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I've been on the lookout for a good duffle coat for years. Having previously some very oddly coloured, too short or rough to the touch duffle coats I was pleased to discover this in Topshop the year before last!
At first, admittedly, I was a little put off by the price since it is retailed at a hefty £80- not something a student can necessarily afford. But after being convinced by a friend that it was clearly of good quality and I could cash in on my student discount to soften the blow to my bank account, I was convinced.
Whilst trying on sizes, I found that whilst generally being a size 10 and preferring to buy size 12 coats to allow for layering on particularly cold days, this coat seemed even too large at a 10 and I ended up buying the 8. So I was very glad that I could try it on before I bought it. It's not very true to size to beware when buying online- I'd buy one to two sizes smaller than usual.
The material is very durable and reasonably waterproof. The winter that I bought this coat was a particularly wet and snowy winter in Scotland and I never experienced any problems, it kept me dry all winter.
I quite often find with coats that the hood can be too small, especially when layering up with a scarf since this takes up room but this was not the case with this Topshop duffle coat. The hood was a great size, falling down a little at the front to protect my face from the joint wind and rain.
The coat itself is a little thin really and layering was quite often required to ensure I was warm enough but this was easily done.
The fastenings are very effective, with poppers underneath and stylish toggles on top.
A month or so after I bought this coat, I realised I was far from being the only one! My university is a small one and there were scores of girls with the same coat- some in a cream colour and mine was navy.
It has lasted me two winters now without too much wear and through some pretty harsh conditions. The price is not all that equal with the quality of the coat, I would have liked something higher quality when paying £72 for an item of clothing. But it has definitely done its basic job, and done so stylishly.
I would definitely suggest wearing extra layers underneath this coat but there is no denying it is durable!
It has been a tradition of mine and my sister's to shop for underwear together. Unfortunately this can be troublesome since we have quite vastly different chest sizes- my sister wearing the smallest you can get and myself wearing a D cup on average.
Previously we decided that La Senza was ideal for us both- providing the padding she preferred to give her the cleavage she desired and the wiring to keep my chest in tow. However I grew increasingly tired of the less than desired quality standards I encountered at La Senza. I also had sizing issues, sometimes needing up to two sizes bigger than my measured chest size. The padding in La Senza bras can also be too much, leading to half of the bra being filled with padding and only half actual breasts.
I came upon Gossard- having never heard of the brand before despite its long history- after seeing a Groupon voucher which promised 60%. I immediately snapped this up and bought myself two bras from the Beau range. Since it was online, I had a small issue with sizing since I found the cup sizes a little small but after being promptly delivered it came with clear instructions to return them if I wished. I had the correct size I wanted within a week of originally buying them- fantastic customer service!
The satin material on the bras was exceedingly soft, good quality and well received by my boyfriend. The bra straps were also made of satin and proved very comfortable as well as being stylish but not over the top. I'm not much of a fan of having a large cleavage on display but found that even with small vests, these two well wired, well padded bras (the padding itself is removable) still allowed a reasonable amount of cleavage without drawing too much attention away from my face in certain company.
I have had those two bras for over a year now and since then have bought two superboost multiway bras in nude and black by using the multi-buy codes. The multiway bras are endlessly useful and thus far the most successful in maintaining position and lift without straps allowing me to wear these bras for any occasion!
Both me and my sister have been more than satisfied by their customer service and despite our different chest sizes and preferences, we both love Gossard bras!
They're more expensive than the high street brands but well worth it! It's obvious to me now why Gossard has been so successful for so long!
As a student, I attend many balls and events (which I also organise) which require me to be smart and formal. Thus, I have quite a range of high heeled shoes but often find that by the end of the night whether due to the sheer number of hours on my feet or a little too much alcohol, heels can be a painful nuisance.
So, a year and a half ago, I went in search of affordable shoes that would be comfortable, easy to walk in and smart enough to wear to balls and such. Asking a friend, she suggested wedges as a happy alternative to heels and I was on board. But whilst looking for wedges I found that most were very fashion forward or featured cork wedges which, in my opinion, are not all that smart or formal so not what I was looking forward.
Eventually, the morning before a fashion show where I had a long day and night ahead of me working as as an usher, I wandered into New Look in a last attempt to find wedges and found these!
They're a very conservative, plain black, fake suede wedge. The wedge itself is quite high but more than manageable. I have found that the height of the wedge means that I can wear these shoes to almost any kind of formal event- from meeting CEOs to winter balls. They add formality to almost any outfit, giving the long-legged look that heels would usually provide without the discomfort or added effort when walking.
The only issues I had with these heels was that in my rush to find shoes on that particular, I overlooked that the version I bought was the wider footed version so I later had to purchase an insole to ensure that my feet would not simple slip out of the shoe. I owned these shoes for a good year and a half and probably wore them around 30 times. Suede as a fabric is not particularly durable and can only be washed once so I found that during the winter it was particularly difficult to avoid damage.
Having said that, I did wear them until they were falling apart and the suede was quite damaged because they were simply so useful and so comfortable.
An added touch that I appreciated, being an avid heel wearer previously, was the plastic heel like addition on the sole of the shoe which meant I could still walk along hard wood floors and sound like I was wearing heels like all of the other women, whereas I was in fact wearing something far more comfortable!
Definitely a great buy, looking for another pair myself! Extremely durable and comfortable for something so cheap!
As a 20 year old student, my social life can be pretty full and I am a real fan of wearing dresses and skirts whenever possible really! I like to make sure that I can stay feminine and be able to flaunt the legs that I train hard at the gym to tone!
I've never been much of a fan of electronic lady shaves because in my opinion they don't leave my legs any where near as smooth and soft as I would like them. I'm also not a fan of hair removal creams, I find they them cumbersome, messy and they often leave an unpleasant smell once washed off. As a student I can't afford to pay for regular leg waxes, and wax at home kits have been somewhat unsuccessful for me.
Whilst browsing reviews for epilators- which I considered to be the next best thing- I decided that the easiest thing for me to do was to buy a reasonable disposable razor.
I had frequently used also any kind of disposable razors until I developed a sensitivity to them. They would often leave my skin dry or worse unbearably itchy- encouraging an unattractive habit in public to say the least and leaving my legs red from scratching. But I was in a rush and low on funds so I found myself on Boots online and found this product which claimed to be sensitive to skin and enrich your skin with moisture, unlike usual razors.
To my pleasant surprise, it did exactly as it said!
The handle has a well placed grip with contours which meant that shaving in the shower was a doddle, avoiding any slips where I could cut my leg or the previous inevitability of dropping the razor due to slippy hands.
The colour of the razor is pleasing, a nice light blue which matches the moisture strip placed at the top.
Speaking of the moisture strip, I found that part the most pleasing! Previously I would always use shaving gel whilst shaving my legs to try and keep the most moisture. But the moisture strip acts as a wonderful lubricant, allowing the blade to glide smoothly along my legs without the need for gel, just with water. To me this was an advantage because I find that shaving gels leave my legs slightly greasy, they can be messy and it would save me time I'd usually have spent applying the gels and money as I wouldn't have to buy the gels any more!
I found that this razor didn't leave any irritation and it lasted at least two weeks for me, longer than the average razor in my case.
Overall, I would say this razor whilst not being the cheapest on the market is well worth the money and well worth purchasing if you have sensitive skin, would like to avoid shaving gels (though it works perfectly fine with them too) and would like smooth, soft and moisturised legs after every shave.
I am a second year student who is very involved in event planning for example organising society balls, halls of residence socials as well as the more career forward presentations by CEOs of top companies. So, as you can imagine, smart heeled shoes at a low price are essential for me! Not only do I organise such events but in order to insure they run smoothly, I attend and manage them.
Until I discovered New Look's shoe range I struggled to find shoes that would fit properly, look smart as well as stylish and that I could afford! With all of the events I have attend to keep up my society involvement I found it difficult to ensure I had a shoe that would go with every outfit. And quite often I get to wrapped up organising the event that I forget about what I would wear and it often results in a last minute rush to the nearest shop. That is how I discovered New Look shoes.
I bought these shoes two and a half months ago whilst looking for something to go with a striped shift dress. And they have been endlessly useful ever since!
The nude shade seems to go with almost every outfit that I choose which not only saves me the hassle of going to find new shoes in specific shades to match but saves me money!
Usually I am a UK size 5 but I found that with these heels (and with all of the shoes I buy from New Look), the UK size 4 fits much better. When working at an event it used to be a struggle running around in heels and whilst these heels are high, the snug, well fitting size 4 meant I could run around in them like they were flat! Even after busy nice such as those, there has been very little damage to the tip of the heel which can usually be damaged so easily.
What's more, the thick platform lessens the pressure the high heel can put on the ball of my feet, making them comfortable to wear for hours. I've never encountered the ever daunting swelling or aching in my feet usually caused by high heels when wearing these shoes.
The patent leather makes them easy to clean. I recently attended an outside ball which left these shoes covered in mudd but it came off simply with some warm water.
I'm going on holiday soon and plan to pack light so these comfortable, smart heels are perfect since they go with everything!
Definitely a great choice. They're value for money at a measly £20 (and New Look offer a 10% student discount), smart, easy to clean and comfortable.
I got this phone free through signing up for a 24 month contract with 3 about 10 months ago so I was keen to pick a phone which would last that long. I have a 3G internet plan and I am a frequent user of my phone for calling and texting throughout the day. In general, the phone is easy to navigate, fast in processing and stylish.
The LG P500 is a touch screen without the option of a physical QWERTY keyboard so fortunately for me, I was used to typing on a small on screen keyboard. I also have slender fingers so pressing multiple buttons at once is not an issue but would be for anyone with any larger fingers and would take some real practice. However, when you have mastered this, the processing is fast which allows you to quickly see when you've made any spelling mistakes whereas with other on screen keyboards it often lags behind and you may have written half of a sentence before it catches up.
The memory is decent, I don't keep a lot of data on my phone but there is certainly enough room to store music and photographs since it comes with a 4GB memory card.
The camera takes clear and reasonably detailed photos despite only being 3 megapixels.
It is stylishly designed, and fits easily into the smallest of hands though typing with two hands is easier and quicker. The back cover is quite scratch-proof with a very slightly rubber-like texture. The screen itself has never malfunctioned and whilst I don't have a cover and I am rather clumsy it has remained rather scratch free in the 10 months I've had it.
The main menus are easy to navigate with all options clearly indicated, it only took me a few hours to memorise the icons in the menu. Especially since there is a set four icons on the main screen once the phone is unlocked, allowing for quick navigation to emails, messaging, phone calling and contacts.
The battery life, however, is not amazing. I do use my phone a lot so with users who don't need to use their phone so frequently or don't use the internet for example, the battery life is bound to be longer. I find it necessary to charge my phone every night to ensure it lasts the entirety of the the following day.
I've used other hair removal products before and in particular I've used creams before and I've always found it to be the case that they have some effect but shaving is easier and more efficient. However, shaving for me is an inconvenience. It takes too long, results in cuts and leaves my skin feeling dry. So when I saw that this cream only took through minutes and considered how reasonably priced it was I thought I'd give it a try.
I have quite fine hair in general and don't find it hard to find products that do a reasonable job in removing it but this was quite disappointing. It advertises that all you need is warm water and the easy squeeze tube and this is true but using the tube is a mess! It's hard to get a grip onto the plastic tube when your hands are wet i.e. when you're using warm water as required. And if you need want to use both of your hands to make sure you apply it as evenly as it requires then the tube becomes messy and I dropped it more than a few times.
When you do apply it you have to do it so evenly and so thickly that half of the tube is gone on two legs and I'm a short, slim woman! As much as it doesn't cost much in the first place, you'd need to replace it far too often for it to be real value for money. As for the even spread of the cream this is essential. In the warm water part of the cream was washed off part of my leg (though there was a reasonable amount left on) but without a good centimetre or two thick layer it does very little, even after leaving it for five minutes or so.
The result for me was that it didn't take three minutes but much longer, I ended up having to shave parts of my legs anyway because the result was patchy and adding to that, it leaves a nasty smell when you wash it off.
The Lush bubblegum lip scrub was given to me as part of a present a year ago as part of a Lush present pack. Before I received this I'd never used a lip scrub before and was quite surprised to find that they existed! However, I'm generally a fan of the lush products since they're well designed and attractive, void of harsh chemicals and overall good fun. And this is no exception!
The bright pink colour is a bit abrasive but don't be fooled, it doesn't work as a lip tint but rather reddens your lips because of the scrubbing motion which causes the blood to rise to the surface of your skin.
In terms of application, it isn't the easiest because the texture is literally like a very very slightly sticky sugar so picking it up with your finger can cause a mess and needs to be balanced before reaching your lips. Once you are successful in picking some up and have started scrubbing your lips it's easy enough.
A definite perk of this product is that it's edible, making it easier to use on the move since you don't need to wash it off, rather you can simply lick the sugar off your lips. It's quite a sickly taste but only when used too often.
I'd warn against using it every day since it can make your lips a bit tender as goes with any type of scrub. But with sparse application it works a treat. I usually combine it with a balm such as vaseline- first scrubbing my lips if they're a bit chapped then moisturising them to sooth it and make them soft.
Generally the lip scrub is attractive, effective and tastes nice.
I suppose the only real problem I have with it now, it making sure I can keep some for myself!
I haven't used a large number of different body scrubs before but found this Body Shop Olive Body Scrub to be very impressive!
I'm a fan of the Body Shop Body Care range, especially the fragrant body butters but if like me you don't want to be reaking of fruit or shea butter then I think using this mildly fragranced body scrub is a good option. It has a very mild smell which hardly lingers on the skin so allows me to use the pink grapefruit body butter I prefer after showering. It has a rough enough texture to really feel like you're scrubbing away the dirt but even with my sensitive skin it isn't too rough so as to cause discomfort or longer lasting redness.
One thing I would recommend is using this before your shower gel because it leaves a slightly greasy feeling on the skin which isn't washed away just with water.
It's very reasonably priced since the jar itself is rather large and I've been using it every other time I shower and it has lasted me six months so far. I find that the larger size is better value for money but it's too big to be taken in cabin luggage when travelling which has caused some inconvenience since I'm so fond of it and wanted to continue using it abroad.
It definitely left my skin feeling softer after just a few uses but not dry like some other body scrubs can.
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter is by far the nicest of the range in Body Shop in my opinion.
I've used the olive, the shea butter and the Japanese flower versions but found the scent of all three to be either too mild or too perfume-like. But the grapefruit version is fantastic. The body butter is light enough to not to leave a greasy feeling on the skin when rubbed in instead leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturised. It does take some rubbing in which takes time but I think it's worth it when you compare the results to that of using a thinner moisturiser like a Boots own brand for example which only partially moisturises.
I particularly like the cooling effect of this body butter when in a warm place/country if left out of the sun. However, it does melt quickly and becomes messy when it does but as long as you leave it in the shade at room temperature it's easy to apply and not too labourious.
The smell is fresh and fruity. It actually has the effect of waking me up when I use it and unlike with other fruity smelling skin products that I've used before it doesn't attract insects e.g. wasps but has been received well by many of my friends as a pleasant but not overpowering smell.
As for the price, I believe it to be very reasonably priced since it is a large amount and it is of very good quality. I also appreciate the fact that it hasn't been tested on animals.
I'm usually a general user of vaseline lip therapy since it's cheap and lasts for such a long time. But on a recent birthday I received a Shea Butter Body Shop pack as a present which includede this lip butter and I've recently fell in love with it!
It's definitely an indulgent product which has a similar texture to the body butter though it's harder which allows you to more easily control the amount of lip butter you apply. Most people that I've seen use it including myself find it's easier to get a decent amount on your finger to apply by moving your finger in a circular motion with a reasonable amount of pressure.
Unlike some flavoured lip butters or balms it doesn't taste all that fantastic so the urge to lick it off it hardly there. It gives your lips a really soft texture, and when applied feels as smooth as "butter" as advertised in its name.
The smell isn't too strong but there enough to keep you smelling the lovely, sweet shea butter for a couple of hours. As with regular lip balms, it may need reapplication after a couple hours but generally I find that one or twice a day maximum has the desired effect of keeping my lips soft and smooth.
It's also been a hit with my friends and their boyfriends who have found before that the vaseline range becomes too greasy but this has a more understated texture, only noticeable by the smell.
The screwtop is very handy for opening it easily though screwing it back on with slightly buttered fingers can be problematic.
I went shopping for new wellington boots last september and found these multi-coloured striped numbers in Matalan for a measley £10. I was looking for something bright and fun and found these to be bright and fun despite the thick black lines between the colours.
Unfortunately I've only used them a whole three times since I bought them a few months ago. I regularly do work on a conservation site situated on a steep hill in Scotland with regular rainfall so with the first use of these wellies I was impressed by the amount of grip that they had since the sole is thick and ridged so allows me to wedge the sole into the soil to avoid slipping over. However, this was the only good part of the experience. They have an overwhelmingly strong smell of chemicals and rubber which I thought would fade with time but still abuses my nostrils when I open my wardrobe. Not only that but the rubber does not give way much and even (or especially) with thick welly socks the skin off my heels and toes was rubbed off during my work. I tried to use them a second and third time, thinking perhaps I'd 'worn them in' so to speak but experienced the same blister and skin rubbing problem. I even have scars on my toes now from it.
All in all, they may look pretty and have decent grip but it's not worth it for the blisters and sore toes!
The Calvin Klein Eau de Toilette 'One' was a real experiment for me when I bought it. I looked at the description and upon seeing it was unisex was quite intrigued. The price was average and the bottle was simple but effective so I bought it without a second thought.
When I first used it I received many compliments from my friends asking which fragrance I was using and I can see why! The scent is definitely understated but I find the mild smell is part of its charm and how it lends itself to both sexes. Not before long were my male friends asking for a quick spray before running out the door and coming back with grins on their faces telling me how they'd been complimented.
Whilst it may be a mild musky smell it is definitely distinct and catches people's attention as you walk past.
The bottle comes in reasonable sizes and has a simple shape so can be stored or packed and definitely held easily.
The Herbal Essences range includes specific purposes per products indicated not only by the name on the front but the colour of the range. In this case it's the red range which has the purpose of protecting the ends of hairs against splitting by conditioning them.
I've used multiple of the kinds in this range and have to say I haven't seen a massive difference in their effect, especially when considering the conditioners except for the smell and the colour. But I can't complain and how well they condition your hair.
I used and finished this bottle of beautiful ends conditioner a little over a month ago and was impressed with the results. The bottle is well designed so that it stands upright without much effort to balance it in the shower. When purchased with the matching shampoo (as I did since there was a buy one get one free offer in Boots at the time which could still be on) they fit into the others shape and save space when precariously balanced on a full shower shelf (as mine were).
They cap opens easily by pushing down on one side with a reasonable amount of force to reveal a rectangular opening on the opposite side. The bottle does take quite a bit of pressure to squeeze the conditioner out which is only made difficult by the fact your hands are wet. However the amount you squeeze out is then well controlled.
After beginning to use the herbal essences conditioners daily I can't imagine it any other way. they leave your hair smooth and easy to comb through after showering whilst still wet thus avoiding snapping or splitting of hairs when brushing.
I received multiple compliments for how healthy and shiny my hair looked and have noticed a reduced amount of hair splitting whilst combing my hair throughout the day since it keeps it silky and untangled.
It also smells very fruity and sweet which has been received well by many of my friends, asking which hair care product I used just to have such nice smelling hair!
I'm the kind of person who listens to music for hours every day so having a reasonable pair of headphones to plug into my HTC smart phone to listen to music is absolutely essential. I'm not a massive music fan in terms of listening to it at the best sound quality level available but I really appreciate reasonable sound quality so for me, these headphones really hit the mark.
They come in such a range of colours which really adds something to product aesthetically, so the choice is a definite plus. I went for the neon orange style and after having used them day in day out for six months there is absolutely no fade in the colour or discolouration, they're just as bright as they were when I bought them. And even when I did drop something on them, the rubber like material is easily and effectively cleaned.
The wires are thin but come with sliding rubber wire tidies which help to keep them from becoming entangled in a pocket or bag. For me they are easily portable and a real god sent on long commutes.
The sound quality is decent- the bass in music is clear, there's never been any crackling or muffling. They don't have much residual sound so music can be turned up to quite a high volume without bothering the people around you too much but be aware that there is some residual sound. Having also tried Dr Dre's Beatz headphones I know that it doesn't have the best sound quality but the sound quality is above average.
I find them especially comfortable. They fit snugly into my ears and even when tugged rarely come out. I don't have particularly small ears but have found some ear phones harder to use before, they become uncomfortable if you lean your ear against anything while they're in. I didn't find this to be the case at all with the gummy ear phones.
They're also reasonably hard wearing. I've dipped them in more than a drink or two in the six months I've had them but they dry up quick enough and the sound quality hasn't been affected. They rubber base that holds the connector straight is beginning to come apart which affects the connection to my left ear phone but after constant usage for 6 months and at such a cheap price, I think they're definitely value for money!