Tag Archives: thrifty

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 


    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. 


    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. 


    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

    Fancy a £5 haircut? 

    Just a little heads up for anyone in the Chelmsford area that wants to save themselves a bit of money on a new hair do. 

    The Strand is a conveniently located hair salon situated at the Moulsham St end of Chelmsford High Street. They are currently looking for models to help out with training sessions on a Monday. So you can have your haircut for just £5 or a new colour  for £20. 

    I had my hair cut there as a model yesterday and was very pleased with the results and service I recieved. 

    The junior stylist gave me a proper consultation prior to the cut, was very pleasent to chat with and listened to what I wanted. I didn’t have to worry about walking away with a bad haircut either as there was always a senior stylist on hand to watch out for any mistakes. Not that the young junior needed any help she did a brilliant job with my hair.  

    If you fancy saving yourself some money on a new hair do don’t be afraid to check out your local salon for any model opportunities available. Just a little tip I have had better experiences where I have visited an actual salon rather than a training college. They seen to supervise their trainees more, so you come away with a better cut. I wouldn’t swear of them though if you are just after a trim. 

    Have you used a hair model service before? Was your experience good or bad? 


    Free Clinique Trial kit with #FaceFoward campaign

    Just thought I would give you a little heads up on how you can get your hands on a Free trial kit of Clinique’s 3 step system. 


    Image credit: freesamples.co.uk

     It includes:

    30ml mild facial soap

    30ml clarifying lotion combination/dry 

    15ml Dramatically different moisturising lotion.

    if you have’nt tried this before this is a great opportunity to do so. If already use the 3 step system this is handy mini kit to have to take on holiday with you. 

    There are 15’000 up for grabs just click on the link here and fill out the quick and easy form. Your kit will arrive in the post approximately 28 days later. 


    Mummy Monday – How to get Free School Uniform from Tesco

    I find it hard to believe that we are three weeks into the school holidays. Where has the time gone? The start of the new school year usually brings with it the need to invest in school uniforms, be it that they are worn in, outgrown or like my son starting a new school. If you have more than one child, the cost can soon mount up.

    With three children I usally dread the expense but as I discovered recently I was able to save myself some money and get some of that uniform for free. WHAT?? FREE!! Yes I know I’m still feeling the buzz from saving some money. 

    How?? Well if you are a Tesco shopper and use the Tesco Clubcard scheme right now you can double up your vouchers as part of their summer boost event, and guess what this now includes school uniform. So if you have for example £10 worth of vouchers you can change them up for £20 worth. It is so easy to do aswell, I just popped into the Clubcard website, made the trade, and within minutes I was sent an E-mail with my voucher codes. All I had to do was shop online at F&F Clothing in the normal way adding my voucher codes at checkout. As orders can also be delivered to store for free it meant just picking up from my local store. 

    Having bought school uniform from Tesco in the past I can confirm that the quality is good. My daughters skirt I bought from Tesco last September is still going strong, and she will use it this year as well as it still fits fine. So I’ve only bought one this year, yay yet more saving on uniform. 

    If you want to Boost your Clubcard vouchers you have untill 13th to exchange and use your vouchers by. Though if you are using them for school uniform like me you will want to do so before this date anyway. I opted to do this online although you can so so instore as well if you prefer. 

    Will you be making use of this offer? Where do you like to purchase the kids uniforms from? 

    For more Mummy Monday updates do to forget you can follow me on bloglovin. 


    Top Tips for getting your hands on Free Samples

    Wanting to try out new products and being a Beauty Blogger go together like red wine and dark chocolate, It’s a classic combination. It was my love of finding out about and testing the latest products that got me involved in the blogging community to begin with. Unfortunately getting your hands on new products can be rather costly, we don’t all benefit from receiving lots of PR samples. Have no fear though, there are some little tricks you can try to pick up some free samples here and there giving you a little helping hand. Below is just a selection of free samples I have received, not because of being a Blogger, but by looking in the right places.

    photo 1 (6)So do you want to here how I have managed to collect these goodies?

    1. Sign up to the mailing lists of freebie websites. You will receive a list of the latest available freebies direct to your inbox. My favourites are latestfreestuff and Magic Freebies.  All you have to do is click on the link to the  freebie you want and it will give you instructions on how to apply for them.

    2. Are you a Lush customer? Did you know that when you shop on-line you can leave a note in the gift section requestion a sample of any of their products you want to try. These are usually pretty generous sample sizes as well. photo 5 (2)

    3. Do you want to have the opportunity to try out that latest high end foundation? Most high end brands are pretty good at giving you a sample to try out at home. Just ask for a mini consultation and they will colour match you. This one took me a little while to pluck up the courage to do initially, but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

    photo 4 (4)4. Magazines are a great way of picking up a sample of beauty products. Okay you have to buy the magazine but the sample is usually worth more than the cover price. Right now Cosmopolitan magazine is offering free CID cosmetics mascara, worth £17.50, or lipgloss worth £15.  Alas as I’m on a spending ban I won’t be trying out one of these anytime soon, but there will always be other opportunities. If my glamour subscription arrives with a freebie I shall be jumping for joy! Ha it doesn’t take a lot to get me excited.

    photo 3 (4)

    Have you any other tips for picking up free samples? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

    Thanks for stopping by Schoolrunbeauty.com, don’t forget you can follow me on bloglovin.




    OOTD – Denim & Crisp White Cotton

    There is something about crisp white cotton paired with denim that just says classically stylish. It’s a look that is very difficult to get wrong. This was a perfect choice then to wear for my kids sports day.

    Excuse the messy hair and lack of make-up in this pick, it was evening before I got a chance to get someone to take a full length shot. 


    I had seen a few crisp cotton tops with a boho feel to them on the high street. I was just yet to commit to a purchase. This one I happened to come across in a pop up charity shop. Looking like new and originally from M&S  this was a bit of a steel at £2.90.

    image (9)

    The detailing around the neckline I love, paired with some denim cut-off’s (made from a £3 gap charity shop find) this makes a comfy yet stylish outfit. The little gold coloured chains I picked up from Primark.

    This outfit called for some white pumps, this pair are from Primark again. They cost me £4. The laced effect material is so delicate and pretty.

    Primark lace epumps

    Total cost of this outfit was £12.40, not bad really. I know I will get plenty of wear out of this top.

    Spotted! – New Poundworld Make up Range, Miss Beauty London.

    Hi guys!

    Today’s post is very quick one, today was actually going to be my blogging rest day. Let’s just say a lunch date with my little sister combined with a cheeky peek at the beauty bargains in my local Poundworld changed that.

    We came across a very interesting stand in my local pound world, and the over excitable beauty blogger in me just felt I had to share.

     This is a range I have not come across and first impressions were good.

    I’m talking good quality packaging, interesting shade range, UK made and cheap.

    As this is a fairly new stand it was reasonably well stocked, it will be interesting to see if this is maintained.

    Naturally in the interest of test purposes I had to pick a couple of  items to try out at home. Where better to start than with a gel effect nail polish and a lipstick.

    I picked up this gorgous purple, named Masquerade, and a lipstick in the shade Mauve.

    Now here’s where it gets exciting. First impressions are Good, with a capital G.

    The shade I choose is so beautiful, perfect for an everyday look. The formula  is very creamy glides on easily, minus any funky smells. 

    Where it gets even more impressive is when put to the cup of tea test. This wasn’t budging. The picture below I took post cuppa, let’s give it a wow, it still looks fresh. 

    Moving on to the Nail polish, this is another great product.  As you can see it is super glossy, and well pigmented, this is two coats applied in a bit of a rush.

    I am so impressed with both of these, two very high quality items, both only costing £1.

    I shall be popping back in to Poundworld for a couple of more shades.

    Here’s to hoping that this is a regular fixture for Poundworld.

    Have you come across this brand before? Would you give it a try?