Wednesday, November 04, 2015

How to Budget & Prepare for Christmas


Oooh some of you will hate me for mentioning the C word early but will you forgive me if I said I can help you save some dollar and remain sane in the process?? Keep reading... this is the post for anyone who stresses out coming up to Christmas and wants to be organised or wants to do the festive season on a budget. 

Decide who you are buying for 

This might sound pretty straight forward but writing a list of who you want to buy presents for really helps you get organised and keep track of who you still need to buy for. Keep a list on your phone for on-the-go shopping which prevents you from overbuying. 

Top tip: Cut down your list by starting with the 'essentials'- who you definitely need to buy for like family, boyfriends/girlfriends. Talk to friends/colleagues about whether people want to buy presents for each other- you will be surprised the number of people who secretly want to budget too. Suggest an alternative like Secret Santa where you each pick from a hat and buy one person a present- agree on a budget/limit so no-one goes OTT! 

Decide how much you want to spend

This can be done a few ways; either decide how much you want to spend on each person or split your budget by how many you need to buy for. The latter may only work if you have been saving up for Christmas for a while but you can still make a difference by saving now! Be strict with a budget to ensure you don't overspend- if you set a limit of £30 per person don't go looking at anything over that price!

Top tip: Each week/month put any spare money aside for your funds. Sacrifice on a few nights out, takeaways and coffee runs- it all adds up! A night out to a club can cost me between £30-£50, enough to buy at least one or two presents! 

Spend wisely & do your research

It's easy to overspend when you don't have a plan or any ideas for each present. I've bought presents randomly and then found out I overpaid or regretted buying them so had to buy something else- don't waste your money!

Top tip: When you get an idea for a present- write it down on paper or on your phone! Do some research to find out the best prices. Then you can refer to your list when shopping so you have a plan and won't buy presents on a whim. 

Add a personal touch & save on wrapping

The nicest gifts can be the most thoughtful which don't have to cost a bomb! Think about what that person really likes or has hinted/mentioned in the past. Handmade gifts and wrapping are a great way to show your creative side but will require a bit of forward planning. 

Top tip: If you are limited on time or are less creative, don't think you have to spend loads of money on fancy wrapping for your presents to look nice. Do your research for cheaper card/wrapping stores, in the UK I would highly recommend Card Factory for great cards and gift wrapping on a budget. If you struggle with wrapping- watch a load of Youtube videos and save money than paying for someone else to do it.

Tick when you complete each present

This relates back to the 1st point, having a list will be your best friend when planning for Christmas. The best bit is when you have bought that present for the lucky person, wrapped it up and stored it away, you can get your list out and put a massive big tick next to that person's name. Yep, there is nothing I find more satisfying (I know it sounds so lame) but this is how I manage to stay in control rather than let the stress of Christmas control me. 

I hope some of you find these tips handy!
Have you got any tips for Christmas planning? 

Suzanne x



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October's Spooktacular Playlist

Many changes have arrived this month, like the fact I got myself a job whoop whoop! This is my first full time job since I finished university so bear with me whilst I juggle this blog around that but I will still be posting here every Wednesday as much as I can so nothing should change. Besides that, I have really been getting into the Halloween spirit by watching some creepy shows (The Vampire Dairies of course) as well as listening to some good old scary music (Thriller anyone?) So this month's playlist will feature some spooky editions for anyone wanting to get ready for Halloween as well as the many tracks I have been loving this month...

Happy Halloween :)

Thriller - Michael Jackson 
Disturbia - Rihanna
Monster - Lady GaGa
Black Magic - Little Mix
Something In The Way You Move - Ellie Goulding
Never Forget You - MNEK & Zara Larsson
Ocean Drive - Duke Dumont
Runnin' (Lose It All) - Naughty Boy feat. Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin
Lay It All On Me - Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran
Here For You - Kygo feat. Ella Henderson
Somebody (Gazzo Remix) - Natalie La Rose feat. Jeremih
Bun Up The Dance - Dillon Francis & Skrillex
Lights (Bakermat Remix) - Hurts
Numb - Nick Jonas feat. Angel Haze
Do It Again - Pia Mia feat. Chris Brown & Tyga
Player - Tinashe feat. Chris Brown
Ride - SoMo
Stay - Hurts
Drive - Oh Wonder
Hole In My Heart - Luke Friend

What songs have you been listening to?

Suzanne x



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Quick & Easy Costume Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and I don't know about you but I love all things spooky and have definitely been getting in the mood now that the new season of The Vampire Diaries is back (fave show ever)! Anyway, I thought I'd put together a little collection of ways you can get into the Halloween spirit without having to go all out which is prefect for any last minute parties. 

Creepy but Casual

Top: Asos - Top: New Look - Socks: Topshop - Dress: Asos - Top: Boohoo - Top: Asos

Don't want to dress in the typical fancy dress outfit and want to wear more normal clothes? Of course you can, the high street has so many offerings of Halloween inspired pieces that you can wear all the time, not just to a Halloween party. Add a pair of black jeans/tights, boots and some fake blood if you like and your spooky look is complete. Easy peasy! 


Dress: Topshop - Tights: Asos - Top: Asos - Dress: Asos

Are you keeping skeletons in your closet? You can obviously purchase a full skeleton fancy dress outfit if you prefer but for a more budget option, the high street has many skeleton inspired tops and leggings out right now. Wear together or wear one on its own, you can add skeleton inspired makeup which is a lot easier than it looks- see this one here. 

Witch or Vampire 

Tights: Asos - Dress: Boohoo - Leggings: Asos - Stickers: Topshop - Dress: Asos - Bag charm: Asos

For a classic Halloween look, this one is really easy and if you have some black clothes you are half way there. Add dark purple or black lipstick to become a witch (hat or broom optional) or go for a dramatic smokey eye with blood red lips for a vampy look (fangs optional). You could go for the vampire look from The Vampire Diaries by adding curly/wavy hair and a leather jacket if you are a mega fan like I am ;) 

Cat or Devil 

Dress: Boohoo - Dress: Asos - Cat Ears: Accessorize - Hat: Topshop - Mask: Asos - Devil Set: Asos

Pretty standard but if you are all out of options a cat or a devil are good options as all you need to do is buy the right accessories. Wear all black for a cat, add some cat ears with a black nose and/or black lipstick. For a devil, a red or black dress, skirt and top will look great with devil horns. Not the most inventive outfits but always a classic and super easy!

Zombify Any Outfit 

So you don't know what to be for Halloween or you want to reuse fancy dress costumes you already have to save money but want them to look scary? Answer: be a Zombie. You can make any outfit scary by using white powder, darkening eyes and bonus points if you add cuts to your face which you can do really easily like shown here. Wear a normal outfit or an old fancy dress costume (e.g school girl, nurse, Minnie Mouse, Show White etc.) and voila you have yourself a scary Halloween costume.

Gunshot Wound

Possibly the quickest and easiest Halloween look I've seen that looks super effective yet requires little effort. There is a Youtube tutorial here that explains exactly how to achieve this look and is perfect for last minute Halloween plans. Even with less than an hour spare you can pull of this look and you don't even need to buy an outfit, winner! 

Happy Halloween! 
What will you be wearing this year?



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bourjois 'Air Mat' Foundation Review - Love or Hate?

There's a new foundation to hit the drugstore market in the form of Bourjois' Air Mat Foundation. This foundation claims to leave an "undetectable matte finish" because it is "enriched with micronized powders, eliminating shine with no mask effect."

The reasoning for the name 'Air Mat' is due to the foundation providing a perfect matte coverage that is still fresh, non-drying and feeling as "light as air". This is what excited me the most, as the idea of a lightweight foundation with good coverage and oil control sounds ideal to me for an every day foundation. 

Being a pale girl, I naturally chose the lightest shade available which is 01 Rose Ivory. I find this shade to be slightly too dark for me and it is very yellow toned which didn't go too well with my cool toned skin. I can just about make it work by using the product sparingly so I don't look too orange but I am disappointed that Bourjois haven't made a lighter shade that also suits cool toned skin types. If you are very pale, I suggest trying the L'Oreal Infallible Matte foundation which is a perfect match for me in the lightest shade. 

I love the packaging as the tube allows you to control how much foundation comes out. The first thing I noticed was that the foundation has a slight fragrance, nothing too strong but definitely noticeable. I actually don't mind the smell and even though I have sensitive skin, it hasn't broken me out.

This foundation dries really really fast so be prepared to give yourself a mini arm workout! I found that putting the foundation on in sections rather than trying to do my whole face at once helped but I did feel very rushed which I'm not a fan of to be honest.

The coverage this foundation gives is quite impressive even with a small amount because it felt like there was virtually nothing on my skin so I would totally agree with the 'light as air' claims. I would say this foundation is medium to full coverage depending how much you use- a little goes a long way.

I love the way this foundation sets, I prefer matte foundations because I have oily skin but this doesn't give you that flat face like many matte foundations do. With the built in oil control I found this foundation can last most of the day without re-powdering.

Love or Hate? 

This could have been the perfect matte foundation for me as I love how lightweight and long-lasting it is but sadly the colour match is a no-go for me so I don't think I will be repurchasing *insert sad face*. I just can't bring myself to wear this foundation without being paranoid that it makes me look orange. So I don't hate this foundation... but I could have loved it! Your loss Bourjois... 

Should you try the Bourjois Air Mat? 

Yes- if you can find a good colour match! Anyone who has a oily/combination skin type or likes a matte foundation should try this! However, the limited shade range for lighter and darker skin tones is a bummer and many of the shades appear to be for warmer skin tones. This is probably why I won't be repurchasing this foundation as the lightest shade is sadly too dark and too yellow toned for me!

Personally, I don't find this foundation drying but I would say that dry skin types might not get on with this foundation as well as normal and oily/combination skin types. Nevertheless, this foundation is definitely worth a try if you prefer a matte finish that isn't 'too matte', lasts all day and feels super lightweight yet provides really good coverage. 

Final Points To Consider:

  • There are 8 shades in total but lacks lighter and darker shades 
  • Matte finish- claims to last 24hrs (I'd say more like 10hrs max)
  • This gives a medium coverage but feels very lightweight
  • Dries really fast- you must blend the foundation very quickly
  • Great packaging- gives control & only small amount needed
  • Contains SPF10- low sun protection but good for flash photography 
Will you try the new Bourjois Air Mat Foundation? 

Suzanne x



Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Recent Purchases: Drugstore Makeup

As I ventured into my local Superdrug telling myself to only buy the essentials, I stumbled across the makeup aisles and could not help myself haha. I picked up a few repurchases but also decided to try some new products that caught my eye.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer 

Firstly, is it just me but whenever I see a store has the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in stock I have to buy at least two! I've even been known to rummage in the draws underneath the counters to see if any haven't been put out yet because I just love this concealer so much and have to stock up haha. Definitely check out this concealer if you like high coverage on a budget!

Bourjois 'Air Mat' Foundation 

I have heard very little about this new foundation and currently it's not even on the Bourjois website which is very surprising. I really like Bourjois products but unfortunately all their foundations aren't suitable for my oily/combination skin type. When I saw this my eyes lit up as it sounds amazing- a high coverage matte foundation that lasts all day, eliminates shine and is "as light as air"? Count me in! I got the lightest shade but Superdrug only had 3 shades so hopefully there will be more available.

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr 

Now although this is a new product to me, I have seen many bloggers rave about this for ages so I decided to join the club and I have to say, I blooming love it! On and On Bronze is a gorgeous shimmery brown shade with a hint of copper in certain lights. The formula is lovely- so smooth and creamy. This is my first try of a cream eyeshadow and I think I'll try more as this product makes applying eyeshadow so much easier. Just a few swipes of a finger and you are done- no brushes required! 

Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder 

For a drugstore product, this powder feels a lot more high end and leaves a beautiful finish to the skin. I'd say the long lasting powder is similar to other powders available, but this is the one powder I find I can reapply as many times as I want and it doesn't cake at all. I really like it, so I bought it again! 

Have you tried any of these products? 

Suzanne x

© Love With Fire Red | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig