Off Piste - you have been warned.

I'm going to come straight out and say it, it's a beauty post.  (be kind to me - they don't happen often - for good reason as you will see) 

Now we are all aware of how rarely I do these as I am the laziest moo on the planet when it comes to beauty.  I look in awe (and wonder) at people who collect nail varnish, eye shadows and beauty products like sweets.  Yes, the irony is that I have a similar obsessive personality but when it comes to shoes, boots and handbags (and jeans, coats, scarves.... let's move on swiftly) 

That's not to say I don't like a bit of primping and preening but I definitely like to cut corners (see - totally lazy). 

I also like to spend as little as I can so that I have more pennies to put into The Shoe Fund. 

So when it comes to beauty, I don't have a long lust list, I am Mrs Billy Basic that has a (short) list of must haves. 

Seeing as there are such bargains to be had on the fashion front in the sales, oh and since I've spend the day with Hush Homewear having the most gorgeous lunch at their founder, Mandy's house previewing their A/W collection, my quest for all things bargainous on the beauty front needs to to ramp up a gear. 

I'm also always being asked if I have any tips (hell knows why) but there you go. 

So, in an off piste episode of the blog, I am bringing you my bargain tips to save pennies for all things clothing. 

Starting with The Tan.  I have mentioned this numerous times but I rarely have a Spray Tan, I do my own tan and I don't spend a fortune on it at all. 

I cannot rave highly enough about my beloved Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan Mousse.

Now I have bought mine in Superdrug in the UK and in Penneys in Ireland but the last three times I have tried to buy it in Superdrug, it has totally sold out.  So I've just ordered some more from Feel Unique (with 20% off - oh hello)

And to make things even better, it's now on special offer (though I don't think you can combine offers...)

Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan Mousse now £4.79

I genuinely believe that this is better than any other tanning mousse on the market, even the ones that are four times the cost.  It goes on with less streaks and blotches, it's a better colour and it lasts just as long.  It also seems to be less patchy when it does fade.  

An absolute must to go with it is the tanning mitt. (to be fair, any tanning mitt will do.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT attempt to apply without a mitt) 

Cocoa Brown Tanning Mitt £2.99

My second favourite budget buy are my nails.  Now, let's start this off by saying my natural nails are pants.  They are truly woeful and nothing i've ever done has made them better.  I have been through the entire gambit of strengtheners, hardeners, etc etc - believe me, nothing works.  I reckon it's the same as people who have thin hair.  There is no product in the world that is suddenly going to give you hair like J-Lo (bar a syrup) 

My old route to having decent looking nails was good old Gel - be it Shellac, be it whatever gel they had going.  And it worked.  It definitely worked.  It also took at least an hour, it also cost £25 to £30 and it also totally trashed my nails (I will absolutely fess up and say this is because I was one of those awful people who used to pick it off.  Oh I know, stop judging, you're not supposed to.  But the feeling of peeling off a whole gel nail in one.... don't knock it till you've tried it.  I told you - lazy, beyond lazy when it comes to beauty) 

I can't even remember how I came across these or who recommended them to me but I am now the biggest convert to.... the stick on nail (I can hear all the proper Beauty Bloggers gasping in horror here - I never professed to be one of you - please forgive me).  I LOVE them.  I fear this may be up there on the Beauty stakes with someone professing their love for Crocs in my world.  Oops.

I have tried them all though and for me, there is only one sort that works. 

It has to be this box of Elegant Touch Polished Nails.  The ones with the little pads.  Not the Express ones.  Not just this colour, but this sort of nail in this sort of box. (you will see that there are lots of different varieties) 

Elegant Touch Polished Nails in Jet Black £6.59

BUT there is one proviso.  I would recommend using the nail glue that you have to buy separately (it lasts for ages though) - do not use the pads.  This picks off your nails like that funny glue you used to get in primary school.  Again, randomly therapeutic (you would think I never got out, wouldn't you) 

Elegant Touch Brush on nail glue £3.50

I've found the best French Manicure one to be these:-

Elegant Touch Classic French American Bare 144  £6.35 (or 2 for £10) - these are actually from Superdrug.  

I've bought mine from Superdrug and Boots in the past although both seem to be preferring to stock the newer Express nails which I just don't get on with.  They have an adhesive pre applied to them and I find them thicker nails which get caught on stuff and in my hair (when I go to flick it - you see, this is the most random post ever).  They do have a great selection at Feel Unique though and on 3 for 2 which is where I've just done an order from. 

Other colours I've had that people have said look fab (and I certainly like) are:- 

Coral £6.59 pre offer

And I've ordered the Acai Berry to try. 

So when we thought that I couldn't sink any lower on the scale of low budget beauty blogs, it's time to think again folks. 

I am now talking moisturiser.  I am talking big bottles of moisturiser and I am talking less than £2 for the privilege.  The downside is that you can't order it online, you need to go....

...................... Lidl.  Don't all laugh at once.  This stuff is fantastic.  Either of them. 

The milk is thicker than the lotion but either are excellent.  500 mls of excellent.  Honest guv. 


Now because we are in Sales mode, it would be remiss of me not to include my other must have which does actually slightly redeem myself from all things budget.  In fact, it's not even budget at all but is IS reduced and I have to say, it is my one massive treat and the one thing (even above all things clothes related) that can really lift my mood and make my day. 

Tis a scented candle.  I am candle obsessed.  I have tried many over the years and I will, hand on heart, say I don't think there is such thing (alas) as a budget scented candle that truly works.  To be fair, I will say the Yankee Candles definitely do hold a scent but I'm yet to find a fragrance that I love or find remotely as relaxing as the Neom Candles. 

Which are scarily expensive usually but some scents are currently on sale at John Lewis.  I haven't discovered one of their candles which I don't like so I would say any of these wouldn't disappoint. 

Oh and whilst they do appear to be a lot of money for a "smelly candle", you only burn these for 4 hours at a time and then you must blow them out.  The fragrance lingers for much much much longer and actually, I find in a smaller room, just by having the candle in there unlit, there is always a gorgeous scent in the air.  

My total luxury item at a sale price. (seeing as I've got Lidl moisturiser on, I think I can justify it) 

Neom Happiness Scented candle was £39.50 now £27.65 Believe me, it does exactly what it says on the tin. 

And errrr that's it.  Look, like I say, I'm just not that bothered about beauty, unless it's accompanied by a bargain OR it's a miracle product. 

Actually whilst we're on the subject, I would love to hear about your secret miracle product, if you a) wouldn't mind sharing and b) if you have one. 

I couldn't leave without just giving you a sneak preview of some of the beyond gorgeous clothes that I saw today at Hush for their A/W season.  Reasons to spend less on beauty products?  See below. 

My fave pieces so far - the hat below which they also do in a pale grey (see it and weep) and the coated biker skinnies, bottom left hand pic. 


Special mention also has to go to the parka below.  Blue fur.  I can't tell you quite how gorgeous it is.  


There was a wonderful photographer there who was taking photos along with an amazing chef Rosie Ramsden who cooked the most fantastic lunch ever - I won't even attempt to share my utterly woeful pics (excuse the ones above, they don't remotely do the clothes justice) but I'll be getting the professional pics soon and will do a proper post once we can actually get our hands on the A/W goods.  Start saving now.  You have been warned. 

Here is what I diid wear today - I also had on a black tuxedo blazer which I had to take off in the afternoon as I was boiling. 


Lady Like Coated sleeve tee - Captain Tortue
Grey cargo pants - Hush
Black ponyskin skater shoes - Next
Black Diego bag - Alexander Wang

Weather is due to change tomorrow though... oh the dilemma of what to wear.... 

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20 comentarios:

  1. Read Caroline Hiron's blog and you will find out everything you need to know about miracle skincare - whatever the budget.

  2. I cannot believe how good Cocoa Brown Fake Tan actually is. Always, always a St Tropez girl but I'm a concert now and on my 3rd can. Looking forward to the Hush post xx

  3. Cien reminds me of school trips to France - worth purchasing for that reason alone. Sali Hughes makes all my beauty decisions for me. Clarins oils combined with Liz Earle face mask actually gives me a glow and brightens. The rest of the time I look utterly knackered.

  4. I will have to try the fake tan as I have a wedding soon and that's the only time I bother with it. I'm too lazy to do false nails, I keep them short and on special occasions I put on one coat of clear nail varnish!
    Estelle x

  5. A girl after my heart!! Bags and shoes all the way! And clothes of any description! I don't even bother taking what little make up I wear before going to bed! Horror I hear those beauty experts say!!!

  6. Nivea soft, is the best kept secret ( not any more ) it doesn't SPF or anything like that but is the only one that sinks into my skin without peeling when I put make up on. So tempted by the candles. X

  7. I love my digital perm, it's beachy waves without the work. I am lazy and all thumbs when it comes to styling hair, so this is a godsend. I don't think I can go back to my natural straight hair. Cute outfit today!

  8. Neom candles and hand creams etc in TK Maxx at the moment!

  9. Provided here very useful information which is very useful for all of us in any way. Thanks for sharing here.
    Stock Tips

  10. Cocoa Brown Fake Tan is the best. BUT. It does fade (on me) very randomly so I need some of their tough stuff remover stuff (not sure what it's called)!

  11. I have thin nails that tend to split and separate too. It sucks. But DON'T pick fake nails or polish off, despite the illicit thrill of a full sheet coming away! It ruins the nail surface entirely. My nails have improved no end since I stopped :)

    OK, my holy grail products (to the extent that I have repurchased on several occasions) are L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream (not cheap but a tube lasts six months with twice daily use); Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter; and Essie Good to Go top coat (gives polish a gel finish! Is often on 3-4-2 at Boots). I've just finished a bottle of YSL Touche Eclat foundation, and will probably buy again. It really is lovely. I am also fond of Lancome Bi-Facil make-up remover. Expensive, but a little goes a long way, and is one of the only products that doesn't set off my eyelid eczema. Plus there are often good freebies if you buy two Lancome products.

    Like Carol, I flip between Liz Earl Cleanse and Polish (and toner) and Clarins. The Clarins Shea Butter face wash is amazing (lasts a long time and eczema friendly); and in the sale at Debenhams I got 200ml bottles of Clarins cleanser and toner in a 'special buy' deal for £18.

    On your recommendation, I tried that Dior Lip Balm thingy - have gone through two tubes already. LOVE! I also use Jo Malone Vitamin E lip stuff nightly before I go to bed to keep the flakes at bay (I sound so attractive). I've also had fewer cold sores since starting this routine, but correlation is not necessarily causation. This product is stupidly expensive IMO, BUT!!! the tube has lasted over a year already.

  12. I'll add in aldi's moisturiser to this - absolutely amazing - theres one out with a SPF in it too - I'm a total convert, goodbye to my £40 a pot stuff.

    1. Aldi do a hydrating face serum with hyaluronic acid for £4 & it's AMAZING!!

  13. Aren't those Neom candles gorgeous? My beauty secret is Astral cream and I have used it on my face for 40 years (yes I'm old). Nothing like it and very cheap xx

  14. Hi Kat and fellow shopaholics :). I will be travelling to England from Canada in August and I was hoping to get some suggestions as to which stores to check out. Will be in the York area. I live this blog and am excited not to pay crazy shipping fees :)

    1. If you're in York, you should go to Fenwick's department store. It's lovely :)

  15. You need to get a Cloon Atelier candle, from an artisanal candle maker in Galway. Knocks the socks off neom. Truly gorgeous fragrance. I get mine in Arnotts in Dublin

    On the Fake Tan side of things - I swear by Vita Liberata - although tempted to give that Cocoa stuff a try

  16. Good to know that I'm not alone.Any old moisturiser will do as long as it doesn't eat into my clothes spending money. You definitely wouldn't want any of my top tips. Frugality Central

  17. I do like the new St Tropez oil, and have bought up a few, on offer, from Boots, but this is one I will have to try. Other than that I refuse to spend a lot on my beauty products. I am looking forward to the Hush preview ( I love a bit of Hush.) H xx

  18. Oh I love this post Kat! I love seeing/hearing what other women use! My nails are suffering atm & I would never of thought to have tried stick on nails!! I'm going to give them a go now! Ax