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I love Barry M make up normally, the products are great value and while they are not always as outstanding in performance as some of the more expensive brands I have usually found them to do a better than satisfactory job. Sadly for Barry M this was one of their few products that let me down.
I was going to a fancy dress night out and needed some pink or red mascara, I was actually passing the reduced section when I spotted this product so grabbed it.
The mascara comes in a coloured tube that lets you know which colour is inside, mine is a pinky colour. I inside the mascara really is nothing impressive, the bristle brush is just a basic style straight one. The mascara itself is quite thick and a rather bright pink colour.
To apply you simply twist the cap and pull the lid out of the tube to reveal the brush loaded with mascara. Then apply to both your top and bottom lashes as required. The mascara is rather clumpy and while rather bright in the tube was a lot less so when I applied it to my lashes.
I found the mascara made my lashes feel very sticky and did not apply the colour as evenly as I hoped. The product claims it is lengthening but I did not find that my lashes looked any longer. The product did stay on for the few hours I was out without running which was about the best part of the product sadly.
Regarding cost, I can not remember what I paid but I think it was around £1.50. I am not sure what the RRP is but they can be bought on Ebay now for around £2.
Personally I was underwhelmed with this product and it has sat in my make up box ever since that one wear and not been used again. Even if the colour was a little more subtle for me to wear for daily wear the other issues would stop me from grabbing it.
I adore the Lush massage bars I have used many of them over the years but the one I have been using most recently is called The Soft Coeur.
I was attracted to the product when I was away recently and had nipped into a Lush store to pick up some travel sized products for the trip. Initially it was the size that interested me, this product is a lot smaller than most of the massage bars and shaped like a heart. It fits really nicely into the palm of a hand.
Upon picking up the product however it soon became the wonderful scent coming from the bar that drew me to it, the product smells just like a wonderful bar of rich chocolate. There is a small vain of honey and cocoa running through the middle of the bar.
What I love about the bars is that they are a natural way of moisturising my skin without rubbing a lot of chemicals into my body. The bar contains Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Almond oil, Orange oil and Bergamot oil.
The bar can be used by simply rubbing it over dry skin, it melts at body temperature so simply melts onto the skin as you rub it. I however find it is a little heavy this way for my skin and use it when I have just stepped out of the bath or shower. I simply grab the bar while my skin is still wet and rub the bar over where ever needs moisturising. I find that when my skin is wet the bar glides faster and leaves less of a coating. This drys into my skin fast and leaves the most delicious all over body scent.
The bar is a fairly decent price at £4.95 for 30g.
The only problem I have found with this bar is that when I hit the honey & cocoa powder centre it leaves a brown film on my skin, this also sometimes transfers onto any white clothing. I now make sure I simply towel this off but it is something to be wary of.
I love Lush products so have many of them on the go, one product that I use a lot is Lush Tee Tree water.
The product comes in a small black plastic bottle with a spray head. The product is a water containing Tee Tree, Grapefruit and Juniperberry, the ingredients are natural, contain antibacterial, antiseptic properties and are high in vitamins.
The spray can be used in several ways, the first is to simply refresh your skin through the day, this can be onto clean skin or over make up. The second way is that it can be used to help remove traces of make up or cleaners from the skin.
The spray itself really does look like water and has a slight scent of Tea Tree, I can not smell the rest of the ingredients. It is very light when sprayed onto the skin and soaks in almost immediately leaving no residue.
I use my spray in two ways, on days when I am wearing no make up I do tend to build up a residue because my skin is combination. I simply spray the product directly onto my face and wipe it off with a cotton pad.
On a day that I have been wearing make up I use it to actually remove the residue left by my UltraBland cleanser. To do this I spray a little onto my face directly, but I also spray a lot onto the cotton pad so that it is wet through throughly and then wipe my face to remove all traces. I continue this until I cotton pad comes away clear, then allow my face to air dry.
While I don't think this is one of the most important beauty products in my routine I do like how fresh it leaves my skin feeling and do think it helps reduce the amount of spots I suffer from.
The product is really good value at £4.25 for 100g bottle or £7.95 for the 250g bottle. I normally just buy the small bottle which lasts me around 3 months use of on and off use.
I adore lush, I must admit I nearly always leave with something extra when I pop in to buy one of my regular essentials. My Lush bubblegum lip scrub was one of such purchases and I have to be honest while I have been using it, I do not think it is worth what I paid.
I bought the bubblegum one because it was pink in colour and I thought it might also have a slight tint to it, I was however wrong in this assumption.
The product is essentially some sugar with a nice added flavour that you use as an exfoliator for your lips.
The product is really easy to use, you simply put your finger into the glass container and scoop out a small amount the scrub which you then massage into your lips. The sugar scrubs away any dead dry skin and the essential oils help re moisturise the lips leaving them refreshed. It does taste really nice and smells nice too!
One of the downsides to this product is the container is glass and fairly heavy, I had planned to use in my handbag but soon gave in upon this idea.
The product costs £5.50 which is pretty expensive for some sugar in a pot when you think about it. It has not lasted me a massive amount of time either!
It does however do what it says on the tin, which is why I find it hard to score this item. I think perhaps I would be more inclined to give it a better score if the product cost under £4 and came in a lighter container.
On the plus side its natural is better for you than a chemical scrub for your lips.
I personally would not purchase this product again.
I adore Lush solid shampoo bars, I have used many of them over the last few years, my current one is called New.
Lush solid shampoo's resemble a small bar of soap and are used in a similar fashion, you can either rub them between both hands until you have a good lather or you can rub the bar into your hair. I find it best to rub the bar on my scalp until there is a nice lather, then work it through the ends.
I have to admit to start with I found the idea very odd of a solid shampoo, however once I used one I have not looked back. They take up a lot less space than a bottle, they last longer, there is no packing waste and there are a lot less chemicals in them, although they do contain SLS sadly.
The bars contain a large variety of natural ingredients so there is a suitable one for all hair kinds.
I have found that they all leave my hair feeling squeaky clean and leave no residue what so ever on my hair. I think the thing that I like most about them is that they keep my combination hair feeling lovely and fresh even at the roots a second day so I can get away with washing it every other day.
The shampoo's all have wonderful scents that do transfer to the hair, however not so heavily that it over powering.
Lush sells small metal tins that you can use to keep the shampoo's in while at home or travelling. I have found that the tins are a little snug when a shampoo is brand new and also if you do not allow the shampoo to dry before you place it back in the tin it does not dry out well.
The average cost of a dry shampoo from Lush is £5.75 which does sound expensive when you can purchase a bottle of liquid shampoo for around £3. I have however found they last a lot longer than most bottled shampoo's and so I certainly feel I get my moneys worth from them.
Lovetheatre is a really good theatre ticket discount site, they have been around for a long time are are very well known. They offer a variety of reduced price tickets available on their website for shows, these vary all the time.
The site is very easy to use but unlike some sites the discounts displayed are often very limited in availability so you do need to be flexible with your options.
The site makers have really gone to great lengths to help anyone purchasing tickets by giving a lot of useful information about the shows and venues not just a small piece about the actual show. They give information such as run times, venue addresses, show times, captioned performance dates, when anyone famous is due to be on leave is listed to help avoid disappointment, seating plans and even reviews of the show from other customers.
A hidden part of Lovetheatre is their show pairs section, in years gone buy you used to order vouchers in order to be able to purchase the show pair tickets but now you simply need to log in and order them. Show pairs are tickets that can only be bought in pairs, there is usually only 4-6 shows that they offer show pairs for at any one period of time but you basically get 50% off a full price ticket for the show. Over the years we have had some amazing tickets via show pairs and never had a restricted view type seat from this offer.
The Love Theatre website has a brilliant mailing list which is always up to date and lets you know of any flash sales that they have fairly often.
I have also always felt like the company is very open with information, I have never found anything hidden in small print and we have never had any issues at all with our bookings.
I have only once required assistance and it was a while ago when they stopped using the vouchers for the show pair tickets and I could not understand where the link was to buy the vouchers so ended up emailing the company. I had a really speedy and very polite and helpful email response from them which was really reassuring.
I would have no problems recommending the site to anyone!
I have bought from the Works many times, the site is really easily laid out with very clear menu's which help finding items very easy, The Works is a store that sells a huge array of items that change almost daily so for me I find it very important that I can browse easily as I am often browsing for ideas rather than knowing what I am looking for.
I use this site a lot for books and games as gifts or for myself, because I can not easily carry them due to their weight I prefer to have them delivered. What I love about this site is that they offer a huge array of delivery options, from free delivery to next day and all at a very reasonable cost. They also do click and collect if you have a store near you. Delivery is always really fast and I have never had a problem with the parcels being poorly wrapped.
No only does the site have a lot of really good value items, they always have offers on ranging from a reduced items, multi buys, a certain discount or often free delivery even on small orders! What I really find great about this site is that they advertise and show these offers really clearly, they are always highlighted on the home page with clear information about the offer but there is also a special offers section where they are all clearly listed as well, this is really handy if you are looking for items in the same multi buy offers.
Although you never know what you can buy in The Works I find that is half the excitement of shopping on the page, finding what exciting offers I am going to find that day!
I would have no problems recommending this site to anyone, it's very easy to use and all information is really easy to locate and simple to understand. The company has never let me down and items have always been as described.
I have used Travelstay many times over the years, I have spent a lot of time in London over the years and before I got my flat I was always looking for a B&B or somewhere to stop.
I came upon Travelstay during a google search and I have to admit the first time we used them I was a little dubious as their site is very basic looking and a little gaudy design wise. They do however specialise in B&B, college and University lodgings when they are on holidays and hostel type accommodation.
The company focuses on several larger cities rather than a massive countrywide database but they have a massive selection for London, mostly small bed and breakfasts that do not have their own websites and as such use the services or a site like this.
The site is very easy to use, the location, dates and number of people are very clear to locate and fill in, once you have done this it searches the database for matching hotels. The site has a really easy to use but amazing set of filters that you can apply and the thing I like is that it defaults to cheapest rooms rather than recommended. I have no idea when a site knows you are looking for cheap sets to recommended!
The photos and reviews are a little limited on the site, some places have some and others non but so far I have only had one bad room that did not match the description.
The site takes a very small deposit at the time of booking, the rest you have to pay when you get to the accommodation. There are no booking fee's but I have had several incidents where I booked with this site and got to the accommodation to be informed they only took cards and had to pay a booking fee with them which I was not happy about.
I however still use them fairly often and find the university rooms often the best value for London trips when they are on holidays. The ones we use are in Covent Garden and have their own fridge and hob in the room so we can eat in the room which really helps reduce costs further and walk to pretty much everything.
I have never had to cancel so I can not comment how easy their system is to use however I would have no problem suggesting the company to someone trying to locate a good value cheap place to stop.
The Product ….
The product is a mixture of 5 flower essential oils designed to help relax and calm you that you take orally. The bottle says Rescue Remedy to comfort and reassure!
The product contains Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum all mixed in with a grape alcohol solution.
The Packing ….
The bottle originally came in a yellow card board box, inside is a small brown glass bottle, it reminds me of something from years gone by really, a bit like some old medicine bottle. I am not used to having glass bottles for items these days and tbh it does make it a lot more heavy than a plastic one and does often stop me from carrying it around in my handbag as much as I would like.
The bottle has a label with the same bright yellow colour that was on the cardboard box, it really does stand out against the brown bottle and also helps make the black and grey text easier to read.
The top of the bottle is a screw top with a little pipette on top, when you open the twist cap it reminds me even more of an old medicine bottle, inside the pipette dropper is also made of glass, clear this time with a small u shape at the end.
To Use ….
The product can be use in several ways, the first can be to dilute 4 drops in some water and sip slowly or simply add 4 drops to the tip of your tongue and swallow. The drops can be used at will through out the day as needed.
Personally I simply use them on my tongue but the taste really is vile, however it is gone after a few swallows which is much better than sipping it slowly in my opinion.
The pipette is really effective it seems to actually always collect the right amount of drops, I am not sure how they have managed that but it is really helpful.
The product comes in two sizes, a 10ml and 20 ml bottle. The 10ml bottle costs around £7.50 and the 20ml around £10 depending where you purchase. They are available in most chemists, Boots Superdrug and Holland and Barrett.
Does it work? …
I have to admit when she suggested this product I was very sceptical, what would some flower oils do? However after borrowing hers I had to admit they do seem to help, as soon as I have swallowed them I have a calming sensation its really bizarre but I do feel relaxed. Unfortunately it does set my reflux going but that is easily enough fixed with an antacid. Overall though this product does a really outstanding job of calming me down.
The Product ….
I think we all know what hairspray is but it is a spray designed to spray onto a persons hair to help keep short hairs into a desired place, hold hair in styles etc. Hair sprays come in different strengths but are all designed to be gentle enough that when you brush the hair the spray looses its hold and your hair returns to it's normal condition with no left over residue.
The clubbers hair spray is a strong hold (they call it extra hold) spray this is because it is designed to keep styles in place while someone is dancing also most clubs can be very hot so it needs hold in the heat also.
The Packing ….
For as long as I can remember I have never seen the handbag tins available as a single product so I am not sure if they make one, mine have always come in packs of three stuck together in a small triangle shape.
Now my tins are old, and are small metal aerosol tins with really pretty coloured lines around the tin and a pale purple nozzle when a semi opaque light purple plastic lid. When I googled to see the current cost for the review they appear to have changed the tin to an all black tin with the outline of a head and hair on it.
The small tins contains 45ml each.
Directions for use ….
Holding the tin of hairspray at least 30cm away from your head, spray evenly over your finished hair style. It is important that you do spay at arms length or you can end up with areas of hair that received a larger dose of hair spray and turn very hard.
I bought mine at least a year ago and we stocked up at the time because they were giving away hair bands with stars on attached to the packs, me and my mate are both very into objects with stars on so we grabbed a couple of packs each as such I can not remember the cost but I think it was 99p from bodycare. Looking online I see they are still selling for around £1 which is really good value in my opinion.
I really like these sprays they hold well and do not leave my hair sticky or anything once I have brushed it out. For me these are great value less than 35p a tin and a perfect size for a handbag, they are also fairly light for a tin can.
I have an awful immune system since I got ill and as such I am forever catching colds, whenever I am full of cold the first thing I alway reach for are my Lemsip Blackcurrant, I have gastric reflux so the Lemon ones cause me issues.
The Packing ....
The product comes in a cardboard box that is green in colour with the Lemsip logo at the top and the tick across the middle. At the bottom is an image of some hands nursing a cup of the product and a list of what ailments the product helps with. The box opens at the top and inside the product is inside small square sachets.
The Product ....
The product is a powder that you add to hot but not boiling water and drink, it helps with all cold and flu associated symptoms such as blocked noses, headaches, fever, pains and sore throats.
To Use ....
To use the product you tear open one of the sachets and pour into a mug, then add hot but not boiling hot water and stir. It is best to allow it to cool a while because it can still be red hot or add a little of cold water if you can not wait. Then drink!
These cost around £3.99 for a pack of 10 so are not cheap but really do work so are worth it.
Adults and children 12 and over one sachet every 4 to 6 hours. Do not take more than 4 sachets in a 24 hour period.
My Thoughts ....
I find the taste of these awful but they help so much that I still reach for them every single time I have a cold. They do not get rid of my cold but they do reduce the symptoms helping me cope better.
I have no problem recommending these, they work really well and although expensive they are worth it. For me they are a 5 out of 5.
A few months ago I was full of the most awful cold/flu bug but when I got to the cupboard we were all out of lemsips, as it happened my sister was coming over to help with some jobs and get me some food in because I had been laid up for several days feeling beyond sorry for myself. I added blackcurrant lemsips to the list, however when she arrives she had substituted them with Tesco's own informing me that she always bought them now and that they were as effective but half the cost.
The Packing ....
The product comes in small paper sachets that are homed in a very basic cardboard box. The box actually looks fairly similar to my usual Lemsips and is green in colour, the lid opens on top to reveal the small sachets all lined up inside.
The Product ....
The product is a blackcurrant flavoured powder that you mix with hot water and drink to ease the symptoms of colds and flu. The drink contains pain killers and decongestants to help relive the symptoms and make you feel better.
To Use ....
Pour the contents of one sachet into a mug. Fill it with hot, (not boiling)
water and stir until dissolved then drink.
Adults and children over 12 years of age one sachet every 4-6 hours. No more than 4 sachets in any 24 hour period.
These are not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
These cost £1.80 for 10 sachets compared to my normal Lemsip ones which set me back around £3.80 so they are really good value!
If my sister had made me this and not told me they were not my regular ones I would not have noticed any difference, they taste, look and work as well as my regular ones. I would certainly have no problems buying them in future.
A very effective own brand product that is just as effective and has a 4 stars from me!
I have owned this for a few years now, I am hello kitty mad and have been for many years so when I saw a mobile phone stand of her driving a car I had to buy one, I am someone who is always putting their phone down and not knowing where it is so this seemed perfect to me.
The Product ....
The product is a small soft toy that if I remember rightly on the instructions said it was ideal for use in the car as a mobile phone stand but mine has lived in my bed room since I bought it. The toy is in the shape of a pink car with hello kitty driving it and a slot where the back seat would be that you can stand your mobile phone in.
The problem I had immediately with this was that I owned an Iphone 3G when I bought this holder and it would not fit in the slot, however my ipod does so it became an ipod holder which is fine for me as well because it holds the ipod up so I can plug it into my speakers easier.
There really is not much else to say about the product, it does nothing else other than sit looking pretty!
I think I paid £7.99 for my holder but it was a few years now, they look to be going for around £8-10 on Amazon, I think mine came from WH Smiths.
A cute handy toy for hello kitty fans but I could not believe they would make one that did not fit an iphone. I do not know if they updated it to fit at a later date but mine was no where near large enough width wise and more suited to a non smart phone style mobile which was odd because Iphones had been around a long time when I bought this which to this day makes me wonder if mine is faulty. It is still cute though and I have never regretted having it albeit using it for my MP3 player instead.
I had never tried dry shampoo until after my accident, I was in a job that was physical so there was never a single day that I did not start out the morning without a shower and because my hair always gets greasy quickly it was always just easier to wash it daily. After my accident I moved to baths and now I only wash it every other day as such I started using a dry shampoo on days when the roots are too greasy.
Batise was the first company I tried and I have not moved away from them, they are lots of really nice scents to their product and they work really well!
The Packing ....
The product comes in a tin that resembles a large aerosol tin, I actually do not think they are the best looking of products and remind me of a large cheap hairspray tin, they are decorated with nice designs showing what scent the spray is but that is the only thing that the tins have going for them. The tins are a thin plastic lid that just pulls off to access an old style aerosol cap.
The Product ....
The product is a spray that you spray onto the roots of your hair then brush in, this somehow soaks up the grease on the roots and leaves your hair feeling clean again.
There are several different scents to choose from I have used a few but this is one of my favourites, it smells sweet like a mix of cherries and strawberries to me.
To Use ....
You simply hold the tin around 30cm from the roots of your head and spray lightly then brush or work in with your fingers. It is very important not to spray too much or you end up looking like you just tipped a load of talc onto your head because the spray comes out white when you spray it too close or heavily.
A normal sized tin of Batiste is around £2.99 and contains 200ml but they do small handbag sized ones that I tend to buy because I like to mix up my scents and often they are on 3 for 2 in Boots.
Does it work? ....
Yes I find that this product does do what it is meant to and make my hair feel cleaner. It does not leave any nasty residue and leaves it smelling fresh looking clean.
I really love my Batiste dry shampoo's, they smell really nice and do a great job. For me they are 4 out of 5 and they only loose a mark because if you get to close you can have problems.
I have not always been a huge fan of the Travelodge chain, until last year so many of the hotels were beyond run down, dirty and poorly run. They would not let you check in until 3pm and to top it would not store your luggage so if you are going out you are stuck all trying to get ready after 3, not easy if there are a few women in one room!
Then last year the Travelodge chain started doing up their chain to match in with the newer built hotels in their chain, on top of this they introduced the new dreamer beds by sleepeezee, a lovely king sized bed! Gone are the old worn beds that when you both laid down you rolled into the middle!
I have been sad to note that they have not changed the carpets in some that are in dire need of new ones but they have all had a fresh clean and paint, new carpets and shower curtains. As a whole the rooms are looking a lot better and the beds are really comfortable!
Travelodge also gave their old Wifi company the boot and you now get 30 minutes a day free use then £3 a day or packages available for longer. The old company charged you £5 for an hour and £10 for a day!
One thing that I wish they would make sure is more continuous is that as someone who stops with the chain a lot I never know what times food is going to be on, each hotel has their own food serving times, with some having a 24 menu and others not! When it's a chain serving the same menu I would like to see this kept the same at all of the hotels in the chain.
Travelodge now also allow late check in and out at £10 each extra charge, it sounds a lot but this allows you to check in from 12 or check out at 2pm which can be very handy.
There is something else I find hard with Travelodge online booking is non of the pages tell you if the room you are booking is a bath or shower and also when booking online there is no special requests box to request anything.
My last complaint is the staff at most hotels need to let you know that there are hair driers, ironing boards and fans available at reception but they do not and I have lost track hearing people complain that there was no dryer in their rooms.
All in all though the changes get a huge thumbs up from me!