The 100 Day Spending Challenge... Take Two!

Well, here we are again. I'm sure many of you remember how well my last spending challenge went (hint: horrifically crashed and burned) but I'm back for a fresh attempt; The 100 Day Spending Challenge - Take Two! This time around I've tweaked the rules a little but what with it being January and me being more skint than ever I figured now was a good time to start, especially since one of my new year's resolutions was to seriously look at paying off credit cards and the like. So, let's restate the rules of the challenge:

one. For 100 days I will do my best to not spend any money on anything I don't need for myself. This does not include necessities like gifts, meals out with other etc. but does include cosmetics, hair products, homeware and takeaways.

two. This does not include necessities like gifts, replacing broken necessities or meals out with others/date nights/anything similar but does include cosmetics, hair products (other than dye), any form of unnecessary homeware and takeaways on my own.

three. Every other week I will post about any unnecessary spending I've done and what I got, in order to be held accountable and feel really, really guilty for wasting what little I have if I do have a splurge.

four. Since I began my challenge on Monday, 26th January the last day will be Tuesday 5th May; at which point I'll do a big roundup post with my thoughts on the project and (hopefully) how well I did.

As with last time around, if you fancy joining in please feel free to nab my banner or make your own. I'd love to read your posts so please pass on a link if you decide to give it a go!

Daiso Japan Makeup Brush Cleaner

One of the chores I tend to find more tedious than others is cleaning my makeup brushes. I've tried varying suggested methods from baby shampoo to unscented soap to olive oil and though they all work to a degree I found they wouldn't quite get out all of the staining and my real techniques brushes never looked quite a white and new as I would like. I spied this daiso japan makeup brush cleaner on eBay and decided to give it a try. I ordered mine for around £4 including postage but the only listing right now is here for slightly more; in my opinion it's worth a lot more than what I paid anyway as it's made brush washing so much easier. All I do is wet the tip of my brush, squirt some of this into my hand and swirl it around. One rinse later and the brush is pretty much clean! It takes a lot of the time and effort out of cleaning them and as a result I'll be much more likely to do it as often as I should. 

Purr Purr Purr Kitty Cake

Back before Christmas I won a competition over on the blog of the ever-lovely Leanne of A Slice of My Life Wales; and it was the best kind of competition as my prize was cake! and not any cake, cake that fits through your letterbox. I was able to choose a cake of my choice from the Baker Days site and after a brief blip thanks to the Christmas period I had a cat themed chocolate cake through the door; to be honest I'd forgotten all about it so it was a really nice surprise after a long day at work. The cake itself is better than I could ever have expected; not dry at all and it tasted wonderful, as did the icing. I will definitely consider the site in the future for gifting purposes, especially since most of their designs can be personalised.

Topshop Lip and Cream Blush Set

This was one of the only makeup items I picked up in the post-christmas sales, bar the seventeen nail set I got for super cheap in boots. I've always been curious about the Topshop makeup line and in the past I've only dabbled in their nail polish. Whilst I was surfing their sale I spotted this gift set at the last minute at half price (£6) and decided to pop it in my basket to give it a try for a bit less money. The set includes the wicked lipstick that usually costs £8 and the head over heels blush that retails for £7, meaning I got a total of £9 off the pair, not bad value at all! See below for swatches and opinions;

wicked cream lipstick - £8
I'm surprised by how much I love this lipstick - I don't own many and I am so not a pro at application so with my wobbly hands it did look a bit wonky on, but with careful application this would look stunning on. The shade is a sort of raspberry purple; less 'burgundy' than the packaging suggests. The swatch was taken in natural light in order to show how it looks as clearly as possible. I'm a fan of the applicator style too - the black on white lines are super distinctive and I'm a fan of the styling of the whole range. Despite how much of a fan of the shade I am, I doubt it will get all that much wear to be honest as it's a little bold for what I'm used to - but you never know!

head over heels cream blush - £7
This is the real winner of the set in my opinion; the only blush I own is a super girly pink shade and I really like the orange tones in this even if I was a little dubious prior to application. I love that it comes with it's own little mirror for application, definitely a plus in my book. The only negative I have found is that it really did not get along well with my real techniques brush. One swirl and several of the bristles dislodged themselves! This might have been uneducated me using the wrong tool for the job but I find if I apply it with fingers then blend with the brush I achieve the result I'm after anyway until I find another solution.

Kawaii Friday: Vanilla Ice Cream KitKat

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Kawaii Friday is a weekly feature on my blog, celebrating all the super cute things I own and buy! The first set of this series will centre around the super sweet order I made from Tofu Cute for lots of yummy japanese goodies.

I've been super excited to try out some of the weird and wonderful KitKat flavours you can get in Japan! In the end I decided on three varieties - Ichigo Strawberry, Wasabi (for the boyfriend to try, I'm too much of a wuss) and Vanilla Ice Cream. I was most excited to try the latter as it's so different to usual UK KitKats. I love the packaging for starters, one penguin and one polar bear. The bar itself looked like solidified vanilla ice cream with the little pods in. I should mention, these bars are really tiny and if I hadn't gotten two of them for the £2.50 I paid it would have really been a rip-off; and as it is that isn't cheap. It tasted really quite plain and lacking in flavour at first but the aftertaste is actually uncanny to vanilla ice cream - it's really strange! Out of all the products I got I actually liked these the best and would rebuy if they are a bit cheaper/easier to get hold of.

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Tidying by Colour

Back in the day when I had more disposable income and far less bills to pay, I was a little bit of a nail polish addict. I had literally over one hundred different colours. Over the last couple years (with only a few tiny purchases) the collection has dwindled down somewhat. Every now and then I will go hunting for a certain colour and find either there's a tiny dribble left in the bottom of the bottle or it's a dried, gloopy mess so it seemed like a good idea to have a sort-through. Every polish was swatched on paper for quality and texture (and to check the brush wasn't disgusting too) and then either binned or stuck back in the drawer by colour. The best part of it is you rediscover some really nice colours you forgot you have, but I did lose some old favourites. Disappointingly, Essie polishes seem to have a really short shelf life and every single one was dried up and horrible whereas most of my cheapo Boots own '17' polishes were fine. Do you have a large nail polish collection? How do you keep it ordered, any tips?


Life Lately #7

one. I've continued to bake up a storm these last few weeks, and gingerbread is my favourite festive thing to make! I posted my recipe here if you want to give it a try. I've gotten into the habit of baking big batches and either freezing them ready for christmas presents or taking them into work.
two. my early birthday present to myself was my beautiful new camera. I'm super into micro four thirds systems, you get pretty much all the quality of a DSLR without the weight; even the lenses are super light and I can't wait to get some more to play around with.
three. my baby christmas tree went up! I opted for a little pink tinsel one this year (despite the boyfriend protesting) because I just don't have the room for a proper size tree. I strung some adorable star lights from next around it and used some baubles from paperchase.
four. I played games with some of the guys from work. I really don't have the head for strategy games but I actually came second playing Game of Thrones. I can't wait for next time when I'll actually understand what's going on a little better because the rules are so complicated.
five. It was my birthday. Pretty low key this year, but I got red velvet cake and some lovely chocolates so I'm happy; not so happy I had to work but never mind. I'm 24 now but still not a grown up in my opinion, considering I ate cake for three meals a day until it was gone.
six. all my christmas shopping is done finally and my gifts are wrapped and under the tree ready for the day itself. I love this cute patterned wrapping paper from next, it's festive but not super gaudy which is perfect for me.


NOTD; Seventeen Gel Colour Maraschino Cherry

Seventeen Gel Colour in Maraschino Cherry purchased at Boots for £3.99