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Amazon is one of my weaknesses, I will quite happily browse through items on Amazon all night - it's a good job I make vouchers for the place otherwise I'd permanently be skint. Thing is though with my colouring habit it's become very easy for me to go through colouring books quite quickly, so I'm always on the lookout for new colouring books. When I first got back into colouring with some decent pens, it was the first place I went to, to look for a book to colour in. It took a lot of decision making to pick one though, because there was a lot! ~*~ Modern Patterns Illusions Colouring Book ~*~ This colouring book, was one of the first to attract me when I was looking through Amazon - I saw the word pattern and though that sounds good for me. The patterns on the front of the book though looked really good as well, and they did attract me to it - the fact that the pictures are on alternate pages means that you're not worried about colouring through to the pattern on the back page, and if it's for kids you can pull out and frame the best ones your children do. I liked the look of it and it was a decent price, so I thought why not and added it to my basket! ~*~ Colouring It In ~*~ Now in all honesty I wish I'd been able to see the inside of this colouring book before I bought it, because it really is quite disappointing, although the pictures are meant to be illusions, they really are just a bunch of straight lines or circles. There is nothing in the style of illusion at all, it's just a very simple and plain colouring book that I really don't like at all. The fact that the book although it's of very good quality and the paper is nicely printed and only on one side of the page as advertised, it's not got anywhere near as many patterns in it as I would've liked. It doesn't tell you on the listing how many pages it is, but trust me it's not enough given how much money you're spending on it. It has a glossy cover and looks quite professional, but it's not worth the well over five pound I spent getting it here. The paper quality means even if you did have pictures on the other side, you'd be able do the picture on the other side because it's thick enough for even a cheap set of pens to not go through. So it's got that in its favour, but there isn't a lot else to go in its favour, it's a pretty poor excuse for a colouring book really. It's fine if you like to be colouring items that are very straight and simple, that don't really require a great deal of imagination to colour them, then it's perfect - but if you want something that requires a bit more imagination and a need to pick colours carefully this book isn't for you. As for the claims that say it's going to have mind bending patterns, and able to create a pulsating 3D effect - I don't think you're going to get it no matter how clever you are with your colouring unfortunately. It wasn't a great pick on my behalf really, because the majority of the pictures are the same it's even harder to enjoy doing it because you turn a page over and it feels like you're doing the same thing over and over again. I did do a couple of these pictures but it didn't take long before I got bored and decided I didn't want to do it any more, now it sits on my shelf unloved - I've got much better colouring books now! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ This colouring book is available from Amazon currently for £3.20 for the book on its own and then another £2.50 for its postage - I wouldn't bother personally there is much better thicker and worth the money books out there!
I am not ashamed to say that I'm one of those people that although in my twenties likes to colour, you might sit there and laugh at me thinking really at your age do you really want to be colouring. Well yes actually I do, and I'm not one of those people trying to recapture my childhood by having a kids colouring book. I have many of the amazing adult colouring books that are, designed for us to enjoy and to colour in, in fancy patterns and in multi colours. This has been something I've liked since I was a teenager really, my Dad used to do it and it's rubbed off on me over the years! ~*~ Staedtler ~*~ This company has been around for a long time, I remember using Staedtler pencils at Primary school all those years ago, and that was a long time ago when I think about it. In fact this German company has been around since 1835 - creating and distributing varying types of pens and pencils, for handwriting or colouring and varying designs. I've always found that Staedtler have been more than high quality when it comes to being compared to the average items you can buy in the same ranges - so that's why when it came down to buying myself some colouring pens I got fed up with the rubbish and knew I had to have some of these! ~*~ Triplus Colour ~*~ These colouring pens come in packs of 10 and 20 - obviously the 10 pack has less colour choice in it, but it's a good place to start if you're not doing much colouring or don't need that much variety. However I've had two or three packs of the 10 packs as I've bled them completely dry, but this time I decided that I needed to get something a bit bigger and ended on Amazon buying myself a packet of 20, and I know it's sad but it really excited me all new pens that no one had touched and all for me to play with - so sad but it's one of those things I guess. ~*~ Feel and Usability ~*~ These pens come in a triangular barrel shape, which is meant to make them a bit more ergonomically designed so you can use them more comfortably - though in my mind something triangular that you'd need to hold felt to me like it should be uncomfortable and hard to use. However when you start using them you find actually that they are really easy to use for a long time as well, which I should know because I do find that I spend a lot of time colouring when I get going. They're long enough so that you feel very in control of the pen, something I've found with other pens that they're a bit shorter and I'd find I had to hold them low to get leverage on them. The barrel itself although apparently ergonomically designed it more than thick enough to keep me happy, to be able to colour thick and thin parts of the page I'm colouring and make sure that I'm not going out of the lines, some pens I've used are a bit awkward and slippery if you grip them tight and you lose the ability to keep in the lines in tight spots. I'm no expert in pens but if you're serious about your pattern colouring these are a great idea to purchase. ~*~ Colour availability and Quality ~*~ In a ten pack you get fairly basic colours really, red, pink, orange, yellow, two types of blue, two of green, black and brown. They are very basic and the difference between the two types of blue is quite small so you don't get so much distinction - that said the colours are really nice and the pink especially looks a little bit like it has other colours and well I like it, I do seem to find that one gets emptier faster because I use it so much. The other colours are as you expect really, however when you get into the 20 pack you're much better off for colours, as you get a bit more variety but you do get some pretty nasty colours at the same time - in the shape of a lovely mustard kind of colour that is rarely going to get used in my packet because I'm more of a girl that likes the bright and pretty colours over the dull and boring ones. The purple and the colour that is almost a teal shade of green is lovely and I think those two are going to be used a lot in my big 20 pack, I know some people will be reading this thinking I do get overly excited by a pack of pens but I love the colours and how they can complement each other in a pattern book. The quality of the pens is as good as you'd expect from Staedtler, they have a 1ml nib which is resistant to a lot of pressure over the years I've never had a nib split so they're definitely a good quality nib, and I have put plenty of pressure on them over the years. They are dry resistant to a level as well, so they're unlikely to dry out before you put the lid back on them even if you forget, admittedly I've never put this claim to the test as I'd be devastated if I got back to my pens and they were all dry and I couldn't use them any more - but as the rest of their claims seem to be true, I'll trust them. They are also washable out of most fabrics, which I know is true as I've drawn on a t-shirt before when I've accidentally dropped a pen and well it's out of it now so it must wash out! ~*~ Longevity ~*~ I've never had a pack where any of the pens have run out completely, and that's saying something given how much I use them - if you buy a packet of these, and although they're expensive you'll have them for the long term. They have a really good shelf time to them, and you'll not regret having bought them - even for kids that scrub hard with pens, they're going to stand up to a lot of battering and a lot of pages of colouring. So whether you're an adult or a child that likes to colour in or if you're using them for illustration they're going to last you well. A great quality for the price product! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ I buy mine from Amazon and nowhere in my town really sells these so I tend to use Amazon as a guide, the pack of 10 at the moment is £7 and the packet of twenty is £10.97 with free delivery, and I don't regret buying them at all!
I love mascaras for some reason I'm always really happy to try out something new when it comes onto the market, I've always spent too much money on mascaras that have been rubbish in the past. Even if they've only cost me £5 to start with, over the space of a year I've more than likely spent a fortune doing it - because companies like Maybelline seem to bring out a new mascara every couple of months. However, when I bought the large amount of Lancome items back in the summer - I decided to invest in a Lancome mascara to see if I liked it any better than some of the cheaper ones out there. ~*~ Lancome ~*~ Lancôme is a French company that sells and distributes higher end cosmetics and skin care internationally, owned by L'Oreal since the 1960's it has actually been a company since the 1930's. A brand of skin care that most of my friends think is far too expensive to entertain in their make-up bags; they have a good reputation of being pricey but worth the money. The brand has certainly collected some high end names to advertise over the years, and for a company that is almost a hundred years old, they are always making new jumps and updating their products so they are accessible to most women, and even men now in the market. A wide enough variety to attract most age groups and a variety of products that mean you could get everything you needed in your make-up bag from Lancôme - for a price of course. That's a cost now, I'm happy to pay! ~*~ Hypnose Drama ~*~ When I picked my Lancome mascara I wasn't overly fussed which one I had to really got the one my Lancome representative advised for the look I wanted, I've got decent eye lashes, but they are only dark at the base - so although they're long they're not dark enough at the ends to make my eyes stand out. So we decided going for a mascara that claimed to give high volume, thicker looking lashes, more body with a nice curve to the lashes - with a big bold look in an 'Excessive Black' shade. It does come in two shades of black, a brown shade, blue and a grey colour - never seen the grey but I am interested to try it, just to see how it looks on my eyes since I've got green eyes and I think the grey would look very smoky with it, if I had a nice grey or silver eye liner. ~*~ The Brush ~*~ I was honestly quite impressed with this brush when I first looked at it, because it's different to any mascara I'd had before. It wasn't overly a different shape, because I think there is a Maybelline mascara out there with a similar shaped brush - but because it was so thick and it had such a good covering of mascara on it I was really impressed. The bristles themselves are a lot softer than on some of the mascaras out there, where they're normally a almost rubbery plastic - the ends to them tend to be a bit sharper than this brush, and when you poke yourself in the eye with it, which does happen occasionally they hurt a lot more. I'm not sure what the fibres of the brush of this mascara are made out of but they are a lot softer and more pliable on your lashes and eyes when you apply, which given a lot of women apply very close to the lash line is a very important feature. The brush is a very good quality one and no matter how much hammer I seem to have given it, after 6 months it's still in really good condition - so the mascara may well be expensive but just from the brush point of view it's well worth the money. ~*~ Application and Coverage ~*~ It's really easy to apply, because the brush has somewhat a scoop in it - it means that it is really easy to catch all lashes because it curves round the edge of the lash line. As the bristles on the brush are quite long and soft it's very easy for them to fit into the gaps between your lashes along the line of your eye. It very easily applies to your lashes because the bristles are soft, it does apply very smoothly, so you're not putting up with having huge clumps of mascara on one lash and very little on the next. In all honesty just one coat of mascara if you do it slowly and pay attention is more than enough for a day time use really, because it will coat right from the base to the tip of the lash and provide great definition and curve to your lashes, without looking like you've got fake lashes on or like you're going out for a night out when you're only going to work. I find the coverage is really good in all honesty as you can just pull the wand out once and you will have enough to cover both upper and lower lashes - before needing to re-dip the brush to go for the next eye. For a night time or a more defined look you need to dip it twice and apply liberally, in this kind of situation I tend to use up as much of the first dip as I can on the base of the lash to give it definition, and use what's left over on my bottom lashes then go for a second dip to accentuate the ends. It works well and I am always impressed with the results! ~*~ Longevity and Removal ~*~ During the day with a single coat for each eye, I'm quite happy to say it will last me a full day at work without needing to reapply, in all honesty I wouldn't reapply anyway because I'm at work, and working isn't the be all and end all if I've not got striking eye lashes. The only problem is, if I sit there playing with it I will flake off all over my uniform so it's always good if I can keep my hands away from my face, which when I know my lashes look full I struggle to resist touching them. For night times after two coats for each eye, it isn't going anywhere it will be on your eyes for more than long enough to last you all night - even if it's really hot and sweaty it's got some amazing staying power, because it hardens on your lashes it's very stuck there - although it doesn't feel heavy or uncomfortable, it is well and truly there if you manage to smear it down your face you're working hard. Although it's not waterproof, it's managed to see me through a rain storm and floods of tears, so I'm not too fussed about it not being waterproof really. The tube of mascara has happily lasted me six months and it does have plenty left in it, but in the interests of it being hygienic I think I will be investing in a new tube. I use Lancome's Bi-Facil to remove eye make-up anyway so I guess I'm cheating in the way I remove mine because it's designed for it in a way I guess, but it does come off very easily, and doesn't require a lot of effort to get it off either. Which stops you getting sore eyes - which is always a benefit if you do wear a lot of eye make-up, I've never had a nasty reaction to this mascara no redness, no stinging and never been sore. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ This is available through the Lancome website for £22 in the original black packaging, in whichever colour you chose, but it also comes in the limited edition Alber Elbaz packaging which is £23 but only comes in extra black. The brush is exactly the same, it's just the colours are more limited, I've got both - one is in my make-up bag for home and the original tube is in my make-up bag I keep at my boyfriends.
I am a lover now of all things made by Lancôme, in the time I've been using their products which is coming on for six months now -I've not come across anything that has reacted badly to my skin, or anything that looks terrible. I bought this in my initial hoard of products a few months back to go with my foundation. The most expensive powder I've used in the past was around the £10 mark so when I got this I really did feel like I'd gone up in the world, but I've made a better set of cosmetics even if I have spent a bit more to start with. ~*~ Lancôme ~*~ Lancôme is a French company that sells and distributes higher end cosmetics and skin care internationally, owned by L'Oreal since the 1960's it has actually been a company since the 1930's. A brand of skin care that most of my friends think is far too expensive to entertain in their make-up bags; they have a good reputation of being pricey but worth the money. The brand has certainly collected some high end names to advertise over the years, and for a company that is almost a hundred years old, they are always making new jumps and updating their products so they are accessible to most women, and even men now in the market. A wide enough variety to attract most age groups and a variety of products that mean you could get everything you needed in your make-up bag from Lancôme - for a price of course. That's a cost now, I'm happy to pay! ~*~ Poudre Majeur Excellence Compact ~*~ Now according to the Lancôme website, this is what this compact powder offers the consumer - Enjoy shine-free skin all day with Lancôme Poudre Majeur Excellence Compact portable powder. Skin is left velvety smooth with a matte finish, allowing the natural radiance of your face to shine through.The innovative JetfineTM technology grinds the powder exceptionally fine and soft, making it comfortable and easy to apply. With added amino-acids and smoothing oils, Poudre Majeur Excellence Compact powder glides over the skin to create a luminous, healthy-looking complexion. It comes in four different shades, although it is a transparent powder, it won't change the colour of your skin dramatically. ~*~ The Compact Powder of Choice ~*~ When I first bought this powder, the woman that sold me the rest of my products explained that due to the colour that was in the foundation if I wanted a powder to set it, I would be better off with a transparent powder as all I needed was something to stop the shine coming through during a day at work. I'm a big fan of powders, because although I like my liquid foundation I can't spend all day, reapplying foundation when I'm at work, it's far easier for me to have powder compact in my bag or in my purse to quickly whip out if I need it. This is a very compact powder to be honest, although when you get it, it does look and feel quite expensive in a fancy silver box, and when you open it up you have a leaflet explaining the product - which in normal cosmetics you don't seem to get. The compact is a fairly durable one with a mirror in, and the powder is quite deep set in the bottom, with a clear plastic insert which separates the powder from the applicator. Everything about this compact and this powder does come across, as incredibly fancy and if I'm honest, it looks like it costs a lot. Now I won't waffle about the appearance of the compact too much but, the lid of it on the outside has a central layer which has Lancôme's flower in it, it took me a good two or three months to notice and it just adds a very fancy looking touch to the product. Application is very easy, although the compact does come with a sponge applicator and I was advised to use it for greater coverage - I do find now as always that I use a big face brush rather than the applicator it comes with. It advises that you go from the inside of the face to the outside with the sponge paying careful attention to the t-zone. When I first started using this on top of my foundation I did just that, and because the applicator is white it soon started turning a horrible shade of my foundation and in all honesty I didn't like the effect it had on my skin, I felt like I was putting a lot on the sponge for it to be absorbed and not really get applied to my face properly. As this applicator sponge is really quite hard and almost like centrally made out of cardboard it's not really one that mould to your face as you're using it. Which is a shame because I think that if it had been a little less stiff I would have carried on using it, and applied the powder as Lancôme suggest. Unfortunately the way they've made their applicator doesn't really work for my face, now for others in may well do and it might be perfect for them - I however am more of a girl that likes a brush and to be able to sweep the powder on. The powder is very fine, although because it's pressed you won't lose a lot when picking up on a brush or applicator - so you don't get that drop of powder like you do with some of he clumpier ones and to be honest it sticks in the small crannies of your face really well without clogging. I know that using the brush will bring up chunks of powder that won't always get used, so I might waste a bit more than expected but the coverage on my face is just so much better as a result. Coverage of this powder is great, it only takes a quick sweep around the sunken pot to get a good covering on the brush to sweep across my face - places like my chin and cheeks can be done with just one stroke round the pot. The higher shine areas such as more forehead and t-zone I might need to go over a couple of times to ensure I'm happy with what I've got on my face - and confident that any renegade oil won't come seeping though any time soon. I can normally apply this first thing in the morning before I go to work and after an eight or twelve hour shift I can happily say that I'm not anywhere near as shiny as I would have been with some of my older powders. On a very hot and sweaty day, you can expect to reapply but it's not through fault of the powder, more just the humidity and heat of the environment around you. The powder is really soft and does make your skin feel very soft and silky to the touch, which is brilliant because a lot of liquid foundations can make the skin feel quite wet and a little bit sticky, but this takes all that away and leave you with a nice matte finish to your skin - which is really soft and makes you feel very fresh faced. Due to the fact that it is a transparent powder - you don't have to really match it up with your foundation too heavily, it only comes in four colours so you would never be able to totally match it to your foundation, just go for the one that is closest to the colour you have. It's transparent so you're not looking to blend it in with your neck or face, it just blends naturally into your face and the colour of your skin. Eliminating and shine and sticky feeling skin as it goes along. It might be expensive but, its more than worth it because it's so kind to your skin, and doesn't take a lot of effort to remove at the end of the day - a quick rub over with a cleanser and a toner and it will be easily removed. I've not had any reaction to this powder in the time I've used it, it's been very kind to my skin. It might not have the best applicator for my face, but doesn't mean it wouldn't be perfect for anyone else - after a few months of usage I've still got over half my compact left and although it's £29 a compact I'm happy to spend that, given it's lasted me four months already and I'm going to easily get the same amount of usage out of it. With this powder a little goes a long way, good value for money even if it seems like a massive outlay to start with. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ From Lancôme's official website this is £29 for the compact, but you may well find it online at cheaper prices - but the official price is £29 but if you can get a bargain then I advise grabbing it with both hands you won't regret it.
Foundation can be a bit hit and miss for a lot of women, and I am one of those people - I've always struggled to get a foundation that matched my skin and have lived with a colour that didn't quite match for a long time. I decided though that I needed to change this and a few months ago, I visited a Lancôme counter and got a consultant to show me what colour I needed and how I could match my foundation to my skin without nasty tide lines. I wasn't shocking at doing my make-up but hadn't ever really given much thought to how to match colours that well, until now that is! ~*~ Lancôme ~*~ Lancôme is a French company that sells and distributes higher end cosmetics and skin care internationally, owned by L'Oreal since the 1960's it has actually been a company since the 1930's. A brand of skin care that most of my friends think is far too expensive to entertain in their make-up bags; they have a good reputation of being pricey but worth the money. The brand has certainly collected some high end names to advertise over the years, and for a company that is almost a hundred years old, they are always making new jumps and updating their products so they are accessible to most women, and even men now in the market. A wide enough variety to attract most age groups and a variety of products that mean you could get everything you needed in your make-up bag from Lancôme - for a price of course. That's a cost now, I'm happy to pay! ~*~ Teint Miracle ~*~ See yourself in a new light with Lancôme's skin perfecting foundation, Teint Miracle. Teint Miracle helps recreate and boost the skin's luminosity. Instantly, complexion appears flawless and luminous, as if lit-from-within. With SPF 15, it's time to discover your skin's inner light with Teint Miracle. Available in 18 shades. This is what Lancôme suggest this foundation does for your skin... I was intrigued to see if it did! By the way it comes in a nice glass pump action bottle (don't want to bore you with more detail than that!) ~*~ Matching Up and Perfecting My Skin ~*~ Picking a shade is hard work in my opinion, but the best tip I've been given about matching up foundation is go for a shade that closest matches your neck that way you're not having to blend it into your neck if it's the same colour, or leave you with nasty tide marks. In most department stores or anywhere with a counter for Lancôme you'll find someone, that will happily point you in the right direction of the correct shade for you - if you can't then make sure you've got some wipes with you and go fiddle with the testers and see which one looks the best - but remember go outside while you're trying them once they're on your skin to get the best natural light to see which matches best. Application is as easy as you make it really, as suggested by the Lancôme website and by the lady in store, don't use a sponge to apply because it will absorb more foundation than you will actually manage to get on your face which would be a shame. So I now use a more expensive brush because my cheaper brush was on its way out, occasionally I use my fingers to apply depending on how my skin is. I like to use a brush on larger areas such as my cheeks and forehead because they're smoother areas to apply to and no funny crooks or corners to get your foundation into. I use my fingers for the nose area, round my mouth, chin and eyes - because my fingers can get a bit further into the areas that need a bit more delicate application especially round my eyes, they can quite easily get clogged up with foundation. It's an easy foundation to apply really, and it doesn't take a lot to get a good cover on your face. I find that I can put a thin layer on my skin and it happily covers up a wide range of imperfections and makes my skin look that bit fresher and healthier, admittedly foundation is probably not going to make skin any happier or fresher but I did get the compliment at work a few days ago, when I'd not worn this foundation for a while in work - that my complexion looked very refreshed and I looked fresh faced. I found that to be quite a compliment so I was quite happy that day I'd spent the time to put the foundation on, not that it takes a long time to apply its quite quick unless you want to do it very carefully and apply very delicately. I can't say I've had any more spots or breakouts as a result of using this foundation, it's not made a massive impact on my skin really, other than the fact when I take it off my skin feels softer and less like it's been attacked by my foundation - which when I used to use cheaper foundations it was a bit rough after a day of use. When it's on your skin though it does feel very soft, it's not billed as a silky soft foundation but it does have that effect on your skin - even though it's not overly intentional. However that might just be my skin that likes it, so wants to behave - but I'm not complaining, it means I'm not so worried about how often I use the foundation because it doesn't seem to be harming or drying out my skin. The amount of foundation I apply really does vary depending on how sorry my skin feels that day, when my skin is better looking I use a lot less because it doesn't need anywhere near as much care to look closer to flawless than shoddy - however when it's dry and unhappy I need a lot more to brighten my skin up. The fact that is does brighten my skin up and gives a nice luminous glow, just makes me like it more - I've never had a foundation that has made me look awake for an early shift, and that is nothing short of a miracle because getting up that early and making me look like I can function properly. It might be only a foundation but it makes your skin look so much healthier and it doesn't feel like your pores are all clogged - which is a big thing for me because I've found a lot of foundations have felt really heavy on my skin and when I've got warm they've felt like they were going to slide down my face. Thankfully though this foundation proved itself at work when it was ridiculously hot and we were all sweating, it stood the test and I could happily say when I left work my face looked almost as flawless as it did when I got to work. It covers spots really well even without concealer, I'm not sure why but somehow concealer underneath this foundation makes them stick out more - so I now don't bother and saves one extra layer of cosmetic on my skin. It's a very good foundation in my opinion, I haven't had any reason to discredit it at all - it survives long, hard and hot days, hasn't given me any extra spots or any reactions on my skin so I'm more than happy to recommend it! The foundation comes off really easily a quick go over with a make-up remover or cleanser and it's gone, maybe a little faster if you do it with a face wash but I rarely have anything left over on my skin after washing off - and because it takes minimal effort you don't need to make your face red or angry to ensure it's clean. That and the fact you won't get a burnt face with a good SPF, and that's a fact since I burnt everywhere but my face over the summer thanks to this foundation doing its job! As for how long a bottle will last you, it depends on what size bottle you have. It originally came in 30ml bottles of foundation, but if you look in the right place you can get 110ml bottles - I have the second option a 110ml bottle, which I cleverly got from eBay. This is going to last me an age I've had it a good four months and use it pretty much every day, and I don't think I've used much at all. So even with the 30ml bottle you'll still probably get a good couple of months out it. I know its Lancôme so it's likely to be very expensive, but if you can make one bottle last a couple of months you're really not paying much a month for really good looking skin. Even more so if you can get a big bottle from eBay, it's more than worth a bit of hunting because a large bottle will more than likely last me a year because you really don't need a lot to get good coverage if you have a really good skincare routine. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ My first place to look is eBay as I got my 110ml bottle for less than £30, where a 30ml bottle is £27.50 on the Lancôme website and through most other retailers - so check around for large bottles before settling for a smaller one as it is far more cost effective!
I love to try new shampoos, I always have the occasional one that I always come back to in the end, but I'm more than happy to give anything new a try just to give my hair a bit of a change. I recently ended up with a bottle of this in my possession and for a month or so I gave it a try, just to see if it was worth the price tag - now my hair has been treated with colour, blow drying and straightening for a good number of years now so I'm willing to give anything a go to make it a bit happier. So open to new products I thought, why not! ~*~ Kérastase ~*~ Up until about 6 weeks ago I didn't even know this brand, it wasn't until I entered a competition on Facebook to win a bottle that it entered my knowledge. It's one of the more expensive shampoos, but don't be fooled by its fancy looking packaging and it's girly looking exterior, it is more of a medicated shampoo than it is a luxury brand - which looking at it you wouldn't necessarily realise. It is expensive compared to your run of the mill Herbal Essences or Pantene bottles but there is reason for it. It's not a widely available brand either unfortunately, unless a salon round you happens to stock it - you'll find you have to get on the internet to purchase it! The brand comes in a lot of variations, so most hair care problems are catered for if you look hard enough, at a price of course. ~*~ Kérastase Cristalliste ~*~ This shampoo has a lot to it just for its name, 'Kérastase Cristalliste Bain Cristal Cheveux Fins Luminous Perfecting Shampoo,' all I was bothered about when I saw it was the luminous perfecting part. I didn't realise that the bottle I had was for fine hair until after I'd used it, which since my hair is on the thin side it was quite a stroke of luck really. The packaging is quite nice really, it feels like a very luxurious brand of shampoo, with the chunky flip up lid - that and the fact it comes in a pretty pink packaging also helps maters, but don't let that fool you! Not that the shampoo is a terrible one, it's just not something that I'd really go out and buy for myself now I've tried it. It smells lovely, it's a very feminine fragrance very floral and it's a scent that sticks around in your bathroom for a long time after you've used it - but you do get that hint of chemicals underneath which is what gives away it really is more of a medicated shampoo than something that naturally enhances thinner and finer hair. However this shampoo does come in both fine and thicker hair, so if you've got average Joe thickness of hair but still fancy trying this brand look for the shampoo that comes in the darker pink bottles that is to make hair shinier. This shampoo claims to do a lot for your hair and I have to say it didn't live up to quite all of its promises when I tried it, it claims that it will give your hair smoother ends - which on my hair is quite important because they can become very fly away and look very scattered, so I hoped using this might settle them down a bit, but they were still as scruffy looking after using for a few weeks so on my hair personally they didn't live up to expectations. One of the claims of having airy and uplifted roots does work for me, I've always struggled with shampoos leaving my roots heavy and feeling like they've still got a lot of product on them - after using this they did feel a lot better and lifted, there was a much lighter feeling to them than there had been with a lot of shampoos I'd used in the past. This feeling stayed on the hair for a good couple of days too, and only started to feel less than comfortable just before it needed washing - so I think in that sense it's a great shampoo. Obviously it's always a good idea to use the same conditioner with this shampoo to make the effects last longer, but to be honest I didn't use the same one and it still lasted a good couple of days. I'd previously been using a L'Oreal Elvive crystal shampoo and conditioner - now given that both of these shampoos are made by the same company, I'm inclined to say there are some very similar elements in the sense of making hair luminous and sparkling after washing. As the Crystal shampoo from Elvive made my hair look very similar, even after a month where I'd not been using the Elvive version - it still felt as soft and shiny as it had done a month previously. So if you're not too fussed by the lifting of your roots and you have happy ends of your hair then just buy the Elvive version - because that makes my hair just as happy and healthy looking as it does using this. All that said though it does clean your hair well, leave it with a great scent and a lovely feel that lasts a good couple of days and doesn't mean that your hair needs washing any sooner than usual, and doesn't leave any residue or take too long to wash out! However... I think the fancy packaging and the French to describe the shampoo, is a bit of a pretentious way of L'Oreal trying to make a bit more money compared to their Elvive range. I'd rather pay two or three pound for the Elvive version than I would pay for this at another £10 on top - because it's not worth it. For an added bit of Aloe Vera and some French labelling, it's not worth the extra money unless you get it for free or reduced rate don't bother. It's a nice shampoo I don't regret using it, but I definitely will not pay for it. Sorry L'Oreal we're not that daft! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ The best price I've found for it tonight is on Feel Unique at £12.65 for a 250ml bottle of either the fine or thick variety with free postage, alternatively, the L'Oreal Elvive Crystal Sparkling for £3.99 in Boots on 3 for 2... In my eyes it's a no brainer but I'll leave that one up to you!
Up until about six months ago, I wasn't really doing much exercise in the form of running - I was sticking to the indoors and well keeping warm. However I started to notice that my cardio wasn't quite as good as I wanted so figured that getting running again would be good for my health and fitness as well as getting me out of the house. Only problem is given that I'd not run outdoors for some time I didn't really have appropriate footwear for it, so it was to the drawing board to find myself a pair of trainers that would give me good support as well as being comfortable enough to run, walk and jog long distances. ~*~ Reebok ~*~ Reebok are a sport and fitness company that have been around for a fair amount of time now; they bring us trainers, sports clothing, and a lot of accessories for fitness that are used in quite a few places from gyms to in the home. Reebok are a part of German company Adidas since 2005, initially founded in the UK, which is nice a British company or at least it was - Reebok now is a world known brand that if you look at people in sport you'll probably see it on at least one athlete. I think in the UK it's not quite as popular as it used to be as a lot of the Reebok outlet shops have closed down, which means there is a shortage of reebok items on the high street - luckily for us all there is the internet, so we can all get hold of nice easy tone trainers! ~*~ Easy Tone ~*~ The Easy Tone collection features a proprietary BALANCE BALLTM design with Moving Air Technology, which creates softness and micro-instability with every step. Synthetic/mesh upper, with a running-inspired design, for the ultimate in lightweight breathability. Specially designed Women's Specific Last technology, for optimal fit and function for a woman's foot. Smooth Fit seamless design helps minimize rub and irritation. Removable antibacterial sock liner accommodates orthotics All in all they sound quite good don't they? I was quite impressed by reading the blurb to these trainers and since I'd spotted them online quite cheaply I thought well there's no harm in giving them a go, there were a fair few positive reviews about them online so off I went to my local sports direct to pick up a pair! ~*~ Design and Fit ~*~ I always used to be a 'slave to fashion' according to my mother and as a child I'd never have a pair of shoes that weren't pretty and the same as all my friends were wearing, so when I turned up home with a pair of these I think she nearly fell off her chair. I've never had a pair of running shoes, or athletic style trainers before, I've always been a converse or just fashion trainer type of girl before now - and this I think was a bit of a shock to the system. These trainers to be fair just look like your regular pair of athletic trainers that you'd wear to the gym or for a class or something similar to that, so they're nothing that you'd particularly want to show off. They're not shoes that you'll want to wear if you're heading for a night out, like you might do with a nice pair of converse (or maybe that's just me) so don't expect them to be overly flattering, they are a sports shoe after all. However you can get them in different colours so you can get a bit of a choice when it comes to the colour scheme you opt for, given that there is white and pale blue, ones with pink, blacks, teals, a red pair and also a brown pair. To be honest I wanted either the black and pink or black and teal, but unfortunately my local shop had either brown or white and blue - given that I wanted them there and then, it had to be the white and pale blue. However you'd think given I run outside that they would get dirty fairly easily? Not really, I've had mine for six months and they've been used regularly and to be honest they aren't as white as they were when I bought them, but they're not grubby either, the sole is a little bit dirty as I run on an area that is quite muddy at times and the inside has been dyed by my socks but from the outside you wouldn't think they'd been used anywhere near as much as they actually have been. The beautiful thing is they do fit an absolute dream, I've got odd sized feet ones a five and a half and ones a shade off a size six so really they're not a decent size, without paying for specialist shoes - happily though these in a six fit brilliantly. I've not had an episode where I've felt like they were falling off my feet, the laces stay done up and even six months later don't seem to have lost their elasticity yet so I'm thankful for that. I've got a bit of a dodgy ankle and have had for about ten years and with these trainers they sit so snugly under my ankle joint that there's very little pressure through it - therefore I can work out without any aches or pains I'd found in other shoes with minimal support. The inside of the shoes is quite soft, so you won't find you'll easily get blisters or rubbing around your ankles unless you've bought a pair of shoes too small and you're cramming your feet into them. The inner sole of the shoe is very hardwearing the amount of stick mine have had and yes, the reebok lettering is beginning to rub off but it's still a whole sole and it's not causing me any pain anywhere on my foot or in my arches which can be sore when running! ~*~ Easy Tone? ~*~ Now the toning part I am incredibly impressed by, the shoes have balance pods on the bottom, which when you first wear them just feels so ridiculously weird - I made the mistake of driving in mine before I was used to walking in them and it was such an odd feeling. The pods are unstable as they're meant to be to tone up your legs as you use them, however because the pods are quite large and thick under your foot when you go to drive with them I lost the feel of where the peddles were because they weren't as obvious in these shoes. I have had them a while now, however I still don't walk quite normally in them, so when I left work in them a few days ago everyone was laughing at me - because the pods really are unstable so you do have to work hard to keep yourself on a steady level. However that's how you get really toned legs, there is a method in the madness, and you'll be surprised they really do work. For a starter they strengthened my weak ankles just from the low impact exercise I did in them to start with, because given that I had a ripped muscle it had never been quite the same but since I've been using these shoes it has got stronger and I can handle much rougher surfaces, which is a bonus since where I run has a lot of mounds and holes up on the sea bank. The way it tones up your legs is brilliant, I think it only took a week or two of using these a couple of times a week to notice a difference in my calves, it took longer for definition but I could already feel the strength in them that had been missing for a little while - it definitely made running up and down the stairs at work a lot faster, just need my lung capacity to catch up and I will make it to the fourth floor of double stairs without needing a whiff of oxygen to slow my breathing down. Surprisingly though, and this part was a shock to me, how much stronger it made my thighs, since I've been exercising I've always had strong thighs I think it's genetic - however using these shoes to run with has made them stronger and I didn't realise this until last week as I realised at a pole dancing class that I could actually hold onto a pole just using the tops of my thighs and I don't think before using these I would have managed quite as long as I did. I don't find I get any aches and pains with these, which I wouldn't get just from exercising anyway - so they are a great way to tone up at the same time as doing the normal exercise you would. So if you just walk the dog, pop a pair of these on at the same time and tone up even more while you're at it, they're a simple addition to your daily routine that if used regularly will help you tone up and get fitter at the same time, it's a bit of a no brainer really! ~*~ Recommended? ~*~ A resounding yes from me, get a pair if you exercise it just adds an extra edge to your fitness regime, and given that they're not overly pricey - they're more than worth the money. Now if only work would let me wear a pair that was all black and I'd get another 8 hours a day wearing them! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ These shoes are currently available online for £17 at sports direct which is £3 less than mine were and given how expensive they are RRP which is £74.99 it's a total bargain. They might not actually be worth £75 given they don't work miracles, but I can say for that price they are a great deal given all the good they do. Prices vary depending on what colour you decide but the pair the same as the stock picture are £17 at the moment and the same pair as I own. For £17 you can't go wrong, they will be available in other places such as m&m, eBay, amazon and other stores online but Sports Direct has the best deal right now!
I used to be a poor student, and now I've got a proper job out there in the big wide world I've decided I can spend a little bit money on keeping my skin nice and happy and given that I'm into my twenties I want to look after my skin the best I can. In my student days I was happy to settle for Nivea or Simple products, problem was they never did my skin any good and I was always over compensating with cheap products to make my skin look better. Now I feel differently and my skin care routine has changed a lot for the better and I'll say my skin is happier as a result - much happier! ~*~ Lancôme ~*~ Lancôme is a French company that sells and distributes higher end cosmetics and skin care internationally, owned by L'Oreal since the 1960's it has actually been a company since the 1930's. A brand of skin care that most of my friends think is far too expensive to entertain in their make-up bags; they have a good reputation of being pricey but worth the money. The brand has certainly collected some high end names to advertise over the years, and for a company that is almost a hundred years old, they are always making new jumps and updating their products so they are accessible to most women, and even men now in the market. A wide enough variety to attract most age groups and a variety of products that mean you could get everything you needed in your make-up bag from Lancôme - for a price of course. That's a cost now, I'm happy to pay! ~*~ Galatéis Douceur ~*~ I like having products in French it somehow makes it feel as though I've got a far more upmarket cleanser than one that just says 'facial cleanser on it.' Lancôme claim this about the cleanser - 'Leave skin feeling fresh and supple with Lancôme's gentle cleanser, Galatéis Douceur, for normal to combination skin. Our light and milky formula creates a clean base in the morning, and in the evening it removes foundation, blusher, eye makeup and any other impurities from the day. Enriched with papaya and pineapple extract, it leaves skin feeling fresh and clean.' I won't bore you with details about the bottle, its white it's got Lancôme on and it's got white cleanser inside! (I think that's enough!) ~*~ Cleansing My Skin in French ~*~ ** Application ** Now I've liked Lancôme products since I was about 11, when my uncle decided to bring me a freebie sample set home from a cruise and at the time I didn't really wear make-up and I wasn't overly fussed by it. I do remember though liking the mascara thinking it was the best thing ever, and their lip-glosses but as I got older I realised that it wasn't a brand I could afford to splash out on. Now I want to keep my skin as fresh and happy as possible after years of abuse with cheap products, so getting this cleanser has been a god send really. I actually had a professional show me how to apply and use this product so I hit the ground running really, and didn't need to read the back of the bottle and question what on earth it means to 'tissue off' a cleanser because if I hadn't spoken to the Lancôme lady I'd have had to Google it and well it's simple when you actually think about it! So before you wonder what I'm blabbering on about, when you apply this it suggests that you need to apply it from the centre of the face outwards so from your nose outwards leaving your t-zone until last, but it doesn't actually tell you what you should apply with. I use the cotton pads that have the flat tops because using cotton wool balls you lose a lot of cleanser into the balls to never be seen again. When applying do it in a circular motion, not sure if there is a scientific reason for this but it does seem to work quite nicely and the Lancôme lady did it and I do it and I can't complain at the results. This was the bit I got confused about tissue-ing off, because when you apply with a cotton wool pad you're already massaging it into skin and it will come off at the same time, but I've learnt to apply it with the cotton pad and then rub into skin to 'tissue off' it's not overly self-explanatory but from what I can gather from the lady at the Lancôme counter it's just to instruct people it doesn't need washing off with water. I think it should just say that, there's no need for pretences Lancôme... Or maybe there is! ** Cleansing ** The beauty of this cleanser is that although it is a liquid it's not one of the runny cleansers that if you don't rub it into your skin almost instantly it'll start running off your face. It's not thick but its substantial enough to ensure your skin gets as much of the cleanser as possible without feeling so heavy that it will clog up your skin without removing any of the make-up, or grime you've used it to remove. I can happily say that when I use this on days where I've not worn any make up, that it's happily taken off any dirt or grime I've managed to accumulate during the day - which was especially true when I'd been helping to decorate and I hadn't realised I'd got paint on my face because I couldn't see it - but this cleanser got it off. If I've had a day where I've been wearing a lot of make-up I might need to apply a bit more to get my skin cleaner, for a normal morning before applying make-up I use a blob around the size of a twenty pence piece and that seems to happily cover my entire face and clean it up. For days I've had heavy make-up I do my initial twenty pence and then I might go over it again with a second amount just to make sure I have cleaned out all the pores and the areas that can get a bit clogged like around the nose area which is where I end up looking the most dry and struggling to get make-up to stick. It doesn't take a great deal of effort either to get the cleanser to work, a quick blob on the areas and spread it about a bit if you feel you want to leave it on a while to work go for it and then just wipe it off. There is no need to be vicious with your skin and rub hard to get it off, it doesn't make any difference at all, just makes your skin angry, this has enough power to literally massage it in and then wipe off. The beauty is you can see how much you've taken off with such little effort; it really does make cleansing your skin a lot less of a chore than it could otherwise be with less effective cleansers. ** My Skin is as Happy as I Am! ** Since I started to use this two months ago my skin has improved such a great deal I am really impressed, my skin used to have a weird tone to it, nothing ever seemed to stick to it in the shape of foundation or concealer so I used to be very frustrated. Now my skin is beautifully soft and feels so much more refreshed as a result of using this cleanser, it makes it a lot easier to apply foundation there is a much smoother and healthier base to apply it to. So now instead of applying in the morning and coming to lunch time and it looking like it had slipped down my face, I can go an entire day at work with my make up staying in place because it really does stick properly now. My skin looks happy and it's definitely helped my skin, beforehand it was really dull and miserable looking; now it's a clearer and my pores look a lot smaller, which although isn't a product benefit they list it's come as a nice added extra for me. Oh and it makes my skin smell good too, it's meant to have papaya and pineapple in it, I can't smell them I just know there is a lovely scent that comes with this cleanser - it's got a hint of floral in it as well as fruity nothing specific but I don't mind having it sitting under my nose while I'm cleansing it's definitely not an offensive smell at all. It sticks around as well, if you just cleanse and get on with something else, say you're not going out just felt like your skin needed a freshen up - an hour or so later you'll still smell it on your face it's a nice smell, potent but not too strong that you'll overpower your perfume or anything but enough that you can have a pleasant scent while you're leisurely cleansing your face! ** My Final Bonus ** I don't think I ever got properly over teenage skin, however since I started using this... My breakouts, my big breakouts of spots have stopped; I get the occasional little pimple but no big spots in two months, even despite hormones and stress! Thanks Lancôme! ** Longevity, Price and Availability ** I've had my 200ml bottle for two months now and with very regular usage I'm not even remotely close to being half way down the bottle from what I can gather when I shake it, I'm not worried about the fact that it's £22.50 for 200ml because in four months' time I'll probably still be using the same bottle and if you can stretch that for six months I think it's pretty good going, especially considering how much my skin likes it. From the Lancôme website you can buy a 400ml bottle for £35 so I think that's even more of a bargain since that would probably last me a year the way I'm going. It's available online at Lancôme, Feel Unique, eBay, Amazon and varying sites online, I get mine from our local department store but there are some bargains on eBay so it's worth having a look!
I've always liked to be quite creative with my nails, unfortunately though I'm not arty in the slightest so when I want to have a go it's always turned out to be a total mess. The normal nail art pens with the little brushes? I've tried so many of those and made such a mess with them I tend now to avoid them, so when I was shopping in Superdrug a few weeks ago and eying up the beautiful colours of the Barry M nail varnishes - I spotted these and decided I'd just give one a go just in case it was one I could actually use. I am ever the trier! ~*~ Barry M ~*~ Barry M are a fairly large company in the cosmetic world - they have sections in both my local Boots and Superdrug which is quite a miracle knowing how little we have in Boston. They have such a range of items, from nail varnish, eyeliner, eye shadows, lip sticks, and they even sell their own version of self-tan now which I find weird considering the majority of their items are bright and sparkly I hope it's not quite the same as those, wouldn't want to be all sparkly and brown think that would look weird. Given that the majority of Barry M products come in bright colours, you can't miss them - I first got into Barry M as a teenager, completely taken in by their luminous eyeliners and eye shadows, I wanted them all but I soon got over that as they went up in price. Now I'm addicted to their nail varnishes, no matter what colour or style I really like them. ~*~ Nail Art Pens ~*~ Pens that make me look relatively good! ~*~ To Get It Started ~*~ Well I half expected to just open the pen and be able to draw on my nails straight away, unfortunately for my eager mind - I needed to unwrap and then shake well before starting to use the pen, it suggests leaving the lid on. I didn't but it didn't do anything, so I wouldn't worry too much about keeping the lid on when you're shaking it - you only shake it the same as you would a normal nail varnish to ensure the colours are mixed enough to be able to coat the nail well so I didn't mind doing it. However then it asks you to pump the nib before use, to start with I had no idea what on earth it meant, I bought the silver pen so expected to see a silver nib. However it was a white nib which explains why you need to pump it, to get the ink flowing through - I did this on the lid of the pen because I didn't know if it would end up coming out quite quickly all over my finger if I pressed it there, or ruin my nail varnish if it came out really quickly. Thankfully it didn't only transferred if I pressed it against skin or nail, no unnecessary flow which I was very pleased with. ~*~ Can I Draw? ~*~ No, I can't draw because I'm so bad at art it hurts - but I can make funny patterns and shapes and when it comes to personalising nails I'm happy with that. If I do nail art it's normally on false nails and then stick them on, because it means I can use my right hand to do all ten nails, because I am by no means ambidextrous unfortunately so if I tried it on my right hand it would look like a child had done it. This pen does make it a little bit easier though, because the 'ink' it's nail varnish but it's a pen so I keep thinking its ink, comes out across the entire nib. Rather than just out of the end which is where I'd been quite frustrated with pens in the past, because I like to do big bits of art and colour them which with a single thin nib it's really hard work and ends up ruining the nail varnish underneath so I was more than happy to have a thicker side that coloured in the outline I'd drawn without too much pressure and ruining the nail varnish underneath. The thing is with this ink/varnish is that if you've got a dark base colour you do need a good couple of coats to make it last, because even on just a purple colour my silver does sink into the surroundings so I find that I do need three or four coats over the area to make it thick enough to look different from the base coat. It's not a problem because it doesn't take overly long to dry it's just that if you're doing it on your own nails, it might get a little bit tedious. It doesn't bother me on falsies because I can go over them all, and go off and do something else (like a bit of rating) and come back and go over them again. It is a time consuming job nail art, but it's not something that puts me off even though I am pretty shocking at it. The pen it comes in is quite easy to use which is a bonus, it's a sturdy pen rather than a squeezable one which is good because I think I'd be tempted to squeeze it if I'd got one like that to get a big blob on my nail to spread out, although it might look good for Halloween maybe not so good when I'm trying to make a nice pretty pattern on my nails. The nib of the pen itself is really quite sturdy as well, because no matter how hard I press on it, it doesn't seem to want to bend or break, or even split which given it's a fibrous tip it looks like it might with a fair bit of hammer on it. It's one that will stand the test of time by the feel of things, which it needs to when you consider how you start it going by pumping it in and out of the pen. The nail varnish once it's on needs to be coated with clear nail varnish, whether it is a Barry M one or not makes no difference really. The ink/varnish inside is quite think so doesn't take much to chip or damage in things like hot water if you've not got it coated. This is one of the things I did to start with, and had a really hot shower and washed my hair it seemed a bit less obvious and like there were tiny bits missing. To start with it doesn't make a huge difference, but the more you use your hands afterwards the bigger difference it will make, so just remember to put clear nail varnish on over the top and it will preserve it for a bit longer than going on without it. The nail art with clear nail varnish on over the top will last as long as you're willing to leave your base coat without reapplying really, so it's your own decision how long you leave it. Obviously removal will be a bit more difficult if you've got a lot of layers of nail varnish, base coat, colour, art and clear nail varnish, but I've not found it to be much of a problem to get it off - nothing more than any more stubborn nail varnish that takes a bit of getting off so it's not a massive inconvenience for me. It's quite versatile when it comes to drawing items on your nails really, I can easily draw letters, hearts and patterns - not so good with detailed items because I'm not arty, for some it might be easier, but as I said because of a nob that allows varnish flow all round it's a much easier way to make nail art than some of the other nail art pens around. I just wish they did it in a few more colours, at the minute it only comes in silver, white, black and pink - I'd like a lot of different colours would mean I could possibly get better as I'd have a wider palette of colours to play with, but this will do for now! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ It is available for £4.99 from Boots and Superdrug and on the Barry M website, in Black, White, Silver and Pink!
I know Stephanie Meyer wasn't everyone's cup of tea when Twilight came out, and then on the other hand some people loved her and her writing. The problem being that when she penned another book, it seemed to get incredibly looked over, because the enormity of Twilight just over shadowed it - I know a couple of my friends read her other book, and I know I loved it so when I heard it was coming out as a film I was quite dubious as to the directors ability to turn it from a much loved book of mine into a film I could watch repeatedly. Which is partly why I never watched it in the cinema, I didn't want to be disappointed in public! ~*~ The Host ~*~ The Host as I've mentioned is another book from the hand of Stephanie Meyer, the famous lady that wrote the Twilight Saga - and gave us a whole new look at vampires and the lives they lead. However, once the hype of reading Twilight had died for me, I decided to look at further books from the author. I was quite impressed to find another book so quickly from her, and bought it one day on a shopping trip to Morrison's actually - it was a whole new ball game compared to Twilight, it kept the supernatural aspect but on a totally different scale - and it surprised me to know that she could write something that wasn't quite so childish and full of soppy romantic notions as Twilight had been. My copy of the host ended up being passed around a fair few of my friends and family actually, so it's been a widely read book in my close circle of friends and family. ~*~ Film Stats ~*~ Directed by - Andrew Niccol Produced by - Stephenie Meyer, Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz Screenplay by - Andrew Niccol Based on The Host by Stephenie Meyer Release date - March 29, 2013 Running time - 125 minutes Budget - $40 million Box office - $48,227,201 There was me and my best friend saying the other day we thought it had been a huge flop, maybe not as bad as we thought, not as good as Twilight - but who cares! ~*~ Plot ~*~ Without saying too much about the plot, the film follows the story of a human named Melanie Stryder who is one of a few humans dotted about the planet that haven't fallen prey to the intruders. The intruders that have been slipped into the necks of humans as tiny souls and taken over their bodies, to create a world of peace, harmony and a kind of utopia - however it comes at a cost. I can't say anytime recently I've watched a film about any kind of utopia let alone one where the world has been infected by souls, so it's definitely something different - I'm not sure if it's just because I'm biased because I'm a big fan of the book or just because the whole idea of this film is something different to a lot of the films out there at the moment. We tend to get a lot of aliens invading the planet and fighting us, but very few of them taking over us - which is why it's an attractive type of film to me. I like to have something to watch that isn't something the film industry is over saturated with; the only problem with this film is that it doesn't really fit in a film category - so when I suggested watching it with my boyfriend his response was 'I don't want to watch that random alien thing.' So it's not overly attractive as a story line to some men, my other half is fairly open with films but wouldn't want to watch this, although I know he'd like it. It's one that you have to be open minded to, even though the concept is fairly simple it can't be pigeon holed and I think it's a shame really because the plot is great and it really does involve you, right from the beginning. Without giving too much away, watch out for those with silver rings in their eyes - just telling you that they have been taken by a soul and are one of the hosts, as pretty as the eyes are it's a sign of soul invasion! ~*~ Acting and Characters ~*~ Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, who really surprised me - to be honest I've not seen her in anything before now and haven't seen her in anything since, but she is actually quite a good actress. Although her character wasn't necessarily the hardest to play I wouldn't have imagined -she does well to make the character her own. As a character though it's frustrating to watch because you don't want what does happen to her, to happen (my attempt at not giving it away!) - and you want to see the character fighting back and claiming what's rightfully hers, but at the same time you learn to love what she's become as much as you can despite everyone else's reactions. Which compared to Max Irons' character Jared, who from the first moment you meet him outside of Melanie's memories you want to slap - his character seems to unreasonable without knowing the full story and it just angered me. However that's how he is meant to be, so he definitely plays his part exactly how you'd expect him to, I just prefer the Jared that's happy and in love with Melanie rather than the one that hates her. However the young lad, who plays Melanie's brother Jamie, has a much smaller part than I ever expected - but it didn't really take much away from the film. Most of the characters are afflicted with confusing emotions that are passed onto the viewer, Ian one of the other remaining humans is another that plays his part well despite being in a confusing situation - I hadn't ever heard of Jake Abel before this film, but I can see him cropping up in further films in the future because there is a bit of talent there in my opinion - the way he was directed was great because you do a complete flip in hating him to really liking him. Unlike the character played by Diane Kruger, who I've seen a lot about but didn't really know her, her character is infuriating - even close to the end I want to slap her face and tell her to stop being such an idiot, but that's the way the character is meant to be, persistent and a giant pain in the backside in my opinion! The rest of the cast are prominent but not to a point that you really connect with them, apart from Melanie's uncle Jeb, he's a friendly old guy who is a little bit neurotic at the same time but perfectly likeable, gives chances and is rewarded for it. There is a fair amount of resentment in this character group, but when you see why - it's more than understandable, however as a viewer I found that I was pulled into the emotional side of it and had to make a decision for myself who I was going to back. However the direction was always going to make you pull in one particular direction, but I'll let you see which direction that is for yourself! ~*~ I promised not to compare it to the book but... ~*~ It's a film taken from a book, so it's inevitable that there are going to be comparisons made, and given that from the start I was a little bit concerned if it was going to meet up to the expectations I have from the book. However I was happily surprised, admittedly it wasn't perfect but it was a lot closer to the book than I ever imagined it to be. There is a big section in the book of Melanie's memories, which I really enjoyed sinking into and playing out these memories in my imagination - but there wasn't quite enough of it in the film for my liking - but then for some the book may have been too much; that aspect is a definite matter of personal preference rather than being set out in a particular way. Similarly with the memories of the soul and what she saw on her previous planets, that wasn't shown at all which is a shame because Meyers made such a picture with her words about these places so it's a shame we didn't see them, but it didn't ruin the film for me personally. However the item I thought they'd ruin in this book they did really well, when you read the book I think everyone has their own opinion of what they think the souls will look like; as they are described in such a way that they could be interpreted to how you want to see them. So when I saw one on the screen I was surprised that they were pretty much exactly how I imagined them, when I was reading the book - it was a pleasant surprise and it reassured me that they really had thought about this film and apart from a few things that were left out for some reason, they'd kept the film quite close to the book. The actors were chosen very well in my opinion as they reflected what I'd imagined quite nicely, but I just wish there had been more of the human times depicted as there was in the book but I can't complain too much really, as I like the film a lot. ~*~ A film that is soft, but so involving at the same time! ~*~ This film is one that needs to be given a chance, don't let the idea that it's a Stephanie Meyer book put you off, it's not like Twilight nor will it ever be. It's a standalone book and film that will have a much bigger impact on you than anything to do with choosing between vampires or werewolves ever will. It involves your emotions, and gets you thinking about the world we live in and the reality of having a utopia and a perfect world. It's a film that I will watch repeatedly because it really does hit something in me and the first time I watched it, the string of emotions that brings to the surface really did get to me - but it's not a tear jerker in that sense it's just a film that you will enjoy on many levels. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ This DVD is a new release so it's still quite pricey at the moment, around the £10 mark in varying stores - but I don't think it's going to stay too expensive for too long, if you can hang on it'll more than likely be cheap come Christmas time, which is a shame because it's a good film well worth the money!
I won't lie I do get sun burnt, beginning of July I really hurt myself when I changed sun creams for just one day - so there was an inevitability that I was going to need some after sun and fast. For the first night I just used the bottle that we already had in the fridge that was made by Wilkos and just left it at that, but I got up the following morning and since I was still burning I decided I needed something that I trusted, made by a company I already knew worked. So I nipped to Asda to get a bottle of what I should've already had in the house and now wouldn't be without! ~*~ Piz Buin ~*~ Piz Buin is a bit of a leader when it comes to sun cream if you know the history of the company, which until about two minutes ago I didn't. I did know that it's a Swiss company and that the sun cream was named after a mountain range but I wasn't aware that they were the first company, to introduce the SPF to the world - so that in itself makes me quite a big fan of the company since they seem to know what they're up to. It's a company that's been around for a good amount of time now, so they seem to be somewhat of a leader when it comes to sun protection and after sun protection - which is why although sometimes they might seem a little overly priced they are more than worth their money, you just have to try them to see why. I got this after sun purely because I'd had such a good time with the sun cream to start with! ~*~ What Does it Claim? ~*~ Be the envy of the beach, with this revolutionary After Sun Lotion to facilitate a more intense natural tan. Its Tanimel ingredient has been shown to help the body more than double its production of natural tanning pigments. Moisturises and revitalises sun-stressed skin. With Vitamin E to help prevent premature skin aging and is quick to absorb. ~*~ Application ~*~ Application of this is nice and simple once you've got it out of the bottle, with it being an upright bottle if you're running out it takes a while for it to come to the top even if you place it upside down. Even when my bottle was full it was still being a pain and coming out in splats rather than one fluid amount. Once you have finally got it out though, it's a lovely thickness so that you can feel you've got it there, rather than it being a really runny after sun that doesn't seem to do a lot for your skin. It's billed as an easily absorbed after sun, and it really does work nicely - it does need rubbing in, it's not quite that easily absorbed but it doesn't really take a lot of effort to rub it into skin. Which considering what you're rubbing it into is quite a blessing because, there is nothing worse than having to rub really hard on an area of sun burn that is really quite sore. When the after sun has been in the fridge it's even better, it provides an instant cooling effect when you put it on - however it does take a little bit longer to rub into skin. However, because it's such an instant relief when you put it on it's nice to rub the cool feeling into red hot skin to be honest. My other half doesn't like having this on his skin particularly, because he feels that he's never really burnt enough to need it and compared to the sun cream to start with it's a bit thicker and it annoys him because he doesn't like the feel of it on his skin - so I normally just have to put normal moisturiser on him, so the feel of the cream might not be for everyone. However it is your regular cream, its thick enough but it's also smooth so you're not rubbing anything coarse into your skin. ~*~ Smell and Feel on Skin ~*~ This doesn't smell quite as nice as the sun cream does; this has more of a citrusy aloe Vera or tea tree type smell to it, so it's not a scent I really like, but given what it does to my skin I'm more than happy to use it. It feels really refreshing and cool on the skin even when it hasn't been in the fridge so it's a nice cream to use on your skin after you've got burnt. For larger burns I've noticed it doesn't sting at all, something I have experienced before with cheaper after suns. This one though is very calming and kind to your skin, especially when it's burnt - which is a very sensitive time. The smell of this seems to stick around for hours though even once you've rubbed it in, and even got redressed and gone out, you can still get a whiff of it every now and again. It's not horrible, don't get me wrong it just isn't as warming and a scent that you'll enjoy as much as its counterpart sun cream. ~*~ Behaviour as an after sun ~*~ I'm quite a big fan of this after sun because it really does make my skin feel better, when I had some really serious sun burn I used this on my entire body, and as a result of being so burnt it really did need some moisturising and drank the cream when I applied it really. So I can definitely say that the after sun is really easily absorbed, the cream although an after sun isn't like the usual gel style it's actually thick cream so although it is absorbed quickly you can rub a lot into your skin before it does absorb. I can't say it prevents peeling all that much, but then again regardless of using any after sun or not, my skin will peel any way it's a natural reaction to get rid of the dead skin - but instead of being really flaky peeling skin it will just peel a small amount, so it is an improvement on other after suns I've used but my skin isn't perfect and well if I didn't want it to peel I shouldn't get burnt - or go out in the sun! However even if I'm not burnt I still do apply this to any skin that's been exposed to the sun purely to protect myself just in case there is still some damage there. It does help me keep a bit of tan because in the past when I've burnt and tanned, the skins then peeled off and I've gone back to being a milk bottle, but with this I do tan, and I will peel a little bit but the tan underneath remains enough to leave me with tan lines so it must work to a level. I'm definitely happy to keep using this, whack it in the fridge before use and it feels even better on hot skin, it does its job and when it's on offer it's not too overly priced, well my skin feels better for it! ~*~ Longevity ~*~ When I'm burnt quite badly I tend to apply this every couple of hours, if I'm not at work - if I'm at work I try to apply it as often as I can to stop my skin drying up and tightening up, which I always find very uncomfortable with uniform rubbing on the burns. So using it every couple of hours you might find you get through it quite quickly if you're burnt in quite a few places; admittedly though, one weekend of getting very burnt I've still got a good half of the bottle left - and thankfully I've not been burnt majorly since, but I will use it on little patches of red where I might have been caught, so I'm only using little bits here and there at the minute. I've had my latest bottle since the beginning of July and I've got plenty left so can't see that I'm going to run out any time soon this season, one bottle will last a good couple of months. It just depends how much you apply as always with Piz Buin items they seem to be a little goes a long way so you're not using a lot when you need it. If you're using it on a few people you'll probably get through one or two bottles a season, me and my other half have used this bottle between us and around seven weeks later we're only half way down so it's good value for money in that respect. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ I bought my latest bottle of this after sun from asda at just £5 for the bottle, but it is available in Superdrug at the moment of £5.24 a bottle as of 14/08/2013 - but it is available in other places for varying prices it's always worth doing a price comparison if you're looking for the cheapest bottle.
When it comes to being in the sunshine I want to be there, the moment the sun comes out I want to be enjoying it. I think it's part of being British we're so used to being in rain the moment the sun comes out we want to be out there enjoying it - so then out comes the sun cream so I can enjoy it without getting burnt. It was a similar story when we went to Italy last year, there was no way I was going to be able to endure it without covering myself in cream before hitting the Italian sun - I didn't have time to research which sun cream to use so me and my other half decided to go for a Piz Buin tube and have done the same this year! ~*~ Piz Buin ~*~ Piz Buin is a bit of a leader when it comes to sun cream if you know the history of the company, which until about two minutes ago I didn't. I did know that it's a Swiss company and that the sun cream was named after a mountain range but I wasn't aware that they were the first company, to introduce the SPF to the world - so that in itself makes me quite a big fan of the company since they seem to know what they're up to. It's a company that's been around for a good amount of time now, so they seem to be somewhat of a leader when it comes to sun protection and after sun protection - which is why although sometimes they might seem a little overly priced they are more than worth their money, you just have to try them to see why. I didn't really have any expectations when I bought this sun cream I just needed some to go away with, but I certainly won't be changing brands now! ~*~ What it claims ~*~ Combining UVA/UVB HELIOPLEXTM sun filters with Melitan, which helps enhance your skin's own natural tan. So now you can build a gorgeous, natural tan without compromising on your level of protection. The lotion provides hours of moisturisation, which prevents peeling and contributes to a longer lasting tan. ~*~ Application ~*~ Applying is ridiculously easy, as always really with sun cream it's not a difficult thing to apply - squeeze out of the tube after flipping the lid open and apply. Rates of absorbency will depend how absorbent your skin is to start with - for me personally applying is really quick and really easy, I just apply a decent sized amount around 50 pence size on my upper and lower arm, and for each section I'm going to cover in cream and rub it in, for me it is absorbed really quickly so it's a simple apply and go for me. However for my other half, it just doesn't absorb quite as fast on his body, so he feels quite sticky for a while after applying - unless it's on his face, that seems to drink it. However if you've got dry/dehydrated skin it will drink this sun cream I've noticed, so it is highly moisturising. Just make sure after application that you give around the hole it comes out of in the lid a good clean, because if you don't and you leave it for a couple of weeks before using it again it can get quite hard and crusty - although at the minute you'll be using it frequently that might not always be the case. After all we live in the UK our sunshine is normally sporadic, however I seem to be going through this quite nicely this summer, not that I'm complaining at all! ~*~ Smell and Feel on skin ~*~ I find this sun cream has a beautiful smell; I can't quite put my finger on what it smells like - but it's somewhat floral but with a hint of chemicals obviously, because it wouldn't be a sun cream without. However it's a scent that isn't offensive in any way, I am really quite partial to the scent and it's one of the reasons I keep buying this sun cream actually. Mainly because it's the smell I associate with my first holiday abroad with my current boyfriend, and it's a time I like to remember. It's a scent that sticks around for as long as the cream is potent on your skin as well, which I find is a good indicator to when I need to reapply the cream, so when the smell is gone it's time to top up! For me the feel of this sun cream once it's been well rubbed in is a nice one it feels nicely moisturised and you can only tell it's there for a small amount of time, once it's absorbed into the skin - I feel like my skin has gone back to how it naturally feels without being overly sticky and uncomfortable. However my other half who finds it difficult to absorb feels all day like he's sticky but has a similar problem with all sun creams so we continue to use this one purely because it provides the best coverage for us both. At the end of the day when I come in from the sun I can tell it's there, and by later on in the day I know I need a shower because it starts to feel a bit stickier, but it's simple to just jump in the shower and towel off, then your skin feels as good as new really. How your skin reacts to moisturiser is very indicative of how this will absorb into your skin, so if you find you really have to rub it in - you might find this sun cream is a little bit too thick for you and going for the spray version might make your life a little bit easier, but if your skin absorbs easily then this one will be just as good as any of the others. ~*~ Sun Protection ~*~ This sun cream is a SPF 15, but it does come in varying SPF's across the range you just need to have a look out for the right SPF for your skin. Admittedly I am very fair, got a fair few freckles going on across my body - but I do only use SPF 15, and to great effect really. I recently used another sun cream, a Nivea one and that was around SPF 30, and in one day out in the sunshine I managed to get incredibly burnt to a point that my entire body (well the burnt places anyway) swelled up and I became very self-conscious. I know how my skin is and I know that with the Piz Buin, I can happily use SPF 15, top up regularly when I find the scent is disappearing, or when I feel a bit sweaty and know that I will be protected, admittedly I have occasionally gone a bit pink on sensitive areas - but in the few days following looking a bit pink it's turned brown and the slight hint of burn has gone. This in comparison to the Nivea product I used is a miracle, because I was bright red for days which didn't really turn into much other than peeling skin, which is not an attractive sight for anyone, or a pleasant feeling. This Piz Buin sun cream claims to help prevent peeling, which I can happily say it does for the most part, my skin peels if I burn even the tiniest bit with SPF 50 on - so I'm going to say that's just how my skin naturally is, my other half only ever peels on very sensitive parts like his face if he gets burnt using this, the rest of his body is fine. In conjunction with the Piz Buin after sun, you'll get a good base to ensure you peel a minimal amount. Tanning however, it does help a lot, I have tan lines on my legs to prove this, and this was only from Sunday (4th August) I wore a skirt for the day out in the sun, creamed up to make sure I didn't get burnt and where my skirt sat I have tan lines similarly around where my converse stopped up my ankles. No burn lines, just tan lines - which to me is proof it does help tanning! ~*~ Longevity ~*~ They suggest not to keep a sun cream for more than a season, which in the lovely weather we're having at the moment will be fine because since I bought my most recent tube - I've been using it regularly and by the time I get to the end I think the sun will have had enough of us anyway so it'll work out nicely. It all depends how frequently you reapply and how sensitive your skin is, on a day out which for me and my boyfriend is around 9/10 hours I tend to reapply at least three times to make sure I'm not getting burnt, or if I am stop it getting any worse - and this bottle has been in use since June and is only now getting to half full. So I think you'd get a good three or four months out of a tube of this sun cream in reality, but since a little goes a long way you don't really need to use loads all the time because it covers a lot more than you'd imagine. Which considering how much you will pay for this sun cream you'll want to get the most out of it because it's not cheap, but it definitely does its job with a lovely smell to boot! I haven't tested this out in any water, but as far as I'm aware it's not waterproof, so don't jump in the sea expecting it to protect you, but it will protect you against sweat to a degree but not to the fullest extent! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ This sun cream is available all over at the minute, you'll not struggle to find a brown tube of goodness: The RRP is around £18 a tube but it's on offer in varying places, Boots have a buy one get one free at the moment, when I bought it, it was only £8.50 a tube, however even at £18 a tube it's worth it to save you from getting burnt!
When it comes to cleansing my face, I've only just really got into doing it in a big way - and given that Soap and Glory just happen to be one of my favourite companies when it comes to skin care, and bathing so thought I'd give this ago. One of my friends happened to mention to me a few months back, that both she and her daughter loved this stuff, and I realised I'd got a bottle in a pack that was left over from Christmas - just hadn't got round to using it yet, so hunted around in my box for it and decided the give my Garnier cleanser a miss just for a little while until I'd decided whether or not I liked this! ~*~ Soap and Glory ~*~ Soap and Glory is a brand of baby pink colour schemed items that are available in Boots, John Lewis and online. They cover all aspects of washing and keeping your body looking fabulous, from shower gels, to moisturisers and anti-cellulite creams, they have everything you could ever want to keep your skin looking good. My favourites are their amazing hand cream, and I have to say since they introduced cosmetics and facial skin care to their ranges they have really gone up in my estimation and I'm really happy to buy from them even despite the price compared to the price of the normal make-up I buy. ~*~ Peaches and Clean ~*~ This is what soap and glory say this cleanser does - ** Our special clogged T-zone formula Includes peach extract (with skin smoothing fruit acids), quillaja bark (a gentle natural 'soap'), jojoba oil (an emollient skin softener), DetoxyboostTM technology (to help purify and deep clean) and Poreshrink R2TM (for a clearer, fresher, brighter complexion). In our opinion it's the best cleansing milk on the market! ** To be honest there is a lot written there, that probably doesn't make a lot of difference to anyone and is just written by S&G to make the product look a bit fancier than it is, I don't think by any stretch of the imagination that before S&G named it there was something called 'Detoxyboost' but it's one of their many quirks and well it works so I can't complain too much at the end of the day! ~*~ Coming up smelling of peaches ~*~ That's one of the things I love most about this cleanser aside from the fact it does its job - the moment you unscrew the top of the pump it's almost an instant sweet, peachy and fruity smell. For some that might not be very desirable, but for me it's an ideal thing to put on my face - I love the scent, even more so once I've pumped some out on my hand it's quite a strong smell, that isn't overwhelming but it's not something you can avoid and once you've used it you can seriously smell it for a while in your bathroom or wherever you're using it. Once it's on your face, it's even more fruity I find - it's a scent that sticks to your skin beautifully even once you've washed it off, so I like in the evening to leave it on for a while before removing, and again wait a little bit before I apply my toner to be able to keep the scent around, it really does smell that good! ~*~ Application is as easy as a piece of peach! ~*~ To apply this to your face, you don't need to be someone with a university degree - there's nothing fancy to do to apply it. Just unscrew the pump top to open, and pump a blob out onto your hand - I tend to go for a blob about the size of a twenty pence piece, purely because a lot goes a long way. However it depends how your skin is feeling really, as on some of these more hot and sticky days we've been having recently I've been using a bit more just to freshen my skin up especially in the mornings before applying make-up. Just pick up the amounts you want on your finger tips and rub into your skin, it suggests to massage one lot into your cheeks and then a double amount into your forehead, nose and chin - it just depends on you and how you feel your skin is at the time you use it. See very simple! ~*~ Feeling peachy clean! ~*~ From the moment it goes onto my skin I do feel like it really does make my skin feel a bit fresher than it did before I applied actually, the beauty of this cleansing milk is that it 'melts away make-up' which for me is a beautiful thing because you can pop it on, let it absorb - brush your teeth before bed, by the time you're done it's done it's magic. Depending where I am and what amenities I've got depends what I take it off with, when I'm at my boyfriends on base it's harder to get to a big sink so I'll just remove it with a baby wipe - which does the job just as well as warm water in my opinion. To be fair the baby wipes just help to remove anything extra that the milk doesn't quite catch, so I think on occasions that I do use it it's a little bit more effective, just doesn't leave you with the lovely scent that just washing it off with water does. When it's on your skin, it is a very light cleansing milk actually - so when it's on your skin you don't really feel like there's anything there especially if you rub it in you're only going to look a little bit shiny when it's on, because even though it's a lovely creamy pale pink colour it will turn transparent on your skin. There are no tingly feelings on your skin while you're using it, which is a surprise after using a lot of S&G products because the majority of them do have a property to make a tingle or a funny feeling. It's a very simple product for your skin really, but once it's washed off you really do feel like your skin has had a good wash - it does take off a lot if not all of your make-up and daily grime with it, and if it doesn't quite get it all a bit of toner afterwards will happily take care of that, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed. As for the skin smoothing properties, I will definitely be testimony to it doing that, after I've used this for a couple of days running I always find my face is so much smoother and softer - it also makes it a lot easier to put make-up on top of because there's very few bumps in the skin that were there before I started using it, or took a break from using it. The whole idea of being a pore shrinker, I'm not totally sold on that, but that is because the only time my pores open on my face is when I've been a bit lazy with my facial skincare routine and using any cleanser and toner, will help close my pores up - but those of you out there with large pores might find it does help a little bit. It does however definitely give me a fresher complexion, as I used it in the few days leading up to my graduation and I've been told by a few people that I'm looking quite radiant in the pictures so it works somewhere down the line and my skin does feel better every time I use it. I do take breaks from it though so my skin doesn't get too used to it, because somehow my skin develops a tolerance to everything and I don't want to have to look for another item that works this well! The other bonus I've found to this cleanser more so than in the others I've used, this one seems to cleanse deeper to prevent breakouts, I still get the occasional blackhead and little spot that barely breaks the surface but compared to how I used to breakout this is lovely, and it stops them from getting very big and taking over my face - which now I'm in my twenties I want to avoid at all costs! It's also quite moisturising so I don't feel like my skin is really tight on my face after I've used it, I'll still use moisturiser to top it up, but I don't feel like my skin is missing out if I don't get chance to apply any before bed - some people have said it's dried their skin out, I must be lucky because my skin is happier now than before I started using it! ~*~ In the end... ~*~ This is a cleanser made by a brand that is well known for its great skin care and bath care products - it's one you shouldn't write off without trying. It might be a little pricier than Nivea or Simple but compared to Lancôme and similar brands it's a bargain that will last you a good couple of months out of a 200ml bottle, a little goes a long way with this item. You'll have lovely smelling skin, and radiant skin, and never have to worry about scrubbing this into your skin with cotton wool so you'll save on cotton wool balls. It's highly recommended facial cleansing milk, that I won't be changing from any time soon, my skin is thanking me for it and that's all I need as promotion to keep using it! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ This is available for me in my local Boots for £7, it's available in particular places online and in other shops but since this is the place I normally shop for S&G items that's the price I look at though in theory the prices are set, so they shouldn't deviate too much; just remember if you're a lover to take advantage of the 3 for 2 offers that often arise in Boots and keep stocked up!
Eye shadows have always been something I've enjoyed experimenting with since I learnt to apply it. I always liked trying random colours together, mainly to see what it looked like together - see if it makes my eyes stand out of if it just makes them look utterly ridiculous and looking like a clown. As I got older though I realised that I couldn't get away with wearing this bright and experimental make up to school so I needed something subtle but enhancing for my sixth form days. I saw these one day in a catalogue and they advised which colour palette was right for what else colour you had. To be honest I loved these palettes so much I ended up with one of each colour even though only one was apparently suitable for my eyes! ~*~ Avon ~*~ Well without going into a deep history, Avon are a company that began in 1889, with a gentleman trying to sell his books with the enticement of perfume - but the perfume was more popular so he changed his tack slightly! So in the end he ended up forming a company by another name that has ended up with the book and products we know now... Nowadays, there are many ways you can get hold of Avon products, from the old fashioned Avon lady or person (lol) which is normally, friend, neighbour or colleague... You can now also order online and get it delivered to your door. Or there is also the old fail-safe of eBay if you can't get any of the old items, they are more than likely on there! Either way you get it, you are bound to enjoy your purchase. However with the Avon representative or online option, you can always try it and send it back in you don't like the product for any reason! ~*~ Eye Artist Trio ~*~ Don't worry they're not as arty as they sound! ~*~ What are they meant to do? ~*~ Essentially, they are supposed to provide a quick, easy and convenient way to create a defined look in eye shadow on your lids. It provides the user with three different shades of their chosen colour in one convenient palette, with instructions on the back of the packaging identifying the places on the eye - each of the three colours should be applied. They were dubbed at the time an easy way to highlight your eye colour so when I bought mine initially, I went for the one that would enhance my green eyes which just happened to be the copper and pale brown shade palette. ~*~ Application ~*~ It is all very self-explanatory on the back of the packaging, you've got a nice diagram of the your eye and eyelid and it's got numbers which refer to the placement of the shadow in your palette, so you just have to pick the right number for the right part of your eye and pick out your implement of choice to apply it to your eyelids. The eye shadow is quite dense so I used to use a brush to apply, but just recently I'm happier to go with one of the eye pads that have a spongy end to apply it because I seem to lose less of it down my face when I do that. It's really easy to apply as long as you've looked at the diagram if you're new to using this kind of scheme to apply eye shadow; if you're already used to using multiple shades to enhance your eyes then go for it, after a while of using this I found that I didn't really need to look at the back because the way the eye shadow is placed in the palette gives it away a little bit. So it's nothing that's too strenuous to apply and the fact that you've got 3 shades in one palette means that you don't have to look around for your other colours, and you can just apply and go in a fairly short amount of time. ~*~ Strength of Colour ~*~ It depends entirely how liberal you are with your application to how strong the colour is on your lids, if you're going for a subtle day time work look, you're more than likely going to go for a light covering, but enough to notice the definition the different shades give you. For a night out or for a more obvious application where you've put a lot of eye shadow on, you'll find it's got a really strong colour to it even in the coppery tones that I own they have a good level of pigmentation, especially when they're applied with the spongy ended brushes or your fingers, which although looks brilliant be careful that you've not had greasy fingers as you might find you get more stuck to your finger than your lids. Applying an eye shadow primer before you apply the shadows will also help to define the colour and make it seem a lot stronger, because there isn't a huge difference in the colours of the shadows you might find that you need to apply a lot of the darker colour to get the better distinction in colour. I quite like the fact that it's only a subtle difference because when I wear it on a normal day, when I'm just going to work I know that I've got something that's enhancing my natural features without making my eyelids look like I'm prepared for a night out rather than working. ~*~ Longevity ~*~ I've found that on a normal day at work, I can apply this when I get up and it will still be there, even if it is somewhat duller then when I applied by the time I finish work. This is because I only apply a light amount and well my job isn't exactly sedentary, I do walk/run about quite a bit during my shifts - if I applied more there would be a lot more left at the end of the day but I like to look professional rather than like I'm trying to attract someone. On a night out, or just any situation where it's a bit hotter and I've normally applied a bit more, just to survive the circumstances - it doesn't often need reapplying actually, especially if I've applied a primer before putting it on. The colour doesn't seem to crease in my eyelids if I've applied it well either which I'm always grateful for because, working on a hot ward for eight hours a day I don't want to have to worry about looking in the mirror, not that I get time to really actually - so having the peace of mind that I don't look like I'm losing my make up during a shift helps me just get on with it! The palette of eye shadow on average lasts me about two or three months of almost daily usage, it's got a lot more in it than the packaging actually looks which is deceptive but a nice surprise actually. Which is a bonus since Avon don't actually make it anymore, and the only way you can get hold of it is on eBay - which in the colour I use can be quite hit and miss to get hold of, so if I spot one I'll buy a couple just in case I can't get one again! ~*~ Removal ~*~ It is as easy as getting a bit of eye make-up remover on a cotton wool ball and wiping it off, it's not a stubborn eye shadow to remove. I will admit I can get a bit lazy and just use a baby wipe to get it off, but it's not a gritty eye shadow so won't scratch or hurt you when you take it off. I've never come across a time I've used it when I've had any reaction to it so it's a good eye shadow when you put it on and take it off. Just always be careful not to get any of it in your eyes, and if you do give them a rinse out with water and you should be perfectly fine with them after. ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ The only place I seem to find the colour I want is on eBay, so if you're interested in them and the varying colours they offer just type Avon Eye Artist into eBay and it'll bring up all the products that are available. Some of them are only £3 with free postage and you'll find greedier members that are charging closer to £5 for an item, just search through and you'll find what you're after, and you'll not regret it because it's a slim line convenient way to put your eye shadow on in the mornings!
Headaches are the bain of my life, and for the past few years have been the reason I've missed out on a lot of things. I'm not quite in migraine territory, but the headaches I get are bad enough that one point I was walking round Tesco with my head on the handle of the trolley because I couldn't look up with all that lighting around me. So when I get one of these mega headaches come on, I need to find something to ease it and fast before it takes over my life because they do so easily - anyone that doesn't really suffer with headaches are lucky people! That was me until about the age of 20, since then it's been downhill massively! ~*~ Boots ~*~ Well Boots are a brilliant high street company that has been around for a fair amount of time now, which has a bit of everything in store. From make-up and varying cosmetics, hair dyes, opticians and pharmacies - most Boots stores have more inside than I could fit in my house, doesn't mean that I wouldn't like a lot of the items out of the shop though, they house my beloved Soap and Glory, and the wonderful world of No7, Boots is a big store on the high street especially with their Advantage Card, and they make life much easier than going to my local pharmacy. They're a bit more expensive than Superdrug if you don't catch the right offers, but still it's a shop that I'd miss massively if it disappeared! ~*~ Cooling Headache Pads ~*~ I bought these a few weeks ago, when I was due to go to a friend's wedding and woke up with a stinking headache which no amount of painkillers was really touching - and needless to say I was a bit annoyed I couldn't go and well she was steaming I couldn't go. I sent a friend to grab me a box of these so I could try and ease the pain a little bit, and with a bit of sunburn and swelling over the past weekend they came out again so these pads have had a decent amount of use over the past few weeks, and safe to say I've been pretty impressed with them overall. ~*~ Application and Design ~*~ The packaging says to cut open one of the two sachets in the box, as each sachet holds two cooling pads take one out and then double fold the top to ensure the other doesn't dry out - I'm guessing it's a money saving scheme that means they don't put them in individual packets but it would make life easier. Never mind! Take out one of the pads and you'll find that it will easily cover an adult's forehead, they are only designed for adults and the boxes do suggest they should be kept away from children. Now they do say that these pads can be cut down to size to apply to your forehead - but I haven't and there is a reason for that, due to the design, because once you've taken off the plastic cover on the pad it's got a nice splodge of the cooling material in a rounded oblong shape, but if you cut it you'd expose the blue cooling part and part of me doesn't really like the idea of that - so mine stay in the full area that they come in. However if you don't mind it too much or only have one of those specific point headaches cut them up - just let me know how it works, because I'm dubious. Normally however, just peel off the plastic part on the back and stick it to your forehead in the desired area, blue bit to your skin and you'll be left with a white soft backing that is visible on your head. Yeah you might look a bit of a wolly, but when your head feels better you'll be more than grateful for how daft you looked. The box suggests that once you've taken the sticky backing strip off, and placed it on your skin it won't move - unless you've got wet skin. I wasn't wearing any make up any time I've used this, and haven't ever had wet skin around the area - however unless you're laid down and not really moving this doesn't really stick as well as I'd like unless it's right in the centre of your head even then you can't move too much before it starts to peel away. The thing is when you've got a really bad headache or migraine the chances of you doing much more, than laying down anyway but if you do much more than laying on your back it might well flop off. So the claim of it not moving once it's applied - it's a bit of a lie, but it doesn't bother me because I'm never active when I'm feeling rough from a headache so it makes no difference. ~*~ Do they work? ~*~ When I've used these for a headache I've found them really useful, admittedly though when I get hit with a headache it is incredibly painful and I take as many painkillers as is appropriate to try and get it to go off even a little bit, so using these I just normally use as a top up for painkillers to try and take the edge off the pain. To start with the pads don't feel overly cool on your face, it's not until you actually press them close to your skin that you'll feel the cold on your skin. Having it a little bit away from your skin gives the cold patch a chance to spread the cooling effect out across the area, and although it doesn't feel immediately cold - it does help take the edge the pain you've got. Not sure if it's more because you're concentrating on the fact you've got a cool pad on your forehead, or because it's actually doing something to your head but it really does make things that little bit more bearable. If you're struggling with a headache enough to require using this as an extra with your pain relief you're probably not going to want to get up and run a marathon, or clean the house from top to bottom but with this on I tend to be able to cope with talking to people, or chill out and watch a film. Nothing too strenuous to be fair though these strips are better if you pop them on before your headache takes hold, often I'm nowhere near mine when that happens, but on the odd occasion I have been able to apply one before I'm in agony, the headache has been less painful than usual - I find they calm me down a little bit as well which helps. I don't think they make my headache go away any faster, but they do make it a lot easier to deal with than painkillers alone. I recently had to use them because I had a massive amount of facial swelling, and cooling strips were the only thing that would bring it down slightly, so I applied one of these to my very swollen brow line and left it there for as long as it would stick. Thanks to the fact the swelling was a result of sunburn my face was ridiculously hot, so the pads wouldn't stick for more than a couple of minutes at a time but amazingly just having them on my face for ten to fifteen minutes really did make my swelling feel better. It's not a permanent solution but it did enough, to make me not feel too self-conscious to go out of the house even though I felt a bit like the elephant man. Reducing swelling isn't a main use for these strips but it's a brilliant side-line if you ever need them. Thing is if you're hot the cooling effect won't last that long, it's advertised for eight hours on swelling, especially hot swelling you'll only find it lasts for a couple of hours I found for me it topped four at the most. On a normal headache provided you're not prodding and poking it all the time you'll easily get your eight hours of cooling, which I think is brilliant considering how cheap they are really. ~*~ Rip It Off! ~*~ Once you've taken the pad off, if it's not already fallen off by eight hours later - you'll be able to pull it off without hurting yourself. It's not overly sticky, enough to keep it on your face the majority of the time - but not too much that it rips your eyebrows off when you take it off! You get a decent amount of cooling time before you need to change them, and if your headaches are normally in one area then cut them up and you've got plenty of bits of cooling pad to go round (I might consider cutting one up one day!) A box of four for less than £3 I think is brilliant value for money, especially if you are one prone to serious headaches because they can be so debilitating. The beauty is you can use as many as you want, as often as you like, because they make no difference to your skin and they aren't limited like pain killers are - I feel less limited when I use these after all, you don't need water to sit with a cold patch on your forehead, neck, or wherever you decide to put it after all no one can tell you where to place it even though it's designed for foreheads! ~*~ Price and Availability ~*~ These are available in my local Boots for £2.89 for a box of 4, they're currently not available online - so I wonder if they're thinking of discontinuing them or changing them, either way I'm hoping they don't stop making them because they help me and my dodgy headaches - I'm so pleased I invested in them!