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Nails Inc. began with three London nail bars back in 1999, and has evolved to become a successful and well known stylish brand with an online and offline presence. The nail polishes retail individually for around £11 each, and there are also gift sets available.
I own a few of these nail polishes now, having obtained them through the Diet Coke and Glamour magazine promotions last year. My current favourite is 'Shoreditch' - a loud and punchy pink that is perfect for summery fingers and toes.
The chic packaging and shiny silver lid are instantly recognisable, along with the quirky nail polish names that help this brand stand out from the crowd. Each new range of colours is perfectly on trend for the season, and I am constantly seeing Nails Inc. polishes recommended in fashionable magazines.
The overall product quality is decent - the nail polish has a nice consistency and is neither too gloopy nor too runny. One coat is sufficient to get the bright colour shown in the pot, and it dries pretty quickly. I also find the brush easy to use and a good size for my short, square nails. However, it can be difficult to get the nail polish on the brush when the bottle is getting empty.
I did find that the polish chipped after just one day on my fingernails, although I didn't use a base or top coat so this probably didn't help! The polish has stayed intact for several days on my toenails however, and looks great when I'm wearing open toed shoes.
I love the Nails Inc. colours - it makes me happy to look down at such nice bright nails tapping away on the keyboard on a dreary day at work. I would definitely recommend using a base and top coat on your fingernails to help prevent chipping. I can't say I would pay the full £11 for a Nails Inc. nail polish, but these are definitely worth snapping up if you see them on offer, especially in one of the gift sets.
I purchased this new variation of Radox recently for around £2 for a 250ml bottle. It's a unique looking bottle in a kind of wave shape and really stood out to me on the shelf. I was also attracted by the idea of a 'tea' shower gel - it just sounded really different from the usual range available and I thought I'd give it a try.
The bottle itself is see-through, with a handy downwards dispensing cap, and simple labelling on the front and back of the bottle. The front label shows a small pile of tea and an orange blossom flower - quite a subtle and classy design. The back has the ingredients list. I won't list all of the components as there's quite a few and they have long chemical names that don't mean a lot to me to be honest!
I always do the 'smell test' before buying shower gels - and this one smells delicious. It has a hint of orange citrus scent, without being too overpowering, and I found it quite relaxing. The gel looks attractive too, it's a pale pearlescent creamy colour and isn't too thick or too watery.
Using the product, I was very pleased. This shower gel foams really well and leaves you feeling squeaky clean and smelling lovely. It didn't dry out my skin either. I guess the only downside to this shower gel is that it's a little on the pricey side - but definitely worth looking out for anyway, particularly if it's on special offer.
I purchased this Sparkle Lip Gloss from the Body Shop a couple of months ago for £3 in the sale. I think it might have been left over from last season as I can't find it currently on the Body Shop website. That's a shame because I'd like to buy another one!
The lip gloss tube looks like a clear squeezy test tube with a black lid that you can just pull off and pop on again. I've had it in my handbag for a couple of months and the lid has never fallen off, so it's quite hardwearing and won't leak all over your bag! The tube contains 6ml of sparkly peach-coloured lip gloss. There's no brush needed to apply this lip gloss - there's a little hole that squeezes out a small amount at a time and you apply it directly to your lips.
I love this lip gloss as it's the perfect size to keep in my handbag and is such a flattering colour for all skintones. It's quite subtle, with just a hint of colour and a bit of sparkle and shine to make your lips look pretty. I wear it both for work and on a night out, so it's very versatile.
It's a common problem with lip glosses that they are too sticky and I end up with my hair stuck to my face (attractive!). This one isn't too sticky at all and I haven't had that problem with it. It's a great everyday lip gloss and I just wish I could find it in store or online again as mine's nearly finished!
My boyfriend and I stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel at the entrance of Universal Orlando for just one night in June this year before flying back home from Florida.
We chose this hotel due to its proximity to Universal CityWalk - the bustling restaurant, shopping, and entertainment area that forms the entrance to Universal Studios. It was just a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel to get there, and we spent an enjoyable evening at Universal CityWalk looking at the shops and having a nice dinner in one of the restaurants.
The hotel itself consists of two tall glass towers, joined by the reception area and hotel lobby on the ground floor. It's extremely clean and modern looking. Upon entering the reception, we were greeted by the receptionist and given the chocolate chip cookies that are given to every guest at a Doubletree Hotel. The cookies weren't very nice actually in my opinion and very dry - surprising as the company has apparently given out over 100,000,000 of them!
I was horrified to discover at check-in that guests are charged $12 a day to park outside the hotel as I have never encountered this before and I thought it was pretty bad really to expect hotel guests to pay parking in addition to their hotel room fees. Be aware of this additional charge if you book online - as I didn't see it before booking so it was a nasty surprise when we got there.
The room itself was nice - spacious, very clean and decorated in neutral colours. It was perhaps a bit too neutral for me as I prefer to stay in places with a bit more character, and you could imagine that every single room in this hotel looked exactly the same as yours. The floor to ceiling window was an interesting feature - one that I didn't like to stand too close to! The views of the Orlando skyline were nice though, especially when the sun was setting.
We didn't stay there long enough to try the fitness centre, pool, games room, or any of the restaurants/bars on site so I am unable to advise on these facilities, but please be aware they are available.
Overall, one night here was probably enough for me as it is a bit far out from the town to do much except visit Universal Studios. I was also put off by the parking charge, and for these reasons I will give the hotel three stars.
I bought this Tesco Incredibly Fruity yoghurt on impulse whilst doing my weekly shop last night. The 'Incredibly' range of yoghurts was on offer - 3 for £1.00, but the yoghurt pots retail individually for 42p as well. There are a number of flavours I noticed in addition to the peach & nectarine version I am reviewing; strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, and brazil nut were also available.
I was attracted to this range of yoghurts due to the attractive packaging and equally attractive price. The cylindrical pot is made of recyclable cardboard and holds 150g of yoghurt. It's a pale blue colour with a large picture of a peach and a nectarine on the front, along with the nutritional information clearly displayed underneath.
Each pot contains just 125 calories and 1.4g of fat. However, this little pot also contains 20g of sugar - 22% of your guideline daily amount!
The yoghurt itself is really tasty - a lovely thick creamy consistency, with lots of fresh and fruity chunks of peach and nectarine. I was a big fan until I read the nutritional information for the purpose of this review and discovered the excessive amount of sugar used. I don't think it's necessary for Tesco to use quite so much sugar, as peaches and nectarines are sweet tasting fruits anyway.
It's an absolutely delicious yoghurt and I will definitely be buying it again, but don't be fooled by the 'Low Fat' title into thinking it's healthy in every way!
I had the television on in the background today and wasn't planning to watch a film, but when Niagara came on, I was so intrigued by the first ten minutes that I had to watch the rest of it. Whilst I watched the film on television, this is a DVD review so I will include relevant DVD information too.
Niagara is a 1953 thriller, filmed in Technicolor by Twentieth Century Fox, and set around Niagara Falls. Although it was the film that really made Marilyn Monroe a star, I hadn't heard of it before today, so perhaps it's not as widely known as some other Monroe films, such as 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot'.
Ray Cutler (Max Showalter) and his wife Polly (Jean Peters) are on a belated honeymoon to Niagara Falls three years after they were married. When they arrive, it seems that their log cabin has been double booked with newlyweds George Loomis (Joseph Cotten) and Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) already moved in. Thus, the couples meet and their lives become intertwined, with Ray and Polly unwittingly becoming wrapped up in the events to come.
George and Rose seem to have a very tumultuous relationship - he is much older than her, and is portrayed as being extremely jealous, paranoid, and possibly even having mental health problems. However, he is perhaps paranoid with good cause, as Rose is indeed having an affair - and is plotting to kill him with her new lover! The film revolves around the relationship between George and Rose Loomis and the outcome of Rose's sinister plot.
I won't spoil any of the surprises within this film by revealing anything further about the plot. I believe this film is worth a watch and has a strong and interesting storyline that will keep you engrossed until the end.
The DVD is available for around £5 from various retailers, but you're probably more likely to find it in stock online, as it's an old film.
I first started buying McVitie's Ginger Nuts in an effort to stop myself buying the ridiculously expensive ginger biscuits at work to go with my coffee every morning. I started keeping a tube of these yummy biscuits at my desk, but the trouble is I would eat half a packet at a time - it really wasn't saving me any money at all, and I was eating an obscene amount of ginger nuts!
Each tube is 300g and retails for about 75p usually, although obviously this varies depending on the retailer. The packet design has changed slightly from the one currently shown on Dooyoo - there is now much more dark blue on the main part of the tube, and the whole design just looks a bit more modern.
The ginger nut biscuits themselves are approximately two inches in diameter and very smooth looking. They are a lovely orangey-brown colour with some small sugar crystals visible, and are nice and crunchy when you bite into them. They taste fantastic - really gingery, just how I like them! Perfect for dunking in your tea or coffee to wake you up in the morning!
The only problem I have with them is that they are so more-ish and I have a complete lack of self-control when it comes to biscuits! The packet states they have 53 calories per biscuit, and considering I've eaten about 20 whilst 'researching' this review, that soon adds up to a very unhealthy snack. I'm not going to stop buying them though - I will simply have to hide them from myself!
My boyfriend and I recently spent a week on holiday in Florida, and one of the top things my friends back home had recommended doing was to spend a day swimming with dolphins. However, we decided that we wanted to try something a bit different and swim with manatees instead!
Manatees, also known as 'sea cows', are an extremely endangered and very unusual looking species. They live mainly in warm shallow waters, and we were told by a tourist guide that Crystal River in north-west Florida would be the best place to see them near to our location. So off we headed driving up the western side of Florida, which was very pleasant and an enjoyable experience in itself.
There are several manatee tour companies offering boat tours around the Crystal River area. My boyfriend and I were only up there for one day and so e-mailed a few companies from our previous hotel to enquire about vacancies on the next day's tours. Captain Mike from Crystal River Manatee Tours replied almost instantly, and therefore we decided to book through his company.
We found Crystal River Manatee Tours online at: http://www.crystalrivertours.com/ and it cost us $50 each for a full morning's tour in a small group, including wetsuit and snorkel rental. This seemed like a fair rate, especially compared to how expensive it is to go swimming with dolphins instead.
One thing you should be aware of before deciding to go on a manatee tour is that they leave very early in the morning because this is when the manatees are most active and playful. Our tour departed at 7am, and we were asked to be there half an hour early for wetsuit fitting. Because of the very early start, we decided to book a room at a local hotel and then only have a short drive in the morning to the little dock - please see my review on the Days Inn at Crystal River.
We arrived at the specified location behind Crackers Restaurant bright and early, to be greeted by our captain for the day. We were then fitted for wetsuits and made our way onto the boat for a health and safety talk and a short introductory video about the manatees and why they are endangered. Our captain steered the little boat slowly out into the bay, and we were all instructed to keep a lookout for a manatee nose or the signature 'swirl' pattern their tails make in the water.
We sailed around for about an hour looking for some manatees, and I was beginning to worry that we wouldn't see any. Our captain said they were unusually quiet that morning. Eventually, we managed to find two swimming around and playing together. As soon as we all got in the water however, they swam off. As you're not supposed to chase them, we weren't allowed to swim after them in case it made them feel scared. You have to find some manatees that want to play with you.
So back on the boat we went, and sailed off searching for some other manatees that were feeling a bit friendlier. We did find a couple who wanted to play with us, and everyone on the boat managed to see and touch a manatee by the end of the day. I even saw a mother and baby, which was really cute. However, because there were so few manatees to be seen that day, two other boats came over to 'borrow' our manatee and play in the water with him too after a while - which I personally think made it too crowded.
It was a really fun experience, although it really depends on whether you can find a manatee or not! I was losing hope but as we eventually did find one, I really enjoyed the experience. It's something a bit different to tell your friends when you get back home!
I've been borrowing my sister's things again while she's away on holiday (naughty me!) and this is one item where I may actually have to buy my own as I don't think I can give it back to her!
Soap & Glory is a company that manufactures bright pink toiletries and bath and body products with a retro 50's edge, setting them apart from the competition. I always buy Soap & Glory products from Boots (when I'm not 'borrowing' my sister's that is) and this product is usually available at £6.36 for 300ml in-store. Boots are currently running an offer for 1/3 off selected Soap & Glory products (as I write this review), so this is currently £4.24 - now seems like a good time to buy.
One of my favourite aspects is the slightly cheeky packaging - the lid says 'A lady's friends may be flaky, but her legs should never be', and on the side label, this product promises to take your legs from 'reptilian to radiant'. I love it - much more interesting than your average boring labels!
So what actually is this product and what does it do? Well, it's a sugar body scrub with shea butter and almond oil. To use it, you simply massage some of the scrub into your skin in the shower, and it exfoliates and polishes your skin to perfection. After you have showered and dried off, you will see that patches of dry skin have been removed, and you can still feel a slight oily layer on top of your skin, moisturising it. I didn't like this somewhat oily feeling at first, but I have come to realise it's a good thing as my skin is super-soft!
I really like this product and will certainly be using it in the future. It smells absolutely fantastic - personally I think it's the almond oil, and is not too abrasive, as I have found with some other scrubs and body polishes available on the market. It's not cheap though, and being a student, I would only buy it when it's on offer to treat myself. It lasts a long while though, and I do recommend giving it a try if you're on the lookout for a new body scrub.
I don't normally purchase name branded hair care products, as I find the results comparable to the cheaper brands. However, I was given Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Blonde Highlight Enhancing Shampoo and also the Conditioner, so thought I would give them a try. The shampoo retails for £3.99 per 250ml in Sainsbury's, and the conditioner is the same price. Both products are currently on offer at 2 for 1 as I write, so now seems like the time to test them.
The packaging is a sleek and professional-looking squeezable tube, that wouldn't be out of place in a high-end salon. The majority of the tube is a pale yellow colour, with a metallic logo and other writing. It sits upside down in your shower for easy dispensing. The lid is clear, and of the usual shampoo bottle 'snap open and shut' type. It does collect water being upside down, so make sure to empty it before you take the bottle out of the shower - as I learned after dripping all over myself.
The shampoo itself is of medium viscosity and a yellow colour. It smells vaguely flowery but this is not a particularly strong smell, and it doesn't linger. As I quite like shampoos that you can still get a waft of when moving your hair around later in the day, I would have preferred a stronger scent. It lathers quite well in your hands without having to use loads of it, and makes your hair feel nice and clean as it's not too heavy.
On the back of the bottle, it says 'Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Blonde Highlight Enhancing Shampoo revitalises blonde hair by adding moisture and shine. The result, gorgeous golden shine!' So does it live up to these claims? Yes, I think it does. My hair did feel soft and shiny the next day, and I even think it was a bit blonder!
I guess the only downside to this product is the price - it's a bit expensive for my budget. I do like this product, but I think there are shampoos that give similar effects but are cheaper. It does glam up my shower a bit though!
I was first made aware of the existence of Moonpig through their distinctive and catchy TV advertisements, which seemed to be on TV all the time last year and got the jingle firmly stuck in my head.
Moonpig is an online card company with a significant difference to other card shops, online or offline. The difference is that the user can personalise any of the wide variety of popular cards available on the Moonpig website, and either have the card posted to their own address or directly sent to the intended recipient.
While I thought this was a fantastic idea, I hadn't actually used the Moonpig service until I went on holiday and forgot to post a birthday card to my dad (whose birthday it was while I was on holiday) before I left. Having realised in a panic once we were on the other side of the world, and not wanting to be the worst daughter ever, Moonpig popped into my head - what a relief!
I logged on to the website from a hotel, and it didn't take long to find a card that was absolutely perfect for my dad, personalise it, and have it sent directly to his house via first-class delivery. The cards are divided into subject categories on the site, and there are so many available that it's impossible to not find one you know the recipient will love. Prices are reasonable too: the card I bought was £2.99, and I was only charged an additional 47p for postage and delivery.
My dad loved the card, and couldn't wait to tell me when I got back. The card itself was really high quality, and the fact that it was personalised really added that little something extra, and made it a bit more special.
I was so happy with Moonpig that I set up one of their pre-paid accounts and put in £20 (they give you an extra £5 credit free if you do this) as I know I'm going to be using it again soon.
Whilst trawling the supermarket aisles for my dinner last night, I came across the Angel Delight section. I had totally forgotten about this wonderful dessert from my childhood and so picked up two sachets. As far as I know, there are four flavours - butterscotch, chocolate, strawberry, and raspberry. The packets were 32p each. I did think about getting the cheaper supermarket alternative, but I remembered reading unfavourable reviews on Dooyoo in comparison to the original Angel Delight product.
To make Angel Delight, simply mix the powder in the sachet with ½ pint of milk. Then whisk until the mixture thickens, and leave in the fridge to set for 10 minutes before eating. I like to put hundreds and thousands on top of mine before putting it in the fridge as I like the added crunch, but you could put anything on top of it really - or just leave it plain of course.
I won't give detailed nutritional information as this is a general review category for Angel Delight, and the calories and other nutritional content vary slightly by flavour. However, the butterscotch version that I ate last night, when made up with ½ pint of semi-skimmed milk, contained 113kcal and 4.4g of fat. Not too bad when you compare it to other desserts on the market. If you have kids who aren't keen on milk, this would be a tasty way to make sure they get their calcium intake as well.
I really enjoyed eating the Angel Delight for dessert last night - it was a real blast from the past. I forgot how simple, cheap, and tasty Angel Delight can be. After a heavy dinner, this light and fluffy dessert would be my perfect choice - I will definitely be buying it again.
Benefit Cosmetics offer a range of quirky retro-themed, high quality make-up products. While the range isn't as expensive as many of the designer collections, it's generally out of the question on my student budget. It's available to buy in various places in the UK - including Debenhams, House of Fraser, and Boots. High Beam is one of their best selling products, and usually retails for about £15.50 for 13ml on the high street.
I was introduced to High Beam by one of the Benefit girls in a department store - she stopped me while I was out shopping one day and gave me a little makeup demonstration. This particular product was my favourite and had been on my wish list for a while by the time payday finally rolled around and I was able to splurge a little bit.
It looks like a nail varnish and the applicator inside is similar to a nail varnish too. You just dot it on to your cheeks using the brush and smooth it in with your fingers for a really natural-looking glow. The colour is vaguely pinkish and would flatter skin with pink undertones the most. Benefit have brought out 'Moon Beam' which would suit skin with yellow undertones a bit better I think.
I loved High Beam instantly. It's advertised as a 'luminescent complexion enhancer' and it certainly does what it says on the tin. I apply it over my foundation and use it every day, for both day and night wear. It looks fantastic on your cheeks to emphasise your cheekbones and also just under the outer part of your eyebrows to open up the eye area for a fresh wide-eyed look. I love that it is quite subtle and just adds a bit of glow, without making you look shiny.
An absolute essential!
My boyfriend and I stayed here for one night during our recent trip to Florida. It was just intended to be a stopover place so that we were close to the location of the manatee tours in Crystal River and wouldn't have to get up any earlier than necessary (the manatee tours leave about 7:00 am!)
- The hotel itself -
The hotel was 'motel-style', meaning that the room doors were exterior to the building and faced outwards to the car park or pool. I didn't like this much actually, as I felt it wasn't very secure. We were in the room right on the end on the ground floor as well, and every strange noise from the air conditioning unit in the middle of the night made me jump.
The room we stayed in cost us about $60 for one night. It had basic functional furniture and had two double beds, television, and a small table and chairs. I wouldn't say the furniture was particularly nice quality although the bed was comfortable enough, and the bathroom was all plastic-moulded, so it didn't look very high quality at all. The room was clean though, which is the main thing.
- Other things to do -
To be honest, there wasn't a lot in the surrounding area. There's a Denny's Restaurant that shares the car park with the Days Inn (you get 10% discount when you show your room key). Other than that, you have to drive about half a mile down the road to get to the manatee tour departure locations and a few other restaurants. I think there was a mall there as well, but Crystal River is really a very small town with limited activities for tourists other than the manatee tours.
- In summary -
The Days Inn in Crystal River served its purpose well enough as we were only there for about 12 hours and just needed a cheap bed for the night, but I wouldn't recommend it for a romantic or extended stay at all.
This Mint and Tea Tree shower gel is made by Original Source, who are well-known for using only pure and essential oils and natural extracts in their products. There are precisely 7,927 mint leaves that go into this little bottle, along with 100% essential tea tree oil.
I purchased this shower gel from Superdrug (approximately £2 for a 250ml bottle), although it is widely available in supermarkets, high street stores, and online. The bottle has no shower hook, fits easily into the hand, and dispenses downwards, meaning that it's easy to get every last drop out when it gets towards the end of the bottle.
Upon squeezing the bottle, you will find the gel is bright green and of moderate viscosity. The gel doesn't foam particularly well, but still seems to clean effectively. The smell of mint and tea tree is extremely strong, which to me was quite a fresh and energizing scent. I'd recommend it to people who have trouble waking up in the morning - one whiff of this and your eyes will be wide open.
However, it is a little too invigorating for me! I found it really stung in sensitive areas, and for this reason I have only given it two stars and will not be buying it again. I do have sensitive skin, but I am not the only person who has found this shower gel somewhat painful - I gave it to a friend who reported the same thing, and I can see from some of the other reviews on this site that other people have had a similar experience.
The Original Source website states that you should 'get ready for a shower that's unlike any shower you've had before' when using this particular shower gel. However, I don't think I was entirely prepared! It certainly wakes you up in more ways than one.