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Living in Scotland you don't see a lot of sunshine, even is summer which means that my skin is so pale it almost has a blue tinge to it! Having a few moles on my back ad legs I am not keen to use sunbeds for safety reasons so my only option is fake tan to stop me looking like a walking corpse.
I have tried many over the years and have had more disasters than I care to admit so I like the idea of the dove summer skin body lotion with a gradual tan. Meaning I wouldn't go from blue to orange in one small sweep and I could top up my tan whilst moisturising my skin. I chose the fair to medium shade, (not wanting to end up looking like a wotsit) which cost me about £4ish from Asda.
The lotion is quite strong smell, which I'm not quite sure how to describe. It's not overly unpleasant, but then its not how I would choose to go around smelling either. The cream itself is white in colour and has a nice light texture. It applies easily and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised. I applied it to my skin after a shower.
I woke up the next day hoping for a nice golden glow to my skin, but nothing, no change at all. Since I am so pasty I thought maybe I needed a few applications to get it going so I applied it every night for over a week and guess what?...not a thing! Maybe I just got a dodgy batch but I was disappointed to find that after the effort my skin was still as blue as it had always been.
I persevered until the end of the bottle but it made no difference, so sadly I would not recommend this product based on my experience of it. My hunt for the holy grail of self tan continues so what this space...
I love all things Soap & Glory. In fact it has become a bit of an addiction. I had never tried the mascara before but when I found a tube of Thick & Fast Super Volume mascara in a set that I received at Christmas time I was quite excited to give it a go.
The mascara itself is nicely packaged in a black tube with pink writing and the wand is a nice size and shape. The mascara claims to leave you with full, thick lashes with a false lash effect that won't flake or smudge. All of which sounds great.
On application the mascara goes on smoothly with no clumps. The wand gives good coverage, although it can be difficult to catch those little short lashed in the corner without getting the product on your skin, I think if the wand was just a little smaller that this would solve the problem (or maybe I just need a steadier hand!) I find that one coat hardly makes any difference to my lashes, I need at least to or three to have any effect, so for me it falls short of its think and full claims. Application does last well throughout the day with no annoying flaky bits, which is great. And I don't fell it irritates my eyes like some mascaras do.
Overall its not a bad mascara, perfect of you are wanting a barely there natural look for daytime. But if like me you like big thick voluminous lashes that mascara will leave you disappointed. Such a shame from a fantastic brand.
The skin on my hands is always very dry and itchy due to constantly having them suck in water washing children and dishes, my nails also suffer too. This problem only gets worse in winter.
I have tried many hand creams but none of them have been that great, leaving my hands greasy and slippy for ages after using them.
I recently saw this E45 hand cream on the sale aisle in my local supermarket and decided to give it a try. This is now a firm favourite and I would happily pay full price next time.
E45 hand cream has been a god send. It moisturises and sooth's my hands leaving them feeling soft and supple without felling slimy and the small tube is the perfect size to pop in my pocket and take on the go. I have also found that my nails are not as brittle as they were before.
Overall a great little product and I would highly recommend it.
I don't like to wear a heavy foundation through the day but I do need something to add a bit of colour to my otherwise very pale complexion. I have tried various tinted moisturisers and other BB creams but they have either provided too little coverage or they just haven't suited my skin tone.
I had looked at the l'oreal nude magique a few times but at £9.99 I was reluctant to try it in case it was just as bad as the others, but when I got a £5 money off voucher for Boots I thought I would give it a go and I'm so glad I did. I love it!!!
When you dispense the cream from the tube it is a white colour with little blueish coloured beads through it, however once you start to blend it into your skin the colour develops to match your skin tone. As I said I have quite pale skin and the light shade was perfect.
The cream has a lightweight texture that feels great on your skin. It gives lovely full coverage, evening out skin tone and covering and small blemishes but still does not feel heavy.
This is now one of my favourite products and I would happily recommend to anyone who asks. Even at full price it would be worth every penny.
Like most people I tend to neglect my poor wee feet over the long winter months. When they're all wrapped up in woolly tights and furry boots its an easy thing to do. But now the summer months and sandal weather is upon us and it was time to pay them some well needed attention.
I had looked at the Scholl Express Pedi in the local shops but with a thirty pounds price tag I decided it was a little bit out of my budget and then I was invited by BzzAgent to take part in their Express Pedi campaign and was lucky enough to receive this to try for free.
The Scholl express pedi comes packaged in plastic allowing you to get a good look at what exactly you are buying. It has a cardboard backing which contains clear and concise instructions on how to use the device. The design of the device is good and fits easily in the hand. You simply twist the handle to switch it on and off and there is a small plastic cap to cover the roller when not in use.
When I received my express pedi I couldn't wait to get it out of the wrapper and give it a go. As I said above the instructions were straightforward and easy to follow. When I switched it on I did think it was a bit noisy at first but I soon got used to it. You simply switch on and hold gently over the foot, not stopping in the one place for more than a second or two. It was quick ticklish, especially around the side of my foot and my big toe area but I persevered. On my first attempt I probably spent about 2 or 3 minutes on each foot as I didn't want to over do it.
So how did I find it? Truth be told not great at all. I do have to be honest and say that I do not have a huge problem with hard skin on my feet but they are a little rough in parts and I just didn't feel that the Scholl Express Pedi made much of a difference at all. I have used it again a few times but I am still not seeing any great results, I will continue to try however.
Overall I think this product could be a lot better especially when you consider the thirty pound price-tag. Maybe for those who have really bad hard skin it will make a difference but for me a good foot scrub and a pumice stone is just as good and costs far less.
My son is completely obsessed with Lego. He is also obsessed with minecraft so when I saw this set on the Lego site at Christmas time I knew he would love it. Coming in at around about the forty pounds mark is wasn't cheap, but since it was for his Christmas and combined two of his greatest loves combined I knew I had to get it for him.
When the package arrived I was somewhat surprised at how small the box was. Usually when spending that kind of money you get a fairly decent size model but I could see this was going to be little.
Christmas day came and the wee boy was over the moon when he open the wrapping and found this set inside. He was eager to get it built, and I was eager to see what the contents of this tiny box was going to produce.
Inside the box was the instructions and four little bags containing tiny single blocks...hundreds of them!!! It turns out each bag contained the pieces to build a minecraft world and at the end all four can be connected together. Each little world when built is approx three inches square and when all four are put together the entire model is approx six inched square so not exactly big.
When building the model it is very fiddly and time consuming. As I said all the blocks are very small single squares in various shades of green, brown and grey and trying to pick them apart is a nightmare. When we did eventually get it all together my son was over the moon and had it sitting pride of place in his room for a few months (till his little sister pulled it to bits)
All in I'm torn over this set. My son loved it and for that I give it 3 out of 5. But for the price I would have expected something a bit more substantial.
I purchased the Nike+ Fuelband almost a year ago as I wanted something that would help me see how hard I was working and encourage me to push myself a little harder. I had looked at various fitness bands that are on the market and decided the Fuelband was the one for me as unlike many of the bands out there it had a built in watch.
The band is shaped to fit around the wrist and is covered in a soft rubber/silicon type material making it very comfortable against the skin. It is very lightweight meaning it is easy to forget you are wearing it. Available in Small, Medium and Large it also comes with extra spacers in the box to ensure the best possible fit. The band is re-chargeable using either by plugging directly into the USB port of your computer or by using the USB cable provided in the box. There is also a free App that you download to your smartphone which you use to sinc the band and record your activity. The band records and displays calories, steps, and Nike Fuel earned (I'll come to this later) as well as the time. All of which can be displayed at the press of a button.
The initial set up of the band requires you to visit the Nike website and create a user ID, thereafter you connect the band to the computer in order to calibrate it to your personal details (height, weight etc) in order to make the data recorded by the band as accurate as you can. This is where you also set your Nike fuel goals.
So what is Nike Fuel? In short I have no idea, and no matter how hard I have trawled the Nike website and the rest of the net I cannot find a tangible explanation of what this is, other that it's "a universal way to measure all kinds of activities" There is no explanation of what each unit equates to or how it can be measured against any other recognisable method of recording such things such as calories, distance etc which I find a bit confusing. It just seems a little abstract to me.
When it comes to the use of the band it is very straightforward, put it on your wrist and go. Syncing with your phone is also easy, just make sure Bluetooth os switched on, open the Nike+ app, press the sync button on the band and hey presto all you hard work is recorded. There is a line of LED's on the band that light up along the bottom showing how close to your goal you are. This keeps you motivated and makes you give yourself that extra push to get to the finishing line.
When I first got my band my Fuel goal was set at 3000 per day which I regularly reached or even exceeded, but since the new update only a month or two ago which makes earning fuel harder I have been lucky to reach 1500 fuel per day, even when I am working just as hard as I did before which I am finding very disheartening. I am all for pushing myself to work harder but this update just makes it almost impossible.
The other downside of the Fuelband it that it doesn't record any exercise in which your arms down move around with any vigour. So if you are cycling or on the rowing machine you don't earn any fuel, meaning your are working hard it doesn't show up on your daily activity log so you can fall short of your target. Conversely you could sit on you bum and jiggle your arms and earn fuel which kind of defeats the point.
Another issue I had with my band was that after only 3 months of wearing it the function button on the band stopped working, meaning I couldn't check the time, my fuel or anything else. It rendered the band completely inoperable. I contacted Nike who asked me to send it to them and they would check it and replace it if necessary, which is what they did. I was without my band for about 3 weeks before receiving my new one. A girl I work with had the same issue with hers and from what I have read elsewhere this is a very common fault. From a company like Nike I would expect better. Given that this is a sports band you could be forgiven for expecting it to be more robust.
Overall the Fuelband is a great idea, but sadly it has too many shortcomings for my liking. I think Nike need to address the common faults such as the button breaking, we need a better, clearer and less generic explanation of what exactly Nike fuel is and finally I think the new update has to be re-thought and maybe re-adjusted.
Coming in at £125 this is by no means a cheap bit of kit but as it stands at the moment I think it falls far short of the price tag. Pull your socks up Nike, you can do better.
We all know that some dogs like to chew, and our Labrador puppy Bailey is no exception. Nothing is sake from her, especially the kids soft toys. I have tried buying her various different dog toys, from furry ones to squeaky ones but none have lasted more than a couple of hours. She's even managed to chew her way through 3 beds and she's only 7 months old.
My friend has two boxer dogs and she swears by the Kong toys for keeping them amused. I thought they were a bit expensive and didn't want to pay £8 for something that would last 5 minutes but my friend convinced me to give it a go, and boy am I glad I did. Any longer and we would have been barefoot and the kids toy-less!
Made from heavy duty rubber with a conical shape the Kong is hollow with holes at both ends. A big one a the bottom where you can insert treats to add a little extra excitement for your dog, and a little one a the top to let your dog catch the scent of the treat from both ends. It is available in various sizes from small puppy to extra large super strong so there is something for every dog.
Although you can but Kong branded treats and pastes that you can put inside any dog treat that fits is fine. I have found that Baileys favourite is a little bit of peanut butter mixed with some kibble. For added longevity I stick it the freezer to harden it up. She will spend hours trying to get every last morsel out.
Although I was sceptical about how long this toy would last I have been surprised that after 4 weeks of almost constant chewing it is still in one piece and still looks good as new. I am a Kong convert and happily recommend this to dog owners everywhere.
Our 7 month old Labrador pup Bailey loves nothing more than rolling in the mud and puddles as well as having the occasional plunge into the local canal. And while these are the things that make her happy, they often leave her smelling less then sweet.
When she was smaller, lifting her into the bath for wash and freshen up wasn't that much of a challenge. However as she gets bigger, heavier and harder to catch trying to get her into the bath soon become a bit of a wrestling match which often ends up with me soaked to the skin with more water over the bathroom floor than in the bath. I have taken her to the dog groomer, but bathing a dog too often can cause skin sensitivities and can wash away the protective oils on their coat. So on the hunt for an alternative I headed along to my local pet shop. I had heard of deodorants and dry shampoos but didn't really know how effective they would be, although anything had to be worth a go to try and rid the house of the reek of soggy dog!
I have to say I was somewhat dazzled by the range of lotions, potions and wipes available to freshen up even the muckiest pup and didn't really know where to start. I immediately ruled out anything with in an aerosol can, I didn't want to gas us all in the process. So after that it was a case of sniff it and see. And that is when I came across the Animology range.
Packaged in a black spray bottle with coloured labels that have something for every dog, from puppy to mature dogs. Normal to sensitive skins. The description on the bottle says that it is enriched with vitamins and conditioners and is designed to help reduce odour and keep your dogs coat fresh between washed. Perfect! I chose Puppy fresh which has a delicate scent which reminds me of baby powder. Not too overpowering compared with other similar brands.
The application directions are straightforward enough. Spray onto doggies coat, groom through and leave. At first Bailey wasn't too chuffed, but after a chase round the room and bribery with a treat or two she finally relented and let me spray her, followed by a quick brush down. Job done.
So did it live up to its Puppy Fresh name? I am please to report that it did indeed. Given that the scent is quite subtle I thought it might just mask the smell but I was pleasantly surprised that it did more than that and freshened her up completely. Not a wiff to be found, even a close range. And in my experience the freshness lasts for several days (unless its been raining or she's been in that canal that is) But a quick spray and brush and she's fresh as a daisy.
These sprays are not a replacement for a good thorough wash, but they do serve a purpose when a bath isn't on the cards.
At £5 for a 250ml bottle is not the cheapest option but it is worth the money and a little goes a long way and I would happily recommend this to all dog owners. I am sure I will be trying more of the range in the future.
My husbands 99 year old grandmother recently spent some time in hospital due to falling and hurting her hip and somehow during her stay managed to pick up an eye infection. It seemed that every time we went in to visit her she had nasty green/yellow crust in the corners of both her eyes and along her eyelashes. The nurses were happy to provide us with some water and cotton wool to clean her eyes but they were understandably very busy and didn't always have time to do this, and that was if we could track a nurse down to ask.
While in Boots I noticed these wipes and thought it wouldn't hurt to try them. Costing just over £5 for a box of 20 wipes, all of which are individually wrapped. I picked up a box and took them with me on my next visit.
As I said each wipe is individually wrapped in a small sealed pouch. When opened the wipe is slightly moist, but not soaking wet. The cloth the wipe is made of is similar to that of cleaning wipes but I felt it was slightly rough considering it is for the eye area.
When it comes to using the wipes all I can say is that they do exactly what it says on the tin. They clean away and dirt or debris and as they are sealed and sterile you do not need to worry about introducing any further germs or bacteria.
The wipes are suitable only to be used on the external area of the eye with the eye closed and a fresh wipe should be used on each eye to prevent cross contamination.
After a few days of using these in conjunction with antibiotics Grannies eyes were good as new with no more gooey gunk in the corners.
I also find that when my allergies flare up that they sooth my itchy eyes.
All in all these are useful and very convenient to use but they may become expensive if need for longer than a few days.
Like a lot of ladies out there i am somewhat addicted to finding that perfect foundation. I have tried everything from creams to gels, liquids to mousses but either find them to heavy, to light, too much or too little coverage (Goldielocks eat your heart out) but I have never found that one which is just right.
While perusing the make-up aisles at Boots recently I noticed this L'Oreal true match minerals foundation. Coming in at £13.99 I did think it was a little on the expensive side but as I had a money off coupon and given that L'Oreal has a good reputation I thought it was worth a go.
The product has 95% mineral content as well as sun protection of SPF15. It comes packaged in a small plastic tub which splits into 3 parts. The base contains the mineral powder and had a lid with holes in it (kind of like the top of a talc bottle), on top of that is a small lid with a brush attached and then there is the top lid which covers the brush.
The concept seem to be that with the brush still attached you shake out some powder and use the brush to apply. Great in theory, but in practice not so straightforward. Since the first lid is grey plastic you cannot see how much of the product has been dispensed, if you shake too much it is very difficult to put it back and it also tends to get everywhere when you open the lid when you. Because of this you become a bit over cautions when you dispense it meaning you have to keep replacing the lid to get more out, which can be end up being time consuming and annoying.
When it comes to application of the product there are both positives and negatives. The brush is made from nice soft fibres and feels nice on the skin, however it is a bit on the small side, I would say smaller than a blusher brush so not ideal for applying foundation to the whole face. The powder should be applied in circular motions across the face and I have found it to give a nice even coverage. It will cover small blemishes, and I have found it works wonders at covering dark circles under my eyes without needing a separate concealer. A big plus for me. The powder sits nicely on the skin without feeling heavy. It gives a nice matt finish that will last most of the day without the need for re-application. And when it comes time to take your make-up off it cleans off easily without leaving any residue.
Overall its not a bad product, but for the price it could be better, coming in at a mediocre 3 out of 5. But with a few tweaks, like a better brush and some re-invented more user friendly packaging I think it could make full marks.
Gin is a drink that I have never really been keen on. I always found it to be very 'perfumey' for want of a better description but recently I was on a girls night out and on my trip to the bar this was what my friend asked for, telling me to make sure I got Hendricks and not just any gin from the gantry. She then proceeded to tell us all what we were missing not giving it a go. Eventually me curiosity got the better of me and I took a little sip of hers, and was very pleasantly surprised indeed.
The taste was refreshing and not at all perfume like and it had a lovely fresh scent (I have since learned that it is infused with cucumber which gives it these lovely properties) And a little splash of tonic was a more than sufficient mixer as it does not have the strong alcohol after-taste which many spirits can have.
So impressed by my first sip I decided to treat myself to a bottle all of my own. Even the bottle looks as distinctive as the gin tastes.The heavy black glass combined with a white almost vintage looking label and a cork style top gives it a quirky twist that really does make it stand out from the crowd.
Price-wise Hendricks is the more expensive option when it comes to buying Gin, coming in at around £27 for a 70cl bottle (I got mine from Tesco so prices may vary elsewhere) but in my opinion it is well worth splashing out that little bit more for a top quality product.
We have recently added a new addition to our family, a beautiful chocolate Labrador named Bailey who is a clever, but stubborn little girl who need a little incentive when being taught new trick and skills.
Like a lot of dogs Bailey is very much food oriented and will do anything for a tasty little titbit. I have seen various puppy treats in the supermarkets which have tended to be hard biscuit type treats which are great to give them something to gnaw on but when it comes to training I was really looking for something softer that is either very small nibble size pieces or can be broken into very small pieces. So when I came across these in pets at home they were perfect for what I was looking for.
The mini bones are a great size (about 1cm long) and are of a soft meaty texture. The size makes them easy to conceal in the palm of your hand and they are small enough that puppy is not distracted from training for too long while trying to chew and swallow them.
My only complaint would be that they do have a very strong, not overly pleasant smell but Bailey doesn't seem to mind that so I just have to live with it I guess. I only tend to use a few during our training sessions to keep her working hard for them and as such the treats can also go quite hard after a couple of days if you do not use something to seal the bag after opening but again Bailey doesn't seem that bothered by this and will still happily work for them.
Overall a great training aid for young dogs.
When my son was a baby he was lucky enough to never really have much of a problem with nappy rash, Sudocrem was usually all that he needed on his tiny tooshie. My 18 month old daughter however is not quite so lucky.
Despite having her nappy changed regularly and making sure I keep her as clean and dry as I can her little bum often breaks out in a horrible red rash (which strangely seems to be worse when she has a new tooth coming through) I have tried Sudocrem and giving her some 'nappy free time' but it never seemed to help things much.
I had Bepanthan this on the shelves in the shops but didn't really know how effective it would be but when I went to my local pharmacist for some advice this was the first thing he recommended.
The cream comes in a tube, rather like a toothpaste tube. It has a very very thick consistency which is somewhere between cream and gel I would say and when applied it does leave a visible oil like barrier on the skin. It does not have any fragrance to speak of (or none that I have picked up on)
After only 2 days of use my daughters bottom began to clear up considerably and after about 4 days the rash was gone completely. I now always have a tube of this in the bathroom cabinet just in case. Costing just over £6 for a 100g tube it is slightly more costly than similar products but a little goes a long way and a tube will last for quite a while.
Another use I have come across for Bepanthan is after care for a new tattoo. I discovered this when my husband had some new work done and the tattoo artist recommended it to him. It seemed to stop the tattoo from scabbing over and helped it heal quicker. A bit of a random discovery, but may be helpful to someone.
We all know that we should be getting our 5 potions of fruit and veg a day but sometimes that is easier said than done, especially if like me you have a busy home life and work crazy shifts. I do try to make a concious effort to eat a healthy balanced diet but I have to be honest and say that I am not always successful.
I recently read a magazine article about juicing fruits and vegetables and the health benefits associated with it but not being someone to be caught up in the latest hype or fad diets I decided to do a little more research of my own, and the more I read the more I wanted to give it a try.
Juicers come in many shapes and sizes and range in price from a very cheap £25 right up to an extortionate £400 and more in some cases. I did a bit of reading and checked the reviews for various machines and finally settled on the Sage Nutri-juicer. This is a mid range juicer and comes in at about £150 which seemed reasonable.
The nutri-juicer is a whole fruit juicer which means you do not have to peel, chop and dice everything before you put it in. As long as it fits into the space a the top no more effort is required. Some fruits such as Kiwis need to be peeled otherwise you might end up with furry juice, but most things can be processed as they come.
The fruit is fed in from the top of the machine and there is a press to help push in down into the main body, where the fruit is shredded on blades and the juice is extracted from the pulp and pushed through a metal mesh before running out into the collection jug, the pulp is separated and collected in another container at the other side of the machine. The volume of juice extracted is very good and the pulp at the other side usually comes out mostly dry, meaning you are getting the most out of what you put in. Not only is it suitable for fruits but vegetables too.
Cleaning the machine also couldn't be easier. Simply empty separate the various parts and wash in warm soapy water. The machine also comes with a small brush to help get to those harder to clean parts (such as the mesh filter) but all in all the cleaning takes less that 5 minutes, which is hardly a chore. It can also be put in the dishwasher if preferred.
Overall I think this is a fabulous piece of equipment. It is quick and easy to use and clean. You get all the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and the vitamins and minerals they contain and you know exactly what you are putting into your body. No extra sugars or additives. I have been using this machine for about 3 weeks now and I really do feel the benefits of drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices. My skin has cleared up, I feel more energetic and I have lost weight (although this was not my goal, it is just a pleasant side effect) I usually have my juice for breakfast and it sets me up for the day.
So while I may still not be eating my 5 portions a day I am certainly drinking them and although you may not be getting all the fibre you would if you munched your way through the veg drawer you still get all the vitamins and minerals which can only be a step in the right direction.
I highly recommend this product. It does everything you need it to do and at a reasonable price.