Sunday, 11 February 2018

Feel Unique Pick and Mix Samples Review

Feel Unique have a Pick and Mix Sample service where you can choose five samples for £3.95 and get a £3.95 voucher once you've confirmed that your order has arrived in the post. To find out more about Feel Unique's Pick and Mix check out my post here.

Elemis Pro Collagen Oxygenating night cream 2ml (Full Size 50ml for £95 here)
The Pro Collagen range is Elemis's bestseller, the 'marine' ingredients are Laminaria Digitata and Red Coral which helps to maintain optimum skin condition while the Mediterranean algae, Padina Pavonica helps to improve skin suppleness, firmness and elasticity. The oxygenating benefit is helped by the anti-oxidant rich sesame and avocado oils delivering free-radical protection.

This cream is heavily scented which reminds me of Nuxe Huille Prodegiese. It sinks into the skin quickly and mositurises well without being greasy. I got 4 uses from this 2ml sample so you don't need much. My dehydrated skin has been feeling tight across my cheeks and this cream has alleviated it a little. My skin felt supple and looked healthy and slightly more radiant. The sample size meant that I couldn't test whether it delayed any signs of aging in the long term and I don't really have lines or wrinkles yet to see a difference in the short term. However I think this works to keep the skin moisturised and it does brighten up dull skin but the strong scent was a deal breaker for me because that can sometimes trigger my asthma attacks. The price of the full size jar is very expensive, retailing at £95 for 50ml. While a premium brand like Elemis spends a lot of their budget on clinical trials and sourcing the most effective ingredients there is a part of me that thinks that you're just paying for the fragrance. Perhaps when I'm nearing 40 I might notice an anti aging effect but right now it's not worth it for me. 

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator 3ml (Full Size 50ml for £31 here)
Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator is a manual rather than a chemical exfoilator. It's a gel that contains micro jojoba beads rather than environmentally damaging plastic micro-beads to exfoliate the skin. However the beads are very fine and it seemed like they weren't enough of them to do the job. I found it more effective when I used two fingers to rub in small circular motions to get the beads to exfoliate. I have sensitive skin so anything with the word 'gentle' on a exfoliator will get my attention but it didn't really feel as if I'd got rid of any dead skin cells but rather I had given my skin a mini massage.  This smells exactly like Turkish delight, the rose is there but it's not overpowering.  I love the smell of jojoba but I couldn't smell it at all in the product which is a shame. Although Elemis says to use this once a week I feel that you could probably use this daily as it's so gentle. However I think that this will be ineffectual on most skins so I wouldn't recommend it.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Matte Revolution lipstick in Secret Salma (Full size 3.5g for £24 here)
When I was looking at swatches of Secret Salma online the lipstick looked like a bright almost fluorescent pink. However it's actually a darker, dusty pink that is a step up from a neutral looking pink and it is really pretty. It has a vanilla like smell. The sample cardboard applicator worked quite well. First you unseal it, fold the card over and place it between your lips as if you were blotting lipstick. Unfortunately it only has one or if you're lucky two applications so I couldn't really test how long it lasted on my lips but it didn't make my lips feel dry or uncomfortable. I am planning on buying one of Charlotte Tilbury's lipsticks although I haven't decided which one to get yet!

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance (Full Size 40ml for £40 here)
This feels lightweight but it's moisturising enough to use after a shower or bath when you need hydration the most. It also makes my skin feel soft. I also find that a little goes a long way so a bottle would last a while. It's creamy but also a bit greasy and takes awhile to sink in. The main reason why I wouldn't purchase this in full size is the smell! Although it does have some flower and leaf extract it does not smell herbal or of essential oils, it actually smells like it should belong in an industrial factory. Normally I prefer fragrance free products as my skin is very sensitive and fragrance is a common irritant. Unfortunately the smell lingers even after the cream has absorbed into the skin so it's a no from me.

Daisy Dream Marc Jacobs EDT 1.2ml (Full Size 30ml for £42 currently £35.70 here)
This is categorised as a fruity-floral perfume but to me it smells mostly like a sweet floral perfume. This perfume is inspired by 'boundless daisies and blue skies' and it is a clean, fresh scent and the bottle matches the scent exactly. I really like this perfume. The opening notes are blackberry, grapefruit and pear. The middle notes are wisteria, jasmine and lychee. The base notes or dry down consists of white wood, musk and coconut water. I can smell the blackberries, grapefruit, blue wisteria, jasmine and musk. I don't like very sweet scents so the grapefruit balances it and saves the perfume for me. I couldn't detect the coconut at all. While the smell is nice and sweet it's also fairly generic, it doesn't stand out. As the sillage is fairly soft and the smell is pretty inoffensive it would be good to wear at work. It tends to last around 3 hours on me which is OK I guess for an EDT, although I have read reviews of people complaining that for the amount of money this costs the scent should last much longer. Maybe the EDP is the way to go. This is a light floral scent that would be good to wear in the daytime in spring or summer.

Friday, 9 February 2018

16 Valentine's Day Breakfast/ Brunch Ideas


For four of the recipes below you will need a heart shaped cookie cutter (metal is best.) There's a wide selection at the Cake Craft Shop (they even have lip shaped cookie cutters too.) Amazon  has a 12cm heart cookie cutter or you can find some on ebay here.

1. English Cooked Breakfast

If you want to fry heart shaped eggs or insert them into your toast you will need an adjustable metal heart cookie cutters or normal cookie cutters. Homey Oh My shows you how to fry heart shaped eggs but don't worry if you can't get your hands on any cookie cutters as you can still make heart shaped boiled eggs using cardboard or an empty drinks carton, two elastic bands and a chopstick or dowel rod here. If bacon is the way to your partner's heart then try the heart shaped bacon from The Paper Mama or if you're in the U.K, use this recipe from Sainsburys.

Top left: Homey Oh My Top Right: Sainsburys  Bottom Left : Sainsburys Bottom Right: The Paper MamaA

2. Healthy-ish 

Bring out the strawberries! You can add chopped strawberries into your usual oatmeal see here or go all out and carve these strawberry roses which look stunning! Just click on the tutorial by Holly from Spend with Pennies or this step by step picture. Another simple way of cutting hearts from strawberries can be found here (courtesy of Homey Oh My.)  The ice cube strawberries and chocolate from Haley at the Cheap Recipe Blog look impressive and are super easy to do! I'm not sure about keeping the stalk though, it doesn't look as pretty but it does give you something to hold while eating them. If you or your partner hate strawberries but like fruit, then use a metal cookie cutter to cut hearts out of melon slices and fill with berries or other fruit to up your game with minimal effort!

Photo Credit Top Left Spend with Pennies Top Right :Ethan Calabrese Bottom Left: Soulouposeto Bottom Right Cheap Recipe Blog

3. Traditional Sweet Breakfast Classics With A Twist 

If you have a waffle iron hiding in a cupboard that's been sitting there since the novelty wore off then get it out to make some red velvet waffles! Sharon from What the Fork shows you how here. While traditional French toast is just eggs and bread, this banana and chocolate French toast takes it to another level! The recipe is from My Recipes here.  Tonya from The Gunny sack will show you how to make buttermilk pancakes, just stack 'em high and layer them with Nutella and raspberry juice on top. You can also step up your pancake game with these pretty lace pattern hearts, they're just waiting to be Instagram-ed and they look so fun to make! You can see a step by step tutorial for this at A Designer Life.

Photo Credit: Top Left: What The Fork Top Right The Gunny Sack Bottom left A Designer Life Bottom Right My Recipes

                                                                    4. Valentine Treats

Cupcakes are fairly practical to eat in bed and these Martha Stewart chocolate cupcakes  look yummy and you can pipe whatever message you like on them. Truffles are simple to make and these 'red velvet', amaretto, gluten-free ones are perfect for Valentines day (They're a no bake as well.) Pop over to Lazy Cat Kitchen and Ania will show you how to make them. The mini chocolate cheesecakes are also a no bake recipe which you can find at Delish with Rachel Connors. Then just sit back and enjoy the day together drinking these strawberry mimosas by Baking Beauty which you can find here !

Photo Credit Top Left Baking Beauty Top Right Lazy Cat Kitchen Bottom Left:Rachel Conners Bottom Right Martha Stewart

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas 2017 Makeup Gift Guide

L-R Row 1: Dior Pump & Volume Gift Set £25.50   / Stila Liquid Lipstick Collection Bright & Bold £15.30 / Clinique Chubby Sampler Gift Set £22
L-R Row 2: Tam Beauty Christmas Bundle £15/ Zoeva Opulence Eye Shadow Palette £17.50/ Tanya Burr Jingle & Mingel Night Palette  £10
L-R Row 3: Butter London Crown Jewels £16/ NYX Professional Makeup Love Contours All £20  /Soap & Glory Flatterbox £20

It's possible to be on a budget and still be able to buy a few gifts from luxury brands. Stila has bundled three of their famous mini liquid lipsticks for their Bright and Bold collection- it includes Beso (a nice red) and two limited edition shades Lumi and Viola for £15.30. I think it's nice to receive a gift that has a variety of shades to wear.  I've included the Dior Pump and Volume gift set in this category although it's actually £25.50. I was really surprised at the price point because it includes a mini eye shadow palette as well but I have not seen it in person to see how small the palette is. Butter London are known for their nail polishes, but their gift set allows you to try out other products in the range. The Butter London Crown Jewels contains four of their bestsellers: a Petite Plush Rush Lip Gloss in Fireworks, a Double Decker Lashes Mascara, a Glazen Eye Gloss mini in Frosted and a Fashion size Patent Shine 10X Nail polish in Ta-Ta (which claims to last 10 days.) I quite like the sound of their eye gloss it's like a gel but dries to a powder and is long lasting so that the sparkle won't budge. Another high end brand mini gift set is Clinique Chubby Sampler Gift set with 3 mini favorites a Chubby plump and shine lip gloss, a Chubby Stick roly poly rosy cheek colour balm (3.6g) and a Chubby Lash fattening mascara (4ml.)

The Tam Beauty Christmas Bundle contains a Make up Revolution Skin Kiss Highlighter in Champagne Kiss, a Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipstick in Chauffeur, Makeup Revolution Amazing Volume Mascara in Black and I Heart Makeup I Heart Chocolate Golden Bar. I love Makeup Revolution and all the products are full sized, popular products. Makeup revolution do highlighters well and the I Heart Chocolate bars are good Too Faced dupes and this one reminds me of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory! Not to mention that their Rose Gold lipstick in Chauffeur is always sold out!

Onto another gift set by Soap and Glory,  the Flatterbox contains: Soap and & Glory Thick & Fast HD mascara in black (10ml ) Supercat liner in black (1.6g) Glow all out Pressed Luminizing face powder (9g), 3 Soap & Glory limited edition lid stuff eye shadows in Copper, Choccy  Cream soda (each 0.8g.) There's also a mini Sexy Mother Pucker in Plums up.

I love Zoeva's brushes they're affordable, high quality that don't shed and last the distance but I've yet to try their eye shadow palettes. I have my eye on the Matte palette but the Zoeva Opulent palette looks stunning! The packaging is gorgeous and the shades are so beautiful. Their eye shadow formula is  enriched with vitamin E and is 100% free of parabens, mineral oils, perfume and phthalates. Another palette I've chosen to include is the NYX is the Love Contours All Palette (I love the name) it's an all in one palette for brows, cheeks and eye lids containing two brow powders, a highlight and contour shades and nine eye shadows. Finally there's the Tanya burr's Jingle and Mingle palette which contains a lip gloss, three eye shadows eyeliner, bronzer and eye shimmer pot.

L-R Row 1: Nars Survival Kit 1 Face Set £45/ Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons Set £55
Row 2: Kat Von D x Too Faced Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection £57 /Becca Apres Ski Glow Collection Eye Lights Palette £28/ Charlotte Tilbury Face Seductive Beauty Palette  £49
Row 3: Urban Decay Heavy Metals Eye Shadow Palette £43/Dior Eye Shadow & Lip Palette £65 /Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon Knockout Eyes Collection £45
Row 4: Benefit Cosmetics Bigger & Bolder Brows Gift Set £31.50 /Clinique Colour Craving Makeup Gift Set £55/

Dior is know for it's luxury so I had to include this lip and eye palette which comes in it's own
zipped case. The Becca Apres Ski Glow eye shadow collection has had really good reviews while Benefit Cosmetics are famous for their brow products. The Nars Survival Kit 1 is an all in one palette with two neutral eye shadows in Na├»ad and Kalahari II, blusher in Off Limits and Mata Hari, a Nars Party Girl Lip Gloss and Black Moon Audacious Mascara.

It's definitely worth looking at the Harrods website which still has the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Icons gift set despite selling out everywhere else. Alternatively there is the Charlotte Tilbury Face palette which is basically an all in one face palette with 3 eye shadows a bronze, highlight and 2 cheek colours all helpfully numbered. Harrods is also selling the Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon Knockout Eyes, a limited edition set which supports the Breast Cancer Campaign. It's sold out everywhere except at Harrods.

I chose the Kat Von D x Too Faced Better Together gift set because it's rare to have a mash up between brands. (I know they sometimes do across brand gift sets in Sephora but we don't have any stores in the UK.)  The eye colours are wearable and it comes with a full sized Kat Von D liner as well as the much raved about Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara. I included the Clinique Colour Craving Makeup gift set because of the massive price drop from £90 to £55 almost half price, a real bargain! The Urban Decay Heavy Metals eyes shadow palette contains a whopping 20 exclusive shades, 10 on the neutral side and 10 in bright jewel colours a must for any eye shadow fans. 

Top photo credit: pablofalv Presents via photopin (license) Changes Made

Saturday, 16 December 2017

44 D.I.Y Christmas Present ideas When You're on a Budget

Edible Gifts 

Edible gifts are generally well received and pretty cheap and easy to make. Last year I made these low fat chocolate truffles from Gin and Griddle and put them in Christmas themed tins (from Poundworld.) They are 'reduced fat' because the recipe substitutes double cream for coffee. You can't taste the coffee but it gives it a richness to them. This year I'm going to try making Chocolate Bark using these recipes from Lindsey Love at Gardenista. Wrap them up in cellophane and ribbon. Gingerbread men and shapes are also very popular at this time of year and this Jamie Oliver recipe should go down well. I saw these swan biscuits on Pixabay and they look so beautiful. You can get a small swan cookie cutter here and use this recipe for Christmas Jammy Dodgers from Liz Notes or make Linzer Cookies from A Fox In the Kitchen. 

PhotoTop Left: Lindsey Love 

DIY Jewellery 

Chokers and tassel earrings are still trending and luckily they're easy to make. The wrap around suede choker tutorial can be found on Sarah Najafi's blog.  The peach and gold tassel earrings are from Honestly WTF and look very elegant. I think this lanyard bracelet from  Love Maegan looks unisex and would make a good gift for a man as well. Did you know you can make a ring from a spoon? This printable step by step from Kirsten Danielle  will show you how.

PHOTO CREDIT Top Left Kirsten Danielle Top Right Sarah Najafi  Bottom Left Honestly WTF Bottom Right Love Maegan

Winter Accessories

These dragon finger less gloves are perfect for Game Of Throne fans. You can find the crochet pattern at Heart Hook Home here. If you're a knitter then this knitted beanie might be an ideal gift for someone. The pattern can be found at Knitted Patterns. There's an easy D.I.Y faux fur scarf tutorial over at Love Maegan. However don't worry if you can't sew, crochet or knit this infinity scarf  from P.S. Heart is really easy and doesn't even require a needle! 

PHOTO CREDIT Top Left Heart Hook Home Top Right; P.S. Heart Bottom Left; Love Maegan Bottom Right Knitted patterns 

 Bags and Cases

I think this denim makeup bag can also double up as man's wash bag, see how to make it at A Pair and a Spare. This d.i.y tablet case is very smart, practical and unisex and it can be made from leather or vinyl.  The tutorial is here at Brit + CoFor the sewing phobic there's a no sew blue clutch wallet from Hot D.I.Y Tutorial and a no sew black large clutch bag from Brit + Co.

PHOTO CREDIT Top Left : A Pair and a Spare Top Right: Brit + Co Top Right  Bottom Left Hot D.I.Y Tutorial
Bottom Right: Brit + Co

Hair Accessories

These faux pearl hair pins are really simple to make but add glamour to any up do. You can find the tutorial at Yes Missy. Love Maegan has quite a few d.i.y. hair accessory tutorials but I love these gold and black hair combs the best. You can find the tutorial here. I saw this beautiful ribbon on pintrest and realised it would be a easy d.i.y, just sew or glue beads, sequins and rhinestones on to a ribbon. It can be worn as choker as well as a head band. Another quick and easy d.i.y are these rhinestone hair clips the tutorial can be found on the Consumer Crafts Blog.  

PHOTO CREDIT Top Left: Yes Missy Top Right: Love Maegan Bottom Left Pintrest Bottom Right: Consumer Crafts Blog

Photo Gifts

Photos are probably the most treasured possessions and are cited as the one thing you'd rescue in a fire. Going digital means that you can do more with your photos and create lots of  thoughtful gifts. You can turn your Instagram photos into fridge magnets (tutorial by Photojojo here) coasters (see The Frugal Girls here) and even on marshmallows courtesy of Boomf. You can individually frame an Instagram image or gather all your family photos and create a collage. Photos can be turned into candle luminaries (by Our Best Bites) and personalised calendars where you can choose photos for each month or for specific days like nan's birthday. You can check for cheap photo printing deals on Money Saving Expert here.   If there's film footage of family birthdays and holidays you can download them on to DVDs to give as gifts to grandparents.

PHOTO CREDITS Row 1: Top left Our Best Bites  Top Right Photojojo Row 2: Left The Frugal Girls Row 4: Bottom Right Boomf

Body and Bath products

These fun Starbucks style body scrubs and body butters were created by Elle Sees. Choose from Peppermint Mocha Sugar Scrub, Peppermint Body Butter, Peppermint Solid Lotion, Caramel Brulee Latte Sugar Scrub and Body Butter, Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Body Sugar Scrub and Body Butter. You can find all these tutorials here.  This cute snowman bath bomb is just like Lush (but cheaper) and can be found under Last Minute Christmas D.I.Y.s over at Elle SeesThe Christmas inspired Peppermint Candy Cane Body Scrub is ideal for winter and the ingredients are very cheap as well (except the  essential oil.) Find the tutorial at The Idea Room. Baths are a way to relax after a hard day and gifting an Oatmeal and Lavender Bath Soak salts will make it even more luxurious. Oatmeal will make skin soft and lavender is known for its calming qualities but the best thing is these are cheap ingredients and very easy to put together just follow the tutorial from Carolyn's Homework.

PHOTO CREDIT Top Left: Elle Sees & Top Left: Elle Sees Bottom Left Carolyn Homework Bottom Right The Idea Room


Candles are popular gifts especially in winter when you just want to stay indoors and be all cozy or as the Danish say- hygge.  This very simple bark candle tutorial can be found at Just a Smidgen and you can make it for very little money. Teacup candles are easy to do and can be fairly cheap. You can pick up a nice cup and saucer from a charity shop or elsewhere and follow the tutorial by Yes Missy. If you really want to impress then try marbling plain white candles they look amazing! You can find out how to do on Ela's Box Youtube video here.  Or if you like you can just apply marble contact paper onto a glass holder as seen on Cassandra's Youtube video here.  These sea shell candles can be made from scratch and even if you don't live near a beach you can pick them up from Baker Ross. Just follow the tutorial from She Knows

PHOTO CREDIT: Top Left Just a Smidgen Top Right Ela's Box Bottom Left  Yes Missy Bottom Right She Knows

D.I.Y Marker Mugs and Etched Glasses

There are a lot of sharpie mug tutorials on the net but the best ones show you how to make your design waterproof. For this you need buy oil based sharpie pens as seen in Four Thirty Four's Sharpie Pen Tutorial. This video by Style Novice also gives lots of handy tips.
Alternatively try using Deco Art glass paint pens like those used in My Crafty Spot to ensure that the design stays on permanently. You can also buy porcelain paint pens which will make your design dishwasher proof. Sharpies can also be used on glass like these wine glasses in gold and silver from A Belle Vie which look absolutely stunning! 

Another option is to etch a design onto glassware. Love Maegan made these cute heart glasses while Be Spangled Jewelry used the technique to personalise these mason jars with an initial.

PHOTO CREDIT Top Right; Love Magean Top Right Bottom Left: Bottom Right:

Wall Art

Wall art is something that can be very quick and inexpensive to make and yet seem very thoughtful at the same time.You can create word cloud art using lyrics from someone's favourite song, poem or quote or even words describing the qualities your special someone has using  free websites in minutes. Then all your need to do is print them out and frame them. You can find nice but cheap frames from Poundland, Wilkinson's, Ikea and Matalan. I used word it out for my word cloud below  (using lyrics from Santana's 'love of my life') and I've also used word art which repeats words. Worldle is very popular as well. You can also create pictures and quotes on free websites like Canva and Be Funky and print them off and frame. Another option is to search 'free printable quotes' into Google, print and frame them. The free printable quote below 'The best thing to hold onto is each other' can be found on the blog  It's Always Autumn. You can also channel your inner artist by creating scrabble tile art with photos alongside or arrange letters like a crossword or as an acrostic.  For inspiration take a look at this hobbycraft post  or hit up Pintrest. 

Top Left :The Elli Blog Top Right hobbycraft   Bottom Left and Right Nikki Smith @Lipstickdrawer 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation & Concealer Review

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light foundation is the lightweight sister of the popular Double Wear Foundation. It's a liquid foundation that has light to medium coverage. It has SPF10 protection and claims to have up to 15 hours wear. "Double wear is fresh, natural and comfortable. Controls oil, resists smudging and won't melt off through heat and humidity." It is oil free, photo friendly and fragrance free.

I've been using this foundation part of the summer and part of the autumn. At first I raved about it and loved it for the lighter wear and the fact that it actually matched my yellow toned skin which is very rare! I was matched to Intensity 1.0. (for reference I am the shade Warm Sand in Bobbi Brown and MAC NC15.) Normally my shade is in the middle but 1.0 is next to the lightest shade 0.5.  The shade selection is quite narrow with just nine shades compared with the original Double Wear foundation that comes in a whopping fifty shades! I'd be interested in the reasoning behind that. It does have SPF 10 which is good to have in a product but as it's so low it could be argued that it was pointless to include it. You should wear an additional SPF as the SPF10 in this foundation won't be enough.

Double Wear Light foundation has light to medium coverage. After using several brushes I found that Zoeva's Silk Finish brush was the best to use.  It dries to a matte finish. However if you use a Beauty Blender or a Real Technique's Sponge then the look is sheerer and a little dewy while the coverage is light. The colour doesn't oxidise on my skin. I have sensitive, combination skin and this never broke me out or irritated my skin. This foundation doesn't last the 15 hours stated on the packaging but it lasts a good 8-9 hours intact without primer. It doesn't crease and is transfer resistant.  It does cover the redness on my cheeks but may not completely cover acne.

The downside is that this foundation smells very strongly of chemicals however this does die down after application. I have asthma and it never got to the point where is was so overwhelming I couldn't use it. Another thing to note is that it has a very powdery finish and it definitely looks like you have makeup on. It's not really the natural look it promises but I think this can be remedied with a good finishing spray that takes away the powder look and makes the skin look more natural. When I tried to powder this foundation it seemed to take makeup off the skin rather than setting it- I'm not sure if this is a foundation that doesn't need setting? I have dry patches along my t-zone and I found it can cling on to dry patches.

As for the packaging it doesn't really scream I'm a luxurious £35 foundation! However the packaging is very practical since you can squeeze every last drop from the tube and even cut it up towards the end to use all the product up. The plastic tube is light and travel friendly unlike foundations in glass bottles. The gold lid makes it look a little more glamourous. I do wish that the bottle was a little transparent so you can see how much is left (although you can guess a little by the weight.)

I would buy Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light Foundation again, it matched me well, it's is oil-free and feels fairly lightweight on the skin. While it's on the pricier side with 30ml for £35, a little does go along way. It's also very accessible since most department stores around the world have an Estee Lauder counter.

On to Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay In Place Concealer which I bought because I needed a lighter shade of  concealer in my stash to use with this foundation. The colour I have is 1W Light (warm)  but it's actually a bit too light for my skin. I apply this in upside down triangles from my eyes down to my cheek. However this concealer is incredibly hard to blend it feels dry and looks very chalky. I have found that the Primark toothbrush shaped makeup brush helps to blend this concealer the best. While this gives light to medium level of coverage (in the the photos you can see that it covers a light brown mole) when I applied it on my face I found that it didn't actually cover the dark circles around my eyes, even if I apply it in layers and with a corrector underneath. Perhaps my circles are darker? I feel that if I went and bought a darker shade I would still find this a nightmare to work with. I'm not a fan of the formula of this concealer it's difficult to use and it takes ages to dry and set. The good points of this concealer are that it's waterproof and contains spf even though it fairly low (spf10). My search for a good under eye concealer continues as I won't be buying this again.

Have you tried Estee Lauder Double Wear Light & Stay in Place Concealer? What did you think?
Also any recommendations for foundations for yellow toned skin would really help! 

Friday, 24 November 2017

16 Ways To Save Your Money On Christmas Gifts

1. Make a List and Check it Twice
No, I'm not quoting Taylor Swift lyrics. Making a list of who you need to buy for, how much money you have and how much you can spend on each person will make your life easier. Just like a supermarket shopping list it can make shopping trips shorter, saving you time as well as money as long as you stick to the list.

2. Secret Santa or Family Gift These both involve buying one gift. 

For Secret Santa, you are randomly assigned a person in the family to buy a present for. You can do this by pulling names from a hat. Once you know who you're buying a present for you have to keep it a secret until you open them on Christmas Day. If you're doing this with friends or colleagues then unwrap them on the day when you all meet up. You can have an agreed budget before you start.

Buying a family gift involves buying one present for the whole family to share. This could be a restaurant gift card, a cinema voucher, a Netflix superscription or a book of photos. It could be a board game or Nintendo Wii game that everyone can play.

3. If you have a large family or lots of people to buy presents for, then this tip from Kim Anderson from Thrifty Little Mom might help. She uses a three-tiered gift-giving system: Tier 1 is family. We do gift exchanges with each individual person in our immediate family, and set a budget for each person. Tier 2 is friends. We typically do a single-family gift for our friends, like movie tickets with free babysitting or a fun new game for them to play together. Tier 3 is neighbors and co-workers. I create homemade chocolate goodies in handmade packages. Once I establish my budgets for each tier and the people in them, I create a cash envelope for that tier. I only spend cash on what I buy for gifts, supplies and even wrapping paper. Once the cash in the envelope is gone, it’s gone!

Adoped from the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days when all the shops have huge discounts in the last weekend of November to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday. But before you leave the house or log on, research what you want to buy. Compare the prices between the different stores before you buy to check whether a bargain is really a bargain. Money Saving Expert's Mega Shop Bot will help you scan hundreds of shops to find you the best price.

5. Shopping tips. 
Set time limits on shopping. Go in, find presents and exit quickly. Also try shopping late in the evening (7-9pm) to beat the crowds.

6. Buy Expensive Presents First 
Then you know how much money you have to spend on the other gifts and don't run out of money or end up paying more than your agreed limit.

7. Pay with cash
You will be more aware of what you're spending.

8. Don't Touch Display Items
This is because handling an object creates possessive feelings according to researchers at UCLA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They found that holding an ordinary item like a coffee mug increased people's desire to buy it — and made them willing to pay 10% more for it. So "Look, but don't touch" to avoid spontaneous splurges.

9. Stop the Momentum 
The 'Momentum effect' is where we can get caught in a whirl of impulse buys. Buying one thing rushes into another and another even if they aren't on your Christmas list. To avoid this take a breather after every purchase. It's also an excuse to try out the seasonal drinks from Starbucks and Costa Coffee! This momentum effect also occurs online too so break up your shopping online as well.

10. Gifts With Purchase
The guilt free way to indulge yourself and buy a Christmas present at the same time! Buying a gift with purchase is a win win all round! You often have to spend a set amount to receive the gift but it's never extortionate.

11.  Use reward points 
There's never a better time to cash in those Boots and Nectar card points to spend on Christmas presents.

12. Zeek and Gift Card Granny
Zeek is a U.K. website that buys and sells discounted gift cards. If you're thinking of buying gift vouchers then you can get more bang for your buck. For example there might be a £50 cinema voucher that you can buy for £45. Gift cards range from House of Fraser, Apple App Store and itunes, Feel Unique, Bella Italia, Interflora, Odeon, Topshop, Mama and Papas and the O'neill's pub chain among others. All vouchers get sent to Zeek to review and check if they are legit and they also have good customer service.  If  you spend £100 on gift cards on Black Friday you get £10 cash back. 

Gift Card Granny is a U.S. website that also sells discounted gift cards. These include electronics (itunes and Sears) food outlets (Hard Rock Cafe and Krispy Kreme) Clothing (Hollister and Forever 21), travel (Holiday Inn) Gas (Mobil Gas) Beauty (Sephora) and many others. Their Black Friday deals can be found here.

13. Free Amazon gift cards
You can earn free Amazon gift vouchers for Christmas. Find out more from money saving blogger Emma Drew 10 places where you can Amazon Gift Cards here. These involve completing surveys, playing games, searching the internet and taking photos of your receipts.

14. Ebay 
You can find lots good deals on ebay. The ebay app makes it easier to bid on the go. If you search 'Ending Soonest' on the listings, then choose ones with fewer bidders you can pick up a real bargain. However don't forget to factor in the shipping times especially if you're buying anything from China, U.S. or Australia. 

15. D.I.Y Presents
I will be writing a longer post on this but D.I.Y presents are thoughtful, handmade presents such as having someones favourite Instagram photo framed or giving someone babysitting coupons offering to babysit in the new year.

16. Pouch 
Pouch is an app that you add to your browser that lets you know about voucher codes and deals as you shop. It works with Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. It was featured on Dragon's Den in the U.K..

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