Thursday, 31 October 2013

Splurge or Save: Lessons I've learned as a Blogger


Sorry everyone.. bit of a long post from me today! Deciding on what and how you spend your money can be very confusing at the best of times, but throw in press hype and huge advertising budgets and the every day shopper is often left thinking what is the 'truth' and what is marketing speak?

I thought it would be useful to run through some of the things I have learned in my short time blogging, in terms of where you can afford to spend a little more and things that are just as good as their more expensive counterparts!

First and foremost, I just want to set the scene. I have been fortunate that, as a blogger and prior, I have been treated to many a piece of high end and drug store makeup, hair and clothing items (I'm not bragging, I am just acknowledging that I have been extremely fortunate!!) so I feel like I have tried alot of different things!

Makeup has always been my thing. As I have spent a large (excuse the pun) proportion of my adult life being overweight, makeup was the one item that would never disappoint, would always fit and as a gift wouldn't run the risk of offending me with the what size do I buy dilemma.

I completely appreciate that for people reading magazines/blogs etc their choice to spend or not to spend depends on their anticipated success with a product. I would hate to think I had built something up and inadvertently disappointed someone who had purchased on my say so, so here are my tips for making a spending decision!

If you don't necessarily have a budget full stop then of course, who am I to stop you enjoying your beauty purchases however much they might cost you. This isn't a post to knock people's products choices, more an education on how you could afford to spend less on certain things if you wanted to.

Number one has to be, don't be scared of making drug store purchases for certain things. Yes there are expensive foundations out there, I've used them and loved them. But I have equally grown to love Bourjois Foundations this year too, and actually converted into that being my go-to foundation choice. A bottle is normally around the £10 mark and I am impressed with the quality of the product. Powder is powder in my eyes no matter what the price. I am currently using Bourjois Java Rice Powder to set my foundation and fight the dreaded shine and I have noticed that Tanya Burr uses Rimmel Stay Matte Powder which whilst it isn't in the nicest of packaging, definitely does it's job well.

Makeup brushes are another slight bug bear of mine.. people seem to have this misconception that unless you have spent an absolute fortune on your brushes then your 'tools' simply aren't up to the job. I completely disagree. The BEST makeup brushes I have used are Real Techniques. You can probably buy all of the brushes they do for around £60 and they are incredible. I am not saying that other brushes won't do the same job as well, but for the average makeup user (and even some pro's/MUAs) Real Techniques will absolutely do what you want them to do, and well!

And now we move onto eyeliner. I am torn here as the eyeliners I have worn and loved in pencil form tend to be higher end brands, just as I find their longevity to be better than the drug store ones I have tried. That said, if you have a recommendation for me please drop a comment below! My fave gel/liquid eyeliner was a purchase made after watching a Tanya Burr video and is the Maybelline Gel Liner that comes in a little pot. I love this stuff, it is super cheap and for someone who had tried numerous times to master the liquid liner look but failed, this little gem was a revelation.

I am a sucker for packaging and this has caught me out over the years as I have purchased stuff and not been blown away by the product inside. For example, I have received Shampoos and Conditioners from Bumble and Bumble over the years and I do agree that they are very high quality and look lovely on display. But realistically would I spend my money to repurchase? No, is the honest answer. I once read that a great substitute for their Sunday Shampoo is Boots own brand detox shampoo. It is £3.49, and not one that I would quite so readily display but that does the job and does it well. Moroccan Oil is something I am torn over as I received a sample of this and do love it but would I spend £30 on a bottle? I am personally not sure. I think it is a fantastic product but there are other cheaper options that I think also do a good job, I guess the decider for me is that I don't have a hair type that relies on this to behave and maybe I would think differently if that were the case!

Moving onto fashion, I know this subject divides people as there are arguments to splurge or save and what constitutes splurging or saving will be very different depending on your budget! I personally love a trip to Primark but I do have times when I think, this is a false economy. For example, winter boots - I have bought them from there previously but I always have in the back of my mind that if I am able to wear them for more than one winter it is a bonus. I don't think they are necessarily manufactured as something that will last so I always go into Primark purchases with that mentality and I am seldom disappointed. With the more expensive products and brands it absolutely pays to be a savvy shopper and whilst it means having elbows at the ready it is WORTH using the sales to your advantage. I got a pair of suede ankle boots in the sale from Zara for £30 and they are pretty much a winter staple for me. I happened to stumble across them in store but now I know to look out for such steals I would make a point of going online to look for similar staple items in the future such as winter coats or other leather goods.

I'm going to stop here seeing as this has become quite the mammoth post, but you get my point hopefully! :o)
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