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abercrombie92

abercrombie92
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Member since: 02.07.2008

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      04.07.2011 11:55
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      Working in New Look has it's pros and cons, the discount being a major pro and the temptation being a major con. I recently had a weekend away in Newcastle and knew that my first port of call for the weekend's outfits would of course be my beloved workplace. It didn't take me too long to decide on an outfit and after 10-15 minutes, I'd decided on the perfect shoes too. I grabbed the first size 6 of the Patent Platform Heels in the burnt orange colour and headed straight for the till points - outfit complete!

      The shoes, as my mother likes to describe them, look like stripper shoes. The tall, slender heel and large platform at the front definitely give the impression of shoes that a stripper may wear, but they in no way scream "STRIPPER! STRIPPER! STRIPPER!" as you're wearing them. As I mentioned above, I bought mine in the burnt orange colour to go with the detail on my dress, but these do come in beige (pictured above) and black should you need something a little more subtle. I've never really been one for patent shoes and to be quite honest with you, I bought these with only one outfit in mind and hadn't really considered wearing them again after but the patent shine goes beautifully with the deep orange colour.
      The platform is almost 2 inches high with the heel being being 5.4 inches to give you that little bit of extra height. As with all platformed shoes, these are much easier to walk in than a 5.4 inch heel with no platform as your foot is at a smaller angle in the shoe.

      The shoe itself is made of quite a sturdy material and would definitely benefit from being broken in. I didn't have time for that, so I just popped them onto my feet and off I went.

      Biggest.
      Mistake.
      Ever.

      As someone who lives in heels and has had plenty experience with uncomfortable shoes, I expected to be able to get through the night even if these were terribly uncomfortable, but I was wrong. They were not only incredibly painful, but they fell apart. After half an hour my feet were throbbing due to the hard material around my foot and the lack of sponginess on the platform. An hour later, the heel on the left shoe became loose and although I could still walk and dance in them, anytime I walked down stairs, the shoe gave way beneath me causing me to fall.
      Causing me to fall 3 damn times!
      I now have a bruise on my thigh that measures 1.3ft long and have to get regular check ups on it because the tissue underneath is so damaged (this happened mid-June).

      New Look often win awards for their shoes, but I've found them to be very hit or miss. They either last a life time or fall apart within seconds, unfortunately for me, these were the latter.
      They cost £24.99 in store and online, although I did only pay £12.50 with my discount, so I can't really complain too much. A lot of my co workers also have these shoes and haven't had any issues with them having a dodgy heel, so maybe I was just unlucky, but the lack of comfort in the shoe itself would be enough to put anyone off. Sorry boss!

      Sadly, these shoes will be getting a measly 1 star from me as they were the biggest nightmare my feet had ever had.

      Thanks for reading!

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        30.06.2011 13:08
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        After a year and a half of spoling myself with makeup, clothes, shoes and the like, I've finally decided to buck up my ideas and book my driving lessons. Having nice things is still more important to me than driving, but it's something that has to be done! My parents couldn't have been happier when I told them I'd booked the lessons and ended up giving me a basket full of goodies the very next day! I'm not sure if they'd been saving them for when the day came or if they'd ran out and bought them that morning, but I was very excited either way!
        One of my favourite things to receive is perfume, and with the knowledge of this, my parents popped a few different bottles inside my basket. One of which was Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker and that will be the product I review today.

        The perfume comes in a shiny, gold and green box. I've heard people describe this as luxurious, but I honestly think the box is hideous. The gold pattern on the lime green background makes me a bit nauseous, so I've hidden it behind my other pretty boxes! The box does have a gold and white "plaque" printed on the front, stating that this is in fact Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker. The white print underneath tells us that this is an Eau De Parfum and the bottle contains 50ml. The ingredients are printed on the back of the box.

        Once you get past the horrendous lime green cardboard inside the box, you'll find a lovely little bottle of perfume that wouldn't look out of place on anyone's dressing table. The squat little bottle looks pale green in colour, until you realise that it's actually the perfume inside tinting the bottle, whilst the spray nozzle is gold with a brown plastic flower round it. I'd never seen a cap quite like this. You pull the flower off of the nozzle, and instead of it being a full cap, it's simply a flower with a small hole in the middle that sits round the nozzle, making it unable to release any perfume when the flower is on top. Very cute.
        The bottle is very simple and simply says "Covet Sarah Jessica Parker" in gold print - just the type of bottle I like. Classy, but not boring.

        I honestly didn't know what to expect when smelling it for the first time. I'd never smelled this perfume before and hadn't really heard much about it, my parents also admitted that they bought it for me on the basis that I like Sex and the City, so it was definitely going to be hit or miss! The flower cap did give me a hint that this was going to be floral, but other than that, I was going in blindfolded!

        I sprayed a little onto the inside of my wrist and was hit with a very strong floral scent that almost had an undertone of baby powder. I'm not overly keen on floral scents, but this wasn't necessarily bad. It was then that I decided to pull up the notes of the perfume to see if I could actually detect any of them, or if I'd made my own ones up like usual!

        Top notes of lavender, dark chocolate, sicilian lemon and pelargonium leaf. Well I never expected any of those. Lavender is my absolute least favourite scent in the world, so for me to like something with lavender in it is a feat in itself! I definitely couldn't detect any dark chocolate (yum!) or lemon either, so I assumed the strong floral scent I was getting straight off the bat was that of the pelargonium leaf. it was then that I noticed that the heart notes were all floral notes, honeysuckle, magnolia and lily of the valley all blend together beautifully to create a light, yet strong floral scent. Again, florals are not my favourite, but there is something about this that I rather like. I still hadn't pin pointed the baby powder scent, but it was getting more and more noticeable as time went on and the floral notes died down a bit. Time to have a peek at the base notes! Amber, musk, cashmere wood, vetiver and teak wood. Well, no baby powder but I can only assume that that comes from the cashmere wood. The musk is subtle and just enough to make this a very sophisticated scent without overpowering the other yummy notes, but I'll be honest and say that I can't detect any of the others.

        After around an hour or two, the floral notes have basically all disappeared and I'm just left with a musky, baby powder type scent, which isn't bad, but it's not exactly the scent I tend to go for. I'm definitely more of a fruity person so this isn't a perfume I'd have chosen for myself anyway. The top notes don't really last particularly long and to be perfectly honest with you, I couldn't really detect them at all. The heart notes didn't really last long either, maybe 10-15 minutes tops whilst the base notes stayed strong for maybe two hours before dying down and leaving a very subtle (almost undetectable) soapy scent on my skin.

        I'm in two minds about this perfume. It isn't a bad scent, it just isn't my preference. I'd definitely wear it as the base notes are quite nice, but it definitely isn't my go to perfume! It also didn't impress me in longevity stakes, I don't like to have to reapply my perfume during the day and I feel like I'd have to reapply this once or twice per day to actually get a good scent out of it. Not very impressive, Miss SJP.

        As I mentioned before, this was a gift so I'm not sure on how much they paid for this bottle. I can't seem to find this perfume in either boots or debenhams, but according to my friend at the perfume shop, they are selling the 50ml bottle for £29.

        Overall, I'd recommend this to someone who just wants a light, musky fragrance, but to someone looking for a long lasting perfume, you'd be best staying away from this one. I'll reward it 3 stars because I do like the bottle and the base notes, but everything else was a little disappointing.

        Thanks for reading.

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        24.06.2011 17:10
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        I have a bit of an obsession with hair removal these days and will try anything I can to get rid of the dreaded fuzz for as long as possible. Unfortunately, I can't go down the laser hair removal route as I have very fine, blonde body hair which means the laser can do nothing for me as the hair lacks pigment. Along with that, I can't go down the epilation route as I'm yet to find an epilator that can actually grab my fine hair and pull it out from the root, so my next option was waxing! As someone who likes all body hair to be removed, I figured I'd do the waxing at home so as not to have to get naked from the waist down in front of a stranger armed with hot wax. To do this, I picked up the Veet Gel Wax Kit, more specifically, the one for sensitive skin, from Boots and bounded home with excitement. It was time to get fuzz free!

        The wax kit comes with everything needed for an at home waxing session and claims to be effective from the first use. I thought that was a bit of a strange thing to put on the front of the tub as you'd expect it to work straight off the bat anyway, but that's just me being nitpicky.

        The tub contains the wax gel, the strips needed, the wax applicator and of course the all important instructions. This is all nice and compact in a little tub like the one shown in the image above. The lid screws off of the wax part of the tub to reveal a foil lid that must be removed before heating the wax and then there is also a flip lid on top of this that will open up for you to find the instructions, applicator and strips.
        The front of the tub does have a few ambitious claims on it, so I was eager to see just how well it worked - "smoothness for up to 4 weeks" really did seem too good to be true!
        I don't really like to just copy the information from product packaging into my review, but I feel it is 100% necessary that you read this before I carry on.

        "Introducing the new luxurious gel wax for sensitive skin. It is so effective that it works from the first application. The easy to use gel, with gentle almond oil to protect sensitive skin, will leave your skin moisturised and give you touchable smoothness that lasts for up to four weeks. Warm before use - carefully follow the directions for use indicated on the leaflet inside this pack."

        Veet seem to be really backing this product up, they seem to think that it will 100% work. I suppose it's up to me to find that out for myself!

        I removed the foil from the pot and heated it in the microwave as instructed (45 seconds on full power for and 850w microwave - my microwave is an old one with only 700w, but I still followed these instructions). Once the 45 seconds was up, the blue gel wax really hadn't changed much at all. It was still the exact same thick, rubbery gel consistency except it was now very very hot and had a strong aloe scent - strange considering the key ingredient in this is almond oil with no signs of aloe whatsoever. The applicator comes with a temperature indicator on the bottom of it, in the form of a black dot that will turn red with a black cross if the gel is too hot to use. I popped it into the gel and the little red dot appeared. It stayed this way for 10 minutes, so I can't imagine that the heating instructions are very accurate!

        After the 10 minutes was up and the wax cooled down a bit, I applied a little of the gel to my bikini area and pressed one of the strips on top. I'd already cut the strips a little smaller so that they'd be easier to use on this area of my body as the strips are quite large.
        I was then told to hold the skin taut and pull the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth, resulting in 100% hair removal.
        1...
        ...2...
        ......3...
        .........PULL!

        So I yanked it off, fully expecting to be left with a little cute bald patch, but instead I was left with sticky stubble and a sticky strip in hand.
        Okay, so maybe I used too much? It did say to use as thin a layer of gel as possible. Let's try again!

        Process repeated. Results repeated.
        I was then left with two sticky patches and two sticky strips. It wasn't quite going as planned. I figured I might as well try it on my legs and see if I could get any use out of it that way, but after 3 similarly unsuccessful attempts, I closed the pot, popped it up on the shelf and went in a bit of a humph. My plans of being fuzz free for 4 weeks had just been shattered. Veet's promises of being effective from 1st use were also shattered.

        I gave the rest of the pot to my mum to try, she has very thick, dark hair so I thought maybe the gel wax would work better for her, but she had the same results as I did.

        Fortunately, the gel was very easy to wash off with soap and water, so I wasn't left with any sticky marks for long, but after paying upwards of £10, I really didn't want to just apply it and wash it off again! Unfortunately, this actually dried my skin out, so not only was I left still stubbly, but I was now dry and stubbly! Luckily my boyfriend is out of the city until midnight tonight, so I have enough time to sort myself out, I can't imagine how he'd react to the mess I'm in now!

        So let's go back to the information on the back of the pot, shall we?
        Effective from the first use? - NO.
        Leaves skin moisturised? - NO.
        Touchable smoothness for up to 4 weeks? - I THINK NOT.

        I will add that I think it's more to do with the fact that this is a gel based wax rather than Veet just producing a bad product. It's a great idea, but it just doesn't work. The gel is far too sticky to actually be able to grip the hair and keep it sticking to the strip while you pull it off. Instead it'll just a tug a bit and then the strip will detach itself from the hair.

        The pot contains 250ml of product, 12 washable fabric strips and promises to last for 3 uses, meaning both lower legs 3 times. If you want to give this a go for yourself, it's actually on offer in boots right now for £5.99, with it's usual price being £11.99. There is also a pink version of this for normal skin which may or may not work a little better, but according to the low ratings these products have received on the boots website, I'd just give it a miss if I were you!

        In conclusion, I think Veet had a very good idea with this product, but sadly the quality of their products just doesn't translate into this and instead I was just left with a sticky mess to wash off. I'd like to give this 0 stars, but I can't, so they've lucked out with a higher rating than they deserve. 1 star. Back to the razors!

        Thanks for reading!

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          21.06.2011 15:20
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          There aren't many things I love more than having a nice, healthy glow about me. Having a bit of a tan can make you appear slimmer and always gives my confidence a huge boost, but being very fair skinned naturally, with hundreds of freckles speckled all over my arms and face, it isn't something that I can easily or naturally obtain. If you've been reading my reviews for some time then you're probably well aware of the phases I go through with self tanners. Sometimes I'm completely disgusted by the long wearing ones that stay on your skin for up to a week at a time, simply because they make me feel dirty and other times I just can't get enough of them. I tend to stick to the wash off tanners in winter because my skin s much more dry then and the long wearing ones in summer so that my tan doesn't rub off at the beach. My current favourite long wearing tan is Xen Tan Dark Lotion, and that's what I'll be reviewing for you today.

          I'd heard plenty about Xen Tan Dark Lotion before actually trying it and it was the promise of an olive toned, streak free, scent free tan that finally pushed me to buy it. Everyone raves about the scent of this, claiming that there is absolutely no biscuity, fake tan smell. It was up to me to decide if they were right!

          The tan comes in an opaque, white plastic bottle with a pump. Bonus points for the pump! I'm getting sick of brands that think it's a good idea to have a flip cap on the base of their self tanning products - not exactly convenient for when you have a tan-covered mit on your hands for application!
          The bottle is nothing exciting and I certainly wasn't drawn to it in store, I actually walked right by it before having to go back and look again. The information is all printed on the labels in gold and brown tones which is much more promising that the orange and yellow bottles that some tans come in.
          I'm told on the front of the bottle that this tan contains rich moisturisers with instant colour for face & body, a natural olive undertone, jojoba nut oils and aloe and it is also streak free. Sounds impressive.
          The back of the bottle gives the directions and ingredients along with the company contact information.
          The directions given are simple and easy to follow, but aren't actually well thought out (more on this in a second).

          "Apply in circular motions to clean dry skin with hands. Use the instant colour as a guide to cover all areas. For best results use our Deluxe Tanning Mitt. Apply a slightly less amount to tops of feet, elbows and knees. Wash hands throughly with water and soap for 1.5 minutes after application to remove all instant colour. After hands are dry use a makeup sponge to apply a small amount of product to the backs of hands. Blend carefully. Wait 3 hours before showering or swimming."

          Not one mention of how to prepare your skin before using this tan. Strange. I went ahead and prepared my skin like I normally do before tanning, exfoliation and moisturising are always key to make sure the skin is as hydrated and flake free as possible. Surely it would be the same for this?

          I popped a mitt onto my hands and pumped out some of the thick, dark lotion. It looked exactly like melted dark chocolate but somehow smelled like a cherry bakewell. DE-licious! So far, the scent claim had been true.

          I worked my way up my body, starting at my feet and ending at the base of my jaw - I never tan my face as I like to just blend them evenly with my makeup. Application seemed rather difficult and the product was actually balling up under the mitt. It seemed to react with my moisturiser, despite having waited 2 hours before going ahead with the tan. Then I noticed the tan had actually started to form a light olive green cream layer over my skin, along with the "balls" of product - not quite the perfect, easy application I had in mind.

          I blended it all out as best as I could and let it dry overnight. It's safe to say I looked absolutely filthy and was dreading the results I was going to get, but after my shower in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised. There were no streaks, but the colour was slightly too orange for my liking. It wasn't until then that I decided to google Xen Tan and then found out that you aren't actually supposed to moisturise before applying this as it will cause a reaction with the product and make application more difficult and also slightly change the final colour. It would've been really nice of Xen Tan to print this on the bottle as every other tanning product I've used have insisted on moisturising beforehand. I decided to scrub this application off (lemon juice and brown sugar, if anyone is interested) and try again that night.

          What a huge difference it made. Application was like a dream and even left me with a beautiful tan instantly. This is one of those tanning products that you can just put on and go as it develops as the guide colour is a beautiful olive tone too. I again, left it to develop and dry over night before showering it off and was left with a beautiful, deep olive toned tan that wasn't too dark but wasn't too light. This was a good 3 or 4 shades darker than my natural skin tone but looked the most natural out of any false tan I've ever used. Success! Sadly, the cherry bakewell scent faded over the developing time and when I woke up, I was choked by the unexpected biscuity smell yet again. So close to being perfectly scented, yet so far!

          Over the next week, the tan faded slowly and evenly, without leaving me with the skin disease look that some tans will leave you with. More tips that I found online advised me not to use a shower gel in the first shower I have after application as it will again react with the product, and not to exfoliate for at least two days. I followed those tips and was left with a beautiful, even tan for the whole 6-7 days that it lasted.

          Xen Tan Dark Lotion comes in a 236ml bottle and will cost you £28.99 form Debenhams. A very steep price for what seems like not a lot of product, but I've managed to get 10 full body applications out of this bottle, plus 4 upper body applications and still have some left. That's 14 weeks of tan, so it works out quite well in my opinion.

          I'd love to give Xen Tan 5 stars as they do provide a great tan that I have no complaints about, but the lack of information on the bottle about application and care afterwards along with the biscuity scent that comes through after developing will bring the rating down slightly. Add this on to the hefty price tag and I'll have to give Xen Tan 3 stars. This isn't any reflection on the product itself, but I feel like there should be some changes made to the information on the bottle and maybe a lower price before I can rate this any higher.

          Thanks for reading!

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          20.06.2011 21:12
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          On a recent girly getaway to a Newcastle, my friends and I decided to treat ourselves and get our nails done. None of us had ever had acrylic nails before because we all have quite nice nails anyway, but hangovers make us do crazy things so we all took a wander to a nail salon in the Metro Centre and got our acrylics done. Sadly, the girl that did mine was a bit of an incompetent moron and my nails ended up looking HORRIFIC. Not only did my own nails bleed as she was applying them due to the excessive filing, but the acrylic ended up being over 6 mm thick (yep, we measured) and just looked ridiculous. Highly unimpressed. I had two options - remove them myself or pay even more to get them removed by the same incompetent moron, unsurprisingly I decided to wait until I got home and do it myself.

          Being the wonderful lady she is, my mum picked up 3 bottles of nail polish remover with acetone in it so that I would be able to get the talons off as soon as I returned home. The one she bought was a simple own-brand nail polish remover from Tesco.

          This nail polish remover comes in a clouded plastic bottle with a purple cap and label. The bottle isn't very attractive, nor does it have much detail on it but that doesn't really matter to me. As with any nail polish remover, we're told it's highly flammable and should not be taken internally. There is also a warning to keep it away from heat, but I did gently heat the nail polish remover before using it (more on that later).
          The directions given on the back of the bottle are very clear and simply state that you should soak a cotton ball with the product and then wipe gently over the nail to remove the nail polish.

          The product inside is also purple in colour and is a very thin liquid, like that of water. Definitely nothing exciting here!

          My review won't actually be for how well it works as an actual nail polish remover, but as something used to remove acrylic nails, which is one of it's intended purposes anyway.

          I poured two bottles of the nail polish remover into a bowl and covered it with a towel before sitting that bowl into a bowl of warm/hot water. This will heat the nail polish remover up safely and speed up the process of the acrylic melting. I popped my hands under the towel and started soaking my nails, fully expecting the acrylic to simply peel off within 20 minutes like I'd been told.
          After an episode of CSI:NY and a short phone call with my boyfriend, the acrylics were still going strong, even with me picking at them in the bowl. They'd been applied so heavily that this was going to take a very long time. By this time, my fingers were burning because they'd been soaking in the chemical for so long, but I knew if I took my hands out of the bowl then I'd have to start the process again. I persevered.

          After another 40 minutes of soaking and picking, the acrylics had finally been removed. I was then left with a very thin layer of my own natural nail, some of which had actually been ripped off of the nail bed and had dried blood trapped under because of where she over filed. I called a friend of mine that owns her own nail salon and asked her if it was normal for badly applied acrylics to have taken so long to remove and she said that I was lucky to have even been able to remove them myself after the way I described them to her. My disappointment with the length of time it had taken was then replaced with joy because I'd managed to do it without spending another penny!

          After the whole ordeal, I'd been given a huge headache from the fumes (very typical of nail polish remover, this is not one of the fancy ones that smells like strawberries and cream!) and my hands were beyond dry and cracked, but those things were quickly sorted with some nurofen and hand cream, I was just glad to get the nails off! The fumes probably won't give you a headache if you're simply using it as a nail polish remover, but be warned that you'll need to open a window if you're using this to remove acrylic nails too.

          Like I said, I can't comment on how this works as a nail polish remover itself, but without it I'd have been left with horrific ghetto nails that not only looked terrible but were causing me true pain to keep on. If you've had a bad experience with acrylics then I really do recommend this product and I can only imagine that if this can remove 6mm thick acrylic, then it'll be great at removing nail polish too.

          The bottle holds 250ml of product and I believe it is priced at just under £1, available from all tesco stores.

          I 100% recommend this to anyone and will most definitely be recommending it to my friend's that had a similar experience. Please note that this does contain acetone so it is not suitable for use as a nail polish remover with false nails unless you are trying to remove the nails, not just the polish.
          As a side note, I definitely do NOT recommend Millie's Nails in the Metro Centre.

          Thanks for reading!

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            15.06.2011 15:33
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            Disclaimer: this review contains information of a sexual nature. Please read this at your own discretion and if you feel you may be uncomfortable whilst reading then I suggest you don't carry on.

            I've previously reviewed sexual lubricants from the Durex Play line before, and have always had relatively good experiences so when I spotted the pina colada flavour in Boots the other day, I jumped at the chance to try it out! As you can imagine, my boyfriend was more than happy to agree with my purchase and even offered to pay for it, what a nice guy.
            A lot of people are still very close minded about lubricants, assuming that they are only for women who suffer from vaginal dryness, whether it's due to menopause or just not being aroused enough but this is not the case. Lubricants are a fun, easy way to add a little spice and flavour into your sex life, this one in particular is simply for a tasty flavour whilst performing oral sex, but can also be used as a regular lubricant for intercourse.

            As always, the lubricant comes in a very sleek looking plastic with a spring pump on top. If you've read my other Durex lubricant reviews then you'll be well aware of my gripes with the spring pumps Durex use, but if not, let me explain!
            While a pump is the best way to dispense the product inside, the springs tend to be relatively flimsy and have been known to snap or stop working. If the springs stop working, the pump stops working. If the pump stops working then you have to remove the cap to get to the product. Normally this wouldn't be a problem for me, but have you ever tried re-screwing a cap onto a bottle with lubed up hands? Not much fun.
            Don't get me wrong, the pumps aren't going to break instantly, but just be warned that they aren't the most sturdy pumps around.

            The bottle is yellow in colour with a small pineapple on the front, perfect for summer. We're also told that this is suitable for use with oral, vaginal and anal sex and can be used with any Durex condom. This is a water based lubricant, so it should be suitable for use with all condoms but I guess Durex have to watch their backs when assuring people it's good with all condoms. There is a small warning that this is not a substitute for contraception and any extra information is available on durex.com.

            Luckily the pump worked the first time (and still works to this day, touch wood it stays that way!) and I managed to dispense the perfect amount of product onto my hand for the activity we intended to use it for. You're instantly hit by a sweet, fruity scent and although it doesn't smell exactly like a pina colada, it is most certainly a tropical, holiday cocktail scent. There is no colour to the lubricant whatsoever and it promises to leave no stains (on the skin or the sheets).
            As it's a water based lubricant, there is no oily residue but it does feel relatively slimy. Thankfully they've got the consistency just right, it's not so thick that it'll be difficult to spread over the desired area, but it's not runny enough that it'll just drip off.
            I gently massaged it onto my boyfriend's penis which eventually lead to tasting it. I was pleasantly surprised that it tastes better than it smells! Durex have managed to get the perfect blend of coconut and pineapple whilst still managing to make this sugar, calorie and fat free! A guilt free cocktail, heavy on the cock.

            We haven't used this for vaginal sex as we tend to stick to the tingle lubricant if we use one, and we most certainly haven't used it for anal sex as that is a one way street for me!

            Although Durex claim that this is isn't a sticky product, it certainly does leave some sticky remains so you'll need a good shower after playtime, but that isn't much of a problem for us.

            Neither of us experienced any discomfort or irritation whilst using this product, so that's a big plus!

            Durex lubricants can be bought in boots for £4.28 for a 50ml bottle and can also be found in Ann Summers and similar sex shops.

            I highly recommend this lubricant to anyone that wants to add a bit of fruity flavour to their sex life, or anyone looking for a guilt free pina colada, you won't regret it. I will remove one dooyoo star for the flimsy pump as although it still works, it definitely doesn't feel like it'll last long!

            Thanks for reading.

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              14.06.2011 15:59
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              Perspiration and body odour seems to be something that everyone is looking to avoid, or at least everyone I'd ever consider associating with anyway! No one wants to be friends with a stinker! There are hundreds of thousands of products out there that claim to keep you fresh and dry, so why is it that I'm only finding a good one at 18 years old? I tend to switch through deodorants after each can finishes, just moving onto the next brand because I haven't been fully satisfied with the last, but since using this, Sure Radiant from their fragrance collection, I've been hooked. I initially picked it up in Boots because I needed a new deodorant and the scent description of this really appealed to me, but I stuck with it because of how it works.

              Sure Radiant is described as a long lasting anti-perspirant that contains 0% alcohol and will ensure you stay fresh for up to 48 hours. I'm also told that this contains scents of peach and wild raspberry, so along with this information and the lovely girly can, I picked one up and took it to the till.

              The can is white and purple in colour, with some pretty swirly designs going around the 'waist' of the can. As with all Sure products, there is a tick right on the front so that you know exactly what brand this is. For a deodorant can, it's very appealing to look at due to the streamlined shape and lovely design, but not many people really care about what their deodorant looks like! The back of the can comes with instructions on how to use this deodorant. Instead of just pushing a button down to release the product, you have to push the button forward to unlock it and then press it down to release. This meant that you can lock and unlock the product so that you can pack it away in a bag and not have to worry about it leaking or spraying all over your clothes etc.

              As with all deodorants, there are warnings about how to properly store a pressurised container, cautions about inhaling the product and a warning stating that it is highly flammable.

              The directions simply state to shake well and press down firmly on the button, holding the can 15cm away from your underarm, so I cocked my arm up in the air and went to town.

              I first noticed the scent, it was definitely a fruity scent and although I couldn't really detect the raspberry notes, the peach notes were strong and true to that of a fresh peach. There was a slight tropical note in there too, but it isn't until after a few hours that I start to notice the raspberry coming through. Maybe it's activated by perspiration? I'm not quite sure. It's delicious though, and that's all that matters.

              I also noticed that unlike my last deodorant, this isn't too powdery. In fact it isn't powdery at all, my last deodorant would have me coughing and sneezing for a good 20 minutes after application simply because of how dry and powdery it is, but this is a very fine, dry mist and causes no reaction whatsoever.

              Sure deodorants tend to pride themselves on not leaving white marks, but I do find that if I get dressed immediately after applying this, I'll find a little white mark somewhere on my top from where it's brushed over my pits - I've managed to counteract this by getting dressed BEFORE applying it and then just working my way around my clothes. Certainly a sight to be seen :P.

              I've used this deodorant under plenty circumstances now. On a day to day basis, simply lounging around the house, going to work or going for a hard workout at the gym, I never find myself getting that dry, sweaty smell and although I do get slightly damp after a hard workout, I'm still smelling fresh and I'm never left with sweat patches. I'm not sure how it would hold up for the rest of the day after a workout like that because I always take a shower.

              As for longevity during a regular day, I've found myself applying this at 7am, going to work, going about the rest of my day, going to the movies with my boyfriend then going home for a little bit of fun at 12/1am and thinking "damn, I still smell good!" - this is definitely one to stick with!

              Some people may be put off by the scent, I'm well aware that a lot of people don't like scented deodorants as they can interfere with their perfume, but I tend to stick with fruity lotions and perfumes anyway, so it compliments my usual scent perfectly.

              This comes in two sized cans, 150ml and 250ml and is available from Boots for £1.99 and £2.89. Boots currently have a 2 for £4 on the 250ml tins though, so stock up while you can!

              I 100% recommend this product to any sweaty betties out there, especially if you decide you're going to come into the fitting rooms at my work and stink the place up! Hmmph.

              Thanks for reading!

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              10.06.2011 13:00
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              As someone who never knows where she's going to be sleeping, I like to keep lots of little travel sized products in my handbag to make sure that I'm always as fresh as possible. Nope, I'm not homeless, I just tend to have a lot of spontaneous sleepovers after a night with my friends or boyfriend and the last thing I want to do is feel dirty. One of my handbag necessities is a makeup remover, more specifically Clinique Take The Day Off.

              Clinique Take The Day off is specifically formulated to remove eye and lip products and it states this on the front of the bottle. As I mentioned earlier, I carry the travel sized bottle so there may be some slight differences in the packaging. The bottle is made of sturdy, transparent lilac plastic and is topped off with a mint green cap, similar to that on a medicine bottle. This means that you have to push down before you twist so that the bottle is as spill proof as possible. I'm not sure if this is because it's a travel sized product to minimise spillage, or if the full sized product is the same, but I find this cap very handy! The back of the bottle states that this is 100% fragrance free and has been allergy tested (something that I'm now very cautious of since my problem with Loreal).
              The directions are also given on the back of the bottle; shake well, apply to a cotton ball and wipe the makeup off. Simple.

              When you look at the bottle, you'll notice that the liquid is split into two layers. This is due to the product being oil based so that it can remove the product to the best of it's ability. Oil based products are the best at removing makeup (really, it's true. Go grab a bottle of olive oil and a bit of cotton wool and watch the magic happen!) but some people do tend to avoid them if they have oily skin. This is suitable for all skin types, so don't be scared of it just because it's oil based.

              When you remove the cap you will notice a very slight scent. Some people confuse fragrance free with scent free and I know a lot of people complain about this having a scent despite claiming to be fragrance free. This just means that there is no added fragrance.
              This is a very subtle, floral scent and is barely even noticeable unless you stick your nose in the bottle, but i'm guilty of doing that with absolutely everything so I thought it was worth a mention!

              I poured a little onto a cotton pad and then pressed it onto my eye for 5 seconds before wiping away. I like to hold it on my eye for a few seconds so that the oil can work it's way into the makeup products making it easier to wipe away instead of just wiping it away multiple times. You hear a lot of makeup removers being marketed as something that only needs one swipe, but this really does. I wear an eyeshadow primer, 2-3 eyeshadows, liquid liner and mascara on a daily basis and can remove it all within 5-7 seconds per eye. Pretty great for after a night out!

              For lip products, I don't bother holding it on for a few seconds unless I'm wearing a liplock or lipstain. Again, this is just to loosen up the product before wiping it away. For regular lipstick and lipgloss there is absolutely no problem with removal and they again, wipe away within seconds.

              Although this is marketed as an eye and lip product remover, I've been known to use it to remove my face makeup too. This is just when I'm being lazy and only want to use one product, but it certainly works it's magic on foundation too! I just pour a little onto a cotton pad and wipe away before rinsing the oily residue off of my skin.

              Yes, you read that correctly, this will leave an oily residue on your skin but that is NOT a bad thing. I'm not sure where that misconception came from, but a makeup remover leaving an oily residue on your skin is nothing to be afraid of. You simply just rinse it away and you're good to go!

              I've never experienced any breakouts or skin irritations from using this product, so that's always a plus! I do tend to stick with Clinique skincare products anyway as they are the best for my skin.

              The travel sized bottle is no longer available at Clinique counters or on the website, although is sometimes included in sets. I tend to buy the full sized, 125ml bottle for £14.50 and then pour it into the travel sized bottle that I already have so that I have a backup at home too. Keep an eye out for gift sets and offers with Clinique though, as they always have mini products to give away!

              I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this product as it does everything I would expect it to for a reasonable price. Clinique have done it again!

              Thanks for reading!

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                02.06.2011 12:51
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                If you know me at all, you'll know my motto.
                "The bigger the better!"
                It comes down to all things, bigger bank balance, bigger heels and bigger hair! Not what you were thinking, ay boys?

                I've managed to grow my hair to quite a ridiculous length, it comes all the way down to my hip bones and still manages to be in tip top condition, but having long, thick hair can sometimes be more of a problem than anything else. The weight of it often makes it difficult to get much volume, so anything that promises to add volume without damaging it is right up my street! I used to frequent the youtube beauty community quite regularly, and was even part of it myself for a while. Although I no longer use it, I still try out certain products that were always raved about on there, this being one of them. Umberto Giannini Backcomb In A Bottle. Everyone loves it! People couldn't stop talking about it for weeks, a couple sprays of this and some jujjing of the hair and you're good to go, apparently...

                Backcomb In A Bottle is part of the Glam Hair range by Umberto Giannini and therefore is packaged in the same way as the rest of the Glam Hair products. This is a medium sized matte black tin with a silver lid and silver detailing. The front of the tin is very simple, stating only that this is an Umberto Giannini product, is called Backcomb In A Bottle and contains 200ml. The rest of the front portion of the tin is taken up by a silver image of a girl with very big hair and very bad makeup!
                The back of the tin explains that this gives "instant miracle volume and sexy texture!" - we'll just see about that now, won't we?

                We're also given some information based on which hair types can use this product, what look you'll achieve (or should achieve), the technique to using it and what the stylists say.
                This is suitable for all hair types, and as you may have guessed is to provide the look and volume of backcombed hair without having to actually do so, therefore saving your hair the damage.
                We're told to spray approximately 6 inches away from where you want the backcombing to be and then jujj the hair into shape. Sounds too good to be true.

                I popped the lid off (and the second little plastic cap inside) and went to it! The tin has a rounded button on the top that you press down to release the spray, so it isn't exactly difficult to use. I separated sections of my hair and started spraying, only using a little bit of product. Jujjed away and....NOTHING. There was absolutely no difference to my hair whatsoever.
                I figured that I hadn't used enough product, so I sprayed again and started with the jujjing.
                This time I was left with slightly dirty looking hair and even less volume than before, the product seemed to have actually weighed my hair down making it even flatter than it was! Not the look I'm going for 5 minutes before I have to leave for work...

                Not wanting to write it off completely, I tried using this product in a few other ways;
                holding the tin further away from my head, spraying it under the roots, spraying it over the roots, tipping my head upside down and spraying it all over before giving it a jujj, but nothing.
                It either made no difference or made my hair look like crap. There is one redeeming feature though, and that's the scent. I've taken to now using this a general spray to make my hair smell nice because it has a really lovely, quite mysterious fruity scent. it's very difficult to pinpoint exactly what it smells like, but I do recieve regular compliment about it, so that's nice! That's really the only good thing about this product. Even the formula is terrible, I expected a very light hairspray-like mist, but instead it sprayed out more like sticky water and is very wet. Not something I want in my hair at all!

                As I mentioned earlier, you do get 200ml of product in this tin, so if you'd like to try it for yourself then you can pick it up for £5.61 or two for £7 in Boots. I took advantage of the two for £7 offer and bought the dry shampoo too and I'm now starting to wonder if they maybe just labeled the tins wrong. The dry shampoo gives me 10x more volume than the Backcomb In A Bottle, but that's for a separate review!

                I do have one thing to ask out though, why is it that all of the reviews for this product on youtube are absolutely raving about it, but this will be the second review of it on Dooyoo, both of which are bad reviews? Surely we aren't the only unlucky ones that have used this?

                So if you hadn't guessed, I won't be recommending this and I won't be spending another £5.61 just for a nice smelling spray when this is all used up. I'm very disappointed in this product, considering the hype around it and how excited I was to use it.

                Warning: This product is highly flammable and is not recommended for use by smokers or to be used near anyone that is smoking.

                Thanks for reading!

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                  30.05.2011 13:31
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                  Boots is usually my first port of call when payday rolls around, simply so that I can stock up on essentials for that month so that I can ensure I won't be running low on them before the next payday. These essentials are usually deodorant, skincare products, razor blades, tampons etc, but my favourite one to stock up in is The Breakfast Scrub by Soap & Glory. I won't lie, I'm not much of a fan of Soap & Glory these days, the signature scent of their products gives me a headache and makes me nauseous, but they do have a few products that I cannot live without! This, being one of them.

                  I first discovered The Breakfast Scrub when stocking up on my essentials a few months ago. My other holy grail body scrub was also a Soap & Glory product, but when I saw this sitting next to it with a delicious description and a half price sticker, I was sold!

                  The Breakfast Scrub (play on words of the breakfast club, anyone?) is described as an oat, shea butter and sugar body smoother with organic cupuacu bio scrubs, banans, almond & honey extracts. I was instantly drawn to this description, I love anything that smells like bananas, almond and honey, yum! I quickly picked a pot up and screwed the lid off, giving it a quick sniff before deciding whether to make my purchase or not. Right enough, I was instantly addicted to the scent and threw two pots of it into my basket. Off home we go!

                  The scrub comes in a small clear pot with a pink screw off lid, fitting in perfectly with the design of the other Soap & Glory products. The pot is shaped like a bowl, perfect for a breakfast themed product and has a cardboard wrap around it. I assume that the cardboard wrap is so that they can include all of the relevant information without having to use too much packaging, in the form of a box. Bonus points for Soap & Glory helping the planet!
                  The cardboard wrap again fits in perfectly with the design of the products, looking very vintage and girly. You'll find the description printed on the top, while the side of the wrap contains a warning.
                  "We are also legally obliged to remind you that THIS IS NOT A FOOD"

                  Glad they pointed that out, because I was pretty close to eating for my breakfast instead of my toast!

                  Upon unscrewing the lid, you'll be hit with a delicious burnt sugar and honey scent straight away. I absolutely adore the burnt sugar and honey scented products on the market these days, but for those of you who aren't aware, they don't actually smell like your kitchen would if you burnt some sugar in a pan, it's more of a toasted scent. After a while you can start to detect the almond and banana scents coming through, providing you with the most delicious scent you can imagine. It definitely smells like a yummy smoothie that you'd drink to kick start your day.
                  Some people may have one or two gripes with this product though, it's definitely not a citrusy get up and go scent, which some people require for their morning products. This obviously isn't limited to being used only in the morning, but some people are fussy and expect breakfast to imply citrus.

                  The scrub itself is absolutely packed into the into pot and at first glance, you think there are very few scrubby bits in it. This is because the scrub is the same colour as brown sugar and has lots of different scrubby bits inside, some of which are darker than the scrub itself. These darker bits don't appear very often, but because the sugar part is so densely packed, you just assume the darker bits are the only form of scrub inside - you could not be more wrong!

                  Scooping up a tiny bit of product with my fingers, I found that this is a very dense, intense scrub. This isn't a product that contains exfoliating properties, but this is simply just a hard going scrub. You need very little of this product to achieve great results, and are advised to use it in circular motions to get the best out of the product.

                  I am someone who likes to over exfoliate, although I'm not as bad as I used to be (full body exfoliation in every shower, which is sometimes twice per day thanks to a late night gym routine). I currently just do a full body exfoliation every time that I plan on shaving, which admittedly is usually 4 days per week, my hair grows very slowly but the slightest bit of stubble coming through and I have to get rid!

                  I do deal with quite dry legs, so I have to keep up with my skincare routine to keep them in tip top condition, and this certainly is the best product to do so! Any dry skin on my body is gone within a few seconds of massaging this into my skin and as it's an oil free product, there is no residue left on my legs to clog my razor up when I'm shaving. I mentioned earlier that this is a hard going scrub, and by that I mean that it is very densely packed with scrubby bits, not that it will be harsh on your skin. I have never experienced pain or scratching with this scrub like I have with certain other scrubs I've used. Some of the Lush scrubs have just torn my legs up, genuinely drawing blood, but the formula of this means that the scrub is soft enough to be comfortable to use, but hard enough to produce incredible results.

                  This is also my scrub of choice to use before tanning, whether it's before applying a brand new tan or scrubbing off the old bits before re-applying, it does everything perfectly! I can't speak highly enough of this product.

                  I do tend to use a lot of this product, so a pot usually lasts me around two weeks. Some people may think this is poor value for money, but I would quite happily pay twice as much for the same amount of product simply because it's that good at what it intends to do!

                  The pot is only available in one size, 300ml and unfortunately is no longer on the half price offer. This means that I do have to pay £9.45 for the pot, but there is a current offer for 3 for 2 across skincare, hair removal, indulgent bathing and self tan products, so I managed to pick up three pots for £18.90! Do watch out with the offer though, as certain things that you expect to be included, are not. Apparently razors don't count as hair removal these days, so I'm not quite sure what other people are using them for!

                  If you hadn't guessed, I 100% recommend this product to you all, and will be genuinely shocked if anyone doesn't like it!

                  Thanks for reading!

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                  • Terramundi Money Pot / Homeware / 52 Readings / 47 Ratings
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                    28.05.2011 20:19
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                    Terramundi pots. Some love 'em, some hate 'em. I'm a lover!

                    A terramundi pot is a traditional way to save money without being able to dip into it. This makes for better saving for those of us with absolutely no willpower. These clay pots are handmade in Italy and are made with only 1 slot for dropping the money in, there is no stopper at the bottom to get the money out like most piggy banks have, meaning you have to smash it to get to the cash!

                    The pots come in many different designs (you really have to check the website to see the full scope of them), but I usually opt for the plain white ones with something written across the front, usually in pink or gold. My current terramundi pot (which is longer in once piece, but we'll get to that later), is plain white with "shopping fund" written across it in pink, metallic paint. A very simple design, but I like that. You can personalise these pots with your own message of up to 100 characters, or you can opt out of any message at all, leaving you with a plain, stripy or spotty pot. I have seen other patterns on these, but the most common ones tend to have stripes or spots!

                    "So if it's a way to save money, why do some people hate them?" I hear you ask.

                    Well, some people prefer to just pop £500 into their savings account and let it rack up interest. I'm not that person. It's far too easy for me to click a few buttons and transfer that money into my current account to spend, spend, spend! By using a terramundi pot, I can rack up a few hundred pounds and not be able to get to it until I've smashed it when it's full, then I can decide what to do with the money from there. I usually split the total in two, putting half in the bank and then the other half goes towards a new terramundi pot and something else to treat myself with.

                    So how much money do these things actually hold? Well I smashed mine this morning and a grand total of £684 came out! Not too bad for 11 months of saving, just popping in my extra £1 and £2 coins at the end of the week.
                    If you're using it for mixed silvers, you can expect around £200, £1 coins can rack up £4-500 and £2 coins can come to a whopping £1000! It all depends on how many of each coin you put in.

                    To crack them open, you can either slip a chisel into the money slot and whack the end with a hammer so that the top pops off, or you can relieve your stress and just whack the pot with a hammer. The second option is much more satisfying for me, seeing the money flying everywhere and having to pick it all up when I'm counting it really does cheer me right up (especially the day after I get my payslip and find I've been underpaid by two whole weeks!!), the only downside is the clean up of the clay shards afterwards. Lots of people prefer the first option as they like to keep the pots for candles or plants, or just because they think they're pretty, but I personally think it's just a pot and couldn't really care less if it gets smashed once it's full or not!

                    These also make perfect gifts as they come with a fortune coin already inside and a little tag that you can write a wish on to pop inside with your first coin. I'd be thrilled if someone bought one of these for me, who doesn't like to save a bit of extra money?

                    These retail for anywhere between £10-£25, I tend to buy mine from Dobbies for £20, but the website (www.terramundi.co.uk) contains a list of stockists so you can find one near you.

                    Happy saving!

                    Thanks for reading.

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                    • More +
                      26.05.2011 12:00
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                      Having previously reviewed all 3 of the products included in this system seperately, I felt like it was maybe a bit of a cop out to review the system as a whole but after a little bit of thinking, I felt that an overall update over a year later would actually be more helpful than just an initial review as you'll be able to understand just what this system has done to my skin. If you're looking for an initial review on each of the products, then I reviewed them in March 2010, so you'll be able to find those reviews here on dooyoo too.

                      The 3 step system is something I first heard about almost 3 years ago and after a lot of thinking, I decided to splurge out and purchase it. At this stage in my life, I no longer feel like this is a splurge, I feel like it's more of an investment in my skin and would happily spend more on these products, but when I was in my mid-teens it was definitely a bit of a shock to be paying around £65 for the system when my other facial cleanser was around £2.50!

                      The system contains 3 products, a facial wash, a toner and a moisturiser. There are 4 different levels, plus the anti-blemish one, so each one is catered for your skin type (or as close to as possible) to ensure that they are doing exactly what your skin wants and needs.
                      You do get the choice of a liquid or bar facial wash, I always go for the liquid as I feel that it is cleaner - bar soaps tend to harbour bacteria, not something I want to be putting on my face when I'm trying to cleanse my skin!
                      Each toner comes in a clarifying lotion form (more of a liquid than a lotion, in my opinion) whereas the moisturiser will vary depending on your skin type. Skin types 1 & 2 (very dry, dry combination) will be given the lotion and skin types 3 & 4 (oily, very oily) will be given the gel. Again, this is just so that you're using the best products for your skin type. Each product also comes in a variety of sizes so that you can fit it into your budget. You can buy each set in a travel sized kit, this will provide you with enough to product to last you roughly 3 or 4 months and will cost you £20.
                      The liquid facial soap only comes in a 200ml bottle, costing £13.
                      The bar soap is 150g and costs £12.
                      Each clarifying lotion comes in both 200ml and 400ml, costing £14 and £23 whilst both moisturisers come in a variety of sizes. A 50ml tube will cost you £15, a 125ml bottle with a cap will cost £26 whilst the same bottle with a pump will cost you £27.

                      Okay, so now we've got the boring part over, let's get to the good stuff!
                      Before using this system, my skin was very problematic. This may have been down to my hormones as I was around 15 or 16 when I first used it, but either way it was very problematic. Luckily, I've never had to deal with acne but I did always have a breakout or two on my face, with dry patches in some areas whilst other areas were oily. I also dealt with a lot of redness and just generally looked like a bit of a mess. After taking the skin test on the Clinique website to determine which level of the system I should use, I was told I was level 2. You can take this test in store with the help of a Clinique sales assistant, but I personally cannot stand the girls at my local makeup counters as I feel that they care more about their commission than they do about helping me get a product that will work for me, but that's a whole other story!

                      I decided to buy my level 2 products from boots so that I could earn points on my purchase, and then took it home to test it out. This is not a system that will instantly change your skin, this is definitely a long term system but will give you results like none other. Within a month my breakouts had gone, the dry/oily patches were now even and normal, the redness had been dramatically reduced and my confidence had sky rocketed. This was a few years ago, so how is it now? Has my skin gotten used to these products and become problematic again? What about the changes it went through when I changed birth control and ended up with different hormones circulating my body?

                      I can honestly say that despite using this for years, my skin has never gotten used to the products in such a way that they stop working. If you're a fan of beauty products you'll probably be aware that hair products and makeup products can stop giving you the results you want when you use them for so long, but this skincare system consistently keeps my skin perfect.

                      Even with the added hormones of birth control, I never experienced any breakouts and even if my diet leans a bit more towards the unhealthy side, my skin still looks radiant. This isn't to say that I never experience a breakout, I usually get one or two pimples around my chin area during my period. I know that these are purely hormonal rather than a bad skincare routine because pimples around the chin, mouth and jaw area are hormonal whereas pimples on the cheeks, nose and forehead are not.

                      I use this system twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. This leaves my skin fully prepped for applying my makeup and then nice and clean for going to sleep at night. I have no need to buy a makeup remover anymore as the facial soap removes every single trace of makeup (which to be fair, is quite a lot in my case) with only around 15 seconds of lathering it up and rinsing it off. I then repeat with the facial soap to actually cleanse deep into my skin before finishing with the clarifying lotion and moisturiser.

                      So let's just summarise for a second, shall we?
                      My skin has gone from having breakouts to being clear...
                      Being patchy to being even...
                      Being red to being nice and peachy...
                      And all of these results have proven to be consistent over the length of time I've used the products. This is a winner for me!

                      I can quite happily say that although I occasionally get swayed by new products to try, I always return to this system as it has consistently provided the results I'm after. Like I said earlier, skin care is an investment to me, if you don't have good skin then your face isn't going to be looking it's best. I tend to only purchase this from boots so that I can earn advantage card points, but you can also pick it up in Debenhams where they now do a loyalty card - I'm not very clued up on that though, the Debenhams here in Aberdeen doesn't seem to say much about it! I'll be giving this system 5 stars, simply because I cannot give it 10!

                      I hope this update was somewhat helpful to you, I know that I personally find updates like this particularly useful because you're then made aware of whether the product works in the long run and is worth the money or not.

                      Thanks for reading!

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                        25.05.2011 18:39
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                        I'm the kind of girl who likes to treat herself. I find nothing wrong with buying myself a little treat every now and again, but now that I've started a new job, these treats are becoming a little more expensive and happening a little more often. My most recent pre-work treat was something I'd been lusting after for hell of a long time. Something I'd only ever dreamed of having. I've never been someone to spend ridiculous amounts of money on makeup, but this time was a little different. I felt like I deserved a treat and a little splurge so I popped along to my local Boots and left vey happy, clutching a Chanel bag in hand. Inside sat my dream product, Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in 65 Insolente.

                        Choosing the product was easy, I spend a lot of my free time browsing makeup blogs and looking at swatches so I tend to know exactly what I want when I go to buy something. The rouge allure line contains 32 shades so there is definitely something for everyone, but my review will be based on 65 Insolente.

                        The lipstick comes packaged in a beautiful black and gold cardboard box. This was then wrapped up in tissue paper (which was of course sprayed with Chanel perfume before wrapping) and popped into a small Chanel bag. You expect nothing but class from Chanel, especially for the price you pay and the packaging really does emulate that. You'll find the typical information on the box, brand name/logo, product name, shade, ingredients etc and will also be told that this product should be discarded 18 months after opening. This is because it's a cream product and can (and will!) produce a lot of bacteria and go off after that length of time. The box feels quite heavy considering it only contains a lipstick, although I'd much rather it felt heavy and of good quality than cheap and crappy!

                        When you open the box you'll find a palm sized tube of lipstick, unlike any typical lipstick bullet. This is more of a rounded cuboid than a bullet, and instead of the lid popping off in the middle, you push the gold Chanel logo on the top and it will pop out (think of it like those kitchen cupboards that open when you push them a little). The tube itself is black in colour and simply has "CHANEL" printed in white at the bottom of the tube. The shade is also printed on the underside. Once you pop the lipstick out of it's tube, you'll realise that all the weight is actually in the lid, seems a little silly to me, but what can I do about it? The lipstick tube itself is again gold and twists up to reveal the beautiful pink shade inside. The actual lipstick is also printed with "CHANEL" across the front of it.

                        As I mentioned before Insolente is a pink shade, although not one for the faint hearted. This is one of the brightest, hottest pinks that the Rouge Allure line offers, and it just screams my name! Bright lips are always very popular in summer, and with this being a hot pink I feel like I'll be bang on trend. If you've ever seen MAC Girl About Town lipstick (I've reviewed it), then this is a lighter, brighter version of that. I'll definitely be swapping between the two depending on the season. Don't be scared about looking tacky with a bright pink lipstick though, anyone can pull it off and look classy as they do it as long as they keep everything else very clean and simple. No one wants to look like a clown, do they?

                        The formula of this lipstick is one of the best I've used. Creamy and smooth without being too soft or sheer. The pigment is fantastic and I don't find myself having to layer up to get the colour payoff I expect, like I do with some other brands. This isn't a glossy lipstick at all, but will definitely leave a shine on your lips and won't need a gloss on top.

                        The lipstick has a very subtle scent and can only be detected if you stick the lipstick right up to your nose (to it, not up it). It's a very pleasant scent, a good mix between fruits and florals, but nothing too offensive for anyone.

                        The Chanel assistant was adamant that to get the best use out of the lipstick, I should buy the lipliner too, but she was working commission so I wasn't going to let her push things on me that I hadn't originally wanted to buy. I've had no problems with the staying power of this lipstick at all. I find that it last all throughout a 6 hour shift at work with no smudging or bleeding and only needs reapplied during a 9 hour shift because I stuff myself with food at my lunch break!

                        This lipstick contains only 3.5g of product and cost me £22.98, but I really do think it was worth every penny. The staying power, formula and colour is absolutely perfect and every girl gets a little kick out of having something a little more luxurious around.
                        I purchased mine from Boots, but you'll be able to find the Rouge Allure line at any Chanel counter and they can also be found online to purchase there.

                        I highly recommend this lipstick, it isn't something I'd buy regularly or try to collect the whole line of, but for a little pick me up splurge, I'm very happy! I will however remove 1 star for the price, it isn't exactly in everyone's budget! But go on, treat yourself!

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                      • Vision Express / Highstreet Shopping / 53 Readings / 49 Ratings
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                        22.05.2011 18:29
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                        Having suffered a severe allergic reaction to a mascara that then went on to cause permanent damage to my perfect vision*, I've spent a lot of time at the optician recently. I originally chose Vision Express (Bon Accord Centre, Aberdeen) over any other optician simply because my boyfriend has used them for years and has had nothing bad to say about them. I simply phoned them up to make an appointment and haven't looked back! My appointment was for an eye test and allergy test to see exactly what damage had been done in full detail and although my appointment was going to be a long one, they managed to fit me in only 2 days later!

                        When I first arrived, I was shocked to see just how many staff members they had working. My appointment was on a Saturday which is their busiest day of the week, but there still seemed to be plenty of extra staff members willing to give you a hand if you needed something. I signed in for my appointment before being shown to the waiting area and offered a drink or cup of soup. I arrived for my appointment 20 minutes early (I'm one of those people who are always way too early for everything) but I was seen to within 5 minutes of turning up.

                        A lovely man came over to where I was sitting to ask me a few simple questions, just to get a little background on my eye history, things like;
                        - Are you sensitive to light?
                        - Is there anything in particular that bothers you about your vision?
                        - Do you currently wear glasses?
                        - Have you ever worn glasses in the past?
                        etc.
                        After he filled in the little questionnaire, he showed me to another room and introduced me to the optician. This would be where the photographs of my eyes were taken, although they didn't really explain the purpose of this section of the test.

                        I was seated on a comfortable chair before being told to place my chin on the chin rest and my forehead against the pad on a contraption that looks like something out of a horror/sci-fi flick. The optician then told me that I would experience a bright flash and a small red light, depending on which part of the test she was doing at the time and told me that if I was ever uncomfortable, then just to let her know and we could take a break.
                        After photographing my eyeballs (sounds gross, right?) she offered to email them to me so I could have a look for myself. Possibly not the nicest email I've ever received, but it was interesting nonetheless!

                        After my little photo shoot, I was then taken to another room that would focus on the main eye exam. The optometrist dealing with me was absolutely lovely, but she didn't look older than 12! I was asked a few more questions, mainly dealing with the mascara that had caused me to book the appointment in the first place, and then the allergy test was ready to be done! Gemma, the optometrist, told me that she needed to put dye in my eyes before she was able to see the full damage of the allergy and promised that there would be absolutely no discomfort whatsoever. She was very kind and knew exactly how to make me feel comfortable with the situation, it's not exactly everyday that someone wants to dye your peepers orange!

                        After inserting the orange dye drops, she took a good look at my eyes through another scary contraption and although she said nothing, her reaction spoke a thousand words. She was horrified by the state of my eyes because of my allergy and promised that she'd do everything she could to correct it. I was then asked to carry on with the eye exam, having to read a number of different letters and passages from different distances and through different lenses. Having had an eye test just a month before I took the allergy, the difference was unbelievable. My eyes are now very blurry and painful at all times which is a huge step away from my usually perfect vision.

                        Gemma then told me that I would 100% need glasses and suggested I look into laser eye surgery to correct the damage done. This can only be done after the allergen is 100% gone from my eyes, so I was prescribed drops to help with that too.

                        After my eye exam, I met with a man who showed me all different styles of glasses etc and stayed with me for around an hour until I picked a pair. I've always hated what I look like with glasses, so it wasn't an experience that I enjoyed. I eventually picked a lovely pair of Karen Millen glasses which I received for 10% off because of my mum's loyalty card with Vision Express. I then got to choose a free pair of sunglasses and was told they'd both be ready to pick up within the hour. £295 later, I can now see with a lot less discomfort, but it'll cost me £4000 for the surgery I need to permanently correct it.

                        I couldn't be happier with the service I received from Vision Express as they not only provided an easy experience, but made the whole dreadful situation with my allergy much much better. They've also agreed to back me with everything that is currently going on with Loreal. I 100% recommend Vision Express if you ever need to get your eyes tested. They make the eye exam as comfortable as possible for you and have a whole range of glasses to choose from, in each and every price range. They also offer a service that can ensure your glasses are ready within the hour for an extra £5, or if not, you will have to wait up to 3 weeks for them.

                        *If you're wondering, I'm currently in the middle of a lawsuit with Loreal to get them to repay everything I've had to pay out, and will have to pay in the future because of the damage their mascara has done.

                        Thanks for reading!

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                        • Benefit High Beam / Make Up / 52 Readings / 52 Ratings
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                          06.03.2011 18:10
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                          When it comes to cosmetics and all things to preen and primp myself, I like to try it all! There are very few things on the market that I haven't tried, but despite my best efforts to always find a better product there are some things I just cannot top. One of my holy grail products for the past year or so has been Benefit High Beam, and although I do have some words I'd like to have with Benefit, I can't fault the product!

                          Benefit High Beam is a pink toned luminescent complexion enhancer. Benefit also offer moon beam which is more yellow toned and would be better suited to darker skin tones, but I'm porcelain pale so I stick to high beam. Benefit simply say that this is the makeup artist's secret to a healthy glow and I 100% agree with that statement, the difference this makes to your appearance is very subtle but it makes a huge difference overall.

                          The product comes packaged in what looks like a Models Own Nail Polish bottle (cylindrical glass with a white plastic cap), and with the same nail polish-esque brush inside, you start to wonder whether you've picked the right thing up! The bottle itself comes packaged in a pretty pink box that simply says High Beam on the front. The box also tells me that there are 13ml of product in the bottle and that this is good to use for 6 months (I'll get into my feelings on this later). Inside the box you'll find the bottle of product and a small leaflet telling you how to use it in around 20 different languages.

                          The product itself is a very thick cream like consistency and is a light pearly pink colour. It seems kind of intimdiating looking at it in the bottle as it doesn't look like something you'd want on your face, but if you use it correctly then you won't have a problem. There is a subtle fragrance to the product, but nothing notable so if fragranced products bother you, this shouldn't be a problem. The

                          To use this product you simply dot it onto the peaks of the face and blend it in with your finger, you want to pat it to blend it instead of rubbing it. Rubbing it will completely reduce the glow that you can get from a teeny tiny amount of product. I don't like to put the brush on my face as I feel it gives off way too much product, so I dab some onto my finger before patting it onto each cheekbone, my brow bones, down the centre of my nose and just above the cupid's bow.

                          After applying this product my skin goes from dull and lifeless to healthy and glowing. I take great pride in how my skin looks so I don't go a day without using this as I'm addicted to the glow it gives. If you don't blend it properly then you can find yourself with pink shimmery marks on your face, so take care when you're blending!

                          This is suitable to use over both liquid/cream/mousse products and powder products. I always apply my concealer, liquid foundation, setting powder, bronzer and blush before applying this and I've never had a bad reaction with the cream over the powder.

                          The glow stays on your face all day/night and I'm often complimented on how healthy and glowing my skin is. Some people may worry about the effects of it under flash photography, but it photographs beautifully and you'll stand out of the photo for all the right reasons!

                          The 13ml bottle costs £18.50 from Benefit and Asos.com, but if you're a student you can receive a 20% discount on Asos.com, so your best bet would be to buy it there.

                          My only issue with this product is the size of the bottle. Looking at it you think it's great value for money because you need the tiniest amount every day so in theory, it should last you a lifetime! Sadly this is not the case as like food products, cosmetics go out of date. Cream products are some of the first to go off and this should be thrown out after 6 months. I've had my current bottle since Christmas Day (thank you Santa!) and you can't even tell it's been used. There is absolutely no way I'll be able to use the product up within the next 3 months so great value for money, it is not!

                          Unfortunately, Benefit do not offer a smaller size of this product unless it comes in a gift set, so I still have to buy the full size which I will continue to do until a better alternative comes on the market. Maybe Benefit have realised that people will continue to buy this despite the poor value for money simply because it is so great.

                          I really do recommend this product as it makes my skin look incredible, but with the poor value for money and the fact that a healthy glow isn't a life or death necessity, I can only give the product 3 stars.

                          Thank you for reading!

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