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I'm a big fan of Benefit make up and have never really been interested in their skincare line. I received this facewash in a big Benefit set I received last Christmas, it took me a couple of months to get round to using it as I like finish what I am using (usually Clinique).
At first I wasn't sure as I don't think it's too clear what skin type this facewash is actually aimed at, I'm oily skinned so was worried it might mess around my skin and cause a breakout. However I was pleasantly surprised and I LOVE this product.
The texture is a thick cream which foams up very quickly and spreads across your face evenly and then foams up more on the face too. You also don't need much as a little goes a long way. Afterwards my face feels clean and not overly oily but also not dry, it feels just the same as when using my usual Clinique which I was impressed with.
There is a huge downside to this product though which I thought would be a product as soon as I held the product. The packaging, although looks nice, is pretty useless, it only took a week or two for it to become difficult to squeeze out the product as the bottle is just so stiff and thick! It look likes it should be a really soft squeezy bottle but it's not! After a few days of struggling to get a decent amount out, I cut the bottle in half and couldn't believe how much was left in the two parts! I wrapped both ends in a plastic bag and just scooped out a tiny amount with my finger each time I used it (which was twice a day). This was very annoying because I want to wash my face as quickly as possible as I find it a bit of a chore. It was especially annoying in the shower when trying not to get the rest of the product wet.
Apart from the annoying packaging I would actually purchase this product again, as I enjoyed using it, it worked well for my skin, was the same price as what I usually use and it lasted for SO LONG. As much I loved this facewash I would only recommend it if you can be bothered with the faff of dealing with the packaging.
About three or four years ago my go to mascara was Benefits BADgal mascara so I don't know why I didn't jump on the newest They're Real mascara when it came out and was 'UKs No 1 Best-Selling Mascara.' There was always a lot of advertising for this in the Boots store or saleswoman convincing me to buy it but for some reason I never did. My friend said she had bought a tube and ended up returning it as she said it was awful and made her lashes look too spidery so I quite pleased with my decision not to have bought it. However a few months back there was a mini test size being sol with Elle magazine and being a very poor student in need of an expensive make up pick me up I thought I can get a magazine and a mascara at the same time (I'll just go with out the milk and bread I had originally gone out to buy).
For the full sized version of this product you get 8.5g for £19.50. I paid £4.10 for my small sized 4.0g size, plus my mum also purchased the magazine for me (without knowing I had done so) as there was a free Benefit product in it, so I have almost as much of the product for half the price as well as two magazines (even if they are the same and have Miley Cyrus on...) which I think is pretty good!
Benefit are very well known for their creative and beautiful packaging for their products, however I feel it is unnecessary for their mascaras, particularly this one as it is fairly boring compared to other products. It does not make it feel anymore expensive or special as any extra packaging for this particular product goes straight in the bin. The full size packaging differs a little from the mini size but they still provide the same basic information. The mascara comes in a black card box with 'They're Real' written in contrasting fonts and colours, one side has a before and after photo to show how good the mascara will look. Underneath this the Benefit claim that:
94% saw dramatic length & volume
90% saw base-to-tip curl
94% saw visible lift
100% saw long-wearing results
Another side of the box repeats the same in French and the other contains ingredients. The mascara tube is about three inches long including the lid. The lid is sliver and the tube is an ugly browny grey colour with 'They're Real' printed on the side in the same fonts as the box. I have a feeling in the full size is fully metallic though which looks a lot nicer. The tube is slightly odd shape as it slightly square but rounded at the top and tapers towards the end and the end is a usual circle shape. I don't know if this is true but I like to think that this means you make the most of all the product inside as the brush will be closer to the sides this far down.
The brush itself is in the screw top lid like most mascaras and the brush has all the excess removed as it is pulled out of the neck of the tube with a satisfying noise as all the bristles hit the sides. The brush is a rubber brush which made me think 'ew' as I've never had much luck with rubber brushes before. There are thin spiked bristles spaced evenly all over the brush and the end is special as the spikes are continued to almost create a domed shaped end to help with those pesky, hard to get at lashes. It takes a little extra dipping in the tube to remove further excess from this part.
It's easy enough to apply and I have to say all my doubts and negativity were instantly gone when I saw the finished result. There was definite 'length and volume' as the lashes were coated evenly and not clumpy but long and defined. I'm not entirely sure about the 'base-to-tip curl' as I curl my eyelashes before applying mascara but it definitely helps hold this curl longer than my previous mascara and has a better finish to the lashes at the outer corner of my eyes. I'd agree there is a 'visible lift' but I think that's because this isn't a thick mascara so the lashes appear lighter and not so weighed down. I definitely agree with the 'long-wearing results' claim as this mascara lasts all day without flaking or leaving any black marks under my eyes, I can even apply it to my bottom lashes!
I find the mascara easy to remove as I use Bioderma (go buy this if you haven't already!) which removed the toughed, most water resistant mascara ever made. I have a feeling this could be hard to remove with any other make up remover as it such a long lasting mascara and they're often hard to remove but I have no problems myself.
Overall I am ridiculously impressed with this mascara and wish I'd tried it sooner! I probably would pay full price for this as it really is an amazing product and I do often spend about £20 on mascaras too so it fits in my price range but I would definitely look for the mini travel sizes first as they seem to be better value. Unfortunately loses one star because of this.
The Naked Palettes from Urban Decay are another very hyped up product in the world of make up so of course I had to try it. When I went to Debenhams I was stuck between choosing this Naked palette or the Naked 2 which is full of greys and smoky colours that are suited to cooler skin tones. In the end I chose the first one as it come with a primer potion and the second came with lip gloss.
The palette is quite large but not uncomfortable to hold when applying the eye shadows. The packaging is a sturdy, cardboard case covered in a brown velvet finish with Naked embossed in gold across the top and Urban Decay underneath. The packaging feels and looks expensive which of course isn't always important but when buying something as expensive as this I think it is. The palette is kept closed with a magnetic lid and I am never worried about it opening by itself. Inside is a small, rectangular mirror that is perfect for looking at eyes when doing make up but not much else. The eye shadows are in a neat line in small rectangular shapes, which reminds me a lot of the red tinned watercolour sets I have or that you might use in school. Each colour is labelled clearly in gold underneath and under the colours is a deep dip for the brush which is kept in securely.
Seeing two of my friends Naked palettes which are older than mine, they are extremely grubby and much of the gold on the lettering has worn away, however this is because they use theirs a lot more than me and also do full make up (foundation etc) which can mean messier hands so a messier palette. A small part of the gold has come of the N and the D on mine from where I hold the palette open but otherwise it looks almost brand new. This is probably the only downside to the product though. I don't keep this in my make up bag because it is too big to fit and not something I use every single day so it is stored in a clean draw, I also do not keep the brush in the palette which may help to keep it clean too.
The palette is designed to suit everyone as they are neutral shades, I say neutral but 10 out 12 of the colours are extremely shimmery or glittery but what I mean is all the colours are different bronzes, shimmery nudes, golds or browns so they are more wearable and less scary than bright colours. Plus there won't be that one colour no one touches in any other palette.
The 12 colours are:
Virgin - A light shimmery nude
Sin - A slightly darker, golder shade of Virgin
Naked - A nude matte
Sidecar - A dark glittery beige
Buck - A brown matte
Half Baked - A shimmery gold
Smog - A golden brown shimmer
Darkhorse - A dark bronze shimmer
Toasted - A taupe shimmer that has slight pink tone to it
Hustle - A browny, bronze shimmer
Creep - A black with glitter
Gunmetal - A shimmery grey
The colours are all different but all work well together, I doubt I have even tried all the combinations yet. I tend to use Virgin as a high lighter under my brows and Creep along my lash line or very subtly blended into the corner for a dark smokey eye. The two mattes are most used as I like these for a simple natural look for everyday and use all the other colours for a more dramatic look if I want an extra sparkle or am going out. The eye shadows are all extremely good quality, very highly pigmented and blend well on the skin and with each other and can be built up for a dramatic look. There can be a little fallout with the darker colours so I suggest doing eye shadow before concealer or foundation.
A big worry with palettes is not using all of the colours, however I always find I'm stuck for choice as I want to use them all! They all work together, which I think is what's so special about this palette. With others I find there's one I don't use or colours that don't match or I'm just too overwhelmed because the colours are so different. I also like that you are not told what to do, like small shadow kits that come with a highlighter, base and contour, or ones that are three similar shades. With the Naked palette you are free to do what you want without it ever looking wrong.
The brush that comes with the palette is a bit useless, it looks great but I find it a bit stiff and not the right shape for applying eye shadow (I use a mix of Real Techniques and Mac brushes instead as they are softer and better for blending). I use the brush to sometimes apply a line of shadow along my bottom lashes but there are other brushes better for this. However it is still easy to clean and the Urban Decay writing has not come off the side.
The Primer Potion that comes with the palette deserves its own review (which I will get round to at some point!) so I will just give it a little overview here. You only receive 3.7ml which I used up pretty quickly as I found it was so amazing I used it everyday! The bottle is like the old urban decay packaging like a tiny potion bottle with a screw top and sponge applicator. The primer is used all over the lids before applying any shadow to stop creasing or sliding, it also helps create a smooth, clear base by hiding any discolouration caused by veins. I'd say it performs very well and my eye shadow stays in place without any need to reapply it. I use this primer everyday even when not wearing shadow as it helps to keep my eyeliner looking great and keeps my lids looking soft and matte which I like as I often get oily eyelids.
The palette is an expensive £36, although Debenhams often have an offer across all their makeup that can bring the price down to about £30 so I suggest waiting to see these offers before buying! That said I do think it is worth the full £36 if you consider that a single eye shadow from Urban Decay costs £14.00. You are getting 12 colours in this palette which also includes a small bottle of their famous primer potion which in full size is about £15 as well as an eye shadow brush that is worth £14.50.
I really, really recommend this product. I don't use eye shadow a huge amount so I am expecting this to last me for years and years (I know you should throw makeup away but I look after mine and keep it very clean so I feel it can last longer). The fact that the shadows perform so well and you can create so countless looks from just one product that can suit everyone makes it well worth £36 and is most definitely worth the hype. I'd say the only downsides are that the packaging can become very grubby and the brush is not best suited for applying eye shadow.
An after thought....
I do wish a little bit that I had gone for the Naked 2 Palette because the palette is in a metal case which is much more durable which makes it better for travelling and it is cleaner. Also, although the Naked palette is full of colours to suit everyone, the Naked 2 probably would have suited me better, personally, as it is full of shades that suit cooler skin tones and is full of darker colours which I am usually more drawn to. The mirror inside is much bigger and the brush included is double ended and much better suited to applying eye shadow. However I do love and use my Naked Palette a lot and do not regret buying it. I'll just have to save and buy the second one too... hehe
Also how many times have I used the word Palette!? This may be the longest review I ever written too, so I apologize if you got bored.
I'm not a big fan of the make up brand Collection as products I have tried in the past have never been that great and I personally think they are for young girls to start using so they can get used to make up. However after hearing every youtube beauty blogger mention how good this concealer is I thought I should give it a go as my usual Benefit Boi-ing concealer was running low and being a poor student wouldn't be able to get a new one as they are £16 a pot!
The concealer cost £4.19 and even better I was able to buy the concealer with points off my Boots card so it was basically free, Collection also had an offer on that meant you would get a free nail polish if you spent over £4 (I picked a metallic silver which turned out to be pretty decent too!).
My first thoughts on the concealer was that it was simple packaging, not too cheap looking with an easy to use sponge applicator. The lid is black and the rest is clear so you can see the product inside which I like. I chose the lightest shade which is 01 Fair as I am quite pale. I have found this is a little light for my skin at the moment but I think this is because I managed to get a slight tan over the Summer and it will be gone in a few weeks ready for winter anyway.
My first time using the concealer I didn't like it, the consistency of the product was very thick and blending it in took ages because of this plus. I ended up taking it off as it looked cakey and heavy on my face. However I tried a few more times and I found I just have to be very careful with how much I apply as a small bit goes an extremely long way. I mainly use this on small blemishes and around my nose to hide any redness and also under my eyes as it helps hide the purple colour. I don't use this concealer on larger or more noticeable blemishes as for me these tend to be the dryer areas of my skin and the concealer does not blend well on dry skin and just draws more attention to them.
Overall I think this concealer is good but not amazing. I will continue to use it as it is great at helping hide the bags under my eyes and covering redness but not at all for blemishes which is the main reason I bought it.
I have never been a fan of moisturising (yes I know I should but I suffer from oily skin) but received a sample of this gel when I attended a Debenhams beauty evening. The bottle was the same size as the ones you get in the mini travel size/sample packs of the 3 step Clinique sets for £20. You can buy the full sized product for about £17, which although is pricey, is worth it. The small squeezy bottle sample I received was great for carrying in my bag or travelling in my make up bag.
The actual moisturiser is amazing. Clinique group their skin products in numbers suitable for dry-normal-oily skin, there are two types of the dramatically different moisteriser, a lotion for dry to normal skin types and this gel type for normal to oily skin types. The difference is that the gel isn't as heavy on the skin. The gel has no scent which I love and feels so refreshing on the skin. It sinks right into my skin which feels great and also means I can start appling my make up quickly afterwards which is perfect as I always seem to be in a rush in the morning. The moisturiser keeps my face soft and hydrated all day without that awful greasy feeling.
Even though I had the a small sample size, it seemed to last forever as I only need a small blob of the moisturiser each time I used it which easily covered the whole of my face and neck. I would gladly pay full price for this product because of this and the fact that keeps my oily skin under control. There has been a massive improvement in the condition of my skin since adding this to my face care routine (with and without the use of other Clinique products).
I've used clear mascara before and found it makes no difference to my lashes at all and I have to admit this mascara doesn't do anything for me either. However the reason I bought it was to use it to set my brows as I was running out of setting wax in my urban decay brow box. Usually I would never touch Miss Sporty as I think they are aimed at young teenagers but as this was only £1.99 and I figured it couldn't be much difference to any other brands I bought it.
The packaging is nice and simple, clear with a white lid and metallic blue writing and stripe. The brush is very sparse and wirey which I'm not a fan of but it was cheap and is easy to use.
I did try this on my lashes just to see and yup no difference whatsoever, so I used it on my eyebrows (with and without applying powder). It helps add a little extra shape to my brows and I can set the direction the hairs go and doesn't flake when it's dry. I sometimes find I need to wipe a little excess off before using as I don't want too much. The mascara now isn't so clear from using it on top of my powder now and is instead a cloudy light brown but this doesn't affect the outcome and still works fine. The only thing I hate about this mascara is that is has a horrible cheap smell but otherwise it is fine.
Overall I wouldn't recommend for being used as mascara, unless maybe your child wants to wear some for school and isn't allowed to wear makeup. Or like I do, use it for setting your eyebrows!
My make up routine is quite short and has never included blusher so I thought it was time to add some colour to my cheeks. I had heard a lot of good things about Bourjois blush pots and decided to go with them. I chose the colour '41 Healthy Mix' as I didn't want to go too pink or too orange so went for in between, I would describe it as a strong peach colour with no shimmer.
The round pot is about the size of my benefit concealer so fits perfectly into my makeup bag. It is made of plastic that stays securely closed with a small magnet without being too stiff to open. The brand and colour name are on the top in gold with a sticker on the bottom with further information on. When opened there is a small mirror in the top, which although is cute is sort of pointless as it's so small. The bottom of the pot has the pressed blusher in a perfect mould with a moulded round brush with thin bristles which I also find pointless as it's so small and completely the wrong shape to apply the product to my cheeks properly.
I am disappointed with this blusher as I find there is hardly any pigment so it doesn't show on my (pale!) skin at all. I find the brush does not help in the slightest as it useless in everyway. I don't know if it is the blusher or the whole range but I doubt I will be wasting my money trying another of Bourjois's blusher range anytime soon. Overall I would really not recommend this product.
This is not a product I thought I would ever end up buying but I am very glad I did! I'd always seen these little pots by the tills in Lush but never really took notice of them properly and after being in one of the stores a fews weeks ago with two friends finally tried it. There are three different smells or flavours but to me this mint chocolate one smells the best which was the main thing that enticed me to try it. Imagine the smell of the best mint chocolate you've ever had and this is exactly what it smells like, amazing! The smell literally makes me want to eat it, it is that good.
The product comes in a small screw top pot which I'm assuming is made out of glass and will be recyclable as it is made by Lush. The packaging is slightly different to the picture on here. Inside is what looks like sand but is actually sugar, it is not sticky or sludgy but it is not loose so that if the pot is tipped upside it falls out. It is very easy to use, basically the same way you would use a lip balm, you press our finger into it and rub the sugar into your lips or rubbing your lips together, then simply lick the sugar away. As well as getting a refreshing, tingly sensation on your zips you get a nice little tasty treat.
After using this my lips feel amazing and very soft. I do use lip balm or Vaseline on a regular basis as I get slightly chapped lips but I find even with using these my lips are still a bit rough feeling. This scrub removes all the dry, flaky parts, leaving them ridiculously soft. It does not hurt at all using it and I sometimes use lip balm after for an added soft touch and it is great preperation if you are going to be wearing a strong lipstick.
I know there are other ways to exfoliate your lips, such as using an toothbrush or rubbing your lips with a cotton bud dipped in Vaseline but I always forget to do these and I think lip scrub really makes it feel a bit special rather than another boring routine us ladies (or men!) have to do. The pot was £5.25 which I really thought was overpriced at the time (especially as it is not a necessity) and I only bought it because I didn't buy anything in Lush on that day but I'm glad I did and after having used it I do think it's worth the money as I can tell the pot is going to last me a long time and actually does a really good job of exfoliating. Also remember that you are paying for completely natural ingredients with Lush products which definitely makes it worth it, plus all products are handmade!
I first heard about Bioderma through many of the make up tutorials on youtube, one of the main channels being Lisa Eldridge. I never really paid attention to make up remover as I just go with cheap supermarkets own brand and just spend a minute scrubbing at my eyeballs until all the makeup was gone. I also think the best make up removers (including Bioderma) are ridiculously overpriced. In the last few months though this has been making my eyes quite itchy and a few weeks ago my eye was very red and painful. My friend came to stay and went on and on about how good Bioderma is and it really is worth the high price.
So I went to ebay and bought a 500ml bottle for £13 plus £2.75 postage. I have to admit I did only do it as my student loan had just come in (naughty, I know) and probably would not have bought otherwise. It came in 2 days and the bottle is huge! It is a clear bottle with a bright pink lid and a white label, everything on the bottle is written in French so there's not much I can really say about anything to with that. The liquid inside is clear and if it did not bubble slightly at the top you would think it was just water, especially as it also does not have a smell either.
You use it just like any other make up remover, squeezing/pouring some onto a cotton pad and holding over your eye for a few seconds and wiping. For me personally, I wear quite a lot of mascara and eyeliner so I have to usually use 2 or 3 pads but still not much product. The make up comes off easily with no scrubbing or harsh rubbing and there's literally no trace of any black left around my eye. One of the best features of this make up remover is that it does not sting if it goes in your eyes and it feels just like you've used water to remove your make up! I can't get over how good this product is. Another great thing, which is one of my favourite parts, is that it does not leave an oily residue or feeling on your face like many other make up removers do as oily make up removers seem to be the best as they break down the makeup you are wearing.
I've been using Bioderma everyday for a few weeks now and can see I've barely used any so I'm expecting this to last me a very long time so it is well worth the money considering previous make up removers and wipes I have used get used up very fast because I need more to remove my makeup. The friend who recommended this to me has had hers for almost a year and still has half of it left. I really, really recommend this, it is definitely worth the money and when mine runs out I will be purchasing another one as soon as possible.
I stayed at my dads last week and bought Clinique 3 step tester/travel set and I needed some cotton wool pads for the clarifying lotion. I went to Boots as I was going there anyway, normally I would have purchased some from Tesco like I have back home as they are so cheap.
The cotton wool pads cost £1.69 for 100 and come in simple clear packaging with a small drawstring opening when the top of the packet it cut off. The pads are circular and slightly bigger than my usual tesco ones. The pads were easy enough to get out and held all the clarifying lotion I poured on (way too much as it's the first few times I've used it!) and did not fall apart. The cotton was soft against my skin with no scratchiness and still did not fall apart.
When I got back home I used some cotton wool pads with nail polish remover to test how they performed against the tesco ones I usually use. They held the remover well and again did not fall apart and when rubbing at my nails they did not start to go a little worn and bobbly like the tesco cotton wool pads sometimes do.
I now also use these pads for my eye make up remover and I find I do not have to rub hard on my eyes (although this may be to do with how well my eye make up remover works) and I do not get odd cotton fibres stuck in my eyelids.
Overall I would say these are as good as cotton wool pads can get and do exactly what I want them to do. However as soon as this pack has run out I will be purchasing Tescos Value Cotton Wool Pads again simply because they are cheaper, Boots own are only slightly better but not enough to make me spent an extra pound!
I have needed a new mascara for a really long and I went to Paris last week and on the ferry they had a duty free shop which I planned to take advantage of using my leftover euros on the way back. I was left with 30 euros by the end of my trip and straight away picked up my trusty benefit boing concealer and went in search of a much needed mascara. I was stuck between estee lauder and lancome, I chose estee lauder simple because it was cheaper and even then I had about six different types to choose from as they all created different effects.
I chose this magnascopic maximum volume mascara in the end as the eyelash images next to the tube appealed to me most, thick and long but not overly sticky looking. I got this for £16 which I think it fairly cheap for an estee lauder product but it was duty free so I'm guessing it's probably £4 or £5 more at normal shop prices.
All the mascaras had the same packaging, blue box with gold lettering so I had to make sure I chose the right one as some of them were mixed up (hate when people do that!!). The tube itself is fairly thick and reminds me of the falsies fat tubes, but estee lauder has a much more toned down colour scheme of blue and gold. I like how chunky the tube is as it makes it easier to find in my makeup bag, especially with the thick gold round the middle, and very comfortable to hold.
The brush isn't anything special, just long and thin and not at all thick and bristly like most of the mascaras I usually go for are. When applying it, I don't need as many coats as I usually do either, it comes out very thick on my eyelashes and instantly adds a lot of length and volume, once or twice I've to remove it as I've applied one to many coats and it's gone thick and sticky. My eyelashes almost double in length without looking ridiculously thin and spikey. Friends have noticed and commented on how long my eyelashes are since wearing this mascara too so it definitely makes a noticeable difference.
What's also good about this mascara is that it doesn't flake or smudge like a lot of other mascaras! The only problem I find is sometimes where it makes my lashes so long I get little black dots above my eyes or at the corners of my eyes where I try to get the end lashes, however this is easily wiped away. Also it does take a while to remove fully, but then again I do use stores own baby wipes to remove my makeup so it's a bit of mission anyway, I'm sure an actual make up remover would work better as they are oilier!
Overall I would really recommend this, it is expensive but worth it if you want lovely long eyelashes everyday!
I only first tried Angel Slices a few months away when one of my flatmates bought a pack and shared them out between the rest of us. I kind of wish she hadn't because I'm now addicted to them.
Mr Kiplings Angel Slices come in pack of six (sometimes 9) and each slice is individually wrapped in a clear plastic case which is opened by peeling the top off. They are then kept together in a cardboard case. As much as this packaging is really cute and really handy for keeping the slices fresh and stopping them from getting squashed the plastic is 'not currently recycled.' With the amount of these that get sold and especially the amount that I eat I think this is really bad choice of packaging.
Other than the packaging there is nothing wrong with Angel Slices at all, they are in my opinion the best cakes ever, they look cute and taste amazing! They are a layer of yellow sponge and pink sponge sandwiching a vanilla filling with simple, decorative icing on the top. They are a perfect size for eating in the slices they are cut to and would fit well into a child's lunchbox. The packaging also states that the cakes are made 100% with natural flavours, free range eggs and no artificial colours.
The taste is perfectly sweet and satisfying; whenever I am craving something sweet I reach for an angel slice. The sponge is very soft and the icing on top is not hard of crunchy either. I have tried a few stores own angel slices because they are a little cheaper but they really do not match up. I found them to be quite heavy sponge and the vanilla in the middle did not taste anywhere near as nice as Mr Kiplings.
I really recommend Mr Kiplings Angels Slices to EVERYONE. I've seen the prices range from £1.20 to £1.60 so make sure you shop around, they are usually on offer for £1 or 2 for £2 somewhere, most often in Tesco or Iceland. Even though they should only be given 4 stars because the packaging is a big downside, they have to have 5 because they just taste too good.
I visited this museum just the other day as I have a new project and I was told this would be a good place for some research! The museum is next to the St Thomas Hospital but very hidden away in the Herb Garret of St Thomas Church. You enter the museum through a small door that leads to a very narrow, wooden spiral staircase and at the top of these stairs is another door. I think this creates a really good atmosphere for the museum as it was quite creepy!
In here is a tiny room where you pay to enter and full of little nick nacks and books to buy too. You then go up another few stairs to a large wooden attic room which is the museum basically. The actual operating theatre is in the back which I will talk about in a moment. The main room is full of all sorts including an operating chair, old medical instruments from the 18th and 19th century, packaging of pills, herbs, skeletons and even some organs in formaldehyde! Most items are labelled but aren't all explained what they are used for, although a lot of them you probably don't want to. There were a lot of scary looking tools used for midwifery! Almost everything you see in the museum is authentic from the 18th and 19th century, other things like the objects in the 'cabinet of curiosities' display were for decoration but even so these really add to the feel of the place. Some people may view the place as a little bit naff but it's so fascinating you look past it.
The museum is definitely not for anyone squeamish but whilst we were there the only other people in the museum were a class of year fives on a school trip (I think you pay and book these in advance) and we were told when entering we were welcome to listen to the presentations being given by the staff there. So obviously there is no age limit and everyone is welcome to the museum and a lot of the presentation is actually aimed at KS1/KS2 ages. In this room the presentation was about all the herbs and the children were told about what they were used for and how they are still used today and then got a chance to grind herbs with a mortar and pestle. After they were done we had a look up close at the herbs and you can touch and smell them.
In the operating theatre which is up another set of stairs the presentation was a lot more intense and extremely interesting! Again, definitely not for the squeamish, my friend had to leave part way through when the woman started talking about the blood and one or two of the kids left too. What interesting about this room is it where real operations and medical classes took place in the early 1800s. The presentation in here is a recreation of a story from the 1820s, when there was no anesthetic , about a woman who got her leg broken by being run over by a cart and it needed to be amputated. The woman giving the presentation got some kids to come down to the front for the demonstration, one to lie on the table who was the patient, two to hold her down and one to be the surgeon 'performing' the operation. There was a lot of explanation about infection and how unhygienic the procedures used to be, the Theatre had closed down before antiseptic surgery was invented and the main form of pain relief used was alcohol or chloroform and most operations performed were amputations. The presentation was very informative and fascinating. The woman then got out an authentic box full of real knives and saws and explained which were used, in fairly graphic detail. The presentation lasted for about 15-20 minutes and was very enjoyable, the kids definitely loved it as they were all desperate to answer and ask questions.
There is also a small area in between the two rooms which has more operating instruments and some information about the hospital through the years and how things were managed back then, which is basically very sanitary and would definitely not be allowed now! These information books were also available in the gift shop for £4.
Overall I would have to say The Old Operating Theatre is one of my favourite museums I have ever visited even though it is the smallest. There is absolutely nothing boring in the museum and I think it is well worth the price. The admission fee is £5 for a student like me, £6 for an adult and £3.50 for a child. You may think £5/£6 entry to just 2 rooms is a bit much however there is so much stuff to look at me and my friend were there for almost two hours. Plus the presentations are included in the price. I really recommend this museum for anyone interested in the Victorian era or medicine and operations but it still an interesting place for everyone.
When I moved to uni I moved into halls meaning goodbye double bed and hello single bed so I needed to new bedding. I went to Argos as I knew they'd have a cheap variety of colourful pieces to choose from, a few colours were out of stock so I ended up going mismatched and had a purple duvet, pink bed cover and blue pillowcases.
The pillowcases came folded in a plastic wrapping with a piece of paper telling you what it was made of and how to clean them, they are made of 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The pillowcases fit well on my pillows and don't show the case inside or slip off when I sleep on them. They are easy to clean and the colour doesn't run or fade which is great as the colour is really bright. I'm sure you can find pillowcases that are softer than these but they are not uncomfortable and do not irritate my skin at all. I have slept on them almost every night since September and have had no problem with them.
I paid £3.50 for two pillowcases and have served me great. Overall they are good cheap product, perfect for students, children bedding or just anyone on a budget.
Moving to uni meant I was no longer going to have a nice double bed but on the plus side it meant choosing new, fun bedding! I went to Argos as I knew they'd have a cheap selection of colourful pieces to choose from, I decided to go a bit mismatched and chose blue pillowcase, a purple duvet cover and a bright pink bottom sheet.
The fitted sheet came neatly folded around some cardboard in plastic wrapping with a piece of paper stating what it was and made of and how to clean it (all the boring stuff I didn't read!). Opening the sheet from the packaging was very easy and then putting it over the mattress was too and there was no annoying struggle of it slipping off one end as I tucked it around the other. The elastic used keeps the sheet on nice and tight and having slept on it for the last two months it has no once come off. Cleaning the sheet is also easy, the colour does not run and also doesn't fade which is great as it's such a great colour!
I think I paid about £3-£4 for this so obviously it is not the best of bed sheets but is definitely great for students like myself, childrens beds or just anyone on a budget. Overall I find the material is soft and I find it very comfortable to sleep on which is all anyone wants from a bed sheet in the end isn't it?