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The Makeup That Survived a Beauty Declutter!

     

One thing I’ve learnt as an adult is that it takes longer to clear out your crap than it does to buy it. I can easily spend £50 in Boots in ten minutes, but when it comes to streamlining my makeup – un huh! I recently bought some Muji storage. Ya know, the one everyone and their dog has (seriously though, its bloody lush and so easy to keep clean too), which prompted a complete review of my makeup collection. I still have a few bits to sort through but, for now, I’m much happier with my lil stash and I know I’ll get good use out of everything.

After throwing out any outdated makeup, giving the rest to my boyfriend’s mum and saving a few things to send to charity, there were a few pieces left that I was umming and ahhing about. Do I sell, throw or keep them? I finally decided on keeping them and I’m really glad I did as I’ve discovered a few old favourites alongside some new gems.

Benefit is a brand that holds a lot of nostalgia for me. My first ever mid-higher end makeup purchase was High Beam. I think it was around £16 at the time and I’d been lusting after it for so long that I made it a 17th birthday mission to track it down. I’ll be honest, I think Benefits packaging is super tacky but I still love a few of their products, including their mascaras. I actually think Benefit Bad Gal was the most I’d ever spent on a mascara at the time and I wore the shit out of that tube. While Bad Gal is a challenge to remove, I’ve had better success with Roller Lash. This mascara lengthens, defines and adds volume without clumping or smudging. I’m unsure if I’ll repurchase this as the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Mascara just edges it in terms of enhancing thickness, however, I’d probably pick up the travel size version again if I needed something for travelling or taking with me on the go.

In terms of lip products, the Kate Moss for Rimmel lippies have always been a favourite of mine. I decided to keep Rock n Roll nude as it’s a really pretty nude pink that works well with both daytime and evening looks. The only thing that puts me off is the scent. It’s the kind of synthetic scent that smells like a cross between awful medicine and playdoh, which obviously isn’t pleasant, but it’s ok when applied and it doesn’t taste awful so I can put up with that.

A fairly new product that I’ve not got round to trying is Tarte’s blush in Exposed. I’ve never tried anything from Tarte before and it’s a brand that I’ve been keen to try, so I’m not quite sure how this one slipped my attention. Exposed is a nude shade with a hint of pink. I normally stick to pink hues as I’m really pale so I’m hoping this shade is buildable. I’m sure I’ll be mentioning this soon as I have high hopes.

Bobbi Brown needs no introduction and her cream shadow in sand dollar is one of the best I’ve used. You might be able to tell that it’s started to dry out (I’m sure a blast of the hairdryer will help) but I’ll probably re-purchase it at some point. I’ve got a few more shades on my wishlist – I highly rate both these pots and MAC paint pots for easy cream shadows that are super quick to apply.

The last product on my saved list is Colurpop’s Flexitarian Highlighter. I almost sold this in a blog sale, but boy am I glad it fell through. I’m blown away by the formula of Colourpop’s products and how cheap they are for the quality. The highlighters have the same type of formula as the supershock eyeshadows and blushes in that they feel like a cream but apply like a powder. If you’re not in the US, its best to buy Colourpop makeup when free shipping is on and make several orders to avoid customs fees. I’d love to see Colourpop on a site like Beauty Bay, but, luckily, Colourpop’s shipping times are pretty good and it normally takes just over a week to arrive in the UK.

Have you tried any of these products or brands?

Nip + Fab Highlight Palette Stroboscopic – You Need It!

If you love makeup, then no doubt you know that ‘buzz’ feeling when you find a product that’s affordable and amazing quality!

Nip + Fab is a brand I’ve used for several years – I use their glycolic acid pads religiously, so naturally, my interest peaked when I clapped eyes on their makeup line. The highlight palette in Stroboscopic is a must-have for highlighter fans. If you’ve been looking at the likes of Anastasia for highlighter palettes and want a similar glow without the price tag, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this.

The Nip + Fab Highlight Palette in Stroboscopic contains six shades of highlighter and there’s something here to suit all skin tones. From a light champagne to a pretty rose gold, the shades are stunning. On my pale skin, only the top three shades will work for highlighters but the bottom three are perfect for using for eyeshadows.

The top three shades include selfie, champagne and golden, while the bottom shades are sun beam, rose gold and sunkissed. The powders all feel soft to touch without being crumbly and they transfer well onto the skin. They leave a glowy look on the face rather than being glittery. I think they’re perfect for both highlighter newbies and those that adore luminosity. You can apply these lightly with a fan brush or build them up with a lil’ more buffing.

The contour kit also contains a highlighter which is different to those in this palette. If you’re in the market for a new palette or you wanna treat yourself, I’d highly recommend this gem. It’s priced £15 but I purchased mine from Superdrug where it’s currently £10.

Have you tried any Nip + Fab makeup?

How to Create An Effective Skincare Routine on a Budget

effective skincare on a budget

Budget skincare has come a long way in the past few years and it’s likely to get even better. No doubt you’ve heard of Deciem and their affordable brand, The Ordinary, who are killing it right now. I’ve used their Salicylic acid and Retinol – both of which get the thumbs up from me.

Creating an effective skincare routine on a budget is pretty easy, thanks to some of the amazing products on the high street and internet. I admit, I used to be a skincare snob, but in the past few months, I’ve found several products that work well in harmony together for a clear, radiant complexion. If you’re looking to create an effective skincare routine on a budget, then here are a few suggestions as well as retailers that are perfect for finding skincare gems.

Cleansing

As cleansing essentially involves removing dirt and impurities from the skin, I find it makes more sense to save money on cleansing products. I love using the Salcura Daily Face Wash as it’s super gentle and makes my skin feel clear and refreshed. If you’re into more creamy cleansers, the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser is a lovely option (the muslin cloth is so-so but you can buy some great cloths from Primark for a couple of pounds).

budget skincare

Toning

Toning is an essential step to remove any cleansing residue or to deal with your specific skin type. After cleanser, I use the Nip & Fab Glycolic Acid Night Pads which are around half price when they’re on offer at Superdrug and Amazon, then I follow with La Roche Posay Serozinc. Using a green tea or tea tree toner is perfect if you have oily or combination skin – Lush have a great tea tree oil toning lotion. If you’re on the dryer side, a rose water will be effective at providing hydration – I suggest buying pure rose water from Amazon or your local supermarket rather than one with added ingredients.

Serums

Remember when serums used to hella pricey? These days, it’s relatively easy to find a super cheap serum thanks to The Ordinary. As I said at the beginning, I love the salicylic acid and retinol, but I’ve also heard good things about the hyaluronic acid. I also use the Salcura Antiac Activ Gel Serum which is amazing for breakouts. If you’re searching for other affordable serums, Boots Botanics range or Una Brennan skincare is well worth a look.

Moisturisers

Moisturiser is where I tend to spend a little more money. I generally use the Bioderma Intensive Purifying Care which works well under makeup and as an evening moisturiser – it’s really light, so good for oily skin. Escentual regularly has 1/3 off French skincare promotions so it’s worth picking up when on offer. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is ideal for dry or sensitive skin – there are no nasties in this either! Olay Regenerist 3 point cream is something I use on my fine lines and neck and it’s definitely improved the tone of my skin – Amazon is where I tend to buy this as its cheaper than other stores. For oils, Trilogy Rosehip Oil is incredible, as is the Superfacialist Rose Miracle Makeover Oil.

Masks

If you’ve got oily skin, the Loreal Clay Mask is effective in leaving the skin feeling balanced and refreshed. Clay is a cheap ingredient so there’s little point in splashing the cash here. The Avene Soothing Moisture Mask is highly calming and cooling for dry or dehydrated skin types.

The best shops for creating an effective skincare routine on a budget are

Amazon, Superdrug, Boots, Escentual, Feel Unique, Lush

What are your favourite stores for buying budget skincare? Do you have any amazing affordable gems you want to share? Let me know in the comments!

21 Ways to De-Stress From a Busy Life

21 ways to de-stress from a busy lifestyle

The majority of us need to de-stress, either from an event like an exam or from a busy lifestyle in general. Sometimes, work, relationships, society and even blogging can get too much and a little TLC is required. I’m a huge advocate for self-care and taking time out, especially for aiding your mental health. Recently, I’ve found several effective ways of de-stressing and here are some of my favourites. Why not use some of these as inspiration for the next time you need unwind.

21 ways to de-stress from a busy life

  1. Meditation – This is one of my favourite ways to relax. I’ve been using the Calm app every night for the past few months and I’ve found it beneficial in aiding how I respond to situations. It costs around £50 per year but as less than £1 per week, it’s worth the investment.
  2. Walking – Walking is so underrated. Granted, it’s difficult to take a walk when it’s freezing cold but now the warmer weather is on its way, its perfect for taking a 10 – 15 minutes walk. I find taking an evening stroll helps to clear my mind and promotes sleep.
  3. Use a lavender spray – If you’re feeling stressed at night, spritz a little lavender spray (I use the Neom Sleep Pillow Mist) onto the back of your pillow and it’ll help you to relax.
  4. Take a relaxing bath
  5. Read a book
  6. Paint – The Wonder Forest has some amazing paint with me videos on YouTube!
  7. Cross stitch – The Make Arcade have some cute kits.
  8. Eat a couple of squares of dark chocolate
  9. Listen to music – You can get 50% off Spotify if you’re a student.
  10. De-clutter
  11. Cook up some treats in the kitchen
  12. Have a massage
  13. Take a break from social media
  14. Watch a funny show or movie
  15. Keep a journal – Writing a thought journal is a great way to clear your mind.
  16. Use a colouring book – These are surprisingly calming.
  17. Do yoga – Yoga with Adriene is an amazing YouTube channel.
  18. Go for a tea or coffee with a friend
  19. Take a power nap
  20. Have a pamper night – masks, nails, hair
  21. Spend time with a loved one

Let me know if you try any of these!

14 Epic Ideas for Your First Blog Side Hustle

14 epic ideas for your first blog side hustle

One thing I’m aiming to do more of in 2017 is to make more money online. There are plenty of ways to earn extra cash and a side hustle may be just the thing you need if your planning on earning more this year.

Why have a side hustle?

  • Supplement your income
  • Pay off debt
  • Save for a holiday/car/designer item
  • Support studying
  • Pay bills

If you fancy creating a side hustle from your blog or otherwise, I have 14 epic ideas for you.

Become a freelance writer

Maybe I’m biased because I have a site all about freelance writing – see Diary of a Freelancer here, but it’s a great way to make extra money from your blog. My free e-course teaches you all you need to know about using your blog to become a freelance writer. Freelance writing can cover crafting blog posts, long form articles, web copy, writing social media posts and sales copy.

Become a virtual assistant

What is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant can complete tasks from scheduling social media to administration support. Many businesses, solopreneurs and bloggers require virtual assistants to help them get tasks done quickly and efficiently. Ashlee from Work From Home Happiness has a post on how to become a virtual assistant with no experience.

Be a Pinterest coach

If Pinterest is your jam, why not consider becoming a Pinterest coach? Many businesses still haven’t got to grips with Pinterest, and they still haven’t figured out that Pinterest is one of the best ways to bring traffic to your site and make sales. Gina Horkey from Horkey Handbook has a course all about becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant.

Become a web designer

Many bloggers who have knowledge of web design go on to sell their services as a web designer. Making and selling blog templates can be a great source of income – you can sell these on Etsy and creative market, or set up your own site selling them. If you want to learn web design, check out this resource list here.

Sell jewellery

If you have creative talents, why not make and sell your own jewellery. You can buy jewellery making supplies via Etsy or eBay and you can sell them on these outlets or via your own blog.

Sell prints

If you paint, practice brush lettering, or are a whizz at graphic design, consider selling your own prints. Many people love buying prints for their home and selling them online is becoming more popular. If you want to learn how to paint watercolours, check out the Wonder Forest here. You can also learn the basics of brush lettering here.

Sell an eBook/Course/Workshop

Writing an eBook or course is a popular way to make extra money. If you’re planning on selling one of these, I definitely suggest starting an email list first. You could write an eBook or course on anything related to your blog, whether it’s a recipe book, fitness guide, blogging tips, interiors style guide, fashion styling or a beginner’s guide to beauty products – the list is endless.

Sell photos

If you’ve mastered the art of photography and have the skills needed to capture the perfect photo, consider selling your photos. You could sell stock photos via your blog or you could sell photographs via Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, or similar sites.

Matched betting

Matched betting is a great way to make extra cash. I’ve earned around £500 via matched betting which has helped me to fund a masters degree. Matched betting is a risk-free (and tax-free) way of making money via online betting. I use Profit Accumulator  – this site takes you through the entire process and teaches you how to match bet successfully. You can get a free trial of the site and make up to £45 to see if it’s for you – sign up here.

Complete online surveys

Online surveys are one of my favourite ways to make extra money. If you have a free ten minutes, you can complete a survey and watch the pounds rack up. Sites I love include Mintvine, Prolific Academic and Swagbucks.

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are a gem for getting money back from purchases/subscriptions. Whether you’re buying a new phone contract, purchasing insurance, playing bingo or buying a new outfit, you can get cash back from many stores. My favourite site is TopCashback – simply sign up to the site and visit your online shop through their link. Cashback rates can vary. For instance, you can currently get £8 if you complete an online shop at Waitrose. Once the purchase has been verified, you can withdraw the money from your account and into a bank or claim it as a voucher.

Work for an online company

There are many genuine online companies offering work from home opportunities. Companies currently hiring include Leapforce, Appen online, Casting Words, Arise, Lionbridge, Balance your Books and iSoftStone. Jobs include data entry, bookkeeping, transciption and customer service.

Sell vintage clothing

If you know your fashion labels, try your hand at selling vintage clothing. Vintage pieces can sell well, as long as you know exactly what to buy. You could also try searching charity shops for nice items and selling it for a profit on sites like eBay.

Test websites

Testing websites can pay surprisingly well and you get to earn money from home. UserTesting, Whatusersdo and WebUsability are just three sites that offer work.