The Spending Ban: Update #1

Monday, 28 July 2014

Last week I announced that I was on a spending ban — I'm not allowed to buy any beauty products for four weeks. One week in, I thought I'd let you know how it's going so far.

I rediscovered the eyeshadow I used to create this look! I've gone quite dramatic here but it can also be used to create a subtle wash of colour.

The First Challenge

My main plan of action is to avoid any shops where beauty products are sold, so the first challenge came when I had to go to Boots to get some more contact lense fluid. Luckily, the store I went to quite a small one, but it's rare for me to leave any branch of Boots without buying something beauty-related. I just about managed it, although I was given a money-off voucher for No7 (which I'll give to my mum). 

Illamasqua

Last Friday morning an email from Illamasqua appeared in my inbox, saying they were offering 20% off for 48 hours. I've been wanting to try something by them for ages now, but as they're a high end brand I want to take my time and choose something that I'll like, use, and get my money's worth out of. I quickly deleted the email, but not without a small pang of regret. I'll make a purchase one day, Illamasqua, I promise!

Shopping My Stash

This week I discovered an old eyeshadow I used to love. It's from The Body Shop, and has been discontinued, although I think you may be able to find the shade among their Colour Crush eyeshadows. It's a dark grey/blue, which makes it quite a subtle way to work the summer trend for blue eye make up, and it looks great paired with pale pink lips.

So that was week one! If you're on a spending ban like me, how are you faring? And what Illamasqua products would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Soap & Glory Butter Yourself

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Occasionally when I go shopping I come across a product I used to use but stopped buying, for whatever reason (usually because I wanted to try different things!) Soap & Glory's Butter Yourself is one such item, but it's been my body moisturiser of choice for several weeks now.

So, what's so good about it?



  • It sinks in quickly. There's not much hanging about waiting to dress, which is good if you're in a hurry.
  • The fresh, fruity scent is good for a morning pick-me-up and lingers on the skin without being overpowering.
  • It leaves skin feeling hydrated, and is wonderful at softening areas like elbows and knees.
  • The 500ml bottle lasts for a long time, making it good value for money.

I'll admit it, Butter Yourself is not my must-have product from the Soap & Glory range, but then how do you choose?! It's still worth picking up, especially if you're after something refreshing.

Butter Yourself costs £10 and is available from Boots.

Sanctuary Spa Sleep-In-A-Box

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Oh Boots 3-for-2, I do love you. I needed to pick up a third item and ended up going for Sanctuary Spa's Sleep-In-A-Box. I've been wondering whether to try the Comforting Night Butter for ages now, and I'm quite tempted by some of the other products in the range. Sleep-In-A-Box contains four sample size products so it seemed like the perfect way to try everything.

Sanctuary Spa Sleep-In-A-Box

Everything is scented with a blend of essential oils, including ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli. The combination is very calming and it makes a nice change from lavender, which is the scent I usually associate with these kind of products.

So, what's inside the box?

Sanctuary Spa Sleep-In-A-Box (products)

Calming Luxury Bath Float, 75ml

A creamy bath product that produces lots of lovely, fragrant bubbles. Perfect after a long day.


Restoring Body Oil, 5ml

I was really disappointed with this.Not the product itself so much  it's lovely as a body oil  but the way it's presented.

The lid on the tube snaps off, so you have no choice but to use all the oil in one go, or pour it into a separate container, and who can be bothered to faff around doing that? 5ml is a lot more than you would think.

It did make my skin feel soft, but I wouldn't recommend using it on hair like Sanctuary suggest, as it made mine really greasy and stringy (and I only used a drop on the ends!)

Smoothing Silk Polish, 50ml

Not a fan. It's a polish, so it's supposed to be gentle, but it's like a body wash with a couple of exfoliating beads in it, so it doesn't make much of a difference.

I'm not really a fan of harsh scrubs either but I at least like to feel like they've done something. Others may feel differently  it depends what you look for in an exfoliator.

Comforting Night Butter, 50ml

I'm very fussy about body butters. Some of them are too thick and greasy, but luckily this one sinks in pretty quickly and makes my skin feel soft and hydrated.

This is probably my favourite product of the bunch, and I can see myself purchasing the full size tub when my spending ban is over.

Sanctuary Spa Sleep-In-A-Box costs £12 and is available from Boots. I think it would make a great gift for someone who needs a bit of relaxation, or you could do what I did and use it to try out the products before buying the full-size versions.

Have you tried any of the products from Sleep-In-A-Box?

I'm Going on a Spending Ban!

Monday, 21 July 2014

I've noticed that us bloggers are divided when it comes to spending bans  some people I spoke to on the #bbloggers chat thought they were a great idea, others were less certain, citing lack of willpower.

I will freely admit that I've been buying too much recently so I thought I'd try and go on a spending ban of my own, partly to save myself some money and partly to see whether I can actually do it.

If you have any advice then please let me know in the comments! Lots of people pointed out that spending bans are a chance to rediscover old favourites I already have in my stash, so every Monday I'll update you on my progress and let you know what I've found.

The ban, which is on all beauty products, begins today and will last for four weeks  wish me luck!

Ciate Caviar Manicure in Purple Rain

Saturday, 19 July 2014

I was to try out the Caviar Manicure set by Ciate (it was free with last month's Marie Claire).


The set I picked up is called Purple Rain. I absolutely love the polish, Pillow Fight, which is grey with purple undertones — it's a great neutral and (aside from a tiny bit of wear on the tips of a couple of my nails) it's lasted for five days so far. The brush in the bottle is the perfect shape too, wider than most but not too big, with a rounded end that makes it easier to keep your cuticles neat.


Ciate Caviar Manicure

The pearls (named Sweet Dreams) I'm not so keen on. True, they look lovely, but they fall off at the slightest nudge, which makes the design look patchy. I'm glad I only did a ring finger manicure because I would not enjoy getting one of these in my eye when I remove my contact lenses.

The pearls are also a pain to apply because they go everywhere. As cute as the packaging is, I think they'd be a lot easier to work with if they came in a pot you could just dip your finger in or something? In the end I got so frustrated I removed them and just painted Pillow Fight on the offending nails.

I've probably save the pearls for a special occasion but the nail polish itself is sure to become a staple in my collection; I can see myself trying more shades from Ciate.

Have you tried the Caviar Manicure? Which shades of Ciate nail polish should I look out for?
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