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After a long delay I am back, work commitments kept me really really busy. However, the summer came and went too quickly for me and I really do not like this very cold weather and nor does my skin. I always find that my lips always seem suffer quite badly when the weather turns from warm to cold to even colder, like it is right now, and I am usually running for the nearest lip balm I can find from within my growing collection to ensure my lips stay quite moisturised and smooth. I have said before that I am fussy about which type of lip balm I use because a past experience left me with awful chapped lips after the promise of smooth and supple lips. However after using Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss which I was really impressed with, I now have a new favourite lip gloss which is Radiance Lip Shimmer. For anyone who has never heard of this company they do have their very own dedicated website and for me they produce my favourite lip care products which is quite a wide and varied range of products to choose from such as sore, chapped lips, lip gloss, lip balms and medicated lip balms. Radiance Lip Shimmer itself is slightly smaller in size to your high street brands and contains 2.7g the product and it is shaped very similar to the Carmex tubes of lip balm that you can buy. The one main difference is the price tag which accompanies the product, where as many of the high street brands retail for anything form 99p to £3 this particular one retails for £5.99 which is a lot more expensive than most people, including myself would usually pay for a lip gloss from Boots or somewhere similar. However, I decided I would give it a try. My first initial reaction when removing the screw off lid and slightly squeezing the lip gloss for it to appear and as the transparent liquid appeared along with it came a waft of mint, peppermint to be precise and it was really quite strong. Now I am quite a fan of minty flavoured lip balms, although I usually have to be really good and resist the urge the lick it off and it is even harder to resist as you apply it to your lips and you can feel the tingly of the peppermint as it soothes your lips and the aroma is right there under your nose. Once it was applied to my lips they were in my opinion very very glossy and shiny, so there was definitely evidence of there being a gloss on my lips and the shine it produced is better than any of the other lip glosses that I have ever tried. It also works really well over lipstick, giving it that extra glossy shine and even more so with my vampy red lipstick. Within this lip gloss because it is sold as being a moisturising it comes with an array of ingredients which have been chosen to help improve the state of your lips and the two main ones for me are Cocoa Butter, again a product that I absolutely adore for keeping my skin soft and smooth and Vitamin E which is kind to the skin and helps to keep it moisturised, hydrated, soft and smooth. Again a list of ingredients and their benefits can be found on the Burts Bees website and it is particularly useful to check especially if you have allergies or like to simply know what is in your product. The change in weather does as I have said, always irritates my skin and lips and I need to use certain products on certain areas to help keep my skin in the best possible condition and this lip gloss is absolutely brilliant on my lips. Whilst I would never dream of letting them get into a really bad state of being sore and chapped, I do tend to carry lots of balms and gloss around with me to constantly apply, more so when it is either really really hot or the opposite and is really cold. As I have said, this lip gloss is easy to apply and is non-greasy, but because it is a gloss it can be quite sticky if you over apply it. This gloss can also be used on its own or as an extra coating to any lipstick you might apply, if used in this way it adds a shine to your lips giving it that wet-look affect. On average if I was to purchase a lip gloss like this one, the tube would last me a maximum of a month, two if it is a bigger than average tube and I have been using this one for more than month now and I am almost coming to the end of the tube, so for me it is a worthwhile purchase. If you are looking for a new lip gloss then I cannot recommend this one highly enough, it is easy to use, smells wonderful, moisturises and nourishes the lips and it even tastes slightly nice but that isn't something I would recommend doing because makes your lips dry and sore. The only thing which I suspect would put me off is the price tag, but it is worth it, I can assure you.
Memories Do you remember being a child and going to visit your grandma who would always have a lovely tub of Cornish vanilla ice-cream waiting for your arrival in her freezer? That is one of my memories of spending time with my Nan, she and I shared a love of Ice-cream, any flavour, any make and at any time of the year, not just at summer time. Not only that but she would also have a stock of hundreds and thousands and an array of sauces to accompany my favourite treat. Even now when I am not feeling too good, have had an off day or am slightly upset and run down, I go home, look in the freezer and always find a tub of ice-cream, usually vanilla admittedly to cheer me up and reminisce and I always keep a selection of sauces available in the cupboard. Who are Askeys? Askeys was a company who were created by Laurens Tedeschi who established a small business in Kensal Road, London back in 1910. A brief look into the companys history has told me that it was infact Tedeschi who introduced the the ice cream cornet to this country, which until I began to write this review I was not aware of. My favourite brand of sauce is 'Askeys' is made by Silver Spoon, a company which a few people might be familar with because they now own Crusha Milkshakes amongst their range alongside Askeys, but rather than chage the Askeys name to one of their own, they left it as it was. The Askeys Range The Treat range is available in five different flavours Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Strawberry, Raspberry and Toffee - I like them all but milk chocolate happens to be my favourite. When you first come to use the bottle of Chocolate sauce, the first thing you need to do is remove the foil which is underneath the cap, otherwise you will be squeezing away and nothing will come out, once you have removed it, then slightly squeeze the bottle and within a few seconds you will have covered your ice-cream in the chocolate sauce. The colour of the sauce is just as you imagine it to be, that of a milk chocolate bar such as a galaxy or Wispa but texture wise it is quite thick, on the plus side for me this is a good point because I am forever tipping bowls over, so by the time I have realised what I have done, the sauce hasn't yet gathered up enough pace to slip out of the bowl onto my lovely clean floor. The Design The plastic bottle which I think most people of my generation would recognise 'hour glass' shaped which allows you to grab it round its waist and hold it securely. The bottle itself is blue in colour and on the plastic covered wrapping is the Askeys logo and a brown covering which denotes this particular flavour is chocolate and below the word 'treat' are the words 'creates a little magic'! which naturally you do when you slightly squeeze the bottle and squirt the chocolate sauce over your ice-cream. Askeys as a brand sell other products with their range such as the occasion range which sells items like Brandy Snaps, The Family range which sells the ice-cream cones and wafer's for your ice cream and finally my second favourite Crackin range which is similar to the Treat range in that it is a sauce for your ice cream, but this one sets hard on top of your ice cream as soon as it touches it, which to me is just brilliant. The Taste, Texture and other chocolatey goodness When it comes to the taste, if you have a sweet tooth then you can compare it to heaven because my other half thinks it is too sweet, I think it is perfect and it satisfies my need for sugar and it is definitely a chocolatey flavour, if you love chocolate then you wont be disappointed especially because it contains Cocoa, so it really is a sauce made of real chocolate and not something resembling chocolate (beware of imitations) and it has no added preservative or artificial sweeteners, so the love taste and sensation you are feeling within your mouth making it water is pure chocolate goodness. The aftertaste is also really nice, it isn't at all bitter or too sickly, it tastes as if you have just finished a bar of your favourite chocolate. The downside However and here is the downside, as much as I love it, I couldn't eat it everyday because I would become the size of a house. The nutritional information which can be found in smallish print on the back of the bottle states that it contains 375 calories, 11.5g of fat, 66.8g of Carbohydrates and only 1.1g of Protein. So the name 'Treat' is quite an apt name for this sauce because that is all it ever has to be for me - a Treat! The label to my knowledge doesn't state whether or not it is suitable for any Vegetarians and nor is there an indication of whether or not it contains nuts so you would need to check if you have an allergy. Finally in my opinion Now obviously you don't just have to use this sauce on ice cream, it is just my preferred choice of usage, I am told by others that you can use it on your rice pudding, but I prefer honey, you can have it on pancakes, but I prefer Nutella and I am sure there are other little uses for it if you think long and hard about it. For me it will only ever be used a treat on ice cream. The sauce is easily available from most supermarkets and in my local Tesco it can be found amongst all of the home cooking section where you are likely to find your cake mixes and flour. It does retail at around 91p but there is currently an offer on buying two for £1.50 which is an absolute bargain and you should take advantage of the offer and from your bottle you can expect, depending on how often you use it and how much sauce you use, to get at least 10 servings from it. So all I can advise you all to do is to go out and buy some and try it if you have never in your life tasted it.
I am a big fan of sporty types of drink; I find they rehydrate me much better than most things after a good work out session in the gym. My local gym has recently had a lot of offers on for new products they are thinking of introducing into the cafe section and they range from health shakes and flavoured teas to health bars and sports drinks and the one that drew my attention was Powerade because with that bright blue colour it immediately catches your eye as you browse and it looks interesting. With a closer inspection of my bottle of Powerade I noticed that this product was made by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd and is a world wide brand which has been around since 1988, so with that borne in mind I was hoping that this would be quite a decent product, although I have to admit I am not a fan of fizzy drinks and Coca Cola is never on my list of priorities whenever I am buying soft drinks, the sugar content along is enough to have me breaking out in sweats with the thought of rotting teeth and a mouth full of fillings. As a drink Powerade has been marketed and sold as an isotonic sports drink made for athletes, it has been produced scientifically with fast acting carbohydrates which the body needs during prolonged sporting activities whilst helping to replace fluids and electrolytes which help to improve performance and provide hydration and the term isotonic refers to the fact that the absorption rate us much faster when helping to replace fluids. Its two main ingredients also happen to be both potassium and sodium which makes sense because work out, you sweat and it is sweat that reduces the amount of salt in your body, this then leads to a reduction in the amount of sodium and potassium in your body so a drink such as this one really helps to rehydrate your body of all the water, salt, sodium and potassium that you may have lost whilst exercising. So it sounds like a drink you absolutely need when like me you spend two hours in the gym three times a week either pounding the treadmill, at a spinning or body combat class, all of which test your fitness levels to the maximum. Also contained within Powerade you are likely to find glucose and this helps the body to absorb water whilst providing energy in the form of carbohydrates, vitamin B6 which some people take in an every day tablet form to combat stress and energy levels and the fat content? In a 500ml bottle there are 120 calories which is a lot more than I had originally expected but there is 0% fat content. Now I had never seen or come across Powerade before until I saw it within my gym and although it was the blue coloured one which caught my eye, it is also available in three other flavours - starting with 'Powerade' Berry and Tropical Fruits Flavour, 'Powerade' Cherry Flavour and 'Powerade' Orange Flavour and then there is Powerade Aqua+ for extra rehydration. Each 500ml bottle retails between the prices of 79p and £1.09 which is the most expensive that I have seen it and as well as being sold singularly, they are also available in multi-four packs in supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco and they cost in the region of £2.80. SO if you like it enough to buy it as a multi-pack it is more cost effective to do so. This particular bottle of Powerade is a clear plastic bottle which allows you to see the drink through the bottle hence why the bright ice blue colour catches your attention almost immediately and the sole reason that I chose it regardless of its flavour. Featured on the bottle of Powerade bottle is the Powerade logo which looks like a fancy question mark sign and a label which features a picture of a runner on it to signify its connection to sport. Also featured on the label are the Olympic rings symbols because this drink is one of the official sports drinks for the Olympic Games. The bottle is has been designed to fit securely into your hand making it easy to carry for sports and it has a drink spout to drink from which is easy use with just one tug. I personally prefer bottles which feature a drinking spout because when I am running on the treadmill or sitting on a spinning bike, it makes it much easier to grab a drink without having to slow down from what I am doing or worry that I am going to splash everyone with water as I try to manoeuvre my mouth around the bottle. So the important bit, the taste. The first thing I would say about the taste is that it is fruit based and it tastes much better having been chilled than it does when it gets warm because this makes it much more refreshing, however this drink for me didn't have an overall strong Berry flavour that I was expecting it to have, whereas drinks such as Lucozade sport have a really strong and sometimes bitter aftertaste, this is quite watery but definitely sweeter and as I am giving my honest opinion it does quench your thirst but it does have to be ice cold and super chilled to make it taste nice and that is the best description I can give to it 'nice' and refreshing and similar to Mr Frosty Ice pops that I used to buy as a child from the freezer shop up the road on a hot summers day. I think part of my issue with the product is that I expected it to be more like Lucozade and a bit fizzy with a strong overriding taste and because I never got that, I felt quite disappointed with it and given its bright blue colour I was hoping to love it for its taste as much as that. So for me I like it because I find it refreshing when cold and as an alternative to water but given the choice I would choose water every time whilst in the gym but might on an occasion choose this drink for a change and to add a little colour to my work-out and as an energy drink it does refresh and rehydrate you really well, but in my opinion not as well as water and for that reason water is my preference. However, if you haven't tried it, then I would recommend you do just because the colour is so brilliant if nothing else.
For as long as I can remember my Granny has always told me that I need to use a good, strong, solid hairbrush to protect my hair from ruin and to keep it in good strong healthy conditions. I have always followed her advice because like me, my Granny had long blonde flowing locks throughout most of her life, the only ways in which we differ is that I have mine trimmed, something she would never agree too and I use hair straighteners which were not available in her days. Mason Pearson is a name synonymous with hairbrushes for me, I remember when I turned 10 years old being presented with my very own brush which was just like Granny's and even today I still have and use that very same brush, it has been abused over time and has been thrown in anger and repeatedly used many times a day but it is still capable of doing the job it was designed to do. The original Mason Pearson hairbrush design comes from the late 1880's which is 20 years after the company first came into existence. The founder of the company Mason Pearson was himself an engineer who later turned into an inventor. After entering a partnership which became known as Raper, Pearon and Gill and the company a general brush making company their brand become known throughout the UK and by 1885 the well known rubber handled paddle brush had come into existence and over the years it has been brought up to date and has generally been designed to move with the times. They are currently based on Bond Street in London and can be contacted through their website. I like Mason Pearson brushes because they last a lifetime, even if like me you don't take that good a care of them. They are designed in such a way that when you brush your hair, your scalp is massaged at the same time, infact I like nothing more than getting home from work and handing my brush to my partner and asking him to simply brush my hair because I find it so relaxing and de-stressing. Although my hair isn't very thick texture wise, I have found with other brushes which I have bought on a whim have led to flyaway static which has made my hair difficult to not only maintain but to style whereas if I use my original brush this is not really a problem and also after washing and drying my hair, I find I can use my brush with ease on my hair leaving it tangle free. The plastic handle which is polished by hand makes it easy and comfortable to hold when brushing your hair and ask the bristles reach the scalp, instead of scratching it, instead they help to remove any loose hairs and for those people with flaky scalps it also helps to loosen and remove those bits of scalp without causing further problems, something a friend of mine told me. When it comes to choosing your brush with Mason Pearson there is a choice of three. If like me you have fine hair it is recommended that you choose the Boar Bristle tufts which is specifically designed for those people who may be suffering with thinning hair, has fine hair or has a very sensitive and gentle scalp. Should your hair be described as normal to thick then there is a brush called Boar Bristle & Nylon tufts and finally if your hair is of very thick texture there is Nylon tufts which is known for its detangling capability. Also when choosing your brush it is worth bearing in mind the length of your hair because if you have long hair, Mason Pearson suggests that you should have a wider paddle on your brush and with each brush option there is a different size paddle option to choose from. The choice however is up to you on upon their website they do have examples of their brushes and for which hair type they are designed for. As I said I have had my brush was a long time (remember a lady never reveals her age) because I was given it when I was 10 years old and I think the reason it has lasted so long is partly because I have taken good care of it to some extent, it does within its little box which I have kept, even though it is barely surviving now, a little guide on how to care for your brush and upon the instructions it does tell you that your brush is not designed to be used on animals and that you should never leave your brush in strong sunlight as heat will distort the handle, and perish the rubber. Cleaning your brush from time to time is also very important and mine came with its own cleaning brush which I use to clean mine which can be purchased by the Mason Pearson Company. It is also important to remove any stray hairs and loose scales of skin from your scalp as this clogs up the brush bristles and you should also wash your brush frequently to ensure it is kept in a clean condition, if you brush your hair a lot and have greasy hair, imagine what state your brush is in every time you brush your hair having not cleaned it *yuck*, so washing your brush is really important too and it isn't a difficult task to complete and all your simply do is use warm water to clean it with, the instructions themselves are a little more specific but as long as you follow them your brush will be fine. Although in the past I have bought other brushes to use alongside my Mason Pearson brush, in all honesty none of them have lived up to its very high standards and I always end up going back to the box I keep it in and using it again. I do adore my brush, without it I would be lost and for me it has a special meaning because it was given to me by my now sadly deceased Granny who also had her very own brush and it might sound silly to be sentimental about a brush but it does and has lasted for a long long time, a lot longer than any of my modern day hair product and equipments, I am now on my second pair of GHD's and third pair of hair tongs, yet my hairbrush has out lived them all. So if you are looking for a good quality hair brush which will last a lifetime, Mason Pearson is probably the best you will ever get and they retail around the £15-£50 mark depending on where you buy them from but they are worth every penny in my view and are well worth buying.
I need caffeine in a morning there is no doubt about that, without caffeine I am unbearable to work with, speak to and above all else I find ti hard to function. Nicely stocked in my mini fridge cooler at work are cans of Red Bull, now although I don't drink them as a constant answer to waking myself up and giving myself a kick start, I do, after a late night come early morning work day need something and for me Red Bull works brilliantly... that is until my fridge wasn't re-stocked and I had to find a viable alternative. Rockstar was presented to me by my intern as that alternative to Red Bull, I am not usually one who likes imitation products I mean you would never buy Tesco own brand beans if you regularly eat Heinz would you? No. So I was a little less than impressed with being presented with this imitation Red Bull at that point in time but given I had half an hour to kick start my brain it would have do. As an energy drink, Rockstar was created in 2001 and it become as well known in America as Red Bull is here today with sales rocketing into billions. Rockstar claims that it s100% vegetarian and Vegan and it also contains no Gluten. Rockstar also claims to be "the world's most powerful energy drink and is scientifically formulated to provide an incredible energy boost for those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles-from athletes to rock stars" or so the advertising tells us. It differs from Red Bull in that it is available in a variety of flavours including Original, Sugar Free, Mango and Guava. However like Heinz Beans I intend to stick to the Original. The one thing I did immediately notice about this product is the cleverly designed can in which the energy drinks comes in. The Rockstar Original can is a jet black ring-pull can which weighs around 500ml which is double the size of a can of Red Bull and therefore the phrase "Double Kick" is definitely clever wording on this products behalf because you will be drinking double the Red Bull dosage. Now I like this design on this can, it is as I have said eye-catching and what draws the eye most is that to the front in large gold coloured writing is the word 'ROCKSTAR' with a gold star and energy drink written in bright red lettering directly below that. Then to the side of the can is this large gold star with the RR back to back in the centre of the can. It has big writing of the words Energy Drink running down the side in bright red with the word Rock Star again in gold bubble writing vertically alongside this. So everything about this can is about catching the eye when placed upon the shelf in your local newsagents or supermarket packaged alongside similar products. In my local newsagents this product is placed between Red Bull and the rather disgusting tasting Red Bull Cola and is priced at 99p and even that is a bargain when Red Bull is currently priced at £1.09. When it comes to the taste, I have to say I had expected it to be like Red Bull is everyway shape and form because that is what I assume all energy drinks to taste like with only a few similarities. As soon as the drink hit the tongue I was expecting to taste the sugary sweet sensation I was so used to with Red Bull but I was surprised because I actually didn't find Rockstar anywhere near as sugary or sweet, it is a yellowing colour whereas Red Bull is a rusty orange/red colour and for me it was slightly less frizzier. So it is nothing at all like Red Bull, it is in its own right an energy drink. The one thing about Rockstar which you don't get with Red Bull is the powerful smell this omits which others have likened to Strawberries but I would say it is more citrusy personally and it reminds me of apples particularly the aftertaste. However being less fizzy and less sugary I do find that this is very thirst quenching and it definitely makes me feel much more alert. Now when it comes to energy drinks there is always a warning about watching your consumption particularly because there is a large amount of caffeine within the drink, the idea being that the caffeine makes you more alert. Along with the caffeine come ingredients known as Guarana. Guarana seeds are rich in caffeine and it is alleged that Guarana is stimulant and increase mental alertness, fight fatigue, and increase stamina and physical endurance which is why it is used in drinks such as this. With drinks of this nature there comes a health warning and it is advised that anyone who suffers from high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats should not consume this as well as expectant mothers or a mother who is nursing. As it has not been intended that drinks of this nature are drunk in excess but rather in moderation as a quick fix and in saying that this drink contains no fewer than 6 E numbers which as most people know are food additives as well as containing 160mg caffeine per 500ml can. However, even with that in mind it is still a really enjoyable drink and comes a very close second to my favourite energy drink Red Bull. Rockstar for me is a great energy drink and one that I enjoy on the odd occasion that I need a quick boost in a morning or an evening to make my brain work. It is something that can be drunk on its own or on a night out when like me you enjoy it with some Jägermeister as opposed to the well known Vodka and Red Bull. Whatever occasion you choose to drink it is, you'll find that it is less fizzier than Red Bull but just as flavoursome, it is very refreshing and because it does contain a lot of caffeine it give you that required kick and boost of energy you are looking for when choosing a drink of this kind. So for me it is given the big thumbs up and is definitely a drink I enjoy the taste of.
I openly admit that I do have a very regimented beauty regime and it is almost an obsession. If I am going out of an evening then I must do everything in a certain order, if I don't get ready in the same way everything I never feel truly satisfied and always find an issue with something that doesn't feel quite right. So my getting ready always starts with a bath a good few hours before I begin, this helps to relax and prepare myself for the night ahead . The last task for me until I put on any clothes is the painting of my nails and by that I mean both my toe nails and my finger nails. A lot of the time I would prefer to go to my local nail bar so that everything is done properly, but every once in a while I like to test out some of my new products. I am not usually known for buying high street brands of nail varnish, instead I usually opt for Essie which I buy online and usually in bulk if I find a colour that I like, however this time whilst in Boots I came across some Rimmel 60 second nail varnish which was a beautiful purple colour called Delicious Dark which finished off my silk top rather lovely being almost similar in colour, so I bought it and one other on a buy on get one free deal. The other reason I bought it was because there was an advertising sign which said "Rimmel's 60 Seconds nail polish. 1 stroke, 1 coat, 1 minute drying time. Get fantastic colour & shine in just 60 Seconds!" and as someone who takes forever to get ready and refuses to dress until her nail varnish has dried completely, thought this might just save me 30 minutes of time when getting ready. Each bottle of Rimmel nail varnish contains 10ml of nail varnish and costs around £2.00 and in comparison to the £8-£10 I usually pay it is definitely a bargain, whether or not I end up liking it however was another story. As I said the bottle I bought from Boots was a lovely deep shade of purple which went perfectly with my chosen outfit for that evening and I only hoped I would also have lovely long polished nails to finish it off completely. A bottle of nail varnish on average lasts me between 6 to 8 months depending on how much I like the colour once it has dried and this I think is really good value for money. One of the main important things for me in any sort of Nail varnish is that it doesn't dry up within the bottle if you don't use it very often and that it doesn't chip on its first outing. The one reason I am almost loyal to the Essie brand is because it is chip resistant, very easy to apply and quick to dry leaving you with an impeccable finish. The Rimmel nail varnish I bought most is as I have said called Deliciously Dark and it is a dark subtle purple which is almost black to look at and as the nail varnish dries upon your nail it gets darker over time and once it is dry it is almost black in colour to look at until you put your nails under some light and that is when you truly see the vivid red colour come to life. When it comes to applying the nail varnish one of the best tips that I have ever been given when having my nails done is to prepare your nails properly by cleaning them with nail polish remover, even if you have no old nail polish on your nails, this is because nail polish remover helps to remove any hidden bits of dirt and grease therefore allowing you to add your nail varnish much easier with much sleeker movements. So, when applying my nail varnish I always start in the middle of my nail working top to bottom with the brush and then moving to the sides of my nail to ensure I get an even coverage and once I have allowed the first coat to dry I always add a second coat because then the varnish will last longer. When you first put the nail brush onto your nail, always ensure that it isn't overloaded with varnish because this causes bumpy nail varnish. But how did it fare compared to my favourite brand? Well I have to admit it didn't produce the shininess that Essie produces one of my favourite things with Essie nail varnish is that it does produce an amazing shine to your nails which doesn't look over the top but you can definitely notice it. The one thing I did like about this Rimmel nail varnish was the colour, it was perfect for my outfit and it looks nice and professional even though it was a fraction of the cost. The one thing which let it down however for me was how long it lasted. Halfway through the night I noticed there was a slight chip in the nail varnish on one of my nails which I was not happy about, as ever the perfectionist I do carry the bottle of nail varnish in my bag so I could touch up the nail in question. The reason I do this is because at corporate events with work, it doesn't look very good to see haggard chipped nails on oneself, so it is important to me. The job of touching up the nail however was really easy to do, so I wasn't too mortified. I have since used the same varnish for another occasion but this time used a clear varnish as a top coat and it was perfect. I have always been advised never to add nail varnish to my nails more than once a week because nail varnish can dry out your nails, so once you have removed your nail polish then ensure you moisturise your nails and hands with a specified cream of your choice. Also to encourage your nails to grow at a quicker rate, one of the best things you can do is t have regular hand massages. Removing this Rimmel nail polish is as easy as applying it because it is removed very easily and leaves no trace of colour upon your nails like some of the other brands I have tried before, especially when they are of a darker colour and with one as dark as wicked it is really brilliant that no trace of the colour is left behind. As someone who wouldn't normally buy this brand I do actually think for the price you pay you cannot expect to have perfection, but it does a pretty good job for the £2 you pay and I do think it is worth buying again but you have to bare in mind it isn't a varnish that is going to last for days on end. It is easy to apply and it does dry very quickly as it said it would do and for that I do recommend it, even if you have to be creative in getting it to become chip-resistant by adding a top coat of clear varnish.
I really do not like this cold weather, my skin doesn't think much to it either. My lips always suffer when the weather turns from warm to cold to even colder and I am usually running for the nearest lip balm I can find from within my growing collection to ensure my lips stay quite moisturised and smooth. I have said before that I am fussy about which type of lip balm I use because a past experience left me with awful chapped lips after the promise of smooth and supple lips. However after using Burt's Bees Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm and quickly running out I was left with my last Burt's Bees product which is a Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss to give it its full title. When it comes to lip care Burt's Bee's does have a wide and varied range of products to choose from which suit most lip complaints such as sore, chapped lips, lip gloss, lip balms and medicated lip balms. This Super Shiny Lip Gloss itself is the same size as your high street brands and contains 5g the product and it is shaped very similar to the Carmex tubes of lip balm that you can buy. The one main difference is the price tag which accompanies the product, where as many of the high street brands retail for anything form 99p to £3 this particular one retails for £8.45 which is a lot more expensive than most people, including myself would usually pay for a lip gloss from Boots or somewhere similar. However, I decided I would give it a try. There are four different colours to choose from which are called Pucker Berry, Sweet Pink, Zesty Red and Nectar Nude. I have Zesty red which is a deep vivid red looking colour and is a really lovely. My first initial reaction when removing the screw off lid and slightly squeezing the lip gloss for it to appear is that the colour was so bright and vivid I imagined I would look like an 80's throwback with the bright red lipstick and bright blue eye-shadow, but even if I did once it was applied it smelled so good that I could happily have eaten it there and then. To look at the lip gloss it is as I've said a bright red colour and when it was applied to my lips it actually didn't them the colour of the gloss, there was a hint of colour but it wasn't a bright trashy red colour, instead it was slightly red but very very glossy and shiny. There was definitely evidence of there being a gloss on my lips and the shine it produced is better than any of the other lip glosses that I have ever tried. Within this lip gloss because it is sold as being a hydrating gloss it comes with an array of ingredients which have been chosen to help improve the state of your lips and the two main ones for me are Sweet Almond Oil that is a non-greasy oil which is easily absorbed into the skin leaving it soft and smooth to the touch. Sweet Almond Oil is also rich in Vitamins which again helps the skin stay nourished and again it works well with pomegranate oil to protect the skin. Castor seed oil is also listed and Castor Oil acts like a disinfectant and helps keeps infections and bacteria at bay, in this weather it is especially useful. Listed on the back of the cardboard packaging are the rest of the ingredients. The change in weather always irritates me skin and lips and I need to use certain products on certain areas to help keep my skin in the best possible condition and this lip balm is absolutely brilliant on my lips. Whilst I never let them get into a really bad state of being sore and chapped, I do notice if I haven't applied any lip gloss for at least one day and whilst I also drink a lot of water to keep my lips and skin nourished and fed to keep it looking at its possible best, you can never be without a little something extra and for me this lip gloss does a really good job doing just that. As I have said it is easy to apply and is non-greasy, but because it is a gloss it can be quite sticky if you over apply it. This gloss can also be used on its own or as an extra coating to any lipstick you might apply, if used in this way it adds a shine to your lips giving it that wet-look affect. On average if I was to purchase a lip gloss like this one, the tube would last me a maximum of two weeks maximum if I really liked it but using this Burt's Bee's version I have been using it for almost a month now and I am almost coming to the end of the tube, so for me it is a worthwhile purchase. If you are looking for a new lip gloss then I cannot recommend this one highly enough, it is easy to use, smells wonderful, moisturises and nourishes the lips and it even tastes slightly nice but that isn't something I would recommend doing because licking your lips only adds to the dryness but using this lip balm helps keeps my lips super soft and smooth. The only thing which I suspect would put me off is the price tag, but it is worth it, I can assure you.
When it comes to deodorants I am quite choosy about what I buy, I would be quite simply mortified to find that I had a body odour problem. There is in my mind no excuse for it and choosing a simple deodorant is all you need. I am thankful that body odour is not a problem I have to suffer or endure, but for my own peace of mind I use a product I know and trust should the problem ever occur. There is a difference between an anti-perspirant and a normal bog standard deodorant and you have to select the right product for you. An anti-perspirants job is to control the amount you perspire, so if you are someone who is prone to sweating then you would use one of these. A deodorant on the other hand is better designed for those people who don't sweat as much because it simply masks any smell with its perfumed fragrance. So the next time you are in whichever shop you purchase your deodorant from, you will now know the difference between the two. However, I am a big fan of Radox, whether it is their bath salts, bath creams, shower gels or their deodorants I like them, they have over 100 years of experience in their field of expertise and I trust them to take care of my skin. I am particularly fond of the fact that the products are pretty much always on a Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) offer and that you get more for your money. The products are sold in every supermarket I have been in to and at places like Boots, Superdrug and your local pharmacy however depending on where you buy your product depends on the price you will pay. I bought my antiperspirant from Asda where it was a BOGOF offer and because it is the same one I always buy I am guaranteed never to run out because I tend to stock up when one of these offers is on. The Radox Daily Elements products use natural minerals and what Radox call active ingredients which work with your body to take care of it. The Daily Elements range itself is now quite extensive and not only antiperspirant but Roll-On deodorants, bath and shower gels. Within these products you are likely to find Dead Sea salts which helps to cleanse and purify the skin, Zinc which helps to moisturise the skin, White Clay which draws impurities from the skin helping with the cleansing and cleaning of the skin and Pearl which is known for its skin moisturising and softening abilities. All of these products are selected because they rejuvenate and care for your skin. The Cool Air antiperspirant is sold in a white container with both of the Radox and Daily Elements Logo's clearly displayed and this is quite important because the range from Radox is so extensive the Daily Elements products need to stand out on the shelves and for me they do. The picture which depicts a sky with another picture of stones underneath it is very eye-catching and immediately gets your attention, whether those pictures are symbolic for any reason I am not sure. The product can also tells you that it gives you 24 hours protection which means you should only need to apply It once a day to be happy and confident that you will not smell of body odour at any point in time. The actual ingredients can be found on the reverse of the can. It is worth noting at this point that this deodorant comes as both a roll-on and a spray and although I have both I actually prefer the spray deodorant because I feel it is more effective. Radox Cool Air to use is really easy to do, once you have removed the top which simply pulls off, you spray it on your underarms. I use two short blasts under each arm pit and feel that is enough to see me through the day. The deodorant itself is quick to dry and it leaves no white marks on any of your clothing like some other brands do (even though they claim not too) and all you are left with is a subtle clean smell from the product you have just sprayed. With some deodorants of this kind, they can often sting and cause irritation on freshly hair removed armpits, whether you wax or shave, deodorants can sting, thankfully this one doesn't burn, sting or cause any nasty irritations, instead as it is applied it is instantly cooling on the skin and leaves you feel really refreshed. For me that is quite important as I am usually rushing around in a morning getting myself ready for work and when in a rush you get hot and bothered and the last thing you want to do is make matters worse by using an non-effective deodorant which not only leaves marks on your clothes but doesn't do the job it has been designed for. So with Radox Daily Elements, I am safe in the knowledge that I can spray as I go and not have to worry I am marking any clothes. The smell this product emits when it is sprayed is very light and not overpowering and nor does it smell over-fragranced which dominates the perfume you would later apply. To me it smells similar to the fresh linen Yankee Candle tart I have burning away, it is fresh and clean smelling. It does'nt turn into an acidic smell like some deodorants do after a certain period of time, nor does it mix into body odour to leave a stale smell behind. Radox Daily elements Cool Air cost £1.95 from my local Asda and because it was on a BOGOF I got two for that price which for me is an absolute bargain especially when other leading brands start from £2.44 for the exact same amount of a 150ml can. Finally would I recommend this product? I am slightly bias because I am a fan of Radox products, although I wasn't impressed with their goodnight pillow spray, I so like the Daily Elements selection of products and in particular their deodorants because they do work by keeping you BO free, they are alcohol free, they don't sting on freshly shaved/waxed armpits, they are dermatologically tested and the light fragrance is just about right so that it doesn't mask your perfume. Instead it keeps your skin feeling fresh and cool with no need to re-apply later in the day and for £1.95 it is a bargain.
For me, one of the first things I notice about people is their eyes. You can tell a lot about someone from their eyes and as a girl I like to use dramatic eye make-up to exaggerate the eye area and play around with lots of different coloured eye shadows and creams. This also includes a lot of mascara, I am forever on a quest to find that perfect mascara which gives you the fluttery extended eyelash look and as yet my quest hasn't been fulfilled. When I saw an advert for Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara I have to admit I was buying it before the advert had even ended. It sounded like the very item that I had been looking for to create the dramatic look I was so hopeful of and the following morning I went to my local Boots store, which luckily for me is a few doors away from the office I work in and purchased it. Thankfully the mascara was on offer at Boots for £4.84 when it would usually retail at £6.84 so I am thankful I managed to pick up quite a bargain. I am quite a fan of Maybelline as a make-up range, it is quite reasonably priced amongst other brands on the high street and it is very kind to my skin. It doesn't make my skin feel dry and clogged up when I apply foundation or any of the eye shadow which I am particularly fond of, instead my skin is still able to breathe. This mascara however is a first for me, I haven't yet tried a Maybelline mascara so I wasn't really sure what to expect, I would usually use Bad Gal Lash from Benefit or something from Max factor which has also promised to give me voluptuous eyelashes. However, this particular mascara promised to give me up to 7x more gorgeous volume and because it has a mega brush, it promised to conquer clumps which to me meant that I could apply one or two coats to my eyelashes and I wouldn't find small clumps of mascara clinging to my eyelashes. When it comes to applying mascara there are a few simple tricks that I have picked up from a make-up artist friend of mine which I found very useful. However before applying anything, ensure you have removed any trace of previous applications and that you have done the eye make-up you are intending to have prior to applying your mascara. Then remove the mascara wand from the tube, never pump the wand in and out of the tube though because this allows more air in and dries out your mascara quicker than it would usually happen. With the wand in your hand, place it at the base of your eyelashes, so your eyes have to be wide open and then Wiggle the wand left to right like and it is this action which helps give the illusion of longer lashes. After you have done this a couple of time repeat the action moving through the eyelashes weaving in and out of them because it helps to give an equal coverage and then close the eye and apply mascara to the top of the lashes, something a lot of people forget about and I do this because it gives my eyes a better wide awake look and really opens up the eye. When it comes to the bottom set of lashes, I use either a baby wipe or some tissue paper and place it under my eyelashes to apply the mascara, only because I don't have a very steady hand at times and end up with streaks under my eyes, this action helps to prevent this and works really well. With this Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara it is only available in black currently and it is packaged in fat looking rotund tube which has Colossal Volum written in purple letters across the front of the tube. To extract the wand is a simple process of twisting the lid and the wand itself is a bright yellow colour also and it is easily coated with the black mascara cream. The wand itself is very similar to other mascara wands that I have used; it didn't feel particularly thicker or longer in that respect and when it came to applying the mascara to my lashes it was quite straightforward and easy, however I did notice there was slight clumping towards the end of my eyelashes, so before I went any further I cleaned the brush and re-applied the mascara which helped the problem a little bit but didn't actually solve it, so I was a little disappointed. As for giving me x7 volume, well it definitely didn't do that either, after applying 2 coats to my eyelashes they looked no different to how they would look using my normal mascara and I was really disappointed. When it came to removing the mascara from my eyelashes I found it very easy to do and it was removed very quickly using my Urban Decay eye make-up remover and there was no visible signs that I had actually wore any mascara and it is also waterproof. The only good thing I could find about this actual mascara is that it does last all day with no need to re-apply it, I certainly felt no need to re-apply it to my eyelashes and even when I went out straight from work in an evening it still looked just as it did when I applied it in the morning, so for that I was thankful. When it comes to recommending this product, quite simply I wouldn't because it didn't do what it promised to do and my eyes didn't look any different nor did I get the x7 effect, I believe there are better more effective mascaras available on the high street such as Bad Lash gal from BeneFit and Max factor also have one or two better mascaras which I would happily promote and may write a review about. I have since written to Maybelline to express my dissatisfaction at their products as I felt really annoyed especially given that their marketing campaign was so good and I actually asked for a reimbursement and enclosed by product to them. Whether or not I will get a reply I don't know but I have never felt so aggrieved about a product that I felt compelled to write and tell them what I thought. Watch this space.
I quite like the facemasks which are available from Montagne Jeunesse because not only are they cost effective at around 99p per sachet, they are easily available at most supermarkets, chemists and places like Boots and Superdrug where I buy most of my cosmetics and toiletries from. So on my last visit I came across a Moisture Miracle hair conditioning mask with ultra shine serum which sounded pretty fantastic when reading the sachet and for 97p I thought I might as well give it a whirl, I have never had a problem with the facemasks, so that was a good enough reason for me. This Moisture Miracle hair product claims to be "A hair repair emergency kit that boost hair with moisture, then seals it in with a protective serum. Leaves hair silky soft, shiny & revitalized." Which for my hair sounds just the tonic, I don't tend to have brittle hair but it does suffer from my GHD hair straighteners and can often become quite dry towards the ends and I do suffer the occasional split end which usually means I am due for a trim anyway. However being keen to put this product to the test I tried it out. As with the face masks, this hair tonic comes in a sachet and like the face masks has been designed for one application only, although to be honest, I did get to use this twice as there seemed to be so much of it. When it comes to using the product it is really easy to do although there are two The two stages to complete. The first is the actual Moisture Miracle mask which is used to condition the hair and the second stage is the protect and seal serum. Once you have washed and shampooed your hair, you are told to rinse your hair as to not leave any residue and then simply apply the mask to your wet hair from root to tip and leave it on for around 5-10 minutes, this then give the oils a chance to work. Once you have finished you simply wash the conditioner out of your hair as you would do with your conditioner and then towel dry your hair to remove any excess moisture and water, I found the mask was really easy to wash out. The conditioner itself is quite a thickly textured conditioner which was easy enough to apply to my hair and it smelled really nice, there was a definite smell of Shea butter which I love the smell of because it reminds me of cocoa butter which I use a lot of on my skin and there was also some natural fruit oils such as orange and mandarin all of which are listed on the back of the sachet for anyone who has got allergies and so on. My hairdresser told me that Shea Butter is really good for the hair and scalp in particular because it is a natural moisturiser. This hair conditioner is also an orangey yellow colour which I did expect it to be because of its ingredients but thankfully it didn't change the colour of my hair and turn me into Bart Simpson. When it came to using the serum, it isn't something that I have used very often because I am always terrified that my hair will end up a greasy looking mess, so I was unsure as to how to use it. The sachet does state that the length and thickness of your hair depends on how much serum you use but as the sachet only contained 5ml of serum and I have almost waist length hair I decided to use the whole lot and if it went wrong I would simply re-wash and condition my hair with the left over treatment in the sachet. Once I had towel dried my hair to remove excess water I quickly but carefully opened the second part of the sachet and poured the serum into my hands and rubbed it between the palms of my hands to apply it to my hair from root to tip and once I had done that I combed my hair through to make sure I hadn't missed any section, I found the serum to be quick sticky on my hands and didn't like the actual feel of it but when I did wash my hands it disappeared without a problem, so I wasn't too worried about my hair or scalp. The instructions say to let your hair dry naturally or style as you usually would and because I wasn't intending to go outside anywhere I let my hair dry on its own which I like to do at weekends because I am usually in a rush for work and end up having to use the hair dryer a lot. The serum itself also contained Orange oil and it was much more distinctive within this serum than the hair mask itself, although it is a nice pleasant smell and it made my hair smell really nice. Once my hair had dried completely I was a lot softer than it would have been should I have used my usual conditioner which I was happy with but the frizz which forms at the front of my hairline was still clearly visible which I was hoping would not be the case given that I was expecting silky locks, however at 97p I wasn't expecting a miracle cure and decided that this probably wasn't the product I was looking for, I was only thankful that I didn't end up with greasy hair having used the serum. I don't think I would really recommend this product to anyone who is looking for that miracle cure to tame their hair, make it silky looking and just like you had stepped out of a Pantene shampoo advert. I have used other products such as Tigi Ego Boost which I feel gives me a better overall look and feel to my hair. However, if you want a quick fix for 97p then naturally give it a go.
I am a huge fan of X-Factor; I absolutely love the show and have watched it from the very first series which was ever on the television. I think Simon Cowell is an absolute genius and although I thought Sharon Osbourne was a brilliant judge, I have to admit I do admire the rather gorgeous Cheryl Cole and the way in which she stands up ot her peers. Leon Jackson was the winner of the fourth series in 2007, a quirky young Scottish boy whom when he first came onto the screen I liked in an instant because his talent was raw and stood out from the crowd, it didn't sound manufactured and he definitely wasn't boy band material. Leon I felt throughout the whole of the X-factor show was less arrogant than any of the other contestants and being mentored by Dannii Minogue I never actually thought he would do that well, after all her success in comparison to the other judges at the time was somewhat lacking. But Leon proved that he had what it takes to become the winner and have the X-factor and in doing so he beat rival Rhydian Roberts the operatic singer from Wales, whom again I thought was extremely talented. So after more than a year in which Leon won the X-Factor and got his £1million contract his debut album Right Now was automatically added to my basket whilst doing my weekly shopping. The airwaves have been full of Leona Lewis and her success is actually rather impressive, especially as she has managed to do so well in America. Now as the furore has died down a little, the album is released and I have to say it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Leon had stated on numerous occasions on the X-factor that he loved Jazz and that his idol is Michael Buble (with whom Leon has performed). The album which has sold in the region of 70,000 copies I don't feel has been promoted as much as previous X-Factor contestants such as Leona Lewis and even Rhydian Roberts. The CD which is titled Right Now was released in the United Kingdom on October 20th 2008. There are thirteen tracks in total on the album, the thirteenth track is a bonus track called When You Believe which was sung by all four finalists on X-Factor. The Track list for the rest of the album is as follows: 1. "Don't Call This Love" 2. "Creative" 3. "Stargazing" 4. "All In Good Time" 5. "Right Now" 6. "You Don't Know Me" 7. "Ordinary Days" 8. "A Song For You" 9. "Fingerprints" 10. "Could Do Better" 11. "Misty Blue" 12. "Caledonia" 13. "When You Believe 1) Don't Call This Love: was the first single to be released off the album and it reached number three in the British singles charts. As a song it is quite a soulful song and anyone who watched x-factor will probably remember that Leon was most in his comfort zone covering old songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra and this song reminds me of something from that genre. 2) Creative was the second song that Leon released and this is a very catchy tune and definitely of the Jazz influence which Leon again mentioned he is a big fan of. I first heard this song when he sung it on Children in Need and he sounds in my opinion very similar to Michael Buble. 3) Stargazing is for me one of the best songs on the album with an equally excellent video and I feel he is singing all about his success through x-factor and the wonderful journey he has been on to get where he is today. The video features lots of different clips of Leon throughout his life as a child, teenager and as he is today. 4) Could do better is again of a jazz persuasion and his vocals throughout the song are really strong, although there is no hint of his quite broad Scottish accent, this song for me is the one in which you can most hear it. 5) Song For You has been released by quite a few different artists over the years. It was originally sung by Leon Russell. This version however is quite heavy on the piano and mixed with the strong vocals which Leon has work really well together and it is quite a slow moving track which is perfect for listening too at any dinner party in the background The final song I am going to mention is called Caledonia which is definitely about the changes which have occurred during Leon's life since he won the talent show. The lyrics are all about not forgetting where he has come from, how exciting life is and how he is relying on the people who know him to bring him back to reality if he becomes a stranger to him. The other reason that I really like this song is because you definitely get the whole Scottish twang coming across as he sings and it really shows how soulful and strong his voice actually is. I had no doubts when I bought this album that it would be brilliant. Leon Jackson isn't someone that I would usually listen too, I am more a fan of fast moving house and techno music loving girl, but every now and again someone or something catches my imagination and I feel compelled to buy something they have produced and this is one of the reasons I like X-factor so much, it moves me away from my comfort zone to listen to all types of musical genre's and broadens my musical tastes. I would say this album is for people of all ages, it isn't something I could imagine buying for my 10 year old niece but she does actually have his winning X-Factor song on her MP4 player which is quite impressive. As a singer Leon does have very song vocals and he has come along way since he went onto X-factor with his vocal training and I really do like his soulful voice and could happily listen to this album over and over again. I paid £8.99 for this album.
As an enormous fan of beauty products in general, I have yet to succumb to visiting Lush even though I have read hundreds of products which tell me how wonderful they all are, I just don't think I am the Lush type - yet! I love my local Boots store and at work I am always the nominated person to go and buy the leaving present for someone or their birthday present and a girl who has just left my office was quite young (like me) and hadn't yet hit 30 and I thought it would be nice to get her some Soap & Glory products because she keeps hinting she likes my hand cream which sits next to my computer, so this way she would have her own and a few other gifts, oh and I get the advantage card points. For those people who haven't ever used Soap & Glory products, they are made by Marcia Kilgore who also happens to be the creator behind the spa company Bliss. A lot of these products she has stated in numerous articles have been created to encourage women to enjoy their beauty regime and with Soap and Glory rather than paying over the top ridiculous prices, they are sold at high street prices and are inexpensive, often on a buy two get one free around this time of year. The Soap and Glory range has an array of products which range from shower gels, body butters, bath foams, lip glosses, hair conditioner, hand cream, face scrub, body polish, and body gloss to name but a few products and because it is sold at high street prices it is available in Boots and Harvey Nichols mainly. All of the Soap and Glory range are sold in really attractive looking packaging which usually depicts a black and white picture of some sort to demonstrate what the product is. Having bought Sarah a whole little gift package I decided to that it was only fair that I added something to my overgrown collection. This time I opted for a product called "Scrub Your Nose In It" contains 125ml of product in a long pink tube with a flip top lid and I bought it solely because I hadn't used it before and the name caught my eye that and it claimed to be "an oil absorbing, brightening, pore cleaning mask". Inside the tube, the scrub itself is a quite a pale shade of blue and doesn't look anything like I was expecting, usually with facial scrubs they are quite coarse on the skin and whenever I buy one I always test it on the back of my hand first. This scrub states on the tube that it has a "special fruit-acid formula" - leaves the skin looking brighter and more radiant, yet the smell to me is surprisingly minty. I am not a big fan of mint smelling products personally, I think that Original Source product has put me off for life, but I have to admit to liking the smell of this because it isn't an overpowering minty smell, it is quite a refreshing minty smell. The scrub is primarily aimed at the faces T-zone which is namely the nose, chin and forehead, all of these areas are more likely to be the victim of both spots and blemishes, however in saying that you can use it on other parts of your face, just don't get it into your eyes because it stings really badly. Another good thing about Soap and Glory products is that they come with instructions on how to use them and for those people who have never used certain products before this is a welcomed bit of advice. The instructions which I have just mentioned advise you to apply a pea-sized amount to your damp T-zone, so before applying it to your face you need to make sure you have washed it and this not only helps remove any surface dirt and then apply it to your face and massage it into the skin paying particular attention to the T-zone area and then possibly your cheeks. As you massage the scrub onto your skin I actually didn't feel any sort of roughness at all, you can tell there is something within the actual cream because if you press hard enough you can feel it, whereas with some exfoliators they can be quite harsh on your skin. After you have finished using it, simply wash your face, massaging in any final bits of scrub into any facial surface area you feel you have missed and then rinse off and pat dry. As this product contains mint I did feel a slight tingling sensation on my skin as my skin was dried but my skin did feel really soft and smooth as though I had spent hours cleaning, toning and moisturising my face for a long period of time. A friend of mine, who is also a big Soap and Glory fan told me that I can also use this product as a facial mask, if I have got a few minutes longer to spare because the results are remarkable. So taking her advice I cleaned my entire face beforehand as I did before and applied the product to my face and left it for about 5 minutes whilst I did something else and then as I began to remove it from my face, again massaging the cream onto the skin, I did feel a stronger tingling sensation but my skin still felt the same, although I don't really know what I was expecting to find once the mask was removed, I somehow felt cheated, however it is a nice little treat and an added extra as I bought this purely to be an exfoliator and not a mask. Having now used this scrub for a good month now I am quite taken with it, not only is it easy to use but I like the tingling sensation on my skin after using it makes me feel more confident that I have done the best I can to make myself look better presented and that I have been kind to my skin and given it a good clean. I am happy with how soft my skin feels and I am glad the scrub isn't harsh on my skin leaving it red and sore and it definitely is absorbing because my skin is not as shiney as it was before around my T-zones and for a bargain price of £6.50 I will definitely be buying it again. My final tip put it in the fridge the night before you use it to make your skin feel alive and your senses very alert.
My Nan calls them Pikelets and my Gran calls them crumpets but call them Pikelets or crumpets to me they both mean the same thing. To me they are a symbol of my childhood when I would go round to my Grans as a child with my father on a cold winters day wrapped up in my best winter coat, a scarf almost covering my face and my bright pink earmuffs to save me from the cold. We would walk into my Grans who would be sat by the electric heater, a blanket round her legs, she would immediately jump up and offer to make me a cup of tea to warm my cockles and with that came the offering of a pikelet to keep me going until lunch. The good thing about my Gran making crumpets is that she would spread them quite thickly with what she considered to be her best butter and I would happily tuck into them, melted butter dripping back onto my plate. Crumpets for me are a comfort food, I am never without them in my cupboard and they are always an essential item on my shopping list. Crumpets are made by many different manufactures and some supermarkets even have their very own brand of crumpet but for me there is nothing better than Warburtons because those are the ones my Gran always used to serve me and no other crumpet tastes as good in my own opinion. To look at crumpets I think are quite weird things, they are circular in shape and no fatter than a muffin and on the top there are holes which don't go right through the crumpet and they are like air holes designed in such a way that the heat travels through them to cook them, well that's my Nan always told me. They are sold in packs of 6 or 12 in my local supermarket and retail in price from 60p to 80p. The packaging that they are sold is in a cardboard surround which acts as a seat to keep the crumpets in place and on this cardboard is a picture which depicts two cooked crumpets with a knob of butter slowly melting over and into them. The outer packaging is a rippable plastic which is easy to remove however the one thing I would note is that be careful how you open it because if you are not intending to eat the entire contents at once you would want to somehow be able to re-seal the packaging to keep the crumpets moist because they do go stale and hard very easily. Serving Crumpets really couldn't be easier, even if boiling an egg for some is a difficult task, crumpets is easy in comparison. When I make mine I do like them to be toasted, although you can eat them straight from the packet (but they do taste rather rubbery). I always grill mine under the grill for about 4 or 5 minutes until they are crispy to the touch and are browned on top, I do turn them over and cook the underside so that there is also a crunch when I bite into them. Once your crumpets are cooked you can then add whatever kind of topping to them that you desire such as cheese, bacon and eggs, honey, chocolate spread and even jam, it really depends on the sweetness of your teeth and your preferred option. I sometimes have mind as part of my breakfast topped with bacon and eggs and sometimes I have them on their own or with jam later in the day. They are quite versatile as a product. When I bite into my crumpet I found them to be really soft and fluffy especially in the centre of the crumpet whereas the underneath and top are quite crisp. The soft centre is really nice because it allows your topping to seep through the holes on the top of the crumpet and the flavour is there throughout. Without adding a topping to them, even butter than the taste for me would be really bland and boring, so if you have tried them and buttered them without adding anything else, I would really recommend giving them another chance and adding a topping. I prefer having them to toast on my cooked breakfast because crumpets don't go as soft as bread does and when you dip the crumpet into your egg yolk it doesn't run all over the place as much, but that's just my opinion. As I have mentioned I only ever buy the ones made by Warburtons and I have never tried any other brand. Crumpets are freezable so if you do buy too many at once you can shove them into the freezer where they can be frozen for up to 2 months, but if you buy them and put them in your bread bin like I do then they will need to be consumed within a few days before they go stale and mouldy. You can find crumpets in every supermarket that I can think of and in some local convenience stores but they do range in price depending upon their brand. The one final reason why I am a big crumpet fan is that each crumpet only contains 0.4g of fat which is half that of a slice of bread which contains 0.8g of fat per slice if you have white bread so they are also better for you than eating bread. So give them a try, you might like them!
I am a big fan of make-up and I do have quite a lot of it upon my dressing table. One of the things I love to do the most if my eye make up because you can change the look of your entire appearance with just a few different colours and a bit of eyeliner. When I first started experimenting with make-up the one thing I could never get right was the eye-liner, I always found the eye-liner pencil I used was not thick enough and I was hopeless with liquid liner, I ended up with panda eyes. Until a few months ago I had almost given up hope of trying to learn how to apply eye-liner properly until I came across TIGI Bed Head Big Fat Fun Eyeliner whilst out shopping with some friends. The first thing I immediately noticed about it was that the pencil nib was a lot thicker than the Kohl pencil I used the last time I was daring enough to put some eyeliner on. So I purchased the Tigi Bed Head Big Fat Fun Eyeliner at a cost of £8 and hoped it would be a lot less hassle to apply. Up until this point in time I had never ever used any make-up by Tigi but I was aware they did have a make-up range thanks to some reviews that I have read on here. To look at the TIGI Bed Head Big Fat Fun Eyeliner is like any other eye-liner, the body of the pencil is black in colour and running along the side are the words "Big Fat Fun" and within this eyeliner range is an array of colours and each eyeliner pencil is coloured to denote which eyeliner colour you are going to puchase. On the end of my eyeliner pencil is what they call a smudgie which is black in colour and looks similar to a teet, although obviously a lot smaller. The Smudgie is made of a very soft rubber and the idea behind it is that you can use it to smudge the applied eye-liner to create the smokey eye effect which has become very popular thanks to numerous celebrities and lifestyle magazines. When it comes to applying eyeliner, I have always been told to apply any other eye makeup that I am wanting to use before I begin adding my eye liner and mascara. Then placing myself in front of my mirror, which I should point out have a light above it so make seeing what I am doing much easier when applying the eyeliner. When it comes to applying eyeliner, you should always hold the eyeliner pencil as you would hold a pencil or pen to write and then use your other hand to stretch the eye you are going to line from the outer corner, that way the application should become much easier to do. Then with the eyeliner pencil I always draw a thin, unbroken line along my skin, one of the best tips I was ever given was to make sure your eyeliner pencil is not sharpened into a point because if you stab yourself it will hurt and if your eyeliner pencil is quite thick then you need it to be slightly blunt to create that smokey eyed look which I am so desperate for. With this Tigi Eyeliner the first thing I noticed when I was holding the pencil it felt much better within my fingers and much easier to hold than the last eyeliner I used and because I had that better grip I did feel much more confident when using it. Once I had got the knack of holding the pencil, I did practice a few times in the mirror, I was able to draw a line along my top eyelid, sort of in between my eyelashes and this makes them looks that they have a natural black colour when I add my mascara. Then, when it came to the bottom eyelid, this is where I have always had trouble. As I began to draw the line across the bottom eyelid I was surprised that I didn't have to put any pressure onto the pencil to show up the colour and that it almost danced across my lower lid as I moved by hand from left to right and I noticed that as I applied it the eyeliner seemed to dry instantly a big plus for me because the one thing I found using a liquid liner is that once you apply it, it does take a few seconds to dry and should you blink at the wrong moment the look you have created is ruined, so for that reason I switch to eyeliner pencils. When it comes to removing the eyeliner, I have to admit it is really easy to do and I found that just using my make-up removal wipes was effective enough to remove every trace of the eyeliner whether it was thickly applied or not. I haven't been brave enough to use the smudgie as yet so I don't know if the eyeliner is easier to remove once you have created that smokey eye effect. The lasting effects of this eyeliner are also quite good, I found that I didn't need to re-apply it during the daytime when I was at work and going out in an evening, all I need was a slight tough up of my make-up, which I always re-apply anyway and it looked as good as new. When I purchased this eyeliner the box in which comes in stated clearly that it Contains over 70% moisturising ingredients and they included Vitamin E and Jojoba oil, both of which are kind to the skin by helping to keep it moistursed and nourished and I assume that by using both ingredients in an eyeliner pencil it protect the eyes from drying out, particulary if it is worn for a long period of time. Overall I am really impressed with this eyeliner, as I said before I wasn't confident enough when using other brands and almost gave the whole idea up. Now I have this Tigi eyeliner I will continue to use it and I may even experiment with other colurs in the future, but for now I am happy with black.
One of the first things I notice about people is their eyes. You can tell a lot about someone from their eyes and as a girl I like to use dramatic eye make-up to exaggerate the eye area and play around with lots of different coloured eye shadows and creams. When it comes to my eyelashes without a doubt I have to curl them using an eyelash curler, a weapon of torture a former boyfriend once called them, having no clue what they did I decided to show him and the look of horror on his face I think put him off me for life, however he may have gone but the eyelash curlers live on. Over the years I have had literally hundreds of different styles, shaped and priced eyelash curlers. I have tried the heated ones, the mental ones, the cushioned one and more recently the plastic ones but none of them have ever given me the eyelash curling that I have wanted, the kind you see on supermodels. Then I read an article in a magazine about the Japonesque Professional Lash Curler For anyone who's not seen an eyelash curler before then they do look quite scary and to describe it can be quite tricky, essentially they do look like a deformed pair of scissors with an odd blade for cutting with. In fact you don't cut with the eyelash curlers, although you do sort of mimic the actions of using scissors. The Japonesque Professional Lash Curler is sold on the basis that they are quick and easy to use and leave you with curled lashes which will last all day long. When it comes to using eyelash curlers it can take a bit of practice to get it right, so try to persevere as much as you possible can. The Japonesque Eyelash Curlers are made from plastic so are slightly lighter to use than the previous Tweezerman variety that I have owned in the past and they are also non-slip when holding which is really important, especially if you have clammy hands. The blades which curl the eyelash have a silicone base First of all you have to make sure that your eyelashes are totally clean. If you have applied make-up during the daytime and are using these at nighttime you will need to remove all traces of mascara from your eyelashes because they could stick to the curlers and you will pull them out or they could break due to the pressure applied to them. You can re-apply your mascara after using the eye lash curlers without a problem. Once you have done that you will need to be in front of a mirror and if possible one which has a lot of light so you can see exactly what you are doing. Then simply place your fingers into the allocated slots which again if you think of holding a pair of scissors, this is very similar and then hold the curler open and on these curlers you can open them quite wide to watch what you are doing. Once they are open with one hand carefully place your upper lashes onto the silicone pad. The silicone pad on eyelash curlers is used as a base to place your eyelashes on in preparation for the curling effect; it allows the two ends of the blade to come together without cutting the eyelashes in half and for those people who want to use their hairdryer on a low setting to aid the curling effect, this silicone base is perfect for holding the heat. The silicone pad should reach to the base of your eyelashes but remember to take care not to trap the skin of your eyelid when you close the curler because it does hurt and can cut your eye lid, however it shouldn't be a problem with these eyelash curlers because they are really wide so you can see exactly what you are doing. When you do close the curlers, do it slowly and keep the eye open. Hold it carefully in place with a steady hand and count to 5, then very gently open the eyelash curler and remove away from your eye and what you should have is a perfectly formed arch of curled eyelashes. This eyelash curler has been designed to curl even the toughest of lashes and as someone who is lucky enough to have strong and long eyelashes, I sometimes find that I have to repeat the entire process to get an even curl, with the Japonesque curlers I only ever have to do the application once and the effects last all day. Once I am happy with my eyelashes I simply add mascara to them and when doing that I am happy that the shape is not compromised in any way. I paid £10 for these eye lash curlers a few months ago and I have to say that they are honestly the easiest and most affective ones that I have ever used. I know a lot of people will be shocked that they cost so much when Boots sell their own version for as little as £2 but I needed something that worked on my eyelashes and that kept them curled throughout the day without having to remove my mascara to re-curl them. In the long run I suspect I have actually saved money on buying mascara and eye make-up remover because I am now only applying once a day instead of two or three times a day. You can purchase these eyelash curlers online from most beauty stores and they do range in price so have a good look around before you purchase. I love these eyelash curlers and I will never need to buy another pair because they are made from durable plastic and so far seem to be pretty indestructible and in my eyes it is definitely money well spent.