Category Archives: Style

Why you should never pay full price for your beauty products

Whether you buy your make up and skincare in the supermarket or you buy it in Harrods, you don’t need to pay full price. Yup, I mean it. In true Feast Style Thrive fashion, here is how to get what you want, for less.  How to save money on beauty products.


The first step is planning.

Look at all the products you use. Everything from your mascara to your toothpaste. And make a list. If you love a brand and you’re not willing to budge on it, then fine, write it down. But if you are willing to shop around, write down a ? next to the type of item.

With all the items that are question marks, now is your time to get trialling!

Free samples

When a beauty or cosmetics company creates a new product, they’ve spent a LOT on that process.  Therefore, a sales flop would be a disaster. They want to get that investment back, and more. No company wants a failed product. So, they invest even more money – LOTS and LOTS – in marketing that product. And that marketing includes producing free samples for people like you and me to try!

If you’re yet to find your can’t-live-without mascara, or the lipstick that-is-better-than-anything-else-ever, then you could stock up on enough free samples from different brands to last you months!

Here’s how you get your hands on these free samples:

  1. Simply go up to the make up and beauty counters at department stores and say you’re bored of your make up and want to try something new. If they offer to give you a makeover say that’s fine but “you’re heading to the gym in an hour and want to be able to test the make up for a whole day to see how it lasts and works in different lights.” That should get you a few freebies to take away.
  2. Sign up to freebie sites such as, and . They always have a load of free samples available.

Join a beauty review panel

Another method brands use to market their products is to use a consumer panel to trial the product and approve it for use. The consumers on these panels get the items for free and sometimes even get paid too! So why not join one?

Here’s a list of sites to join (in no particular order):

Go second hand

Ok, hang on hang on. This is not as disgusting as it sounds. By this I mean, share with people you know. Wait, no, that sounds gross too. Let me explain.

Go into your bathroom, and pull out all the unused samples and beauty/cosmetic products that you’ve bought but only used once or twice. Ask your mates to do the same.

Then invite everyone over to yours one night with those items (and wine, obviously) and do a bit of swapping. You’ll end up with some fab new stuff.

So I promised you I’d share how to save money on beauty products and so far I’ve told you how to get them for free! You’re welcome.

As for those items that you’ve already decided are keepers such as the-only-shampoo-that-keeps-your-hair-sleek or undereye-concealer-that-actually-works, then you need the following tips:

Sign up to mailing lists for special vip nights and for discounts

Let your favourite brands communicate with you. Let them reach you and share their love. To brands, consumer data is like gold dust so give them your contact details and let them reward you with offers, sales alerts and invites to VIP events. Yes, it’s that easy. For us it’s just an email address but for them it’s a way of contacting you to build on your brand loyalty. It’s likely you’ll get a discount code as soon as you sign up to their mailing list so do it when you need to stock up!

Become a brand ambassador

If you have a good social media following, exploit it. Produce some compelling content that promotes your favourite product (perhaps using imagery or video so that people can see how good the product looks) and share it on your social media platforms. Then contact the brand you’ve promoted to share what you’ve posted. The PR agency or the marketing team is the best point of contact. They may take an interest in your posts going forward and reward you for your kind words with some free products to trial! That’s called collaboration, baby.

One word of advice – go easy on the language. It needs to appear genuine.  So phrases like “I love this brand so much I named my first daughter Chanel” and “I’ve stopped buying food so I can spend that money on more Dior make up” are to be avoided.

Use cash back sites and voucher codes

This one actually involves spending some money. When you come to buying what you need, don’t just go straight into the store, or straight onto the brand or department store’s website. That’s craaaaazy. What you need to do instead is check out if there are cashback or voucher code offers available. For info on how cashback sites work and links to the best ones, you can read my guide here.

I would always recommend buying your products online rather than in-store as you can shop around on a range of sites for the best deal.

And they are my tips on how to save money on beauty products. Plenty of reasons why you should never need to pay full price for your make up.  Reckon you’ll give these a try?

Ditch the gym – how to keep fit for free

I’ve put this post in ‘Life’, ‘Style’ and ‘Finance’ because it applies to all. You see, as part of my mission to save money, I decided about two years ago to shun gyms and try to keep fit for free.  I was getting fed up with the fact that £65 was being sucked out of my bank account every month regardless of how often I went for a work out. £65 a MONTH! Over a year – because many gyms shamelessly lock you in for minimum contracts of about 12-18 months – this is £780! THINK what you could do with that money! Shall I help?  See below:

TWO pairs of Jimmy Choos (Romy 85 Pumps £425 and Miami trainers £350) and CHANGE!



A Mulberry handbag (Lily £750)!


Or a holiday!

No brainer, huh?

Anyway, by quitting the gym, I didn’t stop exercising, I just found ways to keep fit for free. Conveniently, most of my methods sit on my phone!


My main form of exercise is running. With the right music playlist and an interesting running route, it can do wonders for your mood, health and bum.

So if you are already a keen runner like me, I’d recommend this:

mapmyrunMap my run (on iOS and Android) – I have a heart rate monitor but I use this beauty of an app to track my distance, time and therefore speed.  It updates you every mile  on time and speed and you can play your music over the top which means the time flies when you’re running.  Your runs can also be logged so that you can monitor your progress over time. And if you’re sadistic or a show off, you can also share your times online with complete strangers. Yeah right.

Now if you don’t really enjoy running because you find it quite boring, this is the app for you:

zombiesrunZombies, Run! (on iOS and Android) If you like to add a little excitement to your run and don’t suffer too much from nightmares, try this.  Open the app and start running.  You’ll be running along and then suddenly you hear heavy breathing and weird animal like groaning.  Then a shout that you must hurry up as the Zombies are coming!  It will absolutely make you run faster and push you to  get more from your workout but just be careful not to run though a wood or quiet street when you’re using it as it may feel a little too real and freak you out completely.

Circuits and mat work

If running is not for you or you want more of an all body personal training kind of experience, I recommend:

nike training clubNike Training App (on iOS and Android) This is a personal trainer in your phone. It’s brilliant. You pay pennies to download the app and then have access to hundreds of 30 and 45 minute workouts focused on tightening, toning or strengthening whether you’re a beginner or an enthusiast.  You have access to demonstrations of each exercise so you can make sure you’re doing each step correctly and the trainer calls out words of encouragement throughout.  I cannot recommend this app highly enough.

510QAa9l1+LSworkit (on iOS and Android) – This is great for people who blame a lack of free time for not exercising. With this app, you can do as little as 5 minute workouts of strength, cardio, yoga or stretching.  It’s really good if you’re injured as you can focus on particular parts of the body.


If Yoga is more your bag, then you need to check out Yoga with Adriene. You will not find a nicer, cuter, more qualified yoga teacher anywhere on the web and her tutorials are addictive.

Team activities

Moving away from technology, there are plenty of activities you can do with other people, for free!

You’ve heard of army bootcamps right? You head to the park, get shouted at and do circuits until all the fluid in your body has been sweated out. Amazing exercise but hard work.  Well, British Military Fitness run free trials of their bootcamps – if you’re brave enough!

Alternatively, if you like a friendlier sort of exercise class, there’s a fairly new local council initiative whereby qualified fitness instructors teach exercise classes for free in parks! It looks like it’s currently just a London-based scheme at the moment but if it gets enough interest, it may go nationwide! Details can be found at Our Parks.

So, short of some kit and trainers, what more do you need??? Follow my tips to keep fit for free and start sweating AND saving!!

The month’s 10 best clothing buys under £10 – July

Eek it’s been a while since I last posted! OK well I’ve had a few excuses….I’ve been back at work and my son turned one! Oh and the weather got so much better! Good enough? Ok probably not. Well to make up for it, and to celebrate the fact that it’s FINALLY getting SUNNY around here, I’ve pulled together a collection of gorgeous summery items that are ALL ridiculously cheap. Yup, it’s this month’s 10 best clothing buys under £10!

Remember, as always, these are such good value that they’re not going to be available for long so if you like them, snap them up soon!


july-10-under-1021. New Look Bright Orange Jacquard Jersey Skater Dress, £7.99, 2. New Look Grey Brooklyn 86 Roll Sleeve T-shirt, £7.99, 3. Primark Turquoise Crew Neck Top, £6, 4. H&M Strapless Playsuit, £7.99, 5. George at Asda Contrast Strap Sandals, £10, 6. H&M Dark Blue Ribbed Dress, £7.99, 7. Primark Orange Print Playsuit, £5, 8. New Look White Floral Print Strappy Skater Dress, £7.99, 9. George at Asda Dark Wash Denim Shorts, £10, 10. Primark Pale Blue Sleeveless Shirt, £10

Have you found any clothing bargains? Let us know by posting a comment below!

My current LUSTS

It’s all very well for me sharing lots of tips on saving money and I’m sure you’re trying very hard but I thought I’d give you a little extra encouragement to remember to use cashback sites every time you buy something online, plan your weekly meals to cut down the cost of your grocery shopping, and switch your utility providers. Sure, you’re saving enough each month to pay the bills but wouldn’t you like to save a little more so you can treat yourself too?  By following every tip in my personal finance bootcamp, you can. (Sign up for free at the bottom of this post.)

So, back to the encouragement.

My baby boy is teething really badly at the moment so we’ve been confined to the house for the last week.  As a result, I’ve spent A LOT of time on the internet and I’ve been tempted by A LOT of gorgeous things. Here are the beautiful items that I’m currently lusting after:

my-summer-lusts my-summer-lusts21. Ray-Ban Erika Classic sunglasses £98, 2. GoPro Hero4 Silver Camera £289 (let’s you capture incredible images and video on the go and even underwater as it can be attached to anything easily), 3. Whistles Marina Cross Jumpsuit £250, 4. Personalised Longchamp handbag £89 (check out full details here), 5. Apple iPad Pro 9.7″ from £639 (perfect for working on the go), 6. Compatible Apple Smart Keyboard £149, 7. Reiss Leigh High Neck Lace Top in Apricot £60 (Hurry into John Lewis as it’s sold out on Reiss’ website already!), 8. Apple Pencil £79 (also compatible with the iPad Pro and it enables you to scribble on notes and draw out plans, which is perfect if you’re in the marketing world!)

What do you think of my lusts then? And because I’ve been good with my money this month, I’m going to treat myself to one of these pretty little things….or maybe two!

Sort your finances out and find the money to treat yourself too. Sign up for the free personal finance email boot camp!

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The month’s 10 best clothing buys under £10 – June

It’s officially Summer. I’ve had a bbq, consumed Pimms, and have dodgy tan lines on my back to prove it.

So I thought I’d give this month’s 10 under £10 a summer holiday theme. I have therefore gathered together my favourite items of beachwear currently available to buy on the world wide web.

Some of the bikinis I’ve paired together aren’t necessarily from the same sets but together they cost under £10.


beachwearunder10pound-2 1a. New Look Coral Tropical Print Contrast Trim Bikini Top £5, 1b. New Look Black Knotted Bikini Bottoms £5, 2. Primark Black White Stripe Swimming Costume £6, 3. ASOS Straw Trilby Hat £10, 4. ASOS Fabienne Studded Flat Sandals £10, 5a. New Look Soft Cup Triangle Bikini Top £3.99, 5b. New Look Black Tie Side Bikini Bottoms £4.99 6. Monki Round Tort Retro Sunglasses £10, 7. H&M Short Jersey Dress £9.99 8a. Debenhams Iris & Edie Bikini Top £4.80 8b. Debenhams Iris & Edie Bikini Bottoms £3.60, 9. Missguided ankle strap red sandals £10, 10. H&M Strapless Playsuit £7.99

While these are my favourites, it is possible I have missed one or two stores so if there are any pieces of lovely holiday wear under £10 that you have come across that haven’t been included here, please do post a comment below and share a link to the item in question on the FeastStyleThrive Facebook page.

Until next time…….