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If you have never seen the Pixiwoo make up lesson videos then you are likely to be a little confused by this brush. It's wide, flat, strong bristles on first glance don't look as though they are going to be ideal for make up application.
However, this brush is designed to work foundation right into the skin and certainly does that. Use the back of your hand as a palette and take the foundation (cream or fluid) off with the brush and work it into your face in small circular motions. It creates a really flawless finish by working the foundation deep into the skin. It also stimulates the skin by giving it a lovely buffing mini massage.
It's obvious that this has been designed by an expert as it is very effective. It is also obvious that it is designed with home use in mind - it's perfect for the amateur make up artist following a You Tube make up lesson.
It promises relief from all those pregnancy itches along with super hydration. And it is truly rich in oils and the wonderfully healing manuka honey. The price is high at £19.00 for 30ml but the bottle promises that a little goes a long way. Which it does, or rather it would if the pump applicator didn't automatically distribute you with a great big dollop each time. Not the best of starts.
However, the smell and consistency are pleasing and quite rightly, a little goes a long way and makes fast work of dry, itchy patches. It certainly does what it promises.
The question I have, however, is whether it is better at doing what it does than other, much cheaper alternatives. After all, as a pregnant lady I can get tubs of calamine cream on prescription. Even without that, a great big tub of Aloe Vera cream or gel is much cheaper and lasts longer. Both are equally effective I'm afraid.
In concluding, I would say that this makes a fabulous indulgent present for your favourite pregnant mate. If you are buying for yourself however, it might be worth really thinking about whether you could get a cheaper alternative.
You don't have to be pregnant to suffer from great big swollen ankles in hot weather, but oh my goodness if you are pregnant in July (like myself) you'll certainly be on first name terms with the dreaded fat ankle syndrome, otherwise known as 'cankles'!
I'l be honest, I really didn't expect a lot from this product. I had some vouchers and thought I'd take a chance on the high price. I hold my hands up, I was wrong.
The first thing you notice is that this is not the mousse the packaging leads you to assume it might be, it is a slightly runny serum. The second thing you notice is the unbelievably strong smell of spearmint and citrus. It is literally eye watering. It's not pretty. But as soon as you rub the serum in you'll notice an instant cooling and soothing effect. Bliss. After about half a minute you also notice that it is taking the swelling right down. Not in a 'I *think* something might be happening' way, but in a 'oh look my feet are shrinking before my eyes' way. It literally gets to work immediately on the worst of puffiness in such a way that you can see your great big fat ankles sinking before your eyes.
So yes, it smells strong, it makes you hands tingle in an unpleasant way if you are out and about and can't get to a sink to wash them straight away, it's runny, and it has tiny glitter specs that are (in my eyes unecessary). Let's not let any of that make any difference to the big one. IT WORKS!
When I first saw this item I was really unconvinced. They recommend that you change your mascara every 2 - 3 mths, partly to avoid clumps, but mostly because the likelihood of contamination and therefore eye infections goes up after that time. And let's face it, even with every day use most people don't use a whole tube in that time. So to buy *two* mascaras, one for the upper lashes and one for the lashes below the eye and in the corners? Well, I'll be honest, it seemed like a terrible waste of money. Besides, don't you just use the end of the wand?
Well, if you've got any hint of clumsiness or mascara on the run (or on the bus, on the tube...) you'll probably be like me in not finding it that easy to catch those mini corner lashes without leaving an accidental black streak or poking yourself in the eye. If you have lovely dark lashes naturally then you'll probably just skip that bit. Well done you! As a blonde, I need every eyelash that I can find.
The tiny brush is very easy to use and more importantly doesn't seem to have a lengthening and widening effect, which unless you are going for a daisy the cow 1960s doll look, you don't really need on your bottom lashes. It simply colours them black. I *do* notice however that it's not as waterproof as I would like and does tend to smear a little under my eyes and sneak into the creases. Maybe if you used a water based rather than oil based concealer and eye cream this wouldn't be an issue.
If you are a make up every day and reapply at lunchtime kind of person then I can see how this can be a staple in your kit. If you aren't then I'm still a little unsure that spending £12.75 on a mascara that only does half your lashes is the best use of your finances.
Dry shampoos have a bad reputation at times. Yes, maybe washing your hair every day really is the best option, I get that. It's also true that Batiste is one of the cheaper brands, and synonymous with greasy locked teenagers. Recently there was also the whole 'Glossybox/ Batiste Gate' scandal***
Forget all that. Simply put, if you have a fringe and live in a climate that has any kind of heatwave (however rare that heatwave may be), this is exactly what you need to keep that fringe lovely and fresh and non sweaty. I like to visit the gym during my lunchtime and don't want to spend a long time drying and styling my hair for the afternoon's business meetings. Batiste refreshes the bounce on my supersized fringe instantly.
There are other dry shampoos and some of them are also really good, but Batiste is literally a couple of pounds in price and does the job very, very well. What more could I ask for?
The one issue I have with Batiste is the distinctive smell. Anyone who has ever used it will recognise that smell and know you have been hitting the dry shampoo (and possibly are at least a day away from a good wash). They do have a range of different fragrances now which helps this.
*** LUXURY beauty sample supplier Glossybox added a mini tube of Batiste to their sample box. Their subscribers complained in vast numbers that Superdrug favourite Batiste was not the sort of sample they were looking for from their LUXURY box.
Firstly a warning. Don't sneeze. Don't cough. Don't make any sudden movements at all. This stuff is finely milled and liable to make an almightly mess with the slightest tap or breath in the wrong place. Not only that, the colour payoff on these is magnificent. One false move and that dust is going to put some bright colours across your face, just where you don't need them.
However, the fact that it is finely milled and highly pigmented means that these little pots of dust are among the best of their kind at doing what they are designed to; which is give strong and easy to blend eye colour. You will get an incredible finish with these dusts and if you are looking for a particularly bright or shiny finish you won't get better for the price (because remember, Barry M are very reasonably priced).
If you find the dust difficult to work with, coat your undereyes with transluscent powder and then brush off once your eye make up is complete. You can also mix it with water or cream to get an opaque finish and make the dust easier to handle.
I'm not a fan of lipbalm. In my opinion many of the lipbalms on the market make your lips soft for a very short amount of time and then they end up even drier than they started out. Not only that, you can't get a good dose of lipstick over the top of them without it all sliding off. For years I used a cream designed for lactating nipples because it was the only thing I ever found that actually repaired chapped lips rather than just making them shiny.
My opinion of lipbalms has changed dramatically with this little stick. It has an inner core and an outer rim that work together to soften your lips. I have to admit that I'm not sure why the two can't be mixed together but then again, I also love the gimmick. It has a sweet smell and on first applying it feels thick and goopy. 'Here we go again', I thought. However, this one begins to sink in almost immediately and ten minutes later you are left with soft, non goopy lips. Even better, you can put a lipstick over the top. Chapped lips? Repaired. Dry lips? Softened. An hour later? Still gorgeous lips!
When I joined Oriflame, this little pot of goodness was the one thing everyone was shouting at me to try. It's the number one bestseller from the hundreds of products in the Oriflame range.
Things become bestsellers for a number of reasons - one is that they suddenly gain cult appeal, another is that they have been around a long time and therefore have gained an army of followers, and a third is from endorsement and reviews.
I'm always a little suspicious once things make it to the top - is it selling because people say it is good so others try it? Nevertheless, I gave this one a try.
It is purely and simply a little (and I mean little) pot with a wax like substance not unlike vaseline. It has more of a beeswax look and smell to it than vaseline and it is thicker. According to the experts you can use this anywhere, even on animal paws. It basically is a skin softener and barrier cream. I use it on cuts and grazes and on rashes, but the biggest use I have is on my daughter's skin. She's a fussy girl and doesn't like anything that feels greasy or smells too strong. She does suffer from inflamed skin around her mouth and chin though, and also, horror of horrors, under her nose when she has a cold. This stuff rubbed on overnight clears it all up by morning. Result.
The reason I have given this four stars is simply that the packaging isn't great - it's too small and deep to get a real fingerfull out and at the end of the pot there is going to be some you can't reach.
The dramatic silver bottle with it's eye catching lid along with the celebrity endorsement makes you think that this is going to be expensive. Not so. It's actually from Avon which makes it very reasonably priced at £30 for 50ml. Even better, it's going to be half price for the first few months of it's UK launch.
The sales pitch tells us that Fergie's plans for this perfume were for it to resemble the intense confidence that she gets just before she goes on stage. It's a catchy pitch. The ingredients are given as energetic shining starfruit, luscious passion flower, and warm and sexy musks. On first spray I got a lot of fruitiness alongside a rush of alcohol. As ten minutes passed and the fragrance settled I still had the fruitiness but it was complimented by a deep muskiness and a hint of spice. It was indeed warm and sexy whilst still remaining incredibly rich and distinctive. This fragrance is set to be a classic. It will, however, be one of those unique, distinctive smells that becomes a 'signature', adored by it's fans but likely to be hated by those it doesn't appeal to. To me, this is the marker of a good perfume.
The point at which the price of this perfume becomes obvious is with it's staying power. Although it lasted for a good six hours the fragrance dulled dramatically after one hour. For a sales pitch so bright and vibrant I would have expected the staying power to have remained bright and strong and not to have dulled so much. The fragrance you are left with is still beautiful and distinctive but only if you are very very close. This does not reflect 'intensity' to me.
Do you have a shopping habit? Do you love trying (and reviewing) new things but have a lot of things you maybe won't be keeping? Do you have a wardrobe full of clutter and a wish list as long as your maxidress? Have you recently changed clothes size?
Bigwardrobe is a website that allows you to list (with photographs and descriptions) all of the things you no longer want and think that someone else might. Just like ebay. But here's the twist. Other members will look through your list (your 'wardrobe') and if they like anything they'll send you a message asking if you want to swap for anything of theirs. If you do? Go ahead, choose something of a similar value and swap - they message you their address, you message them your address, you post, you receive. You don't want to swap? You send them a lovely little email back to say that you are sorry but on this occasion you couldn't see anything. Sometimes that person might contact you to say they would like to buy it. Again, that's your choice!
It's a great concept and it works beautifully. Plus, the Big Wardrobe swappers are on the whole lovely, friendly, chatty people and this is confirmed on their forum where you'll cybermeet some great people. Once you get established you'll find a few people you seem to always swap with - their style and yours is so similar, they might be the same size, they might be addicted to the same brands as you. Trust me, you won't be able to help yourself chatting with them!
Here's the catch. And believe me, there is one. The people that own the Big Wardrobe site take very little care over their customers. You are on your own. If the swap goes wrong, ie you don't receive what you agreed to swap and you have already sent your side of the bargain, they don't seem to care. There used to be a button that said 'dispute' and you could complain, but after years of ignoring people's disputes they simply removed the button. But that's ok... you can leave feedback? Right?
Wrong. Once the person you are sending to confirms that you have posted to them, you can leave feedback. But guess what? Until they do. No feedback. So someone can continue agreeing swaps and not posting them until the Big Wardrobe team stop their account. You can imagine how long that takes. The Big Wardrobe team also need to manually approve every item before it appears on the site which they promise to do within 24 hours. Yes, you guessed it, they sometimes get a bit slow so (especially on weekends) it can be days before your item appears on the list.
Honey, you're on your own with protecting yourself against people stealing from you. But if you swap smartly and take it for what it is, you'll get some great stuff.
Here are some tips:
- When you have 0 feedback ONLY swap things that you would be happy to pay the postage to give away. You will be asked to send your item first and take a chance.
- Make sure you ONLY swap with people that have a reasonable amount of feedback. You are more likely to receive your stuff in this instance. However, this doesn't guarantee anything, sometimes even those with good feedback turn out to be people who don't keep their side of the bargain.
- If you are worried about building up feedback whilst posting things out first, buy a few things to start you off. If you pay by Paypal THEY will look after you and try and get your money back. Unlike Big Wardrobe.
- When you get some feedback (which you will!) and you swap with people that have les feedback than you, ask them to send to you first. Then you can post out to them once you have received their item. When you are posting second you are able to swap the things that cost you a bit more or that will cost more to post.
- Remember your manners! Big Wardrobe is surviving right now on trust, and being understanding in the face of problems will mean you are far more likely to get your item once your swapper stops being unwell/ gets paid/ comes back from holiday/ any other reason they haven't got your item out to you.
When I was a student I was desperate to try Beauty Flash Balm and finally saved up to buy myself my little tube of this miracle product that so many friends, beauty editors, and experts were raving about. After a hangover, I spread it on my face and indeed it looked brighter and healthier. But by the evening, my skin was really oily and a few days later some really angry spots began to bubble under the skin and after a week had developed perfectly into big angry zits. I blamed the hangover. I put it away until all the spots disappeared and tried it again. Brightened skin, beautiful healthy glow. Again, by the end of the day, I had very oily skin and yes, you guessed it, plenty of angry, red spots developing. Obviously, I decided that this wasn't the product for me and that my (for a student) big investment was wasted.
Ten years later and nearing thirty with combination skin that verged towards the dry most of the time, a friend convinced me to try Beauty Flash Balm again. After all, it worked for her and for so many other people. Maybe it was my teenage skin that caused the problem? So I tried it and to be fair, my skin wasn't oily at the end of the day, but after cleansing and applying my usual night cream the day after using it, I woke up the next morning with lots of oil across my face again. A few days later, those angry red bumps under the skin that developed over the next week into real problem spots.
Now you might think me a glutton for punishment here, but I really did want this product to work for me so I tried it again recently. Now in my early thirties, I need the extra help even more than I used to and yes, the same happened again. I do get spots, but I get one at a time and it is very rare that I get those big angry spots that take ten days to develop and ten days to go down. After beauty flash balm, I have plenty of them. I totally believe that this product is a miracle balm for most people, but for me, it isn't. I hope that you are one of those people whose lives it transforms (bitter... moi? PAH) but before you spend the money, get yourself to the Clarin's counter and trial it first just in case you are one of the minority it doesn't work for.
I love a good sparkling eyeliner but prefer using pencil liners than the more difficult to control liquid liners and often the pencils just can't get the same kind of bright shimmer that the liquids can. I have a long list of pencil shining liners that I have been disappointed by so when I was flicking through the Avon book and saw a massively sparkling eye decorated with the Glimmersticks Diamond Eye Liner I nearly jumped for joy and filled out my order. I adore glimmersticks, great softness, easy to use, and wide colour range.
Sadly, the Diamonds Eye Liner was just like the Glimmersticks. They are soft, easy to use, and have lots of colours. They are even slightly metallic to the finish. Had I expected a glimmerstick with a slight shimmer I would be overjoyed.
The digitally altered image offers shine and sparkle that looks magnificent. Great big lumps of sparkly, even finish, heavy shine. What a disappointment. Digitally altered images of make up are a real problem for beauty buyers. That beautiful even mascara that looks like false lashes. It IS false lashes. That 'airbrush' foundation that covers every single flaw. It's digitally airbrushed. That anti wrinkle cream? The model used is not only in her early twenties, but she has also had her teeny tiny crow's feet soft focus treated by a talented photo manipulator.
Thank goodness Avon offer a 90 day refund. How many other people are reboxing this up and sending it back to Avon for a refund? This one will land up in the clearance catalogues in six months time. Yet I can't help but wonder whether I would be giving this product a wonderful 4 stars and raving about it had my expectations not been artificially raised. It's a great eyeliner, it just doesn't do what the photo promised it would do. And that's a problem.
Years ago a friend pushed a catalogue made out of newspaper under my nose and whispered that this LUSH and was the new 'Cosmetics to Go'. 'Cosmetics to Go' was a mail order company that was famous for natural, good enough to eat, toiletries that had never been and would never be tested on animals. Where Cosmetics to Go ended, LUSH began, and not only did they do mail order, if you went to the big shopping centres, you could go in and smell everything they made yourself!
A very long time later and now most people know exactly what LUSH is and many companies have tried and failed to imitate their style with bathbombs and intense hippy smells made with essential oils and very little preservatives. No one ever comes close and LUSH just keep improving, coming up with new smells and new gimmicks.
For those of you who don't know how these things work, the LUSH bath bombs are big balls that when you throw them into your bath, fizz and spread oils; natural skin softeners; and often bits of dried flower and twigs across your bath.
Fizzbanger has a warm and slightly spicy scent and doesn't include any twigs or glitter (which means you can snuggle up to even the most protective of his manliness man without being told to 'gerrroooff you are getting sparkles on me'). This is a great end of a busy day bath bomb as it is gently relaxing. It also has a popping effect which sounds a little like you have popping candy at the bottom of your bathtub. Strangely enough, this sound is highly relaxing, a little like the churrups of sicadas are to the ears during a lazy hot day in the Meditteranean.
One thing to remember about this (and other LUSH bath bombs) is that often you are paying the same price as a standard bubble bath or bath oil for JUST ONE BATH. Yes, if you spend an average of £2 per bath and bath every day that is a whopping £60 per month that you are spending on what is essentially bubble bath. So what seems like a very reasonable price compared to a £20 bottle of luxury bath foam suddenly doesn't seem quite so cheap. But it is worth the special treat. As a special treat. So go on... save them up for those special days when you need a little extra relaxation.
When Finding Nemo came out in the cinema a friend of mine booked me tickets and I was really not sure that I'd enjoy it. It had been a long time since I watched a Disney film and the last things I had seen in the cinema had been 'indier than thou' documentary style films. Finding Nemo wasn't my style and I hadn't even got my knitting with me to keep me entertained through the silent time. As soon as the film started however, I was hooked! Bright and colourful, lots going on, and an absolute work of art. The characters are well rounded and the story is enjoyable enough for adults to sit through.
A few years later and I had a busy one year old on my hands and was looking for dvds I could put on to keep her entertained. After all, it was a bit early to introduce the knitting. She absolutely adored Finding Nemo - the orange and blue contrasting colours, the sounds, the animals. Now my one year old is nearing four and I must have seen Finding Nemo many hundreds of times but my daughter still really enjoys it and I am more than happy to have it on in the background and will even sit and watch it with her too and even after all these watchings really enjoy it.
Avon have made their kid's detangling spray for awhile now and although it often goes through packaging rebrands the product keeps hanging around, like, well, hair!
The obvious is that it is perfect for little people with big hair who don't stay still long enough to have it brushed properly and who complain so much at bathtime that you don't dare dunk their heads under the water a second time to comb a conditioner through and rinse it out properly. A couple of sprays and this baby works like conditioner and ensures you can get the brush through.
My hair is big, strong, and frizzy and a few squirts of this softens and tames it after blow drying. My daughter's hair is fine and naturally a bit limp and this seems to do the opposite - it gives it a bif of life and coats it in a protective way. I also use it between wash days to make both of our hair look cleaner and it really does make a difference and seems much more natural than a dry shampoo.
We both often end up with great big lumps of tangle (HOW? What happens overnight to cause this? Is there a tangle fairy that creeps into your bed at night and dreads your hair for you?). Instead of spending painful hours with a hair brush tugging the hair out of the scalp, I spray this on the tangle and gently pick it apart with my hands. I also use this on wigs to remove tangles without losing the hairs and to give them a bit of natural looking shine.
I have been told by others that they use this on dog hair and on horse's manes too so it seems like it's uses are endless.