June ’20 Freebie Haul

A post summarising all the freebies I claimed that arrived in June. Considering all these were claimed online I’m pretty surprised and impressed with what I got. Having more time on my hands in lockdown definitely meant I was able to fill out new freebie forms faster so missed out on less though!

Lenor Unstoppables – from Super Savvy Me

£15 worth of items from Superdrug – claimed as a new customer to TopCashBack. I paid 89p including delivery for the bundle below. My cashback arrived about 3 weeks later (but it can take up to 3 months)

Giorgio Armani Foundation – from a SoPost sponsored advert on Instagram.

YSL All Hours Foundation – also from a SoPost sponsored advert.

Rituals Anti Ageing Skin Care samples – signing up to their newsletter prompted me to sign up to a SoPost freebie giveaway.

Oral B Toothpaste mini sample from Super Savvy Me.

Estee Lauder Perfume from a sponsored social media advert

Mike’s Alcoholic Sparkling Water spotted through Instagram. As I don’t drink this will be put towards a gift hamper as it is a full sized can.

Fairy Dishwasher Tablets – a sponsored Facebook advert with Super Savvy Me

It Cosmetics 4ml CC+ Cream – Boots online samples

£50 Ikea Voucher – for winning a Super Savvy Me competition.

Omorovicza Mud Face Mask – via a sponsored social media advert

Comments welcome!

Adult Acne – My Before and Afters – Comparing My Clear Skinned Teen Years to Now

I’m writing this with another birthday looming on the horizon and possibly the worst breakout I’ve had all year rearing it’s unwanted head – or in this cast, many heads – white heads, cysts etc. In the last month I’ve experienced a new area of breakouts down the sides of my neck, an area where I’ve previously never had a single blemish as far as I can remember which has dealt quite a blow. It reminded me of how I felt in 2016 when my cheeks began breaking out for the first time leading me to seeking GP help. With that in mind I decided to write a comparison post on some then and nows of acne with a dose of my usual dark humour.

Before – Aged 19 – “What is a blackhead?” – Yes. I was blessed to not have a clue about these pesky little things even in my late teens and I remember asking a housemate this as she sat there with a pore strip across her nose complaining about them.

Now – mid twenties – virtually fluent in acne-speak and am able to churn out lists of acne-busting medication and terms like they’re my regular weekly food shopping list. Non comedogenic? Oxytetracycline? Benzyl Peroxide? Got those terms well and truly covered. Friend starts using a new moisturising serum and I’m there like “its hyluronic acid right?”

Before – mid teens – paid less than £2 per beauty product. Didn’t understand why relatives were shelling out hundreds on Lancome products a year.

Now – mid twenties – has previously paid £20 a month for Clinique Anti Blemish solutions products and now uses items averaging from £12-20 a pop. I also have more than 3 – night cream that offsets harsh prescriptions, targeted blemish treatments etc. Thank goodness for store promotions.

My current battalion of skincare / prescriptions

Before – mid teens – haphazardly cleansed face, vaguely kept up a skincare routine but it was frequently missed and not massively bothered with. Often skipped.

Now – mid twenties – follows my skincare routine almost like its a religion. Will remove all traces of make up and complete each blemish busting step even at 3am if I’ve been out all evening. Never sleeps with make up on, ever, out of extreme paranoia.

Before – mid teens – wouldn’t care what went on my face so cheap make up, face paint, etc was all no problem.

Now – mid twenties – gets worried about even touching my face too much (and this has always been the case even pre-Covid 19!) . Researches ingredient lists of products to check suitability. Has online skin consultations to confirm research is correct. Reads product reviews. Pays £34 for an acne-friendly bottle of foundation.

To end on a positive note…

Mid Acne – First time round – Aged 21 – Refused to leave the house without make up, refused to make plans once make up had been removed upon arriving home. Felt instant dread, panic and fear almost to the point of pain at the idea of people witnessing my make-up free face. Wouldn’t look people in the eye on a really bad day, which I deemed almost every day, and had many conversations whilst making eye-contact with the floor. Tried hiding the worst breakouts behind my hands, wore tattoo concealer on my face, regularly cried at my reflection in the mirror with and without make up on. Frequently felt embarrassed, uncomfortable, ugly, disheartened, and a huge sense of unfairness. Was desperate enough to try any form of medication available regardless of the potential scary side effects.

Mid Acne – Second time round – mid twenties – Still cares, but slightly less and doesn’t let acne rule life. Will leave the house without make up to visit shops, runs errands etc. Will meet friends without feeling the urgent need to wear make up and hide. Doesn’t cancel plans because of acne. Doesn’t converse with the floor. Can appreciate the brilliance of a good foundation for improving appearance and confidence. Yes, it’s still frustrating and I’d still always rather it wasn’t there but after 6 years I’ve learnt as much acceptance as I can. I can now appreciate that I am so much more than just my sometimes questionable skin and anyone who chooses to judge me for it isn’t someone I need in my life.

Comments are welcome if you can relate – previous comments on my acne posts from others saying they’re in a similar boat have made my day.

My Freebie Make Up Collection

I’ve written quite a bit lately about getting freebies to reduce saving money on make up so thought I’d share what my collection looks like!

Due to having adult acne I am not remotely experimental with make up. I prefer to stick to what I know works for me like my trusted Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. Having acne definitely made me fussier and more conscious about what I was putting on my face so I tended to lean away from cheap drugstore make up favouring designer brands. This led me to seeking freebies as I’m always keen to save money.

The only thing I paid for in this image is the full size EL foundation and the organiser!
  • Primer – Smashbox Photo Finish – free from a sponsored Facebook advert
  • Primer Sachets – Estee Lauder – from the counter as a part of a birthday gift (no spend needed)
  • Mascara – Chanel – free from Debenhams Beauty Club
  • Foundation – YSL / Estee Lauder samples – free from beauty counters (full size DW bottle was purchased)
  • Eye liner – Kat Von D – O2 Priority Moments
  • Eye brow pencil – L’oreal – paid for with Boots points when on promo
  • Highlighter (also used as eyeshadow) – Laura Geller – Debenhams Beauty Club
  • Bronzer – Benefit Hoola – free with Elle magazine purchase (around £4)
  • Lip oil – Clarins – free from their recycling scheme last year where samples were available if you traded in empty beauty packaging
  • Mini Lipstick – Givenchy – Debenhams Beauty Club
  • Chubby stick – Clinique – (I really can’t remember!)
  • Full Size Lipstick – Lancome – gifted in lightly used condition from a friend (pre-Covid)
  • Lip gloss – Dior – Debenhams Beauty Club
  • Perfumes – Lancome / Dior – Debenhams Beauty Club

More recently I’ve applied for a Shiseido mascara deluxe sample online which is perfectly timed as my Chanel mini is almost empty. I’ve also applied for a Nars lipstick via Send Me A Sample so am hoping that will arrive successfully in the not too distant future!

Comments welcome.

Saving Money At Home – I Won A £50 IKEA Voucher!

I’ve never won a competition. I recently signed up to Super Savvy Me to claim Proctor and Gamble free samples which meant a mini Oral B toothpaste and Lenor fragrance booster dropped through my letterbox which was great. Whilst logged into my account without giving it much thought I entered 2 of their competitions to win store vouchers and miraculously won a £50 IKEA Voucher with no expiry date. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Since the start of my student years I’ve always lived in furnished rented properties relying on them having well stocked kitchens and decent enough furniture as I own virtually nothing in the homeware department. It was so bad that my first landlord in London actually lent me freshly dry cleaned pillows and a duvet as well as a bed side lamp, bin and mirror. To give you an idea, I’m in my mid-20s and I have 1 pan, 3 mugs, 2 bowls, 1 plate and 2 gifted glasses to my name when it comes to kitchenware. That’s it! I have 1 bedding set, 1 blanket, 1 gifted cushion, 1 large bath towel – you get the idea. Ultimately I’m fine with what I’ve got and never been able to justify a huge homeware spend as I can comfortably get by. I intend to be a homeowner one day in the future so know that this will involve a fair bit of spending when the time comes as I currently have so little which is another reason I’m so grateful to have won this prize.

This voucher will be used for treats I previously wouldn’t have splurged on as well as lots of basic essentials like a set of tumblers and a long extension lead to overcome poor socket placement in my home which has become more apparent since working from home. I’m holding out a lot of hope for a small cheese plant which I’ve wanted for a good few years and intend to treat myself to a fancy room fragrance. Before going I plan to make a list of items that would be most useful so I get as much benefit as possible from this voucher rather than just picking up any old items. I honestly cannot wait but am hanging in there until I can safely visit a store without having to queue outside for several hours to make the most of this experience – and hand pick my plant of course! I plan to gift petrol money and / or some of my freebie collection to a friend with a car to make this trip even more enjoyable and save me wrestling a monstera and more on public transport!

Unsurprisingly given my small selection of homeware, I’m a huge IKEA novice so comments are particularly welcome for things I should look out for or bargain products loved from this store!

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Things I Only Own 1 Of – Saving Money The Minimalist Way

I’ve previously written a post on things I don’t buy to save money, some of which coincidentally benefit the planet, but this time I felt inspired to write a comprehensive list of things I only own one of in a bid to reduce spending and the accumulation of unnecessary stuff. I made this change within the last 3 years. Whilst I love living cheaply I always aim to buy good quality items when on offer so they last and I don’t have to keep buying them. I also dodge fad items instead opting to buy things I genuinely love or are classics.

  • One set of bedding – it’s reversible so has 2 patterns. I find these dry really quickly when washed first thing, particularly in the summer, and I’ve yet to find a pattern I love as much as my current set so don’t see the point of owning more than 1.
  • One large towel – I’ve never felt the need to own a second or third as this totally does the job for me.
  • One of each staple make up products such as foundation, mascara, quality eye shadow palette etc. I don’t wear make up very often and just stick with the same styles. I’ve never understood the need for multiple primers, contouring products etc but that stems from being very fussy with what goes on my face due to adult acne.
  • One of each basic toiletry -I find keeping things simple helps my skin not to freak out, save me money and keep my bathroom shelf from being clogged up.
  • One phone case – which I bought half price on eBay 3 years ago and it’s still going strong. Again, the print is very me and it works brilliantly. I don’t need a whole wardrobe for my phone…
  • One pair of glasses (and sunglasses) – I find it hard to switch between prescription styles and they’re not cheap so if I like them enough to spend quite a bit on them I certainly should like them enough to wear them exclusively!
  • One LBD – A Ted Baker dress purchased from a charity shop for £16
  • One pair of trainers – bought from an outlet
  • One hair styling tool … a hair dryer – I don’t use curlers or straighteners. I sleep with my hair in french braids if I want beachy waves.
  • One classic black leather handbag purchased from an outlet for £50 around 6 years ago.
  • One basic belt in black leather that does the job so I don’t need any others.
  • One overnight bag with over the shoulder carry strap. Sometimes used when stocking up on food with packets, tins etc. It’s a great multitasking bag.
  • One manicure tool – a glass nail file which has been with me at least 5 years.
  • One small TV – I grew up in a house with only 1 TV so have never understood the need to have multiple in several rooms.
  • One subscription service only – Amazon Prime which I use to watch TV and films, listen to music daily, on occasion order things for myself and friends.
  • One pan – the flat I live in has a fully equipped kitchen meaning I don’t need to own any glasses, chinaware, cookware etc. If I did there frankly wouldn’t be enough space in the kitchen anyway!

Comments Welcome.