Sunday, August 30, 2009

Online browsing leads to an "elf" invasion!!!

In a valiant bid to curtail my spending habits I recently decided to avoid shops altogether. It seemed to me that if I didn’t set foot in any shops then even I couldn’t manage to shop - which would have been all very well twenty years ago in a pre-internet world. Unfortunately there was a slight, yet crucial, flaw in my great plan. Online shopping doesn’t involve setting any feet in shops, as I soon discovered!

I decided to pass some time one day by surfing the internet – ... ... These are some of my favourite, top quality sites and initially they did a good job of fulfilling my need to absorb new fashion and beauty ideas constantly. Instyle updates the latest celeb red carpet looks daily and I love seeing how my favourite (and not-so-favourite!) stars are re-working the latest trends (often badly, much to my amusement). is a fabulous and fun Irish blog and a real favourite of mine. Updated several times a day, it reviews the latest make-up, hair and skincare products in a girlie and honest way. I like the fact that it gives equal coverage to both premium and practical ranges so I can dream about Dior but shop in Dunnes!! I am a recent devotee of Barry M’s excellent make up range. There is no better range on the market for a kaleidoscope of colour. From pretty pink to peacock to purple via the sunniest yellow and luminous green everything you could want is available in this range and it is very recessionista friendly. Their fantastic dazzle dusts, which I have given the thumbs up to previously here, are under seven euros each and really go the distance on a big night out. Even better their website gives top tips and great video tutorials on how to best use the products so you don’t end up looking like Rainbow Bright circa 1986.

And so, I was happily browsing these sites when I remembered another favourite of mine – – the ultimate budget beauty site. Almost everything on the site costs a mere £1.50 except for the Professionsal Studio Line which is a hugely costly (ahem!) £3.50 on average! I already had a few E.L.F. products and was very impressed with their quality. I told myself I was just “taking a look” and then “popping a few bits into the shopping basket to see how much they would cost if I got them”. Oh dear, well what do you know, before I could say “no shopping for me this week!” I had deftly removed a few items from the shopping basket (to make myself feel virtuous!!) and then clicked “proceed to check-out” with the rest!! When things cost so little per item it is hard to feel guilty for treating yourself. I bought a quad of eye-shadow powders in Ivy, a lovely combo of greens and browns; a cream eye shadow duo in silver and black called Black Liquorice; two nail polishes in Royal Purple and a gorgeous neutral pinky/purple called Mod Mauve; a plum eye liner which is super soft, doesn’t drag the skin and comes with its own sharpener; two eye shadow brushes, one for applying it and one for blending (I was thrilled when they arrived, they are really firm but smooth and soft) and finally but best of all I got an eyebrow set. I like strong brows as I think they give definition and frame the face but I unfortunately have dark but gappy ones! This set is the answer to my problems. It comes with a dark wax to define and set the brows in place and powder to colour them in. At £3.50 this is a fantastic bargain in my book – and even more so when you consider it is practically identical to an eyebrow set available from a certain premium ‘retro-style’ beauty range which charges €33. I have used both products and can honestly see no difference bar the packaging and the less than retro price tag on the premium range’s product!! In the end, all of my purchases came to under €20 including postage and packaging and they arrived in just two days. Eight new products of excellent quality for the price of one mid-range foundation! Even a recessionista like myself can’t feel bad about that! Happy days are here again girls! Lots of new colours to play with, always fun in my book, and I fulfilled my shopping need without worrying either myself or my bank manager. Woohoo!! 

Maybe one day I will reign in my spending to zero but as long as I am working I see no reason why I shouldn’t give myself cheap treats. The recession has enlightened me and I now see there are loads of budget-tastic products out there of excellent quality so I can easily shop on a tight budget and still fulfil my fashionista and beauty addict tendencies while maintaining a (err, somewhat!) healthy bank balance!

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1 comment:

  1. Online buying just doesn't seem like "real" shopping tho'. You dont get that instant gratification satisfaction forom it that comes with shopping at bricks and mortar sites. However, I wholeheartedly agree - you can get brill bargains on the 'net.
    Enjoyed the blog!!