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So, it's always the way isn't it, you have a week off work, looking forward to going off somewhere, having a few relaxing days in to yourself even, and then A, the dreaded lurgy strikes, and B, the person who gave you the dreaded lurgy is off work with it too, thus getting under your feet, and totally ruining your week off with incessant moanings of "Urghhh I've got the man flu!"....I'll give you the bloody man flu if you don't shut up....sorry, excuse my mumblings, but this is what I've had to put up with all week, this and a sore throat, blocked nose....you get the picture!
So after going through a whole box of tissues between us, supplies needed topping up, so a visit to the supermarket was in order. A box of mansize was popped into the trolley along with some of these Kleenex Balsam Fresh Pocket Tissues to help and heal my sore red nose.
The usual retail price of these is £1.29 for a pack of 6 packs, with each pack containing 9 tissues. I got these at Tesco, and at the moment, they have these on offer for just a pound, and this offer is on until the 10/8/11. They also sell singular packs for 55p.
Now, these aren't just any tissue, these are "special" tissues! They really are different to your bog standard tissue, they really do serve a purpose other than for blowing your nose with. Upon taking one out of the pack, my first reaction was "Ah Menthol!" To me they smell very much like Vicks Vapor Inhaler. After the first use, the menthol was so strong (but not overbearing), that it instantly unblocked my nose, and I could breathe freely again for the first time in days. Also, as you can imagine, after days of nose blowing, my poor nose was dry, red and sore, but after a few uses of these tissues, my nose seemed to magically heal, no having to reach for the vaseline or balm like I usually have too.
The reason why these are so caring and healing is because is because they leave behind a micro fine layer of Calendula, which is a balm which helps soothe. A quick google tells me that Calendula is a field marigold, and that extracts from it have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and that they soothe irritated tissue.
There is these tissues, Balsam Fresh and the ordinary Balsam ones, the difference being the original one just contain the Calendula balm, but these ones contain both the balm and the Menthol, which to my mind is much more beneficial in helping in helping ease the symptoms of a cold, and it seriously does help you to breathe much clearer too.
They are 4 ply, and are 21 x 21cm, so they are large enough, and are excellent quality, very strong, no falling apart and disintigrating in your hands after one blow of your nose.
One thing I have noticed from them though, is that because of the menthol content, and because your ear, nose and throat are all connected, I sometimes get a menthol taste in the back of my mouth after blowing my nose, it doesn't happen everytime, but I have noticed it, or maybe it could be because I'm breathing in the menthol, I don't know? It's nothing majorly off putting, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
This is the first time I have used these tissues, and from now on I'll always try and have some of these in, and carry some around in my handbag, as I feel that they really do help and really do soothe when you have the nasty symptoms of a cold. Though for day to day use, I will just use ordinary tissues that don't contain any menthol or any balm. Not just because they work out cheaper (although I was very impressed at how inexpensive these Balsam tissues actually are!), but also because they are more versitile than these, as I feel that the Balsam ones could possibly have the potential to sting or irritate if you used them anywhere else but your nose, namely if you used them near your eyes for example.
Without a doubt, these are the tissues to go for if you are suffering from a cold or the flu!
I first heard about Dr Hauschka products quite a few years ago now, when their products (especially their Rose Day Cream) seemed to be appearing in nearly every magazine, and they always got rave reviews off all the beauty editors and celebs. But it's only now I've actually got round to purchasing one of their products, namely the 'Dr Hauschka Lip Care Stick'.
Dr Hauschka is a natural skin care company which has been around for about 4 decades now, and apparently, it is widely acknowledged as the original and best natural skin care brand. I love to use natural skin care products when and whenever I can, as I find they tend to be the best on my sometimes somewhat sensitive skin and always seem to bring out the best in it.
As mentioned in my sports bottle review, I've been feeling really dehydrated lately, which can affect your body in lots of different ways, and with me, one of the symptoms was really dry lips, they were starting to look a bit prune like....not a good look at all! So that's why I decided once and for all, to stop wasting my money on a million and one different cheap lip balms which seem to get used only a few times at most and then get discarded due to them not being up to the job, and them usually being more style than substance, it was time to pay out a little extra than usual on what would hopefully be an effective lip balm, and on one that would actually do what it claimed to do.
It's not the cheapest lip balm I've come across, retailing at about £9.75, all though I got mine for a couple of pounds cheaper by purchasing it off Ebay. This might seem alot to shell out, but I've found that I don't feel the need to apply it even half as much as I do with cheaper ones. I find that I seem to be applying this less than half the times I had to before. I found that with many other lip balms, a lot of them would seem to sit on the surface of my lips for quite a long time and sometimes not fully absorbing at all, and so not really doing anything at all to improve the condition of my lips. Whereas with this Dr Hauschka Lip Care Stick, I find it absorbs instantly upon application, it glides on easily and only one quick slick is needed and so therefore in the long run will last a lot longer, and actually get a chance to do your lips some good.
When I first got my lip balm, my first impressions of it were that it totally reminded me of something else, and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, until one day it just clicked....it reminds me very much of the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream lip protectant stick! It is fairly similar-ish in it's appearance - Dr Hausckna being a more orangey yellow colour in comparrison to Elizabeth Arden being a more nude colour- but it's the smell that is very reminiscing, that natural herby smell, which with just one whiff makes you know that it is chock full of plant extract goodness, and that this lip balm is going to do nothing but good for your lips!
One thing I discovered when I had the 8 hour stick was that if it is kept about your person, or close to any source of heat, then it did melt very easy, and I felt that the Dr Hauschka stick would suffer the same fate. I know this is probably true of any lip balm, but I feel even more so with this one, due to it's high content of both Beeswax and 5 other plant waxes. These plant waxes help to protect against damaging environmental influences. The natural plant extracts offer an SPF of 3. Not the highest SPF I know, but at least it's something. I also feel that this would be an effective and protective barrier in rainy and windy weather too.
The simple packaging of consists of a white tube with an orange stripe with the Dr Hauschka name and logo are both in gold. It is both understated yet stylish at the same time, and I really like it. I don't like anything too glitzy and over the top, and this isn't, it is simple yet it doesn't look cheap. Due to it's understated packaging, this Lip Balm is very unisex, and I feel that it is one that would appeal to men too. As it absorbs instantly, there is no glossyness left on the surface or the lips, and it isn't highly perfumed in a girly way, just a really natural scent that would be appealing to all.
It is stocked by quite a few different retailers, a quick google brings numerous different purchasing options, so it's widely available.
My experiences of using this lip balm have been nothing but positive, I find that this is a lip balm that actually lives up to it's claims of nourishing and protecting, and to all the hype about the brand. It actually does what it is meant to, it's helped to bring my lips back to life! Upon application my lips drink up the moisture and feel and look healthy and plumped up afterwards and even though it is about 3 or 4 times what I'd normally pay for a balm, I feel this is worth it, as I have been using this for over a month now, and due to not having to apply it as much as I normally would, it has hardly gone down at all.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this Lip Care Stick to anyone, my lips have never looked better!
If you have read my review 'Meat Free Bangers', about Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Sausages, then you'll know I'm not actually a vegetarian, but I am really funny about eating certain kinds of meat, namely sausages and mince, and the reasons behind that are mainly because if I find a piece of gristle for example, well, that's me finished with the meal, I am very easily put off my food! I am also trying to avoid as much red meat for health reasons also, and am just sticking to white meats if at all possible, and with the wide selection of meat substitues available (they really have upped their game on quality now-a-days!), I am finding it surprisingly easy to be honest with you!
So, we started off on the Vegetarian Sausages from the Linda McCartney range and loved them, then moved on to the meat free burgers, and loved them too, this was quickly followed by the toad in the hole, lasagne and then the Peri Peri burgers, and each one was a success, we really were amazed at the quality of everything we had tried so far, and so carried on working our way through different products. One day we decided to do our shop at Asda, and came across these Cheese, Leek and Red Onion Lattice's, different supermarkets stock different items from the range, and so far this is the only place I have seen them, although a quick search also shows up that they are also stocked at Sainsburys too.
I am definetly more of a savoury person than sweet, so these kind of things are right up my street, and at £1.69 for 2, I feel this is quite a reasonable price. They don't look much when you first see them out of the packet, they look fairly smallish, and I felt I could easily eat them both! I was debating wether or not to have both of them or just the one, in the end I decided to just have the one, my mind being made up after reading the nutritional values. Each plait contains a whopping 14g of Sat Fat, and 1.5g of Salt! So by no means healthy at all, but like all things that aren't that healthy, they sure do taste nice, infact they taste absolutely gorgeous!! So as with anything, they are best eaten in moderation. A quick scan through the ingredients shows why the Sat Fat is so high, these contain both butter and cream! In the end though, after cooking, I found that they did expand quite abit, and one was more than enough to satisfy my hunger, and teamed with either baked beans or -like I did- tinned tomatoes, it makes a very tasty and filling snack/meal.
The mature cheddar and mozzarella cheese they contain, is of course vegetarian, and the potato, leak and red onion are chopped to a small and uniform size, so no finding a big lump of one thing and a small lump of another, it is an even mix of ingredients, and eating one is a very enjoyable eating experience as they are so very yummy! Cooking these is very quick and simple too, once placed on a baking tray they only take 25 minutes in the oven, so they are very convienient and great for if you are in a bit of a rush.
Like all the items I've tried from the Linda McCartney range so far, these also come very highly recommended by me and I will award these 4 stars, deducting a star because of the high fat content and the high salt content.
Whilst standing at the till waiting to pay for my goods at my local Body Shop, a stand of miniture products such as shower gels and body lotions caught my eye, and I was informed by the assistant, that there was a special offer on, now I can't remember if it was 3 for 2, or 3 products for a certain price, but it seemed a good enough deal to make me look for a 3rd item to add to my minitures, and the 3rd item was the item I am about to review, The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray.
I chose this product, because in my job, I am constantly on my feet, sometimes up to almost 8 hours at a time, so as you can imagine, by the end of the day my poor feet are aching, so any product that can help cool them down, refresh them and help to bring them back to normal is very appealing to me, and as this is a fairly compact bottle, it is nice and portable to slip into my handbag for instant refreshes throughout the day if needs be, as I find it still works well over stockinged feet. I also find the lid to be very secure and not fall off like some do, so no danger of this leaking all over my bag.
Due to the menthol content, it has an instant cooling effect, you can almost hear your feet breathing a sigh of relief, as it really is so refreshing! It isn't just cooling on first contact, it remains cooling and tingling for about a minute or so after application too. The peppermint oil it contains helps to fight odour-causing bacteria, and thus has a deodorising effect on your feet, helping to make them smell minty fresh! The peppermint smell is very strong, which I personally really love! It's very invigorating too, so as well as refreshing my feet, I also find it helps perk my brain up too, which is great if I'm flagging even more than my feet are!
Apparently, it also contains Glycerin too, which helps to moisturise your feet, which is great, as I was always abit dubious about these kind of sprays, thinking that with the first ingredient being alchohol, that they might just dry your feet out, but I can confirm that this spray definately doesn't do that, although I don't think that they make my feet feel anymore moisturised than they did before application, I think you really need a cream or lotion to do that.
This spray is very competitively priced at just £3 for the 60ml bottle, and £5 for the 100ml bottle, and as you only need a few squirts per foot, you will find that it really does last a long time. I think you'll also find -just like I have- that once tried, it very quickly becomes one of those beauty must-haves! One of those things which comes in handy in all sorts of situations....after a shopping trip....after a long day at work....after a run/exercising etc etc, just pop one in your bag and anytime you feel those feet flagging, just whip out this spray and they'll be instantly revived and refreshed!
After being impressed with this product, I've decided I really should show my feet more attention than I currently do, so I've just ordered some more items from The Body Shop's Peppermint Range, hopefully they will be just as impressive!
As I work in an electrical retailers, I was in a fortunate position to be one of the first people to be able to get an Ipad 2. I was under strict instructions by my OH to put one aside....or else if I came home empty handed then that's it, my bags would be packed and I'd be out on the streets....he was joking obviously....although, he would have went into a major sulk if I hadn't have been able to get one *rolls eyes* Anyhow, along with this holy grail of gadgets, I was also instructed to buy one of these Smart Covers to go with it, apparently this was 'the' item all self respecting Ipads were to be seen in, but to me it just looked like a very expensive piece of polyurethane, a glorified magnet if you like....and I was right!
The Smart Cover clips on to the Ipad via magnets built into both the Ipad and the cover. It aligns perfectly, and attaches with ease, no faffing or fiddling about, and removes just as easy, which is just as well, as to be honest I found it to be annoying and that it got in my way when I was using the Ipad, so more often than not, I just ended up taking it off. It's main purpose is to protect the delicate screen of your Ipad2, so far so good, but my first thought was "what about the back, won't it get scratched?"
Well, apparently it's aluminum back is both tough and durable, so in theory, it should be fine and shouldn't get marked or scratched, but it wasn't really a risk I wanted to take, as with working in retail, I have seen so many Ipod touches and Iphones with scratched backs. This might not be the case with the Ipad2, I don't know, but what I did know is that I would prefer something that gave all round protection, not just from scratches, but also if the machine was knocked or dropped, so after only about a weeks use, the Smart Cover was made redundant, and a leather case was ordered off Ebay for a fraction of the cost and it also had the folds in the cover so that your Ipad can be propped up for a more comfortable reading or typing position. The Smart Cover has 4 folds so that it folds back on it's self to create a stand.
After first and foremost being a protecting cover for your delicate equipment, it's other main function is to automatically power the Ipad on and off, when you open the cover the Ipad instantly wakes up, and when you fold the cover back down, it automatically goes to sleep. A nice enough feature to have I suppose, but not really a necessity, but will appeal to those who like the more gimicky things in life. In the case that I have mine in now, I just have to press the button at the bottom, and hey presto, the Ipad comes alive, I don't need a case to do that for me.
The cover has a microfibe lining which apparently helps buff away any marks or fingerprints on the screen, but again, nothing a quick wipe every so often with a glasses cloth or some screen clean won't clear, but a nice touch all the same. It a shame that the cover itself doesn't stay clean as easy. Like I said before, we only had it on the Ipad for about a week, and in that short space of time, I found it became very grubby very easily, and black marks began appearing on it.
The Smart Cover comes in ten different colours, there really is one to suit everybody's tastes. I personally wanted the pink one, but as my OH regularly takes it to work, he didn't want to get laughed out of the office, so we compromised on the lovely sky blue colour after I had talked him round from getting black. It comes in two different finishes, the polyurethane and the leather. The polyurethane comes in blue, green (very bright green!), orange, pink and grey, and the leather cases come in tan, black, dark grey and red. They also come with a very steep price tag too....The polyurethane ones cost £35, and the leather ones cost an eye watering £59!
My advice, save your money and get a proper case for your Ipad to protect it properly, you can get a decent leather case for about £20.
I award it only 2 stars, 1 because it does actually look good, and one because it does have the function of knocking the Ipad on and off, albeit a gimicky function and not a neccessity.
My favourite range at the moment for shower gels and body moisturisers is from The Body Shop, and this Pink Grapefruit has got to be one of my favourites. It's competively priced and it smells absolutely gorgeous. I can't believe that this is the first review on this product and that no one has done one before!
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit is a soap free cleansing gel, which makes it great even for those with sensitive skins. I suffer from eczema, and this has never irritated my skin at all, it isn't perhaps as moisturising as say the coconut one, but it isn't drying at all, and leaves my skin soft to the touch. Only a small amount is needed (about a 20p worth) to get a decent lather going, in comparison to other branded gels that I have used, so it does last a really long time.
The best thing about this gel is the smell, I love using this in the morning especially, as a few deep inhales of it totally helps wake me up as it is such a zesty smell! It makes you feel so clean and refreshed all day long and leaves your skin very delicately scented. If you layer it with other products in the range such as the body butter or puree, the scent is even more noticeable and lasts all day long, and as well as making you smell lovely and fresh, it scents your bathroom for ages after too.
It retails at £2 for the 60ml, £4 for the 250ml and £7 for a 750ml one which I think has a pump action dispenser, which now that I know I like this scent I will be getting that one, as it works out more economical.
Grapefruit is sometimes a hard smell to get right in skincare products, but this is a very true smell and isn't an artificial scent in any way. So if you are a big fan of citrus/fresh/zesty scents, and are not sure which one to choose from The Body Shop's wide selection, then I would highly recommend this one, out of all of them, this one is the best by a mile.
You can be well assured, that before I begin to write a review on a product, I give it a good road test first, a thorough testing, and this product is no exception....hic!
I have been a cider drinker for many many years now, it was one of the first drinks I had when I started going out around town. Being a bit of a Rock Chick, I was of course first introduced to 'a pint of diesel' which is a mixture of lager, cider and blackcurrant! I drank this for quite a while before realising that I didn't really like lager (only took me about a year lol!) and so I moved on to Snakebite, which is just the cider and black, and is what I am still drinking now all these years later. So as you can imagine, over the years, I have tried quite a selection of different types and different makes of cider, and I have to say, I think this could be my all time favourite, even overtaking from my beloved Woodpecker!
You might think at first that it is a spelling mistake, and a misprint on the bottle, but this is how it is meant to be spelt, and 'Cidre', is the first Cider that Stella Artois has produced. They usually just produce beer, and as I don't drink beer, I couldn't personally comment on how good that is, but what I can say, is that they are damn good at making cider! They have made a very refreshing and moreish drink that has a very distinctive taste to it, and I'm very impressed.
This is how they describe it:
"A luscious cider with full flavours of red apple and peachy, apricot hints, complimented in the background with a subtle flavour of spicy oranges and an almond flowery character. This gives it a clean, refreshing, crisp and sweet sour taste, with a woody pleasing finish."
Upon reading that, I see it mentions about a Sweet/Sour Taste, and that is probably one of the reasons why it appeals to me so much. It is sweet enough for me just to drink on it's own without my usual blackcurrant (some ciders I can't drink without it), but at the same time it has just the right amount of tang to it, a slightly sour edge, just enough to really make your taste buds sit up and really take notice! This makes it very moreish and so easy to drink, that before you know it, you've knocked it back (oh yeah, I'm a classy chick!) and are ready for your next refill! Talking of which, I'll be back in a second....
It is a medium strength cider at 4.5% alcohol, and apparently it is brewed in Belgium exclusively for British drinkers using Jonagold apples. I didn't know this until I read up about it, these are the apple of choice for my Dad, so I've heard of them, and tried them before, and they are very tasty, so that's propably why the taste appeals so much to me.
Price wise, it is very competively priced at £4.49 for 4x440ml cans, £1.99 for a 568ml bottle and £9.99 for 8x568ml bottle, and Tesco at the moment have a 3 for 2 offer on the 4x440ml cans.
I have a feeling that this is going to be this summers big drink, everyone who like cider is going to be ordering this I think. Like Magners has been the big hit for the last few summers, I feel that Stella have got a winner on their hands with this one.
When I did my last big order from Lush I decided to treat myself to a new shampoo and conditioner, something to treat my poor abused hair to abit of TLC. I highlight and straighten my hair, and generally probably don't take as much care of it as I should do, it has become fairly dry and frizzy, so I felt it needed some heavy duty products to try and help improve the condition of it, so I chose the Rehab shampoo (which I shall review sometime) and the Coolaulin conditioner, which is what I am reviewing here now.
Lush say this conditioner is especially great for Curly, Afro (which I haven't got) and processed hair (which I do have) and that it is an intensely hydrating conditioner, and that's what made me think that this was the conditioner for me, that it would inject my hair with a much needed moisture surge and that it would be all lovely and silky and swishy again....not the case, infact the total opposite for me, running my fingers -hang on I'll re-phrase that- 'trying' to run my fingers through my hair is not an easy job, my fingers get caught in the cotters, my hair feels dry and artificial, abit like dolls hair....or really cheap extensions!
The conditioner is a creamy beigey coloured liquid and it is fairly runny too, a little too runny for my liking, and because of this I feel I have to use alot more than I usually would with a conditioner as I feel it is not coating my hair properly. I have long shoulder length hair, and I have to apply it in stages, as it is that runny that I feel if I put too much on my hands, then half will disappear down the plughole. Usually when I apply conditioner, it starts to smooth down and detangle my hair, not with this, my hair feels just as tangled and dry as before I even put any on, then upon rinsing it is still as tangled as ever and doesn't feel nourished at all. It doesn't give any weight to my hair, and it's ended up fluffier than ever, it feels dry and scraggy and as my mam would say, "It looks like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards!" (a saying that originates back to my Goth days!) Even after straightening, it still doesn't look as smooth as it usually does after using my usual shampoo/conditioner which is a Supermarkets own brand and a 2 in 1 which retails at just over a pound!
It's only saving grace that I can see, is the smell, which is another one of the reasons why I bought it....It's a lovely creamy coconutty smell, which does linger in your hair and make it smell really nice and sniffable! But as I like my products to be more function than style, I won't be buying it again just because of that, there are so many more nice coconut scented products out there which smell just as good, are a fraction of the price, and that do actually work.
I don't seem to have too much luck with Lush's haircare range it seems, but if do fancy trying it, it comes in two sizes, £3.60 for 100g and £11.70 for 500g.
As I mentioned in my review for the Thermos sports bottle, my skin has become very dehydrated lately, so as well as upping my water content, I decided that I also needed to invest in a slightly more intense moisturiser to use at night.
Now I'll explain first, that I do have fairly oily skin, and yes you can have oily skin that becomes dehydrated believe it or not, there is a difference between dehydrated and dry skin, this was once explained to me by a Clarins assistant, and was something that amazed me at the time, I can remember thinking "how on earth can my skin be so dehydrated when it is so damn oily?!", but apparently it can, I was told that what you really need to pump water back into it is a moisturiser that is primarily water based not an oil based like this one seems to be.
So you're now probably wondering "well why on earth has she bought this one then?", well, good question! I'll confess, at the time of ordering, I wasn't thinking about water based/oil based moisturisers, I was doing a big Lush order and having used this cream before and liking it I just added one to my basket. My skin was feeling fairly parched, and I knew from previous experience that this cream was the one that would do the job.
Being from Lush, it isn't one of the cheapest creams out there at £10.95 for a 45g tub (not 55g as shown on the tub above, it now comes in a black tub) which looks fairly small to be honest, but really does last for absolutely ages, as only the tiniest dab is needed to moisturise your whole face. So that fact and the fact it is filled with expensive high quality ingredients, makes it fairly cost effective in the long run.
Even though this cream is aimed at people with dry skin and not oily/combination skined types like me, I am finding it to be very beneficial in helping my skin to look somewhat healthy again. It does mention on the description on Lush's website that "this is an impressive rehydrating cream" and it certainly is, you can literally feel your skin drinking it in!
With sesame, almond and evening primrose oils to moisturise it feels really nourishing on your skin, and as it also contains Rose Oil and Aloe Vera, it also feels very soothing too, so I can imagine that folk with very dry skin skin would think this was a minor miracle worker as their skin laps it up gratefully!
As my skin is primarily oily, especially on the t-zone, there is no way I can use this under make-up, I tried once and it virtually just slid off my face, I left it to try and absorb for at least 20 minutes, but it just wouldn't absorb fully, so using this during the day is a big no no for me. So therefore, I only use this at night, and usually only in winter or whenever I feel my skin needs abit extra. It absorbs almost totally at night and my skin looks healthy and glowing in the morning, barr a slight oily film, as it really isn't designed for my skin type, it really is a heavy duty moisturiser, and that's why I only use it when I really feel the need for it, as I feel it could be too rich for my skin if I use it long term, and bring me out in blemishes, although I have never had this problem as of yet, even when I have got it too near my t-zone I've been fine apart from a very shiny nose!
The colour of it is like no cream I have ever seen before, it is a beigey/brown colour, probably due to the high sesame oil content perhaps and the smell, well predominantly I can smell rose, it's not the most pleasent of smells, but the not worst either, and once it's on your skin you can't really smell it much anyhow. As mentioned before, you really do only need the tiniest amount, as it spreads very easily. You really do have to apply this sparingly, and not layer it on, or else it would never absorb and you'd end up with a total oil slick.
This makes my skin feel plumped up and healthy looking, no blotchyness what so ever. So in conclusion, this moisturising cream works even on my skin type but should only be used in moderation.
There are not many beauty brands that I have remained loyal to over the years, I'm a sucker for new products and have to try them, looking for the next new wonder product, but the one brand that I've always come back to again and again is Oil of Olay (formally known as Oil of Ulay). It has never let me down, and has become a staple product in my skincare routine. This product along with the Oil of Olay Total Care Moisturiser (which I shall review later) are 2 of my must have products.
It's full title is Olay Gentle Cleansers Refreshing Face Wash and it comes packaged in a white and turquoise squeezy tube containing 200ml of product and it's RRP is £3.05 in Boots, but I usually buy mine from Bodycare as it's usually cheaper, but even at £3.05, it still represents excellent value for money, considering it lasts me a good few weeks of continuous use, as only a small amount is needed to get a good lather going. I like a product to lather up well and this one certainly doesn't disappoint.
This facial wash is specially formulated to be gentle on your skin, and is a gel like consistency. It mentions on the pack that it's suitable for normal/dry and combination skin, it contains extracts of Aloe and Cucumber, and this is what makes it so refreshing, and it really is the most refreshing wash I have ever used, it feels great to use it at the end of the day to remove all my make up! I love the way it leaves my face feeling so clean, fresh and soft, and my skin healthy looking. The smell too is a very refreshing scent, I can detect cucumber the most, and even though I don't like cucumber to eat, I really like the smell of it, as to me it is a very clean scent.
This doesn't irritate my skin (which can be quite tempremental at times) in anyway, it never makes me come out in blotches at all, it just leaves it lovely and clean and all plumped up and healthy looking, so I would say this would be a suitable cleanser for even the most sensitive of skins.
It is also one of the most effective cleansers I have ever used too, it throughly removes your make up like no other budget brand cleanser I have ever used, you really feel that it is cleansing deep down into your pores, and the evidence of this is clear if you wipe over with some toner afterwards. I don't use toner very often to be honest, but I've just purchased some from The Body Shop, and wanted to give it a try, so I did, and not abit of make up was left on my face, the cotton wool pad remained clean!
This is probably one of the reasons why when I recently tried another so called 'Well Known Name' cleanser "just because it was new", I came out in spots virtually straight away, as it did a very poor job of removing my make up throughly. Luckily I had a tube of Oil of Olay spare, and as soon as I went back to using it, my skin started to return to normal again.
This can be found in all good chemists and supermarkets, and Boots have currently got a 3 for 2 offer on on skincare, so a great time to stock up. There is also a Gentle Refreshing Toner to match this cleanser too.
As I said at the beginning of this review, I have used this brand for years, it was one of the first brands my Mam started me on when I first started with a skin care routine, and one that really works for me, I really can't find any fault with it what so ever, and am pretty amazed that before my review now, there is only one review before it!
A full 5 stars from me!
Before I purchased one of these, I'd heard so many people raving about how great their slow cookers were, and how they wouldn't be without them, and I sort of half listened to them not really taking much notice, thinking that the way I made stews, tattie pots and soups etc was perfectly adequate, and that it would just be another one of those kitchen gadgets that you use once and then gets relegated to the back of the cupboard....I couldn't have been more wrong, once I finally got round to purchasing one, I realised that everyone that had raved about them, had been right all the time!
Me and my OH work long days, and were finding that alot of the times we'd be too tired to cook anything of substance when we got home, so this is when I decided to purchase one, I really loved the idea of throwing everything in a pot in the morning, setting it on low, and being able to serve up a lovely healthy and filling meal as soon as we got home. They are also a brilliant addition to your kitchen in the fact that they use very little power in comparision to if you had your oven on for the same amount of time.
This one caught my eye straight away, it not only looks good, but the thing I also loved about it is the fact that the pot itself is not only removable, but can also be placed onto a hob (with the use of a heat diffuser on electric hobs) to brown the meat off first if required (this isn't something I do, but some people prefer to do this), hence cutting down on the need to dirty another pan, and it's also alot more time effective too, especially if you are in a rush before work for example. As well as being able to use it on stove tops, another really neat thing about it is that it is alot easier than some to remove from it's holder, due to the very handy handles on either side of the pot you can then place any remaining leftovers into either the fridge or the freezer, and it is dishwasher safe and can also be used in the microwave too. It also make it alot easier for serving, as the pot can just be removed and placed on to the table or the serving area.
A couple of small points to note, remember when using on the hob to coat the bottom of the pot with some oil like you would do with a normal pan, and as for freezing, it says never to freeze water or water based foods in the stoneware, so you would have to be careful about what you could and could not freeze, but things like the Chilli Beef -which is one of the recipes in the enclosed book- should be fine.
It retails at about £44.99, so it is one of the most expensive ones out there, when on average most are about £20 to £30. I was lucky and bought mine when they had been reduced in price, so I got a good deal, but I have to be honest, at the time if it hadn't have been on offer, I probably would have went for a cheaper version. But, knowing what I know now about it, I would go for this one everytime.
It has 3 heat settings, Low, High and Warming. Depending on the recipe, an average meal takes about 4-5 hours on a low setting, and about 2-3 on high. The warming setting is there to keep the food warm whilst you are eating incase you want to have seconds. I've seen some recipes that take about 7-8 hours on low, but if you are out all day this won't be a problem. If I've left it in for longer than the recipe suggests, I've never found it to be a problem, I haven't found that the meat has dried out or anything, that is the beauty of them, as they cook slowly, they help to retain the moisture. Don't be tempted to keep on lifting the lid to check on it though, as they say each time you do this, it adds about 30 minutes to the cooking time.
If you haven't got a dishwasher (like me!), it is easy enough to clean out after use, nothing a good scrub won't sort out, and it has a very generous capacity of 4.7 litres. It hasn't got a timer on, but I haven't found this to be a problem at all, because I just put it on and forget about it until teatime, but apparently, the newer version of this does have one on if this is something that would be beneficial to you.
If I were to pick on any negatives, there are a few small things which I think could be improved on, such as I would perhaps prefer a glass/see through lid, as before I knew about the adding 30 mins on everytime you lift the lid, I was always lifting it up for a quick check. Also, it would benefit from a small light on the front to indicate that it is on, because at the moment it doesn't give any idication, so I touch the sides (which do get warm by the way) to feel if the heat is coming through! They really are small niggles though, and I won't be marking it down because of that.
As mentioned above, it comes with a small recipe book which is written by Phil Vickery, and which contains 15 recipes, 2 starters, 2 mains -vegetarian, 2 mains -fish, 6 mains -meat and 3 desserts. To be honest, I have only ever tried one of these recipes, The Easy Lamb Hot Pot, and I have made this on numerous occasions now, and we both agree, that it is one of the best Hot Pot's we have ever had, it's absolutely gorgeous! I bought a separate Slow Cooker recipe book for only a couple of quid of Amazon, and it contains hundreds of different recipes, which just goes to show how versitile these cookers really are. I also sometimes buy the slow cooker satchets from the supermarkets too, I can't remember who they are by at the moment, but they too are really yummy, just throw them in with some potatoes, vegetables and chicken, and hey presto, a healthy and nutricious meal, ready and waiting for you when you return home from a hard days work. You can even cook whole joints of meat in it, and although I've never done this, I've been told that it just drops off the bone and it so tender.
I'm very pleased with this slow cooker and how it performs, and I would hesitate to recommend this to anyone.
I got one of these when they first came out and were on offer at the Supermarket. I wasn't really that bothered about getting one, because to be honest I couldn't really see the point of it (more on that later), but my gadget mad other half who is a sucker for anything new insisted that we puchase one, and as they were on offer at the time, (about half price), I agreed, but I would have be loathed to buy one at full price which is usually about a tenner, although I have since seen them at various places online for slightly cheaper.
The Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System is an automatic soap dispenser which has a built in sensor. Upon placing your hands underneath, it despenses just the right amount of soap, a good size dollop but not too much.
Unfortunately, it also dispenses soap everywhere if you accidently move something underneath it such as a scourer for example, something which I have done on many occasions, sometimes you can also catch it when moving it, as well as being irritating, it's also extremely wasteful, but this could just be put down to my forgetful ditsyness!
The reason why I wasn't that bothered about getting one in the first place is because basically, I don't really see there being an actual need for it, ok so it's convenient, but regarding the health and hygiene reasons, who actually cares about having a 'Germy Soap Pump'? I know I don't! One you've got your soap dispensed into your hand, you then wash your hands, so the germs on the soap pump are irrelevant to me, I'm not going to be touching it again until I need some more soap. If this is a real problem for you, you could easily wipe your soap pump, but who actually does that? It seems they have tried to create a solution to a problem which never existed in the first place.
Style wise, it's nothing special to be honest, and it is fairly tall when compared to your average bottle of hand wash, but it doesn't take up anymore room surface wise, although if you were to use this on your bathroom sink, I think it might look abit cumbersome. It comes in a choice of two colours a white one and a new silver version. It runs on 2 AA batteries, which last for absolutely ages, I don't think I've had to ever change mine in over a year.
It comes in 3 different scents:
*Cleansing Green Tea & Ginger
*Refreshing Grapefruit Essence (Refill only)
*Hydrating Cucumber Splash
I find all of them to be very pleasant and fresh smelling, and not at all drying on the skin, but at about £3 for a refill, they are not exactly cheap either. My work colleague actually gave me a handy hint, one which I'd never thought of, but one which will save me a fortune! Dettol probably aren't going to like me for saying this, but you can actually unscrew the bottom of the refill, and then fill it with your handwash of choice. I picked up a cheap bottle of Asda's own antibacterial handwash for 76p which looks like it will refill it twice over, which equates to a saving of about £5.24.
Now I've got it, I will keep on using it, as it is quick and effective when washing your hands, but I won't be buying Dettol's refills anymore.
Really, it is just gimicky, and I wouldn't have purchased it for the reason why it was first created, especially not at £10, but now I have forked out for it and it is there in my kitchen, I will continue to use it, but I would exactly call it a neccessity.
I give this an average rating of 3 stars.
I was first introduced to the gorgeous smell of Pink Grapefruit by purchasing the shower gel from The Body Shop, and upon being so impressed by that, I decided to try out all the other items in the same range, one of the first ones being The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub.
Coming in two sizes, it retails at £5 for the 50ml and £12.50 for the 200ml, which is obviously the much better value one to go for if you know that you like the scent, and as I knew that I did, this is the one that I purchased. It might seem very excessive in price, and I guess that when you compare it to other scrubs, then it is, but you really do only need a small amount to scrub a decent size area such as your lower leg for example, so I can see this lasting for a good while, probably a few months if you don't go overboard with it, and also, it isn't something that would probably be used everyday. I find about 1-2 times a week is more than enough.
When you first unscrew that lid, the beautiful zesty scent hits you straight away, it's very strong but not too overpowering, just enough to awaken your senses, which makes it especially good to use first thing in a morning!
I find it to be a very true to life scent, and not at all artificial smelling in any way, it really is a very refreshing and clean scent.
It has just enough scrubby bits in it to be effective, but not too much that it's going to be rough and harsh on your skin, these scrubby particles are encased in a gel like consistancy, which I guess helps it to be more gentle on your skin but to me is a little bit runny for my liking. You have to be careful when scooping it out of the top that you don't grab too much or it'll end up dropping off your hand and running over the edge of the tub, so I would prefer this to be a little bit thicker, but I guess I'll just have to put up with it!
It is very effective in what it does, it totally removes any flaky dry skin, -which I am sometimes prone to especially on my shins and calfs- without leaving any redness at all, very impressive, especially as quite alot of scrubs I've used in the past have sometimes left my legs abit sore and red, but none of that here, and even when used in conjuction with shaving....still no redness! Talking of shaving, I use this before shaving instead of a shaving gel, and it is just as effective if not better. It doesn't lather up a great deal, but then again I didn't really expect it to that much, and as long as I can feel the scrub doing it's thing, then that's good.
The scent lingers around for a long time in your bathroom after use, I went in about 2 hours after I'd used it and I could still smell it! It makes your bathroom smell so fresh and clean. It probably lingers more in your bathroom than it does on your skin, but to be honest this doesn't bother me, as I usually follow it up with either the body puree or the body butter, both of which (especially the body butter) give me beautifully scented skin.
It totally prepares your skin for your moisturiser, allowing it to sink into your skin with ease. I haven't noticed as fast an absorption of my moisturiser when I've used any other scrub, it really is the best scrub I have used in a long time!
I'm going to award it 4 stars. I feel bad deducting a star, but am doing so because I feel it may be too expensive for some peoples liking, I personally am willing to pay such a price as I think it is very effective in what it does and that it will last a long time, and therefore work out fairly cost effective in the long run, and also because of the consistency, I would prefer it to be a little thicker if possible, but apart from that, I would highly recommend this body scrub everytime!
My Dad had read in the local paper about a beauty salon that had just got in some Garra Rufa Fish, -or as their more commonly known....Dr Fish!- and he decided he wanted to give it ago, partly because he had quite abit of dry skin on his heels, and partly because he loved the idea of it, and so being the kind of person that will try (almost!) anything once, I declared that I wanted to go with him too....my Mam promtly declared us a couple of idiots....ah well, I guess it isn't everyones cup of tea!
A small introduction to these fish courtesy of Wiki: "Doctor fish is the name given to two species of fish: Garra rufa and Cyprinion macrostomus. Other nicknames include nibble fish, kangal fish, and doctorfishen; in non-medical contexts, Garra rufa is called the reddish log sucker. They live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow"
Our treatment cost £20 per person, which I thought was perhaps abit steep, especially since I've seen it at other salons for roughly £10. You could also pay an extra fiver to get your nails painted afterwards. They didn't have my Dad's colour in, so he passed on that option....lol! This is something I would have got done if I wasn't rushing back to get ready for work.
Once at the Beauty salon, my Dad decided he wanted to go first, so he took his socks and shoes off, and the lady who owns the business checked his feet over to see that they didn't have anything nasty on them such as verucas or athletes foots for example, something which could be transmitted from person to person, or that could even harm the fish in anyway....we were told that the water was changed in between people, but to be honest I never saw any evidence of this, but as it was my Dad's feet that were in first, we were the first people of the day and it is a salon known to be of high standards, I wasn't too bothered about it, and the water in the tank did look extremely clean, however, if it was some of these tanks you see in shopping centres and airports, then I might be abit worried about cleanliness standards. Anyhow, back to our experience:
Once my Dad's feet were checked, she produced a bowl of water and a flannel to wash them down before they entered the tank, then the moment came to gently place his feet inside the tank, what came next, can only be described as the hysterical laughter that comes with being tickled! Because as soon as your feet enter the tank, all the fish naturally gravitate -like their being pulled by some magnetic force- to your feet. Anyhow, as I'm the one doing this review, I will now tell you all about my personal experience.
Each session lasts about 15 mins, so after sitting there eager for my go, it was time! So I went through the same procedure, feet checked, feet washed, and then into the tank....I had exactly the same reaction as my Dad, hysterical laughter followed with alot of whooping lol! They tickled like mad! It's quite a weird sensation really, fairly hard to describe as anything other than ticklish, especially when they suck sort of inbetween your toes or around your toe nails. With them not having any teeth, that's really what it feels like, abit of a sucking sensation, but not a very strong one, it's hard to imagine that they are actually making any difference to your feet at all, but believe me, they do! The young girl who worked there explained that they naturally gravitate towards the areas with the driest skin first, and then when they feel full up after that particular part of your foot then they move on to another part, or swap feet. All I can say, is that I must have had really dry ankles, because the same fish staying there nearly the whole 15 mins, and I have to admit, whilst it isn't at all a painful experience, it did seem to start to get a bit nippy after a while and I was wishing they'd move off my bloomin ankles! You can actually make the fish move away if you want by just wiggling your feet, I did this but they just kept on coming back, and even though I enjoyed it and would have it again, I was starting to wish it would finish by the end of the 15 mins, perhaps 10 minutes would be enough.
When my Mam saw the photo's (that my Dad had took lol!) afterwards, she too commented on how they seemed to like my ankles better than my feet! A while after the treatment, I did notice some little red dots which were fairly itchy, now I can't be certain if it was because of their love for my ankles or because I had just shaved my legs before going, but everyone kept on joking and saying that the fish had given me little love bites!
The job that I do means I am on my feet constantly for sometimes up to 8 hours or more, and so as you can imagine, they frequently ache, and can be prone to dry skin on the heels. After this treatment, I literally did feel like I had a new pair of feet! Seriously, it felt like I was walking on air, and all my dry skin had been sucked away! My feet were so smooth, and even about two months later, they are still impressively smooth compared to what they were like. I would highly recommend this treatment to anyone who doesn't mind the idea of plunging their feet into a tank full of fish, as in my opinion and my Dad's, it really does work, he too was impressed by the softness of his feet, especially his heels, and so I don't think it's gimicky in anyway really, and I would have it done again, perhaps not every month, but maybe every few months, or before I went away or holiday for example.
I later learned that my Mam had said to my Dad "Will she be ok?", she was terrified I'd freak out and yank my feet out of the water so fast, I'd take half the fishes with me and fling them across the room! This amused me, and all I can say to people who aren't sure wether or not to go ahead and have it done, as long as you can stand the first initial tickle, you should be fine after that. Also, make sure you choose a salon with a good reputation, and that they change the water at regular intervals, because anyone can just set up one of these businesses now a days, as the tanks and fish are there for anyone to purchase on the internet.
When my OH boiled our old kettle with either little or no water in (stupid!) and burnt the bottom of it, therefore rendering it useless, I wasn't amused at first, because I would have to go out and spend money to replace an item that up until then had been working perfectly for years. But once I actually started to look at the range of kettles that is available now-a-days, I was secretly pleased that I could buy a funky new one that would match my kitchen colour scheme better lol!
I'd started to introduce a lot more red items into my kitchen, and so I decided that this was the colour I would go for, and I certainly did have a lot of choice, red must be one of the 'in' colours this year or something! The one I really wanted was about £80, which was way more than I wanted to spend, and so I got it narrowed down to this Prestige one and a Bosch one, but upon comparing the two side by side, this one won hands down on both looks and functionality.
The usual recommended retail price of this kettle is £39.99, but when I bought it it had been reduced by a tenner to £29.99, and at this price, it was much more in my price bracket. Upon closer inspection of it, not only is it a very lovely shade of red, it also has very subtle flecks of red glitter in it! Another cool feature that I really like too -one I didn't realise until first using it- is that the water level windows glow a very bright blue when in use, and this looks really funky, especially in low light.
But, on to more technical details! It's a 3KW kettle which means it's a rapid boil, which means that when it is full to the maximum, which is 1.7 litres, it takes about 3 mins 20 seconds to boil which to me for a kettle full to capacity, is pretty fast., and obviously, if you just put enough in for one to two cups, it is extremely fast indeed. The element is concealed, which is great for helping prevent the build up of limescale, something that those of us living 'Oop North', don't really have to deal with, but for those who live in hard water areas, this should come in pretty handy.
If you haven't had a kettle with a concealed element before, you may notice the kettle might be abit louder when boiling, but I honestly haven't noticed this to be a problem at all, I really would say that compared to some kettles I have heard, this is actually a really fairly quite kettle.
There is a water level window on each side of the kettle, making this great for either left or right handed people and it has a 360 degree swivel base which makes it easy to change it's orientation. It has a non-slip base, and cord storage under the base of the kettle, which I make full use of, as my kettle always stays in the same place, I wind the excess cord around, then I haven't got a length of cord across my worktop.
The opening of the lid couldn't be easier and smoother, a simple flick of a button flips the lid up making it very easy to fill the kettle. When pouring the water into your cup etc, I have never had a problem with drips or with the water flowing out too fast, I've also never had a problem with any leakage at all with this kettle. It is also a faitly light kettle too, which is important for people who suffer with problems in their wrists and hands such as arthritis.
I think the feature that I love most about this kettle is the 'automatic boil dry safety cut out' feature, this, given the reason why I had to buy a new kettle in the first place, is a very good idea indeed! So in theory, it should be foolproof really....notice I said 'In theory'....
Another thing to note, is that there is also a matching toaster to go with this kettle, it is a 2 slice one, and usually retails at £29.99, although at the moment it is £24.99, and I am sooo tempted to buy it, but I'm being good, as I don't like buying things if I don't really need them, or if the one I've got already is still working, so for now I'll hold out on that. The kettle and toaster are also available in a cornflower blue colour too, which is also very nice.