4 Alternative Uses For Perfume Samples

alternative uses for perfume samples

I love fragrance samples. Perfume can be a pretty expensive hobby, and there’s no way I would be able to try so many new scents every year without them. But lately, my collection has been getting out of control. I have a box chockfull of little perfume vials and, every now and then, I keep finding the odd forgotten one in a corner of the room, under a cushion, in my bag…

It’s like they have a life of their own and they’re hunting me, begging me to use them. But, unless I start to spritz different scents on different body parts and give a headache to everyone I meet, it’s impossible for me to wear them all to the last drop before they turn bad. So, I got creative and found other uses for them:

1. Fragrant bath

After a long day on my feet, I love to relax by taking a long, warm bath. For even a more pampering experience, I pour some perfume into the warm water. If it’s a cologne, or a scent I like but not love, I use the whole vial. But if the perfume is strong and powerful, or I love it so much I want to make it lasts as long as possible, only a few drops will do. The warmth of the water helps to diffuse the scent, making this pampering ritual even more relaxing and enjoyable. If you have time to bathe in the morning, you won’t even have to spritz perfume on afterwards. This bath will make you smell gorgeous for the whole day.

2. DIY room diffuser

If you have some reed diffuser sticks and carrier oils (safflower oil is the best one for this) at home, you can make your own room diffuser. You’ll need a glass, and your perfume samples too, of course! Pour all the contents of your sample vial, as well 1/4 cup of safflower oil, into the glass. Stir the mixture up with the reeds. Don’t worry if they don’t blend perfectly. Oil and water repel each other, but this trick will work anyway. Now you’ll just have to wait a few hours for the scent to travel up the reeds and diffuse a pleasant smell throughout your room.

3. Scented lingerie

This is a tip I picked up from Angela @ Now Smell This, so I’ll let her do the talking: “I like to add a vial of perfume to the water I use to rinse my lingerie when I’m washing it by hand. First I wash the lingerie in soap and water, and after it has soaked, I rinse it once then return it to the sink with the contents of a sample vial.” I do this on special occasions, and it makes me feel so sexy! But, if you have sensitive skin, be careful, as there’s a chance it could irritate your delicate areas.

4. Stocking stuffers

Whenever I buy someone a present for their birthday, Christmas, or any other special occasions, I add a couple of perfume samples, tied up with ribbons. It’s a lovely gesture that most people appreciate, although it works best if you know what kind of scents your friends like. A lot of my friends are into floral scents, which is fortunate, cos I usually don’t care much for them. Aha!

What do you do with perfume samples you don’t use?

4 Tips For Bright & Glossy Summer Lips

bright glossy lips

There is just something about lipgloss that screams “hello summer!” And the brighter, the better. When the sun burns and the temperatures rise, and you can only wear minimal, waterproof makeup that won’t melt off your face within minutes, a swipe of bright coral or fuchsia lip gloss can spice up your look, adding to it a touch of personality and colour.

Think you can not pull off a dazzling bright lipgloss? Think again. Here are a few tips to help you rock this juicy, summery look:

mirenesse 3d forever lip gloss geisha 02

1. Exfoliate!

To avoid those ugly flakes and create a smooth canvas that will allow your lipgloss to truly shine brightly, gently exfoliate your lips. Sara Happ Lip Scrubs are very popular (and for a good reason, too), but if you are the DIY type, you can just mix some olive olive with sugar (you can also add honey for some extra moisture) and voilà. Your lips will be super soft, smooth, and ready to glow!

2. Line the edges

When a bright lipgloss decides to take a trip outside of your lips, everyone will notice. To prevent walking around with your gloss all smeared, line the outer edges of your lips with a clear and colourless lip liner like Milani Anti-Feathering Lip Liner. People will still notice your bright, luscious pout, but for the right reasons this time!

labello sun protect lip balm spf30 02

3. Protect your pout

Have you found the perfect summer shade only to realise it doesn’t contain SPF? What a bummer! But, fret not. You can still wear it. Just apply a layer of lip balm with SPF, such as Badger Lip Balm Stick SPF 15, beforehand. It will protect your lips from the harmful sun’s rays and keep them moisturized in the hot and humid summer weather too.

4. Tone down the rest of the makeup

When you’re wearing a bright lip colour, it’s best to keep the rest of your makeup toned down. Summer may be all about colour, but, unless done super-well, bright eyes and bright lips together can make you look garish rather than stylish. So, choose natural eyeshadow and blush shades. If you still want to use colour on your eyes as well, apply only a light wash that will complement, rather than clash, with the rest of your makeup.

Do you wear bright lips in summer? How do you apply bright lipgloss?

5 Beauty Bloggers Reveal Their Favourite Drugstore Products

beauty bloggers love
I love shopping at the drugstore. High-end products are very nice too, but there’s nothing like the thrill of discovering a little gem that performs just as well and makes you look great at a fraction of the cost. Like a great, but inexpensive, foundation that makes your skin look flawless. Or a cheap dupe for YSL Touche Eclat.

And when beauty bloggers come across such gems, they just have to share them. So, here are the favourite drugstore products of some of my favourite beauty bloggers. Enjoy!

nikki favourite drugstore beauty products

Nikki @ Ask Me Whats

Maybelline Hyper Sharp Liner: for a drugstore liquid liner brand, this stays even on oily lids and the brush works so well to create the thinnest to thickest line.

Revlon Photoready Concealer: gives good coverage to hide my undereye circles and other red marks. This stays until makeup removal.

Sleek Makeup Palettes: all Sleek Makeup Eyeshadow palettes I tried are very pigmented and very easy to blend.

courtney favourite drugstore beauty products

Courtney @ Phyrra

Nyx Butter Lipsticks: these come in a wide variety of colors and they’re so comfortable to wear!

Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Pen: you can get a perfect line every time with the calligraphy tip on this pen. Plus, it’s long wearing!

Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer: this is a great cruelty free dupe for Smashbox Photofinish primer. It does a great job of keeping your foundation in place all day.

christina favourite drugstore beauty products

Christina @ Hair Romance

Schwarzkopf Styling Powder: I love styling powders for the instant volume they give my hair and this Schwarzkopf is the best value and is as good, if not better, than more expensive salon brands.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer: this brightening concealer is a cheap drugstore version of my favourite YSL Touche Eclat. It’s a little more sheer than YSL but it’s a dream to blend and is a fab everyday under eye brightener and highlighter for me.

L’Oreal Eau De Teint Nude Magique Foundation: one of the best drugstore foundations I’ve tried. Gorgeous, light and luminous finish that lasts for hours.

harshleen favourite drugstore beauty products

Harshleen @ Beauty Tidbits

L’Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner: it has an excellent color payoff with a creamy formula that’s smudge-proof and stays put all day….my favorite shade is Plum!

Maybelline Face Studio Master Glaze Glisten Blush Stick, Coral Sheen: I love this portable, creamy blush stick that offers blendable, natural color and creamy smooth application. The coral shade is beautiful with a slightly dewy finish.

Revlon Colorburst Lip butters: these are my long time favorite drugstore lippies! They have an emollient formula that feels light yet keeps your lips moisturized while adding a lovely tint of color that builds up easily for more pop! My favorite shade is Peach Parfait.

melissa favourite drugstore beauty products

Melissa @ Kiss & Make-up Beauty Blog

Revlon ColorStay Foundation For Combination Oily Skin: it provides great coverage while still looking quite natural, and the staying power is just insane. Last month I was on a 14-hour flight to Japan and when I got off the plane my foundation still looked picture perfect. Like I said, insane.

Catrice Translucent Loose Powder: Catrice is about as a budget as it gets, but quality wise it’s right up there with my MAC Pro setting powder. I use it to set my foundation in the morning and to mattify my skin throughout the day. Do you know that feeling when you love a product so much that the thought of it ever being discontinued gives you a major panic attack so you always have one or two back-ups in stock? I have that with this powder.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick: I don’t often tell people that they have to try a beauty product – everyone wants and likes different things, so I usually just make recommendations – but this is a lipstick that people just really have to try! I can’t imagine anyone not loving it. The velvet-like matte finish is gorgeous and almost ridiculously even, the colors are super intense, and the wear is amazing. High-end quality for a drugstore price, gotta love that.

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what do you think of them?

How Can I Tell If The Packaging Of My Cosmetic Products Can Be Recycled?

recycling symbols cosmetic packaging

When it comes to beauty shopping, does packaging influence your decision? I’m a sucker for pretty packaging and, when I was younger, I bought my fair share of products because they looked so irresistible. But as I’m getting older, I’m becoming less interested in how pretty a bottle is and more concerned about whether it can be recycled or not.

Separate waste disposal has now become mandatory in many places, but there are some materials that just cannot be recycled, or others that are often refused by recycling plants because they are difficult, and therefore expensive, to recycle. That’s why it is important to choose, whenever you can, products that come in eco-friendly packaging.

But how to recognise them? Here’s a quick guide to help you:

plastic recycling symbols

Deciphering plastic recycling symbols

Plastic packaging can contain a weird symbol. It’s a triangle made of three arrows surrounding a number that ranges from 1 to 7. This number identifies the type of plastic the container is made of. The name of said plastic can also be found, shortened (example: PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate), below the symbol. These are useless, though, if you don’t know what they mean, so here’s a quick guide:

#1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
Inexpensive, lightweight and easy to recycle, this type of plastic is used mostly in containers for mouthwashes, water, soft drinks, and body oils. It can be recycled into, among other things, food and drink containers, carpets, tote bags and furniture.

#2 High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
A versatile and recyclable type of plastic, HDPE is used in bottles that house shampoos, detergents, cereal boxes and shopping bags. It can be recycled into recycling bins, household cleaning containers, benches, pens and many other things.

#3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
A tough type of plastic that’s used for containers that house shampoos, detergents, cooking oils and can be used in windows, medical equipments and railing. It can be recycled, but because it contains chlorine, which releases toxins when burned, the recycling process is difficult.

#4 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
A flexible and versatile plastic, LDPE is used to make squeezable bottles, toys, furniture and clothing. It can be recycled into shipping envelops, furniture, floor tiles and many other things.

#5 Polypropylene (PP)
Because PP has a high melting point, it is used for containers that house hot liquids and foods, such as take-outs, but it can also be found in medicine bottles, straws and syrup bottles. This too can be recycled. It can then be used for many things, including storage bins, brushes, ice scrapers, and trays.

#6 Polystyrene (PS)
When PS is made into foam products, it is called Styrofoam. It is used in egg cartons, disposable plates, furniture and packaging for electronics. It is very difficult to recycle, so many recycling plants don’t accept it. When they do, they can reuse it for light switch plates, foam packaging, and rulers.

#7 Other
This number is used for all the other types of plastic resins. They can be found in sunglasses, DVDs, water bottles, and some food containers. They aren’t always recycled, but when they do, then are turned into plastic lumber and bottles.

recycling symbols

Other symbols

The type of plastic used to make a bottle, a jar or a tube, isn’t always stated on the label. Sometimes, the packaging contains only generic symbols. These are the most common:

Mobius Loop
This means that an object can be recycled, but not that it will be accepted by all recycling plants. When the symbol includes a %, followed by a number, in the middle, it means that the packaging contains only that percentage of recycled material.

Tidyman
This symbol doesn’t tell you if a container can be recycled, but only that you should dispose of it carefully and thoughtfully.

The Green Dot
This symbol can be seen on the packaging of products sold in European countries and signifies that the producers and suppliers have made a financial contribution towards the recycling of packaging. But it doesn’t mean that the container itself is made of recycled material or that it can be recycled.

Not every containers feature a recycling symbol

As I was writing this post, I went through my stash to see how many of my products are made with recyclable materials, and I was astonished, and disappointed, to discover that most of them do not contain any symbols at all. Not even a tiny useless tidyman (ok, the tidyman is not entirely useless, but it just reminds us of something that we should practice anyway). This makes it difficult for consumers to make an informed choice and the most eco-conscious of them will simply leave these products on the shelves.

The Bottom Line

Next time you go shopping, pay attention to the label and opt, whenever possible, for products housed in recyclable containers. And if a container can’t be recycled, why not use it for something else? An empty jar can house your homemade concoctions or all kinds of small things like pins and buttons. Or you could use empty containers for you craft projects. Use your imagination, and try to minimize waste as much as possible. The environment will thank you!

Do you prefer to purchase products with an eco-friendly packaging, and don’t you care if it can be recycled?

Are You Making This Mistake When Applying Foundation?

apply foundation with downward strokes

When you apply your foundation, do you use upward or downward strokes?

When I first starting wearing it, all those years ago, I used both. I thought that, as long as the colour is applied evenly, who cares in which direction you sweep your brush. How wrong I was!

Sometimes, my foundation would look smooth and flawless, while at other times, a bit messy and not that seamless. I couldn’t figure out why. It was so frustrating! Then, the answer hit me.

Peach fuzz. I know, ladies. We all want to pretend that doesn’t exist, but the ugly truth is that we all have it, especially on the sides of our cheeks. Usually, this is invisible to the naked eye. Unless you apply foundation in the wrong way. Then, it suddenly becomes noticeable.

Peach fuzz usually grows downwards. So, when you apply your foundation with upwards strokes, the hairs stand up, becoming more noticeable and making your foundation look less smooth than it should. The same happens when you use swirly motions. So don’t. Use downward strokes instead.

Unless you’re one of the few people on whom peach fuzz grows upwards. In this case, you should use upwards motions too. In other words, when you apply foundation, sweep your brush in the same direction your peach fuzz grows. That way, you’ll always look flawless.

How do you apply your foundation?

How To Easily Remove Glitter Nail Polishes

how to remove glitter nail polish

Glitter nail polishes are a must during the holidays. They jazz up your nails and make them sparkle and shine. Once they’re on, you don’t want to take them off anymore. And not only because they look so pretty. Glitter nail polishes are a pain to remove!

That’s because of their texture, which is rich in glitter particles and poor in actual lacquer. But don’t fret. There’s a way to make removal quick and effortless. You’ll only need a cotton pad, your usual nail polish remover and tin foil. Oh, and a hand cream. It’ll come in handy afterwards.

Here’s how to use them:

1. Soak (and I literally mean soak) a cotton pad in nail polish remover. Don’t skimp on it or it won’t work as well
2. Place the cotton pad on your nail, and wrap the tin foil tightly around it. Do the same on every nail (one hand at a time).
3. Wait about 5 minutes to give the nail polish remover time to dissolve the glitters and lacquers.
4. Slide off the tin and cotton at the same time. I do this by applying a slight pressure on the nails, and gently twist the wrap back and forth. This will remove most of the glitters.
5. If some glitters are still on your nails, simply take them off with a cotton pad and nail polish remover. They’ll come away really easily now.
6. Your nails will feel dry now, so moisturize them with a good hand cream. They will thank you for it.

Do you wear glitter nail polish during the holidays? If so, how do you take it off?