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chrisandmark

chrisandmark
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Member since: 18.08.2003

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    • More +
      14.10.2015 15:57
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Cleansing
      • Invigorating
      • "Smells gorgeous"

      Disadvantages

      • "The price"

      Smelling of coffee and mint - nicer than it sounds!

      My mum bought me my 473ml bottle of Wash With Joe's Coffeemint shower gel, she'd seen it on offer as part of a Group On deal and thought of me as she knows I adore minty shower gels but I'm also obsessed by all things coffee.

      It really is a gorgeous shower gel, you don't need much to get a good lather going and the fragrance is really invigorating in the way you usually expect a citrus shower gel to be. The smell is amazing, I know coffee and mint sound a weird combination for a shower product but in this they work so well.

      The mint is nice and subtle so the two fragrances blend together beautifully.

      It's extremely cleansing even when using just a small amount, I use a scrunchie in the shower and that obviously makes it go further - something I'd recommend actually as Wash With Joe shower gel isn't cheap and this bottle costs a whopping £25.

      I do find it dries my skin out slightly, and I assume that's due to the fact that coffee or mint aren't exactly moisturising additives to a cosmetic product. The dryness is sorted out quickly with a light body lotion, although sadly as soon as I apply the lightly fragranced lotion the gorgeous coffee smell all but disappears.

      Highly recommended by me and a very welcome gift from mum, at that price I'm not sure it's special enough for me to buy a bottle for myself but it's been lovely to use it and I'm sure I'll find myself with another bottle at some point.

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    • More +
      12.10.2015 15:08
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Nice sample size bottles available"
      • "Cleansing and freshening"
      • "Feels gorgeous to use"

      Disadvantages

      • "Very strong and robust orange fragrance"

      Gorgeous but a little too orange for me

      I adore using different (and occasionally luxurious) shower gels, Molton Brown has been a favourite for years but it's not often I get to use their products as they're so bloomin' expensive for every day use. I bought a set of seven shower gels (or body wash) in TKMaxx recently though, small 100ml travel sized bottles which seemed like a fab way to try out some new ones without shelling out nearly £20 for the full sized bottle.

      The Japanese Orange Body Wash is gorgeous, the smell is maybe a little too strong and heavy on the citrus for my liking but it IS very orange if that's what you're looking for! I love the way it lingers on my skin for hours after showering - be aware this is one which really does affect the smell of your perfume, more so I noticed with light floral perfumes but my daughter told me it completely changed how my much pungent Hugo Deep Red smells.

      It leaves me feeling not just clean but also fresh and slightly invigorated, it's a nice one to use in the morning - and more so now it's so chilly at 7am when I have my shower as the body warm has a warming feeling as I use it. It lathers nicely and like most Molton Brown shower gels it feels luxurious and lovely to wash with.

      I wouldn't mind a full sized bottle of this but now I know how readily available the smaller bottles are that's the route I'll probably take from now on - this is nice enough to make a repeat purchase of but there are so many new Molton Brown products I have yet to sample that I can't see me rushing out to buy a bottle any time soon.

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    • More +
      12.10.2015 14:57
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Nice basic conditioner"

      Disadvantages

      • "Not particularly nourishing"

      Not as Nourishing as the shampoo

      Nourish Me Truly conditioner is the matching product to the shampoo I reviewed earlier, made by VO5 it promises to nourish and moisturise my hair without weighing it down. And the claims are true.

      The conditioner smells nice and creamy, it has a creamy consistency too which helps me to massage it through my hair. I don't apply it too close to my hair line as I don't want greasy roots after rinsing, I then leave it in my hair for a couple of minutes as a kind of hair mask to ensure the conditioner has time to penetrate my hair.

      Immediately after rinsing my hair feels silky smooth, always a good sign with a conditioner as it reassures me it's doing the most important job for me - detangling. My hair tangles at the slightest hint of moisture but using Nourish Me Truly stops that happening, and as a result saves me pulling out loads of hairs as I brush.

      Overall I'd say my hair is soft and manageable after using this conditioner - nothing more, nothing less.

      I don't find it particularly nourishing and think that effect comes more from the shampoo than the conditioner, this is what I'd consider to be a fairly basic conditioner that works nicely but it's definitely best used with its matching shampoo for the best effects.

      I'll carry on using and buying it as I don't really need more than this gives me, but if you're expecting anything like an intensive conditioner (and you might, based on the name) then I think you'll be disappointed with this one.

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    • More +
      12.10.2015 14:47
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Rinses easily"
      • "Nice to use"
      • "Moisturises my hair"

      Disadvantages

      • "Have to use conditioner afterwards"

      A VO5 Hit

      I was buying Nourish me Truly for ages from Poundland but suddenly they stopped selling it, I'm totally not brand loyal when it comes to shampoo and conditioner (although I do like Aussie) so didn't think to look elsewhere for it and just switched. Recently however I saw it again in Asda and remembered it suited my hair so bought a bottle of this and the conditioner.

      Surprisingly, as the shampoo is quite thin, it's a very moisturising product - my hair can be greasy but it's also fine so I have to be really careful when choosing 'nourishing' shampoos and sometimes they're just too rich for me. This one from VO5 isn't as rich, although the shampoo is creamy and produces a lovely lather it doesn't seem to weigh my hair down and rinses so easily and thoroughly that there's no residue left to grease up my newly washed hair.

      You don't need to use much so although the shampoo is sold in smaller bottles than I'd usually buy it does last a reasonable amount of time - with me and my two older daughters using it a bottle will last for a week, which for a quid is pretty good in my opinion, especially considering it gives such good results.

      It cleans really well and the effects last until the next day, I currently have a fringe so to prevent that looking greasy I do have to wash my hair daily and while I wouldn't usually use a moisturising shampoo on a daily basis I have no such issues with this one.

      I find I have to use a conditioner afterwards it as it leaves my hair a bit knotted, this is nothing unusual for me as that's a hair concern I've always had - and anyway these shampoos and conditioners are only £1 a bottle and always sold in pairs so I tend to pick up one of each every time I buy them.

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    • More +
      12.10.2015 14:29
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Nice thick lather"
      • "Smells gorgeous"

      Disadvantages

      • "Far too expensive"
      • "Doesn't clean well"
      • "Makes my hair limp"

      For lank and greasy looking hair...

      I've always had long hair and it's only fairly recently I'm noticing shampoo and conditioner products especially designed for long hair - I tried the Herbal Essences version last week and have remembered exactly why I don't like shampoo from this brand, because it pulls you in with a wonderful fragrance but is rarely a good shampoo (relatively expensive too).

      This one fits the mould perfectly - it smells gorgeous, fruity and rich but clean smelling and fresh too. The fragrance doesn't linger for long on my hair, but I've been using it with a fairly pungent conditioner so I can't really hold that against the shampoo.

      What I do hold against it is how heavy and unclean it makes my hair look, my hair is just 'lank' after using this shampoo (with or without conditioner) and after a few hours it doesn't even feel clean anymore. My nineteen year old daughter has had the same problem with it and even asked me yesterday what had made me buy Herbal Essences again as it doesn't suit either of us!

      The bottle is nearly finished as I refuse to waste it, it doesn't make my hair feel at its best but it's not that rubbish to throw half a bottle in the bin (I've used it to clean the shower head and sink though to use it up a bit quicker!).

      I paid £2 for the big bottle (currently the small bottle costs around that in Morrisons) but you can usually find the small Herbal Essences bottles in Poundland if you're not fussed about which variety you use.

      It's not for me - it doesn't clean well enough and just isn't worth the money in my opinion, not recommended.

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    • More +
      12.10.2015 14:18
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Smells gorgeous"
      • "Unknots my hair"

      Disadvantages

      • "Doesn't do more than most cheaper conditioners"

      No added shine here!

      I bought a bottle of Dazzling Shine conditioner last week in Morrisons as Herbal Essences was on promotion - the shampoo I bought didn't have a matching conditioner available so I decided to go for this one.

      I'm using it alongside Herbal Essences shampoo for long hair (I forget what it's called) and it's perfectly fine - it unknots my hair after leaving it in as a kind of quickie hair mask for a couple of minutes, the conditioner itself looks thinnish but it's actually very rich so I take care not to get it too close to my hair line as my hair does have a tendency to be greasy at times and rich conditioner definitely makes the problem worse.

      It smells gorgeous, really fresh with a nice feminine floral fragrance underneath. I love that the fragrance of the conditioner lasts for ages on my hair, I have my shower in the morning before the school run and can smell my conditioner all the way to school and back again.

      My hair is manageable after using Dazzling Shine, to be honest this is a middling conditioner really and doesn't do much either way for my hair - I am lucky that my hair is naturally shiny but the conditioner definitely didn't add to that. On the flip side I'm pleased it didn't confuse 'shine' with 'greasy looking' as some shine enhancers can, my hair didn't look extra shiny but it wasn't weighed down with the shine enhancing particles that don't work anyway!

      I paid £2 for the big bottle (not sure of the ml, it's upstairs and I'm not - the biggest one available anyway), it's worth that purely for getting the tangles and knots out of my hair but I wouldn't pay the full £4 a bottle as it's simply not that good.

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    • More +
      12.09.2015 23:49
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "Works well as a clock radio"

      Disadvantages

      • "Terrible DAB functions"

      Dreadful DAB, Decent Clock Radio

      I bought this DAB clock radio a few years ago for my partner who has to be up for work at a ridiculously early time some mornings. I can't remember now why I chose this one, probably due to the low price as Acoustic Solutions products are never as expensive as other more well known brands.

      When I say the clock radio is still in use now, some five years later, don't let that give a false impression as while the 'kicking Mark out of bed' aspect is perfectly fine the DAB radio part is totally rubbish and has been since the day we bought it.

      The main issue for Mark was that the channel selection didn't work well, and when he saved and radio channel to 'favourites' it would only stay saved until he switched the radio off and then all saved channels were lost. Not only that but the radio has to fully scan for channels each and every time it's switched on, meaning you can never just decide to listen to something and have audio immediately as the scanning takes a strangely long amount of time.

      Forget the techie DAB stuff, as a clock radio this works well - it goes off exactly when it's supposed to, the display isn't crazily bright to disturb your sleep, the alarm volume is perfect and the back up battery ensures you'll be woken up in time for work even if the electricity goes down during the night.

      I can't recommend this product at all, the selling point is surely the DAB capability and sadly here it fails big time - if you want a decent clock radio but aren't fussed about digital radio you can pick up a cheap non-DAB one from any of the supermarkets, or shell out a few more pounds for a quality DAB system.

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      • Ultrasport Aerobic Step / Fitness / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        08.09.2015 20:35
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Non slip top"
        • "Works well as a fitness stepper"

        Disadvantages

        • "One of those items that people buy and don't use"

        Ultraquick at getting rid of it!

        I bought the Ultrasport Step around three years ago, if I remember right it was from Amazon using vouchers earned on this very website. I do remember it cost £20, and I do remember thinking was I doing the right thing in ordering it as I have a history of buying fitness equipment then giving it unused to the charity shop a few months later.

        The step was used, mostly as a way of reaching the higher cupboards in the kitchen but occasionally for fitness purposes. In the end it was given away to my sister, who in turn has since given it to someone else as she didn't use it much either. It takes up a surprising amount of room and that was my main reason for deciding I didn't want it any more.

        The step is the perfect height for stepping activity, slightly higher than an average stair riser I'd say but not so high you have to feel you're hauling yourself up - I don't have the exact measurements now but if you decide you want one you'll be able to get them easily enough.

        The top of the step is non slip and I've never slipped, the ridged effect is done well and feels good under the feet - the ridges are slightly too deep for it to be comfortable stepping in bare feet (in my opinion) but in socks it was fine.

        You can adjust the height by removing the bottom feet, which I absolutely don't recommend as once they're off you risk losing one of them (which I nearly did, and my sister definitely did) and then you'll be left with a shorter step.

        Do I recommend it? Well, if you're going to use it then yes as it's a strong step that feels comfortable to use - if you're just thinking 'oh, I'll get a step and get myself a body like a supermodel' then save your money and run up and down the stairs in your house a few times a day.

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      • More +
        08.09.2015 20:24
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Fits pushchairs other than Out N About"
        • "Holds a fair amount of shopping"

        Disadvantages

        • "Won't fit all pushchairs"

        Shopping with baby

        I've never had an Out N About pushchair but when my son was a little younger I was using a three wheeled 'sports' buggy, which for one reason or another wasn't supplied with a basket underneath. As my reasons for a buggy were more 'nipping to the shop' than 'sports' this was a real nuisance, this basket came recommended for my particular pushchair by a very helpful lady in Mothercare (who shouldn't have made the recommendation but it had worked perfectly for her, so I went elsewhere to buy it!).

        I paid £29 for the basket at the time, the price is now £19 - it looks a lot I know but it's an excellent idea and works fabulously even on this pushchair that it wasn't made for.

        You fit the basket around the frame of the pushchair using a combination of plastic hooks and velcro tabs, everything works perfectly and it gives a much more solid fit than I thought it would. You kind of stretch the basket out and that helps it to support itself, I wouldn't ever put anything massively heavy into it but it's held a big bottle of milk and other assorted bits and pieces no problem.

        The basket is a clamshell design which is pretty bulky so I had to remove it each time I folded the pushchair up, luckily the one I was using it with wasn't folded often as it was the one I kept in the dining room open and ready to chuck David into at a moment's notice. Removal and putting it back into place is a little time consuming and the few times I did it I was glad it wasn't a regular chore, it doesn't take so long you'd get sick of it but I think most of us could do without adding even a few extra minutes to my 'baby routine'.

        Overall this is a really good buy which I recommend to all, obviously due to it being an Out N About branded product you really should check if it will fit your pushchair or buggy before buying one - all I can tell you is it fitted the Mothercare three wheeler perfectly and worked a treat!

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      • More +
        08.09.2015 20:00
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Stops you coughing for a short while"
        • "Works quickly"

        Disadvantages

        • "Not a miracle cure"

        COVONIA!

        I gave up smoking a little while ago and while I've found it reasonably easy (with the help of my trusted vaping pen) I've managed to catch every bug and cold going since quitting - there's a definite link but that probably sounds a bit mental I know!

        Anyway, last months chest infection was a frigging killer - I was pretty poorly for a few days but even after the temperature came down and the pain ended (eugh) I was left with a revolting cough that I just couldn't get rid of. I'm not one for cough medicine, believing you cough for a reason and water to relieve the cough is the best bet - this nasty chesty cough came on a few days before I had a few meetings to attend and I didn't really want to be coughing my way through them.

        Covonia Chesty Cough Mixture was recommended by my ma-in-law, who was actually also the person who gave me my bottle. As a lifelong smoker she knows her cough medicines and said this one worked quickly enough for me to be able to swig a little before the meeting and it would be effective enough to stop me coughing while they were going on, she was mostly right as although the cough medicine does work surprisingly fast the results didn't last for as long as I'd have liked them to (and in all honesty it didn't stop every cough anyway).

        It tastes absolutely vile, goodness it really does taste disgusting! I took it eight or nine times over the course of a week and didn't get used to the taste, on the final day my cough was much better (healed over time rather than through this medicine in my opinion) and I decided not to put myself through the ordeal of taking the Covonia and put up with the lingering cough!

        It does work though, and it works well. I can't fault the actual cough medicine, it's not a miracle cure but it's very good at suppressing a chesty cough - I don't actually believe they should be suppressed but this medicine got me through a few hours where I just didn't want the embarrassment of coughing so full marks really.

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      • More +
        07.09.2015 01:48
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Leaves it shiny and clean"
        • "Cleans my hair wonderfully"

        Disadvantages

        • "Not a miracle product"

        Sleek and clean

        After a lifetime of bleaching my hair a couple of years ago I was left with a frizzy mop, I dyed it brown in decided to leave it a while - part of the damage was done, however, and I ended up having my bum length hair chopped to my shoulders in a attempt to save it. During that visit to the hairdressers I was sold a bottle of Matrix Sleek Look Smoothing Shampoo, which I vividly remember the stylist telling me would help my hair to look better even if it didn't exactly repair the damage I'd inflicted on it.

        It smells quite nice in a 'hairdresser' kind of way, it doesn't really appeal to me but I'm sure the hairanistas amongst us will rave about it. The smell doesn't last for long after rinsing anyway so it's rather a moot point - I certainly wouldn't pay the £17 asking price based on the smell anyway, put it like that.

        It leaves my hair beautifully clean and shiny, I'd say my hair looks more sleek when I use this shampoo (alongside the conditioner) but that's more a by-product of it cleaning my hair so well in my opinion rather than it being an actual repairer of abused hair. My hair shines and looks really healthy after using the Matrix shampoo, but then again I should think so when I think of the cost per wash!

        Now my hair is healthy again, two years later, I wouldn't spend such a huge amount of money on shampoo but I was massively pleased with it at the time when I needed it.

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      • More +
        06.09.2015 13:52
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        • "Nice to use"
        • "Smells gorgeous"

        Disadvantages

        • "Expensive for what it is"
        • "Doesn't hydrates areas which are already dry"

        Oranges and lemons (maybe)

        I was sent a small bottle of Weleda's Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion in a beauty box some time ago, having rediscovered my collection while having a sort out of the bathroom I decided it was time to use some of it up. I've been using this for the duration of the 70ml bottle and have just thrown away the empty bottle after a couple of weeks of daily use.

        The smell is really nice - very invigorating and makes me feel awake after applying it. It's a nice mixture of citrus fruits which blend together nicely with the fragrance lingering on my skin for a while.

        It's easily absorbed, much better in this respect than other Weleda lotions I've used which I generally find to be a little 'wet'. The moisturising properties are pretty good but I think there's a lot of optimism by Weleda to class this as a Hydrating product, it kept my skin nice and soft but didn't even begin to tackle the dry patch I have on one of my legs - I can always tell how good a moisturiser is when used in this area and have to say this one failed quite miserably.

        I wouldn't buy a full size bottle as it's not worth £15 to me, it's a nice body moisturiser which I can understand many people love but I know I can get better for cheaper or even better but more luxurious for the same cost - I'm not a scrimper but with this product I really do feel that you're paying for the Weleda good name rather than a super duper skin care product.

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        • Dior Lip Liner Pencil / Make Up / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          03.09.2015 12:14
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Very reasonably priced"
          • "Two in one product"
          • "Good brush"
          • "Beautiful creamy lip liner"

          Disadvantages

          • "Nothing really"

          Dior for my lips

          I've always used a lip liner as I wear red lipstick which is hard to apply without first lining my lips, I'm not particularly brand loyal as I like to try out different brands - I'm using a Dior lip liner at the moment as it was reduced while I was shopping recently and it's always nice to use premium products.

          This is a double ended pencil with the lip liner itself at one end and a lipstick brush on the other. Mine wasn't provided with a pencil sharpener but I'm wondering now if it should have been after seeing Dooyoo's pic!

          I have a red lip liner and am amazed at the quality, the colour glides on beautifully and effortlessly allowing me to create a smooth and straight line ready to be filled in with lipstick. I tend to apply my lippy direct from the barrel so haven't used the brush other than to try it out, as expected for Dior the brush is of the highest quality and doesn't shed hair but personally I find it easier to just slick my lipstick on straight from the tube to save time and also to ensure I get a good coverage right from the first application.

          The only issue is the lip liner is just TOO effective - it remains visible on my lips even after my lipstick has worn away to nothing, leaving me with a rather 80s look of liner but no actual colour on my lips! Not the best look!

          £8 - £12 depending on where you buy it. A bargain really!

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        • More +
          03.09.2015 11:41
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "Good at printing text"
          • "Does the job"

          Disadvantages

          • "Not wonderful print quality"
          • "Gets easily confused"

          Printing, scanning and copying!

          My two eldest daughters have started college after the long summer break and we had a bit of drama earlier in the week when the older one had some work that needed printing off ready for her to go back - sods law our reasonably new printer stopped working and she got into a panic about not being able to get her work in on time. Step forward this Lexmark printer, kindly loaned to us by a neighbour while we get our Canon one working again.

          They were disposing of the printer so it isn't really a loan as there's still some ink in it and our neighbour said to get rid of it when we've finished, I decided as it prints quite nicely that we'd keep it until the ink had run out then send it to the local scheme where they teach computer skills to the elderly and kids.

          The usual and current cost for this printer is around the £35 mark.

          The printer has a scanner and copier on the top and this works well, actual print outs are clear regardless of whether you're printing text or images (images aren't wonderfully clear but I'd describe them as 'adequate') and just enough ink is deposited onto the page for the text to be clear but not enough to cause smudging when I take the paper out of the printer.

          It holds a decent amount of plain paper ready for printing and the printer itself is relatively quiet while being used, occasionally it has a delay when printing a page out but this is only a few seconds and then printing will resume again. It's an easy enough printer to use although we did have a few issues in finding and downloading the software, I find it's best for use in printing out smaller and less complex print outs as when my daughter set the printer to do eight copies all in one go it seemed to confuse matters and we had to start again after it had a brainstorm!

          The appearance of the printer isn't the nicest, it's very functional in design and definitely does nothing to brighten up the room in which it's used - I suppose that doesn't matter, it does the job required and that's the most important thing with a product like this.

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        • More +
          02.09.2015 22:19
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • "Gives skin a luminous glow"
          • "Easy to apply"

          Disadvantages

          • "Fades quickly"
          • "Low longevity"

          Dream - or nightmare...?

          I used Maybelline's Dream Satin Liquid for the last few weeks as I was sent a bottle through the post as part of a competition win, I'm not sure of the shade name I used (I didn't check!) but it's what I'd call a 'Nude' or 'Natural' shade which was good for me.

          The foundation is sold in a glass bottle with pump top, you need a couple or three pumps to dispense enough product for a whole face and maybe a little more if you're wearing something low cut and want to continue your foundation down your neck. I applied mine with my make up blending sponge and the texture of the liquid is perfect for that method.

          My skin looks really fantastic after using this foundation but sadly the appearance doesn't stay looking as good for long, the foundation starts to look patchy and faded very quickly (within two hours, maybe less than that) - I had applied concealer one day over a blemish and was mortified when I spotted my face in the bank to see my foundation had decided to wear away in that area so my slightly lighter concealer was showing through. Not a good look!

          This is a semi medium coverage foundation in my opinion which doesn't last long enough for it to be useful, that's a real shame as otherwise it's fab as the colour is good and the foundation applies beautifully. I wish the dewy appearance of my skin would stay for longer as after using Dream Satin there is definitely a visual improvement to the tone of my skin - unfortunately I can't trust it to remain on my skin where it should be so I won't be paying the £8 for a new bottle now mine has run out.

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