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Maybe its just me, but I am a sucker for cute pens, pencils and office niceities. Paperchase fits the bill every time.
I'm also a big fan of highlighters. Maybe its because of my university days, when I pored over photocopied paper with a highlighter poised in my hand ready to attack important pieces of copy.
The highlighters in question cost me around £2.50, which would place them in a mid range/higher price bracket. I have bought cheap highlighters in the past but I have found the colours are quite dry and you have to apply alot of pressure to the highlighter to get any ink onto the paper, which means you do not get much life out of them.
These however have great pigmentation which means you need very little effort in putting ink to paper. They come in 5 bright colours, and they are all easily disguinshable. Sometimes the yellow and green in cheaper highlighters look too similar, but you do not have clarity problems with these.
They are smaller than a normal pen and fit snuggly in the hand. The fact that they are quite chunky means they would also be suitable for children with little hands.
I also love the pouch they come in. Most people would throw this away I understand, but I love the fact that my pens are so neat and tidy and in one place.
Cuteness is always a factor, and anything shaped like an animal has to be a winner.
Overall, these are fun, practical and reliable and would be a great addition to any busy desk.
I received a 10ml sample of this through glossybox - only one word for it - wow.
You can use the product in two ways.
1. After washing your hair, you can use a very small amount through damp hair, you then style your hair as normal.
2. You can use a small amount on dry hair after styling.
The product itself is a pink sort of colour but has a luscious, sweet smell which is good enough to eat. My 10ml bottle lasted ages as you really do need the smallest amount.
The product claims to cut down on the drying time of your hair, and I would say this is an accurate description as I feel like I have the hair dryer in my hand for a shorter amount of time.
After using this product, my hair is silky and condiitioned and I don't want to stop touching it. Its also great for using if you intend to straighten your hair when dried as it gives it a professional looking finish to the hair.
Once I'd run out of the 10ml bottle I just had to order a full size product.
As a frequent traveller, I needed to be able to sort my hair out quite quickly because I'm always on the go. For some reason however I've never owned my own hair dryer, meaning that if I wanted clean dry hair in the morning then I'd have to sleep with wet hair.
Over Christmas I decided to treat myself to a hair dryer. I found the Babyliss nano dry 1200 in Wilkinsons for £15 (it can also be found in other online and high street retailers). The two main reasons for buying this particular model was the fact it was small and compact and therefore ideal for my case, as well as the fact it is pink!
So, is it actually any good as a hairdryer? All I can say is yes!
When you pick it up you feel instantly that this is a lightweight hairdryer which is comfortable to hold and doesn't add unnecessary baggage weight. The design is sleek and the handle is chunky enough to look sturdy without being too thick to hold comfortably.
To operate the hairdryer you simply push the switch. The hairdryer has two heat settings, one which is great for blasting your hair dry and the other for setting your chosen hairdryer.
With it being such a light hairdryer you do worry whether it will be powerful enough but this model packs a punch. I have almost shoulder length hair which has layers, and I find I can dry my hair all over in under 15 minutes.
The hairdryer comes with a handy small diffuser which is easily clipped into place, but this is not necessary if you don't want to be lugging extra additions around.
Although the hairdryer works incredibly well, it is not overly noisy. We all know that all hairdryers make noise to a point, but I don't believe this product is annoyingly loud.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy this product again, in fact I am considering buying a second in a different colour to keep at the boyfriends house!
I could never be without a hairdryer again and I hope I get a few years worth of use out of this one. A great product and something I shall heartily recommend to friends
Sanex dermo invisible 24hr anti-perspirant deodorant promises to minimise white marks and to keep you fresh smelling for 24hours...so does it?
Taking a step back, this deodorant is packaged fairly plainly with a colour scheme of white and muted fuchsia. There is no song and dance with the packaging and it fits neatly with the Sanex brand.
The canister, in my opinion, is the perfect size for keeping in your bag you take to work. This particular product is a spray on, and ideal for keeping for freshening up on long days at work.
I can't vouch for the 24 hour claims of this spray as I wouldn't trust any brand in the world to keep you fresh for so long, especially when you walk as much as I do. However I tend to apply this product in the morning and early evening and I don't feel like I smell horrible at any other time of the day.
The smell of this product is fresh, clean yet feminine at the same time - I would be quite happy to wear a body spray with the same fragrance. It is very obviously a female deodorant, which is something I personally prefer.
I have never experienced white marks whilst using this product and as someone who wears dark tops quite frequently, this is a definite plus point.
Sanex products can usually be found on offer at supermarkets or at pharmacists such as Boots. While it isn't an out of this world product, it does pretty much what it states on the tin, which is all you can ever hope for.
Stylist magazine is primarily aimed at women. The magazine is a freemium, which means there is no actual cost to its reader as the magazine is funded by advertisements alone (the same model that Metro newspaper works on).
Stylist is handed out to commuters a few nights per week, but there is a subscription option of £1 per week.
The core readership is working women. The magazine in my opinion is fantastic as it is for somebody who thinks, but isn't too high brow and sneery.
Although the subjects covered may look like any other women's magazines (i.e. shopping, relationships, travel), this magazine is different in the fact it is intelligently written and tends to come at subjects from a different angle.
If you were to throw one criticism at Stylist you would say it was possibly pitching itself too high in some areas. For example, the shopping sections can contain some fairly aspirational pieces at high prices, something that could alienate women who would never dream or be able to afford to drop £1800 on a handbag.
As well as articles on the 'typical' women's magazines topics, this magazine also broadens its depths to cover subjects such as art or literature, writing pieces that give a fascinating insight into the backgrounds of authors or artists.
The standout section in Stylist magazine is its column which is authored by Lucy Mangan. Her writing style is totally accessible yet highly personal. Her choice of subject matter can wildly differ on a weekly basis, from current affairs to the joys of being a mother. She isn't afraid to laugh at herself or to choose a controversial topic to discuss. She is the personification of this magazine: an educated woman who has a wide range of interests. Mangan is also/has also been a columnist for the Guardian and her quality as a writer shines through.
The magazine is designed to be read on the train, but even with a 40 minute commute I struggle to read the whole magazine as it is so dense in imaginative content.
If I was going to criticise Stylist at all I would say for them to feature more products which are purse friendly, but I also agree with the merits of showing off items that are aspirational and gives people something to aim for.
Next time you are at the station and have this magazine thrust towards you, then I urge you to give it a try. You will not regret it.
Ps - stylist magazine - please create a kindle version I can subscribe to??
I am always telling others that they should eat breakfast as I am possibly the biggest breakfast fan in the world!
I like to eat a variety of things for breakfast in terms of hot and cold breakfast. When I eat cereals I tend to stick to fruit n fibre which is made by Kellogg's.
Fruit and fibre is a combination of whole wheat flakes and various pieces of dried fruit. It is packaged in a purple box and the cereal itself is sealed in a bag for added freshness.
I love fruit, and the dried fruit in this cereal just tastes so good together - dried raisins and banana chips! The whole wheat flakes add a good crunch too. It is one of the only cereals that can truly fill me up. I love fruit and fibre so much that I often find myself making a small bowl when I have a craving for something sweet! I do tend to eat it quickly once I've put the milk on as I dislike soggy cereal.
The only downside to fruit and fibre is the fact that the wheat flakes can be a little crumbly and when you get your final bowls worth, it's mainly cereal dust!
Shortlist magazine is a new wave of magazines. This magazine is given away free to commuters on a weekly basis. It is a magazine whose target audience is men, and has a sister magazine in the shape of Stylist magazine which is targeted at women.
This magazine is delivered outside of train stations in cities across the city a couple of mornings and evenings a week. However, if you like the magazine and are unable to get a copy every week you can simply subscribe for £1 a week.
It can be quite hard to describe and give a flavour of what a magazine is really like, so I'll give you a read through of this magazine, the edition dated 8th March 2012.
Front cover headline of "When the Real Mafia declared war on the Godfather", which indicates there will be an article based around the film of the Godfather.
I love the way these series of magazines do their front pages, they are uncluttered and really conform to the idea of less is more. It also assumes a level of intelligence for their readership in the fact they do not have to spell the whole of the contents out to them.
What you will notice throughout this magazine is that it is heavy in adverts, which fund the magazine. The adverts are usually of premium brands, for example the advert on page 2 is for Boss Orange, whilst you will also see adverts for luxury gadgets, cars or premium clothing brands. If you aren't used to reading a magazine with so many adverts you may feel a bit distracted by this, but it is worth it for the content inbetween these adverts.
The magazine has its own news section, and as the magazine is a weekly, it is reasonably up to date. The news pages typically feature "manly" news about sports, cars or mens fashion. There is also a regular side column called pints and pistachios which latest "must drink" bars and pubs from across the country (not your Wetherspoons type pubs!)
Then you have an interview with a notable person, for this issue it is John Cusack.
Films are a big talking point in this magazine, and it is a regular theme to see interviews with movie stars or discussion of some of the supposedly greatest films of all time.
What I think is great about this magazine, and some people may disagree, is that it throws its net out very wide. The commuting working man may have many interests, and rather than try to appease the stereotypical man, they talk about a wide range of topics of interest and this is shown by their inclusion of political stories about the British empire, or stories about famous orders.
There is also a page or two focussed on the latest in the world of technology, as well as a small section about the best apps around, with an explanation of what that app can do for you.
There is almost a jokey fun page in the "Instructons for Men" section, where it will tell you in a series of cartoons how to do something particularly manly, like building shelter in a forest or in this particular issue, how to jump over a high wall. Once again though, this is varied, as it also discusses how to survive a pandemic, make rye bread and how not to survive altitude sickness. I like the fact the writers can laugh about themselves a little bit, and it is a little bit of whimsy.
The main columnist for Shortlist is Danny Wallace, somebody who you may have seen on the telly. Although I find him incredibly annoying on the TV (sorry Danny), I LOVE his column and feel a little aggrieved if I miss the weeks issue. His writing style is fab.
Next is the style and grooming section. People are well aware of how fast the male grooming market is growing on a yearly basis and Shortlist have done the right thing in playing upto this market. They tend to feature nice aftershaves, face balms and the like.
Past this section you get the meatier, lengthy articles, usually focussed around films and entertainment or lifestyle and work. In this particular issue they have a fascinating article about the problems surrounding the filming of the film, The Godfather.
The last article in this weeks issue really impressed me. In a time when people are losing their jobs, or having to work harder to get the position they want, then they obviously want to read about careers advice. The article "How to sell 'Brand You'" gives great tips on self marketing and social media.
Without wanting to bore you further, I hope I've given you a good flavour of the magazine
I am a female and I am not necessarily the target audience for Shortlist magazine but I make it a must read for my commute. It is intelligently written and doesn't fail to laugh at theirselves. A great formula.
The only thing I'd suggest is that they made a kindle version, I'd pay to subscribe!
Wake Me Up Foundation is a product that actually does what it says on the description.
- - - Why did I buy this foundation - - -
As usual I was dawdling through shops en route to work, yet on this day I knew I had to get some foundation as I had run out that morning.
Superdrug were heavily promoting this foundation as it was a new product. I was drawn to the product as I think the packaging is brilliant. The bottle is large and chunky and the glass means you can see how much you've got left still.
- - - The product - - -
I have bought this in the true nude shade as I am very pale. They do a range of 7 colours but on first glance there is nothing suitable at the moment for very dark skin tones.
To dispense the foundation you have a pump dispenser. To get the right amount of foundation to come out you only need to press this gently otherwise you end up wasting a lot of foundation.
I am a bit of a horror when it comes to foundations as I always apply it with my fingers. It would be just as easy to apply with a brush or sponge I would imagine.
- - - My opinion of the product - - -
I LOVE this foundation. I have to get up early for my morning commute and need to wear something that will brighten my complexion, and this does exactly that.
The foundation itself has light reflecting type particles which would be a little off putting for some. However, there is nothing to be afraid of. These just add a lovely glow like you've had 12 hours sleep!
I would describe the foundation converage as medium. It covers the blemishes and red patches that I get on my skin, but it does not look like a mask of block cover. It is an entirely natural finish.
The product blends in well so you don't get any of those annoying lines at the side of your face. I would give a warning to anyone expecting the foundation to be a true ivory type colour. I do think this foundation is slightly coloured so you look like you've had a day in the sun, rather than been tangoed. Its quite hard to put your finger on, but if you want the true english rose look then maybe this is not for you.
I use this alongside maybelline powder and a cream blush, and the foundation gives me entirely flawless skin. I was worried that with a new foundation I may get a breakout, but my skin has stayed blemish free and I don't feel like I am clogging my pores by putting this foundation on.
- - - Staying Power - - -
I think the foundation has a reasonable staying power. Naturally, after 12 hours at work my makeup does not look as fresh as it does at 7am. However, it gets me through a reasonable portion of the day and if I needed to attend an evening event I would be more than happy to reapply because of how nice it looks on my skin.
- - - Final Thoughts - - -
This foundation gives you a get radiant look for the morning. It is great for a natural day look, but I would also imagine it would look great at night time as it makes you look so vibrant and awake. It is something I will definately re-buy once the bottle is finished - the bottle is so big and the product goes such a long way that I imagine that the rebuying won't be happening for a very long time!
Once again I've fallen at the first hurdle of temptation in the shape of a £25 off a £50 spend voucher on the Bodyshop website. After stocking up on gifts, I made it past the £50 mark by popping a Body Shop Born Lippy pomegranate lip balm into my basket before pressing that order button.
I suffer with incredibly dry lips and the Body Shop lip roll on did very little to alleviate this. This item is also cheap and cheerful and worth a risk at the low price.
The product is described as having a slight tint in for the lips. It also has a yummy fruity smell which makes you want to put it on your lips.
To apply you simply run your finger along the product, and apply to your lips.
On application it gives your lips a smooth finish without being greasy. I have used vaseline on my lips before but have found that far too heavy, whilst this is just a nice light coating which makes your lips feel instantly refreshed.
Although this item smells nice, it doesn't taste great, which I suppose could be seen as a good thing as you avoid licking your lips and causing further chapping.
Although the product is advertised as having a hint of colour, on my lips this is not visible and if you are buying this in the hope that it will give you colour in the similar vain to a lipstick then you will be disappointed.
I would definitely buy this product again as it is cheap and cheerful for the money. I think they would be great for teenage girls just experimenting with makeup as they are moisturising and cheap enough for them to use up on a regular basis. Plus they come in a variety of nice flavours!
When I visit Boots, No 7 isn't usually the counter I would think to look at. I think its a perception that I have got that No 7 makeup is for older women, or just the possibility that I'm worried about being collared by one of the No 7 ladies to talk about some product (sorry ladies, I just don't like people trying to talk to me while I shop).
One of my christmas presents was a bundle of girly goodies which included No 7 High Shine lip gloss in the colour Whisper. My initial thoughts on the colour were positive. In the bottle it looks like a soft pink with a hint of shimmer.
The rest of the packaging is nice aswell. There is a nice shiny lid so the lipgloss is easy to find in your makeup bag. The writing on the packaging is in gold, making the product feel more expensive than it actually is.
No 7 High Shine lipgloss also has SPF 15 within it, which is also a massive positive for me as I am quite keen to use makeup which as SPF in, and its important not to neglect your lips. It also claims to have collagen boosting formula which is good for me as I have a thin top lip and I am very aware of this fact!
To put the lipgloss on you use the applicator brush which comes with the lipgloss.
I am not a big lipgloss wearer as I find it too sticky and not practical to work. This lipgloss smooths on nicely, but it is slightly tacky to the feel so I am aware that my hair could stick to it. The colour also goes onto the lips differently to how it seems on the packaging. Rather than a soft pink, hints of gold are much stronger when it goes onto your lips. When I first applied this to my lips this morning I was worried that it looked a little full on for work, and possibly would be a lipgloss that I would have to save for a night out. The gold sheen to it comes from what I guess are very fine illuminating particles in the lip gloss which give it the shiny/shimmering look.
After initially being unsure about this lipgloss, it has become a real grower on me. The lipgloss gives a great three dimensional finish to your lips which helps to make your lips look bigger and plumper, a look I'm always trying to achieve. I'd perhaps like the colour more if there was slightly less of a shimmer to it but this is a minor issue.
The lipgloss doesn't have a massive amount of staying power, but I think this is endemic with all lipglosses and not this one in particular. You don't need to apply a massive amount to your lips so you won't begrudge reapplying to achieve the same look throughout the day.
I love breakfast, It is by far the best meal of the day. I also get a little bit bored if I eat the same breakfast all of the time so I always keep a box of these biscuits on standby for those mornings where I'm not really sure what to have.
I currently have these biscuits in the muesli variety, but I have eaten them in the original flavour too. They usually retail for over £2 per box but there is usually one major supermarket at any one time that has them on offer for £1 per box.
Inside your box you have 5 individually wrapped portions which all include 4 biscuits.
This muesli variety look a fairly substantial biscuit visually because you can see they are filled with raisins. It also makes them look a little dry and crumbly, and many of the biscuits are already broken in the packet.
It is recommended that you have these biscuits with a dairy foodstuff plus a piece of fruit for a balanced biscuit. As these biscuits are just so dry I have them with a glass of milk to add moisture as well as a banana.
The biscuit itself smells lightly of digestive. The biscuit snaps easily, and the taste is quite digestive like itself, with a slight sweetness to compliment the raisins.
The muesli variety of this biscuit however is quite a chore to eat after the first one as they are dry and fairly unremarkable tasting.
I am disappointed with this flavour as I was impressed with the original biscuits and I absolutely love the yoghurt crunch variety. I wouldn't recommend these to a friend unless they change the ingredients somehow.
There are three items of makeup that I just cannot leave the house without having them on: foundation, mascara and blusher.
In a recent splurge to top up my makeup bag I picked up Max Factors creamy blush in the colour soft murano as a part of a 3 for 2 deal in Superdrug.
Soft murano is described as a dark pink. When you take the lid off the small pot you also notice it has a hint of shimmer which makes the dark pink look less scary.
Although this is described as a cream blush, it is actually quite a solid formula which means it is fairly difficult to use too much of this product at once. This solid state also means that it would be fairly impossible to apply with a brush, as you need a little body heat to melt the product slightly to get it onto your skin.
After applying foundation and powder I use a clean finger and sweep across the product to get colour onto my finger. I think the body heat also allows for me to be able to blend the blusher fairly easily to get the finish I want. If I want more colour on my skin I just repeat this step and blend.
The blusher gives a really dewy fresh finish because of the light shimmer. However, if you like a more matte finish to your makeup then this product could still be for you if you apply a powder over the top to stop the shimmer.
I'm not one who usually tops up makeup during the day but you wouldn't have to worry about that with this product as it is hard wearing.
I love this blusher and I'm glad I took the risk to try it. The colour is fab, but there are also a good range of other colours with this item which means there should be a colour to suit all skin types. Although the pot is teeny tiny and fairly pricey at 6.99, the solidness of the product means I foresee it lasting me for many many months.
Since working full time I have started to wear makeup every day, which obviously means that I am getting through make up at an alarming rate.
One makeup item I cannot leave the house without wearing is mascara. Mascara makes me look more awake, and now I wear contacts a few days a week, I feel a good strong mascara makes my eyes a real stand out feature on my face.
It can be a total nightmare knowing what mascara to buy, and as ever with any beauty product I am a bit of a tart and quite happy to change brands depending on offer.
I am a subscriber to Moneysavingexperts weekly email and it seemed like fate when they advertised the fact that Elle magazine would be sold with Soap and Glory mascara.
I did have a quick look on the Boots website and read a few quick reviews which gave positive vibes so I decided to go for it.
Soap and Glory is a brand I've used before. This mascara doesn't come in the usual pink colour scheme, rather it comes in black packaging which seems to suggest it means business. The magazine was 3.95, whilst the mascara is £10 in Boots, giving a substantial saving.
Upon opening the product you will notice that the brush head is very fat and long. I am not used to using a brush head like this and it did initially worry me. The product has the regular mascara smell. A big plus point for me is that the mascara is a true black, shocking and sumptuous.
To apply I load the brush as I would with any mascara and glide onto lashes. The wide thick brush ensures that those pesky small lashes at the side are coated nicely to make them stand out. To get the effect that I like, I coat both sets of eyelashes and before they dry, coat them again. This gives the eyelashes a good coverage without being clumpy. The overall effect is a dramatic framing of the eyes without you looking like a spider!
The staying power is pretty good. I apply my mascara at 7am, and by the time I come to remove it at 8pm, although the density of colour may not be the same, it still looks like I'm wearing mascara without flaking.
Soap and glory is a brand I've liked for body butters and the like and on the back of the performance of this mascara, I wouldn't hesitate to try other parts of their makeup range. Although I won't be able to buy it for £4 again, the range is often on offer at3 for 2 which I think represents fantastic value for money.
I am a massive tart for shampoo in terms of I'll happily ditch my favourite products when I see offers on other shampoos. I am also a sucker for branded shampoo, and therefore a big fan of Boots when they offer 3 named products for £10.
It was this offer that led to this Lee Stafford product arriving in my bathroom. I must confess its not the first time that I've used his range of products, and I tried them the first time because I thought the man himself was very good looking.
The product is packaged in a hot pink bottle which I'm sure he did to target his female audience as well as standing out on the shelf.
As a heavy user of straighteners and a hairstyle I was drawn to the poker straight shampoo in the hope that it would protect my hair as well as helping to keep my wavy hair under control.
Smells of products are important to people and taking the lid off this shampoo you instantly get musky tones with a hint of sweetness - what I would describe as a really sexy smell, the sort of fragrance which would make people ask what you had washed your hair in to get it smelling so good. The smell of the product on your hair is in no way as strong as it is in the bottle.
To use this product you put a decent sized product into your hands and rub into your hair, creating a lather. I then rinse with clean water. Some people like to wash their hair twice but I don't personally. You can then follow up with conditioner if you wish.
The shampoo lathers up really well with rich luxurious suds. Once I've washed it out, although my hair feels clean, it feels like its in need of a conditioner to give the moisture my hair needs.
Overall this is a nice product with a good hairdressers name on the front. However if you were looking to really treat yourself in terms of hair care, I wouldn't choose this because you may be disappointed. If you use shampoos in this price range then these products are good for using when you want to give your hair a break from your normal favourite brand.
As I am rapidly hurtling towards my mid 20's, I'm starting to consider things about my beauty regime that I've never considered before.
SPF's are something that I should have invested in a long time ago, and when there was a promotion for 40% plus free delivery on the BodyShop website I plumped for this product. I read the reviews on the Bodyshop website and it suggested that the product was good under makeup, so this plus the added SPF made the product desireable for me.
The product itself comes in a much smaller tube than I expected - for the full price I would not be happy, its a reasonably small tube. To access the product you squeeze the packaging to get the required amount of product. One of the positives of having a tube like this is the fact that you aren't putting your dirty fingers into a pot, leaving germs inside the product!
To use the product you put the required amount in your hands and smooth over a clean face. The product is meant to mattify your skin with an added SPF 15. It also claims to provide moisture for the skin.
I've been using this product for over a month and the verdict so far isn't great. Although the product feels ok when I smooth it onto my face, thats as far as the praise goes.
Firstly, the product stays very wet on the skin for a long time. If you are in a rush in the mornings, this is not the product to use. When the product does dry down, it leaves a very shiny finish.
Makeup does apply well over this product but I wouldn't believe anyone who says this product is a good primer, if anything I think it helps the makeup to slide off my face. My powder and foundation doea not seem to work well with this product.
Since using the product I actually feel my skin has become drier, especially around the nose. I have combination skin but have never experienced dryness on my face like what I've been having with this product.
I do feel happy that I am protecting my face with SPF 15. I just don't think this product can ever achieve what it puports to achieve. In terms of reccomending this to a friend, I just don't think I can! The product is quite expensive for what it is, and I'm only carrying on using it because I'd be aggrieved to chuck this into the bin. Not a holy grail product to say the least.