Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Elf haul - during free p+p promotion

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.

Monday, 29 April 2013

All's quiet on the blogging front

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!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Latest in Beauty - CEW beauty awards box - Released tomorrow - Sunday 28th April 2013

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!

Free samples - From magazines and from online

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.  

Friday, 26 April 2013

30 ways to save £1 - Money saving tips

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.

NOTD - Nail of the Day - Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in 'Papaya' and Essie 'Cute as a button'

Just a quick nail of the day post.

I got the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polish in my recent spring make-up haul (HERE) and I got Essie's 'Cute as a button' in my April Glossybox (HERE) and I thought that it'd be a really lovely spring look to do my nails with the softer, creamier Barry M polish but with an accent nail on each hand in the brighter, pinkier, Essie colour.

On my left hand I have the thumb as the accent colour and on my right hand it's the ring finger. I absolutely love these two colours together and having the accent colour as a brighter, more vivid version as the all over colour is really nice.

Sorry for the blurry photo, I was in a hurry and the silly camera decided that my nails were a background to blur - But on a plus side, you can still see the colours just fine and the horrid ridges in my nails are less visible!

Kids are flippin' funny #21

I left The Boy playing with his toys, in the living room, the other day whilst I popped upstairs to put some washing on my bed to put away later. I was up there for two minutes or so, no time at all for him to get up to any mischief.

Thankfully, my predictions were correct, no mischief, just something rather cute and funny!

I'd left the book I'm currently reading on the arm of the chair, and cheeky boy here decided to lay back and have a quick read. It's a massive novel called 'Devices and Desires' by K.J. Parker, which is the first part of a fantasy trilogy. Of course, to The Boy, it was a Thomas the tank engine book.

He lay there for a good ten minutes, until I distracted him with food, narrating a lovely little story about 'Thomas and Mavis' and 'the track was wet' and 'they had a very long day' and 'it was a very lovely day'

It's lovely to see his imagination working so nicely - It's one thing interpreting pictures into a story but making one up totally by himself was so sweet. Also very very funny!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Some late, but very awesome, Birthday and xmas gifts

The other evening I had a, really, lovely catch up with a very good friend. 

We haven't seen each other much, for a while for a whole list of reasons (pretty much, totally, my fault, I have to add) so it was really nice to just sit and chat for a few hours (5 hours I think, in total, just a few!)

It's, actually, been so long that we haven't seen each other since before Xmas, so he also brought an Xmas gift And a birthday gift for me! 

This beautiful edition of 'Grimms Complete Fairy Tales' which I really want to look through but also, really, don't want to take out of the plastic!

And this gorgeous cushion featuring a design from an artist that I love 'Victoria Frances' who draws these, beautiful, gothic characters.

I have to say I feel like a very very lucky person, considering I feel like such a bad friend for not having seen him for so long.

There's a lot of people that I've drifted apart from, over the years, but the friends that I do have left that I'm still close to, are really wonderful people - Seeing my friend, and seeing the thought he put into these gifts, reminds me of that. And it also reminds me that, although I've not seen some of my friends much recently, it'll be so easy to just pick up where we left off once we do get a chance to see each other again!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Birthday money buys for The Boy

As you may remember, it was The Boy's birthday a couple of weeks ago. He got a lot of lovely presents (see post HERE), but he did also get money from a few people. So, when we went out the other day (for the first time in a little while as he's poorly Yet again!), I thought it'd be nice to go to the toy shop and let him get some bits that he wanted. So we went to The Entertainer and got ourselves some bargains! 

The most important thing for us to get was the 'Brewster' train, from Chuggington. as he's been talking about wanting one since just before his birthday. I won't lie, I was rather pleased that they were half price as the die-cast models are normally £7 so £3.50 was a fantastic price!

Secondly, we discovered the new range of 'Tree Fu Tom' figurines. Oh yes, he's ready for figurines now!
He loves Tree Fu Tom, when he gets to see it (it often coincides with dinner time) so, although they were £5 each, we were very excited to pick up a 'Tom' figure and a 'Twigz' figure. The Boy has taste, Twigz is, without a doubt, the coolest character - He's voiced by David Tennant for one!

Lastly we picked up a couple of puzzles. They were £5 down to £2 and The Boy loooves puzzles so I thought it was the perfect chance to pick a new one up. The massive, 60 piece, Tree Fu Tom one that he got for his birthday is just a bit Too big for him so far, so I thought that one of these 45 piece ones might be a better size. We chose the Madagascar 3 one as, well look, it's awesome! But when we got up to the till the lady, very kindly, told us that they were buy one get one half price; so not only were they down to £2 but we could get a second one for just £1! So off I went and picked us up a Charlie and Lola one too!

The Boy was still quite poorly around town, so he spent most of the time in his buggy and Brewster was a wonderful distraction, even though the little loon did want to keep him in the packaging until we got home.
We've not played with the puzzles yet but will definitely be doing so in the next few days.

Definitely recommend popping in to 'The Entertainer' or going on their Website, at the moment as they have some fantastic reductions going on at the moment, as you can see! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Primark and MUA haul

Well, I did a little bit of shopping the other day. Money isn't totally sorted but it's on its way towards being sorted so I thought a little bit of Primark bargain hunting and a few of the, new, MUA nail polishes were a good way to celebrate.

I got a beautiful floral purse - I do have lots of purses but I like purses and this one has quite a Cath Kidston-esque feel to it and it was only £4.

I also got some really pretty pumps in white with a pink pattern on it which looks like cherry blossoms, they were also £4. 

Two totally random purchases were some spin pins for £1 and a hair turban for £1.50. My hair is too short to need either of these things but there's a good chance I'll be letting it grow a bit longer and these are things I will want once it is a better length and we all know that things come and go with primark and I don't want to have to end up paying full price to get branded versions of either of these things!

I almost couldn't get the four little rings that I got. There was about three hangers for them and every single one on there was a medium or a large but I searched and I searched and I was on to the last one or two they had and, finally, I found a small! They were only £1.50 and, as you'll see in the closeups below, they're so pretty!

Close-up of pretty purse.

Perfect spring-time pumps.

This is how the rings look worn all at the same time, but I don't think I'll be likely to wear them this way.

I really like the way that these two look together, especially as the one with the little 'gem' in it has a pinky sheen to it so it matches the rose nicely. Very 'vintage' feeling, pretty and girly. 

I also picked up these shorts. They're very short, and a lovely thin fabric in this gorgeous floral design. I got them in a size 12, even though I'm normally an 8/10, because they didn't have my size and I could tell they were the sort of style where I could get away with them being a bit big. These will be fantastic if we actually get some of that warm weather that I sometimes hear about!

Lastly I got this pretty pretty dress! I absolutely love it, it's such a basic, simple style, in a thin fabric but I just love the floral pattern and the fit of it. It, too, is a size 12 and I expected to need to wear a belt to pull it in at the waist but, thanks to the style, it actually goes in a little anyway. It's much more fitted if I pull it tighter, like a smaller size would be, but I'm not too fussed about it being super fitted so I'm more than happy with it in this size.

It was a super, super bargain at £5! 

 And here are the three MUA nail polishes I got; moody mink, bold blue and pistachio icecream.

These polishes are super cheap at £1 and are in the new bottles which have a new brush. I have tried out bold blue and it was a lot thinner than I expected so it took 3 coats. It's a lovely shade, though, and for £1 you can't expect the thickest formula ever, especially with a colour like this. 
I'm looking forward to trying the other two, too. 

Whilst I was in boots, I swatched a few products which I may well be going back to buy with the last of my Boots advantage card points. So there may be another little haul coming up, but I won't be spending money for this one, just totally depleting my points balance. But the products swatched sooo nicely and stayed soo well that I just can't get them out of my mind - so watch this space! 

Kids are flippin' funny #20

If there's one thing you need to know about The Boy's grandad, it's that he's a tease. He likes to pretend to steal his dinner, he likes to 'rawr' at him, chase him, all sorts of fun things that Grandads do.

One of the other things he does, is whenever The Boy is going somewhere, Grandad says 'Are you staying here?' - To which The Boy, obviously, yells NO and runs away; why not?

Today, Grandad took it a step further and chased him down the hallway, making The Boy believe that Grandad was going to 'steal him' (his own words) to stop  him from going shopping with Grandma.

I finally persuaded him to let me put his shoes on, and as he's sat with me, Grandad comes back for some more teasing, but obviously having had enough now, the boy calmly responds 'Hush Grandad, hush' - Grandad was not impressed!

Miss Glossybox - Glossybox's younger sister?

Oh my goodness,  look what just landed in my inbox - http://www.glossybox.co.uk/miss-glossybox#endless1

According to the e-mail Miss Glossybox is a 'high-street beauty junkie' - Does this mean what I think it does?! A beauty box of affordable,  high st beauty?!

Miss Glossybox is bi-monthly rather than every month and is £7 plus p+p

Seriously,  beauty boxes, what are you doing to me?!

I know that this box is aimed at a younger market but, seeing the products in this first box, I can see it appealing to a much wider range - For those who'd go for the cheaper price, those who want a bi-monthly box and those who are interested in high street products - Affordability will be a massive factor I think!

Monday, 22 April 2013

New box on the block? - Beauteco Box

I just wanted to write a quick post to share some interesting news with you all!

Bumbling about on Twitter, today, I came across a post about a new beauty box that's just appeared on the scene!

It's a company called BeautecoBox and they are active on both Facebook, and twitter. Their website isn't active, yet, but if you pop on, HERE, you can submit your email address in order to be notified once they have things up and running.

According to their Facebook page:

'Beautecobox offers the very best beauty products and the latest trends every month direct to your door! Each member of beautecobox will have the choice to choose between 3 boxes, each with five luxury samples, as well as receiving exclusive discounts. Whether it is a product by a luxury brand or a special new product - the products range from the latest nail polish colours to the newest hair products.' 

Check out both their Facebook and Twitter (Both linked above) as they're running competitions on both social media platforms.

There's not a lot of information on them, at the moment, but well worth keeping an eye on I think!

Latest in Beauty - Little Beauty Box - April 2013

Just a quick post to share with you what I got in my Little beauty box from Latest in Beauty for the month of April.

Just as a quick explanation, LIB monthly boxes are just three little samples that you pick  yourself and you pay a small fee of £1.50 for. They also do collections and luxury samples which are rather good too - I'm a really big fan of Latest in Beauty (though didn't get their latest collection due to lack of funds :( )

So, here's my samples this month:

I've got Hugo Boss' 'Boss Bottled' which is a male fragrance, Lady Gaga's 'Fame' a female fragrance and Caudalie's Premier Cru cream and eye cream.

I've not tried any of them yet, but I can't wait to try the Caudalie products! The Hugo Boss is, obviously, for The Fiance though he's not overly fussed about fragrances but I'll make sure he gives it a go! 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Kids are Flippin' funny #19

Sometimes I randomly ask The Boy what his name is. No real reason, really, it's mostly just a left over habit from back when we were trying to teach him what his name actually.

He normally answers in a rather exasperated tone because he knows that I know, full well what his name is - Silly Mummy.

But yesterday he decided to make up different names so he insisted that his name was either 'Manjum' or 'Lammus' ... Now I know I don't use his real name on here (Am umming and aahing over whether or not I may start but that's another story) but, needless to say his name is neither 'Manjum' or 'Lammus'.

He does decide to randomly start talking in his own little language, sometimes, so I guess that's where this comes from. Funny little boy.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Spring make-up haul - Paid for with Boots points - Plus my great experiences with Boots customer services

My delivery from Boots arrived today, yay! I decided it was about time that I used some of the advantage card points, which I've accumulated over the past few months, to buy a few bits to 'spring-ify' my make-up collection (Yes, that is most definitely a real word)

Before I go in to what I bought, first I'd like to just tell you all how pleased I, consistently, am with Boots as a company. Time after time I've had outstanding customer service from them and that's over the phone, online and in store. I'm not going to go into it too much but I've, so often, had them go above and beyond what other companies would do to ensure a fantastic customer experience. A lady in my local store even went as far as to hunt down an out of stock toy, and get it from another store when she visited, over Xmas which saved our Xmas as it was the one toy with The Boy was desperate to get.

So, that's why, when I do order things, it will most often be from Boots. When they treat their customers as well as they've treated me, not to mention the amazing offers and the really rewarding advantage card system, I feel that they are a company that I'd like to give my money to.

But anyway. On to my order!

Firstly I got a Sinful Colours polish in the shade 'Easy Going' - It looks a little washed out in this photo but it's a super pale pink, almost whitish pink, which is the shade I've been looking for for soo long. I was expecting to have to pay more, for an Essie polish, to get the shade but noo, Sinful colours do it for £1.99! 

Secondly there's a Miss Sporty 'metal fushion' polish in shade 40 - Not particularly spring-ish but I just thought it was so pretty, it was £1.99 and I needed a third thing in my 3 for 2.

The last two are two of the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine polishes in the shades 'Prickly Pear' and 'Papaya'

These are the lip products I got.

Unfortunately the Miss Sporty Dr Balm that I got sent was the wrong shade (which is what caused my ramble about Boots customer services above) but it's not the end of the world as I'm going to try and find the shade I wanted in store tomorrow and now I've seen what the pinky shade looks like it's confirmed my thoughts that I may get one as part of the little Giveaway I'm collecting bits together for (yes, I said giveaway!)

I also got two of the Rimmel Apocalips in the shades 'Celestial' and 'Luna'. Celestial was to, finally, replace the one I lost weeks and weeks ago (yay!) and Luna is a shade I keep wanting to try but keep not being sure about so, whilst they were down to £4.99 And in the 3 for 2, I thought now was the time to give it a try. Here they are swatched.

Celestial left, Luna right
Lastly, in the lip products, I got 17's Mirror shine lipstick in the shade 'Cheeky Secret'. I really want a sheer peachy lipstick and I was torn between this and the more Corally 'LA' but I couldn't find swatches for LA so I got Cheeky Secret and it's lovely. It's super super sheer, and really creamy and moisturising. 

I also really like the new packaging and the little built in mirror will be so handy!

I think there's a possibility I'll be trying to pick up LA whilst I'm in town, tomorrow, too as I still have some advantage card points left and I would love a slightly stronger pigmented shade as well. And for £4.79... well we'll see! 

Lastly I got a blush by 17. It's called 'First Flush' and it's a lovely pinky coral colour. I'm really lusting after a really orangey cream blush but they're all so much more expensive than the £3.49 that this was. So this is more pinky than the colours I'm really wanting, but it is, still, really lovely. You need to use a tiny tiny amount otherwise you'll look rather a little too flushed but I really like it - So pigmented and it's lasted so well. Here's a quick swatch.

So, all in all, I got 9 items. They were all in the 3 for 2 so I spent a grand total of £21 worth (give or take a few pence) of points. An absolute bargain, I think! Lots of lovely shades and spring ready colours - Now all we need is the weather, which, if I dare to say it, looks like it Might be happening at least sometime soon!

Glossybox UK - April 2013 - Unboxing

It's a late one, this month, for the Glossbox unboxing; partially because the company didn't send out the boxes until later in the month than normal and also because, it seems, mine took a while longer to arrive than others have. But never mind, it's here now. I was feeling a little frustrated, as I kept getting spoilers crossing my path (especially the one sent, in an email, by glossybox themselves) - But the box is really rather wonderful, so I think I'm going to be able to overlook it! 

Even the box is, just, beautiful. Designed by Pearl Lowe, the pattern is just gorgeously vintage and very fitting for a spring-time box. This will definitely house some products of some description in the future. 

Oh yes, your eyes do not deceive you, there's makeup, nail care, skincare, bodycare and fragrance - the Perfect combination in one box! 

This is the item that I knew we were getting, after being in receipt of an email from Glossybox themselves, telling me.

But, I had assumed that it would be a miniature so for it to be a full sized polish was a very nice surprise. I got the colour 'Cute as a button' which is a lovely creamy coral colour which will be the perfect addition to my new, spring nail collection. I love the Essie polish that I already have so am really, really pleased to have another one. Essie polishes retail for £7.99 at boots or superdrug.

This was another item which I was so so pleased to get. I've heard such wonderful things about Sleek blushes and have wanted to try one ever since but my local superdrug doesn't stock the brand so it's prevented me from getting anything until I have the funds to do a whole order from their website. 

I got the shade Pixie Pink but others will have got Flamingo, suede or flushed.

Here's the blush in the pan. 

Here's a swatch. I wore the colour today and it's a gorgeous, gorgeous shade; absolutely perfect for spring. I do have some similar blushes, but not any exactly like this one. I expect to use this a Lot.

This is a full sized Sleek blush which retails at £4.49

And yet another brand that I've been itching to try! Admittedly, it's their skincare that I want to try but I do love my bodycare products too and I'm a big fan of body butters. This Nip + Fab butter smells fantastic. There were other options in the form of a coconut or a pistachio scented one and I'd have happily received them, but I'm equally as happy with the mango scent.

I am really, really looking forward to trying this out. This is a 50ml tub, the full size is 200ml and retails at £9.95.

This product couldn't have come at a better time, either. Only the other day I was talking to The Fiance about wanting to get a moisturiser with an spf in it as some of my foundations have one and some don't and then this arrives in this months glossybox!

This is a 50+ spf so I'm going to save it for if/when we have some really warm days but I think this is going to be fantastic this spring/summer. The full sized product is quite pricey at £18.50 (for 75g) so I'm not sure I'll be able to afford to repurchase, but this sample, although only 10g, should be fantastic if I use it on the hottest days.

I think everyone who gets beauty boxes has been a bit 'meh' when they've received perfume samples before. Those little tiny vials that you can get free from counters, that are a pain to open without splooshing the product everywhere and are just... well, 'meh'.

As such I was so so pleased to get this perfume in a  bottle, rather than a teeny vial; there's a really nice amount of fragrance in here. I absolutely love the little bottle and, although I have no idea how, I am intent on finding a use for it once I've used up the perfume. I've not worn it, yet, so don't know how the scent dries, but in the bottle it's a beautiful smell and I really look forward to wearing it. Plus it's purple, I Love anything purple, even if it's just the name and the bottle - It's called 'So Elixir Purple'. The full  size of this Yves Rocher France perfume is 50ml and retails at £44

A fantastically balanced box, with two full sized products and three really good sized samples in it. Other than the lateness, Glossbox has got it totally right this month. All of the products fit wonderfully with the spring theme, too and are all really really usable. I'm so so happy with this months box. I can't believe next month will be my last one - Gutted! I can only hope it's as good as this months has been. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Product to try out - Hay Max Balm

Well, I'm being optimistic, but I'm planning ahead for hayfever season.

Ok, so I'm not optimistic about hayfever, I Hate hayfever, but at least if the weather is warmer then that'll make up for it, a bit.

I'm actually quite lucky, now, as it seems that my hayfever has improved, big time - I now get it at a more normal level. I sneeze a lot, and I get itchy eyes - But not like when I was a child, when I was a child it was horrendous, it was like being really ill for the whole of the time that pollen was circulating. My eyes used to itch SO badly, and I'd sneeze non stop, plus I'd get rashes from being on the grass and the likes - Some mornings I would wake up and not be able to open my eyes, they were that sore and swollen.

Pair the hayfever with the milky white skin and you might understand why summer has never really been a good time for me!

But, as I say, it's improved, soo much. I can now take the tablets, and use lavender oil, and it'll keep it much more in control - I'll still get some symptoms but nothing like they used to be and for some parts of the season the tablets are enough to keep it totally at bay!

But, when I heard about Hay Max, I thought it'd be worth trying out as any more help would mean an even bigger chance of my being allowed to enjoy the warmer weather.

It comes in a few forms, there's a lavender one, a frankincense one, an aloe one and a pure one. I wanted to get the lavender one as lavender does help me with my hayfever, but we're so low on funds I had to get it the cheapest I could, which was ebay, and was the pure one - Have a real google to see other options - But I figure I can use the pure one and lavender oil separately in order to combine the helping properties.

I expected it to be a more oily sort of balm, like other balms that I use, but Hay Max is actually Really Really sticky! I mean Wow sticky! You're supposed to apply the balm to your nose, around the nostrils, in order to let it trap the pollen before it gets into your nose - I'd thought an oily balm would do that but I guess a sticky one will do it even better.

One of the big plus points for this stuff is that it can be used by pregnant women and children, so it doesn't have the same sort of constraints as medication does. For me, I doubt it'll replace medication, but I hope that it's able to help with the symptoms I get despite the tablets, and maybe I'll have an even less hayfever filled summer than before!