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I always use my beloved baby wipes to take off my eye make up at night and although these work brilliantly for me I'm aware that they aren't designed for this purpose specifically and as I'm getting older I thought it might be time to try something that would pamper the area around my eyes a bit more. So I visited my local Boots and bought the Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Make Up Remover Gel, there was only a couple of different makes to choose between as it's such a small branch and my decision was based on the price (£1.42 for 150mls) and the fact that it contains extract of cucumber which I thought would be quite refreshing.
The product comes in a green bottle as pictured above and has a flip top type of lid which is easy to open and there's a small hole for the gel to come out of. The gel is quite thin and comes out easily, the instructions on the bottle tell you to apply with cotton wool and wipe over closed eyes which is what I did.
I do wear quite a lot of (non waterproof) mascara so I wasn't expecting it to just disappear as I wiped and it really didn't, I seemed to be just smearing it around my eyes. Even after 3 applications on fresh cotton wool I was still trying to get rid of it and I found I was really having to scrub at it which was getting uncomfortable. Because I was rubbing so vigorously I managed to get a bit actually in my eye which wasn't pleasant either, it didn't sting like something like shampoo would but it wasn't a nice feeling. I decided to give it up as a bad idea as my eyes were just getting red from all the rubbing.
The redness did go down quite quickly so it wasn't uncomfortable for long. I wouldn't describe my eyes as being particularly sensitive so I definitely wouldn't recommend this product to anyone who does. The bottle says that it's suitable for all skin types. I would say that the area around my eyes felt very slightly sticky afterwards (that's the only word I can think of that best describes the feeling).
The gel has quite a nice but very subtle cucumber smell to it. It is dermatoligically tested.
I've had this bottle for a couple of months now and have tried using it again a couple of times but have had the same results again really so having written this review it will be going in the bin and for the time being I will stick with the baby wipes.
I've been buying these Tesco baby wipes for years now because I love them!
Most brands of wet wipes have a sticky flap of plastic attached to one side of the opening so that you can reseal the pack once they've been opened and in my experience this isn't always very effective as the flap soon loses stickiness or gets stuck to anything but the surface it's meant to, allowing dirt to get into the packet and the wipes to dry out. The Tesco wipes have a hard plastic lid that clicks open and closed, and keeps the wipes fresh, moist and neat and tidy. Aside from the fact that I really like the wipes themselves this is definitely a huge plus for me.
The wipes themselves are quilted and really soft as well as being incredibly durable. Of all the wipes I have tried they have the best feel to them in my opinion. I've tried the fragranced ones but personally prefer the fragrance free - the packaging says that they are dermatologically approved and suitable for newborns.
I use them mostly around my eyes to remove my mascara and to sort out any make up smudges and they don't sting my eyes at all, but I use them for just about everything - they're great to have in your bag if you want a freshen up while you're out somewhere. I use them to clean up spills and things too, they are so versatile.
I recently started using them when I change my brother too, as we get through so many I convinced my folks to give these a try as they are so much cheaper and I think they agree that these are better, particularly when you take the price and the better lid into account. Sometimes the wipes at the bottom of the pack are damper than the ones above them which can give them a tendency to cling instead of glide over my brother's skin and takes the skin a bit longer to dry.
You get 80 wipes in a pack and cost 98p at full price though they seem to be on offer more often that not. They also come in packs of 4 x 80 at £3.80.
Plop is a baby barn owl who is afraid of the dark, throughout the book he meets new friends who teach him about the dark by telling him of their own encounters with it and why they love the dark. He learns that dark is exciting, fun, necessary and beautiful, etc. It is a really fun and endearing story that will capture children's imaginations and help them to learn that the dark needn't be as scary as they might think.
I remember having this story book and the audio version on a cassette tape when I was little (I'm 30 now)and my sister and I both loving it. The fact that "The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark" is still available in both book and audio format is a real bonus as although it is a simple story I think it's great that younger children can listen to it and learn about the dark and then when they are a little older and able to read they'll be able to revisit the tale again and again.
I recently bought the audio version again on CD for my brother who is in his mid twenties and has severe learning disabilities. He is unable to read or write so I thought that an audio book could be the answer, but find it quite hard to find a story that will keep his attention long enough for him to listen to it all the way through. Plop is such a loveable little character with a fun personality so I was hoping he'd find his little "Eeek"ing noises and falling out of the nest funny. He did listen to it and have a few laughs but hasn't been interested in listening to it again since, perhaps it's too childish for him bearing in mind he's an adult - but I enjoyed hearing it again!
The story is read by Maureen Lipman who delivers it brilliantly, and it runs for an hour and 10 minutes so for children listening to it at night, it could be listened to in chapters. From memory I think I paid £5.79 for it from Amazon, which I think is a fair price and would make a good gift for someone.
I have a bit of an addiction to home magazines and buy 25 Beautiful Homes (not Houses) from time to time. As the name of the magazine suggests, it features photos of 25 real life homes. It's a great opportunity to be nosey and have a snoop around other peoples' houses and form your own opinion of their decorating style.
There are several photos of each house that is featured showing different rooms throughout the houses. The photos are accompanied by a "Home Truths" section that tells about the owners, the type of house it is and it's location, what rooms are in the house, when the current owners bought it and also a bit about their previous property. The main article is an interview with the home owners, who give you an insight into the inspirations behind their style. With each photo is a sentence or two about the room and details of shops that sell a similar item featured in the photo. This for me is disapointing as I would prefer to have more details or ideas of where to buy more of the items featured. I would also think it would be good if they included a rough floorplan of the house so that you have an idea of which rooms are along side each room.
The houses featured vary greatly in terms of the size of the house, eg. appartments, semi detached, country houses, villas and barn conversions, their period, eg. listed and new build and the style of décor within them so there's a good chance there'll be something that the reader can relate to. The magazine also features homes in Britain and abroad. As they are real life homes, each of them is very unique and personal and not necessarily just following trends, some are classic and traditional and others are full of vivid colour. There's always plenty of style ideas to steal.
At £3.60 I don't think it's great value for money as other than the houses featured in the magazine, there's very little content except for the usual contents pages, Editor's letter, reader promotions and numerous full page adverts. I also think that it is lacking in the practical advise that it offers in comparison to other home magazines on the market, it does have a couple of "News" pages that features a few new trends and an "Interior Solutions" section where an expert sources items such as furniture and wallpaper that reader's have written to them about but I would prefer a bit more of it. Once I've flicked through it and read the articles accompanying the houses that I like, there's not much reason to pick it up again.
This is the first battery powered toothbrush of this type that I have owned, I bought it around 4 years ago and I am really pleased with it. A visit to the hygienist was what finally persuaded me to get with the times and give a power toothbrush a try, as in her opinion they are the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy - no matter how much you brush with a normal toothbrush you'll never match the number of oscillations that a battery powered one can do.
I didn't want one that had to be recharged via the shaving point as I had no where to stand it whilst it charged that would reach the shaving point in my bathroom, so the Braun Oral-B Advance Power 400 was the perfect choice for me as it just needed 2 x AA batteries to work it - so much easier than remembering to charge it up too.
Initially, I was nervous of the feeling of the brush vibrating so much against my teeth but to my surprise, it really didn't take much getting used to and even after the very first time I used it, I couldn't believe how much cleaner my teeth actually felt when I ran my tongue over them. A return visit to the hygienist confirmed that my teeth and gums were much better than they had been whilst using a normal toothbrush so I've never looked back since.
I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it but I don't think it was any more than £15.00, which considering it's still going strong 4 years later, I think makes it good value for money. I think it came with a couple of spare brush heads as well. The batteries last for quite a while I would say, you can tell when they need changing as the oscillations start to get slower, the fact that it doesn't just stop all together is good, as it gives me a chance to get new batteries if I haven't got any. I usually change the brush head at the same time as the batteries, but if you're worried, some of the bristles on the brush head are blue and if the colour has faded then it's time to replace it. I paid £10.00 for a pack of 3 replacement brush heads recently, which seems like a big out lay on your shopping list but they do last for a long time, so I think it's worth it and they seem to be available in most supermarkets. The brush heads come with different colour rings that you can put on with the brush head if you choose to, which is a bonus as someone else could use one of the brush heads on my base and with different colours we'd be able to tell them apart.
The brush is really easy to switch on and off, if you're taking it away on holiday I'd recommend taking the batteries out as I've heard/found it switched on when unpacking my suitcase a couple of times. The instruction leaflet tells you to clean around the battery compartment when changing the batteries, which is worth while doing as it can get a bit gunged up from toothpaste. Occasionally I've struggled to open the battery compartment, so this might prove tricky for someone with dexterity problems.
Have been buying this magazine for a few years now and it's definitely one of my favourites. Sad, I know, but I really look forward to getting the next issue as it is released each month! I seem to have a bit of a homes magazines addiction and comparing "Your Home" to all of the others that I have bought at £1.99 it is fantastic value. I keep meaning to take out the subscription offer, £8.00 by direct debit every 6 months which is a great deal and definitely next on my to do list.
It contains loads of ideas that can be achieved at affordable prices. One of my favourite parts of the magazine is the Makeovers feature. Every month they focus on a different room of the house; in the September issue it was the living room, and August issue, the kitchen. Three different readers' show how they have made over these rooms in their own homes on different budgets. Each makeover featured includes a picture of the room as it was before, a room plan and step by step details of how they did the work and how they made their design decisions. There's also a break down of what they have spent their budget on and a shopping list of the things that they have bought for the room. These things, teamed with plenty of photos of all aspects of the room makes for a really useful and informative read, with lots of design inspiration and practical tips for anyone about to embark on a similar project of their own. The fact that these are real life makeovers in actual houses gives you the confidence that they are practical room solutions for people to live with and aren't just for show. There also seems to be more personality in the schemes than if a designer had done them. The cheapest of the kitchen makeovers was just £362 and the most expensive was £3,203, all of them looked completely different but great and were all affordable.
Another good feature is the pull out and keep "You Can Do It" section which includes smaller craft projects, make do and mend and furniture facelift ideas, for you to try at home yourself. Some of the furniture they've transformed you would hardly recognise and the detailed instructions would definitely give me the confidence to have a go myself, it's amazing what a lick of paint can do. It's a great way of recycling old furniture, saving money and creating something completely individual.
Other regular features include ideas from Interior Designers on how to work current trends, consumer news, kitchen and bathroom ideas, real-life readers homes, recipes and gardening inspiration.
These flash cleaning wipes are great in my opinion, I always like to keep a pack of them handy. I usually buy the lemon ones as I like the smell of them - even if you've only used them on a small surface they leave the whole room feeling really fresh and clean.
They come in an easily resealable, neat and hard wearing packet, that keeps the wipes moist for ages, even the ones at the bottom of the pack. They come in pack sizes of 60* wipes and cost around £2.00, (they're currently on a 2 for £3.00 offer at Tesco). They are quite often on special offer and have bought them for £1.00 in the past. They aren't particularly cheap but I think they are definitely worth the money that they are.
* Although the packaging says that there are 60 wipes in a pack, there are actually only 30 large, perforated wipes, so you would only get 60 wipes if you were to tear them in half - something that I don't do as I prefer their original size as there's more to grip in your hand when cleaning. The wipes are made of a durable material so they don't start to disintegrate whilst you are using them, and if they do dry out for any reason I just run them under the tap to dampen them again.
I wouldn't advise using them to clean large areas like an entire kitchen or bathroom as this would take a while and you'd use a lot of wipes doing it, but I think they are perfect for smaller areas or spills. I always use them for cleaning toilets as you can simply throw them in the bin afterwards which is far more hygienic than having cloths lying around the bathroom or left in a cupboard, they are also handy for cleaning the floor around the cat litter tray. My brother is a wheelchair user and I use these wipes on all of the surfaces of his chair, particularly the tray and the joystick as they are quick and easy to use and clean so effectively, we keep a pack of them in his bag all the time so that we can clean his tray when we are out. There is no need to dry the surface after you have cleaned it and you aren't left with a smeary finish unlike with other wipes that I've tried.
I have tried all sorts of things to unblock the drain from my shower, even getting some mini rods to bend down the pipes but so far nothing has managed to clear them as they are so inaccessible to get to. Although the water does drain away eventually, it is so slow that I usually have to stop the shower for a few minutes to allow the water to drain away and not flood the bathroom before I've finished washing my hair. The only thing that has definitely helped the speed of the water flowing away is Mr Muscle's Sink and Drain Gel.
It comes in a bright orange bottle with a handle and child proof lid on that is easy to spot on the shelf when doing the shopping. The instructions on the bottle tell you to pour the entire contents of the bottle down the plughole and allow to work for at least 15 minutes, but all night for tough clogs and then rinse through with hot water, I usually leave it for the whole night unless anyone needs to use the shower. The liquid itself is really thick and will go through standing water straight to the blockage (which is what it did when I used it down a kitchen sink some years ago) and it doesn't have a strong chemical smell which to me is a definite bonus. I always clean out any hair that is sitting in the top of the drain that I can reach before I use the gel.
The results are obvious as soon as you rinse the gel through, the water runs away so much faster and it means that I can shower for as long as I want to without the fear of the shower tray overflowing.
The downside for me is that it doesn't seem to be a permanent fix and it is necessary to use the gel again in a couple of months, as after a few weeks of draining well it starts to get slower again. I think this is probably due to something (like a plastic cover from a disposable razor) having been washed down the drain at some point and already causing a partial blockage before the build up of shower gel/conditioner, etc.
It is on offer at Tesco at £3.00 (instead of £3.70) at the moment, but even at the full price I think it's a small price to pay when it means that I can use my shower without flooding the house out!
On the bottle it says that you can use 250ml (half the bottle) weekly to keep sinks and drains clear so maybe I'm not doing too badly. It also says that Mr Muscle do a Sink and Drain Foamer for slow running pipes which I have yet to try as my local shop doesn't stock it, I will have to keep an eye out for it and let you know how I get on with that.
I use Hob Brite regularly to clean my ceramic hob. It comes in a distinctive orange bottle that contains 300ml of cream cleaner and doesn't take up too much room in the cupboard.
I just pour a little of the cleaner directly onto the top of the hob and then scrub lightly with a sponge scourer or scraper (if you haven't got one of these it says on the bottle that you can get a Hob Brite Scraper from the Homecare website) to get any burnt-on bits off, then it rinses off easily with a wet cloth (unlike some other cream cleaners that seem to leave a powdery residue behind for ages). Then I usually dry it with either some kitchen roll, tea towel or micro fibre cloth and I'm amazed at how shiny and streak-free this product leaves the glass (even without drying it). Have also used it on the glass splash back on the wall behind the hob and it works equally as well on this.
It costs £1.69 although I would pay twice this amount as it works so well with such little effort. I would definitely recommend Hob Brite to anyone with a creamic hob.
I got my Tiny Book Light about 18 months ago. It's a small (as the name suggests) LED light that grips onto the pages of whatever you are reading and can be bent at the hinge and twisted so that the light can be angled onto the particular part of the page that you are wanting to see.
I like to read in bed at night but my other half gets annoyed with me having the light on so this little device has saved a load of arguing! The fact that it is so small is really handy because it doesn't weigh down the book too much, I find it stays in place better if you clip it over more than one page of the book so that it doesn't slide off, if you are wanting to look at a single sheet of paper it might be easier to just hold the light over it. For a normal paperback book the light is bright enough to be able to see the whole page at once but for a magazine you may need to readjust the position of the light as you move down the page.
They come in a wide variety of bright colours, I chose the white one which wasn't the best idea as it has become a bit grubby looking. It came with a battery included, the one in mine needs changing because the light has gone dimmer and dimmer, but I do read for quite a while so I think it's lasted pretty well.
I think I paid around £7.00 and it was definately worth it.
I bought this Hydration mask a few months ago and used it roughly every other time I washed my hair after using the Hello Hydration Shampoo from the same range. I have quite long, thick and wavy hair and the mask left it feeling really soft, shiney and tangle-free. I straighten my hair regularly which can cause it to get dry and damaged but the Hydration mask definately helped to keep it moisturised and to protect the ends, it also made it a little more managable for straightening. The instructions on the tub tell you to apply the mask from root to tip, then to leave it in for a few minutes, I was a little apprehensive that putting conditioner into the roots would leave them looking greasy even after rinsing it out but this wasn't the case at all and I was definately pleased with the results.
Herbal Essences products are often on offer at Tesco and I think I bought the Mask along with the shampoo and the normal conditioner when it was on a 3 for 2 offer, making it quite reasonably priced. At the moment the mask is half price (£2.03), I will definately buy this product again in the future, am just trying to use up all the other products that I have bought whilst they have been on offer to make room in the cupboard!
I buy these Tesco Value Sponge Pan Cleaners regularly with my weekly shopping. There are 5 sponge scourers in the pack and although they may not be as big as some other sponge scourers available on the market I find that they work equally as well and at this price I can throw them away daily or after cleaning something really mucky without worrying about feeling wasteful. Changing them so regularly means that there's no chance of harmful bacteria building up. I use them mostly for washing up, the scourer side gets dried on food off easily with a little scrub. But they are great for cleaning all sorts of surfaces around the house, I usually use the scouring side to clean with first and the sponge side to rinse with, then I use a soft cloth to polish the surface with afterwards, I think they're great for using on shower doors in particluar. At less than 3p each sponge (14p for the pack), I think the value for money is brilliant.
I have had my HerStyler Black hair straighteners for around about 4 years now, having had a demo at my local shopping centre. As they were on promotion I bought them with the curling wand and hair serum and got quite a good deal on the price, can't remember what this was but think the straighteners were about £100.
The straighteners heat up quite quickly and do straighten my hair (which is quite thick and curly) well, although I don't think they straighten my hair as quickly as the ghds that I had previously or leave it as smooth as they did, I recently used these old ghds again (which I had replaced because they had been dropped a few times and the heat plates come out) and they actually still straighten my hair better than the Herstyler even though they are broken and now several years old.
The performance of the Herstyler is still as good now as it was when I first bought them and they are used almost everyday, sometimes a couple of times a day, so they have lasted really well.
There is no safety cut off that I have heard is now included on some other brands of straighteners which would have been good to have as I have left them on all day by mistake a few times.
These are a good straightener but not as good as the ghd which is around the same price.
I have suffered with out breaks of acne since I was a teenager and it can really affect my confidence, No 7's Quick Cover is definitely the best I have found.
I use 02 (Extra Fair) which is just the right shade for my pale skin (it isn't orange)! It isn't greasy and covers blemishes discreetly, even the larger ones as it has an almost powdery consistency . Although I have used this product for years it doesn't make my spots any worse as they come and go in different areas.
It is easy to use; you just give the stick a twist and put a little onto your skin then blend it in with your finger. During the day, if I'm in a rush I just use the cover up followed by a little bronzer for a quick natural look, but in the evenings I use it on top of foundation and then use powder, etc. and it really makes me feel like my skin is good, flawless even. Some of my friends have said that they don't believe that I suffer from acne which is nice to hear.
On the odd occasion that I haven't been able to get to Boots for a new one, I've bought other brands that look similar but none of them have worked anywhere near as well and have been binned as soon as I've been able to get the No7 one again.
For years I also used it under my eyes to cover up dark circles although recently during a visit to Boots one of the beauty advisors introduced me to No 7's Instant Radiance Concealer which is a bit lighter for this area.
The Quick Cover Blemish Stick's not the cheapest of concealers at £8.00 but it is definitely worth the price and can often be found on offer (3 for 2). It lasts for a long time too.
I have been using Mr Muscle Window and Glass Cleaner for several years now, having first come across it whilst working as a chamber maid in a pub, where it was used on all of the glass surfaces including shower screens, mirrors and windows.
I would say that a little goes a long way, I just spray a couple of squirts directly onto the object to be cleaned and wipe all over with a clean lint free cloth, I have used cut up scraps of old pillow cases, kitchen roll, newspaper and microfibre cloths, the latter of which being my favourite but all achieving good, smear-free results.
Once I've finished cleaning the glass, I usually use the remnants of what's left on the cloth to buff up the taps, chrome work and tiles which I find really works well. When cleaning shower screens that are quite grubby, I do sometimes prefer to do an initial clean with a bathroom cleaner and sponge scourer before rinsing this off and then using the Mr Muscle to shine the glass up. Likewise with windows I usually prefer to use water with white vinegar and a touch of washing up liquid to do the main cleaning and save the Mr Muscle for getting off the odd mark or smear before their next clean is due.
I also use it to clean the screen of my laptop, it works a treat, I make sure to only use a little though or spray it onto the cloth first.
I think that this product is quite fairly priced (£1.56 at Tesco), I have used Windowlene (which I didn't get on with at all) and other own brand glass cleaners that have worked but Mr Muscle is always my first choice and a must have for my cleaning cupboard.