So Christmas is coming and sure the geese are getting fat… my jeans are getting tighter and my wallet is the only one getting lighter. Yes we all love a ye ol Dairy Milk Advent Calendar and nothing screams Christmas like the John Lewis and recently the Marks and Spencer adverts too. Another big huge trend in the UK is the Beauty Advent Calendar, and whilst a lot of them are really really good, they are also getting expensive. So, when a friend of mine came up with this really great money saving beauty Advent hack, I literally hounded her for a blog interview…
So take it away Leanne Benson, I asked her a few questions, and she kindly answered…
Q- Hey lovely Lady, would you like to introduce yourself to the blog, what you do, your hobbies in 10 sentences or less (its hard as you are a very accomplished person….but id love for you to give it a try…
I’m Leanne, a 38 year old Londoner, mother to 2 cats and beauty obsessive.I’m a full time freelance photographer and live with my partner of 5 years in Hackney which is very close to where I grew up. These last few years almost all of my friends have had children which means my social life has become a little more quiet and my delving into online resources for beauty info has been a big “hobby”. The beauty community is fab and I’ve even been lucky enough to meet some of you guys. I’ve also helped a few friends and acquaintances with a skin routine; I’m no expert but from what I have learned, plus monthly facials at Sarah Chapman’s clinic, when people have asked what I had used, I have explained brands to them, explained what I had used for my skin problems and pointed them in the direction of things (for their budget). I also did my sisters makeup for her wedding this year and though we started with a Pixiwoo tutorial as a reference point, and went to Charlotte Tilbury to buy what we needed. ( I also practiced 7 times!) It turned out well for a non makeup artist though, she really looked beautiful! ( Elle says- I’ve seen the pics and beautiful doesn’t do her justice, Leanne really did a wonderful job xx.)
Q- What made you come up with the ” Make your own beauty Advent Calendar” project?
I decided to do my own because I still had last years Liberty calendar which I really enjoyed. I looked at all available and lots of calendars out there didn’t have EXACTLY what I wanted. and also I had just managed to get a bunch of things from Sephora America, plus some beauty gifts when buying my usual makeup and skincare. (I save up buying until beauty gifts are on then go for it). So I had a Liberty voucher as a gift from someone and used that for the May Lindstrom, then I think I may have bought 6 or less items however, the rest are lovely freebies and worth a lot.
I find I can get overwhelmed by lots of bits at once so decided to break it all up and put into a calendar so I could really focus on each item.
Q- How are you going about this project, how do you whittle down items, put them into the drawers etc?
I sat down with everything I had bought and all the gifts I had and chose everything I was excited about. All of its been unopened and So it’s all untouched and that excitement of having to open a new item is still there (plus the use by dates will still be valid). I then just started taking out the smallest things bit by bit. I am lucky enough to have left 2 drawers free for my boyfriend to pick items from a list I’m going to give him and put them in as my Xmas gift. I won’t lie, I’m hoping for the Tata Harper regenerating mask!
Q- How far along are you with it?
I’ve almost finished now, I photographed it all for this blog and my own records (that’s what photographers do!) and then got my boyfriend to swapthe drawers around so I didn’t know what was coming when.
The only one I did choose was the drawer for Xmas day which is the May Lindstrom mask because I’M SO excited about it. ( Elle says- I would be too, May Lindstrom is meant to be lush…)
Q- What advise would you like to share with our readers who might be inspired to start their own?
My advice would be Don’t open anything to sniff it etc. If you have the samples/gifts, leave them be. That way it won’t affect the use by date and it will be more of a surprise. If you can…get someone to put them in the drawers for you and maybe you could get that person to also hide a surprise or two in there! Also, don’t spend more than any would cost in the shops, I think if Ideduct my vouchers that I used I probably spent about £150 roughly which I think is acceptable if you were going for a high end one, especially since you are curating it. (I was lucky enough to have a lovely voucher). The total “Value” in the way that the shops do it is £620. With the added extras to come it’ll probably end up around £750. I’ve gone all out and been quite lucky, I’m looking forward to seeing if I get the same kick every morning that I did last year. Make sure you do it ASAP so you can forget what you put in it!( Elle says- This is fab advice xx)
I would Love to know your Christmas hacks, if you know of any, please let me know in comments below ~ Love Elle
If you are looking for a photographer with a fabulous eye for detail, please check out Leanne’s site
Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and most of the products on here( full sizes ) have been purchased by me, some samples have been kindly gifted by the company, but this has not affected my opinion, nor swayed it . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you may have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.