Skincare

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!

How to Save Money on Your Favourite Beauty Products

I’m sure most of us love buying a little treat now and then but buying your favourite beauty products can add up, especially if you’re purchasing a luxe item. Luckily, I have a few money-saving tips up my sleeve and these may help you to save a lil’ cash on your favourite beauty products.

Do your research

If I’m buying an expensive beauty item, I always shop around to find the best price. Usually, I’ll type the product name into Google and click on the first few links that come up. Generally, I always find that places like Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and Beauty Bay can be slightly cheaper than other retailers, though it does depend on the product you’re buying.

If you’re looking to test a product before buying, try Love Me Beauty or Latest in Beauty – these sites allow you to build your own subscription box so you can see exactly what you’re spending your money on. Latest in Beauty also have ‘pre-made’ collection boxes that you can buy.

Cashback sites

I’ve used cashback sites for the last couple of years and they’re a great way to get money back on your purchases. You can also use them when you’re signing up to buy a mobile phone, insurance, finance etc. I’ve made over £500 back with Topcashback and 100% recommend it to anyone looking to save money on their purchases.

Cashback sites track your purchase and you’ll either receive a percentage of your spend back or a certain amount. For instance, if you were to currently spend £50 at Space NK online, you’d receive £4.50 back via Topcashback.

As well as a wide range of stores, including Feel Unique, ASOS, Fragrance Direct, The Body Shop and Cult Beauty, there’s also exclusive discount codes.

It takes a few weeks to get the cashback into your account and if you don’t want to add your bank account to have your cashback directly transferred, you can opt for Amazon vouchers, Love to Shop vouchers, Paypal and more.

Amazon

Amazon is a goldmine for saving money on your favourite beauty products. You need to spend £20 to get free delivery unless you have a Prime account – you can get a free 30 day trial of Prime if you haven’t had one before. You can cancel it straight away in your account and you’ll still get the 30 days free.

Just make sure that you’re buying directly from Amazon as there are many fake products sold by marketplace sellers. I’m not saying they’re all fake but its better to be safe than sorry. A few current bargains include;

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set 

DE’LANCI Eyeshadow Palette (Morphe Dupe)

Revlon Colourstay Foundation

Nip + Fab Glycolic Night Pads

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

GHD IV Styler

Search discount sites

Discount sites offer many reduced beauty items. However, it’s important to know that some of these cosmetics may be discontinued lines or shades. Still, you can save a bit of cash by searching for your favourite products. Fragrance Direct and All Beauty are two sites that I’ve used with no problems. I’d also recommend TK Maxx – they have quite a good beauty selection online but you may find some gems instore too.

Discount codes

Websites such as HDUK show you the latest instore and online offers. You can search for hot deals as well as recent discount codes. I also like to use voucher sites to see if there are any current codes floating around the net. My favourite sites are;

Voucher codes – You’ll find codes on here for stores and restaurants.

Paypal shopping – If you’re paying by PayPal, take a look at the offers on this official website.

NUS Codes – If you want an NUS card to save money on your purchases, buy this Microsoft Course for £4 by e-careers and you’ll be able to apply for a £12 NUS card. Use your NUS card to save at least 10% at ASOS, Superdrug and Office as well as half price Spotify, six months free Amazon Prime and 25% off at Odeon.

eBay

While I don’t recommend eBay for makeup as its overloaded with fake products, its great for buying makeup brushes. The makeup brushes I’m talking about are the dupe versions that you can buy for as little as 99p. I’ve purchased many brush sets and they’ve all been excellent quality. Some of them are even better than shop purchased brands. Here’s a heads up on affordable brushes I rate;

Pro makeup metal brush set

Kabuki style brush set

Spectrum brush dupe set

Zoeva brush dupe set

Unicorn brush set

Indie brands

Finally, I thought I’d mention some of the amazing indie brands on the beauty market. You’ve probably heard of Colorpop and Makeup Geek but I wanted to note some of the other affordable brands you may not have heard of. Obviously Morphe are well-known for their incredible palettes, but lately, I’ve been loving BH Cosmetics – their shipping to the UK is also cheaper than Morphe and you can find some of their products at Beauty Bay. I’ve also heard great things about Coloured Raine and LA Splash.

Do you have any money-saving tips? What’s your favourite way of saving money on your favourite beauty products?

January Beauty Rota

January 2017 beauty

January has been a pretty bleak month but my January beauty rota has kept me going with some great makeup and skincare finds. Last year, I fell out of love with beauty, but in the past month I’ve bought a couple of new makeup buys and I’ve been giving them a whirl over the past few weeks.

The BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo palette isn’t a new release but I spied this on Beauty Bay when I couldn’t get hold of any Morphe palettes and thought it would be a good alternative. The pigmentation is overall pretty good – the matte shades are a little on the chalky side but the selection of shades is beautiful and they work really well together.

BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo Palette

As well as nine eyeshadows, there’s also nine lip shades in this palette – it really deserves a blog post of its own as its super pretty. This palette is so cheap – its currently £18 at Beauty Bay and $14.50 at BH Cosmetics / around £11.50 but shipping is around £8ish to the UK.

This month, I’ve also been using the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara – This HD mascara does a good job of lengthening my lashes and enhancing volume. The formula is a little on the wet side for my liking but its one of the better high street mascaras I’ve used.

The Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer is seriously one of the best concealers on the market – its covers redness, imperfections and undereye circles. I love how well it blends, you can easily blend it with your fingers, sponge or brush. I prefer liquid concealers and I’m tempted to pick up a darker shade for contouring.

The Nails Inc Kensington High Street nail polish is a stunning deep berry shade and the perfect colour to vamp up a dreary January day. Darker shades really work well in cooler months and this colour makes a good transition shade into spring.

Zelens 3T Complex is a night cream I’ve been using for a while. I only have a small tube as the full size costs £95. I’ll be honest when I say that almost £100 for a skincare product is completely out of my budget. Still, this is a lovely cream and if I had the cash, I’d be seriously tempted in making a purchase. Formulated with plant extracts, vitamins, hyaluronic acid and rice proteins, this rich and nourishing cream has a luxe feel to it. Most importantly, it makes my skin feel great instantly – my complexion looks radiant, plumped and feels softer.

What have you been using this month?

5 Things To Buy in July

How is it July already?!! Especially since its only around 8 weeks until Christmas stock starts to appear in the shops! Crazy! But, for now, let’s enjoy the summer! If you’re on the lookout for some new beauty buys, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few bits and pieces from the world of beauty that I’ll think you’ll enjoy.

Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette

Okay, so this is an oldie but goldie! If you’re searching for a good quality matte shadow palette and you love neutrals, buy the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette! This is cooler toned than the original Naked Basics but the shades are highly flattering. There’s only six shades in here, however, the quality of Urban Decay shadows is top notch. This is a lovely palette for creating a subtle daytime smokey eye.

Balm Balm Organic Rose Water

This natural Balm Balm Rose Water is super refreshing and ideal as a toner or if you need a quick pick me up. I love using this after applying a Nip & Fab Glycolic Night Pad – the cooling rose water feels soothing and calming, as well as keeping my skin hydrated. A lovely natural alternative to harsh toners.

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator

The NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in sunbeam is a good dupe for Benefit’s High Beam, apart from being extra sparkly. This is a beautiful highlighter with lots of shimmer and its the idea shade for pale ladies. You can view it swatched in this post. There arent many liquid highlighters at the lower end of the cosmetics market, especially on the high street, so this one is a nice option to have.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

The Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara is basically the best mascara ever! I rarely see this mascara given a mention in blog land, but trust me, its incredible. Volumising, lengthening, extra definition, doesn’t look spidery or false, doesn’t smudge, lasts all day, easy to remove…its perfection in a tube!

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

As we’ve discussed the best mascara in the world, we may as well acknowledge the best bronzer ever! The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder is a light matte bronzer that’s perfect for porcelain skin tones. As it has a matte finish, its the ideal bronzer for oily or combination skin. I love this powder because its extremely buildable, meaning you don’t have to worry about over applying and looking orange. Just a light sweep is enough to add a subtle hint of warmth to your complexion!

Have you tried any of these products?

The Best of The Beauty Sales Summer 2016

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The summer sales have started! Surprisingly, I’ve found a few beauty bargains which seems to be more than usual. Even MAC are offering 30% some lines, so there’s definitely something for everyone here.
Space NK has several beauty items on sales, including the Jurlique Rose Moisture Cleanser at half price, the Ren Get Your Glow On Gift Set (I couldn’t resist this one – the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask is £32 on its own, so this set for £16 is a huge saving!), and the Laura Mercier Sleek & Chic Eye Colour Palette which is half price.

Over at Feel Unique, their outlet has several savings, including 25% off the Burberry Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadows, and 20% off the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and Velvet Gloss Pencils

Beauty Bay is fast becoming one of my favourite online shops and they have a decent summer sale with the Laura Geller Baked Radiance Concealer and Paul & Joe Summer Palettes just two of the items on sale.

Debenhams have a great beauty sale with MAC and YSL Touche Eclat on offer with 30% off.

At Selfridges, you’ll find more MAC on sale, including MAC lipsticks, MAC All The Right Angles Contour Palette, MAC Huggable Lip Colour and MAC Beauty Powder  all with 30% off.

Have you found anything good in the summer sales?