Thursday, 31 January 2013

100 Day Spending Ban

Hello, I'm A Secret of Beauty and I have a spending problem

If you've been floating around the blogging world since the start of the year, you would have seen at least one blogger swear to padlocking their pennies away and chopping up their credit card. For some reason everyone that I know seem to have their birthday in January I decided to start a little later with my ban. From 1st February 2013 running for 100 days I pledge to curb my spending habits.

2. No Clothes, Shoes, Bags, Jewellery or accessories
3. No Candles or other home products
4.. No unnecessary food (you only need one chocolate bar, not the whole shelf)

5. I am allowed to buy presents and cards for others
6. Maximum eating out/takeaway once a week
7. Only after I have used all my Glossydots will I be able to order Glossybox
8. Go out, get drunk and have a good time, but do it with the least amount of money

9. If there are things that I need I must write a list, go through it and honestly make a decision on whether it is a 'need' or want. Under no circumstances shall I impulse buy.

I think I have enough products to last me the course so even though other people are allowing themselves 'essentials' I think the 5 cans of deodorant, 3 bottles of shampoo and god knows how many cotton pads in my drawer will last me. I really want to be as tight with my money as possible over the next 100 days.
If anyone has any tips or tricks please let me know because I think this is going to be really hard.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January Favourites

I know I'm a bit of a flusy when it comes to posts like this as I like to really love the products that I include as opposed to just adding products in to fill spaces. Let me know if you would prefer these on a more regular basis.
Origins - Drink Up 10 Minute Mask
I plan to do a full review on this mask as it is so amazing. My skin has never felt so good I am really glad I picked this up. Unlike other masks that sit on the skin and have to be washed off. This is an intensive cream that soaks into the skin and I wipe away with a cotton pad. Easy as that with fantasic results.

Sleek - Oh So Special Eyeshadow Palette
I received this in a Glossybox, I think the December edition and I have been loving this palette. There is a nice mix of shimmer and matte shades that can be used to create daytime or evening looks.

ELF - Contouring Bronzing Powder
I like the blush in this set but this month I rediscovered the bronzer. Ironically I digged this out when I bought Nars Laguna and found that the two work so well together. Even though the shimmer can be seen clearly in the pan of this ELF bronzer, I use it to contour and find that the shimmer does not transfer onto the face. 

Sephora - Rose Glow Blush
I also have a review coming up on this product too showing the shade swatched properly. I use this blush in the evening one as I chose a slightly darker shade than my peachy daytime ones. I love how soft and easily this blush blends onto the skin. I wish I had picked up some more shades as Sephora hasn't reached us in the UK... Yet?

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser
My lips have suffered this Winter, dry, cracked and just plain horrid. I have tried various lip balms in the past but none have nursed my lips back to full health as much as this one. Though the packaging and scent may lead you to believe I was prescribed this, it is actually available in Boots. I have really enjoyed using this product and I will definitely be repurchasing it after I have run out.
What have you been enjoying this month?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Primark Haul

I know I've been a bit heavy on the hauls this month, sorry bank balance. For this reason I wasn't going to do another one for quite sometime, however, I did pick up some things from Primark. As many of you will know Primark doesn't have a website that showcases all their stock, for this reason I really like Primark hauls as I can see what sort of things are currently in store.  I know there are many other people that feel the same as I do and use these as sort of an online catalog.  Ok I'll stop rambling and get on with it.
If you follow me on twitter, you will know I'm not a fan of the paper bags. Always splitting *shakes fist*.

Navy Blazer - £15
Blouse with Animal collar - Sale £5
Black Asymmetric Skirt - £10
Khaki Peplum Top - £4
Cream Knit Jumper with Zip Detail on Reverse - £8
Cow Print Poncho - £8
Stone Thin Top - £6
Blue Thin Top - £6
Grey Strap Top - £2       Maroon Vest Top - £2.50
Navy Joggers - £7
Khaki Soft Jeans - £7.90
Black Skinny Jeans - £7
Raspberry and Papaya Room Diffuser - £3
Black with Gold Detailing - £6
Mink Dolly Shoes - Sale £6
Black Fold Shoes - Sale £3
Ear Cuff Set - £1
Black and Gold Earrings - £1.50
Black and Gold Statement Necklace - £4
Black and Gold Chain Detail Belt - £2.50

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did shopping finding research for it :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

What's In My Bag

I love these types of posts.  I would love you give you lots of intriguing reasons why, but the truth is plan and simple. I'm nosey! Don't you pretend like you're not too. 

Right let's get on with it. My handbag is from River Island £30, but I bought it on ASOS and to be honest I wasn't impressed with their service. They sent me one that had already been sent back because it was faulty. It had a fault sticker on it and it was still sent out to me. I contacted them and they sent me a new one, once I had returned the faulty one, bit of a palava really. I love it though, I fit most of my life in here which is what I like and goes with practically every outfit. I only wish the shoulder strap was slightly shorter as I'm not a fan of my handbag swinging down by my ankles. 
My purse is also from River Island, I didn't realise I was such a big fan. This is actually a few years old but I know the style is still available but it might possibly be in a different colour. I really like this purse I can also use it as a clutch on a night out as its compact but also big enough to fit my phone in it. I'm not keen on how hard it is to get your cards in and out of the main card section, I've broken a couple of nails. 

My little odds and sods back from Primark. This doesn't normally come everywhere with me, but I went to see my parents at the weekend so it's nice to have a little bag that you know contains some essentials.
Some beauty bits that come along for the ride, I don't normally have a big bottle of perfume either but I threw it in there as I forgot to pack it in my larger bag that I was taking away with me.
My little Travalo is so handy, I usually take this with me on a night out to freshen up. I think there is Ted Baker body spray in there at the moment. Hand Food and Hand Maid are both Soap and Glory products, both I really love. The scents are amazing, Hand Food is really similar to the Righteous Butter but in a littler formula and Hand Maid smells florally and is a really great hand sanitiser.
Notebooks and diaries, I can't help it I normally have 3 different ones with me, don't ask.  The smaller pink one is from Wilkinsons for under £1 and I bought it to keep all the information about my trip to New York with me. Important contact details, accommodation and flight details, that sort of thing.  I now use it for everyday notes that I want to jot down and To Do lists. It is so handy as it's not bulky but I can include everything that I need on one/ two pages.  The taller pink one with leopard print is from WHSmiths and cost me about £7. This is my everyday diary, mainly includes any deadlines and work that needs to be handed in. 

I am a little bit of a hoarder and tend to keep the receipts of things that I might take back in my bag and not my purse, strange I know but they are safer there. I've got loads of No7 vouchers floating around too. Another bottle of Blink drops as the other bottle isn't normally in there. Wires and Headphones always seem to end up in my bag for some reason and get everything else caught up with them.
In the little pocket at the back is my favourite section, I keep my lipsticks: 17 - Flirt and Mac -Peach Blossom as well as Blistex intensive Lip salve which has helped my cracked lips. My little mirror is from Next and I love it, it has a magnified mirror as well as a normal one which is handy.  Random earrings get everywhere in my house, let me know if your earrings turn up in some strange places too.

So that's a little insight to my handbag, something a little bit different from me so I hope you liked it. If you do like these more personally posts please tell me and I will try and do some more.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

Last year Maybelline released a new range called 'Fit Me' and consists on a foundation, concealer and a face powder. Being the foundation lover that I am, I dove straight in and bought the foundation, the other products didn't really appeal to me.
The main selling point behind this range is that the makeup should 'fit' your skin tone.  They cater for whether you have pink or yellow undertones, something that very few high street brands do.  If you have yellow undertones like myself then your shade will end in 0, whereas the pink undertone shades end in 5. There is also 9 shades within each undertone section and also have a larger darker shade range than many other high street brands.
I do like this foundation, and has become my everyday foundation throughout the Winter. I like the matte finish that it has as well as it's longevity. On me this foundation can last a good 6-8 hours, with powder. It has a medium coverage that can be built up, but what I like is how natural it looks on the skin. I haven't found this to be cakey or patchy at all.  It blends very nicely in to the skin and you don't have to work too hard with it.  I think this foundation can be used all year round as it never looks heavy but can provide enough coverage so that it can be worn in the evenings too.
I like the packaging, a sleek glass bottle and yes with a pump. I find it really annoying when you buy a foundation and then have to waste most of it because you have to pour it onto the back of your hand. I find 2-3 pumps is more than enough to achieve the flawless finish that I like. I also like that it's square, a lot of drugstore foundations are round so it's nice to have a change. Oh the little things in life keep me happy.

At around £7 I am really impressed with this foundation and the shade range is really good. So if you do struggle to find a good match, especially darker skin tones, I would definitely say to have a look for this foundation.  The only thing that I found a little weird is that the first couple of times I used it I think it broke me out.  I don't know if maybe it was a moisturiser that I was using that it had a problem with and I changed or whether my skin got used to it quickly, but it's absolutely fine now. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

ELF Haul

I hadn't ordered from the eyeslipsface website in a very long time and was wondering what new products had been brought out when the old devils themselves emailed to say they had 25% off.  Not only that, they still had their 50% sale going on so well, how can a girl resist those charms? It's only a small haul but I think I got some right little goodies. 

Bamboo Angled Blush Brush - £3
Bamboo Complexion Brush - £3
Bamboo Eyshadow Brush - £3
Studio Small Stipple Brush 
I've wanted to get some new brushes for quite a while and ELF have always been a brand that sells good quality, affordable brushes.
Baked Blush
Baked Bronzer
Yes my baked obsession is still with me, I promise this is the last baked product I will buy for a couple of months. Hopefully.
Eyebrow Lifter and Filler
Benefit do a product really similar to this one that I was so close to buying last month so I wanted to try this one out to see if I like it.
Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
This was in my ELF best & worst post, obviously a best as I have bought another one. I love my Urban Decay Primer Potion but for me this product is better value for money.

I haven't tried any of these out properly yet so I will keep you updated with products that I feel desire a post, both good and bad.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Essie Nail Polish - Fragrance Direct

I may have made a small order to Fragrance Direct I couldn't resist any longer! At £1.99, I knew it wasn't going to long to be honest. I thought I'd show you which ones I picked up. 

Mademoiselle, Cascade Cool, Bikini So Teeny, Lights, Off The Shoulder

Aren't they pretty, with delivery I think I paid £11. For 5 Essie nail varnishes, that is ridiculous! 
Essie polishes are long lasting and chip-free for about 4/5 days (even more with a top coat), with the lovely paddle style brush, it is so quick and easy to apply. I know I picked up the more summery colours, but I have tried all of these out and I am really happy with my choices and quality. Except for Mademoiselle which I expected to have a more pinky tone for manicures, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
The swatches on the website aren't brilliant so what I do is quickly Google the shades I think I might like, to see what they look like on the nail. The shades change around every now and again so if there isn't a colour you particularly like, check back a couple of weeks later, which is what I did, and there should be a different selection. 
The reason behind them being so cheap is that according to the website Fragrance Direct pass on their wholesale price to the customer.  I was dubious as to whether they were the real deal, but as far as I can see they are the exact same as my other Essie polishes that I have bought from Boots and Superdrug. Win, win! I will definitely be checking back on a regular basis.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Glossybox - January

These boxes are definitely coming around far too quick for my liking. It only seems like yesterday I was opening my Sleek palette from the December box. I think the Detox theme this month is very fitting as I know that a lot of people are doing Dryathlon, starting diets and trying to get healthy, for as long as possible.

At first I wasn't sure about this month's choices but as I actually got the products out and read about them a little bit more I think that there are some really lovely products that I want to try out.
Duck Island Limited - Body Lotion
This little bottle is so cute, I really like the packaging. This natural body lotion is meant to help you relax after a shower or bath. I like the texture, it melts into the skin beautifully and feels luxurious, but I haven't tried it properly yet to give a full review.
Elemis Fresh Skin - Skin Glow Facial Exfoliator
I have wanted to try something from the Elemis brand for quite a while now but didn't really know what to go for. This is a really nice starting point I think. This exfoliator is aimed at younger people who want to prevent their skin from ageing as well as enhancing radiance.
Jason Lips Bee Healthier
The only full sized product this month which retails for under £2, was the product I was most disappointed with. Not due to the retail price, but just because I thought a lip balm was a bit boring, and to some level I do still think that.  Now, I've only tried this out a couple of times but I already love it. I haven't tried the Burts Bees range (or something like that) but I can imagine it to be similar to that brand's lip balm as it contains natural ingredients including beeswax. I've already put it in my handbag so that I can use it throughout the day.
Monu - Aromatic Mask
I love a good mask and think this is the perfect product for the theme, I think Glossybox has learnt their lesson after the 'relaxation' month (or whatever that was supposed to be). This is a clay mask so has to be washed off with water and not just pealed like some others. I personally prefer the peal off ones but I'm not complaining, I think I will enjoy getting in the bath and putting this bad boy on.
Premae Skincare - Balance Rescue Face Tonique
Probably the product I am most excited to try out, this toner mattifies combination skin as well as hydrating it. I have a little bit of an oily t-zone so if this works I will definitely be adding it to my evening makeup routine.
Glossybox Sleep Mask
I actually enjoy looking forward to the crazy extras that Glossybox have started to include every now and again. I think this is really cute and adds that finishing touch to this month's box.

I've noticed that there is a mix of products this month, so if you have different products let me know, I would love to see what everyone else received.
Click to sign up for Glossybox.  Please note I am not affiliated with the company and I have purchased the subscription with my own money. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

2012 was the year of the Hot Cloth Cleanser, Liz Earle being the main favourite. I didn't dive head first in to this craze as I wanted to test the water and see whether I liked the idea of the product.  This product comes with a muslin cloth and can be used on all skin types and is hypo-allergenic.
With the No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser you massage a pump full on to dry skin. Sometimes I would have already removed my makeup and want to use it just to cleanse the skin, but sometimes I will use it to remove my makeup especially my eye makeup. It is really gentle and has never irritated my eyes which I was so impressed with as even some products that are made for eyes can sting and make my eyes red and sore. Once I have massaged it all in, sometimes I will add an extra half a pump depending on if I feel like I need it, I soak the muslin cloth in hot water, rinse out the excess and lay the cloth over my face. These are the directions on the bottle and I actually really like doing this as it relaxes me, so would be brilliant to use in the bath. I repeat this about 3 times so my face really gets the most from the steaming process. I then use the muslin cloth in circular motions to remove the product from my face. 

I don't use this everyday as I can be quite lazy and by using other makeup removers on a cotton pad it is a lot quicker. So around 3 times a week I get this out and have a mini facial in the evening, because I do like to massage my skin a lot with the muslin cloth to help exfoliate my skin, it can leave my face red, but I do have sensitive skin so that is something to think about if you wanted to use this in the morning. I really like the thickness of the product. but it is light almost a mousse texture, making it really nice to massage in and you really don't need a lot. I also like that you can see how much is left in the bottle, you can't really see from the photograph as this was taken after I had used it only twice. There 50ml product and retails £10, as it is No7 there are always deals and money off vouchers that you can get so I think I actually paid £5 which I think is fantastic. 
I would like to try a couple of other versions after I finish this one, but I will definitely be coming back to this one and not to Liz Earle if none of them live up to this one. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Soap & Glory - Best of All

Everyone knows that come December 26th, everything that you bought before gets discounted so when you walk into a shop you can see that the £40 jumper you bought your Dad for Christmas is now £20. I refuse to go Boxing Day shopping for this reason, bitter in my old age. 
However, this year I decided that I would venture into Boots and check out the gift sets that were now half price off. 
This is one that I've seen many Youtubers pick up over the last couples of weeks since Christmas, dear Lord time has flown by quickly. However, I'm going to go through the products that I bought in the Best of All gift set by Soap & Glory - The Ultimate Head-to-Toe Indulgence Kit.
If I had bought this on December 24th I would have handed over £60 for this beauty, but being the tight fisted, but lovable, girl that I am I only paid £27.  Bargain!
Includes 9 full sized products worth £64.50 and the weekend travel bag so I am really happy with this deal.
Clean on Me 500ml
Smoothie Star 500ml
The Righteous Butter 300ml
Sugar Crush 300ml
Hand Food 125ml
Heel Genius 125ml
Peaches and Clean 200ml
Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss
Thick & Fast Mascara
Obviously because the sets are already made, if like me you've owned Soap & Glory products before there is a chance that you are going to get duplicates. Luckily I love The Righteous Butter and Clean on Me shower gel which I've previously purchased so it means I'm all stocked up. If you would prefer to try other products than the ones in this set, there are various other sets available including travel size products, full size products and skincare products.
I've seen in all the bigger sized Boots that these kits are still floating around so the offer is currently still running.
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