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CosmicLove

CosmicLove
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Member since: 06.02.2013

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    • Pure Heroine - Lorde / Music Album / 28 Readings / 24 Ratings
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      16.03.2014 00:52
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      A good album

      '''Lorde - Royals'''
      Known by her stage name Lorde, Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor is a seventeen year old singer songwriter from New Zealand. Pure Heroine is her debut album and it was released in September 2013. The album is 37 minutes and 8 seconds long and it has got 10 songs on it. The album varies in price but I bought my digital copy of it from iTunes and I paid £6.99 for it which in my opinion is good value.

      I bought the album after I heard the single Royals on the radio - it was played again and again and I never got bored of it. I normally get sick of songs quite quickly but this one stuck in my head. I had a listen to a few of her other songs and I liked them all which is why I decided to buy the album.

      '''My opinion'''
      For the past six months I have has this album pretty much on repeat. There's such a huge range of songs on it to suit every emotion so I can listen to it when I need cheering up or when I'm in a good mood and want to have a little bit of a dance! There's even some trippy, dancey sort of songs which sound like something out of an 80's disco and these really get me moving at the gym.

      The album is good to get lost in and just relax to as well and I like every song on it. The first song on the album is Tennis Court which is actually one of my favourite songs on the album. There's a slight rap sort of feel to it with a mix of indie and gentle pop, it's a really good, catchy song to start the album off and I love the chorus and the meaning behind the song.

      The second song on the album is 400 lux which is a bit of a love song, it takes a bit of time to get going, but it's really catchy once it does get going, though it isn't one of my favourites. Royals is the next song on the album, this is the first song of Lorde's that I heard and I'm sure that a lot of people will have heard this song on the radio at some point over the past few months the amount of times it has been played!

      The song is one of my favourites. I interpret the song to be about people living in poverty but being able to accept it and see the positive side. It's very catchy and easy to sing along to. Ribs is the next song on the album. This song takes a little while to get going with quite a long intro. The song is really relatable and it's about accepting that she is growing up and leaving the comforts of childhood and being protected by her parents behind and realising what the world is really like.

      Buzz cut season is the next song on the album. This is my ultimate favourite song. It's a bit of an odd and slightly creepy/trippy song but it's really catchy and her voice sounds amazing in it. Personally I think this song is about how celebrities are sheltered from the real world and living in their mansions, compared to how normal people live, seeing war and such on tv and having to deal with reality. I also think it's about how listening to music helps block out the problems in her life.

      Team is the next song on the album and it's a catchy song, with a rap beat to it and a bit of auto tune in the chorus. The song is quite fun and catchy with a really catchy chorus, it's about living in less than desirable areas/in poverty and committing crimes but wanting to escape the cycle and it's also about community spirit. The next song on the album is glory and gore which has a fairly dark feel to it.

      The song has a nice rhythm to it and I love the chorus of it. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me - I am presuming its about violence = a way to get attention, but it's still a good song to listen to. Still sane is the next song on the album which is a bit of a softer song. It's a nice enough song, but not really one of my favourites. The next song is white teeth teens which I love! It's more of a pop song and it's quite upbeat. It is really catchy.

      The last song on the album is a world alone. This is a really soft, gentle relaxed song. It ends the album well and it's really catchy and easy to sing along to. All in all I like this album and I'm really glad I both it. It has got a really good mix of different songs and I recommend it.

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        07.03.2014 03:54
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        Good, cheap wipes

        I like to always have a pack of face wipes handy for when I don't have the time or can't be bothered to follow my usual skin care routine. I have tried many different brands of wipes and the wipes which I will be reviewing today is these Lacura ones which are from Aldi's own brand range of beauty products. I bought my 2 packs of these wipes around a week ago and paid just 89 pence for each pack and I bought two packs of them.

        This is a really impressive saving in the long term compared to the £2 that the brand of wipes I'd been using previously had cost me for less wipes - that brand had 25 wipes per pack whereas this brand has 30 wipes per pack so it is excellent value. The wipes are available in sensitive, normal or vital, which is for more mature skin. Although this is a decent range, I was disappointed to see that there was no dry skin ones available.

        I decided to buy the sensitive wipes because my skin gets irritated very easily. The sensitive ones come in a blue packet which is simple looking and it is not the nicest packaging, not awful but pretty basic, but in my opinion it's the wipes themselves that count and not the packaging. The packaging is easy to open and also easy to seal again and the sticky part of the packaging which lifts up and closes down stays sticky so it closes properly, keeping the wipes fresh and it keeps the moisture in the pack so the wipes don't dry out.

        The wipes are 3 in 1 wipes which claim to cleanse, tone and moisturise. This is a big claim because I don't think I've ever in the 8 years or so that I've been using face wipes have had a face wipe leave my face feeling moisturised but then again I do have very dry skin so for people with normal skin they may have different effects. Needless to say these wipes like all the other ones I've tried before didn't have any effect on how moisturised my skin felt, and they always just leave it feeling very slightly damp.

        The wipes never leave my skin feeling dried out though and they're nice and gentle so there is no irritation or redness or spot outbreaks. The wipes are effective at removing dirt and make-up and the first time I used them I was surprised by how quickly they removed my non waterproof eye make up (mascara and a little bit of eyeliner) and I dint need to really drag the wipes over my skin or apply much pressure for them to be effective.

        Removing foundation is more time consuming and although I only wear a light layer of it, I usually need two wipes. After using the wipes, my skin always feels clean and fresh and my complexion looks clear. The wipes aren't very thick however they are thick enough not to tear or break up whilst I am using them.

        All in all these wipes are really good. They are very affordable and good quality and they effectively remove my make-up and leave my skin looking and feeling clean and fresh.

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      • Nakd Cocoa Orange Bar / Snacks / 17 Readings / 17 Ratings
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        03.03.2014 23:28
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        For the past year or so, I have been making a really big effort to eat healthier and seeing as the Nakd bars are currently on offer in Tesco I decided to stock up on them a couple of days ago and eat one of them whenever I am craving some chocolate/something sweet. I first tried one about a year ago when my friend gave me one and I really liked it and since then I've had them now and again but they are quite pricy at full price so I tend to wait until they're on offer to stock up.

        Cocoa orange is my favourite flavour of Nakd bars so I got 5 packs of them which was expensive but well worth it! I paid £2 for each box and you get 4 bars weighing 35 grams each in the pack. The usual retail price for a box of 4 is £2.70 which is fairly expensive considering that you could get a huge bar of cadburys for over a pound less but these are so much more nutritious and healthy that they are definitely worth paying extra for.

        They have a unique taste to them too so it is always a bit of a novelty eating one even though I've recently been indulging in them a little too much, I could actually sit and eat a pack of them in one go they taste so nice. The bars come in a cardboard box which has got the ingredients and such written on it. The ingredients is all natural and the bars have not been cooked or hardly processed, just mashed together and shaped into a bar so all of the goodness hasn't been destroyed by cooking and processing.

        In one of these bars there are dates (40%) which give it a gorgeous sweet and gooey, indulgent taste, cashews (40%) which are very finely chopped and they give it this really lovely creaminess, raisins (14%) and cocoa and a small amount of natural chocolate and orange flavouring. There is no chemicals or anything like that in these bars and each one contains 145 calories.

        I find one bar very satisfying, it always leaves me feeling like I've had some real chocolate and it takes me a while to eat one bar too as the texture is very thick. The bars come in plastic packaging which can be awkward to open. The base themselves are not the best looking, they look a bit like compacted dirt or something but they smell nice - chocolatey and orangey.

        They taste creamy, sweet, chocolatey and there is a nice orange flavour and they just generally taste really nice! My two year old is a big fan although he prefers the cocoa delight bars but he will still happily eat one of these instead of a chocolate bar. Many of friends like these too. My partner didn't used to like these as he used to be a big chocoholic and junk food addict but since he started eating healthier with me he has started to like them.

        Personally I think that as you begin to eat healthier your tastebuds change and can taste different flavours and now he likes these, I think he was just too used to really sugary fatty food to appreciate them before. Overall I love these Nakd bars, they're my favourite flavour and give me a guilt free sugar rush and satisfy my chocolate cravings. I recommend them really highly.

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        03.03.2014 17:28
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        A nice easy meal

        Tesco recently had the frozen weight watcher ready meals on offer at £1 so I decided to stock up on them as they make easy meals to have with a bit of veg or salad when I'm feeling lazy and can't be bothered to cook from scratch. I got my usual favourites - lasagne and beef hotpot and also 2 of the lemon chicken risotto meals which I hadn't tried before but I thought that they sounded nice and they looked nice on the picture on the box too. This meal usually retails at £2 for 320 grams.

        I ate one last week for my tea with some vegetables and one today on its own for my lunch at work. The meal comes in a cardboard box which is easy to open and it is recyclable. The box is really informative with nutritional info, ingredients and information on how to cook the meal which is easy to understand. The box also has got a picture of what the meal should look like once it's heated up. In my opinion it looks really appetising on the picutre.

        Inside the box there's a black plastic tray with the food inside, it doesn't look too appealing when it's all frozen to be honest but it doesn't look unappetising either. Cooking the meal is very straight forward - pierce the plastic film lid, place it on a microwaveable plate and cook from frozen for around 7 and a half to 8 minutes if I remember correctly.

        Then leave it to stand for a minute or so, remove the film lid and you can either eat it straight out of the tray or add it onto a plate with a nice salad or veggies. I'd recommend eating it with veg or salad as this makes it more filling. The first time I ate this meal I had it with plenty of veg and was left feeling full and satisfied whereas today when I ate it on its own I have to be honest I felt like I'd not really had much and I was wanting to eat something else, I wasn't overly hungry to start off with but eating this made me more hungry!

        The meal is tasty and it is basically white rice in a creamy sauce with lots of peas and other small bits of veg and some lemony flavoured chicken. The chicken has for a bit of a chewy texture to it and it tastes processed compared to freshly cooked chicken but it is tasty and very lemony and there is a decent amount of it - I'd estimate that there was about 4 quite big pieces in it. The rice is very soft and fluffy but there is not very much of it and there are lots of peas.

        The sauce is creamy and milky tasting, it goes well with the lemony chicken and it does taste fairly indulgent considering that this is a low calorie meal. The meal is worth 8 pro points/307 calories. All in all this is a nice meal, it is quick and easy to cook and it's tasty and doesn't taste low calorie. However it isn't very filling on its own without veg or salad with it, so I'm going to knock one star off of my overall rating. Recommended.

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        09.02.2014 07:32
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        Fairly average.

        '''My opinion'''
        When it comes to my skincare routine, my eyes up until recently got a little bit neglected. However, because I do suffer with darkness under my eyes and puffy eyes whenever I've not had enough sleep, I decided a couple of months ago to start taking better care of them. I already had an eye cream at the time but because I'd had it for a while and not really used it very much I thought it I worried it might have gone off so I decided to buy a new one.

        I decided to buy this particular eye cream mainly because I have tried several products from The Body Shop's vitamin E range, and I have been impressed with most of them. The eye cream costs £8 for a 15ml tube, however I managed to get a 30% discount on mine which I was pleased about and I am glad that I didn't pay the full price! Don't get me wrong this isn't an awful product but it didn't live up to my expectations.

        The eye cream comes in a neat little tube which is designed well and it's very easy to get the product out of the tube without any messiness. The cream itself is more of a thin lotion with a silky smooth, wet, almost greasy consistency and as it spreads over my skin easily, only a very small amount of it is needed - a tiny little blob of it is enough for my eyelids and under my eyes.

        The cream absorbs really quickly, and although the cream does leave a shine this soon fades away and it doesn't feel or look greasy. It doesn't feel heavy on my skin either and my eyes always feel refreshed after immediately after applying the cream. Whenever I've had little or no sleep, I find that applying this really helps make me feel a little better and it does reduce the appearance of puffiness which makes me look more alert and awake.

        However, even after using the eye cream daily for around two months I have to be honest and say the darkness under my eyes has not faded or improved at all. The skin is certainly nice and soft and I don't get any flakiness around that area anymore but I still have to pile on concealer! As for reducing wrinkles I can't really comment on this, I don't have any under my eyes as I am only 22 years old however I do have some minor lines on my eyelids and after using this they always look almost immediately smoothenedd out.

        Another important thing to mention is that this eye cream is nice and gentle, I have gotten it in my eyes several times by mistake and although obviously it didn't feel very nice, it didn't sting or cause any redness. I have not had any break-outs or anything like that since using this either.

        '''Overall'''
        A pricy eye cream which does moisturise and smoothen the skin around my eyes and it does reduce puffiness but when it comes to helping lessen the appearance and fade dark circles I've found it to be useless. 3 out of 5 stars and I do recommend it but not if you want an eye cream that will effectively help with getting rid of dark under eye circles.

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          08.02.2014 14:59
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          I wouldn't buy this again

          '''My opinion'''
          I bought quite a lot of different sachets of the Superdrug own brand face masks a couple of weeks ago as they were on offer at the time (buy 1 get 1 half price). The usual retail price per sachet is only 99p which is a bargain price and as I bought six masks, I got 3 of the masks for half of the usual price. I have since used 2 of the masks, most recently (yesterday) this one which is a calming floral fragranced mud mask.

          I bought this particular mask because I had never seen or heard of a floral face mask before and if sounded quite nice - I love floral fragrances. The mask comes in a sachet which is white informative in that it has a lot of information written on it about the product including a list of ingredients. The sachet contained plenty of product and I think that I could have easily got 2 applications out of the one sachet, but I just lathered it all on as I didn't want it lying around and going off - the sachet isn't re-sealable.

          The mask is paraben free, hasn't been tested on animals and it contains marula oil - which I've never heard of before but it sounds very luxurious, and also Dead Sea salts and damask rose petal oil so although this is a cheap mask it does contain some fairly nourishing ingredients. The mask is quite thick in consistency and it is advised to apply it onto dry skin rather than wet skin like most face masks. I found it very easy to apply and spread over my skin despite not wetting my face first like I usually do, and the mask wasn't too messy as it's thick in consistency and not at all runny.

          It's smooth in consistency rather than lumpy and it was easy to apply it evenly.The mask dried quite quickly - within a few minutes and it didn't dry solidly which I liked as when masks go completely solid they make my face feel too tight. Although I initially liked the fragrance of this mask, once the mask was actually on my face, I did find the smell to be very artificial and overpowering as it's a strong, floral fragrance which reminds me of granny perfume, not the nicest smell really! I kept the mask on for around fifteen minutes and it did take a little effort to remove with a damp face cloth it as it dried to my skin.

          Once I had washed the face mask off, my skin didn't feel that much different really - it felt cleaner and fresher, but this was mainly because I'd washed my face whilst removing the mask. Superdrug claim that the mask hydrates and cleanses the skin but I found that my skin felt quite dried out afterwards, although it did feel very slightly smoother and a little softer, but the results were fairly mini scales and really weren't as good as I was expecting.

          '''All in all'''
          I wouldn't buy this face mask again because I found it to be drying and the smell was far too strong for me. It left my skin slightly smoother, but didn't live up to the claims. 2 out of 5 stars.

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          08.02.2014 09:17
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          Effectively removes blackheads

          Despite having a fairly good skincare routine, I still get blackheads on my nose and my chin. I have found that the most effective way to remove them and keep my skin blackhead-free is by using pore strips a couple of times a week. I have tried many different brands of pore strips and the ones which I currently have are the Montagne Jeunesse de-clog nose strips which I bought around a month ago from Amazon.

          '''Price and value'''
          I paid £2.50 for these strips which includes postage costs - the strips themselves were £1.49 and there are 3 strips in the pack. I didn't actually realise that there were only 3 strips in the pack as all of the ones that I've bought before have had 6 in the pack so I did feel a little bit ripped off when I realised I'd paid almost a pound for each. However, they do work really well and I have been very pleased with the results, so I do think that they are worth the price.

          '''My opinion'''
          The strips come in a fairly basic sachet which is easy to open and each strip is individually packaged in a yellow sachet. The packaging is easy to remove and it's very easy to use the strips. There are instructions on the packaging and all you need to do is wet your nose and apply the strip.

          Once I've put the strip on my nose or chin I don't need to hold it down and wait for it to stick which is something that I've had to do in the past with other brands of pore strips. The strip stays in place so I can go about my usual household chores etc whilst the strip is on my nose rather than just standing about holding it in place.

          It is recommended to leave the strip on for 10-15 minutes and I find that this is long enough and if I leave it on for longer the edges will start to peel and it will start to dry out. Removing the strip isn't painful, just a little tiny bit uncomfortable - it's just like removing a plaster. Once the strip has been removed and I have washed the sticky residue off, my skin always feels cleaner and de-clogged, and the strip always has a fair amount of blackheads stuck to it which proves that the strips are effective.

          It doesn't remove 100% of the blackheads but it removes a good 90% and my skin always looks much clearer. The wipes haven't irritated my skin or caused any clogged pores or anything like that. The only disadvantage I can think of is the smell which is a strong, artificial smelling citrus scent which is unpleasant and this is obviously a disadvantage as I have the strip so close to my nose when using one.

          '''Recommended?'''
          All in all I do recommend these nose strips, they are affordable and remove blackheads effectively but the smell is really unpleasant so I am going to knock one star off of my overall rating - 4 out of 5 stars.

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            07.02.2014 06:09
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            Wouldn't recommend.

            I bought this little tube of tea tree gel spot treatment around six months ago. I bought it mainly because the sales assistant in my local The Body Shop store was full of praise for it and also because I liked the small, neat tube which I thought looked very convenient. Unfortunately I have been quite disappointed with this product and it has not been anywhere as good as I had expected.

            '''Price and value'''
            At £6 for 2.5ml, I feel that is very over-priced. I had assumed that I would only need
            to apply quite a small amount for a few days, however I actually ended up having to use it for well over a week before my (fairly small and minor) spots had cleared up and by this point, the tube was pretty much empty. I don't think that the product is very good value at all - had the quality and results been better then I'd have been happy to pay this price but unfortunately I felt very let down and ripped off.

            '''My opinion'''
            This spot treatment comes in a small green tube which reminds me a bit of a lipgloss tube as it has a screw-on lid with a wand attached to it. The wand has a foam applicator on it which is a fairly good size and it absorbs the product so it's mess free and you don't need to use your fingers to apply the product which is good as it avoids the transfer of dirt and germs etc.

            The spot treatment is very easy to apply and when using it I will dab it onto my spots and let it sit on my skin - it doesn't absorb and it doesn't need rubbing in. It isn't as thick as I had expected and it is quite light and doesn't clog my pores or feel gloopy on my skin. Because it does leave a shininess on the areas of skin where it has been applied, I apply it at night.

            It could also be applied in the morning and covered with make-up, but personally I prefer to apply it before bed. The spot treatment smells really strong and just like tea tree but with a strong edge to it. This made me a bit wary of how much I applied as I didn't want to over-do it and irritate my skin, so whenever I apply this I make sure I only apply a couple of dabs of it to each spot.

            As I don't get spots very often (luckily) I have only used this spot treatment a few times in the six months since buying it. Most recently was at the beginning of last month - I had around four spots on my chin, and oddly enough one under my chin. The ones on my chin were all quite small and not painful, though they did look ugly and red. The one under my chin was bigger, redder and really sore.

            I applied this spot treatment onto each spot and within a couple of days the redness had reduced a little. After a week, I was disappointed that the spots had not yet dried out or significantly reduced in redness, and by this point I decided to use some pure tea tree oil alongside the gel as it just wasn't doing the job. After a couple of days of using tea tree oil as well as this spot treatment, the spots had cleared up a lot - they'd dried out and were no linger red, and the particularly sore one had almost healed.

            '''All in all'''
            I'm not very impressed at all with this spot treatment as it really didn't help very much with clearing up my spots and I had to resort to pure tea tee oil. I think that it's expensive not strong or effective enough and I wouldn't buy it again.

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              06.02.2014 10:14
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              This face scrub was part of a small hamper that one of my friends made for me last Christmas. It retails at £9.99 for a 110 gram tube which sounds pricy but it is well worth it - the quality is excellent and a little does go a long way so it is really good value for money in the long run.

              '''My opinion'''
              The face scrub, like most other Burt's Bees products contains 100% natural ingredients which is a really big advantage in my opinion. The ingredients include jojoba oil, coconut oil and willowbark. The face scrub comes in a squeezy bottle which stands on its lid. The lid flips on & off and it is very easy to get the scrub out of the bottle. The bottle is pretty simple in appearance and in my opinion it is quite unisex as the colour-scheme is yellow and white, so I doubt that a male would feel self conscious buying/using this.

              The scrub itself has got a lightweight, creamy consistency which spreads very easily over my skin. The exfoliating beads are quite small and I've found this to be a fairly gentle scrub in comparison to other brands of face scrub that I have used in the past. Using the scrub is really simple, I wet my face and apply a blob of this onto my face, massaging it all over my face and focussing on my nose and forehead which is where I get dry skin.

              I find that I need to rub it over my skin for a few minutes to make sure that it has completely exfoliated my face as I have found that if I only briefly rub it over my skin the results aren't quite as good as it isn't a very harsh scrub, The scrub has quite a strong smell which reminds me of tea tree oil. It's not unpleasant, but it isn't the nicest smell and it is quite refreshing. Once I've scrubbed my face with the product I use a flannel to wash it off and it comes off easily, the exfoliating beads come away from my skin easily and it's very mess-free.

              Once I have removed the scrub I can always feel the difference - my skin feels tighter, smoother and softer and it also looks fresher and healthier with any bits of dry/faky skin completely gone. My pores also appear much less noticeable and the overall appearance of my skin looks better. The scrub isn't drying at all and although it does contain various different oils, my skin never looks or feels greasy after using the scrub.

              My skin does have a very slight shine to it initially after using the scrub, however this is more of a glow than a greasiness. I have got quite sensitive skin however as this contains completely natural ingredients I feel comfortable using this on my skin and I have not had any problems with the scrub irritating my skin and as it is fairly gentle rather than abrasive and harsh like some face scrubs can be it doesn't make my skin red or sore.

              '''Overall'''
              I really like this scrub, it's nice and gentle but still effective and although the smell isn't that nice it isn't unpleasant enough to effect my overall opinion. I recommend this scrub highly - it leaves my skin feeling fresh, smooth and soft and looking nice and healthy.

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                06.02.2014 03:26
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                Recommended

                This cleanser is my ultimate favourite Burt's Bees product. I've been using it for around a month now and I love it! The cleanser was a Christmas gift but I will definitely re-purchase it once I have used it all up.

                '''Price and value'''
                This cleanser retails at £10.99 for 123grams, which is quite pricy but it is 100% worth it. As I only need a medium sized blob of the cleanser each time I use it, my tube of it is still over half full even after a month of using it twice daily, so it is really good value in the long run despite seeming initially expensive.


                '''My opinion'''
                This cleanser comes in a squeezy tube which stands on its lid. The plastic lid screws off and screws back on and the overall design is very convenient as the cleanser comes out easily without needing to shake the tube or anything like that. The packaging is brightly coloured and fairly nice looking, it's simple but the branding is good and there are instructions on how to use the cleanser on the back of the tube as well as a full list of ingredients.

                I have to say that I was really pleased that this comes with instructions on how to use it! I was baffled by the cleanser at first as the texture of it is very unusual, I am used to using cream cleansers and the texture of the product did put me off at first. The cleanser is a gel cleanser and it is orange in colour and quite thick with a thick texture. I usually apply cleanser with a cotton pad but with this I just apply a small blob into my hands.

                I then rub my hands together and massage it into my face as the heat from my hands help to lessen the gel like consistency so it makes it easier to spread over my face, whereas with a cotton pad it drags a little on my skin and is harder to spread evenly over my skin. The cleanser doesn't lather and it just sits on my skin like an oily mask. I usually keep this on my skin for around a minute and when it comes to washing it off it washes off very easily rather than sticking to my skin like I thought it would.

                After using the cleanser, my skin always feels amazing. It feels soft, smooth, fresh and sparkly clean and it always looks fresher and cleaner after I've used it too. I've got dry skin and this cleanser has been perfect for it as it is very moisturising and nourishing - the ingredients are natural and there's real orange oil in it which is really good for the skin. It also has sunflower seed and olive oil in it so obviously it is quite an oily cleanser and I'm not sure if this would suit people with oily skin very well.

                Once I've washed the cleanser off I can still feel a slightly oily film of it sitting on my skin but this does subside quite quickly - within a couple of minutes. I love how clean and fresh my face feels after using the cleanser and I also love the smell. It smells just like orange peel - very fresh and zesty, it's not really a sweet and juicy orange smell but it's still really nice and it smells very natural. The smell really wakes me up in the mornings and makes me feel nice and fresh.

                '''Recommended?'''
                I do recommend this cleanser very highly but as I said before I'm not sure if it would suit people with oily skin as it is a fairly oily cleanser. I personally love it though as it is very good value for money, it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and well cared for and it also contains natural ingredients.

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                02.02.2014 22:53
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                Brilliant film.

                I am always watching films whenever I have the time as I really love sitting down and watching something properly rather than just sitting watching soaps and other things that I don't really enjoy as I always end up getting bored of them and channel surfing and it is rare that I ever watch a television programme properly. I came across this film about 6 months ago and decided that it looked good, I had heard about it on the radio and also seen a few adverts for it so I thought it would be worth the watch. I paid £3.99 for 48 hour rental and I have since watched it a couple more times. My partner has also seen this a couple of times and agrees with me that it is one of the best films of 2013. This review will discuss my opinion of the film, there are no major spoilers in this review as I have tried my best not to mention any of them which was quite tricky!

                ==WHAT IS THE FILM ABOUT AND WHAT DID I THINK OF IT?==
                From the moment that this film started it kept my attention and I wanted to keep watching to see what happened next. I love the opening of the film where we are first introduced to the main character, Luke Glanton - a motorcycle stunt rider played by Ryan Gosling, pacing up and down and flipping a knife as if he's trying to psych himself up for something. Then when we're following the main character through the crowds at the circus, making his way to the motorcycle cage and being greeted by a crowd of fans at the entrance, it builds up excitement but gives off a bit of a nervous atmosphere and I couldnt wait to see what would happen next! The motorcycle cage scene was amazing.

                The build up of the film makes the main character seem quite interesting and as he doesn't really say much or show much emotion at first, he comes across as very mysterious. The film progresses quite quickly - it's almost a bit rushed but I think that this is deliberate to show the hectic lifestyle of the main character. Not long into the film we find out that Luke had a fling with a girl who he met at the circus (presumably a fan of his) which is when we get to see his personality come out. The moment he sees her he smiles which I thought was really sweet. He seems like a very hardened and quite a solitary character in my opinion, who doesn't seem to trust many people at first so the moment that he finds out that the girl he had a fling with has had a baby to him that he didn't even know about he clings on to this and makes a real effort to be in his child's life.

                Unfortunately she has already got a new boyfriend and she obviously feels that Luke can't provide for them and she didn't even want to tell him about the baby in the first place - her mum broke the news to him. The scene where Luke follows them to the church and watches from a distance as his baby son gets christened really made me feel for him. Luke turns to crime after meeting a dodgy guy in the woods of all places - the guy saw how good he is on a motorbike and knew he would be the perfect getaway driver. Luke ends up robbing banks and making a getaway on his motorbike.

                After a few jobs, the guy who he's doing the robberies with decides enough is enough and not to get greedy but Luke makes the decision to continue with it and this is where everything quickly goes wrong. Luke obviously doesn't enjoy doing robbing banks at first as it leaves him retching when he realises what he has done but as it goes on he seems to start enjoying the thrill of it. On his final job it has a really negative atmosphere like something is about to go wrong and it's going to end badly, as he stands at the doorway of the bank unsure of whether or not to do the robbery I was really hoping that the character wouldn't go ahead with it but unfortunately he does. This sparks a huge police chase and lots of action.

                This is pretty much the end of Luke's story, and the end of his story is very unexpected and it did shock me a lot - it's not something that often happens in films and anyone who knows what happens will know what I mean by this. Now that Luke's story is over, we now have a new main character who is the policeman who went after Luke. This character, Avery is played by Bradley cooper - an amazing actor who portrays the character amazingly. The character is very naive and is fairly new to the job. Several things happen which make Avery realise that his colleagues are very corrupt and this creates a really tense atmosphere and it builds up slowly. Avery feels really guilty about what happened with Luke and we see him deteriorate and distance himself from his colleagues as well as his own child and wife.

                The whole police corruption plot really interested me and it wasn't something that I had expected to see in this film. In fact the transition from Luke being the main character to Avery being the main character was a really unusual format which took me a little time to adjust to. It felt like Luke's story ended a little too soon and like Avery had been sort of forced upon us. This format continues throughout the film and nearer the end it fast forwards fifteen years, and we see Luke's son and Avery's son as sixteen year old teenagers. This is really interesting and gripping, I think my heart was in my mouth at some points, especially during the party scene. The ending of the film ties most things up but the scene at the very end confused me a little bit, but once I worked out the meaning of the end scene (the meaning is kind of in the title of the film) it really made me want to cry!

                Especially because the instrumental song that is used during some of Luke's scenes is used during the end scene with his now sixteen year old son. I really did enjoy this film and it kept me hooked throughout. The format is very unique and the acting really was superb. Although I did enjoy the film it was a little on the far fetched side but still reasonably believable and not ridiculous. The film has a nice mix of action and drama. It isn't as full of action as I had expected but there is plenty of it and I actually found that I favoured the scenes where the characters are talking that bit more because both Avery and Luke are quite mysterious guys and so is the teenage version of Luke's son so it was interesting watching the characters develop.

                Although I really did love this film, it won't be for everyone as I found with one of my friends who I recommended the film to. She said she didn't really understand what was going on and found it too confusing because of the transition of main characters so it is definitely the sort of film you have to sit down and watch properly rather than just watching bits of it or not concentrating on what is going on. It is quite a long film which doesn't help, but I have seen the film three times now and I still notice little things that I didn't notice at first and I'm still not bored of it, in fact I have got it on now as I'm writing this review and admiring Ryan Gosling's bleach blonde hair and tacky tattoos!

                ===CONCLUSION===
                The Place Beyond The Pines is quite a complex film which is definitely worth sitting down and watching properly. The message behind the film is a really good one and it has a nice mix of action - car chases, bank robberies, police corruption and so on mixed in with the story of a guy trying to buy his sons love and be the father that he himself never had, with the overall message that family - not money - is everything. I recommend this film highly. Everything about it is perfect - even the soundtrack is amazing!!

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                • More +
                  01.02.2014 21:46
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                  A multi-purpose salve.

                  Whenever I'm on amazon I always check my product recommendations because over the last couple of years I've found some really good products by doing this which I'd have never heard of other wise. This Burt's Bees miracle salve popped up in my suggestions a few months ago and as I really love Burt's Bees products I decided to click on it to see what it was.

                  I'd never heard of this before which surprised me as I've got a fair amount of Burt's Bees products such as lip balms and face creams. After reading the product description and a couple of brief reviews I decided to buy the salve because it sounded really good and I knew it would be something that I would use. The prices for this salve vary a lot, the recommended retail price is £7.99 depending on where you buy it from prices can range from around £5-10.

                  I paid £7 for the salve which is fairly expensive as you only get a small tin, however only a really small amount is needed so in the long term it is good value for money. I've had my tin of it for a few months now and I've been using it once every couple of days and I've barely made a dent in it - a little goes a long way so I do think that overall it is good value for money.

                  The salve comes in quite a small, round tin which is made from a lightweight metal. The lid lifts off and inside there's the balm which is quite solid but as soon as I rub my finger over it the body heat melts it enough for it to transfer onto my finger. The ingredients in this balm are mainly natural. There's beeswax, pumpkin seed oil and a few other ingredients. The ingredients in the balm are full of goodness such as protein, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, omega 3 and omega 6.

                  It smells quite waxy but it isn't an smell unpleasant. The salve is a multi-purpose product, it can be used as a hair balm to soften the hair and give it a shiny finish or it can be used to moisturise the skin. I use it all over really, but mainly on any dry patches of skin and on my hands whenever they're feeling in need of a bit of extra nourishing. I also use it on my nails as my cuticles get dry and sore and this helps a lot. I use this after I've used my usual moisturiser and then slather a small amount over the dryness without rubbing it in too much and I then will leave it on over night and by doing this I've seen an improvement in many of the dry areas of skin on my body.

                  I also get dryness on my face, usually around my eyebrows and forehead and occasionally on my nose and I've found that this balm really helps soften the skin and it always looks much healthier and smoother after I've applied this. The balm is quite thick and has a shiny finish and a fairly greasy feel to it so I will apply the balm before bed and clean my face when I wake up. My skin doesn't absorb this too well, and it is usually still quite noticeable when I wake up, however it still works rather than just sitting on the skin and doing nothing.

                  I have used the balm on my hair several times now. I usually use a moisturising hair mask which is has got a gloopy and heavy conditioner type texture, so it's nice using this instead now and again because it's lighter and I don't need to wash it out. I will just apply a small amount into my hand then rub my hands together and massage it through the ends of my hair, making sure I keep away from the top of my scalp. It makes my hair look really shiny and healthy and feel softer and more manageable, although it's really important to only apply a tiny amount.

                  Obviously this isn't actually a miracle product, it does the same thing that many other moisturisers and balms do, some of which are much cheaper. But I prefer this over the other products that I've tried in the past that have been similar to this because this has got really nourishing and natural ingredients with no chemicals or additives. I've had no problems with it at all - no irritation at all, even when I've used it on my face. All in all I really like this product and I recommend it highly.

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                  30.01.2014 05:01
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                  My favourite flavour of slim fast

                  '''Slimfast'''
                  Slimfast is a diet drink which is designed to replace meals, which can help with weight loss and weight control. If you are following the slimfast diet plan you're supposed to have two shakes a day and then a healthy meal and three healthy snacks. The main ingredients in these shakes are milk, sugar, sweeteners and various vitamins and minerals. Slimfast comes either pre-made (in bottles) or in powder form which comes in a tub. When I first tried Slimfast around a year ago I was at home full time so I opted for the powder as this worked out slightly cheaper and I had the time to make the drink two times a day but this time, now that I am working full-time I have opted for the bottle shakes as I can grab one and drink it straight away instead of having to make it. The drink comes in a few different flavours including strawberry, banana, mocha, latte, chocolate and vanilla. I have tried all of the flavours and the one which I like the most at the minute is the vanilla flavour which is the flavour that my review will focus on.

                  '''Cost and value'''
                  A 325ml bottle of this drink will vary in price depending on where you purchase it from, it's widely available from supermarkets and chemists so prices vary a lot but I've never paid more than £2 and most shops sell each bottle for around £1.59-£1.99. Tesco currently have all of the flavours of the bottled shakes on offer at £1 which is really good value and I made sure to buy quite a few bottles of it when I was in there earlier as it's a decent saving. These shakes could definitely become a fairly expensive habit if you were going to be on the Slimfast diet long term, but I don't really think that the price is extortionate.

                  '''Packaging'''
                  The packaging for these shakes is fairly simple - a plastic, medium sized curved bottle with a screw-top lid and red colour scheme with a picture of the drink being poured into a glass. The lid screws back on to the bottle which is good because I often take one of these to work with me and I never worry that there will be any spillages. On the back of the bottle it has all of the nutritional information such as how many calories it contains, fat content etc.

                  '''My opinion - taste, consistency, appearence, results etc'''
                  In my opinion these shakes are okay. I buy them because I know they keep me full for a while and they taste decent but they're not quite as healthy as say a fruit smoothie or green smoothie but they still appeal to me because I know exactly how many calories each bottle contains and the fact that they're full of vitamins and minerals is also a bonus. Slimfast claims that each bottle of the drink will keep you full for over three hours. Personally I usually feel comfortably full for around two hours before I feel hungry again however this is usually just mental hunger and wanting to eat out of habit rather than actually feeling properly hungry and I do find a bottle of this drink quite satisfying, especially because it takes me a while to drink it with it being fairly thick.

                  By the time it comes to having my mid morning snack around 3 hours after having my shake I'm not ravenous but I do feel like I need something else so a piece of fruit or some other sort of healthy snack is always very satisfying after having a liquid breakfast. The shakes all taste reasonably nice and the vanilla flavour which I'm reviewing is my favourite at the minute. I used to love the strawberry one but I drank it so much I ended up getting bored of it. The vanilla flavour is sweet and creamy, but not too sweet.

                  It isn't a savoury flavour and it also doesn't really taste that healthy so it can feel strange waking up and having something that does actually taste like 'real' milkshake for breakfast. The consistency of this drink is nice and thick and if uneven any any lumps or residue in mine, although I always shake the bottle for around thirty seconds before I open and drink it as this helps it thicken up that bit more. For the past ten days I have been having two of these slimfast shakes a day.

                  I will have one for my breakfast, then a piece of fruit, then another shake, another piece of fruit, then a big salad or stir fry with chicken or veg and then usually some Humous and ryvita. The results? Well I've been really happy with the results, I don't weigh my self anymore because it triggers me into feeling bad but I can feel a difference in my self, my face looks and feels much less swollen and podgy and when I lay down I can feel my hip and rib bones a little bit more than I could before.

                  I'm not sure if anyone else - eg my fiancé, friends, family and so on have noticed, but I feel better and I also feel more comfortable in my clothes. Before I started this diet a friend of mine who tried it and lost over half a stone in a week said that it made her constipated but I'm pleased to inform you that I've not had this problem! I am going to continue this diet for another couple of weeks and I will then just be replacing my breakfast with a shake rather than breakfast and lunch.

                  '''All in all'''
                  I really like the flavour of this meal replacement drink and it keeps me full for quite a while. I've lost weight since replacing meals with the drink and I feel a lot more confident and healthier already. As I said before it would not normally be my first choice as it contains some quite unappealing ingredients eg vegetable oil but it does taste okay and it works, so for now it's my diet of choice and the vanilla flavour is currently my favourite. I definitely recommend this drink and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I'm knocking one star off because it doesn't have much of a savoury edge to it like some of the other flavours do so it can be a bit off putting/unappealing having it for my lunch when I'm really craving a piece of meat or fish and some salad but all in all I do recommend it.

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                • My Blue Nose Friends / Soft Toy / 21 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                  27.01.2014 03:51
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                  An average soft toy

                  I love taking my little boy to our local charity shop because they sell some really lovely toys and puzzles etc which are always 4 for £1.99 regardless of the brand/size/condition and we have got loads of bargains over the past few months since we started going there.

                  '''Choosing this toy'''
                  Kai likes to choose by himself the things that he likes out of the big buckets that are absolutely crammed full of a huge variety of toys and a while ago - around six weeks ago, he pulled out this little teddy. He had a brief look at it and then continued searching around in the buckets and when it came to paying for the items he'd chosen he still had it in his hand and wouldn't let go so we ended up buying it! I wasn't sure if he'd play with it as he didn't really show any excitement towards this particular toy and didn't comment on it, he just seemed to enjoy holding it.

                  '''Cost/value'''
                  This teddy despite being from a charity shop was in really good condition when we bought it with the tag still attached to its ear and as we got this as part of the 4 for £1.99 deal it only worked out at about 50p so I am quite happy we found this as it's a really cute little toy. The retail price for this toy is around £5 which I think is expensive for such a small toy.

                  '''The toy - design, quality, durability, in play, our opinion etc'''
                  The first thing I'll mention is that this toy is small - much smaller than an average sized teddy as it is only 4 inches long and it is small enough to sit in the palm of my hand but obviously the small size is an advantage to my little one as he doesn't have to lug it around and he doesn't struggle with it. The toy when we first bought it came with a little tag attached to its ear with the branding on it, however my son is only two so I cut the tag off just to be on the safe side.

                  The toy is part of the blue nose range which is made by the same manufacturers that make tatty Teddy's so I think that this probably contributes to the price. There are a lot of different animals in this range including a hamster and all sorts really but the one that we have is Alaska the husky which is of course a husky dog. Kai has seen husky dogs as a family member of mine has got two of them. Kai knows that this toy is a dog but he doesn't associate it with my aunties dogs as to a small child the colour markings (grey and white) obviously don't make them associate it with a particular breed of dog.

                  The dog has a little blue, plastic nose, black beedy eyes and small rounded ears. The mouth of the dog is a bit of a blank canvas which leaves it looking very expressionless which is a change as almost all of Kai's other toys have big shiny smiles, so in my opinion it is not the friendliest looking toy expression wise but as it is nice and soft and fluffy and designed to look like a dog it still appeals to my child. There's also some classic tatty teddy stitching detailing on the stomach and eye brow areas of the toy which show that it is part of the tatty teddy collection. The dog has a raised texture of fur which creates a different sort of texture to the rest of it and it also has a stubby little tail.

                  The toy is a soft plush toy and when we first bought it was beautifully soft with an almost silky kind of feel to it. It has survived a couple of washes now though after it has had various things spilt on it and the texture has definitely changed quite dramatically from feeling fluffy and soft to having a more matted feel to it although it is still fairly soft. It doesn't look tatty apart from the small stains on the head of the toy which refuse to come out, but it does look slightly different to how it looked when we first bought it - it doesn't look new.

                  This doesn't bother Kai though, so it isn't really a problem! The toy has got a beanbag in the bottom of it. When toys have beanbags in them they tend to be easier to position and sit up on a shelf but this one doesn't really sit properly so I have to lay it on the floor or shelf or wherever I'm putting it and I've noticed that Kai has tried to put it in a sitting position a few times for it just to slide down onto its back, but he's never seemed as frustrated by this as he does with some of his other toys.

                  Although this toy doesn't always catch Kai's attention and can be left ignored and unnoticed amongst his other teddies for a day or two, when he does decide he wants to play with it he will keep hold of it for a while and include it in some of his games, he has got plenty of play out of this and he still likes it six weeks on, so it was definitely worth the money.

                  '''Conclusion'''
                  All in all, this is a cute little toy however there is no way that I would have paid the full price for it as I feel that a fiver for such a small and basic toy is very over-priced. It isn't the most durable toy as it doesn't wash too well and the texture of the toy changed after a couple of washes. I am going to give the toy 4 out of 5 stars but I had I paid the full price I would be giving it 3 out of 5 stars because I think I'd have felt let down but seeing as I only paid 50p I'm not going to let a few disadvantages effect my overall rating too much!

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                  26.01.2014 04:06
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                  Nice enough.

                  I bought this perfume after a friend told me about it. It is a cheap dupe for Chanel's coco Mademoiselle perfume and it only costs £3.99(!!!!!) from Lidl. After a couple of failed attempts to buy a bottle of it (it had completely sold out) I finally got my hands on it a couple of months ago.

                  The perfume came nicely packaged in a cardboard box which from what I remember looked fairly elegant and not cheap but as with all perfume boxes I chucked it away as I don't see the point in keeping them. The perfume bottle itself is quite simply designed and it doesn't really stand out from the crowd, it holds 50ml of liquid which for such a low price is a very generous amount and the bottle is a rounded sort of shape with a long neck.

                  It's nothing special to look at really, it's nice enough and neat though and it doesn't look too cheap apart from the white plastic lid and when the lid is off with just the nozzle showing it looks a lot better but to be fair I don't care too much about the bottle as long as it smells decent. The perfume nozzle is easy to press down on and a generous but not overly generous spritz comes out with a firm push down.

                  The perfume is very strong and I found it a bit over-powering at first, well I still do but not as much so. The first time that I applied it I decided to only apply it to one of my wrists as I knew that if I applied a squirt of it to both of my wrists and my neck as I usually do with perfume it would be far too strong and not very fair on anyone around me. One small squirt on my wrist and the smell was really noticeable and strong, the smell was instant and didn't take any time to develop.

                  My first thought was that it was a very mature fragrance and slightly granny-ish if I am being totally honest, without being too much of a harsh reviewer, I found the fragrance to be a bit of a depressing one if that makes sense as it didn't uplift me or make me feel fresh or make me feel better about my self/sexy etc like some of the other fragrances that I have do.

                  The smell strangely reminded me a bit of old grapes or something but dipped in some sort of strange mixture of ingredients, including a musky scent. Lidl say that this is a citrusy and exotic fragrance with floral notes. Personally I don't think that the citrus and floral work well together and the citrus notes have a bitterness, the floral is a bit 'here and there' and I can't really put my finger on the exact floral notes.

                  Overall the fragrance smells okay but a bit like someone has thrown in concoction of ingredients and it is too strong. The staying power is excellent though and this lingers on my skin for hours and hours, it's also noticeable on my clothes the next day. I do think that this smells very slightly similar to Chanel coco mademoiselle but it has an edge to it so you can tell it is a cheaper version and not the real thing, at least I can anyway but maybe I'm biased because I already knew how cheap it was before trying it.

                  A few of my friends have tried this perfume and a couple of them liked it but most of them agreed with me that it's a fairly mature scent and too strong. I suppose it's all a matter of taste and if, like me, you like sweet, summery, light fragrances then this may not be for you as in my opinion it isn't any of those things. All in all I'd certainly recommend this perfume - at £3.99 you can't go wrong and it's nice enough but not to my personal taste, so I'm going to give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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