Monday, 3 February 2014

Sample Sachets: Making the Most of Them!

Hello! A little semi DIY post today, and you can do it for completely free! I recently received a sample of the Egyptian Magic cream in a Birchbox (post here) and I wanted to start using it this eveninging (after being in work all weekend and forgetting to take my gloves to an extremely cold day in uni my hands were begging me for it), at which point I remembered why I mostly stuff any sample sachets I get in a drawer and forget about them.. So I always tend to look at the volume of these and think "what? 3ml? that's nothing! That won't even give one use!" but in fact, they always last quite a long time! But I don't feel like it's that hygienic to keep it in an open sachet and keep using it for like a week, and sachets also aren't always the easiest to get the product out of.. So I came up with a solution!

You will need:
Sample sachet(s)
Clean, empty mini pot






















So first of all you need to make sure your sample pot is nice and clean, I clean mine out with a few drops of the Dr Bronner liquid soap and some warm water, and a little tooth brush to really get in all the joins of the tub and make sure there's no old, leftover product in there.

Now you want to put your sample sachets inside the tub, the way to get the most out of the sachet is to squeeze all the product away from the area that you're going to open the sachet. Then I just rip mine open, but you can use a pair of scissors to snip them open, and then squeeze all the product out into the pot...



I know this is such a simple idea, but I thought I'd share it because I'm finding it a great way to make the most of the annoying sachet style samples! I think this is great as well if you have a couple of the same sachets, you can put them all in the same pot and you'd be surprised by how much product there is! And this doesn't just work for skincare, but you could decant foundation samples or other makeup samples into pots like this!


Hope you liked this! I love picking up samples to try things out, and this helps me use up the awkward sachets they sometimes give you!
Eleanor x

P.S. You can buy little pots like this from muji for less than £1, or I sometimes manage to pick them up for free with samples of products in origins and the bodyshop or mac (if you ask nicely they'll put some product that you want to try in a pot like this for you to take away, just use up the product they give you and clean the pot out like I mentioned above and you can keep reusing it)! You could also buy a pill box or something to that effect if you have lots of different small sample sachets, so you can decant them and keep them separated from each other, but keep them all in the same place at the same time! If you were going to do this, I'd recommend buying some small circular labels or something as well, so that you can keep track of what it is in the pots, and you can just keep sticking them over each other when you put new things in there!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Soap and Glory Scrub Comparison

Hello! So a while ago in bootsI saw an offer on soap and glory products (as there often is). It could have been 1/3 off, or 3 for 2 or something to that effect! Anyway, I couldn't decide which scrub to buy, because everyone seems to love all of them! And they all smell so good! So I put a couple in my basket... and justified it by telling myself it'd make a great comparison post on my blog... So I thought I'd better actually write it, so that I haven't lied to myself completely! I'm still pretty new to Soap and Glory (please leave product recommendations below) so for people like me, here are my thoughts on a couple of their scrubs and which I'd go for...

Flake Away:



This was the first product I ever tried from soap and glory! I bought it quite a while ago, and as you can see from the picture, I have finished it up completely (in terms of texture and how it looks, it's quite similar to the Breakfast Scrub, so see the picture of that below for reference)! I absolutely love this scrub, It's very grainy and very abrasive which I like very much, I feel like when you use a scrub you actually want it to SCRUB! This one for sure lives up to its name "flake away" as it would definitely get rid of dry skin (I don't have this much, but I imagine it would work wonders) but it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry when you get out of the shower, as contains loads of amazing ingredients like almond oil, shea butter and sea salt and is advertised as a "spa-strength" exfoliator which I think is very true. This leaves my skin nice and soft and you can really feel it working while you use it! I love the smell of this as well, it's really sweet and the only way I can describe it is as smelling of sweets haha!
I would recommend this one if you're looking for a nice tough exfoliant, and even better it comes in a large sub, or a smaller one which is perfect for travel, or if you just want to try it out before committing! Personally I wouldn't use this every day, as I think it could be a little too abrasive to use so often, but it's a great once a week scrub, or great for getting rid of all traces of fake tan, or prepping for fake tan too, because it leaves you with a completely fresh base.

Sugar Crush:



In the pot this one has a way more gloopy consistency than flake away, as flake away was far harder. Although this ones still isn't completely liquidy like a shower gel or anything, just not as hard as flake away. This one is definitely less grainy and less abrasive than flake away as well, there doesn't seem to  be as many exfoliating grains (oh god the science) packed into it, which I think makes it a better daily exfoliant. My skin actually felt quite moisturised after using this because of the almond oil, and it still felt soft and fesh, despite not having been buffed quite so hard haha! This one smells absolutely amazing as well, like sweet lime and a bit coconutty? When I smell this I always think it's what it would smell like if you were in some tropical exotic jungly location using one of those outdoor bamboo showers, well this is what it'd smell like. Fresh, fruity and sweet.
I'd recommend this one if you're looking for a milder exfoliator to be used a couple of times a week, it's not too abrasive so if you're skin's a bit more sensitive this might be a better one to go for? But I would probably say you need something a bit harsher if you're prepping for fake tan or looking to get rid of it, or if you want a really good body buff to blast dry skin, this one might not be grainy enough.

Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em Body Buff:


I had the highest hopes for this one, because it has some great ingredients; babassu oil and jojoba seed for moisturising, and sea salt for some super exfoliating, but I found myself feeling a bit left down by this one. When you open it up it looks to have mini pink micro exfoliation beads, and chunks of sea salt, so I expected this one to be super scrubby (I really like it when scrubs are really abrasive) but it wasn't at all. I felt like it barely exfoliated my skin and actually left a bit of a residue on it which made shaving afterwards a bit difficult. The smell of this one is quite nice, but definitely not as amazing as the others. It's sweet but mild, and a smell that I think would be quite nice in hair products actually haha! I can't describe the scent though, it's a tricky one! Nice but not overpowering, so maybe good for people who find the scents of the others too overpowering.
I probably wouldn't recommend this one as all to be honest, as I don't think it works as a scrub and leaves a bit of an annoying film over the skin, so I probably won't be finishing mine off and just throwing it away. The good news is that this also comes in a travel size which is the one I got to try, so I'm not wasting too much money!

The Breakfast Scrub:




Back onto the positive! Another scrub that I really like! This one is like a stage in between Flake Away and Sugar Crush, it's more packed with grains that Sugar Crush, but not quite as grainy as Flake Away, so this one's like a "medium" exfoliator between the two. Again packed with great ingredients, shea butter, oat, banana, almond, honey, and "cupuacu bio scrubs" which sound very fancy! I don't know what they are, but they definitely work! I think this one has a nice moderate amount of scrub, it's not too harsh, but it definitely still gets the job done! Again, my skin is nice and soft after using this and doesn't feel stripped or over scrubbed. The smell of this is so cool, it literally smells like a bottle of maple syrup, it's so authentic! It's absolutely gorgeous, and quite a break away from the more sugary fruity smells of the other scrubs. And it doesn't leave any weird residues (scrub 'em and leave 'em is the only one that does in my experience).
I would recommend this for people wanting something to use probably around twice a week, something that's pretty abrasive but not too harsh, and just keeps their skin feeling soft and smooth.

So there's my run down! I will definitely be repurchasing Flake Away, and Sugar Crush and the Breakfast Scrub when I run out of them! You probably don't need to own all 3, but I'm a bit out of control and really like all 3 of them, so why not?!

Have you tried any of these? Which would you buy?
Eleanor x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Gift Guide: Under £10

Gift Guide: Under £10


1 - Monin flavoured coffee syrup gift set £6

2 - Nude shimmery makeup bag H&M £5.99

3 - This works sleep balm beauty ball £8.40

4 - Topshop mini lip bullet duo £10

5 - Bodyshop starlight oil burner £10

6 - Lush I want candy gift set £7.95

I really don't think it's important to spend a great deal of money on presents for people, but what I do think is important is that the gift you give is thoughtful and something that they would love! I remember last year when one of my best friends bought me a book, I hadn't asked for it and it didn't cost a lot of money, but it was one of the best presents I got because it was about something I'm really interested in and I loved reading it, and they'd really thought about that! That being said, lets get on with it...

There are a couple of makeup or beauty options here, a lovely makeup bag is always a good present, get the sort of style or colour etc that the person you're buying for would like, I personally love this one from H&M and they're not expensive! Topshop are also doing some really nice makeup gift sets this year which are great ideas for presents, this is one of their cheaper ones and you get the makeup bag and 2 cute mini lip bullets! Great for someone that likes wearing lipstick or experimenting with their makeup. Of course there's a lush set here, they do lots of these smaller, cheaper sets with different products, I love the scent of the products in this one, but you can buy yours based on the scents you know the person you're buying for likes. You could even make your own up and buy a couple of individual items you know they'll like from the store, I do that every year for people that I know enjoy that sort of thing! The this works sleep balm beauty ball is actually reduced at the moment on beautybay.com and is a lovely gift for someone you know that tends to be stressed or have trouble sleeping. And finally the bodyshop oil burner is so pretty! I think it's gorgeous! People can buy scented oils that they like for quite cheap to burn in it, it's a lovely little ornament, and it doesn't give off as much bad soot as burning scented candles does! And can I take a moment to say that this is a far more realistic gift to give than one of these ridiculously expensive candles I keep seeing in gift guides! I nearly had a heart attack when I found how much they were! You definitely don't need to be splashing that sort of cash one something someone's going to BURN! Let's consider that for a second. They're going to burn your money. Don't let them burn too much of it, and give them a pretty ornament in the process... S'all I'm saying....

Will you be giving or asking for anything from this gift guide?
Eleanor x

Gift Guide: Over £10

Gift Guide: Over £10


I've tried to keep this gift guide relatively sensible, as I tend to see a lot of the over £10 gift guides with absolutely ridiculously pricey things in them, the sort of amounts of money you wouldn't even spend on yourself (who's giving that £65 Laura Mercier to someone else?!) So lets get our heads out of the clouds and look at some sensible options! Above £10, lovely luxury products, but they're not going to cost you the earth...

1- Benefit bare luv it up set £17

2 - Bodyshop festive hand cream trio - £12

3 - Lush Christmas bathtime favourites £34.95

4 - Origins mask marvels gift set £25

5 - Real Techniques Sam's picks brush set £30

So! We have something from all price points, just over £10 and reaching the more expensive £35 mark.. For people that love makeup, I'd suggest the Benefit gift sets, all of them are lovely, but I think this one's really nice and includes 1 lipgloss, 3 neural powder eyeshadow shades, and 1 of their creasless cream shadows too! Beautiful! And it comes in a gorgeous tin making it really luxe! A more expensive option for the makeup lover would be this real techniques brush set, it includes a great mix of some of the brushes from each of the individual collections, and would make a great starter set for someone, or just as a lovely additions to someone's collection. An amazing skincare gift to give would be this set of 3 origins face masks, luxury products at a slightly smaller size and gives someone the opportunity to sample some lovely skincare. Lush do great gift sets from all prices, and this is one of their more extensive ones including most of their Christmas edition bath bombs. This is a really luxurious gift to give anyone and I think most people would absolutely love it, a true treat! Finally this little trio of bodyshop handcreams in their festive scents is so cute, and a really lovely gift (their hand creams are great) if you've just got a little bit over £10 to spend!

Will you be giving or asking for anything in this gift guide?
Eleanor x

Gift Guide: Teenager

Gift Guide: Teenager


1 - Topshop lip and cheek gift set £12

2 - Lush stardust gift set £25.95

3 - BHS hot chocolate gift set £6.40

4 - Topshop mixed shape rings £7.50

5 - Bodyshop fruit and nut lip butter trio £10

6 - Models own Wah nail art pastel set £20

Teenagers are famously difficult to buy for, they don't know what they want, and you don't either! I think these are a few fail-safe ideas from every price point! Topshop is obviously always a big hit with girls, so this nice little lipstick and cream blush duo would be great for someone that's getting into makeup and will allow them to experiment a bit, as will the models own wah pen set, such a great gift set for a teenager to have a play around with, and all the colours in there are lovely! Lush gifts are such lovely things to give and receive, I personally would love to get one of these! The candy smell is one of my favourites, and this would be a great pamper set for a teenager (or anyone really)! The bodyshop lip butters are lovely essentials, and this gift set just gives them the finishing touch and makes them the perfect present filled with delicious flavours! Speaking of flavours, what teenage girl doesnt like chocolate, or hot chocolate to be more precise! I used to love getting these little hot chocolate gift sets, perfect for the winter, and some of them come with the cutest mugs! This one has a little knitted mug cosy too! How sweet! And finally back to Topshop for the final present, I love rings and I know my sister and all of her teenage friends love rings too, something that's maybe a little bit out of their price range and a great gift for Christmas, I gave my sister some and she absolutely loved them and wears them all the time!

Will you be giving or asking for anything from this gift guide?
Eleanor x

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Gift Guide: Palette Obsesser

Gift Guide: Palette Obsesser



1 - Urban Decay Naked3 £37

2 - Chanel Ombres Matelassees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Charming £48

3 - Clarins The Essentials palette £35

4 - Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette in Cool £37.50

5 - Sleek Face Form £9.99

Palettes are such a great gift for everyone, old amd young, experienced or not.. I think it's because they look SO pretty that makes them such a pleasing gift to receive, and I know that palettes are one of my favourite things, I always put a few on my christmas wishlist! The Chanel, Clarins and Bobbi Brow would make particularly nice gifts, as they're limited edition, and so special releases for Christmas and not something people can buy for very long, which I think makes them extra special! These 3 are also great because they're quite neutral and unoffensive, the Chanel featuring a shade with a taupey violet undertone, the Clarins having a host of lovely warm neutrals. amd the Bobbi Brown bringing up the cooler tones, something neutral for everyone! One palette on everybody's lips at the moment is the Naked3 and I can pretty much guarantee that you will be in VERY good books with the person you decide to give this to! It's a brand new release from Urban Decay and only launched last week, an absolutely wonderful present! And finally something a little different to the rest of the picks from the budget side of things, the Sleek Face Form palette is gorgous, the packaging is so chic and looks way more expensive than it is, and this comes in 4 different shades to suit different shades of skin, so you can tailor it to the person you're giving it to.
Will you be giving or asking for any of these palettes this year?
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Gift Guide: Gifts for Hair

Gift Guide: Gifts for Hair



1 - Mark Hill Wicked Waver £29.99

2 - Bumble and Bumble surf gift set £18

3 - Enrapture extremity heated rollers £39.99

4 - Matrix Design Pulse iron on thermal styling mist £8

5 - BaByliss curl secret £109

6 - BaByliss vintage glamour salonlight 2100 £27

So the festive season is well and truly upon us! And I thought I would get a few gift guides up for those among us struggling for gift ideas! This one's specifically designed for if you're buying for someone who a) loves doing their hair, or b) someone that wants to branch out a bit with their styling! I think curls are so festive, so what better to buy someone than curlers?! The Mark Hill wicked waver is a different take on the curler/curling wand, and the changing width of the wand gives your curls different shapes and sizes for more of a textured look, and possibly a bit more sultry! Whereas the Enrapture heated rollers and the BaByliss curl secret are great for smooth, glossy, glamourous curls! Of course everyone should be using a heat protector with their heated styling tools, and this one from Matrix is a nice little addition to any styling tools gifts you might be giving this Christmas! I love so many of the Matrix styling products, so any of them would make a great gift! I think a hairdryer is quite a basic gift, but really nice when it's a good quality one, I have one top of my wish list this Christmas! Finally, I think bumble and bumble products are such a good gift for anyone, they're so highly reviewed the person you give them to is bound to love them! The most universal is probably their surf collection, and this is a lovely little gift for people to try the range out, I even have a guy friend that loves this stuff! I know this is someone I'd love to receive and so would lots people I know!

What hair related things are you giving/asking for is year?
Eleanor x