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koshkha

koshkha
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Member since: 21.07.2000

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    • Dr. Nick Lowe Spot Gel / Skin Care / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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      24.11.2014 23:24
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "It stops me squeezing"
      • "It works"

      Disadvantages

      • "Even a 5ml tube is too much for me with a 12 month use by."

      I don't need much from a product like this and Dr Nick delivers


      Life has blessed me with many things including spot free skin. I maybe get a tiny spot two or three times a year but when that happens, I know that I need to resist the temptation to give it a good poke or (god forbid) a quick squeeze. With such infrequent spots, I didn’t want a large tube of spot gel and when I spotted (pun intended of course) a tiny 5 ml tube of Dr Nick Lowe Spot Gel on the ‘Latest in Beauty’ website, I snapped it up for a tiny price. Even a big tube of 15ml will set you back only 11.00 so I doubt I paid more than a pound or two.

      A 5ml tube is tiny enough for me to stick in the bottom of my handbag and forget about. It’s also so small that it’s not yet been detected by airport security when it’s hiding in my bag.

      The product is a clear, colourless gel with a distinctly anti-septic smell which is not surprising since is - basically - just an antibacterial gel. On the few occasions that I’ve needed it, I’ve dabbed the tiniest of dots onto a ‘soon to erupt’ spot and left it for a few hours to dry it up and make it go away. Easy.

      With a ‘use after opening’ guideline of 12 months, I’ll never get far through this tube but if you have more frequent or bigger spot problems than me, I think you’ll still find this tiny tube is plenty to see you through months of spot action.

      I like knowing that I’m hygienically treating the spot and because it works so well, I’m less prone to giving in to temptation and giving it a squeeze.

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    • More +
      24.11.2014 23:00
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "I didn't pay full price - far from it"

      Disadvantages

      • "no visible effects"
      • "hard to control"
      • "Pointless product"

      Third time unlucky with Dr Nick

      The first two products that I bought in the Dr Nick Lowe range impressed me so much that I was willing to take a chance when I found a tube of his ‘Dual Action Deep Wrinkle Filler’ in TK Maxx. I wish I hadn’t bothered as I’m completely baffled by this product.

      I don’t have particularly deep wrinkles so maybe that’s the problem - maybe I’ve not set the product enough of a challenge. With an RRP of 29.00 for a 15 ml tube, you’d think it ought to be something a bit special but I’d advise to give this one a miss.

      The recommended way to use this is to “gently dab-on” (but not to rub) it onto the wrinkle and fill it up. Then let it dry for ten minutes and follow with moisturiser and (if appropriate) make up. It sounds like a sort of Polyfilla for the skin.

      The dispenser gives the impression that you ought to be able to finely disperse it onto a line. I had a go at my ‘bunny ears’ and there was no way I could control the product well enough to get it in the right place and nothing short of the forbidden ‘rubbing’ was going to get it where I wanted it.

      I tried three or four times before I gave up and consigned this stuff to the back of a dark box of beauty failures. Nothing will put me off my Dr Nick eye serum or my menthol face scrub but this is definitely never getting a second go. Or certainly not until my bunny ears have reached Grand Canyon depths and I need a trowel to put it on.

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      23.11.2014 18:23
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "No irritation"
      • "Good but not great"

      Disadvantages

      • "Unattractive mushroom colour"
      • "I can't FEEL it doing anything"

      There's not 'mush-room' on my shelf for a serum like this one.

      On a trip to the states I picked up a bargain box of Origins ‘favourites’. This was a fantastic special deal with ten of the company’s most popular products and it included two products from the Dr Weil sub-brand, one of which was the Mega Mushroom facial serum. Origins is much cheaper in the US than in the UK but I was really surprised to find that the 30ml bottle I got in my box has a retail value over here of 49.00.

      My bottle is an American issue and it’s labelled up as ‘Dr Weil Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Serum’. It’s the bottle shown in the Dooyoo photo. In the UK the same product is sold as Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum.

      I’ve been using it for the last week or so, inspired by finding it listed on dooyoo and I have to say that as serums go, this is a bit of a weird one. Normally I love or hate serums, squeeze every last drop out of the bottle or bin them very quickly but I’m still unsure about this one.

      When you get something like this in a mixed box, there’s always the risk that it’s not really designed for your particular skin care needs. From what I’ve been able to discover, it’s intended for very sensitive or acne-prone skin and is supposed to be good at reducing problems like redness. I don’t have those problems and I’m used to rather more harsh and effective serums that create an instant tightening and lifting sensation on my skin so this leaves me with a bit of a ‘so what’ feeling after use.

      This is the strangest serum I’ve ever seen. In line with its ‘mega mushroom’ name, it is indeed mushroom coloured - a sludgy greige colour that initially had me wondering if I’d left it in the box too long. The bottle is plastic with a pump dispenser. For 49.00 you’d think they might run to glass. It dispenses tiny amounts if you are careful and a little of this goes a long way. The scent is strange - hints of mushroom with some more lively fruity and herbal notes thrown in for good measure. I usually put this on freshly washed skin, rub it across my face and neck and then clean my teeth. Two minutes later my skin is ready for moisturiser to go on top. If I forget the moisturiser, it does a fairly good job on its own.

      Would I buy it again? No, that’s not very likely. Not because it isn’t good but because I don’t have the problems it’s supposed to fix. I prefer the Origins ‘Perfect World’ serums ahead of this rather sludgy lotion and I consider it’s too expensive if you don’t really need it.

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      23.11.2014 17:52
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Great softening effect on my skin"
      • "Less heavy than you'll expect"
      • "Perfect for cold weather protection"

      Disadvantages

      • "Expensive at full price"

      A personal favourite for cold weather day cream

      I bought my jar of KORRES ‘Black Pine Antiwrinkle and Firming Day Cream for dry to very dry skin’ in TK Maxx at the heavily discounted price of 12.99. The regular price is 40.00 so I got a great deal but I’d only have got a bargain if the stuff turned out to be good. Luckily it’s so good I’ve bought again.

      KORRES is a Greek homeopathic cosmetics company founded in the 1960s as Tzivanides Pharmacy and rebranded as KORRES in 1996 in honour of their homeopathic cosmetologist, George Korres.

      The jar is presented in a simple cardboard box with a design that’s very ‘busy’.The top of the box lists an astonishing number of things that AREN’T in the product and some info on the recyclability of the packaging. As well as the absent ingredients, there’s also confirmation of a few different ethical things – No animal by products, no animal testing, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and so on. For most people it’s just a lot of clutter. The natural content is identified as 94.2%. If you want to know that IS in the product, you’ll need the bottom of the box and very good eyesight.

      On the one hand I do get frustrated when I buy a product and I can’t find out anything about it but this is a complete information overload.

      Black pine is apparently full of polyphenols that help to strengthen connective tissues. There’s a ‘powerful’ anti-wrinkle ingredient called quercetin, a ‘firming’ naturally derived peptide to firm skin and improve elasticity as well as a black tea extract, a black oat extract, soya bean and wild yam complex and some oligosaccharides each of which does fabulously clever things – allegedly.

      If you’ve made it through the box then you deserve a treat, and that’s what you’ll get. My skin is dry but I wouldn’t say ‘very dry’ so I was a little concerned that it might be too heavy or sticky for me but that wasn’t the case at all. The cream is off-white, super-smooth and glossy. It is rich, but a small amount goes a long way and I’m happy with how little is needed to cover my face and neck. The scent is clean and fresh. It has a deliciously light and gentle scent. I was slightly worried – because of the pine – that it might smell like toilet cleaner but it doesn’t.

      I love the way this cream makes my skin feel. It soaks in well and leaves my face feeling really soft and indulged without any greasiness. During this cold winter weather it feels absolutely perfect and I’m happy to go out in the cold and wind feeling that my skin has been well protected.

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      22.11.2014 19:33
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Unisex smell"

      Disadvantages

      • "Takes too long to soak in"
      • "A bit of a lightweight"

      A green fairy that I won't buy again

      I have mixed feelings about the Body Shop hand creams. On one hand I love their rose hand cream and on the other, I dislike the hemp hand cream. With that in mind, when another reviewer recommended the absinthe hand cream, I opted for the smaller tube just in case I didn’t like it.

      The metal tubes that Body Shop use for their hand creams are very attractive but quickly get battered in use. I like that you can easily fold the end of the tube over as you use the contents, ensuring that it’s easy to get every last bit out of the tube. My tube of absinthe has barely enough left in it for a couple more uses, so I decided to use most of that today so I can review it.

      Absinthe hand cream was a more recent introduction, perhaps following in the footsteps of Hemp as another of Body Shop’s slightly naughty ‘flavours’. Hemp of course is associated with cannabis and the alcoholic drink absinthe was famous for being highly addictive and causing the ruin and even death of many French drinkers in the 1800s and early 1900s.

      The cream is a pale green in colour, redolent of the deep green colour of the alcoholic drink. It smells minty and aniseed-like, clean, cool and very refreshing but also rather sweet. It cools on contact with the skin and I’m sure the woman in the shop who sold it to me claimed it was naturally slightly antiseptic. I find it a bit too slimy immediately after applying and I can’t start typing again for a few minutes until it has soaked into my skin.

      The level of moisturisation seems quite light to me, especially compared against the rose and hemp products. I need to reapply it frequently and I prefer to spend a little more on a heavier duty hand cream that doesn’t have to be applied so often.

      Talking of money, this is priced at 5.00 for a 30 ml tube (ideal for the handbag) or 11.00 for 100 ml though I never pay full price for anything in the Body Shop, tending to take advantage of my ‘Love your Body’ card and access to one of their outlet centres which offers items at 40% off if you buy at least 4 items.

      It’s a good choice as a unisex hand cream for light use but there are better alternatives in the Body Shop range.

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    • More +
      22.11.2014 19:10
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Top quality products"
      • "Know what you get up front"
      • "Excellent value"

      Disadvantages

      • "Nobody will want EVERYTHING"

      An Advent Beauty Adventure

      Last year I treated myself to the You Beauty advent calendar which - if you are interested - is available again this year at youbeautydiscovery.co.uk for 49.95. The contents are said to have a value of around 240.00 - of course the value to YOU depends on whether you want what’s inside but fortunately they always give a full listing of the contents to help you decide. This year I’m not buying because I have far too many beauty products already and I need to use up a lot before I start buying more.

      If you want to be ready for Advent, you still have time to order.

      Last year I decided that I was ‘worth it’ and after analysing what I could expect to find inside, it was clear that IT was worth it too. In an ideal world the contents would be a surprise but very few people – myself included – are going to part with £50 without a pretty good idea of what they’re getting.

      My preference is for skin care products rather than hair care or colour cosmetics and I needed to be sure that I’d get enough goodies that a few duds wouldn’t matter. Last year there were lots of things I wanted and the things I didn’t want went to friends and family.

      My parcel arrived within a couple of days of ordering, delivered by a courier firm. I was immediately impressed by the heft of the parcel and the size of the calendar. It’s jointed in the middle and tied with a thick white ribbon bow. On the 1st of December I took it out, untied the ribbon and set up the calendar on the window sill. There were twelve windows on each side, some shaped to hint at what might be inside, others very anonymous. I kept each of the products until Christmas so I get a double present – the gift of opening and then later the gift of using (or giving away). Last year’s started well with an ultra-expensive Sisley rose masque and continued with a Caudalie hand crème in a 30 ml tube - perfect handbag size.


      I spend a lot on good products but I am inclined to get into a rut and buy the same few things over and over again. If you struggle to justify the cost, then think of it as an average of 2 pound per item and it doesn’t seem so bad. You’ll most likely struggle to make that back by reviewing the products but you can of course recoup some of the cost in that way.

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      22.11.2014 18:52
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Protective
      • "Well designed"
      • Stylish
      • Lightweight

      Disadvantages

      • None

      Stylish and protective bag for tablets or small laptops

      Last year I bought my Crumpler Messenger Bag Miss D. Flower Tablet in the Amazon Black Friday sales paying 17.95 instead of the RRP of 59.00. I didn’t check the product out too thoroughly before I grabbed it and I nearly made a dreadful mistake because the bag really is only just big enough for my Chromebook. But ‘only just’ is good enough.

      There’s a lot to be said for carrying your tablet or small laptop in a bag that doesn’t LOOK like a computer bag. This one just looks like a rather cool across-the-body bag. It’s accessed via a simple deep flap which is kept in place by sturdy Velcro pads. There’s one external pocket on the back of the bag into which I can slide my Kindle Fire or whatever I want to access quickly. This pocket is next to your body so feels secure from pickpockets or wandering fingers.

      The bag is made from a hard-wearing dark brown fabric which is printed and embroidered on the bottom half of the front. The fabric is described by Amazon as 1000 denier ‘Chicken Tex SupremeTM hyper performance fabric’. It’s lightweight, durable, tear resistant, and it dries quickly. I’ll admit that I would have expected that the exterior fabric would be waterproof but instead it’s the lining fabric which is waterproof and tear-proof. The lining fabric is also light grey in colour which I really appreciate as I always try to buy bags with light linings as I find it easier to locate things inside if the fabric is bright.

      The dimensions of the bag are similar to a mid-sized handbag. It’s 32 cm deep, 28 cm wide and just 6 cm thick and it sits flat against the body. The strap is around 4 cm wide and is not padded. This could be a problem if you’re carrying it for a long time, but so long as you don’t stuff too much into it, it’s unlikely to get particularly heavy.

      The interior of the bag is quite simple. My Chromebook - or your tablet - slides down the deep pocket compartment at the back of the inside of the bag and sits firmly in place with the help of a wide Velcro-edged strap. Both sides of this compartment are padded. In the front of the inner compartment there is a Velcro-fastened mesh pocket. This is perfect for all your cables and wires etc. Between the two Velcro-sealed pockets, you’ve got plenty of space to carry a notebook, pencil case, whatever you’re reading and so on.

      This bag is barely heavier than a sleeve but offers plenty of protection and lots of space to carry things around. This is ideal for tablets and netbooks/notebooks or a Chromebook with screens up to around 11.5 inches.

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      22.11.2014 18:26
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "soaks in quickly"
      • "Good winter day cream"
      • "Smells fabulous"

      Disadvantages

      • "A bit too heavy for summer use."

      Everything's coming up roses with REN

      I’m a sucker for a good magazine ‘gift with purchase’. Several times a year, many of the big women’s magazines have very attractive freebies that can persuade me to buy magazines I don’t want and won’t read. I usually pick them up at airports, pocketing the goodies and abandoning the magazines on a chair for someone else to read.

      I got a REN set on one of these magazine deals. I have no recollection of the magazine or even when I got it but I think it was a small three-part set of sample tubes. This week I’ve been using the Vita-Mineral day cream for ‘normal’ skin. I like to throw a few small tubes in my travel wash bag so I can try things out whilst I’m on the move.

      I wan’t familiar with REN before getting these samples but I’m happy to learn (from their website) that they stand for purity, performance and pleasure. Who can argue with that?

      My tube of the Vita-Mineral Day Cream contains just 10 ml but has seen me through several days of use already and there’s nearly half of the cream still left. It’s a bright, white, quite thick cream which smells of roses. Now roses can smell cheap or they can smell classy and this is at the classy end of the rose-spectrum. It contains Damascene rose oil and rose water as well as a whole bunch of other floral extracts and goodies and it’s free from a lot of the synthetic ingredients that many people try to avoid these days.

      I squeeze a small blob of cream out of my tube, dot it across freshly cleansed skin on my face and then rub it in. For such a rich cream, it’s surprising how well it soaks into the skin and how smooth it leave it feeling. I’ve used this at night as well as in the morning and even over-night, my skin still feels soft and moisturised in the morning.

      I would suggest this is better as a cold-weather day cream than a summer cream since there doesn’t appear to be any sun protection and the texture would be a bit heavy in hot weather.

      The recommended price of a 50 ml pump dispenser is 25.00 which seems like a pretty fair price to me for a top quality cream that smells wonderful and leaves my skin feeling soft and well moisturised.

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      19.11.2014 22:48
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Feels good"
      • "Smells great"

      Disadvantages

      • "No sunscreens"
      • "Sticky after application"

      A 'blanc' canvas

      Laboratoires Lilas Blanc is a French cosmetics company specialising in organic skin care which was set up in 2006 by three people who had previously worked for major French cosmetics companies. They claim their brand is the very first 'luxury organic anti-aging brand'. They sell products with the ‘Ecocert’ accreditation which means (amongst other claims) that no parabens or silicones are used.

      ‘Lilas Blanc Secret Eclat Jeunesse anti-wrinkle day skincare’ to give it its full name, is an organic anti-ageing cream which claims to moisturise, smooth and stimulate your skin. Looking at the ingredient list I don’t see anything that jumps out at me as being a sun-screen so I’d suggest to use this as an autumn/winter day cream and not to rely on it in the summer months.
      The cream contains a New Zealand fern extract that’s supposed to have magical anti-ageing properties. I’ve never seen an elderly New Zealand fern so perhaps it’s true but I’m naturally sceptical. This extract is combined with essential oils of rose and rosewood which are together supposed to stimulate the skin. The product is presented in a glass effect jar containing 50 ml of product. The first noticeable thing is that this stuff smells absolutely delicious. It’s a juicy, fruity smell. At first I found it a little too ‘white’ but it rubs in very quickly leaving a cooling, but slightly sticky feel for the first few minutes. The scent lingers on my fingers in a pleasant way. I almost feel a slight ‘tightening’ on first application, a bit like you get with many pre-moisturising serums.

      The UK RRP is 36.50 per jar. For a day cream to have no sunscreen is always a point of contention for me and much as I love the smell of this cream and the lovely way it soaks in quickly, there’s something about that slightly sticky after-effect that has stopped me reaching for the credit card and buying a second jar.

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      19.11.2014 22:39
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      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Effective cleansing"
      • "Fascinating fragrance"

      Disadvantages

      • Non-foaming

      Once you get used to the smell, you can learn to love it.

      My tube of This Works ‘Clean Skin Daily Wash’ was bought as part of a travel set and is a 40ml tube. Thisworks is a British company founded a decade ago to create ‘naturally effective products with a contemporary style that work for you and the world’. Wow, me AND the world!

      Clean Skin is a wash off moisturising cleanser that can be massaged onto the facial skin and either removed with a cotton wool pad or by rinsing off with water. It’s non-foaming and gentle and doesn’t have a drying effect after it’s rinsed off. I prefer a foaming cleanser and I like to use one with my Foreo transdermal facial cleanser but I’m happy to have a go with a non-foaming one now and then, especially if it is non-drying and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight.

      The first time I put this on my face I nearly choked at the smell. I couldn’t believe that something SO strong was supposed to be put on my face. If Clean Skin were a curry it would be a vindaloo and not a korma – it’s probably the most strongly scented ‘stuff’ I’ve ever let anywhere near my face. Once the initial ‘Oh my goodness did I just put foot cream on my face’ feeling passed, I realised that much to my surprise I rather liked the smell.

      The powerful pong is an interesting mix of ingredients including eucalyptus and frankincense. If you want to smell like the Baby Jesus’s wooden crib just after the three wise men rolled up with their presents, this is right up your street. Strangely the deeply medicinal eucalyptus seems to be toned down a little by the luxurious and heady scent of the frankincense. The base of the product is a mix of deliciously juicy rosehip oil and olive oil and all the goodies mix together to create something with unique smell and an interesting feel on the skin’.

      Because it doesn’t foam, I need more of this than I would with my Origins or Clinique foaming cleansers and if money is an issue, I don’t think a non-foaming product is as good value though it can be very gentle.

      Once I got over the smell, I quickly came to love this product. A 120ml bottle would cost you 19.00, making my 30 ml travel tube worth about a fiver. I suspect the full sized product might well come with a pump dispenser whilst mine is a ‘stand on its cap’ tube with a nozzle dispenser – nothing remarkable or high tech.

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      18.11.2014 23:21
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • " windswept skin"
      • "A real treat for dry"
      • "Smells beautiful"
      • "Really rich"

      Disadvantages

      • "£50 for 50 ml."

      A rich treat for dry winter skin

      I adore the French brand L’Occitane and I’m lucky to have access to one of their outlet shops. I’m even more lucky to have found an assistant in the store who I really like and who is always ultra-generous with the free samples when I buy anything. He knows I love the Immortelle range of products and slips lots of sachets of the creams from that range into my bag. I’ve had so many of the sachets of the night cream and the cream masque that I’ve easily used the equivalent of more than a full tub of each.

      I’m in Holland at the moment and I’m in a hotel that’s a half hour walk from the office along the riverside. The wind whistles down the Ij like an Arctic blast so I’m turning to the sachets of Precious Night Cream for some special protection and to compensate for the blasting I had this morning.

      The Night Cream is a much thicker, heavier cream than the more widely available day cream. A couple of years ago I bought six copies of a magazine I don’t even like and never read, just to get pots of the L’Immortelle day cream.Whilst I’m happy to use the day cream at night, I couldn’t use the night cream during the day as it’s really too rich and heavy.

      The cream comes in a gorgeous dark blue glass jar that looks like something from an old apothecary’s store. At full price, a 50 ml jar will set you back 50.00 so I only buy when it’s on offer.

      It’s a thick, white cream and it smells of daisies. Immortelle is the everlasting flower but it’s always used in this range with daisy extract and that’s what gives it the distinctive scent. I love it - it’s familiar, comforting and delicious.

      Rubbed onto my slightly sore and wind-blown skin, it’s cool and soothing and soon settles to a non-sticky finish. L’Occitane claim that it stimulates collagen production and reduces the depth of wrinkles but I can’t confirm whether that’s really true. L’Occitane’s studies on real human beings suggest that 96% of the 49 women who tested the product for just ONE night claimed it improved their skin with around 80% claiming with repeated use that it made skin smoother and less ‘slack’.

      This is a great product for an occasional treat but due to the thick texture, a little doesn’t go a long way and it would be a very expensive product if you used it every day. For me it’s exclusively a winter night cream and not suitable for the warmer summer months.

      If you can afford it, and if you want a rich, slightly heavy cream with a beautiful natural scent, this one is well worth a try.

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      16.11.2014 22:45
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "leaves skin clean and never tight"
      • "A tiny blob goes a really long way"
      • "Feels great"

      Disadvantages

      • "It's way too expensive for me to buy"

      This product was made for me - in all respects except the price

      When someone gave me a large tube of Origins Plantscriptions Anti-Ageing cleanser to try I was really pleased. I have been using Origins for about 15 years and I really do love most of their products. My prefered form of facial cleanser is always a foaming wash-off cleanser so this had everything in its favour. I don’t use make-up so cleaning my face is less of a big deal than for those who need to remove lots of make-up and I obviously can’t comment on how effective it would be for that.

      Origins used to be hard to find in the UK and for years I bought their products in the USA where the prices were usually the same number of dollars as pounds - so a major discount. Now they are available in some of the bigger department stores and even in a few airport Duty Free outlets.

      Origins is the younger, more natural and slightly ‘funky’ arm of Estee Lauder - a brand with more fun than Lauder, the same technological credentials but more natural ingredients. What’s not to like about that? They take more risks, introduce some weird products (I recall a relaxing bubble gum they launched) and aren’t afraid to have fun.

      My 150 ml tube has a RRP of 26.00 and yes, before you say it, I agree - that’s a LOT of money for a foaming cleanser. However, it’s a big tube and you need only the tiniest amount. I’ve been using it for almost a year, at least 2 or 3 times a week and I’ve still got a few more weeks worth still in the tube. The tiniest blob - really a very tiny one, think lentil size rather than pea sized - activates with water to create a rich, fluffy lather. It rinses away cleanly without leaving any tightness on the skin and prepares it well for moisturisers to follow.

      I don’t understand how a foaming cleanser can be anti-ageing and I can’t tell you whether it really works. I was using a bunch of other anti-ageing products at the time and I really don’t know how anyone can really say a product is effective without lots of scientific testing. I believe it contains a few chemical exfoliants to encourage the dry dead skin cells to be shed and new ones to replace them, but I forget now where I read that. I’m sceptical about wash off products having enough time on the skin to make a big difference to its condition.

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      16.11.2014 22:14
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "It's OK but only OK"

      Disadvantages

      • "No shea butter"
      • "Unpleasant texture"
      • "Horrible smell"

      Perfect for anyone with dry hands and a desire to smell like they smoke canabis

      I find it hard not to get carried away in the Body Shop. I have a ‘Love Your Body’ card and access to a Body Shop ‘outlet’ at Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. The combination of their regular 40% off if you buy four or more items plus the extra 10% off with my card means that I always walk out wondering how I got SO much stuff for so little money.

      My friend Gill also loves Body Shop and she is usually with me when I go to Body Shop so we can both use my card and club together to maximise the discounts. She always buys the Hemp Hand Protector for her son who is a keen gardener. I wasn’t keen - I don’t particularly want to smell like I’ve been smoking cannabis - but I started buying it for my sister who spent most of her youth smelling exactly like that. I got a bit carried away and bought an extra tube for myself and I would have to say that it’s not getting used very quickly.

      It’s supposed to be an intense hand cream for really dry hands so I’m very surprised that it contains no shea butter. I always look for shea in any hand cream I buy and if I’d realised there wasn’t any in this one, I’d probably have given it a miss. It does give a soothing and smoothing effect but I find it a bit too slimy and it doesn’t soak in as well as other hand creams I have. And I have to be honest that the scent is very off-putting.

      I think that the RRP of 11.00 for a 100ml tube makes this rather more expensive than it should be for a shea-free hand cream. I also suspect it gets a lot of its following from people looking to smell like they're less law abiding than they really are. If you're not sure, try the smaller 30 ml tube for a fiver.

      Given a choice between this or the rose or absinthe hand creams from the Body Shop, I don't have to think hard at all - I wouldn’t buy this one. In fact, I think I’ll be slipping my barely used tube to my sister to see if she wants it. I just can’t be bothered with it. I have nicer smelling, more effective creams that I'd rather be using up.

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    • More +
      16.11.2014 21:30
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Oily but quickly absorbed"
      • "Rich and effective"

      Disadvantages

      • "Can be a little fiddly to get into"

      Clean, hygienic, individually portioned serum capsules from Elizabeth Arden

      It must be twenty years or more since Elizabeth Arden started putting things into cute little capsules. I used to buy their AHA capsules back when I was probably far too young to need them but I just loved the capsule concept. I recently struck lucky on the allbeauty.com website when they had some amazing offers on Elizabeth Arden and I bought 90 of one of their eye capsules and 90 of their ‘Ceramide Daily Youth Restoring Serum’ capsules.

      There is a large pot you can get with all 90 in one single container. Mine was not that. Instead I got a pack of three tubes each containing 30 capsules. I paid 26.95 which was considerably less than half price and represented a cost of 30 pence per capsule. Each tube is effectively a month’s worth if you use these every day. I use just two or three a week, mostly depending on whether I remember or not.

      Each capsule is a measured dose of the serum. Since I travel a lot for work, I am able to take just the amount I want for the week rather than taking a whole bottle of a regular serum, so this works really well for me. I usually just pop a few capsules in a tiny pot in my washbag.

      The capsule format keeps the product clean and fresh and avoids any risk of contamination from grubby fingers. To access the liquid just twist off the neck of the bead and squeeze out the contents. If you don’t have sharp fingernails, you can use a pair of scissors.

      Each capsule has plenty of serum for my face and neck. It goes onto freshly cleaned skin like a light golden oil and whilst the initial impression I had was “Wow, that’s going to leave me looking ‘basted’” I need not have worried. Surprisingly this soaks into the skin really quickly. If I put it on before I clean my teeth, my skin’s ready for a day cream by the time I’ve finished two to three minutes later. Don’t be tempted to use this instead of a moisturiser - you’ll get better impact by combining serum and moisturiser.

      The serum is supposed to reduce fine lines, strengthen your skin and boost its moisture levels. I can’t tell you for sure that it does those things but it does leave my skin feeling very moisturised and supple. It contains two types of ceramides, one of which firms the skin and the other promotes exfoliation. Other ingredients include Essential fatty acids, Phytosphingosines, Retinyl Linoleate, Borage Seed Extract, Vitamin E.

      I wouldn’t pay full price for this product but I have noticed a lot of special deals on it and similar Elizabeth Arden capsules over the last few months so it’s well worth checking the discount cosmetices websites for bargains.

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    • More +
      16.11.2014 20:32
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "A little goes a long way"
      • "Doubles as cuticle cream"
      • "Delicious scent"
      • "Quick absorption"
      • "Intensely moisturising"

      Disadvantages

      • "No SPF"
      • "VERY expensive"

      A fabulous cream but I'm not rich enough for a cream this rich

      I’m much better at buying hand creams than I am at using them. You can find them wherever I go - there are several on my desk at work and on my desk at home, by the bedside, in the car, tucked in odd places, a bit like lip salves. My Molton Brown Desert Bloom Intensive Hand Rescue is the cream I took on holiday this year and there’s just enough of it left for me to review it before the tube goes in the bin.

      My tube is a small one - just 15 ml - which came in a mixed box of Molton Brown goodies a couple of years ago. It’s a handy size for me to keep in my travel bag and I mostly use it after I’ve used alcohol-based hand gels which I find to be harsh and very drying.

      The cream is not too thin and runny which is important when I go to hot countries as I don’t want it to run out of the tube too fast. It’s a white cream that spreads well and soaks in quickly.

      It’s not explicitly stated on the tube - or at least not in a font I can actually read - what the product is supposed to smell of but to me it’s rather rosy. According to Molton Brown it actually contains desert plant extract, candletree leaf extract and myrrh but I can’t say that I’d know exactly what those should smell like and I guess most other people can’t either. All I can say is it’s very flowery.

      The product is designed for hands that need a bit of extra care and are out of condition and contains a high level of shea butter. My hands don’t need such intense care so it’s hard to say whether this really would be significantly different from a normal cream but I do like that it can be used as both a hand cream and a cuticle cream. I also always buy a shea based cream if I can as I think it’s better for skin than more synthetic alternatives. I love that I can still pick up subtle traces of the scent hours after I’ve applied it.

      The RRP of this product is a shocking 21.00 for just 75 ml which really is way beyond what I’d pay. I have bought Molton Brown hand lotions but they are a lot less expensive than the hand creams, typically selling at around 20.00 for 300 ml (or a lot less from the outlet place where I shop).

      I like this hand cream a lot, would be more than happy to find it in a mixed box again, but 21.00 for 75ml is way out of my league.

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