Feel Unique’s sample service| My latest picks

I love getting my hands on a variety of different beauty products to try out. This can prove costly though especially, if you have a weakness for high end products. This is why I love Feel Unique’s sample service. I get to try out some of those high end products without committing to a full size product.

This can avoid a lot of costly buyers remorse. Let’s face it not all products are going to suit everyone.

The service offers you the chance to pick 5 samples to try out at home. There is a small handling fee of £3.95 however you do receive this back in the form of a voucher to use against future purchases. If you remember to use this you are basically getting the samples for free. Some of those samples are worth a fair few pennies as well. So you can find yourself getting a really good deal. 

These are the samples I picked up in April. 

Burt’s Bees lemon butter cuticle cream rrp £6.49 15g 

At 8.5g this is a good sized sample and worth about £3.46. It comes in a sturdy tin as well, perfect for keeping in my bag. 

This is such an effective product. My cuticles had been looking quite rough and dry. After a couple of uses they are looking so much better. I love the refreshing lemon scent as well! I shall be purchasing a full size once I’ve finished my sample. Though as you only need a tiny amount this is going to last me quite a while. 

Elizabeth Arden Standing ovation Mascara rrp £22 8.5ml 

This is another decent sized sample. The 2.5 ml tube is worth £6.47. It gives you a good chance to try out a high end mascara before committing to purchasing the full size. 

The brush is supersized promising to amplify, build and curl lashes to create a bold volume look. 

Based on first impressions I really like the formula. It is very black, and most importantly stays put. I do find the oversized brush a bit cumbersome though. 

Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover rrp £20 125ml

This 10ml bottle is such a cute sample and actually would be perfect to hold onto for a weekend away. I couldn’t wait that long though and wanted to test it out straight away. It is worth £1.60. 

Clarins say the eye makeup remover has been ophthalmologist tested to be suitable for sensitive eyes and those that wear contact lenses.

 My eyes can be sensitive so I do have to be careful with some eye makeup removers. This though actually felt quite soothing and refreshing. It did a good job at removing my eyeshadow and eyeliner. I’d did have to hold it over my mascara though to allow it to soak in a bit. Considering I was wearing Benefits BADGal Bang, I feel it held it’s own. 

I’m not sure if I would rush out and buy the full size as it is expensive. It is perhaps worth considering if you have specific needs such as being a contact lens wearer or you have very sensitive eyes. 

Also from Clarins, I choose the Hydra-Essentiel moisturising reviving eye mask. Mouthful! 

This 5ml sample is worth £4.83. The full size is 30ml with an rrp of £29. 

This is an interesting product created to help combat dehydrated eyes and visible signs of fatigue. It can either be used as an express 10 minute treatment or overnight. 

So far I have only tried it as an express treatment. The product has a creamy gel texture. 

Below are my before and after pictures. 

Ignore my broken nose it makes my whole face look very wonky. That will be why I rarely show a straight on picture of myself. Needs must though for this post! 

There is a definite reduction in puffiness and an overall improvement in the appearance of my eye area. (These pictures were taken in different rooms so the lighting is slightly different.) 

I have to say I’m quite impressed with this product. 

Lastly I opted for another sample pot of Nude by Nature radiant loose powder foundation. Rrp £25 for a 10g pot. This 2g sample pot is worth £5. 

Having tried this in the past I quite like it with B.B. cream. It stays matte throughout the day with even wear. I’m still trying to find my correct shade though, hence another sample pot. This actually though seems to be the one! 

Combined these samples are worth £21.36. So a bit of a steal really considering you only pay a £3.95 processing fee for your five samples, and your getting a voucher. 

Here is a little tip also if you are looking for the larger samples. Refine your search by sample types. Select the options pot and tube, these tend to be the larger sized samples. 


Have you used the Feel Unique Pick n mix sample service before? Do you think it is worth it!

Organic Shop Lavish Avocado & Avocado Haircare |Product Review

I recently was given the opportunity to try out a new purse friendly haircare range that is now available in Tesco stores. The range is developed using natural and organic ingredients and is also cruelty free. It includes a selection of shampoos, conditioners and hair masks all of which are priced at just £2.50.

5 different formulations are available, each developed to meet specific haircare needs. I opted to try out the Lavish avocado and honey repairing formula. It sounded exactly like what my hair was in need of.

The formula promises to soften and restore dry feeling hair. Protein rich Avocado Oil contributes to stronger and healthier hair growth whilst Honey helps to restore shine and control frizz. It claims to do all this whist still being free from silicones and parabens. As it also has no synthetic colours, dyes, fragrances or GM ingredients it is certified by the soil association and Cosmos Natural.

So is it any good?

I found the packaging to be fairly basic. This doesn’t surprise me considering the low price point. It does have the benefit of a pump on the shampoo and conditioner bottles which I found really practical.

None of the products are very scented but you can smell a slight hint of honey.  I found the shampoo lathered well which is surprising considering it claims to have no SLS or SLES (that’s sulphates). A quick check of the ingredient list though and I can see why it lathers well for a ‘Natural’ Shampoo. It contains Sodium Coco-Sulfate which is usually  derived from coconut oil. This is where the lather comes from and probably why it states on the bottle that it is 98% of natural origin. Fortunately my scalp doesn’t feel irritated by this.

After using all three products together my hair feels soft and smooth without that weighted down feeling. That feeling has lasted between washes. It is worth noting that I usually wash my hair every 3rd day. My hair has continued to look shiny throughout that time period as well. I don’t feel it looks any greasier that it would normally do.

Overall I think this is a good option for someone that is looking for ‘as natural as possible’ ingredients on a budget. As it is stocked in Tesco it is easily obtainable, though you can also purchase the products directly from the organic shop website. Here you will also find the full range of bath and body products available including bath foams, salts, scrubs, body conditioner and much more. I know I’m interested in trying out more from the brand. They have a candy floss body scrub! 

There is also the opportunity to enter a competition to win a holiday for two in in the Carribean. 

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5 Birthday Freebies you too can enjoy. 

I turned 36 last week, yikes! It feels weird just writing that. Anyway…growing old bleat over, I do like to see my Birthday as an excuse to be a little bit indulgent. Thanks to my love of loyalty cards I’ve been able to do just that without damaging my pocket.

I thought it would be great idea to show my readers what Birthday freebies I picked up, just in case you didn’t know that these offers were available. FYI, I didn’t know about free booze from Miller & Carter,  until my brow waxer told me about it.

The Body Shop – 

If you are a member of their Love Your Body reward card you will receive a £5 gift voucher on your birthday.

I traded mine in for a mini of my favourite Hemp Hand Cream.

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Benefit Cosmetics – 

If you have a Benefit brow bar near you then make sure you book an appointment for a free brow wax. This has to be scheduled within two weeks either side of your birthday. You don’t need to sign up to a loyalty program just bring along proof of your birthday date to your appointment.

Paperchase

If you hold a Paperchase treat me card then you will receive a £5 voucher on your birthday. The voucher is valid for two weeks from that date and is automatically loaded onto your points card.

I traded mine in for a notebook and cute avocado stickers.

Miller & Carter 

So this I eluded to earlier. If you sign up to Steak Club you can get a free glass of prosecco for yourself and guests on your birthday. At least four of you need to be ordering a main course to qualify.

Now I know this isn’t a cheap please to eat but I was heading there anyway for my birthday meal anyway so of course I wasn’t going to miss out on my free bubbles!
Hobby Craft 

I haven’t actually claimed this one yet, but I have a few days left to do so.

If you are a member of the Hobbycraft Club you will get a £5 voucher on your birthday. Unlike other vouchers of this type you can use it not just on full price items but also sale and clearance items.

Mine will be going towards a knitting needle case. I have so many needles that all sit loosely in a mess. Finding the correct matching pair can be a nightmare.

I hope you found this post helpful.

Fashion Mini Haul – Trying out a new Budget Clothing Website 

Regular readers of Schoolrunbeauty.com will know how much I love a bargain. That’s why after seeing an advert pop up in my Facebook feed I was suckered into clicking through to discover what offerings the website Lessthan10pounds.com had.

The premise is ex branded fashion mostly on sale for less than £10. Some items are actually priced higher than this, and sold under their label rather than as ex-label. 

As per usual with this is type of website not all the items will be to everyone’s taste. In my opinion though it has some absolute Gems so it definitely worth a look. 

I ordered three items that came to £23.24 including postage. They arrived within 2 days of ordering, well packaged and via Royal Mail. 

I’m so pleased with everything I ordered that I had to share them with you straight away. So excuse the messy hair and lack of Makeup…


Ex New Look Wide Leg Burgandy Jump Suit – £7.75

I love a Playsuit. I always feel a bit more sophisticated when I wear one. This one was originally from High Street retailer New Look. The quality is good though as the fabric is so fine you will need to be careful with underwear choice. A VPL is definitely not sophisticated! 

It comes up long, which for me is great, it may though be a problem for shorter people. 


High Neck Textured Jumper – £5.95 

This is so warm and cosy. Most importantly it isn’t scratchy. I ordered this a couple of sizes bigger than my dress size as I wanted an oversized fit. 


Blush Sequin Dress – £7.95

The quality of this dress is amazing! I love it and need and excuse to wear it out. 

The top is made from a thick stretchy scuba material so is very flattering. I feel I could get away with eating a hearty meal wearing it. It feels quite heavy due to the sequinned skirt and hangs beautifully. 

As the label has been cut I can’t see which shop this originally came from. Size wise though I would say it is true to size. I’m typically a U.K. Size 6, which is the size ordered. It does come up very short on my 5ft 7 frame, but I have very long waist to leg ratio so everything comes up short on me. 

At the moment there is a coupon code that gives you an extra 15% of ex branded items.  This is 15EXBRAND  

Have you bought anything from lessthan10pounds.com before? If you have let me know what your experience was like. 

A budget alternative to Megan McKenna’s NTA dress. 

Yesterday was the date for the 2018 NTA’s. To be honest I’m never really that interested in the awards themselves. I am very interested in what everyone is wearing on the red carpet though! Who was the best dressed! Who got it wrong! 

For me Megan McKenna completely stole the show in a rose printed dip hemmed dress. 

Image credit – PA Images

In all my dreams I could never afford this dress. It is from American designer Sherri Hill for a rather eye watering £720. If you can afford it though here is where you can get in in the UK. dress2party.net 

I have found a much more affordable retailer that offers dresses of a very similar feel. 

Chi Chi London offers a huge selection of dipped hem dresses. The closest to Megan’s dress I found was the Kalini dress. Amazingly this is actually on sale at the moment for just £34

Image Credit – Chi Chi London 

I soooo want this dress. I’m just trying to justify whether or not I would actually have anywhere to wear it though? 

My life is not that glamorous! Still if you have a wedding or a prom this year Chi Chi London is a website worth checking out. 

My first Pink parcel Experience 

Who else hates their period? I do, with a great big fat capital H! Saying that I do greet it each month with a ‘Halle-friggin-lujah’…I’ve dodged the pregnancy bullet. Those inevitable cramps and that not feeling truly clean experience are not welcome though! That’s why I decided I was going to give Pink Parcel a try. 

Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription service that promises to make those monthly visits ‘fuss free and fabulous’ The service combines treats, beauty products and those essential femcare products all delivered to you at home. This arrives in a discreet and well packaged parcel on a date of your choosing. 

My first concern was whether it would arrive in time. Fortunately it actually arrived roughly a week before my selected date. No problems there then.

Secondly, would I be sent the type of femcare product that I prefer to use? Thankfully you get to choose from a wide variety of brands and can pick, tampons, towels or even a combination of both. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this part of the box isn’t just an afterthought. You receive a good amount with a combination of items for both daytime and nighttime use. There is also even a little well filled ‘for now’ bag to keep in your handbag so you don’t ever get caught out. 

Also included in the box is a treat food item along with a healthy tea bag. I don’t know about you but I always crave chocolate around my time of the month. I also love a cup of tea!

January’s box theme is Positivity, so the beauty related products included reflect this. 

My favourite item included is the Made by Coopers Apothecary Happy Mist value £12. 

This can be used to spray in the air or onto fabrics. The lime, clementine and basil scent is very uplifting and definitely triggers the pleasure sensors. 

I was also pleased to see Browcote Waterproof Brow Gel. Value £6.99

Brow products are one of my favourite make-up items so I will definitely be trying this out. I’m that person that can happily leave the house with a bare face but I always have to have groomed brows. 

Laritzy is a makeup brand that I haven’t heard of before now. This eye pencil is what I consider to be a ‘safe’ introduction to the brand. This is the most expensive item in the box with an rrp of £18.00.

I have the shade shimmer which is a silver shade. I shall be trying this out in my waterline as an eye brightening product. The packaging states that it is free from Parabens and after checking their website I found out that they also do not test on animals. Both positives for me! 

The last item is a set of Bandzee Hair Ties value £5.95. 

I love this type of hair tie as they are strong yet don’t leave kinks in you hair. I do feel they are often very overpriced though, especially as I’m always loosing them. This was definitely a useful addition to this box. 
Over all I am really pleased with my first experience of Pink Parcel. The value of the contents far exceed the £12.95 price tag. I’m not going to lie sanitary towels are one of those essential items that I resent have to spend money on. This subscription service takes the pain out of it! I’m looking forward to seeing what February’s box brings. 

Why I still Love A Beauty Box

Scrolling through Twitter recently I couldn’t help but notice an increase in negative feelings towards beauty Subscription Boxes. 

A couple of years ago it seemed the likes of Glossybox and Birchbox could do no wrong. Based on their success everyone wanted a piece of the action and there are now a huge variety of boxes to choose from. If you want high end there’s Cohorted. Is French Beauty your thing? We have My Little Box. Want something to make your monthlies a bit more appealing? Pink Parcel has you covered. Has the novelty worn off though?  Am I in the minority? I still love a beauty box you see. 

To settle my curiosity I ran a little Twitter poll. 


Of the 39 people that responded 56% said that they no longer enjoyed a Beauty Subscription Box. Perhaps they are falling out of favour then! 

If you are one of those people I would love to know why this is. For now though I’m going to share my reasons for still loving a Beauty Box. 

  • I love trying out different beauty products but don’t necessarily want to purchase a full size. What if I don’t like a product? What if it isn’t right for me? I’ve either wasted my money (If I really cant use it) or I’m stuck using a product I don’t like. 
  • It means I can afford to try out those expensive Beauty products I wouldn’t usually be able to afford. You can usually make huge savings if you are savvy. This is why I love Latest In Beauty. There is the option to curate your own box from a Huge menu of products. I usually do a little bit of googling to find out the RRP of products so I get the best value for money. 

    • I’m still discovering new brands all the time. QVC’s Tili Box is particularly good for this. I am eagerly anticipating their latest Box that is launching on September 1st. 
    • I am pushed out of my comfort zone. Often those surprise boxes contain types of products or shades that I wouldn’t ever consider choosing myself. I’ve discovered some of my favourite products in this way. 
    • It’s something to look forward too. I still get excited about the anticipation of receiving my monthly box of goodies. It almost feels like receiving a present. 

    I have to admit I do tend to get bored after a while if I am subscribed to an individual subscription for too long. Each company definitely tends to favour a few brands over others. 

    There are loads of different services I haven’t tried yet so I will just switch to someone else. I have my eye on The Vegan Kind as I would like to be using more cruelty free and natural products. 

    If you love a beauty box service do share your favourite in the comments below. 

    Beauty Blenders | Splurge, Spend or Steal? 

    When it was first released The Original Beauty Blender caused quite the the stir on the beauty scene.  Developed by celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva It revolutionised the way many of us beauty fans  applied our makeup. 

    Priced at £16 it definitely falls into the investment purchase bracket. That will be why everyone and their mama has since launched their own budget ‘dupes’. 


    In the interest of research I decided to test out some of these ‘dupes’ and see how they compare to the Original. 

    I’ve always loved splurge, spend or steal posts so thought heck, lets base my comparison around this format. 

    Well…. Can a cheaper Beauty Blender hold its own against the Original?  

    Packaging and Appearance 

    When comparing to the original it is very easy to spot the dupes. Packaging is very basic. Once outside of their packaging though they are all very similar but with some variation on shape. 


    Pictured from left to right.

    The Original Beauty Blender retails for £16 from Beauty Bay

    Avon’s offering, the precision makeup sponge, retails from between £3.50 & £6.50 depending on their current offers. 

    Primarks 2 pack of blender sponges retails for a mere £1.50 

    Contents

    The original beauty blender is latex free and so is Avon’s sponge. Avon’s website describes it has a latex free PU sponge. Primarks sponge contains latex, so not good if you have an allergy. 

    Feel

    Avon’s offering is closest in feel and texture to the original. Something about it is off though, it just doesn’t feel as smooth. 

    Primarks version feels very dense in comparison and doesn’t feel anywhere near as nice as the original. 

    Reaction to Water

    If you are familiar with the original beauty blender you will know that when it is held  under water it absorbs the water and expands. 

    Avon’s blender does exactly this. In fact it grew a fraction bigger than the original. Primark blender doesn’t expand at all. 

    Performance 

    To try to keep a fair test I used the same primer and foundation with each blender. This was Smashbox photo finish primer and Loreal Infallible foundation. I also tried to stick to just using 3 pumps of foundation. 


    Pictured left to right

    The original blender by far gives the best and most even coverage. I feel my foundation looks very natural a flawless in this picture. 

    Avon’s blender absorbed more foundation than the original so gave a less even coverage. It also makes an odd hollow sound when you tap it against you face. This im guessing is because the sponges fibres are less compacted and smooth and would be why it absorbs more foundation.

    Primarks blender I found quite hard and uncomfortable on the skin. I had to work much harder with it as it seemed to move the foundation around my face rather than blend it in. This is especially noticeable around my eyes. 

    Ease of cleaning 

    All three blenders actually performed fairly equal in terms of getting them clean. They have all stained a small amount.



    My Verdict – You get what you pay for! 

    Primark’s offering as far as I’m concerned is a complete dud. I don’t like it. It doesn’t perform the same as the Original and actually felt a bit uncomfortable to use. As far as I’m concerned this is being passed onto the kids as a painting sponge! 

    I was plesenty surprised by how well the Avon sponge performed. If you have never tried the Original Beauty Blender because perhaps you feel that £16 for the original is too expensive then this is a very good dupe. 

    If you like the original beauty blender and want to save you self a good £10 then Avon’s sponge is definitely a good buy. I don’t think you would be disappointed. 

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out SchoolRunBeauty.com.

    Bargain Make-up from Cosmetic Fairy |Top Picks!

    So one of those emails arrived yesterday. You know the ones, come and spend some money. Oh but this really was tempting.I shouldn’t have opened it and clicked that little link. 

    I haven’t bought anything from Cosmetic Fairy in ages, at least a year I recon?

    There was nothing really exciting on sale. Well they’ve had some new stock. Yes great products from L’Oreal and Maybelline at crazy cheap prices. So I thought it would be fun to share my top picks from the site. 

    L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Foundation £5.39

    This foundation has received good reviews on both boots.com and superdrug.com where it is priced at £9.99 so to be able to pick this up for almost 50% off is brilliant. 

    Maybelline’s Instant Pore Eraser face primer £3.83 

    This has been a huge hit with bloggers. This usually retails for £7.99 so to be able to pick this up for less than half price is a bit of a steal really. 

    The only catch is the packaging is written in Italian. It will come with an English translation sticker though. 

    L’Oreal Color Riche Les Ombré Eyeshadow palette- Smoky Velours Noir £2.69 (that’s a mouthful!)

    I have this palette in the shade nude lingerie, which I love. I paid £6.99 for that in Boots so this is a brilliant buy. 

    Looking for a new purse friendly contour kit? Cosmetic fairy have this glam bronze compact in both blonde harmony and the darker shade  brunette harmony priced at just £4.49. Again, that’s over a 50% saving. 

    I’m a huge fan of Maybelline Color Tatoo’s! Alas I have both of the colours endless purple and immortal charcoal that are currently available on this website else I’d be grabbing them both. They are worth a mention at just £2.24 though. Yes I kid you not! 


    So will you be tempted to pick up anything over the weekend? Delivery is free on purchases over £10 plus you will review a free gift as well. Not bad!


    Disclaimer – Images obtained from Cosmetic fairy website for product/offer sharing purposes.

    Make-up Challenge – The £5 Face 

    I don’t know about you but January usually means I’m feeling a bit on the broke side. Queue one glum face, dreaming of being able to go on a shopping trip again in what seems like the very distant future. 

    Actually this was the best pic I could capture showing the simple make-up look I created using just £5 worth of make-up. Yes I’m serious!  
     

    How? Well, I turned to budget brand MUA and also used my products in not quite their traditional manner as a multi tasking products. 

     
    The products, I used included;

    MUA Matte Foundation – £2 (mine is old packaging/formula)

    MUA Lipstick in shade Nectar – £1

    This doubled up as lipstick and blusher. I just blended out a couple of dots of it on each cheek for a natural peachy flush. 

      

    MUA Brow Pencil in shade Brunette – £1 As a brow pencil this is great! I didn’t stop there though and used it to tight line and blended in my crease to define my eyes. Yup there was no room in the budget for eyeshadow.  A girl can make do though! 

      

    Lastly I finished up with a spot of MUA’s £1 mascara. 

    What do you think of my little budgeting experiment? Could you get by on £5 worth of make-up? Processed with Moldiv