Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Top tips on finding bargain beauty products and treatments

We all love a good pamper session, but they've even better when you can bag one for a bargain! I've put together some of my top tips for getting either bargain treatments or free products, which will keep you looking and feeling fabulous.

free and cheap beauty products and treatments

What's In My Handbag 'Try' - WIMH is a site that offers you a sneak peek inside other women's handbags and at the products they carry with them on a regular basis. On top of that, they also often offer free 'trys', which you can sign up to and potentially be sent a free product to test out. I've received a couple of things from them in the past which have been good travel sizes (including an Emma Hardie cleansing balm), and while you might not always get selected, it's definitely worth signing up.

Liberty beauty rooms - If you're ever in Central London, I highly recommend a visit to the Liberty Treatment rooms, hidden inside the Liberty department store. Most of the time, the cost of your treatment is redeemable on products afterwards, so is definitely good value. You can see which brands and treatments are coming up in their treatment calendar - just make sure you book in advance as they get very busy.

Tesco Clubcard vouchers - sometimes your food shopping can have hidden bonuses. As well as being able to spend your Clubcard vouchers in store on food, you can also swap them on their Deals website for vouchers to spend on other sites. Why not trade them in for Beauty Expert vouchers and receive double their value, giving you a mini haul for next to nothing.

Book a makeover - I love getting my makeup applied (despite having had a few bad makeovers in the past) and lots of the large beauty counters offer free, or redeemable makeovers (you pay a small fee which can then be spent on products) and makeup lessons. Bobbi Brown and MAC offer a whole menu of different ones, although you do need to book in advance for these.

Get a Boots Advantage Card - points mean prizes, or in this case, free makeup. Save the points you get from your normal purchases for a high street haul or high end splurge. Make sure you use the pink machines they have in store which often have extra points offers and are well worth checking out if you're planning a big shop. 

Back to MAC - if you're a bit of a MAC fiend, make sure you save those empty black cases. Trade any 6 in for a new lipstick of your choice (yay!). 

Be a hair model - a slightly scary option, hair models are often used by trainee hairdressers to practice on. You'll usually get a free cut (and sometimes a colour) and don't panic, the students are supervised at all times! It might take a bit longer than usual, but I've had some great student cuts before and they were totally free. Try the Vidal Sassoon or KMS training academies, or pop in to your local salon and see if they're in need of models. 

Sample swap - if you're like me, you might did you've got a box of travel sizes and perfume samples you've collected that you're not really keen on. Why not swap with a friend or another blogger and get to test out double the products at no cost.

What are your top ways to get pampered at a lower cost? 

Little bit of blog love April

This month's blog love post features a round up of some of my favourite posts from the past few weeks. There's quite a variety of beauty, fashion and lifestyle, and I hope you find some exciting new reads!

Pampered Prince - why cleansing is so important - Andy dispels the myths around cleansing and tells us how to make sure we're doing it properly in this skin care post.

Frock Me I'm Famous - Post Holiday SOS Skincare - I've loved seeing Hayley's travel blog posts over the past few weeks (I think it they will make anyone want to go to Thailand!), and this post features lots of products to help with post-holiday skin.

Zoe Newlove - Williams and Coburn Loreal Colour Trophy Experience - Zoe talks about her modeling and showcases some amazing hairstyles, I LOVE Zoe's new bob!

Laura Lou Beauty - Brow, Brows, Brows - the best post I've seen on brows and top brow products for a very long time. Fantastic for any brow questions you might have and I now have a list of brow products I need to buy after reading this.

The Black Pearl - Homemade Nut Milks with Vitamix - I've been giving almond milk a try after trying to avoid cow's milk, and I love the idea of making it myself at home. Sandra's post explains exactly how to do this and makes it sound so simple!

The Love Cats Inc - Easter Bunny Nail Art - Easter might be over, but I think these cute bunny nails are perfect for any time of year. Helen's easy to follow tutorial is something I will definitely be trying over the next week or two.

What's been your favourite blog post of the past few weeks?
Monday, 21 April 2014

Macadamia Flawless Cleansing Conditioner review

Since bleaching the ends of my hair, I’ve been testing out a lot of products that will help keep it looking shiny and feeling soft and supple. I’ve got another post on some of these coming up, but Macadamia’s new Flawless Cleansing Conditioner needed a post of its own!

Macadamia Flawless cleansing conditioner

The latest in a breed of ‘cleansing conditioners’, Flawless* offers a one-step solution to shampoo and conditioner, cleaning hair while conditioning. Let me reassure you – this is a long way off from some of the two in one shampoos and conditioners of old. This feels, acts and looks a lot like a conditioner. There’s no foaming action when you use it - you simply massage into your hair, leave for around 5 minutes and rinse well!

Flawless claims to offer 6 benefits – cleansing, conditioning, detangles, eliminates frizz, reduces drying time and enhances volume. I was a bit sceptical about this product to start with, but after a couple of uses, I’m a bit of a convert! It leaves my hair feeling fresh, clean and most importantly looking healthy and shiny. It also doesn’t weigh hair down, which is a definite bonus for someone with fine hair like me.

I don’t feel like it particularly adds a lot of volume, but that’s something I prefer to use styling products for anyway. I’ve always loved Macadamia’s Deep Repair Mask, and can definitely see Flawless becoming a regular part of my hair routine. I do still like to alternate this with a shampoo every other wash, but it’s made a big difference to how dry the bleached ends of my hair now feel.

Flawless costs £8.75 for a 90ml can, which is about enough for 6-7 washes or £25.75 for 200ml. You can find it online from Beauty Bay (slightly cheaper), Look Fantastic and also in store and online at Harvey Nichols.

Have you tried a cleansing conditioner before? What do you think of Flawless?

*PR sample