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A long time ago a kind hearted, good natured Jewish boy was about to marry the woman of his dreams but mere moments before the nuptials commence a chance overhearing puts the brakes on love?s young dream and leaves the young boy with a shattered heart and a life long obsession with marriage?kind of.
Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler) was that poor young boy but not anymore, that fateful day turned Danny?s life around. No longer destined to be a cardiac surgeon he is now one of the finest plastic surgeons in America. He?s rich, successful and a hit with the ladies. He?s also married?kind of. Danny has discovered how to make himself irresistible to the opposite sex?tell them you are trapped in a loveless marriage to a horrible wife.
So what happens when you meet the one but she thinks you?re already married? Easy?create a pretend divorce, a pretend wife (Jennifer Aniston) and two pretend kids (Griffin Gluck, Bailee Madison). What could possibly go wrong?
This sounds like a ridiculous plot?and it is. It is quite typically an ?Adam Sandler? movie. It?s easy going, doesn?t take itself too seriously and it?s goofy as hell. If you like his previous stuff you will like this. If you?re not an Adam Sandler fan then this film will probably grate on you like nails down a chalkboard.
Sandler?s character is the typical romantic comedy male lead, he?s self centred and arrogant but with a soft caramel centre underneath. His secretary/ fake wife played by Jennifer Aniston is also very typical of the genre. She?s soft and unassuming on the surface but a stunner with a hot body underneath. He brings out her sexy side and she brings out his caring side. It?s all very nice. Just nice. There are some more abstract characters featured throughout the film though, Eddie (Nick Swanson) was a total surprise, I?m not sure if he was funny or annoying, the same goes for ?Kiki Dee? (Bailee Madison), I feel terrible saying it about a child actress but I found her really annoying. My favourite character and the one that got the most laughs (of which there weren?t really many) was ?Bart? (Griffin Gluck). I liked his character and particularly enjoyed his inventive methods of getting his own way.
The plot is eleborate and over the top and I think the film relies on this for most of it?s humour. The comedy style is very much based on slapstick, silliness and extreme circumstances. I have enjoyed pretty much all the films I have seen Adam Sandler in and this one is no exception. It is the perfect easy viewing for fans of the romantic comedy genre. It?s heartfelt and touching at times but also frivolous and fun. It didn?t prompt any laughing until I ccried moments, it was more of a titter to myself . Overall though it is a well done example of this type of film and although the ending is predictable the journey there has some unexpected moments, nothing too exciting or innovative but different. One rather large surprise was Nicole Kidman?s role as the snotty, stubborn and cringe inducing role of Devlin Adams. A part I would have liked to have seen played by anyone but Nicole Kidman, it just did not suit her. Other than that there isn?t much to complain about, the film does exactly what it says on the romantic comedy tin. A nice and easy way to spend a couple of hours.
What they claim
Aveda claim that this 'invigorating' wash can 'restore skin's balance, awaken the senses and cleanse without over drying'. The product contains certified organic rosemary and peppermint.
I liked this product but I didn't love it. The fragrance was okay but not to my personal taste. For some reason every time I washed with this I thought about lamb chops (that says more about me than the folks at Aveda!). My partner on the other hand adored this fragrance so it is very much a unisex 'each to their own' type of fragrance. A herbal yet refreshing fragrance that makes me think of Sunday dinners!
One thing I did like about this wash was that it more than lived up to its claims to 'cleanse without over drying'. It was a joy to wash with and lathered beautifully, enveloping skin in a rich foam that left me feeling thoroughly cleansed but never dried out. I am a big fan of Aveda's ethics and I love the organic nature of their products, it's just a shame that I didn't personally get along with this fragrance.
The 50ml size bottle was robust and attractive and it was easy to get all of the product out. I accidentally knocked the bottle over whilst open and although the product moved within the bottle the thick consistency meant that it didn't come spilling out so it's well made for travelling.
Price & Availability.
Rosemary & Mint is rather popular amongst Aveda fans and is available in three sizes. The smallest is the 50ml travel size (the one I am reviewing) and that retails for £5. The next size up is the 250ml bottle and costs £16.50. The final size is for the hard core Rosemary & Mint fans and is the 1litre bottle retailing for £49.50. All of the sizes are available from the Aveda website, you can shop around for the 250ml and 1000ml sizes and get a more competitive price but not many places stock the 50ml size.
Would I buy again?
Unfortunately I wasn't keen on the fragrance so it's a no from me but I will definitely be trying out some more Aveda products in the future.
What They Claim;
Balance Me provide 'natural, high-performance, paraben and sulphate free, aromatherapy skincare products'. The company was founded by sisters, Rebecca and Clare Hopkins in 2005 and has grown from a 'kitchen table' company to a well known, highly regarded skincare company.
Their Moisture Rich Face Cream claims to 'plump and soothe' skin and 'rejuvenate' your complexion. The product promises 'improved radiance for sensitive and mature skins and to prevent moisture loss and improve skin elasticity'. That's a lot of promises from one face cream!
I am just the tiniest bit in love with this product and not just because it contains Arctic Cloudberry (a real thing-I checked!), from the packaging to the ingredients the entirety of this product has impressed me. I love the sleek, elegant packaging. Smart but not too formal-it looks like a face cream not an intergalactic space walkie talkie. They plaster a big '99% natural origin' badge on the product and so they should, in a world full of nasties that is definitely something to shout about.
The ingredient list contains a wonderful array of smoothing and soothing extracts, oils and absolutes. The fragrance is a-may-zing and the thick, rich cream melts into the skin, calming and relaxing as it goes. My skin can be a little over dramatic when faced (ha ha!) with new skincare, especially with products as rich as this but I am pleased to report that I have had no reaction to using this-that's right nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch. I do only use this product at night though, I personally find it too heavy for day time use but if you've got dry skin I think this would be fantastic for daily use, particularly in winter.
It's difficult to comment on whether the product lives up to its elasticity improving claims but it definitely soothes and plumps up skin and provides plenty of moisture and nourishment alongside creating a more bright and even complexion.
Price & Availability
Balance Me is available from a wide variety of stockists. I tend to choose Look Fantastic as they are usually running some kind of offer/free gift but I would pay the full price of £24 for a 50ml tube if necessary. Yes, £24 is slightly expensive for a moisturiser but when you compare this product to others of equal quality this one is relatively cheap.
Would I buy again?
Not only will I repurchase this product but I have intentions of venturing further into the Balance Me range and trying lots more of their natural, good quality products.
What they claim;
Dove claim that their 'Silky Nourishment Body Lotion nourishes every inch of your skin for a soft silky feel and a natural shimmering glow'. The product contains the Dove DeepCare Complex which professes to 'include natural skin nutrients and rich essential oil to deeply nourish skin'
What I say;
Dove have managed to cram the word 'nourish' into every available space on this bottle so let's start there. This product is moisturising, it benefits skin and makes a somewhat noticeable difference to dry skin however, I personally wouldn't describe the product as 'nourishing' as I don't think it is rich enough for that title. It is a nice to use lotion, it's easily absorbed, easy to apply and has the signature subtle Dove fragrance but it isn't the thick, indulgent cream that the word 'nourish' implies. I feel like I'm applying an everyday lotion rather than cocooning myself in something special.
The 'light reflecting particles' and the 'natural shimmering glow' are also a little off the mark. I found the product to be very shimmery and not at all natural looking. I felt more 90s Spice Girl than glowing Brazilian goddess. I used the product throughout the winter so I could cover up my sparkly limbs but I imagine with a tan and in the right environment the 'light reflecting particles' may be of some benefit. Possibly.
Price and Availability
I believe that this has been discontinued and so it won't be available as widely as the current Dove range but you can still pick this up from discount stores and of course Amazon. You'll be paying around £3 for 250ml- a very reasonable price as I did find that the product lasted a fair while, a bonus if you enjoy using it but for me I was happy to reach the end (darn inability to throw things out led me to persevere).
Would I buy it again?
As you can probably tell I won't be repurchasing this product again. Although the quality was typical of Dove's high standard I didn't feel that this was particularly enjoyable to use and it left me glittery which is not a good look for me!
I am not over exaggerating when I say 'I cannot live without this product'. I had this product recommended to me during a pamper evening that was being held at the Meadowhall Store and I have been using it ever since. I adore it.
What They Claim;
The folks over at The Body Shop claim that their Seaweed Pore Perfector 're-balances excess oil' and 'gives clearer looking skin'. It is a 'treatment gel' that is designed to 'minimise the appearance of pores'. If it does all that then surely I must have the most amazing skin after using this product for over a year?
What I say?
Almost. Whilst I don't profess that this is a miracle cure in a bottle, it has gone a long way in improving the appearance of my skin. I apply the serum after toning and before moisturising. I tend to just apply it to my T-zone and chin area as these are my problem areas. I get congested skin that looks oily, spotty and inflamed. It isn't pleasant but since integrating this product into my daily skincare regime I have noticed a distinct improvement in the quality of my skin in these areas.
The areas look smoother and calmer, as well as clearer and with a more even skin tone. I don't have particularly obvious pores but my skin is less oily and stays matte for much longer.
I love the packaging of this product, it's clean and fresh and the dispenser is perfect. You get just the right amount to cover your T-zone in each pump. I like that you can clearly see how much product you have left (essential when you use it every day-no one likes to run out of a Holy Grail product unexpectedly) you can get every last bit out of the packaging and although £11 for 15ml might seem expensive the product has lasted me for several months with generous daily use.
I love how this product feels on my skin. Unlike many treatments made for oily skin it isn't drying, it actually feels rather moisturising and cooling when initially applied. It has a very light, fresh fragrance and glides over freshly cleansed skin, absorbing evenly and quickly.
Price and Availability
The Seaweed Pore Perfector is exclusive to The Body Shop and you can purchase it in-store or on-line. It is priced at £11 for 15ml of product, which sounds like a lot but in comparison to other pore perfecting products on the market this is actually quite cheap, especially when it's so effective.
Would I buy again?
What they claim;
Ren Clean Skincare has been designed to give you 'healthier, more beautiful skin that looks younger for longer'. They aim to do this by focusing on creating products that contain no synthetic 'nasties' and only use ingredients derived from plant and mineral actives. Ren claim their products are innovative and effective whilst remaining pleasurable to use. The Active 7 Eye Gel claims to revive and brighten the eye area whilst reducing the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Bold Claims.
What I say;
The product is a crystal clear gel with a very faint herbal/floral fragrance to it. The fragrance is barely detectable unless you purposefully sniff the product. I like this in an eye gel as too much fragrance can be very irritating but complete lack of fragrance can be a little boring. I like the freshness of the fragrance with this gel. It is invigorating and delicately hints towards the products natural ingredients.
The gel has a cooling and soothing effect when applied and smoothes on easily without tugging at the delicate eye area. I find that a little goes a long way and that the product spreads with ease. I do find that the area where the product has been applied can remain a little bit tacky for a few seconds after application but that is easily remedied by waiting a few moments prior to moving onto your next skincare/make up application although that may not be ideal for those in a hurry.
As with most eye gels the primary function is to cool, soothe and reduce puffiness. I find that this product achieves all of those things and generally makes my eye area appear more refreshed and makes me appear more awake. I don't find this product particularly moisturising but it certainly isn't drying. I think the main benefit of this product is it's ability to cool and soothe. I think it helps to reduce puffiness but I don't believe that it has had any noticeable effect on dark circles.
Price and Availability
The recommended retail price for the 15ml standard size is £20. You can purchase this product directly from www.renskincare.com and various online beauty stores such as www.beautyexpert.co.uk. I would recommend using caution when shopping around as there are more and more cases of premium beauty brand fakes appearing on the market. If in doubt always purchase from a reputable retailer.
Would I buy this product again?
I personally feel that the £20 price tag is justified as the product contains high quality ingredients and a little goes a long way so I do consider this product to be economical on a 'price per use' basis however. If tired eyes are something you are looking to combat then I would certainly recommend you give this gel a try.
We recently had a one night stay at the Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel situated on London's swish Park Lane, over the road from Hyde Park and around the corner from Oxford Street. In terms of a central location this hotel is fantastic. It is has all of the above attractions in walking distance as well as Marble Arch tube station just a five minute walk up the road. It is ideally located for exploring the city although we were there to attend a function and so didn't have much time for exploring.
The average room rate for a night in the Grosvenor including breakfast is £365. That is expensive and although this is a prestigious hotel in a central location it is too much to pay for one night. As nice as the hotel is I don't think it warrants that price tag. Fortunately for us our accommodation was paid for by my partners company.
The general feel of the hotel is very opulent with rich reds and golds adorning the large and spacious entrance and reception. There is a man with a top hat opening doors for you and there is an awful lot of marble. First impressions were good. The staff were exceptionally helpful, check in was simple and easy and everything was well explained to us. You are required to provide a credit card so the Grosvenor can authorise £100 to cover any damages. This is refunded upon check out if eligible. I found this process easy and efficient.
The rooms themselves are very large and the beds are the biggest I have ever seen. I have been to the Grosvenor twice and both bedrooms I have stayed in have been equally spacious. The rooms are decorated in the same lavish style as the foyer and reception. It seems that the interior of the rooms hasn't worn as well as downstairs though as the rooms feel a little dated and the colours seem a bit washed out. Free of charge tea and coffee making facilities are provided in each room alongside an iron, ironing board, umbrella, bible, complimentary toiletries, bath robes and slippers. The rooms also contain an extortionately priced mini bar, I'm talking £8 for a small Toblerone. Needless to say we didn't indulge in anything from the mini bar! Our latest room was a disabled room and contained a walk in shower instead of a bath, this is great for those in wheelchairs and the room and bathroom are very accessible but I would have liked the extra indulgence of being able to have a relaxing bath. I am not sure why we ended up with a disabled room. If you are disabled then I imagine the room would be easy to navigate and there are plenty of red pull strings to alert attention if required. I cannot express how terrified I was that me or my partner would accidentally pull on one during a midnight toilet trip, fortunately that didn't happen.
Each room contains a desk and writing apparatus, although in our desk there was paper and envelopes but no pen. I think that there should have been as there was space for one. Tea and coffee facilities included tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a delicious shortbread biscuit. Room service menus were provided but we didn't indulge in this. I would say the prices were in line with other £365 a night hotels. Expensive but maybe not to those who can afford to pay the going room rate. There appeared to be several places to eat at the Marriott Grosvenor including a small sandwich shop/Starbucks but as we were there to attend a function we didn't eat in any of these establishments.
Although I wouldn't recommend the Grosvenor on a personal level as it is too expensive I would recommend the hotel for formal functions. Our event was held in the Ball Room. We began with a champagne reception in the Breakfast Room, there were plenty of staff all carrying full trays of drinks including non alcoholic options. We were then guided to the Ball Room which had been decorated beautifully and gave a very grand first impression. Here we ate a traditional five course meal which was absolutely beautiful, if the food elsewhere in the Grosvenor is as fantastic as the meal we ate then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the hotel for it's food. The service was second to none. Everything ran smoothly, there was an abundance of staff all of which were friendly and helpful. The facilities were clean and well maintained even towards the end of the night.
Upon returning to our hotel room we noticed that staff had been in and turned down our beds, provided complimentary bottled water and had a bit of tidy round. This was nice but the staff had left a very wet cleaning cloth on my luggage. A one off occurrence no doubt but I was quite annoyed that my luggage had got wet. I felt it a little unprofessional that they would leave cleaning cloths lying around. I didn't bring this up and so cannot comment on how complaints/issues are dealt with.
I had a comfortable nights sleep. The bed was very comfortable, there were lots of pillows and the quilt was nice and heavy. The room was a little cold but the controllable heating/air conditioning soon sorted this. The curtains were very effective at blocking the light, even at 9am the room looked like it was the middle of the night.
I can't remember what time breakfast began but I know it ended at 11am and check out was noon. I liked this as it enabled us to have a leisurely morning. Breakfast was buffet style and the choices were plentiful from a full English to fruit and yogurts. Drinks ranged from tea and coffee to smoothies and fruit juices. The breakfast was nice but not the quality of the previous night and the self serve English breakfast items were luke warm rather than piping hot like I would have liked. Again, the staff were really helpful.
Check out was quick and simple and we were allowed to leave our bags and collect them later on. Our bags were kept in a secure location and a ticket was required to collect them. I felt very safe leaving my luggage.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay at The Marriott Grosvenor. It was a wonderful experience but in terms of the hotel stay I have experienced very similar levels of cleanliness, just as comfortable beds and just as nicely decorated rooms for a fraction of the price, even in central London. The Grosvenor provides a wonderful experience in terms of the quality of the food, the attentiveness of the staff and the general feeling of indulgence but I don't necessarily think you need to stay there to experience that, maybe just go for a meal there because I personally don't think the rooms and the breakfast are outstanding enough to warrant £365 a night. As a business venue for a company event I would recommend it though, although I have no idea how much a five course meal for a few thousand people would cost!
This is The End 
Released: 2013, Run Time: 107 minutes, Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Film only review.
There is a party going off in the Hollywood hills and all of America's hottest comedy stars are invited. James Franco is hosting and anyone who's anyone will be there. From the cool Seth Rogen to the genteel Jonah Hill (what do you mean you don't know the difference?), from the eager Michael Cera to the reluctant Jay Baruchel. Even Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) is going.
What's the worst that could happen? I don't know...maybe the Apocalypse perhaps?
First things first, you won't have seen a film like this before. Yes, you've seen comedy actors making cameo appearances before. Yes, you've seen a ridiculous apocalypse movie and yes, you've seen James Franco acting like he's stoned. But all in one film? I don't think so.
This film has been a true revelation for me. I expected it to irritate me but it has inadvertently become one of my favourite films and is the funniest thing I have seen in a LONG time. Just thinking about it now makes me chuckle. I genuinely loved it.
The basic premise is that all of Hollywood's finest are at James Franco's house for a party when the apocalypse begins. Hell is raining fire on the whole of LA, craters open that swallow houses and homes and even the richest of celebrities can't escape sudden and instant death. It's a ridiculous plot line, the acting is exaggerated and it isn't in the slightest bit believable but it's a hoot and a half! I love the acting throughout this film. There will be no Oscars for most moving performances but the actors played genuinely hilarious versions of themselves. In fact, even though the storyline was preposterous and the events that occurred absurd I genuinely feel like I know James Franco a little better now. Each of the actors are totally believable as themselves (What!?! Did I even just say that?)
One of the most beautiful aspects of this film is how it challenges the conventions of the modern disaster film. It mocks the production, the effects and even the music associated with modern film making. It also mocks the people what star in such films. The actors are mocking themselves, something which I find endearing and it makes me appreciate the actors even more. I love that they can make fun of themselves. In regards to the soundtrack, I can't say that I follow the logic of why the songs were chosen but I will say that you will be singing 'Backstreet's Back' for at least three days afterwards irrelevant of whether you like the song or the film.
The action is silly and far-fetched and there is of course the obligatory exorcist reference but as far as I'm concerned all these little things add to the overall effect. It is a parody, not to be taken seriously and as long as you bear that in mind you're in for a real treat. It wouldn't have worked with a lower calibre of comedy actor. It needed to be done exactly as it has been done. I don't like slapstick, silly, lose plotted films but the comedy shone through all the things I don't like about films and made this one of the most enjoyable things I have seen in a long while. The opening scenes are like a 'Where's Wally' game, spotting all the celebrities who are at the party. It is genuinely fun and I am genuinely surprised by the amount of people that were willing to participate in a film that mocks their entire industry.
Overall if you like the actors involved and you've seen and loved Pineapple Express then watch this. I could quite happily watch this over and over and still find it funny. I challenge you not to be rolling on the floor laughing
I am not one for fancy kitchen gadgets but my partner definitely is (He works with computers-LOVES technology) so when this Tassimo machine became available for the reasonable price of £50 we took the plunge and indulged ourselves in a little retail therapy. Online forums and even reviews on this site suggest that this machine can be bought on short lived offers for a wide variety of prices but I feel that £50 is an appropriate price for this machine. If you can get it for less- hurrah! I'm not sure I would have paid much over £50 though. My tip: Keep an eye out for offers and act quickly, they sell out fast on offer, I did see the machine on offer for £30 but didn't fancy it at the time, big mistake on my part. Anyway, onwards with the review...
The Tassimo machine is one of many hot drink making machines available on the market. It has been around for quite a while and seems quite popular at the moment. I preferred to go with Tassimo, not only because of the price but also because it is a well established brand and I knew that I could pick up the drinks discs during my regular weekly shop. I didn't want to buy a machine that would ultimately be useless when they discontinued the pods but I think the popularity and affordability of the machine itself will prevent this (fingers crossed).
The machine itself is a sleek black number. It looks nice in my kitchen and it takes up about the same worktop space as my four slice toaster. We have quite a large kitchen and so it can be put out of the way but in a small kitchen it might be a bit imposing and get in the way. My advice would be to make sure you have enough worktop space to keep it out as I imagine it would be a pain to store it and move it every time you wanted a drink. It has a 2 litre water tank that sits at the back of the machine and is easily removed and therefore easy to fill. The machine has a clip/flip lid in which you place the T-discs, I found this stiff at first but that was due to the newness of the machine, it has since loosened slightly and is now easier to lift. There is an adjustable cup stand/drip tray and to the right of that are the buttons for use. It is a smooth, attractive looking machine and I like the way it looks in my kitchen.
It is also impressively easy to use. All you need to do is place your chosen T-disc into the holder at the top, close the lid and push the button. Certain drinks require two pods, a creamer and the drink itself. In this case you simply do one then the other according the instructions on that particular pack. It's so simple. The intelli-brew system does all the work. Want to know how? Each T-disk has a unique barcode containing 'instructions' on how the drink should be made. The machine reads this bar code and prepares the drink accordingly. In terms of ease of use the Tassimo definitely gets five stars.
So, what kind of quality can you expect? I personally find the quality of the drinks to be average. They are much better than I could make at home but when you compare them to coffee shop standards they fall a bit short but in all honesty that is what I expected. You can't get barista style coffee from a machine. You can however, get a delicious, cheaper alternative in the comfort of your own home. I would particularly recommend the Costa range of Latte and Cappucino and the Twinings Chai Latte is delicious. I tend to use my Tassimo to make more 'exotic' drinks such as Lattes, Cappuccinos' etc. As although they do make Tea T-disks I personally find them expensive, it's much easier and cheaper to boil the kettle and pop a tea bag in a cup. There is no getting away from the fact that the T-discs are a tad on the expensive side at between £4-£5 for between 8 and 12 drinks but if it's replacing your £5 a day Costa habit then you're onto a winner. One thing I must point out though is that the drinks are tiny- think tea cup rather than mug and although there is the option to add extra water I do find that this waters down the taste substantially so with that in mind Tassimo drinks may not actually be that much cheaper than coffee shop drinks when you consider price per ml.
We have set a limit of one Tassimo drink each a day in our house- that may seem extreme and although it is partly due to the cost of T discs the main reason is for health benefits. T-discs have a lot of sugar and fat and are not a healthy choice of hot drink, they are an indulgent treat and as easy as it would be to drink these every time we fancied it would become a terribly unhealthy habit so we will stick to our once-a-day T-mo treat!
I like the machine and since moving to the middle of nowhere it is nice to be able to get a nice indulgent coffee without having to get the bus to the nearest coffee shop. There are a wide range of drinks available in T-disc format and like everything else nowadays it pays to shop around. It is definitely a convenient invention, nice to have around and I would miss it if it wasn't here. My partner loves it more than I do but we'll see about that when the novelty wears off!
The machine is easy to maintain, it requires a simple procedure that is fully explained in the instructions and everything you need is supplied with the machine.
Overall I would recommend purchasing a Tassimo if you enjoy a leisurely drink at home and if you can get the machine for a reasonable price. I wouldn't advise paying more than £50 for one as you maybe disappointed and bear in mind the cost of future T-discs when making your decision.
One final tip is to register your machine. I did so and received a £20 voucher for the Tassimo online shop which enabled me to stock up on T-discs, I have also received information to the email address I registered with in regards to other offers which are always going to be handy as long as I have the machine and have T-discs to purchase.
This blemish gel is exclusive to The Body Shop (TBS) and is part of their best selling Tea Tree range designed for spot prone skin. This product retails at £6 both online and in TBS stores. Anyone who has read my previous Body Shop product reviews will know that I never pay full retail price for anything from TBS, there is almost always some sort of promotion be it 3 for 2 instore, an O2 priority moments offer or an online discount code. Please do shop around as that little bit of research prior to purchase can save you a fair bit of money.
The gel is supplied in a small tube which holds 2.5ml of product, that doesn't sound like a lot but a little goes a long way and even with regular use this tube will last a month or two. It is unmistakeably 'Tea Tree' in design and is in keeping with the rest of the product range. It has the leafy emblems, rich green colour scheme and The Body Shop logo.
The tube screws open to reveal an applicator similar to that of a lipgloss applicator, but for heavens sake don't apply this in the wrong place-it doesn't taste nice! The applicator is an effective way of applying an appropriate amount of product directly onto a blemish. It is easy to dab onto the affected area and I like that you don't have to use your fingers and thus you can avoid making the problem area worse. It is a nicely designed package that has all the usual warnings, use by dates and information associated with skin care products.
The gel is a nice thick consistency and goes onto the skin clear. The consistency helps it to stay in place and the lack of colour means no one need know you are wearing it. I usually apply this product after toning and before moisturising. I find that it doesn't leave my skin sticky and I can apply make up with no trace of it being visible. The active ingredient in this product is Tea Tree which is a natural antiseptic and works to reduce redness, remove bacteria and clear skin without over drying. I find that this product does all of those things brilliantly and I think this product is worth £6 of anybody's money. As with most Tea Tree products there maybe the occasional stinging sensation but I find that is more when applying to slightly open blemishes , another downfall to Tea Tree is the smell. It isn't the nicest of fragrances, it has a strong antiseptic smell but the scent doesn't linger on your skin and I actually find the medicinal scent to be quite clean and refreshing.
Overall this clear gel is a great way of dealing with problem skin. I find it's handbag friendly design so convenient and I love that it clears my skin without creating dry patches. It is cooling and soothing and it works.
Clarins beauty Flash Balm is a brightening, tightening radiance booster designed to illuminate skin without creating a glittery finish. It can be applied in a thin layer before make up or it can be applied thickly and used as a mask. I personally find using the product as a mask to be a little wasteful as I don't find the outcome very impressive. I prefer to use the product as a thin layer to boost my skin's appearance. It works well under make up as long as you don't rub it in! That is a vital instruction as if you rub the product in it will go 'bitty' and you'll have to wash your face and start again and when a product costs £29 for a 50ml tube you really don't want to be washing it off.
I first tried this product aged 21 and at that time I felt it didn't do a lot for me but my second attempt at using Clarins Beauty Flash Balm was much more successful than my first, possibly because I now have dark circles, dull skin and the odd facial crease (we don't say wrinkles in our house!). I love how refreshing the product feels on my 'life weary' skin and the fragrance instantly lifts my mood. The product evens my skin tone and creates a smooth even base for my make up. If I am feeling particularly brave I will just apply the balm and nothing else. I like how this product works with my skin, it is a thick peachy pink cream that is easy to apply. It doesn't clog my pores, create excess oil or disappear half way through the day. It provides long lasting luminance and makes me look more awake than I feel! It is a little bit on the expensive side (okay, a lot) but the odd luxury is sometimes worth it and for me personally I enjoy using the product enough to warrant the £29 price tag. I also find that the 30ml size of the product is often included in value sets or provided as a free gift so with a bit of shopping around you could get more Clarins for your money. A little product does go along way though particularly if you avoid using it as a mask and just apply as you would a daily moisturiser.
As with all Clarins products it comes in the distinct red and white packaging. The tube is easy to use and easy to control so no excess product comes out. The tube stands on it's screwtop lid making it easier to dispense the product, especially when it is nearly empty. I would always advise you to cut open the tube though as I find there are nearly always several more applications sneakily hidden down the sides of tubes!
Overall it is a fantastic product for illuminating skin and creating a fresh glow. It is one of those product where I have tried cheaper alternatives but nothing works as well as this product and I find the cheaper products to be a false economy. It has earned it status as a classic beauty/skincare staple and for those with tired and dull skin I wouldn't hestitate to recommend it. It is an expensive product but it is a premium brand and unfortunately for that you pay a premium price but I always shop around when I buy Clarins just because the prices can vary so wildly and the offers available can lead to some good bargains.
Clarins products are stocked by many department stores, high street chemists such as Boots and online beauty stores. Be careful when shopping for Clarins as unfortunately they are one of the more popular brands that scammers choose to counterfeit.
Let me begin by saying that I am not a health food fanatic, I like processed sugary rubbish. I know that it is bad for me but I love it. I have a wicked sweet tooth that isn't easy to satisfy and based on that I would never have agreed to try this product. It is only because I received the Nakd Cocoa Orange bar in a monthly beauty box that it even entered my house.
I've seen these bars everywhere, supermarkets, health food shops, even on Amazon. Visually they look appealing, very rustic, rustling paper wrappers instead of shiny foil. This particular product from the range is eaily identified as chocolate orange flavour. The wrapper is plastered with information about how you should eat raw, unprocessed foods, personally I find the packaging a little condescending towards those who don't follow a raw diet. Overall the packaging works and identifies the product within the market. I love the title Nakd- no E's (Geddit?), very clvr!
So we've established that this isn't the kind of snack that I would normally purchase, especially as a 35g bar costs around 75p- I can get a four pack of Mars bars for a £1! Anyway, what does it taste like? This is the part where I have to eat my words because I bloomin' loved it! Granted when you unwrap the product it looks a bit like a mud pie and is somewhat unappealing but if you can get past that you will be greeted with the most wonderful chocolate orange squidgy flavour that melts in your mouth. It has a very sweet flavour, a majority of which comes from the key ingredient- dates. I'm not a fan of dried fruit but I didn't feel like I was eating a bar of squished together fruit but I was and I enjoyed it. I found the bar to be really filling so much more filling that the same size chocolate bar. It has a fudge like texture with the occasionally nutty, slightly crunchy bit. It is not the dry, crusty cereal bar that I had in mind. It actually felt rather indulgent.It's definately not a slimming aid at 145 calories (yes that's more than a two finger Kit-Kat) but the point is more about choosing 'good' sugars instead of' bad' ones and although a little calorific it was filling and had a lot more nutrients than it's chocolately counter parts. The bar is gluten free, wheat free and dairy free so it's an ideal treat for those on restricted diets, all of the benefits but without losing any of the flavour.The ingredients list was the biggest surprise;
That's it. I feel that they could clarify what the flavourings are, especially as they are extolling the virtues of transparency in the food industry and staying away from processed items, seems a little suspicious to me but apart from that a bar that tastes this nice, is one of your five a day and satisfies that chocolate monster has to be a good thing. In fact i'm off to purchase the Celebration Box so I can try more products from the clvr boffins at Nakd.
Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in order to test and review it. The fact that this product was free has not influenced my opinions on the products effectiveness and therefore this review is a true representation of my opinions on the Philips VisaPure.
The first thing that struck me about the Philips VisaPure was how well packaged it was. The product comes in a sturdy box that is easy to open and provides adequate protection for the product and all it's parts. The packaging definitely appeals to me as I do a lot of shopping online and I appreciate quality packaging as I hate items to arrive damaged. The product is nicely presented with each part securely and individually packaged, this keeps the parts such as the facial brush attachments clean and hygienic. The packaging represents clinical, clean professionalism alongside appealing images and plenty of information meaning it is appealing to the consumer and instantly made me feel that this is a good quality, well thought out product and I felt safe to use it.
The product itself is very easy to use and the instructions provided are very clear. The user manual is very comprehensive and easily ensures correct use of the product. The pictorial quick start guide is very handy to look at if you need a gentle reminder on what to do, I liked this as it prevented me from having to read through the more in depth information again for just a snippet of information.
The main parts to the device are the 'handle' and the facial brush attachments. It is very easy to attach and remove the facial brush attachments, they are easy to clean and come in their own protective casing, a must when dealing with facial skincare as cleanliness is very important. The caps for the brush attachments are made of sturdy plastic and come with ventilation holes, this again is very handy as some manual facial brushes I have owned have gone mouldy due to holding moisture, this doesn't happen with the VisaPure as the holes allow for the brush to dry completely. The handle is very attractive, a nice sleek design and it comes with it's own stand which keeps the device upright. This means I can display the product in the bathroom and it takes up very little space. It is also visually appealing and reminds me to use it twice daily.
The Philips VisaPure claims to provide deep cleansing, aid absorption of your skincare products and reveal soft and radiant skin, so how does the product measure up to it's claims? I used the device daily for three days and noted my progress.
Day One; The first time I used the product I was surprised at how gentle the brushing action felt. At the time I thought that it may not be effective but once I had finished my skin felt exceptionally clean but not stripped of it's natural oils. It felt exfoliated but not harshly scrubbed. My skin was left feeling refreshed and looked brighter. I used my ordinary foaming cleanser so I could compare how using it manually compared to using it with the VisaPure and I was surprised at the difference using the VisaPure made to my cleansers effectiveness. I was a little concerned that the electronic brushing action may produce an extraordinary amount of foam but it didn't, my cleanser just foamed as much as it ordinarily would. My everyday moisturiser glided on and my skin felt super smooth.
Day Two; The second time I used the product I tried the higher setting and found that I prefer it. I have quite resilient skin and enjoyed the more forceful sensation, although saying that the brushing action still felt gentle and again my skin turned out smooth, soft and radiant but without feeling 'stripped' or scrubbed. I had spent the day painting and decorating and had worked up quite a sweat. I used the VisaPure to cleanse my skin after a hard days work and it felt fantastic. My skin went from feeling clogged up to clean in sixty seconds!
Day Three; The previous two days I had used facial wash with my VisaPure but today I felt it necessary to try a different type of cleanser with the product to ensure an accurate review. So today I used the VisaPure with a cream cleanser as opposed to a foaming wash. I found that the product didn't distribute evenly over my face and therefore some areas felt like dry brushing, it wasn't unpleasant and it didn't irritate my skin but I think for best results the VisaPure is best used with gel cleanser or foaming facial washes.
In order to get the most from your cleansing routine Philips have divided the face into three areas, left side, right side and T-Zone. The VisaPure runs in three lots of twenty second bursts, one for each area. The thing that surprised me most was how quickly 20 seconds passed, at first it didn't feel long enough but the effects proved me wrong. It is the perfect amount of time for each section of your face and I love that it indicates when to change, this allows me to cleanse evenly and prevents me from over cleansing. I love the timer feature. The product has a rechargeable battery and I have found that a complete charge will enable you to use the product for a month.
I have slightly oily skin that is prone to clogging and so getting a completely clean feeling is rather difficult for me but I have to say since discovering the VisaPure my skin has never felt so clean and refreshed. I am prone to spots and due to being exceptionally pale in skin tone my face shows every blemish and inconsistency. Whilst the VisaPure hasn't eradicated these issues it has made my skin appear brighter and blemishes less frequent and noticeable, I hope with continued use my skin will continue to improve. Prior to trying the VisaPure I wasn't convinced that it was necessary to own an electronic facial cleanser but having tried it I have completely changed my mind. I wouldn't be without my VisaPure now. It is a well made product from a reputable company and more importantly it lives up to it's claims.
The Visa Pure currently retails for around £150 and therefore is a very expensive method of cleansing. Although I love using it I could never have justified paying that amount of money just to wash my face but if you are looking to purchase a facial exfoliator then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Philips VisaPure.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
As the 74th annual Hunger Games approach, every boy and girl across each of the 12 districts holds their breath. Each district will hold a 'Reaping' in which both a male and female tribute will be chosen from all those aged between 12 and 18. It is the tributes job to head to the glitzy, glamorous Capitol and represent their District in the annual televised fight to the death. Friends become enemies, allegiances become deadly and moral lines become blurred as the annual event evolves into a blood soaked battle for survival, there can be only one winner and this year Katniss Everdeen needs it to be her.
Forced to watch their beloved children battle to the death in an entertainment driven television show causes unease throughout all of Panem's twelve Districts but rebellion, defiance and an uprising are not an option, the destruction of the rebellious District 13 and the power of the Capitol holds the citizens of Panem firmly in their place. They watch as the tributes destory one another, each District hoping that one of their children will return a Victor, that their loved one will return home.
In a society dejected and abandoned how do you remain hopeful? And in 'The Arena' alongside 23 other tributes all desperate to survive how do you stay alive or more importantly how do you die with dignity, grace and your morals intact?
Join us for the 74th annual Hunger Games and remember, let the odds be ever in your favour.
I fought reading this book for quite a while. I had heard it compared to Twilight (hated the films, haven't read the books) and having seen the first Hunger Games film and not finding it particularly outstanding I resisted reading the book until I had nothing better to do. I picked up the book whilst on holiday and didn't put it down until the week was over. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I hang by head in shame at truly 'judging a book by it's cover'.
The Hunger Games is described as being 'teen fiction' and so I found it quite an easy read in terms of language choices and sentence structure but the concept I found quite adult. Some may find the concept of teenagers fighting to the death to be the most disturbing part of this book for I personally found the Capitol's control of the twelve Districts more concerning. In a modern society of reality TV, self made celebrities and advances in psychology, weaponry and other such disciplines, just how far away are we from our own version of The Hunger Games? That is the scary part for me. The book has a strong storyline, that has been well thought out and well executed.
Having said that though I found the Capitol, District 12 and Panem in general to be far enough away from reality to be enjoyable. They were well drawn and the systems, rules and connections between the Districts and the Capitol were well explained as opposed to the film, where I felt things got a little confusing for those not already familiar with the world of Panem. The characters throughout the novel were easy to relate to and their motivations were easy to understand, even the more viscious and brutal characters had threads of humanity running through them.
The main characters of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are much more likeable throughout the book than they are the film. The contrast between the hardened, restrained Katniss and the loveable, doe- eyed Peeta makes for great chemistry between lead characters. The more minor characters are also well explained and no one fades into the background. The interactions between characters build excitement and tension in equal measure. I felt like I was part of District 12, I felt the excitement, the terror and the sadness.
The physical surroundings are described precisely and without excess description. I know the layout of the Arena, I know the woods just outside of District 12's border and I know the coal dusted streets of District 12, the hustle and bustle of the illegal trading scene and the sweet smell of the Bakers shop. I believe that such a place exists, this book is so well written.
I found the novel slower in pace to start with but I found that necessary as it led to a greater understanding of the dystopian world that the characters inhabit. Once inside the Arena the novel became fast paced and exciting, I connected with characters, I felt the tension in the air and I whipped through the pages. I didn't just want to know what happened next- I needed to know- a significant indicator of a good book!
Overall the Hunger Games is a fantastic 'teen' exploration of a dystopian world. I use the term 'teen' as I found it tame in comparison to my favourite books such Clockwork Orange, 1984 etc. but it is a very enjoyable book in it's own right. Suzanne Collins has done a fantastic job in creating a believable world inhabited by believable characters and I can't wait to continue reading, in fact I'm off to read the second book right now.....
Atlantis:The Lost Empire.[U]
Released: 2001, Runtime: 95mins, Genre: Family, Animated, Adventure
Film only review.
Milo Thatch (Michael J Fox); linguist, explorer, adventurer and grandson to the famous Thaddeus Thatch....he is also the museums leading 'boiler room attendant'. Milo can be found in his closet at the museum fantasizing about discovery and adventure and like his grandfather before him, he too dreams of unearthing the great city of Atlantis. He has the skills and the knowledge but the down on his luck Milo can never catch a break. The investors ignore and ridicule him and he is left in his closet with grand ideas and a bucketful of dreams... That is until late one night a mysterious visitor arranges a private rendevous with the equally enigmatic friend of the late Thaddeus Thatch, fellow explorer and multi-millionaire, Preston D Whitmore (John Mahoney) Milo becomes the final member of a precise crew assembled by Whitmore and prepared to face legendary monsters and demons they embark on a whirlwind adventure that sees them scale the deepest darkest depths of the ocean and beyond. What has happened to the great city?, Will they ever find it? And if they do, what mysteries and legends will they uncover?
I love a good Disney film. I'm 25 years old and I've got no children but you will always find me snuggled on the sofa enjoying some Disney, especially when I'm under the weather so on a rainy afternoon when I was struck down with a particularly nasty virus. I browsed Netflix and uncovered a whole host of Disney goodies. Amidst the classics I noticed this one. I vaguely remember hearing about this film at the time of it's release in 2001 but I haven't heard much about it since and in most circles this film has been classed as a bit of write off but I fail to see why, I rather enjoyed it.
The film has a fantasic cast, including legends such as Micheal J. Fox (Milo) John Mahoney (Whitmore) and the magnificent James Garner (commander Rourke). The voice overs are well cast and are executed with emotion and character. The lead character of Milo is instantly adorable and the other characters are indivual and easily identifiable. It has a wide range of characters, a favourite character for all types of viewer, my particular favourite is Milo.
This film goes back to Disney's classic animation roots, no cgi, no 3d , just the classic , well drawn, perfectly imagined style that made Disney so famous and I find it really refreshing. Don't get me wrong I love the modern techniques and for certain films they are a necessiy but with this particular film it wouldn't have been appropriate. This is a classic film both in terms of animation and plot line. Disney have taken a well known subject and reinterpreted it to create, fantasy, suspicion and adventure. There are good guys and bad guys, heros and heroines and a comedic little man named Mole (Corey Burton).This film has been created using the classic Disney formula and I like it. It made me chuckle, it kept my interest and it was believable (as far as fantasy animation goes) it didn't feel far fetched or like it was trying too hard. It was an enjoyable family adventure that was suitable for all the family. I did guess a few plot twists early on but as the film is aimed at young children I expected this.
One thing this film does lack in relation to other Disney animated films is a memorable soundtrack. I didn't notice any significant music and there was none of the usual characters randomly bursting into song, something which has probably contributed to this film ending up in the bargain bin.
Overall, I enjoyed it and I would happily watch it again and maybe even add the dvd to my ever growing collection. It's never going to be welcomed into the Disney hall of fame but it is a watchable adventure and the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.Maybe if it had popstars doing the voices and explosions that leapt out of the screen it may have been reviewed more favourably at the time. It seems such a shame that this film cannot be enjoyed for what it is, a classic adventure tale that reminds us what childrens films are all about.