Discounted Beauty Buys

While our coupons amount to very little in the UK compared with our friends across the pond, not even a glimmer of what goes on during an episode of Extreme Couponing, we do have a good number of websites offering reduced rate products. I am a woman who believes in stock piling; nearly everything I buy will be on some offer, more often, a 3-for-2 or BOGOF deal. I have drawers full of spare deodrants, hair colourings, cotton wool pads etc. It’s not a huge number but I’m never going to suddenly run out of these things. So, cosmetics.

Apart from the odd shop, Boots and Superdrug rule the high street and rule our purses. The convenience apart from having your purchase the same day, is you can test the shades. This is great but the prices are so much more than online comparitively. This short blog shows two purchases. The first is from cosmeticsfairy.co.uk who sell brands I know and are likely discontinued shades from the US. No complaints here. The second is from fragrancedirect.co.uk.

I change my nail colours most days and the NYC brand has nice shades at a low price. RRP on the high street: £1.79. Average price I paid for these: £0.49

I change my nail colours most days and the NYC brand has nice shades at a low price. RRP on the high street: £1.79. Average price I paid for these: £0.49

Not the best light

Not the best light

  

Dodgy lighting with this one. Bottom right is nail hardener! Most expensive was the mini Essie bottle in the middle of the bottom row

Dodgy lighting with this one. Bottom right is nail hardener!
Most expensive was the mini Essie bottle in the middle of the bottom row

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Not the easiest to shoot

Not the easiest to shoot

Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts. I hadn't used this brand before but it's very low price and the fact it's great for pale skin like mine was a winning combination

Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts. I hadn’t used this brand before but it’s very low price and the fact it’s great for pale skin like mine was a winning combination

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The second purchase at Fragrance Direct, with postage was about £10 and I worked out I saved over £30 on the retail price.

YBF Beauty – Flawless Face Collection

Another one of my beauty buys in recent weeks is the Flawless Face Collection by YBF Beauty. Quick brand background: its founder, Stacey Schefflin, was a Ford model and after retiring from the cameras and catwalks, she created a cosmetics range, Models Prefer. Initially sold in the UK with QVC, Models Prefer changed their ingredients and were rebranded as YBF; Your Best Friend. This also included a small fashion line. From what I had read, there were a few legal issues with QVC in the US which affected her selling with QVC UK. A short while later the YBF beauty line was sold with Ideal World but this was a short lived venture.

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After a couple of absent years, Stacey returned to QVC UK and also had a TSV which of course, my collection needed. So what did we get in this box of delights?

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Yellow powder and yellow cream. Despite the colouring in the packaging, these do not make your face yellow. They have some magical chemical ability to neutralise the redness in your face. I like the cream for my eyelids and a dusting of the powder once my foundation was on for setting.

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The highlighting cream brings a nice shimmer to the skin and brightens up eyes when added to the corner and also below the eyebrows. For lips we have a trio of lip liner, lipstick and lipgloss. They smell divine! Out of the three, I have used the lipgloss most as it is easiest to apply in the office without needing a mirror and I tend not to use a lip liner in the spring and summer months.

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The main reason for my purchase of this is the automatic eyebrow pencil. This is amazing! I’ve read some reviews from people who have had problems with this creation and I think it’s pure bad luck and a pencil perhaps made on a Friday. Apart from never needing a sharpener with this, it works for everyone’s skin tone and hair colour. I’ve had various shades of hair on the colour spectrum and this has worked with all of them. It’s all in the pressure so the lightest of blondes, greys to the red and black hair colours, this really does work.

Then of course, if you don’t like this kit, because it’s bought from QVC, you can return it for a refund (minus p&p) within 30 days, even if you’ve used it a couple of times. I love this option but I’m yet to try it with a Lulu Guinness bag (but would I really want to return such a thing?!).

The item number for this is 202953 and at date of posting the price is £35.00

L’Occitane Beauty Event

A few weeks ago I attended a small beauty event at the L’Occitane store in Cheltenham. The event was promoted by the Mail on Sunday and was set to last for two hours although this wasn’t the case as things were winding down towards an hour and a half. But this isn’t a negative comment; the timing, I found, was quite perfect. For the cost of the ticket (£10), attendees were offered a glass of bubbly (or elderflower cordial for us drivers), chocolates and numerous demonstrations on the products.

I think they advertised this as a ‘pamper’ evening which unfortunately it wasn’t quite.  However, this was still enjoyable and it was nice to discuss skincare problems freely without the usual bustle of consumers dwelling in-store at the same time. The majority of items had a 15% discount on and all purchases would receive a complimentary (obviously it wasn’t exactly ‘complimentary’ because of the ticket price) goody bag, with contents worth over £50. This latter part was my main incentive to go.

A fortnight prior to this, I visited this store to redeem my Facebook coupons to receive free tubes of handcream (the 30ml travel size) so I didn’t need any more of those just yet. During the introduction, my eyes lit up at the announcement of the gift sets. Although there were not applicable for the discount, they still offered a large saving. My purchase was decided in an instant! I’m quite a stickler for pretty packaging and the way this store bags your purchases with spraying fragrance onto tissue paper and depositing this in your purchase bag makes you feel a little special. They even did this with the aforementioned handcream haul.

The box of wonderfullness

The box of wonderfullness

Even the inside is packaged with care

Even the inside is packaged with care

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Back row: Shower gel and EDT Front row: Body cream and hand cream

Back row: Shower gel and EDT
Front row: Body cream and hand cream

 This set is all in my favourite fragrance of theirs, Cherry Blossom. I am no scent-master so I will not go into describing the fragrance in such a way that it’s perfectly clear what it’s like. I refer to it as light, pretty and perfect for spring. The whole set was on offer for £39 which considering the 100ml EDT alone is that price, then it’s saved several pounds.  

The goody bag!

The goody bag!

The contents of the goody bag were a mixture of products for your face, shower items, and skin/hand care. I’m not sure of the exact cost but the three items at the back tend to be around £7.50 each. Grab the calculator. I still have products from my first collection bought from QVC to use up, but I think I’ll keep these as stand-by items or for travelling.

In summary, I really enjoyed the evening. I’m not the most sociable of people in groups and there were a couple of ‘rowdy’ ladies but I got the impression that if it escalated much further, the store Manager would have set things right. I can’t praise the items enough; the hand creams are glorious and because of the small amount needed, one travel (I still find this odd, because to me it’s full size. Imagine my surprise when I saw the ‘normal’ size tube) hand cream will last several months. I would like to say I will attend the next one but in all honesty, if it’s this side of Christmas, I simply won’t have the need because I will still have products to use!  It was worth the money both to get there (home is an hour from Cheltenham), ticket price and time spent. Then of course, there are myriad people that are yet to be introduced to this brand and purchases could be made for this reason.