How to get free MAC lipstick… and when to toss makeup


Did you know that you can get free lipstick from MAC? With the Back to Mac program, you can get a free lipstick of your choice for every 6 empty MAC products you bring back to a counter or online.

Which is fantastic because it means I can do my bit for the environment by recycling the old plastic packaging, avoid getting nasty bacteria that grows in makeup overtime on my skin (and therefore avoid potential infections – though I’ve been lucky enough to never catch anything when I’ve used old products!) while also getting rewarded with a new product in return.

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If you’re not sure when to get rid of makeup, here’s a handy breakdown of when you should consider binning certain products:

  • Mascara/Eyeliners: between 3-6 months, depending who you ask
  • Lipsticks/lip glosses/lip liners: after 1-4 years, depending who you ask
  • Powders: after 2 years
  • Liquid foundation: after 1-2 years, depending who you ask
  • Nail polish: after 1 year
  • Makeup sponges: after 1 week

And if you’re not sure how old something is, test the product out. Lipsticks and lip glosses tend to change in consistency and scent, while liquid foundations/concealers tend to separate, and products that are old/out of date also don’t tend to work as well as fresh products.

So, having my eye on Candy Yum Yum and Heroine, I raided my makeup bags for empties, expired products and products I hadn’t used in years. (Those lipsticks and glosses shown are nearly 10 years old, and I’ve had the Lip Gelées – which MAC doesn’t even make anymore! – since at least 2006.) Then I took 12 empty and old products and and traded them in for Candy Yum Yum and Heroine. Result!
back-to-mac_2So now my makeup bags are just a bit cleaner and my lipstick collection is just a bit brighter. A very happy exchange indeed!

Closet Detox! Following Into Mind’s Cheat Sheet


I’m an aspiring minimalist. I long to own less so that my closet and home are clutter-free, but somehow no matter how much I get rid of I always find ways to replace it. And then when I try to detox my home, I have 101 excuses as to why I absolutely must keep whatever I’m looking at…

  • That book? I haven’t read it yet and I’ll get around to reading that one day!
  • One day I will have a reason for wearing a formal black dress – it’ll be the day after I get rid of it!
  • I’ve never worn that necklace, but it was a gift so I absolutely must keep it!

So when I saw Into-Mind had a Closet Detox Cheat Sheet, I printed it out, taped it to the wall, and promised myself I’d follow it and go through my closet and drawers in hopes of becoming clutter free. Continue reading

Review: Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Glorious Gloss in Pearl

joan_collins_lip_gloss_review_2Maybe I’m not the most up-to-date on these things, but I had no idea that Joan Collins had a beauty range until the team at Urban Retreat gifted me the Timeless Beauty Glorious Gloss in Pearl from her eponymous range. But I am oh so glad they did!  Continue reading

Celebrating Feathers’ 40th Birthday

Outside Feathers in Knightsbridge at the Feathers 40 years partyOne of my favourite things about living in London is that you get to meet all sorts of people and there’s never a shortage of options to keep you entertained. So along those lines – that’s pretty much how I found myself on the guest list along with a friend for Feathers’ 40th Birthday Party on Thursday night! Continue reading

Review: Neal’s Yard White Tea Facial Mist

This blog post is part of a series of my personal skin care journey. If you’ve got oily, temperamental, breakout prone skin you may want to read on – and let me know your best skin care tips in the comments! x


It feels like ages ago now, but I’m still working my way through the recommendations I received from Caroline Hirons way back when! And my latest beauty buy from her list of suggestions was the Neal’s Yard White Tea Facial Mist.   Continue reading

DIY: Coloured Pencil Picture Frame

pencil_picture_frame_11We’re on a bit of a DIY kick at home, and this latest project was inspired by a frame that Jeff and I saw in a shop when he joked: We could totally make it ourselves. And being in a cheeky mood, I decided to hold him to it – after all, we have a bunch of pictures (and post cards!) that need frames.

Which is why we recently spent an entire afternoon sawing pencils into bits and then sharpening the tips…  Continue reading

Review: Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid foundation

laura_mercier_urban_retreat_15To celebrate the launch of Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid foundation, Urban Retreat hosted an event for a handful of bloggers – and I was lucky enough to attend with my blogging buddy Mitra. At the event, Laura Mercier’s Global Makeup Artist Trevor O’Keefe offered mini makeovers whilst sharing expert tips and new season trends.

Continue reading