I love an incentivised recycling scheme as it tends to engage lots more people in the idea of recycling. Lots of beauty packaging is tricky to recycle. Some items once cleaned like shampoo bottles and even completely empty beauty aerosols etc can go in household recycling bins but others like foundations with pumps etc are more difficult which is where in store recycling services come in. Lots of high street stores have partnered with Terracycle to transform your previously “unrecyclable” items.
Below are some of the schemes available and discounts available on the high street which I found online at the time of publishing. I also recently wrote a post on changes I’d like to make overall to reduce my beauty waste which can be found here as I’m keen to make easy, cheap swaps to reduce the plastic I use.
Discount / Voucher Incentives In Store For Beauty Empties
The Perfume Shop – 10% discount valid on the day you take in 1 empty bottle. I have heard people having great success selling empty perfume bottles on eBay so this may work out better than the 10% saving and it is saving the bottle from being binned!
5 clean LUSH containers will earn you a free face mask
6 MAC Containers will earn you a free lipstick RRP £15.50
Kiehl’s have a reward card – 10 stamps gets you a free travel mini – stamps can be earned by recycling their packaging or shopping with a reusable bag
& Other Stories give you a 10% off voucher valid for 3 months if you return their beauty packaging
L’Occitane recycle any branded beauty empties and will give you a 10% off full price voucher
John Lewis offer a £5 voucher to My John Lewis members who return 5 beauty empties from any brand.
The Body Shop recycle their packaging in all stores but there’s no longer a discount / voucher. I personally wouldn’t hesitate to ask for a few samples after engaging with this as the company are known for being very generous with sampling.
Essentially John Lewis and L’Occitane will accept packaging from any brand providing it fits with their lists of items they can accept – e.g. nail varnish, perfume bottles, aerosols, hair brushes, tooth brushes or electrical items can’t be recycled as part of this scheme. John Lewis even state they’ll recycle minis as part of this scheme. This is worth baring in mind regardless of the financial incentive to do our bit for the planet in my opinion.
In the past The Body Shop offered a £5 voucher for recycling their packaging which I claimed to get 3 travel minis for free. Clarins once gave out deluxe minis for recycling beauty empties from any brand which I claimed 3 times over a few months. I’ve recently joined My John Lewis to recycle some of my beauty empties into another voucher once this service is back up and running again – understandably it’s been paused in lots of stores given the pandemic. Their website does say this service is available but its worth checking with your local stores in advance as many don’t currently offer this.
I keep small empty products that I’ve collected to make the most of schemes like this as one usually comes around fairly quickly and it helps me recycle as much as possible.
With salons due to open soon I thought now would be a good time to post some of my thrifty hair hacks for saving money. I have my hair balayaged in a salon around once every 18 months, I’ve done this twice now, the first time I used a GroupOn deal to save over 60% and was thrilled with the result. Having brown to blonde hair is super easy for upkeep, lasts well without needing touch ups and is easy to play with. Below are some of the ways I save money at home on my hair without using box dyes – I am too lazy for root upkeep and don’t want the damage! The vast majority of the time I use minimal products on my hair like shampoo, conditioner for long hair and dry shampoo.
DIY Fringe Trims – This is something I’ve done for the last couple of years but would never cut my lengths as I have straight blunt cut hair. I have a side fringe so it’s pretty forgiving and I’ve never had any hair cutting horror stories doing this. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials with advice on how to properly trim hair at an angle instead of straight across your face. I never thought I’d cut my own hair but I honestly find this so easy it’s worth saving £5-9 on a trim or £25+ on a full hair cut just to tidy my fringe.
Toner Shampoos – like purple shampoos for blonde hair are a great way to avoid salon toner top ups and can be inexpensive. Toners in salons are typically £20+ and last around 4-6 weeks. I once bought a brilliant Charles Worthington Ultra Violet shampoo in TK Maxx for £3.99 instead of the £6.99 RRP. I use the bottle once a week I’ve now had it nearly a year as the formula is quite strong, a little lathers up so much and it doesn’t need to be used with every wash. I simply let it froth up, leave on my the blonde bits of my hair for about 5 minutes and then rinse for ashier hair. Being a stronger formula it works on darker blonde hair much better, I found Lee Stafford and Pro Voke purple shampoos did nothing for me personally. Tinted shampoos now exist to enhance brunette hair, blue tints for balayaged hair to improve the appearance of the brown and blonde colours and even lightening blonde shampoos.
Bleach London Super Cool Colours are an easy way to switch up your hair colour with minimal commitment as almost all fade out completely in a few washes. Their website has full details included what colours to expect as the products wash out and reviews are really helpful. Some formulas require completely bleached hair whereas others work on darker blondes. They don’t require any mixing so are very straight forward. I took to using The Big Pink mixed with hair conditioner to tint the lighter parts of my hair a great pastel pink. This colour in particular is much stronger than their more pastel shades so more likely to show up on darker hair. I figured it was worth buying the more concentrated option and being able to dilute with conditioner than buying a paler bottle that could have no effect at all. Definitely do a test strand first for allergy reasons and to check you’re happy with the shade before applying. The Super Cool Colours can also be used when washing your hair to help keep the vibrancy. They’re regularly on offer in Boots with 20-25% off and I bought my first bottle entirely with loyalty points so it was free. I also swapped some Super Cool Colours with a friend earlier this year for some nail varnish so had fun playing with these without a big spend.
Limiting Hair Damage is helpful to avoid needing trims due to hair looking tatty quickly. I don’t use hair straighteners or heated curlers and only use a hair dryer in the winter otherwise I let it dry naturally. For beachy waves I sleep with my hair in damp french braids and for bigger curls I roll my hair around 2 socks using the old fashioned “rag and roll technique” – yes it sounds mad but I’ve converted a few people with long hair to this method that is comfy to sleep in!
Good basic hair tools can help save in the long run. I’ve had a Tangle Teezer for over 3 years and it’s still going strong. I love that they’re gentle, easy to pack as they’re small but effective and they’re so easy to clean. This has outlasted any hair brush I’ve previously bought and is nicer to use.
If you have any cheap hair care tips please let me know in the comments
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
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.
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
MiniLipstick – 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!
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!