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Freecycle is a web based group that you can join, which provides a platform on which members can offer and receive their unwanted items, for free!
The site has different message boards for geographical area, and the site for each area is run by volunteers, and while the format and design of each area is different, the ideal of the site is the same - a place for people to offer and receive goods that people no longer want, for no cost.
I have been a member of 3 different groups, and have had positive experiences of all. To join up you have to come up with a username and password, and submit this to the group. Some have extra steps - the Swindon freecycle also requested an email statement on why you would like to join the site (I guess to stop people trawling the site for things to get to sell).
Once signed up you can post any unwanted items you may have, and respond to items you would like. How regularly new things come up on the site is dependant on how many active users in the area, so Swindon was always full ,whereas Cirencester is much quieter.
People put all sorts on Freecycle, so always keep an eye out, but regular items include board games, sofas and fridge/freezers and kitchen equipment. I like to keep a list of items I'm looking for, to remind me what I would like when I am browsing. I recently got a Chrsitmas Tree, which I have been looking for since May! So waiting is definitely the aim of the game.
However, if you really need something urgently, you can always create a 'wanted' adds for items you need , on the off chance someone wants to get rid of it but just hasn't listed it yet. I would advise against bombarding the site with requests for things though - this will just annoy other members, and could even get you banned by the administrator.
If you want to get something
The format of the posts is usually a quick title of the item e.g. 'freezer' and then the location of the person giving the item away. When you click on the link this then gives a more detailed description on the item, such as measurements and condition. If you would like to take the item, you just respond and send a short message to the giver requesting it, and you may or may not get an email back, to arrange a time to collect.
I would advise checking regularly, as things often get snapped up quickly (they are for free after all!), and in my message I normally like to write why I want the item. (I tend to pick who to give it to based on their reasoning - e.g. I gave a Sylvanian Family set to someone who wanted them for her daughters birthday), but other people may choose on when you can pick it up or how quickly you respond
If you 'win' the item, you arrange to go pick it up with the gifter, usually by email or telephone, and I would recommend picking it up as soon as possible (only polite, as they want to 'get rid').
I have received a number of items from Freegle in this way, including a Christmas Tree, table, craft items and jiffy bags, and everyone I have met has been so friendly and generous - part of the Freegle ethos I guess!
If you want to get rid of something
It is very simple to post an item you want to get rid of - I like to give as much detail as possible, including the style, condition and size of the item (just saying 'bed' is not very informative!), and will give you more chance of responses.
Then any requests will email you, you can pick who to give it to, and arrange with them when they can collect it.
I would advise also writing that the item is 'taken' or you may continue to get inundated with responses!
Overall Freecycle is a great way to get rid of items you don't want and to rehome other unwanted gifts for free.
I was in need of a new moisturiser, and browsing the aisle in Boots, was immediately attracted to Neutrogena's pink grapefruit moisturiser, due to it's vibrant pink packaging.
The face wash comes in a pink cardboard box and contains a flat tube with a twist-off top and a pointy nozzle. Although the product is reasonably priced (£4.49 for 50ml), I was a little disappointed in the size of the tube when I took it out of the box, but size isn't everything, and a little bit does go along way.
As you'd imagine from the name, the moisturiser has a lovely citrus-y grapefruit smell, which gives your skin a tingly sensation, but is a bit over powering on the first application.
Is it any good?
The moisturiser itself is quite thick and white, but absorbs easily into the skin. My skin did feel hydrated and it wasn't oily at all, so it pretty much did what it promised to. The fragrance is really refreshing on the skin, but fades away quickly (which I actually like, as it is quite an unusual smell!) and my skin felt soft all day. However, after the first use, I found that the day after my skin was even drier than usual, so I'm not sure it is suitable for the more sensitive skin types such as myself. I did persevere with using it, and it seems fine now (I guess my skin just needed to get used to it!), but would advise not using it if you have any spots/ blemishes, as it is quite harsh on the skin.
A nice moisturiser from a reliable company, it has a nice smell, and if your skin is not too sensitive, works great at hydrating the skin without leaving a greasy shine
Hotel Chocolat is an upmarket shop selling a range of chocolate goods (think a more luxurious version of Thorntons!)
My local store is in Cheltenham, but I have also visited the store in York, Newcastle, Nottingham and Manchester, and the service in each store has been good across the board.
Staff are always friendly and attentive, and knowledgeable on the products. They go out of their way to help you - when I went in to get my free chocolate lollipop (O2 Priority Moments freebie!), I also picked up some Christmas presents, and the lady at the till also told me I could use another voucher on O2 that would get me 10% off, which I had not been aware of!
One downside is that the stores tend to be quite small, and if you end up being the only customer in-store they can be a bit too attentive - in one trip the lady offered to carry the things I had planned to purchase and had in my hand, and then proceeded to follow me around the store giving me 'help' while I tried to concentrate on what I needed to buy!
Hotel Chocolat sells a large range of chocolate products, from the usual boxes and selections to the more unusual chocolate pasta and even a range of health and beauty products containing chocolate!
They also do seasonal ranges, so this Summer they had a summer cocktail themed range, and of course Christmas ranges, Halloween and Easter ranges.
All of the products are beautifully packaged, making them ideal gifts, and the store often has the more unusual gifts that end up as talking points - for example, wreath-shaped chocolates at Xmas, or spicy chilli chocolates.
While Hotel Chocolat is quite pricey in comparison to say Thorntons, I think you do get something extra special from this store - they use high quality ingredients, and invest in ethical trading. If you buy a gift from someone here, people tend to split into 2 camps - either they know of HC and love the gift, or they don't, and wonder why you've been so stingy with the chocolate, as you can easily spend £60 here and it doesn't look like you have bought much!
There are too many chocolate ranges to discuss in detail, so I thought I would tell you about my favourites :
These are large 500g slabs of chocolate, that have different 'bits and pieces' included. Flavours include Rocky Road (marshmallows and crunchy cookie), and my favourite, Cookies and crème caramel (...you guessed it, bits of cookie included!). They look absolutely fantastic, and make a nice change to the dull Dairy Milk Bars you get. Each year I get a different one as a gift for my brother, but I also noticed this year that they have a set of 4 miniature versions, which is great if you don't want to commit to one flavour! These cost £16 per slab.
These are kind of like picnmix for chocolate boxes, and cost £3.75 each, or £3.20 each if you buy 3 or more, so I always grab 6 or 7 packs and pop them in Christmas stockings / filler presents.
They each are around 100g worth (so 6 chocolates to you and me!), and come in a huge variety of chocolates and flavours. Personal favourites include the heart-shaped Caramel Giandujas and the white chocolate champagne truffles. The range includes milk, white and dark chocolate ranges, as well as alcoholic, fruit, and nut inspired ranges, so there really is something for all chocolate lovers, and as the packaging is see through, I find it easier to judge which ones to go for. I love the idea of these, as it allows for you to try a large range of the products without spending a lot of money on chocolates you don't turn out liking!
Hotel Chocolat is a great store to buy gifts for the chocolate connoisseur, and while you don't physically get much for your money, the range of gifts are always beautifully packaged and of the highest quality - ideal for Christmas presents.
Creme de la Mer Face Cream
I was lucky (!) enough to receive for my birthday a small pot of the uber-glamorous and uber-expensive Creme de La Mer moisturing cream. At an exorbitant £105 for a teeny-tiny 30ml pot (I googled it!), you can imagine I would never buy this for myself. Nevertheless, I was VERY excited to try this. In all honesty, I was part expecting miracles from the wonder-cream, expecting it to take off 10 years, that I would emerge from the bathroom lloking like Catherine Zeta-Jones ... I was sorely disappointed.
The moisturiser comes in a tiny white pot, and is accompanied by a measurement spoon-thing (I suppose it needs to be rationed at this price!), and contains a white creamy substance.
The cream itself does have a nice consistency - smooth and glides onto the skin, but it is a bit of a faff to apply - you must rub it in your fingers to heat it a little, before applying (and let's be honest, who has time for that!)
There is no scent, which to be honest was quite a relief - I was a bit concerned my face would smell like rotten seaweed (to cream is derived from sea kelp don't you know!).
Once it had eventually soaked into my skin, I waited for it to work its magic. And waited. And waited. While I suppose a drastic change was a bit over-ambitious, I had expected some difference from my usual Olay moisturiser. But nothing seemed different at all. My skin wasn't smoother, clearer or visibly better in any way. I had wasted 2 months following these silly application rules to no avail, and would not recommend this product.
While the Creme de La Mer cream was a nice consistency, and had attractive packaging, it is in no way worth the cost. The regime is over complicated and there has been no visible improvements on using this compared to much more reasonably priced creams out there. So my advice is save the money - stick to your Olay!
Cirencester is a small town located in Gloucestershire, and makes up part of the famous Cotswolds.
Things to see and Do
Cirencester itself is a beautiful town, with cobbled streets and a mismatch of old buildings - most made out of the famous Cotswold Stone, it is lovely to wander round for sightseers, and there is plenty of other things to do too:
Shopping - Despite its size, Cirencester boasts quite a large number of high street shops, including Monsoon, House of Frazer, M&S, New Look and Dorothy Perkins.
There is also a wide selection of boutique shops, ranging from kitchen stores, to toy shops, and Henleys is a great old fashioned sweet shop (They often also give freebies to taste at the door, so always worth a look!)
There is Lick the Spoon - a chocolaterie that has won numerous awards, and French Grey interiors, a lovely interior design shop selling various gifts and knick-knacks.
There is also the Corn Hall, which contains a number of small shops including a delicatessen and a wine shop, and holds a weekly Craft market where locals sell their arts and crafts.
Things to see
Bathurst Estate is a privately owned estate, but is open to the public 9-5pm. It boasts a lovely park walk and several different paths through woodland, and for the energetic - you can walk the 4-5 mile trek to the neighbouring village of Sapperton, which has a delightful pub called 'The Bell'.
The estate also regularly holds polo matches, which you can sit and enjoy, as well as a cricket match.
Cirencester also boasts a Victorian outdoor swimming pool - which I braved this summer when it was scorching. Although it boasts being 'heated', it is probably just under body temperature, but it is very pleasant (And chlorine free). Adults cost £4 to enter, but a word of warning - it becomes very crowded during the school holidays. Also be aware that it closes Sept-May.
This museum is an interesting trove of information on Cirencester's history, and includes lots of information on the Romans, and there occupation of the area. Highlights include a beautiful Roman mosaic tiled floor that has been restored, and I found it to be quite kid friendly, with a number of interactive activities. It cost around £5 each to get in. It is quite a small museum, but a nice enough way to spend an hour.
Where to Eat
A popular lunch time spot is the deli Made By Bob, it is definitely for the 'foodie' types, and while the menu is pretty limited, the food is delicious, and always uses fresh ingredients. Meals are reasonably priced (...for Cirencester!), but it does get VERY busy at lunchtime.
For something a bit different there is 'He Says She Waffles' a waffle house that serves both sweet and savoury waffles, as well as a range of yummy milkshakes - perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
My personal fave is 'Graze' - an upmarket pub steakhouse that has a fantastic menu, and while it is a bit on the expensive side, it always has a good range and generous portions. They regularly seem to change the menu, and like to use fresh and local produce. The staffs is always very friendly and I have never had a bad meal/experience going there.
This is another upmarket pub, which again regularly changes its menu, although the food probably isn't as great as Graze, I have found the Bear to be very accommodating, happily amending the menu for my mum (who is gluten intolerant). Desserts are fantastic here, the caramel popcorn ice-cream is a must!
There are too many nice eateries to mention, as well as the chain Pizza Express, there is also a great Thai called 'Thai Emerald' and 'Rasoi' is a reasonably priced Indian restaurant too.
Downsides to Cirencester
The one bug bear is parking! Being such a small town, but being very popular, it is always a nightmare parking, and all of the car parks are extortionate (£6 per day!). There is one car park at the back of the cathedral which is free 6pm-8am on weekdays, and free all day Sunday. On a Saturday I would suggest trying your luck outside the town - by the Whiteway rugby club is an okay spot, and a 2 minute walk from the centre of town.
Overall Cirencester is a beautiful town, ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Re-living my childhood this weekend I bought myself a pack of Revels (on offer at £1 for a 100g bag at the moment at Mr Ts!)
They are a mixed bag of small chocolates that include Maltesers, chocolate coated orange fondant, choc covered raisins, chocolate covered coffee fondant, choc covered toffee, and chocolate covered...well, chocolate!
For me they are a dream - I love all of the flavours and love anything that involves chocolate, but if you are not a fan of all of them then these really aren't as fun! My boyfriend hates the coffee ones, and while the raisin / chocolate revels are easy to identify, it's often hard to tell which ones are orange, toffee or coffee! I would say one negative is that the toffee is sometimes a bit too hard, and always makes me worry I'm about to lose a tooth!!
What I think is the best thing about Revels is the variety - one mouthful is crunchy chocolate malteser, the next chewy toffee or citrus-y fondant, so you don't get bored tasting the same flavour all the time.
The new 100g bags are also really handy for taking to the cinema - the bags are soft plastic (so not loads of noisy rustling to annoy your neighbours, and it comes with a sticky pad to re-seal (...a bit redundant for me as there's never any left!)
All in all a great confectionary item, recommended to anyone who wants a bit of variety in their chocolate!
The product :
Super cook silver balls are tiny edible silver metallic-coloured balls designed for cake and biscuit decoration, and can be bought from most supermarkets at approx £1.30 for 30g.
My opinion :
As a big fan of baking I am always looking for new ways to decorate cakes and biscuits, and came across these in Sainsbury's.
The silver balls are rock solid and quite heavy - I found they sunk into chocolate coated biscuits almost immediately, but worked really well on buttercream cupcakes.
I would say that if you are using them on anything flat like biscuits, add a touck of buttercream / icing to the bottom of them to act as glue, as just pressing them into the biscuit doesn't hold them well enough.
Taste wise they don't really add anything - they just taste sweet rather than having a particular flavour - kind of like eating a sugar cube, but the same can be said for most cake decorations I'm afraid.
Looks wise I think they really add something - I added them to Christmas cupcakes (red and white candy cane icing) and a few silver balls dotted here and there and they made them look really professional.
I'm a firm believer that as long as it looks good, the taste isn't so important (a sign of my baking success!).
I recently visited the Jamie's Italian in Liverpool, and seeing as my friends are sick about me going on and on about it to them, I thought I'd go on and on about it to you guys!
So what is it?
An Italian restaurant chain designed by the ever-present celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, there are restaurants in Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester among others. The Liverpool restaurant is situated on 45 Paradise Street and opening times are Mon to Sat 12 - 11pm and Sun 12 - 10.30pm.
For starters there are a range of dishes for single or to share, and both meat and vegetarian. There was 3 of us and we ordered to share an Italian Bread Selection (£3.75) and Italian nachos (£3.55). As a vegetarian I couldn't have the nachos as the cheese used was not vegetarian, but the other two found the nachos to be bland and didn't finish them. The breads however went down a treat, there was a good range of breads provided and olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip them into.
There is a wide range of mains from the traditional Bolognese or cannelloni dishes to meaty steak and prosciutto dishes. There are also a wide range of seafood dishes such as scallops and Scottish salmon. Prices range from £10 - £17 which is a little on the pricey side, but quite reasonable when you take into account the quality and portion size.
For mains I ordered Honeycomb cannelloni (£10.95) which was small parcels of pasta with 3 different fillings - aubergine and tomato, pumpkin and ricotta and spinach. It came piping hot and was delicious, and despite being given a very generous portion, I polished it all off!
Both my friends went for the Jamie's Italian burger (I think they were playing it safe). Happy smiles all round although neither managed to finish their portion.
Unfortunately none of us had any room left for dessert (a novelty !!!) but the chain offers ice cream and sorbets, as well as tiramusu, brownie and lemon curd slice.
I thought that the meals were a little pricier than say Pizza Express, but the quality of the food and the generous portion sizes more than made up for this.
I would note that the day we went a lot of the seafood dishes were unavailable as there hadn't been a delivery (but not sure if this is a regular problem, but at least you know it's fresh).
I was driving so had to stick to orange juice - but was glad to do so (as it was freshly squeezed!)
Other options include cocktails for around £6 - 7, martinis, mojitos and the yummy sounding Berry Brulee.
There is an extensive wine list and the waiters advise on what would best suit the dishes you selected.
Good food aside, what really sold this place for me was the service. As you can imagine, the place gets very busy (so I would suggest booking!), but there were plenty of staff on hand to keep are drinks topped up and answer our queries. The waiter that took our order was very knowledgeable about the menu, explaining all the vegetarian options to me, and even talked my friend out of the meal she was planning to go for (as it would have been to peppery for her!). He discussed where the ingredients were sourced from and how they had been cooked, and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the food. When we got the bill we noticed we hadn't been charged for one of the starters, we queried it with him and he said he did it on purpose as it seemed as though we hadn't liked it!
The interior has quite a rustic feel to it, lots of heavy wood tables and chairs, and obviously lots of Jamie Oliver merchandise dotted around. Despite being incredibly busy, the place had a really nice relaxed feel and we didn't feel rushed at all.
I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a good meal in a nice atmosphere.
They really do take their food seriously, there is a huge range of dishes and you get very generous portions. Service wise the staff go above and beyond, they are friendly and efficient and know what they are talking about. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, and I can't wait to go again!
During the few day heatwave (I guess summer is over now...), I am now an expert on four different sun tan lotions (why I have so many I have no idea!), and Nivea sun spray has come out on top.
It retails for about £7 for 200ml, which is pretty average nowadays for a decent sun tan cream.
The best thing about this sun spray is the texture - it isn't sticky or gloopy, just spray onto skin, rub in and your good to go - it's so light I don't even feel like I'm wearing any, and I didn't end up with greasy marks on my sunglasses from a suncream-clad nose!
It does the job nicely - I have quite sensitive skin, but even at factor 20 I was lobster pink free, but I did re-apply hourly just to be on the safe side.
It has that traditional 'British summer holiday' smell, and although it smells a little like antiseptic, it is not an overpowering or particularly offensive smell.
Application wise it could do with improving - although I like the spray application (so much easier than trying to squeeze it out of a tube), but if your like me, and end up with both hands covered in lotion it can get a bit tricky trying to press the nozzle down without slipping and spraying it everywhere (but it does have hand shaped grips down the side of the bottle, so maybe I'm just clumsy!). The lid is nice and secure though - so no spilled lotion in the bottom of my beach bag (which has happened one too many times).
It's supposed to be waterproof - not so sure on this due to its texture, with it being so light it feels as though one wipe and it will come off, but unfortunately the sea at Blackpool did not seem that inviting, so I haven't had chance to try this aspect out.
What is it?
Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread that is a tad on the expensive side - at £1.90 for 200g, but I often get it on sale at places like Home Bargains.
I am a total foodie - I try to eat healthily, but this goes out the window where Nutella is involved. Although the adverts seem to imply this is a healthy product (look, it has hazelnuts in!), don't be fooled, I just read that there is 200 calories in 2 tbsp of the stuff!
The horrific calorific factor aside, as a spread I find Nutella really versatile, probably just as versatile as jam - I have it on toast, or a few spoonfuls in a croissant (and tada - homemade pain au chocolat), or for an evening snack I heat up some chopped bananas and add a few spoonfuls of Nutella.
It's quite thick and creamy in consistency, and heavy too - and very, very sweet, so it's quite easy to over indulge! I would say it is more chocolatey in taste with a hint of hazelnuts, (I am not a big hazelnut fan so this suits me!!).
I have also discovered recently that nutella makes a great cupcake icing - just add a spoonful of icing sugar per two spoonfuls of nutella and put in a piping bag - found it works best with plain vanilla cupcakes, as it can get a bit sickly on chocolate sponge.
As I'm such a big nutella fan, I have a grand total of six nutella jars that I use as glasses - the new packaging even have swirl prints on to make them look a little nicer - my nan was commenting on how nice my set of glass tumblers were the other day (she'll never know...)!
All in all a great treat, but given the calories and the price, only suitable for a bit of indulgence every now and again!
What is it?
Book 1 in the 'Talk Spanish' series, which is aimed at teaching complete beginners some basic spanish and includes 2 audio cds to help you practice. It currently retails at £10.49 on Amazon.
Each chapter covers a different topic - from food and drink, greetings to hobbies and where you are from.
A short intro gives you a bit of background on the topics relevance to spain (e.g. the food section describes the traditional dishes of the various areas in spain), some key vocab, and exercises to try out, with a short quiz at the end.
The 2 hour audios let you listen to how the key vocab is pronounced, and provides the questions to the short exercises.
What I liked about the book/cd :
As a complete beginner I found that the book covered things at a steady pace, and as each chapter covered a different topic, I did not get bored or bogged down in learning too much vocab or grammar. The book also covered topics that I could imagine being useful when travelling in Spain such as ordering food, asking for directions and booking hotels.
The audio cd was really useful as I found a lot of words I had been practicing with I was pronouncing completely wrong, and I found after a while of doing the tests I could listen and understand the expressions a lot quicker.
What I didn't like
The books are really designed alongside the cd, and I found it difficult to do either independently - a lot of the exercise instructions were on the audio, and so I needed to dedicate time especially to learning spanish, rather than put the cd on just in the car in the background.
Although the topics covered offer a wide variety of useful vocab and grammar tips, I did find they were quite brief - only covering certain tenses etc, though I suppose that is why it is beginner only.
I think this book/cd set is quite reasonable for the price, and ideal for someone wanting to pick up some useful spanish vocab while on holiday, but for a firmer grasp on leartning the language I think a more substantial read may be required! It's also a shame that the audio cd and book can't be used independently.
Mark Hill De-frizz shine serum
After much abuse of the hair straighteners, my hair was becoming pretty frizzy and wispy, so I thought I'd invest in some hair serum, to help tame it a little. I was already a big fan of Mark Hill's Heat Protection Spray, I thought I'd trust this brand and invest in the uber expensive (£6.99 for 55ml from Boots) De-frizz Shine Serum.
A squareish oblong in a cute pink colour, with a pump top. It looks pretty enough to go on my dresser table, and the pump spray means you don't accidentally put too much on, but I would say be careful if you're taking this in a suitcase anywhere - I find the top to mine falls off all the time, so perhaps cellotape it down for any trips!
Work a few drops through either wet or dry hair, do not wash out. It is meant to leave your hair 'soft, silky and shiny' and to control frizzy curls.
My experience using it
Although the product was pricey, it was definitely worth it. I ran a few drops of the stuff through my hair to finish off my do after i had straightened it, and it smoothed down all the fly away frizzy strands, and made my hair really soft to the touch. Sometimes you find these products make your hair look good but feel horrible, but this was not sticky or hard, but left my hair really silky. Smell wise it only has a very subtle scent slightly floral, but not much to remark on, and relatively inoffensive! It can make your hair look greasy if you go ott with the serum, but a pea size blob works fine on my shoulder length hair. Although it was expensive, it has lasted for ages, I've had it for over a year now and am about half way through the bottle - and I use it every day!!
What is it?
Rimmel Clear Complexion Coverstick is designed to conceal blemishes and 'help prevent skin breakouts'. It comes in a tube product similar to a lipbalm stick, and retails for around £4.45 for a 4.5g stick.
I have not been impressed with this product. I usually love Rimmel products, but this item really lets them down.
It claims to 'conceal and help prevent skin breakouts', but I found that rather than concealing blemishes, it highlights them! It is quite a hard to apply, it goes on thick and left my skin looking caked in product, leaving a chalky like texture.
Because it was so thick in texture I found it difficult to blend into my skin, pulling at my skin rather than gliding on, meaning it stood out on my face rather than concealing my spots!!
With regards to its claim to 'prevent skin breakouts', I have not noticed any difference in my skin condition.
Packaging wise it is a handy size for on the go, and fits easily into my handbag, but with such a disappointing result, I hardly class it as a 'beauty essential' to carry around.
I bought this product because it was cheap, but in terms of value for money, it is certainly expensive! I would not recommend this product.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
I'd heard lots of great things about this product from magazines, as well as one of my best friends who swears by it, so at such a snip(£1.49 for 50ml from Superdrug) i thought it was worth a try.
Batiste is a dry shampoo that you spray on to your hair, leave to dry for a sec, then brush out. It works by absorbing some of the grease (ew!) from your hair, making it look like it has just been washed!
My experience using it
I thought this product might be useful for weekends away camping, so I gave it a go while on my hols in Cornwall, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed.
The first thing I wasn't keen on was the smell, my hair went from smelling very inoffensive to having this weird musty lemon smell. Quite hard to describe, imagine the smell of going off lemons in a retirement home, suffice to say I am not a fan, and smell wise, I'd much rather have not washed my hair at all!
I did as the instructions said, holding the can at arm's length and being economical with the spray, but I struggled to brush it out of my hair as instructed. Even though I could get most of it out, there still remained this greyish colouring to my hair, so although it did not look greasy, it did look like I had dandruff or prematurely greying hair! I resorted to turning my head upside down and trying to shake it out, though this did not work, but left my hair looking like some bad eighties flashback (perhaps this is how one's hair becomes 'full of body' as the can advertises!). I have very dark brown hair, my friend who swears by it is a blonde, so perhaps it is simply not suited to people with darker colour hair?
I don't think I'll be trying this product again, as it did not do as I'd hoped. Sure it was a bargain, and made my hair look recently washed, but at the expense of a weird smell and premature grey hair!!
I'd say maybe give it a go if you have lighter coloured hair, but perhaps one of the others in the range, I used the original, but perhaps the others have a nicer fragrance!
After my usual No.7 toner ran out, I thought I would give the Dermalogica brand a go, I often see it recommended in magazines, but being a little on the expensive side I was a bit reluctant (it's about £25 for the big bottle), though after using this toner, I am most definitely a convert and will be trying other items in the Dermalogica range.
The Dermalogica multi-active toner is designed to refresh and hydrate the skin prior to putting on your usual moisturiser, personally, I also use the toner to remove make up, as they normally seem to do the job, and it's one less product on your bathroom shelf!
How to use
After cleansing your skin, spray evenly over your face (eyes and mouth closed obviously!!), and follow up with your usual moisturiser. The product comes in a pump spray, so is only a fine spray like a mist when it comes out, a couple of squirts does the trick.
I found this toner to be perfect for my skin type. It says suitable for all skin types, but I have pretty sensitive skin and it still worked great - sometimes products like this irritate my skin, but it is very mild and left my skin feeling really smooth and silky. Unlike a lot of other toners, it also doesn't leave that greasy residue you often get, instead my skin felt refreshed and very clean!
Smell wise, it has no artificial fragrance, but contains extract of Aloe, lavender and mint. You can definitely smell the lavender and mint, which I find a weird combination - it almost smells medicinal, but it isn't too strong an odour, so not too much of an issue.
A great toner for people with sensitive skin, it leaves you feeling refreshed and clovely and clean, although it is a little on the pricey side!