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I went through a stage of spending far too much in Starbucks, I used to pass one as I changed bus on the way to work and the temptation was too great. Not because I needed a drink but beacause I just couldn't replicate the drinks at home and they were just so yummy. My friend then let me try one of these Nescafe sachets at work and with a few adjustments of my own I can now have a yummy drink well worth the two or three pounds I was paying but far cheaper. The directions say to add this sachet to 200mls of hot, but not boiling water and stir. You need to stir it loads, the lumps you get if you don't really do taste vile! Now making the drink up this way is lovely don't get me wrong but it isn't heaven! It tastes quite watery and not as sweet as I like it. You can smell the vanilla but not really the coffee, which is no big deal. I now make mine with a splash of milk and a spoonful of sugar (and occasionally chocolate sprinkles if I'm feeling really naughty). I know this makes this far more unhealthy but its divine! A good stir gives you lots of yummy froth on the top which you have to lick off first (its the rules!) I also add a wee bit more water then directed and get a nice big cup, this really doesn't change the flavour so why not?! If you are a big coffee drinker I don't expect these will taste strong enough for you. The taste is very mild and creamy, and the colour quite pale. I only ever add half a spoon of coffee if I make myself one so I'm not really a strong coffee drinker so this one suits me fine. Without the milk and sugar one cup contains 78 calories and 2.4g of fat, as a treat though I'm not too fussed. Each box contains 8 sachets and costs about £2 so for 25p this is an absolute bargain compared to a starbucks but I guess a fortune compared to a cup of tea. These boxes are sometimes on offer in Tesco, for example 2 for £3 and can be found in the smaller Tesco express stores. The range also contains latte, mocha, double choc mocha, caramel, cappuccino and latte macchiato to name a few. All very yummy too. I tend to only have one of these a day and I see it as 'me' time. I don't treat myself to many things but these are my guilty pleasure, lets be honest I could be having far worse! You just need a little biscuit on the side and you are away. Enjoy!
My friend must love me! I got a lovely present from her this year; a bottle of this body moisturiser. I have never seen this one before and had to have a look to see what it actually was online. I'm always moaning that my arms feel dry, and the fronts of my legs get so dry they are itchy, really not a good look for me. So anything that will give my skin a drink is fine by me. Escada make fragrances and this body lotion is the same scent as the signature escada scent. I only know that by looking online as the only thing it says on the box is Escada. Online it retails for about £11-£27, quite pricey on its own so its had better be good. The box is gorgeous, its glittery, white at the top and turquoise at the bottom, very glam. The bottle is plastic, flat and quite understated. I did have a giggle at the writing on the back, there is a long list of ingredients then it says; Moisturizing the upper layers of the epidermis. Indeed! The smell is lovely quite floral without smelling old ladyish. It is a very delicate scent with top notes of bergamot, black currant, lush leafy greens and cucumber, heart notes of magnolia, jasmine, muguet, rose & orange blossom and base notes of amber, musk, nectarine, vanilla & patchouli wear. I can certainly smell the cucumber and it does smell nice and fresh. The texture is amazing, soft and runny but it sinks in in seconds and wow my arms feel amazing! At first it felt like applying a cheap lotion but it warmed quickly and sank in to leave my skin soft and scented, I can still feel the effetcs after 4 hours which is great. I wouldn't spend this much on myself normally but as a gift I love it! Thank you! I think I will have a sniff of the scent that goes with this if I ever see it as it would be a great light fragrance for the day time. I haven't spotted this in the high street but then I haven't looked but it is readily available online if you want to have a try, enjoy. xx
We all know that feeling, facing a horrible interview, driving test, doctors appointment, whatever. Your heart is racing your palms are sweaty and you feel useless. I get this alot, and at silly times too. I really needed something to calm me down before I resorted to mainstream medication. I have been using bachs rescue remedy now for years with no ill effects what so ever. I use both the drops and the pastilles. The drops are great but you do tend to look slightly odd when you are on a bus dropping something on to your tongue so the pastilles are great for those times. Bach's products use flower extracts of various flowers to do various things. The pastilles contain the following (from the website www.bachflower.com) Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock. Clematis: For the tendency to "pass out", and unconsciousness, being 'far away' and not present mentally. Cherry Plum: Fear of mind giving way, verge of breakdown, anger. Impatiens: For irritability, tension and fidgety. Rock Rose: For frozen terror and panic. At first I was very sceptical I have no idea if the ingredients do anything at all to me, but it works. It might be a placebo effect, it might be the habit of getting my rescue remedy out of the bag the way a smoker relaxes as soon as they reach for their cigarettes. I really don't care, I feel more relaxed within minutes of using the product and for that reason I will continue as long as I feel nervous. The tin is fabulous it is metal and you press in the centre to open the teeth around the sides, it stays fresh and is air tight. It doesn't scream medication it just looks like a sweet tin. You push on the teeth to get it to reseal. I would say that you need to keep these in a cool place I kept a box in my car and in the heat I now have one very large pastille, I might keep that for my wedding day if anyone will ever have me!! The pastilles are alcohol free which is great as my breath stinks after I have used the drops! They really don't taste of much I wouldn't buy them if they were sweets but they are ok to suck on while feeling nervous. These are suitable even for children although I haven't used them on mine. You should chew/suck on pastille when needed. If you have too many you may see a laxitive effect. They are not addictive although the effect may be! There is a warning not to use them on dogs due to the xylitol. I would strongly recommend trying these they really are worth the money I buy mine from boots and they cost around £5.15 for a 50 tin which lasts me months. They are on a three for two offer at the moment. A bargain for peace of mind.
My best friend is an avon lady and being lovely I always try to put in an order for her and I must say I have had some lovely products out of it. This was no exception. I love room sprays, and they really are needed in our house as my 8 year old wets the bed quite often, we whip the sheets straight off and have all the mattress protectors etc but the smell still lingers. I gave my son a regular air freshener for him to use but being 8 he filled his room with a huge amount and it did my asthma no good..... the smell lingered on! So I bought some of these sprays a few months back and never looked back. You spray 2-3 sprays towards the centre of the room or on linen. Spraying in the room is fine for a normal room with no major odours, however we spray a spray on the curtains, bedding and carpet so still only 3 sprays but the smell seems to linger better on linen. I can't put my finger on why but this spray doesn't affect my asthma any where near as much, the pump spray is quite simple and the mist that comes out is fine and wet rather than a gush of air that comes out of an aerosol can so maybe that is why. The smell is great my son didn't want anything too girly but apparently fruit was fine so we went for the strawberry and guava first although we have now tried almost all of them. The strawberry is very obvious at first and I'm not sure I can smell the guava however I have no idea what guava smells like so that isn't saying much! It settles down after ten minutes to almost nothing however the smell of wee has gone and there is just a pleasant faint smell lingering, perfect for a boys bedroom but not so great if you want a stronger smell. These are always on offer, on the website they are £2.80 at the moment but I rarely pay more than £1.50 and often they are £1 they are well worth every penny. They can also be found in multibuys too. They come in a 125ml transparent bottle made of plastic, the spray lid is also see through and is topped with a cap which goes straight in the bin in our house before little one swallows it! The spray works fine I have never had any troubles with it at all. I have also had no trouble with it marking any of the sheets or sofas etc the spray is clear so shouldn't be a problem but it might be an idea to check first.
My eight year old son and I were walking down the road last weekend when he gave me that look. You know the one where they'll either ask where babies come from or will tell you that they have broken the DVD player! Well this time I got 'Mum do you think I should get the Lynx effect' Trying desperately to keep a straight face he explained that as he was growing up Matey bubble bath just didn't cut it any more! He now needed 'man' shower gel and deodorant! Apparently there is a certain girl at school he has his eye on! I thought maybe Lynx was pushing it so we ventured into Lush to see if anything took his fancy. I thought he might shrug it off as too girly too but the shower jellies were 'totally awesome' apparently! Lush Big Calm Shower Jelly contains coconut and pineapple infusions and seaweed to give an amazing tropical smell. The most obvious smell is the coconut which is really natural and fresh. Oliver did smell a few of the other jellies but he liked the fruity smell of this one. Certainly not too girly! When you see it in the shop it is in a huge slab which they slice bits off and put in boxes. Our slice cost £3.44 it costs £2.15 per 100g. It is a cloudy blue and white oblong that looks like a bar of rowntrees jelly before you add the water without the squares. Obviously being blue was a big plus. I usually pick a cm squared piece off for him before he goes in the bath or shower or he'll end up melting the whole bar but he seems to be able to handle it ok without it flotaing away! I had a sneaky try of it yesterday and I was impressed I stuck a piece deep into a shower puff and it made me feel really clean and lathered up nicely. Oliver uses it for his hair too and whilst I wouldn't use it in my hair it seems fine for his very short hair. His skin was soft after using it and he smelt nicer than before he got in the shower which trust me is a bonus! I expect our chunck of jelly will last around 2 months with showers every other day, he only uses a little bit, so I don't mind spending that lilttle bit extra on him. Interestingly you can chill, freeze or use this at room temperature, I'm not convinced its warm enough to cool it just yet but that sounds great for summer! Apparently they don't freeze solid and last longer like that. The company is against animal testing and uses as many natural ingredients as they can with as little preservatives as possible. All products are made by hand by them, they print their own labels and make their own fragrances. You can buy these from any Lush store, which as usual is a pleasure to shop in. The assistants are helpful and the smell is divine. My 4 year old daughter came with us in the shop and they gave her a little sample of a bath melt which she was thrilled with! If there are no stores near you, you can also order from their website. www.lush.co.uk Does it give Oliver the Lynx effect? I seriously hope not but he seems very proud of his new stash of toiletries he is building up and if it gets him to wash himself once in a while then its gets a thumbs up from me!
I am one of those people that don't need much pain relief ever. 2 paracetamol usually helps to deal with most pains. In fact I only had 2 paracetamol when I was in labour until the last few minutes when I needed gas and air! My partner on the other hand whines and moans constantly when he is in pain! So when I had period pain last week for some reason he bought me these instead of my usual cheapy paracetamol. I pay 16p for my pack usually so these really were pushing the boat out! A pack of 10 is currently £2.34 in Tescos and a pack of 16 is currently £3.12 packs of 30 are available over the counter at a pharmacy only. I had great expectations of this product then. They contain 200mg of ibuprofen per capsule, this is the only active ingredient but it does contain other things so read the label if you are sensitive to anything. As it contains ibuprofen it is not suitable for asthmatics, people with stomach ulcers, pregnant ladies, or are allergic to any ingredients unless you have consulted with a doctor. They are suitable for the over 12s. The capsules are for use to relieve pain lower temperature and reduce inflammation. You should take 2 capsules at first then 1 or 2 every four hours BUT you cannot have more than 6 in 24 hours so don't keep taking 2. I took 2 they are quite big but were no problem for me to swallow but I know my sister would refuse to even try and they are slightly bigger than tablets. They are bright red in colour and are see through so are best kept well away from children at all times as they look like sweets. They had no taste at all and I will admit that they were nicer to swallow than my usual cheapy paracetamols simply because you don't get that awful after taste. I took mine with a cup of juice it says water on the pack, but I'm a rebel!! My boyfriend bit his.... don't do this, I really don't know what made him do it but the whole idea is that the liquid is released in the stomach not the mouth. Any way he won't be doing that again if his face was anything to go by! It gave me a giggle though! The box is silver with the target picture on it that all nurofen products have so they are easily identifiable. The blister packs are protective but easy to use, even those with hand trouble should find these easier than some other blister packs which is a huge bonus. I would say the pain got easier within 20 minutes, maybe a little bit faster than the paracetamol. They were nicer to swallow and the packaging is nicer. Other than that I couldn't really tell the difference between these and cheaper alternatives. I wouldn't buy these again as the cost is an awful lot higher. My boyfriend does like them however and they can be bought from petrol stations and little shops where the cheaper brands may not be available, so in an emergency I'd be happy to take them again. They work but at a price.
I hate that time of the month, its not glamorous, or fun and won't ever be lets be honest. I usually roll in to Boots in a vile mood and pick up whatever they have available on offer and get back home. This time however I saw a gorgeous little pink and white stripey box. I'm like a magpie when it comes to pink things and these stood out on the shelf so I had a closer look. The box is very small it has a cut out window showing two little tube shaped tins, I have to be honest it was the tins that sold it really. They are very cute and each hold 8 non applicator tampons. Ideal for your handbag and you wouldn't know what what is them if your bag spilt over the floor (although I'm not really worried about that) The tins are pink and white striped with a black lid with Moxie written on, the tin has a ribbon printed on it with a black bow at the front, it has a 1950's feel I think. The tins are reusable and recyclable which is great. I have used one to put hair grips in which gives you an idea of the size as the hair grip is the same height as the tin. Inside the tins are 8 individually wrapped regular tampons (they also make super and super plus) regular have an absorbancy of 6 to 9g (light to medium). The tampons are very tiny indeed, I was quite shocked, they are non applicator and have a decent length white string. The wrapper twists off which is heaven if you have ever tried to get out out of the pack and it won't work. The tampons also have a silken glaze coating making it easy to use. I always use regular tampons and these were as absorbant as any other regular tampons so I was confident all the time I was using them. Application and removal were the same as any other brand too. The instruction leaflet was good, all the usual stuff apart from a diagram but lets be honest you've seen one you've seen them all! I expected these to be more expensive than other brands as they were so pretty but they were £1.99 which is about average for 16. Moxie market these on how pretty they are saying 'spoil yourself' I think it is a great idea, I'm not too sure I'd be totally brand loyal as now I have the tins I can reuse them but it was much nicer buying these than other sanitary products and I did feel slightly more feminine! I bought them from Boots and I think Superdrug sell them too. I would recommend these to every one, they are effective and attractive in your bathroom or handbag what more can a girl want?
After reading the first book in this two book series 'The Personal Shopper' I went on to read this quite quickly. I bought them both together from Amazon so was very pleased to say I liked the first book. The second book didn't let me down either. ~The story~ The books together follow personal shopper Annie Valentine on her search for a man and happiness. After the happy ending of the first book you wonder where the second will pick up, in true chick lit style the happy ending doesn't last long. Annie and her new boyfriend Ed met at Annie's sons school where Ed is a music teacher they slowly got together and moved in together. The second books picks up when they have being living together for a year. However Annie has a dream, she wants to set up her own fashion retail business, ok so she doesn't have the money to put forward, surely Ed doesn't need to know all the details? Does he? Annie remortages the house, spends money on an Italian holiday and buys expensive handbags all without consulting Ed and when he finds out Annie has to make some decisions. ~Characters~ I loved the characters in the first book, they are very likeable and it is easy to relate to them. They follow through into the second book and grow together. The only thing I would say is that I started to get annoyed with Annie, she seems to be quite selfish in the book, she doesn't show much love for Ed leaving him to babysit on a family holiday to Italy and she spends money with no concern for him at all. I suppose you don't need to agree with the heroine at all times! ~Carmen Reid~ Carmen lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children, after working in London as a journalist. She has written nine novels two of which are aimed at teenagers and the others for grown ups (urgh I suppose thats me then!) She has a website www.carmenreid.com which I love looking at since I am very nosy and like to know as much about the author as I do about the book! She is a bestselling author and deserves the title. There is a little quote on the back of each book 'A fabulous read. A sexy read. A Carmen Reid'. Again like the first book I will give it 4 stars, I do prefer the first book ever so slightly, mainly beacuse I liked Annie more in that book. I will read the other books that Carmen Reid has written but I won't be remortgaging the house to do so. ISBN 978-0-552-15483-3 RRP £6.99 or on Amazon for £3.99 or used from 1p. Published by Corgi
For some reason I have never come across Carmen Reid before, I don't know why. I suppose I read the authors I liked and didn't stray far from them. Now I have read all my favourites offerings and have been looking around for other authors. I was spending a voucher on Amazon and the pink cover caught my eye. I found that Carmen Reid has written quite a few books and she looked right up my street so I bought this book and its sequel 'Late Night Shopping' hoping that I liked the first! ~Carmen Reid~ Carmen Reid has written nine novels two of which are aimed at teenagers and the others for grown ups (urgh I suppose thats me then!) She has a lovely website www.carmenreid.com which I love looking at since I am very nosy and like to know as much about the author as I do about the book! Carmen lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children, after working in London as a journalist. She is a bestselling author and deserves the title. There is a little quote on the back of each book 'A fabulous read. A sexy read. A Carmen Reid'. ~The Story~ Annie Valentine is a personal shopper to the rich ladies of London in The Store. Its a job she is both excellent at and that she adores. Her life is nice, she has a teenage daughter Lana, and a nine year old son Owen. She is a single Mum and struggles to juggle home and work life. She craves the stability that her husband used to provide but the expensive singles dinner dating scene isn't producing the high class designer specimin she is after. The book follws Annie as she tries to find a new man, whilst keeping her children content and her bank balance er... balanced. ~Characters~ I think the best part of this book is the characters. * Annie is nothing like me at all but I could still relate to her, I sometimes think if I could have the perfect outfit everything would seem much better. To Annie the perfect outfit isn't an option it is a necessity. I'm just happy to look ok bordering on nice! * Lana is your typical teenager, she is moody, difficult but has a sweet concern for her younger brother and her mother although it wouldn't be cool to show it. She is just starting to date boys which worries Annie. * Owen is an odd child he is painfully shy, and rarely talks at all until his music teacher brings him out of his shell slowly but surely. this teacher is the male influence Owen was desperate for and when they go on a camping trip Owen finds someone he can talk to. * Ed is just lovely he is Owens music teacher and I want an Owen all for myself. There are quite a few story lines going through the book all at once, each character has their own little story. It wasn't difficult to keep track of the storylines and they kept the pace of the book going nicely. Svetlana, the wife of a billionaire, pops up regularly without being a main character, she is obviously very rich but hasn't a clue on how to dress so she sees Annie regularly both for advice on clothing and on life. Annie is very good at advising others but useless at taking her own advice. By following Svetlanas life it highlights Annies character too. At the beginning of each chapter is a little list of the items of clothing in an outfit the price, who is wearing them and a quote from them (the wearer not the clothes!), this is nice little touch in the book. The quotes don't make much sense when you first read them but by the end of the chapter you understand and it ties the chapter up nicely. It also paints a visual picture of the character before you start reading. I haven't a clue what some of the items would look like to be fair since I could never afford Gucci etc but it really does make you want to go out and redesign your wardrobe (as if I needed an excuse!) The book is very readable it is written in a very chatty style so you can read the story without needing your dictionary every five minutes. Thankfully I loved this book and read the second just as quickly, The Personal Shopper is not a 5 star book but definately deserves 4 stars, I enjoyed it while it lasted but it won't change my life forever. RRP £6.99 but is currently £4.41 on Amazon or used from 1p ISBN 978-0-552-15481-9 Published in 2007 by Corgi Books
Before you all groan and tell me off for reading yet another book about pregnancy or getting pregnant, let me just say that in this book 'The Birds and the Bees' refers to a scottish reel. This dance is supposed to be lucky and help to find your perfect mate, it involves changing partners throughout. Yes, I did read the title and get all excited and yes, I thought it was about conception but was I disappointed? NO! Milly Johnson is actually a genius, she is now, after only 2 books, my favourite author. I read 'The Yorkshire Pudding Club' a few weeks ago and fell in love with that. This book however is quite possibly even better. Book number three 'A Spring Affair' is due out in April this year. For the first time in a long time I will be one of the first to buy that book, in fact I think I'll book a day off work! Stevie Honeywell is a 'normal' woman with a normal bottom and a 4 year old superhero called Danny. She has it all, a gorgeous fiance, a nice home and a job as a romance writer. Her fiance also has it all, complete with his stunning and non existant bottomed lover, Jo. Stevie's world falls apart when Matthew leaves her for Jo. Adam (Jo's man) then offers to help Stevie get Matthew back whilst getting Jo back for himself. Unfortunately Adam is a vile, huge, ginger, Scottish wife beater, with hands the size of dinner plates! The story is about the lovely Stevie having to put up with Adam in her quest to get her man back. I think Milly Johnson's books are so succesful because of the predictability of the stories, you know from quite early on what is going to happen. In a thriller or a crime story that would be a disaster but in this type of book it allows the characters to be explored on a much deeper level. Stevie and Adam in particular feel like they are old friends to me, not only through the physical descriptions of them but also in the way they react to the situations in the book. The characters in the book all do the Birds and the Bees dance at one point and that is possibly my favourite part of the book, despite Stevie feeling rubbish at the time. It lets you see all the main characters together and you get a good look at the real people, however vile they are! I really wanted to shake Jo throughout the book she is awful, and acts the victim very well. I was speaking to my friend about Jo the other day and we decided that every woman knows a Jo whether or not we have been cheated on and actually if I had to draw Jo it would look quite a lot like a certain person I know, or should I say that my ex knows! A good chick lit book is like a good romantic comedy film, you don't feel like its good until you have laughed and cried along with them. In that case I can only give this book 5 out ot 5, I cried like a drain, laughed like a hyena and almost registered on a singles website to meet my own scottish Damme MacQueen (shh don't tell my boyfriend that!!) The cover is lovely very springlike, with the caption 'Love can sting. Or make you fly...' How very true! The Birds and the Bees was long-listed for Romantic Novel of the Year, well deserved! Milly Johnson is 5 foot short and has roots both in Scotland and Yorkshire and this shows in her books. Adams little quirks especially were hilarious and the way he speaks makes him come alive so much more than if he didn't have the Scottish accent. Please go out and beg, steal or borrow this book, it truly is wonderful. Milly also has a fantastic website www.millyjohnson.co.uk which provides a lovely insight into the slightly scatty ramblings of the author. RRP £6.99 (currenly in Amazon for £4.89 or less used) ISBN 978-1-4165-2591-2
I have to admit I had never heard of Milly Johnson a few weeks ago, I spotted this book on Amazon and the cover caught my eye. On closer inspection of the blurb the book jumped into my trolley. I am the type of person who judges a book by the cover, I know, I know, all wrong but chick lit books are just so pretty, all colourful and I love the feeling when you handle a new book for the first time. I was so excited when this book came through the letter box and I wasn't disappointed when I finally got to read it. I HAVE to go out and buy Milly Johnson's two other books tomorrow. The Yorkshire Pudding Club is her first novel followed by A Spring Affair and The Birds and the Bees. For a first novel her offerings are formidable. What book can fail to be great with a cartoon picture of a jar of marmite on the back? Helen is desperate for a baby and takes her two best friends to an ancient fertility symbol of a fella to sit on his manhood. In true fairy tale style within months all three 30-somethings are in the club. The book follows the three friends as they deal with their pregnancies in very different ways and join the yorkshire pudding club. Helen is married to a bully and she has to come to terms with the fact that her husband isn't as thrilled with the growing bumb as she is. Janey is a career woman with no baby making plans in her future at all much to the disappointment of her hubby George (every girls needs a George in her life bless him!). The news of her pregnancy comes as a great shock to her as she is always so careful. Janey is a lovely character, I'd like her as my friend although I didn't really see much of myself in her. Elizabeth is by far my favourite character, she is so strong and all through the book I liked her and at the end I fell in love with her all over again. She is very stubborn especially with the love of her life John and you will spend the whole book shouting at Elizabeth to let him in! This is where this book really comes into its own, every pregnant woman, Mum or future Mum to be will see a little bit of herself in one of the characters. Each of the ladies see their pregnancies in different ways just like we all do in real life. Milly Johnson has a very fresh, witty writing style, it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't. It is almost like sitting hearing someone tell you the story, the tone is chatty, friendly and very readable. Whilst researching Milly Johnson's other books I stumbled across her blog at www.yorkshirepuddingclub.blogspot.com I really recommend a read of this too, she seems like a lovely lady and she has some great tips for wannabe authors too. I smiled all the way through this book and I also learnt alot too, after trying for a baby for 16 months I realised I was doing it all wrong, now where is that ancient fertilty symbol?... I'll be back in a few days no doubt to review the other two books! Published by Pocket Books in 2007 452 pages ISBN 1-4165-2590-4 RRP £6.99 (Currently on Amazon for £5.09 with free delivery)
My sister hasn't done herself many favours she has a really awful habit of picking her spots and has done since she was a teen, she is now 39 and as a result her face is scarred and pitted. She covers it with various types of foundation and tried this one. It didn't give her the coverage she wanted so she passed it on to me. Now, my skin is normal, the only thing that I suffer from is a red nose and black bags under the eyes. Still since I don't have £20 for a new foundation at the mo I started to use this. *Claims* The Anti-ageing Repairwear foundation is meant to cover and repair lines. According to the clinique website this claims to 'help block and mend the look of lines instantly, and over time.' It also has a sun protection factor of 15 helping to stop further ageing from the effects of the sun. *Feel* I applied this using a make up sponge and was throughly amazed, it is very thick, but not at all greasy. I used colour number three, fair, and it was a nice match (my sister and I can always get away with the same foundation luckily). However if you don't blend, blend, blend you will look like a clown! I had to literally brush it into my hairline as it was so thick it could be seen really obviously. Not a good look! *Skin* After and during use my skin felt fine, no tightness and no spots. Great news. It was very heavy though and when I blew my nose it did transfer to the tissue. My sister found it clogged her skin and didn't help the spots so do go careful, might be worth having a try at the counter if you suffer from acne. I have no lines so I cannot comment on the line hiding effects but I hope the product will repair any that are threatening to appear! *Coverage* This was amazing, it covered my bags under my eyes making them look the same colour as the rest of my face, my nose also looked less red. I did find I needed a quick sweep of blusher as I wasn't used to my face being all the same colour! On the whole I was thrilled with the results and taking more care putting it on really isn't a bad thing. *The Packaging* I really love the bottle it comes in, it is glass with a pump dispenser. I use two pumps for my whole face when using the sponge. This is plenty. I find that Clinique pumps get 90% of the product out and the rest has to be removed by shaking the bottle like a mad woman. This is a bit of a pain! *Lasting* If you don't wipe it this foundation will last all day but is very easy to remove at the end of the day. I also found a hidden benefit, I am terrible at smudging my mascara under my eyes, with this foundation on it is easy to wipe off and you cannot see where you have wiped. I don't need to use concealer at all with this foundation which will save me quite a bit of money. *Price and Availabilty* The RRP is £21.04 on the Clinique website but Clinique always have offers on for free products which is worth going for. They frequently have free bags of sample sized items when you buy 2 products. Always a winner. You will benefit from Boots points too if you buy from there. It is also available from Department stores. It comes in 11 colours but no darker ones. I am very pale skinned and use 3 so there is something for the lighter skins. It is oil and fragrance free. The range includes lipstick, and various lotions too. Will I use it again? I don't know it is lovely but I am such a make up floozy that I'll probably try something else first and come back to this. I hope my sister wil be donating something else again in the future too! Mroe information can be found at www.clinique.co.uk
*Charlotte Church* Charlotte Church became a household name at a very young age. She was only 12 years old when her first album was released. She has seen a great deal in her life so far and, although auto biographies are often written by older generations, Charlottes life fills the book with her tales. *The writing* The book is written with Fanny Blake, and is very readable with a chat like style. Unlike some of the other autobiographies from young stars at the moment this book is not meant to shock and the story tells itself. Charlotte admits that she has been very lucky and seems to love her life with her boyfriend Gavin. This was a great feel good read, I like reading about the stars in their own words. To be honest we have all read about Charlotte in the news and the celeb magazines, its hard not to hear about her but its nice to read her tales in her words without being sensationalised by the press. *Her Story* The book starts out at the beginning and tells us about Charlottes family life, and it follows her life through till the time of the books finish, when the couple are expecting their first baby. There are three sections a great photos from Charlottes career and childhood which illustrate the writing well. I think my favourite parts of the book are the little tips written at the beginning of each chapter. For example 'All the better if you can stand out from the crowd. When my first album came out there were no other 12 year old opera singers around. Being in a market of one is invaluable.' Ok, so I'm not likely to need tips on how to become a star but they are cute little snippets which are often quite funny. My version has a different cover on it to the one on here, mines has a pink spine and has a picture of Charlotte looking over her shoulder. It is very girly and fun looking, excatly what I'd like on the cover of my autobiography! Published by Orion Books IBSN 978-0-7528-7537-8 RRP £18.99 but is on sale in Amazon for £5.24 with free postage.
One of the best things about Christmas is trying out all the new products you get in gift packs from your sisters, boyfriends, cousins, dog. These sets are great they are impersonal enough to be able to buy them for anyone even if you don't know them that well and nice enough to know they'll like them. I got a nice set of sanctaury goodies from someone at work who I really don't know very well, but it was a very, very nice pressie so thank you! I wouldn't ordinarily buy this range for myself, I tend to go for the cheaper ranges however I might be changing my mind for the odd treat or to spend my Boots points on! *Where can I buy it?* You can buy the foaming bath soak from www.sanctaury.co.uk for £4.88 for 250mls, to be honest this is 4 times what I would usually pay for a bubble bath! Saying that the little bottle is lasting for ages as it is quite thick so maybe its not that bad. You an also buy sanctuary products from Boots. It is in the Spa essentials range. *Packaging* My little bottle was a miniture version of the full sized one with 75 mls in it. The packaging is almost identical, apart from the lid. The bottle is frosted, clear plastic with orange and black lettering on it, the lid is also orange. It dispenses a perfect amount with a squeeze of the bottle. *Smell* I cannot put my finger on what the smell is, I'd say a little orangey, and maybe oaty. It is very nice though, its the smell you expect to smell going into a spa or beauty salon. The smell fills the bathroom up nicely. *What does it contain* I won't go into ingredients as that is all on the back of the bottle should you want it. The active ingredients are; Wheat Proteins - to moisturise skin Aloe Vera - to soothe skin I felt lovely when I got out of the bath, all soft and smooth, the website says you can use this with their salt scrub too for even softer skin. I might treat myself to some and have a go although that is around £8. *Use* You use the foaming bath soak like any other bubble bath, plop a bit under the taps and swirl, you need a normal sized blob for loads of soft bubbles. Sanctaury are against animal testing.
I live in a rented property and have had a problem with damp for the last year, the landlord came out and a builder and the problem was sorted however the walls were vile. I offered to redecorate (you have no idea how vile his decor is!) so to cover the damp patches I bought this and a bottle of mould and mildew remover. 6 months later and the damp hasn't come back. *What it does* There is a warning on the tin that this product will not cure the cause of damp and that you should seek professional advice. The paint literally covers the areas of damp and stops its from coming back, which it shouldn't do any way if it has been treated. Since we had already done this we were good to go. *Where can I buy it?* I bought this from Homebase for £22.99 for 2.5l about 8 months ago, which is a little steep but they do 750ml tins which are under £10. 2.5l covers 20m squared. I found I used almost half a tin and I covered about 8m squared so the coverage is about right. *Preparation* You have to make sure that you prepare the walls before using this, I washed the walls down with mould and mildew remover so they were almost back to white. I then let that dry well. You need to stir the paint really well when you first get it as the contents seperate. This was easier said than done as the contents are really thick. I ended up using an old curtain pole to get to the bottom and my arms got a good work out in the process. *Application* Finally I was ready to paint. I started on the ceiling and it went on really well, my partner managed to splatter it everywhere but that says more for his technique than the paint because I was perfectly tidy! The paint is matt white, possibly not brilliant white but you'll be covering it later so it doesn't matter. It took a little bit longer to apply than normal emulsion purely because it was so thick and drying took a while too, the tin says it will be touch dry in 3 hours and can be overcoated in 4 hours, I'd give it a little longer in the cold but in summer you should be ok. It says to use 2 coats which we did but whether it was necessary or not I don't know. *Finish* The next day I covered it with a Homebase bathroom paint which went on perfectly over the top and my bathroom now looks lovely. The brushes should be cleaned with brush cleaner as it is an oil based paint. I really couldn't get the paint off even after soaking them though so the brushes went in the bin. I used cheap brushes so I wasn't too bothered but maybe keep your nice brushes away. International make an anti condensation paint which may be more suitable in high condensation areas. 5 stars from me, it does what it says on the tin and you can't ask for more than that!