Thursday, 30 March 2017

Penneys/Primark - 16 New Budget Beauty Hacks!

I'd say it's ingrained in the DNA of about 99% of Irish women to love Penneys (or Primark in the UK/US). For years, Penneys was the go-to for cheap and cheerful fashion fixes, but in the last two years or so, Penneys has morphed into an entirely different beast. One of the greatest reinventions in Penneys-land has been the introduction of their PS Love beauty lines, the introduction of beauty bars in large flagship stores (have you seen the one in the mothership store on Mary Street?) and of course, the inclusion of tons of beauty hacks in their seasonal line ups. I cannot go into a Penneys now without visiting the beauty section - along with their own budget beauty brands, most Penneys stores stock a variety of other brands too - Essence, Catrice, Wet n Wild, Rimmel, Flormar, Cocoa Brown, Maybelline etc etc. Now I know Penneys can be hit and miss and stock flies out the door but I just wanted to take this opportunity to share some beauty bits and bobs that I have found instore in various Penneys in the last few weeks and months - some that I have loved, some that I have loathed and some I feel entirely dispassionate about. Feel free to share your Penneys beauty hacks in the comments below too!
 The Come Clean Cloth is obviously a not so discreet version of the Makeup Eraser which I've seen in Sephora retailing for $20 for one single cloth. These Penneys versions are €4 for 3 - which is entirely more affordable. Now I could never justify paying the 20 odd quid for a single cloth no matter how miraculous it promises to be, so I joyfully picked these up. I don't like these as much as the next product but they are grand - like soft facecloths. Even though it promises to remove your makeup without water, I would definitely use makeup remover with these and I've been using the Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse and it works a charm. I never re-use these as I use a fresh facecloth to take off my makeup every night. I can't comment as to whether this is a dupe for the much more expensive version but taking it for what it is, it's a nice facecloth for removing makeup.

The Come Clean Mitt, similar to the Come Clean Cloth, promises to remove your makeup with just water but again, I wear full face of foundation, eyeliner, mascara and liquid lipsticks most days and I just don't feel like water would be enough to thoroughly remove all makeup. We've seen the likes of these mitts before - the Nima Mitt and the Cleanse Off Mitt to name but two examples - but this one is different because the back of it is waffled and alot more exfoliating on the skin. I quite like it actually as you can be as vigorous or as gentle as you like with it. Again, I would only use this once before putting it in the wash, but at €3 for 3, it won't break the bank to have a few on the go.

Time to Come Clean Micellar Cleansing Water - I absolutely hated this. It's not fragranced but I used it once on one half of my face to remove my makeup and it made my skin very angry and red very quickly. I've banished it to the back of my drawer since and I will not be trying this out on my face again. It might only have been €2.50

Brush Cleaner is obviously based on the Sigma brush cleaning accessories as it is a soft silicone pad that you can slip on your hand and use to scrub the makeup off the innermost bristles of your favourite brushes. I quite enjoy using this, it makes the brush washing experience a little less tedious! I like that it's not a glove but that you can still put your hand into it to keep it steady and for €2.50, it's well worth the investment.
 PS Hollywood Oil Pulling Sachets - now the thought of swishing coconut oil around in my mouth for 15 minutes is seriously gag-inducing, in the interests of dental hygiene, it's worth it - right? I'm trying to psych myself up to try these out but I just can't muster up the courage. If you've tried them, let me know what you thought of the experience below in the comments!

Shoe Size Adjusters - now this is not strictly beauty but as someone with a very small foot (size 3), it's often difficult to get shoes in my size, particularly heels or shoes for work where a lot of brands start with a size 4. I saw these little foam adjusters and I thought they were the must ingenious idea EV-ER and if they work I am going to go back and buy them by the dozen.

PS Lip Scrub - I suffer from dry chapped lips so I thought a portable lip scrub would be a good investment but unfortunately it's not very scrubby and tastes like children's lipstick so this is a definite non-recommendation from me but I'm not going to cry over the €1.50 that it cost!

Small Plastic Pots - we're coming into holiday season again and these little pots are the absolute business for traveling. I like to decant my foundation/face creams/hair masks into these and bring them with me when I am travelling. I always stock up when I see them and I think they are only a €1 for 5 little pots so it's way cheaper than buying miniature sizes of your favourite products too!
The PS Insta Girl Flash Photo Powder has been doing the rounds on social media over the last few weeks since it was released along with the rest of the PS Insta Girl range. As if the name didn't give it away, these products are aimed toward perfecting your selfies for killer Insta photos. I've tried this powder a few times and I'm not blown away yet - it's very finely milled but also very blue and even though it doesn't leave a blue cast a la Smurf on my face when I apply it over my foundation, it certainly pales my face out a bit and leaves me slightly dead looking. Maybe I am not using it right or I haven't given it a fair chance yet but I'm not feeling the alleged genius in this product yet.

Masks - from lip masks to eye patches to bubbling face masks, there is a huge range of masks available in Penneys atm. I bought these with a great sense of trepidation - I have sensitive skin and I hate the Penneys Micellar Water. However, I had the same sense of trepidation about the Garnier Moisture Bomb tissue masks and my skin laps those up so I thought it was worth trying the once. So far I have tried the Cranberry Lip Mask (which must have been made for people with HUGE mouths because it covered half of my face and made no difference whatsoever to the state of my kissers!) and the Vitamin E Eye Treatment Patches which (miraculously!) did not irritate my eyes but I'm not convinced they did any good either as they are quite thin and didn't seem to be soaked in much product. The latter might be nice to keep in the fridge (handy resealable pouch and comes with 15 treatments) for a hot summer day when I'm feeling toasty but aside from that, with skincare, I believe (for the most part) that you get what you pay for so my expectations were pretty low and my experience was grand - no adverse reactions but no noticeable results.

Mixing Palette and Spatula Set - these first arrived in Penneys months ago and even though I searched high and low for them at the time, I was never able to find them in stock anywhere. One day when I was browsing the Penneys in the shopping centre that time forgot i.e. Nutgrove, I came across these so I of course picked up two for me and some more for my pals and I've loved using these. I often use lightening drops with my foundations and this palette is heck of a lot more convenient than applying both to the back of my hand! I haven't found a use for the spatula yet but give me time!

Pencil Sharpener - sharpeners are one of those staples that you take for granted until you can't find one and your favourite lipliners are nubs and badly need to be pared. I wasn't setting out to buy one but this little rose gold heart caught my eye and it's one of those dual sharpeners with a hole for normal pencils and a hole for chunky pencils. I bought two of these such is my fear of not being able to find my sharpener when I need it but for a €1 a piece, I can't complain!
Tan Be Gone Exfoliating Mitt - we're coming into tanning season now and I never sunbathe so I am reliant on the bottle to get my colour. I am pretty lazy in the summer months when it comes to taking care of my body skin - I lash on a bit of moisturiser but I practically never show any skin so I'm not too concerned with exfoliating/fake tanning during the winter months. I use this in the shower with my shower gel of choice and whilst it's definitely a good scrub, it's a step short of sandpaper for the skin. What I like about it is that it's mitt and not glove shaped, it's not too rough and my skin definitely feels smoother. It's probably not a revolutionary product but it serves it's purpose well.

Beauty Sponges - I've a couple of Beauty Blenders but I'm not a mad one for the beauty sponges usually so I picked these up a few months back to try out the different shapes and sizes and see if one of these would suit better. I got a 3 pack of the mini beauty sponges last year and I really enjoyed those for tapping a bit of concealer on my undereyes so hopefully these will be similar in texture.

Makeup Sponge Cleanser - People were losing their lives over this stuff when it first came out and after giving it a go myself, I can't really see why to be honest! Ok, it's cheap ish but actually it's not that cheap really - I will elaborate. Even though it costs just €2.50, the actual soap is so tiny and it's not fixed in the little pot that I just found I ended up with a fiddly little disc of soap for washing my brushes - grand for eye brushes and the like but more fiddly for foundation brushes. I way way prefer the Blank Canvas Cosmetics Brush & Sponge Solid Soap to this one - it's way bigger so easier to swirl your brushes, and the soap is fixed to the metal container so it's easier to go through numerous brushes in one cleaning spree. I've been using soap to wash my brushes for probably 9/10 years now and there is nothing at all wrong with an ordinary bar of soap that you can buy in the supermarket for less than a euro a piece. I used to use a Palmolive one that came in a set of 3 for €1.49 in Dealz and it was great! The soap didn't damage my brushes in any way and left them clean. This product, for me, was all hype and little substance unfortunately.

Makeup Sponges - lastly but not leastly, I think this 25 pack of disposable makeup sponges is the absolute business. Whenever I applied liquid highlighters with my fingers or a brush, I make a balls of it, but the pink sponges make it a doddle. I also like to bring the white ones with me in an empty mirrored compact to blot if I get a bit shiny during the warmest summer months - it's so handy when you don't want to add powder and you won't cry over tossing the sponge in the bin when you're done.

So as you can - definitely a mixed bag of products with some finds and some fails - but when the products are only a couple of euros a piece, how could you not try them out! I definitely think it's worth a chance because you never know when you might be on to the next big thing. The great thing about it is that if I was to walk into Penneys again in the morning, they would probably have a whole other range of goodies ripe for the picking! Have you tried any of these products and what did you think of them?


  1. Wonderful detailed review! I actually have not tried any of these but will give the Come clean mitt, the brush cleaner & the exfoliating mitt a go I think 😉

  2. Some of this looks amazing. I will have to check out Primark! xx

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