right and the highlight shade on the far left could be really handy too. 
For some reason I decided to get this Shimmering Facial whip in the shade Pink lemonade, too. This product is quite sticky, but when it’s blended in it leaves a sheer shimmer behind, with the slightest hint of colour – It’s too much colour for it to be a highlight, but it could be a nice blush, similar to the colour stick above, but much more sheer. It’s £1.50.
This diddy little tube of tinted moisturiser (12g) is in the shade ivory. This was a nice little extra product to take my order over the £15 mark, and for £1.50 I thought it was worth trying out. It’s incredibly incredibly sheer and I’m  not sure of how much coverage it’s going to give, but the fact that is has an spf of 15 is great, even if you wear it underneath a higher coverage product. It’s quite greasy when you put it on but before long it settles in and after a days wear I’ve not become greasy at all. As I say, really not sure of the coverage, I need to wear it a few more times to be sure. But, like I said before, if it isn’t much good in that respect then it’ll be good just for it’s spf value. 
Quite a nice little haul, I think. I only spent £15.50 and got plenty of products which I’m already enjoying trying out. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the issue with the brush spray sorted out as it’d be a shame if I can’t use it properly but other than that it was a good selection of products.

I took a couple of days away from blogging over the weekend as it was the weekend that we get to spend with The fiance.

I sat down, this evening,  to start writing the 5 or 6 posts I have ready to write up, only to discover that my laptop charger seems to be broken.

My mum may have one around but it’s already getting late, after I spent an age ransacking my room to try and find an old cable of my own, so even if she finds one it’ll be unlikely that I’ll be posting before tomorrow and if she doesn’t have one then it’ll be a few days.

I have my tablet but I can’t properly format a blog post on there and I struggle to write much as it’s just less intuitive on the app than it is via the proper web page. Hopefully posts shall resume in the next few days, or by the end of the week at the latest, I’ll be overflowing with posts to do by then!

**Edit** – I am now on my rather old netbook. Not sure how well I’ll get along with typing up a blog on this teeny tiny keyboard, when I’m so out of practice, but maybe it’ll be worth giving a go. Thankfully this little beauty has Ubuntu (a nice and easy linux operating system) on it rather than the old OS that came installed on it so it might actually be usable. If it was still on the old OS I’d never have had a chance to blog on it!

It’s hardly a secret that I’m a rather big fan of Latest in beauty; their Little Beauty boxes, their luxury samples and their collection boxes too! 

So, every time they start teasing us with clues as to their next collection, it’s really exciting to find out what it’s going to be, who it might be with and what products are inside. It was the same, recently, with the clues about the CEW beauty awards box which is going to be released tomorrow (Sunday 28th April 2013)

The CEW beauty awards are referred to as the ‘Oscars of Beauty’ and this box will be products by some of the finalists of this years awards, so just spare a moment to imagine how exciting these products should be. This is the third year that LIB have done a CEW awards box and last year they sold out in 24 hours!

I’m really, really excited about the box – And I’m very very likely to be getting myself one.

Keep an eye out on the LIB facebook page, twitter or website to find out more info. And if you want to pick up a box then make sure you don’t take too long making your mind up!

Just thought I’d quickly share with you a list of the free samples I’ve picked up this past month!Four of them are from various magazines (Sorry I don’t remember which one was which but see my magazine post HERE to see what the possibilities are) – The ones from magazines are the Loreal ‘Nude Magique cream’ in ‘Anti fatigue, the Loreal ‘Revitalift Laser Renew’ cream, the Maybelline ‘Dream Matte Mousse’ in ‘Nude 21’ and the Estee Lauder ‘Invisible Fluid Makeup’.

The other free samples that I got were from a website which compiles links to various online freebies which is Freebielist.com (fb page HERE) – I’ve got a few more coming from there, and I ordered a couple more earlier, but I’ll do another post for them.

What I’ve got so far are a sample of Hugo Boss ‘Nuit Pour Femme’, Loreal ‘Nude Magique CC cream’ in ‘Anti Dullness’ which also came with their BB cream in ‘Medium’ and then the Garnier Moisture match creams for Normal skin, normal to dry skin and dull skin.

Obviously these are all smaller samples, the ones from magazines even smaller than the online ones, but considering they were all free I think it’s a fab way of being able to try things out – Especially things like the CC creams, if you know you want to try it but don’t know which type to try.

 

Money Supermarket are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the £1 coin. To celebrate they’re asking bloggers to list up to 30 tips of how to save £1 (though doesn’t have to be a pound exactly, of course) and on the 17th May they’re going to put everyone’s name in the hat and someone will win £1000 (Or maybe £2000 if enough people enter!) – *edit* obviously this competition is over now but I look forward to entering more Money SuperMarket competitions in the future!

So, coming up will be my list of 30 tips. Some of these might seem obvious, but then everything is once you’ve thought of it! I’m going to try and make most of my tips aim at everyone but a few may be more angled towards beauty (shock horror!) – So here goes. Be prepared for a very very long post –

1. Meal planning. If you start out your week with a meal plan you’ll be much less likely to spend money on food that you don’t really need plus you can plan to buy larger amounts of food which will make two days worth of meals. It’s also much easier on a day-to-day basis as you won’t have ‘Dunno’ as the answer to that dreaded ‘What shall we have for dinner’ question! Money saving and sanity saving in one!

2. This works well along side tip number 1 – Invest in a freezer. In terms of initial outlay, a freezer might seem like an unnecessary purchase but it makes a massive difference when doing your weekly shop; so many food items are cheaper if you buy in bigger bulk but obviously you don’t necessarily want to use it all at once. So, instead, buy big and freeze half for next week or a week where you’ll be tighter on funds. Obviously, as I’m living with my parents at the moment, neither this tip or tip number 1 work for me at the moment as I don’t run my own kitchen, but back when I did have my own place these two tips saved a Lot of money.

3. Grow your own. I don’t know if we’ll have a garden when we get our own place, so we might be limited to herbs, but growing your own veg and herbs can be a great money saver plus it’s something you can get the kids involved with, if you have them, and you can be sure they’ll be more likely to eat veg they helped to grow!

4. This is a tip my Mum’s always told me, and it’s invaluable. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry; always eat lunch/breakfast before you go otherwise you’ll end up buying things you fancy now rather than just focusing on what you need to stock up on.

5. Local markets can be fantastic for saving money. Obviously not all areas have them but if you do, take a look – You’ll save money on your fruit and veg, it’ll be super fresh and you’ll be helping someone local. It’s a win win.

6. Another grocery shopping one – Be open minded with your recipes. Yes, stick to your meal plan, but if you’ve got chicken curry on your list and turkey is on special offer, then turkey curry is just as good! The meal plan will help you not overbuy but don’t let it make you pick more pricey options.

7. Own brands. I know this is yet another simple one, but some people really aren’t always aware of how good a supermarket own brand product can be! Just this evening we enjoyed an Asda curry which, my Mum tells me, are an absolute bargain. That’s just one of many examples – There may be certain brands which can’t be rivalled, but some brands are almost exactly the same as their own brand counterpart, give it a go you could save money every week if you find the perfect own brand equivalent!

8. This one is obvious but, eating at home. We all enjoy a nice meal out but my goodness does it cost a lot! There are ways to make it more fun, though, buy or make your own pizza base and pick your own toppings, another one which is fantastic to do with the kids or even when you have friends over if they don’t mind getting their hands dirty! But even without diy food, it’s easy to make a dinner at home nice for either the family or a gathering with friends. And you can be sure your friends will bring a bottle of wine or dessert if you’re helping them save money too!

9. Some people feel that there’s a stigma around certain shops but if you want to save money Poundland, Primark, Wilkinsons etc are your best friend! Primark clothes are often not as bad as you think, and for those with children, they’ll grow out of them in a few months anyway! And Poundland is full of real branded items from food to beauty products!

10. Points saving cards. Only recently I posted a haul of 9 beauty items from boots which I bought just with my advantage card points, and in a few days I’ll be posting another! A couple of weeks ago I posted about the tesco clubcard points I exchanged for a voucher to spend on Beautyexpert.com. Obviously these points don’t have to be spent on beauty, there’s a whole list of things, but these are pretty good examples of the money you can save.

11. Be open minded about bargain brands. Obviously there are plenty of brands we know and trust but sometimes a bargain brand can take us by surprise, there are many examples but one which you all know I will say is MUA. Make up academy have cosmetics which are, on average, between £1 and £5 and they are of a fantastic quality. Again, though, this concept works for brands of all kinds.

12. This tip is the absolute opposite of the last tip, but you’ll understand why when I explain. Don’t Just buy bargain brands if they aren’t working. As my tip above said, bargain brands can save a good few pounds, but don’t just blindly stick with a bargain brand if the product breaks or runs out super fast or just doesn’t work at all. That’s false economy, if you save money but have to buy the product more often or buy another product to make up for what it’s not doing then you may well be better of spending a little more to get a more expensive version. Obviously point 11 and 12 go against each other but both Do work if you just take the time to get to know products and work out what works best for you.

13. Places like Boots and superdrug as just fantastic for 3 for 2 offers, as are many other stores and supermarkets too. When I want to do some beauty buying I’ll often choose which shop to buy from based on which has a 3 for 2. Obviously bargain shops are great, but sometimes a shop like boots can cost less if they have the same items on 3 for 2.

14. Another tip which seems to counteract the last, but it doesn’t, honestly. But be careful when you look at offers. Never buy three of something in a 3 for 2 if you only needed 1 to begin with! And a buy one get one free is pointless if you didn’t need it in the first place. Not to mention the buy two for £3 or some other figure, offers that you see so often; always check the original price as 2 for £3 is less appealing when they were only £1.52 in the first place! Always check how much you’re saving and only buy it if you would have wanted the items to begin with.

15. Another obvious one but who doesn’t love sale shopping?! More specifically, though, if you really want something but know a store has a sale every three months and it’s been two months since the last sale, consider whether or not you can manage to wait another month to get it cheaper. Also, as silly as it sounds, consider stocking up on Christmas and birthday gifts in the boxing day and new year sales – They can be some of the best sales of the year and as long as you have somewhere to store things you could be saving money for the whole year.

16. This one won’t apply to everyone but it could make a massive difference to some. If you, for some reason, need to get a lot of prescriptions for yourself in the space of a month, you can buy a prepaid certificate for either three months or a year which will save you a massive amount. This isn’t something people will really want to need, but as someone who’s on a lot of medication a lot of the time, I know how much of a difference this can make to something that’s already hard enough to deal with.

17. Re-purposing. Some things are junk and they will have to be thrown away, but some things really could have other uses, don’t throw them away until you’ve really thought about what they could be used for. This goes for furniture, clothes or even cardboard boxes – We all know how much fun a child can have with a cardboard box!

18. Saving water and electric. Wash at 30 degrees when possible, turn off lights when not in use, turn off the tv when it’s only noise in the background. And, as an added tip for beauty lovers, check out Soap and Glory’s fb page for their ‘2 minute rinse’ their way of saving water, and time, with super super quick showers!

19. Not much fun but what about a self imposed spending ban? Sometimes we spend money without realising how much we spend so how about no spending on beauty products/clothes/computer games or whatever your vice is for a set amount of time. Alternatively, you could set yourself a target of using up 5 half used beauty products, or completing 5 half played computer games before you allow yourself to buy more – Make use of what you already have before spending more money.

20. Sites like Topcashback and Quidco are better than you might think – Give them a visit to see proper details of how they work, but they enable you to make money back from online purchases. As much as you think this might be too good to be true, the sites are free and you Can build up a decent amount of money – I’ve saved over £100 since I started using tcb.

21. Competitions! I don’t win competitions very often, but then I also forget to enter them often enough. But I do win from time to time and I think if I put a little more time in I could win more. The internet is a fantastic place to find competitions and you can win anything from cash to televisions and from holidays to clothes.

22. Free sample sites. I use the site Freebielist who compile links to various companies who’re offering free samples of anything from cat food to cosmetics. This is a great way to try things out without even needing to buy anything, with most of these links you simply need to input your mailing details and within a few weeks your samples arrive on your doorstep.

23. Comparison sites. They may have adverts that drive us nuts but comparison sites can make a massive difference when you’re looking for insurance, utilities etc. And of course, Moneysupermarket themselves offer advice about these things too!

24. Be aware of how much you’re spending on utilities, and phone bills etc. If you check these yearly and then shop around there’s a chance you could get a better deal elsewhere.

25. It’d be daft of me not to suggest this one, but check blogs and other reviews. This works for so many things, beauty, electronics, films, books, games. Everyone has an opinion and they’re always happy enough to share them with the world, use this to your advantage and get a variety of opinions on things to better help you make the best choice before buying something – Chances are if something doesn’t work for 99% of reviews it won’t work for you too so you’d be wasting your money.

26. It is, of course, vital to shop around. As well as checking various shops on the highstreet this might also mean checking a number of websites online – But always, always keep in mind the prices of p+p when you’re buying online. Some websites charge so much in p+p that the savings become pointless but also some sites are totally free. Also keep in mind that some sites offer free p+p over a certain amount so maybe if you can wait until you need to buy more from a site you can save in p+p costs there.

27. Magazines can be a fantastic source of entertainment and can also offer some fantastic freebies, vouchers or samples. You can also get some amazing subscription deals where if you subscribe for a year you get a free gift – Sometimes worth waiting until the free gift is one you’d make real use of.

28. Oh yes, another one which has an opposite tip too. Don’t be drawn in by magazines too much. As much as they have some great freebies, really really think about what you’re buying. Do you really really want both shades of the free nail varnish given away, so much that you’ll buy Two of that £4 magazine?!

29. Kindle sales. This one might seem a little obscure but amazon, regularly, do kindle sales where they do a selection of books for 99p and from time to time even as little as 20p! Sometimes these are books you’ve not heard of, and sometimes it can be something really popular, but either way it’s a fantastic saving. You may be thinking ‘But I don’t have a kindle?!’ and that’s why it’s such a saving, you can install the kindle app, for free, on tablets, phones, ipods and laptops so that 99p book can, really, cost you 99p (And don’t forget the classics are Free via the kindle app too!)

30. Lastly, another entertainment tip. Sites that allow you to stream films from online, or rent films via the post, for a fixed fee, can be a real saving. Love film, love film instant, blink box and netflix all offer these services and if you’re someone who likes to watch lots of series’ or films in  month, then an unlimited streaming bundle, for example, can save you a Lot of money. Though, remember, if you’re the type to want to watch things more than once, then maybe this wouldn’t work for you.

Wow… my fingers hurt, that was a Whole lot of typing.

I really hope that some of these tips have helped some people, and don’t forget to check out the link for the Money Supermarket page above to see how you can be involved in this too.