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Hi guys, I have been off of here for some time, had been made redundant and time just vanished for anything other than looking for jobs. So now that life has calmed down a little I was keen to get back on here but it looks so different I feel as though I am totally lost. I have read through the guides and FAQ's but I still feel really lost. If there are any regular reviewers out there who have been on since before all the changes took place, could you either direct me to the best place to read up on the changes or share your own tips and advice? When I started up at first you guys were so helpful in getting me started up and I in turn gave advice to other new members as they joined but now the site looks so complicated I am really struggling to work out how to use it. It took me 25 mins to find where to post this (eventually I searched back back back through my old posts and found one I posted about Christmas shopping, and used the link on that). Even if you just want to drop by and say hi I would love to hear from you guys, have missed this community :-)
Item: Lip Balm
Bought in: The Body Shop
Packaging/Design: This is a lip balm in a traditional "lip stick" tube design. The tube is a variety of pink shades and clear plastic. The lid is clear with the details of the product over it (Born Lippy, Strawberry Lip Balm) and for anyone not sure where that goes, it has a picture of bright pink lips on the front too. This gives the tube a retro look and reminds me of images I would have seen on the front pages of Jackie Magazine and Just 17 circa 1995. The bottom of the tube is white with pink dots over it. Over all the initial look of the product is quite young (possible aimed at 12-16 year old girls) but as the design is also quite retro it also caught my eye (I am 33) and reminded me of something that I would have bought a few years ago and I always like purchasing something that reminds me of when I was younger haha When you lift the lid off the product the tube that contains the lip balm is pink. To get the lip balm ready to apply you need to hold the pink section of the tube and twist the bottom white/pink spots section. The tube overall with the lid on is 7cm long and 1.8cm wide. It is a little bit smaller than the average lip stick and fits easily in to my pocket. As you can wind the lip balm up the tube it also means that you can also wind it down, meaning that it reduces the likely hood of bashing the balm with the lid as you put it back on. The lip balm itself it a pale pink colour and the flavour and colouring of the tube all tie in nicely with the strawberry theme.
Application and does it make my lips feel soft? Once you have wound the lip balm up the tube you can see the top of it. It is flat and 1.1cm wide. This makes it easy to apply to the lips as you can press right down on the end without fearing it would break under the pressure and as it is clear you don't need to be as careful as you would with an actual lip stick. As it is flat it also means that you can cover a large are of lip very quickly. The smell is not exactly what I would call "real" strawberry; it smells more like the powder version of strawberry milkshake and is VERY sweet. I do like this so it suited me but if you are going to buy one, you should have a smell of the tester to make sure that the scent suits you as it is strong and lasts until it is all wiped off your lips. The balm as I mentioned is clear but does make your lips look quite shiny. The balm is light and does wipe off quite quickly so you will need to keep applying this balm if your lips are especially dry. I tend to alternate between lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm so my lips are already quite soft. I probably wouldn't buy this lip balm again. I like it for now but as the scent is quite strong I think I could eventually get fed up with it. I will try another fragrance next time.
I am happy to give this 5 stars as the packaging is cute, the balm is easy to apply and hasn't dried out my lips at all, it has kept them as soft as they were when I started to use it and at £3 I think it was worth the money.
Item: Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner
Colour: Black Ice
Price: £2.50 (bought on promotion usually £2.99)
Bought in: From my door to door Avon rep
Design and packaging: This eyeliner comes in a plastic extendable pen like container. It has a lid and when you remove the lid the eyeliner itself extends when you twist the bottom of the plastic casing. It is 12.8cm overall in length, so is slightly shorter than the average length of an ink pen, just to give you an idea of size. The lid is 5cm long and clicks off with quite a hard pull. So no fears that this will snap off or fall off on its own and allow the eye liner to go on to any make up bags/hand bags etc. Once you take the lid off the eyeliner is moved up the tube by holding the rim where the eyeliner comes out and twisting the bottom of the tube. It moves up very easily and can be twisted back downwards if you push it too far up, meaning it can be full retracted after each use. The eyeliner is held securely and when applying it, this does not "fall" back down the tube, it holds its position very well. The tube is black with silver/glittery lettering over it. The lid is plain black, however the main tube has all of the product details on it. It states that it is "Avon, Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner, Black Ice". It is very easy to read this lettering as it is light on a dark background in a clear/bold font. There is also a "diamond" design at the end of the tube which ties in with the name of the product. The tube is light and small enough to fit in my makeup bag and as the lid is secure I would also feel confident to have this in my handbag without it being in a makeup bag. Once you take the lid off, the full tube that is left behind is 12cm in length (before you extend any of the eyeliner) so there is plenty of space to grip the tube when applying the eyeliner.
Application and effect: As you can wind up the eyeliner, the nib (end of the eyeliner) can be as long or short as you want it to be so you can easily alter it dependant on what angle you are trying to apply it at. For example I like to have the eyeliner as short as possible when I am using a magnifying mirror, as I can really see where my eye line is, however if I am using a regular mirror, I need to have it longer to allow me to hold my head back a little to allow my eyes to focus. That's just a personal preference and due to my eyesight but it is good to have that option and I don't have that when using an eye liner that comes in a wooden pencil form. The eye liner itself is 3cm in width and goes on to the eyelid very smoothly. No clumping or dragging. It coats the area in one swipe and if you just want one line that is ample, however if you want to layer it up for a more dramatic, thicker look, you can also layer this up without the newer lines clumping or smudging the first lines. The eyeliner in Black Diamonds is a matt black with glitter though it. The glitter is very light and not thick enough to be rough on your eyelids. The liner wears really well and after a full day of wearing it (8 hours in an office with a walk in the wind and rain to and from my work) it is still on and not smudged at all. The colour stays in place even when applied over eye shadow. It compliments my mascara too, as I wear that in black and the glimmers of glitter catch the light and make my eyes stand out (I checked this by moving my head side to side looking in the mirror haha).
Would I recommend this? Yes. The packaging is well made and durable and easy to use. The colour is exactly as described and it wears well. I am really happy with this and will buy again once this one runs out. So this gets 5 stars from me.
Item: Rimmel Traffic Stopping Shaddow
Colour: 006 Sharp Turn (Black, Silver and Pink)
Bought in: Boots
I was looking for a set of eye shadows that contained a dark (black or charcoal) and silver and chose this one.
Packaging and design:
This is a trio of eye shadows that come in a rectangular plastic box. The lid is clear so you can see the colours through it. The box opens at one end and has quite a strong clip so I don't fear that it will fall open on its own. I do have to apply some pressure to it to open it. The box also contains a double ended foam applicator, which unfortunately does not stay in place that has been carved out for it. It moves freely as soon as you tip up the box so it does cause a bit of mess by scattering powder across the other shadows and lid. The Applicator is adequate for a simple eye shadow application, however when I try to create a dramatic look by layering up the shadows the foam sections are just too small to do this, so I do use another applicator that I already owned. The shadows are raised in to individual "dome" shapes and sit up and out from the tray they are sitting on. I assume that Rimmel are trying to copy a design that Channel have used before on eye shadow sets. The eye shadows being raised like this makes is harder to get the actual shadow on the applicator and I find myself going over and around the dome shape trying to get an even cover on the applicator. The shadows look nice in this design but it actually makes it harder to use them and I fear that if I don't keep putting the applicator across the shadow evenly it will create a dent in one area that could result in the shadow cracking. The box itself it simple and has limited details on it. The front has "Rimmel Traffic Stopping Shaddow". The back is where you need to look to get details on the colour and size. The back of the box also has details on how you should apply the shadows using a "paint by numbers" description and has numbered the shadows: 1, 2 and 3. The clear case has now also cracked across the top from just being in my makeup bag so I will soon have to leave this in the house or my bag will be covered in eye shaddow.
Application and wear:
As I mentioned the application is adequate for simple every day wear (simply using one of the colours lightly across the lower lid near the eye lashes). However when I tried to follow the instructions on the back of the box to create the more dramatic look using all three colours I found that the applicator was too small and took me excessive tries at getting the colour on to the designated areas of my eyelid so I had to use an alternative applicator that I already owned. Regardless of whether I am wearing just one colour or all three layered up together the shadow only lasts around 2 hours before I have to retouch it and correct smudging. The colour goes on quite evenly and does cover the eye lid well but after blinking for 2 hours I have a very smudged eye lid. The colour is also sparkly through the black shadow so that glitter spreads all over the eye lid too. The initial look is great but if you buy this set, be prepared for checking and topping up regularly.
The set contains three colours, a black, a silver and a pink. Each one does go on to the eye lid well and has a deep colour but all do smudge easily. The pink is very light and has a shimmer through it. the silver is quite thick and metallic looking and the black has glitter through it. So you do get a good variety of colours that complement each other.
Overall: I would not buy this set again. The colours are nice and the set looks good but since the shadow smudges and the applicator is tricky to use and the box has cracked I can only give this a 1 out of 5 stars.
Item: Rimmel Lycra Pro Nail Polish
Price: £4.59 (bought as part of a 3 for 2 deal so worked out cheaper than £4.59)
Colour: 381 Jade Green
Bought in: Boots
I was looking on Instagram and saw Cherry Healey wearing some lovely bright green nail polish so I went on a hunt to get myself some.
This nail polish comes in a glass bottle with a rigid black plastic lid/applicator handle. The bottle is 2.5cm wide and 7cm tall (3.5cm of that is the bottle and 3.5cm is the lid). As the bottle is 2.5cm wide it gives the bottle a good base and when I have the lid off I don't worry about it falling over while it is sitting. The bottle is clear glass so you can see the colour of the polish though it. The lid is black. Both have white writing on them that stands out nice and clear from the background colours. The lid has a picture of the brush in it so you can see that it is a wide brush and it states "anti fade, colour system" which is really eye catching as I've not seen that many nail polishes with a picture of the brush on them. The bottle has details of the brand (Rimmel) and of the type of polish (Lycra Pro, Professional Finish, up to 10 days) It is strange to see the Lycra logo on a nail polish as I would usually associate this with clothing but again this caught my attention and made me look closer at the polish. The colour is written on the bottom of the front of the bottle. I like this as it means that you can see the name of the colour on the shelf without having to pick it up. If you are looking for a colour that's fine, to just literally look at the colour through the bottle, but if you are replacing one that has run out and you are looking for a certain name it is annoying to have to loft out the bottles to look under them. I like the look and feel of this bottle. It is sturdy without being so big that I worry it will start to dry out before I have had time to use it all. Aside from the colour attracting me to the polish on this occasion as I was looking for a jade green anyways, the picture of the brush and the "Lycra" symbol encouraged me to pick this one.
Application and results:
The brush on this nail polish is around twice as wide as the average brush you get in a Rimmel nail polish and it is also flatter too which means that you can apply a full coat in one to two strokes. It only took one on my pinkie nail and two on my thumb nail. This is really good as it means that you are not going over the same area more than needed as that sometimes causes glooping or actually drags off the nail polish you already had on. I applied one coat and let it dry for around three or four minutes then I applied a second coat. This polish doesn't state that it is fast drying but it did dry quite quickly and the second coat went on smoothly and without any dragging on/off of the first coat. The colour is really bright and also has a nice glaze over it. The polish has stayed on my nails for 3 days now and has only ever so slightly starred to show signs of a tiny bald patch line at the very tips of my nails. During this time I have been washing dishes, applying make-up, typing etc and not been careful of my nails at all. I have never managed to keep nail polish on for ten days so wasn't expecting this one to last that length of time. I am happy to get three full days of wear out of it. I like to change my nail colour regularly anyway so will take it off tonight and go for another colour. If you really wanted to get 10 days out of it, you could patch up a bald spot and you most likely would get ten days wear. The polish went on smoothly and easily and the colour is really bold and eye catching. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but for a change I really enjoyed having bright green nails. I will buy more colours from this range as the polish itself is good and when I was shopping for this one I did see other colours I liked too. However didn't buy them as part of my '3 for 2' as I needed other make up more urgently haha. Also as you know I love to do a sniff test and this polish has an average, not too lingering polish scent.
Overall I am happy that I picked this polish out of the other options available. The colour is perfect for what I was looking for. The price at £4.59 on its own would have been too expensive, but as part of a '3 for 2' was a good deal and the brush being wider and flatter than others I have used was a real bonus too. I will keep this in mind for taking on holiday as it will be even nicer with a tan haha
Item: Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner
Colour: 018, Addiction (deep matt salmon pink colour)
Bought in: Boots
I found myself in Boots last week looking around and decided I would buy myself a new lip liner. I had a look on the displays and this one caught my eye.
This lip liner comes in a plastic tube (pencil shaped) rather than being a liner inside a wooden pencil. The plastic tube is very close to the actual colour of the lip liner and this makes is really easy to find a colour you like. The tube is 13cm long and 0.8cm wide and since you don't sharpen this one it will remain that size until it runs out. The detail across the tube is all written in very reflective silver text. I have never been a fan of reflective text as it can make it difficult to read the words (unless you roll it back and forth to try and hide it from anything reflecting on it). However this one wasn't too bad as it was on quite a dark background so at least the text stood out. Across the tube it tells you "Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner" and has details of the weight (0.25g), head office address and the shade. The colour I chose is a deep matt salmon pink colour and the name of this is "018, Addiction". The lid is quite hard to push off, which I love as I do hate leakages and you need to pull the tube with one hand and the lid with the other to release it. Once the lid is off you can see the actual lip liner encased in the other part of the tube. The top section of the tube is slanted so the lip liner can be applied at an angle and this gives some support to the liner and prevents it snapping off. When full extended the liner itself is 3.3cm long and 0.3cm wide.
Application and results:
When first applying this lip liner there is just enough of the liner above the top of the applicator tube to allow you one application, after that you can easily get more out by holding the section just below the top opening and the bottom of the tube and twisting. You can twist up as little or as much as you need and the liner stays firms in place while you apply, no falling down inside the tube. As the top opening where the liner comes out is slanted it means that you can apply this similarly to a lip stick in that you can apply reasonable pressure to the liner without fear of it snapping and the slant allows you to guide the liner round your lips more easily. The liner is matt so does go on to the lips smoothly but dries in very quickly. I like this as it means that the liner stays in position for longer and I do tend to wear a dab of gloss over it anyways so it doesn't get too gloopy. The liner is thick enough to give full coverage without looking caked on too. For this colour I have been using it all over my lips to give them more colour then adding a little bit of gloss, but for the purpose of this review I also tried using it as a liner only and it still gave great cover and didn't bleed into the outer edges of my lips. The colour stays on for at least 90 mins and during that time I am usually either chatting a lot or having a cup of tea so I feel that is a decent amount of time to last. This liner has a faint plastic smell to it when you first take the lid off but that disappears within seconds and I am almost sure that is more to do with the plastic tube rather than the lip liner itself.
I was really pleased with this lip liner in terms of colour and wear. As it is a "twist up" design it is also handy for weekends away/holidays as you don't need to take a pencil sharpener with you.
Item: Hartley's No Added Sugar Jelly Pot
Price: 48p each or 5 for £2
Bought in: Asda
I sometimes really crave a fruits treat but I find jelly sweets just don't agree with me and give me terrible indigestion. So I buy in these little jelly pots. I eat fruit during the day at my work so I'm not having this as an alternative to real fruit, just to satisfy a sweet fruit flavoured craving.
These Jellies are pre-made and come in little clear plastic pots with foil lids. I like jelly but not enough to make it myself and I never have enough Tupperwear to store it once it is made (I own a lot but can just never find it all). The pots are really colourful and the colours on the lid and label match the actual colour of the jelly inside the pot, so in this case the jelly is orange in flavour and colour and so is the lid and the label. The Plastic pots are really quite sturdy and so is the foil lids. When I first bought them I balanced them gently on the very top of the shopping trolley for fear they would be crushed and leak jelly all over the other shopping but that's never happened (so far). The general design across the label and lid is of big splodges of jelly with the branding and product description across them. They both day "Hartley's No Added Sugar Orange Flavour Jelly Pot". The word "flavour" is written in tiny type, I assume to lead people to believe that the product is made with real fruit but from seeing the colour of the product I can take a good guess that it is not! And on reading the ingredients the word "orange" is not there so this is indeed a product that tastes like orange, not a real orange haha The lid peels off really easily as there is a little tab that hangs over the edge of the rim of the pot. At its narrowest point the pot is 5cm wide so is big enough to get a good grip on in your hands when eating from it.
Taste and smell test:
When you peel the lid off you get a wiff of orange, not real orange but the smell of orange cordial. I like it and a I am not eating this as a substitute for real fruit I am happy just to get the flavour of orange rather than having one of my 5 a day. The jelly tastes pretty much of orange cordial too, sweet but not tangy and no acidic aftertaste either. It does have a vague orange fruit juice taste but overall has the taste of more of a fruit flavoured sweetie than a piece of fruit. The jelly when kept in the cupboard can be quite soft and runny so I pop it in the fridge for an hour before I am ready to eat it. Which hardens it up nicely to the point that I can cut through it to get a satisfyingly wobbly lump on my spoon and can see it jiggle before I eat it.
I chose the "no added sugar" option of these jellies as they are only 3 calories per 100g and I would rather use up my daily calorie allowance on something more exciting than jelly haha But they really do satisfy me when I get an urge to reach for the Haribo or similar if my husband has a bag of sweets out.
Also worth noting is that these little pots can sit in the cupboard for quite a long time. They usually have at least a year's sell by date on them and I like that they can stay in the cupboard rather then having to take up space in the fridge.
I am happy to give this 5 stars, a low calorie sweet treat that can be stored in the cupboard for the odd fruit flavoured craving.
Item: Maybelline Illegal Length Fibre Extension Mascara
Bought in: Superdrug
I was totally 100% lured in by the name of this product. I really want illegal length eye lashes, so thought I would give it a try once my other mascara finally ran out last week.
This mascara comes attached to a bright pink card and was quite prominently displayed on the Maybelline make up stand. On the card it states "Instant lash extension effect. No flakes. Fibre fix brush" there is a diagram of an eye lash showing how the mascara should increase the lash by 4mm. There is also an image of an eye, this is a drawing rather than a real eye and the lashes look MASSIVE. So after seeing all of this I was totally convinced this may be the magic mascara I have dreamed of. The tube that the mascara comes in is quite plain and silver all over. There is a slight curve to the tube that makes no difference at all to the application, just to the overall look of the product. On the tube there is only one thing written "Maybelline Illegal Length Fibre Extension Mascara" so if you want any details on ingredients or the manufacturers, you need to keep the card as this is has the details on the back. Overall I would prefer if the mascara tube had more details on it but after reading the blurb on the card I felt like I wouldn't really need to refer back to it too much.
So did I really see "Instant lash extension effect. No flakes" from the fibre fix brush?
Yes and no! The colour is fine, it is black and shiny and when it is on my eye lashes it gives a nice dark effect. It is the getting it on the lashes part that is hard work. The brush is 3cm long and tapers from being 0.7cm wide to 0.4cm wide. The bristles are widely spread out and I find that my eye lashes seem to slip in between the bristles rather than being caught by them. The bristles are also really soft and bend easily. They seem to tickle the eye lashes rather than grab them and layer then up. I can see that the mascara does create a "fibre length" but this is just at the tips of my lashes and this is after a lot of side to side wiggle application. I usually apply mascara to both sides of my lashes anyways but I found I had to do this on repeat around at least 4 times before I could see any real look of mascara on my eye lashes. This is 3 times more than I would usually have to work to get a "day time" look. I was staying in one night at the start of the week and decided to try and layer up even more to try and get a "going out" look but after layering it on 8 times my lashes had started to clump before they really looked ready to go to a party. This is a real pity as I think that the brush is what lets this product down. I feel that it is too long and wide to begin with so you need to be careful you don't touch your eye lids with it when applying. Then as the bristles are wide apart and very soft, one you do get it near the lash it doesn't get a chance to get mascara off the brush and on to the eye lash. I have been persevering with this mascara as I really hate waste and it's not bad enough to bin but the results are really nowhere near as good as I expected, in fact they are less impressive than using a regular mascara.
I am giving this one 2 stars, one for colour and one for the fibre effect (that does happen just now easy to achieve with the brush supplied). 3 stars off for the wand size and shape and the overall poo results.
I am sad that this wasn't what I hoped for but it just means I will have to try another new mascara soon, yay!
Item: Nivea Crème Soft Shower Gel
Price: 85p (but bought as part of a 3 for 2 deal)
Bought in: Superdrug
If you have read my reviews before you can probably detect I seem to have an addiction to travel size toiletries!!! Haha and this was the latest addition to my collection.
This travel size bottle is of similar design to the full size bottle of Nivea Crème Soft shower gel, with a mostly white bottle and a dark blue lid. The bottle holds 50ml of shower gel and is at its largest points 10 x 4.5 x 1cm in size. The white on the bottle has a slight iridescent look to it and the details are attached to it on a clear sticker. The front of the bottle details "Nivea, Crème Soft Shower Gel. Mild scent and moisturising almond oil." This gives you enough info to tell you what is in the bottle and an idea of what it will smell like. The back has details on the ingredients and the address for the head office. The logo across the front is bold blue and white and is easily recognisable as a Nivea product. As the bottle is 50ml it fitted easily in to my wash bag for my overnight trip away. The lid is made of thicker plastic than the rest of the bottle and to open it you have to press quite hard and do a half turn, it then pops off altogether so it half way between a flip top lid and a screw top. To get the lid off you do need to press and turn quite hard so although I do prefer a screw top lid, this one does feel secure enough to go in the wash bag without fear it will pop open on its own.
Does it leave me feeling fresh and clean?
Yes! It cleaned my skin and I could smell it on me for at least an hour after my shower. I do tend to go for a fruity shower gel but as I was taking this with me to share with my OH I chose a more "soapy" scented shower gel that suited both of our tastes. This really does just smell like a bar of soap and although it stated it has Almond oil in it, I couldn't detect the exact scent of Almond through it. But it did smell very nice. I wouldn't say that it gave enough moisture to stop me having to use my regular moisturiser on my skin, but it certainly didn't dry my skin at all.
I was able to use the usual amount to shower and so was my husband and we still have a little left in the bottle. So I would say you can get 3 showers out of this little bottle. So that makes it about 29p per wash. I am happy to pay that as I means I can take a much smaller bottle with me and had space for other items in my wash bag too.
I will happily give this 5 stars.
Item: St Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
Bought in: Superdrug
I bought this after another facial scrub ran out and I happened to see it in the travel section of Superdrug. The tube I bought is only 30ml in size and I chose this as I hadn't used this product in a number of years so decided to try the travel size. Just on the off chance that it wasn't as good, I wouldn't have a huge tube left to use.
This scrub comes in a tube that has "New Look" across the top but when I saw it on the shelf I recognised it immediately to I assume that that packaging hasn't changed drastically since I used this a few years ago. The Tube is overall white with a number of bright and bold colours making up the design and text. At the top of the tube there is a photo of an apricot that has been cut in half so you can see that Apricots are involved even without having read the text. The front and back of the tube is really quite text heavy, but I won't see this as a negative as the tube I bought is travel size so on a larger tune this info would be more spaced out and look a lot less fussy. From the top down on the text reads "St Ives. Fresh Skin. Apricot Scrub. Invigorating. Gently exfoliates dull surface cells to instantly reveal smooth, radiant skin. All skin types. Oil free with 100% natural exfoliants" This is all very informative but strangely it doesn't mention at all that this is a facial scrub. If I was looking for a good body scrub to use I would be disappointed to have picked this up and get it home only to read on the back that the directions for use tell you to apply it to your face. The scrub technically could be used in any part of your body but the scrub is much finer than a full body scrub so would not be as effective. The back of the tube, as I mentioned, advises you how to use the product and gives full details on the ingredients which they advise are made from "100% natural extracts". The
When you squeeze the scrub from the tube it is cream in colour and you can see the actual "scrub particles" though it as they are a pale brown colour. The scrub has quite a strong smell of apricots. Not fo fresh apricots but more of that artificial smell you get from apricot flavoured sweets. It is nice and thankfully once it is out of the tube the smell dies down quickly. You can smell it when applying it but after washing it off there is only a very faint remainder of scent on your skin and that fades away to nothing within a few minutes. I like that the smell dies away as I use a number of other scented products so would rather smell of them than of peach flavoured sweets haha
Use and results:
The back of the tube advises you to "Moisten face with water. Dispense product on to fingertips and massage over face. Rinse with water, Avoid contact with eyes. For best results use 3 or 4 times a week.". I always use this scrub in the shower as I found that trying to use it over the sink was far too complicated and resulted in me being soaking wet. When I apply it I do indeed wet my face first then apply the scrub to my fingertips. I squeeze out around a 2cm line of scrub on my fingertips, then press this on to my nose and cheeks first. I press it in to my face and rub over, in the same way you would if you were using soap to clean your face, only pressing a lot harder. At first I make sure to only do this over the area from the top of my nose down to make sure that none goes in my eyes then full wash that off. I then get another 1cm of the scrub and press that on to my forehead and temples and scrub it in to the skin. However when I am doing my forehead I to my head forward to ensure that none of the scrub can wash in my eyes. Then I squeeze my eyes tightly closed as I rinse it off. The scrub feels a lot bigger than it actually is when you are scrubbing it in. it feels like the size of pebbles over your skin but is actually only just slightly bigger than the size of grains of sand. The scrub is gritty and really does scrub away dead skin on your face. When you wash it off your skin feels a little tingly and is slightly red from the friction. This dies away very quickly. I especially like to use this to ensure that I don't get patchy dry skin on my face in the winter and when I return from my summer holidays. I don't personally feel l need to use this 3 to 4 times a week to keep my skin smooth but if you have dry patches you might. The actual motion of rubbing it over the skin on my face actually feels really nice so I enjoy using it. This particular tube is labelled "Invigorating" and it really lives up to its name.
I am glad that I found this again. I had been using a stronger scrub that had menthol through it (might review that later too) and feel this one is kinder to my skin. I will buy a full size tube once this rubs out. 5 stars from me.
Item: Asda Little Angels Baby Lotion
Bought in: Asda
I bought this for me, not for a wee baby so will tell you how I liked it and you can see if you or your baby would too! I was looking for a small and easy to travel with moisturiser that I could use on my hands and body and when I saw this in Asda at 50p I thought it was worth a try. I was going on a plane so the maximum size I could take was 100ml so this was ideal size wise too.
This comes in a bottle with a screw on lid. The bottle measures 10cm in height and 4cm wide. The lid is smaller and is only 2cm wide. The bottle is pal pink and quite opaque. You can just see the level of the lotion through it though so you can tell what you have left. The bottle has a white label around it with nice, bright colourful text across it in a rainbow of colours. There is a little cartoon baby on the front who reminds you it is for baby's, but that didn't put me off haha. The front of the label tells you that it "leaves skin soft and smooth, moisturises baby's skin and it hypoallergenic". The back has further details on the how to apply it "apply using cotton wool. Use to moisturise skin after cleaning." However this is the directions to apply it to a baby so I made my own arrangements haha. The lid is easy to grip, even just after the shower with damp hands you can still grip the lid properly to open. The lid screws on really tightly and I have had it dropped in the bottom of a hold all and my handbag and no leaks. I like the look of this wee bottle. The pink is really girly and even though there is a little baby on the front I didn't feel like it was too baby-ish. The label pulls off really easily too so if you wanted to re-use the bottle after for other toiletries on flights for carry-on luggage you could.
Use and results:
This lotion is pale pink and is the same consistency as double cream, it pours out of the bottle easily with a light tap on the end (like getting tomato sauce out of the bottle haha). I have used this on my hands and legs, tummy, arms and have had great results. For my hands I have poured around a 10p size dollop out and rub between both hands. It dries in really quickly and has a silky after feel, but not greasy. For my legs, tummy and arms, I used bigger dollops and just rubbed it in. On these areas it also sank in really quickly and my skin felt really soft afterwards. The lotion smells pretty much exactly the same as Johnstone's Baby Lotion, which is a nice light fragrance. I find that quite comforting. I do have other lotions in the house that are specifically created for adults, but every now and again it is nice to be smothered in something that reminds me of being a wee baby. As a space saver and on a budget this a is a cracking little bargain. I wouldn't use it continually but for the short term and to save me space in my hand luggage this is brilliant.
I will happily give this 5 stars. The bottle is cute and the lids shuts securely. The lotion makes your skin feel nice and soft and dries in really quickly. At 50p for 100ml this is good value for money too.
Item: Cadbury Instant Hot Chocolate
Bought in: Tesco (Metro)
I usually prefer to buy either Options or Highlights hot chocolate but when I was away this weekend I realised I hadn't taken any with me so I popped to the nearest shop. This was a Tesco Metro and they didn't have either so I picked up a regular Cadbury hot chocolate sachet.
This hot chocolate comes in a sachet with the recommended amount to make a single serving inside. I noticed straight away that it felt like the sachet was longer and heavier than mu usual Options or highlights. It was actually much bigger, where a Cadbury Highlights sachet measures in at 4x13cm for the sachet and 11g in weight, this one was 4x17cm in size and 28g in weight. The wrapper is predominantly purple (that distinctive Cadbury purple colour) with brown chocolate swirls across it. The text is in either white or gold and is clearly written "Cadbury. Hot Chocolate. Instant. Just stir in hot water." All very simple but really all you need to know. The back of the packet also has details on the ingredients and directions on how to make the hot chocolate. The top of the sachet has a perforate line that tells you to "tear here" but as with a lot of other sachets this didn't tear all the way across so I ended up cutting the full top off with scissors, which made it much easier to get the powder out.
"Just stir in hot water"
Well that's what it says on the front. But on the back it tells you "with 200ml of hot water, put one sachet of Cadbury Instant Hot Chocolate into a mug and stir in hot water". Now I said in earlier review of the Cadbury Highlights sachet that I use a little less than 200ml to make the hot chocolate but for this one, once I had poured the powder in to the cup I could see that there was so much powder that I would actually need a little bit more than 200ml of water. I ended up tipping the powder over from my cup in to a mug so I could put more water in when I needed it. The powder does all dissolve eventually but it takes a bit of stirring, but that is just due to their being quite a lot of powder, more than I am used to with the Cadbury Highlights sachets. In the end I had added about 230ml of water but still found it to be really quick thick.
This tasted really rich and very creamy (especially as I am used to Highlights which is of course the "lower fat/calorie" version so would of course would be a bit lighter). The powder has a nice sweet chocolate scent as soon as you open it up and this becomes much stronger as you add hot water to it. The hot chocolate has a pleasant milk chocolate taste to it and the powder mixed with the water is quite dense. It almost feels like there is cream in it, as it feels so thick. I left around the last 2 gulps in the mug though as I felt like the powder had settled there, even though it had seemed to be fully dissolved before I started to drink it. I don't usually have to keep stirring other hot chocolates as I drink them so hadn't done with this one, but maybe should have.
I will give this 4 stars as it is rich and creamy and if you like that in a hot chocolate this is the one for you. I have taken a star off as I felt you actually need more than the recommended 200ml of water and due to the powder being left at the bottom of the mug.
Club Magic Life Hotel/Resort Sharm El Sheikh
We went here last year in August and have now booked to go back again in November. The food and cocktails are out of this world.
Food - The main buffet restaurant changes its full décor every night and they have a different food theme on every night too. If you are walking past the buffet restaurant during the day in between lunch and dinner you will actually see the staff carrying in giant Italian, Mexican, Egyptian etc decor such as giant flags and seahorses and tents. They literally change the look of the full restaurant each night on a fortnightly cycle. For the Al La Carte restaurants they have a sea food one, an Egyptian one and a Spanish one and all are delicious. You can book each one once per week, so if you go for a week you can make 3 bookings and if you go for 10 days or more you can book it 5 or 6 times. Breakfast is also really good, you get things like French toast, cereals and fruits and sausages. Not quite the same as a UK fry up, but I like that they are different options on offer as I'm not that much of a fan of the fry up anyways. They also have a gorgeous little café up a tower (Café Sissi) that serves cake and coffee all day and has been decorated like a really fancy church with all paintings up the walls and ceilings.
Rooms: They have double beds!! Not those hilarious holiday twin beds that are popped next to each together, proper double beds. The rooms are nicely laid out with freshly painted white walls and burgundy seats and covers on the beds and the furniture is all dark wood. You can see the design from the website. We booked the lowest priced room option which was the "double room with garden view" and found it to be very spacious and the view of the gardens was also lovely as the grounds are very well kept. The bathroom is a bit "Sopranos" all cream/brown Italian marble but even though it's not modern in the bathroom, it is clean and very functional and there is a good light above the bathroom mirror for makeup. Your fridge in the room is re- stocked with water and fizzy pop daily at no extra cost.
The hotel grounds: These are lovely, there is a tennis court, a gym, lots of flowery gardens and there is loads of room so you can have a great wander about without constantly bumping in to people. There are loads of trees and they have made a real effort to decorate the gardens to at every other turn there is something new to see such as illuminated toad stools, boats with floral arrangements in them and Egyptian statues.
Bars: There are at least 5 bars that I can remember, the sports bar has branded spirits and you can sit inside it and watch a bit of sports and they bring you nibbles to have with your drinks. It is like an old tavern, rather than the usual idea of a sports bar and has wicker furniture and glass tables, it actually made us feel like we were sitting inside a massive conservatory The rest of the bars cover the beach, an area right in the middle of the complex and around the pool and one has internet access. ALL bars do amazing cocktails. Our faves were pina colads, island colads and mai tai's, but there was around 20 or more on offer at each bar. My OH said the beer was drinkable and at the restaurants you can get bottles of wine with your meal (all as part of the all inclusive price). The bars were all really nicely laid out and stylishly decorated (you will see them on the 360 tour) and all had a really friendly atmosphere.
Tanning: There are 3 areas to sunbathe, the activities pool where they do aqua aerobics and it was a constant source of hilarity. The quiet pool for folks wanting to read their books and chill out pool side and the beach. We loved the beach, it had separate cabanas and the bar had all the cocktails on offer. The jetty was fab too and we walked along it every day (I'm not keen on the water but still managed it) and the snorkelling off the end of the jetty looked amazing, I only snorkelled in the very shallow water but my OH went in off the deep end and was hooked!
Entertainment: The hotel put on a lot of things at night, bingo, gala dinners, theatre shows, sports in the sports bar, parties down the beach and other themed nights. If you want to get a copy of their schedule, use the email address on the website and they will send the most recent programme. We did do trips out to the Pyramids and the shopping centres last time but when we go back we will happily spend the full 14 nights in the hotel. If you wanted to you can go out and about via the Thomson rep's trips but the hotel also have a taxi and mini bus which is really reliable and take you to each of the main pubs/shopping areas and you just arrange the time they will pick you up and it is much cheaper than via Thomson.
The staff: The staff were all really friendly and helpful. We didn't have any major issues while on holiday but any questions on things like currency, getting extra juice sent to the room and arranging a taxi were all dealt with super quick and in a really nice way. The staff do seem to work long hours but even at the end of the day they are all still very forthcoming in their offers to help you and being happy and friendly towards the guests.
You can only book this hotel via the First Choice or Thomson website as it is one of their exclusives so watch it for a couple of weeks if you do fancy it as prices go up and down. It is one of their platinum hotels and this means you are the first to be dropped off from the airport and the last to be picked up on the way back which was actually really quite a bonus.
The cocktails were so good it was at the beach drinking them that we decided to get married!
If you are interested to go to this hotel here is the link to the company website, you just need to click on Sharm El Sheikh to find it, have a look at the 360 tour if you can as it really gives you a good idea of the lay out
For a cocktail lover like me this hotel is ideal. It is a bit more expensive than other hotels very close to it, but friends have been to those and this hotel and have always commented that the food and drink is not as good in the other hotels so we are happy to pay a bit more to get the better drinks and food. If you are thinking of going drop me a line and I can answer any questions you have.
Item: Kleenex Balsam Pocket Tissues
Size: 6 packs of 9 tissues
Bought in: Savers
I usually go for a regular tissue when I pick up packs of pocket tissues, but as the winter creeps in I have already started to feel myself reach for the tissues more and more often so I decided to get a pack of these nice soft balmy ones, to save me getting a big red Rudolph like nose!
These packs come in a clear cellophane wrapper than holds the 6 packs together and across this it states Kleenex Balsam. The individual packs have a bright green, blue and yellow wrapper. The top of the pack tears open in a half circle and has a re-sealable tab to close the tissues back over one you have taken one out. The front of the pack has a silhouette of a face with a tear drop shape in the centre of it to depict that the tissues contain balm. The tissues themselves are 4 ply, but these seems to be 4 very thin layers, actually seeming to be thinner than the layers you get on a 3 ply tissue. However they do feel very soft and thicker than the average tissue. When you rub the tissues between your fingers they slide rather than grip so you can actually feel how smooth and soft they are. The tissue measures 21 x 21cm and have so far always been large enough to deal with even my runniest nose. The edges of the tissues have a lightly embossed design and I think that this is maybe more to hold them together than for aesthetics.
Use and results:
These tissues definitely do feel much softer than then average tissue. When you need to use then regularly throughout the day, you will get further in to the day before you start to feel delicate on the end of your nose. The tissues are thick and as they are in a re-sealable packet they are easy to carry about with you. They can come in quite expensive so I tend to pick up packs before I need them and when I see them on offer to save me having to buy them at high prices or to have to buy one individual pack which often costs around 60-70p.
I do recommend these tissues and suggest as the winter comes in that if you are going to use them, you also pick them up when you see them on offer, to save a few extra pennies.
Item: Colour Catcher Washing Machine Sheets
Pack size: 20 sheets
Bought in: Asda
I bought these as I was fed up having a dark pile and a whites piles in the laundry room then a pile where I thought, what wash do these go in??? haha
These sheets come in a super colourful, bold and bright red box. It has "Colour Catcher" written across the front in white with coloured "bubbles" and a technicolour washing machine drum behind it too. The box states "The proof is in the sheet! Prevents colour runs, allows mixed washes" so when I read that I was sold. The side of the box details some general hints and tips on how to deal with coloured washes. The back of the box has more detailed instructions that are accompanies with cartoon diagrams which make it even easier to work out how to use them. The box has a perforated line around the top 3 side of the box, once you press this to open the top is made in to a flip top lid, that unfortunately never closes over again. No section to clip the lid back in the box so I tend to have to keep these in the box but popped in a sandwich bag to keep them from falling out the box in the cupboard. The box is also made of quite thin cardboard so loses its shape and sturdy frame once opened. This is quite annoying and makes the box quite useless and tatty looking after initial use. The sheets are flat and less than half a centimetre thick and measure 27.5cm in length and 12cm in width.
You are directed from the box to place 1 sheet at the back of the drum before loading the machine. It also advises to use 2 to 3 sheets for new, dark or non-colour fast garments. Then you load the washing, put in your detergent as normal and once the washing cycle has finished you just discard the sheet. I do all of the above and find the process really simple. The last wash I used them for had a delicate white cardigan, a white and dark blue strip top, dark trousers and a mixture of socks, pants and PJ's. The sheet came out grey and thicker than it was to start with owing to it being wet. The colours hadn't run at all and the whites were still white rather than grey or any other colours. In washed where I have had in greens and reds and blues the sheet still seems to come out grey so I guess that once any colours run out the all combine to make a grey colour.
The sheets have a slightly perfumed fragrance to them but this doesn't seem to overpower the detergent you use so I'm not sure why they have bothered to scent them. They are really handy to have in the cupboard, I don't use them every week, just when I am left with a pile of clothes that resemble Josephs technicolour dream coat. If you only need one per wash they work out at approx 11p per sheet so not overly expensive but I feel that if I used them in every wash I would be wasting my money as they are not always required.
Happy to give these 4 stars as they have so far saved me having to separate a lot of colourful washes but a star has been taken off as the box is really flimsy and does required me to store it in a bag to keep the sheets together.