June ’21 – A Round Up Of All The Samples & Free Items I Got This Month And How I Got Them

I’m going to be honest, I’ve been shocking this month at keeping tabs on all the free deliveries I’ve had through the door as I’ve been adjusting to a new routine. Below is everything I can remember falling through the letter box or being picked up via cashback apps etc. I’m making a point of keeping better tabs on my samples for July!

Beauty

Ghost Orb Of Night Perfume sample – via a sponsored Facebook post

Paco Rabanne Cologne sample – I’m unsure where I managed to claim this from but shall be saving it up along with other aftershave samples to go with a friend’s gift later this year.

Aveda Leave In Conditioner – I’ve received one of these samples before and the product smells absolutely incredible.

A Beauty Box Swap with Raspberry LiqueurI sent Jess a box of beauty bits including some clearance Essie products I found in Boots and in exchange she sent me a wonderfully generous box of bits she though I’d like. The products she included were so thoughtful such as a shampoo and conditioner bar as she knows I’m keen to reduce environmental impact. The Balance Me hyaluronic acid beauty sleep product has been incredible for helping me fall asleep more quickly as it smells so relaxing. The perfume oil has also been an amazing discovery as I usually find wearing perfume daily irritates my skin whereas this oil formula doesn’t so it’s been a real treat to wear this for a couple of weeks with no negative reactions.

Food & Drink

4 Litres Mighty Pea Milk – via the cashback app Green Jinn. Whilst this isn’t my favourite dairy free milk at all it is perfectly edible on cereal and long life so I tend to pick them up whenever they are on offer. My typical dairy free milk retails at £1.80-2 per litre so this helps to save me lots of money which is great.

One Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll – via O2 Priority Moments on a Saturday morning. I’m a big fan of this deal and hope it keeps going for a long time. It’s a great free weekend pick me up.

Sadly there were no free coffees from Nero via O2 Priority this month as I just didn’t get the chance to claim them!

Monthly Round Up – The Best Ways I Made Money, Saved Money & Bargain Finds In June

It always scares me how quickly the end of the month rolls around, especially this month as it reminds me that we are now somehow halfway through the year which feels crazy. I’m struggling to wrap my head around where the year has gone! As per usual here is my monthly round up of the best ways I saved money, made money and any bargain finds for the month. I’m afraid this month I did succumb to the pull of the Boots’ clearance section but as I picked up such insane bargains I’m not being too hard on myself about this! I’m thinking to introduce a no beauty buy very soon though as I have quite a hoard of products to work my way through.

Made Money

eBay – On the 2nd June I sold a pair of shoes that had been floating around on Marketplace and eBay for what felt like forever. I thought they were never going to shift. I was adamant I wanted a good price for them as they were in perfect condition. I sold them for £20 on eBay, the seller paid up straight away and I posted them first thing the next day so was very happy with this. Mid month I made a small sale of around £4 but as they all add up and I reuse packaging to save money and reduce environmental impact I was happy to make a trip to the Post Office for this.

Towards the end of the month I had a big ruthless wardrobe clear out and scheduled the listings to start on a Sunday at 7pm. I’m hoping these will help fund some new-to-me clothes next month. I tend to fund clothes by selling unwanted clothes, shoes or accessories as it stops me ending up with excessive amounts and means I can keep costs down as well as saving the planet.

Facebook Marketplace – I sold a couple of items of unwanted furniture that I’d been left and made £40 on one item and £30 on another in the space of 2 days. I also sold what I thought was a very dated looking clock for £8 on day 3 so was really happy with these sales. In total I ended up with £78.

Bargain Finds

Boots Clearance – This month I didn’t manage to resist the urge of Boots clearance section but my purchases were such incredible value that I don’t care! I got several bottles of brand new Essie nail varnish for 45p each as well as 3 liquid lipsticks from Lime Crime, an eyebrow pencil from Nyx and some heavily reduced Bakuchiol pads from Indeed Labs. I made such incredible savings on these items that I dedicated an entire blog post to these at the start of June.

Free Nails Inc Nail Varnish – One of my all time favourite Nails Inc polishes died. It was the perfect subtle silver glitter and I loved it. I got it ridiculously cheap on eBay in a limited edition set when Alexa Chung collaborated with the brand more years ago than I care to count. I looked up on eBay to see if I could get a direct replacement and it was going to cost me £7.95 with free delivery. Considering Nails Inc polishes are usually around £12-15 I didn’t think this was too awful but wasn’t impressed. eBay then predicted I might like a Holler-Graphic set of two varnishes, one fine silver glitter and another fine pink glitter for £8 with free delivery. As the silver looked so similar in swatches to my trusted favourite I decided to treat myself and order. I paid for these using money I’d made from selling things online and decided if I didn’t like the pink I could always resell it to make some of my money back.

Saved Money

6 Weeks Of Free Dairy-Free Milk

The Mighty Pea products made a return to Green Jinn in Tesco and Sainsbury. As these are long life I was able to pick up 6 of these over a 2 week period meaning that I saved £1.80 per carton compared to my usual product. I got 4 cartons over a fortnight from Tesco and 2 cartons from Sainsbury. I’m not a fan of the Protein variety but if you’re a fan of thicker milks, I imagine it would be great in smoothies or milkshakes, then there was the possibility of getting 9 cartons! I will add all of the Mighty Pea products are awful with Weetabix as they don’t really soak into the cereal but otherwise I like them in tea, coffee and on bowls of bran flakes or similar.

Cashback Grocery Apps

I did so well with cashback apps this month as well as getting the 6 free litres of plant based milk I was able to get money off things I’d intended to buy anyway just by checking the apps first. I saved £1.25 on an eco friendly deodorant refill I’d intended to buy after spotting there was a cashback offer on Green Jinn. I saved 45p on a punnet of strawberries making them around 55p and used a “try for 50p” drink offer to effectively get a Tesco meal deal for £2.40 in the end. This helped to keep my food costs down whilst ensuring I wasn’t bored with food and packed lunches.

Travel

I paid nothing in travel for most of the month by kindly receiving lifts from a colleague for work. I “paid” for these with homemade baked goods which I baked in large quantities to freeze some of for days I can’t be bothered to make cake or need an emergency sweet treat. I’m really grateful as not only did this save me money but also helped to save me some time and getting soggy in the rain.

Dinners In

Rather thank going out for dinner with a couple of friends we decided to take it in turns to cook at one another’s houses. One night this literally involved cooking some frozen pizzas that we added extra toppings to and another making a risotto using a Hello Fresh recipe but by purchasing ingredients from the supermarket. This worked out loads cheaper than eating out and as Covid has restricted social interaction so much for so long this felt like a real treat as opposed to cheapskate option!

Comments Welcome

Review of Friction Free Shaving Zero Waste Eco Friendly Blossom Razor & 1 Smooth, 2 Remove, 3 Soothe Hair Removal Products. Is This Subscription Service Worth It?

Earlier this month I published a blog post about FFS products and all the reasons I was incredibly excited to try them. In short, they’re an eco friendly, zero waste beauty company which offer not only plastic-free razors with recyclable blade heads but also beauty products in sustainable packaging. I was kindly gifted these products from Friction Free Shaving with no obligation to provide blog posts but as I love finding effective eco swaps and reviewing products I wanted to share my experiences. For a full in-depth recap covering all the things which really excite me about this brand please check out the post below:

My Latest Low Cost Eco Beauty Swap – Plastic Free Razors From Friction Free Shaving – All The Reasons Why I’m Excited For Their Planet Friendly Products.

First Impressions

The handle is weighty and feels luxurious with a nice rubber feeling grip making it easy and comfortable to hold. It feels sturdy and not flimsy. My kit arrived in beautifully presented cardboard packaging which was recyclable. It also fit through the letterbox which for me is perfect as there’s no one home during the day to intercept deliveries.

I received 4 blades, a razor handle, clam shell cover, shower holder and 3 products to try

Subscription Options

FFS offer two different subscription options for their razor blades depending on how frequently the user opts to shave. If you shave most days it is recommended to have a box of 4 blades delivered every month. If you only shave a few times a week the website suggests having a delivery every other month.

My 16-year-old-self would read this in horror but I don’t shave daily. I don’t even shave every other day as I’m fortunately blessed with light body hair and to be frank, I shave when I want to and can be bothered which generally amounts to two to three times a week maximum. On their website FFS recommend using a razor for a week if you shave daily before changing the head. So based on this I decided to use one head for 6 uses before swapping to a new one. This means one head would last me 2 to 3 weeks. This means 4 razor heads would last me between 8-12 weeks depending on my shaving frequencies which I think works out to be great value for money.

The (affiliate) code: BLG_RAINYDAY saves £3 on subscription sets. You can also follow this link.

Using The Razor

Firstly I was really happy to discover that clipping the blades onto the handle out of their protective packaging was incredibly easy. I was a bit wary of this but I felt perfectly save and there was minimal to no risk of me injuring myself during this process.

I’m usually prone to nicking myself around my ankles or knees when shaving but 3 weeks into using these I hadn’t had a single cut and began to wonder if it was even possible for this to happen. The head of the razor moves and glides perfectly around contours of the body making this the simplest razor to use that I’ve ever tried. I did drop it at one point and worried that I’d done some damage as the razor head came off but this popped back on with no issues.

I found this incredible for shaving my legs and so easy to use. I liked the weight of the razor. With each use I got bolder with shaving areas I’d previously have deemed a bit tricky until I’d nailed ankles, knees, the backs of my legs etc perfectly. I definitely experienced a close shave and felt that I could go an extra day without shaving compared to my previous razors that I’d swapped from which was yet another bonus. When it came to shaving my under arms I found this a bit more hit and miss until I discovered that I just needed to sweep the razor over my skin in a slightly different angled direction to what I was used to. Rather than straight down I needed a fractional diagonal angle to it. Prior to doing this I’d move the razor over my skin and note I wasn’t hairless so had to go over a few times. Shaving my underarms was the only bit I found a little less successful until I adapted my technique and had no problems from there on.

This razor took a lot of the “I can’t be bothered” out of shaving for me as it made it so straight forward and more satisfying to do.

Using The 1, 2, 3 Products

I love the smooth exfoliant as the grains within the product are so fine rather than big gritty lumps so it doesn’t feel aggressive on the skin. Whilst helping to prep my skin for shaving it also did a wonderful job at helping to even out any awkward fake tanning mistakes around my feet so I really liked using this product.

The shower cream didn’t lather at all like a foam which I half expected and I found that at a result I ploughed through this bottle much quicker than the others. I found it hard to see how much I’d put on my skin as it was virtually transparent when applied so went in a bit heavy handed to ensure I wouldn’t cut myself. It was gentle and helped the razor to glide easily over my skin.

I was hesitant about the smooth lotion as I’ve applied body lotion in the past without thinking after shaving at experienced some wildly tingling or stinging sensations. This didn’t happen at all with this product, it was light weight, absorbed quickly and easily and left my skin feeling hydrating. A little went a really long way so out of the 3 products this one will last me the longest.

None of these had strong overwhelming fragranced smells which I really liked. They felt simple without being boring and I found them very effective. I am still so impressed that the packaging for these is made from sugar cane which is which is apparently a 100% renewable material and totally recyclable whilst having a lower carbon footprint.

The Final Word

Likes: so easy to use, brilliantly simply eco swap, highly effective products at an affordable competitive price

Dislikes: I am being so, so nit picky here but I didn’t love this at first for underarm shaving but very quickly learnt to adapt my shaving technique and from there on out was totally convinced.

I think it’s nice and obvious that for me this was a successful eco swap and I will not be going back to plastic razors at all. Based on my positive experiences with these products I’m keen to branch out into trying more of FFS’s products as I’ve noted on their website they have eco conscious deodorant, fake tan, shampoo bars, lip balm and more.

Comments Welcome

A Review of Wild Refill Coconut Dreams – Zero Waste Eco Friendly Deodorant For Sensitive Skin

For transparency I need to begin this post by saying Wild Refill were kind enough to send me one of their aluminium refill cases and a sample of their new, upcoming coconut deodorant formula which is suitable for sensitive skin. All thoughts are my own and I wasn’t obliged to write this review but wanted to share my experiences as, anyone who has visited my blog before, will be aware I’m gradually making simple more environmentally friendly swaps and love reviewing products. Wild had been on my radar for a little while, I’d shared polls on my Instagram asking people who’d tried the products if they were worth buying, so I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to try these out.

Things I Like About The Brand Wild

Their products are zero waste and my package arrived in entirely recyclable wrapping. Wild also plant trees with every purchase in partnership with the charity On A Mission who fund reforestation projects over the world. Over 50,000 trees have been planted so far – it doesn’t say over what time period. I found out through their Instagram stories that if customers don’t get on with their Wild deodorant the aluminium cases can be sent back to Wild for free and recycled via Terracycle so there really is no waste at all. Brilliant. I learnt through the FAQ section of their website that this deodorant won’t leave yellow stains on clothes as this is caused by aluminium, and Wild are aluminium free which is great as I hate those marks that can occur.

First Impressions Before Using The Product

The case feels luxurious, is sleek and aesthetically pleasing compared to typical deodorant packaging. The instructions for use as easy to follow. These were printed on the packaging box and in the leaflet. The deodorant smells lovely without being an overpowering coconut scent which I was happy about as I’m not these biggest coconut lover. The printed writing Coconut Dreams had bled onto the packaging a little which did make me wonder a bit about its shelf life but the Wild website informed me this was just natural oils leeching as a result of using natural ingredients and wouldn’t affect how well the product worked. It stated in the leaflet that there may be a 2 week transition period where my body adjusted to using a natural product.

Cost

The aluminium cases are £7. If you are referred by a friend this makes the case free. I’ve set up a referral here – after reading the T&Cs this isn’t affiliate. Refills can be bought either on subscription or a one off purchase. Wild estimate their deodorant blocks last 4-6 weeks with daily use. You can only buy 3 blocks at a time online but you can mix and match scents which I rather like. If you opt for a one off purchase this costs £18 with free shipping or £15 with free shipping on a subscription basis. It is possible to pick how often you want to receive the blocks but they do automatically make this 12 weeks. This date can be altered within your account settings after payment. They offer 15% discount through Student Beans.

I spotted via Wild’s Instagram stories that their products are now stocked in Sainsbury which I think is fantastic as it makes this eco swap even more accessible. It also helps to lower the cost as it’s possible to buy one bar to try upfront instead of 3.

I messaged Wild and they kindly gave me a discount code for my readers and Instagram followers to use – this isn’t affiliate so I won’t earn anything from this – FSFARD20

My Experience Using Wild Refill

I followed all the assembly instructions, which were simple, but couldn’t get my case to twist properly without the bottom partially breaking. I messaged Wild via Instagram with some photos of the issue and received a response that same day which solved the problem entirely. Apparently sometimes the cardboard refill packaging needs a little massaging to heat it up so the deodorant twists easily out of the tube. Mine had simply become very cold and wouldn’t shift! After this bit of jiggling I had zero problems with it.

I have to say, until trying to write this review, I’ve never realised how delicate it can be to write about deodorant!

Weeks 1 and 2 – I read the instructions stating it may take up to 2 weeks for your body to adjust to natural deodorant so started using this when I’d be based at home just in case it turned into a disaster to avoid embarrassment. I didn’t notice throughout the day that I smelt remotely unpleasant but I did feel the need to wash my tops after one wear after giving them a quick sniff test at the end of the day. After gentle exercise during which I did break a slight sweat I didn’t notice any real differences to my usual cheap deodorant product although this isn’t an anti perspirant which was great. I didn’t experience any irritation and the product felt nice and creamy and hydrating. I used a sample of an aerosol deodorant shortly before this product and it stung and left me with dry skin under my arms. This Wild product helped to fix this issue really quickly and didn’t annoy my skin.

I got used to adapting my morning routine slightly to applying this first to ensure it totally dried before I put my clothes on. Otherwise I ended up with creamy white streaks on some of my clothes.

Weeks 3 and 4 – I was required to work onsite as opposed to staying at home for these weeks. I will mention before launching into reviewing these weeks that my workplace have chosen to keep windows and doors open wherever possible as a Covid-secure measure meaning there were many days I was rather cold! During these weeks, should I have wished to, I felt as though I could have worn tops for more than one wear without needing to wash as at the end of the day my clothes still smelt perfectly of subtle coconut. It’s really hard for me to know how much product is left in the tube but Wild estimate they last 4-6 weeks. I’m hoping to get another 2 weeks out of mine which might coincide with some warmer weather in the UK!

Weeks 5, 6 and beyond… – My deodorant is still going and I don’t remotely feel like I skimped on applying it, if anything I feel like I really whacked in on, particularly in the beginning as I was wary of the mentioned adjustment period. The UK weather finally gave us some hot sunshine in June and Wild didn’t let me down at all. Even after going on some very long walks in the glorious warm weather I didn’t notice any negatives to using this product compared to an anti perspirant. I wasn’t worry about smelling bad or getting really sweaty.

The Final Word

I have since purchased a block of their Orange scent from Sainsbury. I noticed that their sensitive skin formulas still aren’t available on store or online hence deciding to only buy one as opposed to signing up for a subscription. Whilst I wouldn’t say I have overly sensitive skin I’ve noticed with previous deodorants it was very common for me to get flaky dry underarms. This didn’t happen at all with the Wild Coconut Dreams.

If using this orange scent works are successfully for me as their sensitive skin Coconut Dreams then I am converted. This testing period I found really successful and I love all the eco efforts Wild are making as a brand. As this didn’t let me down at all and I can’t find anything really negative to say I would personally find it a bit irresponsible to do back to my old deodorant buying ways!

I’m fully aware that this product is more expensive than the old £1 plastic or plastic and glass deodorants I used to buy but as so many other eco swaps have been lower cost for me it all balances out. I recently bought 4 paper wrapped bars of soap for £1.25 – even if I’d bought the cheapest own brand shower gel or hand soap I’d still be looking at 75p a bottle in Boots which would be £3.

I was able to buy the orange deodorant block with £1.25 cashback (25% off) in Sainsbury via the Green Jinn app during the first week of June. I was thrilled to see this as it saved me money on a planned purchase.

Likes: subtle fresh scent, after quick adjustment period this was reliable and I felt confident I’d remain fresh smelling! stocked in Sainsbury for even greater accessibility

Dislikes: creamy white streaks on clothes if not left to dry properly (it’s been years since I used creamy deodorants but I’ll bet this is the case for non-eco ones also!)

I set up a referral – I’ve read T&Cs and this isn’t affiliate. The code FSFARD20 will knock 20% off purchases thanks to Wild generously setting this up for me, for transparency I won’t earn any money from the use of this code.

Comments Welcome

A Review Of Absorbzit Pimple Patches – Comparing With Dots For Spots & Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patches

Absorbzit very kindly reached out to me via my Instagram account to offer me the opportunity to test out their new pimple patches. I jumped at the chance because I’m a huge fan of pimple patches since discovering them last year. They hugely help me with not picking my skin meaning I since I’ve started using them I’ve had less of an issue with fading hyperpigmentation which I love. I wasn’t obliged to share a review at all but naturally wanted to as I love writing them.

I’ve previously written a post which directly compares my experiences of using Dots For Spots and Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patches both of which I’ve purchased in the last 12 months. I’ll be reviewing the Absorbzit patches as a stand alone product as well as comparing my experiences with them to the other patches I’ve tried.

Things I Like About The Brand

Absorbzit are clearly a very new brand, mostly found on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. At the time of writing their website is pending and the only place I can see to purchase them is via Shopify linked in their Insta Bio. The patches come in a cardboard envelope with a cute heart cut out opening. The packaging isn’t actually labelled with disposal instructions but I assume this is recyclable – I can’t see why it wouldn’t be.

I love that they use real skin to promote their product. They aren’t relying on air brushed, filtered models to promote an acne product, they’re using people with real spots. This is a refreshing change that I love to see as it really bugs me when beauty companies market products for acne using spotless models as I find it misleading and disappointing. Representation is really important so I like that Absorbzit have recognised this.

First Impressions Of The Absorbzit Patches – Before Use

I really like that the patches come in 2 different sizes. The Cosrx Acne Master Pimple patches I’ve previously used came in 3 different sizes and I really liked having the option depending on the size of whitehead I was dealing with. If patches are only large I often feel its a waste to use a one on a small white head and then regret not applying a patch as I’m tempted to pop the spot which does more damage.

The Absorbzit patches are more on the thicker side. Unlike Dots For Spots these patches don’t have tapered edges to help them subtly blend into the skin to make them less noticeable. Of all the pimple patches I’ve now tried – Dots For Spots, Cosrx Acne Master and these from Absorbzit the Dots for Spots would be easiest to cover with make up should anyone feel inclined.

My Experience Using The Absorbzit Patches

I really liked these for night time use and am sharing my thoughts after using half the packet, so 18 patches. As they were on the thicker side I found them harder to ignore when on my face during the day time which matches my experience with the Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patches. With slightly thicker patches I have a tendency to think they’re falling off my face when they’re not as I can feel them so my knee-jerk reaction is to keep pressing them into place. I managed to knock one off by accident when wiping my mouth after eating lunch one day so after that stuck to only wearing them at bed time. They stayed on all night very easily without being painful to remove. I even stuck a patch just above my eyebrow when I had a really sore whitehead and it didn’t hurt to take the patch off. I thought it might catch a little on my hair but it didn’t.

The patches did a really great job at absorbing the gunk from active white heads. Having 2 different sized patches for small and large whiteheads was really helpful. I was able to stick one large patch over two small whiteheads that were in close proximity and the Absorbzit patch helped remove the pressure from both in one go which was great.

Likes: Very effective at absorbing gunk from spots and easing pressure behind the skin. As they remove the gunk from whiteheads I didn’t squeeze my skin after using these – win!

Dislikes: I wouldn’t personally feel confident wearing these out in the day time – I’d rather wear these at night. I also wish these had tapered edges – this is only a really minor nit picking thing but I love this about the Dots For Spots design.

Buy? Yes or No? I found these as equally as affective as the Cosrx Acne Master Pimple Patches which I love for night time use. These work out cheaper per patch and I don’t think the Cosrx packaging can be recycled whereas the Absorbzit patches come in a cardboard sleeve which can be which definitely sways me towards these. I’d happily use the Absorbzit patches again in the future.

AbsorbzitCosrx Acne Master Pimple PatchesDots For Spots
Best For Sticking Powerx
Best For Invisibilityx
Absorbing Impurities out of 109/109/107-8/10
Best For Stopping Me Touching My Facex
Best For Stopping Me Squeezing Spots (or what was left of them!)xx
Best Results For Using 1 Stickerxx
Price£7.99 for 36 (Shopify)

22p per patch
£5.99 for 24 (Feel Unique)
often cheaper from sites like Yes Style

24p per patch
£5.99 for 24 (Amazon)

24p per patch
For more details please check out my original comparison post for pimple patches here

Comments Welcome