- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
I love a good cup of coffee in the morning when I wake up. It is the first thing I drink in the morning and I usually have another one or two cups a day depending on what I am doing. In my first year of university I opted for cheap coffee and sacrificed the taste. Now that I am getting older (and the study nights longer) I much prefer to splash out a bit more cash for a nicer tasting caffeine fix!
I first heard about the Kenco Eco refill from seeing an advert on the TV. I thought it was a good idea to use less packaging and so I kept an eye out for it when I went shopping. I spotted it in Tesco one day on offer and thought I might as well try it out. It was on offer for ages after it was released but I can't remember exactly how much I paid at the time.
The packaging is quite attractive and is red and orange with a picture of a jar of coffee on the front. There is a large green banner across the top telling you that the pack is an eco refill. The actual bag is made from a type of plastic and is fully recyclable. There is a resealable strip at the top of the bag to keep your coffee fresh. This can be a bit of a hassle compared to a jar with a lid. At first it was a bit strange buying my coffee in a bag but I have a coffee jar in the house that I just decant the coffee granules into instead of having the bag next to the kettle.
The actual coffee is lovely. It takes the form of medium sized granules which look a lot lighter than other coffee brands I have used. I usually use about 1.5 spoons of coffee granules and they dissolve very easily in boiling water. The smell from the coffee is great and smells quite rich. I always add milk to my coffee and I find I'm adding less milk now because the taste is so smooth anyway.
Currently the eco refill pack will cost you between £3 and £3.50 for the 150g bag. The 200g jar usually costs around £5, which makes the eco refill pack cheaper.
So this is a great tasting coffee, at a good price and that cuts down on waste from packaging. Another advantage that Kenco has is that it is part of the Rainforest Alliance. This means that a lot is done to support the communities in which the coffee is produced. There is also a lot of work goes into helping to sustain the environment and the species of animals in the rainforest. I like to choose products that are certified with the Rainforest Alliance as I feel in some way I am helping, and every little helps!
I honestly cannot remember when I got this mp3 player. It was at least 4 years ago though and probably longer. The fact that I have not replaced this player yet probably gives you an indication of how much I love it! I got it initially because I didn't want to pay the price of an ipod when there were other options out there that I felt were equally as good.
This player looks really great and even now I still think it is modern and attractive. Mine is the black version with a white case on the back and it lights up a lovely blue colour. The combination of colours is great and looks really classy. I was surprised when I got this player as to how small it is. It is more bulky than the modern ipods but still much smaller than my mobile phone and easily fits in a pocket. The screen is just less than half the size of the player which makes it a really good size.
Ok, so the main reason I got this product was to listen to music. It performs this function very well. Adding music to the player is easy using the software provided with the player. The software is also easy to install and very user friendly. The instructions provided with the player tell you all you need to know. Listening to the music is also easy and the quality of the sound is great. I have obviously had to replace the headphones that I originally got with the player but all of the ones I have used have worked well.
There are 6 buttons on the front of the player. These are the play/pause button, the skip forward and skip backword buttons, the return button, the scroll bar and the menu button. The small number of buttons makes the player really simple to use. On the top of the player there is the on/off button which also doubles as the lock. The buttons are really touch sensitive and they all still work just as well as when I got the player.
The menus are really simple to use and give you all the usual options like music library, now playing, photos, radio and system. I'm very untechnically minded and I still find the menus really simple to use and can work my way around quite easily. Even creating playlists is easy and the DJ option is great. This gives you lists of songs like your favourites, least played and sorts songs by genre.
I don't really understand the photo function of this player. There is no camera and I don't really know why I would want to store all my photos on my mp3 player just to look at every so often. It also would use up memory so I have never really used this function.
I have used the radio function which was also easy to use and quite a good feature. I wasn't expecting to get a radio included with the player so it was a bit of a bonus.
The player has 8GB of memory which I know is quite small compared with what is available today. However, I have never come close to filling the 8GB and unless you really do have a lot of music it will probably be adequate. Apparently it will store around 4000 songs and thousands of photos. I'm not sure if this means you can store more songs if you have less photos or if it means either of the options.
The battery life is still really good and I can play music for a good few hours before having to charge it. It did last longer when I first got the player but I can't complain after this long! The one annoying thing about charging this player is that it only comes with a USB charger. My brother bought me a mains charger about a year after I got the player which is much more useful.
I am very impressed with the durability of this mp3 player. It has survived several years of use, being carried around in multiple handbags, travelled to several hot foreign countries, been dropped in sand, water and from a height and is still working. I feel this is really impressive bearing in mind that most stuff I have I break in some way.
When I got this mp3 player it cost around £100 which bearing in mind how long it has lasted was a bargain. I had a quick look on amazon and you can pick one of these up for under £50 now which is a very good deal.
Ok, so my boyfriend and friends will tell you that I am a complete technophobe. I don't pretend to understand how things work and I certainly can't sit and talk to you about the ins and outs of the workings of this laptop. Luckily for me, two of my best friends are computing students meaning that if anything goes wrong in computer land I can get help quick! This review will be based on my personal experience of using my laptop computer and probably won't contain much technical information as I don't fancy just copying and pasting things from the specifications.
I had never owned a laptop before deciding to come to University. I then decided that it would be much more useful for me to have a laptop than a desktop as I could take it to the library with me. Looking for a laptop was a nightmare for me as I had no idea what I needed or what was a good deal. My needs were very simple; I wanted access to the internet, use of Microsoft word and powerpoint and a good sized screen so I didn't get sore eyes looking at it for hours (I sound so sensible).
Baring in mind my simple requests, my Dad stepped in to suggest this Acer Aspire. It has a 15.6 inch screen which is quite large and I think is great as I hate the new tiny screens that are floating around. I reckon I would get a sore neck and eyes from staring at a small screen. The screen quality is really good, especially when playing films in full screen mode. I did find a slight issue with having the larger screen is that standard laptop bags tend to be too small for it to fit in. This just means you have to shop around a bit more accessory items.
The appearance of the laptop is quite attractive. The top of mine is coloured a dark blue which looks quite classy with the black of the keyboard and bottom half. It is also available in other colours. The corners are curved, giving it a classier look than laptops with sharper edges. The keypad is nicely spaced and is very easy to type on (unlike some ridiculously small ones). It has a number pad included on the right hand side which I have noticed is missing on some smaller laptops and I think I would miss if it was not there. The only button I have had problems with is space bar which seems quite sticky. This may be due to a previous wine spillage and I should probably take the time to clean it! Above the keyboard is the standby button which lights up green when the laptop is on, and flashes orange when it is on standby but not completely shut down. Then there is the button to turn the wireless on and off and the volume buttons. I like the volume buttons as it means I can change the volume of films without having to use the mouse (my boyfriend's laptop is lacking volume buttons which is a tad frustrating). There is a webcam built into the top of the screen which is useful for using with Skype or MSN messenger. The quality of the camera is much better than the old USB webcam I had for my desktop. The laptop is opened by sliding a bar along the front of the laptop underneath the touchpad. This seems to annoy some people who have laptops which don't have a catch to keep them shut. My laptop has almost been forced open by accident when someone didn't realise you had to slide the catch.
I find the touchpad really good and quite sensitive. It is a good size and there is a scroll bar at the side which also works well. The two buttons underneath are easy to press and never catch.
On the sides of the laptop are several important bits. On the left there is the cable hole for plugging in internet cable instead of using wireless (I told you I'm not very technical), and there are also 3 USB terminals. I usually only use the USB things for memory sticks and to plug in my printer so 3 is more than enough for me. There is also a card reader slot which I use for the SD card from my digital camera because to be honest I've lost the USB cable for it! On the right hand side there is the power cable hole and the disc drive. This is easy to open and close and has caused me no problems except when I got my Madagascar DVD stuck in it! I was more devastated about the thought of not being able to watch the film than the prospect of a broken drive!
This is my one attempt at technical stuff. Most people seem concerned over RAM and hard drive space so the laptop has 3GB RAM and 250GB hard drive. My basic understanding of RAM is that it is used as storage and memory for the applications which are working within the operating system of the laptop. Anyone who is technically minded feel free to correct me and I will edit this review if I'm very wrong! I am told that 3GB is quite standard for an everyday laptop nowadays and I havn't come across any issues running things. Apparently the hard drive is smaller than what you would normally get now but I guess the laptop is older and I don't really need a massive amount of storage.
The laptop came running Windows Vista Home Basic. I had never used Windows Vista but found it easy enough to navigate my way around. I don't know the details of this operating system but for me it was more than adequate for purpose! The laptop is now running Windows 7 after my lovely friend had to re format my laptop after it got a nasty virus. Again, I love my computing friends and have no idea how I would have fixed the laptop without them! The laptop runs very well with Windows 7 as well and seems to run much faster after the reformatting.
I have found the battery life of the laptop to be really good. When I first got it then I could use it running on battery for about 6 hours if I was careful. Nowadays It will run on battery for about an hour and half. I have looked into replacing the battery and it looks like it would cost me around £35. The shorter battery life isn't a major problem for me as I usually use it in the house or library where I have access to power. This brings me to one of the problems I have had with the laptop. The clips for releasing the battery on the bottom of the laptop broke last year. This meant that the battery fell out really easily which was annoying. I had to stick the battery into the laptop using some handy surgical tape that I had in the house for a broken toe. It seems to be doing the trick but it might be a bit messy when I try to replace the battery!
I got his laptop nearly 3 years ago and it is still going strong. It is great for the everyday things that I use it for and I hope that it will last another good few years until I graduate and can afford to replace it. It has survived quite a few falls from height and wine spillages over the years so I would say it is quite durable. It also gets carted around between home, University and the library in a rucksack and seems to have survived relatively scratch free. Currently you can buy this laptop for between £300 and £350. This is good value if you consider mine has been going for 3 years meaning it would cost you about £100 a year, bargain!
I have just finished my second year of University and during my first year I stayed in the University of Dundee halls of Residence. My particular flat was in the Belmont Tower (the oldest and ugliest building). The one advantage of this was that living in the ugly building meant it didn't spoil my view! While the outside of the building is old, the interior was updated when the newer buildings of Belmont and Heathfield were built on campus, and so the flats are actually very nice.
There were 8 of us living in my flat, 4 boys and 4 girls. I felt this was a nice mix and was happy I hadn't been placed in a single sex flat which some of them are. It is worth noting that if you live in Heathfield or Belmont the flats only house 6 students instead of 8.There are other halls called Tay mills, which I think house between 4 and 6 students and also West Park flats and villas which are around 6 people also.
Belmont Tower, Belmont flats and Heathfield are located on the main University campus just beside the Union and the sports centre. This was really great as it meant that I had everything I could need just on my doorstep. Tay Mills is located just down the hill from campus (about a 3 minute walk) and West Park is located further along the Perth Road towards Ninewells hospital. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from West Park to main campus (depending on how late you are). Many medical students live at West Park as it is closer to Ninewells hospital. However, being a medical student myself I couldn't see any real advantage to that. Most students from West Park get the same bus anyway so you are only saving yourself 5 minutes of bus journey time. There are several bus routes around the main campus to choose from and the nearest bus stop to get to Ninewells for me was only about 100m away from my flat. Due to the fact my flat was on campus, it was only a 5 minute stroll into the centre of Dundee to the shops, and 5 minutes from the two main clubs in Dundee (Fat Sams and Liquid). All in all, the location of the flats on campus is great and can't be faulted for convenience.
I was surprised be the quality of the flats themselves, having heard horror stories about student accommodation before going to University. To enter my flat there were two different locked main doors. Inside the first door were the post boxes (one for each student). There was then a different locked door leading to the stairs and to the two lifts. I lived on the 7th floor, so only when I was feeling particularly energetic did I take the stairs! The lifts were nice enough and were relatively quick so there wasn't much hanging around waiting for lifts. We did have a few vandalism incidents with the lift throughout the year but this only happened a couple of times and was promptly fixed. The combination of the two locked doors did mean that the flats were quite secure. This did become a bit of a problem after a night out though as the number of keys became a bit complex!
On making it up to the 7th floor, there was the door to my flat, again locked. The one annoying thing about the door into the actual flat is that there was another door just inside it, which opened the opposite way. This created a bit of an annoyance if you were trying to carry large bags through the doors. Inside the flat was a long corridor with 8 single rooms coming off it, each with a locked door. The rooms were a good size and each one had an ensuite shower room. Included in the room was a single bed, a desk, a good sized wardrobe and a couple of cupboards. It is worth noting that bedding is not provided so you will need to bring your own duvet and pillows. The room was layed out in a strange way when I arrived so I rearranged the bed and desk to create more space. In the shower room was a toilet, sink, good sized shower and a heated towel rail. Everything was in great condition when I moved in (and when I moved out!).
At the end of the corridor there was a door into the shared kitchen area. There was a section which had two tables and 8 folding chairs for dining. There was also a cupboard for each student which had a lock on it as well as several more cupboards for sharing. As there were 8 of us in the flat there were two fridge/freezers and two ovens with 8 hob rings. This meant there was ample space for a few people to be cooking all at once. The only other kitchen appliance which was supplied was a kettle. All appliances were clean and working well when I moved in. We purchased one toaster between the flat but I did hear of flats where they ended up with 5 or 6 toasters as everyone brought one!
At the back of the flat was a door onto the fire escape stairs which also lead to the wash room where the washing machines and tumble dryer were housed. The wash room could only be entered using a code so was also quite secure. The only problem was that there were only 2 washing machines for the whole building. There were 9 flats in total, all with 8 people living in them, so 72 students sharing. This tended to become a problem at weekends when everyone panicked and did washing on a Sunday afternoon. The machines are coin operated so you need to make sure you have a good supply of change!
Sometimes noise was a bit of an issue in the flats. I couldn't hear anything from the two rooms next to me, but could hear any conversation from out in the corridor. I could also hear the girl who lived in the room above me walking around and flushing the toilet! To be honest, the noise didn't really bother me, but if you like complete silence then University halls are not for you anyway!
Sanctuary Management were the company in charge of looking after the halls and they really were strict. We had inspections twice in the year and any breakages will cost you dearly. We broke one folding chair after a party and we were charged £80 to replace it. We also had multiple visits from them when we had parties as other flats would complain of noise. Even though they were strict and they charged us a fortune for broken stuff, they were also really efficient at sorting out complaints. My shower stopped working once and within a day someone was round to fix it which I thought was great. If you lose your keys they are really quick at replacing them too.
In comparison to other halls at other Universities, Dundee is a tad more expensive. However, for your money you get a great sized room, your own toilet and shower and good quality accommodation. I have friends at several other Scottish Universities and Dundee halls are the nicest I have seen.
The best thing about moving into halls in first year was meeting lots of people. Very few of my friends from school moved up to Dundee so I had to meet a whole new group of people. Having 7 other people living in the flat meant that on my first night I had people to go out with and Fresher's week was amazing! You also get to know other people in the building and meet loads of people through them. It was nice to know there were other people around who had also just moved out of home and were in the same boat as you!
You can re-apply to move into halls in your second year and you can apply as a group so you know who you are living with. The University do some kind of discount for second year students in halls but I'm not sure exactly what it is as I wasn't interested in staying another year.
I would definitely recommend University of Dundee halls as they are great quality, mostly in a great location and filled with lovely people!
As much as I love fresh tomatoes and home grown tomatoes, it is easier and cheaper to buy them in a tin. Fresh tomatoes can be expensive and to home grow tomatoes is a bit of a hassle ( plus I'm too lazy to try!). I object to paying a premium price for chopped tomatoes since I usually use them as a base for pasta sauces or to bulk up curries. I eat a lot of vegetables and tinned tomatoes are an easy way to add in some more or add a bit of a healthy factor to your diet.
The Tesco Value chopped tomatoes are great and I usually buy 6 tins every couple of weeks. The taste isn't as good as more expensive brands or fresh tomatoes but you wouldn't expect that from a value product. The taste isn't bad, just not as rich. The chunks of tomato are a reasonable size and they are nice and soft. The colour of the tomatoes is a bit less red than other brands and the liquid is a bit thinner, which actually suits purpose as a sauce base better than more expensive tins.
Once you open a tin of tomatoes you really need to use it within the next 2 days. You should always remove the tomatoes from the tin and store them in a sealed tub in the fridge until use.
The tins are the usual white and red design of the Tesco Value products, which makes them easily recognisable. The tomatoes cost 33p for a tin, which is about half the price of the next cheapest tinned chopped tomatoes. While this isn't the cheapest Value product out there, it does seem to be quite a high quality value product relative to other ones I have tried from other retailers.
Since discovering the Simple range I have been using their products all the time in my skin care routine. This toner has become a must have for me and I have been buying it for about 6 months. A toner is used to tighten up the pores on your skin, making it more smooth and toned (hence the name...). This toner is also marketed as being soothing to your skin while doing its job.
Usually toners contain alcohol in order to carry out their function. Simple products do not contain harsh chemicals or alcohol so I was intrigued to see how this toner worked. I am not an expert in skin care so cannot comment on which ingredients are actually carrying out the functions of toning. I can tell you that the product does work though!
I use this product after cleansing my face and before applying moisturiser. The liquid is clear, colourless and is the consistency of water. I like the fact that it is colourless because I know there are no added colours. The toner is applied using a cotton wool pad. It is easy to apply the product to cotton wool as there is only a small hole in the top of the bottle. This means that product does not spill everywhere when you tip the bottle upside down. The bottle has a screw lid which is easy to remove but also creates a great seal to prevent spillage.
Wiping this toner over my face is quite a nice feeling. It does not contain any alcohol which means that there is no stingy feeling. This is especially important if I have some spots that are a bit open which can be quite painful when using products. After use my skin feels refreshed and soothed. I end up with a lovely clean feeling which I especially love when I wake up after a night of drinking!
I have noticed that the pores on my nose have become a bit smaller since using this product. I wouldn't call it a miracle product but it definitely does do something. It does not irritate my skin which is a big plus. It also does not dry out my skin at all and I can easily use it without adding a moisturiser on top.
The toner costs around £3 for a 200ml bottle which is really good value in comparison to other toners. Sometimes Simple products are on offer in places like boots where you can pick them up cheaper too which is always useful! The bottle lasts quite a long time since you don't need a lot of product each time you use it. I would recommend this toner to anyone with sensitive skin.
I have really sensitive skin and tend to come out in spots or rashes with a lot of products. I had heard of the Simple range for a while before I finally decided to give it a try. The first product I tried from their range were these cleansing wipes. Simple make a range of products which do not have any added perfume, colours, alcohol or harsh chemicals. This means they should be perfect for people with skin like me! These particular wipes also have added vitamin goodness. I have no idea what difference these added vitamins will make to your skin just by wiping them over it though.
The packaging is the usual green and white colour that I now associate with the Simple brand. All of their products are coloured in this way and I feel it makes them noticeable on the shelf. To take the wipes out you need to peel back the sticker to reveal the hole in the packaging. The wipes can then be pulled out easily one by one. The sticker is easily replaced over the hole which means that the wipes will not dry out. The packet contains 25 wipes and each one is as good as the one before. I have found with other brands that when you get to the bottom of a packet the wipes have become dry.
The actual wipes are a white colour and a good size. They feel moist but not overly wet and they have a nice fresh smell. Even though they are gentle to skin, they still remove makeup really well. I usually wear foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara on a daily basis and they remove all of this well. On the occasions when I wear heavier makeup they still remove most of it but I do find that waterproof mascara sometimes gets left behind on my face. To remove makeup I do not need to rub my skin hard which is good as it means it cuts down on irritation. My skin does feel really nice and clean after using these wipes and I usually follow with a moisturiser before going to bed.
I don't think my skin has got any better since using these wipes but what I can say is that it hasn't got any worse. They do not irritate my skin and cause rashes and they also don't make it dry out and become flaky. I was reminded of how good they are when last week I borrowed a friend's makeup wipe and had sore skin for the next two days.
The wipes are definitely not the cheapest on the market, but can often be found on offer in a variety of stores. At full price they usually cost around £3 for 25. I am willing to pay the higher price because I know my face won't be irritated by them. I would recommend these to anyone, especially people who have had problems with sensitive skin in the past.
When I moved into my house, there was a fridge/freezer already in the kitchen and came included with the house. At first I thought this was great as it saved me having to shop for a fridge soon after moving in. However, after having switched the fridge on and waiting for 24 hours, it was obvious that it was not going to get cold. Fortunately, there was a smaller fridge in the utility room of the house which did work and I could use that while looking for a new kitchen fridge. This was not ideal as 1. It was small for 3 people using it, and 2. It is downstairs from the kitchen so the milk kept being left out!
There are so many fridges on the market and looking for one was a nightmare. I did manage to narrow down my options because the space for the fridge is built into the kitchen units, meaning that I had to get one with specific dimensions. The space is quite tall and narrow so I looked for a fridge that was narrower than standard.
We got this fridge from John Lewis and ordered it online. This was great as it was delivered to the house. The delivery men were amazing and carried the fridge up the stairs and into the kitchen. They also took away my old fridge. The fridge was great because it is only 54cm wide so will fit into small spaces. It is 174cm in height which means you still get quite a lot of space overall.
The fridge was really easy to install and only involved me plugging it in to the wall. It did take 2 people to do it as it involved holding the fridge near the wall, plugging it in and then pushing it back. I switched the power on and left the fridge empty for 24 hours. It cooled down nicely and the freezer also got cold, but I did leave this for longer before adding food. Luckily for me, the doors open the right way for my room so I didn't need to try to change them around! You can change the doors around and there are clear instructions supplied with the product.
The product is a fridge/freezer combination with the fridge on top. The fridge has plenty of space in it, even for 3 different people eating 3 different diets (one meat eater, one vegetarian and one vegan!). There are two large vegetable drawers which I love because I eat a lot of vegetables! There are then 3 shelves, 2 of which can be moved around to create differing heights. It is very easy to remove the shelves for cleaning and to move them around. There is the usual shelf on the inside of the door for milk and juice and this easily has enough space for a 2 litre bottle. Above that is another shelf which we usually use for jars of sauce, and then there is a shelf with a lid which is supposed to be an egg and butter tray but I use it for cheese. On the top right of the inside surface there is a dial which you can use to control the fridge temperature. It goes from 1 to 5 and we usually keep it at about 3. 1 is the warmest and 5 is the coldest. I find if you put it at 5 then things start to freeze onto the back wall.
The freezer has 4 drawers, the top of which is the fast freeze drawer which can be used to freeze fresh products quickly. There really is quite a lot of space in the freezer as the whole thing is taken up with drawer space. One feature which I love about it is the built in ice cube trays in the doors. This means that you don't waste space inside the drawers with ice cube moulds. They lift out easily and are easy to fill and replace. The only slight problem is that the ice cubes can be difficult to remove. I've tried several techniques, including bashing the moulds off the kitchen surfaces and running under water. The freezer is not frost free but it has now been running for about 9 months and there is not a horrendous amount of ice built up. It will need defrosted at some point soon though I reckon.
The fridge isn't too noisy although it does make a background humming sound which you would expect with a fridge. Sometimes it makes random whirring noise but it only lasts for a few seconds then it goes quieter again. The outside appearance is nice also. It isn't too fancy, just a plain white surface with slightly curved edges.
The product has an energy rating of A, meaning that it is really cheap to run, saving energy and hence the environment. It costs £249 from John Lewis and comes with a 2 year guarantee. For them to take away your old fridge they will charge you £9, which to be fair is probably worth it.
All in all a great fridge for a reasonable price which hopefully will last me a long time!
There's nothing worse than spending ages scrubbing windows or glass only to take a step back and be presented with a load of streaks! In times like these, I turn to Mr Muscle.
The Mr Muscle Window and Glass spray comes in a clear plastic bottle with some orange detail on the nozzle. The product is a bright green colour and the combinations of the green and orange makes it very recognisable in my cupboard and on shelves in the supermarket. It is worth noting that even though the product is green it does not leave a green colour where you spray it! The bottle is a classic cleaning product design with a spray nozzle which can be locked by twisting a piece of plastic on the front of the nozzle.
The spray works well and a good amount of product is contained in each spray. I usually use two sprays for each window as you can make it go quite far as it builds up on the cloth. You should use a dry cloth or kitchen roll as water will only produce streaks.
It really does the job well and makes cleaning windows and mirrors much easier. It has added vinegar which they say aids in the streak-free finish. I had heard of using vinegar in cleaning before but I honestly don't have a clue how it makes a difference. Due to the fact it contains vinegar I was worried that it might make my windows smell a bit like chips! In fact, it does not smell like vinegar at all and just smells clean. I can't really describe the smell but it's fresh and clean. The smell does not hang around for very long which is good as I'd rather my room smelt more like an actual scent.
You do still need to put some effort into washing the windows or you will still end up with streaks. I still find that I need to scrub the windows with small circular actions to get the best finish.
A 500ml bottle of this product will cost you between £1 and £2 depending on where you buy it from. This is quite good value in my opinion as it works and the bottle does last a while. I guess it would depend on how many windows you have to clean!
I've never found a bad Mr Muscle product and this one also supports my good opinion of the brand.
I always loved Nesquik drinks as a kid and have recently rediscovered a love for them whilst at University! We always had arguments in my house over what flavour was the best and my opinion was always the chocolate drink. Usually I just drink water, coffee and tea so it's nice to have something a bit different every so often as a treat.
The Nesquik comes in a powder form and you simply add it to some milk and stir in to make a lovely chocolate flavour milkshake drink. On the box it recommends using 2-4 teaspoons of powder added to about 200ml of milk. I usually use only 2 teaspoons as I find if you use any more you end up with a lot of powder residue in the drink (eww). I also always use semi-skimmed milk just through personal preference as I find the full fat one too creamy. If you wanted a more creamy rich drink then you could use full fat milk instead.
The powder mixes with the milk quite well but you do end up with powder left at the bottom of the glass. I have found the best way to mix it is to use a milk whisk. This was a bit of a random addition to our kitchen equipment and is now usually only used for Nesquik! It makes the milkshake more bubbly and mixes it well.
On the box it states that the product has no added colours, artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives which is a big thumbs up for me and I guess would appeal to parents giving it to their kids. The product also has Vitamin D added to it which aids the absorption of calcium from the diet. Again this is a good feature that would appeal to parents.
Honestly, I could drink this non-stop all day and I have to limit my intake! A 15g serving made up with 200ml of semi-skimmed milk contains 156 calories which could easily add up if you drink a few glasses a day. It also has 4g of fat, 2.5g of which is saturated which I guess mostly comes from the milk and cocoa powder. So as a treat this isn't too bad but I wouldn't want to get into the habit of drinking it all the time like water!
Last week I was craving some hot chocolate on a cold evening. The only problem was that I hadn't bought any hot chocolate powder since winter. I then discovered that Nesquik could be used instead. I mixed it like the milkshake and just put it in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds and voila! The hot chocolate was just as good as the milkshake drink and was lovely and smooth. This discovery means I will save money by not buying a separate product for hot chocolate in future.
A 300g box of Nesquik costs £1.92 from Tesco and is currently on a 2 for £2 offer (which means I may well go down and stock up!). It does last me quite a while since I try not to drink too much of it. The recommended serving is 15g which means that the 300g box should make 20 servings.
So, in summary, I love this product and will continue to buy it for the foreseeable future.
I had never been one for using fake tan, always hating the "tango'd" look that some girls achieve and seem to love! However, when it came around to a big night out and I was looking particularly pale, I decided it might be worth a shout. I was very confused by the vast array of products available and so took advice from a friend. She advised that I go for something which was spray on and didn't require me to shower it off.
This product caught my eye because it promised a streak free finish and it also came in a spray bottle which I assumed would be easy to use. I chose the version for fair skin as I didn't want to go too many shades darker than my natural whiteness! It is also available for medium and dark skin.
I was very wary of the product to begin with so made sure that I read the instructions carefully before starting. The mist sprays on and dries without any need to rub the product into skin. The instructions say to spray the product about 40cm from the skin in regular motions. It recommends using the spray every day until the shade you want is achieved. The tan will take 3 hours to develop. This product is not suitable for use on your face. However, there is a face mist also available in the range.
Using the spray is very easy. The bottle is easy to hold, and it will spray at any angle which is very useful if you don't have someone to help you with the difficult angles! The weird thing about this product is that it is colourless, so you can't see where you have already sprayed. However, if you use it in a logical way you can work out which parts you have already sprayed so I don't feel this is too much of a disadvantage. Initially the product feels damp on the skin and I always end up standing in strange positions so that I don't touch anything. This feeling lasts a few minutes and then my skin feels dry again. I am always paranoid about rubbing my skin afterwards for the first few hours so I try to use the product when I have time to just chill out for a bit. The product will develop over a few hours, so you won't see any change straight away. This is slightly disconcerting as I tend to worry about the eventual results.
The results I have had with the product are very good. I find that it works very well on my legs and chest area where I end up with a lovely even looking tan. Sometimes I do get a good tan on my arms too but I have found my elbow area repeatedly ends up patchy. The last few times I have used this product I havn't bothered to tan my arms. This works out fine as my legs are always paler so I just end up looking more evenly tanned. The pale skin version is definitely the one for me. The final colour is a couple of shades darker than my skin but does not look orange or yellow. I feel that it gives me a nice glow that I would get with a couple of days of sunbathing but isn't too over the top. I once bought the version for medium skin just to see how it would work on my legs. It was considerably darker and I thought it was too much for me.
The one thing I would recommend you do before using the product is exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! When I take the time to make sure my skin is in good condition I always see better results. If you try to use the product with some dry skin you will end up with patches without any doubt. Don't take the chance!
** Top Tip Alert! **
I have another handy tip to share with you based on personal experience! If you have wooden flooring, always put a towel on the floor. A few times I have ended up smearing the product on the bottom of my feet from the floor. This results in a horrible dark orange colour developing on the soles of my feet. This is super embarrassing especially since my boyfriend will not stop mentioning it!! So, if you don't want dark orange feet, use a towel and wash your feet afterwards.
One thing everyone always moans about with fake tan is the smell it leaves on your skin. Compared with the products that my friends use I think that this one smells pretty good. It isn't too overpowering and I always think it smells quite sweet. The smell will stay on your skin for the whole day until you shower. Like I said I don't mind the smell but my boyfriend hates it!
The product is quite pricey, but I do feel that I would pay more for a fake tan product as I would not want to end up with a bad result. I usually buy this from Boots and it costs £11.73 usually. The last time I purchased it I got it on offer for around £7. I find that the can does last for a few applications. If I tan my whole body the can will probably last for 4 applications. Obviously if I just use it for my legs it will last must longer. The tan itself will last a few days and you can re-apply to freshen the tan or to achieve a darker tone.
So, in summary I do like this product a lot. I have been put of using it on my arms by some streaks but it does work well on legs and chest area. The smell is fine, the colour is good and it is easy to use. Just remember to exfoliate and be careful of orange feet!
This eyeshadow primer is a must have in my makeup bag and I use it all the time. To be honest, I had never even heard of using eyeshadow primer until I got an urban decay set and this was included. I decided I would give it a try and absolutely loved it! I've been buying it ever since in the full size version.
Eyeshadow primer is used under your eyeshadow to fix the product better. This means that the colours will last longer, be more vibrant and there will be no annoying creases in your makeup. I wasn't convinced initially that this product would be worth adding to my makeup routine but it really does work.
The urban decay eyeshadow primer comes in a lovely purple/pink small bottle and doesn't take up any more space than a mascara in my bag. The lid screws off and there is an applicator on the end of a stick. The applicator is similar to the ones that are used in most lip glosses. It has a slightly curved edge which makes smoothing the primer over your eyelids much easier.
The actual product is a light cream colour and has a slight sticky texture. Despite the stickiness, it does not bunch up on your skin and smooths on in a thin layer easily. You can see where the primer has been applied because of its colour and the shine from the product. The colour does not interfere with the colour of your eyeshadow, even if you are using light nude shades. When I use this my eyes don't feel sticky or heavy at all and once it dries I can't even notice it is there.
I was really surprised how well this product works. I can do my makeup in the morning and come home in the evening with eyeshadow still perfectly in place. The biggest test was when I did my makeup for a night out and wanted to use some of the bold shades in the urban decay range. I often find with bolder colours that they fade and blend together too much after a few hours and lose effect. When using this primer I can put several different shades on my eyelids and they won't end up all blended together. Even after dancing the night away my eyeshadow will still be intact!
Having worn the primer all day I was worried that it might be difficult to remove my eyeshadow before bed. However, the makeup still wipes off easily using a normal facial wipe or cleanser.
The only downfall to this product is the price. It costs around £12 for a 10ml bottle of this product. Although urban decay seem to have recently changed the packaging to an 11ml squeezy tube intead of the bottle. The bottle will last quite a while but there are definitely cheaper alternatives out there.
This nail polish remover really was a gem of a find! I had painted my nails a pink colour for a weekend with some cheap nail polish and then by the Monday they were starting to look awful. I realised I didn't have any remover in the house so ran off down to boots to get some. Naturally, I went for one of the cheapest bottles on the shelf. I didn't want to have to shell out a stupid amount of money for something which is just stripping colour off my nails.
The boots clean off nail polish remover cost me £1.30 for a 150ml bottle. Compared with other brands this is quite cheap. It comes in a very simple plastic bottle with a black screw-top lid. The lid fastens very tightly so I'm not worried about the product leaking out. The fluid inside is a light pink colour and is slightly more viscous than water. The directions for use are the same as most other liquid nail polish removers. You dampen some cotton wool with the liquid and rub it on your nails until the nail polish is all removed. As it is a liquid rather than wipes, it will last a lot longer so is great value for money.
I have used more expensive nail polish removers before and this one works just as well. In fact, I actually prefer the smell of this one compared to more expensive brands. It has more of a floral sweet smell to it instead of the usual chemical stench. It removed all of the pink nail polish without me having to scrub at my nails. It really did surprise me how easily it came off as I was expecting to spend more time removing the polish. I also have not noticed my nails drying out at all after use, which is unusual for me. Boots also offer a moisturising version but I don't think I really need it. However I think it is about the same price if you did need a moisturising action.
So in summary, I love this product and will continue to buy it over more expensive brands. It really works well, smells nice and is a great price. What more could you want!?
I don't usually drink very much juice, preferring water or tea most of the time. On the occasions when I do buy concentrated juices I usually opt for either Ribena or for a Robinsons fruit squash. When I was in Tesco a few weeks ago they had a buy one get one free deal on both the Ribena and the Ribena No Added Sugar. I would usually buy the normal Ribena but since I am trying to shift a few pounds I went for the light version.
When I got home I saw that my flatmate had a bottle of the normal Ribena in the cupboard so I thought I'd compare them. I was really surprised to see the difference in the calorie contents! For a 250ml diluted serving the nutritional information is:
No added sugar version: Calories 10, sugars 1.3g, fat nil, saturates nil, salt trace
Normal version: Calories 108, sugars 26.3g, fat nil, saturates nil, salt trace
This is a huge difference between the two versions and was really quite shocking to me. It would be easy to drink a few glasses of Ribena in a day and really start to pile in the calories without thinking about it. This made me really glad that I picked up the No Added Sugar bottle! As well as the saving on calories, the lower sugar content is a real advantage in the healthy teeth department. I can also pretend to myself that I'm being healthy by drinking this as it is rich in Vitamin C, bonus.
As there is no added sugar, the sweetness is achieved by adding sweeteners to the juice. In my eyes this is a bit of a disadvantage as I have been trying to avoid artificial flavourings and sweeteners as I think they make me bloated. The juice contains aspartame and acesulfame K. Aspartame is the subject of some controversy and has been reviewed several times by the Food Standards Agency after it was suggested it could be carcinogenic. The sweetener is still considered safe for consumption but is tightly regulated by the Food Standards Agency to ensure levels are not too high. Aspartame poisoning can occur but only if you drink a ridiculous amount of sugar free drinks so I don't think it's something to lose sleep over! Acesulfame K is a sweetener which is usually used with aspartame as they mask each other's bitter aftertaste. It is also a bit controversial; again because of suggestions it may be carcinogenic. To be honest though, the tiny amounts of these chemicals in the drink wouldn't put me off having a couple of glasses a day. The benefits of not drinking all that sugar outweigh the concerns over sweetener safety.
What really interested me about the product was how good it tastes. I decided I would run a little experiment to see how similar the No Added Sugar Ribena is to the normal version. I enlisted the help of my flatmate to ensure it was a fair test. He got two identical mugs and put equal measures of the concentrate into each. He filled them up to the same level with water and remembered which mug had the normal Ribena in it. Unfortunately his memory wasn't amazing and he forgot. This led to a debate between the two of us after we had tasted both as to which was which. We both thought differently. So we ran the test again and this time he remembered correctly! I thought I had identified the juice correctly but I was surprised to learn that I was actually wrong! This was really interesting as I had always put off trying the Light version as I thought it wouldn't taste as nice. This test has proved me wrong and I think I will stick with this version in future.
I like the Ribena bottles and the fact that they have changed the gold foil colour to a blue colour for the Light version. This is useful as it makes the Light version easily identifiable in the cupboard next to the flatmate's "full fat" version. As a bonus, the whole bottle and cap is recyclable.
As I said earlier, I picked up the Ribena on a buy one get one free deal at Tesco. I have since seen the same deal at Co-op and Sainsbury's. Normally a 1 litre bottle will cost you £2.76 from Tesco. So it isn't the cheapest choice of juice concentrate around. To be honest I don't think I would buy this if it wasn't on offer just due to price. I feel it is quite expensive for what it is and I don't love Ribena enough to justify it. The bottle says it should make 20 servings if you use their recommended amounts. The amount that is recommended on the bottle is 50ml mixed with 200ml water. I normally use less than recommended so it does last a bit longer.
So, this Ribena has fewer calories, less sugar and more taste. I am a definite convert to Ribena Light!
Good hand hygiene is something that is really important to me. Sometimes it just isn't possible to wash your hands properly with soap and water and that's where this product comes in! I tend not to carry this around with me all the time but always make sure it is in my handbag if I am travelling. I hate flying without having some with me as I think it's really difficult to wash my hands properly in the tiny sinks in aeroplanes.
Hand gel can be used to wash your hands if soap and water are not available. It should not be used instead of soap and water if they are available though. Also, it should be noted that if your hands are actually covered in dirt this gel won't do much! The gel dries on your hands quickly so you don't need to dry your hands or worry about dripping gel on your clothes. Carex claim that the gel kills 99.9% of bacteria, which puts my mind at ease when I'm using it! The gel is easy to dispense by removing the lid and pressing on the pump. Usually you need to use a few squirts of the gel to clean both hands.
The main reason I bought this gel is because I wanted a hand gel that smelled nice. I use a plain hand gel quite often as my university course requires me to spend time on hospital wards. I could have used the same hand gel for everyday use but I'm not very fond of the alcohol smell. The carex gel is also an alcohol based gel but is fragranced with aloe vera. The smell is really strong to start with and I feel it still smells like alcohol initially. This is a bit of a disadvantage but the smell does fade to aloe vera after a few minutes thankfully. Carex do a variety of these gels all with a different smell but I have never tried any of the other ones.
Sometimes I find that the hand gel I use in the hospital dries my hands out quite badly and I need to use moisturiser on them when I get home. This hand gel seems to not have the same effect on my skin. I can use it a few times a day without feeling the need to moisturise my hands afterwards.
You have to be careful not to use the gel on broken or irritated skin as this can be very painful! A few times I have had small cuts on my hands which I didn't know about which I certainly did know about after washing them!!
The gel costs £1.40 for a 50ml bottle. I bought mine on offer for £1 and frequently see the bottles on offer in boots. You can get the gel in larger bottles but I like this one as it is small enough to carry around with me. It also means you can take it on an aeroplane in hand luggage as it is under 100ml. The bottle says that it should last 100 applications, which makes it quite good value for money. I obviously have not counted all the applications so far but it does seem to be lasting a while.
This is a product that I will buy again when the bottle runs out. It is useful to have with you just in case you can't wash your hands properly.