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diva80

diva80
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Member since: 08.01.2010

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      18.01.2011 12:30
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      Long lasting gel-moisture for eyes, worth a try for those with dry eyes.

      Working on a computer most of the day whilst I am work, my eyes are under regular strain - and naughty that I am, my optician says I don't blink enough through the day, which means I have a tendency to have dry eyes quite often as they are not being naturally moisturised by blinking.

      She recommended that I use these Systane eye drops, which are (supposed to be) a little better than the normal stuff you pick up in the shops. It cost me £8 for a little 10ml bottle, which is quite pricey, but then again, I don't mind spending a bit extra money if its something that's good for me.

      Systane is supposed to be better in terms of providing long lasting moisture as once the liquid hits your eyes, it turns into a gel which means it stays on the surface of your eyes longer, and gives extra lubrication and moisture.

      One thing I am unsure of is if they are suitable for use with contact lenses - my optician said they are, but nowhere on the instructions in the box (or on their website) does it say they are suitable. Just to be safe, I use these at the end of the day when I take my lenses out, which suits me fine anyway as its nice to have a complete cooling effect and give my eyes a rest without any lenses in.

      Branding wise, Systane isn't all that exciting, with a dark blue and green design, and it doesn't really jump out at you. However, it's quite no-nonsense and glancing at it, its quite easily recognisable from the box that it is an eye product.

      The bottle the drops comes in is quite straightforward, you just need to turn the lid firmly to break the seal when you open it for the first time, and it is easy to store once you have opened it. They recommend you throw it away 6 months after opening it, so its important to make a note of when you opened it.

      I tend to use these drops most days, and my optician has noticed a definite improvement from using it. my eyes definitely feel more clean and clear, give a great cooling effect, and I don't really get any irritation anymore from grit etc. I think this is a combination of using the drops and taking good care of my contact lenses.

      The main drawback of these is the price, and the fact you cannot buy it in places like Boots, but only in specialist opticians and perhaps certain pharmacies. I did buy some online through amazon recent for about £6.40 a bottle, which is a bit cheaper than my opticians. Beware buying from places where you might not be sure what the expiry date is on the bottle.

      If you prefer, you can find these drops in single dose vials, which is perhaps more hygienic as you are opening a fresh one each time, but as I use them regularly anyway, I find the multi-dose bottle works best for me.

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      14.01.2011 16:20
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      A classic fresh fragrance from Calvin Klein

      I remember this fragrance coming out when I was at school, and there was a big hoohaa about it, as it was from trendy fashion house Calvin Klein, and it was wonderously both perfect for men and women - a unisex perfume, which was either very uncommon or not actually done before in those days.

      The specific bottle I am reviewing is the miniature version as I got a Calvin Klein fragrance set as a gift, and am working my way through them! I believe this bottle is very close in type to the large size bottle, the only difference being the larger one is a spray bottle, whereas this is not.

      The bottle is very minimalistic, just like a lot of other things in Calvin Klein's ranges including clothes, and for this reason, is perfectly acceptable for both men and women to have on their beauty counter. It has a silver screw top style lid, and the bottle itself is an opaque misty white colour, with the CK logo displayed clearly on the front.

      Top notes of this perfume are bergamot, cardamom, pineapple and papaya; middle notes: jasmine, violet, rose and nutmeg; base is musk and amber, with a green tea accord. The result is a fresh, modern fragrance which would suits many people and those of either gender. It's a lovely day to day fragrance, and really perks you up when you apply it. I actually found myself surprised that I still liked it, even though it has been around forever.

      Lasting power is good on this, as with any good quality Calvin Klein fragrance and I could still smell this on my skin after a number of hours...

      Those ladies who don't like too girly a smell, such as floral, would really appreciate this fragrance, and if you are part of a couple, you could easily share it (though do me a favour and please don't both of you wear it on the same day if you're spending it together!).

      You can find this perfume in various stores online and offline, and costs approx £23 for a 50ml bottle and £34 for a 100ml bottle - quite reasonable I would say.

      As its not really a new fragrance, and there isn't much novelty with it with so many other fragrances out there, I wouldn't be sure this is the best buy at the moment, but if you can find it at a good price on sale, its worth checking out, as I think Calvin Klein fragrances tend to pass the test of time and are deemed to be classics in their own right, with many other fragrances such as Eternity etc still being firm favourites.

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      • Remember Me (DVD) / DVD / 22 Readings / 20 Ratings
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        14.01.2011 15:26
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        A film showcasing a human role for Robert Pattinson

        Apart from the Twilight movies and Harry Potter, I had not seen Robert Pattinson in any regular 'human' roles, but I was quite interested to see him playing something different (and the excuse to drool over him is of course welcomed!!).

        In this film set in 2001, he plays Tyler Hawkins, a twenty-something guy living in New York in a rough flat with his friend Aidan, loves to smoke and drink as guys his age tend to, and we learn that he is a bit of a troubled individual with his brother having committed suicide, his parents are divorced, and he has a problematic relationship with his father, played by Pierce Brosnan, who seems to care more about his career than his family. He does have an adorable little sister called Caroline, whom Tyler dotes on, and the poor little thing has problems of her own being bullied by girls in her class and feeling like her father doesn't love her.

        Tyler's love interest in this movie is a girl called Ally (played by Emilie De Ravin of Lost fame), who like Tyler has problems of her own. She was unfortunate enough to be present when her mother was shot and murdered by someone on the subway, and now lives alone with her policeman father. After Lost, I keep expecting her to come out with an Australian accent, (she is in fact an Australian actress) but she does quite a good American accent, so you do get used to it. Tyler and Aidan get into a bit of a fight with some people after a night out and Ally's father is the one to apprehend them - although at this point in the film, they don't know who Ally is. Once they find out Ally is the policeman's daughter, Aidan dares Tyler to ask Ally out - and so begins their love affair. Their relationship is one of ups and downs, and their own personal problems with their families don't make things any easier.

        With his teen roles, it is easy to stereotype Robert Pattinson and not consider him a serious actor, but I think this movie proves that not only is he a good actor, he has the potential to be really great. With his looks, he does well to be in these serious roles rather than in, for example, action or comedy roles, and his performance is both believable and engaging. Emilie De Ravin does well to shed her 'Claire from Lost' image, and she makes a good on-screen partner for Robert. Pierce Brosnan is perfect as the cold and business-focussed father, and the whole dysfunctional family theme is well portrayed by all the actors in this film.

        There are no laugh out moments in this movie, as it is a serious type of film, and if you're looking for Edward Cullen, you will get some brooding handsomeness from Pattinson, but won't get a soppy romantic as Tyler is a lot more edgier than him! He is often very hot-headed and struggles to deal with his emotions, but his scenes with his little sister and most of his scenes with Ally show his softer and gentle side.

        I really enjoyed this film, it is a film that highlights the problems modern youth and families deal with, and you are taken on an emotional journey which gives you some highs, but more often lows... be warned, at times this is quite a sad film! There is a bit of a twist with the ending, which I won't spoil for you, but it was a bit of a shocker for me! I would definitely watch this film again one day, as I found it really gripping and moving, and thus I consider this to be a hit film rather than a miss.....

        I didn't watch the Extras that come on this disk (I usually can't be bothered if I'm honest!) but I believe there is behind the scenes footage as well as audio commentary.

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          11.01.2011 15:48
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          A great flossing product for those who don't like flossing!

          Oral hygiene is a very important thing, and we all know we should floss our teeth on a daily basis - but I'd be sure to assume that a large chunk of the population don't do this. And is there any excuse for it? I don't think so - especially with products like these flossers on the market!!

          I have used these floss sticks for at least 5 years, and I think they're absolutely brilliant, I would never use anything else (unless they stopped making them of course).

          I buy these Dentek floss sticks from Boots - the website tells me they are £3.05 per pack (30 sticks in a pack) and quite often they are on 3 for 2 offer, so I never buy these full price and always stock up when they are on offer. They are known as the Comfort Clean version (they are much better than Dentek's Mint flossers in my opinion, though they are a tad more expensive). As it says on the tin, they do feel comfortable as they glide almost effortlessly through your teeth, and don't feel rough on them at all, which some other flossers have done in the past when I've tried them.

          A couple of my teeth are quite tight together, and these flossers work perfectly to help me clean between them, and they are specially made for tight teeth. They claim to be gentle on gums, which I think is correct as my gums don't actually bleed, so I think they are doing a very good job of keeping my mouth clean. The sticks have a fluoride coating which is good as it helps your teeth fight plaque. The sticks are easy to hold and manoeuvre even between the teeth towards the back of your mouth. For hygiene purposes, you should use a fresh floss stick each time you floss. On occasion, the floss will break on these sticks whilst you are using them, so I might have to use two sticks, but it doesn't happen very often.

          If you like to scrape your tongue to make your mouth even fresher, you can use the edge of the flosser to do this (I use an actual stainless steel tongue scraper which is very cheaply in Indian shops - this is much better I think) and if you want to pick anything from your teeth, there is an inbuilt toothpick at the end of the floss stick.

          Flossing my teeth only takes a minute or 2, and I think anyone who makes the excuse that they have no time to floss is talking absolute rubbish!! I think flossing is generally one of those cumbersome things that people know they should do, but just can't be bothered doing it.

          Their packaging is easy to manage, with the flossers coming in a little plastic bag, which you tear the top open to begin with, and then there is a tabbed closure to help you seal the bag in between uses.

          Anyone who cares about their teeth really should try these flossers if they have had trouble flossing in the past. It is really satisfying getting all the crap out of your mouth, if you ask me, and it's a good habit to get into if you want to keep your own teeth as long as you can!

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          • Lancome Le Rouge Absolue / Make Up / 31 Readings / 30 Ratings
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            10.01.2011 16:24
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            A lush lipstick by Lancome....

            The lipstick I bought was shade 270 Ambre Cuir which is a natural beige sort of shade. Although the range has Rouge in the title, not all the shades are red based, but go into more brown and pinky colours. The lipstick slides on really smoothly and has great pigmentation. The finish is soft and moisturised, and the lipstick itself smells really nice! Hard to describe, but its definitely pleasant.

            The lipstick costs £18.50 which is really expensive for a lipstick, but nice to treat yourself sometimes if you can afford to! Although I wouldn't knowingly go out and buy an expensive lipstick, it was a bit of an impulse buy whilst I was buying some foundation from the Lancome counter. It's a really nice lipstick though, and you feel nice and posh when you wear it! Its really comfortable to wear also, as it gives really good moisture.

            As for the 'technical' terms, something called 'Pro-Xylane', developed by Lancome, is incorporated into this lipstick, which to you and me, means it's supposed to re-shape and replenish the lips. Does it? Well, Replenish, yes, as I definitely feel good moisture coming from this lipstick. Reshape? Er, I dunno! I wouldn't be able to confidently say if this reshapes, but they definitely make my lips look and feel more luscious as soon as I apply it.

            The lipstick is presented in a silvery cardboard box which is elegantly printed, and the lipstick itself comes in a sleek shiny black case, with a magnetic lid, so it's easy to close. The lid is slightly curved at the top to look nice and feminine. The branding is, again, simple and elegant, with a gold Lancome rose logo on the top of the case, and Lancome written in gold towards the bottom. On the base is a golden sticker which advises the shade of the lipstick. The black and gold works really nicely together, and suggests an opulent product.

            There are a lot of shades available in this lipstick, mostly concentrating on pinks, reds and natural shades, and they are really classic colours which wouldn't go out of trend.

            Size of the lipstick is 1.2ml which sounds little but is quite standard in size, and this lipstick is SPF12 so helps protect your lips too.

            When I can afford it (occasionally!) I do like to splash out on items from Lancome, as they do really lovely quality makeup which makes you feel special, so I do recommend this lipstick if you can afford it, as it really nice to wear and looks posh in your handbag!

            Available from most Lancome beauty counters and online.

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            10.01.2011 11:21
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            A great eye cream from high street giant Boots

            I normally use Clinique's All About Eyes, but I left this at my mum's house by accident when I visited, and she lives far away, so unfortunately needed to buy some more eye cream to use until I saw her again. Instead of buying my same eye cream, I thought I'd give something else a try.

            This eye cream from Boots costs only £2.49 for 15ml which is bargainous compared to the £22 price tag of the Clinique one I use, and it had some really good reviews online so I thought it was worth a try. Especially when I had loads of Boots points to use so effectively got it free anyway!

            This eye cream comes in a tube, and is quite nice and elegant in design, with creamy beige coloured packaging and soft feminine graphics. It stands up fairly well on its lid, and the lid screws on and off fairly easily (I'd personally prefer a flip top lid, but hey, that's just me!).

            It's quite pharmaceutical in style, with a small thin nozzle to dispense the cream, and you're able to get out tiny amounts at a time which is great as you only need a really little bit. The cream is a little thinner than the other eye cream I use, but is still creamy and moisturising. The cream is SPF15 which is important for any skincare product, and contains vitamin e and wheatgerm oil, which helps keep skin nourished.

            I am currently 30, and don't have any big bags or major lines under my eyes, although like anyone, with my lack of sleep occasionally, the under eye area can look quite dull and lifeless, so I was interested to see how this would fare on me.

            The cream does indeed make my skin very soft and nourished, and helps brighten up the whole eye area. I wouldn't say it's a wonder cream though, and I still feel the need to use some concealer under my eyes to make my skintone even everywhere. The lines I do have under my eyes have diminuished a little, which was a good result. There is no strong smell with this cream, and it applies easily and lightly.

            For the price, I think its brilliant, and is a serious contender against the other bigger skincare brands which you pay premium prices for. I will happily continue to use this cream until it finishes, and may even end up using this in future once I finish off my Clinique cream!

            I am not certain what effect this eye cream would have on those who want anti-ageing effects, but for the price and quality, it's definitely worth a try!

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            08.12.2010 16:42
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            A healthy crips snack

            These seem to be a fairly new brand of snack item, and you can find these snack bags near things like Snack-A-Jacks and rice cakes in the supermarket.

            The 22.5g bag shows a black nostalgic photo of a couple on an old fashioned bicycle, and is generally quite retro in feel, but with a fun touch with some bright colourful writing. It gives the impression that the brand is tasty and traditional, which to be honest, i don't think this is the case. (bag in shops is different to that pictured, they have the correct one on their website).

            Cost: 69p for one bag, which is fairly pricey I think, but I think they sometimes do it on offer of 2 for a £1 or something similar.

            The product definitely appeals to those looking for a healthier snack as it looks quite wholesome from the packaging, states it is baked rather than fried, like many unhealthy snacks are, and has '99 calories' displayed prominently on the front of the bag. They also claim to have 70% less fat than standard crisps.

            Looks wise, the 'crips' are small round discs which look a little bit like cheese biscuits rather than crisps. They are quite thin and crunchy and are quite browned in colouring. They have a great crunch to them,

            Now I shall compare them to a bog standard pack of Walkers Cheese & Onions crisps. A bag of Walkers has 131 calories, 8.3g of fat, 1g of fibre, and 0.3g of salt. A bag of Crips has 98 calories, 2g of fat, 0.3g fibre, and 0.15g of sodium. Calories-wise, you have a less amount in Crips, as fat and sodium, so indeed they are much more healthy than Walkers.

            However, for the better flavour a pack of Walkers has, I would much rather have a bag of Walkers than these! They were not all that satisfying, and are quite cardboard like in smell, and the taste is okay, not very strong or enjoyable even. They are not too bad if you have them along with something else, like a sandwich, but on their own, they are quite dull and not that interesting to eat. I would much rather eat an apple or banana, which tastes much better and is more healthy than these Crips.

            If you are someone who eats crisps every day, its probably not a terrible thing to replace your usual unhealthy bag with, but I wouldn't say it's a brilliant substitute. Health wise, these are no doubt better than normal crisps, but I think other low fat snacks, such as Snack-A-Jacks have a much better flavour and consistency.

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          • St. Ives Apricot Scrub / Skin Care / 10 Readings / 8 Ratings
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            08.12.2010 16:36
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            The best face scrub around, in my opinion!

            Not many brands stay constantly on my bathroom shelf for so many years, but I remember using this face scrub about 10 years ago, and even if I tried another brand, they never lasted against this one!

            St Ives is a Swiss skincare brand who do a fair few things in their product range including cleansers and moisturisers, but this is the one item that both myself and many other ladies I know still use on a regular basis, whether they use the rest of the range or not (most often not). The range is available widely in places like Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, pharmacies, and all sorts of places.

            St Ives offer a few different scrubs, depending upon your skin type needs, although not this whole range is available in all stores which stock St Ives products:

            - Blackhead & Blemish
            - Moisturising Olive
            - Renew & Firm
            - Invigorating
            - Gentle

            I have always used the Blemish version, being prone to blemishes most of my life, thought it most appropriate! I have tried some of the others, and found them equally good though....

            The scrub is not that cheap, but neither outrageously expensive at £4.29 for a 150ml tube, though I have almost always bought it when its on offer (often is 2 for £6 in Boots) so works out much cheaper. It comes in a tube with a flip lid, which is great and easy to dispense.

            The scrub itself is a creamy white colour with visible pieces of exfoliating grains in it. The smell is quite oaty and natural, and isn't unpleasant. The scrub is quite thick and the grains are quite big, so when you are scrubbing it on your face, it really does give you a good scratchy scrub. Best not to rub too roughly though, as you don't want to rub your face raw! I usually rub my face gently with this, all over, and concentrate on the little nooks and crannies in my chin and by the side of my nose to get all the dirt out. My skin feels sooooo smooth once I have done this, and I feel really satisfied once using it! If I have a spot or blemish, I am careful not to use it on those areas as it may irritate them and make them heal less quickly. With the Blemish version which I use, your skin tingles a little as I think it has ingredients which help tackle blemishes, but it doesn't cause me any irritation. With regular usage, this really does help keep your skin in good, smooth condition. I would only use it once or twice a week at the very most, as over-scrubbing your skin is not good for it, and can actually cause blemishes etc.

            I've tried quite a number of face scrubs, and I think this is the best by far!

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          • 27 Dresses (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 18 Ratings
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            03.12.2010 13:26
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            An average time-pass chick flick

            Please note: this is a film only review as I didn't watch it on DVD.

            I watched this film recently when it came on tv, and although I knew it hadn't been a big hit, I thought it would be good to pass some time on a lazy Sunday.

            The film stars Katherine Heigl is more recently well known for being in hit US show Grey's Anatomy, with her most famous movies being Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth and My Father The Hero. She plays a girl named Jane, who's sole purpose in life seems to be a bridesmaid for other people's weddings (she's been a bridesmaid 27 times, as per the title) , and a general sorter-outer of all wedding related things. She loves weddings, and enjoys reading the wedding announcements page in the New York Times, and dreams of being married herself someday. At the beginning of the film, she is constantly running between two weddings, where she is a bridesmaid at both, and a cute guy named Kevin notices her (James Marsden, who is much more memorable in the X-Men movies as Cyclops) and is obviously enamoured by Jane. Jane, on the other hand, doesn't find him very appealing, especially when he expresses his disgust at weddings, whereas she absolutely loves weddings and everything about them.

            Jane's official daytime job is working as a PA to a guy named George, whom she is hopelessly in love with, yet, doesn't seem to pluck up the courage to tell him so. Unfortunately for Jane, when her younger, blonde, and more attractive sister Tess (Malin Akernman - Watchmen, The Proposal, Couples Retreat) arrives to visit, her boss George falls in love with her after seeing her at Jane's work social event, and Jane's heart is thus smashed into pieces. She can't even really be angry at her sister as she never told her she loved George, so she is left as a bystander watching love blossom between her sister and her dream man. And even though Tess lies to George about being somebody she's not (a vegetarian outdoorsy type of person) just so George will find her more attractive, Jane doesn't interfere and let's the man she love fall more in love with her sister who is being fake.

            Kevin continues to try and pursue Jane, with initial failure, but she keeps running into him every now and then, and eventually, Jane finds out Kevin actually works under a pseudonym and is in fact the writer of the wedding announcements page, and she has always been a fan of that writer. Kevin is constantly crossing paths with Jane, and she eventually starts warming to him, although she still doesn't forget the fact she's still in love with George.

            It's very obvious at the beginning that she will end up with Kevin, so for me, the movie was quite predictable, but it's a fairly enjoyable sort of a movie. Katherine Heigl is cast well in her role as Jane, a ver down-to-earth and likeable character. Other roles which are well cast are her boss and sister. Everyone else is fairly average, and serve their purpose without any standout roles. The movie isn't laugh out loud, and plods along quite gently.

            I don't think I would watch this film again, as although it was watchable, it really wasn't that memorable.

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          • Cadbury's Star Bar / Sweets / 13 Readings / 11 Ratings
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            03.12.2010 13:19
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            A galactic tasting chocolate bar from Cadburys - recommended for those who like chewy chocolate!

            I would never in my life seek out to buy this chocolate bar, as its just something I've never really been attracted to or seen or heard much about, but I was given one by a colleague as there was some left over from a corporate social event we held. I was told it was her favourite chocolate bar, so as a choccy fan, I was naturally intrigued!

            The wrapper is quite child-like in bright yellow colour, with the word Star Bar written in superhero/space adventure style font. The catchphrase on the bar is 'A chewy cosmos of peanuts and caramel'. I like caramel, I like peanuts. Sounds good right?

            This bar is in one whole piece rather than in multiple 'sharing' pieces which is good, as I always feel obliged to share when it's like that (damn you, Bueno!), so you can have it all to yourself. Inside the wrapping, it's quite a boring looking bar, slightly round in shape, with not too much style or character, but hey, we'll let the taste decide!

            This bar is indeed very chewy, and there is something a little galactic about it, as you chew and have the ever so slight sensation of popping in your mouth (I have no idea how!), and it's a more smoother amalgamation of filling than what you would get in something like a Snickers bar.

            Being Cadburys, the taste of the bar is nice and enjoyable. Now the real question is, would I buy it voluntarily? The answer, unfortunately my little starry friend, is no. although I enjoyed eating you and devoured you completely (you can't waste chocolate now can you), I found you a bit too chewy for my liking, and I would much prefer to buy a Snickers bar if I wanted a peanutty chocolate fix. Having said that, its quite nice tasting so depends on your preference...

            Price: around 55p, available most newsagents and supermarkets.

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            • Asda Softener / Household Product / 12 Readings / 10 Ratings
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              03.12.2010 12:51
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              An affordable and great smelling fabric softener from ASDA

              Please note this review is for ASDA Sensitive Fabric Softener Almond Milk & Honey Blossom - 21 Washes (750ml).

              I normally always buy Lenor or Comfort fabric softeners, more out of habit than anything else, but I was in ASDA one day, and urgently needed to buy fabric softener for the evening wash. I spotted this softener which was priced at a reasonable £1 for 21 washes (750ml bottle), which I didn't think was bad at all, plus this Almond Milk & Honey Blossom one had a really lovely scent. I've smelled all sorts of fabric softeners recently and find a lot of them unpleasant or too strong smelling, so this one was perfect for me as it smelled so pleasant and fresh. There are other smells in the ASDA range, but I thought this was the nicest.

              The bottle is quite pleasant looking, and has elegant curves, soft peachy colouring on the label and lid, and a cartoon picture of a baby to enforce the image that this is Sensitive, and therefore even suitable for a child's soft skin. It's quite no nonsense, and gives you all the information you need without looking gimmicky.
              The liquid itself is white, and is a little more runny than Comfort, but same as Lenor. You measure how much you need by pouring it into the lid which is easy enough. The bottle is easy to handle and to remove/replace the lid, so no problems in using it.

              I really like the smell of this, you can definitely pick up the almond, milk and honey scents, and the overall effect is nice, gentle and sweet, without being overpowering. I found this made my clothes smell really good and the smell lasts a fair while, although not for weeks...I'd say you can smell this on them for a day or so, and then gets eventually overpowered by other things you might keep your clothes within.

              The clothes were definitely soft feeling, and I think for the price, it's a really good product. Sometimes they have it on offer, but even if its not, I think it's a good every day low price anyway.

              I don't have any kids or babies (yet) but my husband has sensitive skin and sometimes has mild eczema, and this softener didn't cause either of us any problems or irritations.

              I definitely recommend this fabric softener for anyone who has sensitive skin and likes a nice fresh, soft smell on their clothes, and likes something which is good value.

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              30.11.2010 12:31
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              An excellent sweeper from Bissell, minus the handle!

              Sometimes I find it hard to find time to vacuum, and there are times when I just want a quick whizz to sort out any dirt or mess on the carpet or in the kitchen. I remember my mum having a Ewbank sweeper when I was younger which she used loads, and I thought it was time to perhaps invest in something similar.

              Now, half of my house is carpet, and half is laminate or lino, so I needed a sweeper that could handle all flooring types rather than just carpet.

              Upon doing some research, I almost bought a GTECH rechargeable sweeper, but finally decided on the Bissell Perfect Sweep, because it looked as if it could handle different flooring types, as well as it not being powered by battery, which I thought was more eco-friendly and economical, as I can imagine having to replace the rechargeable battery one day as it loses capacity over time.

              I ordered my sweeper through Tesco Direct for about £15, and went to pick it up. It was in quite a compact packaging so was easy to carry, and then we put it together when we got home. It was really easy to fix together, with no tools required, and parts either slipped or screwed on together. Mine is a nice brushed silver colour rather than the blue one pictured, which is nice and smart looking and compliments the rest of my appliances.

              The sweeper indeed cleans dirt, debris and hair from the carpet as well as hard flooring, although it's not quite as good as a vacuum cleaner, but at least it does the job for a quick clean up. There are two rolling brushes inside the sweeper which help catch the dirt better than one with one brush. There is an easy container to open and empty the sweeper, which only needs doing every now and then.

              The main gripe with this sweeper, which I also expected from the reviews, was that the handle (which is in about 3 pieces) falls apart quite easily while you're holding it, which can give you a shock! The way they should have designed the handle is that all parts should screw together securely, whereas only the bottom part of the handle is screwed the base, and the other parts simply push together. To remedy this, you either need to give the handle a good bang on the floor (ideally outside so you don't damage anything!) or simply stick together with some strong duct tape (which doesn't look good but does the job).

              All in all, I am very pleased with my purchase, as it helps me keep my house tidy in between vacuuming, which I only have time to do on a weekend unfortunately. If only they made a better handle and this would have gotten full marks!

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                30.11.2010 09:43
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                A lovely lipbalm from MAC which gives your lips some colour

                My review is of MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner, but it is one of the ones from their limited edition Hello Kitty range - which is not all that different from their usual lip conditioner apart from the packaging and shades on offer, but will give you an idea of how good the product in general is.

                When MAC brought out their limited edition Hello Kitty range a while ago, I went a bit mad and bought loads of things as I love Hello Kitty, and MAC! One of my purchases was this pretty pink tinted lip conditioner (lipbalm) in the shade Popster, which is quite a bright pink.

                The product comes in a cute little flat glass pot with a clear base and black lid (twists on and off) which has got a picture of Hello Kitty's face on the lid. The glass pot itself has the word MAC written on the side of it, and the bottom of the pot has a sticker noting the shade and other key product details. The whole thing comes in a little limited edition Hello Kitty box, black background with pink and white writing

                The lip conditioner is 15ml and is SPF15 so good for wearing in sunny conditions. There is quite a decent amount in the pot so would last you quite a while, although it was quite pricey to buy (its probably even more expensive now to buy on places like ebay as its limited edition), it cost about £10 which is expensive for a lipbalm, but hey, you're paying for the MAC brand and one of their limited editions! Like other MAC products I have experienced, this is a good quality item and made with quality ingredients and use strong and striking packaging.

                The lipbalm is soft and creamy, and applies really nice and softly, leaving your lips feeling lush. There is a really good pigmentation in the colour, so if you're someone who doesn't wear a lot of lipstick, you could wear this and enjoy the benefits of a lipbalm with a pop of colour. This particular shade I bought is a bright pink, so best not to slather too much on if you want a more subtle look, but the beauty of this is you can apply a thick or thin layer as you wish, and you would still get a good moisturising effect. It does last fairly long, but as with any lipbalm, you tend to need to reapply if you eat something, although it does work really well to keep your lips soft and moisturised.

                As its limited edition and expensive, I feel like I shouldn't waste it too much but it's a really lovely product for pampering and as a special treat. Comparing it to standard lipbalms such as Vaseline, Carmex etc, it's a bit more creamy and soft than those, so I definitely think it's a good quality product and not just something you are paying excess for when it is the same as others. However, I don't think this is something I would buy on a regular basis as I don't think I can continually justify spending £10 on a lipbalm, no matter how good it is!!

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                29.11.2010 16:08
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                New fragrance from Crabtree & Evelyn

                Iris is a new fragrance which has just come out, and like lots of other things in the Crabtree & Evelyn ranges, is very floral and feminine both in smell and bottle style.

                This perfume will cost you £12 for a 30ml bottle, and £24 for a 100ml bottle, which is excellent value.

                The bottle and packaging are not that interesting in design and is perhaps a little aged in style. So either for those females who like something no nonsense or a little traditional looking compared to someone wanting a bottle to look decadent and trendy on your dressing table.

                Components: The basis of this fragrance is orris root which is 'the heart of the iris'. It has also been combined with sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver (whatever that is!). Apologies if my review is a bit basic, as I don't think I'm trained enough to comment on things like top notes, etc, so can only give the average person's POV on this perfume!!!

                The fragrance is really nice, and anyone who has smelled irises before would recognise this as a lovely, fresh but sweet smell, and is not too overpowering. I would say this is definitely more of a daytime scent, you would need something with a bit more impact for an evening or night out....

                Now I did actually like this perfume, but its lasting effects are unfortunately not very long. I applied this in the morning, and couldn't smell it too much after a few hours, so its quite important you take the bottle out with you for respraying as necessary. I don't know if its the fact its an eau de toilette or that's its a more gentle fragrance which means you only mostly smell it for a short while after spraying, but either way, I would expect a perfume from a big brand like this to last a bit longer!

                I would not buy this again, purely because the staying power isn't very good, but the fragrance itself is actually really like and complements the other ranges of fragrances at C&E. I will continue to buy their other products like body creams, as I think they're really good!

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                29.11.2010 11:46
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                Another top quality mascara from Lancome

                I purchased this mascara during the summertime at duty free, this costs approx £22 in shops, I think mine would have cost me at least a few quid cheaper than this. I have previously used Lancome L'Extreme and quite liked that mascara, so I had high hopes for this latest mascara offering.

                Like other mascaras in this brand, the container is a slick shiny black, and is a tapered slender shape, with gold detail on it. The mascara looks like a top quality item, which is what you want for that price! The brush for this mascara is a straight rather than curved, now I personally prefer curved, but this straight one isn't bad, but you need a slight bit of extra effort to get into the corners of your eyelashes.

                I would say this mascara is nice for a more natural look, rather than the thick, blacker-than-black false lash effect. If you put a few sweeps on, it's a nice finish and gives a bit of a wide eyed look. Although my lashes definitely look nicer with it on rather than bare, they don't really look dramatically longer, or thicker, with it. If you want to build it up a bit to look thicker, you could do up to 10 strokes without looking like a witch, but even then you can have lashes sticking together to give a bit of a spider effect (an eyelash comb is therefore a must!). I did like this mascara for every day wear for a natural look, and would definitely use a different and more dramatic mascara for the evening if I went out on a night.

                Price wise, its not the cheapest, but you are paying for good quality, which you can tell as the quality of the mascara and brush are great, and seems gentle on your eyes. I find some mascara brushes a bit scratchy sometimes, but this one is really soft and gentle (you would hope so at this price!).

                Now, this mascara claims to care for your eyelashes and make them more denser and fuller, as it contains a plant cell extract from apples which apparently does the job! I can't say that this mascara has achieved this effect for me, I think you would either need to use it for a long time. My lashes are quite healthy anyway and not sparse, which wasn't a problem for me before this anyway. However, I definitely don't regret buying this mascara, as its really nice for every day use and for people who are not too fussed about dramatically lengthening your lashes. I probably wouldn't buy this particular version again and would try out others that appeal to me, but I would definitely be interested in buying another Lancome mascara in future as they are very good quality and makes you feel special using it.

                I do have a mini version of Lancome Hypnose Drama which I haven't opened yet, but I imagine this is a more dramatic type of mascara which I would love to review when I can. I try not to open all my mascaras too early now once I realised they go off quite quickly once the brush is exposed to air! I think a mascara lasts about 6-12 months once opening (i'm sure I go well over this though!).

                Recommended for natural looking lashes.

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