Face Mask Friday – S&G The Fab Pore

posted in: BEAUTY | 16

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I first tried this mask around 3 years ago and I’ve had it in my arsenal ever since. When Soap & Glory had a big brand shakeup recently I was worried they may have changed one of my favourite treatments but rest assured it might look different but it’s just as good as it ever was.

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I’m not sold on EVERYTHING in the newly designed packaging but this I do like, very clean and sleek. Other than that the main difference is the appearance of the mask itself. If you want to see what it once looked like you can check out this post but it was a creamy colour with blue beads that popped as you rubbed them in to your skin.I initially thought it was going to be a totally different texture but upon closer inspection the beads are still there, they’re just the same colour as the mask that holds them now. It’s designed to deep clean so I do use it as an all over face mask, I find that it helps to clear up imperfections and leave everything feeling smoother. As well as a deep cleanse it’s one of the only non-cosmetic products I’ve used that has had any visible effect on my pores. I don’t have particularly large or blocked pores but it definitely diminishes them, albeit temporarily.

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I try A LOT of products so when something becomes a mainstay it’s kind of a big deal (in fact that may be a good post) and especially when it comes to face masks.. a lot of them are so blah and do next to nothing but this is one I’d happily recommend as actually effective.. oh and it lasts AGES, I think I had my last one for a year – I’m sure that’s a skincare sin, forget I said that.

Do you have any Holy Grail Face Masks?

Miss BB

*PR Sample

The Skincare Swap

posted in: BEAUTY | 45

IMG_5460A couple of years ago I did a tag called ‘how much does your face cost’ and was shocked at the final number. As a budget focused blogger I like to think I’m pretty savvy when it comes to my product picks but from time to time the lazy in me sneaks out and buys expensive items rather than researching their cheaper alternatives. Some things really are worth the extra cash – a few years ago I scoffed at bloggers raving about EsteeLauders Double Wear but now I can’t be without it – but a lot can be duped for a fraction of the cost. I should preface the following by saying I am NOT a skincare expert, I don’t know what ingredients are expensive or why one thing is worth more than another I just know if it works for me. Feel free to add to the conversation in the comments if you have an educated opinion – or just an opposing one – my thoughts are my own and skincare is not one size fits all.

Superdrug recently launched a ‘swap shop’ campaign in which they are suggesting you replace your fancy skincare items with their own brand products in the hope that they will win you over with their value for money. Now I don’t have a great routine for my skin.. I don’t stick to anything and I don’t even moisturise every day – I know, I’m awful – but I sent over a list of products that I really enjoy using and I’d like to find cheaper alternatives for and this is what I received..

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My Current Product: Caudalie Beauty Elixir £32 – This is my guilty pleasure because it’s expensive and it’s full of alcohol and probably not good for my skin at all but it feels so refreshing and I’m addicted to the scent. It’s probably the only thing that I do use without fail every night because it’s a quick and easy spritz and as previously mentioned, I’m lazy.

Superdrug’s Replacement: Vitamin E Refreshing Toning Mist £2.99 – I can’t tell you I love this as much but in fairness they were going to struggle since the scent is 90% of what I love about the Caudalie. It’s just as refreshing and a quick scan of the ingredients tells me it’s probably less likely to dry out my skin. It lacks the ‘luxury’ feel, it’s a squirt rather than a mist so your face is left wet rather than damp but it’s just as quick and easy to apply and when I run out of the Beauty Elixir I will definitely use this in it’s place.

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My Current Product: Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask £23– This was a product I avoided for years but as soon as I tried it I was hooked. My skin is oily but prone to dehydration and this is the perfect pick me up. While we were in Las Vegas I actually used it as my evening moisturer, it was so dry my skin literally drank it up. The texture might not be for everyone, quite sticky and the scent isn’t my favourite but it’s effective so I can overlook the cons.

Superdrug’s Replacement: Vitamin E Moisture Mask £2.59 -Funnily enough I already had this product and have raved about it both here and on my YouTube channel. I wouldn’t say it replaces the Origins mask but the price difference swings it back in Superdrugs favour. This moisture mask is almost as hydrating but not at all sticky and with a much fresher scent. It’s lighter so for those with very oily skin or for the summer months it actualy edges out the higher priced option.

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My Current Product: The Body Shop Body Butter £13 – I never used to like these Body Butters and I still don’t think they’re worth the money – always buy on sale, ladies – but they’re uber thick and they last a long time. When I want a real moisture hit there’s nothing quite like them and they don’t pill like other body products so they’re also great for massage. Another obvious benefit is of course the huge range of scents available.

Superdrug’s Replacement: Vitamin E Body Butter £2.59 – I have had a few products from the range over the years from cleansers to lotions and been happy with all of them.. it’s just the scent. Much like Rose – which I also dislike – I’m in the minoroty here as the whole line smells like suncream. In theory it’s summery but it’s just not my favourite. That aside the product itself is excellent, again very thick and although TBS Butters are hard to beat it’s just as good as say Soap & Glory when it comes to texture and how my skin feels after using it.

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My Current Product: Origins Plantscriptions Serum £48 – This is a TOTAL luxury, it was sent to me and I cannot honestly tell you I’d spend the money on repurchasing so I don’t think it’s worth the price point but it’s just LOVELY to use. It absorbs quickly and leave just enough residue for my skin to feel velvety smooth and look plumper.

Superdrug’s Replacement: Clearly Youthful Hydrating Day Serum £6.99 – This product totally blew me away, I wasn’t expecting to like it even a fraction as much as the Origins but seriously it’s as close as it could be. It doesn’t feel quite the same to apply, it actually felt sticky and I was surprised it was a day serum but it settles to a near identical, plump, velvety finish that is the perfect base for makeup. I had considered repurchasing the Planscriptions Serum as a treat for my – nearing 30 – skin but having tried this there’s no way I would shell out that kind of money.

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I can’t tell you every one of my swaps made the grade but you have to try to know, don’t you? Plus Superdrug offer a money back guarantee so if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase from their own range they will refund you AND give you 25% off your next own brand purchase. It’s estimated that we could be saving over £150 a year by swapping our pricier skincare for own brand products but even if you just find a couple of alternatives, it’s a saving! Throughout June there will be Swapshop advisors in Superdrug stores every Friday and Saturday so if you’d like to put them to the test they’re there to help.

Now for the fun part, one of you have the chance to try their swapshop for free, I have one prize of 5 products to give away. It’s going to be a simple one today.. the giveaway will run until the end of June and the regular Ts&Cs apply. You must be over 18 or have permission to give out your personal information and – sorry – it’s UK only. Now all you need to do to enter is leave a comment below of the 5 products you’d like to swap. Be sure to enter your email in the comment form and I will contact the winner next month!

Good Luck & Happy Swapping!

Miss BB

*sponsored post

A Word On Sponsorship..

posted in: LIFE | 27

IMG_5462I’ve spoken about this at length in the past (bored a lot of you to tears, I’m sure) and for the most part it’s a non issue but from time to time I think a little update is required to (attempt to) assure you I’m still on the right path. The majority of my paid content is here on my blog (which is currently under some kind of attack.. if you’ve been struggling to access lately please let me know!) and most of you who read are cool with this. The sparks only seem to fly when I cross over in to sponsored video content, for those who don’t watch my videos this may seem irrelevant but the message is still for you. I will never be paid to say something is good if it isn’t, if I receive a product for a video and I hate it, I am totally free to pull out of any agreement I might have with the sender of said product. Obviously someone paying for content wont want you trashing their brand but that doesn’t mean that I have to trash my own by misrepresenting them. I value my audience and the value you place on my opinion so I would never disrespect that by telling you to run out and buy something I knew was no good.

I have a few paid opportunities at the moment which is why I wanted to put this out there, you will see more over the next month. Some sponsored content is very ad-like and polished because a brand wants certain ‘buzz words’ or phrases to fall in line with their commercial campaign, other content is very fluid. I have something coming up for example where the brand wanted promotion of one product which I already use and have spoken about lots of times but that one product wasn’t enough for a video. I tweaked the idea and will now produce a video I would have made for free (don’t tell THEM that) and that I think my audience will enjoy and hopefully find useful. I am very selective with the sponsored video content I accept (I think prior to this month I’d only had 1 go up this year) because I know it’s not always well received but the new disclosure laws are in place to make it totally clear that you are watching paid content prior to clicking on the video so you can easily filter your viewing. That being said not ALL sponsored content screens like an advert, yes there’s something that’s been paid for but sometimes someone contacts you about promoting something you already use and love and you can’t believe your luck.

Last thing.. as some of you will know I’m also working with a new brand, Freedom. They contacted me because they wanted video content for their own brand channel and so I set that up and I do swatches to jazzy music – see here. That’s the extent of our agreement. I’m not sponsored by them and can say whatever I like about their products. The reason I wanted to work with them was because they are happy for me to be honest. They’re a sister company to Makeup revolution and I have certainly not loved everything they’ve released but they appreciate genuine feedback and they understand that the value of a blogger is THEIR opinion.. NOT an opinion pushed upon them by a brand. Do I love everything from Freedom? No, but if I tell you I do like something then I absolutely do. I know there’s a lot of cynicism in blogging these days but ultimately nobody would pay me to talk about anything if I didn’t have an audience and if I start lying to you for money I will loose that audience fast. It’s a short term game and I intend to be around here rambling on for years to come so I hope that you can trust that I will never knowingly mislead you.

I’d realy love to know how you feel about sponsorship, do you just hate it all, end of story? Do you think there’s a good/bad way to do it? Let’s discuss..

Miss BB

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