Showing posts with label bargains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bargains. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Poundland nail art - surprisingly good

You know how when you go into Poundland (yes, don't pretend you don't go in to check for bargains) you always come out with more than you went in for?

Last weekend I headed to the dreaded emporium of junk for some garden twine and came out with these two nail art sets. One features duochrome-finish hearts, stars and flowers while the other is a selection of tiny butterflies made of some type of foam. Each set includes a stick for poking the decorations into position and a file, which I haven't used. The decorations come in a handy wheel-shaped container.

The duochrome ones are of limited use to me because most are too broad and rigid, so they stick right out on my curved nails. The smallest stars worked well though. The butterflies are better, because being foam they are bendy and can be made to fit to the nail if held in place long enough for the top coat over them to stick. Especially cool are the purple butterflies in the pic here, because each wing is a separate piece. They're kind of like swallowtail butterflies, if purple swallowtails existed.


At just £1 per set, you can't go far wrong with these if you're interested in trying out some sticky-on type nail art. Keep an eye out for them in your local Poundland.

The green polish here is Kimono by Look Beauty (from Superdrug).

Monday, 5 December 2011

Swatches: Look Beauty Triple Hit Eyeshadow Trios in Cool Glam and Party Fever

Look Beauty is a new range of affordable makeup, brought to the High Street by the beauty team at Look Magazine.  I find this a little bit strange, because I'd always associated Look Magazine with more celebrity gossip and fashion than makeup and beauty, but hey.  One of the unusual things about the range is that an unspecified donation will be made for each purchase to Look Good... Feel Better, a charity that provides makeup and style advice to women undergoing treatment for cancer.

These Triple Hit eyeshadow trios cost a remarkably tiny £4 each.  Each compact contains a sizeable dome of eyeshadow, divided into three colours.  The shadows are clearly of the baked mineral variety, which led me to expect plenty of shimmery goodness, and a buildable medium pigmentation.

Cool Glam

Cool Glam

Cool Glam is made up of a mid-blue, shimmering turquoise, and a greyish toned mauve.  As expected, the three shades are all of medium pigmentation - it took a couple of swipes to build up the swatches to this level of intensity.

Party Fever

Party Fever

Party Fever contains a rich blue toned purple, and pale lilac, and a slightly pink toned white highlight shade.  Again, they're medium pigmentation, and required a couple of passes to build up the opacity shown above.  

Overall I'm pretty impressed with these shadows - I love the high shimmer finish.  Admittedly, you'll need to build up the colour to get a punchy shot of colour, but for the price, that's a reasonable trade off.  The texture of the shadows isn't as silky smooth as a more expensive eyeshadow, but they're still blendable and buildable with minimal fallout.  Impressive stuff.

You'll find Look Beauty products at Superdrug stores now - for a new range, there's a pretty decent number of products available, from foundation to mascara to lipgloss to blush to polish.  At £4, these Triple Hit eyeshadows are amongst the cheapest product, with the most spendy costing around £12.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Quick Pick: Stila Limited Edition Beach Girl Palettes

This kind of cute little limited edition palette really gets me excited - not least because inside each beach themed cardboard booklet, you'll find four shadows and two cheek products for an extremely reasonable £10.  This is going to be an image heavy post.... so if you'd like a take a peek inside these little beauties, read on after the jump!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

First Glimpse: VIVO Cosmetics

If you've taken a stroll down the makeup aisle at your local Tesco lately, you might have spotted the Vivo range sitting unobtrusively in a corner.  Designed by the budget beauty brains behind MUA Cosmetics at Superdrug, Vivo is positioning itself as a sort of reasonably priced MAC.  Not sure how a small, supermarket only brand can really try to align itself to an established brand like MAC, but hey... let's take a look at two of the products.

First up - single eyeshadow in Aqua Marine.  I like the big, flat pan, and I particularly like the embossing, which adds a little bit of detail which goes a long way to stop it from looking overly cheap.  The price point for this product is a staggering £1.50.  Swatched, you can see that there is indeed a decent amount of pigment to be had - and you can also see that much like other cheaper shadows, the pigmentation and finish are achieved with a slightly oily base.  This can make the shadow a bit difficult to apply smoothly - but seriously, if you're going to spend £1.50 on an eyeshadow, you can't expect pigmentation, a pretty finish, and a texture that applies itself.  

I've saved the better product for last, here - this is the Baked Bronze in Sun Kiss (shade 1).  It's a very softly milled, fine powder which swirls easily onto a brush, and doesn't scatter powder all over the place like some baked products can do.  I'm usually fairly terrified of bronzers, being super pale and scared of being orange, but I found that applied with a light hand, this bronzer gives a light glow and a touch of definition without the tangerine factor.  I also like the finish - it's got a tiny amount of sheen to it, but it's much more of a natural glow, making it a very good compromise between matte and sparkly.  At just £5, this is a bit of a bargain bronzer - and it makes me want to peruse the equally pretty looking Baked Blush range next time I go down to Tesco for my weekly shop.

Thus far, I've been impressed with what I've seen of the VIVO range - you get entirely decent pigmentation and a good selection of shades for just a few pounds, and the range doesn't feel super cheap - just functional. Definitely worth considering if you're looking for an easily accessible budget treat.  VIVO Cosmetics are available exclusively at Tesco now.  What do you think?  Spotted these in your local store?  Let us know in the comments!

Disclosure: PR samples

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Quick Pick: Waitrose Pure Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

I'll admit it, I rarely buy own brand skincare products.  I also rarely buy eye makeup remover, preferring to dissolve my eye makeup with a good dose of oil cleanser.  When a beauty therapist recommended Waitrose Pure Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, though, I had to buy a bottle and try it out.

At a very wallet friendly £1.94 a bottle, the packaging is basic and functional.  The product within, though, is surprisingly good.  It's a thin, slightly cloudy liquid, with very little discernible scent, and rubbed gently over the eye with a cotton pad, it effectively removes eye makeup.  Granted, you'll have to apply a bit more pressure for waterproof formulas, and ultra waterproof products may not come off cleanly, but for normal eye makeup, it works a charm.  The eye area is left feeling cool, clean and refreshed, with no residue and absolutely no stinging at all.  Even with oil cleansers, I'm sometimes left with eyelashes that feel like they've still got a bit of mascara clinging to them, but with this remover, my eyelashes are left absolutely clean and soft.

Overall, this is a gem of an eye makeup remover, and one I'll definitely repurchase.  At £1.94, it's perfect for the smallest of budgets, too, leaving more money in your wallet for high end lipstick - works for me!

If you'd like to try Waitrose Pure Gentle Eye Makeup Remover for yourself, you'll find it at Waitrose and Ocado, where 200ml will cost £1.94.  What do you think?  Tried this yourself?  Already got a favourite budget eye makeup remover?  Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

£12 for £30 of Body Shop Products on Groupon Today

Today's Groupon deal is a pretty fabulous one - £12 for a £30 Body Shop voucher.  Essentially, £18 worth of free money to spend on things such as banana haircare or perhaps some of the baked makeup.  Or, if you're my Mum, 10 of those blue pumice things which are apparently the best thing ever for your feet.

If you want to take advantage, head over to the Groupon website - but be quick, the deal closes at midnight.  And let us know what you're planning to buy!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Review: Treacle Moon One Ginger Morning Bath and Shower Gel

You might have spotted Treacle Moon products at Tesco, where their simply packaged, sweetly scented products are exclusively stocked.  Treacle Moon has been created by the team behind the Sanctuary and Normandie bath and body brands, which are both made up of low to mid range products which pack a punch.

The range is made up of a variety of bath and body products with a selection of scents, all of which are simple but effective, centred around one particular element such as vanilla, coconut, or raspberry.  I chose to purchase the bath and shower gel from the One Ginger Morning set, mostly because I was looking for something that would fall into the invigorating bracket.

As a bath foam, it's pretty nice - while it doesn't create a mountain of bubbles, there are certainly enough to luxuriate in.  The scent is slightly dampened in the bath, and dissipates within a few minutes, which is a shame.  The bubbles last no longer than half an hour, which sadly isn't long enough for me.  As a shower gel, though, the scent really takes centre stage - richly, intensely ginger, it's refreshing, invigorating, and will definitely wake you up of a sleepy morning.  Used with a puff or sponge, it lathers up well, leaving the skin feeling clean and fresh, but not stripped of moisture or squeaky and over clean.

For a generously sized 500ml bottle, you'll pay a mere £2.95, which is a bargain indeed.  If you like a good invigorating or awakening shower, but find excessively lemon or mint based scents too much in the morning, this makes a great alternative.  Get it direct from Treacle Moon, or from Tesco, online or in store.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

MUA Superdrug eyeshadow swatch comparisons & review

Yesterday I finally tracked down some of Superdrug's new "everything's a pound" MUA range after scouring London's streets for the last week. It's only available in 84 branches nationwide - helpfully, there's a list here. (Wouldn't you know, I eventually found it in my own local branch.)

MUA stands for "Makeup Academy", which sounds a bit posh for such a budget line. But as it's likely to be a first makeup purchase for many young people, I guess the element of learning does tie in with the name. It features all the basic essentials you'd expect to find in a makeup range - colours for lips, eyes, cheeks and nails.

Lipglossiping's review had helpfully pointed me in the direction of the eyeshadows as the best product from the MUA line-up, so I avoided the other bits and picked up 3 eyeshadows - 9 (purple), 7(green) and 12(brick/green duochrome). I chose the brightest and most pigmented-looking shades I could see.

They're well pigmented and pick up smoothly. However the reason for that is their high mineral oil content (4th on the ingredient list). They're almost cream shadows, in fact - there's a real greasy feel to them. And they're prone to staining (as I found out when I came to remove the swatches from my arm). For £1 though, not at all bad, and the greasy-but-pigmented outcome is at least a change from the gritty talc-fest you get with most cheap eyeshadow powders.

I thought my three eyeshadows looked like they'd be easily duped, and expected them to match various shades in my collection. I was surprised to find that none of them did exactly, although the duochrome is very similar to a lot of other colours which employ the same colour-shift micas/pigments.

Click through for comparison swatches.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Review - Ponds Hydro Nourishing Cream

Disclosure - this product was provided free for review

You may remember both Gemma and myself being very taken with old-school beauty item Ponds Cold Cream cleanser last year, which turned out to be both versatile and effective.

As a result, I was interested to investigate the range further. I have been using Ponds Hydro Nourishing Cream in place of my usual moisturiser for the last two weeks.

Hydro Nourishing Cream comes in the same heavy glass screw-top jar as the Cold Cream, with very similar branding on the label. The jar is a pleasingly solid piece of construction and the lid closes tightly. Although it is a finger-dipping-in sort of format, the aperture of the jar is quite small, so most of the product is not exposed to the air.

The cream itself is white with a medium-weight consistency. It spreads easily on the skin with a slight feeling of greasiness that quickly disappears as it sinks in. I found that I was surprised how much of it I needed, since on first impressions it seems rich enough to be used sparingly. In fact it is quickly absorbed and can be used quite freely. This is not a criticism - the 75ml fill weight and rock-bottom price point (£3.99) mean there's absolutely no reason to scrimp on application if you don't have to.

The cream is scented with a light floral aroma. I didn't find this unpleasant, but if you are sensitive to fragrance it's worth noting (as many such "basic" products are fragrance free).

Ingredients-wise, this is not one to go for if you are of the "chemical free" persuasion. It contains paraffin liquidum (vaseline), mineral oil, carbomer, and two flavours of parabens. However, it also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C (antioxidants), plus Evening Primrose Oil (anti-inflammatory) and, interestingly, hydrolysed elastin (the same bounce-imparting ingredient found in Phillip Kingsley's Elasticizer).  

I have normal/dry skin and I was using this alongside a "regime" (ha, as if I'm even that organised) of Eve Lom cleanser on some days and Elemental Herbology Cool & Clear facewash on others.

For me, this is a great product, and I recommend it to those who have no aversion to perfume or mineral oil in their products. The fact that it costs a mere £3.99 and is available in most Boots and pharmacists in the land make it even more of a winner.
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