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How To Never Pay Full Price Ever Again

26 December 2016
Having probably spent just a little bit too much over the Christmas period you may be thinking about having 'saving money' as one of your New Year's Resolutions. So today I'm sharing some tips on how to save money on the things you need to or want to buy, and with the boxing day sales starting today, what better time to start hunting out those bargains and put a few of these tips into practice.

Key Shopping Dates
While I'm not the biggest fan of conventional sales, bargain bins and last seasons stock, they can be great for getting a good deal. Personally I love key shopping dates such as Black Friday where many retailers will offer a percentage discount off the whole store. Websites like Missguided often run 50% off deals around holidays, and Office always offer 20% off at Halloween or on Black Friday, so if you're thinking of buying something try and hold out for a discount event.

Student Discount
Now I know not everyone reading this will be a student but if you are, or know someone who is, then organisations like NUS or websites like Unidays are an easy way to get money off. NUS cards cost £12(but this is soon made up for in the amount of money you save) and are available to those in college, sixth form and university. While Unidays is a free website and app available to those in university. Failing those a lot of places will give me student discount with just my uni ID card as long as it is dated.   
You may have heard of student discount but did you know that a lot of high-street stores also offer discount to those who work for the military or the NHS? So if you work in either of those professions it's worth googling what stores offer.

O2 Priority
One of the main reasons I like to renew my phone contract with O2 is because of O2 Priority. While many know of O2 priority's benefits when it comes to getting early access to concert tickets but did you know they regularly offer deals such as free hot drinks at Cafe Nero, £1 meal deals and money off at various high street retailers? To make bargain hunting easy I often check the O2 Priority app to see if there are any deals that take my fancy.

Mailing Lists and Brand Websites
Often while online shopping, a pop up may appear on the website you're shopping on saying something like "Sign up to our mailing list to receive 10% off on your first purchase" while my first instinct is often to click off this annoying little pop up, signing up can often lead to a great discount or deal. Then when you've taken advantage of the offer, simply unsubscribe from the mailing list to avoid your inbox being clogged up or tempting you to unnecessary spending. If there are no pop up deals, scroll to the bottom of the page and have a look for potential deals down there. Also chain restaurants like Pizza Express often have an 'Offers' section on their website where you can download vouchers of up to 25% off your meal, so if you know you're going out for a meal always check the restaurants website for deals before you go.

Cash Back Websites
Now cash back websites are something I'm quite new to but they have proven to be a great way to get money back on things I was planning on buying anyway. All you do is sign up to the cash back website, for example the one I use: Top Cash Back, and then shop online as you would normally but by going through the links on their website. Later a percentage of what you spent will be deposited into your account (this isn't always instant but can be a nice surprise a few months later) and then you can either have this transferred into your bank account or turn it into vouchers to use on other websites. I promise it isn't as complicated as it sounds and so far I've earned back £10 for just buying a couple of things.

This is probably my least favourite method but in the right place at the right time it can work really well. Just be warned that unless you are talking to a manager or supervisor, your average sales assistant is unlikely to be able to pull any strings. It also probably won't work on a busy day, this is because if the shop are doing well and meeting target they don't need to tempt you with discounts as they're not desperate for the sale. But if you've done your research and have the confidence to ask for a cheeky discount it can really pay off.

Don't Buy It
If all else fails and you simply cannot afford what you want, don't buy it! Unless it is an essential such as food, remind yourself you don't need it and save your pennies until you can afford it. Remember the rich stay rich by being careful in how they spend their hard earned cash, so don't get into debt or go hungry by buying luxuries, no matter how much discount you got. 

I hope you've found these tips helpful but just remember getting a good deal isn't an excuse to buy more because if you buy more than you need or were planning, you haven't saved any money at all. So set yourself a budget (don't know how to budget? Check out this post here) and stick to it.

Also I hope you're all enjoying the holidays!

Eleanor xx

Tailor Made Foundation Shades | The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Review

8 December 2016
Is there really a bigger make up faux pas than your foundation not matching your neck? We've all been there. You buy a foundation from the drugstore or online and the shade just isn't quite right. Or you fake tan and while your foundation may look perfect on day 1 by day 3 or 4 your tan has faded and your face is darker than your body. Nightmare. But what can you do? No one wants to buy two shades of every foundation they own but then that whole unblended, orange face look that was popular in secondary school isn't particularly desirable either. That's where The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops come in.

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Now I know that white foundations are not a new concept but as far as I'm aware there weren't many drugstore products designed to alter your foundation shade before The Body Shop launched the product earlier this year. Coming in two shades (one to lighten, one to darken) The Body Shops Shade Adjusting Drops are designed to, of course, adjust the shade of your foundation but in a way that doesn't make your skin look orange or ashy. The lightening shade is packed with white and pink pigments to neutralise orange or yellow undertones while the darkening shade contains a concentration of red and black pigments to avoid ashy undertones.

Coming in a simple and sleek glass bottle with a black pipette to easily distribute the product, this product moves away from the colourful plastic packaging that I would usually associate with The Body Shop to something a lot more elegant and grown up. Priced at £10 it will not break the bank and costs a lot less than buying multiple shades of your foundation especially if like me, your favourite foundation costs about £30.

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But the real question is, is it any good? While I cannot speak for the darkening shade as I have not tried it, the lightening shade is a great product. It does exactly what it says on the tin, lightening my foundation without changing the consistency or making my skin look a weird colour. But as the product says, it is very pink toned. While this may be alright in small quantities, if you have a warm or neutral undertone and plan on using a high ratio of this to your foundation, it will change your foundation's undertone and therefore may not suit your skin tone. Therefore it would be great if they developed the line further for products to suit different undertones.

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On The Body Shop's website it states that 1 drop of this product changes your foundation by half a shade but the reality is that this is impossible to measure because the pipette doesn't work. Sometimes you will pick up massive blobs of the product while other times nothing. It's a great idea but maybe needs a bit of tweaking so that you can pick up the product and disperse it with ease. 

Apart from the pipette this is a really great product for the price that works really well for my skin type and skin tone. It solves the major problem that I had with my skin tone varying as my tan fades and I never need to worry about a foundation being too dark for my untanned pale skin again. I'd be really interested to see how the darkening drops work on the other end of the scale for girls that find foundations are too light for them.

Have you tried The Body Shop's Shade Adjusting Drops before?

Eleanor xx