Beauty Hacks You Need in Your Life #1

Whilst I am a massive makeup and beauty junkie, life can sometimes just get a little too busy with work, university and a social life to keep up to focus on perfecting my baked under eyes. Anything I can do to cut down on time and multitask, I will do! Here’s my top five beauty hacks which you need in your life:

Use conditioner as shaving cream

This is an oldie that I use all the time. Shaving foam can be expensive, and I’ve found certain ones can dry out my skin. Use up those conditioners that just aren’t cutting it for your hair instead. Conditioners give a close shave, whilst acting as a good lubricant and guideline for shaving. I use a cheap Alberto Balsalm one in the shower which you can pick up from most places for a mere £1. This is also great for cutting down on toiletries for travelling. Smooth and silky legs in an instant!

Use matte eyeshadow for your eyebrows

Trying to find a perfect match for your brow colour can be difficult, however the majority of us will own at least a few matte eyeshadows. Save yourself a pretty penny on buying eyebrow powders and use these for your brows instead! These are perfect for filing in your brows with, and can be mixed and matched according to how dark you prefer them. I often use the colour crave from Urban Decay Naked Basics for mines.

Apply dry shampoo before going to bed

We’ve all had days when our hair has definitely needed a wash but we just don’t have the time/can’t be bothered to do it. In steps the trusty dry shampoo with it’s amazing grease lifting properties and its not so amazing white residue that takes an age to brush out. Apply it before going to bed and tie your hair up to give it more time to absorb. You’ll have little to no white cast left in the morning!

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Apply a translucent powder to a glossy lip to mattify it

This ones fantastic to transform any glossy or satin finish lip colour you have in your collection. I particularly love doing this to red or deep berry tones to instantly give them a revamp without having to buy a matte alternative. I use a flat brush to pat a small amount onto the centre of my lips and move it outwards. This can also be added onto matte shades to intensify the colour.

Bake your under eyes with a translucent powder and damp beauty sponge

Translucent powder isn’t just for the face or the lips as seen in the above hack! This one’s a tip from Kim Kardashians very own makeup artist Mario. Apply your powder under your eyes with a damp sponge and leave it for a few minutes before sweeping it away. By using a damp sponge rather than a brush, it gives an amazing brightening effect and just settles nicely into the skin. Well, if it’s good enough for Kim K!

I loved writing this post and sharing some of my favourite beauty hacks to introduce into your routine. I’m thinking of possibly doing a series?

C x

What are your unusual beauty hacks?

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

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Review: Smoothie Star Soap & Glory Range

There’s nothing more satisfying after a long day than taking a hot shower or bath, then coming out and slathering yourself in your best smelling body products. It’s amazing how relaxed you can feel after a little TLC, and finding great products is key to ensuring your routine is spot on.

The Smoothie Star range from Soap & Glory has been a firm favourite of mines over the years with it’s sweet almond and brown sugar scent.

 

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Image taken when I first bought the scrub, I promise I’ve used it!

 

The Breakfast Scrub

Soap & Glory do a fantastic range of body scrubs within their ranges, with different scents and more abrasive scrubs dependant upon your skin type. However, The Breakfast Scrub is the one I have kept on coming back to time after time. I remember this being hugely hyped on YouTube many moons ago so I popped into Boots with my pocket money to buy a tub. The older packaging was more rounded but the formulation remains the same. The scrub smells SO good, with ingredients such as oats, sugar, banana and shea butter it’s hard to not stick a spoon into this and eat it. It leaves my sensitive dry skin lovely and soft and feeling moisturised when I leave the shower rather than tight. Definitely one of my favourite S&G products. It’s an award winner, and it’s clear to see why!

For £8, I think that’s a bargain for the quality of the product and can be purchased here.

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Body Buttercream

The scent of the buttercream is slightly stronger than the scrub, with a slight almost biscuity underlay, but not in a bad way. (Think more sweet biscuits than fake tan!) I love the body butter consistency as it’s thicker and really takes it’s time to absorb into the skiin, quenching any thirsty areas. I particularly love slathering this onto the tops of my arms and on my legs as these are my driest areas. If you like The Righteous Butter but fancy a different scent, then I recommend this!

The buttercream retails for £10 and can be bought here.

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Deep Moisture Body Milk

I didn’t think I’d like this product when I first tried it due to its runny consistency, but the “deep moisture” claim intrigued me. However I’ve actually found myself reaching for this most days before I pop my pyjamas on. The pump bottle makes it so quick and easy to apply without the mess of digging into a tub, and because it’s a milk it absorbs super quickly. Now don’t be misled by the milk title, it still has a nice thickness to it which gives the skin a good moisture. Plus, the scent of this is similar to the buttercream minus that biscuity underlay. My skin feels lovely and soft and the scent it leaves on the skin is gorgeous. Definitely a dark horse in the game here!

For £10, I think this products worth every penny and can be purchased here.

Overall, I love the Smoothie Star range. I’m usually a loyal Righteous Butter or Sugar Crush kinda gal but this range is just so fresh for Spring with some amazing products. With all of Soap and Glory’s bodycare currently 3 for 2 in Boots, how can you resist?

They’re definitely not edible, but they certainly smell good enough to eat!

What are your favourite scented body products?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

How to: Creme Egg Easter Cheesecake (No Bake)

Every year, the minute Match rolls round I basically go into a Crème Egg induced food coma. They’re a seasonal thing, so really I’ve only got a few months to eat as many as I can, right?

Now I’m no chef, but I decided to try making a Crème Egg Cheesecake after reading my friend Josephine’s recipe here. I wanted to make a slightly larger offering, so I roped my best friend Abi and her 4 year old son Riley into it to (him mainly with the bribe of being able to lick the bowl and eat mini Crème eggs throughout…). It’s pretty simple and fun to get the kids involved!

Here’s an easy, no bake cheesecake perfect for any Easter parties or Easter weekend itself. You can of course adjust this accordingly if you want more filling/a thicker base or if you just want a tonne more crème eggs in it. I promise I won’t judge.

Ingredients:

  • 9″ Springboard tin (meaning the side unclips to remove the cheesecake. I got mines from Home Bargains for £2)
  • 80g digestive biscuits
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 560ml of double cream
  • 3 x 180g tubs full fat Philadelphia
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1 bag of Mini Crème Eggs
  • 3 normal Crème eggs

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Recipe:

  1. BASE: Place the digestives into bags and crush them until they reach a consistency you like. I prefer to leave it more chunky but you can roll them out until they’re like sand if you prefer.
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    We gave Riley his own little bag to crush too!

  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or hob, then add in the crushed biscuits and mix.
  3. Press this to the bottom of your tin
  4. TOPPING: Whip up your double cream until its fluffy and making peaks, but not to dense.IMG_1050
  5. Add your Philadelphia and vanilla extract to the cream and fold in
  6. Chop up the bag of mini crème eggs and add to the filling
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    Pop the eggs in the fridge before cutting to stop them being too runny.

  7. Spread the topping over the base and smooth
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    Neatness definitely isn’t key here!

  8. Stick in the fridge to set!

 

Allow the cheesecake to set for around 2/3 hours, and add your large Crème eggs to decorate.

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And tada! Not the neatest by any means but a surprisingly easy and fun recipe to get the kids involved with too. I don’t know what our little Easter Bunny enjoyed more, the actual cooking or the cheesecake afterwards!

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What’s your favourite Easter treat?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All opinions are my own.

 

Review: Is Soap and Glory “The Greatest Scrub Of All”?

If you’ve got dry, sensitive skin like me, trying a new face scrub is likely to be something you’re a little bit apprehensive about. A face scrub in my skin care routine is crucial to smooth over dry patches, but it must be gentle enough to not aggravate my eczema.

So, into my skincare routine walks Soap and Glory “The Greatest Scrub of All”. Bold claims straight away from the name, but I was initially sceptical due to previous bad and painful experiences with harsh scrubs. Sold as a “DIY micro-dermabrasion”,  the scrub contains salicylic acid, which is traditionally known to treat oily skin. However, it’s also fantastic for breaking down dead skin cells without actively having to “scrub” them away as it encourages natural skin turnover.

The scrub is for all skin types, and recommends using a pea-sized amount onto damp skin wherever your problem areas are (whether that be an oily nose to unclog pores or an area of flakey skin) for around 30 seconds.

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I was instantly drawn into the claim that the scrub gave “instant radiance”. I’ve been using this once or twice a week after using a cleanser in the evening, and following with moisturiser as directed.

The Results

Honestly, the face polish has become a firm favourite in my routine. The grains within the scrub are not too harsh and very finely milled within the polish itself, which means 30 seconds is perfect to give a good amount of exfoliation. It’s not too harsh for my skin and leaves it feeling soft and visibly more radiant. I stuck to using it once a week, sometimes twice if I had a particular problem area, and this worked great for me. If you have more oily skin, you possibly could use it more for a deeper clean.

Most amazingly, I have noticed a huge improvement on my facial milia. Due to my eczema, I have to use a heavy moisturiser to treat it which can cause the annoying tiny white bumps to appear around my eyes and under my cheeks. I, of course, don’t use the scrub on my eye area itself but those under and around the eye they are visibly reduced. Salicylic acid does = DIY microdermabrasion in this case!

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I’d definitely say the scrub lives up to its claims of being suitable for all skin types and giving instant radiance. It’s one that you can adapt to suit you based on how much you use and how frequent etc. Is it the Greatest Scrub of All? That’s for you to try the polish and answer!

You can buy The Greatest Scrub of all here for £9 for 150ml.

Do you use a face scrub in your skincare routine?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap and Glory. All opinions are my own.

Spring Clean: Wardrobe Edition

As the lighter nights roll in, it’s perfect time to insert some colour into your wardrobe and give it a spring shake-up. If you’re a bit of a clothes hoarder like me, it can be daunting to get rid of any old clothes. Here’s a few simple steps to take to spring clean the old and bring in the new (pastel coloured most likely) goodies!

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Clear out

Turn all your coat hangers to face one way in your wardrobe at the start of the month, and turn it the opposite way when hanging the clothes back up after wearing/washing etc. If come the end of the month your hanger hasn’t moved sides then you know you aren’t wearing it. Then comes the time to look at these items and decide if you will wear them within the next week, or it’s time for a clear out!

Have a clothes swap

Once you’ve delved through your wardrobe and decided which ones are no longer staying, why not get your girls round and do a clothes swap? Or, start an event at your University or at work to get a larger group together. This is a great way for someone to give your no longer used item some love and for you to find some great new pieces to revamp your Spring style. Don’t just leave it to clothes either, I bet there’s a few unused handbags you’ve been eyeing up from your colleagues too!

Donation

Donate your old clothing items to local charity shops or give them to someone who would get wear out of them. Local Facebook pages in your area are always a great place to post your donations and it’s really fantastic to be able to help someone in your local area. Charity shops rely on donations so please don’t hand in anything of poor or unwearable quality as it’s simply not worth the volunteers’ time to search through the stuff that should have been binned in the first place.

If you don’t have a local charity shop, try searching for Woman’s Aid or children’s charities in your area. Most of them are highly thankful for any donations.

Selling

If they items are new or have only been worn a few times, try sellingthem on websites like eBay & Depop to earn some cash. I personally prefer eBay just because its the most familiar and has an extra level of protection with PayPal.

The eBay app is also fantastic as it means you can take all the images of your items for sale and upload them from the one device, even on the go on your morning commute.

  • Good images are key as people are more likely to buy it. Take it in the daytime when the lighting levels are best if possible.
  • Timing is also a crucial factor in making sure your item sells. More people are active on eBay in the evenings in general, due to busy work life’s and studies during the day. Sunday is the best day for selling as most people are online.
  • Make sure the name of your item includes all the vital information, eg size, brand, condition, colour. This gives it better search engine optimisation, aka will pop up on Google for people searching for any of these terms.

I wrote an old post here all about how to utilise searching eBay effectively, which is great to search the page for new items. Or, treat yourself with your hard earned cash to these ASOS bits which are currently on my wish list.

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  1. Jumpsuit
  2. Jumper
  3. Jacket
  4. Cullotes

 

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  1. Leopard court Shoes
  2.  Frill Dress 
  3. Star print bag
  4. Stila Matte and Metals palette

And just in case you need a soundtrack to help you Spring Clean:

Music

Isn’t it amazing how a simple playlist can put us in the best mood ever? I use my Spotify app on a daily basis whether I’m in the car, on the train or tidying my room. Get yourself some motivation by making a fresh playlist with all your favourite songs. If you use Spotify, try the Monday Motivation,Throwback Thursday and Feelgood Friday playlists: instant happiness just when you need it! Ed Sheeran’s new album was also released this morning, the soundtrack to my future posts no doubt (whilst I sob onto my keyboard listening to Perfect and Supermarket Flowers)

Will you be Spring Cleaning your wardrobe this Spring?

C x

*Blog supported by Soap & Glory. All views are my own.

 

 

 

No7 Money Off Vouchers

no71Whilst stocking up on some essentials from my local Boots, I was handed a No7 money off voucher. These usually do the rounds in Boots around 4 times a year and every time I grab the opportunity to buy some of my favourite products from the No7 range.

The Concept

All you need to do to obtain a voucher is spend £4 on anything from your Boots store. However, if you keep your eyes peeled at a self scanner you’ll often find loads lying around that people simply haven’t picked up. They offer £5 off any No7 skincare and £3 off No7 make up.

My recommendations

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser – £9.95 // £4.95 with voucher

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I swear by this cleanser and have purchased numerous bottles of it over the years. I myself struggle heavily with dry skin and eczema and it works just as well for a friend with oily skin therefore fantastic for all skin types. It removes all traces of makeup and leaves my skin just feeling very clean and soft.

No7 Beautiful Skin Face Wipes – £7 // £2 with voucher

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These are for the nights when I arrive home late, and the thought of crawling to the bathroom to remove my makeup is just too much (admit it, we’ve all been there). You get 30 wipes per packet, and if stored and sealed correctly these will last forever if not used every day. Once again, these are a repurchase of mine.

No7 Natural Blush Tint Power in Soft Damson – £8 // £5 with voucher

Natural Tint Blush in Soft Damson

Natural Tint Blush in Soft Damson

Moving onto makeup, the No7 blushes are some of my favourites which I own. I find them very pigmented so they are build able, but also look very natural on the skin.

No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter – £9.95 // £6.95 with voucher

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It’s rare to find a good highlighter in the drugstore but after discovering this gem I have been hooked. It comes in both a champagne shade and a bronze shade so perfect for every skintone.

What are your top No7 products?

How To: Save Money on your Supermarket Shop

supermarket shopMaking the leap to University means many students leaving home and leaving the comfort of home-made meals and food shopping done by our lovely parents. Whilst I chose to stay at home during my studies, here’s my top tips (with a little help from my dad) on how to save money on your food shop.

  1. Make a weekly meal plan

We usually plan our meals from Monday to Friday as these are the days when everyone in the house is busy with work/university. Changes can be made fairly easily to our lists as we try and stick to “base” ingredients such as mince allowing a variety of meals. I find this really effective as it allows us to ensure we use up everything in our stocks.

  1. Always take a shopping list

Before going food shopping, check the cupboards, fridge and freezer to effectively plan what you actually need to buy and make note of this. My dad never enters a supermarket to do the big food shop without a list in hand and will try and stick to this unless he sees the odd bargain reduction.

  1. Don’t shop hungry

Yes, I know it sounds like a bit of an odd one. However, entering a shop full of every possible food you could crave whilst hungry is a recipe for disaster which will probably overrule both of the above tips.

  1. Know your store reduction times

As I have a job in a supermarket part time, I’ve actively done and watched the reductions occur in store and you really can get some fantastic items with nearly 85% off. Many of these items, bread for example, can be bought and frozen as it is simply reduced due to its “display until” or “best before” date and NOT the “use by” date. Food can still be frozen to extend the “use by date” however which this article explains.

  1. Ignore the branding

Skip the branded products and try and lower cost own brand alternatives. I guarantee if the labels were covered on a branded tin of beans and a supermarket own brand, it would be almost impossible to tell the difference.

  1. Stick with basic ingredients

Instead of buying pre-made meals, buy the ingredients and make them yourself. This is something that we never used to do in our household but slowly but surely we’ve began making meals from scratch and have noticed this has saved us money. My dad often makes a larger batch at the weekend and then freezes the meals for throughout the week. If you’re struggling for some inspiration, my friend Josephine runs a fantastic food blog which is sure to get your creative juices flowing.

7. Start a spice collection

Start buying a few pots of spices from your local supermarket which can be added to basic meals to completely change the taste. Steer clear of the packet spices and buy the tubs instead as this is cheaper in the long run and they last for ages if stored correctly. Our favourites are mixed herbs, chilli flakes and paprika.

How do you save money on your weekly shop?

Best Of: Discount Codes 16/03/15

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There’s a lot of fantastic discount codes floating around the internet this week, so I decided to compile my pick of the best discounts with all the required codes and links needed to make some great savings. What better way to cheer yourself up on a gloomy Monday than by some (sort of) guilt free shopping?

Health & Beauty

Fashion

  • 20% off Topman via Unidays/Student Beans/NUS
  • 10% off Adidas via StudentBeans
  • 10% off full priced items at Matalan using code 63YT28UP75

Food & Drink

  • 35% off when you spent £35 at Dominos using code MARCHVOU
  • Free cheeseburger, hamburger or original McFlurry when you purchase an Extra Value or Deli Meal at Mcdonalds using student card instore
  • 25% off Pizza Express all day Monday-Thursday, sign up via the website 

Entertainment

This allows you to gain a 12 month subscription to the service for only £4.99 a month. Spotify Premium is a fantastic service as you can download songs to your phone or music device for free and listen to them with or without an internet connection.

  • Up to 15% off Apple using UniDays

I’ve already signed up to the Spotify offer and made a Feel Unique order.

Have you made any purchases with a discount code this week?

How To: Search eBay Effectively

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eBay is one of my favourite websites for finding well priced items and the occasional bargain. If the search function is used correctly, the possibilities are endless.

Benefit from sellers mistakes

Many sellers will list items in a rush or without proof reading their post, causing them to misspell vital words in their titles. A fantastic website to use for this is FatFingers, which allows you to enter the term you are looking for and it will then list all the common misspellings.

If you’re searching for a clothing item or a quantity of a specific item, use both the numerical and the written term for the number. For example, “dress size 10” is much more common than “dress size ten” however many sellers do still use the later.

Time your watched items effectively

eBay is most active on a Sunday evening, and the weekends are also a busy period for listings to end. If a listing ends during the day when many people are at work, or during a big event such as the X Factor final you will have less competition for bids and therefore more chance of winning your desired item.

The eBay app which can be downloaded is great as it sends reminders to your device before the listing ends, meaning you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to place your bid.

Use the sort by function

Within the search facilities, use the drop down function to change the format of the search results. The most popular function is “price & p&p lowest” which will then bring up the lowest priced items in your search terms. This function can also be used to find the items “ending soonest” which is a fantastic opportunity to buy a last minute bargain.

Lastly, the Advanced Search facility allows buyers to really narrow down their search. If you are looking for a large item which would require collection, such as a coffee table, the advanced search allows you to input your postcode and the distance you are willing to travel. It’s a really handy tool which I recommend playing around with to suit your own search requirements.

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What are your eBay search tips?

How To: Find Student Discount Codes

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Online shopping can be a dangerous game. You’re bored, find yourself browsing Topshop’s website and before you know it you’ve placed an order for £100 worth of clothes. We’ve all been there. However, being a student has more perks than just the university degree (yes, unbelievable I know), and allows us to have some amazing discounts to aid our weeping bank balances. There are various websites I use to source these codes.

Unidays

You simply register with Unidays with your University details and it then allows you to view an array of different discount codes. The website has separate sections for online and in store discounts so gives the best of both worlds.

You can visit the site here.

Student Beans

Again, you have to register with your University details to gain access to the site. Student Beans is aimed specifically at students and is separated into various sections from tech and mobile to home and utilities so covers all the bases regardless of what you’re shopping for. They also have a magazine section full of quirky articles (think BuzzFeed style) which I frequently find myself reading instead of actually shopping, so that’s got to be a bonus!

You can visit the site here.

Money Saving Expert

Whilst not solely featuring student discounts, Money Saving Expert is a fantastic website filled with discount codes and general money saving tips. Founder and editor Martin Lewis is a fellow journalist with a thirst for money saving tips and covers everything from fashion and beauty to cutting your electricity bills. This website is fantastic for the whole family to use and is one that my dad personally loves due to the straight forward layout and helpful posts.

You can check out Martin’s tips here.

What’s your favourite student discount website?