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If you have read previous reviews of mine, you will have seen my desperate attempt to dye and keep my hair red. After a couple of failed attempts with other dyes, I was recommended La Riche Directions by a girl on my college course. She dip dyed (where you only dye the ends) turquoise and it lasted for 6 weeks so she advised me to give it a go.
A bit of background into my previous hair colours. I have naturally light brown hair which had been highlighted blonde before turning a horrid blondey-yellow (it wasn't as bad as I make out) so I decided to go red. Red faded quickly within a week so I put this on.
La Riche specialise in bright colours such as red, pink, blue, green, orange.. you can see where I am going with this. I had a choice of around 10 different shades of red. After deciding I don't want to be bright red, I went for a more subtle dark red/pink named Rubine.
The dye comes on its own, so you will need to buy: gloves, brush, pH balanced shampoo (head & shoulders), conditioner or hair mask for afterwards.
I brought my dye off eBay which so far is the only place I've found to buy it. I got two tubs as I usually need two boxes for my just below shoulder length hair which came to £7.98 (free postage too which is a bonus).
The tub is like the picture above, the colour of the tub is the colour of the dye inside. So mine was a dark pink/red colour and once I got all of the product out it was clear. The tub is 88ml and has a tie which has to be un-clipped from the lid in order to be unscrewed. As far as I am aware the dye can be left for ages and the same tub used at a later date as long as you screw the lid back on because you don't need to mix the chemical dye with peroxide like box dyes you get from drug stores.
To apply the dye, there are three different methods, I have tried all of these ways with my friends (we had a colourful moment). I will discuss each below. The dye doesn't need anything added to it to activate, you simply scoop the cream like substance onto your hair and go.
Method 1: The box says to wash your hair with a pH balanced shampoo, towel dry and apply the dye until it foams and massage into your scalp. This method does work quite well as the dye foams up quickly, although we noticed it was a little patchy afterwards which may of been our own fault for not applying it properly.The foam method is very easy though because you just massage and rub all through your roots and ends.
Method 2: I applied the dye straight onto my dry hair with a brush and combed it through my hair, although I got to the point where I just slapped and rubbed it on my hair until I was satisfied with the outcome. This method worked really well but did take a lot longer than method 1.
Method 3: (best for dip dying). Apply the dye to dry hair and wrap in foils. This method worked well to help dye bond to hair and not get it all over clothing.
With all methods, leave the dye on for 15-20 minutes and no longer. I left mine on for this exact time period and it went a very bright colour - you do not need to leave it on for an hour! You will need to use your own hair mask or conditioner afterwards and rinse thoroughly. The water won't ever run clear like with normal dyes so you will need to just rub until your hair feels free of dye - which took me about 5-10 mins with shampoo and conditioner.
The only real issue I found with this product is it stains like you would not believe. I have a white tile bathroom with wood flooring, its safe to say the tile grout and tiles are no longer white - they are pink. It also stained my hands through my gloves and my whole body when I got in the shower to wash. I couldn't believe how messy it got, my mum thought I'd whipped my hair all over the place and having OCD she found it impossible to make the bathroom pink again. If you have anything other than tiles on your bathroom walls or do not have a shower cubicle I would be warned. My shower is above the bath and the windowsill is next to the bath. It was an off white colour but is now stained pink.
The dye is really good to hair and it doesn't feel damaged at all. I didn't feel like I was dying my hair because there was no chemical smell or nasty feeling hair afterwards, it was just like rubbing in red shampoo then washing it out.
One tub covered most of my hair except the very top layers (probably a 5cm wide patch at the t-zone of my hair). I managed to do all my own hair and all my hair extensions with a bit to spare which I re-used on my hair extensions the other day.
I don't know why but I half expected it to be a muted shade but when I got outside the next morning, I was shocked at just how bright it was! It is very pink which I didn't expect but I love it and wish I'd gone this colour sooner!
I wash my hair every 3rd day since using this dye as I know red fades really quickly and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It has faded a little on top to a more light red almost browny colour but the underneath is still bright pink. Bearing in mind I dyed it 2 and a half weeks a go now I think this is exceptional! I plan to dye it again in two weeks time.
This is seriously the best dye I ever used and I can't believe that if it wasn't for a friend I'd never of even tried it! I strongly recommend it to anyone brave enough to go a bright colour as you will not regret it - I certainly don't!
My gorgeous little niece Evie recently turned 3, for her birthday she had been constantly pointing out this pram and telling me in her barely-talking voice that she needed it for dolly! I couldn't resist buying it for her despite it being more than I am used to spending as she wanted it so badly - nothing is better than seeing a little ones face light up!
I did buy it not knowing whether or not it would be too big or not, but luckily it was a little big for her so she has a couple of years growing room to play with it! (I had a pram from the age of 3-10 so I'm sure she will love it for a long time).
Being quite a girly girl, my niece loves pink. The pram is two/three different shades of pink which I thought may look tacky but actually it looks really nice. The material is quite thick and easy to wipe if it gets dirty. The wheels are plastic-y rubber and also easy to wipe if you take the pram out and want clean wheels for indoors.
The pram is a quite old fashioned shape but I think its more adorable than the newer ones you can buy. The handle is adjustable so it grows with the child and can go from being 58cms from the ground to 82cms. Evie has hers quite low at the moment still, hopefully she won't have it fully up for a year or two.
The pram can be a pram or pushchair and the main part comes out to be a carrier for dolly. Evie herself can't change the pram into a pushchair without help, but she rarely moves it because she gets irritated with the pushchair version - but this might just be her being fussy! There is a hood over the buggy too for when it rains or your child would just like baby to be covered. I quite like that it comes with a sort of blanket so dolly is covered whilst in the pram, but we brought Evie a new pink blanket too just in case she wanted a change.
Underneath the main part of the pram is a net which can be used to put things on. It makes it look quite realistic but in honesty a toddler will probably only use it for other toys and random things they pick up on their pram travels! There is also a rucksack which hangs on the front where dolly's clothes, bottle, bowl, spoon and nappies are kept (the things toys come with these days!)
I find that there is no problem when pushing the pram apart from the wheels can only go straight, we haven't had an issue with this yet!
As stated in the title, the pram comes from John Lewis and cost me £45. I brought it online so it did come with a postage charge which was approximately £3 and was quite cheap considering the size of the product - I'd expect postage to be a lot higher.
When I consider every aspect of this product, it really was worth the price I paid. It has lasted 7 months so far and I think it has a lot more life left in it - at least I hope so! Both my nieces love playing with it and it comes on regular walks with us.
The pram fits most dolls - we have tried with baby choochoo and baby annabell so far and both have lots of room left so a bigger doll will fit also (or lots of toys at once!)
After a disastrous attempt at dying my hair blonder, I ended up a lovely highlighted shade of orange which is never a good look. I had been thinking about going red for a while but I never found the courage to actually go ahead.
When I dyed my hair using Garnier Nutrisse (see my review on the product before you buy), I discovered that red hair really does fade as quickly as everyone says. I googled how to stop it fading so quick and along with many 'homemade recipes', a great deal of people had recommended the John Frieda Radiant Red range.
John Freida has a range of hair products to suit red heads, brunettes and blondes - all aiming to maximise your new hair colour adding shine, vibrancy and softness! I was a bit skeptical as to whether it would work but tried it anyway.
I checked in Boots and Superdrug to see where it was cheaper and in Superdrug it costs £5.09, Boots costing £5.49 which is the same as most supermarkets price this product. It is very rarely on sale which is annoying but from what I've noticed so far it will last well.
Now when you dye your hair red, it is impossible to keep the colour vibrant for very long but I am doing everything in my power to make sure that it stays for as long as possible.
This shampoo is for coloured or natural red heads, helping to improve the shine, vibrancy and keep hair in nice condition. I wouldn't say it is very good for helping against damage but it does help slightly.
It comes in a squeezy red bottle which is slightly transparent so you can see the product inside. All of the ingredients and claims of the product are on the back and the name is on the front - all the usual things you would expect. The shampoo itself is a thick liquid which means it doesn't run all over the place but it isn't too thick. It is also vibrant red which is nice as you feel like it will do more - but I'm sure they just did this so consumers think it is doing more than it actually is.
When it comes to products like this, they normally have really strong scents but I find this one to not be too overpowering. It is quite feminine and sweet but my partner uses it without finding it to be too girly for him (and he has dark hair NOT red!).
I usually wash my hair every other day, but since dying it red I've noticed it gets greasy quicker. I am trying to wash it every third day and it seems to be lasting alright except for on my crown - nothing a bit of dry shampoo can't fix! I know it sounds dirty to wash it so little but I'm very scared that it will fade quickly and I don't want to dye it too much!
Does it make my hair colour stay vibrant? I'd say it does actually. I have been asked if I have re-dyed my hair because friends on my course have been expecting it to fade quickly like I have myself. My hair feels soft and it looks noticeably shiny and not in a greasy way. I'm sure I have a long way to go before it stops fading within a week due to the blonde underneath but I intend on using this shampoo for a very long time - or at least until something better comes along!
On Tuesday I had a bit of a mishap trying to dye my hair blonder, I became a hideous shade of ginger so decided a change was in order. I had been debating whether to dye my hair red for quite a while and finally took the plunge (forcefully) on Wednesday.
In my local Boots, 'Garnier Nutrisse' was the only hair colourant besides 'Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL'. I wanted quite a deep, subtle red not a bright red so I chose Garnier in the shade 'vibrant red'. I tend not to look too much at the colour on the box - a lesson in college about how to change hair colour on photoshop proved to me that the models hair is not really this colour!
One of the only things I love about this product is the colour produced once it was washed out of my hair, but a number of things were wrong with the product and I won't be using it again in a hurry!
The box is green and it does blend in with the rest of the hair colourants on the shelf (they all seem to look the same to me!). The front of the box has a picture of a girl with the colour which your hair should go - which has been edited hence why nobodys hair ever turns out this colour! On the top and side is a chart showing what the effects would be depending on your hair colour and all contents, ingredients and instructions for use.
If you are going to dye your hair with a new product, do a patch test on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear 48 hours before - you don't want to end up with more problems than just a dodgey hair colour!
Inside the box is a sheet with everything you need to know, gloves, developer, dye tube and a small bottle of nourishing conditioner (with avacado oil). I will go through each of the products to explain about each of them as all have good and bad points.
The sheet tells you precautions, about patch tests, ingredients and how to use the product. There are two columns down one side of the sheet which say how to colour your hair completely, or just touch up your roots. Admittedly if you are or have ever dyed your hair red you will know it fades very quickly so an all over colour is needed each time. It also gives you after care advice and a coupon for 50p off Garnier deodorants.
The gloves are good for keeping your hands clean, although they have tiny little dots all over which allow your hands to breathe. I found that after dying all of my hair my fingers were tinted red from rubbing the dye into my roots. Considering the point of the gloves is to stop hair colour getting all over your hands - this slightly defeated the object! The gloves were also huge which may just be because I have small hands. I found that they didn't really stay in one place and bunched up a lot making for a bit of an annoyance. I suppose the company were just going for a cheap option but from now on I have brought latex gloves to use as I find these a lot better.
The developer comes in a bottle with a screw top lid with a nozzle. The nozzle has a bit at the end which you break off when you have mixed the colours and needs scissors to remove it. To make up the dye, you need to use the tube of colourant. The lid of the tube can be unscrewed and turned over to pierce the film and release the colour. You do need to use the colour straight away when opening as the chemicals can explode - learnt through experience with a friend! The box has a hole which can be poked out to stand the developer bottle in, you then need to squeeze all the colourant from the tube into the bottle. Once you have every bit you can out of the tube, you need to screw the lid onto the bottle and shake well for 30 seconds - this allows the two to mix and it should end up a nice pink colour which turns red over time.
To apply the product I started from the bottom of my hair and sectioned it, squeezing the product to my roots, ends and then moving on to the next section. My hair is a couple of inches below my shoulders and I needed two bottles to cover my hair as one only made it half way - although I have fine hair there is lots of it! Once you have applied the product all over your hair, massage your roots and ensure that all hair is covered so you don't leave patches.
After all of this, I left my hair for 35 minutes (which is recommended for darker hair as you are supposed to go based on natural colour). Over the 35 minutes the dye got more red and I quickly removed the bits which had gone on my neck, forehead and ears - the longer you leave it the harder it is to get off.
Now when it came to rinsing my hair, the information leaflet says to quickly put your head under the shower to add some water and massage your head a little to 'enhance colour' which honestly I don't understand how that would! After this, it says to rinse hair until the water runs clear and proceed to use the nourishing conditioner.
When I was rinsing my hair, I noticed that after about 45 minutes the water still was not clear. I googled whether this was normal for red hair and found that it is so I didn't panic too much and used the conditioner. I left this on for around 5 minutes (while catching up on my Twilight reading before the new film), when I rinsed the conditioner off my hair felt amazing so I did not use any further shampoo or conditioner - the information leaflet says you shouldn't need to.
I was impressed with how sweet the conditioner smelt and I assumed it was to mask the smell of the dye which it did not at all! I can still smell the dye now and its 4 days later!
The product claims to give 'long lasting shiny colour' which I have to admit it didn't at all. I went to college the next day and proceeded to wash my hair that night and to my horror the colour had already faded a little but this time when I dried my hair it was greasy. I know that I am rinsing my shampoo and conditioner properly as I have done it the same way for years and never had an issue. I used dry shampoo and left it and washed it the next night to find the same problem but now when dried it was a horrible browny-pink colour! For such a well known brand this should not be happening 3 days later!
I did love my hair colour for the first two days but I am so put off the product because of the greasiness and fading that I used Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL earlier and I am very impressed with the results!
My hair has suffered lots of damage over the last couple of days with dying and it needs a well earned break so lets hope this time it stays!
I paid £8 for 2 boxes of the dye and they are priced at £5.49 each which is the same as the Live XXL colour which is miles better. I think the price varies depending on the store and mine came from Boots.
Warnings & Precautions
Do no use if you are sensitive to any ingredients (listed on the side of the box)
Do not use if you have a damaged or sensitive scalp
Do not inhale or ingest any of the products
Avoid contact with eyes
Do you place the hair in front of your face during development time
Should you inhale, ingest or get the product in you eyes seek medical advise straight away.
Do not use on hair that is fine or fragile
Do not use if you hair has been coloured with a henna or progressive colorant.
I always end up with at least one Cath Kidston goodie from someone at Christmas time. I am very much a pattern lover especially as surface design is a career I would love to go into. I was pleasantly surprised when I unwrapped this from my auntie who is exactly like me just older! She knew I needed a new wash bag as I stay away from home a lot and have nothing to carry my toiletries around in.
The medium wash bag costs £12 and can be brought from the Cath Kidston website or from other sites such as eBay and Amazon or department stores. I think its quite a reasonable price for the brand and average pricing for the size and product.
Cath Kidston is one of the most well known designers because of her gorgeous prints. Her first design was floral and her first item for sale with a pattern was an ironing board cover. Since then she has come a very long way and is my idol in the surface designing world. I have done quite a bit of research into her for college work so ask me if you would like more information.
When it comes to sizing, it is quite a big size compared to what I would expect from 'medium'. On the website the dimensions are stated as being 21x12x6cm. This means you can fit just enough for a weekend away. I usually have a smaller sized shampoo and conditioner, small deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. In honestly, regular sized things might fit but it would be a squeeze and I'm worried about breaking my bag.
The material is PVC due to the contents being wet after use. For example your toothbrush or shampoo. The outer material is cotton covered PVC and it is all 100% so no other materials are used. To clean the bag you simply need to wipe it with a damp cloth. I would try washing mine in the machine but I am not sure if it will work without some form of damage.
The wash bag can be brought in a few different patterns, this one is known as the Spray Flowers pattern. The background is actually baby blue (the image looks like it is white) and there are bunches of flowers all over it. I like the fact the material makes the design seem almost faded, if it was too vivid in colour I might be a little put off it. I like the fact it is similar to her first ever designs as I am not a great fan of her more retro patterns like the stars and spots. It is traditional and helps to add a little vintage, feminine edge to my travelling. It definitely is aimed to be used by women, I don't really think men would want to be seen with one of these - maybe in a different style though.
The bag has a handle on the side which I use to hang it on one of the hooks on my bathroom door (or on a shower caddy at my grandparents house when I go up. The zip around the bag goes most of the way around so you can easily get into the bag without fussing. The zips all have a toggle with Cath Kidston's name logo printed on them. There is a side pocket too which I don't really have a use for because it doesn't really stretch much to put anything in - for now it holds hair ties and clips. There is also a netted pocket and the main compartment so you can split your toiletries up. It is quite spacious but as I previously mentioned, be warned with the size of everything you are taking.
I quite like how the bag is so waterproof as when it is in a suitcase or other bag with wet bottles inside, it does not leak or cause damp on anything else. It is also quite sturdy and doesn't break easily showing how good the quality is. Cath Kidston always manages to outdo expectations and I think it is by far the best brand for well made items.
The bag has so far lasted me almost a year and it is still going strong despite many uses. Wiping it clean has been no problem and the zips are still working as new and haven't gone stiff or flimsy at all.
Earlier in the year I had my sisters wedding and decided that I needed a fancy dress to wear. I wanted something long so I didn't have to wear heels because all day would of been torture for my poor feet. After watching 'The Only Way Is Essex' religiously, I took note of the clothing brand that Lucy works for, Forever Unique. I had heard of the brand before but never cared to look, although once I did look I wanted everything! The dress has also been seen on Jessica Wright from The Only Way is Essex and more recently a few more celebrities - this definitely makes it more of a must have item.
After ordering online days before the wedding and worrying about it not turning up, it arrived the day before only 3 days after ordering which was a pleasant surprise. The dress is priced at £325 and at the time it was free delivery on the site so I didn't have any added cost. It can be brought in royal blue and black as far as I am aware and I brought the blue version which is very vibrant and flattering.
The packaging the dress arrived in was quite standard for such an expensive dress. The dress was folded into a box and wrapped in a plastic dress bag which to be honest can't of cost more than a pound for a few of them. I expected a little bit more from such a well known and expensive brand. The hanger was also cheap plastic like you would expect from New Look on a £30 dress - not a £300 dress! This is my only downfall for the company, because they should consider every aspect of the buying experience not just the item itself. If this was my store it would be immaculate and well thought out so the customer was pleasantly surprised at just how well it was packaged.
When it comes to the dress itself, its gorgeous and very flattering for those who are not pencil thin. The detailing is sequins and beads - still unsure of whether this is a disappointment or not as I didn't know what I was expecting. There is no real pattern to the detailing, it is just arranged and sewn on as far as I can tell, it is kind of like a tree/leaf pattern which would seem relevant to the dress being called 'Meadow'.
The detailing is across the shoulder and around the waist, it sucks you in at the right place too which is lovely. It makes the dress appear so elegant and classy, which it should for such a price. The shoulder detailing is perfect for the asymmetric style and I like the way the material cuts across the front to leave a patch between your chest and shoulder, so you are showing a little skin and the dress doesn't cover too much. The back of the dress is cut angled so it shows some flesh but you need to be warned with a bra (as I will mention in a minute), it fits in beautifully with the shape and style of the front of the dress. The textures are lovely and bring a new level of glamour to the outfit.
From the waist down, this dress skims your hips and flows so you don't feel like every lump and bump is on show. The material is folded in such a way that it flatters every curve and gives curves to those with an athletic frame. There are two layers, a silky under lay which obviously feels nice against the skin and forms a shadow so the dress isn't see through, and a fancy net overlay a little like chiffon but made from polyester. The layering of the fabric I thought might make me look more bulky but its lovely and flattering.
There is boning in the bust of the dress so you don't need to wear a bra, although I always feel more comfortable wearing one because I am not very gifted in that area. I would advise if you are wearing a bra, to make it backless as well as strapless.
Length wise, I am 5'3 and with heels on (around 5 inches) the dress skims the floor beautifully although I have to be careful I don't trip up when I'm walking around. When wearing flat shoes, the dress falls on the floor and I drag it around and step on it. I took the dress up myself by a couple of inches and now it is perfect and still the right length if I want to wear heels too.
The dress is made fantastically although due to it being made of polyester I was a little disappointed. You can't really sell a dress for so much money using such a cheap material - they must be rolling in the profits now!
I am very happy with my purchase and it looked lovely at the wedding - I got lots of compliments! Although 3 stars for the fact it is made from cheap material and wasn't packaged well.
When my nieces were over last Christmas eve, I wanted to help my sister get them into the Christmas mood. To help us do this, we danced around the kitchen listening to Christmas songs and brought this ginger bread house kit - it wouldn't be Christmas without one!
The packaging is quite typical to Dr Oetker, which isn't a brand I have really used before but it was the only ginger bread house kit available. The box is light blue (the sky) with white snow and snowflakes around a picture of the finished gingerbread house. Obviously you don't have to make yours look exactly like this but its always a nice touch. The box has all ingredients and nutritional information on it, along with a list of the things you get inside the box. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we didn't need any other ingredients - although we did buy icing sugar so it looked like the house had been snowed on.
The ginger bread house comes in pieces so you do not need to actually make the house from scratch - just put it together. There are instructions on how to assemble your house and if you use the front of the box, it is pretty easy to follow. I made the house before the girls got to my house and just let them decorate as knowing how clumsy they are - the house would of been broken before it was made!
Once put together with icing, you can follow more instructions on how to decorate your house. Inside the box is smarties (but a different brand not the original ones you see in the supermarket), jelly diamonds and marshmallows. We did buy silver icing balls and a Barbie decorating set which had pink glittery things in it to make the house more girly.
The pack is good as it contains a big enough icing tube for you to be able to glue the house together and stick on all your decorations. Ours did end up being so covered you could not even see the gingerbread 'roof' at all! They also got some sylvanian family squatters for the brief time before it was eaten.
Decorating the house proved to be loads of fun for my two nieces (Who were at the time, Olivia 6 and Evie 2 - now obviously a year older). My sister and I were a little hesitant to let little Evie use the kit but she was absolutely fine as long as she was monitored. Its quite a good idea as I don't like letting them near an oven and making cakes from scratch makes an absolute mess. This just leaves you with a sticky table and sweets everywhere which isn't too hard to tidy up.
The box says it should take 45 minutes to do the house, I think ours took a little longer. This was purely down to arguments about who was doing what to the house. In the end they had a roof side each to decorate but then moaned about who's side was better).
About 2/3 days later we ate the house which was absolutely yummy! The ginger bread was very crunchy and gingery, which is exactly how I like it. It did not dry your mouth out although it was quite hard to bite off. I am not a huge fan of sweets so I ate the flooring to the house rather than the roof, but the girls didn't seem to complain while chomping their way through lots of sugary goodies! I would however, advise you eat the ginger bread house within a week as the ginger bread will go soggy and go off quickly. We kept ours in a plastic cake box on the kitchen counter so it stayed on display but stayed fresh!
When I brought the kit, I was half expecting it to be rubbish and taste horrid, but in fact it was really nice and such a good activity to do with the girls. They normally get bored at Nanny's house because we don't have many toys so this was perfect (it also stopped them peeking at all of their Christmas presents which is a bonus!). I have since looked on the Dr Oetker website and discovered they do many kits for Christmas and other holidays which look lots of fun!
Our kit cost £2 from Asda, but it can be brought in most super markets at a similar price. It is very good value for money!
ALLERGY ADVICE: Contains gluten, milk, eggs and a trace of nuts.
Admittedly, I did not buy this. I took it from my mothers bathroom earlier in the month because my own ran out - but I did give it back eventually (and half empty!).
I had never really suffered with bad hair until I began to dye it. Darker didn't do much but when I began my blonde process its become so ruined I'm wondering why I ever dyed it in the first place! My mother also suffers from the same issue as she has been white blonde for the last 35 years. Her hair is now very thin and damaged hence her buying of products like this.
As you can see, the product comes in a long thin bottle. It is quite thick plastic which first made me wonder how much liquid there was for the price we paid - but a little goes a long way as you will read in a minute.
The shampoo bottle is slightly opaque but you can still see the liquid inside and the conditioner bottle is almost completely transparent. It makes it easy to tell the two apart from a distance in the bath/shower.
The lid of the bottle is brown and clear, it flips so that it is easy to close and open. I have a hatred for screw top shampoo/conditioner because when your hands are wet it is semi-impossible to open! But luckily this one is very simple and causes no frustration. Although, I find sometimes more of the product ends up in the lid as it doesn't flip completely open.
I originally didn't like the scent as it is quite woody and organic. It still lingers on my hair the next day and I have been complimented on it by friends sat next to me at college (they caught a waft!). It also stayed in my bathroom due to the steam which was nice as I didn't need to spray anything.
Using the product
When my hair was wet, I put a tiny amount no bigger than a 20 pence on my hand then smoothed and massaged it into my hair. The product lathered up well and the fragrance was instant. Normally expensive products don't lather as it is a trait to cheaper products so you think your hair is being cleaned better.
I then proceeded to use the matching conditioner and rinsed both out. After drying my hair, it felt so soft and nourished. My friend cuts and colours my hair and she even noticed a difference. Quite glad that it is getting better because I was getting sick of putting my hair up every day.
I love that the product is also 100% natural so I am not rubbing anything bad into my hair. I hate knowing I'm using loads of chemicals. The liquid is quite thick and creamy so it doesn't run off your hands and all over the place, its quite neat and tidy.
The bottle has lasted in my home for a good few months now purely down to the fact that you do not need much in your hair for it to go a long way. I would advise making sure it is completely washed out as it can leave patches greasy. I find that my crown gets bad sometimes if I don't scrub it out, as the shampoo is thick.
Price & Availability
Whilst watching QVC over last Christmas (which she never does so this was a lucky visit), my mum saw the Ojon range. Previously neither of us had heard of the brand but we are now very fond of their products. This shampoo comes in a pack along with the conditioner for £34. There are also others which are good for improving damaged hair if you check the Ojon website (or eBay and Amazon).
Admittedly it is a lot to spend on a product if you aren't sure whether it will benefit you, but this has lived up to expectations well. The fact it lasts a long time means I didn't spend my usual up to £10 a month on shampoo and conditioner from the high street - the price of buying high street each month adds up to the same as the Ojon products if you think of the life span of Ojon.
I am not a massive drinker, but occasionally I enjoy a nice glass of Rose as it seems to be the only alcohol that I actually like the taste of! For my birthday last year (as it was my 18th) my sister brought me a bottle of this Echo Falls White Zinfandel as its her favourite so she thought I would enjoy it. I have to admit, since that day a year and a half (plus one day) a go, I have loved it and brought it for every night out!
Echo Falls is based in California which did shock me as for some reason I thought it was French. They have been wine making for over 100 years and now have many in their range of wines - all very cheap!
=== Packaging ===
Like most wines, it comes in the typical transparent glass bottle. The name is printed on the front along with the brand, same on the gold sticker around the lid. The bottle is very in keeping with the pink colour of the wine by using pink and gold to colour the labels. I like the fact that the bottle is a screw top so you don't need to fiddle about with a cork. The bottle states clearly the units and percentage of alcohol along with nutritional information.
You need to drink the wine within three days of opening as alcohol goes off quickly and can become poisonous. Best served chilled and apparently with strawberries?
=== Tasting time... ===
After leaving the bottle in the fridge for a few hours-days, I open it and enjoy. Echo Falls claim that it is fresh and fruity - full of berries. When you open the bottle the alcohol scent fills the air along with a lovely fruity berry smell. If you smell it closely you will be able to pick up on the strawberries and raspberries over the others.
Upon sipping the drink, you can tell it is quite sweet which is when it is at its best. I don't really like dry rose. The drink is very much like fruit juice but with the added kick of alcohol. I can't pin point the taste but to me it is very much like Gallo's rose.
Served chilled or with a spritz of lemonade. I usually have a couple of ice cubes in mine to keep it cold for longer on a warm day. I would not mix it with any fruit juices or other alcohol as its bad to mix drinks and doesn't taste nice with other things.
Can you taste the alcohol? I would say yes. Obviously being wine you expect a little kick to it, and it definitely does have this. The taste however isn't strong enough to give you the attractive 'shot face' (also known as the disgusted face pulled when doing a shot or tasting strong alcohol).
=== Alcoholic content ===
At 11%, this is a medium alcohol content compared to other drinks around such as Smirnoff Ice and Vodka. Although, 11% is high and alcohol should not be abused. I cannot comment on whether or not this wine would affect you quickly or not, as everyone handles their alcohol differently. Personally, it hits me after two large glasses and I begin to get tipsy. But someone else may not be affected for longer, or quicker than myself.
=== Occasion ===
The wine is not like champagne where it is more for a special occasion. I would say it could be for whenever. I have drunk this for a night out, dinner with friends or family, weddings and many others. Its a lovely drink which is light and fruity.
=== Price and availability ===
In honesty, I have picked this up from my local bar a few times for £6.95 which is very reasonable but obviously more expensive as they need a profit. When brought from the supermarket (Tesco) it is retailed at £5.49 which is an average price for a bottle of rose, although it isn't bank breaking which is good. The price does vary depending on where you buy it from and savings are always on.
In my opinion, this is a very easy drink which is perfect for any occasion. Its fruity content just triples my love.
After writing my review the other day which I have only just put up, I actually managed to wash my headphones in the washing machine - after stating their importance when using the iPod Shuffle. I brought this headphone adapter from Amazon after hearing from my Mums partner that they were excellent (his son has a shuffle too).
On Amazon the headphones price varies, I managed to get mine from someone selling them for only £7, but from new they are a little bit more if you're willing to pay the price. The adapter is also available from gadget stores such as curry's and comet, also eBay.
The adapter is basically giving you the controls you get with Apple headphones, but without the ear bits. The idea is that it connects to your iPod and your headphones, giving you the ability to change volume, song, play and pause. I like that the company cleverly caught onto the fact that Apple had no adapters for the iPod shuffle if their own headphones broke - they only give you a new expensive pair of standard headphones! Belkin did well to jump in the iPod bandwagon to make these.
As you can see from the image, the adapter has a headphone end to put into your iPod and an end to put headphones into. In the middle there is a 3 button control which has a plus sign and minus sign on each of the end buttons. They are for controlling the volume of the music. The middle button is grey and if held down reads your playlists, or it can be clicked once to pause/play or clicked twice to skip song. The controls are exactly the same as with the Apple headphones so you don't need to get used to any new ways of controlling your music.
The sound quality is not affected by the adapter at all which I kind of thought it may be. The quality is only affected by the new headphones that you choose to plug into the iPod. I have used the headphones plugged into my computer without the adapter and there was no difference, but they are only cheap headphones due to the price of the adapter!
I only received them yesterday and used them on the bus to and from college, so I cannot really comment on their use long term but I am sure they will last a long time as it is such a well known brand. It may seem like a pointless purchase but when you love music as much as I do, it is a good investment if you cannot afford Apple's ridiculous prices.
-- The 'picture rating' below I have rated at poor because it wouldn't let me not rate. There is no pictures involved --
After a can of drink spilt in my bag not long ago, I lost my beloved nano ipod. After months of begging my mum (and my sister brought her a touch), she let me have her running shuffle.
Apple claim that this is the smallest MP3 player in the world, which is honestly must be the amount it gets lost in my bag. Sizing up at only 2cms by 5cms, its tiny enough to tuck away or use without the bulk. It weights a tiny 10g aswell.
The iPod can be brought in silver, black, blue, pink, green and probably a few more colours but these are the ones I have seen. I have mine in black (but if I chose it then it would of been pink). The fact there is so many colours is a good feature as there is something for everyone. Other iPods in the range come in these colours too but it varies depending on the style.
One of the main features which is different with the shuffle compared to other iPods is that there is no screen or way to click through songs on the actual iPod. The shuffle is made from anodised aluminium and looks fairly modern and a bit like a memory stick. There is a mirrored clip on the back so you can attach it t anything for ease. To change songs and pause, volume controls etc you will need the ipod headphones that it comes with. Without this, you will be unable to use the iPod at all.
As I have just mentioned, the only thing you can actually do with the iPod itself is turn it on and off. To change volume, change song, pause and play you need the headphones. This has bugged me as I find that iPod headphones never last very long so you need to keep spending loads on them to use the shuffle properly. With normal headphones you do not have the little strip of control so it would be impossible to do anything. I do like that if you hold down the middle button, the iPod speaks to you. It is a male voice that tells you if your battery is low and which playlist you are on (which I will get to in a minute). I suppose they had no option but to use this voice because of there not being a screen.
Having the 4GB shuffle, I can hold 500 songs which might seem like a lot, but to me it isn't much. I have around 2,000 on my computer and can never seem to narrow them down to fit on. Although the number of songs you have depends on their length. If you only had 2 minute songs, you may be able to get 550-600 on there. The 500 is based on having 4 minutes per song and 128-kbps ACC encoding (which my mums partner has been trying to explain to me since I read it on the instructions booklet).
To connect to the computer, you will need to use the USB device given to you in the box when you buy the iPod shuffle. It is different to the other iPod cables because the shuffle isn't big enough for the connection point - meaning you need to use the headphone part. The USB cable is only about 4cms in length so very easy to loose, I would advise you to keep it in a safe place as without it you can't charge or add songs to your iPod.
Once connected to iTunes, you can easily access the usual library that you can with any other iPod but you will not be able to use the apps, videos or podcasts as they will not work. Pretty much all you can use is the music which can also be brought from the iTunes store as well as being imported from CDs you already own. I don't think illegal downloading is right because the artists aren't getting money for their music which you're enjoying but that is a whole new debate.
Now when it comes to music, you can make playlists of songs or just have them all free. I find this feature useless as when the iPod speaks to you, it simply names them 'playlist 1, playlist 2' and so on. I did have a playlist for the gym, relaxation songs and upbeat ones for when I'm getting ready to go on nights out. This is now only on my iTunes library.
When it comes down to the battery, I was quite surprised. When fully charged (I leave it charging over night) it gives me 10 hours of playback which is enough to get me through the journey to and from college, and my half hour runs every night. I do tend to flick through loads of songs to find one I want which doesn't actually run the battery down too much.
Although I really like the fact the iPod is so small, I can't help but think it is more aimed at fitness junkies. It is perfect for clipping to your trousers when you go for a run or to the gym but not really for bus trips as it often gets lost in my bag and I worry that it gets stolen.
Despite the lack of a screen and controls, this iPod is really just as good as the rest when it comes to the music - but if you want the other features then you're going to have to splash out more for a better pod.
The iPod shuffle has now been changed back to its old look, which costs £40 but as this version is not the newest it cannot be brought on the Apple website. You will probably be able to buy it on eBay and Amazon for around £20, which is quite a reasonable price considering its an Apple product.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the new Halloween range in Lush. I am still quite a child at heart and I am now too old to trick or treat (despite trying to steal my nieces so I could pretend it was for them), I decided to have a Halloween bath instead.
One of the products I brought in my little Halloween spree was the Skullduggery bath ballistic. I have only used half as I wanted to try it for a review, and the rest is ready for tonight.
Lush have only brought out 5 items in their Halloween collection which I assume will be ending tomorrow. Out of these I have already reviewed Calacas shower jelly and Lady Catrina soap - both I liked! I have put off using this one till last because I think its adorable.
If you have read mine, or any other reviews on the Lush Halloween products, you will have a brief knowledge of the 'Day of the Dead' celebration in Mexico which inspired them all. Each of the products has something to do with the two day event including Skullduggery. People decorate their houses for the celebration much like they do in England for Halloween, hence the idea of a skull.
The ballistic is supposed to be shaped like a skull, but I think it looks more like a ghost to be honest (or a skull without the bottom jaw). The eyes are red hearts and the ballistic is quite powdery. I love that the same scent is used with all of the Halloween goodies which is lime and jelly bean scented. It is quite a unisex fragrance which wouldn't be unpleasant for a male to use.
As I just mentioned, the scent of this is lovely and exactly the same as the scent last year for Halloween. The ballistic is very citrus smelling and contains olibanum and neroli which help the fragrance to last on your skin. I had never heard of olibanum before this product but according to the sales assistant I spoke to in Reading and the website, it forms as a layer on your skin to protect and soften it - making it very good for cracked or sore skin.
Ingredients (suitable for vegans):
Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lime Oil, Olibanum Resinoid, Neroli Oil, Lauryl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, *Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Red Sequins
*occurs naturally in essential oils
The idea of a bath ballistic is that it goes from a solid powdery shape, to a fizzy and gorgeous bath that smells lovely. I usually cut mine in half or into a few segments so it lasts me longer - but this does mean there is less colour and fragrance to my bath.
To use your ballistic, simply drop it into a warm (or hot) bath, watch it fizz away and hop in. I did notice that the ballistic took about 5-10 minutes to dissolve, but I did sit and wait for this one, I usually let it go for a while as I prepare my pyjamas and body lotions ready for when I jump out. Skullduggery turns the bath a lovely milky colour with the citrus scent I previously mentioned.
I didn't really feel relaxed when I used this ballistic like I do with some other ones, it was more of a calming sensation rather than stress relieving. Although, my skin did feel hydrated and moisturised to the point where I didn't need to use my body lotion afterwards. The scent from Skullduggery was still present when I went to bed about 3 hours later but was quite distant in the morning. My bathroom still smelt lovely though.
Being a Lush product, the ballistic comes priced at £2.75 and is limited edition. I suspect it will probably be off the shelves within the next two weeks while they clear the stock. I have to say for the quality and vast amount of natural ingredients inside - the price isn't an issue to me. Quality is much more important than quantity sometimes and my craving for Lush has been fulfilled.
I do love this product and have to admit, I would recommend it to anyone who asked me what it was like. I don't know if I would buy it all the time but once a year is perfect for me. I have however stocked up on Lady Catrina soap!
I have quite a reasonable sized bedroom but I have always longed for a walk in wardrobe that I never got. Ikea had on their website about 5 months a go, storage ideas and ways to create a walk in wardrobe without building any walls.
Instantly I got searching and measuring to find items which I could use. In the end I brought this and one other section the same size with shelving etc (I cannot remember the name but it fits to the wall and has shelves, drawers and hanging space).
Because the other section was more for hanging clothes, I have used this mainly for folded items like t-shirts and shoes - as the holes were the perfect sizes.
=== Sizing and Colours ===
The shelving is available in three colours: birch (the image above), black and white. I purchased mine in white to go with my all white furniture and because I don't really like black or birch wood.
The black and white colours are very matte and look lovely when stood in a modernized room.
When fully assembled, the measurements are:
Width: 185 cm
Depth: 39 cm
Height: 185 cm
Max. load/shelf: 13kg
I have to say, I have never tried to put 13kg on a shelf before as this is quite a lot, mine usually have no more than 3kg per shelf!
The shelving is available in a few different sizes. I brought the one which is 5 boxes across by 5 boxes wide (giving me in total 25 boxes of space). Although you can also buy this range with only 4 boxes, 5 boxes, 8 boxes and 12 boxes.
The range is so versatile which I love. When viewing the product online, it shows you complementary products such as cupboard doors, box inserts and boxes. I chose 4 cupboard door boxes, 5 boxes and that was all. The cupboard doors are on the 2 middle boxes either side and the boxes are all along the bottom holding items like underwear, socks and random bits and pieces.
=== Using The Storage ===
I did think when I first assembled the product that it would be quite big, but it is just the right size. Not every shelf is full mind you, but this looks effective and it means if I want more stuff then I can have it - because I have enough room!
Cleaning the shelves when they get dusty is fine, I simply wipe over them with furniture polish and they are good as new. I have yet to scratch or dent any part of this yet which is surprising with my nieces and nephews over all the time running round!
I really like the fact you can turn the shelves into anything you'd like. They could be a room divider, wardrobe essential, bookshelf or simply to look decorative and fill unwanted space. It is so versatile and it means that when I move out of home, I can use it for other things and it isn't just going to be put on eBay!
=== Self Assembly ===
Like most Ikea items, this one did come flat packed. I am a bit rubbish when it comes to putting things together, but with my mums help we managed to do it in about an hour (time taken out for tea and biscuits of course).
The shelving came in a few boxes which I think would of fitted in a big car, but never in a small one like my mothers Golf. Unless you have a big car, I would recommend ordering it online or getting it sent to your house because delivery would make things easier.
The instructions are quite easy to follow and pretty much everything except for a screwdriver is included. The wood pieces slot together pretty easily and there isn't much that needs to be screwed together except for the outside edges. The screws don't really look untidy on the frame of the shelving.
=== Pricing ===
Bearing in mind how much storage this gives me and how versatile the product is - I find this product to be quite a reasonable price. Obviously depending on the size of the shelving you buy, the price goes up. I paid £129 for the 20 box shelf which will last me a very long time. I am quite glad it comes in monochrome colours as I know that whatever wallpaper and paint I put in a room - the shelving will go with the decor.
=== Quality ===
I used to think Ikea furniture wasn't up to much, but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. The wood is really thick and sturdy, I don't worry that it will fall over even though it isn't securely screwed to the floor and on carpet. I can't believe I paid such a low price for such a good product!
=== Conclusion ===
If you're looking for a new book shelf, room divider, storage, shelving or just something to give the room some decoration - this is your perfect product!
I can't fault it at all. It looks lovely, well made (by myself), good quality, cheap price and completely versatile as I keep saying.
I like the fact you can also take out some of the middle shelves so you can fix a telly to the wall in the middle or to put something bigger on the shelves - just make sure you don't loose these shelves!
Back with another Lush review - I think I've owned nearly every product so look out for many more! When it comes to Halloween, I just have to have every new product they release - because if I didn't then I've missed out (my money pot is never very full haha). The Lady Catrina soap is very different and colourful compared to some of their every day products so I purchased it along with the Calacas jelly which I have already reviewed.
=== The Meaning Behind The Soap ===
During a photography lesson a couple of weeks a go, I discovered that the name for this product was actually from an old tradition - not just picked from Lush's name hat. In Mexico they have a festival named 'The day of the dead' which is held over the 1st and 2nd of November (which should be named 'days' as it is over two days?).
Many people choose to dress as Catrina, a colourful female figure with a skeleton face which is based on a print by Jose Guadalupe Posada (I'll post the picture on this review).
As you can see from the image, Catrina is wearing a large purple hat covered in multi-coloured goodies. Lush have picked up on this and the hat is now what you see as the soap. Very clever - points to Lush for this one!
=== The Soap ===
When you see the soap in the shop, it stands out quite well due to its vibrant colours and shapes. The 'hat' is a dairy milk purple with different size and shape flowers on top. The flowers are in colours such as pink, blue, yellow, red, orange and green. All very bright and true to the original image it is imitating.
The only thing which bugged me was the cutting of the soap. I first of all got a plain purple piece with a tiny bit of green - I wasn't having any of this and made the sales assistant cut another so I had lots of colour. Fussy customers are always the most fun ones :)
=== Ingredients ===
Water, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, *glycerine, Propylene Glycol, Perfume, Organic Agave Nectar, Lime Oil, Olibanum Resinoid, Neroli Oil, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Hydroxide, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, *Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Colour 17200, Colour 42090, Colour 45410, Colour 45350
*occurs naturally in essential oils
Or to sum that up into normal human speak:
The product contains a lot of fruity fragrances such as lime to bring the hat to life. Organic agave nectar is also included which is a vegan alternative to honey (as I just found out through google) so this product is suitable for vegans - which I think most Lush products now are. Rapeseed oil and coconut oil are firm favourites of mine within this product as I find when they have been used in others they make my skin feel amazing.
=== The Fragrance ===
On first sniff at the shop, I thought the fragrance was very lime-y and it smelled really fresh and lovely. Although once I had brought the product home and used it on my skin, it smelt a lot more like jelly babies due to all of the fruity ingredients.
The scent doesn't really last long after you get out of the bath/shower but it lingers for a long time around my bathroom which I like, it means I don't have to use my normal room fragrance or candles - yay! Whilst in the bath/shower I find that the fragrance fills the air really quickly which is lovely and refreshing in the morning.
=== Using The Soap ===
When I use the soap, I tend to keep it more for my body than just hands or face - I have other soaps I prefer for every day use. Using it in the shower works best for me personally but you may enjoy it for your bath.
Lathering the soap up is fairly easy. I keep mine in the shower cubicle on a shelf and just take it down at the required time to use it. This means it is already a little dampened and I don't need to spend ages warming it up in my hands. I then smooth the soap onto my skin (I find it too fiddly to rub the soap onto a squishy (body puff)). The soap lathers up really quickly onto my skin and it doesn't drag or give the appearance of smearing into my skin. I love the way it turns almost cream like and allows me to smooth it further once I put the soap back down.
After hopping out of the bath, I felt so much more calm and refreshed which makes a first due to my stressful schedule.
Having used the soap about 4 times now, I still have a considerable amount left of the bar and I am pretty sure I will still be using it after Christmas at this rate!
=== Price & Availability ===
Lush price their products (in my opinion) quite reasonable for the quality and how long they last. I brought 100g because I didn't know if it was any good and didn't want to run before I could walk. This cost me £2.95 which is an average price for Lush especially considering it is a limited edition Halloween special.
=== Verdict ===
I will probably be popping back to Lush to stock up on more of this soap as I find it really good compared to others on the market and use it as a treat for myself in the shower. It soothes my aches away and makes me more relaxed than a glass of rose. I definitely would recommend this to anyone in need of a good 'pick me up' treat for bath time. I hope by the time my stash runs out there is another one similar for me to buy - I'd be pretty lost without it now!
I am currently tucking into one of these burgers, meaning when I signed on I couldn't help but pick to review this over any other product! I flit between being vegetarian and eating meat (chicken only - I refuse to eat any other meat). Currently I am a vegetarian and these are one of my favourite indulgences.
I am an incredibly fussy eater too which makes buying food an absolute nightmare. If I could live off Fajitas - I would. I never add variety to my meals because I don't like much food. (You'd hate to be my parents when I was younger right?!).
=== Packaging ==
The burgers come in a pack of two in a foam black 'bowl' with a plastic seal. There is a green cardboard sleeve around the packet. The burgers inside are in the fridges in the supermarket so they are not frozen - but you can freeze them if you wish.
The green sleeve shows a cooked burger that is garnished with lettuce and other treats. They are Tesco own, meaning the only logo is the Tesco sign. All nutritional information is on the front with brief instructions on how to cook.
On the back is full ingredients, recycling instructions, cooking instructions and all other information that you need. I like the way Tesco include so much information - there is not a single answered question.
=== Cooking Instructions ===
The burgers are best cooked from chilled which is how they come in the supermarket. To cook you need to simply pop it in the oven for 16-18 minutes at 190 degrees (gas mark 5 or 375 Fahrenheit). I have not yet cooked these from frozen as I tend to eat them within 3 days of food shopping, but you simply need to given them 20-25 minutes from frozen.
You cannot microwave these burgers.
=== The Burgers ===
When you cook the burgers, they do not look overly different to how they did before they were cooked. The colours of all the foods inside pop out and give it a nicer appearance than your average beef burger. The colours and textures are incredible once you cut the burger open to eat. I thought it might fall apart when cut, but the ingredients blend well together and don't let the burger crumble.
When cooked, it smells very mexican and the onion is promenent. I have to say, it might sound weird but they taste how they smell - delicious!
You can definitely taste each flavour differently in each bite, which is lovely as it gives you a lot more to enjoy rather than just one food. I ate mine with mash potato and the two blended well together. The outside of the burger is a little crunchy as are the ingredients inside. I like that they haven't been forced in a food processor and have clearly just been mixed together and squashed.
I love the fact you can tell it is made with high thought and quality. When you can tell a food has just been thrown together it does not appeal to me. I am sure that this burger would appeal to anyone - whether you're a vegetarian or not!
=== Price & Availability ===
Being a Tesco own product, you can only buy this product in Tesco stores. One pack costs £1.29 which is quite expensive for two burgers but they are much higher quality than others of its kind.
=== Ingredients ===
When you look at the ingredients list, you can see that there is not a great deal in the burgers - nothing artificial either which I love. I can taste most of the flavours and I understand the whole ingredients list. Being allergic to cheese it is nice to find a vegetarian dish which doesn't contain cheese like most do.
The ingredients are:
Potato, chick pea, onion, cannellini, kidney beans, sweetcorn, red pepper, tomato puree, jalepino peppers, garlic, red chilli, egg, celery, vegetable stock.
Despite there being jalepino and red chillies in the burger, they are surprisingly not spicy. But I can handle my spice and other people may find it tickles their taste buds a little.
The burgers do contain egg and celery and may contain traces of nuts.
=== Nutritional Information ===
(of which sugars) 2.6g
(of which saturates) 1g
(of which mono-unsaturates) 6.2g
(of which poly-unsaturates) 3.2g
=== Verdict ===
If you like vegetables, you will love these burgers. It doesn't matter whether you're vegetarian or not. I would recommend these to anyone as they are a firm favourite in my household. The flavours will send your taste buds wild and ensure you have a marvelous dining experience at home.