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debbie's bargain hunt

Photos and comments on my bargain buys... Of course, a few higher priced items may appear from time to time if I feel that the quality outweighs the cost.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Fake Benefit Blush: Not such a bargain!

I haven't posted here in quite a  while due to work getting busier and having less time to spend online of an evening. That doesn't mean that I haven't found a few minutes here and there for a good swap, ebay browse or a hunt around the charity shops!

More than anything, I do like a good swap. I've been swapping on Big Wardrobe for nearly a year now and have completed over 400 swaps. (I've just realised that means I've spent over £1000 on postage in the last year! Oops!). 

I'm always trying new beauty products, especially makeup items. Last week I swapped a little makeup bundle of mine for one Coralista Blush by Benefit. In exchange for a Benefit Miss Popularity, a Benefit That Gal Primer, a Too Faced Highlighter Powder Compact and a new Superfull Avon Mascara I received the blush. I know the values aren't equal, but hey, I'm getting rid of something I don't use for something I (most likely) will. 

The lady I swapped with is genuinely lovely. A very reliable member of the site. Sadly though, I think she may have been duped somewhere along the road because this is the blush I received.

I have used pictures of my own Benefit Blush (Bella Bamba from the Benefit website) as a comparison to show how the Coralista is a non authentic product. I don't own Coralista, if I did, obviously it would make for a better comparison.

Without any need for a comparative product, you can see that the edges of the Coralista Blush are scruffy. Also, you can see already that the brush doesn't look quite right.

A good indication is when the label says 'peel here' but there is nothing underneath!

The first picture is of the Coralista Blush's brush. The second of my own Bella Bamba Blush's brush. You can see that the second brush has evenly tapered bristles and they are all even lengths, etc. The holder part is also more even and has smoother edges.

My Bella Bamba blush pan sits very securely in its box. The metal edges of the pan reach right to the sides.

With the Coralista Blush you can just about see that the pan doesn't fit well in the box. There is a very visible gap on the left hand side of the box.

Photos are a bit out of sync here but you can see on the genuine Benefit product that the 'peel here' label does actually do what it says. If you peel back the label the ingredients and so on can be seen in different languages.

Something that the camera would (obviously!) not pick up on is the scent of the product. With a lot of Benefit, different scents are added to different products. Literally everything seems to have it's own unique scent. With Bella Bamba the scent is sweet and fruity. However, with this Coralista, the scent is only of chemicals. Yum! :/

I'm sure anyone who owns a genuine Coralista would spot more differences between their own product and this impostor. And if so, I'd love to here your thoughts!

So anyway!! My point here is that maybe cosmetic items are something that should not be scrimped on! I wouldn't buy cosmetics from places other than the stores themselves, the websites themselves or department stores. But I've been happy to swap them with swappers that I assume wouldn't own fakes. However, this has shown that fakes can get into the wrong hands so easily. I'm quite sure the  person I got this from literally has no idea it's not the real deal!

I know a lot of people do buy fakes, knowing full well what they're getting. Something may seem cheaper, but remember that this is an item that's going directly onto your skin! Sometimes right near your eyes and mouth! While it's highly likely that these products contain cheap alternatives to the genuine product's ingredients, more sinister ingredients can also be used. Lead for example!! Remember, there are no tests these products have to pass to make it onto the market. Also, the people manufacturing them are most likely NOT being paid the minimum wage. The products could be tested on animals. The profits from selling these could be used to fund terrorism!! 

Benefit can be a little expensive, but if you can't afford a particular item when you want it, I would urge you to seek a cheaper brand instead. There are lots of lower priced brands in Boots, Superdrug, etc, where you know exactly what you're going to get! 

Monday, 16 May 2011

[Tag] 13 Questions

Thanks to Meowcake for tagging me in her '13 questions' blog post...

1. What do you order at Starbucks?

No Starbucks for me... I'm a creature of habit and have a skinny earl grey from Pret a Manger each and every working day.

2. What's the one thing in your closet you can't live without?

Can't beat playing it safe in my topshop wrap dress, great for work when I'm having a 'fat day' since it covers a multitude of sins! 

3. What's one thing that most people don't know about you?

 I'm the biggest worrier going. I map out a worst case scenario for everything that could possibly go wrong in an average day. I'm a nightmare when it comes to worrying about work during my free time too! I wish I could be more laid back!

4. What's one thing you want to do before you die?

As long as I'm still healthy, have had babies, and live in a nice house (and am NOT still living in a flat with two boys!!), I'll be happy! 

5. What's one food you can't live without?

I'd love to say something healthy but I get a bit down in the dumps if I go too long without a pick & mix...

6. What's one quote that you live your life by?

I don't have a quote, but at work we always go by the "Has anyone died? Nope! Then it's fixable!" motto. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and panic over silly little things! 

7. What do you like and dislike about the Youtube community?

I like that you can find pretty much most things, not just mainstream videos. Used to find youtube a livesaver when learning graded pieces for singing or piano exams. Could listen to the same pieces played by different people and copy their interpretations of the piece. Amazing how something can sound so different when it's actually the same! 
I dislike some of the comments which meant I would NEVER upload my own playing. I don't know why people are so negative to each other. Such a shame.

8. What's your number 1 song on iTunes?

Always listening to Greenday, me and Scott went to see them last year and they were amazing. 21 Guns has been played a lot on my itunes recently :) 

9. What kind of style would you describe yourself as having?

 I really don't have a style, I'll wear anything if I think it's pretty or might be flattering!

10. Favourite Number?

Hmmm, well it would be a bit unfair to make an finance worker / maths geek like me chose just one. I love them all! Haha! :) 

11. Two hobbies?

I like to crochet and I like to shop. 

12. Two pet peeves?

Ex-girlfriends that never seem to disappear (and really should!) and people who are mean for the sake of being mean. 

13. Your guilty pleasure?

Shopping on the credit card during my lunch break! Covent Garden is 2 minutes walk away and I've been known to come back with anything from new Uggs (in the middle of summer) or a whole limited edition makeup collection :)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

May's First Swapping Haul

Vintage look cardigan from NEXT (£0)

Oasis Maxi Dress (£0) and Cream Lace Yumi Dress (£0)

Marc Jacobs Jelly Sandals (£0) (Please excuse my toes!!!)

Mixed jewellery from various swaps (£0)

La Senza PJ's (£0), Set of Calvin Klein Miniature Perfumes (£0), Nail Varnishes, including OPI from various swaps (£0)

As you can see it's been a busy week for me on Big Wardrobe :D


Monday, 2 May 2011

Things from swaps this weekend...

Got some LOVELY things through the post this weekend (well just Saturday!), all from Big Wardrobe swaps. I always find that (perhaps quite obviously!) the nicer the things you list for swaps, the nicer the things that you'll receive. For me, I've had a sad time parting with my favourite dresses and things, but it's had to be done because of my weight gain (I'm not prepared to diet at the moment!). To soften the blow I've had some stunning things sent back to me in their place :P

This stunning dress is from Lipsy - I paid £10 for it in a part cash / part swap. These are always a good idea if you like something of someone else's but the only thing of yours they like is worth considerably less. 

The sky blue Fred Perry jumper was a swap. It's a men's size but is long and loose enough to work over leggings :)

Also received the Yumi tights with little bows and the ballet flats in a multi swap. With postage costs being what they are, it is sometimes more economical to swap a selection of items with the one person. 

Just visible are the items from another multi swap. There is a Christian Dior nail polish in Black Sequins, a CK 'Infinite Hydration' foundation in Porcelain, a stunning sterling silver shell style bracelet and an even more stunning silver ring with a huge butterfly design. 

I've got loads more Big Wardrobe swaps lined up already since I'm downsizing and trying to swap bulky clothes and shoes for things that take up less space.. non clothing items such as jewellery most of the time!

If you're not on Big Wardrobe already, click here and see what it's all about :))

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Charity Shop Haul: 28th April 2011

Charity shopping again... Went a little overboard this time which is silly because I don't have the spare cash. The bargains add up and I don't even have space for them!

So here are some of my favourites from today...

1)Warehouse Corset (I had this in a 10 which was too small, so really happy to find it in a 12!) £1.50, 2) Black New Look Oversized Dress / Vest (just visible) £3, 3) Jasper Conran silk trim dress £1, 4) Miss Selfridge purple tulip skirt £1, 5) Miss Selfridge knitted bow jumper dress (folded in on itself in the photo) £3, 6) Julien Macdonald passport holder and luggage tag set £2.50, 7) Christian Dior tights £1.

I also got a few bits for the home and for my cousin's babies. I won't bore you with those though ;) And a few items of clothing that are just big mistakes and will probably go back to the charity shop on Saturday!


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Yesterday's Bargain Outfit: 26 April 2011

Grey Topshop Cardigan £3.99 from Oxfam. (I think this is meant to come up 'oversized' since it's a size UK 6 Petite and I'm a tall size 12! I don't think anyone would be any the wiser though ;) hope not!

Grey and yellow stripe top / dress £0 from a Big Wardrobe swap. Originally from Primark.

White Leggings £6 for a pack of two from Primark.

Black Fiorelli Bag £3 from Unicef charity shop.

Hello Kitty pumps - a gift from Scott (I think he got these from the kids section of a sports shop!).

Total cash spent on this outfit: £9.99 xxx

Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter Weekend Charity Shop Buys

On Saturday Scott sent me down the road with £20 to buy BBQ things... I came back (late) with these:

ASOS harem style jumpsuit - £5 from Unicef charity shop. I've never worn a jumpsuit and I wondered what it'd look like on... Over all I quite liked the style, though this one seems a bit strange round the neckline. Too many criss cross straps for my liking!

Topshop bubble hem dress. I picked this up for £4 from the same charity shop. Scott burst out laughing when he saw me in this. Apparently the skirt pattern looks like one of those 90s optical illusion puzzles where you squint your eyes and can see a picture in the middle. Well I tried it with the dress and there was no hidden picture! I wasn't put off by any of this and will still wear the dress!

I'd been after a really long maxi skirt for a while so I picked this one up for another £4. I was more keen to find a floral one that wasn't so 'flowy' but I'll still wear this a few times I think. It's a great length since I struggle to find maxi dresses or skirts that go further than my ankles.

Lastly, I picked up this Fiorelli bag for £3. Not my usual style but it seems quite vintage looking to me and I the clasp looked a bit 'Vivienne Westwood'. I'll probably use this once or twice then pass it onto someone else.

Sunday, tried my luck at a Bootsale... have no idea if I just left it too late, or if there wasn't a good turn out due to it being Easter Sunday... but either way, I didn't get a thing and was quite disappointed! Better luck next time I guess!