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I have been using benefit products for many years and one of the products I couldn't live without would be Hoola. Having naturally very pale skin this little miracle box ensure that my work colleagues don't call for the doctor.
This bronzer is amazing, it is a fantastic colour and doesn't leave you looking orange. I would also recommend it to all skin tones. Since I have very pale skin I just tend to use a small amount just to make me look health. For darker skin tones you can just apply more and still achieve fantastic results. Back in the days when had a tan I still used this product to keep my healthy glow.
What's in the box:
The bronzer comes in a little cardboard box which may not seem practical since it doesn't hold closed and isn't waterproof, however I have never had a problem with this. Even though I just tend to throw all my make-up into a box this product still look like new.
It also comes complete with a brush however I don't tend to use this. The box is a little bit small and is flat so if you aren't careful you can end up with a stripe across your cheeks. It does do the job however if you take you time and haven't got a large make-up brush.
At £23.50 it may sound pricey however this product lasts ages and is fantastic quality. It doesn't break or crack like cheaper products, it doesn't have a over powering scent and the colour results are fantastic.
Like may of the Benefit products this is a fantistic product. A real must in any make-up bag.
My daughter received this for her first birthday and in all honesty I'm counting the days until she grows out of it and I can take it off to the car boot.
In the box you get the toy itself, four colourful balls and the two AA batteries. In all honesty the best part is the batteries since you can put them in a more useful toy.
The idea of the game is that your little one twists the elephants ear which sets off the fan so that the balls start to pop out of the top and then move around the toy. At the same time it also plays music and sing-a-long songs. There are also four keys on the bottom that either count the numbers or make animal noises depending whether you are in learning mode or play mode.
In reality what actually happened is my daughter would look down the hole and the balls would pop up and hit her in the face. When she realised that wasn't a good idea, the balls would pop up but fly off in any direction other than the right one. She would chase the balls around the room which she did enjoy however it was only on the rare occasion that they would land back on the toy and roll down the slides.
The recommended age is 9 to 36 months however there really isn't much on this to entertain anyone over 2 and if you are buying for the younger age range be very cautious since the balls can hit them and also just about it in my daughters mouth, luckily they are too big to swallow.
The price tends to be around the £25 mark which I think is expensive for something that doesn't do much, seems quite dangerous and only works in the right way for probably one out of the four balls.
It must be almost three years to the day since I bought this kettle and I think it is now at the end of it's life span. I love a cup of tea so it has been much loved however since it feels like me and my husband live at work I can't say it has been overworked. What you need to consider when buying this item is whether a three year life span is reasonable for a £50 kettle.
When I first saw the metropolis range in, to quote Bill Bailey "The Laminated Book of Dreams", or to the rest of us, in Argos I thought it looked great. It seemed expensive but I thought the style was worth paying a little bit extra for. I wasn't disappointed. It does look great although on closer inspection the base is rather flimsy and the chrome handle feels more like plastic to me. However since my home is completely open plan and although the visitors don't get that close to the kettle they can see it. I was very pleased with how it looked.
I think one of the best parts of this kettle is the fact that the kettle itself is cordless since it sits on a base that allows you to turn the kettle around on it. This is ideal if you have both left and right handed people at home since you can more the kettle easily to meet both your needs without the cord getting in the way.
There's the usual clear part of the kettle that shows you how much water you have put in the kettle however this tends to steam up quite a lot so isn't that easy to read. It also glows orange when the kettle is on which does cheapen the item slightly.
The kettle also boasts a rapid boil feature however I've timed how long it takes if the kettle is full to the max and it is just over four minutes. This doesn't seem very rapid to me, especially where you can now get the instant ones.
I may seem quite negative in my review but I have justification. The main issue with this kettle is the lid. It looks great and different from the standard kettle however it just isn't practical. The handle is a rather small, weak, plastic article that sits on one side. The position of the handle makes it extremely difficult to get the lid off. You need to lift the lid off in a straight up motion otherwise it doesn't budge. However since the handle is on one side this is really difficult to do. The fact that the lid also gets extremely hot makes it an even more difficult task. You will be fine providing you don't need to make many cups of tea since unless you leave it to completely cool before refilling you do get a bit of a burn. To add even further to my frustrations the handle has now come completely off, it can't be fixed and hence my reason for the 3 year lifespan.
This kettle looks great however it isn't really great quality when you consider the price. It's probably better suited for a show home rather than for a family who still believe a cup of team solves everything
I have an obsession with everything matching so when I saw the Delonghi kitchen appliances I knew I had to have the lot. The most expensive yet the most wanted part of the set had to be this coffee machine. I've had it three years now and absolutely love it however I must admit it is more of an expensive ornament.
I love anything retro and this coffee machine looks fantasic, it's just like a minute version of what you should see in an American 50's diner. The size is just about right. I only have a small kitchen yet there is no way I would hide this beauty in a cupboard and it really doesn't take up that much worktop space. I have this in the dark grey finish and it looks fantastic. It really is fantastic quality.
The practical bit....
I must admit I'm not a coffee drinker so this is mainly used by my husband. It is very simple to use and you can have an espresso at just the touch of a button. A latte does take longer since you need to froth the milk however this is also very simple. It also comes with two different measures for a single cup or two cups. Although it's really easy to make your drink, it will take you longer to clean it. There are different attachments that need to be washed but these come of easily so they can be cleaned. Getting rid of the used coffee can be messy but you can buy pods to make the process easier.
After about a month our machine did stop working. Every time we turned it on water would leak everywhere. It seemed that the water was coming out everyplace it could apart from where it should. Unfortunately my husband had lost the receipt and thrown the box away. We initially thought that we had made a very expensive mistake however we called the DeLonghi customer service number who were fantastic. They put us in touch with a repairer in our local area who fixed the problem completely free of charge. Apparently one of the tubes had come loose. Hopefully this isn't a common problem and shouldn't put you off this great item. The customer service we received more than made up for the issue.
It is also a shame that this product doesn't come with a small metal milk jug to use when warming milk. It took us ages to find one and did make the process so much more simple rather than warming the milk in a mug.
This is a great little machine but I must admit isn't totally practical. It looks good and is a bit flash but boiling the kettle is easier and takes much less cleaning. I paid £125 for this item and probably use it just a couple of
times a month so it probably isn't great value for money for me however the design outways the practicality.
Like all mums I think my daughter is a princess so when I first saw this I knew my little girl would love it. We bought this for her first birthday and a year later she still loves it. I however no longer think it is the fairy tale castle that I initially imagined.
At £25 it is one of the lower priced large Happyland pieces however I can understand why this is the case. Although my daughter does love to play with it, there really isn't much to it and she soon gets bored and moves on to something else.
In the box you get the castle, four different characters (king, queen, princess and jester), two chairs and a bed. This does seem quite a lot for the small price tag however the furniture doesn't really fit in the castle and the people don't fit on to the furniture. To get them to sit on the chair you have to force them in, my little one isn't able to do this so I spend a lot of time sitting them in the chair and then pulling them out again. The accessories however are very strong and chunky so easy for my daughter to handle. The recommended age is 18 months plus. My daughter had this for her first birthday and was perfectly save since there aren't any small parts however it was only when she was a little bit older that she started to play properly with this.
The item is very strong, as you usually find with Early Learning Centre products. I love this shop since although you often pay more you always get excellent quality. Having said that I really do have a problem with the doors on this castle. They seem to come off at the slightest touch. With three doors in total, the main game we tend to play is find the door.
I think I had expectations that were too high for this product and was left slightly disappointed. I would however still buy this product but maybe wait for an offer. It looks beautiful, my daughter loves it and every little princess should have a castle. It won't keep them entertained for hours and you will have to spend a lot of time helping out but it is great to play together.
My daughter was bought this last Christmas and she still uses it every day. With a price tag of £22 I initially thought that this was a waste of money but I was completely wrong. This item has been a godsend. It is much cheaper than some toy boxes and also around the same price as most play mats so since this does both jobs it is well worth the money.
My niece was bought a cheaper store brand version of this box that was half the price however by Christmas dinner two of the zips had already come off so it is well worth paying more for the original version.
The box is very pretty and you can also get other designs for both boys and girls. It is extremely strong and durable. My daughter likes to sit inside her box and play. Despite this even a year later it has still kept it's shape and looks like new.
This box has a zip at each corner which when undone leaves you with a play mat that has the happyland roadside on it. This looks great when the village is set up on it. It is also waterproof and wipeable so any accidents are easily cleaned up.
I would totally recommend this box to any Happyland collector since it completes the village but also makes tidy time fun and easy.
My daughter was bought this last Christmas and it has given her hours of fun over the last year. Like the majority of Early Learning Centre products it is ideal for little hands. Advertised for twelve months plus, I would have to agree with the recommended age since my daughter had just turned one when she received this and she loved it. It's only now that she is about to turn two that she has started to get bored with it's simplicity.
The shop has numerous buttons that your child can push, turn and roll each with their own unique noise. The till can be quite loud however there is a quieter sound setting underneath the till. When you press the number buttons the numbers also light up in the mirror. My daughter loved looking at herself in the mirror as she played.
The shop is extremely strong and sturdy and despite numerous drops and bumps over the year it still looks like brand new.
The shop comes with just two items of shopping, a carton of milk and a tin of pineapple which seems a little random. These seemed to be the favourite part of the set for my daughter so you may wish to buy some additional play food to go with it.
At £20 it may seem quite expensive, however it is good quality and the Early learning centre often have discounts or give you vouchers if you join their birthday club. This item has also been on Boots three for two offer.
The only real negative with this item is that some of the buttons were very stiff at first. At twelve months my daughter couldn't open the till drawer or turn the key.
I would recommend this toy since it is bright, colourful and fun. You can feel confident that it is safe for your little ones to enjoy and will last until they outgrow it.
I had always struggled to find the right colour foundation for my complection until 6 years ago on holiday in America an extremely helpful shop assistant introduced me to clinique superbalanced foundation. This amazing product started my addiction to clinique.
I have recently tried finding a cheaper alternative but non of the products I've tried come close to this foundation.
At £21 per bottle it does seem expensive for what initially looks like a small bottle however a little really does go a long way. I use this product on a daily basis and it lasts me a couple of months. You can also keep an eye out for the clinique bonus time in department stores such as Boots, Debenhams or House of Fraser. This way if you buy two products you get a goody bag of clinique products to try out.
This foundation comes in 20 different shades so with the help of the clinique assistant it is not hard to find your ideal colour. It blends into the skin really easy and leave no streaks or patches. It is extremely natural looking but with excellent coverage.
I have combination skin but this foundation gives moisture to my dry skin whist controlling greasy areas.
The bottle looks great, it's a glass bottle which gives it the feel of a quality product whilst the glass is extremely strong. I'm very clumsy but in the 6 years I've used this product I haven't broken one yet, despite dropping it numerous times in the floor and I the sink.
I can't recommend this product enough. It is a make up bag essential. It is light, easy to use and not at all greasy or sticky and the results are fantastic.
I bought this printer over 3 years ago and must admit that I go through phases of using it non stop or storing it in a cupboard and forgetting that I have it. I suppose it is one of those gadgets that you can live without but it's nice to have all the same.If you are looking for a photo printer for occasional use I would happily recommend this one.
The design of the printer is fantastic. It's very compact, much smaller than a loaf of bread and the handle on top means that it's easy to move around. The screen on top is an adequate size and quality for you to be able to view your prints easily and avoid printing the wrong photo.
The printer is extremely easy to use. I especially like the feature that it can be used without access to a computer. You can insert your memory card from your camera directly into the printer and print your images this way. Alternatively if you do have a computer you can print images using the provided software. The HP photo printing software is extremely useful and easy to use. It also allows you to alter the size of the photos so rather than printing just one 6x4 photo you can print a page of smaller images ideal for scrapbooking or putting into your wallet. It also allows you to change the colour so you can print in black and White or sepia.
The picture quality is fantastic. The photos dry instantly and are very sharp with fantastic colours. I have ordered prints from photo box and snapfish in the past and also used the printing kiosks in boots and asda but the photos I've printed myself are just as good if not better quality.
The main drawback with using this printer is the cost of the ink. It uses the HP110 cartridge. Although it means instant photos it is often cheaper to order your prints online or use in store photo printers. The last cartridge I purchased was £25 from pc world. Unfortunately the cartridges only print approximately 50 photos so at 50p per print it is expensive (and this doesn't count the paper). I have however now had time to do a comparison search and if you shop wisely and order from the Internet you can buy the cartridges from £10 which makes it much more reasonable.
If you want to print lots of photos in a variety of larger sizes then this isn't the printer for you but if you are looking for a compact printer for printing smaller pictures occasionally the. This would be a good option.
As soon as my husband saw this pram I knew it was the one we would end up with. I'd seen a lovely spotty little number but he wasn't budging on this one.
My husbands shopping list was like he was looking for a car, big chunky wheels (not like a shopping trolly), easy to steer, nice and sporty looking and most improtantly something that would fit his 6tf 4in frame. This pram ticked all the boxes.
This pram looks great and is incredibly versatile. Although the price tag looks steep if you add all the accessories if you shop around there are usually deals on this pram. I got mine from mothercare with £100 off. It's will also take you right through from newborn to toddler. My sister went for a cheaper pram and ended up buying three different ones during the time I've had my Quinny.
The frame can initially be used with the Quinny dreamy which gives you more of a traditional pram feel and allows your newborn to lay completely flat. However if you don't want to spend the extra £150 on this accessory the pushchair can be adjusted into many different positions both facing toward and away from you. One of the settings is almost completely horizontal so is also ideal for newborns.
The maxi cosi car seat also fits onto the frame of this pushchair which is ideal for quick trips. It also means not having to disturb a sleeping baby. You need to remember however that this is only for a quick trip to the shop since the maximum recommend time for your baby to be in the car seat is 2 hours.
As my daughter grew this pushchair grew with her. We started with her facing us and then turned it around so she could see the world. After about 16 months she started to outgrow the pushchair but included with the main frame is a second seat that is recommended for 18 months plus. This has a much deeper seat and will be suitable for her until we no longer need a pram.
The buzz is extremely easy to us. It folds down by just pressing a button on each side and pushing towards the floor. Opening it up is even easier since you just flick a switch and it opens up itself.
It also fits into my small car (Renault Clio). Admittedly for the first two months I had to remove the parcel shelf until I realised that the large wheels at the back are easily removed. You just need to push one button for each wheel and when putting them back on you just push them back in and they click into place. Removing these makes it much easier to store.
The handle bar is also adjustable which makes it comfortable for both my husband and myself to use. I initially thought that it was a bad design since I couldn't hang by bag on the handle but now I realise it is a much safer option since there isn't the risk of overloading and tipping your pram. For £20 I bought the shopping basket that fits underneath the carriage. This is great and easily fits my nappy bag and a couple of shopping bags. If you do decide to hang coats etc from the handle bars you can also buy pram clips from mothercare for £2.99. These are little hooks that fit onto the handlebar.
Included with the pushchair was a rain cover, hand pump for the wheels and also a bag that fits on the back of the pushchair but there are also lots of great accessories that you can buy.
The only negative issue I have had with the buzz is that after 9 months it started to open up on it's own when we were carrying it. Unfortunately this can be quite dangerous if like me you trap your hand. We took this back to mothercare and they replaced the catch that holds it closed. Unfortunately after 18 months it has started doing it again so I recommend taking extra care when lifting it out of the car boot since last week it opened up as I was lifting it out and I managed to scratch my husbands car. I would have given full marks if it wasn't for this.
After walking into my sister-in-laws house to the smell of fresh bread I decided that I couldn't live without a bread maker. Soon followed a trip to curry's where after looking at the four different bread makers on offer I came home with the Morphy Richards Fastbake.
If you are thinking that a bread maker will save you money, this isn't really the case. By the time you have bought all the ingredients you may find that the cost doesn't really compete with the offers available on bread at the supermarket these days. However I personally think that spending a little bit more is well worth it when you have the peace of mind of what's in your loaf.
Admittedly the bread doesn't last as long as shop bought but that's due to it being free from preservatives. It does however taste so good that it tends to have gone well before it would have turned stale. You also have options for different sized loads so if you think you may be wasteful you can select a smaller loaf.
If you decide that homemade bread is for you then this bread maker is a good choice. The black and chrome design means that it looks attractive so that you can leave it out on display. This can be a major benefit if you have little cupboard space since bread makers do tend to be on the large size.
This bread maker comes with everything you need to get started (apart from the ingredients). It includes measuring cup and spoon and a fantastic recipe book that includes different breads and cakes.
The thing which sets this maker apart from the others is the fast bake option which gives you a fresh baked loaf in just 75 minutes. The texture of the bread is a bit more like cake than the usual bread but it is still a great feature if you are in a rush.
It also has a timer which allows you to delay your bread for 13 hours. I team this with my slow cooker and come home from work to hot stew and freshly baked bread.
I love this item but must admit that with certain ingredients, especially oatmeal flour, the bread maker can be quite noisy when mixing. You also need to ensure that it is placed to the back of your kitchen worktop since it can move around. I once got a real shock when it managed to work itself to the edge and crashed to the floor. Despite this it is still in one piece and fully working. It's been well used for over two years with no problems.
After looking at many prams my husband decided the Quinny Buzz three wheel pram was the one for us. I on the other hand wanted to push around a more tradition pram. The Dreami Carry offered us the ideal solution.
This fits quick and easily onto the Quinny frame and is ideal for your newborn. Your baby has the comfort of a moses basket whilst you have a practical mobile solution. I liked the fact that my baby was laid completely flat and didn't have to have straps around them at such a young age.
I especially like the fact that you can take it off of the frame. You just push a button on each side and then lift up. I used mine as a temporary Moses basket when visiting relatives.
The hood can be put up or down so allows you baby privacy when they are sleeping or they can look around and see the world.
It came complete with rain cover and mosquito net so is ideal in both winter and summer.
The outside material is completely waterproof whilst the inside as extremely soft. The mattress can be removed in order to wipe down easily although I would recommend covering with a moses basket sheet which can be easily washed.
I paid £150 for mine which does seem quite expensive since my daughter only really fit in it for the first three months however she looked so comfy and I felt like such a proud mummy pushing her around I never regretted buying it.
For many years I have been a devoted clinique fan and would always use their foundation since it seemed to be the only one that was right for my extremely pale skin but with a young daughter and the demands increasing on my purse I decided it was time to find something else.
I've tried a few other cheaper brands but found that Rimmel is by far the best. When this latest foundation was advertised I decided to give it a go and I'm glad I did.
It does exactly what it says on the jar, it lasts. After a 12 hour shift I have been known to fall asleep without taking off my makeup and when I've woken up it's still been on.
The foundation comes in a glass jar with a very handy pump. Just pressing the pump once seems to give me sufficient foundation for a full days coverage so this is going to last me ages and at just £6.99 I am definitely going to be getting my money's worth.
The foundation itself is a lovely consistency that goes on very smoothly and leaves no patches or streaks.
I have extremely dry and sensitive skin but this foundation still looks great and hasn't given me any issues at all.
The main problem I have found with cheaper foundations is the slight orange glow that some of them give you but with this product that isn't the case. I bought the lightest shade they offer and it is a perfect match for me and blends in really well.
I was one of those people who thought the iPad was just an expensive status symbol that would be of no benefit to me at all. How wrong was I!
Last month I was lucky enough to win the 16 GB iPad and I haven't put it down since. Ill be the first to admit that I am not the most patient of people so having instant access to everything at the slide of a finger is amazing. I love no longer having to wait for the computer or lap top to load.
It is extremely easy to use, even though I am a nightmare with technology I have found no problems at all. I use it for everything. With so many free or cheap apps available to download it will give you hours of entertainment. Web browsing is really simple. Paying the bills is no longer a chore and with a downloaded calculator and notepad app I'm no longer searching through drawers.
You can add your music collection through iTunes and listen to music whilst you do everything else, although I would recommend a docking station or speaker connection if you want to use the iPad to replace your stereo, since the sound isn't stereo quality and doesn't go too loud.
The picture quality is amazing and can be seen in it's full glory if you download one of the HD games. It also keeps my daughter entertained on long journeys since we can use it instead of portable DVD player. There are also many child friendly apps that allow them to be really creative although I would limit this since you can't beat a hand drawn picture that you can pin on the fridge.
The keypad that comes up when you want to type is really easy to use and just about the right size, in fact I'm writing this review on it now.
For all those Facebook addicts it is a must have since you have instant access and you can see all the pictures and posts really clearly and in all their glory.
I can't be more positive about the iPad. My only recommendation would be that if you can afford it, try and buy one with a bigger memory since it is surprising how much you will use it and how much is available for you. You will soon use up your 16 GBs.
I have always been a fan of Clairol and have used nice n easy for so many years that I don't remember what my original colour was. Imagine my excitement when I saw they had introduced their range of foam colours and even better it was on offer.
Unfortunately I was left very disappointed. No matter how much I shook the container the product still remained runny, not at all like the thick foam you see on the advert. Even my husbands best Tom Cruise in Cocktail impression couldn't get this product to foam.
Since it just came out on my hand as liquid it became really messy to use and I now have little spots of brown covering my freshly painted white bathroom.
However once I got over the disaster of actually getting this into my hair the results were fantastic. The colour was rich, my hair was shiny and the colour has hardly faded at all.
The instructions are extremely easy to use and the box includes good quality gloves and an excellent after colour conditioner.
I will continue to use nice n easy but I will stick to the original bottle and give the foam a miss.