Monday, 5 February 2018

Beauty Buys and January Bargains

As we age it's important I think, not to get stuck in a rut in terms of beauty products.
What suited us at thirty won't necessarily work at fifty, our skin requirements change.  Moreover, beauty companies are constantly improving their products with new technologies, with all this in mind I've recently purchased Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant after hearing good reviews from make up artist Lisa Eldridge.  This product is not cheap, in fact I deliberated for several months before buying it as I'm usually at the budget end of the beauty aisles, but after just one use I could see and feel a difference in my skin.  Dermalogica uses salicylic acid in this product, an effective exfoliant...and it could be too harsh for those with dry skin... but those facial scrubs just weren't doing it for me and neither was a crocheted dishcloth!  After using this exfoliant my complexion looks more refined, less muddy.

I bought this in airport duty free at £39, therefore I use it sparingly.  About twice a week, not daily as recommended.

Much has been said about Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream over the years.
I love it and use it primarily as a lip balm and occasional hand cream. It has a slightly medicated fragrance that I like very much and a fairly thick balmy texture.  Again it's not cheap but I'm lucky enough to get a £25 gift voucher from my employers every Christmas to spend in airport duty free and 100ml of this will last me about two years.

Aldi's Lacura Caviar Cream has been favourably compared to the pricey La Prairie moisturizer so at  £6.99 it's no wonder it flew off the shelves when it was first introduced.  I've been using this for a couple of years now and like the results. It's quite a thick consistency but my skin's not dry so I use this for day time only in the winter when the harshness of cold weather and heating take their toll.  In summer I make it multi-task and use it at night time.  You can read reviews HERE, although why a 21 year old should be reviewing a product like this, beats me?
I rotate my moisturizers and in addition use Lacura's Multi-Intensive Serum £3.99 and bog standard olive oil.

This Boots Seventeen FALSIFeye HD Mascara has been lauded by many beauty bloggers and make-up artists.  Great for lengthening lashes and giving good definition, it's very well priced at just £6.99  

Seeking a new lipstick in Superdrug not long ago, I stumbled across the Revolution stand.
I didn't know anything about this brand but as I loved the colour of this pinky nude lippy and it was dirt cheap (£3.99 I think) I took a chance with it.  Verdict... it's not a moisturizing lipstick and has a quite chalky texture and appearance, but I remedy this by using a chapstick or gloss over it.  For this price I'll be buying again.

This lovely fresh Narta cologne spray on sale in France was recommended by a friend who used to work there in the 80's. Surely it must be a quality product if it's been on the shelves for over thirty years?  She raved about it so much that I squirted some in the store, instantly evoking memories of my nan's 4711.  More of a body spray than a deodorant though.

I saw this Roger & Gallet body oil spray on the cross channel ferry and went for it as at £16 it was a lot cheaper than the Nuxe body oil that M&S offer.  I'd been using the more budget friendly Palmers Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Oil but fancied a change. 
 This was a great success, as you can see.... it's empty! 
This light, non greasy oil can be used on body and hair, I wasn't over keen on the fig fragrance but it wasn't overpowering, I'd try another fragrance next time.
I paid £16 on the ferry, online it seems to be more pricey.

I'd seen Caudalie products in French pharmacies and had heard rave reviews about their Beauty Elixir online, again I think Lisa Eldridge has mentioned it.  Stupidly I didn't buy it when I was last in France as it's cheaper over there but I really wanted to try it so I requested it for a Christmas present.
Apparently it's based on the youth lotion of Queen Isabelle of Hungary !
It smells absolutely divine (very clean and minty) and is used as a cooling, toning spritz for the face and to set make-up but I'm not sure there are any other benefits.  Priced at £12 in the UK,  I would buy this again, but in France.

I waited for the January sales before purchasing some much needed ankle boots...what a mistake that was!  The best bargains had already gone when I got to Clarks and there was nothing I fancied in my size on the shelves. It seems many good deals are now to be snapped up before Christmas?  I did however, see the boots below, which I rather liked but they were size 8 and I am 5.5.  I went home and ordered them online, always risky when it comes to shoes but it paid off this time... they fit perfectly.  The blue suede shoes were half price at £35, the brown leather distressed ankle boots (now discontinued) were tracked down on Amazon.... not half price and not a bargain, but I really 'needed' them and anyway my last pair were purchased in 2010 and 'tatty' doesn't begin to describe them!

I loved the soft pink and grey trim of this cardi when I saw it before Christmas, but priced at £39 I thought it was a bit steep.... you know I'm a cheapskate!  I asked the sales assistant when the sales would start and took a chance that it would be reduced then.  On this occasion waiting paid off...I returned after Christmas and paid just £16!  How I do love getting a bargain.

I stumbled across my final best buy at Wickes when I popped in to purchase some dowel for my cat toy.  As I was queuing at the till I saw this flatpack storage bench amongst a display of reduced items.  I enquired if it was complete as the box was quite damaged and was told that I could return it, if not.
So I paid and got the nice young men to carry it out to my car.

Deal of the year perhaps?

I'm well pleased with it and my old, rotten, twice repaired wooden bench (seen behind) will be heading off to the tip soon.

Have you managed to get your hands on any bargains this year? 
...Any beauty recommendations you can give me?
I'd love to know.


  1. I'm usually at the cheaper end of the product aisles too, so I have tried neither Dermalogica nor Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream. After getting some Caudalie samples, I once bought one of their products, but I don't remember which one. They do smell divine. Otherwise, my day and night creams are from Belgium's equivalent of Superdrug. I might give Narta cologne spray a go, as I quite like 4711! Love both pairs of ankle boots, and that wooden bench was quite a bargain, and not only does it look lovely, I think it's quite convenient that it has storage space under the seat. Well done! xxx

    1. Can't quite believe I paid so much for a product, I've bought flights for less...I'm very satisfied with the results though! x

  2. Oh, I do like to hear about other peoples bargains and beauty products!

    I am a bit of a cheapskate, too, with beauty products but I do like Aldi's serum and I use their night cream. My most extravagant product is Elizabeth Arden's 'Visible Difference Refining Moisture Creme Complex'. I usually buy it in the duty free on the ferry to Ireland (about 11 or 12.00 per jar) but I can also get it in Bodycare for about 13.50.

    I discovered the Revolution lipsticks in Ireland and you're right they are chalky, but very long lasting and I put a slick of Vaseline on top.
    I am using a Maybelline mascara at the moment which is about the same price as the 17 one so I may give the 17 one a try.

    I've recently discovered 'Dirty Works' and 'Soap and Glory' body lotion/creams/butter. I like them very much; they are very moisturising and they smell lovely. Both Sainsbury's and Boots stock their products.

    I loved your boots and being Clark's they'll last forever. I'm on my 6th or 7th year of a pair of Clark's sandals...

    As for the bench it is superb and it has storage space underneath!! Excellent bargain.

    Stay warm!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this post Vronni. We used to sell duty free Visible Difference on the aircraft when I was a hostie, it caused great amusement to yell down the cabin " have you got VD on your trolley?" Have yet to try Soap & Glory but my friend loves their products....always buy Clarks shoes, my trotters don't like any others. xx

  3. You did really well! So love finding a bargain, though no great buys this Jan sadly. Enjoyed reading through your beauty buys, some tips I'll be taking too, like the body oil spray and elixir which sound great - not something I've tried before. The mascara as well, because I'm useless with mascara. Keep changing my mind about face moisturisers and cleansers - at the mo working my way through lots of trial size ones that were in an M&S Christmas calendar.. xx

    1. Look out for Caudalie in the pharmacie next time you're in France Tracey. The Seventeen mascara is great for the price.

  4. What a fab post, Fiona. When I was in my 30s I was plagued with adult onset acne and, after trying almost every product on the market, the Dermalogica Micro Exfoliant was a miracle worker. It's worth every penny. I was lucky enough to find a travel pack of that and the cream cleanser in a chazza for £1 before we went away but sadly the exfoliant couldn't cope with the humidity in Goa and ended up stuck solid in the pot!
    I'm running out of mascara so I'll have a look at the Seventeen one.
    The boots are great. xxx

  5. Thanks Vix. I'm pleased that you recommend Dermalogica too. £1 wow, great deal, maybe you could dry out the exfoliant in the airing cupboard or on a radiator? xx

  6. Some fab buys there, and great recommendations too, I might have to try a couple of those. Love the plastic bench with storage, we have something similar, just don't stand on it, they can crack!

  7. Thanks for the recommendations, I love nice products that really work. But before spending the big bucks I should really drink more water :-)


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