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I read this recently as it caught my eye in Foyles even though I had never heard of the book or the author. I ended up buying a copy on Kindle.
The book drew me in from the very start. It is narrated by a father, Eric Kennedy or Erik Shroder. He is telling about what has happened "since Meadow and. I disappeared" and the book is addressed to the reader as if he is talking directly to you, though he clarifies he is talking with his wife in mind.
We see early on and from the blurb description that it is about a custody issue and about a dad who goes on the run with his daughter. This was a topic which interested me as I often like books about relationships and families where the characterisation is good.
Reading this book you are asked to consider the common assumption that a child should usually be with the mother when parents split up. We see the relationship between father and daughter here from the fathers perspective but what made it interesting to me is that he is an unreliable narrator so we never know whether we can take him at his word.
The protagonist of this book is a bit unpredictable and has completely reinvented himself once before, as we find he left his childhood and roots behind and invented a totally new persona which he kept up for life, therefore we doubt slightly what he is saying as we know he is a master of deception.
A book that really kept me interested and I would recommend.
Burial Rites is the debut novel by Hannah Kent and I strongly recommend it.
This is the story of Agnes Magnusdottir who was convicted of murder and was the last person to be executed in Iceland in the 1800s.
The author was fascinated by this story after hearing about it as an exchange student in Iceland and the book was originally written as part of her phd, but it is completely accessible and defintely written as a novel and not as a piece of academic writing.
The book is beautifully written and draw you into the landscape and lifestyle of Iceland in those times. The characters have a good amount of depth to them and you are encouraged to think about how people are appeared and whether they can be taken at face value. It is about justice in the criminal justice sense and also about the concept of a fair society as many of the characters live in poverty and have no chance of ever really improving their lives. It's about relationships and compassion.
I really enjoyed the Icelandic setting,and this may appeal to people who like the currently popular Nordic crime fiction and TV shows etc, though Burial Rites offers something a little different.
The fact that this was actually based on a true historical happening made it even more interesting to me. Hannah Kent wanted to show a more sympathetic version of Agnes as history had reduced her to a bit of a characature in Icelandic culture.
A gripping story, which I found unputdownable and was hooked on.
I was over at my sister's house the other day and when looking for a film to watch we came across this one which she had recorded on Sky + a while ago. Neither of us really knew anything about this film and had not really heard of it but thought it was worth a try, mainly because I like Tina Fey and generally find her funny. Also I like Steve Carrell as Michael Scott in the American version of the office.
Date Night is a mixture of comedy and action, but does not take itself seriously as an action film at all! The starring roles of Claire and Phil Foster are played by Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, and they are a middle aged couple who live a happy life but stuck in a bit of a rut due to being a bit worn down by the routine of married life, kids and work. They try to stick to a regular date night but end up always doing the same things so one night they decide to change it up and go for a fancy dinner in New York City (they live in New Jersey) with has some hilarious and unexpected consequences as they steal the dinner reservation of the "triplehorns", causing a case of mistaken identity and them being drawn into an action packed criminal chase.
The storyline is very far fetched but this did not bother me at all as this film is not supposed to be serious, it is pure entertainment. It is very silly through and through but I loved it as I was laughing out loud many times during the film! The main characters make some hilarious comments and there are also a few cheap laughs from things like ridiculous dance moves, but there is no real gross out humour which is good for me as I can be squeamish!
I would say this film was an unexpected gem as it cracked me up despite never having heard of it before!
I am a bit of a skincare and makeup enthusiast and I often tend to try loads of new products, however toners are usually not something I am that bothered about experimenting with as I have a firm favourite product that I usually stick with, which is Clinique clarifying lotion (strictly not exactly a toner as it is actually a liquid exfoliator, but it basically takes the role of a toner in my usual routine). Anyway, I ended up with a few bottles of the Lancôme tonique douceur as I bought a big Lancôme kit at Christmas time and I have also received a couple of travel sized bottles as gifts with purchase. I am a big fan of getting good gifts with purchase and its worth mentioning that Lancôme are fairly generous with this and often do have freebie deals available at their counters.
The toner comes in a clear bottle containing a blue liquid and as with many Lancôme products it has a rose design sort of etched on. It looks simple but attractive. It comes in 200 ml size which costs £22 or 400 ml size for £35 which gives you a bit of a saving per ml if you know you like it and are going to get through it, though I do consider if fairly pricey. They also have the 50 ml travel size which you can sometimes get in sets or free gifts.
This toner is applied like most toners in that you dispense a few drops out onto a cotton pad and smooth it over your face. However, I find that this one feels different to any other toner that I have ever tried! This toner is advertised as softening, hydrating and alcohol free. Most toners I have ever used have been more alcohol based, quite astringent and sometimes a bit harsh. They often leave my face with that slightly taut feel which can be nice and refreshing in a way, but this one is different. It feels much gentler, it really does feel extremely hydrating rather than making my skin feel it has been stripped it feels like it has put something in. As well as hydrating it is supposed to perform the normal toner function of refining skin and removing impurities, which I feel it does do effectively. As with a lot of Lancôme products, this tonique douceur has a light rose scent to it so that coupled with the gentle and kind sensation and moisturisation actually reminds me of just using natural rosewater on my skin. It feels lovely to use.
For me with a tendency to oily skin at times, I think this is perfect for using in the evening but I have not been using it in the mornings. In the morning I don't want to put too much moisture into my skin and would prefer something more oil balancing and mattifying to prevent any shininess on my face, especially as summer is finally arriving, so I stick to my usual Cinique in the morning. For anyone who does not need to worry about a shiny face this would probably be fine to use in the morning as well.
Over all this was a totally different toner experience for me and one which was a pleasant surprise.
Recently I have been trying to stick to gentler and less strongly perfumed and chemically shower gels and looking out for the ones which are non irritating and suitable for sensitive skin, because I was advised to do this for a few weeks after a medical procedure.
This Nivea shower gel caught my eye in Tesco as it stated it was for sensitive skin and had a simple, calming look to it. When I had a closer look I saw that it was ph balanced to be non irritating, has chamomile and is gentle and moisturising. I trust the Nivea brand as they are so well known and reliable so for the bargain price of just £1 on offer I decided to buy it.
I have been using this shower gel regularly over the last couple of weeks (alternating with another similar one from Simple which I will also review) and I really like it.
The shower gel is in a clear 250 ml bottle and the gel itself is also clear without a visible colour. However you can still see the level going down in the bottle. It is easy to dispense but not too runny and watery. It lathers up very nicely on a shower puff and the foam it makes is lovely and feels soft and light but moisturising. It smells really nice, quite simple and natural with a calming green sort of scent which does not come across as chemically or artificial.
It leaves my skin feeling very clean and fresh, and does not dry it out at all and I have not suffered any kind of irritation whatsoever from this product.
I really like this one. I often am tempted to go for all kinds of different scents in shower gels but I have actually enjoyed going back to basics with this and I would definitely get it again.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants a bargain shower gel, who prefers a simpler scent and wants something that works well is gentle and non drying or irritating.
Another Year is a British film directed by Mike Leigh and I watched it over the bank holiday with my parents and grandma as it came on TV and my mum said it had good five star reviews. Therefore we had quite high expectations. However I have to admit when I heard it was Mike Leigh I did think "oh no what am I in for" as I had absolutely hated his film Happy Go Lucky when I saw it at the cinema years ago, even though it seemed well rated and reviewed by many. It seems like Mike Leigh's style is not really for everyone, you could say!
Anyway I thought I would give it a try. The basic premise of the film is that there is a couple, Tom and Gerri, in their middle age who are happily married and making the best of their life. We see a year in their life and that of their various friends and family members who come by their house for dinners, garden parties etc and who are all experiencing various problems and I think it is supposed to highlight how happy Tom and Gerri are and that a good life can be a quiet content one and doesn't have to be anything spectacular.
The main friend who crops up time and time again through out the film is Mary. She works with Gerri and they have known each other twenty years or so. At first Mary seems bubbly but even during the first dinner we see that she has a lot of issues, gets really drunk and upset about her failed relationships as she has ended up lonely and single, feeling a lot of regret about how everything managed to go wrong in her life. This is very cringey but somehow quite compelling viewing. An annoying habit she has which is a personal peeve of mine is that she always constantly uses people's names when talking to them, e.g. "What's that Tom?" "You like that don't you Gerri" type thing. This made it annoying to watch for me as I just hate this habit! I have to say Mary is acted well and realistically, as are Tom and Gerri, but its just a bit tedious to see full, not that eventful but just slightly cringey exchanges between them all.
As it goes on we have more disasters from Mary as she gets a car that she wanted but it keeps causing her trouble, she fancies someone totally inappropriate for her (Tom and gerris son) and someone she doesn't like tries it with her...
Another character is Ken, who is the one who likes Mary. He is also single, now past it very overweight and just eats and drinks and feels quite depressed. Not much happens with him. It is just sad to see.
The brother of Tom is also a sad character as his wife does and he is left sad and alone. His grown up son is a waste of space.
There is also Tom and gerris son who eventually gets a girlfriend, which upsets Mary...
A few things were left unfinished such as there is one character played by imelda Staunton who is depressed no getting counselling and she just seemed to never turn up again in the film.
Basically it is very character driven rather than plot driven. It is realistic but just very dreary. I wanted to keep watching and find out what happened, but I wouldn't say I was enjoying it. If watching alone I would have got bored but at least with my mum I was able to talk through it and laugh at some of the more ridiculous things in it!
On the whole, I don't think it really deserved the five stars and rave reviews as it was not really that entertaining and I didn't really enjoy it. However there is something to it as I would say it is well acted and some parts realistic. Obviously some love it judging by other reviews so if you do like this type of thing then give it a try, but its not really for me.
It's not often that I have a bath as I usually just have a shower but the other day I was feeling a bit under the weather and stressed out and I thought a bath might be good relaxation. I remembered I had this Champneys bath product from one of the big Boots Christmas boxes and so I was looking forward to trying it out.
This bath milk costs £8 at full price for a 300 ml bottle. Mine will have worked out much cheaper as I paid about £20 to £30 for a big box filled with loads of different products. As it turns out I really don't think this one is worth the full price!
I poured some of this bath milk under running water and swirled it in the bath, as the packaging instructs. However I was left quite disappointed by how little it bubbled up! There were only a tiny number of feeble bubbles. Whenever I checked on the bath while it was running I kept having to whack another generous pour of the bath milk in. Eventually I did have a decent amount of bubbles going but by that point I had poured in literally half the bottle! I was quite shocked by that as it seems a huge amount of product to use in one go, especially if I had paid £8 for the bottle then I would have wanted it to last a bit longer!
Looking past the fact I didn't consider it good value for money, I do think it has its good points. This bath milk smells really nice. It has a calming smell with a bit of a nut and woody vibe to it, but creamy and not overbearing. When lying in the bath this bath milk made my skin feel really moisturised soft and silky. It definitely did feel relaxing and comforting.
Maybe as it is called a "bath milk" rather than bubble bath it is not supposed to make all that many bubbles and you are supposed to just enjoy the smooth texture in the bath. If so then it does do its job, but personally I do like to have more bubbles.
Overall I liked it as it did help me relax, but I felt a bit cheated by how much I had to use to create enough bubbles and therefore I wouldn't pay full price.
I like a good rom com and this is one which I picked up for a cheap price of £2.99 in HMV a while ago and recently watched on a night in at my sister's house. I'm glad I didn't spend any more on this film as it really turned out to be a dud! Neither of us enjoyed this film and we were both shocked by how rubbish a lot of the script was and we found it quite tasteless, unfortunately.
The storyline is very simple. My sister went as far as to say it has no plot, but it does, it's just quite basic. Basically there is Erin, played by Drew Barrymore, who is in her early 30s and is an intern at a New York newspaper. The other romantic lead is played by Justin Long, who I had never heard of and I was shocked when I saw him as the lead as he is not really attractive in my opinion and does not really have the appeal you would expect from a rom com lead! Anyway he plays the character of Garrett, a fairly geeky guy who has just been dumped by his girlfriend and is not great at relationships. The two of them meet over an arcade game in a bar and they hit it off. Erin tells him she is only around for 6 more weeks then she has to go back to San Francisco, so they say they won't start a relationship, but by the end of the 6 weeks they are falling for each other and they decide to try it long distance. We just see how the relationship goes with them trying to deal with the time difference, visiting each other, missing each other etc.
A lot of the jokes are really crude and just weird, for example Garrett has two friends who are a bit weird and one starts to help an old lady cross the street and talks to her about masturbation while he is walking her across. To me this isn't funny, it's just really awkward and a bit gross. Other "jokes" are things like Garrett getting a spray tan and ending up with a hand print on his backside, and a really cringey scene of them trying to have phone sex.
Erin lives with her sister, brother in law and their kids and these are also quite annoying to me.
None of the characters are really likeable in my view, which meant I did not really care that much about the outcome. Erin is very immature and a bit weird, such as she gets drunk and starts yelling at some guy in a bar "suck my dick" etc. Just why? Garrett is also very immature and selfish. At one point they have a fight and I just felt that Garrett was acting like a baby. Their dilemma is whether to carry on long distance, or for Erin to move to New York, but its hard for her to find a decent job as a journalist over there.
I would not really recommend this film. It is watchable if you have time on your hands but I was quite surprised by how rubbish it was, to be honest.
I quite like to try out different skin care products but I am currently on a bit of a mission to use up all the various items in my bathroom before I buy more. This has resulted in my making my way through a few different face washes and one which I am currently using is this Good Things Stay clear purifying cleanser.
I had a phase of buying loads of Good Things products when I first discovered the range as I liked that they are natural, smell good and are also affordable. I loved one of their moisturisers (miracle Mattifier) so this tempted me into trying more of the range. They are aimed more at younger skins and they have different ones for oily or dry skin, this particular product being more orientated towards the oily skin end of the spectrum. The range was developed by the beauty writer Alice Hart Davis and the idea behind it is that it is free of parabens, sulphites etc. I have bought this brand in Boots and Sainsburys, however my local Sainsburys seems to have stopped doing it lately.
This face wash comes in a squezy tube containing 150 ml. It is a very pale lilac colour with the typical branding and swirly writing which looks attractive but not particularly up market in my opinion. It states that it contains super fruit extracts of mango and blueberry, so I was expecting a lovely fruity smell like I get from a lot of their products.
On squeezing out, the face wash is a thick gel and almost clear in colour. It does have quite a vivid fruity smell, more noticeably blueberry rather than mango to me. I like the smell, but I think it's not quite as nice as some of the other products. I would prefer if it was more mango-smelling. You rub the gel into your wet face, like with most face washes. You are advised to rub it in for a minute to get the most benefit out of it. I find it does not lather up as well as some other face washes, and although it does slightly foam up, it stays more liquidy or creamy on my face rather than a real lather. I would prefer a bit more lather. However it does still leave my face feeling clean. It is easy to simply rinse it off with water.
This face wash feels gentle and does not leave my skin feeling dry or tight after washing. As it is natural I felt confident that it would not cause me any bad reactions as my skin can be a bit sensitive. I don't think it has reacted on me, however I am not sure as my skin has not been quite it's best when using this face wash and occasionally I have been getting a few little bumps under the skin along my jaw line, which I really dont like. I'm not sure if this is a reaction against the product, or if it's just not doing a great job of keeping my skin clear, or if it is just a coincidence.
On the whole it seems to be a decent product, especially as it is quite cheap (I think in the region of £5). I will happily finish the tube. However, it's definitely not my favourite face wash as I prefer more lather and I don't think this one leaves my skin quite at its best.
I have been a big fan of Marian Keyes for years as I tend to really enjoy her writing style as she has a great sense of humour and comes out with some hilarious turns of phrase. She can write characters that really come to life and I find her books are ideal for relaxing and chilling out with. She has written 12 novels since her debut Watermelon in 1995, and the latest one is The Mystery of Mercy Close which came out in 2012.
Any Marian Keyes fans will be quite familiar with the Walsh family, a household of five daughters including Claire, Rachel, Maggie, Anna and Helen. I like the fact that this family appears in quite a lot of the books and that Marian Keyes has done books on each sister where we can get to know each one better and get a bit more of the humour that comes along with this family. The mum, known as "mammy Walsh" is really funny and at times has me crying with laughter in each book. In this book The Mystery of Mercy Close some things she said rang so true and reminded me of my own mum so I had to quote it all to my sister! This book is done from the point of view of the youngest sister, Helen Walsh, and this drew me to the book as she is often one of the funniest family members and in all the books she is known as being a bit crazy and wacky.
Despite the humour and the fact that Marian Keyes is often classified as "chick lit" it should definitely be pointed out that Marian Keyes actually tackles some darker and more serious subjects in her books as well as the usual chick lit stuff. In some of her past books she has dealt with issues such as alcoholism and rape, and in this book she tackles the subject of depression. Marian Keyes has suffered from depression herself and when reading this book I get the impression she wants to try to impart a better understanding of what depression is, what
people go through, how it impacts their lives and the fact it can happen to any normal person with no particular reason.
The storyline itself is a slightly odd one. Helen Walsh is a private detective and she is hired to track down wayne, a boy band member of a band that is supposed to be reuniting for a come back tour years after their prime. The person who hired Helen for this job is her ex boyfriend, and she also has a few issues going on with her current boyfriend, who has an ex who is very present and some kids. The kids do bring sme humour to the story and all the stuff with the boy band is quite ridiculous, some a bit over the top. None of this story is really that realistic but it is light entertainment. As it goes on, beyond the ridiculous situation you can start to see more clearly Helen's depression and start to get more of a feel for her as a person. Marian Keyes made me feel a lot of sympathy for her and I think despite the crazy story the characterisation is actually believable. Because of the wackiness of the story with the detective work and the boy band it did take me a bit longer to get into this story than some of her other ones, but once I got into it I did find it gripping.
Over all I would recommend it especially to anyone who is already a Marian Keyes fan.
I have been a big fan of Kate Atkinson since I first read her novel Behind The Scenes At The Museum many years ago now, and I have read all of the books that she has released. Therefore when I saw adverts for her new book Life After Life which came out recently, I was very keen to get my hands on a copy. I have found myself not being able to find as much time for reading lately so I thought this might be one that could get me back into it and get me gripped. I bought it on Kindle for about £10.
The basic premise of Life After Life is that a girl, Ursula, keeps reliving being reincarnated as herself in slightly different versions of her life. The tagline is "what if we had the chance to do it again and again, until we finally got it right?" This sounded quite interesting to me on first glance as it is quite quirky but it seemed like something Kate Atkinson would be able to pull off. We start the book in Germany in 1930 with a murder scene to which we don't have much background, and later as the book goes on, we start to see how things will go full circle and how all the different versions of Usulas life link up to this scene.
The fact that the story goes through lots of different versions of the same persons life does make it somewhat hard to get into at first in my opinion. At the beginning a lot of her lives are over very quickly and it can get a bit repetitive, as we experience numerous different retellings of her birth scene and then various incidents from Ursula's childhood and teens but with a different slant each time. These are okay but it is hard to feel too much investment in the story when you know the character is probably about to die and a new version about to start!
Later on some of the lives do become a bit more intricate and involved, and we get to see more of Ursula as she becomes an adult in a few different lives. It is interesting to see the family relationships, as in each life some things never change such as Ursula always seems to have much more connection to her sister Pam and brother Teddy, as well as her dad, and her mother is always a bit difficult, as is another of her brothers and her aunt Izzy always seems to be more or less the same each time. It is interesting to see the relationships and people adapting to different circumstances. What I did like is how you can sometimes see the pivotal moments where her life could have taken a different path, for example in one life Ursula marries a man who helped her up on the street. In another life you see this same incident happening but she runs off and doesn't talk to the man.
In a few of her lives Ursula ends up in Germany and sometimes she stays in the Uk, and as she lives through world war two this does give the opportunity to see how it is on each side and this is interesting. Some of the war sections are quite harrowing and shocking, but I found they were the parts which probably gripped me the most.
Even though it was quite hard to get into as it was very choppy , especially to begin with, I still found this an interesting read and quite a quick book to get through.
I would say its worth reading but personally I was left disappointed as my expectations of Kate Atkinson were so high because she is normally one of my favourite writers. I felt it was not really worth the full amount that I spent on it as I normally don't pay full price for books, especially not if I am only buying the kindle version.
My new flat doesn't have a garden so I have to hang my clothes up to dry on an airer indoors. We do have a tumble dryer but I am not too keen on using it all the time as it uses so much electricity and some of my clothes advise not to tumble dry. When hanging up clothes to dry indoors I find there is always the risk that they won't smell as fresh when they are ready, as they can sometimes pick up a musty smell from hanging around damp for a while. This is a reason why a good, fresh smelling fabric conditioner is even more important to use in my wash at the moment. I also generally like to use fabric conditioner to keep my clothes feeling soft.
Comfort Blue Skies is one which I picked up recently due to it being on offer in Tesco - that's the reason behind a lot of my purchases for household products as I am not the most brand loyal, but I do tend to go for Comfort if I ever see it reduced as I have always had good experiences with it and I like the white Comfort Pure. The Comfort Blue Skies comes in a clear bottle containing blue liquid, and it has a fresh looking floral picture on the front.
It is gentle it is and that it doesn't cause irritation. This is important for me as I do have somewhat sensitive skin.
The bottle indicates how much to use and it can be measured out into the cap. You can put it into the drawer with our washing powder or gel, or you can tip it directly into the drum, but I prefer to do the former.
I find that Comfort Blue Skies does help make my washing feel softer and stops my washing coming out feeling stiff, hard or crispy. I also find it makes my laundry less crumpled compared to not using any fabric conditioner. The clothes smell fresh when I have used this and I like the scent of it as it is by no means overpowering and it is not too artificial and chemically smelling. I don't partiularly want my laundry to be heavily scented or smell of fruit or anything, but I just want a fresh, clean "laundry" smell so this is perfect. The smell is just a clean, fresh one, nothing overpowering. However It can still be detected when the laundry comes out of the machine and does linger on the clothes while they are drying. Sometimes my clothes have to stay on the drying rack for a day or two until they are completely dry and they do still smell fresh by the time they are ready, not at all musty or damp smelling, to my relief.
I have not suffered any reactions to my sensitive skin with using this. My clothes feel soft and don't itch or irritate at all.
I do like this Comfort Blue Skies fabric conditioner and I will definitely get it again, hopefully on offer.
I am not someone who is really into supernatural, fantasy and so on at all, and I have never been drawn to any of the vampire related TV, films books that have been out in recent years. Therefore when True Blood first came out I didn't even give it a second glance as I never thought it would be something for me. However, loads of people constantly recommended it to me over the last couple of years, including friends and relatives who normally have the same taste in entertainment as me, so when my brother gave me the DVD box set of season one (and also two which I am on now) I thought it was worth a try. Well now I am addicted!
True Blood is such an interesting TV show. It is based around vampires but it's set in a normal town in the south of the USA, not in any kind of alternative universe. Obviously the fact it has vampires at all is quite far fetched but I like the fact it is a more realistic, relatable and normal setting. Vampires have recently made their presence public and they are slowly being accepted into mainstream society, but still with some difficulties and controversy as some people are reluctant to accept them, see them as a danger and sideline them.
The main character is Sookie Stackhouse, a girl who works as a waitress at Merlottes bar. She has her own supernatural powers as she is telepathic and can hear people's thoughts. One day a vampire, Bill, comes into the bar and Sookie is instantly drawn to him. In season one we see how their relationship develops and all the drama they face. Sookie also has her brother Jason and her grandma. There are various other good characters including Sookies best friend Tara who can be really funny, Lafayette who is Taras cousin and works at the bar and is a funny flamboyant gay guy, and Andy the useless police officer. The series is based on the books of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries by Charmaine Harris, and the mystery in season one is that various murders are occurring in the town. There is some suspense due to this and also due to the various twists and turns of the characters relationships.
I was hooked on this show from the first episode. It combines drama, suspense, humour, and a bit of weirdness. It can occasionally be slightly gross but not too bad. There's a bit of violence and quite a lot of sex in it! There are lots of drug references in it. I think it is definitely not suitable for young viewers and you can see why it is rated 18.
The acting is good although I think some of the accents sound slightly fake. Anna Paquin plays the main character of Sookie and she is an actress I like. I think everyone plays their roles well.
I recommend it!
This is not the most exciting product that I have bought lately but it is one that I would recommend for the price so I thought I would write a review.
This is a Tesco own brand toilet gel product which is intended to clean your toilet, remove lime scale and kill bacteria to keep your toilet as fresh as possible. I don't want to spend too much on this sort of boring cleaning essential unless I can help it so I decided to try this as it only cost 89p. I have found it effective and it does it's job. I had some lime scale built up in my toilet and this toilet gel managed to remove almost all of it after one use.
The packaging is pretty standard. It just looks like a cleaning product, inoffensive but uninspiring and just standard. However I don't need it to look fancy so I don't care! It does have a safety mechanism to the lid which those with young children may appreciate, as kids would definitely struggle to open this. For an adult it is fine though, just squeeze the sides as you turn the lid. There is a thinnish nozzle to dispense the gel once you get the lid off.
The gel is on the runnier side so it is easy to squirt out but sometimes loads comes out at once. However you jus have to be a bit careful with it and since it's so cheap I don't begrudge using quite a lot! I just put the nozzle under the toilet rim and squirt it liberally all around there, and a bit all over the insides of the toilet. It is bright blue so easy to see where you have put it.
The smell is fairly neutral I would say. I hate strong bleach smells and luckily this does not have that, though I can smell a bit of bleachiness. It doesn't have any real added pleasant scent to it as far as I can detect, but it smells fine.
You are told to leave it for at least two hours before flushing but generally I leave it over night, as is recommended. When I flush it in the morning the toilet looks clean and the gel does work, even if you have got some lime scale already built up it can remove it effectively.
For the low price I would definitely recommend giving it a try.
The Body Shop is a company that I have been buying from every now and again since I was at primary school so I trust their products and I consider a lot of them to be classics. Their shower gel and shower cream is one of their very popular products and they offer it in a huge variety of different scents, including lots of fruitty and nutty ones, many of which I have tried. I have had various Shea and Shea butter products from them a few times over the years, however for some reason I have to tried this shea shower cream until recently.
It comes in a typical Body Shop shower gel bottle, the slightly fat and sturdy shaped one which most of the scents come in, not tall and thin like a few of the Body Shop items such as the Earth Lovers shower gels. It is available in different quantities and the one I have is the 250 ml which I think is a good size, as it lasts a couple of months but is not so big and never ending that you get sick of the scent before you have finished it. It is clear which also lets you see the amount you have left. I tend to have a few bottles of shower gel open in my shower at any one time as I like to change it up from day to day, so for that reason I find it hard to say exactly how long this one would last with daily use.
Shea is known for its moisturising properties and it feels kind and luxorious on the skin, especially in this cold winter weather where I feel like I need some extra moisture. The scent is also one of the main selling points for this as well as the rich creamy texture. It has a fairly strong sweet smell which has a nutty tone to it and smells comforting. It is not particularly envigorating or fresh smelling, so it doesn't really wake me up on mornings when I am feeling a bit reluctant to get moving. Maybe it is more of a relaxing scent to wind down with but i am someone who prefers to shower in the morning rather than at night, so I haven't tried it out at night myself. I wouldn't say it's my all time favourite of their scents but I am sure I will get I again from time to time, as it is really nice.
As I said, the texture of this shower cream is another factor which I think is a big positive. I like shower creams which are quite moisturising, creamy and feel gentle and kind to my skin. I don't really suffer with much of a dry skin problem on my body, but at the moment since the weather is cold and harsh I am getting some dryness on my elbows and I do still like to feel the my skin is getting cared for and moisturised to keep this at bay. The cream is a fairly thick beigey colour and it lathers up very well on a shower puff, making loads of soft creamy bubbles which feel really nice when rubbed into the skin.
This leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, and the scent lingers on the skin a bit. If you do want to retain the shea scent there are loads of products with the same scent frm the Body Shop which you could layer to keep the scent strong, such as the body butter.
Overall for anyone who likes shower products with fruity and nutty scents, the Body Shop is definitely a great place to go and shea fans should be happy with this lovely shower cream that smells good and feels nourishing.