Right about now as we are heading into Spring/Summer I always get a bit obsessed with makeup samples, holiday or no holiday planned. As I'm not one for full-on splurging on makeup all too often and like to spend my money wisely I'm a big believer in trying before you buy and using travel size beauty products over full-size products.
To share some of my savvy ways when in comes to makeup samples... in the past 6 months I haven't had to purchase any kind of hair masks as I've been using up my stash of luxury hair conditioner sachets and you will only find vials and miniature fragrances in my bag so that I don't use up the perfumes I love too quickly! As for when I do go on holiday you can bet I will have a stash of free face mask samples with me and a multitude of travel size products, from sunscreen to body moisturizer and of course lots of travel size makeup. You could say I'm a girl, obsessed!
But where do you find good quality makeup samples and travel size beauty products I hear you cry? Well I'm here to tell you... because I keep my sample stash fully stocked through various sources; sometimes free, sometimes not.
But first of all here are 6 reasons to love travel size beauty products:
- Makes high-end beauty brands more affordable
- You can try out lots of products/brands you normally wouldn't
- Perfect for travel
- Ideal for hand luggage liquid restrictions on planes
- They make nice extra gifts
- Try before you buy
Where to find Makeup SamplesHigh Street Travel Beauty Products
The high street is full of travel beauty products, especially when it comes to toiletries and holiday essentials. Before any holiday I head to Boots and pick up some travel size toiletries (you can even find this section in airport Boots stores!). The best compact sizes in my option for holidays is any normally bulky/heavy items, such as - shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, body lotion and hair products. Taking just what you need in these smaller sizes will not only cut down on weight but save so much room in your suitcase! My favourite brands that offer travel size products in Boots are - OGX (shampoo & conditioner), Soap & Glory and The Sanctuary, which are often on a 3 for 2 offer.
You can also find a similar selection of travel toiletries in most supermarkets and Superdrug stores. Even if you aren't going on holiday I'd still recommend checking out these sections of stores as you can find new products to try out from the brands you already love or it even may even make you want to try out a new brand without buying a full-size product.
Luxury Travel Beauty Products
Luxury makeup samples and travel size products are slightly different I've found, of course they are slightly more money but there are many more travel size beauty products available along with try-me style gift sets. You are also more likely to find these online than in-store, however it is possible to pick up luxury travel products in certain stores. Luxury travel toiletries can be found at John Lewis, M&S and Selfridges. Travel kits can also be found at various makeup counters, it's just a case of looking around. High end brands good for travel/mini sizes include - Too Faced, Korres, Nuxe, Benefit, Smashbox, Bumble and Bumble and Philip Kingsley, to name just a few.
As for asking for free samples at high-end makeup counters this can still be done when making a purchase (99% of the time they will give you a handful of good samples!) but if you don't intend to buy anything it is slightly tricky. Foundation samples and skincare samples are the more easier samples to obtain by showing a genuine interest in a product, possibly the sales assistant trying it out on you to find your correct shade and then asking if any samples are available to try out the product at home. This can be hit and miss as they may not have samples in stock but it's worth a shot!
Extra tip: If you are buying a high-end foundation asking for a few samples in a darker shade as you are going on holiday (possibly a teeny white lie, oops!) is a really good idea. This means you can use these samples if your skin becomes darker in summer or on holiday!
Makeup Samples from eBay
eBay is defintiely a tricky one due to the amount of counterfeit products on the website however if you know what you are looking for you can safely avoid buying fakes! If you are looking to try a specific foundation in your own shade before buying it in-store or online then it's worth looking on eBay. Quite a few UK based sellers making a living from selling decanted samples of popular high-end foundations or sachet samples. You can also find this with popular fragrances which you can actually buy decanted into a travel atomiser, ideal for taking your favourite summer fragrance on holiday without buying a bottle of it or decanting from your own with an atomiser. As for other travel size makeup products I would suggest buying with caution as fake makeup is rife on eBay even in miniature form these days. Brands to be wary of include - Benefit, MAC and Too Faced.
Magazine freebies are a great way to snap up makeup samples with magazine issues in the spring/summer months, in particular, offering some really good free products for the price of a magazine! I personally only buy £4-5 magazines when the free beauty gift offered is something I've been wanting to try and mainly go for £1-2 magazines such as Glamour & Marie Claire (when on offer) when they include free samples. My personal favourite magazine freebies are nail polish and hand cream and they are generally full size. And I'm all over Benefit freebies when they pop up! You do however need to be quick as they go fast (checking petrol station/service station magazine stands is always a good shout) and if the free gift is a product you already use and love - stock up! I say this because sample sizes when bought in bulk often work out much cheaper than buying the full-size equivalent!
It's also worth pulling out sachet samples from the magazine you buy and keeping them all together. Perfect for when you want to try out something new or when going on holiday.
Extra tip: A lot of sachet samples give more than one application so to keep the sample fresh once open, seal with washi tape after each use. This works particularly well for shampoo/conditioner sachets and face mask samples.
Where to shop Makeup Sample Services
Feelunique Pick 'n' Mix
This is a makeup sample service I'm talked about so much on Makeup Savvy and have taken advance of most months since discovering it. Simply pick 5 samples from a huge range for the price of Feelunique's p&p (£3.95). I've picked up some amazing makeup and skincare samples this way from brands such as Bioderma, Benefit, Charlotte Tilbury, Burt's Bees and Emma Hardie. Perfect for trying out new products and without a doubt ideal for holiday travel samples. The above image shows the samples I recently picked up!
Extra tip: I always make sure to pick up a conditioner sachet samples from high-end brands with each order if I can because I use them on dry or damp hair as intensive hair masks!
Latest in Beauty DIY Beauty Boxes
A DIY beauty box here that you can buy as a one-off personalised box or monthly at a discounted price. I personally would suggest the one-off boxes make more sense and deciding if you want to go for 3 products (£16) 6 products (£22) or 9 products (£25). This may seem steep but most of the products available are high-end and full size and if not you can be sure they will be large samples which often retail for £10+ alone. This is perfect if you are after one of the full-size products, for example when my favourite Moroccanoil Treatment runs out (RRP £13.45) I plan to pick it up in a 3 product LIB box making the 2 other samples only £2.55 but their true cost will be much more.
The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club
If you are into discovering new perfumes then this affordable £5 quarterly fragrance club may be for you. Included in each box will be 5+ fragrance samples to try out with money-off vouchers for each if you decide to purchase any fragrance full size. You can also pick up the Spring 2017 Discovery Club box without signing up to the club for only £5.
Direct from Beauty Brand Samples
Smashbox Travel-Size Minis
Travel-size minis from £5.00 or 4 for £15 + 2 free samples per order and free delivery!
As for can see, above, I picked up the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil to try out and selected the Photo Finish Foundation Primer and Photo Finish Lid Primer as my two free samples all for only £5 - such a good little deal.
Benefit minis can be picked up in multiple places but the biggest range is availabe online and in larger Boots stores . Benefit minis can be bought individually but offers include 4 for £15 on standard Benefit minis and 3 for £25 on newer launches. However the official Benefit online store offers three sets of 6 samples for only £17.50 - definitely worth checking out!
MAC Sized To Go
MAC now offer 15 different travel size products of some of their most popular products. All travel minis cost £10 each and some really do offer good value for money, for example a 30ml strobing cream where a very little in needed seems like a pretty good deal for £10! Mini products include cult classic Fix +, mini pigments, mascaras and lipglass' available in 12 shades.
As for nail polish minis (because how goes through a full-size nail polish?) Essie, Nails Inc and OPI all offer mini sets.
Makeup Samples really are worth picking up for so many reasons so I hope I've inspired you to become a little more makeup sample savvy from this blog post!
My question to you would be which product would you love to buy a miniature version of that's currently not available in a smaller size? After much thinking, for me it would be my favourite Guerlain Insolence perfume and YSL Faux Cils mascara mini.
So today I thought I'd share my top 15 magical makeup brushes on eBay that start at only £1.50 with free delivery!
Most of these makeup brushes come direct from China (hence why they are so cheap!) so they do take a few weeks to arrive, however, no custom charges are incurred and I've yet to receive any damaged brush sets! eBay really is the place to pick up unique makeup brushes!
Since my teenage years I've had to deal with oily skin; from often problematic blemish-prone skin to a now oily T-zone with a multitude of different skin types. This has resulted in trailing a lot of skincare!
I now feel confident enough to recommend the products you should be incorporating into your skin care routine and what you should be avoiding!
Below you will find the 5 essentials of a skin care routine for oily skin. This includes the important step of hydrating the skin with the right moisturiser and exfoliating with chemical exfoliating products instead of with traditional scrub-type products. This will hopefully start off a series for oily skin as I want to share my favourite moisturisers for oily skin, the best clay-based face masks and making the tricky task of finding a good non-pore clogging SPF for the face easier with my top sunscreens picks for oily skin!
Keeping skin thoroughly cleansed is one of the most important steps in looking after oily skin. You definitely don't want to strip the skin of its essentials oils as that will only increase oil production and cause the skin to become dried out and irritated. For your morning cleanse a light none foaming cleanser works best. I would personally suggest avoiding face washes which contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (find out more about SLS-free products) and alcohol. You basically want to gently cleanse the skin to remove excess oil and sweat from the night before, so the cleanser doesn't need to be harsh and definitely not astringent feeling. Anything containing clay tends to work well for very oily skin types but on the whole I would look at light gel/liquid cleansers aimed at sensitive skin types, many affordable french skincare brands are ideal for this.
As for night time cleansing this is where you want to be thorough and remove all makeup and clean the skin properly. If you've been wearing makeup then I'd highly recommend double cleansing, especially if you are prone to spots. First removing makeup with a solid balm cleanser and a warm damp flannel, as oil based cleansers remove makeup amazingly well and work on all skin types. Followed by a cream or liquid cleanser to ensure all makeup and grime is removed. Your skin should feel perfectly clean without feeling tight or dry.
This is your toning step, but instead of a toner that doesn't do much, you actually want to go for an exfoliating acid toner that will magically remove dead skin cells - unblocking pores and improve skin texture. If you a new to this kind of product start with a light exfoliating acid in pad form (pre-soaked pads in a pot) sweeping a single pad over the skin after cleansing at night - Pixi, First Aid Beauty and Nip + Fab offer some amazing ones. If you aren't new to using liquid exfoliants then there are a whole host of products available to you, my favourite include Pixi Glow Tonic and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Exfoliant Lotion. Whatever you go for ensure you don't over do it (although you can build up your usage gradually) and wear sun protection as your skin will be more susceptible to sun damage. If you have bumpy/uneven skin texture, scarring from past blemishes or a dull complexion, you need a good exfoliating acid toner in your life!
With an oily complexion it can be tempting to skip moisturiser entirely. But it's important to understand that your skin oil levels and your skin's need for hydration are two very different issues. My own skin type is oily however I couldn't be without a daily moisturiser as my skin would quickly become dehydrated, feeling rubbish and looking lack lustre, not to mention more oily! So the aim is to find a light moisturiser. If it doesn't soak into the skin quickly but feels heavy and greasy on the skin then it's not for you. Whether you think your skin is dehydrated or not, hydrating moisturisers are often light and gel-like in texture, working well for oily skin types. For oily sensitive skin types La Roche-Posay Hyreane Light Moisturizing Cream in a nice option, but my current favourite has to be Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser which very much reminds me of Clarins Hydra-Essential range.
4. Targeted Treatment
Oily skin and spots often come hand in hand and although double-cleaning, weekly face masks and the use of an acid exfoliant can go a long way there will be times spots simply appear! For red/under skin spots a targeted spot treatment containing salicylic acid is a must! I've tried many over the past ten years and the one I've found to really work is Origins Super Spot Remover, it may seem a very small product for £15.00 but as so little is required per application it lasts over a year. For blemish-prone or congested areas, a good topical treatment that will prevent blemishes without drying out the skin is ideal. Again products can be hit and miss, however, Kiehl's Breakout Control Blemish Treatment Facial Lotion does deliver on its claims and I often apply it to my chin area to prevent breakouts once a spot has appeared.
As for a targeted treatment for blackheads, there really isn't one! The best method to minimise the appearance of blackheads and the size of pores is to maintain a good cleansing routine and invest in an effective deep cleansing face mask, such as the ones below. Extracting blackheads or using pore strips are very much temporary measures and can dry out or damage the skin.
To minimise shine and temporary oil secretion a good clay-based or charcoal face mask can work wonders! Perfect for an upcoming special event where you want your makeup to last, as a general pamper or around the time of the month if you find your skin becomes more oily/blemish-prone. Drugstore face masks for oily skin are becoming increasingly better, my favourites being L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Face Mask and The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.
As for face masks that are blackhead clearing they are few and far between and tend to be slightly pricey (but worth it if you want a super deep cleanse!). My favourite face masks that give results are GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment and NIOD Flavanone MUD. I also find these two masks cut down oil production without drying out the skin for much longer than other face masks I've tried.
Keeping a consistent skin care routine with the right products is crucial for oily skin! I hope this can be a good guide on how to put that together.
Looking forward to sharing my favourite skincare products for oily skin over the next few months!
Over the past few years I've come to love Lush products! It personally feels like a treat to go into Lush and pick up something new to try out, whether that be for in the shower, my hair or from their skincare range!
With mainly natural ingredients and unique product ranges I'm often impressed with my impulse buys. So today, I thought I would feature seven Lush products which I've been using for the past few months! I hope you find something new to try!
Seven years ago I decided to start Makeup Savvy to share my love of makeup and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made!
Which is why I thought it as about time I sit down and write about how to write a successful beauty blog. Or should that be "How to write/start a successful beauty blog in 2017"? Because there's no denying the idea of blogging with any kind of success is daunting right now (I'm currently in the process of setting up a new blog... and I'm feeling it!). Especially in the saturated genre of beauty blogging. However, that shouldn't hold you back if you feel passionate about it!
Below, I have covered the basics; from the initial set up a blog (which platform to choose, buying a domain, deciding on a template) to the do's and don't of blogging and what your long term focuses should be if you plan to write a successful beauty blog. Whether you are new to beauty blogging or already write an established blog I hope you can find a few helpful tips here.
So I thought it's share a ton of practical tips about glasses and makeup application that can remedy most irks/problems. I also thought it was about time a blog post was written sharing makeup tips for glasses wearers by someone that wears glasses, daily!