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Nik-Nac

Nik-Nac
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Member since: 19.05.2012

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      01.06.2013 16:34
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      A fab, cheap alternative to expensive shower gels.

      My usual Soap & Glory shower gel had run out and I was looking for a cheap and cheerful replacement until pay day.
      I have used and quite enjoyed Original Source shower gels before, so I figured when I seen this Vanilla and Raspberry scent that I couldn't go far wrong. Being a lover of all things girly, the light pink colour of the gel just called to me from the shelf.

      Original Source products use all natural fragrances and are vegan friendly. They also source and produce as much as they can in the UK, which is always a positive as far as I'm concerned. With these credentials I am always pleasantly surprised that they don't cost more. This shower gel also claims to be moisturising.

      The design of this is the same as the other Original Source shower gels. A chunky plastic squeeze bottle which slightly tapers at the top. It has a flip top lid at the bottom, so that the gel is easy to squeeze out, even when it's almost finished. Nothing special, but perfectly practical. The plastic is recyclable.
      The different size and styles of fonts on the label are quite bold and cute.
      There is also n Original Source guide with icons, and a description of the scent on the back of the bottle:
      'We've waited 82 British sunrises for these Raspberries to ripen before we squeezed them with vanilla milk into this recyclable bottle. This moisturising shower will leave your skin soft and smelling sweet.'
      All in all the packaging is fun and sweet, and looks good in my bathroom.

      I found the consistency of the product to be a tiny bit runny. I am a bit of a clutz and the fist time I used it I squeezed too hard and a rather large amount emptied onto my hand and most of it ended up slipping off and running away down the drain!
      I quickly learned my lesson though, and now use it with a loofah.
      It lathers fairly well, especially with a loofah, and I have found that I don't need too much to clean my entire body. One bottle of this lasts me about 6 weeks.

      The scent is gorgeous. I might even say that it smells better than my Soap & Glory shower gel. To me it smells exactly like raspberry milkshake. It's sweet and delicious. I find it quite luxurious and relaxing to use, and it's great after a busy day at work, especially if I'm hot and sweaty and worked up by the day's events. It calms me right down.
      Unfortunately, while it smells quite strong while I'm showering, the scent doesn't linger for long afterwards - by the time I have towel dried the scent is gone. Oddly enough, it lingers longer in my bathroom and I can still smell a hint of it up to an hour after use.

      It does make my skin feel soft, however I don't feel it adds much moisture. This isn't too big of an issue though as I moisturise after showering anyway.

      Original Source shower gels are widely available and can often be found on offer.
      This scent can be bought for £1.15 right now at Boots. RRP is £2.30 for a 250ml bottle.
      Even at full price I think this is a bargain, and it lasts ages.

      There is also a hand wash available in this scent, that I have yet to try, but I bet it is just as luscious!

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        23.05.2013 14:20
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        Cleans my flat in a jiffy. Very pleased.

        So as usual I was complaining. This time it was to my Mother In Law. This time it was about the strange lack of available plug sockets in my house (to be fair, most of ours are in permanent use by our various technologies) and how my hoover cable just wasn't long enough to cope with that.

        Unbeknownst to me, the old devil had actually been listening for a change, and not simply nodding along while actually wondering what to make for that night's tea.
        One of these arrived on my doorstep about a week later. Thanks Lorna!
        This is a cordless rechargeable sweeper. Just plug it in at the mains and like you would with a mobile phone or a laptop. It then runs on a fully charged batter for approximately 45 minutes, allegedly. No need for wires..hurrah!

        Upon unpacking it I was sceptical. It feels and looks a little bit flimsy. However, not one to judge a book by it's cover I assembled it (easily, by the way. Just click a few parts together) It comes with instructions on how to empty and clean the hoover. Both of which are pretty simple. To empty the hoover there is a small tray in the side which is simply pulled out and emptied into the bin and then reinserted. It doesn't hold very much and I find myself emptying it at least once per use, but it is so easily done that I don't mind. The brush bar can also be removed to get rid of any dust, hair, etc that might be caught up in it, or to be replaced.

        The first time I used this I let the battery charge for 16 hours prior to use. This is the recommended time. It is advised not to leave the sweeper on constant charge for more than 24 hours. The battery will not charge if the sweeper is still turned on.
        It is recommended that at least once a month the battery should be completely drained then recharged. It's just as well that it doesn't cost much (pennies, according to Lakeland) to recharge the sweeper, as I charge mine up several times a week.

        So how does the sweeper perform?
        I've got to say I was surprised at how powerful it was.
        I live with two messy boys, and a messy cat. There is a lot of mess! (According only to me, apparently I'm imagining it!)
        This sweeper picks up like a dream. Cat hairs - gone. Food crumbs - gone. Dust bunnies - gone. The need to unplug the television and annoy the boys while hoovering - gone.
        It works on carpets and laminate flooring equally well. Though I'm not sure how it would cope on deep pile carpets. I have some short loose frays on my living room rug and it sounds like I'm trying to hoover up a dying kitten when I accidentally sweep over them, much to my cat's dismay.
        Apart from this though the sweeper is pretty quiet. Certainly much quieter than a standard vacuum cleaner.
        As for the 45 minute on one charge claim...ehhh. I don't know.
        I use it daily for about 20 minutes and have found the power starts to wane slightly after about 10 minutes. But it still picks up well.
        The sweeper is really lightweight and is good at getting under furniture. The metal handle can be removed so that it becomes handheld. This hasn't been necessary for me at the moment, but I'm moving house soon and will have stairs that need cleaned and this will be handy then.

        Lakeland offer a promise that is you are unsatisfied at any time there is a no quibble, money back guarantee. Or you can have the item replaced if it breaks, no questions asked. I have never had to use it but my MIL has in the past and says Lakeland are true to their word. She has been very pleased with their customer service.
        This retails for £42.99 with free delivery. It is only available in baby blue. If this is not to your tastes Lakeland offer similar sweepers at similar prices, though I cannot vouch for their performance.

        This has become much more used than my normal vacuum cleaner, which is only really brought out when I need to use the nozzle to get into corners. It's been a revelation. Hoovering takes me hardly any time at all, and I can spend that extra 10 minutes per day daydreaming about having that nozzle extension for my sweeper and binning my cumbersome vacuum cleaner.

        Time well spent I think.

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          22.05.2013 23:10
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          So thankful to have found this product. Wouldn't be without it now.

          I love beauty boxes. They always surprise me with brands I don't know, or products that I'm unaware of. This was a lovely surprise several months back.

          This is a leave in conditioner, that is applied to damp hair. It can then be blow-dried or left to dry naturally.
          The container is a metal bottle with a nozzle head, much like a hair mousse. I love the design and find it really easy to use the nozzle to get the required amount of product without making a mess. I use just over half a palm's worth on my hair, which is past my shoulders, and only apply it to the ends of my hair. The texture is also similar to that of a hair mousse.
          It leaves my hair feeling soft and silky and smooth. It does not leave behind any sticky or heavy residue. I use it daily and it does not build up in my hair at all. My hair is left shiny and quite bouncy, which is no mean feat given that my hair is fine and usually lifeless.
          It also works well to de-tangle my otherwise tuggy hair, and does not leave my hair greasy.

          It feels like I've just been to the hair salon when I use this product. It really is a gem.

          But the best thing about this is the smell. OHMYGOSH it's divine.
          To me it smells of sweet vanilla and toffee. I actually want to eat it. I have managed to resist the urge so far, but it's tempting. The smell also lingers for most of the day, which is a bonus.

          A large 200ml bottle of this can be bought from about £11 online.
          Used every day it does run out fairly quickly, and it's hard to tell how much of the product is left due to the bottle design not being even semi-transparent.
          I still think it's worth it because it's so good, and has worked wonders for me and my usually lacklustre locks.

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          • ModelCo Cheek & Lip Tint / Make Up / 33 Readings / 33 Ratings
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            22.05.2013 15:40
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            Makes me look less like a zombie! Thumbs up :)

            My boyfriend describes my skin tone as Scottish Blue, but that's alright because he's Tango Orange.
            I am very pale and finding products to suit me is difficult.

            That's why, when I received this Cheek and Lip Tint in my Glossybox, I was more than a little excited. I love blusher, and truth be told I need it so as to not look like one of the walking dead. The shade is Rosy Red, and this is the only shade available, as far as I can tell. It's a 'one colour suits all' type of affair. I guess that's because it claims to be buildable, meaning that you can get quite a subtle effect or go for something more dramatic. This should mean that it suits all skin tones too.

            The box it comes in is a snazzy fuchsia pink with silver mirrored graffiti style lettering. The tube is the opposite, with the lettering being pink and the background being a mirrored effect. It is a great looking product aesthetically.
            The product smells delicious, all sweetness and berries.

            Now upon opening the product and squeezing a little out of the tube my initial reaction was panic. I kid you not, it looks like blood. It's so dark. I tried it on my lips first as I was hesitant to rub it into my skin in case of ending up looking like a clown. The product has a liquid gel type consistency. It applied to my lips nicely and ended up quite sheer so I added another coat once the first one had dried. It left quite a pretty colour, however it did dry my lips out and didn't feel pleasant to wear.

            The fact that the product didn't look nearly as scary on my lips as it did from the tube gave me confidence to apply it onto my cheeks. What I do to apply it is dab tiny (and I mean tiny - the colour is very pigmented) dots along my cheeks (maybe 3 or so) and rub in quickly with my fingertips. It is important to work fast and only do one cheek at a time, as the product dries very quickly. Make sure to blend it out properly. The instructions do say to tap, rather than rub the product, but when have I ever done as I'm told (clearly I'm a rebel)

            I am always left with stained fingers, however soap, water and some gentle scrubbing sort that out.

            The colour left on my cheeks is a lovely flushed, but natural, pink. I think it's very flattering and would look good on anyone. I have never tried to build up the colour using more product as I simply don't need to. But I would imagine that it is easily done. On my cheeks it felt lightweight and easy to wear. It also lasted me all day without having to touch up. Result!
            You could set it with a powder, but I don't think it's necessary. However it could be useful for toning down the colour if you accidentally use too much product or prefer a much more subtle look.

            I much prefer this as a cheek stain than a lip stain.

            ModelCo make this tint and the tube holds 10ml of product. It retails at £15.
            This might seem pricey, but due to the fact that you only need a tiny amount, and that it is long lasting it should end up good value for money.

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          • Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub / Lip Care / 40 Readings / 40 Ratings
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            21.05.2013 23:33
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            All in all a great little product. A must have for every woman who suffers from dry, cracked lips.

            Lush lip scrubs are small pots of castor sugar mixed with jojoba oil. This is then combined with lovely flavouring and colouring agents. This scrub is preservative free and suitable for vegans.
            The sugar granules are pretty large and do a lovely job of buffing the lips and getting rid of dead skin cells.
            The jojoba oil helps to moisturise the lips. Though on it's own it does not do a good enough job. You should also moisturise with some lip balm.

            The flavours are what make the product yummy (just as well they are edible huh?!) This bubblegum flavour smells, and I imagine tastes like, Snow Fairy soap - only less...soapy? If you are unfamiliar with this scent it's kind of sweet candy floss mixed with pear and a hint of bubblegum. Those of you without a sweet tooth may find this is just too sickly. I love it. I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes if I'm feeling in need of something sweet and there are no chocolate bars to hand, I hit this little baby up. It leaves my lips lovely and soft to boot. Kill two birds with one stone, eh?
            The lip scrubs also come in Popcorn and Mint Julips flavours. There is also a chocolate lip scrub called Sweet Lips, however this is currently unavailable online - I'm not sure about in store.

            The colourings in the bubblegum flavour of lip scrub give the product a stunning bright pink hue. Very girly indeed.

            The packaging itself is alright. It comes in a small, sturdy 25g pot. It has a black lid with the name and description of the product on. Then there is a label on the pot with ingredients and instructions on how to use the scrub. On the bottom is information about who made the product (thanks Rob!) and a use by date, My use by date is a year and 2 months after the 'made on' date. So there is plenty of shelf life with this product.

            The texture is, of course, grainy. Great for scrubbing the lips, but not too harsh.
            My only problem with the texture is that when I apply the sugar onto my lips I lose about a third of it and it falls onto my clothing. However this is easily brushed off and doesn't bother me too much. You only need to apply a small amount anyway.

            It's really easy to use, basically you just rub the sugar onto your lips, I do it in small circular motions for about 30 seconds, then you can lick it off. The licking it off is my favourite part, but some people find licking dead skin from their lips disgusting (I can't imagine why!)
            It can easily be washed off but then you won't get the lovely bubblegum flavour, which is a pity.
            Afterwards just apply your favourite lipbalm for a soft, smooth pout. This is a much better base for applying lipstick to, of course.

            I adore this product, if you can't tell.
            You can pick it up from Lush for £5.25.
            I apply mine about twice a day, when I remember. And I think that's pretty excessive, but it lasts me a good few months.

            Well worth it if you ask me, and good value for money since it lasts so long.

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            29.08.2012 14:28
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            I love it, but it isn't what I expected.

            Earlier this month after receiving a little extra in my pay check I went on a bit of a spending spree. I'm currently loving New Look and I spotted this ruched sleeve blazer on their site. I like the tailored look, but I'd describe my style as more casual. I like to be comfortable. This is a perfect compromise. It's also a longline blazer, as I prefer to have at least some of my bottom covered!

            This is currently retailing at £24.99 in two colours. The red blazer is available in sizes 6-14 (though I bought mine in a size 18) and the teal is available in sizes 8-12. Not the best size range, but I suppose some of the sizes have sold out.

            The blazer is soft and comfortable. I would have found it a little tight across the chest, but there's no button to wear it closed, so that's fine. I found that the lapel on the blazer doesn't sit very well, but this was amended with a little stitch on each side so that they don't flap open. The arm length is also a little long on me, considering it is supposed to be 3/4 length, it is more like a full length sleeve (but maybe I just have short arms!) My main concern with this blazer is that the colour is not true to what is seen on the New Look site. I would say that rather than being red, it is more of a raspberry colour, which is beautiful but not what was expected. I'd imagine that a lot of people have been surprised with the colour upon receiving this, if they've ordered online. I kept mine because I actually prefer the raspberry shade, but it's not to everyone's tastes.

            The pockets on the blazer are real which is becoming a rarity, not that I'd use them as this would spoil the tailored look. For a tailored blazer it is more casual, and I'd say more versatile. I've worn it with dresses and wedges at night time, and also with a pair of teal palazzo trousers and black vest top for a daytime look. It's very easy to wear. The material isn't heavy so it doesn't do a good job of keeping me warm, but it's handy to throw on if it's a little chilly outside, but not cold enough to need a proper jacket.

            I love the blazer, but there are definitely a few little niggles with it. I could totally understand if someone else ordered it and ended up disliking it.

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              24.08.2012 22:12
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              My Holy Grail of bargain concealers.

              If I could only choose one beauty product to use for the rest of forever it would be this one!

              I've been trying out concealers and foundations for about a year. I have enjoyed experimenting with what suits me, and what gives the best coverage, but now that I've found this concealer my search is over.

              Maybelline's Pure Mineral Concealer is a great buy. The RRP is £6.19, but I don't think I've ever actually seen it retail at this price. It typically sells for anywhere between £2 and £5 for 5ml of product - not a huge amount but a little definitely goes a long way. I don't tend to spend a lot of money on cosmetics, and am a firm believer that there are fantastic bargain beauty products to be had if you're willing to spend time and effort finding them. Although sometimes my temptation gets the better of me and I spend a fortune on one poxy beauty item! Thankfully this wasn't the case here.

              The concealer comes in a plastic tube with a doe-foot applicator. I prefer this to a brush applicator. The shade I bought was shade 02 - natural. I was worried when it arrived and looked a lot darker than my pale skin tone, but it is really well pigmented and blends very well. The product isn't as thick as some concealers but this isn't an issue at all. The range has a limited number of shades (only 3 or 4) and they aren't suited to dark skin tones unfortunately.

              I have quite dark under eye circles, but found that this concealer was excellent at covering them up. I only need 2 or 3 small dots under my eye, and then with a clean finger I blend it in. It does not go cakey or accumulate in the fine lines of my face (but then I do use primer) I've also found that it's very useful for covering redness. I have some red patches on my chin and on the side of my nose, and this has been fab at masking them.

              As for covering spots - well it does work, but it can't be blended as well or the spot shows through. I tend to just dab a little on my spot (with a clean finger - I don't want to use the applicator on my spots and put it back into the tub!) and pat it rather than rub it in. It's not a perfect match for my skin tone, but I'd rather have a slightly darker mark where my spot is than an angry pimple staring at people!

              I would say that this concealer provides medium coverage. In a rush I'm pretty happy to go out wearing just this and a little powder to set it. That tells you right there all there is to know about this product. With powder on top this lasts a good 5 hours or so without having to touch up. It's also quite hydrating and doesn't cause my skin to have spot outbreaks. It doesn't feel like I have masses of make-up on when I'm using it, and it's easy to forget that I'm wearing any at all.

              I'm still using the first tub that I bought back in May, and I have plenty left. I use it twice a day usually. I reckon it might last me until early next year (wishful thinking maybe?)

              Overall I think this is a high quality concealer with a High St Price tag!

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              24.08.2012 14:08
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              A budget powder that gives impressive results.

              At the ripe age of 26 I'm fairly new to using make-up and cosmetics. I've always worn nail varnish, eyeliner and the odd lick of mascara, but I've only been experimenting with concealer and foundation for about a year or so. I've been enjoying trying new products and finding out what suits my skin, but as summer arrived this year I found that my skin looked shiny a couple of hours after application.

              Complete nightmare!

              I headed to google and looked up some reviews on powders that might be useful in making me look less shiny, but at a reasonable price. I do have fair skin, so I really have to be careful with the products I use. If I was sensible I would have headed into town and into Boots/Superdrug to test some of the powders, but I am an online shopper at heart (who can be bothered hitting the shops anymore?), and based on reviews that praised this powder as a godsend for pasty pale skin (or as my boyfriend lovingly refers to my complexion - Scottish Blue!) I bought Rimmel's Renew & Lift Brightening Powder with Minerals in shade 103, True Ivory, as the Ivory shade was a little too yellow looking for my skintone.

              A few days later it arrived on my doorstep. The packaging is just ok - a circular compact with 9g of powder embossed with a crown shape - the Rimmel logo. It flips open at the bottom to reveal a mirror and the sponge applicator. Having the mirror on the underside is a little annoying,as you need to keep flipping from one side to another when applying the powder, but it's nothing I can't live with. The applicator's fine - pretty standard circular sponge. I have found that there's always a lot of powder residue left on the applicator and it can build up quickly. I use the powder almost every day (usually 2-3 times a day) and have to wash the sponge once a week or so.

              The colour on my skin (thankfully) is fine. It doesn't make my skin look washed out, but it doesn't make me look like an oompa-loompa either. Result. The powder is supposed to brighten the skin and make it look radiant. I've found that it does a reasonable job at making my skin look healthier.

              I'd say the coverage is light-medium. It'd be fine to wear on it's own if you have good skin and just need a little something extra to boost your complexion, or to even out skin tone. It's great at sealing foundation too, and rather than being completely matte it left my skin a little dewy - without being shiny. This was perfect for me. It also has a kind of soft focus, and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.

              This powder lasted a good 4 hours or so before I had to reapply. It also didn't go cakey when I reapplied and did a good job of keeping my foundation and concealer in place. It does not oxidise either, which is fab!

              If you can't tell I've been really impressed with this product. It's even better since I bought it for £4.25. A complete bargain if you ask me. The RRP of Rimmel's powder is £7.49, but it's regularly on offer both online and in-stores.

              I reckon the powder won't last all that long. I've had it for about 5 weeks, and I'm down to the metal plate that the powder sits on. It might last me another 3 weeks if I'm lucky. I consider that quite a short amount of time (though never having really used powder before I don't know!) but considering the price I'd still say this was excellent value for money.

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            • bigfishgames.com / Internet Site / 54 Readings / 53 Ratings
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              22.08.2012 20:41
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              A good choice of quality games at value prices.

              Big Fish Games is predictably a gaming site. It is my favourite gaming site, and one that I check daily. Every day Big Fish has a new game to play, and also a heavily discounted game exclusive to that day only. This is called the 'daily deal' and will not feature a new game, but rather a game that is already listed on their site.

              Game Prices
              ___________

              The price on the games vary depending on whether you're a game club member or not. If you are not a member standard games cost £7.70, members pay £5.39 per month for 1 credit - this entitles you to a standard game. All other standard games purchased are charged at this same discounted rate. Collector's editions cost £15.42 for non-members, and 2 credits (or £10.80) for members. I am a member and I think the savings are significant enough to warrant the monthly fee. Credits also stay stored in your account so there's no need to use them within any given time period.


              Benefits of Being a Member (other than discounted games!)
              __________________________________________________

              Members get a 'punch' on a punch card for every standard edition game bought (including those that have been bought with credits, and daily deal games) Collector's editions get you two punches. If you collect 6 punches during any monthly period you get a free game credit to spend. There are often deals on the punches (for example, buy any daily deal, get 2 punches) This makes it relatively simple to earn free credits.

              Members are given access to 'Tomorrow's Game Today' This means they have access to a new game a day before non-members. Not really a big deal, as non-members can play the very next day but a neat little perk all the same.

              Daily Deals are games that have previously featured on the site, but at the discounted price of £2.30 for members. A complete bargain for most games!

              Live chat member support is available to members of Big Fish. The customer support is excellent anyway, member or not, but this just means it's a little easier to get through to a customer support team member quickly via instant messages should any problems arise.

              If you're a loyal member you get a little gift in the post after a year of being subscribed. This comes in the form of a plushie Felix toy (the fishy mascot of Big Fish Games) It's rather sweet and a nice way for customer's to feel that they are appreciated.

              A list of all previously bought games are stored on the site. This means you can see at a glance which games you own, and can install them from here. It's so simple. Games download and play from the free Big Fish game manager.


              Oh, is that all?
              ____________

              Well on top of all those benefits for members, Big Fish is really amazing anyway. The customer service is second to none. You can tell they really care about their members and staff are often seen in the games forums talking to customers who have problems and trying to sort out technical issues that games occasionally have.

              Games can be played for an hour as a demo before committing to buy them. This is a reasonable amount of time for anyone to establish whether they enjoy the game or not. It's also a good way to pass time without spending any money.

              The website also makes suggestions about games you might like to play, based on games you've bought in the past. I've found this really helpful and have found a couple of gems that I'd not spotted before.

              The forums are great. There is an individual forum for each game, where you can look at a walk-through, read reviews, and find helpful hints and tips from other members. You can also post here if you're stuck with a specific game and someone is sure to help you out. It's a very friendly community.

              Big Fish release games that are suitable for both PCs and Macs.

              So You recommend Big Fish?
              ________________________

              Most definitely. I couldn't even hazard a guess at how many hours enjoyment that I've had playing games from this site. Just for you lot I've just counted how many games I've purchased and it's sitting at 125 games (yikes!) over a 4 year period. I've never been let down by the customer service or the professionalism of the staff. Games are always updated on time, and it's obviously a website that's run very efficiently. There are all sorts of games available to suit almost everyone. There are games suitable for children and adults. There are hidden object games, adventure games, match 3 games, puzzle games, family games, word games, strategy games, and my favourite time management games. With so much choice it's easy to spend a small fortune, but the hours of fun are so worth it.

              Thank Cod for Big Fish!

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              21.08.2012 13:10
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              A lovely dress that makes me feel confident.

              Asos is quickly becoming my favourite online fashion retailer. As a plus size 18 I can quite often shop both their 'normal size' line, and their plus size line, Curve. More choices = happy me.

              I bought this maxi dress recently for a work night out. It cost me £30. This isn't bad considering it's pretty much a set outfit. I paired it with a smart blazer, black and gold belt, gold accessories, a black clutch and black sandal wedges. Pretty low key, and no fuss but I got lots of compliments.

              The dress is a cream colour with black spots, surrounded by shades of brown and orange. These colours are great as it should see me into autumn. It naturally cinches in at the waist, but I wore a belt to cover the seam and to add some interest. The model wearing it is 5'11, which worried me as it's long enough on her and I'm pretty short. With my wedges though it was fine, and just missed skimming the ground by about half an inch. The dress has no fixed hem, and it looks like you could just cut it to the desired length if need be.

              It's quite an unusual leopard print, as the print is big. None of your tiny leopard spots here, oh no! It's a soft jersey material, and is very flattering. The material is not particularly warm though, but this can be solved with a nice cardi and even a pair of leggings underneath - it's not like you'd be able to see them. It hangs beautifully without clinging to lumps and bumps. The neckline is high enough that I wasn't constantly pulling it up and feeling like I was exposing my rather ample bosom. I don't like to expose too much cleavage because I always think it can look tacky on big busted girls. The dress is sleeveless but has thick straps that feel supportive. The back of the dress is in a racer back style. I found the dress to be really comfortable, and felt confident wearing it.

              This dress could be kept simple for a daytime look, or dressed up. I love having versatile pieces in my wardrobe. There's nothing worse than having a dress you really love but that is just too dressy for day to day wear (especially since I hardly ever go anywhere fancy)

              The dress washed well. I was worried about colours running into each other but that wasn't an issue. If hung up to dry properly the dress doesn't really need ironed. I hate ironing so that's a real bonus for me.

              Unfortunately this exact dress seems to be out of stock on Asos at the moment, however they do have a pretty similar dress in stock in sizes 6-14 (£19.50) The same style is also available in maternity sizes 8-16 (£21)

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              • G21 Bird Print Blazer / Clothing / 53 Readings / 52 Ratings
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                20.08.2012 19:39
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                A bargain at just £9, grab one while you still can.

                I was bought this blazer by my aunt as a gift when we were shopping in Asda (for groceries of course, but one must always take a look at their George clothes line) I'm really into bird print at the moment, and it's still pretty fashionable. I had told my aunt that I wanted to brighten up my wardrobe a bit, as I'm so sick of wearing dark colours all the time and before I knew it she appeared at my side with this blazer in an asda bag - the sneaky devil!

                While the blazer is a dark blue colour there are lots of colourful birds printed on it. This makes it easy to wear neutral colours or brighter colours with. The birds have shades of yellow, red, pink and green in them. The blazer is really versatile, as it can be dressed down with a pair of jeans, a vest top and flats, or dressed up with a smart pair of trousers, a snazzy belt and a nice pair of heels/wedges.

                My aunt thought this was a good way for me to start wearing colours without having to go all out in a neon outfit right away, and she was right. I felt more adventurous in this, but not self concious that I was drawing attention to myself.

                The fit of the blazer is fine. It is a little tight across the shoulders, but it doesn't restrict movement. It stops at my hips, which is okay, but I think I'd prefer something a tad longer. The blazer does not have a button and is meant to be worn open. I've found that it sits nicely. The sleeves are a long length, but not too long that they cover over my hands. There are two mock pockets stitched into the blazer on either side, but obviously these are not meant for practical use.

                The material is quite thin, so this probably won't last me well into the autumn, but is fine for now when it's still reasonably warm outside. It washes well. The colours don't run into each other, and as long as it's hung up properly to dry it shouldn't need ironing (hurrah!)

                This blazer was bought for £16, but is now on sale for £9. I think this is a bargain for a quirky, cute blazer. It comes in sizes 8-20 - perfect for a plus size girl like me. Though sizes 18 and 20 are sold out online you may still find them in your local George store.

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                  19.08.2012 02:31
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                  Pricey but economical.

                  I'm reviewing this cat litter not because I'm so desperate to write a review and it's the only thing left in my house that I haven't reviewed already, but because I think some of you cat owners may be put off by the price of Catsan and I need to enlighten you on how it can be cost effective.

                  So I have a very fussy cat. He's fussy with food, toys, and especially cat litter. When we got him initially I balked at the price of Catsan and resorted to cheaper alternatives. I even tried wood chips and paper pellet cat litter, but Okami wasn't having it. He'd refuse to use his litter tray approximately three days after it had been fully cleaned, even when we removed faeces and clumped litter daily and topped it up. And if the tray wasn't cleaned to his exacting standards he'd go to the toilet in our bath tub. It was not a good experience for any of us, so I eventually gave in and tried Catsan.

                  What a godsend!

                  Catsan Hygiene Litter looks much like other cat litters. It has medium size litter that is an off-white colour. The bag is blue with a white cat on the front and comes in 5L, 10L and 20L sizes. I use 5L per litter tray change (my cat likes rather a deep amount of litter - fussy, see?) The smaller size retails at about £4, the medium size at about £6 and the large at about £12. The 20L is totally worth it if you can carry it home ok (or even better if you order it online and get it delivered right to your door!) The bag is strong with a sturdy handle, so you don't need to worry when carrying it that it'll burst.

                  It seems a little more expensive than some other cat litters, but I only have to use this once a week, rather than the standard twice that I was doing before. This could mount up to quite a significant saving. There are also good deals on it quite often in supermarkets and online pet sites.

                  So is it effective? Absolutely. When my cat urinates, this litter seems to absorb the liquid rather than clump. The smell of cat urine is not pleasant, but it is definitely diminished with Catsan. Obviously cat faeces always smells (even with my cat trying to cover it as best as he can) and has to be removed from the tray.

                  Unfortunately my cat does tend to bring a few pieces of litter out of the tray with him, but this has been the same for every litter I've ever used. I think this is a problem that just hasn't been tackled yet!

                  When cleaning a litter tray Catsan can be pretty unpleasant as the absorbed urine tends to gather at the bottom of the tray. It's smelly and unpleasant, however I have a workaround for this. I can buy specific bags for the litter tray that I use, so they just go into the litter tray before the litter. This makes cleaning the tray as easy as tying the bag up with the soiled litter in and throwing it into the bin, and maybe giving the bottom of the tray a quick clean with antibacterial spray. I don't know if these bags are readily available for all litter trays, but if you can get them for your tray then do. It makes cleaning litter trays 10x easier and quicker! No fuss.

                  My cat seems quite happy with the Catsan, judging by the fact that he no longer prefers our bath tub as a glorified litter tray. I'd recommend it and I'm sure he would too.

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                  18.08.2012 16:09
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                  A must have for anyone who loves a polished brow.

                  I've been plucking my eyebrows for 12 years (yikes, that makes me feel old!) and have been guilty of over-plucking. My natural eyebrows are rather thick and unruly, but I am now at the other end of the spectrum and they are thin and uninteresting, and do absolutely nothing to accentuate my features.

                  Imagine my joy at opening my July Glossybox and finding an HD Eye & Brows Palette inside. For those of you who don't know HD Brows, or High Definition Brows, is the latest craze in eyebrow shaping and is apparently popular amongst the rich and famous. There are many salons that offer the HD Brows experience, which is a 7 step, often long term programme aimed at perfecting a defined brow that is tailored to each individuals face shape and preferences.

                  As well as offering salon sessions, HD Brows also have a range of products to allow people at home to have gorgeous eyebrows. The Eye & Brows palette is one of them. This compact comes in 3 shades: Bombshell (for blondes), Foxy (for brunettes) and Vamp (for dark hair) The shade I received was Vamp, which is perfect for my dark brown hair. There are 4 shades included in the palette - a nude, a carbon and 2 dark browns. There is also a double ended brush - one side with a straight angled brush for creating a stronger brow, the other with a slightly curved softer brush for creating a more natural look (or at least that's what I've found when using the opposite sides of the brush)

                  The palette is not all that big and would easily fit into a handbag or clutch. It is a multi-purpose product (yay!) and can be used for filling in the brows or as eye shadow. It also features a mirror which is always handy if you're out and about.

                  When it comes to creating a defined brow using the palette it's ridiculously easy. I was really scared that I would end up giving myself an OTT 'Scouse brow' but actually the colours go on smoothly and it's easy to get the look you want just by filling in gaps in the brow. I've found the carbon is too dark to apply all over my eyebrow, but the two dark browns are great. After some experimenting I think it looks more natural if the middle of the brows are darker, so I just add a little extra powder here to build up the colour. The shades are all really well pigmented.

                  If using the palette for matt eye shadows it's simple to create a casual daytime, or a smoky evening look, though I have found that they don't last all that long on eyelids. This is completely the opposite on the brows though. I do also use the HD Brow Beater to keep my brows from becoming unruly, however even when I forgo the brow beater the brow powder has fantastic staying power and it doesn't smudge. I remove at night time with what's left of my foundation and mascara.

                  I wish I could take a photo and upload it to show you all the difference this has made to my brows. It's pretty amazing. I will admit that it took some getting used to and initially I was self concious about leaving the house with what I assumed were two huge hairy caterpillars crawling above my eyes, but now I can see that it's a vast improvement. I have a round face so the thicker, more defined look definitely flatters my face more. I only wish someone had told me months ago that my thin brows looked ridiculous.

                  The HD Eye & Brow Palette retails at about £19. This is a little bit pricey, but I've been using mine every day for a month and there's not even a dent in my two most frequently used colours. I foresee this lasting me a long time, so I'd say it's actually pretty good value for money.

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                • More +
                  17.08.2012 15:28
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                  My new favourite lip gloss.

                  Jelly Pong Pong, ever heard of them? No neither had I until I received this little gem in July's Glossybox. Let me start by saying that I love lip gloss anyway. I always feel sexier with shiny lips, even if my boyfriend recoils in horror at the thought of me getting him sticky with lip gloss kisses.

                  The tube is 15ml and costs £10, pretty expensive and a tad more than I'd normally spend on lip gloss but I will most definitely be repurchasing this when it's finished. The tube itself is okay looking with a cartoonish image of irish cream pavlova (the scent) on the front. It looks quite vintage and sweet with pink and cream stripes. Upon opening the tube I noticed that there's no real applicator for the gloss, just squeeze the tube and apply presumably with your finger. I would have much preferred a doe-foot applicator or just a thin nozzle to better control application. That being said it smells AMAZING. To me it has a kind of sweet bubblegum scent - but fruity too.

                  The lip gloss is quite sticky and thick. In the tube it looks a vivid cherry pink but goes onto lips a much more sheer pink shimmer. It's a really lovely colour, and I was relieved when it wasn't as bright on my lips as I'm really pale and I prefer a more muted shade. The shimmer is pretty and leaves my lips looking plump and gorgeous (even if I do say so myself) Just be careful when applying - a little goes a looong way. Seriously.

                  I found that this lip gloss was quite moisturising on my lips and was impressed with it's staying power (when I wasn't licking it off that is - tasty!) I wore it for the best part of 3 hours without reapplying which is good for me, I usually have my gloss out at least once an hour.

                  Now onto my favourite aspect of this lip frosting - it can also be used as a cheek stain. Hurrah! I'm a massive fan of multi purpose products. Initially I was reluctant to put this on my face because it was so sticky but in the name of research I did. Again a tiny bit goes a long way, you really don't need much. It goes onto cheeks as a lovely pink rose colour. I have used it many times since on my cheeks and it is not sticky and heavy if you only use a small amount. It also has a kind of dewy finish, which is lovely.

                  I am absolutely besotted with this lip gloss, can you tell? I love everything about it and it's already my go to lip gloss. Sorry L'Oreal Glam Shine.

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                  • www.glossybox.co.uk / Online Shop / 41 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                    17.08.2012 13:17
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                    A great way to try niche products without spending a fortune.

                    There are a few UK beauty boxes available, Glossybox is one of them. A beauty box usually involves a monthly subscription where you get sent a box with various brands of beauty products sent to your door every month. Glossybox usually sends 5-6 products in their boxes, and in my experience there's always at least 1 full sized product. I have been a member for 4 months now so I feel I am well enough equipped to write a review of the service and product offered.

                    When you subscribe to Glossybox, which costs £10 + £2.95 p&p each month, you are prompted to fill out a beauty profile. The reason behind this is so that Glossybox staff can more accurately send a box to meet your needs. Questions range from your skin type to your preferences in fragrances, and even what type of products you are most interested in trying. I've found that occasionally products are tailored to your profile, which is great. For example I received shampoo for coloured hair, and my HD eyebrow palette was the appropriate shade for my hair colour.

                    Glossybox now also do a men's box, rather than being monthly it is a quarterly box. This box has 7 luxury sized samples and costs £15 + £2.95 p&p. I think this would be a really nice, fairly inexpensive gift for a loved one, and the fact that it's an all year round present is fab. It's just a shame that my other half has absolutely no interest in male grooming products.

                    The whole point of Glossybox is to try more niche brands, or perhaps more expensive brands that you'd rather try samples of before spending a lot of money on the full size product. It's also a great way to discover new brands. Rather than go through all of the products I've received I'm just going to tell you about my favourite and least favourite products so far.
                    My top three:
                    HD eye and brows Palette in Vamp (full size, RRP £18) to give my brows better definition and create a smoky eye look for a glam night out
                    Jelly Pong Pong lip frosting in Irish Cream Pavlova (full size 15ml, RRP £10) for shimmery pink lips and can also be used as a cheek stain - yay for versatile products, plus it smells divine.
                    Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp mascara (sample size 2.5ml, full size 9ml - RRP £16.90) for volume without clumping. Holds the curl well and isn't too heavy. Great big thick brush.

                    My bottom three:
                    Glossybox Serie Exclusiv Pro Beauty Brush (full size, RRP £15 - bonus product) I'm glad this wasn't included as an actual separate item in a box as I'd have been really disappointed. Found that the hairs keep falling out. Wouldn't say this was a luxury product.
                    MONU Golden Glow Self Tanner (sample size 30ml, full size 200ml - RRP £23) Nothing wrong with the product, and a decent sample size but I don't use self tanning products. Can be used on face and body. I'm sure it would please lots of other people.
                    Vera Valenti Vera Valenti L'ombre à Paupière Margarita (full size, RRP £3.85) This is an eye shadow palette with green and brown shades. The case itself was plastic and cheap looking and the eye shadows were chalky and lacked pigmentation.

                    For a better understanding of the types of products you can receive visit the Glossybox website where they list every box and what the potential products in each were. A lot of people complain about getting perfume samples in their Glossybox because it's easy enough to pick them up in a department store, but personally I like it. I love trying new perfumes but have no big department stores near to my home so it's a good way for me to try perfume without having to buy full sized bottles. I also enjoy getting perfumes in my box that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of trying - a particular favourite being Agent Provocateur's L'agent, which is a heady, sultry scent. Not up my street at all but I loved it.

                    After subscribing to Glossybox you'll receive a box for that month soon after. For the subsequent months your payment comes out of your account at the start of the month, and your Glossybox is sent during the second half of the month. I have found that delivery dates are not consistent; I've received a Glossy box on the 15th of the month and another on the 27th. I always receive an email though when my box has been dispatched, and my box arrives 1-3 working days later. Although I have not tried to cancel my Glossybox the site states that it is an easy process and that Glossyboxes should be canceled 14 days prior to dispatch.

                    For me the best thing about Glossybox is not knowing what little suprprises will be coming month to month. It's almost like I have a birthday every month (only it's my gift to me and everyone else has forgotten!) I love the anticipation of having to sign for my box all the while wishing the postman would hurry up and leave even though he's hell bent on having a bleather, getting it into my living room, calling on my boyfriend so he can be there when I open it and share in the excitement (he doesn't care really, but bless him he pretends), opening the box, the initial disappointment that it's not lived upto expectations and then the reality hits that actually these products are pretty good and I'll definitely make use of most of them.

                    The value of what is in a Glossybox has always exceeded the £12.95 I've spent on the box. The risk of course is that you might not like any of the products, but I have yet to have this happen to me. The boxes themselves are a sturdy light pink with the black Glossybox logo on the lid. The products have always been packed well with masses of shredded black paper for cushioning! They are usually wrapped in black paper and tied with a light pink ribbon, though sometimes with themed boxes the colour of the box or the pattern on the paper changes. These boxes are great as extra storage, however they soon mount up and it could be seen as wasteful.

                    Glossyboxes also come with a card telling you exactly what products you're getting this month. They usually have a theme such as Festival Glam or International Superstars. The card you receive gives you information on all the products and how much their full sized versions cost. It also gives lots of great discount codes and offers, should you want to go on and buy any of the products.

                    Subscribers can also collect GlossyDots. You are emailed surveys for products (long) after you've received them, and for every short survey you do you got 20 GlossyDots. For every person that you refer to Glossybox you get 200 GlossyDots. After 1,000 GlossyDots you get that months box for free. Ok, so it could take a while, but it's totally worth it considering the surveys for feedback are really short and easy.

                    All in all I really love Glossybox, and after researching other beauty boxes out there I've decided that this is the one most suited to me. I have been tempted to sign up for another box too, but I just can't find one that I feel will be as good as Glossybox is.

                    I'd highly recommend it to those of you who like to treat yourself once in a while, especially if you like surprises!

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