When I first started this blog around a year ago I was keen to reduce my spending on beauty products and collect free samples to save having giant bottles cluttering up my bathroom shelf. Below is a break down of the products I am using at the moment and how I either picked them up for free or saved money on them.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel is my every day cleanser – I always buy the biggest bottle as the 400ml size is £15 and double the size of the 200ml bottle for £12. It’s a total no brainer. I usually buy this from Boots when its on offer and always double check their app to collect extra points on my purchase. Some offers include £2 worth of points on whatever you buy in your next transaction so they’re really great offers generally tailored to you spending habits.
I picked up a couple of Clarins samples of facial cleansers when they offered their recycling scheme for empty beauty packaging. I use these if going away for a weekend as the tiny bottles generally last about 6 uses. Clarins also recently offered samples via a Facebook post for people to trial their new scrubs, I picked up 5 of these and use one twice a week. They will last a really long time by using them as recommended!
I also use the La Roche Posay Effaclar Toner and make a point of purchasing whenever it is on offer and following the same tips as buying my cleanser.
I have a Clarins miniature toner that I picked up along with the cleansers when discussing my skin with a sales representative whilst trading in my empty beauty packaging for samples in May. Clarins are usually really generous with their samples which I hugely appreciate as its brilliant to test out products. When the miniature bottle is empty I intend to refill it to use for trips away.
As I always try to avoid buying La Roche Posay products when they are full price I recently bought a new moisturiser from The Body Shop. I received a 25% off voucher for one of their face masks recently which a friend used and I earned the points from the purchase. This meant with my Love Your Body Card I gained a £5 off voucher thus my moisturiser cost me £4.50 instead of £9.50. I was also given a sample of an Oils Of Life night cream with my purchase.
I use a face mask about once a week to once every ten days. I can honestly say I haven’t purchased any so far this year. I’ve kept an eye out on social media for The Body Shop’s samples which often include masks and filled in quick online forms to receive masks in the post. I currently have a Clarins small bottle which will last about 5 uses, an Origins serum / tissue mask, The Body Shop coffee / charcoal masks and an Origins Overnight Moisture mask tube which has so far lasted about 6 months. The last product saved me from needing to buy a richer moisturiser in the winter.
I am currently using a Love Your Body And Planet sample bottle that was given out free with a magazine at a tube station in London. By using this with a shower scrubbie it’s so far lasted me a month and the bottle is still half full. I also received a full size foaming Rituals shower gel through the Debenhams Beauty Club. I haven’t had to buy body washes at all so far this year. The Body Shop also give £5 vouchers in your birthday month if you’re a member of their loyalty club so I usually use my voucher to get 3 miniature shower gel bottles for free as they’re always on 3 for 2. The empty bottles are great to refill when going abroad and save me buying travel bottles.
I have a full size tube of Rituals nourishing body cream on the go at the moment which came from the Debenhams Beauty Club. My preference is The Body Shop’s body butters which I only ever buy from outlet stores, in the sale or with a discount voucher. I currently have a £5 off a £20 spend voucher valid for a month in July and hope to use this to stock up on sale items partly for me and partly for gifts.
Shampoo and Hair Products:
At the moment I am using a free sample from The Body Shop which I picked up after seeing an Instagram post from them. A really little amount lathers up a lot so I think the bottle will last a long time. I usually pick up whatever shampoos, conditioners and dry shampoos are on offer in Savers and recently picked up an £8 colour toning shampoo for £4 from TK Maxx.
I never buy perfume. This is partly because if I wear expensive perfumes more than 2 days in a row it irritates my skin. I wear it so rarely that I don’t think it’s worth buying a bottle so instead I just fill out as many online sample forms as possible and work through the tiny bottles. One lasts me about 3 or 4 uses and I currently have a supply that will last several months including Chanel, Givenchy, Juicy Couture and Dior.
I currently have a Smashbox and Clarins primer which I got for free either through an online form or by recycling empty products. My current foundation which I only really use as a targeted concealer came from Dior and YSL via samples from beauty counters. My mascara from Estee Lauder was free as I signed up to their reward system and they invite you to collect a free gift during your birthday month. My current lip products include Chanel lipstick swatches (which I store in tiny pots and use with a lip brush), Clarins Lip Oil and Dior Lip Gloss all of which were free through the Debenhams Beauty Club. My eye brow pencil was purchased using my Boots points after I vowed not to spend any money on make up this year. Everything in the image below I didn’t pay a penny for.