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I guess you will be able to tell throughout this review that I am a HUGE fan of these tongs! I have never owned a more expensive or branded curling wand, so you may think I am not able to make a good comparism.. But why pay more when you get the results you want for less than £10?! *Price & Availability* These tongs are available from Boots stores for the bargainous rice of £9.99. Unlike the slightly larger barrel tongs, these are also available on the website at boots.com *Appearance* The look of these tongs is pretty standard, although I think they have changed colour over the years (I am on my third in 11 years, one pair being broken by my brother after he dropped a table on them [yes!] & a further pair being left on the other side of the world - it's cheaper to replace them than send them over, making my friend in South America the proud owner of some great curling tongs!) They are currently simple black with no design or embellishment, & an on-off switch situated on the handle next to a red light indicating whether or not the tongs are in use. There is a detachable 'brush' made of plastic which is supposed to be used for creating larger curls with more volume, but I just found that it got stuck in my hair! The cord at the bottom swivels as you use it, avoiding any potential comedy moments during use :) *How they work* Simply plug them in & switch them on. I don't believe that these tongs heat up to the extremities of many others. Having touched the barrel numerous times with my hand during use over the years, I have no visible burn marks - although I wouldn't recommend doing this! After about two minutes, they should be heated up fully. It's important to brush or comb your hair out very well before use. Going out with a tong stuck to the side of your head isn't a great look :p I can't really judge how long it will take you to curl your hair, it depends on the length & thickness, & also on the type of curls you are looking for. My hair is almost waist-length & very thick, but it still takes about 20-25 minutes for loose, sporadic curls, & maybe 45 minutes for tighter ringlets. I personally don't use any products with these tongs. I don't actually think it is necessary to use a heat barrier as the tongs don't seem as hot as some straighteners, certainly you'll never see steam coming off your head! The thickness of my hair means the curls stay in place without any kind of spray (& I prefer a sort of 'shaken-in' look anyway..) but I would encourage you to play around with the potential looks you can create. To make the curls, divide your hair into small section. I use sections between 2.5cm & 5cm in size depending on what look you prefer. Smaller sections will create tighter curls, a sort of fairytale ringlet effect, but it will take much longer to complete. Larger sections will give looser curls with a little less staying power. You clip the hair into place along the barrel & wind the tong up the hair to the root. I've seen tutorials where the user holds the barrel still & wraps the hair around, but I haven't succeeded in the doing this without multiple burns to the hands, so only try if you're feeling brave! *Results* This section is largely subjective, but I find that the curls last until I wash my hair (2 days later, usually.) What I love about these tongs, apart from the price, is that you can get such a variety of results depending on how you use them. Princess curls, or more lived-in rock-chick curls are attainable, or looser waves if you shake the curls out. I should add, that due to the small size of the barrel (19mm), you won't achieve large barrel curls, for that you would need a larger tong. *Overall* What's not to love? For £9.99, a potential user who is unsure about splashing out for a curling tong should find the price attractive enough to give these a try. And they won't be disappointed!
What can I say, Batiste (or "John the Baptist" as it's known in my circle of friends..) is a girl's best friend. I have almost waist-length blonde hair. It takes HOURS to dry & frankly, I just don't care enough to buy a hairdryer. I guess I should state that I'm writing about the standard one, which is currently in a very 60s looking green can. There are many fruity or exotic-sounding flavours available such as cheery or tropical, but having tried these, I found them less effective & also that they smelled very 'fake', putting me in mind of children's bubblegum. To use the product, simply spray oit onto your hair & the greasy parts, aka the roots. You can either rub it in with your fingers or brush through, I generally find that using my fingers is enough. The spray is very white though (reminding me of an early Halloween when I dressed up as a Mad Professor but dumping a ton of talc on my hair!) & is therefore pretty awkward for non-blondes. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend Batiste dry shampoo to people with dark hair, for that reason. In terms of the smell, the product has a light musky smell in my opinion. It does remind me of talcum powder. But it certainly isn't strong enough to be noticeable once it's been used. The can is 200 or 400ml. I find that 200ml lasts me about 10 uses but I probably use more than the average person due to the thickness of my hair. There are travel size ones too, but I never tried that as it seems like it would only last one use! The 200ml retails for around £3 but is often on 2 for £4 in Superdrug/Boots/other usual suspects. I have tried other 'own-brand' products & I do think that I prefer to pay a little more for Batiste. That is quite simply, down to the smell. The others simply smelled synthetic to me, like cheap Impulse deodorant. Not how I want my hair to smell! As a final point, I should add that this is not a substitute for actually washing your hair! It will soak up greasy roots but won't revitalise your hair the way a wash would. It is definitely not for use on a daily basis! But once in a while, as a touch up, it really is a Girl's Best Friend :)
Boots advantage card - what's not to love?! For many years, I have been an avid Boots shopper. I find their stores incredibly convenient, whether small highstreet ones, the large out-of-town retail sites or the city centre stores that I find so accessible. When I am in need of health & beauty related basics, it is my first port of call. I find their stores to be well stocked & often well staffed, even on busy Saturdays. The staff know their job, & they memorably even gave me a work experience position aged just 12 (with a bumper gift bag at the end of the week..) My major issue with store cards is that us lowly students get very little back. Years of petrol buying at Tesco once amounted to a lowsy £1.50 "money-off" voucher. Er, thanks a lot. **Earning rewards** I've had an advantage card for half my life, & in my experience, it is the card that offers the most back. In normal circumstances, you earn 4 points for every pound spent in stores or online, & each point is worth a penny. This way, the points do add up, but you would need to be a big spender to receive big rewards. It is also not enough to encourage you to purchase a product in Boots that is cheaper elsewhere. However, Boots being Boots, there are wonderful offers all year round. Many purchases will obtain an extra 100 points (=£1), for example. Furthermore, many larger Boots stores have an advantage card kiosk, where you can view your points balance & receive extra points vouchers for use that very day. Of course, it is up to you to be sensible! If you've come in for toothpaste, there is no point buying miles of extras to obtain 200 extra points on a £20 spend. It can be a challenge to reign in your spending when you're surrounded by such wonderful products, but you can pick & choose. Many of the offers are on products you would buy anyway, such as shampoo. Why not buy when there's more advantage to be had? My personal foible is nail varnish. I am obsessed with the stuff! However, as I currently earn only 50 euros more than my rent & bills each month, my addiction has had to be put on hold for the moment. So this is where I choose to use my points. A few months' shopping including vitamin tablets, shampoos & skincare products will often earn me enough to try a new "Models Own" varnish without breaking the bank! **Little extras** Points are earned on purchases in-store or on the Boots website. It should be noted that points are not earned for pharmacy items or at the Boots opticians. Aside from the extras mentioned above, you can link your advantage card to a TreatStreet account when you shop online, earning 1 point for each pound spent. I've not looked at this however, as the brands available there are not student friendly! Advantage card holders can pick up a free magazine in store. Each card application offers the change to join the NHS organ donors registry. Of course I have already joined seperately, but as far as I'm concerned, I would rather have those details multiple times! When spending your points, you have to buy the product in full, meaning you cannot use 450 points plus 50p in cash to buy an item costing £5, for example. I can't confirm this 100% as the website doesn't seem to have this info, but I am pretty sure points don't expire, as I rarely use mine but they are still there waiting for me :) **Overall** I love this card. Even those of us who don't spend much at Boots will see the rewards. It actually makes shopping at Boots a pleasure :)
We all know H&M is a great place to head for a basic, especially in the moments when Primark just isn't good enough (as anyone who's tried their tube tops will know..) This tube top is the simplest of basics, but has risen through the ranks of my wardrobe to become one of my favourite items of clothing. (I should add that I own multiple H&M tube tops, including the stripes & have found them to all be the same in terms of fit & quality, so I'll be talking about them more generally..) I originally stumbled across this stripey top whilst looking for a costume for a fancy dress party. The theme was "clichés". Living & studying in Paris for two years now, I often find myself the subject of numerous clichés, with constant questions about my now slightly strange accent & turn of phrase, or people demanding if I've come to love smelly cheese (no!) or if I've tried frog's legs (despite 19 years of vegetarianism which people choose to conveniently ignore.) So what better costume that to dress up as a Frenchie? With only a handful of coins, & no Primark in Paris, I headed to H&M. The display of boob tubes was prominently visible upon entry, so I picked up these stripey one & headed for the tills. The party was a success, as was my outfit! **Design** The top is a simple boob tube/tube top style, ever so slightly ruched under the arms. There is some 'hidden support' which is decent but in my opinion not enough to be worn without a bra unless your boobs are on the small side! The top is pretty tight to your body, & on me (I'm 164cm) it comes down to meet my jeans, just showing a sliver of stomach. The material is 95% cotton/ 5% elastane so it is very lightweight. On the downside however, it is quite thin. The white parts can be a little see-through, especially in bright sunlight. This top is pretty skintight. I therefore wouldn't recommend to anyone who is feeling a little body-conscious as it really does show every lump & bump! The elastic doesn't seem to go after washing & my tops have been washed multiple times as well as tumbled with no loss of stretch or bobbling. In terms of sizing, I am not generally too impressed with H&M. I wear a 6-8 & have the 8/XS in this, which is a tiny bit loose on the stomach but fits well on the boobs. So I think they have got it spot on here. **Price** According to the H&M website, these retail at 3,99. But I am sure that I bought one for a pound less last summer, although I no longer have the receipt or tag to be sure. Either way, they are still a great bargain! **My view** Whilst not really a fan of the stripes, I know own multiple versions of this top in various colours. I love them! The cut is very flattering to my figure & they can be dressed down or up as needed. The colour range is pretty good too, they are currently selling a sort of pale peach colour which looks wonderful on lighter skin & I get so many compliments each time I wear it! I can't recommend it highly enough, provided you are happy to have your figure displayed in minute detail!
I think it's fair to say that Barry M nail varnishes need no introduction! But as this a website offering complete reviews, you get one anyway. Barry M is a British cosmetic company founded in 1982. Their products are available on their website, through high street stores Boots & Superdrug (where they are frequently on promotion) & e-tailer ASOS, amongst others. They are known as an animal-friendly brand who do not test on our furry friends, a huge plus for me & hopefully many other nail polish fans! Although offering a complete cosmetic selection, I would bet that their nail polishes are their most popular product by far - at times the whole display is blocked by girls ooh-ing & aah-ing over them! Their standard nail varnish collection is called 'nail paint'. I have read that there are 64 colours, but it seems to me that they chop & change as I've never seen that many different colours on display. Within this, they offer other smaller collections such as 'neon' & 'glitter' although they are often mixed into the regular display at my local Boots store. I do find that they cover a good spectrum, featuring pinks/neutrals as well as more daring or brighter shades. They retail at 2,99. (They also have an 'effects' collection, made up of foil & shatter polishes, although I have reviewed these elsewhere & they are a little pricier at 3,99.) **Packaging** Barry M polishes come in rectangular bottles, with a black lid containing the brush. I like the way the bottles fit together as I think it makes my nail varnish collection look attractive. **Ease of use** As a general rule, you cannot make a comment on a nail varnish brand, as the formulae vary from bottle to bottle. However, owning more than a dozen polishes in the nail paint collection, I think I can safely say that they are of a very good quality & formulation. Despite a slightly thin brush, requiring a little more concentration during application, I find the consistency to be wonderful. The polishes are neither too think nor too thin, nor do they apply streaky. One thick careful coat can suffice with some great polishing skills! However, for mere mortals like me, I prefer to use two. The finish is usually crème but slightly glossy. **Durability** For their price, a Barry M manicure lasts an incredibly long time. I find that after 3 days (with top coat, of course) my mani is still intact, possibly minorly chipped on the end of the nail. Of course it won't last a week like some polishes, but when you're paying only 2,99, it would be foolhardy to expect too much. Furthermore, I find that the polish doesn't go gloopy a few months after opening, like many others. **My overall verdict** I love Barry M nail paint. I think that this product has the best quality/price ratio of any out there. They apply like a dream & last pretty well too. Within the range, there is a lot of colour choice, although the lack of frosty or sheer varnishes implies that they are aiming at a younger market, I would suggest 12 - 30 years of age.
Boots Essentials skincare is my go-to brand for a basic but effective product at a cheap price. The benefit of Advantage card points plus frequent special offers adds to their charm as they can often be found on 3for2 or other such promotions. When not on special, the product retails at around 1.50 for 100ml. I was first introduced to this brand a number of years ago. My older brother was suffering with severe acne, & in his desperate quest to rid himself of it, he tried literally dozens of different products claiming to clear his skin. The results were not good, & as well as the spots, his skin looked angry as it was bombarded with multiple chemicals of conflicting nature! Whilst never having suffered with bad acne, I did get the odd spot during my teenage years so naturally I started thinking of a skincare routine. Having seen my brother's reaction, I wanted to steer clear of harsh products & go for a more simple "cleanse, tone & moisturise". With little money, I headed for Boots, & picked up the essentials range (although I did orginally use the blue ' original' products, I have since switched to cucumber after trying both types.) Although this is a review of the moisturiser, I would just like to add that this range is pretty comprehensive. Along with the aforementioned cleanser & toner, they also feature scrubs, masks, eye-remover pads & facial wipes, among other things. The range is very often to be found on special offer! *The product** The cream comes in a small round tub containing 100ml, with a 'screw-on' green lid. The tub itself is a paler shade of green. (The same is used in blue for the fragrance free version.) I like the tub - the lid stays on when in your bag & the design means you can use every last drop of the cream! It is recyclable also. The ingredients list is a little scary, containing multiple ingredients of many syllables! The product is recommended for use twice daily, after cleansing. There is a light fragrance, which is soft & fresh, but I don't think I consider it very 'cucumber'y. Maybe mildly so. **Does it work?* In a nutshell, yes. My skin feels moisturised when I use although the results don't last that well. In cold weather, I have to use this more than twice daily & I don't suffer with particularly dry skin. I think that is due to the thin consistency of the product, it is not creamy as the name would suggest! **My view** I keep this cream around for light moisturisation but do tend to go for something heavier in more extreme weather. However I really like the feel of this, & the slight fragrance. This is a product I rebuy over & over as I think it offers great quality for the price!
Boots Essentials Lipsalve is simply one on the simplest products you can own. It is dermatologically tested & promises to moisturise & protect the lips. The product comes in a tube of 5g, & is available in 4 "flavours" - ok they are not flavours, I don't know how to call them! I have used three of these - original, strawberry & the tinted version. The final possibility is spearmint. The product is, unsurprisingly, available at Boots stores or their websites. The RRP is about a pound, according to the website it is specifically £1.01! However they are always countless special offers going on at Boots, as we all know! The packaging is very simple, but easy to open when on the go. I personally find that the lid stays firmly on in my bag. One thing I have noticed - only the original lipsalve seems to contain an SPF (SPF 15). I would usually choose a flavoured or coloured product but learning that would push me the other way.. The product itself is easy to use. You just apply over your lips as & when you need it. I find that both cold winters & summer sunshine tend to dry my lips so I often have a collection of lipsalves that surface after a rummage in my bag. I personally love Vaseline too but it is not always so practical to use! This product works effectively, however the results do not last long. I find myself reapplying upwards of 20 times a day, it is almost a habit! I do however, prefer Labello brand lipsalves as they seem to provide better moisturisation. All in all, this is a great basic as it is easy to find & incredibly cheap, but I would personally always spend the extra 50p to go for a Labello given the chance.
YSL touche éclat is a product that is simply raved about everywhere, by celebrities, to beauty editors to your average Joe (Josephine?) on the street. I've lost count of how many times I've been told "it's worth the money" & so finally splashed out about 2 months ago. I must say that I regret it.. **Packaging** One thing I can't fault: this comes in a study feeling metallic box featuring the product & the instructions. The product itself has a gold finish, which is not a sticker but the actual material, although I hesitate to say what that is! Definitely a nice looking product :) **The product itself** The product looks like a small mascara, & works by pressing a black button on one end. The liquid slowly comes up through the light-coloured brush so you can see how much you have on it. I think this method is great as you really can control how much you get on the brush, avoiding waste. I use this product mostly for the bags under my eyes obtained during the dreaded three months of 'continual assessment' at uni - between that & my full-time waitressing job I was sleeping 2-3 hours a night for months on end & it really took its toll. I have sunken bags under my eyes, they are often puffy & the skin is dark blue at times! I do find that this product works wonders. It doesn't offer a thick coverage but it does seem to reflect the light which really lightens the whole area. I would go as far to say it looks 'radiant'! I don't really think this product is suitable as a concealer, the coverge is not good enough to hide any flaws. In the product instructions, there is a description of how to use this as a highlighter to really lighten up your skin, but having tried it a few times I think it is just silly! **Price** This product is incredibly expensive. It seems to cost an absolute minimum of 20pounds, & YSL don't seem to do promotions. **My verdict** I do think this is a wonderful product. However, as a student, the price is prohibitive for me & I don't think it is worth the money. I can't help but feel that careful use of a thicker conceealer & a highlighting product could do a similar job. So although I love it, I won't be buying it again.
Oh my.. I bought this product about a week ago, & I think it's fair to describe it as sunshine in a tub! Long before seeing reviews on DooYoo, I noticed that almost every nail polish blogger recommends this product. Seeing the price & of course the fact that Lush products are so easy to get hold of, I thought it had to be worth a try. I am so glad that I did! **The packaging** The packaging is the standard Lush packaging - a simple black tub with a few stickers featuring the instructions for use, ingredients etc. I like the look of this, but I find it irritating how all Lush products look the same on my shelf! The tub is small (50g of product) but will last as a little definitely goes a long way.. Lush themselves recycle their packaging, so hold on to it & take the tub back along with four others to get a free face mask, incentive indeed :) **The product** The product is a little hard to describe. I've seen others here describe it somehow like a balm, I guess that is it. It looks a little like vaseline, but less sticky & ick! It is liught yellow, & certainly smells lemony, but in my opinion more like lemon boiled sweets. You literally need the tiniest amount, which you rub into your cuticles or other dry patches on your body. I've used it on my cuticles (all 20!), my feet & my elbows which can be flaky at times (sorry if that's too much info for you..) & have noticed a difference immediately. The product literally soaks in, feeling a little oliy at first then leaving the area super soft. I really cannot rate this highly enough. It is delicious to use but also effective in the long run. My skin is much softer in the areas I've used this & my cuticles look wonderful. One last thing - I put this in my pocket for a few hours when my baggage was overweight whilst flying Ryanair. It was a sticky day so I guess my body temperature warmed the product.. but suffice to say, it now feels even more amazing to apply, & is slightly more moist!
PLEASE READ THIS FIRST ! Before I start writing, I wanted to make it clear that I am not a photographer by any means. No photographer would choose to buy the cheapest Olympus Tough camera, with the lowest spec ! What I want to do in this review is evaluate how well the camera fits MY needs as a personal, recreational user, which I hope to explain clearly, & how I think it ranks in terms of value. **What I'm looking for..** So firstly, I should add that I have a digital camera. It is a Panasonic Lumix that I have had for about 3 years. Honestly, I don't love it, but it gets me by. For now. But it is dying, slowly. (Thanks largely to my boyfriend's habit of switching it on whilst having a finger over the lens mechanism - NOOO!) So I knew I needed to start saving for something new, whilst at the same time knowing it would take actually years to raise the 300+ needed for a compact SLR or similar. So I decided to buy a filler camera that would be a sort of 'number 2' & take me through after the Lumix finally snuffs it. I had managed to scrape together about 120 pounds over the year. I was looking for a camera that would withstand quite a lot, preferably waterproof, & serves me well when out with friends, on holidays, & is compact enough to keep in my bag at all times as I don't have a smart/camera phone. I wasn't expecting the best photo quality, because you can't have it all when you're not able to pay much! About 2 weeks ago, I saw the Olympus TG-320 in the sale on a French online retailer. It was 140EUR, including the standard case & memory card, but also with a small tripod, & cutely, a snorkel & mask for the beach :) As it came from an etailer I trust with a strong returns policy (Fnac - French equivalent of Virgin) I decided to go for it. My plan was to buy, put it through its paces for a week, then return it if I felt it wasn't good enough. **First impressions** The first thing that jumped out at me upon taking this camera out of its box, is that the lens does not pop out forward. It says plain to the front of the camera. This also sent me a warning sign that the camera may have a poor zoom. 3.6x compared to my Lumix's 4x doesn't seem awful though. Turning the camera over, the buttons on the display are rubbery, which seems practical given that it is waterproof but actually they are a little stiff & slow to press. The display screen is a good size which I am happy with. The battery is a rechargeable lithium battery, which seems to hold the charge pretty well, & can be charged off the mains or using the USB upload cable, which is convenient for travel. My model is blue (not my choice, but it was the model on promotion) & this is fine, although I can't help but think this looks a little like My First Fisher Price Camera.... Of course I started playing with this camera straightaway. The controls are easy-to-use but they are slow to react. Setting up (date, time etc.) was a doddle. The camera has roughly a dozen modes, such as food, indoor, fireworks, or sunset for those who are no so confident (or like me, too lazy!) to change settings as they change environments. I was initially disappointed, however, with the lack of a 'party' setting as I like cameras that can capture the atmosphere of a party in the background whilst focussing on the subjects, but more on that later. My experience of these modes is good except the food mode which requires a very steady hand, which I don't have! Also, it is easy to switch from one to the other as they feature on the main display. 'Beauty' mode is magical - it somehow skims over your flaws, smoothing your skin out & making you look like an upgraded version of yourself, haha! The camera also features special effects modes. Some are silly - pinhole mode for example, as any editing system comprises this on even the most basic computer - and some are just plain pointless, such as the sketch mode or one that dyes you skin purple! However, I like the pop-art mode, which warms the temperature of the picture making everyone look summery & happy, perfect for a night out! Getting the photos of the camera was simple, I didn't need to load the accompanying CD, simply copied & pasted them from the folder. After a week or being a wimp, I finally got up the guts to dunk this camera in the sink & it works like a dream. I filmed some lego men (haha!) & the quality is totally decent. I've yet to try it in a lake or the sea though.. **Photo quality** When it comes to photo quality, one word springs to mind - decent. Pictures of people are warm, eliminating flaws & capturing the atmosphere of the street or environment around them. I have found these photos to be lovely in both night & day time after a little fiddling with the settings. I do not mean that the quality is great - the low number of megapixels means they are not that sharp. But for recreational use such as this, it more than does the job. When taking landscapes, the colours picked up by the camera are vivid. For night scenes without flash, the exposure speed is a bit slow, so you need a VERY steady hand or a tripod to do well with these. As with many lower price digital cameras, the failings in the photo quality become apparent with the depth. Large landscape photos lose their sense of scale, becoming flat & 2D. A common complaint with digital compacts, but annoying nonetheless. **Annoyances** The first thing I noticed that irritated me with this camera is that your mode is not saved. So you choose the right setting, decide whether to have the flash on or off, then take your photos. When you switch the camera on again later, you have to start from the beginning again. It may not sound like a big deal, but it takes away a lot of the spontaneity of photography. Secondly, the camera offers a panorama mode. However, each time I have taken my photos then waited for the camera to stitch them together, it has done an appalling job. Literally, this mode may as well not exist. Of course from the spec , you can tell the zoom won't be up to much. But I was expecting this & it doesn't really bother me! **My opinion** Having explained above what I was looking for from this camera, this more than fits the bill. However, I am going on a beach holiday soon, & this will be a star in the ocean & in the sand, but I will take my Lumix also. That is because I fear I'd otherwise be disappointed with my photos of the (hopefully) beautiful Sardinian landscape! Some interface actions are irritating & the zoom isn't up to much. Also, if you don't need the waterproof aspect (or 'want' it, as in my case..) then I don't think I would recommend this camera as although the photos are fine, I think you can get more for your money. But this camera is exactly what I was looking for, with no chance that my boyfriend will break the lens! Be prepared for the limitations of the spec, & you should get along just fine with this Olympus Tough model. If not, well I would recommend you look elsewhere! ++ Also - this is my first review of a technological product.. If you spot any things I've missed or not covered in enough detail - could you let me know please so I can improve it? Thank you, & happy summer!
Before I start, I should add that I bought this product by mistake! It was mixed in with another collection in the 'effects' range by Barry M, so I thought I'd bought the gold foil polish! The product I'd mistakenly bought was Barry M Instant Nail Effects - Crackle in Gold. I'd heard of crackle polish but was only aware of more expensive brands, such as OPI, having such a collection (this was about a year ago now..) so I was pleasantly surprised by my accidental purchase, & tried it straightaway. I guess I should add that I'm not personally a fan of the crackle look, I think it just looks like chipped varnish & can look sort of cheap too. But in terms of the quality of the varnish, this is top-notch, & foolproof! **Packaging** The packaging is the standard Barry M rectangular shaped 10ml bottle, except that the black handles features a gold crackle design. I personally love the design of these bottles, rendering them much more elegant than their low price would suggest. **Usage** These products are foolproof. You simply paint your nails your desired colour, then layer the crackle polish over the top in one layer. A thick layer will result in larger splodges (for want of a more technical term!) & a thinner layer will give smaller ones with less space between them. The effect literally appears before your eyes as well, which is cool to watch! Another great thing about crackle polish is that it covers a manicure that has started to wear slightly :) **The product** Any girl knows you can't go wrong with Barry M. They make the best value nail polishes available in the UK, & are pretty up to date with trends too. These retail at 3.99, more than their standard range but both Boots & Superdrug often have specials such as 3for2 which are worth keeping an eye out for! This offers a great application & lasting results - I had only minor wear when taking it off three days later, & I bash my nails quite a bit! Also, my bottle is quite old now, & has stayed the right consistency unlike other polishes that can go gloopy. Highly recommended if you like this look, I'm knocking off one star because I don't like the crackle look but that is personal opinion! Happy polishing :)
Slow drying nail varnish can be a polish addict's nightmare. All your hard work, the base, the carefully applied coats, destroyed with a simple action - washing your hands or searching for a pen at the bottom of your bag. My favourite nail varnish of all time is also one that does not seem to match my body chemistry. If I so much as tap my nail within 3 hours of application, BOOM, a dent, or worse, a smudge. But let's face it, who has three hours to sit & do nothing after applying new nail polish? **The product** This is where Seche Vite comes in. (Argh - as a French speaker I am so distressed by the lack of grave accent on the 'e' - why?!) Despite their dodgy French, this is a product that goes on over your nail varnish, as a top coat, & promises to dry it within 30 seconds. It sounds too good to be true? Well I tried it tonight. Three coats of Essie's Olé Caliente, then a brief wait (roughly 2 minutes.) I then added a liberal coat of Seche & waited the required 30 seconds before lightly touching my nails. I was shocked! They were genuinely dry! (This is saying a lot for Essie as their polishes are notoriously slow to dry..) What's more, the felt smooth, almost like satin. The finish, however, was not particularly shiny, so I added a second coat to get the shine I wanted. In the words of Ronseal, this product does exactly what it says on the tin! My bottle was the standard 15ml size, & lining it up next to other polishes of the sme size, it seems generous. I can imagine it will last me a good two months, despite my dangerous addiction to nail polish! **Durability** To be updated! I was so impressed by Seche that I wanted to write this straight away, haha! Howevert, I will update in 2/3 days to let you know how long the result lasts.. Update - my first experience of this was great, but now I am coming to find that it doesn't wear very well. I would recommend adding another topcoat after a day or so's wear. **The price** I paid 10pounds50 for this on ASOS, which is a little steep, but it seems to available much more cheaply elsewhere. However, I think the price is reasonble if it saves me from ruining my freshly painted nails! Overall, I am thrilled with this. I often paint my nails when I don't really have time to dedicate to it, then end up disappointed after scratching, denting or smudging the polish. This product is a saviour for me!
Like many females, I love the idea of a complete skincare routine, morning & night. Of course the reality often involves stumbling home in the early hours & chucking some water at my face, or deciding I would prefer that extra 10 minute snooze over "cleanse, tone & moisturise". So that is where facial wipes come in! **The packaging** These Boots own brand (Essentials) wipes come in 2 fragrances (if 'fragrance free' is a fragrance?) The blue packet is fragrance free & the green packet is cucumber, which is light & refreshing. The packet contains 25 wipes according the Boots website, although it is not written on the packet & I definitely didn't count them! The packaging is simple & does the job. One thing I really like is that the sticker over the front really keeps the moisture in after you have opened the packet, which is great if you don't use them every day. **Usage** The packet quite cutely lists instructions of how to use them, followed by how to dispose of them correctly. It states that they will gently cleanse skin, removing make-up & leaving skin soft & clean. I have found that these work perfectly to remove make-up, even on the eyes, although I disagree with "soft & smooth". My experience is that my skin feels wonderfully refreshed after use, but slightly dry, & I do always needs to moisturise after using them. In terms of the scent, there certainly is some small scent. I would describe it like unscented hand cream, I think that is the best I can do! However, it doesn't linger on the skin. **Price** A packet of 25 wipes sells for 1,49, although being Boots, they are basically ALWAYS on some kind of promotion. I often see them on 3 for 3pounds which makes them super cheap, as that is when I stock up! Anyone who knows me will also know I am a big fan of the Boots Advantage card! **My overall verdict** These wipes really are cheap as chips, & do a great job at taking off your make-up or city grime when you are just feeling that little bit too lazy. They leave my skin feeling a little dry but it's nothing a light moisturiser won't fix. All in all, these are my favourite wipes, student friendly & great value!
H&M have sold this staple item for a good few years now. And when I lost mine in the laundrette, I knew I immediately that I had to replace it! At 3,99 pounds, I don't believe their is a better bargain out there. The skirt is tight, made of light-weight stretchy cotton (95% cotton, 5% elastane to be precise) which doesn't get hot & sticky in warmer weather. In my experience, you can pull the skirt up or down over your hips to create either a mini, or a more demure look that heads towards the knees. Although the fabric is slightly thin, it does not go see-through in any light. The finish is also a good quality, I have worn this skirt to death & there is no sign of fraying or the fabric wearing thin. This doesn't need to be washed on any special setting, it has been washed & tumbled multiple times, including in the aforementioned laundrette, with no problems & no bobbling! My one criticism of this skirt is that the elastic waistband is quite unattractive, so it really needs to be covered. I have however worn it uncovered (skirt up over my hips with a crop top) & it doesn't look awful! Also - I'm very slim & find the elastic on the waistband doesn't hug my waist as I would like, although that is a common complaint for me. All in all - I cannot recommend this highly enough as a perfect basic skirt. I own the grey version too, which I have also worn to death, & they are always the first things I pack when I leave home! H&M does it again!
****The Product**** So like many people on here, I saw this in H&M & felt compelled to buy! I also conveniently had a voucher, as it costs Euro1,95 which seems steep to me for a one-time-only product. However, other reviewers have stated that this masks retails at 99p in the UK which seems much more reasonable. First up, this product quite clearly calls itself a "moisturing mask" (look, there it is - right there on the front!) However, on the blurb on the back, this is not mentioned & instead the product promises to "unblock pores" & "refresh your skin", with no mention of moisturisation. Alarm bells? ****Using the mask**** The application of this product is standard for a face mask: apply to clean, cleansed skin, avoiding the eyes & mouth, then leave for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with water. I used this liberally over my face & neck & still felt like there was plenty of product left, so I would bet that the product could be shared by 2 people if only applying to the face. The first thing about this product is the SMELL - oh my gosh, it is heaven. It genuinely smells like a delicious chocolate bar! Upon squeezing it out, all I could think of was opening up a chocolate bar & seeing that it has melted. This may seem bizarre, but I enjoyed putting it on my face & the smell, although different, is quite pleasant. During the 15 minutes, this mask didn't feel how I would expect a "moisturising" mask to feel. In fact, my skin felt like it was tightening, & a little warm. All the same, I waited the full time. After the 15 minutes were up, the mask was cracking (it is clay based) & I had the standard struggle to take off the clay mask (resorting to toner & cotton buds as frankly, water wasn't doing it..) This type of mask is generally difficult to take off but I felt like this one was especially so. I really didn't enjoy this process & my skin underneath was slightly red & felt taut. If anything, I felt the need to re-moisturise! ****My verdict**** I am 100% sure that this mask will NOT become a part of my regular beauty routine! I don't feel like my skin has been taken care of, & the mask doesn't do what it states on the packet. HOWEVER - & this may sound strange - I would absolutely buy & try this again, because it is simply delicious smelling, as a treat for one or two people, & I like the novelty of the chocolate. But I would leave the mask for less time & lower my expectations of better looking skin after..