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AbsintheFairy

AbsintheFairy
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Member since: 14.05.2009

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      24.11.2014 12:30
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Excellent product"

      Disadvantages

      • "Not sure about the taste"

      Superb lip balm for the cold weather

      I suffer from dry lips so I always use a lip balm of some description, and I have quite a collection. I got this Hemp Lip Protector from the Body Shop. Normally it costs £4 for a 4.2g stick, but I got a bunch of stuff online using a discount voucher.

      The Body Shop have a considerable hemp range, all products of which come in dark green packaging. The range contains Community Fair Trade hemp seed oil, which comes from hemp plants grown in England and produced by a co-operative of small-scale family farmers. The lip balm is designed to restore very dry lips and protect them in extreme weather conditions. Therefore, it is ideal for winter. It is dermatologically tested.

      The balm comes in a stick, so it’s handy to use and carry around, no smearing lip balm on your finger to apply it. It has a faint hemp smell but it isn’t as strong as I feared it might be.

      It is best to apply the balm fairly lightly so it doesn’t go on too thick. However, only a small amount is needed to make lips feel soft and smooth. It does feel like a barrier to the elements, and having used it all through last winter I can confirm that it does a really good job of protecting lips from the cold. It goes on invisible, provided you don’t apply too much, and is also a good base for lipstick, as it keeps lips in good condition so your lipstick goes on without dry skin or clumps getting in the way.

      Overall, I highly recommend this lip balm, especially in the forthcoming colder weather. I’ve a good mind to go and buy some more for myself!

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      21.11.2014 11:33
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Good product that works"

      Disadvantages

      • "A little pricey"

      A lovely cleanser

      I’m a huge fan of the brand Soap & Glory, and have used many of their brightly-packaged, effective body products. The brand also makes facial skincare products, which I also like to sample. I am currently using the Peaches & Clean 4 in 1 Wash-off Deep Cleansing Milk, which I got in a set at Christmas.

      The bottle has a pump dispenser, making it easy to get the cleanser out in a hygienic and simple way. A couple of pumps is enough to cleanse my face. I rub the cleanser over my face, adding a little water to help it lather. It has a pleasant peach scent but doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I remove the remains of the cleanser with a cotton wool pad, and follow with toner and moisturiser. If I have been wearing heavy eye makeup I sometimes use a specific eye makeup remover first; otherwise this is the sole cleansing product I use. I only use it at night, as I have another product for the daytime.

      I will discuss the different claims of the product below:

      3-in-1 cleansing, smoothing and revitalising milk – The product definitely cleanses effectively. It is very good at removing makeup and my face feels very clean afterwards. My skin does feel soother and fresher afterwards: by night time I can often feel tired and lethargic but using this product helps my skin feel refreshed and revitalised – which makes me feel better in general.

      Deep purifying, T-zone declogging – My oily T-zone certainly feels fresh and clean after using this. It is certainly a deep cleanser as when I wipe off the cleanser with a cotton wool pad all my makeup comes away – so the product is clearly shifting it. In general, my skin is in better condition with fewer spots and clogged pores.

      Boosts circulation and re-energises skin – My skin certainly feels reenergised and revitalised after use.

      Melts away make-up and blackhead-causing buildup – it definitely does this, even removing mascara effectively. I do like to use an eye makeup remover when I am wearing heavy eye makeup, just because it ends up all over my face otherwise, but this cleanser does an excellent job.

      Balanced for all skin types – My skin can be sensitive but I have experienced no irritation with this product at all. I have oily-combination skin and the cleanser seems to help balance out my skin. It is non-drying so I think it would be good for dry skins too.

      Overall, I highly recommend this cleanser. It’s a little pricey, but it lasts for ages, doesn’t irritate my skin, removes makeup effectively and thoroughly cleans my face, leaving it glowing and refreshed.

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      14.11.2014 17:08
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "lovely scent"
      • effective

      Disadvantages

      • None

      I have a crush on this scrub!

      As a huge Soap & Glory fan, I’ve been trying to sample all their products. I particularly like their body scrubs, which are extremely effective. A while ago I tried the Sugar Crush scrub.

      This scrub was originally part of the S&G Spa range, and my tub was clear plastic with a blue lid and label. It has since been redesigned: it is no longer called “Spa” and the packaging is pink. However, as far as I can tell it is still the same product. It costs £8, but is often available as part of a 3 for 2 offer in Boots.

      The scrub is described as a “smashed brown sugar body scrub”. It contains sweet lime and almond oils, as well as macadamia grains and glycerine. The lime gives it an amazing, refreshing citrus smell which really helps me feel more awake in the morning. It also has a sweeter, nuttier base aroma thanks to the almond oil, which also makes the scrub quite moisturising.

      Soap & Glory recommend using the scrub one to four times a week depending on how much you need it. I tend to use it around three times per week. In the shower, I scoop some of the product out of the tub and scrub it on to my body, concentrating on my legs, arms, and (in particular) knees and elbows. The scrub isn’t too harsh, but it is very effective and I notice a difference immediately.

      After use my skin smells lovely and feels very soft and moisturised – I do have to apply a little moisturiser but not much. The scrub makes a difference after just one use, and regular use has given me soft smooth skin.

      This scrub is highly recommended, and I am glad it was redesigned and not just discontinued completely. It is effective, smells lovely and moisturises to boot. Excellent.

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      14.11.2014 16:56
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Works well"
      • "High quality"
      • "Luxurious packaging"

      Disadvantages

      • Expensive

      A good, albeit expensive, powder

      I bought this Lancome Poudre Majeure Excellence in the Oxford Street Debenhams store, as it was being sold off at half price: £15 instead of £30. £30 is way too expensive for a face powder, but half of that is a bit more reasonable!

      The powder comes in the traditional Lancome silver box, inside of which is a beautiful black jar with the Lancome rose. I love the packaging: it looks classy and sophisticated. I think the powder would be messy to apply when out and about, but in terms of carrying it around in your bag, I would have no issues: the lid fastens securely so there’s no risk of spillage.

      The powder is designed for normal to dry skin, and the shade I bought – Shade 01 – is extremely pale and perfect for me. I was happy with this as the palest shade in a lot of foundation products is still too dark for me. I tend to have oily skin rather than dry skin, but I do get dry patches occasionally and hoped the product would suit my skin because of this.

      A high quality powder puff is included in the box, but I tend to apply the powder with a brush. There is a mesh included in the packaging that you can lay over the powder, providing a kind of barrier between it and the brush so you don’t use too much product. I find the powder easy to apply: it is incredibly fine, with little discernible scent, and feels velvety-soft.

      The powder is ‘micro-aerated loose powder’ which offers comfort and softness to keep skin hydrated and supple. The powder felt lovely on my skin, in fact I could barely tell that I was wearing any at all, except that I knew my skin looked more even-toned and less shiny. I occasionally get dry patches on my skin, but not with this powder, which fulfilled its claim to help keep skin hydrated. I experienced no irritation while wearing this product.

      Unfortunately I did notice that the powder didn’t prevent oiliness so much as some of my other powders. I imagine that this is because it is designed for dry skin.

      Overall though, this is a really good powder.

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      13.11.2014 16:09
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Cheap
      • "Works well"

      Disadvantages

      • "Hard to find"

      Excellent conditioner for the price

      I am signed up to websites such as Groupon and Living Social and occasionally purchase a bargain. One such was a haircare package including shampoo, conditioner, protection spray and hair mask. Today I will be reviewing the conditioner.

      The packaging is brown and green which isn’t the most obviously appealing but it does fit in with the perception of argan oil as being a natural, ‘earthy’ product. What I do like about the packaging is the shape and form. It has a flip top lid, meaning that it is easy to open and close even with wet hands. The lid is actually on the bottom, meaning that even when the product is running out, gravity ensures it’s still easy to get it out of the packaging.

      The tube is a 250ml one and the conditioner contains Moroccan Argan Oil extract. Argan oil seems to be a big thing at the moment and it supposed to be really good for your hair. It is claimed that the conditioner helps to rejuvenate and rehydrate the hair, leaving it shiny, smooth and healthy.

      The conditioner is easy to use: after rinsing off your shampoo, simply apply a small amount to wet hair, leave for 3-5 minutes and rinse off. It is white and has a thicker texture than the shampoo. It has a faint pleasant smell but this doesn’t really last on my hair.

      This conditioner seems to do a really good job. It doesn’t irritate my scalp, but keeps my hair moisturised without making it oily. When used alongside the matching shampoo, the results are superb. I colour my hair and have not noticed this stripping the colour at all – it is very gentle. It helps to tame my hair, keeping it moisturised and under control. It also makes it incredibly shiny – much more than some other conditioners I’ve tried.

      I haven’t seen the conditioner anywhere in the shops, but I did a bit of searching and found a shampoo & conditioner duo being sold on eBay for £6.95, which I think is good value. Based on the excellent price and the high quality of the product, I definitely recommend it.

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      10.11.2014 13:07
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • Effective

      Disadvantages

      • Price

      Effective product

      A while ago, I got some samples from a magazine consisting of miniature REN skincare samples. REN is a company with a philosophy of “clean skincare” and combines the latest technology and product testing with 100% plant and mineral derived ingredients, free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients. The full-size products can be bought from their own website at http://www.renskincare.com/, or from a number of other outlets.

      I got a tube of Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream, which I gather from the website has been renamed V-Cense™ Revitalising Night Cream. It is quite pricey at £32 for 50ml, so I am glad I managed to pick up a sample! However only a tiny amount is needed at once so it does last a long time.

      The cream has been “formulated to recharge, revitalise and intensively hydrate the skin overnight”. It is designed to help reduce and slow the signs of premature ageing by including antioxidant protection and smoothing fine lines. It also helps skin to feel softer, firmer and smoother, as well as hydrating and replenishing. Or so it claims.

      I thought the cream had a light, slightly medicinal scent. It was fairly thick but a bit tricky to squeeze out of the tube. The cream was white and easy to apply; it seemed to blend into my skin well. It felt luxurious and rich on my skin; it felt too heavy for a day cream but perfect for a night cream. The product didn’t irritate my skin at all.

      Overall I was impressed with the product. I didn’t have to apply much at all and my skin remained fully moisturised with no dry patches right up until the next morning. I definitely found that my skin felt soft and smooth, and appeared in good condition.

      I can’t really talk about reducing wrinkles, as I’m young enough, luckily, not to really have any yet. However I’d certainly consider repurchasing it in the future, as I have reasonable confidence it would do a good job based on my experience with it now.

      The negative aspect of this product is obviously the price. Right now, it’s not really worth me purchasing it, but in the future, who knows?

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      • More +
        24.10.2014 11:53
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • Gentle
        • Non-drying
        • "Cleanses skin"

        Disadvantages

        • Price

        An excellent face wash

        A while ago I got some Balance Me Face Wash free with a magazine. I took it on holiday with me to use it up. The Balance Me brand specialises in natural beauty created in the UK.

        The packaging consists of a white tube with an attractive design. There is a flip-top lid which is handy when controlling the product coming out of the tube. The product is described as a skin-balancing cleanser, and is suitable for normal to combination skin. My own skin is combination so I hoped this product would help. It usually costs around £16 for 125 ml, from places such as lookfantastic.com. It seems to be widely available online.

        The product has a fresh, slightly herbal smell. It doesn't smell at all synthetic. To use, I squeeze a small amount onto my hand and lather up with warm water. It lathers up pretty well for a natural product, I think. I massage it onto my face and rinse off. I find that it makes my skin feel thoroughly cleansed without feeling tight or irritated. It seems to help balance the oil in my skin, which looks clearer, fresher and more even-toned.

        The cleanser is described as 98.8% natural in origin, and is free in petroleum and sulphates. It contains balancing spruce knot extract, anti-oxidant rich rice bran oil and frankincense, as well as grapefruit and ylang ylang oils. The ingredients work together to create a fresh and effective cleanser.

        Over time, I am impressed with the results of this face wash. My skin is brighter, clearer and more even-toned. There are no dry or particularly oily patches.

        Though this product is expensive, I do recommend it as it does a good job without the need for sulphates. Definitely one to try.

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        20.10.2014 12:50
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        • "Cute packaging"
        • "Good mix of scents"
        • "Get to sample several fragrances"
        • "Perfect for travelling"

        Disadvantages

        • Price

        A set to help you decide

        My favourite store, Lush, makes beautiful and unusual fragrances under the name Gorilla Perfume. Many of these are available in-store, with some exclusively online. Several are available in sample sizes, and you can also buy two miniature sets each containing eight of the sample size fragrances. This set is the second one.

        *Love*
        It’s the sort of smell you can enjoy all year round – the freshness is ideal for summer, while apples can also evoke autumn and cooler weather, cinnamon being reminiscent of Christmas.

        *Cocktail*
        Initially I thought the perfume smelled a bit odd, and rather like cleaning fluid! However, it did smell better on my skin than it did in the bottle, though it was more like a daytime scent as it was so light and floral.

        *1000 Kisses Deep*
        When I first smelled this I thought it was really unusual. It was light and fresh with a musky undertone, unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before. Unfortunately, after a while the scent dried down and became a bit too musky for me.

        *B Scent*
        Because this fragrance is light, I see it as more of a daytime scent, although it would be suitable for the evening at a more informal event. I feel it would suit all ages – ideal for teenagers and young women, but not too sweet and girly for older ladies.

        *Ladyboy*
        I’m not sure what I really think about this one. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself as I just wasn’t keen. Sometimes I thought I quite liked it, but overall this is not one for me!

        *The Smell of Weather Turning*
        The perfume continually evolves on the skin, and lasts for several hours. I think this is one which would smell slightly different on each person, so I would certainly recommend trying it before purchasing.

        *Ginger*
        I love this scent and it is one of my favourites. It is distinctive and unusual – I can’t think of any other perfume like it. I think of it as more of a daytime perfume than an evening one, and more of a summer fragrance than a winter one, despite the ginger aspect.

        *Superworld Unknown*
        I’ve had mixed experiences with many of the Lush scents. However, I loved this one. On first application, it has a lovely citrusy sweet scent which is very unusual. Underneath I can detect some spiciness in the form of sandalwood, and there is a sweetness which comes from tonka and vanilla.

        *Price*
        The set contains £19.95, which sounds like a lot for 8 miniature perfume vials, but you’d pay a few pounds more if you were to buy them individually.

        *Conclusion*
        I had mixed feelings about the fragrances in the set. I loved some, liked others and couldn’t get on at all with a couple. I do recommend the set, as it’s handy for working out which ones you like before you splurge on a full-sized bottle.

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          17.10.2014 11:26
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • " effective"
          • " price"
          • "Lovely scent"

          Disadvantages

          • "Weak scent"

          Cheap and cheerful bubble bath

          After Christmas I found that lots of lovely toiletries I like were on sale. I came across a number of I Love… toiletries on sale in Argos, of all places. I got two sets of mini bubble bath and shower crème bottles; each set was only £3.99 which I thought was a bargain.

          I like the I Love… range, which I’ve tried a few times from Superdrug. The clear plastic bottle showcases the product inside which is a very pretty deep shimmery red. This also means that you can easily see how much of the product you have left. The black lid is a flip-top one so you don’t have to mess around with unscrewed lids that might get lost.

          This particular “flavour” is raspberry and blackberry and it really does smell delicious. The product contains extracts from these fruits, as well as a “unique skin softening vitamin complex” which helps to moisturise the skin and keep it soft and supple. I Love… products are soap free, paraben free and pH balanced.

          I poured some of the bubble bath in while the water was running. I found that I could smell the delicious scent during this time and a reasonable amount of bubbles were produced. I am used to using Lush bubble bars and while the amount of bubbles here didn’t compare, there were a good few, covering the water well, though they weren’t particularly high. The water didn’t change colour, which is a shame as it would be lovely to bathe in such a beautiful deep red.

          During my bath, I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t really smell the scent at all. The water felt soft though and I did enjoy my bath, though the bubbles didn’t last as long as I would have liked.

          After my bath I was pleased to find that my skin felt soft and the bubble bath hadn’t irritated me at all. I did need to use moisturiser though. Sadly, once again the scent hadn’t lasted.

          I’ve used the product just as a bubble bath, as I have far too many shower gels, but have no reason to believe it wouldn’t do a decent job. The product lasts around 4-5 baths which is very good value for such a cheap bubble bath.

          I was impressed with this product and would buy it again. However I’ve removed a star, as I think it’s a bit of a shame the lovely scent doesn’t linger in the bath or on the skin.

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          16.10.2014 11:40
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • " well priced"
          • " great sound"
          • Cute

          Disadvantages

          • None

          Adorable speaker that does a great job!

          Even though I have a speaker system already, I decided I would like a small speaker or set of speakers to take away with me and use with my phone or my MP3 player. I saw this adorable Kitsound penguin speaker on Amazon and just had to buy it! There are many styles of speaker available, such as a cat, owl, monkey, bear, Union flag and more, but I adore penguins so my choice was easy. The speaker cost £9.99 which I thought was a very reasonable price.

          The speaker comes with a keyring attachment for easy transportation. The packaging, which is simple, states that it is compatible with Apple and Android devices, but as it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be compatible with any device that uses headphones. All you need to do is plug the speaker in and switch it on.

          I was really impressed at the quality of sound emanating from the speaker. It is pretty loud – much louder than I thought it would be looking at the small size of the speaker. The sound quality is really good too – music sounds rich and layered and not at all tinny.

          The speaker can be charged by using the supplied USB cable. I’m not sure exactly how much time it lasts before needing to be charged as I haven’t kept track, but it seems to have lasted a long time.

          This is a really simple device that does a great job and is cute too. Highly recommended for anyone wanting a speaker – it would be perfect as a Christmas stocking filler for kids, but adults will love it too!

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          10.10.2014 12:44
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • " lovely scent"
          • Unusual
          • "Light and refreshing"

          Disadvantages

          • None

          Make a beeline for B Scent

          My favourite store, Lush, makes beautiful and unusual fragrances under the name Gorilla Perfume. Many of these are available in-store, with some exclusively online. Several are available in sample sizes, and you can also buy two miniature sets each containing eight of the sample size fragrances.

          I bought the second set, including many of the perfumes originally called ‘B sides and rarities’. These are scents from Lush past and also from B Never, Lush’s sister company which closed a few years ago. I have sampled all the perfumes in turn and I am going to review them all. The fragrance I am going to review today is B Scent.

          *Packaging*
          Each fragrance comes in a tiny 2ml glass vial and the bottles are laid out together in a recycled cardboard case. It is also possible to buy the fragrances in the following forms:
          - Solid £8
          - Spritzer £15
          - Atomiser £31

          The concentrations are different depending on the form purchased, with the atomiser having the highest concentration. The perfumes come in the standard black packaging which is slightly dull, but fits in with the Gorilla Perfume ethos of concentrating on the perfume rather than the packaging. Some people on the Lush forum have found that perfume can leak from these black bottles, but I haven’t had any problems.

          *The Fragrance*
          B Scent is the original signature scent of B Never, Lush’s sister cosmetic company. Lush describe it as a light, feminine fragrance, and it contains lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, fennel, jasmine, lavender, sandalwood and musk. These are quite traditional perfume ingredients and I thought they sounded appealing.

          *My Experience*
          On first smelling this scent I thought it was a very fresh, citrusy smell. When I first applied it I could smell the lemon and bergamot, it was a lovely refreshing scent. Over time, the scent dried down a little and I began to detect other notes, including the jasmine and ylang ylang, leading to a musky scent towards the end. The perfume lasted three or four hours on my skin, a good amount of time.

          Because this fragrance is light, I see it as more of a daytime scent, although it would be suitable for the evening at a more informal event. I feel it would suit all ages – ideal for teenagers and young women, but not too sweet and girly for older ladies.

          *Conclusion*
          After trying this, I can see why B Scent was the signature scent of Lush’s sister company. It’s a pleasant, refreshing fragrance which is easy to love – recommended.

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          • More +
            09.10.2014 11:03
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            2 Comments

            Advantages

            • "Effective cream"

            Disadvantages

            • None

            A great product

            I got a couple of samples of the Avon Ideal Flawless BB Beauty Balm Cream in a magazine and decided to give them a go. I don’t often order from Avon – there’s no representative near me and it’s not very often I visit their website – but I’ve been impressed with the products I HAVE tried, so I was happy to give this a go.

            BB creams are everywhere these days, and this product – packaged in classy black – seems to be offering similar things to all the others, which is not necessarily a bad thing – it’s all about how well it works. I applied a small amount of BB Cream over my usual moisturiser for a good couple of weeks until it ran out.

            The product is described as a ’10 in 1’ beauty balm – 10 claims is rather a lot I must say! I will cover each claim in turn.

            - Infused with Vitamin E – obviously this is a claim I can’t directly test, but its presence suggests that the product cares for the skin and helps to protect it.

            - Infused with minerals and antioxidants – as above, I can’t directly test this but it reassures me that the cream is full of good things.

            - Hydrates skin – This is true to an extent. I have slightly oily/combination skin and so I wouldn’t want anything too moisturising. However, I still had to apply a thin layer of moisturiser before using this product.

            - Evens skintone – I found this claim to be true. I have slightly sensitive skin which is also incredibly pale, so any unevenness shows up a great deal. This product really helped with evening out my skin tone.

            - Visibly minimizes redness – Again, this is true, as any red patches I had were mostly covered up.

            - Conceals flaws – Similar to the prior two claims, I thought this cream did a reasonable job at concealing any flaws in my skin.

            - Lightweight feel – This is true – it doesn’t feel like I am wearing makeup at all.

            - Smoothes skin – I’m not sure about this one, as my skin feels pretty smooth already!

            - SPF 15 protection – Again, this is a claim that I can’t directly test, but the presence of the SPF reassures me that the cream will offer me protection from the everyday sun.

            - Skin looks better even after removing – Surprisingly enough, I found this to be generally true, although it might not be down to this cream – my skin goes through phases, it might look flawless for a few days then break out in several spots – so it’s possible that my use of this cream coincided with a series of good skin days.

            Overall, I am really impressed with this cream and would definitely repurchase. A tube costs £12 but is currently on offer for £7, which is a great price.

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              08.10.2014 10:21
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              1 Comment

              Advantages

              • "Nice packaging"
              • "No parabens or sulphates"
              • "Ethical brand"

              Disadvantages

              • "Horrible smell"
              • "Not moisturising enough"
              • "Made my skin itch"

              Not a good product for me

              I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of the Burt’s Bees brand. However, before I managed to properly work this out, I got hold of some Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream. Hand cream is an essential for me as I do get dry skin on my hands, and I’ve tried several brands in the past. Would this product confirm or belie my expectations?

              The product comes in a foil-like tube, a bit like a toothpaste tube, in yellow and white packaging like the rest of the Burt’s Bees brand. It costs £11.99 for a 90g tube, which isn’t cheap, but isn’t overly expensive either. I didn’t pay that much for it – I got it as part of a special offer after Christmas last year.

              The cream has the leaping bunny logo to show that it has not been tested on animals; it is 100% natural and contains no sulphates, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals. These are positive points. It is made of sunflower oil and glycerine, as well as shea butter which is incredibly moisturising. It also contains ingredients such as macadamia nut, rosehip, lavender, neroli and borage.

              However I really wasn’t keen on the cream itself. It is very thick, with almost the texture of a thick mousse. It is yellow in colour and is best used as an overnight hand treatment, as it can be a little greasy. It is fairly rich, but unfortunately I didn’t feel that it really moisturised my hands intensively enough. The cream almost seemed to “sit” on my skin, rather than deeply penetrating my skin to deliver intense moisture. My hands did feel a bit more moisturised, but I’ve had better results with supposedly lighter creams.

              I also found that the cream made my skin itch, so clearly natural doesn’t always mean better! I don’t think it agrees with my skin at all. I also thought that the smell was disgusting. This sounds really odd but I thought it smelled of wasabi. I love wasabi but I don’t want the scent on my hands!

              Overall, I didn’t particularly like this hand cream. I can’t say I was disappointed as I didn’t really have high expectations of the Burt’s Bees brand. I’ve ended up using the product on my feet, where the smell doesn’t matter so much – seeing as my feet are further away from my nose – and the greasiness isn’t so much of a problem – as I can wear socks. This is one product that I definitely won’t be repurchasing.

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                01.10.2014 11:07
                Very helpful
                (Rating)

                Advantages

                • "No sulfates"
                • Gentle
                • "Works well"

                Disadvantages

                • Expensive

                Good product, but pricey

                A while ago, I got some samples from a magazine consisting of miniature REN skincare samples. REN is a company with a philosophy of “clean skincare” and combines the latest technology and product testing with 100% plant and mineral derived ingredients, free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients. The full-size products can be bought from their own website at http://www.renskincare.com/, or from a number of other outlets.

                One of the items I got was the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel. This is described as a “detergent and soap free gel cleanser” that removes make-up, oils, dirt and pollution without stripping the skin. It also contains no sulphates.

                The product comes in 150ml bottles with a pump dispenser and costs £14, which is pricey but not as much as some products I’ve seen around. My sample size is a tube with a screw top, which does make it a bit tricky to get the product out.

                Instructions state that you should apply one pump of cleanser onto damp hands and gently massage over the face and neck, then rinse off with warm water. I have to squeeze mine out of the tube before massaging. It doesn’t lather as well as some products I’ve tried – probably because of the lack of sulfates – but it does a reasonable job. The gel feels very gentle on my face: it doesn’t irritate my skin or eyes at all, washes off easily, and doesn’t make my skin feel dry or tight even before applying moisturiser.

                As far as I can tell the gel does a good job of removing dirt and pollution; my skin certainly feels clean afterwards. I tend to use it in the morning rather than at night, so can’t really tell if it would remove makeup or not as it claims. It seems to fulfil the claim of balancing, toning and soothing the skin without causing tightness. I’m not so sure about reducing pore sizes – that would be a challenge!

                Overall, I like this cleanser and would recommend it for those with sensitive skin or those who wish to avoid sulfates. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend the high price, as there are other cleansers I like that are cheaper.

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              • More +
                29.09.2014 15:54
                Very helpful
                (Rating)

                Advantages

                • "Makes hair very soft & shiny"

                Disadvantages

                • Expensive

                Effective repairing conditioner

                I often get samples from magazines, and I’ve received several samples of L’Occitaine’s Aromachologie Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s lucky I’ve got samples, because they are pretty expensive - £16 for 300ml of shampoo and £16 for 250ml of conditioner. Both products come in green bottles with silver flip-top lids and pink labels. Together, they are designed to make damaged and dry hair strong and shiny.

                This conditioner has been made with five essential oils (ylang-ylang, sweet orange, lavender, geranium, angelica). It also contains sweet almond oil and amino acids, derived from plants. Together, the ingredients are designed to smooth and soften the hair, as well as protect and repair hair fibres.

                The product is easy to use thanks to the flip-top lid, and a small amount is needed to create a good lather on wet hair. It has a pleasant floral scent that I can’t quite place. It doesn’t irritate my scalp and washes out easily.

                After use (alongside the matching shampoo), my hair looks soft, shiny and healthy. It is easy to manage and much less frizzy than usual. I am in the habit of letting my hair dry naturally, and it is still easy to manage and comb. It feels softer and more silky, too.

                This is a really good product. I’m not sure if I would buy it at full price, as it is pretty expensive, but as a magazine freebie it is great, and I would certainly keep an eye out for any special offers.

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