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I have made all sorts with this smoothie maker from standard smoothies to soups and cocktails. I have owned it about 3 years now and it is still going strong.
The appliance is easy to set up and dismantle and the only section that is awkward to clean is the dispensing nozzle, but leave it to soak for a bit and that usually does the job just fine. There is a handy guide on the side of the jug with measurements in millilitres and where to fill liquid and solid ingredients to for two or four servings.
I was nervous about putting frozen ingredients in, but the blades have absolutely no problem with this. The only time I did have difficulty was when I hadn't included enough liquid and the blades only pulverise the solid pieces of fruit at the bottom and the rest just sit still solid on top - adding more liquid soon rectifies this though.
The only downside I would say is the noise, which I think is extremely loud. I had intended to make smoothies for breakfast each morning but this would certainly wake the whole household up!
Other than the noise I think this is a fantastic appliance that I have made such a huge variety of drinks using, I am definitely glad I bought it.
I bought this toaster when I first moved house and just wanted a simple, cheap and cheerful one as I don't toast bread very often.
In terms of appearance the white plastic exterior of the toaster does look cheap, but hey with Smart Price you are not paying for style.
The appliance toasted my bread just fine, on the highest setting bread turns a medium brown, so if you like your toast a little burnt you would need to toast it a second time. However, as others have mentioned thick slices of bread do not fit well into this toaster.
There is a pull out tray at the bottom which is supposed to collect the crumbs nevertheless I seemed to always find a pile of crumbs underneath the toaster that had managed to escape through the gaps!
A few months down the line the pop up mechanism started to falter and would only pop up halfway; not a huge issue for me as it was still possible to get the toast out without too much difficulty. One day I popped my bread in and left the toaster to it, only to come back ten minutes later to a kitchen so full of smoke that I struggled to breathe - the toaster had not only failed to pop the toast out but had continued to heat it until it was nothing more than slices of charcoal. Luckily there was only smoke and no fire, but even still the risk had still been there, so I would advise that you do not leave your toaster unsupervised!!
I decided to buy this tree for my cat as she is not the docile type and I thought a climbing frame would help keep boredom at bay. She has such a short attention span with little toys, but loves to climb and explore so I wanted to get her a big tree with lots of platforms and nooks.
This tree fits the bill of bring interesting and interactive and was also one of the cheapest large cat trees. On delivery there was also the lovely little surprise of two toy mice included free which Poppy was extremely pleased about!
The tree comes in separate pieces packaged in a large box but the instructions are easy to follow and it only took about 20 minutes in total to set up (as mentioned also in previous review).
The tree is surprisingly tall as noted before. The website measures the tree at 173cm which I assumed to be fairly tall, but I was still surprised to notice that it was taller than me and I am 5'6". I have the tree kept in the corner of my living room, anywhere else in a room and it would look dominating. Personally I have it in the living room as despite pretending to be little miss independent my cat likes to be in whichever room I am in and I wanted her to be able to use the cat tree often to justify the expense! The neutral colours mean that, despite the obvious size, the tree actually fits in well in my living room.
Agreeing with the previous review I am also really pleased with the quality of the cat tree. The tree still looks like new and I have had it for three months now. Considering it took less than a matter of weeks for Poppy to completely unravel her Pets at Home scratching post, I am pleased to see that the ropes of the cat tree scratching posts are still firmly attached.
The soft ball hanging by a piece of elastic is still firmly attached which I am extremely surprised at, considering Poppy absolutely terrorizes that ball!
I was initially concerned that the hammock would not stay horizontal for long being attached at only one point however, my Poppy has been jumping in and out of it and sleeps in there every evening and it has lasted with no change this far.
I am extremely happy with the quality of this cat tree.
All in all, Poppy absolutely loves her cat tree, which was my main concern; after all you don't want to spend all that money for your cat to be completely uninterested! She loves to sit on the top platform and survey the room, jump from platform to platform, curl up in the hammock every evening and sleep in the den on occasion. I was worried she may get bored after the novelty had worn off but she truly seems to consider it her very own little tree house and I certainly think it was worth the money.
ST TROPEZ AUTO BRONZANT LOTION
I use this product again and again as I think it gives a really natural dark tan, not the dreaded fake orange look! Colleagues and friends often ask if I have been away which I think is a great testimony to the natural look.
It is a dark tan so if you only like a faint tan then this is not the product for you. You do need to apply this lotion with a tanning mitt to avoid the giveaway stained palms! Because the lotion is a chocolate brown colour it is easy to see whether you have covered an area evenly, so it's straightforward to avoid streaks.
You definitely have to avoid any liquid for at least 4 hours as this will leave patches in your tan, which is definitely not a good look! The bottle has instructions on the back about how to achieve the best tan.
The downsides are the price which is quite steep and although not overly strong, it still does have that fake tan smell.
I do always recommend this product to friends; I wouldn't use it daily as it would be too expensive however, if you have nights out or special occasions planned then it is great to start prepping a few days beforehand.
ST TROPEZ GRADUAL TAN BODY LOTION
I usually use St.Tropez Auto Bronzant Lotion but I decided to try the gradual tan as it is cheaper than the auto bronzant. I swear by St.Tropez as I think it gives a really natural looking dark tan and not the dreaded fake orange look. However, I was slightly disappointed with this product.
I did find that the lotion moisturises well and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth; it also smells much subtler than other more intense tanning products.
Because the lotion is white and turns clear when rubbed into your skin, it is hard to tell whether you have covered an area evenly which can lead to streaks appearing as the tan develops. This is a big disadvantage of this product.
I chose the medium/dark version, although I found it to be much lighter than the auto bronzant lotion, even after applying daily for a week. So although it is cheaper than the other St.Tropez products, you need to use much more to achieve the same effect.
It does give a light, subtle tan however, I don't think it offers any difference from other gradual tanning lotions, so I would opt for a cheaper gradual tan. For a natural but darker tan I will be sticking with the St.Tropez Auto Bronzant range.
ARGOS VALUE ELECTRIC HAND MIXER
After my pitiful first attempt at making meringues by hand I desperately wanted to get an electric whisk and try again. After perusing the Argos catalogue I couldn't see any reason to buy a more expensive whisk over the value one and after using the whisk numerous times, I think it is ideal for an amateur like myself.
Ok so it's not the most stylish of kitchen gadgets, but it only comes out of the cupboard when I'm baking so this is no issue. Its unfussy, simple design (white plastic body with metal beaters) means it's very easy to assemble and use. The beaters detach at the press of a button so can be washed thoroughly and the white frame can be wiped down with a cloth.
With instructions on what ingredients you would use each of the five whisk speeds for I was pleasantly surprised that it could be so versatile. Its light weight means mixing is no chore and it cuts preparation time considerably!
The only possible drawback is that due to the beaters being small, you may struggle if attempting to mix very large batches.
NATURAL COLLECTION PRESSED POWDER - WARM
Being a student I have had to watch my expenses much more, which is why I decided to try the Natural Collections pressed powder. At £1.99 in Boots it seemed like an absolute steal!
Firstly, I like the simple, unfussy packaging. I thought I would be lost without a little mirror in my compact powder but in actual fact I hardly noticed. The screw lid is much more convenient than the clip compacts which I always worried would open accidently in my handbag.
The powder itself provides a light, natural coverage and is fragrance-free. I prefer a lighter powder so this works well for me but the drawback is that it doesn't last all day.
The main shortcoming of Natural Collection is the limited range of shades on offer, which are all quite pale. I do not think I would be able to use this product in the summer when I have a tan and I am naturally fair skinned.
For £1.99 I can't complain though, it sets my foundation and provides subtle coverage. It does everything I need but doesn't go above and beyond expectations. I do not feel I need to spend more on a powder at present but when my student days are over I will be upgrading again.
I can honestly say I have never found a mascara to rival this one! Definitely a massive fan and I always recommend it to friends. I can't tell the difference between the ultra black and the absolute black so my review encompasses them both! With a nice thick consistency, this mascara coats eyelashes quickly and easily, creating plenty of volume. I certainly don't use it sparingly and it always lasts me a long time, definitely value for money in my eyes.
BOURJOIS VOLUME CLUBBING - ULTRA BLACK/ABSOLUTE BLACK
Whilst other mascaras deliver on length, this mascara excels on the volume front without sacrificing length, making eyelashes look thick and dark. Sometimes you have to take a few minutes to ensure your eyelashes are separated as they can stick together whilst applying the mascara, however sparing a few extra minutes is no sacrifice for thick luscious lashes!
Long eyelashes are a must for me and this mascara always delivers. I have often been told how 'lovely and long' my eyelashes look and I think that is a recommendation in itself!
Long lasting, doesn't smudge, doesn't flake.
Applying a single layer of mascara gives a natural bambi-eyes look, or apply multiple layers for a dramatic evening style. A firm favourite, if anyone thinks they know a mascara to beat this one then please do let me know!
Boots were offering a free Revlon lip product when buying a Revlon foundation. I happened to be buying a Revlon foundation so that was fantastic news to me, especially as this product is usually £7.99 in Boots. I thought I would push the boat out and try something new, having always been curious about this product after seeing the TV ad.
REVLON JUST BITTEN - FLAME
*Ease of use 5/5
Simply colour your lips with the felt pen, then apply the balm over the top. The colour dries instantly on your lips and then the balm helps to keep lips moisturised.
This lipstain really does last, sometimes I wake up the next day and it is still on my lips! Albeit slightly faded. No need to worry about marks on your teeth like with lipstick and no mess like with a sticky lip gloss. However, you should ensure that you exfoliate your lips prior to application because if they are even the slightest bit dry then the stain tends to highlight the dry bits and patchy lips are never a good look.
The colour I have is Flame and I would definitely recommend it. Using just a little colour makes lips look naturally pink and luscious or you could draw on (well it is a felt tip pen!) a lot of colour for really bright red lips. I will definitely be investing in more colours!
I think this is a fantastic product and perfect for if you are too lazy like me to bother reapplying lipstick/gloss all the time. You can use it for a subtle effect or for a much more dramatic look all in the one easy to use pen. Just don't forget to keep your lips moisturised!
An excellent foundation. Not quite the elusive 'perfect foundation' but very close. A thick, soufflé textured foundation that is packaged in a little glass pot.
L'OREAL MATTE MORPHOSE - 140 CREAMY NATURAL
*Ease of use 4/5
I apply this foundation with a brush and I find this gives me the smoothest, most even coverage. The thick soufflé texture makes it easy apply evenly. I do find I need to use my fingertips to blend it in under my eyes to stop it drying quite as quickly.
I think the coverage is fantastic and hides a multitude of flaws (blemishes, redness, pores). This is the thickest foundation that I personally have ever worn, yet my friends have not noticed the difference and still believe I wear minimal makeup! This is the best foundation I have tried for covering imperfections.
The matte effect works well at hiding any oiliness and shine. However, it also has a tendency to make skin look slightly dull and lose that youthful glow. I never really believed in all that 'luminosity' hype, but I really have noticed the difference in photos.
The product lasts reasonably well on an average day. Just to point out that I always wear powder ontop of my foundation. Sometimes after a long day it can tend to look slightly patchy but a quick application of powder usually helps to sort that out.
Overall I would rate this product 4/5. I think the coverage is fantastic and as yet have not found anything to beat it however, the downside was that because of the matte effect , skin can look a little dull and lose that healthy glow. If it wasn't for this disadvantage then Matte Morphose would certainly be my perfect foundation!
Looks like I might be the odd one out as I cannot say that I was impressed with this foundation. I was very excited to buy this foundation, it had been recommended by a friend and I had read numerous rave reviews, however I was left disappointed.
REVLON COLOURSTAY - NORMAL/DRY SKIN - 150 BUFF - £12.49 from Boots
Elegant little glass bottle with screw top lid. The screw top is slightly inconvenient as it is difficult to control the amount that you pour out.
*Ease of use 2/5
I usually apply my foundation with a brush, however with this Colourstay foundation I found that I had difficulty getting an even coverage, so resorted to using my fingers to apply. I always use moisturiser before applying my foundation but I believe if anything this usually makes application smoother.
I would describe the coverage as sheer. I felt this foundation was very poor at covering redness and blemishes, despite applying more than one layer in an attempt to build coverage.
Usually I would wear a tinted moisturiser, however I like a slightly thicker foundation during the winter months when my skin is prone to blemishes and dryness.
Despite being specifically for normal/dry skin I found that this foundation appeared to highlight the dry patches and make pores more noticeable. I do not consider my skin to be overly dry (and as mentioned before I always apply moisturiser before foundation) so I would certainly not recommend this product to those who consider themselves to have dry skin.
The product notes on the bottle that it can be worn for up to 24 hours and although I did not wear it for this long, I would give it 5/5 for durability. I always wear powder ontop of my foundation however, unlike some foundations which can start to look patchy or dried out over time, Revlon's Colourstay stayed looking even and dewy all day.
Overall I would rate this product 2/5. The only thing that helped ease my disappointment was the offer Boots were running of a free Revlon lip product when you bought a Revlon foundation. This meant that I got Revlon's Just Bitten lipstain, usually worth £7.99, for free!