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I bought these disposable razors when they were on offer in Boots. Gillette Venus is a respected brand and I’ve tried their razors before so I was happy to give these a go. The pack included four disposable 2-blade razors in an attractive aqua colour. They cost around £2 at full price. I bought them because I needed a new razor and it was cheaper to buy a pack of disposables rather than shell out for a shiny new replaceable-blade razor. However, I didn’t necessarily want the most basic razor – it’s nearly summer, after all, and I’ll have to get my legs out soon!
The razors have teardrop-shaped handles for ease of holding, and contain blades with a MoistureRich strip to help condition skin. I like the colour of them too – bright and cheerful, and not the stereotypical pink.
I’ve used these razors for shaving my legs and underarms and have been impressed. The razor glides smoothly and gives a reasonably close shave, if not as close as other “permanent” razors I’ve tried. For a disposable razor, however, this is impressive. I’ve found them very easy to hold: the handle is contoured very well and I have no issues using this.
The moisture strip is handy but no substitute for using a proper shaving gel. It’s good to have, though.
The razors do last quite a few uses, and I’ve been sharpening them using my Razor Pit tool so they last even longer.
A recommended product – a simple but effective razor for use at home or while travelling.
The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is a reasonably famous facial skincare product among those who are interested in such things. I was able to try some thanks to a beauty box sample. Mine came in a 30ml green tube with a white muslin cloth (100% cotton) which would normally cost £6 – a bit more pricey than the cleansers you would pick up in Boots or Superdrug, but not too bad.
The cleanser contains rosemary, camomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus essential oil – handy ingredients for moisturising and caring for skin. It is described as a “richly concentrated cleanser for all skin types”. To use, you are meant to massage a small amount of cleanser onto dry skin, over eyes, face and neck. Afterwards, rinse the muslin cloth in hand-hot water and rinse out, then use the cloth to remove the cream and polish the skin.
I do find this to be a more time-consuming method of cleansing than what I’m used to, but having said that it does feel very luxurious. It’s a relaxing experience to spend some time massaging my face! The cleanser is easy to apply with a creamy texture and a pleasant light scent. It goes on to my skin well with no irritation, and it is easy to remove with the muslin cloth (which should be washed at 40C every 2-3 uses).
I am impressed with the effectiveness with which the cleanser removes makeup. I don’t have to apply much pressure and it removes even eyeshadow fairly easily. I do prefer to use a special eye makeup remover for mascara, though. My face feels clean and conditioned after use, and in very good condition. I follow with my usual toner and moisturiser.
I haven’t noticed any dramatic difference in the condition of my skin – the cleanser certainly doesn’t have a bad effect, but it doesn’t have an overwhelmingly positive one either – I’ve used cleansers that have made my skin look brighter and fresher. However, this is a decent product especially if you need something gentle, and it has the leaping bunny logo proving that it does not test on animals – another bonus.
As someone with incredibly pale skin, I’m always on the lookout for moisturiser with SPF for the summer months. I picked up this Soap & Glory Feel Good Factor moisturiser with SPF 25. It costs £12 for 50ml, but I picked it up on a 3 for 2 offer.
The product comes in an attractive silver-coloured tube with pink accents. It is described as a “daytime moisture protection fluid”. It contains UVA and UVB screens to protect the skin against the sun, plus Soap & Glory’s exclusive *SUNTRIGGER™ technology & ANTI-AGING SMART SPHERES (whatever they are!). The product is designed to help protect the skin against dryness, wrinkles and pigmentation – all problems which can be caused or exacerbated by sun exposure.
The moisturiser should be used every morning (I used a different one at night – no point in using SPF at night!). It has a pleasant scent – Soap & Glory state that it contains a tropical fragrance including Litsea Cupeda essential oil and sweet orange oil. I do like the refreshing scent, which isn’t too strong. It is suggested that a generous layer should be applied, following with makeup if wanted, and that Feel Good Factor should be applied frequently throughout the day to ensure maximum protection.
The moisturiser goes on easily and is easily absorbed. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all. The packaging states that it is non-greasy, non-whitening and offers invisible protection. This is true – I was impressed with how it went on just like a normal moisturiser. Overall it was slightly thicker than a standard moisturiser, but considering that most facial sun protection products feel horribly thick and greasy (to me, anyway), this was a huge plus. It proved a good base for makeup, feeling light on my skin and not producing that oily “layer” that is normally the case with SPF products and can cause makeup to slide off.
As far as the sun protection is concerned, I used this all through last summer (except on a handful of days when I was out all day in the heat, on which I used my SPF50 product) and have no complaints. I didn’t do any kind of “testing” by staying out in the sun longer than usual, but my skin remained pale and undamaged – just the way I like it! So I have to conclude that this product does the job.
On the very hottest days, I prefer to use a very high SPF (50+). For most summer days here in the UK, though, I am happy to use SPF25 and this product did the job perfectly. Sun protection and a high-quality moisturiser in one – I will definitely be purchasing Feel Good Factor again.
I got a sample of Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturiser in a beauty box. I’ve tried Clinique products before and they didn’t seem to suit my skin, but I was willing to give this a go.
The moisturiser is designed to suit many different skin types, from very dry to combination oily. It is allergy-tested and 100% fragrance free. It is claimed that the moisture cream helps skin to be more radiant, revealing brighter, younger-looking skin overnight. It is oil-free and helps to reduce the look of pores, clearing away the effect of time and sun-damage.
The cream didn’t irritate my skin at all, unlike some other Clinique products I’ve tried, so I was pleased. It was reasonably thick but didn’t feel clogging or greasy. The moisturiser had a light scent and sank into my skin well. It felt a bit heavy for using during the day, but I felt fine using it as a night cream, which is what it’s meant for after all.
My slightly oily skin wasn’t left overpowered and I didn’t notice any spots or anything owing to using this. However I don’t think using this cream improved the condition of my skin hugely. It didn’t look any worse than normal, but I didn’t think it looked a great deal better either. However, in fairness I don’t think I am the target market for this cream – perhaps an older lady would notice a difference in her skin, as the cream is designed to improve radiance. I don’t really have any sun damage and time hasn’t managed to wreak too much havoc on my skin yet!
The moisturiser costs £36 for 50ml, which is quite pricey. Personally I wouldn’t buy it as I don’t think it would benefit me, but someone else might feel differently.
I got a small tub of L’Occitaine Precious Cream in a beauty box a while back. I was shocked to learn that a full size (50ml) jar of this costs £46 – clearly my sample was good value!
The product is described as a “triple-action formula” with active molecules to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the skin, as well as increase firmness and assist with anti-ageing protection. It contains organic immortelle essential oil and organic immortelle cell extracts – I confess I have no idea what these are! It is described as a rich, smooth moisturiser which is ideal for dry skin.
Admittedly, I have combination/oily skin rather than dry skin. However, I thought that if I used this overnight during the winter, it would do my skin some good. The moisturiser had a very faint but pleasant scent, and was quite thick. It was easy to apply and didn’t cause my skin any irritation at all, although it did feel quite thick on my skin, and slightly greasy.
After regular use, I was disappointed to find that I was getting the odd spot and my face was feeling a bit “overloaded” and slightly greasy. I think this product must have been too much for me, even in the winter.
In short, I definitely wouldn’t buy this as it’s expensive and didn’t do anything for my skin, to say the least. However, if you are older and have wrinkles and/or dry skin you might wish to try this in case it helps you. In fairness the cream isn’t really aimed at me, but I’d still recommend trying a sample first if you can, as it’s a lot of money to spend on a face cream!
I’ve tried several products from the Cowshed brand over the years, all of which I’ve got free from magazines – this is just as well, as I haven’t actually liked any of them! Until this hand cream, that is – which goes by the name of Cow Pat Moisturising Hand Cream. Why anyone ever thought that this would be a good name for a hand cream is beyond me! The packaging is fairly attractive though, being a simple black tube with a delicate flower design. The product has a flip-top lid, which stays on securely in my bag, and a 50ml tube costs £8.
The hand cream contains shea and cocoa butter to moisturise and tone the skin, with grapefruit and coriander essential oils designed to add a “refreshing” scent. Surprisingly, given my previous dislike of Cowshed products, I really liked this hand cream. It went on easily and rubbed into my skin very well, leaving no greasy residue, but kept my hands moisturised for a good few hours.
On the downside, I absolutely hated the smell. It smells really musty and horrible – I don’t know why, as I love the smell of coriander and quite like refreshing grapefruit, but this stuff doesn’t smell like either of these things, it just smells horrible. This really put me off the product, especially as the smell is quite strong and does seem to last!
Overall, a surprisingly good product from Cowshed, but rather expensive and with a horrible smell. Not one that I’ll be buying again!
As you will all know by now, I love Lush and all the lovely things they like to bring out. I am a fan of their soaps in particular, but a while ago this one in particular caught my eye. It has the unusual name of Putty For Your Hands.
In a nutshell, the product is designed to be a gentle handwash suitable for sensitive and sore skin. It appealed to me immediately as I have sensitive skin and sometimes suffer from eczema, particularly on my hands. Therefore, I was excited about getting hold of some of this. It costs £5.95 for 100g – expensive, but I decided that if it helped me, it would be worth it.
Suitable for vegans, Putty for Your Hands is made with a base of cornflour and talc, glycerine and water, with soothing marshmallow mucilage and oats and Fair Trade shea butter to moisturise. The essential oils don’t just smell nice: lavender oil is soothing, tea tree oil is antiseptic and chamomile is gentle.
There are two ways to use this product. One is to use it in the same way as soap, rubbing the whole bar over the hands under running water. Another is to break off a small piece, smush it into a paste in your hands with water, and rub hands together. I prefer the latter method as it keeps the main part of the bar dry, helping it to last longer. I find a small piece about the size of a pea is enough – though the bar doesn’t contain any lathering ingredients (as these can irritate skin) a little really does go a long way.
I tend to use this product out of the home: at home I use my Lush soaps but this putty comes with me in its tin, secure in my bag, and I use it at work and when I’m out and about. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all, and feels lovely on my hands. It is easy to work into a paste and my hands feel thoroughly cleansed after use. As a bonus, my hands smell of lavender for a good while afterwards!
The most important thing is whether the product does what it says it does – look after hands and cleanse them while being gentle. It completely fulfils its claims. Even if my hands have felt itchy beforehand, after using this product they feel soothed and not sore. My hands feel soft after use and I am using much less hand cream. In addition, my eczema has much reduced since I have started using this stuff.
If you have eczema, or the cold weather is playing havoc with the skin on your hands, I strongly recommend giving this a try. It’s expensive, but I think it’s worth it.
In a beauty box a while back, I got a little bottle of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I was sceptical about the ability of oil to cleanse – wouldn’t it just make your face really greasy? – but I decided to give it a go.
DHC is a brand I’d previously never heard of, so I went on the website, http://www.dhcuk.co.uk/, to find out something about it. DHC is a Japanese company (the letters stand for Daigaku Honyaku Center) and is a top company in Japan. It uses olive oil from Spain as a base to create a well-developed and researched skincare range.
The Deep Cleansing Oil is apparently a worldwide bestseller, and it has the full five stars based on 280 reviews on the website – quite impressive. It costs £21.50 for 200ml, which might sound pricey but considering that my small bottle lasted me a good couple of months, it seems pretty good to me.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is described as a make-up remover which completely removes dirt and cosmetics from your face, including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. At the same time, the oil nourishes your skin leaving it soft and smooth. It is made with a water-soluble formula designed to be rinsed off easily.
It contains olive oil, plus a bunch of other ingredients which I’m not familiar with. To use, you are meant to apply it to your dry face, massage it in, and rinse. I shake out a few drops and apply it to my skin. It feels gentle and soothing and the act of massaging it in is quite relaxing – plus I am sure it is good for the skin to give it a bit of a massage!
I am impressed by how well this product removes makeup. It seems to just melt away, even mascara. I don’t use waterproof mascara though so can’t comment on that. If I am wearing very heavy makeup, such as deep grey eyeshadow, I prefer to use an eye makeup remover first to get the bulk of it off. However, for my everyday makeup this product is perfectly adequate.
Over several weeks of use my skin feels soft, cleansed and clear. I have combination skin, but the oil hasn’t had the adverse effect on my skin I had feared. The dry patches I used to get, particularly in the cold, have gone, and overall I am very impressed.
Despite the high price I would certainly consider buying a full-price bottle of this facial oil. It does an excellent job and really cares for the skin. Highly recommended.
A while ago I decided that I wanted a music system for my room. I used to listen to music on my computer, but it isn’t all that powerful and music slows it down, plus it doesn’t always sound very good. I decided that a docking station compatible with my iPod Classic (which has all my music on it) would be a good idea. After some research I chose the iGhost, and bought it from Amazon for around £40.
The iGhost comes in three colours, black, white and red. Originally I fancied the white one, as after all, aren’t ghosts white? (!), but at the time of my purchase the white was out of stock so I went for the black. With hindsight this was probably the best decision as white plastic might have discoloured. Also, the black goes with everything in my room.
The iGhost is pretty cute: small and compact with a smile and two large round eyes that are also the speakers. It’s possible to control speaker volume by touching the ears gently, although I tend to use the remote instead. The iPod goes on top of the iGhost, and it comes with a selection of cradles to fit the right size of your iPod. The iPod Classic doesn’t use a cradle, but smaller models do. The iGhost is compatible with several models including the Nano 4th gen, iPhone 3g, iPod Touch 2nd Gen and Classic. An added bonus is that the docking station charges it up while it’s playing music.
The iGhost comes with the following features:
+3 Speakers (I know about the eyes but I’m not sure about the third speaker!).
+Sound Stabilisation Technology
+3.5mm to 3.5mm Stereo Lead
It is possible to operate the speaker either by using the remote control or using the controls on the iPod itself. I tend to use the iPod itself in the first instance, when I am switching music on in the first place, and then use the remote. Anything you can do on your iPod you can do with this iGhost – choosing music by album, artist, playlist, random etc. I find the sound quality to be excellent. I’m by no means an expert but it goes as loud as I need it to, sounds rich and layered rather than tinny, and generally sounds good. If you love really bass-heavy music or have other specialist requirements, this may not be for you, but for most people I think this would be fine.
Personally I highly recommend the iGhost to all music listeners apart from the most specialised. It is easy to use, well-priced and looks good.
I got a 50ml tube of This Works Daily Boost Body Scrub in a beauty box a while ago. Research has indicated that this would cost £7, so I was happy to get it in my box.
I hadn’t previously been aware of the This Works brand, so I did a little investigation. The brand offers “award-winning” natural skincare for all skin types and is ideal for busy modern lives. This particular item is designed to be a gentle, creamy scrub to remove dead skin cells. It is meant to leave skin moisturised, soft and supple.
The “natural” aspect of the product is evidenced in the crushed bamboo, an unusual ingredient which I haven’t seen before in a beauty product. The bamboo is eco-cert approved, which I take to mean that it is harvested in an eco-friendly way, and it is the ingredient that polishes the skin. The scrub also contains grapefruit and rosemary which stimulate and revive. The “modern” aspect comes out in the ingredient of tourmaline, designed to improve blood flow.
The scrub has an amazing citrus scent which I love. It really is something special and it is incredibly refreshing. It is easy to squeeze a small amount out of the tube, and it sticks on my skin, unlike some scrubs which seem to fall off so that you can end up using far more than you would like. The scrub feels very gentle on the skin, but even so it does a very effective job. It is gentle enough to use on my upper arms and thighs, but effective enough to work on my elbows and lower legs. After use my skin is left feeling soft and supple, with no added dryness.
Despite the high price, I do highly recommend this body scrub. It smells lovely and does a great job. You can probably get other good scrubs which are cheaper, but this would be lovely if you can splash out a bit more.
At Christmas, I got a Soap & Glory makeup set. One of the products in the set was the Glow All Out Luminizing Face Powder.
This normally retails for £11 at Boots and comes in a white compact with a typical Soap & Glory label, a retro black and white picture of a woman. Mine came attached to the base of the makeup set. It has the Soap & Glory logo embossed into the surface; naturally this disappears with use.
Soap & Glory state that this powder can be used just on your cheekbones to highlight, or all over your face for a ‘moonlit’ look. It contains silicone technology for extended wear and ‘Lightscramble’ Luminospheres Pigment Pearls.
The powder is easily picked up by a brush, and I have used it both ways; it is easy to sweep it across my cheeks or my whole face. I tend to use it on my cheeks when I am going out, and all over my face if I am tired but don’t want to look it. The powder is light, so ideal for my pale skin, and subtle, so I can wear it for work.
Some people may prefer a liquid highlighter; I like them, but as I have slightly oily skin I can see the advantages of a powder highlighter like this one. It doesn’t cake but doesn’t enhance any oiliness on my skin. It lasts ages too. As mentioned, it is subtle, but adds a general glow to my skin.
A lovely product, recommended, and one which I may well purchase once the one in my set runs out.
Among the items I got in a gift set last year were a number of skincare products, including a full-size tube of this Gel Éclat Clarifying Cleanser (Pearly Foam).
A tube of this cleanser costs £22.50 (125ml), a huge price that I would never have considered paying before I tried it. I don’t mind spending a little more on quality skincare, but even I have my limits! I must say, however, that this product won me over.
Lancome describe the product as “A foam so fine and voluminous that glides on the skin to gently liberate the skin from impurities. Rinse off and rediscover the radiant effect of clean skin.” It is suitable for normal and combination skin types (I have combination skin so this sounded perfect for me) and should be used twice daily, applied to the skin and rinsed off.
In the morning, I used the cleanser alone to wash my face in the shower. In the evening, I used a separate cleanser to remove makeup followed by this product to wash my face. I found that this product did clean very well and was able to remove most makeup, but I prefer to use a different cleanser first, particularly if I am wearing heavy eye makeup.
The product contains naturally-derived ingredients such as white lotus, rose de France and Japanese cedar bud. I had never heard of any of these ingredients, but they certainly sounded luxurious!
To use the product, wet your face, put a small amount of product in your hand and lather up before applying onto your face. Massage then rinse off.
The product has a subtle sophisticated scent. I was amazed at how well it lathered. You literally only need a piece the size of a garden pea – it lathers amazingly well and easily cleanses your entire face. It feels gentle and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. It rinses off easily and after use, my face feels completely clean and refreshed without feeling dry.
Regular use of this product has kept my skin in great condition, even-toned and bright. I haven’t had any problems with dry patches, even in the ongoing cold weather, and nor has my skin gone too oily. This stuff is brilliant!
I’ve been using the tube for several months already and it is still going strong - it is lasting for ages!
Despite the high price, I completely recommend this cleanser. It does a great job and as you only need a tiny amount each time, it is actually great value for money. I would definitely repurchase.
I got a Soap & Glory make-up gift set at Christmas and included in the set were 6 shades of their Lid Stuff eyeshadow. I’ve used these shades frequently since.
Normally you can buy 4 shades in a palette, costing £10 from Boots. Each palette has a black base and a clear plastic lid for portability. There is no brush or applicator included so you have to use your own (though there was a brush included in my set).
The palette is available in 3 varieties: one containing nude shades (cream, gold, brown), one containing smoky shades (white, black, grey) and one with colours (such as blue and purple). My selection is a mixture of the above.
Minky: a shimmery light brown
This is a lovely colour which goes with everything. I love the shimmer effect. I can wear it during the day with a light lipgloss, or in the evening with a darker lipstick – it’s very versatile.
Dandy Plum: a rich dark purple
I love this colour; it’s dramatic and makes an impact. I can wear it alone or blended with one of the other colours in the set: I’ve used it with the blue for a dramatic look, and with the grey and black shades for a smoky evening effect.
Black Gold: black with tiny flecks of glitter
This makes a dramatic impact worn alone over the lid in the evening. I also use it to accentuate other colours, and as an eyeliner.
Vanilla: pale cream
I use this as a base, and also as an all-over shade on the days when I don’t want to look as if I’m wearing too much makeup.
Wild Blue: a rich bright teal
This is a wonderfully bright and dramatic colour worn alone; I also like to pair it with the purple shade.
Smokin’: matte dark grey
Worn alone, this is a sophisticated smoky shade, but I also blend it with the purple colour for a strong look.
Overall I love the colours: they are versatile and together suit any occasion. I find that you can brush them on to give a light wash of colour or build up the shade using an applicator for a more dramatic look. It is claimed that they last for 8 hours: I wear them for work so it’s easy to judge this, and I find that the claim is true unless it is a particularly hot day. Any longer than that and they do crease; but applying primer beforehand helps them last all day, and also makes the colours ‘pop’ even more.
Overall I’m very happy with these eyeshadows, and would consider buying a palette in the future. Which one, though?
I’m addicted to toiletries but I mostly have products from Lush, The Body Shop and Soap & Glory. After Christmas I was having a look around the Superdrug website and found a couple of gift sets from the I Love… range, which I’ve tried a couple of times. Though they weren’t in the sale, they looked like good value – each set cost £9.99 and contained five products: lip gloss, hand cream, soap, bubble bath and body butter. One was the Shimmer & Sparkle set and one was called Glitter & Gold. This review will discuss the Shimmer & Sparkle gift set.
My favourite thing about this lip gloss is the taste. It really does taste chocolatey and sweet, although this could be construed as a bad thing since it means I lick it off more readily! The gloss adds a pleasant shine to my lips but doesn’t last incredibly long – about an hour or two. I tend to wear it for more informal occasions, such during a relaxed weekend or on a quiet day in the office.
The hand cream came in a flip-top tube which was easy to open and access, but luckily wasn’t loose so it didn’t come apart in my bag. The tube was just the right size to fit in my handbag and had a lovely chocolate scent. It sank in to my skin well and didn’t make my hands feel greasy.
The soap was a pretty pale cream colour and had a lovely sweet scent. It was slightly drying on the skin but left a pleasant scent behind after use and the bar lasted ages.
*Bubble Bath and Shower Crème*
I’d already tried this product, having bought it as a separate item in Superdrug previously, and was happy to have another bottle to use. It produced a good deal of bubbles with only a small amount of product. The product smelled lovely, though the scent was a mild one, and it lingered on my skin slightly after use.
I really liked the Body Butter from the kit too. Again, it had a chocolate, slightly nutty scent that was rich and sweet but not too sickly. The butter was fairly thick, so I stuck to using it in the evening as it took a little while to sink in. It didn’t irritate my skin and it left it feeling moisturised.
I really liked this set: the products were all of good quality, if not as amazing as Lush, and what they lacked in brilliance they made up for in price – the set works out at only £2 per item. The scent was lovely and the products worked well together. Recommended as a gift or for a personal treat.
I am gradually trying to sample every Lush product, but it’s taking ages! The most recent product I’ve tried is The Guv’ner.
This product is a deodorant powder that was designed for men, but there’s no reason why women can’t use it too. Lush describe this as “a hardworking, absorbent deodorant powder that means business”. It is made up of charcoal powder and lycopodium powder (made from an Icelandic moss) which are both super-effective and absorbent powders. They control perspiration by absorbing it; this deodorant is designed to be a more gentle, more natural version of the normal deos you get in a shop. It also helps to mask scent thanks to a combination of vetivert, patchouli and sage.
The packaging is a clear plastic bottle with a black flip-top lid, which stays securely on so the powder won’t fall out. The bottle is easily recyclable once finished, and it’s easy to see how much product you have left. I was somewhat troubled, though, by the grey colour of the powder – did I really want to put this on my underarms?
I first applied the powder after my evening shower. Despite my best efforts it was rather messy, so I’m glad I put a towel down. My hands were a bit messy too but I wiped them on my towel and they were fine. Unfortunately my underarms looked rather dark and a little dirty – I was glad I was using the product at night, and not out and about during the day!
The product has an unusual charcoal smell – I can’t really detect the presence of the herbs and spices included. I really like the smell though – it is strong without being overpowering, and I am confident that it would help to mask body odour.
As an overnight product, the deodorant worked fine, causing no bad smells although it didn’t actually stop perspiration altogether. I tried it a couple of times during the day, and though it wasn’t as good as my usual antiperspirant, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared.
I have experimented with using this on my feet and it seems to work fairly well, with the scent helping to mask the horrible smell of my sweaty feet. Again though, I need to be careful with the shoes I use it with – sandals, for example, would show up the dark powder.
Although the product does look messy on the skin, it doesn’t seem to transfer onto clothes: I don’t get grey marks on my nightclothes or on my (white) bedsheets and duvet cover, which is impressive. I am happy, therefore, to use it overnight, and I will continue to do so until it is used up. I probably won’t buy it again, however, as I would rather use another product that isn’t so messy.