No to Black Friday but no cold turkey either!

I have found Black Friday to be a major disappointment this year. I was hoping to pick up a few bargains, but everything I wanted was excluded from the sales. I bought a few Christmas presents for others but compared to last year, I showed a lot of self restraint (On a side note, I think the offers were so much better last year – or is that just me??). It got me thinking, however about what I am spending my money on and why I am actually buying ‘things’.

black fridayI realised that a lot of the time, I have been buying things I like just because they are on offer. I don’t actually need the goods, I just like them. I then remembered this feeling I had when I was on a coach in Greece. I observed the locals, especially the older generation who seemed to live a simpler life. This is by no means an insult. They just seemed happier with less. It made me crave a life where I didn’t want to buy designer handbags, expensive trainers or a brand new laptop.

I have tried to make changes in my life to be more minimalist. I have reduced the quantity of clothes I buy, to the point where I actually need to buy more T-shirts and jeans! So many of mine have have holes in or are unsightly faded from washing.

I am also thinking about the environmental impact of buying less, especially in Black Friday sales. For example, I have made some eco swaps around the home including using soap instead of hand wash, choosing refillable products in glass jars or buying biodegradable/compostable alternatives eg. toddler wipes.

The first step I have made is to UNSUBSCRIBE. The temptation is lessened if I am not aware of the daily promotions in my inbox. I am also less exposed to new products this way, as I am sent a lot of emails saying, ‘Have you tried this?’ as a result of previous purchases.

I am keen to spend less in December but I am obviously worried about going cold turkey (quite apt for the festive season!). I am toying with the idea of a monthly system where I can set a limit to treats for myself. I am not sure of how much that should be but I will definitely let it roll over, so say it was £20 per month but I didn’t redeem it in January, I would have £40 to use in February. I think this would be more achievable than going ‘without’ for a month and then splurging later and spending triple as a result.

What do you think, have you tried ‘no spend’? Did it work and if so, for how long? Bx

Beauty: Eye Shadow Favourites

Like most of you ladies out there, I am a BIG fan of makeup. It drives my husband up the wall. It probably started when I was a child, something which Annabelle has definitely inherited (sorry Andy!) but was most noticeable as a teenager when I would spend countless hours applying and removing makeup in my bedroom. I then went a bit crazy with trying new brands during my University years and my friend, Helen, shared my addiction to Barry M eye shadows. I still love their Dazzle Dust now and have about 10 pots in my makeup drawer.

Mac eyeshadows

MAC eye shadow, however, is by far my favourite luxury and high end beauty product. Largely, I have quite a few warm pinky and sultry purple colours to suit my olive complexion but I must admit that I can’t take full credit for the choices I have on offer. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who has selected and purchased a few of the shades pictured for birthday and Christmas presents (with a teeny bit of help from the sales assistant of course).

I have tried numerous high street and luxury eye shadows and what disappoints me about most is that they look beautiful in the packaging but barely visible on the skin. With the worst culprits, I need use so much of the product and it ends up creasing and melting away. I haven’t tried an eye shadow primer yet, but I am on the hunt for a good one, if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments below. I currently use two products as a base, MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NW25 and then I apply their Eyeshadow Paint in Untitled. As I am not a qualified makeup artist, this is probably the wrong thing to do but it works for me. I wear these eye shadows with lashings of Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner.

What are your favourite High Street and Luxury makeup products? Let me know in the comment box below. Bx