Thursday, 28 February 2013

100-day spending ban update #2

So the second month of the spending ban is over. At 59 days in I have to admit that I am finding it more and more tricky.

The temptation of Oxford Street, the new makeup reviews I keep reading and the words ‘sale’ and ‘special offer’ in so many email headings are bringing me close to cracking!

But I know I don't need anything and I'm actually weirdly pleased with myself and the growing pile of empties on my bathroom floor. I've mostly used up shower gels, shampoo and skincare but I have finished two makeup items too. I've started using sample packets, which has meant that I still haven't needed to make any essential purchases, and that I am freeing up space in the cupboard.

That said I know next month will be a little harder. I have already planned to go to the Vitality Show and Ideal Home Show but I'm going to reserve any spending to things that are really unique or a one off amazing bargain.

Interestingly it turns out that my spending ban has stopped my sister shopping too, I’m not sure how they are connected, but at least now we are both saving money and getting through what we already have. So I suppose I should feel glad that my ban is having a positive affect on others?

If you are on a spending ban, let me know how it is going and we can make sure we get each other through the last 41 days!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

BBHQ February task: organisation

This month’s post is all about blogger organisation and how I stay on top of blogging topics, organise products to be reviewed and store old data.

Where do you blog?
The majority of my blogging is done at home, either on the bed or in front of the television. I have also started blogging to and from work using the blogger app on my iPhone. The app lets me save posts in draft form so I can come back to them later, and I can publish from the app if I need to too.

Do you have a space dedicated to your blogging work? An office, a table, a corner of your room...
No. My favourite place to blog is from bed, but I also blog in front of the television and as I mentioned before on the train/tube.

What do you blog on? Computer, laptop, tablet... what do you recommend?
I blog on my laptop and my phone. I prefer to blog on my laptop just because it is more comfortable and it is easier to add pictures and preview the post.

Do you have any blogging rituals? Drinks, music, movie, candles…
None. I usually like to be alone and have complete silence if I want to write a post and not get distracted, which is when I tuck up in bed and get cosy to write.
When it comes to reviewing face masks I tend to review as in the picture above! I like to be able to describe how the face mask feels on the skin and immediately after removing it, and the best way to do that is to blog while treating myself to a home facial.

How do you keep your blogging ideas organized? Notepad, planner, post-its…
I write ideas down in my diary or on the notes app on my phone, I then delete them as they are completed. I also save draft posts with the titles as a reminder that I need to write them!

Do you have a blogging schedule for the week? Or the month? If so, how do you stay on top of it all?
I don't! I do need to get more organised because since I started a college course I have a lot less free time. At the moment I am writing most of my blog posts at the weekend and publishing them throughout the week. I am curious to know if people would like a more structured posting schedule, I was thinking about having one hair, makeup, skin and nail post a week and having set days for these.

If you review products, how do you keep track of what needs to be reviewed in your collection?
I have a box of products to be reviewed and I'll pull out something new as and when I finish other products. Unless I have photographs of the unused product (which is more important for makeup than anything else) I won’t start using it.

What do you do with all your "old" data? Photos, videos, extra drives, online storage…
I'm in the process of backing up photographs onto CDs to save room on my hard drive. I use Dropbox to upload and store photographs I have taken in my phone, but I also upload other photographs and documents to save space on my hard drive and that I might need separate access to. If you want to set up a Dropbox account you can use my link and we would both get 500mb of bonus space.

Finally, for fun, what beauty/non-beauty products do you need to have on hand near your blogging station? Hand lotion, lip balm, chewing gum…
I would say nothing, but having thought about it there is usually tea and chocolate or something else sweet nearby!


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Benefit Fine One One review

Benefit have kicked off the new year with a brand new product in their collection, Fine One One, which is described as sheer brightening cheek and lip colour.

I was lucky enough to be invited to an event at the Spitalfields boutique, where we got to have makeovers, a 'photo shoot' on a segway and a talk about the brand DNA from the daughters of one of the founders, Maggie and Annie Danielson.
Some segway time with Grace from ‘All That Slap'
Fine One One is made up of three shades — pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral — which blended together form a sheer coral pink, which gives a subtle and natural cheek but can be built up to bright pink.

The packaging is very cute. The rose gold finish looks good and complements the colour of the product. The plastic casing does feel a bit cheap, compared to other Benefit products, but it is light weight and compact, which is great for travel.

To use the product, you twist it up and then glide it across your cheekbone. As with all Benefit’s products, it is designed to be easy to use and it really is. I really like the flush of colour it leaves on the cheeks, and it can be built up to something more if you want to. Since the cheek isn’t flat, I did find that I had to go over the area twice, angling the product to get an even amount of each shade.

The Benefit ladies said that Fine One One was tested on all skin tones and is suitable for all, but I think that darker skin tones will find it difficult to build up into anything more than a flush of colour.
I did a small colour test of my own using my mum and sister since we all have a slightly different skin tone. Standing side by side, wearing the same amount of product it is interesting to see how much of the colour could be seen. Personally I think it was the most flattering on my sister. For some reason the colour looked barely there on me compared to the top photograph.
The product also can be used as a lip colour but I don’t imagine I will be using it for that, mostly because it’s awkward to apply on the go.

I love the colour and the finish on me but, unfortunately, I didn’t find that the product lasted very well. After applying it at around 7.30am, I could see very little, if any, left by lunchtime.

At £23.50 for 8g, it is a little pricy, especially since I can imagine getting through this much quicker than a regular powder blush.

What do you think of Fine One One?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bourjois magic nail polish remover

I know every beauty blogger has reviewed this product already but I just thought I would quickly add my thoughts into the mix.
I remember the hype when Bourjois released their magic 1 second nail polish remover. The speed and ease was meant to be amazing and almost revolutionary!

But I had seen (and blogged about) the concept before, so I didn't really understand the fuss. When I planned to do the Ciate mini mani month I wanted something that was going to make the challenge as easy as possible.
The idea is that you place each finger into the pot, twist and remove a nail polish free finger, all in a second. Well the product is quick, but it’s not that quick and after using I always had to go and wash my hands before trying to apply another polish because of the oily feel of the solution left on my fingers.

On the plus side it is gentle on the skin compared to other similar products and it seems like it will last a while even though some of the sponge started to degrade after the first few uses.

Overall it's alright. At £4.99 it is a reasonable price and better value for money than the nail polish remover pads you can purchase, but I can definitely say I do not think it is worth the hype.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Quick review: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Hand Cream

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream has quite a status in the beauty world, so I was quite excited to try out a hand cream version I received in a goody bag.
My hands have been extremely dry this winter, they have chapped a bit and are quite rough to touch — attractive picture right! — so I hoped that the hand cream would be just what I needed to restore them.
The cream has a thick consistency, so a little product goes a long way but it does leaves a greasy residue, which I personally hate, especially when you apply a cream at work or while travelling.

The smell is very distinct and not too pleasant in my opinion. I know that there is an unscented version of the eight hour cream available though.
Overall, I wouldn’t actually mind all of these things if the cream left my hands feeling really hydrated, but it doesn’t. Although my hands initially felt smooth and hydrated, the feeling didn’t last long and the condition of my hands didn’t get better with time.

A 75ml tube of hand cream costs £25, which isn’t a price I would be willing to pay for a hand cream even if I loved it.

I’d like to know if I am the only one that hasn’t been blown away by the Eight Hour Cream, or is there a difference between the hand cream and the original Eight Hour Cream?


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Marks and Spencer spring beauty 2013

I have to admit the Marks and Spencer beauty hall has largely gone unnoticed by me, I’ve always appreciated M&S for their food and designer clothing selections but have never spent too much time browsing beauty. After attending the M&S Spring Beauty event this week, I realised just how much more it has to offer.
What impressed me most was the quality and variety of brands that M&S are now stocking, including REN, Pur Minerals, Glam Glow, Nuxe, Diego Della Palma and Leighton Denny.

I'm going to point out just a few of the things that really caught my eye at the event. First of all for kids/young girls was the Hello Kitty range of products with a cute London theme.
They also had a young girls makeup range, which included bright, fun colours and these lipsticks with very cute heart shaped bullets.
Moving on to the “grown-up” selection, any one who has shopped at M&S for a while will be familiar with the Autograph range of products. The product that grabbed me the most was an eyeshadow palette, which looks very much inspired by the Urban Decay Naked palette. I did have an “ooooh” moment when I got home and saw that one was contained in the goody bag, so I will of course have a review up soon.
Pur Minerals are a new brand to me, but as someone that loves mineral foundation, I was excited to see mineral primers/colour correctors and pressed eyeshadows.
I also got to have a manicure at the event and chose shade Dusky Pink from the Autograph collection. It is peach toned pink and is a perfect spring shade. I have been wearing the polish for four days and am only just getting wear at the tips, a very impressive result.
Apart from the small selection I have showed, there are also new perfumes, a baby product range and lots of skin and body care as well as self tan to be found in the beauty hall. What do you think of the selection and will you be checking it out next time you are near a M&S?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Birchbox taxi rides for LFW 2013

I love all the quirky events that I hear that happen in the city, and although I've lived here all my life I haven't actually taken part in anything. So I am very tempted to head into town this weekend and tweet #arriveinstyle to @Birchbox UK.

Because of London Fashion Week Birchbox have lined up some special pink London cabs to collect those that tweet and drive them to their destination, free of charge! And the extra special part is that the cab will have a makeup artist on board who will give a mini makeover en route too!

So, if you are in London this weekend and you see one of the cabs, be sure to hail it down or tweet.
However, if you aren't in you can still win a years’ Birchbox subscription by tweeting #arriveinstyle on Saturday or Sunday.

I would love to hear from you if you do get to take advantage of the experience and I will be sure to let you know if I do!

p.s I'm not getting anything for writing this post, I just think it sounds amazing :-) 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Bad Apple nail polish

Another review of products I received from the #bbloggersXmas goody bag. Bad Apple Cosmetics are a new polish brand on the scene, which prides itself on having a collection of unique shades of nail varnish. First off, how great is the bottle design? 
I received the shade Arkanasas, which is a duochrome green shade and is one of the exclusive and limited edition shades from the brand, and a light green shade that I cannot find a name for. 

I decided to go for an accent nail look to contrast the two shades. Both polishes apply well and are opaque in two coats. The polish start to dry immediately and I did experience a bit of bubbling with both. The light green shade has a creme finish, whereas Arkanasas is a frost, which I am not a fan of because of the obvious brush strokes that happen but in a way this compliments the shade. 
Bad Apple nail varnishes claim to be no drip, no chip and high gloss. Unfortunately after only a day I had a lot of wear at the tips and some chipping of the shade Arkanasas but the light green shade held up a day longer before chipping. They are, however, high gloss and as a bonus the polishes do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP or parabens. 

The polishes cost £9.95 for 14ml and can be found here.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bella Pierre Makeup Base review

Bella Pierre’s Makeup Base is one of those wonderful multifunctional little products.

I received the product as part of the face kits I found in TK Maxx last year. Its main use is as an eye base to help transform shimmer powders from shimmer to matte. I own a few of the shimmer powders so the base is a great way of making them more versatile, especially for day time looks when you might want to avoid too much shimmer.
The base is a fleshy tone so it works well as a base for all eyeshadow colours, but I have taken to using it on its own on a daily basis to even out the colour of my eyes, but it does crease without a primer after about 4 hours.

Bella Pierre also suggest that the product can be used a water proof base for their make-up. However, in my experience, it doesn’t work as a primer so you would need a separate product if you wanted to make your makeup last longer.
Right: make up base alone, middle: shimmer powder, left: shimmer powder on top of make up base 
Finally, I have also used it as a concealer for blemishes and underneath my eyes, it is just a little lighter than my skin tone so it works well for me, but it wouldn’t be suitable for anyone with a darker skin colour.

Bella Pierre is advertised as an all mineral brand. The foundation only contains four ingredients but the makeup base contains considerably more (see below). I recognise the name of most things, which is always a good sign and I haven’t had any reactions to using this, again another plus!

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Cera Alba (Beeswax), Magnesium Carbonate, Kaolin, Candelilla cera (Candelilla wax), Copernicia Cerifera Cera(Carnauba Wax), SimmondsiaChinensis(Jojoba) Seed oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract,Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate(Vitamin A), [+/- Mica ( CI 77091), Titanium Dioxide ( CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI77499)]

The product comes in a pot and I tend to apply the product using my finger, it is solid but the warmth of your finger gives it a creamy texture and makes it easy to apply. The pot is wide enough to insert a large concealer brush too if you prefer.

At £12.99 for 8.5g it is a great product and a little goes a long way so I am expecting it to last quite a while even with its multiple usages. You can find Bella Pierre in House of Fraser and online.


Saturday, 2 February 2013

100-day spending ban update

So the first month of the 100-day spending ban is over!

So far I haven’t found the ban too much of a struggle and I’m actually enjoying using up the products I have. I’ve decided that, instead of doing monthly empties I am going to collect everything I have used up for one mass empties post in April!

I have three main tricks that I have used to make the ban easier. 

1. I’ve deleted all emails starting with sale, special offer, exclusive… get the idea. Sale time is generally the hardest for me, because that it when I usually stock up, so I hope that after this month my temptation will be limited. 

2. Avoided the shops. I haven’t stepped inside Boots or even travelled down the beauty aisle at the supermarket. If I don’t look I can’t be tempted. 

3. Stopped reading/watching haul posts. I know that when it comes to clothes there is a chance that I will think, ‘but that won’t be in the shops in April!’ So its best not to know what I am missing out on.  

The ban has been made slightly easier because, last month, I quit my job and started a college course. This means that I won’t have any income for a while and what money I have needs to be spent sensibly, plus classes full time, four days a week, and a minimum of two hours revision a night means that I am far too tired to shop!

Being on the ban has made me realise how much of an emotional spender I am, the days I’ve struggled have been when something at home or work as got me down. I never usually splash out much, but a lipstick or nail polish purchase would usually be my pick-me-up and a distraction from whatever is going on, so it has taken a lot of will power not to cave.

So now there are *only* 68 days to go, it will be interesting to see if I am as positive at the of February!

© Discovering Beauty | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig