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I have been using tea tree oil for as long as I can remember. I recently bought a bottle from the Body shop as I needed to spend a certain amount to secure free delivery and a discount on my on line order. The 10 ml bottle cost me £7; very expensive for tea tree oil!
The oil comes in a cute little 10ml green bottle with screw safety top. The top needs to be pressed down firmly before it can be opened, making it less likely a young child could open the open unobserved. The oil is designed to be used topically and is dangerous if swallowed. Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of a plant that is native to North Queensland and has been used by Aborigines for centuries as an antiseptic and anti fungal treatment.
The body shop recommends the oil for use on blemishes and claim that the oil will not dry skin. However tea tree oil can cause irritation in some people. I find that the oil does help to clear up spots and doesn't irritate my very sensitive skin. It has camphor scent and is not something I would use during the day on my skin. If I do have a spot then a dab a little of the oil on with cotton wool just before going to bed.
Tea tree oil is also excellent for treating head lice. I add a few drops into some conditioner before combing the hair through. Thankfully my son has not had an outbreak for many months!
Overall I would definitely recommend this oil although there are cheaper versions available!
During my time attending slimming world there was a raffle that you could enter providing you had lost 1lb or more. One week I actually won; something that rarely happens to me! There was a selection of *gifts* one of which being a bottle of Avon naturals cranberry and cinnamon body and hand lotion. As this was a prize I have no idea how much it costs and as its not available from Avon at present I cant find a price.
The lotion comes in a 200 ml plastic bottle with flip top lid. The tall bottle design makes it difficult to get the lotion out especially when the bottle is nearly empty. The bottle is quite attractively decorated with red cranberries and cinnamon sticks. The lotion itself is creamy and has subtle a spicy/ fruity scent. I use the lotion after a bath or shower and apply whilst my skin is still damp. I find it absorbs well and is not greasy or sticky.
After use my skin does feel quite moisturised but nothing special. The scent doesn’t last for long and overall I would say this is a pretty average body and hand lotion. Although it is also designed for use on your hands I have another brand that I much prefer to use on my dry hands as this lotion just isn’t moisturising enough for me.
I thionk this is more of a winter product given the spicy scent, although it is quite light and could be used at any time of the year. Would I buy this? Probably not as I think there are much better body lotions on the market with more appealing fragrances.
I love vanilla and so when I spotted a range of spiced vanilla products in the Body shop I decided to buy a few. One of my purchases was a small tin of lip balm. I cant remember how much I paid as this was some time ago and the Body shop now no longer has this on sale; which is a real shame!
Spiced vanilla lip balm comes in a small 15ml tin with twist off lid. I find the lid really difficult to get off and would have preferred it to be a screw top. That aside this is a first class lip balm! The information on the pretty tin informs me that the lip balm contains vanilla extract, cocoa butter and beeswax. It also contains a long list of other ingredients that don’t sound so desirable!
The lip balm is white and quite thick. You can apply as often as needed . I apply with a clean finger and find it glides easily over my lips. It is not sticky or greasy as I have found some lip balms to be. A word of warning; this lip balm does leave lips with a white look! However I find it an excellent base for lipstick and unless you like the white lip look then you will need to add colour to your lips.
I love the vanilla scent of this lip balm and not only does it smell lovely, but it tastes great too! After use my lips feel soft and smooth. It is great to use in both the colder winter months and also in summer when my lips can get very dry.
Overall I would definitely recommend this lip balm and just hope the body shop will bring it back to the shelves soon!
I like to keep a check on my weight as I know only too well how extra pounds can creep on. Having attended slimming world and achieved my goal weight I now intend to keep to it! I am not obsessive about weight but do weigh myself once a week. I have owned a set of weight watchers scales for several years and find them really accurate.
The scales I own are model number 8965u and are designed not only to record your weight, but will also keep a record and calculate your BMI . I bought these scales several years ago and really can’t remember how much I paid but I know they came from Argos. They are no longer widely available although can be purchased from eBay for around £20.
The scales are made from tough white plastic and are slightly curved on the surface. They display your weight in bold black numbers in the LCD display window.
The scales came with a set of * carpet feet* and an instruction booklet. The carpet feet are obviously designed to fit onto the bottom on the scales for use on a carpeted surface, but as I use mine on a solid floor I had no need of them.
The instruction booklet was quite difficult to follow and I remember it took me some time to figure out how to set the scales to record BMI .
The scales have a lithium battery and have a lifetime warranty for manufacturing faults.
As I have said I found setting these scales to record more than just my weight a difficult experience. First the simple bit. The scales can be set to either record your weight in stones and pounds, KG or pounds. I opted for stones and pounds. To select your preferred option simply use the switch located at the back of the scales. If you later change your mind you can easily slide the switch to a different option.
The scales can also record up to 5 weights for 4 separate users. There are 2 buttons on the front on the foot bed labelled user and memory. First press the front on the foot bed until the numbers appear as zero. Then select p1, p2.p3 or p4 and set your choice. Press the memory button and set your height and set it. You are now ready to weight yourself.
How good are these scales?
I rarely use the memory option as my weight is pretty stable. However if you are on a weight loss plan then it can be useful to view your last 5 weights. The same is true of the BMI function; it is not something I am really bothered about! However again it can be a good incentive to carry on losing weight as your BMI will also decrease.
As I am the only person in my family who uses these scales the individual user function is not much use either!
I find these scales to be really accurate as they weighted the same as the high tech scales at my slimming world meetings. I have now been using them every week for several years and the battery is still fine. It is important that the scales are placed on a flat surface and you stand it the middle of the foot bed when weighing yourself. It is also important to weigh yourself at the same time of day each week wearing similar cloths. I weigh myself naked first thing in the morning.
The numbers are clearly displayed making them easy to read. Once you step off the scales the display remains active for several seconds before switching itself off.
On the negative side the instruction booklet was pretty useless as I have indicated. The display window is a real dust trap and it is difficult to clear as it is recessed.
Overall I would recommend these scales as they are really accurate and do have added features that could help with a weight loss plan.
As the weather starts to become more spring like I will be spending more time in my garden. Last year I added lots of new plants one of which was a Buddleja.
The Buddleja is also commonly known as a butterfly bush due to the fact that it attracts butterflies. There are over 100 species of Buddleja and I bought one called Dartmoor; a large deciduous variety with light purple cone shaped flowers. This variety will grow to around 300 cm in height and spread to around 150 cm.
There are so many choices when it comes to choosing a Buddleja from Dwarf plants that are suitable for growing in a container on the patio to large trees. The best time to plant a Buddleja is either in the spring or autumn when the soil is still moist. Buddleja are really easy to grow and require little maintenance. They do benefit from being pruned and this should be done in early spring once there is less risk of a frost.
Buddleja prefer to be planted in either full sun or part shade, although I have one that thrives in the shade. They prefer well drained soil and will grow well in sandy clay or chalky soil.
Buddleja will give a display of flowers for about 6 weeks from about the beginning of May during which time they will attract butterflies into the garden; a real bonus as far as I am concerned. A similar plant should cost you around £10, but prices will vary a lot depending on the size of the plant.
Overall I think a Buddleja is a great addition to any garden as it not only gives a lovely bright display, but will also attract butterflies into the garden.
I have a weakness when it comes to buying kitchen gadgets I particularly love the Joseph Joseph range of kitchen ware that is both stylish and functional. I now have quite a collection including the multi use uni-tool.
Joseph Joseph was founded in 2003 by brothers Richard and Antony Joseph. The company produces a range of contempory kitchen ware that is colourful and well made.
What is a uni- tool?
The uni- tool is 5 in 1 spoon made from tough nylon. The spoon is 30 CM in length and has a curved shape and is designed for use at both ends. The idea is that using a utensil that has multiple uses will cut down on the number of utensils needed in the kitchen. The spoons multiple functions include-
Use as a slotted spoon. The holes in the centre of the spoon allow excess water to be drained from food.
The spoon has a cerated edge on one side allowing it to be used to cut food. I sometimes find that meat I thought had been cut into small chunks still has a few chunks that are too large. It is really useful to be able to cut meat once it has started to cook. It is also useful to cut into chicken to check its cooked without having to remove it from the pan.
Use as a food turner .
The spoon can be used as a solid spoon and is heatproof to 240 degrees Celsius so can be used to stir food.
The spoon can also be used as a spatula for smoothing icing over a cake for example.
The spoon is available in 2 colour choices either red and yellow or grey and lime green. I opted for the grey and lime green colours. I bought my spoon from John Lewis and paid £8.55.
I really like the design of this spoon and think the idea of a utensil that has multiple uses is great. I find the spoon functions well as both a slotted spoon and a solid spoon. The cerated edge is also sharp and cuts food effectively whilst it’s cooking. I have used the spatula function several times to smooth icing over a cake and it works really well. For butter icing I rinse the spoon in hot water first to help it spread evenly.
The spoon is dishwasher safe although I prefer to wash it my hand. It is easy to clean and does not stain.
On the negative side I do find the curved shape of the handle makes it uncomfortable to hold. I also find the food turner awkward as the spoon’s shape forces you to turn food at a certain angle and it sometimes slips back onto its original side.
Overall I like the design of this spoon but on balance feel its expensive for what it is, especially considering that I find it awkward to hold .
I have been using EVO stick wood glue ever since I can remember and find it to be an excellent product. It is widely available and does exactly what it promises. It is suitable for interior use and can be used on all types of wood.
Evo stick wood glue comes in a green plastic bottle with a twist nozzle dispenser. The nozzle is designed not to clogg and I find this works well. The glue is really easy to use; simply turn the bottle upside down, twist open the nozzle and gently squeeze. The glue comes out in * beads* and is milky white in colour. The glue dries to a clear finish. The drying time can vary to anything from 12 to 24 hours. I usually leave the item I have glued overnight.
Once you have glued the item I find it best to give support until it is dry. I recently mended a cupboard drawer front that had fallen off in my utilty room. I removed the complete drawer and glued the front panel back . I then pushed the drawer against a wall and used a chair to hold everything in place. It worked well and my drawer front is now firmly in place!
I have also recently used the glue to mend an oak picture frame. The frame had come apart at one of the corners and the glue repaired it perfectly. Once it has dried the glued area can be sanded and painted. The information on the bottle claims that the glue is * stronger than the wood itself*. I am not sure this is true but it certainly does a first class job of repairing wood!
It is recommended that the glue is kept away from frosts, so probably best not to store it in the garage. I paid £3.29 for a 125ml bottle from Homebase,.however there are larger sizes available . Overall I would highly recommend this glue for gluing any type of wood. It is easy to use, sticks very firmly and dries to a clear finish.
Although I don’t wear a lot of make up I do always wear perfume and have several to choose from in my collection. One of my favourites is Eau so fresh by Marc Jacobs. The perfume was received as a surprise gift last year and one I will be buying myself in the future.
Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer and is also responsible for a range of beauty products with the same name. The Eau so fresh eau de toilette was first launched in 2011 and is available in several sizes including a 20ml handbag sized bottle. Prices do vary and its worth shopping around, but to give you an idea of price a 75 ml bottle will set you back £55.50 from Boots. It is not a cheap perfume, but I think it is well worth its price tag!
The clear glass bottle is topped with oversized coloured daisies in pink, yellow and white, making it very distinctive. Personally I find the bottle a bit fussy, preferring the cleaner lines of my Issey Miyake perfume bottle. However I know the distinctive bottle is loved my many and it’s what’s inside that counts! It is worth saying that however pretty a perfume bottle is, it is best to store perfume away from sunlight.
This is a light fragrance that I think suits all ages and is best as a daytime perfume. The top notes are natural raspberry, grapefruit and pear. Mid notes are violets, wild rose and apple blossom and the base notes are musk’s, Cedarwood and plum. The mix of fruity and floral works well to produce a fragrance that develops into a light, fresh scent about 15 minutes after spraying. To be honest I can’t really detect any of the notes but the combined effect is gorgeous!
On the negative side this is another of my perfumes that doesn’t have as much staying power as I would like. I find that after a few hours I need to reapply which given the high price tag is a little disappointing.
However overall I would highly recommend this perfume, although it is always best to test before you buy as perfumes do react differently on different people.
I love the Dove range of beauty products and so when I saw one I hadn’t tried in Superdrug I bought it. Dove go fresh nourishing body wash comes in a predominately white plastic bottle with a plum featured on the front. It has a flip top lid that makes it easy to dispense the shower gel; within. I paid £2.59 for a 250ml bottle, so was it worth the cost?
The information on the bottle claims that this body wash is * replenishing refreshment that will nourish skin*.It contains plum and sakura blossom, both of which are moisturising. It is also enriched with Nutrim moisture;no idea what that means!
I use a body puff to wash in my shower .This body wash is a pale lilac colour and has a faint fruity scent. I am not sure I like the scent as it smells a bit musty to me if that makes sense. However it does feel good on my skin and lathers well. After use my skin feels soft and well moisturised. Luckily that strange scent doesn’t last!
Overall I do like the way this body wash leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised but I really am not too keen on the scent. For that reason I won’t be buying this again.
I have fine unruly hair that is prone to frizz especially in damp weather. I like to ring the changes as far as hair care products go as I find that my hair responds best when I don’t use any one product for too long. I really like the L’Oreal hair care range ( with a few exceptions) and so when I saw there was a promotion on L’Oreal hair care in Boots I bought a few bottles. One of the products I bought was a tube of smooth and polish 60 second savior.
L’Oreal smooth and polish60 second savior is an intensive conditioner designed for use on unruly fine hair. I also have dry hair and although it is not specifically designed for dry hair I was hoping it would help to tame my frizz! The product comes in a large toothpaste style tube that is designed to stand on its lid. I paid £3.33 for a 200 ml tube (the RRP is £4.99).
I usually wash my hair in the shower and after shampooing I massaged a walnut size amount of the conditioner through my hair and left in on for the prescribed 60 seconds. The first thing to say is that the smell is gorgeous, very florally and feminine. The conditioner is quite thick and has a slightly pearlised effect. After a minute its time to rinse the conditioner off and I can tell immediately that my hair feels soft.
The conditioner contains keratin polish and camellia both of which are designed to help smooth the hair making it appeal smooth. I am delighted with the results that this conditioner gives! After use my hair looks a lot smoother with no frizz or flyaways. The scent lasts quite well too. This is one product I will definitely be buying again!
I love browsing in the duty free shops whenever I am in an airport and on route back from New Zealand I decided to indulge myself in the Dubai duty free. I would not normally treat myself to perfume, but when I discovered a scent I loved and feeling very jet lagged; my normal frugal sense deserted me! The perfume I fell in love with is Dior J’Adore voile, a new variant on the original J’Adore by Dior. At the time I had no idea how much I had paid for but a later credit card statement showed it was just over £60 for a 100ml bottle.
I like floral scents although do have a few fruity ones in my collection. J’Adore voile is a very feminine scent; its top notes are Damask rose, mid notes Tuscan Iris and base notes white musk. I would describe the scent as floral and slightly powdery. When I first spray the perfume I can detect the sweet smell of rose but this soon fades leaving a delicate general floral scent and what I would describe as powdery vanilla.
I have used the original J’Adore in the past and this new version is no where near as heavy, making it suitable for both day and night time wear.
I love the pretty bulb shaped bottle of this perfume. The tapered long neck is covered in tiny gold rings making it look very classy in my bedroom. The spray mechanism produces a fine spray, making it easy to surround myself in the gorgeous floral scent.
On the negative side I find that the staying power is not brilliant. For a perfume as expensive as this one I would have hoped for better. I would say that after a few hours I can no longer detect any hint of the scent.
Overall I love this perfume despite its poor staying power. Like any perfume it is also best to test before you buy as perfumes smell differently on each individual. This perfume is widely available and I can see that Boots are selling a 100 ml bottle at £73.35. There is also a 50ml size available at £50.85.
I have always been a fan of the sanctuary range of body care products and would buy them for the gorgeous scent alone. I recently treated myself in Boots to a generous sized tub of sanctuary ultra rich body butter for no real reason other than it was another grey, damp day and I was in need of cheering myself up a bit! The 300 ml tub set me back by £12, but I knew it was a product I would really enjoy using.
The body butter comes in a sophisticated white plastic tub with screw top lid. I like this kind of packaging as it makes it easy to get every last drop of product out, unlike the pump action bottles. The information on the tub claims that this body butter is an ultra rich formula and promises that the shea and cocoa butter it contains will leave my skin feeling smooth and well hydrated. The body butter is designed to melt into your skin at body temperature and is best used after a bath or shower on slightly warm, damp skin. So how does it perform?
The first thing to say is that like all the sanctuary products I have used this body butter has the gorgeous scent that I love so much. It is hard to describe but I can’t imagine anyone not loving it! The butter itself is very thick and creamy. It easy to massage into damp skin and really does seem to melt into my skin. The results are brilliant! After use my skin not only smells gorgeous, but feels soft and moisturised. Unlike some body butters I have tried this one has no hint of grease and is very quickly absorbed, meaning I don’t have to massage for ages before I can get dressed!
Overall I would highly recommend this tub of body butter. It is expensive, but I really do think you get what you pay for in this case! It is on offer in Boots at present as part of a 3 for 2 offer.
I have recently been suffering with a really awful cold which left me with blocked sinuses. I was willing to try anything to help relieve the symptoms and bought numerous cold and sinus *cures* to try and help. One of the most helpful was a vicks inhaler designed to help you breath more easily when suffering from a cold or allergies.
The small 0.5ml stick cost me £2.65 from Boots and although this is not cheap I really was more than happy top pay the price for something that would work! The inhaler contains a number of ingredients including 125 grams of menthol,50mg of camphor and 10mg of Siberian pine needle oil. All of these are well known decongestants and work on the nasal passages to help reduce congestion and help you to breath more easily.
The inhaler is really easy to use and can be used as often as you like . If you do have any unwanted reaction such as a worsening of your symptoms then you should consult a doctor. To use simply unscrew the outer covering and push the stick into your nostril holding the other nostril closed. Inhale deeply and then repeat with the other nostril. I experienced instant relief although unfortunately it was short lived. However a short period of relief was better than nothing! It is recommended that you discard the inhaler after a maximum of 28 days use. I am pleased to say I am now better and so no longer need the inhaler.
The haler is not suitable for children under 6 years old. The inhaler is small enough to fit into my bag or pocket and I found it really helpful to carry around with me whilst I was *bunged up*. Overall a vicks inhaler is something I will be keeping in my medicine cupboard in the future, as although it cant cure a cold it certainly gave me some relief from the horrible symptoms!
The product comes in a dark blue plastic bottle with a twist to open, pump action top. The information on the bottle claims that the conditioner contains an interlock protein network that is designed to rebuild and resurface the hair. It also contains 18 mea-amino acids that will enter the hair cuticle to help repair damage. I am always sceptical when it comes to product claims that promise so much! However after parting with £15 for a 250ml bottle, I was really hopeful that this one would produce results!
After washing and towel drying apply the conditioner to any damaged areas of your hair. The instruction don’t tell you how much of the product to use, but I find it is best to spay a little into my hands and then massage through the ends of my hair. The conditioner is milky in colour and consistency. It smells absolutely gorgeous and best of all; the scent lingers all day. I find scents difficult to describe, but this is quite sweet and fruity. I have found that I only need a couple of sprays to treat my hair. I really like the fact that this is a leave in conditioner as it saves me time! I try not to wash my hair every day, but as it is so unruly I do have to wet it every morning to try to style it. I find that using the conditioner really helps to make it shine and behave!
I have been using this conditioner for several weeks now and am totally in love with it! It not only smells gorgeous, but leaves my hair looking the best it has done for ages. It is really easy to use as you don’t need to rinse it off. My hair feels soft, is easier to style and best of all I have noticed that the ends are less likely to snap off. It is recommended that you use the product about twice a week, but I tend to use it a bit more often than this. I know its very expensive, but I have bought lots of cheaper hair care products that just didn’t suit my hair and so were a total waste of money. I hope the bottle will last me for some time as you really do only need a little to get great results!
I don’t often wear nail polish but when I do, I like to ensure it is removed as soon as it starts to chip or flake. I have quite brittle nails that are prone to breaking and sometime flake. When I spotted a nail polish remover made by Cutex that promised to help protect my dry nails I bought a bottle.
The Cutex moisture guard nail polish remover comes in a 200ml plastic bottle with screw top lid. The information on the bottle promises that not only will this polish remove all traces of my nail polish but it will also help to condition my nails and even whiten the tips!
To remove your nail polish it is recommended that you moisten a cotton wool pad with the solution and then pressing firming against each nail wipe the cotton wool from base to tip until all traces of polish have been removed.
I really don’t like the smell of this nail polish remover as like many others it contains acetone . On the positive side it is really easy to use and I find a few wipes removes all traces of polish. My nails do feel less dry after use and this helps to prevent them from breaking. As for the claim that using this remover will whiten my nail tips I really can’t see any difference! So overall I would recommend this nail polish remover, despite the few negatives. I paid £2.15 for a 200 ml bottle from my local superdrug.