July 22, 2014

Poundland Pro Colour Plus permanent hair colour: Do you dare to dye for £1? Review ♥

I have to colour my hair every so often to disguise a few greys here and there which was becoming more frequent when using semi permanent colours. So I took the plunge for a darker  permanent colour which was after seeing a few people on YouTube using hair dye kits available at Poundland successfully.
This is actually the second time I've used the Pro Colour Plus hair colour kits which each cost just £1 each, so I thought I would write a little review about it for those also on a thrifty beauty budget.
As you know, I've not really been able to afford to have it coloured professionally for awhile and I thought how wrong could it go? I've got very dark brown hair anyway.

The product comes in the box above which is simple and informative. I chose 3 darkest brown which was the closest match to my natural colour. I was a little wary it may come out super dark but the first time I used it around the end of May, it turned out to be a very dark brown rather than black. (photo below).
I also picked up two packets because my hair is very long which was more than enough to cover my whole head.

I would only recommend this dye if you have very dark brown hair with few or little other colour in it. As I did have a bit of a lighter colour underneath from an ombre colour (see profile pic) and you could still see parts of the colour coming through. For that reason, I'd be wary about a dark blonde using this shade.

You get everything you need in the box.
I was instructed to wet my hair then put the colour all the way through starting at the roots and working it through. The gloves are very basic and prone to splitting which is why it is handy to have two sets or your own better pair.

This was the colour of my hair yesterday (Monday, July 21) which has faded from when I used the same product at the end of May.

The sun has brightened it here too. I have a natural red pigment to my hair which is coming through.

Greys and a slight regrowth.

The lighter colour has faded through eventually here but the product lasted really well for £1, almost six -seven weeks.

The dreaded greys!
This is where I tend to get them, yep right in front. So I have to colour it otherwise it makes me feel self-conscious not that it is wrong to have greys but I think they really stand out in my shade of hair. I'm in my late twenties but would rather look as youthful as possible.

This photo was from a couple of weeks ago, so you can see the colour before I put this second lot on yesterday.

You wet your hair, then mix the product and then, starting with your roots, you spread this on and leave for the desired time and then pull through the rest.

For some reason, the colour has developed quite a bit darker than the first time. I think it's because I had the colour on underneath and before it went onto untouched hair the first time.
UPDATE: The reason it is darker is because it is a darker shade! I bought dark brown 4 last time I have realised and this shade is called darkest brown 3 - that would explain it haha, oh well.

Tadahh! And here's the final result. I did snip my fringe a bit and also dried it straight which isn't my preferred style but I wanted to see what the colour was like.
It covered really, really well this time. All of the greys are gone and more of the lighter colour underneath has been disguised, though not completely.
My boyfriend did notice it straight away and said oh wow your hair is black lol but nice. It has turned out quite dark, perhaps I should have left it on for less of the 30 minutes it suggested. However, I do like it and I know it will gradually fade.

poser! It's quite intense but because I've got a slight tan, I think it works okay with my skin tone at the moment.

This is the photo after the first time I did it. My hair naturally was quite a bit lighter but more sun bleached before this colour. I was off to work here, hence the black shirt.

General thoughts:

I have quite a sensitive scalp and I would say that this product is quite gentle on it. I've used semi permanent colours before which have felt so sore and itchy but this product is actually not bad at all. It does still tingle and itch a little though but it is bearable.
Although, the smell of ammonia is super intense, to the point your eyes actually water, so if you can't get past that, then I really wouldn't suggest you use it.
The scent is really quite harsh too but it washes out really well but it does stain quite badly. You must get it off your skin immediately if you get it on your face or neck in application because it's really hard to remove. It doesn't stain your scalp too badly though which is odd.

The colour lock conditioner is quite rubbish and I did add my own after using it this time. And the whole process makes your hair quite knotty when you come to brush it after washing it which isn't that nice. But it is a very basic product after all, so it doesn't have the extras included that are contained in higher priced competitor brands in Boots and Superdrug etc.

In terms of the colour, it can leave it quite flat in tone. I would certainly not recommend it to anyone who has more colours in their hair as this is a flat out dark brown colour. It can make it look at little one dimensional. Also, it lacks a bit of shine but you can certainly add that. I have quite healthy hair as I rarely use heat and find that the product colours it well. I'm not sure how it would fair on more damaged ends. 
With darker hair, I do also think you can get away with colouring it more at home. I'm really not sure how the lighter blondes or other colours would work in comparison.

It's a cheap, effective fix for me and although it's far from being a glamorous product or task, I really don't think you can go wrong for £2 for two boxes of dye, as long as you follow the instructions, safety warning and have a similar hair tone to me.

What do you think? Too harsh? Cheap fix?

Thanks for reading,



*Disclaimer: Please conduct a safety patch test before using this product. I have read some mixed reviews in forums about this product and some which had adverse reactions. Personally, it felt fine for me but everyone is different. I am therefore not responsible for any adverse reactions if you use it after reading this review. This is just my honest opinion using it on my skin. As with any hair dyes, there is always a risk of reaction and every brand recommends a patch test.

Collective swap haul & beauty gifts, April, May & July 2014 ♥

I'm sure you'll be aware, if you've read my blog for awhile, that I'm fond of the odd beauty/fashion swap or two and I did just that in April, May and July.
I also received some kind gifts from some special friends during that time too :)
I tend to try and swap for things that I've been looking to try or I will actually use otherwise I'm collecting more stuff that will end up in a random box unloved.

I usually do most of my swapping in beauty groups on Facebook but tend to pick up bits in other online groups too.

In May, I spotted the Bourjois Délice de Poudre Bronzing Powder in Medium 51 which I'd always been curious about, the MUA Undress Me Two palette which is dupe for Naked 2 ( one I do own) and the Soap & Glory Lid Stuff palette in off the wallflowers which completes the collections of those now for me, from the same lady.

I picked up the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick in Soft Coral which is a pretty peachy coral as its name would suggest but it contains quite a few shimmers which I'm not sure I like which is a bit of  shame but I'm trying to work with it.

I also swapped for the Body Shop body mist in satsuma which smells amazing. I love to just spritz a bit on after a shower in the morning. I'd would like to try a few more of the scents. The pink grapefruit one is said to be dupe for the Jo Malone fragrance. The lady also sent me the Collection 2000 eye dazzle glitter liner in a blue colour which was kind.

I picked up the Rituals foaming shower gel in T'ai chi which was used up straight way. 

There was also a lovely orange dress from Asos and the Me me me cheek stain which is very like the benefit Benetint I believe. The elf tinted moisturiser and Vintage Cosmetics tweezers were put in as extra gifts.

I also swapped for another sample of the Urban Veda facial polish and the Philosophy purity cleanser. The perfume sample was also a kind extra :) 

In April, please excuse this swivelled photo. It just won't alter for some reason. I picked up the lovely green dress and extra bracelet from a lady, the Benefit groovy kinda love tin complete with a brand new They're Real, Porefressional and a duo blush in dandelion and gimme fever, more Urban Veda, Dr Brant pores no more, English Laundry perfume sample, a Nails Inc effect polish plus an extra Bert's Bees balm, a Nails Inc polish in Southwark and No7 Betty blues mini polish.
In another group, I swapped for the NYX nude on nude palette, the NYX smoky palette, the bourjois colour boost crayon in peach on the beach 4 and a Maybelline colour tattoo in metallic pomegranate.
And finally, the 17 smoky mini palette which has a mini eyeliner inside.
I collected these bits in a few different groups.

This month, everyone has been going mad for the new brand Makeup Revolution, so I thought I'd see if there were any items up for swaps to try.
I managed to pick up the iconic 3 palette which is dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, the essential mattes palette and the matte velvet lip lacquer in a purple shade.
I also swapped for the Bobbi Brown gloss in dusk, the NYX butter gloss in strawberry parfait which is amazing and I need more, the Elf mineral gloss in daring I think, the Urban Decay primer potion, the Too Faced duo bronzer in sun bunny which is gorgeous, a Mally starlights pencil in deep brown, a Models Prefer eye brow pencil and spoolie in dark and I was sent a Jelly Pong Pong two in one pencil shadow liner in black. 

I also picked up some more rituals foaming shower gel and body cream, a L'Occitane divine lotion and several samples as extras. Including Tony Moly and Etude House; Korean brands I've never tried :)

And yesterday, this mini swap arrived from a lady. I've been really enjoying this mascara and saw she had a mini one up for swaps (brand new obviously). She also sent me this Max Factor gloss which smells like watermelon.

A lovely friend of mine also sent me this box of goodies as a gift which started off as, "would you like the Makeup Revolution palette as I won't use it?" 
Of course I was like sure, it's filled with neutrals and brand I was interested to try. But she felt obliged to fill it with all these other gorgeous things! Which I was very grateful for because all the items I will use.

Earlier in the year, two friends also clubbed together to buy me this Latest in Beauty limited edition, I think beauty edit box, which you might have seen on my Instagram account. Isn't it filled with beauties? I've loved trying the Rimmel BB and it's almost gone.
I've yet to fully try everything but was really surprised by their kind gift - thanks ladies, you know who you are xxxx

I think that's pretty much everything in those months. I really enjoy swapping unused, unloved items or beauty box samples to make way for new bits I'm interested in trying. Of course you have to pay for postage and must always be honest and mindful of what you're swapping for and out.

I find it's a cost effective way of trying new things and also a good way of decluttering as well as receiving a few treats via the post.

Did you find this post interesting?

Thanks for reading,



July 14, 2014

Essence cosmetics plus more now available at Wilkinson stores & online wish list ♥

1, Essence long lasting lipstick 13 £2.30 buy, 2, Essence effect nail polish polka dots 13 £2 buy
3, Essence smokey eye set 02 £2.80 buy, 4, Essence volumizing lash powder 01 £3 buy,
5, Essence mini lipgloss set 06 £3 buy, 6, Essence all about nude eye shadow £3.50 buy
7, Essence all in one bronzing highlighter 02 £3.50 buy, 8, Essence anti spot compact powder £3 buy
9, Essence 3D eyeshadow 11 £2.80 buy.

I've just had an email through from Wilkinsons stating that it has over 1,000 new health and beauty lines online and in store.
One that particularly excites me, is Essence cosmetics which formerly was only found in Ireland and Europe, making it quite hard to get hold of cheaply here in the UK.
Well, that's a thing of the past thanks to Wikinsons! I've just created a wish list featuring some of the products which I'd love to get hold of very soon from the range.
And to make matters even better, it's also on 3 for 2 at the moment.
Wilkinsons also stock Max factor, Maybelline, Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Essence and Collection along with its own accessories and tools range.
There's even a new range of cosmetic brushes which look really similar to other popular brands such as Real Techniques and Barry M. I'd love to try those too!
Wilkinsons has always been a firm favourite of mine for home, cleaning and pet items but it has risen even further in my estimations. I can't wait to do a little haul! And believe you me, this isn't a sponsored or PR endorsed post. This is genuine excitement and love the retailer.
I'm not 100% which stores feature Essence yet but there's always the full line online to feast your eyes on.

UPDATE: I found the Wilkinson's branch near me has the whole range in stock and I was so tempted to buy but it was my boyfriend's birthday the weekend just gone and I'd really spent my beauty quota. But here's some cheeky snaps of the range.

What do you recommend from Essence?

Thanks for reading,


Primark: P.S Love beauty range review ♥

I remember being really excited when I heard Primark were bringing out a new P.S Love make-up and beauty range into stores.
And it was quite a few weeks before the lines rolled into my nearest store but I managed to pick up a lipstick in this bright pink colour for £1, a lip crayon in red for £1.50 and during another visit, a brow pencil for £1.
Gradually I've seen more bits popping in including; nail polishes, liquid liners and even eye shadow palettes which at first, I was dying to get but in person it looked really cheap and was possibly poorly pigmented, even though it was only £2.50, I left it.

The lip crayon comes in several colours which have no names on the boxes and cost £1.50. The texture is a balmy gloss which gives a buildable but light colour pay off.

You get quite a lot of product housed in the twist up plastic tube for £1.50.

Please excuse the no make-up around my chops but here's a realistic photo of the colour you're likely to get with this lip crayon. I have quite a light natural lip colour too. I'm quite happy with it, it's easy to wear and feels balm like. It doesn't last long though, so for that reason, I wouldn't pick up any more of these but I think it is quite a nice product to throw in your handbag for the day time.

I picked up two of these lipsticks in the same bright pink shade actually and I was really surprised about how lovely it was on the lips. You do have to put on a few swipes but you can achieve a very wearable look for just £1. I actually broke the first one though, probably due to the temperature, so watch out for the soft formulation of the product. I would be happy to try a few more shades of these lipsticks. They do hold a strange perfumed scent but it doesn't really transfer or last. It's not an overly glossy formula and lasts quite well on the lips.

I actually really like this shade.

I picked up this dark brown brow pencil more recently as one I was using had come to the end, so I was hopeful with this one after I watched someone on Youtube say it was the 'best brow pencil they had ever used'. Oh my, it has got to be the 'very worst' brow pencil I have used. The texture is so soft, butter soft which is all wrong for a brow pencil. It's thick, smudgy and the spoolie holds no form when you try to comb it through. It looked very unnatural and ruined the rest of my make-up when I tried to take it off. I would not recommend this pencil to anyone - sorry Primark.

It's a good colour for black to very darkest brown brows but the worst formulation for me.

I've spotted quite a few other products though I'd be interested to try including; a egg type make-up blending sponge, nail polishes, other squeezable glosses which I've heard have good pigmentation. There's also brushes and applicators but I wasn't tempted to buy those.

Have you tried Primark's make-up range?

Thanks for reading

July 07, 2014

Magazines are having a moment: Free gifts galore for July & August 2014 ♥

If you love the free gifts that come with magazines, then you need to get to your nearest supermarket or newsagent and stock up fast as there's Clinique, Balance Me, New CID, Neal's Yard,  a choice of four L'Occitane fragrances and so much more.

I could have spent a fortune this month but chose the ones I think I'll use or just couldn't pass up.
I nabbed three Glamour magazines at £2 which come with a choice of free Clinique mini item (worth £20 in total, with four to collect). I also received one through my sub.
I'm particularly excited about the two chubby sticks which come in two different shades (Whoopin' Watermelon and Super Strawberry) which I'm sure will fly off the shelves and end up on Ebay soon no doubt. So I suggest, you get out there quick as the magazine went on sale today.
I've already been out and bought two more copies for friends who can't already find the chubby stick balms nearby.

Cosmopolitan magazine £3.70 also have a choice of four New CID items. Three lip and cheek balm/chubby sticks in three different shades or a full size mascara.
I opted for the lip and cheek stick in rose which is a gorgeous, English rose sort of shade. The scent is also nice and the colour is quite pigmented.

Other offers this month:

Marie Claire £2.50: This month's issue has a choice of two Balance Me trial products. Either a moisturiser or cleaning balm. I opted for the balm as I've tried their facial wash and loved it. (above).

Elle magazine £4: has a set of three malin & goeth skin care items.

InStyle: There's a free Neal's Yard hand cream.

Red: There's a free Rodial lip gloss.

Harpers Bazaar: There's a choice of four different L'Occitane fragrance deluxe samples, 7.1mls I think.

Last month, we enjoyed Eyeko skinny liners with Glamour, Ciate duo caviare sets with Marie Claire, sunglasses with Cosmopolitan. Leighton Denny polishes with Vogue or Elle I think, non branded polishes with Company and Mavela polishes I think with Red and finally a REN hot cloth cleanser with InStyle.

Instyle also gave away a choice of three Nails Inc polishes the month before that. Here's the two I chose.
I also picked up a mini REN skin pack with Marie Claire.

I also managed to re-subscribe to Cosmopolitan and gain a free L'Occitane shower gel and body cream duo worth £34 with a 3 for £3 sub offer (closed now sorry).

And, I signed up for three issues for £1 with Glamour and gained this Baylis and Harding trio. The bottles are absolutely huge. There's a body wash, body polish and firming cream. (This one was quite recent but I suspect it will be closed as you have to sign up as soon as you can to take advantage really).

I will try to write these posts as and when I hear about offers again as they've proved popular in the past.

Thanks for reading,


July 03, 2014

Back to blogging: time for a new take on things & update ♥

River Deben at Melton Bridge, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Hi all,
It's been about three and half months since my last post and quite a bit has been going on in that time which has resulted in me taking a mini hiatus from my blog. I finally feel I can come back and update you all on a few things. I also want to take my blog in a bit of a different direction. Still money-saving, thrifty finds and that sort of thing, but more about thrifty living generally, meal ideas and some of the things my boyfriend and I have been doing to stay penny-wise the past five months.

Above is one of the first photos I ever took on the way to my first job in the area (as you may or may not remember, I moved to Suffolk from Lincolnshire at the end of January this year) and quite a bit has changed - including that job.

Although the scenery and beauty of the walk to and from work was simply breathtaking, unfortunately I didn't receive enough hours to sustain our living there, so quickly had to find another job closer to home. The travel was also costly when it wasn't possible to walk the rural roads at night time. Luckily, I swiftly moved from one to the other within a week but the cross over time period proved costly and tight on the finances. 

Above: A selection of photos capturing the River Deben from Melton to Woodbridge.

I've also been searching for the ideal job which links with my former role as a journalist and have had a some opportunity but I am still looking for the perfect role for me. 

So while the hours were not so tremendous to begin with, my boyfriend and I have had to be thrifty with our pennies and plan meals, bills, travelling and any treats quite wisely which has been quite difficult but become more enjoyable as things have improved.
Here's a few things we did:

1/ Plan visits in advance to save on travelling costs

Waldringfield, Suffolk

We've visited this small village a couple of times in the past five months; it's not so far but you do still have to go in the car.
This is pictured, again along the River Deben but outside the Maybush restaurant/pub.

We also visited the Ramsholt Arms pub in the Ramsholt and witnessed the most spectacular sunset.
It was about a 30 minute drive but was worth it although, the pub was shut but we have been again since.

Then we visited a place called Orford which is along the River Alde and again was such a beautiful place to visit. We just went for a little walk, had a drink and bought some smoked kippers.

Next, a place called Pin Mill on the River Orford.

We also went to Aldeburgh along the seaside which is on the Suffolk coast on one of the warmer days earlier in the year.

Also Southwold which is famous for its little beach huts.

2/ Plan your meals wisely

The Save with Jamie book has simply been a Godsend to us. We've made the roasts several times and then used leftovers to make quite a few meals. I wanted to invest a little more into quality food when I moved here and we've certainly embraced that. I'd like to do a fuller review on this book but it's probably the best £7.99 we have ever spent.

3/ Other tips to help you get through a less affluent few months
These are a few of the main things we did right away to help us cut down costs but we also tried to make the most of things.

-Take advantage of all the free trial and offer periods for online streaming sites such as Netflix, Now TV and others* (meaning ones you pay for).
-Cook meals at home, go out less often.
-Plan car/bus usage.
-Plan meals and don't overspend at supermarkets, also use local grocers to cut down fresh waste.
-Sell large household items you no longer need.
-Prioritise and pay bills.

Obviously, I didn't have the money to do large hauls, had to cancel any beauty subscriptions, ignore amazing :( online offers lol and avoid buying any magazines but things picked up after a little while and my hours improved at the new place, although we still have to careful as my shifts do tend to fluctuate.

So with all that in mind, I'd like to share in separate posts now going forward, some of the exciting meals we've had, pretty visits and more tips to help you stay sane while you have a limited income or want to live a more thrifty life generally.
I'm feeling a little bit more positive now as things were quite hard at first as my savings were eaten up quickly with costs and I didn't want to become a burden to my boyfriend but we've come out the other end and I'm feeling brighter and more inspired about things to come.

Thanks for reading,



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