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How to get the most out of your beauty purchases (and save some £££)


I've always been a savvy shopper, from special offers to free gifts, I just love finding ways to stretch my money as far as I possibly can. I’m not quite sure where my thriftiness came from, but since being more involved in the beauty world, I’ve picked up some things which I’ve come to realise could actually be really useful to other people. In this post I’ll be sharing my tips and tricks on how to save money, find discounts and deals and ways in which you can make the most of them.



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Advantage card points

Since Boots is the UK's version of a drugstore, chances are you already shop there regularly and own an advantage card (if not, you can sign up here). Boots regularly have offers on, from special buys to double and triple point events. One of their main and regular offers as of recently has been 'spend £60 get £10 off', or another one I recently took advantage of was 'spend £60 and get quadruple points'. I had to make the most of that offer last month as it was the chance to bag over £10 worth of points - I actually ended up with just short of £14 worth from a £69 order! It's a good chance to stock up on the products that you actually need rather than just trying to meet the £60 criteria. Think: hair dye, concealer, micellar water, face wipes etc.

Another thing which is good to know with Boots is if you log onto your advantage card on their website, there's an 'offers just for me' section which is filled with various offers that need 'loading'  to your advantage card before you can use them. Some of these include '250 extra points when you spend £25 on beauty' and '100 extra points next time you shop in store'. These are really worth checking out as if you were planning a trip to Boots anyway, why not get more points than you bargained for?!

Lastly, shopping online at Boots will also save you money. If you're not familiar with cash back sites such as Top Cash Back and Quidco - you need to be! For every Boots order that you make you can earn a small percentage of cash back - which all adds up, especially on these bigger £60+ orders while offers are on. Make use of their click & collect service (I always send mine to a local Boots store near my work) or if it's over £50 they offer free home delivery. Put it this way, if you're shopping in person rather than online, you're missing out on possible cash back you could be earning.


Quidco

Since we're now on the subject, Quidco is my go to for all my beauty shopping - I've made over £70 on it now in a year! They regularly run offers where certain retailers will increase their cashback rate, meaning you can earn more than the standard rate for a limited time. So if you were planning on making an online order anyway, like from Boots for example, then take advantage of it.

If you're new to Quidco there are usually a lot more offers flying round, there's a regular one which offers you a £2.50 bonus just for making an online order worth over £5 which is pretty decent if you ask me! I used a few of these in my first few months on the site which was a great little bonus to online orders I was already going to make (I should add you also get the regular cash back on top of this too). They also run a friend referral scheme where if you sign up through my link (https://www.quidco.com/raf/7808011/) and earn yourself £5 cashback, we both get a free £10 bonus! If you do this though, make sure to un tick 'premium account' when signing up - the premium account takes £5 a month out of your cashback where as the basic account doesn't, and is totally free.

Obviously Quidco isn't just for beauty sites but it's just a great way of earning a little extra back  when shopping on sites such as LookFantastic, FeelUnique, CultBeauty and more. Make sure to keep an eye out for special offers as I recently got £7 cashback from a LookFantastic order while their cashback rate was raised!


Free Gifts

We all know and love a free gift, many websites offer them for spending a certain amount on a certain brand. Make sure to check out the 'offers' or 'free gifts' section on websites to see what you can get, as they aren't always on show on the home page. I actually do this a lot with Benefit products as they always seem to have some sort of offer on.

Don't be afraid to sell your free gifts, unless you actually want them of course. This is a good way of getting some money back on your order if you aren't too keen on the gift itself. I've done this a few times, including recently in that £69 Boots order I mentioned earlier - I made £15 back by selling the free gift I got. If you can't be bothered to sell them then you just bag yourself a free little gift anyway, I just personally like to see if I can get a bit of money back on larger orders I make.


Recycling 

I recently mentioned this on my Instagram and I was suprised at how many people didn't know about this. The Body Shop are now running a recycling scheme to encourage you to bring back your empty products for a £5 reward. You need to bring 5 empty (clean) containers and a Body Shop loyalty card to one of their participating stores and you will get your £5 worth of points. I did this the other week as I had about 8 things, so once I've used up 2 more products I'll be able to get another £5. I think the points only last 3 months though so don't forget to spend them!

Another store that does this is Lush. If you take in 5 of their empty black pots they will give you a free fresh face mask in return. I've currently only got 2 of these so I've got a while to go yet on that one. I also believe Mac does a similar thing with their lipsticks, but you need 6 empties to receive a free one.


Discount codes

I don't think I ever make an online order without searching the web for a discount code first. Pretty much 90% of the time you should be able to find one if you just type in '(shop name) discount code' into Google. I'm sure most people know and try this already, but sites such as MyVoucherCodes, HotUKDeals and VoucherCloud are usually the ones to look out for. If you can't find anything, go over to Twitter and search the same thing under most recent tweets - this has worked for me a few times!

Websites such as LookFantastic and FeelUnique regularly have 15-20% discount codes on their website, so if you're wanting to make an order and can't find anything, simply wait a few days as something's bound to come up. There's nothing worse than placing an order somewhere, paying full price to find out the next week they have 20% off! Try to make the most of their friend referral schemes too as you can earn a discount off your next order.


Web Search

This is probably the easiest and most obvious thing to do, but I know people that wouldn't even bother to check. If you're after a specific product, simply search it on Google and it will usually show you all the different prices various sites are selling it for. A lot of the time AllBeauty seems to have what I'm after for the cheapest price, but this all depends on what it is you're after (this is a website worth checking out anyway as it's always full of deals!). All in all, a simple web search is one of the best fool-proof ways to find what you want for the best price.


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And those are all my tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your beauty purchases and save some money. I hope you found out something new, otherwise please let me know of any nifty tricks you have! I would love to know.

P.s let’s just ignore the fact I haven’t posted in 6 months.



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The best affordable highlighters | £5 and under






I don’t have the biggest highlighter collection in the world, and I’m not going to lie, I don’t even own a single high end one either. I’m all about affordability when it comes to makeup (bar some things that are definitely worth the splurge - but that’s for another post), so I feel like I’m pretty knowledgeable on which affordable items are the best. I’m of course talking about highlighters today and which ones I rate, but the best part is, all 3 mentioned are £5 or under!


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So, my favourite highlighter for everyday wear is the one included in the Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Contour palette ‘C01’. For me it’s the perfect kind of colour as it’s more on the pink side, so it suits my skin nicely. The formula is so soft and just glides right on, and catches the light beautifully too. This is actually my second palette as my first is on its way out now. I can’t believe how affordable it is at just £3.50 - I would definitely pay more for a big pan of the highlighter by itself. The bronzer and blush included are pretty decent too!

For a more natural, radiant highlighter, the e.l.f Cosmetics baked highlighter in ‘Moonlight Pearls’ is my lazy day go-to. As it’s baked the pay off isn’t as pigmented as a regular pressed highlight but it still gives a really pretty, radiant glow. The shade is more on the champagne side, but blends into the skin nicely without leaving a stripe on your cheek. This little highlighter is only £5, and definitely worth it if you’re into subtle, glowy finishes.

My most recent highlighter discovery is the Technic Cosmetics Mega Glow highlighter quad. I got this little gem in a Little Known Box subscription box and I’ve been totally blown away by the quality of it. It really is mega glowy, with a metallic sort of finish - my now go-to when I want full glam. I mainly use the top left shade as it’s the closest to my skin colour, but I can also use the white shade for an extra pop too. The golden shades are both beautiful, just not usable for me and my pale old skin. I would highly recommend this quad if you love a blinding highlight, it’s only £4!!




The next affordable highlighters to try on my list are the Wet n Wild MegaGlow highlighting powder, and the Maybelline Face Studio Chrome Extreme highlighter, I’ve heard great things about both!



What’s your favourite affordable highlight?



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Christmas gift guide with The Fragrance Shop


If you’re still on the hunt for that perfect Christmas gift, or haven’t even started to look yet, I’m here to (hopefully) give you a bit of inspiration as well as a little insight to some amazing things that are available at The Fragrance Shop.
I love the whole process of browsing and picking presents for others, but I also love to stay purse-friendly and within budget too, so I’ve chose some really good value bits to share with you today!


For the girly girl in your life, and a very affordable fragrance option, you can’t go wrong with the Ted Baker Polly Gift Set. This includes a 30ml bottle of their Eau de Toilette ‘Polly’ and a cute little compact mirror to match. I actually already have the larger version of this scent, which is why I think it makes the perfect gift - I love it for everyday wear with its subtle girly scent, and the bottle sits so pretty on my dressing table too. This retails for only £24, packaged in the prettiest pink box!


For the fun loving party girl, and rose gold lover, new fragrance Pepe Jeans for Her is definitely something a bit different. Exclusive to The Fragrance Shop, this sweet smelling fragrance doubles up as the prettiest rose gold cocktail (not to be consumed!). The bottle pulls out of the top and flips over, then fits right back in when you’re done - so cool! This has got to be the most unique perfume bottle I’ve ever seen. Pepe Jeans for her retails at £39.95 for 80ml, and there’s also a gift set available.


Something a bit more luxurious now, I love this Mugler Alien 30ml gift set complete with body lotion and mini scented candle. This set is brand new for Christmas 2018, and they even have the Angel version too. If you know the Alien fragrance you’ll know it’s a very distinct and recognisable scent, I know it well as it’s my Mums perfume. The candle smells just like it, with the same rich, fragrant notes. The deep purple and gold packaging on this set is just beautiful, and retails for £56, which is really good for Alien as it’s quite a pricey perfume!


You can also currently get 20% off orders with code SANTA20 - I hope this gave you some inspiration, happy shopping!



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All items were gifted to me by The Fragrance Shop for this post, however I specifically chose each item myself.