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I feel like I am on some sort of Holy Grail quest when I buy mascara. Except I'm not looking for a cup that brings me eternal life, I am looking for a product that lives up to its claims for making your eyelashes look like they do on the adverts. There is no ducking of slicing blades, no crossing invisible bridges, no choosing the right cup and unlike Indiana Jones I actually quite like snakes, but that is by the by.
Having tried various other lash boosting mascaras in the past - some of which I have previously reviewed on Dooyoo (Number 7 and Loreal brands) I thought I would try Rimmel. At £6.99 (at Boots - Aug 2012) it is one of the cheaper brands on the market for the promise of awesome lashes. According to the product blurb - 'Rimmel Scandal'Eyes Show Off Mascara is the first mascara that combines lash plumping and defining bristles with a unique play-ball brush. Flat side plumps lashes with show-stopping volume. Not a clump in sight. Ball side lifts and curls lashes for eyes that truly show-off. Flake-proof, smudge-proof formula lasts morning to night! Scandalous volume and lift, for lashes to really show off !'
It comes in a shocking pink bottle - rather chunky and holds 12ml of mascara. These days most retailers have to stick security stickers on items like make up, and you often have to remove these to be able to open the product, which then leaves a very sticky mark on the bottle - which sticks to your skin.
Despite this, the first use of the mascara seemed ok. Unlike some others the formula wasn't too thick and didn't clog up the brush but perhaps wasn't thick enough as my lashes didn't look overly different after the first flick over. I didn't really see the point or benefit of having the ball on the end, the brush itself didn't seem that much better or worse than other styles I have used. Was disappointed that it didn't come in a waterproof version as I will often prefer waterproof as it is longer lasting. The older ScandalEyes product which comes in an orange bottle does come as a waterproof version. It clumps still, I think you've got to be a miracle worker to use mascara and never get a single clump.
I found that after a few hours the mascara was leaving a black breadcrumb trail under my lower lashes and making me look more tired than I actually am and considering I've had insomnia for 14 years, that's no mean feat. So the flake and smudge proof claim is rather invalid at this point. It comes off well with normal soap and water in the shower and also with make up removers.
However, after having it for only about a week or so I noticed the black writing on the bottle was starting to smudge off onto my hands, leaving black marks that need a scrub to come off. Now when I use it I have to hold it with a tissue or a baby wipe (I have wiped at it repeatedly to try and get as much of it off to stop it smudging to no avail!)
As for scandalous volume and lift? My lashes looked ok, but I wouldn't say I was astounded at how amazingly different they looked than normal.
I guess for the price you have a half decent mascara, but if you're looking for the mascara to end all mascaras, this isn't it.
This is not my Final Crusade, I will keep looking and when I find that Grail of Enormous Lashes - I'll let you know.
I bought Loreal Lash Architect 4D - Waterproof Black mascara some months ago on the endless hunt to see if there really is any mascara out there that actually does make your lashes look stunning rather than spidery clumps. Every single advert for mascara these days claims to make them look fabulous, long, glamorous etc. Granted recently make-up companies have been bound by law to state in their adverts now whether they are filmed using lash inserts and are not allowed to enhance them post-production. However, is there a real mascara out there that actually can make your eyelashes look like they do in the adverts? None that I have found so far....
Currently Boots are offering this mascara for £10.99. It is 11ml of pure goop.
How much of the packaging is needed to hold 11ml? Here we have a fairly chunky angular bottle. The waterproof version is a dark blue and silver colour and not too offensive to look at compared to some other brands which tend to like neon pink colourings. The wand is long and straight. It apparently has a spiral brush, but mine looks pretty standard and has many fibres which in my opinion holds far too much mascara.
The mascara itself is very thick, almost tar-like. From the first application it clumped up on my lashes, and over time it has become thicker. You need some sort of industrial strength eye make-up remover to clean it off. As for it's waterproof abilities - while it may withstand the odd bit of sobbing, hayfeverish watery eyes or a bit of rain, a dunk in the shower or the bath leaves a very greasy black tide mark under the eyes. I think I'd have more chance creating some baby pandas than the real pandas up in Edinburgh Zoo.
Sometimes even when you think you have got it all off - it still likes to put in an appearance - as my home-made eye mask can testify in the mornings with my lovely black marks where it has pressed against my eyes.
Also after a couple of months of use - the blue colour on the bottle is chipping off, so that it sticks to my hands and then I transfer that onto my face and my husband keeps finding these little chips wherever I go.
For the money - you may as well just buy false lashes. I guess I would expect more from such a high profile brand as Loreal.
For £10.99 (average RRP) you can buy this addition to the Chuggington Interactive set. It is good that you can collect the other Chuggers to go with the ones provided in some the sets (for example you get a Wilson with the All Round Chugger set and a Brewster with the Bridges and Tunnels and a Puffer Pete with another of the sets). My stepson has the All Round set with Wilson and also the straights and curves extension pack. He also has a Koko and a Brewster bought separately and the other week his auntie sent him a Puffer Pete that came in a set she bought for her son which he already had. He was pleased to get another addition to his Chuggers and of course the more Chuggers you have the more 'interactive' things become as the range of phrases they have expands as they interact with each other.
Frostini has his lift up flap on the side to display his ice cream wares. However as soon as we extricated him from the packaging and my stepson started to inspect him and try him out, he opened this flap up and it fell straight off. There appears to be a small bit sticking out the back on one side of it that keeps pushing one side out of the hinge hole, meaning every time it is lifted up all the way - pop - off it comes. Cue one very annoyed little boy. Super stepmum here has tried to firm up the area around the hinge with some superglue to try and stop it from popping out. It works from time to time. I do not know if any other Frostini owners have had the same problem but it is a right pain in the you know what when you keep hearing a small boy going 'Ugh - it fell of again. Why does it keep falling off?'
Best to get this as cheap as you can - like from ELC or Amazon as paying the full price for these interactive chuggers feels like a bit of a rip off at times.
Having bought my stepson the main All Round Chuggington Interactive set for Christmas a couple of years ago, we then got him this set to add to the main set to extend the track and make it a bit more interesting for him.
For anyone who has read my review on the All Round set you will know that I thought it was a pain to put together and that for the effort of about 20 mins of constructing for a small boy who then only plays with it for all of 10 mins before he gets bored, I had mixed feelings about this.
On one hand I hoped it would mean he would have more interest in the toy and would play with it for longer, making it more worth while putting it all together while he shouted 'Come on!!!' at us.
And on the other hand, I dreaded the complexity of putting it all together with added sections.
I was disappointed to see that the pack didn't come with any instructions/ideas for possible track layout to fit with the All Round set - which is a closed loop of a set. I wanted to make sure we could construct something that would work well and be interesting.
We eventually cobbled something together and he enjoyed playing with the extra sections of track including a 'crossroads' section and the barriers.
In order to help future constructions I took a photo of the route we had made to help us when building it again.
I would have liked to see some more curves in the set to allow a better loop around to connect back up - as we ended up having two open ends - which was fine but my stepson got really frustrated that he couldn't have a continuous track.
If we had tonnes of space in our house we would probably get another set to join up to it and make it a bit bigger and more interesting for him to play with in the sheer hope he would want to play with it for more than 10 mins - half an hour.
I've said before with the All Round set - that it is great if you can leave it out fully constructed all the time rather than taking it apart and putting together each time. My sister in law does this for her son and it works well for them, but sadly we have a tiny house and my stepson doesn't have his own bedroom at ours (as we only have the one bedroom) so it's not an option to leave it out constantly. We have contemplated picking a layout and glueing it to some board to put under the sofa out the way but I feel this would just limit the combinations he could have should we ever get more to add to the set - if we ever got a bigger house!
When I was a child I had mostly hand-me-down toys from my older brother and sister, a lot of them were Fisher Price toys such as the dolls house, the garage, granny weeble etc. One of my hand-me-down toys was a Fisher Price helicopter. It had a rotor on the top, a tail rotor, a little cockpit with space for two figures (and not sure if the figure I had was the actual one for the chopper...) and a special grabby claw underneath for daring rescues. By the time I had it, one of the rotors had broken and stickers had long since been peeled off. It looked like it needed rescuing.
Last year while popping into a local toy shop with my 4 year old stepson to pick out a kite for a reward chart prize he lingered over some of the Imaginext rescue toys - police, ambulance etc and husband and I started some thoughtful chin stroking for an idea for his birthday or Christmas present. Initially we were going to get him the ambulance but knowing he had several ambulance related toys we decided to get something different.
Imaginext is part of a range made by Fisher Price, they do emergency vehicles as well as Batman toys among others. Prices vary but we got our Helicopter for about £16 from Early Learning Centre in November 2011 - Toys r Us sell it for £19.99 currently.
The helicopter comes with two figures - life jackets - a rescue basket/stretcher. You slide open the side door of the chopper and you can release a winch to use to perform your death defying rescue attempt. Pressing a button inside pulls the winch up and into the safety of the helicopter. A handle at the back of the helicopter acts as not just an easy way to hold the aircraft but has a trigger mechanism to activate the rotors.
My stepson loves his, although took a little while to explain to him that he shouldn't whizz helicopter blades at people's eyes but he eventually got the hang of it. He loves showing people how it works and occasionally he entertains himself with it for about 10 - 15 mins or so. (He is only just starting to get the hang of playing by himself.)
Needless to say - this new version of the Fisher Price helicopter is 10 times better than my old one. It's one of the few toys my stepson has been given at our house that makes regular trips back and forth to Mummy's house - so that in itself is proof it is a winner. It encourages imaginative play, gives positive role models and with the added bonus of being a hero!
It's a great set, brilliant winch mechanism and providing it doesn't get thrown about too much, should last for quite a while! Pretty good value for money - well worth hunting around for the best price.
Last year saw the BBC Autumnwatch programme base their studio at The Great Oak Hall at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire for a couple of weeks. While this was on I would rave at anyone I could find about how they should watch it and go there - but I was a little biased because you see I got married at Westonbirt last year.
I've lived in the west for a long time, moved here when I was 4, have done some moving about all over the place but have always returned here and in all that time I had never even stepped foot in Westonbirt Arboretum. When I met my husband on the bus back in 2009 we became firm friends and I knew he had been to Westonbirt and he had shown me photographs on his phone of the wonderful colours on display during the autumn with the maples and acers. I've always loved autumn and the amazing hues and tones and richness that abounds in that season. In late 2009 we got together and talk soon swiftly turned to marriage and one night while joking away he said to me 'Lets get married at Westonbirt' and we both thought for a moment about how lovely that would be (me still not having been there at this point) and then we thought - 'hold on, do they even do weddings?' thinking best not get our hopes all set on something that could never be! But after a quick look online to the Friends of Westonbirt website we found that you can indeed get married there. http://www.fowa.org.uk/venue_hire/weddings_and_civil_partnerships
The Great Oak Hall - the setting for Autumnwatch's studio is the venue for civil ceremonies. It is an absolutely gorgeous building, expertly crafted and can hold about 80 people. They have a dedicated wedding planner (currently a lovely lady called Lucy) who will talk to you about your big day and help everything run as smoothly as possible. They provide you with a host who will welcome your guests and can help with a little of the organisation on the day - ours was a gem of a woman called Sylvia. Westonbirt do have their own catering service if you wanted to have the reception there too, or even just a champagne/canapes reception before heading off somewhere else. We opted not to do that as we were on a budget.
Needless to say once we had pencilled in our big day with them we came together to have a wonder around exactly a year before the wedding (at the end of September) just at the height of the autumn spectacle and we were not disappointed. With over 17 miles of pathways you need a whole day if not longer to really take it all in, which is what makes it such a great place to come back to. It has a section - Silk Wood, which you can take dogs into. A fantastic collection of japanese maples, limes, walnuts to name a few. They have brilliant little hidden activity areas for children, from a little hut which kids can make themselves out of planks of wood, wooden tiles etc to balance beam obstacle courses.
There is a childrens play area near the entrance along with a restaurant and cafe area. The toilets are always well maintained and the staff are friendly and helpful.
The entry into the Arboretum varies during the year. Currently the winter (Dec to Feb) entrance fee is just £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and £2 for children over 5. From March - Sept entry goes up to £8 for adults, £7 for concessions and £3 for children over 5 and during the busy autumn period the prices go up by another pound.
Although it may seem a little pricey, I think if you get there as early as you can and make the most of the whole day, you certainly get more value out of your pounds!
Westonbirt also host regular events, such as Treefest, Enchanted Christmas (where portions of the arboretum are lit up beautifully) and offer a range of regular events (check out the website for details - http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-5y4f5k) as well as concerts - for instance this year they are having Will Young and Plan B in concert. They also have a garden centre for shrubs and trees which has a really lovely shop - this can be accessed separately to the main arboretum if you just want to go there rather than paying to get into the arboretum.
If anyone is thinking of an interesting different wedding venue this year I can highly recommend Westonbirt Arboretum. We got married on the last day prior to the busy autumn season - they stop doing weddings during this time, but right at the end of September (weather/global warming permitting!) there is still plenty of autumnal colours to be seen. It is cheaper to marry there in the week than at weekends, you get a very lovely personal service from the staff and you have a fantastic venue that people will remember. All your guests get free entry to the arboretum on the day, we made our day pretty relaxing and encouraged people to bring sensible shoes and make the most of it and have a wander around. Plenty of fantastic photo opportunities and some really cherished memories.
Westonbirt is certainly a regular place for us now, in the past two years I would say we have been about 4 or 5 times and each time we have really enjoyed it and we will certainly be no strangers there.
In 2010 my husband bought this Chuggington Interactive set for his son for Christmas. At that time my stepson was 3 and utterly mad on trains and Chuggington in particular. He had asked Father Christmas for a train set for Daddy's House and so duty bound off we went to find something not too expensive and not too big to fit in our little house. We had seen it priced at about £60 but found it online for sale for about £20 from Woolworths online and thought it was a good deal.
The main selling point of the 'interactive' range of the Chuggington train sets is that the trains can 'talk' to one another and certain parts of the track can have some dialogue too. In this set there are a collection point, a drop off point and the train sheds with Vee. Each section has sensors / buttons to press to get the 'interactive' elements to work. So we thought - excellent, looks like we'll have one happy chappie! It has little bits of cargo to carry around, supplied with a Wilson and a little truck carriage. It has a twisty section of track and a turntable at the sheds.
Come present opening time he frantically tears at the paper revealing those unmistakeable Chuggington characters on the box, cue excited little boy. So we open it up, get everything out and then start tackling the construction... Very complicated, so much so that said excited little boy declared he would go and 'Do Playdoh while you make it, just give me a shout when you're done.' Leaving Daddy and Stepmum to piece it together. Putting in the oodles of batteries and hoping it all works. So some half hour or so later we wearily call to the boy, busy in the kitchen with his Playdoh, that it is now ready. In he comes and is enthralled with it, however is constantly falling over it all, knocking the supports over, wanging Wilson down the twisty track section so he flies off the edge and even gave Vee a rather hard time.
He likes the fact that when the Chuggers are in the shed that they make sleeping noises, however he gets super frustrated that he has to keep pressing the bit on top of the sheds to get Vee to say 'Wake Up Chuggers' and has often lost his temper having to press it several times to get her to say it (as she has to go through her repetoire of other phrases!)
After a few times of playing with it we've noticed that the connectors between the sections of tracks are already showing signs of wear, and I can imagine that if he lived with us full time and was playing with it more regularly that it wouldn't last long, unless it was a toy that was left out fully constructed all the time. The drop off point has a red light at a little gate section - and this has stopped working on ours (had done after only a few plays) so even though the batteries are still good, the light has given up the ghost - and said little boy always asks each time why it isn't working. We did get two other Chuggers to go with it - Brewster and Koko and yes they do talk to one another and I'm guessing the claim of 300 different phrases must come from having every single item of Chuggington Interactive as I only seem to be hearing the same few phrases over and over again.
The set itself is somewhat limited and samey and we are now loathe to put it together each time he wants to play with it as we know that 20/30 mins of putting it together now leads to about 10 mins of him playing with it before he gets bored. We know that family have got him the bridges and tunnels set for Christmas 2011 but due to all kinds of problems we've not been able to exchange gifts yet so not sure how easy it will be to add this into the existing set.
It would be better if they had spare truck carriages as currently with three Chuggers they have to share one truck to pick up and drop off the goods.
There are several other sets which can connect up to this one, but I think that if you have the room to keep toys like this out all the time rather than having to dismantle it and rebuild it each time, it's not going to last tremendously well.
When he first had it he really struggled to connect the Chuggers to the truck carriage and found that often the Chuggers had trouble staying on the track, especially round corners.
I think it would have been better to have a more traditional wooden set with more flexibilty on building the track to how you want. I think there is too much stock these days in having 'interactive' things that make noises, have flashing lights etc and that perhaps it leaves more for the imagination to have your child make their own train noises!
In all it's an ok train set for us - it spends most of its time in a toy box and now hardly gets played with, but when it was the new toy on the block it was played with for hours on end at least three times! Perhaps once we get the other set to connect up it might be a more entertaining toy.
I joined Quidco back in 2009 from a referral from a very good friend of mine.
The premise of Quidco is much like many other cashback sites, they are affiliated with hundreds of companies, some well known, some not so well known. They cover all kinds of shopping, from DVD rental to Car Insurance. They have sections where you can print off money saving coupons from restaurants and look for freebie offers - although mainly things like doing online surveys and earning yourself a few pence each time.
Quidco take £5 each year out of your earnings as your membership fee. If you don't use Quidco in it's fullest potential £5 may seem like a lot of money. Some of the cashback on offer may seem minimal, but if you were to use Quidco for the majority of your purchases, it soon adds up.
They also have an option to register your debit card so that shopping at certain high street shops can earn you cashback too - such as Debenhams, B&Q and even Cineworld Cinemas (even better doing 2 for 1 Orange Wednesdays and getting some cashback too!)
Since joining I have earned almost £400 in cashback just buying things I needed (not going out of my way to get things purely for the cashback on offer).
1. Switched energy supplier - earned £120
2. Upgraded to Sky+ - got £85 cashback and £100 of M&S Vouchers that went towards buying wine for my wedding!
3. £55 cashback for home insurance.
Pretty handy thing when you are on a budget, looking to save money and able to earn a bit extra just for getting the things you were going to buy anyway.
Yes there have been some niggles along the way - some purchases have taken a long time to pay out - something they have been working on. I had an issue where a few of my online purchases during one month hadn't tracked - but I raised claims on them and got them dealt with.
Their customer service is good, easy and understanding.
Now whenever I think of buying something I will always check on Quidco to see if the shop is on the list and what their offers are.
In this day and age when money is tight and you are looking to save some pennies - it's well worth a look. Certainly worth it if you are looking for a new energy supplier or a new phone contract etc.
For the sake of £5 a year I've earned close to £400 that I wouldn't have had otherwise.
I am a non wicked stepmother, my stepson is four and has had a Gro-Clock for about a year now, however I was only aware of it's existence several months ago. I wish I had known of it sooner!
The premise of the Gro-Clock is thus:
Young children often wake up at stupid o'clock and wish to play, watch TV, annex Poland etc while all you want to do is sleep till at least 7am (at least on the weekends). Young children cannot tell the time until they are about 4 or 5, meaning you are destined to be sleep deprived for a hefty chunk of your life, especially if you have more than one child..... but are you????
The Gro-Clock (made by the same people who make Gro-Bags) offers a simple way to get children to understand the concept of night time and morning time. It comes with a story book to help explain the concept to children (although that book resides at the home of my stepson and I've never seen it so cannot comment on it's usefulness). It is mains powered, has two brightness settings (and a no light setting), and has the ability to store two 'morning' times - so for instance if you want to have one time for week days and one time for weekends or if your children are young enough to be having regular naps in the daytime, a time for wake up from nap time. It has a yellow sun for morning and a blue star (or moon depending on what model you have) with stars around the edge for night time. As time passes the stars gradually go out one by one, which allows the child to see if they have woken in the middle of the night or fairly close to morning. It also has the option to show a digital clock time, so when they get older and start telling time, this option can be used too.
It has three buttons on the front of the unit, if you know the secret combination to work it (if you are like me and only get to use it every so often without the instructions!) then you can set the time and when it's time for bed, you turn it to night time. There is supposed to be a child lock on the buttons - but not having seen the instructions I am not sure if this is more a case of just pressing certain buttons several times in order to get into the settings to change things, but a word to the wise - if you have a cheeky child who REALLY doesn't like getting up at 7am and would rather divebomb you in bed at 5:30am yelling 'Morningtime!' - put this clock out of their reach as our cheeky chappie knows that he only has to press a button several times to make the sun come up far too early, and then copiously denies having this secret knowledge when questioned.
As the title says - Perseverence is key! At home our stepson's Mum said she thought it was easier to just let him get up whenever he wanted (not entirely sure I understand why a single working mother would be OK with having a 3 year old waking her up to play at 4:30am every morning but there you go). So for a long time the clock wasn't really being used for it's full potential, he was pressing buttons on it, making it morning at whatever time he liked and not being encouraged to stay in bed until it was actually morning.
However things were about to change...
We have him over to stay every other weekend and often take him away for a few days to see his grandparents on my side and on his Dad's side who live at opposite ends of Wales. Before the Gro-Clock came on the scene we would have such a job trying to persuade him to stay in bed at all hours of the night while trying not to wake up everyone in the house. Then last year we had the Gro-Clock with us and we used it. My husband often frets thinking that if his son wakes up at stupid o'clock that we are somehow infringing on his human rights to make him wait till 6:30am/7am to get up, so it took some time to actually get my husband to use the clock properly too. However on the second night I heard him wake up, get up, look at the clock and then go back to bed.... the third night was the same. The fourth night we were back at our house and he fiddled with the clock and proceeded to yell at the bedroom door at 5am until we came out all puzzled and wondering why the clock wasn't working. It was, but idle hands were at work!
Since then, whenever he stays here we put the clock out of his reach and he waits for the sun to come up before quietly (and I have to say this is amazing that the yelling and shouting has also stopped) coming to our bedroom door to let us know it is morning time. He has also started to do this at home with Mummy - who is most surprised.
Now to convince my husband to set the clock a little later on weekends, best done gradually, say by 5mins over a period of time.
Some people have given up with the Gro-Clock after only using it for a short time, but I think that if you value sleep you should keep at it. It does work. We coupled using this with giving him stickers for his reward chart while he was learning to use it so that if he stayed in bed till morning time he would get a sticker with lots of praise.
The unit itself costs around £40 if bought directly from the company, but can be bought for about £25 or less from Amazon. I would recommend any parent to buy one of these - but don't leave it too late, I've heard of parents using them with children as young as 18 months. The sooner you can encourage them to understand about night time and morning time the better for everyone involved. And even if they dont grasp it fully at 18 months, you've still got plenty of time to try it out and use it until they do get it.
1. If you buy it - hunt out the best price as it can be a bit dear.
2. Put it out of reach of tinkering fingers!
3. Adjust the brightness of the display to suit your child.
4. Start off slowly, if your child usually wakes up at 5am, initially set morning time for 5am, then gradually set the clock later and later until you reach the time you feel you want your child to be getting up.
5. When your child is learning to use it properly, make a big song and dance out of them getting it right, positive reinforcement really helps!
6. Keep using it, once they can tell the time, use it on the clock setting and make the most of the clock.
I would say the only downside to this is that it is mains powered and doesn't have a battery back up. As we share the Gro-Clock with Mummy, it is being unplugged each time and each time we have to set it up all over again which is a pain. This has prompted us to buy our own.
But all in all this is a brilliant teaching aid to encourage children to learn about time in the early stages leading up to being able to tell the time properly. Helps to encourage early risers to stay in bed (or at least in their rooms) until a suitable hour.
I bought this mascara some time ago while buying some other products in Boots. It was on offer and I think I got it for half price - the full price being £12.50.
I usually balk at the idea of paying over £5 for a mascara so I thought this had better be worth it....
How more wrong could I be?
The chunky bottle contained a worms wine glass full of mascara (12ml) and the square 'wand' was a downright abomination. I may as well have daubed make up straight into my eyeball and saved myself a few quid. The coverage on my lashes was awful. I have quite nice longish lashes, quite blessed in that way, and wanted, like most women, to make them look even better. Instead I looked like an extra from the Rocky Horror Show. Goopy globules of black hung to my lashes like flies trapped on the inky spider webs of doom.
And then there was the smell....
The rank stench of fish which emanated from the bottle. I am aware that some make up, particuarly mascara, can often have a fishy smell. But oh sweet lord, no. It was like taking a sniff into a cod liver oil bottle (warning - don't ever do that unless you really want to puke).
While I am glad I didn't pay the full price for this barrel of bumpf, I still feel cheated that I paid half price.
Buy this if you hate your eyes.
Don't get me wrong, I like Original Source products and I often will try out the different fragrances they have when there is an offer on at my supermarket. But I was pretty disappointed with this one, mainly down to the aroma.
I've dabbled in making my own bath products, I have used Shea Butter to make bath melts and soaps. I know what Shea Butter smells like. It smells rather nice. So when I saw this on offer while I was doing as Asda shop online I thought mmm I shall give it a whirl!
It duly arrived nestled amongst my broccoli and courgettes (grateful it hadn't leaked all over them) and that evening I settled in my bath ready to smear my body with the silky smooth shower cream. Then all I could smell was something that resembled some sort of caramel coconut smell. I am not a big fan of coconut smelling things and my husband really doesn't like it.
While the shower cream was lovely and soft, oozing and made a decent lather and did do the deed of cleaning my skin, it smelled less than divine. We don't like throwing things away, so we grinned and bared it and didn't touch each other till the smell had dissapated. Needless to say we haven't bought it since.
My favourite still has to be the lavender one, but happy to keep trying to see if I can find others that satisfy the olefactory senses!
Much as I adore my in-laws, they have one flaw. This flaw is that every Christmas, without fail, they buy me this and some Body Shop Satsuma Soap. I really don't like things that smell orangey or taste orangey. I hate chocolate orange for example.
That said, husband and I are tight on money, so we are loathe to throw things away, especially gifts from friends and family. So every year, I hold my nose and wash myself stupid with this stuff to make it go away as quickly as possible.
The product itself is just as good as any other Body Shop shower gel, it lathers well, it does the job, it cleans and rinses off well. I often feel that many Body Shop products such as shower gels can be overpriced, but as the Satsuma variety is often cheaper than some of their more premium fragrances I can understand why it is often bought as gifts for people, which is great if they like satsumas.
A 250ml bottle is currently priced at £4.00, with a 400ml at £5.50 and a 750ml at £12.00. Compared to say their Moroccan Rose shower gel which is twice the price for 250ml. Still a little pricey for the size of the bottle though, but I suppose you pay more for having something made out of naturally sourced ingredients.
It's a good all round shower gel, doesn't dry my skin out too much, can be used to wash your hair if you've run out of shampoo. It is good in the sense that it has other complimentary products you can team it up with, such as the aforementioned soap, body butter, body scrub, hand gel etc.
In short, if you like orange scented things and you have a few quid to spare, buy it.
This is one of the few Lush products that I have ever truly loved. I don't often go into Lush for several reasons:
1. The smell is overpowering, it can attack a man from 50 paces from the shop and cause it to be an ordeal close to torture to persuade your husband or boyfriend to go in the shop with you.
2. They have so many staff that in a small shop you only have to turn 45 degrees and you are met with another youngster clad in an apron offering to give you a bath bomb demonstration or show you how a bath melt works.
3. A lot of their products are too expensive for a bargain hunter like me to even contemplate buying.
However, I once took a sniff of the Honey I Washed the Kids soap and I was hooked. I love this soap and wish I could wash with it all the time. I often just pick it up out of the soap dish at home and take a big deep sniff to get my fix for the day.
It is best if you can persuade the dreadlocked shop assistant to remove the beeswax from the slice before they weigh it out for you as otherwise you are paying a bit extra for something that isn't soap. Made the mistake the first time thinking it was part of the soap and badly scratched my arm with the rather sharp bit of wax on the top!
I don't find this soap as drying on the skin as other soap bars can be, but find it disappears a lot quicker than other soaps do - probably because I use it so much but also as it is handmade with natural products it is often softer than other soaps once it has been wet and can seem to be used up quicker.
Love the fragrance, husband loves it when I smell of it, job done!
I just wish it wasn't as expensive as it is otherwise I would buy a whole block of it at a time!
And you know when you're husband loves you when he is prepared to enter a Lush shop to buy you a bar of your favourite soap for your birthday or Christmas!
Like other reviewers, I too tried out the Bold 2in1 Rose Blush and Peony gel as part of a Supersavvyme product trial.
It arrived (after several weeks of waiting) packaged in a pointless gift bag and pink tissue paper.... trying to make a laundry product exciting, some women on the project likened it to opening a gift of lingerie... I worry about those women.
The big selling point of this product is its 'microcapsule technology' which is fabled to continue giving your washing continuous bursts of fragrance when you touch the fabric.
The scent of the product out of the bottle was pleasant enough, pretty similar to other laundry gel smells. It didn't waft me off my feet and take me to magical lands where children were perfect and there was no evil in the world, no it just smelled OK. I gave it a go with a load of dark washing. I squeezed the gel from the bottle into the cap provided. I'm no weakling, but it was a strain to squeeze the bottle single handedly and I had to use both hands. I could imagine someone with arthritis or rheumatism would struggle to squeeze the bottle. The packaging was probably a hinderance, the bulk of the bottle is a hardish white plastic, with a see through section down the side to enable you to see how much is left in the bottle. I would imagine the bottle would be easier to squeeze and a whole lot easier to gauge the quantity if the whole bottle itself was made of transparent plastic. I would imagine the production costs of manufacturing a bottle putting in a transparent section are higher than just making the majority of a bottle out of one kind of plastic.
When the washing was over, I didn't notice any superior cleaning power to that of my usual product - I usually use a supermarket own brand and softener, along with water softener powder as I live in a very hard water area.
I do not have a garden, so all my washing gets hung up in the house on airers to dry. I noticed the smell of the gel quite strongly when the washing was fresh out of the machine, but as they dried I barely noticed the smell. At times I would rub the clothes to see if the 'microcapsule technology' released any further fragrance, I didn't notice any. My husband on the other hand wore his newly washed trousers to work and complained that all day long all he could smell was the gel and it was overpowering, the following day they didn't smell at all.
I decided to try again, this time on our towels. I usually split the load to fit in the washing machine, so I decided to test for softness, one half using our usual laundry products and the other using the Bold.
The ones washed with our usual products were nice and soft and smelling fresh as usual, however the Bold ones felt rough and once dry just smelled like towel.
I kept using it till it was empty, and blimey, was it hard to get the bottle to be empty - again with the trouble squeezing the gel out of the bottle which just got harder the less of the gel that was in the bottle. In the end I knew there was still some left, but other than using some sort of samurai sword to slice the bottle open to get the last dregs out, I had to leave it.
I couldn't wait to get back to my usual laundry products and certainly wouldn't recommend it to other people. I did notice that it got very mixed reviews on the Supersavvyme project, and it does make me wonder whether it depends on the type of material that is washed with it, and the type of water you have in your area as to whether the microcapsule technology works as well as they claim it does. I would image in soft water areas it may well work better. But for the money - it is a pricey product, if you live in a hard water area, it may not be worth shelling out the extra £s for this product.
Took a free sample of this toothpaste on our honeymoon last year and we were both surprised at how much we preferred it to our usual toothpaste. Leaves your teeth feeling cleaner and it also has a refreshing taste.
After trying it from the free sample we have since bought it at full price from the supermarket.
With this product I feel less need for additional dental products but it did prompt me to get the Oral B pro-expert toothbrush (manual not electric) to compliment the product and my teeth do feel cleaner as a result compared to my previous toothbrush and toothpaste (used to use Colgate Total and had a standard other brand toothbrush).
It is a little expensive but would probably buy more of it if it was on offer at the supermarket. Make the most of any free sample offers! I would definitely recommend this toothpaste to other people. Although I think for the price it would be good to have a bigger tube in line with some other sizes on offer by other brands.