Friday, 31 October 2014

Beauty products - how do you know when to throw?

When it comes to food, we’re all pretty clued up on ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates, but did you know a lot of beauty products also have shelf lives too? I’m pretty sure we’ve all got at least one product in our bathroom or hiding at the bottom of our makeup bags that we’ve had for years, so how do you know when it’s time to throw it out?

When should I throw out beauty products text over drawer of makeup

Check the label – each product has a small marking on the packaging which will tell you how long you should keep it once it’s been opened. This usually has a little symbol like an open moisturiser pot, along with a date (in months) that will say ‘6M’, ’12M’, ‘18M’ etc. If you’ve still got it past that date, then it’s time for the bin!

Mascaras – sad news for any mascara hoarders, but you should really only hang onto mascara for about 3 months after opening it. The mascara tubes are a great place for bacteria to breed and because it’s applied so close to your eyes, it’s recommended to be replaced every 3 months.

Creamy makeup (lipsticks, cream blushers etc.) – these tend to last a lot longer; around 12-18 months. This might be a good reason to stop buying lots of new lipsticks as after this time they should ideally be thrown away. Bit of a bummer for my MAC lippie collection…

Powders (bronzer, face powder, powder blusher etc.) – around 2 years. These tend to have less liquid inside them that can go off, so will last much longer.

Nail polish – there doesn’t seem to be a firm rule on when to throw nail polish out – the best thing to do is to go by texture and how it looks. If the polish has separated (and won’t go back to normal with a quick shake) or has dried out and gone gloopy, then it might be time for the bin.

If it smells or changes texture – these are both bad signs when it comes to makeup and skin care. If you notice a funny smell from a product or it’s no longer the original texture/consistency, throw it out.

If in doubt…throw it away! If you honestly can’t remember the last time you used a particular product, then the best thing to do is to get rid of it. I know that I’ll definitely be having a good look through my makeup drawers over the next few weeks and having a bit of a clearing out session.

What are your thoughts on beauty expiry dates?

Magazine freebies November 2014

I've spotted a few good freebies hitting the shelves over the past couple of days as the December editions of the monthly glossies are released. There might be one or two more to add to this list (I'll keep you posted!) but for the moment, here are the beauty freebies you can bag yourself this month.

Elle magazine Benefit They're Real liner freebie

Elle - mini Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner. I was very excited about this one as I'd wanted to try out the new liner from Benefit when it launched but had heard mixed reviews. Now it's available to try for free on the front of a £4 magazine it's a great time to see if it lives up to the hype without the high price tag. It's a tiny little sample (about a tenth of the full-sized product) which is a bit disappointing but it should be enough for a few uses.

Glamour - the new issue features a choice of four different Nails Inc polishes in lovely shades for Autumn/Winter. These are all full-sized, so at just £2 for the magazine, this is a great value freebie. I spotted a lovely rich purple, deep red and a silvery/gold shimmer on the shelves of my local newsagent.

Tatler - a handbag sized hand cream is always a good treat so make sure you pick up the new issue of Tatler for a 50ml Cowshed hand cream. I've tried these before and they're really hydrating, making them the perfect winter companion.

Will you be picking up any of these magazine freebies?
Thursday, 30 October 2014

Must-have palettes for your Christmas list

Now, I know it;s quite early to start talking Christmas gifts, however there are some cracking limited edition palettes available this year and so I'm making an exception and putting this post up a little earlier than planned. I have a bit of a palette obsession - there's just something so nice about having multiple shades/products in one place to choose from. I've chosen five palettes which I think need a mention on your Christmas lists this year, although as you can see from the photo, I was too impatient to wait for mine!

must have christmas palettes

must have christmas palettes

Too Faced Chocolate Bar* - makeup that smells like chocolate is basically a winner in my book. This superstar palette from Too Faced is one of my ultimate palettes - the combination of shades allow you to create multiple looks and the easy-to-wear formula means they blend like a dream and wear all day. Add in the fact they've been infused with cocoa and actually smell like chocolate and you've got yourself a cracking palette. £45

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot - Benefit's Christmas gift sets are always amazing value and I think that this blusher set steals the top place from all of the others. Inside there are 6 of Benefit's most loved powder blushers and bronzers, as well a a mini Watt's Up highlighter and brush. This is amazing value - most of the blushers are 5g, so not much smaller than their full-sized versions. The sturdy tin also means you don't have to worry about ruining any cardboard packaging and the cute house shape makes it something I'll want to keep even after the products run out. This is a limited edition Christmas set and is very popular, so I wouldn't leave it until the last minute if you've got your eye on one of these. £29.50

Diego Dalla Palma La Vie En Rose* - If you're looking for a non-brown but still everyday palette, then Diego Dalla Palma's La Vie En Rose is the perfect solution. It's got six pinky/purple toned matte and shimmer shadows inside that all work well together to create a multitude of looks. The formula is super-soft and long-wearing and I love the simple black and white case. You'll find DDP in the M&S beauty halls and it's definitely a less well-known brand to check out. £27

Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 - the latest offering from Urban Decay, Naked Basics 2 is the perfect gift for matte shadow lovers that are looking for a good mix of cool-toned nude shades. The formula of the shadows live up to Urban Decay's usual high standard and at £22 is a good option for slightly lower budgets. If you prefer warmer toned shadows, then the original Urban Decay Basics will be a great alternative instead.

Illamasqua Facets palettes (Aura/Semblance)* - another limited edition release, the new palettes from Illamasqua's Facets collection are seriously good. Inside each one there's a mix of face and eye palettes, with each one featuring some of Illamasqua's hero products. If you're looking for an introduction to the brand or buying for a friend who's always wanted to try Illamasqua, this is my top pick. Aura is best suited to paler skin tones, and Semblance is better for medium to dark tones. (Full review of the Aura palette here). £45 each.

Have you got any of these palettes on your Christmas list? Which one do you like the look of best?

*PR samples