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I was a bit sceptical of dry shampoos before I first tried one as I wondered how well they would work. And if they were so good then surely there'd be absolutely no need to ever wash your hair again? These were all things I thought as I stood in boots looking at the brightly coloured cans of Batiste in front of me. Though I was a sceptic I'd heard rave reviews from my other female friends so I picked up a can of the original 'clean & classic' design and took it to the till.
The first time I used it was when I had day old hair and was meant to be going on a night out straight after I'd worked all day and just didn't have the time to wash, blow dry and then straighten my locks (it can be SUCH an ordeal sometimes, right?!) so instead I opened the can, pulled up my fringe and gave it a spray from about 30cm away as the can instructs. Immediately any signs of grease were eliminated and instead my hair genuinely looked as if it had just been washed. It works in the same way that the old trick of talcum powder in the hair works; in that the contents have a real drying ability and capture the wetness that the grease leaves. I gave a few more sprays to other areas around my roots that looked a bit greasy and voila! No one needed know that I had just arrived straight from work!
Another huge benefit of this dry shampoo is that it really provides volume for your hair. It gives you a really nice boost at the roots leaving your hair with a really lovely voluptuous finish! Perfect really. It smells great too. It's got a lovely fresh, clean smell to it but it's not over perfumed, it doesn't smell tacky or too sweet.
You can pick up Batiste from most drugstores like Boots, Superdrug and most supermarkets stock it too. Boots often run a buy 2 get one free deal over Batiste products. You can pick up a 200ml can there for only £2.99 and I promise this stuff will last you a couple of months.
It's a really great pick me up product for people with longer hair that don't always have the time to wash and style their hair. A small spray goes along way and will cure those embarrassing greasy hair moments in a snap!
It isn't often that I find a foundation that ticks all the boxes for me. Good coverage, good price, good colour match and good staying power. I think I may have found all of those things in this 30ml tube of Bourjois foundation however.
At £9.99 it doesn't break the bank, (my previous temporary foundation was a £15 Max Factor one) so I'll happily pay a fiver less for a foundation that offers the same, if not better results. I bought 3 of these foundations last month on a 3 for 2 deal in Boots so I really stocked up. Saying that, the foundation has been great value for money because I've worn it everyday since I bought it and I'm not too far in to the tube. Value for money? Check!
I'm quite fair skinned, and I've never been one to apply darker shades to my face, I much favour the natural look and Bourjois cater for a whole range of different skin colours. I bought 'Beige Clair' which seems to be a perfect match for my skin and is the same colour out the tube as you see in the tube.
The foundation is a pump tube meaning that it will only let out as much as you need and you don't spill any. 'Healthy Mix' is a really lovely consistency. Before I've favoured thicker foundations as I've thought they'd last longer and offer are more all over coverage. Wrong.
'Healthy Mix' isn't the thickest of foundations, it's somewhere between runny and thick but it will certainly give you an impressive amount of coverage AND will stay put for a day. The bottle says it stays put for a whopping 16hours. I'm not convinced it will stay put for that long, but then again I've not been out for 16 hours to put this selling point to the test.
The bottle also boasts some impressive ingredients that are enough to make your mouth water. 'apricot, melon, pomme and ginger' well, that certainly is one way to get your 5 a day! These are all meant to have a really positive effect on the skin such as hydration, anti-oxidant, energy and radiance etc. It certainly feels like a light foundation mix. It doesn't sit heavily on the skin nor does it feel like it's clogging up my pores. I think that's where it gets its name from.
I would certainly buy this foundation again, it's very good quality for what you pay for and it feels like it's really doing its job. Every box has been checked for me and I'm a happy customer.
Scent is important in a perfume. This is blindingly obvious, right? Of course scent is important, that's why you'd spend so much on that small amount of liquid- to keep you smelling good, to get a 'signature scent'... Well as well as purchasing perfume for scent I'm also really drawn to the look, the aesthetics of my perfume bottle. You spend that much on something you might as well get a bottle that looks as good as it smells. This is perhaps why I was so drawn to Anna Sui's 'Flight of Fancy' when I first saw it in the perfume section of a department store.
The bottle of this perfume is such a talking point. It is a rectangular cube shape in a gorgeous variety of floral, rich pinks and oranges with lovely gold font. The lid of this bottle is a beautiful peacock with its feathers fully on show. It is a really characteristic bottle and one I knew from the off set I would like to own! The size I own is 75ml, this is quite a lot of perfume, I've owned it since Christmas and I've only really touched at the surface of it, it will keep me going for ages I can tell.
I'm no perfume specialist so I will try and review as well as I can the scent. It's a rich array of floral smells, it's in no way overpowering or offensive. It smells rich and exotic without smelling tacky or tawdry. It's the kind of scent that could easily be worn from the day through to the night, it's neither strictly 'daytime' and light or 'night-time' and musky. One problem that I do have however is that this lovely smell doesn't seem to linger for long on my skin. Maybe that's just because you can never really smell your perfume as much as other people but it seems it vanishes pretty sharpish which is a shame because I'd love to smell like this all day!
The actual description of this perfume's scent is 'The floral heart blends magnolia, rose and sheer Purple Rain freesia, over a base of amber crystal, musks and white woods.' This is taken from a page about 'Flight of Fancy' and I think this is more accurate than I could have been! Words can't really tell you enough about a smell so I suggest if you see this perfume out you should give it a spray and a sniff to see if it's your cup of tea.
-Value for money-
The 75ml version of this perfume costs £45 at its rrp price. However lots of places are offering discounts at the moment. I managed to buy this perfume from 'Fragrance Direct', an online fragrance and beauty website, for £37.50 which is a bit of money off. This is normally more than I would like to spend on a perfume but I'm so fond of the smell that I didn't actually mind too much. Also, because I know how long it will take me to get through this bottle I know that I've made a good investment! However if you don't fancy paying that much the perfume can be bough in smaller sized bottles such as 30ml (normally around the £24 price mark) and 50ml (around £30).
I would recommend this perfume as it is such a lovely scent that is agreeable and feminine. As I mentioned earlier it's a perfume that can really carry you through the day to night-time as it's not distinctly created for either time of day. My one fault is that it doesn't seem to linger on me for as long as I'd like it to.
It's such a beautiful bottle it's lovely to have out on display and really provides a talking point. IF you normally spend around £40 on a 75ml-ish sized bottle of perfume and are looking for a new scent to try out, give this one a go!
I first heard about The Bell Jar after hearing one of my friends answer the 'if you could have 3 people to dinner dead or alive who would you choose?' questions. She picked American poet Sylvia Plath and after this I thought I'd Google Plath to find out what the fuss was about. After reading a short summary of Plath's life online I rushed to the library and rented The Bell Jar and couldn't quite put it down.
It is a 'roman a clef' novel, so it's autobiographical just with the names changed and I'm assuming some events in the book have been embellished in some description. The book centres around Plath's spiral into depression, her mental illness. Some of the descriptions in the book are incredibly raw and open and some metaphorical. However other parts of the story are really relatable, touching on things that I'm sure everyone has felt at some time or another, themes such as feeling isolated and loneliness are incredibly universal so this book really reaches out and strikes emotion.
Esther Greenwood is the central character and she gets an internship in New York, her life in the city is the focal point for the beginning of the story. However once she returns home and finds her life unfulfilling she spirals down in to a pit of unhappiness as she does not get a scholarship that she's applied for later that summer. Once her initial internship is over Esther finds herself becoming unable to fulfil everyday tasks with ease. At one point she finds it hard to write properly as well as having issues breathing. This is when she starts her long line of doctorial placements and visits to psychiatrists and hospitals.
As Plath is formerly a poet, a lot of her writing within this novel is very descriptive and beautiful as well as metaphorical. The title is a long running metaphor throughout the book; Esther, the main character in the book- based on Plath herself- feels like she's stuck under a glass bell jar that she cannot shift. This feeling of being trapped is continued throughout the novel and I really enjoy the other metaphors Plath uses within her writing to represent life such as the fig tree comparison in which the branches are each different paths you could take each leading to the fig at the end of the stick denoting the ripeness of the future for you.
I had a conversation with another friend about this book and they told me they didn't really enjoy it as it was too descriptive and not enough narrative. This is the kind of novel that I enjoy reading however, sometimes I'd rather hear about detail than have a complex and long winded storyline. Obviously plot is important and I feel that as well as being metaphorical and being full of detailed descriptions, this novel has a grounded plot that you'll enjoy following.
Having had a look at a couple of other reviews of this bovel on dooyoo there's been some criticism of the main character Esther. There may be a perception that she is a self obsessed character but as the novel is based around her, I think this is allowed. I found her a difficult character, a multi layered one but who'd want to read about a main character without flaws and difficulties? I became quite attatched to this character, wanting her life to be OK in the end, as the beginning is no way near as dark as the ending. In fact it's in quite stark contrast at points, something that I feel adds to the complexity of this short, neat novel.
It is quite a short read at a mere 234 pages so it didn't take much time to read at all. I would recommend this book if you want a really raw and beautifully poetic novel laced with metaphors but with also dark implications. You can purchase a used copy on Amazon for a penny so it really won't burn a hole in your pocket. Otherwise libraries stock this book, my local one had a few copies.
I always have thousands of mascaras floating around my room and always seem to carry about 3 pairs in my handbag too, for any mascara related emergencies of some description. So I do try out a lot, from lots of different brands and ones that claim all different sorts of things. I saw this L'oreal Panoramic Curl mascara in Boots years ago and I liked the shape of the cosmetic as well as having seen adverts for it and already being a fan of the L'oreal brand, I thought I'd give it a try.
*Usage of the product*
The brush of this mascara is slightly curved, in a very slight semi cricle, making it really easy to use on your lashes. This is opposed to the standard straight up mascara brushes that you have to really prod around with to reach the corner of your eye.
The bristles are quite short and soft so that they can brush using little flicks. I much favour this kind of brush as I think it's softer on the area around the eye which is important. The handle is quite thick so you have full control of how you're applying the mascara.
*Why this mascara over other ones on the market & Results*
The mascara is called 'Panoramic Curl', I never really expect a product to live up to what it's called as you're normally let down by these massive claims. However, I definitely noticed immediately more curled and defined looking lashes. They looked longer and more black and I had never really seen that much of an effect from a mascara before, I was completely impressed.
The mascara claims to use * Flexi-Tech Formula * and a patented LiftCurl brush. I don't own another mascara that uses such a formula but it certainly works. I'm always a bit weary of these claims but as this is a L'oreal product I was actually quite bought by this claim and I felt like I really had to see what the fuss was about.
Recently, I've not been able to see Panoramic curl in stores such as Boots but it is still sold online on sites like Amazon and Fragrance Direct.
I bought the colour 'Intense Black' and it certainly was a noticeably jet black colour, it can also be bought in a brown shade called 'Golden Brown' which might offer a more natural look for fairer skin.
After one application the lashes were visibly more refined and noticeable. I normally apply a couple of layers of it as I don't normally get the desired effect after just one application. My friends asked me if I'd used an eyelash curler as my lashes were definitely giving that effect!
*Price and size & Where to buy*
When I bought this mascara about 2 years ago from Boots it was around the £8 mark but as I've already mentioned I haven't been able to find it in shops like this recently, I don't know if that's just an issue with my local Boots or whatever but I've recently bought one from Amazon for £3.49 which is an absolute bargain for this product. You get 6ml in the mascara and it really will last you. After doing a bit of searching around you can buy it new on eBay fro under a fiver by some sellers and £2.99 by a website called Isis Fragrance.
I would really recommend this maraca to anyone wanting curlier looking, more refined lashes from a trustworthy brand such as L'oreal. I would even further recommend this product since it can be found for a really good price on certain websites. A very good product that actually lives up to its claim.
*Why I like the shoes*
Converse trainers are hugely popular and a universally recognised brand of shoes. I've always really liked Converse trainers, ever since I went to my first gig and pretty much everyone in the mosh pit had a pair on while I was stood (stupidly) in a pair of ballet pumps and went home with my feet in tatters, from this day on I knew I needed to get some.
These trainers have been around for ages, since the early 1900's believe it or not so the Chuck Taylor brand is really well established. Over the years these trainers have been sighted on a massive list of celebrities, members of bands and a large population of the general public after some comfy and stylish footwear. I bought my first pair about 3 or 4 years ago and I still wear them to this day, I like the 'worn in' look, I really think it suit's the shoe style!
However it's actually quite hard to believe how well they've kept considering the sole of the shoe is in good nick and the shoe is still as structured, it's really just the laces and front of shoe that are a bit scuffed understandably. So to say that if you were to invest in a pair of these shoes they'd last you a while would be a bit of an understatement.
The shoe fits nicely and sturdily, some of my friends said they had to get a size up as their toes felt cramped in their regular size but this wasn't such a problem for me but you might want to try on the size above before you purchase just to see if the fit is personally better for you. The shoes are nicely gripped on the sole too, it's also quite a thick bit of rubber which is again really durable and suitable for all seasons. One thing I would say however is that when it rains my feet do get a little damp through as the shoes are made of canvas which isn't the thickest of textiles, but this means they're nice in the summer to wear.
I can honestly say that I've worn my shoes in so many different occassions, I find they are a great pair of sheos for the gym as they're a lot lighter than your standard trainer. I'm not sure about long distance running (as that is something I wouldn't put myself through!) but I've worn them to work thousands of times, university and sixth form, they have seen me through a large portion of my life actually!
This particular type of Converse, low tops are extremely practical and come in such a vast range of colours and patterns as well as materials too, obviously with the canvas textile being the most commonly seen type. I opted for my first pair to be the standard black low top with white laces as black is such a wearable colour and can go with most things and doesn't show dirt as easily.
There are tonnes of imitation style converse shoes around all of which do not seem as durable and sturdy as the original sneaker. So you could buy a pair of those and go through them and buy another but with the money that you spend doing that it is better to buy a pair of the originals I would suggest.
*Prices and stocklists*
I did some shopping around before I bought my first pair, I know some major shoe shops stock Converse such as Office and Schuh etc but I wondered if I could get mine for cheaper online. This particular pair of low tops are on the Schuh site for £37 with free postage and packaging at the moment or £25 from Office, again with free postage and packaging. I ended up buying my pair however from Amazon as they are £24.99 on there ( you could put some dooyoo reward miles towards some!) They can also be found in good sports shops retailers for around the same price mark or bought off of the Converse website.
I would definitely recommend the Converse low tops to anyone (male or female) as they are such a staple piece of footwear and being as durable as they are they will last you for ages. For the price they are you will definitely get your moneys worth over and over again.
I'm sure I didn't need to add to the massive collection of nail varnishes that I seem to have built up over several years however being in Boots near the Barry M counter, I just couldn't help myself. Barry M specialise in a range of bright and beautiful coloured nail varnishes as well as other eye make up bits etc. This is a brand I have always enjoyed buying in to; the make up on offer is always to vibrant and cheerful so last week when I needed a bit of cheering up thought I would treat myself to one of the nail varnishes!
I bought shade 279 'Bright Pink', a lovely, feminine, candy coloured pink shade. I like to wear pink nail varnish as it is classic and looks very pretty against floral patterns, which I happen to wear a lot of from day to day. This colour is also one of my favourites, I was hoping in store that the colour of the bottle would be the same as my nails and not a diluted version, I was looking forward to getting home and applying some!
I have used Barry M nail varnishes before which have all delivered in terms of strength of colour and non chipping. This colour was no different, it took two coats to become the same colour as the bottle, a vibrant shade of pink. The lid is long enough to hold and get a good control over and paint with ease. The brush itself is fairly long and medium in thickness allowing you to stroke the nail freely and easily to cover the whole base of the nail.
The bottle informs you to 'shake well before use' this stops the varnish from clogging up and keeps it as fluid as intended. The bottles come in 10ml measurements. They do last for a while as well, I still have some from years ago in fact that are still in good condition and are useable after a good shake!
I've had this colour on for about 3 days and have seen minimal chipping. there is obviously some as you would see with any nail varnish but really it is unnoticable. I have painted over it with another two coats and it seems to last really well.
The nail varnish costs around the £3 mark. I bought mine from Boots for £2.95 as I like to collect the points on my Boots card, however the varnishes are available to purchase online from sites such as Amazon (I found it for £2.78 but there'd be a delivery charge) and it can also be bought from ASOS for £3.10.
I would recommend this nail varnish to anyone who wants 'look at me' nails or wants to add a nice touch to an outfit. The Barry M range covers all different colours and effects so it is well worth a look for the £3 price tag attached.
I absolutely love the whole theme that Soap & Glory carry as a brand. It has a 50's glamorous feel which refelcts the lovely and feminie products. The products in the Soap & Glory range include serums, saops, gels, lotions, the list goes on. This particular product is a 'rejuvinating face serum' with the logo 'Make yourself youthful' on the front of the box. As I'm not particularly using this product to reduce lines or wrinkles on my face but to moisturise my skin and keep it supple and smooth as I find that the skin around the eyes can be subject to sagginess and drying out.
You don't have to look any further than the box to find some rave reviews of the serum. On the back of the box there are some user reviews such as 'It smells gorgeous' and 'Fantastic- my skin felt so much tighter and firmer'. What a good ploy to get me to buy the product- I was sold from that point on! Inside the gorgeous box, which has a beautiful lady in black and white in a bathing costume surrounded by pink text about the product, is a 50ml oval shaped white tube's worth of the stuff. There is a pushable dispenser which makes it easy to get as much as you want out as you can push more than once if you require more, instead of it being pourable where often too much can come out.
On the side of the box it infroms you that the product contains skin softening shea butter, sweet orange peel oil, stimulating ginseng, botanical soothing extracts hyper-hydrators and their exclusive ''Make yourself youthful' complex. And if you don't know what any of those oils and butters are good for I think the convincing adjectives such as 'softening' and 'stimulating' do a pretty good job of persuading you!
The serum is a lovely thick, smooth and supple texture. It glides on to the skin well and it feels soft and hydrating on the skin. It also has a lovely scent which strongly remings me of a mucky orange smell. It's not too strong but does smell lovely and warm. I fell like it's actually doing something for the skin as it really does feel like it's moisturised it well and doesn't seem to dry out for a while after application. It is once after application that you start to realise that maybe these rave reiews seen on the box could actually be true- it feels like a really rich and expensive product! A small amount is dispensed from the tube but that is all that is needed as it's thick it covers a wider surface area.
Having used this product for just 2 weeks now I can honestly say that my skin does feel like it's in a really good condition, feeling smoother and I enjoy applying make up on to it now as it is a lot smoother and not as dry as it was before I tried this stuff. The bottle tells you to apply every morning and night, I would advise you do this as it seems ot work best this way.
---Price and where to buy---
I picked up this product in Boots as it was a 3 for the price of 2 deal on all Soap and Glory products, and with some spare points on my Boots advantage card I thought I would indulge! At £13 on its own however it is a little bit pricey but this serum really does seem to work and has some brilliant reviews written about it. Compared to a lot of other moisturisers however this is a really well priced product. As it is thick as well it will last longer than you might expect a 50ml bottle would. As well as from Boots I've also found this serum on Amazon but it's currently out of stock, however it might be worth a look on eBay as some sellers seem to stock this brand and you could bag yourself a bargain.
I definitely would recommend this product to anyone who wants more moisturised and firmer and more supple skin. The product claims to beat wrinkles and some reviews can really back this claim up so it's well worth a try if those are the kinds of results you're after. When you think some of the more high end range of moisturisers can retail for hundreds of pounds this is just a fraction of the price and claims to do the same things. That's why I give this product 4/5 stars.
With so many shower gels and bath products on the market nowadays you can really find yourself a bit spoilt for choice. There are ones that claim to 'wake you up', ones that can relax you and others that just smell and look good! I'm really influenced by, as well as what they claim to do, the colours and the brand and this shower gel aesthetically ticks all of the right boxes for me!
Imperial Leather is a brand that I trust, I've bought tonnes of their products, they range from shower gels to hand washes to deodorants and bath foams. Something that I really like about this brand is that they specialise in gels and formulas that are designed for sensitive skin types. This particular shower gel 'Alive & kicking' is 'Familykind' so it is suitable for a wide range of ages. The back of the bottle tells me that it is 100% soap free nad has a skin friendly pH as well being dermatologically tested. I have quite sensitive skin and having used this shower gel for a few months I have not found any irritations using this product at all.
The shower gel claims that it is energising, I find that waking up in the morning and hitting the shower I need a little boost to get me from walking zombie to alive and wide eyed. I love the smell of this shower gel, it smells as fresh as it looks and leaves an pleaseant odour that is quite musky and warm. The gel's flavour is Ocean Minerals and I think this is reflected in the gorgeous aqua blue colour of the gel.
The bottle holds 250ml worth of gel. I purchased this particular bottle in Poundland, and for 250ml worth for just a pound is very good value. Having read a couple of other reviews on here of this particular shower gel though it seem sothers have picked it up for around 80p in supermarket chains such as ASDA and Morrisons. So it's definitely good value for money.
A really good design feature of the bottle is that it is a click lid, so that when you're in the shower you don't have to unscrew a lid which is timely and can be messy. Instead you can just unlclick a lid and pour. The bottle is a nice and curvy shape which is easy to hold and it's also squeezable and light in weight.
The gel itself is thick and light in consistensy and a bottle of the stuff seems ot have lasted me quite a while as you don't need to use as much as say a really runny and cheaper quality shower gel. Which again screams value for money to me!
I really would recommend this shower gel to anyone fancying a bit of an energy surge whilst in the shower! The smell, the consistensy, the design is all spot on for me and the price definitely compliemtns this! This shower gel alongside other flavours in the Imperial Leather range can be purchased from most drugstores such as Boots and Superdrug, as well as this from main supermarkets e.g. ASDA, Morrisons and Tesco and shops like the Poundshop. 5/5 stars!
---- Why I bought this Camera ----
I needed a new camera as my 18th birthday was coming up two years ago, so after doing a bit of shopping around loking for good deals and the like I found this camera to be within my budget of £80 ( it was roughly £70 at the time) and it was of a good mega pixel quality at 10.3Mpix so the Argos catalogue informed me, and it was capable of taking videos. It pretty much ticked every box so I snapped one up straight away!
I have never owned a Kodak digital camera before but as Kodak is a well established and renowned company I didn't mind buying in to it. I assumed the camera would take good quality snaps and be durable. Well, it has lasted me two years already with no major breakages and I've taken it out at least a couple of times every month since then.
----- Camera Features -----
Zoom- The camera has a 3x optical zoom lens. This means that you can zoom in pretty far. However I find that the quality becomes terrible if you zoom in to the fullest extent and you are left with a very pixelated screen that vaguely represents what you were trying to capture.
Batterry use- The camera runs on battery power 2 AA's. I find rechargeable batteries to be really useful so I just used the ones that I had from my previous camera. The camera can usually run for just over a day before it needs another charge again. Obviously this is not meant for the camera to be left on all day but for a day of moderate camera and film usage!
Film setting- Minutes worth of video can be captured on the camera in good quality with sound as well. Another good feature is that you can use the zoom whilst recording a video which not every camera allows. However when you play it back on the camera no sound is available, which worried me at first, but once loaded on to a computer the sound is present.
Memory- Without a memory card the camera can only hold about 10 photos so I strongly recommend purchasing one of these! I have a 1GB memory card and that serves me fine. There are memory cards of all different sorts and they retail for about £5 (for a 2GB one) these can be bought in shops such as Argos or online shops such as memorybits.co.uk and I'm sure Amazon sell them too.
Flash- The camera has a few lighting settings including a flash which is quite strong and definitely makes indoor pictures much better quality. There is also the option of no flash which is good for outdoor snaps. The flash button is on the top of the camera near the photo taking button so you don't have to mess about clicking lots of things to find it.
Screen- One of the things I really like about this camera Is that the screen is a good size. The screen is 2.4 inch (6.1 cm) colour display. Once you've taken a photo and you're viewing it you can also zoom in to it then.
Settings- The camera has a wheel on top that you can turn to access a few different features, one of these being a 'settings' option. This allows you to choose what type of photo you're taking e.g. a portrait, sunset, backlight, high ISO, sport, landscape, night portrait, night landscape, snow, beach, text, fireworks etc. So this camera is ideal if you're the sort who gets out a lot and takes snaps of anything and everything. To be honest this is a feature that I tend to forget I've got on the camera as I mainly take pictures on a night out and on secial occassions as opposed to days out. However when it was snowing I did take some lovely photos on the 'snow' setting. It just adjusts to the landscape.
Self timer- Great for if you have a portrait to take and there is no one around to take it for you. There are several options here one is a ten second wait, another is a 2 second and another is a double take where the camera takes two photos one straight after the other.
Colour options- Photos can be taken in black and white as well as sepia and obviously colour which is the camera's main mode. I like this feature as it means you can really control the 'look' of the photos. Remember to choose this option before taking the photo though.
---- Camera aesthetics -----
Whenever I get my camera out and I'm around a really technology-savvy friend they always seem to comment on the 'chunkiness' of the camera. I suppose compared to a lot of these new super slim lined ones this is a bit on the bulky side. It weighs 136 g. When you turn the camera on the lens comes out and is roughly 2 cm long. One the back is a circular button with a small 'OK' button in the middle. As well as this there is a menu button, a review button a delete button(which I've used so many times the text above it has rubbed off!) and the zoom buttons.
-----Overall opinion & ease of use -----
The camera is easy to use as there are not tonnes of buttons, just the ones that you need. The wheel on the top of the camera has small logos on it and you can select which one you want to use my turning the wheel around and selecting. It is all fairly straight forward. The camera comes with its own USB cable which means that ny footage and pictures you take can easily be uploaded a computer.
I would recommend this camera to anyone after a basic camera which is straightforward and easy to use. The camera is not the most beautiful and thin piece of technology ever created but it can take a pretty good picture and serves me well as a way of documenting nights out and birthday parties etc. If you are looking for a camera with a really good quality zoom, this one probably isn't the right one for you. The pixelated 'gritty' quality is one of the camera's flaws but otherwise it's fine. This camerca can be bought on Amazon for £89.99 and that comes with the USB cable, camera strap and other such accessories.
I'd never really contemplated getting a Blackberry as I'd heard quite a few bad things about them such as 1) They crash frequently 2) They're only for business people and 3) I thought they were expensive.
When my virgin mobile contract ran out before I invested in a BB( Blackberry) I was looking through some of their deals and managed to snap up a good deal with a BB included with unlimited email usage and internet. Sounded perfect! Especially since I was not offered any sort of free phone on my previous contract, let alone a Blackberry. So I did my research- read some reviews of the model on here and googled it a bit more and decided to go for the deal.
Blackberrys are really distinctive looking, they're the ones with the QWERTY key pad and generally quite wide screens. The Curve has rounded edges and the plastic is smooth to hold and looks very classy. The phone includes a camera and the lens is on the back of the phone on the top left. The blocked BB logo is embedded in silver on the back. Other buttons on the front include a small scroll touch button which is probably the most used button on the whole phone. Other buttons include the space bar, enter, delete and shift buttons- much similar to that of a computer keyboard.
The buttons are quite small but are easy to press and use.
109 x 60 x 13.9. The phone is a nice size to hold in your palm as it's quite wide and substantial.
Getting to grips with the Blackberry
It took me a good week and a half to fully get used to the QWERTY key pad, basically because every phone I've had previous to this has been the standard ABC layout, but now, having had the phone for 5 months I doubt I could easily get back in to the swing of using an ABC key pad phone. I also found it hard to navigate my way around the phone for about a month, I was most confused by where the messages were kept as I assumed it would be under the standard envelope icon, but really the main messaging centre is found under the images of a phone with an envelope and instead of having separate folders for the inbox and outbox these are all found in the one folder.
I'd heard about Blackberry Messenger before I got a BB from my other friends that had ones but I didn't really know much about it. Basically it's like an instant messaging service exclusive to BB users. So if you have a friend who also has a Blackberyy phone if you get their 'pin' (a number exclusive to their BB phone) you can add them as a contact on this service and chat and send photos to them for free as well as send emoticons and sound clips. Very clever!
Email is also available on BB phones and alerts can be programmed to let you know when you have received new mail in to your inbox. The internet is something I use on my phone everyday now, though it takes a while to load up I find. A 'loading' bar will appear at the bottom of the screen to show you how far from the page becoming fully loaded it is.
The camera is of good quality with a 5x zoom meaning you can get close up photos. The camera is 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels. You can also make video clips and the phone can hold plenty with a 256 MB memory. The video camera is QVGA. You can also store limitless amounts of contacts in the phone book.
One of my favourite things about this phone is that you can arrange the folder icons in order of importance t oyou. For instance on your home layout you can select your 6 icons that you use most frequently to be on hand. I have icons such as messaging, camera and address book here as I need to click them frequently. As well as this when you click the 'home' I con and the list of icons appear you can arrange them as you wish too. It just allows you the fredom to personalise your phone which not enough phones do.
The phone also has its own application centre in which you can browse by category any number of phone applications that you want to download. Applications are programmes that your phone isn't bought with but can be applied to. These include things like games, photo editing softare. There is also a Facebook app aswell as a Twitter one, meaning tech savvy people can keep up to date on social media sites. Aslo with such applications any photos you take on the camera can be uploaded directly to the sites. Pretty impressive.
Other features and programmes that the phone has include:
Maps - find out directions and look up certain areas. Good for people on the go.
Clock- pretty straightforward- you can also set alarms here.
Instant Messaging- As well as Blackberry Messenger there are other forms of instant messaginging in this folder such as MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AOL and ICQ.
Music- Where you can upload music on t oyour phone and listen to it from here.
Help- A folder where you can search for help topics relating to every aspect of the phone.
Games- Some standard games come with the phone including Word Mole and Brickbreaker as well as Sudoku etc.
The browser is in HTML and you can also use voice activation dials although this is not something I've experimented with as of yet.
I have found that I need to charge my Blackberry every 2 to 3 days. I use it everyday and even when the battery life turns red there still seems to be a long life there. Battery talk time is up to 4 hours 30 mins.
The phone can also be connected to a computer using a USB cable provided when you purchase the phone. This means you can easily transfer files from your phone to the computer and vise versa easily and quickly.
You can also use speakerphone when making a call on this phone as well as record calls.
I have so far encountered 2 problems with this phone. The first being when it freezes. This is especially irritating and common when writing messages, the screen will just produce a little clock timer image and will halt the rest of whatever's going on. This can often last up to a minute but luckily hasn't happened much recently. I have heard however that this is a problem for other BB users.
The other problem I've faced recently has been connectivity. Not for text messages and phone calls but for accessing the internet, emails and Blackberry messenger. The phone just would not connect to any of these and the 'GPRS' logo next to the signal bar disappeared for a few weeks. However after popping in to my network provider's store (Virgin Mobile) this was easily sorted.
My Over all View
I really do enjoy using my Blackberry. I find its layout easy to access around now that I'm used to it and I like how the phone looks as well as being able to use the internet, check my Facebook and read my emails all from the palm of my hand. I like being able to arrange the icons how I wish as it makes it easy for me to roam around my phone easily and with speed. I would recommend this phone to anyone who wants to get more from their phone who also likes the layout of a QWERTY keyboard. As I have said throughout the review it took me a while to get used to the phone but now that I'm fully able with it I wouldn't think of using a different handset in the foreseeable future!
At the moment, Galmour magazine have a brilliant free giveaway with their latest issue- a Nails Inc 10ml bottle of nail varnish. This stuff retails at £11 a bottle apparently! Seeing this offer I quickly snapped two of the magazines up choosing two colours I adore! One in a lovely pale pink and another in a pastel coloured brown. This is to be my first experience with Nails inc as I've never before bought any of their products so I was excited to see the results.
A standard bottle is 10ml, the bottle is cylinder shape with a silver lid. It looks very modern in shape compared to the more familiar thick bottle with skinny brush handle so I'm intrigued to see if this design is any easier to use. The current colour I'm using is named 'Jermyn Street'.
The brush is a lot smaller and skinnier thn I would've thought but it is still relatively easy to use although there seem to be a lot of spillages. The brush is slightly flimsy. The colour is strong even after one coat however. I apply two coats (as per!) and leave to dry. The varnish dries quicker than I would have expected.
The colour is noticeable and matches the colour on the bottle which I'm happy with! Having applied this several days ago the colour is still there and hasn't chipped much. I expect if I hadn't have applied a second coat it would've chipped a lot more.
The Nails inc range covers so many different colours. 58 to be exact so you won't struggle picking out a colour you'll love. I absolutely adore the range of nail colours on offer at Nail Inc. There are sparkly ones, pastel colours, dark and transparent ones. On the Nails Inc website at the moment the majority of the nail colours are reduced to £9.90 as opposed to their full price of £11. However if you're reading this and wondering whether to invest I would think about buying a copy of Glamour magazine this month as their free with it and the magazine was only £2!
If there's a particular colour of nail varnish you're looking for then I certainly would recommend browsing through the Nails Inc website to find what you're looking for because with a wide range like that you probably will find it. But at £11 these don't come as cheap as other brands. However the nail varnish is good quality and is easy to apply, minus the odd spillage here and there which is why I'm giving this product 3/5 stars.
Benefit offer a wide range of beauty and costmetic products at prices that I would say were high range. This particular lip gloss costs around the £10 mark which is a little steep for a bit of a glaze on the lips. However I find this lip gloss to be very extremely useful and without a doubt- my favourite lip product!
I'm not much of a lip stick girl, I find it really hard to get a shade that I like and that blends in well with my hair and skin tone. I also find when lipstick smudges it can leave you looking more clown-like than sophisticated, with lip gloss however there is not so much of a worry. I also prefer lip gloss as it's shinier and I think it makes lips look healthy and vibrant. 'Her Glossiness' definitely delivers in both f those areas. IT offers a lot of shine as it is think in consistency and has what I like to call the 'staying power' in that once you've applied it, you won't need to do so again for a while. Unlike much cheaper ones that can tend to rub off after 5 minutes.
I bought a very transparent but pink and sparkly shade 'LG22'. I find that it is not too obvious nor does it look like my lips are bare- it is somewhere in the middle which means that I can wear it during the day time as well as for a killer look at night. The tube is 3.0g Net wt but my gloss has lasted me for ages and now that it's finally coming to an end I am really upset! I would say I've had this particular gloss for a bout a year and though I don't wear it everyday as it is thick it has lasted longer as you don't need to apply as often.
The wand is easy to use, you unscrew the black lid and the wand is a long white stick with a small textured tip. I much prefer this design to ones that you have to squeeze in order to apply as I find that messy and sticky.
The lip gloss also comes in a range of colours, I purchased a transparent one but there are darker pinks, some brown and red colours too as well as some chades of pink.
This lip gloss can be purchased from department stores such as Debenhams found at the Benefit beauty counter for roughly £10 to £12. It can be purchased from very.co.uk for £12 and certain colours can be purchased from www.cheapsmells.com for £7.90. This is a fairer price but is still asking a lot for a stick of gloss.
If the product was cheaper by a few quid I would whole heartedly recommend it. It's a good gloss that's easy to use and adds a bit of dazzle to the lips. But the price leaves me rating it at 4/5 stars.
I have a massive collection of nail varnishes that I've built up over the years. From my girly stages of wearing pastel pinks and rosey reds to more gothic blacks and maroons to stand out blues and greens. Yup, I love painting my nails. I'm always looking out for good nail varnish deals as well and receiving a £5 off No7 products in Boots recently, I knew from the off-set what I would be putting this voucher towards.
The Boots nail varnish 'Stay Perfect' range is £7 per bottle which, in my opinion, is a little steep for a nail colour and without my money off coupon I probably wouldn't contemplate buying one of these. After all, there are a lot of other ranges out there that offer similar colours for a much lower price. Anyway I managed to pick one up for £2 which id a very good price for a nail varnish! You do seem to get a lot in a bottle as well at 10ml. I purchased 'Vivid Violet' which is shade 68, a lovely deep purple, the same colour as a Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate wrapper (definitely my favourite chocolate too!). Ihad been searching for a colour like this for ages and I'd come close by buying one from E.L.F an online company, but found that the colour seemed different on my nails than it did in the bottle? Bizzare.
The consistency of this varnish is thick and runny, perfect for lapping on to the nails and with one coat on the nails are already looking the colour of the bottle. I apply 2 coats and it seems to dry quickly with a little bit of hand waving and nail blowing.
The brush is pretty standard, it's not as big as I would have thought but it is still easy to use. The handle is nice to hold as it is thick and lets you really get control so you can paint the varnish on smoothly.
I've had the same application on for 2 days now and there is some chipping (as with any nail varnish- I don't buy into any of that anti chip nonsense) but generally the nails still look perfect. As well as this I've had numerous comments on people adoring the colour and asking what nail varnish I'm wearing- score!
Overlall I would say the nail varnish is a good one but I would never on a normal day spend £7 on a bottle of the stuff, but that's just me budgeting. It is good as a little treat to myself and there's a whole host of gorgeous colours on offer with clear ones, pastels, darks and sparkly ones you'll be spoilt for choice.
I love having dramatic eye make up. I think it can really set an outfit off and it gives me a boost on a night out! I'm really in to the whole smoky eye look and black liquid eyeliner. But nothing sets the eyes off like a good old bit of mascara to really extend the lashes and make you look very feminine and lovely! I've had a bit of bad luck with mascaras lately too. There are a lot around that add noting but lumpiness and stickiness to the lashes so it was refreshing to stumble upon Volume Glamour by Bourjois!
I've never really bought much make up from Bourjois, this has been just because I thought their cosmetics were a little out of my price range, but I had seen and admired from afar all the cool packaging and whatnot. It is a really trendy brand!
The packaging of this mascara is pretty cool and curvy and the handle is easy to use as it is thickest at the top and the bit you hold closest to the wand is thinner to allow you more control when you're applying. The actually mascara liquid is of a good consistency, it's not too thick so that it causes lumps, it's just the right steadiness.
The brush itself if thicker at one end and the tip is smaller. This makes really going in to the corner of the eyes easy and quick to brush over. I dislike the mascara brushes that are the same size from tip to end as I find it takes longer to master all of the lashes.
Once applied the eye lashes look noticeably longer and fuller (without looking clumpy) hooray! They look darker and generally more full and glamorous. I use this mascara for day and night time as I find it is generally a bit of a life saver. Some women I'm sure would rather use mascara just for the glam night time look and this mascara can definitely be used to achieve the going out look.
I bought the 12ml mascara online from Fragrance Direct. I bought it after reading a couple of reviews on here from other Dooyoo-ers who had rated it a whooping 5 stars. It cost me £4.50 (very good!) its RRP is £7.99. ITtretails for that in Superdrug and Boots as well I think though I couldn't find it on their website. Superdrug are also currently doing a 3 for 2 deal on Bourjois cosmetics according to their website.
I would definitely recommend this mascara. It honestly does what it says on the tin. If you want full and non clumpy but noticeably longer lashes I suggest you invest!