Broke Girl's Guide To: Pamper Party

The much anticipated second instalment of the 'Broke Girls' Guide' series is finally upon us, and this time, it is in collaboration with Bloggers' Hangout. I shed some light on how one might be able to floss while scraping pennies at the bottom of the barrel, and a lot of you were interested. So I thought, as well as mapping hacks out thematically (sub-headings below), I would also conclude each post as a listicle (list-article...its a thing). Without further adieu, here's how to indulge in high end/ luxurious products and services, without breaking the bank. 

Blazer : ZARA | Shirt : Primark | Trousers : ASOS (£1! Tips to come...) | Brogues : Miss KG (similar here)

It all began while I was working (interning in 2 Non-Governmental organisations) in Nigeria. My sister had visited Abuja, and dropped off a few beauty bits to bide me over until my return to the UK. I opened the bag expecting the same ol' drugstore goodies, and was beyond awestruck as YSL and Lacome (to name but a few high-end brands) products lay patiently waiting at the bottom of the bag. I chucked it up to the fact that my sister lived in the 1% catchment area in London, as I idly slathered on luxurious serums the morning after. Little did I know this had little or nothing to do with it. Join me as I  clue you in on the inner workings of high-end beauty...on a budget.
The Bloggers' Hangout - Bloggers Love Fashion Week Event
Bloggers Events - I am often invited to Blogger Beauty events, and this is a great opportunity to find out about niche, independent brands. The Bloggers' Hangout recently hosted 'Bloggers' Love Fashion Week' (#BLFW), images of which are shared throughout this post. Blogger events are not as pretentious as they seem, and I must add, such events are not exclusive to bloggers. If you have a blogger pal, chances are, they're invited to several events and often opt out of the +1. Catch my drift? Offer to be their photographer for the evening, and tag along. This is a great opportunity to learn more about makeup, skincare or beauty products, your skin's needs, and get free products that could help you achieve your beauty goals. Brands are leaning more towards PR centred around the average woman, so see this as your opportunity to speak up for the needs of the everyday woman. If you have a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, be sure to give the brand a shout out afterwards to show your appreciation, and we all know the power of flattery, you'll for sure remain in the brand's good books & who knows what that might mean for you in future?
Weleda UK, Jurlique and other brands showcased new products to bloggers for review at #BLFW 
Brand Product Launches These are THE best means of getting luxury products, most times, fullsize! I am aware that some readers were keen to know how they could ball on a budget in countries other than the UK, as my initial post was very ethnocentric. Well, THIS tip is Universal. Thanks to social media, we all are now privy to once exclusive events and launch parties. Gone are the days of only supermodels and A-Listers having access to the Fabulous Life (remember that MTV special...actually, anyone remember MTV?) All I would advise is to learn about the lush beauty brands in your national region, and follow them on social media. Also, if your feed can bear it, try and follow fashion and beauty magazines which offer exclusive tickets to such events, or showcase a spotlight of certain brands on their platform. Odds are, at the start of a major campaign, there will be a launch party of some sort that you may be opportune to attend. 
Kenneth Turner, Pure Potions Skincare, The Curl Company, and Amie Skincare products to review from The Bloggers' Hangout #BLFW
Bargain Buster - Now, there are lapses in time between product launches and beauty blogger events where you might actually have to fork out cash for products. I would NOT advise splurging on high end beauty with a regular retail price tag. That would be ludicrous! I understand you have now grown accustomed to the finer things in life, but hunny, your bank balance hasn't. So what I would advise you do is...BARGAIN HUNT! Brands sign off some products to more affordable/discount retailers & you can purchase high end products for less than half price. My favourite stores for such finds are Amazon, TK Maxx and Savers. In other countries, you are sure to find savvy entrepreneurs importing such products and selling them at a competitive price.

As promised, here are my top 5 tips for bagging good beauty bits on little/ no budget:
  1. Compete for defeat - stay on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other medium your favourite brands have an account on. They are likely to host seasonal giveaways, regular competitions, publicise product launches and launch parties etc. This is essentially your VIP Ticket, so be sure to keep your eye on the prize and enter once announced.
  2. Pop goes the Weasel - that's right; spot the pop-up. City living is a-bliss as (especially coming up to Summer) there are always beauty and skincare pop-ups in the city showcasing product launches or national bestsellers for the upcoming season. Be sure to know what entry requirements or the eligibility is prior, as some staff can be rather tizzy and territorial about samples.
  3. Loot the Lot - always save your empties. Not because you're an aspiring YouTuber with intentions of filming a products empties video any time soon, but because luxury beauty brands sometimes offer trade-ins. 
  4. Know Your Rights - consumer rights are a real thing, and if you are dissatisfied with a product,  there is no need chucking it up to bad luck. You paid good money for it and deserve the quality you paid for, so check the Customer Service details on the packaging and raise a complaint. This does not affect your statutory rights, and odds are, the fault might be on the production end. The company are obliged to either refund you through the issue of vouchers or could send you a new full size product instead.
  5. Drop-In - there's the infamous scene in "How to be Single" where Rebel Wilson waltzes into Bloomingdales and requests a free makeover from a luxury brand. This is not odd. I spent over a year living on sample foundations & I am still yet to purchase one (thank God for Christmas). Within reason (and in line with company policy), you are well within your rights to ask to test products in department stores AND receive samples of the product to take home and trial before purchase.
Hope you appreciate this beaut cheat sheet to a good beat x