Stealing Beauty: Beauty Bargains Haul

Thursday 1 May 2014

Asked to explain my approach to beauty shopping, I would say that I’m a total magpie. Anything pretty and sparkly can capture my eye, regardless of whether it’s a designer item or a cheap buy. I love browsing Selfridge’s beauty hall and drooling over the high-end goodies, but there’s equally an undeniable rush in getting a bargain and finding it performs better than expected.

 So, I’ll never pass a poundshop or a bargain store without ducking in to see what I can find. In the past, I’ve gotten Biotherm lipstick, Urban Decay gloss and Stila tinted moisturiser from the poundshop (I literally cleared the shelf when I spotted that), so now I can’t resist having a look. A while ago, I started a occasional series of posts about these very bargains. On my last visit, I found a few items that I’m really enjoying I thought I’d share:

CK Calvin Klein Eyeshadows


There seem to have been a few CK products in lately, and not too long ago I picked up a couple of cream shadows that were really nice, so when I saw these, I pounced. You’d assume the end of season stock that ends up in these places would all be horrible shades, but these neutrals are gorgeous. The shades are ‘Moonstone’, a light beige that seems like a great neutral lid colour, and ‘Horizon’, a mid brown with a very slight shimmer that looks like a perfect crease colour. These shades could even be used for some quick and dirty contouring. They’re housed in very simple, clear Perspex packaging. They swatch quite sheerly but are very buildable and are great basics to have in my collection.

Wet N Wild Natural Blend Mineral Foundation

Wet N Wild is not a brand I’ve used before, although I know its available at Boots. The reason I decided to pick this up was really the portability. The clear packaging houses a travel size pot of mineral foundation and a small kabuki. The kabuki is fairly soft and I’ll definitely keep it to use after the product is gone.  I even thought I could try and refill the little pot with some of my Bare Minerals.  The foundation itself is fairly decent – its not a huge amount of coverage, but its enough for touch ups. I can see me taking this with me to top up my base if I’m going out straight after work. The whole thing is just so neat.

Bourjois Mascara Volume Clubbing

Bourjois is one of my favourite drugstore brands, so I was really pleased to see that they had a load of their mascaras in. I’ve never tried the Volume Clubbing one, but I have heard that it’s meant to be fairly good -  so I took this as a sign to try it. I picked up a brown shade, because I sometimes prefer brown for during the day or when you need a softer effect. It promises a dramatic, volumised look which is what I want from my mascaras. I’m generally quite fussy and I tend to use the same mascaras over and over, unlike other products where I regularly switch, so at this price point I figured it was worth a try and if I don’t like it, no biggie. I generally wouldn’t buy a mascara with a fibre brush either, so this way I can see if that opinion is wrong.

Bourjois Yes to Volume No to Clumps

I also picked up this one, mainly because of the colour. It’s a dark navy blue, which is a colour of mascara I’ve wanted for a while because it really makes brown and hazel eyes pop. Even though Chanel and YSL etc have coloured formulations, the drugstore brands don’t seem to do them at the moment, and I had only been able to find a bright blue, not an elegant navy. I considered splashing out but its something I will only be wearing occasionally and as mascara has such a short shelf life anyway, it didn’t seem worth the splurge.  So when I saw this it went straight in the basket. Unlike the Volume Clubbing, this has a thin, plastic comb style brush so I think I’ll get on with it well.

Manhattan Only Eyeshadows Palettes


Unlike CK and Bourjois, this isn’t a brand I’ve ever heard of before, but the great thing about bargain products is that you can totally afford to take a chance.  These neat little cardboard palettes caught my eye.  They were sealed inside plastic bags, so I couldn’t see what colours were in the palettes until I got home. There were a few different choices, but I went for ‘Bella Zipparella’ and ‘Button Baby’.

‘Bella Ziparella’ has a dark and a slightly lighter green, a mid-purple (all matte) and a light peachy pink with a slight pearlescence.  I like green and purple shades occasionally on my brown eyes, but I’m probably most likely to use the light pink as a good ‘wake-me-up’ colour.

‘Button Baby’ is more useful- it contains a metallic golden peach, a dark beige, a chocolate brown – all of which I’d wear lots- and then a bright coral colour, which I don’t think I’d use on my eyes, but could be repurposed as a blush shade. The pigmentation of these is not amazing, but they’re not as powdery as you might expect and the metallic shades are definitely a little more tenacious.

Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Textured Nail Colour

The nail products section was full of really great bargains this time and I did get a little carried away! I found these Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polishes. They are a matte, textured polish that looks like you’ve dipped your nails in a sugar bowl. I thought they were really unusual. They had these in lots of bright, spring-time pastels, but I went for black and white, as they’re more likely to find a use. I’ve actually been wearing the white shade this week and really enjoying it – it brings a little extra dimension to the ‘Tipp-Ex’ nails vibe I’ve been getting into.

VO5 Plump It Up Volumising Spray

Anything that gives my fine hair a boost is all good by me, so I snapped this up. I have tried a couple of VO5 products in the past and its not a brand I love, but I know they’ve been improving lately, seem to be innovating and coming out with new products, and they’ve had a big advertising push. So why not give them a try for £1? This product you spray into hair before blasting with the hair-dryer, I believe you can use it on hair damp or dry. I used to use Tigi Bedhead Superstar Thickening Lotion, so I think this could be used in a similar way.

OPI Shatter Nail Polish

OPI polishes for a pound -  I’m in! In this case, we’re talking about the topcoats you paint on that create a shattered or cracked pattern, so your base colour peeks through. I’m quite lazy with nail art and generally just wear plain colours, so its an easy way to get a fancier effect. I picked up one in black and one in a gorgeous metallic dark green, both of which would look great paired with the right undercoat. What a bargain!

Jess Nail Polish

Jess isn’t a brand I’ve seen before but they had such a brilliant range of shades I had to try them. In particular, I was drawn to the neon yellow. It’s not a colour you see everywhere! I wouldn’t wear this shade over the whole nail, but I did see a mani on Pinterest recently where they’d painted the nail grey with a neon yellow tip and it just looked immense. Since then, I’ve been wondering where on earth you got that shade from so I pounced on this. I don’t think I’ll use it a lot so it seemed perfect to pick one up for just £1. I also got this nice taupe shade and an ivory colour as well.

Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Overnight Creme

I’m always intrigued by anything that claims to help improve the condition of your hair. After years of swapping back and forth from brunette to blonde, my hair is a bit tired and definitely needs its TLC. This is a leave-in conditioner really that you apply before you go to bed - sort of a similar idea to the Overnight Beauty Balm from Umberto Giannini that I love. It claims to repair hair damage at a cellular level with keratin repair technology, which sounds good. It’s a generous sized pump bottle and it seemed a good deal.

W7 Tights in a Tin

When I go out, I really dislike wearing nude tights. I can never seem to find a nice pair, the colour is always off and they’re always shiny. Yuk. So I’ve come to rely on these ‘tights in a can’ formulas – basically they’re like an airbrush spray for your legs, to spray away all the thread veins and unsightly lumps and bumps! I wrote about these in my ‘12 Night out Secrets’ post. I was using a brand called Almay Bare it All Legs, but unfortunately that’s been discontinued. Sally Hansen do a really good version called ‘Airbrush Legs’ (you can pick it up by the self-tanner in Boots) but at £9.00 a can its not that cheap. So imagine my joy on seeing this! Once set, it doesn’t transfer onto your clothes but it comes off easily in the shower. I don’t use fake tan so this is the ideal product because its not loads darker than your real skin, it just makes you look subtly better.

Hard Candy Kal-Eye-Descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo – 067 Pick Up Line

Hard Candy is a brand that was everywhere when I was a teenager – especially their nail polishes – but seems to have disappeared down a black hole lately. The packaging of this really caught my eye so I slipped it into my basket.  There’s an ivory colour shot through with gold shimmer and a light turquoise colour with iridescent glitter. I thought that these colours will be really pretty for summer. They swatch quite densely and seem like a good quality finish. This little find has intrigued me to find more of their products, and a quick browse on their website (sadly, USA only at the moment) shows some really interesting items I’d love to try.

Revlon Neon Nail Art

I had picked up and put down these Revlon double ended polishes a couple of times in Boots, so when I saw them here it was a no-brainer. This one combines a neon coral and a white, both with thin, nail art brushes which are super-useful. Like I said, I don’t really go in for nail art (I haven’t got the patience or the manual dexterity!) but I do like contrast coloured tips and its one look I always go for -  like hot pink tips on nude nails, or black tips on pale pink. This seemed like it would be a really useful addition to my collection.

Revlon Baby Stick for Lips and Cheeks – Sunset

I remember when these came out a few months back. I was ridiculous excited about them, added them to my wishlist, waited patiently for the release…and then saw about a million blogs completely panning them! The main problem, I believe, was that the paler shades didn’t actually show up!  So it put me off and then I sort of forgot about them. Now, I might have decided not to pay £6.00 for the privilege, but when I found them for a pound of course I wanted to try one out! They only had this one shade ‘Sunset’ which is a bright red, but I decided that would probably show up better than the paler shades anyway. Well I was wrong – this is actually quite clear!  Swatching it furiously on the back of my mind resulted in barely even a whisper of colour. So, I’m just using this as a clear balm to keep in my desk drawer at the moment. For £1 this is acceptable but I’m just glad I didn’t spend retail on it!

Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen

My final bargain was another Sally Hansen item. I frequently mess up when I do my own manicures because I’m generally impatient and my hands seem to shake a lot (thank goodness I’m not a surgeon, right?), so a tool like this is right up my street. Normally, I try to paint my nails before I take a bath, because the hot water shifts the polish on the skin around your nails and makes it look as if you managed to paint them neatly! But there are times that’s not practical, so this will come in super-handy for that.

And that was my little bargain haul for this time! Have you discovered any amazing bargains lately?


  1. I need to go shopping with you !!! There's some bargains there !! You will have to show me when we get together !! Xxx great post ! Xx

    1. Oh we will definitely do that missy, just you wait! :) xx

  2. You've reeled me in. I need to carry on this bargainous trend of yours and find myself some goodies. You have some really great picks there - CK's on sale and OPIs for £1? Count me in puhlease. There is going to be a lot of raiding pound shops and TK Maxx in this area. Rosemary x

    1. Yes! Ive found some amazing things in there - to think when I was younger I would rather have died than set foot in one, I was such a little snob! Now they are my favourite places to go! Go check it out and see what you can find - then post about it! xx