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Lee Stafford is one of many celebrity hairdressers who have launched a product range including the Blow Dry Your Hair Faster Wonder Spray. It comes in a bright pink can, making it easy to spot on the bathroom shelf (although the cap doesn't stay on very well - mine didn't make it to the end of the week). Handily it is a spray rather than an aerosol so much more of the product actually lands on your hair.
The spray is on the luxury end of hair products, costing £6.19 for a 200ml can in Boots. The can claims that it is full of their specially picked ingredients which both detangle and protect hair from high heat styling products. It has a lovely fragrance without being too over powering. The spray works well, being wide and covers a large area of hair in one spray, so you don't have to use too much.
I have long thick hair and have found that my hair does dry quicker when using this spray. An added benefit is that it does have a styling element to it and so my hair looks more voluminous, quite an achievement for a heavy weight of hair.
Whilst this is a luxury item I would urge you to buy it, it is definitely worth it and mine tend to last 6-9 months, making it much better value for money than many cheaper products.
Bathroom cleaning is not an activity that most of us relish. Anything that can be done to make the task easier is very much welcome in my book! The toilet is a hotbed of germs and these are an excellent way to clean the lid, seat, rim and handle. These claim to have a unique antibacterial formula that kills bacteria on contact including all those nasties like E.Coli, salmonella and listeria. These wipes tackle the job with ease and can cut through grime easily.
A bonus for these situations is that they are flushable, meaning that you don't have to worry about disinfecting a reusable cloth, and they won't block the system up. They have a nicely fresh smell, being clean without smelling too much like an industrial strength antibacterial cleaner. They are nice and thick so you don't have to worry about your hand going through them at a difficult moment!
I find these are slightly more expensive than buying a spray and cleaning that way, 40 wipes will set you back about £1.50, however this extra cost is easily offset by the time saving and hygiene improvement. You can also normally find them on offer at supermarkets, I bought two packs for £2 in Tesco
Benetint is another of Benefit's classic products which no handbag should be without. Described as 'the sexiest flush you can get from a bottle', it has staying power with which few cosmetics can compare. It is a rose tinted stain which has incredible staying power. It comes in a cute little pot, and looks almost like nail varnish. To apply you use the nail varnish style brush to paint onto desired area.
Benefit suggests that you apply three strokes of the product to your cheek and then blend it in to produce a natural looking colour. To use as a cheek stain I have found that applying between my foundation and powder is best, to avoid a too harsh colour and outline. I have also sometimes used a blush brush to apply to minimise the risk of clown cheeks.
When applying to lips one layer is recommended at first, applied in a dotting motion, before being blended. You can then add another layer if a deeper colour is required. I am quite pale ad find that one layer is enough to add sufficient colour.
It is a fairly expensive product (£24.50) but in terms of value for money it definitely delivers, being a multi-use product and it definitely lasts for a long time. I have had mine for over a year and it shows no sign of going down. The product has staying, and will last through eating and drinking, unlike many other tints and colours. It can be less effective on dry lips, but a quick lick of lip balm about 10 minutes before you apply can solve this problem.
I'm a big meat eater and usually cook my meat in pans on the hob but recently invested in a George Foreman grill. I went for the smaller Baby grill and have found it to be more than big enough, you can cook two decent chicken breasts or four sausages comfortably. If cooking for a family then you would be better off with a larger version of this model.
One of the main reasons that I was attracted to a George Foreman grill was for the health benefits. It is incredible to see how much fat can drain out of the food that you are cooking (cooking sausages is quite an eye opener!). I cook all sorts on my grill now, vegetables are an unexpected bonus. It is also a must if you work long hours as you can simply pop the meat in and do other things whilst it cooks, without having to keep an eye on it.
One problem can be if a chicken breast is not an even size then it can be difficult for the plates to make contact with all of the meat. It is also wise to double check that larger portions have been cooked through.
Cleaning the grill is very simple, and the non-stick plates make it easy. I just pour water on mine when it is still hot and the majority of the grime washes straight off, then just a quick soapy scrub to get the grease off.
Pennyblacks is in the middle of the bars and restaurants of the Mailbox complex in Birmingham. With Harvey Nicks at the front you walk through the main shopping and gallery area to a hive of activity by the canal. It is a bar, pub and restaurant which is a favourite for the local office workers on a Friday evening or payday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday have a DJ playing both current chart music and classic Heart FM style tunes. It also offers Sky Sports throughout the week and weekend. A lovely venue, with long tables mixed with more private sofas and exposed brick walls all adding to the atmosphere.
---- Bar -----
Penny Blacks has a variety of alcohol on offer including at least five real ales on tap and a guest ale every month. They also offer a service where you can try three samples which add up to a pint for a decent price. The bar charges can get a bit step but seasonal offers can sweeten the blow in the early evenings (Fizz Day Fridays!).
---- Food -----
Alongside a daily special board there is plenty on offer to satisfy both the boozey nibbler and those looking for a sit down meal. A large variety of nibbles help wash down a few drinks or ciabatta and a drink is only £6 weekday lunchtimes. For those looking for something more substantial, an impressive grill menu complements lighter dishes. The food is prepared fresh daily and it definitely shows in the quality of what is on offer.
--- Conclusion ----
Perfect for those looking for a quiet midweek drink and meal, and provides an excellent venue for a wind down work night with the end of week atmosphere. Frequent deals make it a cheap but high quality eatery, and a hot spot for those who wish to explore new real ales.
I suffer from the odd blemish, which tend to appear out of nowhere but can be quite obvious and make me self concious. Given that I'm prone to larger redder blemishes which are very visible, especially on pale skin, I thought I would give the Clearasil ULTRA Rapid Action cream a try. It contains what Clearasil call Acceladerm technology which is meant to be able to reduce both spot size and redness within 4 hours.
I applied it and instantly noticed that it formed a tight layer over the blemish, which wasn't too noticeable unless touched or moved. However when I applied make up this disturbed the thin layer and so it formed white patches on my skin - pretty noticeable. I removed the product but put it on overnight or when I was just in the house to avoid it being noticed. On overnight application I did notice an improvement in the size and colour of the blemish.
This microwave has a lot of settings which can be slightly mind boggling when you first get it. A detailed study of the instruction manual. For those less technically minded or the impatient there is also a handy 'auto- minute' button located at the bottom. A plus is that the controls are all done through knobs rather than a pad so I find it much easier to use than some.
This does have some good settings, particularly useful is the defrost programme. Here you just have to enter in the weight of the meat and the microwave does all the clever stuff for you, meaning you only have to come back in 20-30 minutes and find it defrosted and ready. The only annoying thing about that is you cannot set the weight to less than a 1kg, frustrating when cooking for one. It also has 5 power levels, allowing for a range of cooking options.
The appliance is also pretty easy to clean, a quick squirt of kitchen cleaner and it's easily wiped down. It is a large microwave, with a 26 litre capacity and 52x48x31 cms, so may be best built in or in the utility room rather than taking up counter top space.
A huge advantage of this microwave is that it can be used as a convection oven, meaning it can save a lot of money as you are not heating up an entire oven just to get the perfect crispy baked potato. For those who cook a lot, and could do with the extras space, or someone living on their own who prefers
I love this product. I am a bit of a clean freak when cooking and I always shuddered at the thought of hands touching raw meat and then opening the bin, shutting the fridge or getting out a chopping board (remember the Dettol advert which had the woman cleaning the kitchen with a raw chicken breast!)
This soap dispenser is the answer to my germaphobe prayers! It is motion sensitive and so when you have dirty or unclean hands all you need to do is pass your hands underneath the dispenser and it will release a dollop in them.
One drawback is that the refills are quite expensive; however you can normally pick them up from somewhere on offer, which does reduce the cost. Another issue is that if the worktop gets a bit messy it can be pushed around, leading the motion sensor to go off and a trail of antibacterial hand soap to be left on whatever it has been next to!
I love trying out new skin care products to try and give my face that 'movie star glow'. With this new range Clean & Clear have made a product that is pitched at morning use, to counter the effects of lack of sleep, early mornings and stress.
The Morning Energy range is less aimed at clear skin that their usual range, so I wouldn't recommend this for those who are aiming to clear up skin issues. The smell is lovely and citrus scented, perfect for mornings. I found that the scrub was much less harsh than others I have tried, and would recommend it as gentle enough for everyday use. The orange bursting beads didn't quite live up to expectations, requiring quite a lot of pressure to be squashed and so I tended to use them more to massage my face.
I would recommend this as perfect for morning use, as it won't cause any redness, but include a slightly higher grade exfoliator twice a week to remove any possible blemish build up.
This is a compact dishwasher, and so is better suited to those in a flat or a couple sharing a house rather than a family. We find it is a little too small for our needs and so there is always quite a pile of stuff waiting to go in.
It has the normal range of settings, from eco, quick wash, dry only etc. All of these have different temperatures and cycles so it is a good idea to check out the instruction manual from the start to get an idea of what you need to be using. I find that the filter gets clogged more easily that some dishwashers I have had experience of, but this can be countered by clearing it out once a day to remove any build up.
I have also found that the eco wash is not brilliant at cleaning the dishes, and it frequently has to be put through twice on this setting which I think rather defeats the object.
Like many, I have often suffered from painful cracked lips. As well as not being the most comfortable experience, they can often be very unsightly. I've tried many lip balms but thought I would take a break from my usual and try out Carmex to see if it is the wonder product that everyone makes it out to be.
I bought the small pot, and found it to be more expensive than a lot of lip balms on the market. The packaging looks cute though, and the bright yellow is easy to find in my handbag.
I applied some and the first thing that I noticed was the overwhelming scent that came off it, it smelt quite industrial, not something I found entirely pleasant.
My other issue with it was that the product is very shiny. On naturally big lips I thought it just looked a bit silly and so couldn't bring myself to wear it outside of the house. I think that there are products that are more suited to everyday use.
Like most people, I have had blackhead since my early teens. I have tried many different products out but have never found anything to get them to shift. I am a pretty typical case with blackheads on and around my nose with a few on my forehead and chin.
I am generally a fan of Clean & Clear products, having occasionally spot prone skin. I bought this because it was on a three for two offer with the rest of the range at Boots, making it a cheaper purchase. Normally it is priced at just under £3, which is a reasonable price for something that lasts so long. I applied it using cotton wool pads and used it more like a toner than a cleanser, as it does not remove make up.
The smell as I applied was quite strong, like antiseptic, but I carried on through my watery eyes. the product does have a satisfactory tingling sensation. It certainly gave my skin a fresh feeling, and felt like it was cleansing. However after using the product for about 3 weeks I did not notice any real difference in my blackheads, so would use it as a normal cleanser rather than expecting miracles. One bonus was that it did reduce the size and redness of other spots on my skin.
I got this all in one printer when I went off to University. It is a perfect size to fit under a desk, but I find it a little too large to sit on a table.
The photocopier is a little slow at times but it does the job, the only annoying thing is that the lid doesn't come down on the book with much force and so I have to lean on it in order for the spine to touch the glass and the margins to copy clearly. The settings are easy to use and change back, so it has impressive capabilities for sizing up and down copies for such a small machine.
The printer is quick but the problem is that the tray in which they fall into is a slot only about 1.5cm deep. this means that it can get clogged up pretty quickly.
The only large downside and the reason it loses a star) is that it is prone to paper jams. These are not easy to fix either as the machine is compact I once had to dismantle it to solve the problem. It can lead to a lot of grazed hands when trying to tease paper out of the compartments.
For me a huge part of buying headphones is durability. I hate it when a set of headphones breaks and I have got through so many pairs of iPod headphones that I decided to start looking elsewhere. I came across these on Amazon for less than a fiver.
I have always struggled in finding headphones which will stay in my ears whilst I am out jogging. These felt comfortable when inserted into the ear, snugly fitting without feeling as though they were pressed up against my ear drum. Once I got started on my run they fitted the bill perfectly, not even a hint of falling out despite my warm up of aerobics!
The sound quality from them is pretty good. I have found them to be clearer than some other brands and they don't get that horrible tinny noise that some cheap models have. They also don't try to be too sharp unlike many expensive brands and so have a much more natural tonal balance. The only problem is that they do have more sound leakage than some other brands, and so over a certain volume everyone can hear what you are listening to, so you probably shouldn't listen to the 90s pop you secretly like on the bus home!
I would definitely recommend these for someone on the move, they don't move an inch even during vigorous exercise.
I have always struggled with covering up the dark circles under my eyes. I have very fair skin and the thinness of the skin often means that veins can show through. I have tried many different concealers over the years to try adn remedy it.
After reading several promising reviews and Touche Elcat being frequently listed as a make up essential I thought I would splash out. The packaging is very slick, and has the air of being the high end product it is. The product is dispensed through clicking the button on the end of the 'pen' (quite a satisfying noise!). I found it took a fair few clicks each time I used it (not just on first use) and then it would spurt out, which wasn't exactly ideal.
My main issue with the product was that it didn't sit on my skin well. I tried after all sorts of different face creams, moisturisers or bare skin but it always seemed to be on top of the skin rather than blended into it. Warming the pen or my hands did not help the situation.
I wouldn't say that this is worth the money, there are better concealers/highlighters on the market for much much less.