Five Favourite Beauty Products Under Five Pounds

Hi, loves! I’m so excited to share today’s post with you because all of these products are fantastic value for money and also really great products. Like, if they were three times the price I’d still purchase them good. Y’know?! All five of the products I’ve used for a long time and always have/will re-purchase, and also I feel like inexpensive items like these can easily be overlooked. I stick to a pretty tight beauty budget these days (because it’s just SO easy to get carried away if you don’t set a budget!) so I only really splurge on items I know are worth the money. This means I’m generally a little more likely to try new things that are inexpensive, and if you have any great beauty products under a £5 I’d love to know!

Carmex Lip Balm in Strawberry
I have a confession. I am a lip balm junkie. I would never leave the house without lip balm even though I have like three in my car, I apply it religiously and I love to try new brands/scents! I try super inexpensive lip balms and I try super expensive lip balms, but no matter what I ALWAYS come back to Carmex. I really like many lip balms from the drugstore; EOS, Burt’s Bees and Palmer’s are all really good and ones I’d also recommend, but there’s something about Carmex that gets me. My favourite scent is the strawberry one because it just makes me happy, and I really love the applicator too. This is great in the warm weather or on holiday, as it’s not a stick it doesn’t melt all over the place even when it gets super hot. It also has SPF 15 which is so incredibly important!! I think Carmex is very comparable to Glossier Balm Dot Com, which is my favourite high end lip balm, although it’s much more affordable and easily accessible. I really love this lip balm under lipstick or lipgloss too; it’s moisturising and makes a really good base for product to be applied on to without being sticky.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair
This is the ONLY concealer I buy to cover spots/pigmentation/scarring on my face. Around a year ago I completely stopped buying my previous Nars concealer because this is just amazing and works even better (in my opinion)! I would personally never use it under my eyes as it’s quite thick, but I know lots of people do and really like it for that application. I love the doe foot applicator, the coverage and the price point; it’s truly such a great concealer. A tube lasts me forever too, I have no idea how because I used to go through high end concealers so quickly I felt like I was purchasing one every month! I’ve been using this concealer for so long I still call it Collection 2000. Does anyone else remember that?! I don’t know when or why they dropped the ‘2000’ but I’ll probably always call it that, hah! I also remember all those YouTube videos where US beauty vloggers would come to the UK and they’d literally buy twenty of these concealers because you couldn’t buy it in the US! I’m guessing you can now because it really has a cult following, and it’s for sure worth the hype.

Garnier Intensive Body Lotion in Mango
I made a commitment a few years back to always moisturise my body when I get out of the shower or bath, and now it’s such a part of my routine that I couldn’t imagine not doing it. Beforehand I would sometimes moisturise, maybe like every third time I showered or bathed, but my skin was always dry and felt uncomfortable because of it. I figured that I spend so much time and effort with my face skincare that my body deserved the same love! It makes me feel so good and I’m truly happy I began doing this, but I started to go through body lotion like you wouldn’t believe. My ultimate favourite moisturisers are from The Body Shop; either the Mango Body Butter or Hawaiian Kukui Cream from the Spa Of The World collection; but I’d spend a fortune if I used those every single day, especially the latter! I tend to mostly save those for special occasions like date nights or a really nice pamper evening. I’ve tried many budget moisturisers and haven’t loved many of them, but this one is incredible and the mango scent is absolutely my favourite. It’s extremely moisturising, smells gorgeous (like Summer!) and really soaks into my skin quickly so I can put pj’s/comfy clothes on straight after I apply it. I also love the coconut scent, I tend to pick up a few of each when they’re on offer and they’re such a steal. If you’re looking for a new moisturiser this beats so many high end ones I’ve tried, I promise you won’t regret it!

The Body Shop Sheet Masks
If I’m having a little pamper evening one of my favourite things to do is throw on a sheet mask! We all know most sheet masks are not great for the environment, but I only buy sheet masks from The Body Shop as they’re biodegradable and they also are by far the best I’ve tried. My favourite is either the Aloe or Vitamin C; both give fantastic results and I also just love how cooling they are on my face. I really appreciate that after a hot bath! Matt loves to join in on a sheet mask with me too, the Seaweed one is his favourite because he has oily skin and every time he uses one his skin looks SO good the next day! We always use these at night; we leave them on for around fifteen minutes, then rub in any excess that’s left on our skin and then I go in with my evening skincare routine as normal. I’ve told so many people about these masks and everyone who tries them seems to love them as much as I do.

CYO Loose Powder in Translucent
I picked this up in December because I was almost out of my Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder and did not need to spend £30 just before Christmas on a makeup product. I did however need a setting powder to set my makeup each day so I wandered into Boots looking for an inexpensive alternative. This was my first product I’ve ever bought from CYO (which I think may be a Boots own brand?) and guys, it’s incredible! This powder is finely milled, bakes concealer really well, helps my makeup last throughout the day and a little goes a long way. The only thing I would say is that although it’s marketed as translucent I feel it does have a little colour pay off; I’m super fair and it doesn’t look orange on me but it definitely darkens my foundation just a tad. This doesn’t bother me at all but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re going to purchase!

Have you tried and loved any of these products? What is your go-to inexpensive beauty product(s) that you feel doesn’t get the recognition it deserves?! I’d love to try some new budget beauty items! Also I’d love to know if you’d like to see a ten beauty products under £10? I have so many favourites from the drugstore and I’d be so happy to share them with you!

-G x

Road Trip Essentials

Happy, happy Sunday, loves! As this post goes live Matt and I will be in Manchester for a family re-union, we’re so excited! My mum is from Manchester and most of her side of our family still live down there, so we’re all getting together for the first time in a LONG time. My great aunt and uncle are also visiting from Canada and I haven’t seen them in around four years! The rest of our family from up North are headed down a day earlier than us, because Matt was working we couldn’t go until Sunday. We’re happy though because we get to make the most of a cosy Saturday evening at home then leave early on Sunday morning. Fingers crossed we’ll miss most of the bank holiday traffic and get there pretty quickly!

As I mentioned briefly at the end of this post, Matt goes away for a whole week from next Sunday *sob sob* so we’re making sure to enjoy every second we’ve got together before he goes! I’m going to miss him like CRAZY but I’m so grateful we have a fun trip to look forward to before he leaves. I know he’s going to have so much fun being away but I literally feel like my right arm is missing when he’s not around! Especially going to sleep and waking up without him, it’s so rare we’re apart at night and it’s the worst feeling. I’m really excited for him to have an adventure, but I’m already (not so) secretly counting down to picking him up from the airport on his return… sssshh! Literally me right now:

BUT back to the present: we’re even more excited for this weekend because we’ve got tickets for the Manchester United Legends vs Bayern Munich Legends game and my mum, brother and uncle are tagging along too! Everyone else is sitting it out and enjoying being with family, but I know we’ll have a great time at the game. I can’t wait to see David Beckham up close! Matt and I did a stadium tour of Old Trafford back in December – I’m linking my photo diary from that trip here!

Road trips are seriously one of Matt and I’s favourite things, and whether it’s for a day trip or a weekend getaway we are pros when it comes to knowing what we need, and what we don’t. I absolutely love packing, especially for weekend breaks! There is however so many things we’ve found are good to have on hand whilst travelling that you don’t want stuck in your suitcase whilst on a motorway. I also love travelling by car because there’s no weight limits, and you can bring whatever the heck you like!

Aside from what to take with you, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks we put into practice for each road trip:
1. Use Waze to navigate your journey, it will be your best friend. This free app is seriously the best, and I never see people talking about it! You can add your destination, set the time you ideally want to arrive and it will tell you exactly what time you need to leave. It warns you of any upcoming traffic or roadworks, and advises the best places to detour or stop.
2. Check your tyres, screen wash and oil before you set off to give you peace of mind. You definitely don’t want your journey to be interrupted by issues with your car, so making the necessary checks and alterations alleviates most of this worry. We’re not used to driving super long distances in England (literally you can drive from the most Northern point to the most Southern point in less than ten hours) but it’s still so important to be safe and make those checks.
3. Carry cash for any service station stops. Matt and I are so bad for paying for most items on our debit card whether we’re buying groceries or clothes, but I’m trying to make a concious effort to carry – and use – cash on a more regular basis. We once stopped at an M&S in a service station and their card machines were down, all I wanted was a pot of fresh pineapple but we didn’t have any cash, learn from my mistakes!
4. Dress comfy. If you’re sitting in a car for a long time you do NOT want to be wearing jeans. Unless you’re like Matt who finds jeans ‘comfy’ but he’s just weird and if that’s you, you shouldn’t admit it! Ha, but for real I can’t stand sitting around in jeans! To travel for a while I typically wear leggings, trainers/comfy sandals and a t shirt, with a sweater or denim jacket to throw on if I get chilly. Also, if you’re the passenger and you’ll be taking your shoes off (the only way to travel in my opinion) make sure to take fluffy socks!
5. Pack your patience. Seriously, the chances of a slight detour or traffic at some point during your journey is pretty high, and you don’t want to spend your travelling time stressed out or speeding to make up lost time. Apps like Waze really help out here, but sometimes even stopping to grab a breakfast muffin or re-joining the motorway after stopping off can be a headache. Stay calm, and stay safe!

Just to be transparent: the photos of me in this post were actually taken in Matt’s car, not mine! We were coming home one evening last week and the light was so good we decided to take the opportunity to take pictures there and then! #doingitfortheblog. So, we have a full tank of diesel and a clean car, I’ve made a snack run and our suitcases are filled to the brim. (Well, mine is…) so let’s get into the essentials for our road trip:

The must-have beauty bits
I definitely don’t need my skincare or haircare products, makeup bag or toiletries whilst we’re on the road, so they are safe inside my suitcase in the boot. There are a few things I would always keep in my bag whether we were out for the day/night or I was at work, and these are the things I want in the front seat with me! I have to take lip balm wherever I go (even like… downstairs, lol) so that is a must. I’ve packed two for this trip – Glossier Balm Dot Com and Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear; they’re both super nourishing and hydrating, and I just like to have options! Keeping my hands soft is just as important, and my favourite cherry blossom hand cream from L’Occitaine is a must. The last things I like to keep near me are the products I reach for just before we arrive at our destination; my face powder, tangle teezer (this one is so much cuter than mine), my favourite travel sized perfume and my current favourite lip gloss in the shade Hot Toddy. We’re heading straight to my aunt’s house and I want to look somewhat ‘put together’ after a long drive!

A good soundtrack
When you’re going to be in a car for X amount of hours, you really need good entertainment! Thankfully Matt and I are easily entertained, and could happily talk the whole drive there (and back) without any distraction from music or podcasts, but we actually really enjoy listening to both. I’ve saved my Sh*gged, Married, Annoyed podcast from Friday to listen to on the drive down – it’s my favourite EVER podcast and Matt really enjoys it too! Seriously Rosie and Chris are freaking hilarious; I wrote about it a lot more in this post. We’ll also listen to one or two Small Town Murder podcasts, James and Jimmy are so funny and if you’re a fan of true crime (told in a comedic way) this is the podcast for you. I’m pretty sure I’ll add a little Ed Sheeran and Disney songs into the mix at some point too – perks of riding shotgun is you get to make all the music decisions, sorry babe! Also we love the pre-made Spotify playlists (Cheesy Hits, Feel Good Friday and Road Trip Sing Along Songs are our favourite), I can hardly wait for us to hit the open road and sing stupidly loud! 

A blanket
LOL so hear me out on this one, I promise I’m not like a three year old. It may be Spring on the calendar but that doesn’t mean we have Spring weather, in fact it’s been completely all over the place recently. The mornings and evenings are cool, and some days have been absolutely freezing! I’m also one of those super annoying people that’s always cold even when it’s hot and humid, and Matt is pretty much always hot. Having a blanket for the journey means he can have the air con blasting but I’m still toasty and cosy! I even have a specific car blanket – the multi coloured one pictured above – that I got in Florida when I was 12 (yes I was cold in Florida…) This blanket has been half way around the world with me so many times and I absolutely love it, it’s the perfect travelling companion! Except for Matt, of course. As mentioned above, I also always pack fluffy socks and wear a comfy sweater or hoodie, I just want to be warm and comfortable!

iPhone charger
No matter how we are travelling or how far we’re going, a phone charger is a MUST for any journey. Battery packs are great and something I pretty much always keep in my bag, but if Matt or I wanted to charge our phone whilst on the road we’d more than likely plug it into the car USB port. Keep your cables up front so you don’t have to stop at a service station and root around in your suitcase mid-trip, I may be speaking from experience… you’ll thank me later!

Drinks and snacks
The best part of a road trip is 100% snacks, right?! We’re fully stocked up on the essentials and for us that’s almost all junk food. Sorry not sorry. I really wanted to take bananas (I’m obsessed with them right now, I don’t know why!) but the thought of the peel sitting in the car for a few hours makes me feel sick. So I guess I’ll have to eat chocolate instead, ha! As we’re heading down super early on Sunday morning we’ll probably eat very little of what we’re taking, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy when we’re at the hotel and for the trip back up North! We’ve got plenty of Diet Coke, water, chips and dip, Cadbury’s chocolate buttons, Propercorn coconut and vanilla popcorn, strawberry Starbursts and our favourite Kind bars just incase we’re stuck between meals! Also you can’t forget hand sanitizer or wipes, I never leave the house without my pocketbac, it comes in SO handy and Matt is always borrowing it too. I find wet wipes are a necessity when you’re travelling no matter what you need them for, and these ones from Cheeky Panda are biodegradable so they’re good for the environment!

Sunglasses
Sunglasses are a necessity when heading out on a road trip for passengers and the driver, and we’re being hopeful we’ll actually get lots of sun this weekend! The sunglasses I tend wear most are from Quay and they’re my absolute favourite; I always pick them over my Raybans, they’re so light on my face and go with any outfit! They were also super inexpensive compared to so many sunglasses brands, definitely keep your eye out for deals coming into the Summer months. Eye. Get it?! I wear sunglasses on my head as a ‘hairstyle’ continuously throughout Spring and Summer, and it’s one of my favourite looks – I love having my hair down but just hate it being in my face. 

Reading material
I don’t always feel comfortable reading in the car, it completely depends on how I feel that day. For the most part, Matt and I will be talking, listening to podcasts and singing (badly) to our Spotify playlists, but I like to have options. I just finished the most amazing book (Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid – it’s so so good guys! There’ll be lots more about it on the blog this coming Wednesday). I picked up If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon and although I’ve only read a few chapters, I’m really enjoying it so far! I also grabbed my latest issue of Cosmopolitan for good measure, and Matt has his copy of Four Four Two in case we have a little downtime at the hotel in the evening or following morning.

A rubbish bin
Seriously, how many times have you been on a road trip and had nowhere to put all of your rubbish?! Cans of pop, crisp packets and chocolate wrappers always end up stuffed in the side of the car doors for us, but this trip I wasn’t having it. I picked up this pop-up rubbish bin from eBay (Mrs Hinch has got me browsing eBay like no tomorrow!) that we can keep in the back so we don’t need to worry about finding all of our rubbish when we get to our destination! 

Re-usable bottles 
Chances are we’ll be stopping off at a Starbucks at least once on the way there and on the way back (and there’s one super close to our hotel, I can’t wait for a morning Starbs as that’s a complete luxury for us, we don’t live near one!) but I’m really trying not to buy one-use cups as much as I can help it. My Chilly’s bottle is my new favourite thing! The colour is perfect, and I’m already getting so much use out of it. I’ll fill it with water before we set off, and re-fill along the way. I’m trying to convince Matt that he needs one too! I’ve also had a Kate Spade thermal mug for so long and although I use it more in the Autumn and Winter months, I’ll almost definitely be grabbing a hot chocolate or vanilla chai in the morning!

Umbrella and raincoats
Like I said, it may be Spring but you just never know what weather to expect in England. As well as my obsession with the Co-Op (lol, more context in this post) I’m kind of obsessed with looking at the weather, Matt and our families are always joking about me being a weather reporter LOL. But, the forecast is almost always wrong! We’ve been on too many road trips where we’ve stopped at a service station and I’ve had to grab my scarf or blanket to cover my hair from the rain, not this time. Lesson learned!

Medication
Of course you hope you won’t need it during the journey (or the trip itself) but it’s always better to have it on hand. I have arthritis and sitting still for any period of time is just not good for my legs – my arthritis is much worse in my knees, hips and ankles – so I literally need to have ibuprofen with me. I also pack other medication I need for the trip, which stays in my bag anyway so would always be close! Since last Spring when we road tripped to Harrogate I’ve packed travel sickness tablets too, as sometimes Matt and I can feel really unwell being in the car for so long. I think it’s worse when it’s super hot and humid (which it’s not meant to be this weekend… I’ve checked all my weather apps) and Matt is poorly if he’s the passenger. This means he’s always our designated driver, bless him! 

Thank you so much for reading! Do you love road trips as much as we do? What are your road trip essentials? I hope we haven’t forgotten anything, I always feel worried as soon as we hit the motorway and there’s no turning back! We’re going to be making the exact same trip in just over three weeks as we’re heading to Croatia and flying from Manchester airport, I can barely stand how excited I am!

-G x