- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Why did I buy it?
I am very unparticular when it comes to handwashes, but I do get through a lot of them as I have one by each sink in the house and always use them instead of soap. My children also use them so I tend to stock up with whatever ones are on offer.
This hand wash contains green tea, rice milk and jasmine, and is designed to leave hands feeling clean, soft and supple.
Price and availability
I bought this as part of a recent Tesco online shop for GBP1, and it is still on the Tesco website for the same price However it's currently GBP1.65 in Superdrug, so do shop around. There is also a shower gel available in this fragrance.
Using the product
There is nothing particularly remarkable about the packaging of this handwash - it comes in the usual plastic bottle with a pump action dispenser. Inside you can see the hand wash is a creamy colour. The first thing I noticed about this product was that is has a slightly sticky, almost gel-like texture to it, which I did find a little odd at first. However it does work up into a nice creamy lather, and I find a little of this handwash is enough to get hands squeaky clean!
This hand wash has a nice, inoffensive fragrance. It's a fresh, clean scent and I can detect the jasmine. However I do notice that the scent fades quite quickly.
After use, my hands do feel soft and very clean, but I do find I need to add a moisturiser soon after use as the skin on my hands does feel a little tight after using this hand wash.
This is a nice enough hand wash that cleans hands well and smells nice and fresh. It probably isn't my favourite or the most exciting hand wash I have every used but for just 1pound I think it's pretty good and I would consider buying it again.
In summary: A good handwash for a quid!
Why did I buy it?
I really have no loyalty at all when it comes to buying face washes. When I was in Boots recently I needed to stock up and spotted this for half price so I snapped it up. I'm not actually familiar with this range at all but I am always happy to try out something new!
What is it and how much will it cost?
This is a foaming facial wash that promises to clean and refresh your skin without drying it out. A 150ml bottle will usually set you back gbp2.49 - however the product is currently on a half price offer for only gbp1.24. As I say, I am not familiar with this skincare range, but it offers all the normal products you would expect from face wipes and washes to creams and eye gels, and it is clearly Boots' own take on the Simple range of products!
Using the product
I have used other foam washes in the past, and I do quite like the format. Although it appears as a liquid in the bottle, once you dispense this using the pump at the top of the bottle it comes out as a white foam. It has quite a nice, thick texture and it is pleasant to apply to my face as it's very soft, and on damp skin it turns a bit creamy. It is a very gentle product and I certainly think this would be suitable for sensitive skin. It washes away very easily, leaving my skin feeling nice and clean.
Does it work?
This definitely leaves my skin feeling clean - and although I wouldn't necessarily trust this to do a very deep clean of my face, it is perfect for first thing in the morning. It is very nice and gentle - and I was also very pleasantly surprised that it left my skin feeling really soft and smooth. Even after drying off, my skin felt soft and not at all tight or dry as I have found with other face washes in the past.
I really have no complaints at all about this product. It is very basic and no frills, but that is what I would expect at this price and it does what it is intended to do! I think the fact it leaves the skin feeling nice and smooth, and not dried out, is an added bonus. At half price, this is a great face wash - and I wouldn't actually begrudge paying full price for it either.
In summary: A fantastic face wash at a great price
Why did I buy it
I first started using this tinted moisturising cream years ago, before I ever started wearing foundation. I found it offered the perfect level of light coverage for my skin back then! As I liked it so much, I recently decided to try it out again.
What is it?
This tinted moisturiser is designed to even out skin tone and create a radiant looking complexion. It contains a special blend of light reflecting and colour pigments to help reduce the appearance of imperfections. It also - of course - moisturises the skin! It comes in one shade called 'Natural'.
Price and availability
This moisturiser comes in a 50ml tube and is widely available in supermarkets, Boots, Superdrug and so on. In Boots this costs gbp3.66 but is on offer at gbp1.99 at the time of writing. It costs gbp3.59 in Superdrug at full price but is currently on offer at gbp2.39. So you can pick it up pretty cheaply!
Using the product
You simply squeeze the tube to dispense a small amount of this moisturiser. It has a reasonably thick texture and a mid-beige colour. I find a need a small pea-size amount of this moisturiser so a little goes a long way - and best of all it has that lovely, fresh Nivea fragrance!
This moisturiser sinks into the skin really well and gives my face an instant moisture boost, leaving it feeling really nice and soft.
On the downside, the colour of this moisturiser makes my skin look slightly cakey at first - this disappears when I rub the cream in but I do have to watch that I don't use too much of it! The coverage is very light - and while this used to work for me some years back I would say that the hint of colour this gives to my skin is perhaps a little bit too sheer for me these days unfortunately! However it does improve the appearance of my skin and gives it a light, healthy glow! It is just a shame that it doesn't offer quite enough coverage for me.
The verdict ...
This is a really nice, effective moisturiser that softens the skin nicely. The tinted element gives a very sheer layer of coverage to my skin and while it does give it a nice healthy glow, I need a bit more coverage. This is a good one for days when I am happy to wear a bit less make-up, and fr the price I can't really complain too much!
A lovely moisturiser that is perfect for those that just need a touch of a tint!
=== Feeling festive? === Towards the end of last year I bought a nice stash of 20 Yankee wax tarts, and towards the end of last year I decided to throw a few festive ones into my basket. This is a bright white tart with a picture of some marshmallow snowmen on the front, so it's definitely one for Christmastime!
Yankee is an American company that's famous for its scented candles. However these aren’t exactly candles as they have no wick. Instead you pop the tart into a special tart or oil burner, light a tealight below it and wait for the wax to melt, emitting a – hopefully pleasant – fragrance! These come in a huge array of fragrances, and as I buy them in bulk online, for GBP1 each, there is obviously no way of knowing exactly what you're going to get.
=== A delicious description === Online, this one is described as “a delightfully luscious and creamy soft concoction of marshmallow and vanilla”. And, as you would expect, this definitely smells sweet even before you light it! And I would say that vanilla is definitely the main fragrance, alongside an overall sugary sweetness.
It does take a while for this one to get going, and it is only really when I leave the room and come back in that I notice this one. The main smell is definitely vanilla – it is quite mellow and pleasant, and not too strong or sickly. But this really is the only scent I can detect, and although it is nice it isn’t massively exciting! Luckily I’m a big fan of vanilla so I do like this, and I like the fact it has quite a nice, smooth fragrance. I liked using it in the wintertime as it is quite a nice cosy smell!
But I don't think there is much else to it really, so it may be a bit dull if you were expecting anything a bit more interesting! But if you are a vanilla fan then I would definitely recommend this as I think it's a really lovely vanilla fragrance – warm and comforting! I also don't think it's particularly Christmassy at all - which isn't really a bad thing.
== In summary == Pleasant enough but nothing special!
*** What is it? ***
This aqua serum is designed to smooth hair, leaving it feeling soft and silky. It also uses Thermo-Protect technology to protect your hair against heat styling, and is designed to leave it smooth for up to 24 hours. The serum can be applied to dry or damp hair from root to tip, and shouldn't be rinsed out.
*** How much? ***
A 150ml bottle of aqua serum will set you back gbp5.99 in Boots, and is currently part of a 3 for 2 offer across haircare products.
*** Using the product ***
This comes is a clear plastic bottle, and you can see the pink liquid inside. You dispense the serum via a pump action dispenser at the top of the bottle.
The serum is quite a thin texture - definitely thinner than normal hair serums I've used. It has a slight gel-like feel to it but it isn't sticky. I have quite long hair so I need a good few pumps of this, and I then smooth it through my hair. It goes on really nicely and easily and you can feel this smoothing the hair - and again there is no feeling of stickiness at all. This also has a lovely clean, fresh fragrance which is really pleasant.
I always leave my hair to dry naturally as it's curly and I don't let anything near it!
*** Does it work? ***
Although this product is pleasant enough to use, it doesn't really do anything for me. It does leave my hair feeling nice and soft but, unfortunately, if I use this product on its own it really is too light for my hair and it goes all fluffy once it's dry. It also doesn't withstand any dodgy weather so a drop of rain or a bit of wind and my hair goes all frizztastic. I think this product might work well for finer hair or straight hair - and it may well be good if you use straighteners - but for me it doesn't really work all that well at all, and I tend to mix it with a hair cream at the moment just so I can use it up!
*** The verdict ***
This serum is way too light for my hair - my curls need something more heavy duty to keep the frizz at bay! But I do think this product may work well for others so although it doesn't work for me I don't think it's necessarily the product itself is useless - just my hair!
*** In summary: Not hardcore enough for my curls! ***
*** Why did I buy it? *** I was lured into the Body Shop recently when I saw in the shop window that they were offering a bag containing nearly gbp60 of goodies for gbp25. I went in to take a look and discovered the bag contained some of my fave products, along with some other things I was keen to try. So not one to walk away from the bargain - and considering it had been my birthday just the day before - I picked one up! This BB cream was one of the products that was new to me. *** What is it and how much will it cost? *** This BB cream promises to illuminate the skin, even skin tone and moisturise the skin for 12 hours. It comes in just one shade and a 50ml tube costs gbp10 at full price. Obviously it is only available in the Body Shop, and is part of the shop''''s popular Vitamin E skincare range. *** Using the product *** This cream is designed to effortlessly blend in to leave fresh looking skin. The cream itself has a light texture and is a light beige colour. It sinks into the skin very easily and has a nice fresh fragrance. It is also cooling on the skin so it''''s quite pleasant using this cream first thing in the morning! It really does feel nice and light on the skin and it sinks in easily. *** What does it do? *** This definitely moisturises the skin well and it compares favourably to other light lotions I''''ve used. It also does improve skin tone ... but just a bit! It is a very light skin and this offers little in the way of coverage for me. Instead, I feel like I still need to add foundation afterwards as this just offers a light veil of coverage. I would also say that the fact this BB cream is only available in one shade may well cause problems for some people. I have a light Asian skintone and the shade of this moisturiser actually works well for me - however I am not sure if others may have problems. Although perhaps the coverage that the moisturiser gives is so light and faint that it may not matter! *** The verdict *** As a moisturiser, I think this is really nice. It is pleasant to use, it feels cooling on the skin and it makes my face feel soft for the whole day. However it doesn''''t really do enough for me to even out skin tone. The coverage it offers it very light and for me it doesn''''t do quite enough. However it is good for days when I don''''t want to wear a full face of make-up, so I will certainly use the full tube, but I very much doubt I would buy it again. *** In summary *** A good moisturiser for those who just need light coverage
Why did I buy it and how much was it? I stocked up on a few Original Source shower gels recently as they were on offer in Superdrug. Most of the shower gels were reduced to 99p, but this one was GBP1.15. The usual cost for a 250ml bottle of the scrub is GBP2.49. It is described as an everyday scrub that contains cranberry and honey to leave your skin smelling sweet and feeling smooth. Using the product I was really keen to try this product as I thought it sounded quite delicious! The first thing I discovered the first time I used it is that it is quite thin in consistency and I squirted quite a bit of it into the shower tray! The scrub itself is a lovely pinky red shade, and you can see the little black scrubby dots in the gel. I really thought this would smell lovely as I like sweet, fruity products. And while this is definitely sweet, and definitely fruity, it is almost a bit too much of both and I find the smell verging on sickly. Also it doesn''t smell of either cranberry or honey to me! Instead it has a slightly artificially fruity scent and although I don''t hate it, I am not that mad on it either. It''s really unusual for me not to like a fruit-scented product so I am a bit disappointed about this aspect of the product. But did things improve? Well, not much. I have two other problems with this shower product. Firstly - it isn''t really very scrubby. Yes, it had a few bits in it and you can feel these against the skin, but it certainly doesn''t feel like it''s exfoliating my sin, and the little particles seem a bit pointless really. Also, I found that the gel doesn''t really lather up very much, and I needed a second helping of the product to feel like I had enough to get really clean. On the plus side, this did leave my skin feeling nice and smooth after use. The verdict ... Well - this isn''t an awful product, but it did disappoint me quite a bit. I expected it to smell lovely and to act as an exfoliator, and I have to say it doesn''t really do either. I''m really glad I didn''t pay full price for it as I would feel a bit ripped off, but for under GBP1, I can live with the gel and will finish it off quite happily. But it isn''t one I would buy again as it didn''t really live up to my expectations. In summary: A bit of a disappointment from Original Source
Why did I buy it? I''m not really a big user of Olay products, but I recently saw that they were on a very good special offer in Superdrug so I decided to try out a few things! What is it? This is a combined moisturiser and serum that promises to visibly improve the appearance of the skin. It claims to fight the seven signs of ageing: Line minimisation - visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles Nourishing moisturisation - for a radiant healthy glow Tone Enhancement: Balances colour & visibly reduces appearance of age spots Gentle Exfoliation: Smoothes and evens skin texture Pore Refinement: Minimises the appearance of pores With Anti Oxidants: Helps prevent free radical damage to the skin''s surface layers Subtle Firming: Hydrates for firmer skin appearance The product also has an SPF of 20. Price and availability This is available in the usual places, such as supermarkets Boots and Superdrug. At full price it costs GBP14.99 but it is part of a 2 for GBP20 offer in Tesco at present - and event better it''s half price in Superdrug, so if you''re interested, you know where to go! It comes in a 50ml tube. Applying the product The product is designed to be applied to the face and neck every morning. The moisturiser comes in a strong plastic bottle, which is see-through so inside you can see that there are two different creams swirled together. However, when you press the pump action dispenser at the top, the creams combine so look like just one slightly off-white moisturiser. This has a very strong fragrance, but it isn''t unpleasant - although if you don''t like scented face creams this may put you off! The moisturiser has a really rich texture and almost feels very slightly greasy to me. But despite the thickness it absorbs into the skin very quickly and easily. However after applying this, my skin does have a very slightly tacky feel to it, and I do find I have to wait a while before I feel ready to apply my make-up. I have to say that my skin feels soft all day after I apply this cream. It is definitely a very effective moisturiser. What else does it do? Obviously this product promises a lot of things, and although I am usually cynical about lots of claims like this, I do think this product works to some degree. My skin does feel firmer and tighter when I use this, and with repeated use my skin is definitely softer and smoother. It isn''t going to work any miracles but I do think it''s pretty effective and lives up to at least some of it''s claims. The verdict I really like this cream and I think it does work to some degree. However, it really does feel too rich for me, and I think that when the weather (hopefully!) gets warmer, I may be inclined to stop using this in the daytime and use it as a night cream instead. But I do think this is a nice, effective moisturising product and is definitely a great deal if you can pick it up for half price. I find I need very little of this product on a daily basis so it will last a long time. Summary: Recommended overall!
Why did I buy it? I actually received this hand cream as part of a bag of goodies I bought recently from the Body Shop. It''s a product I''ve seen before but not ever tried - and in fact I''ve never tried any Body Shop hand products so I was keen to give this one a go. What does it do, and how much will it cost me? This cream is designed for very dry skin and it helps soften and protect hands. According to the Body Shop website, it is dermatologically tested and contains Community Trade hemp seed oil. A 100ml tube of this hand cream currently costs GBP5. Using the product This cream is really thick, and is an off white colour. When I apply this to my hands, it feels like it will take ages to sink into the skin as it has such a rich, slightly greasy texture. But actually it takes no time at all for this to be fully absorbed into the hands. After application, my hands feel really soft and very well moisturised. I am really impressed at just how nice and moisturising this and cream is. And they feel soft for a good while after use. But there is one issue for me with this hand cream - the smell! It has a very earthy scent that reminds me of patchouli - and it really is not a fragrance I''m fond of. This is a real shame for me as I actually think the cream itself is fantastic, but the scent puts me off using it. I tend to use it very rarely as a result. The verdict This is a fantastic hand cream - it is a really high quality and it''s an excellent moisturiser. But for me the scent is a problem as I am not a fan of it at all! So although I wouldn''t buy this hand cream again, I would definitely look at other Body Shop hand creams, as I think that even though the price is higher than other hand creams, the quality justifies the extra expense.
A sweet handwash
Having tried the other unusually scented liquid hand soaps in this range - chocolate orange and strawberry laces - I couldn't resist giving this new version a try. I have to admit to being very unsure about the concept of it, however - as much as I like cola bottles I was unconvinced about the suitability of the fragrance for a handwash! But as it was half price in my local supermarket, for about 85p, I felt it was worth a try - and could always be palmed off (pardon the pun) on my five year old if it turned out to be too sickly sweet for me.
This comes packaged like any other liquid handsoap - in a plastic pump-action bottle. The colour of the handwash inside is a creamy beige colour, and is more like a pale toffee colour than cola! The very first thing I did when I got this home was to unscrew the top and have a good sniff. And, yes, this definitely smells of cola! I still wasn't convinced this would work too well as a handwash but decided to give it a go.
The texture of the handwash is really nice - it is smooth and creamy and creates a nice, quite rich lather. It also washes away really easily, leaving my hands feeling very clean and quite soft. But what of the crazy scent? Well... It is definitely odd and the smell of cola on your hands is definitely a bit disconcerting. But having said this, it isn't actually unpleasant. It is quite sweet, without being overpowering, and has that slight edge of vanilla to it which is pleasant. It manages to stay quite subtle, and isn't sickly as you may expect. Overall I actually like the smell and the fragrance lingers on the hands after use.
A bit of a grower
Although I wasn't quite sure about this at first, I found it really grew on me and by the time the bottle was finished I was converted! It is definitely quite odd and unusual but it is nice and a bit of fun. It was also a talking point with everyone who came round commenting on it! It was also quite a hit with my daughter too. I would actually buy this one again - although I think I still like the chocolate orange version the best.
About the author ...
Maggie O'Farrell is an author from Northern Ireland that has written six novels, and this - Instructions for a Heatwave - is her most recent and was published last year. Although I had heard of O'Farrell I had never read any of her work before this, and wasn't sure what to expect - but I was attracted to this book mainly by the cover!
The story ...
The book is set during the heatwave of 1976 and is set in north London - Holloway to be precise, which is an area I know well so the book instantly appealed to me. It follows the Riordan family, whose three grown children are all forced back home when father Robert suddenly and uncharacteristically disappears. As is often the case with these novels, the three children have very distinctive characters and problems of their own - . Michael Francis is trapped in an unhappy marriage, black sheep Aoife is in New York working as a photographer's assistant, while stuck up middle child Monica is in the country living with her second husband in a stuffy old house she hates.
They all arrive home when their dad disappears and, with mum Gretta, try to piece together what has happened to him. But Mum Gretta has plenty of secrets of her own...
The verdict ...
I really loved this book, which is all about characters and families, and their relationships with one another. There is a lot of dialogue and conflict between them - and actually the story and mystery surrounding Robert's disappearance almost becomes secondary to what is happening with the rest of the family. We gradually build up the stories of the three children and the book takes us from Holloway to Ireland.
Overall I really enjoyed this book - it was very easy to read and was full of interesting characters. It is not an action packed book, so it isn't for lovers of twisty thrillers - but if you like character-led novels then I'd really recommend this. I will definitely be reading O'Farrell's other novels.
Picked up on offer
I picked these wipes up in my local supermarket recently - I tend to stay loyal to Boots cucumber face wipes but as I'd run out and needed some urgently, I went for whatever was on offer! At full price in Boots these cost £2.99 for 25 wipes, but are currently on offer at £1.99, which is also what I paid for them in the supermarket. They are designed to remove and dirt and make-up from the skin.
These come in the usual type of packaging that you would expect with this type of product - a strong plastic packet with a resealable tag on the top. The wipes have a pleasant fresh scent, but it's quite subtle which is good for a facial skincare product I think!
Downhill from here ...
But this is where the positives end for me. I don't consider myself to have particularly sensitive skin, but I find these wipes to be really unpleasantly rough to use on my skin. I have tried both sides of the wipes, but they are very uncomfortable to use and feel really unpleasant! They are a complete no-no for removing eye make-up, for obvious reasons, but I even find these too rough and unpleasant to use on my cheeks - they actually sting a bit and feel horribly scratchy. I also find that my skin feels a bit dry after use too.
Useful for sanding the furniture
I gave these wipes the benefit of the doubt and tried them a couple of times, but I have decided now to definitely give up with them. They are really horrible and I simply can't use them on my face! I should say for the record that they do seem to remove my make-up quite effectively, but they feel so unpleasant on my skin that this is almost irrelevant. I've used wipes of varying quality before and these are by far the worst I have ever used. So I can only give these one star, and I'll be using these wipes to clean the floors instead - or perhaps as sandpaper!
A new wipe
I almost always use wipes to remove my makeup before bed, so this is quite an essential purchase for me. My wipes of choice are Boots cucumber face wipes as they are cheap and cheerful - yet very effective! They tend to cost about £1 when on offer so I always resent spending more on them. however now and then I find myself needing to stock up but without a Boots within reach, so I then end up trying something new.
These Nivea wipes cost £2.90 at full price for a pack of 25 wipes, but I picked them up for half price in my local supermarket. The packaging of these wipes is pretty generic - a strong plastic wrapping with a resealable plastic seal that can be pulled back. The scent of these wipes is definitely the lovely, familiar Nivea fragrance - fresh and clean and classic! It is a smell I love and find quite nostalgic. Also the wipes are really soft - probably the softest face wipes I've ever used - and this makes the really pleasant to use as they are so soft and gentle on my skin.
Not clean enough
However one thing I do notice with these wipes is that they seem somehow dryer than other wipes I have used and they also don't feel as if they are quite as effective somehow, although they do definitely help to remove my makeup, I don't feel that my skin feels quite a clean and fresh after use - I almost feel that there is still a trace of makeup left on my skin after use.
I have mixed feelings about these wipes as I love the scent, and they really are soft and gentle to use. But I don't feel they are quite as effective as others so this does put me off them a bit, and realistically I would probably buy other options instead of these if I could. I will give these three and a half stars.
Curry and rice!
My daughter, who is 5, can be - unfortunately - a bit of a fussy eater. But she's always unpredictable - for example, last week she sat quite happily and ate a plateful of chicken rogan josh and rice - but then didn't like her Mr Kipling's apple pie.
One of the things I was surprised to discover she likes is gravy. Now this may not seem so strange, but we don't have roast dinners in our house and don't own gravy granules .... but this was a delicacy she discovered at nursery and I was surprised when she asked for gravy with her sausages and mash when we were out a while back. So I decided it was high time we cooked a roast dinner complete with gravy! As I am not a red meat eater myself, I purchased these chicken gravy granules. A 170g tub costs around £1.25.
Rich and meaty
The instructions on the tub tell you that you mix four heaped teaspoons with half a pint of boiling water, and the first time I made this, this is exactly what I did! I was really impressed with how easy this was to make - the granules dissolved instantly in the boiling water, and the gravy produced was a nice rich texture. The smell is also quite a nice, comforting and nostalgic smell, and my daughter said she thought it smelt delicious!
The gravy was a perfect accompaniment to our Sunday roast - it has a lovely, rich meaty flavour and is also a really nice consistency - despite being made from granules it is perfectly smooth with no lumps or bits anywhere in sight. It also has a lovely dark brown colour - despite it being chicken gravy it doesn't look insipid or pale.
More, more, more!
Since then, I have made the gravy again a few times and today my little girl and my 18 month old son enjoyed sausages, mash and peas, with loads of gravy! My daughter constantly asked for more, and even my son kept pointing at the jug of gravy and saying "more, more, more!". Although I am never going to be a huge fan of gravy myself, my daughter loves this to bits, and when we did have a roast dinner I was impressed at how rich and authentic this gravy was - and how easy it is to make! So it is the full five stars from me.
A more expensive option
I recently reviewed the matching shampoo for this conditioner, and explained that I received them in the post for reasons I was unaware of! Realistically I wouldn't spend this much on a hair care product - at full price this conditioner retails at £5.99 for a 250ml tube (although it is on a Two For £9 offer in Boots at the time of writing). I tend to go for cheaper shampoos and conditioners, and they generally tend to work well for me, so I did expect impressive results with this product!
Like the shampoo, this comes in a chunky, squeezy tube which sits on its lid, and is a nice mix of brown and gold colours. The conditioner itself is a really thick texture, and I tend not to use too much of it. It has a lovely clean and fresh scent, with a hint of coconut, and it's a very pleasant scent that I think is neutral enough to appeal to most people.
Nice and thick, with no drips!
Due to its thick texture, this conditioner coats my hair really nicely, and I can leave it on my hair for a good few minutes without it dripping. It washes out quite easily, and leaves my hair feeling really smooth and moisturised.
I always let my hair dry naturally as it's naturally curly, and once my hair is dry it definitely feels nice and soft, and a bit smoother than usual. This conditioner definitely works really well and helps to smooth and tame my hair.
Would I buy it again?
However! I have used other conditioners that work just as well on my hair, but for less money. So as a result of this I am unlikely to buy this conditioner again, even though I do like it, and I have to take off a star too! So overall this is a nice, effective conditioner that works well - but is a bit overpriced for me.