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laurasastar
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Member since: 07.10.2010

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    • Mythic Oil / Hair Care / 44 Readings / 42 Ratings
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      27.09.2011 12:18
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      The newest hair must have?

      Mythic Oil is a hair treatment oil brought out by L'oreal in June 2011. It's L'oreal's answer to the recent popularity of argan oil products, with the most popular being the Morrocan oil range which nearly EVERYONE seemed to be talking about this year. Mythic Oil is part of the L'oreal PROFESSIONNEL range so it's only available online or in certain hair salons, it's not stocked in boots or supermarkets etc and is usually priced around £11 for 125ml.

      So How's it work?

      Mythic oil doesn't actually contain any argan oil, instead it uses a combination of avocado oil and grape seed oil to nourish the hair.

      Why is grape seed oil and avocado oil good for my hair?

      Both oils are very lightweight. Grape seed oil is a very lightweight oil that's very easily absorbed by both hair and skin. It has many moisturising properties, making it ideal for nourishing your hair before and after heat styling by replacing moisture lost in these processes. More moisturised hair tends to be stronger so grape seed oil also reduces brittleness. Avocado oil ia rich in vitamin E and moisturising, both for your hair and your scalp.

      How do you use it?

      Applying to damp hair - Divide your hair into sections (twist them slightly so they're separated). the product comes in a plastic container with a 'pump action'. I have medium, shoulder length hair and use about two pumps of product. Dispense the product out onto your hands, rub your hands together and then apply it to each of the sections and leave to soak into the hair for around 3 minutes, then dry and style your hair as usual. Once your hair is dry you can use the product again if you wish to add extra shine, concentrating on the ends and mid lengths of your hair.

      Apply to Dry hair - If your hair is looking a bit dull and dehydrated you can apply the product directly to dry hair, I've found this has made my hair feel less 'frizzy', especially if I've been caught in the rain a little or been in humid environments.

      So how's it compare to Moroccan Oil?

      Both products smell really similar, mythic oil smells slightly more soapy though. Moroccan oil is much thicker in consistency, mythic oil is very lightweight. I like the fact that Mythic Oil comes with a dispenser whereas Moroccan Oil doesn't, so it can sometimes be a bit messy to use! Overall I really think this is an excellent product, I will definitely be repurchasing the Mythic Oil as for the price and performance I personally think it just wins ahead of Moroccan Oil for me.

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        22.09.2011 19:33
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        A gentle make up remover that's tough at removing the slap!

        Bioderma has been some what of a 'cult' product amongst the beauty industry for many years. Although widely available in France it has, until recently been difficult to get hold of in the UK. Shipping from France was available but expensive, leading to people buying it in bulk to cover these shipping costs. Luckily some UK retailers have cottoned on to the demand and started stocking the product. The lowest price I've found it being sold for on a trusted UK website is...

        Zuneta.co.uk - £14 for 500ml + £3.95 shipping (free for orders over £50)

        Bioderma has the seal of approval of many a make up artist who swear by it as their make up remover of choice. Obviously as part of this job you are sometimes required to do several looks on one model over a fairly short period of time. Models obviously have varied skin types, they might have oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, sensitive skin etc etc and biodermas gentle, hypoallergenic formula is agreeable and effective with all these skin types. It also combines skin care AND make up removal, so your skin is being cleansed whilst your make up is being removed.

        Comparing bioderma to my OTHER 'cleansing water' by Institut Karite, which is also French (I'm a bit obsessed with French Skincare) the first thing of note is that bioderma smells of nothing, where as the Karite one has a gentle, but notable fragrance. When it comes to products I put on my face I'm really not at ALL interested in them being fragranced. Fragrance = irritation to me, I always ensure my facial moisturiser has no perfume in it so I certainly don't want my make up remover to be fragranced!

        The second thing I've noticed with the Karite one that doesn't occur with my bioderma is that when I use the karite I can feel gentle, very mild sort of 'stinging'. Which although I have to state ISN'T uncomfortable and only lasts for a second or so it still is a difference I can feel, my skin also feels less hydrated with the karite. I strongly suspect that this is due to the fact that just glancing at the back I can see at least three ingredients used solely for fragrancing the product.

        Comparatively: Bioderma is comprised of only TEN ingredients, whereas Karite has almost double that. The ingredients in Bioderma are:

        Water
        PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides - (Skin-Conditioning Agent)
        Cucumber Fruit Extract
        Mannitol - (Skin-Conditioning Agent)
        Xylitol - (Emulsifier)
        Rhamnose - (Natually occuring sugar)
        Fructooligosaccharides - (Naturally occuring fructan sugar)
        Propylene Glycol - (Organic alcohol, very widely used in cosmetics)
        Disodium EDTA - (Preservative and Absorption agent)
        Cetrimonium Bromide - (Used as an antiseptic and detergent)

        When researching these ingredients nothing alarmed or worried me at all, but of course you can always research them for yourself if this is a concern for you.

        I highly recommend Bioderma for anyone who wears make up often. It really does remove every little trace of make up and leaves your skin feeling fantastic. I used to sometimes dread taking my eye make up off when using oil based removers as my eyes would be red,streaming and burning. Even with cosmetic wipes I could feel the alcohol & perfume drying out my skin, plus you sometimes had to scrub at your eyes if you happened to be wearing eyeliner on the waterline and even then it might not all come off (panda eyes in the morning!). With bioderma you can get a cotton bud, soak it in the product and wipe it along your waterline and even the most stubborn gel based eyeliners will come off. It really is a wonder product and great value at £14 for a whole 500ml, once you've used this you won't want to use anything else!

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        20.09.2011 19:18
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        Another Amazing Skin Care Product From The French!

        Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream was something I recieved with a sample pack containing a few select products that had won at 2011's 'Cosmetic Executive Women's Beauty Awards' (CEW for short). Various Products are tested out by the leading experts in the beauty industry and winners get the CEW seal of approval as well as a beautiful lalique oscar, very fancy! They've been going for six years and mainly focus on the best NEW products on the market, but also honours the good old classics such as Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish which won an award last year. The products are separated into two categories 'Premium' and 'Mass Market', so you don't have expensive products competing with your basic moisturisers!

        Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream won 'Best New Everyday Facial Skincare Product' in the Premium Category ahead of Clinique's 'All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage' and Shiseido's 'Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Day Cream', it's CEW also backs up consumer opinion as Clarins has stated that the day cream is their best selling moisturiser and speaking personally I can see why.

        The product is priced at £38 for 50ml, steep I know! So I would definitely recommend getting your hands on a sample before purchasing the full price item. The product is aimed at the 30's age group (I'm 25 so perhaps not this products target consumer but hey it's never too early to start wrinkle prevention I say!). The cream comes in two varieties, one for 'all skin types' and one for 'dry skin' which are both equally priced. I suffer from dry skin and have the all skin type variety but have found it plenty adequate for my skin. They also do a 50ml lotion, again for the same price but this contains SPF15. Creams are generally thicker and contain more emolliants than lotions which tend to be lighter (in case you were wondering what the difference was).

        So how does it work?

        The key ingredient is 'Ambiaty Extract'. This is what sets this cream apart from other everyday moisturisers, because this ingredient has been found to have anti-aging effects on the skin. Without getting into too much mumbo jumbo this ingredient is found in the leaves of a plant that grows high up in the Madagascan planes. Ambiaty is also only harvested once a year so already you can see why the cream is expensive! Ambiaty is high in collagen and increases 'communication' between the different layers of your skin, creating greater 'cohesion'. When layers communicate less, they pass on less nutrients and this has been found to be part of the skin aging process. In short the extract CAN help prevent the aging process of the skin and help with cell renewal.

        So how did I find it?

        I really liked it! It has a very subtle, slightly creamy fragrance which exudes luxury. Also, because it's such a rich, thick cream you only need to use a small amount, which is absorbed into the skin very quickly. Despite the quick absorption I could still feel it working on my skin some time later, unlike cheaper creams which only seem to have a short term effect on your skin. Packed full of emolliants your skin will feel soft to the touch for some time after application. It smoothes out skin beautifully which makes for an excellent base for applying your make up over once you've applied this in the morning. All in all this would make a fantastic addition to your skincare routine. Yes it's expensive but good skincare often pays in the long term!

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      • Cosmopolitan / Magazine / Newspaper / 47 Readings / 45 Ratings
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        20.09.2011 14:27
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        If all you care about is men, sex & shoes then it's the magazine for you!

        To be honest with you, I don't really read womens magazines. I only ever really get them if there's something free with it that I want, and even then I tend to not read any of the articles and just look at the pictures. This isn't because I don't enjoy reading, or that I'm particularly averse to the more stereotypical elements of women's lifestyle magazines (basically shopping), but just because I find that 90% of the so called 'journalism' in these magazines is so vacuous and inane that it actually pains me to read it.

        Anyway I picked up this month's (September 2011) 'Cosmo' magazine just because I wanted the free fake lashes. That came back to bite me on the bum, or should I say glue me on the bum? As I sat on my lash adhesive and got glue all over my trousers and sofa... it doesn't come out by the way.

        Back to the magazine, this month's cover is Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas with the cover lines 'Fergie on those £20,000 cosmetic surgery rumours' so I turn to the article to read about it and it's Fergie saying the rumours are false and funny... wow juicy! *Stifles a yawn*. Most of the interview is just the same ass kissing celeb questions and then asking about her husband and looks, because remember girls you're nothing without either!

        I return to the front cover to find something else that catches my eye and spot 'Win the Sex Factor! The hottest moves his ex didn't know.' Oh wow so this is going to be about some magical new sex moves that nobody knows and I'm going to be laboriously jotting down this fresh new information I guess! *turns to page excitedly* Hmm now the title has changed to '63 sex moves his ex didn't DO'. Well, that sounds less exciting, oh well I shall endeavour and read on I'm sure this is well thought out journalism and not just asking a load of men what their ex didn't do in bed and... oh hang on, it is. So I'm not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this? One guy states he would have liked his nipples licked, another suggests that hot wax would have been sexy. Shall I just prepare a questionaire before I sleep with someone? or just go through the suggestions and see? Anyway I've just asked my ex if he would have liked his nipples played with and his answer was 'Maybe. Maybe not. I'm very protective of my nipples.'

        Right, I'm going to find something interesting in this magazine to read if it kills me (well, kills my braincells... I can already hear them begging for mercy). Bottom right corner I spot a charming little paragraph 'Why every woman should date an ugly man (no beer goggles required).' Well that's just lovely isn't it? But now now now, I mustn't judge a magazine by it's front cover. I shall read on with an open mind... The article is split into two parts. One a man saying yes, the other a woman saying no. The article is peppered with scientific facts and stats along with the guy in it 'pleading' his case for the 'uglies' which he counts himself amongst - bit depressing that. The woman juxtaposes this position with a piece that can be best summed up with the words 'ewww omg no wai'. Interestingly the phrase 'because you love each other' never comes up, instead it's all about how he will make more effort in bed and compliment you more.

        There are a few serious articles in Cosmo and one is featured on the front page. A girl called Brielle who's father died in the 9/11 attacks is interviewed about her father Victor Saracini. There's also a cosmo campaign involving awareness around domestic violence, but these pages probably make up less than 5% of the magazine. Now I'm not saying that a women's magazine should be all heavy journalism and serious articles... because let's face it nobody really wants to read that on their coffee break. I just wish the writing in these magazines had some, ANY substance. This could be humorous, factual, unusual... in short, just interesting!

        On a positive note I actually think the beauty and fashion pages are good. A nice mix of high end and high street. The look book is particularly good, with 4 interesting and quirky make up looks followed by an article on the products used in each one. It also contains lots of seasonal trends from hair to nails and from perfume to cosmetics. Personally, if Cosmo did a beauty & fashion only magazine for 1/2 the price I'd just buy that!

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          19.09.2011 19:01
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          A fancy product, that just doesn't seem to do anything!

          I purchased eyeslices in the 'legendary eyes' variety after reading nothing but good things about them across various beauty blogs. I had high hopes after reading all the excited, gushing reviews but I'm sorry to say that my high expectations were not met, as I really don't see anything 'special' about these eyeSlices... apart from the modern, well designed packaging!

          The eyeslices come in a nifty plastic opal case, each side opens to reveal an eyeslice packaged in a clear plastic container with a foil lid to peel back. The slices feel jelly like and strange to the touch, apparently the ingredients in the eyeslices (Suma root Muira Puma and White Lily) are meant to reduce dark circles and puffiness, but to be honest it just felt like two slices of plastic on my eyes, and I felt no benefit afterwards. Also I couldn't 'relax' while the eyeslices were on because I felt like they weren't making enough 'contact' with the skin around my eyes. Instead they felt as though they only stayed on my socket bone. I kept trying to push them in so the area directly around my eyes had contact with the slices but they kept on 'peeling away' so I just gave up as this was very irritating. Carrying on from this point, the promotional pictures on the packaging are actually very misleading. The slices look bigger and thinner than they actually are. In real life the slices are smaller and much thicker... the thickness is probably why I struggled to get them to cover all the skin around my eyes.

          I ordered mine online so I'm unsure as to the availability offline but they usually cost between £10 - £15. Apparently once you've used up your first pair you can buy refills... but I haven't been able to fine these available anywhere online?

          Eyeslices claim to be reusable up to 10 times but I found that mine dried out very quickly. I actually think that statement is very misleading as well. Because the slices dry out once you've opened the packaging so instead it should state a time frame. I would say you've probably got around two weeks to use them once opened. Which I consider to be poor value for money.

          In conclusion... I'm just going to stick to good ol' cucumbers and tea bags on the eyes I think, might not look as sleek and modern but it's cheap as chips and actually effective!

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            19.09.2011 15:40
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            An earthy moisturising scrub which leaves skin smooth and soft to the touch.

            The Olive body scrub was one of two body scrubs I bought from the body shop recently, the other being the cocoa butter one. I wanted to use each separately so I could see which one gave my skin the best results. I've been using the olive one for about two weeks and so far I'm pleased with the product.

            Smell: Personally I love the smell of this. At first I can say I wasn't exactly drawn to 'olive' as a fragrance, it doesn't really stand out as something that you would want to smell of right? But to be honest the smell is very earthy, natural and fresh. It sort of smells like soapy vegetables (in a good way), with a sweet undertone of marzipan.. I have to say though once applied to the skin it loses the sweet undertones and just becomes a very fresh subtle fragrance. So if you like subtle earthy fragrances then you'll definitely like this. I

            Product and Texture: The consistency of it is quite thick, which makes it quite indulgent to apply, it sinks into the skin very easily leaving it feeling moisturised and soft to touch. For a more indulgent and moisturizing experience I would actually recommend applying it to dry skin and THEN rinsing it off... I feel this has more of a beneficiary effect on the skin as it is getting the product undiluted and so all the ingredients are being absorbed.

            The scrub is also packed full of tiny little granules of rice, olive stones & walnut shells which act as natural and effective exfolliants which work slongside the moisturising organic olive oil to exfolliate and moisturise the skin simultaneously.

            Value for money: One thing that might put people off this product is the price. At the time of my purchase body scrubs were on offer at 2 for £15 and on top of that I had a voucher for £10 off a £25 purchase. But usually this scrub is £12.50 for 200ml, not sure I could personally afford that BUT the body shop always has lots of offers on both in store and online (but these do differ, sometimes offers are instore only or vice versa).

            Also even though I DO like the packaging I feel keeping it in a tub makes it easier for you to use more product than you intended. I have scrubs in squeezy bottles and even though it doesn't look quite as nice it does make it easier to control the amount of product you want to use, and so I find these last longer.

            Overall this is a lovely moisturising body scrub for people with dry skin, it's definitely a good product for winter when central heating dries your skin out something terrible! (Well for me it does anyway). I would have to say it's not *quite* as moisturising as the cocoa butter scrub, but overall the smell and consistency is more pleasant!

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          • Varama Cover Cream / Make Up / 36 Readings / 36 Ratings
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            04.07.2011 13:07
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            A very good concealer that with practice can cover many skin conditions

            Varama cover cream is a camouflage make up product. Designed for concealing various skin conditions such as:

            Acne
            Eczema
            Vitiligo
            Psoriasis
            General Scarring
            Melasma
            Liver Spots

            It can also be used for covering tattoos.

            Varama aims to be able to colour match all skin colours. In order to achieve this it lets you mix your own shade. So instead of choosing one product you choose a combination of base colours and then a drop in colour. Each product is priced at £17.75 for 15ml. As far as I'm aware the product is only available from their website and standard delivery is £2.95.

            There are 6 base colours, Named 'VC1, VC2, VC3 etc. You will probably need two of these to mix in order to colour match your skin. Within these 6 colours are shades specifically designed for white, asian and black skin tones.

            There are 4 drop in colours. 'Rose', 'Yellow', 'Orange' and 'Tan'. These are designed to add a bit of pigment and warmth to the mixture. Some skin tones are 'warm' and some skin tones are 'cool'. The drop in pigments help colour match your skin further by working with your natural tones.

            My experience:

            I've used this product on myself and on my mum. I'm in my mid 20's and I have dry, fair toned skin. My mum is in her late 50's also with dry, fair toned skin. I got the shade VC1 (The lightest) and the 'Rose' drop in. I forgot to order another base shade but the company kindly sent me a small sample of VC2.

            I used the product to try and cover red pigmentation on myself and rosacea on my mum. I found the product to somewhat adequately reduce the appearance of the pigmentation, although I found it to make my skin appear dry and dull. I also had the same problem when applying it to my mums skin. It gathered in her fine lines which aged her skin further. I've noticed now that varama do something called 'Matte base' which claims to add moisture to the skin, so perhaps this will help with this problem.

            The product claims to be sweat and water proof, I would agree with this claim, I applied it underarm for the ultimate sweat test and it stayed put. However I will say that during hot weather this product needs to be kept in the fridge as it does melt in the tube making it watery and not as effective to use.

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              20.06.2011 21:24
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              I've finally joined the fake tan revolution

              Being pale I am VERY wary about fake tan and have over the years tried various different brands from low end to high end with somewhat mixed results. I remember St Tropez spray tan being a complete disaster... personally (and this is just my opinion) I don't think that St Tropez is the best for creating a tan from scratch, I think it's better for those with already slightly tanned skin who want to top it up a little.

              I'd had the rimmel sun shimmer in 'light shimmer' for a while and up until about a week ago I had always just used it to add a tiny bit of colour to my face. But the other week whilst playing tennis someone made a jovial comment about how pale my legs were and I got a wee bit sensitive over it. The following week I donned my jogging bottoms instead but by the end I was roasting, I wanted to get my legs out but I felt too self conscious of my pale pins!

              The following week I found myself not torn between a rock and a hard place, but instead a pair of joggers and a pair of shorts. Which to choose!? Joggers and I'd roast, shorts and I'd feel too self conscious to feel comfortable. It was then that I thought I'd have another go at the fake tan. Hey if worst came to worst and I looked half tangoed I'd just put the joggers on.

              So I ran myself a nice hot bath and prepped my skin by exfoliating it gently, got out and moisturised my legs, making sure the knees got an extra layer of moisturiser. I can sometimes get redness on my legs so I decided to put a little foundation on. I found this gave my legs a nice even base on which to apply the fake tan. I have to be honest when I started putting on the fake tan I was expecting disaster, but everything went smoothy! From experience I knew it dried fairly fast so I had to work quite quickly to make sure I achieved an even tan. I guess you could say that's a disadvantage but it does mean that it becomes fairly non transferable after a relative short space of time (though I have found that when I can no longer blend it on my skin it will still transfer onto fabric for a while longer... so be careful!)


              After rubbing it in with my hands I then use a large kabuki to give my skin a little buff, especially around the knees/elbows. I then tottered my way into a room with better light fully expecting to be horrified by my orange legs... but no! 'Wow that looks really natural I thought' but hmm maybe I'm not seeing it right, best to get a second opinion (how many times have you gone out wearing a new eyeshadow combo and thought it looked ok, then seen the pics the next week and thought wow what was I thinking!?) So I put the self tan to the ultimate test... the Mum test. She reassured me that it looked fine! This from the woman who tells me things look horrid even when I hadn't asked for an opinion, you know what mums are like! I played tennis with a little extra confidence that day, this isn't me saying that being pale is bad... I'll no doubt rock the palies again but I did like the subtle glow that the rimmel instant tan gave me.

              I slept in the fake tan the same night about 6 hours after I'd applied it and found NO transfer on my white sheets, I then got a bath and found the self tan came off gradually with the help of a little soap (no scrubbing needed)

              All in all for the price you really can't go wrong with this, and if like me you're pale and just want to add a little colour to your skin that will look natural and won't streak then this is perfect... this coming from a total fake tan novice. So if I can apply it then anyone can x

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              01.06.2011 16:41
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              Budget Benefit Bad Gal that works better!

              I've had the barry M super soft eye crayon in black for a while and have always considered it a great little product. It costs around £4 for 2 grams of product and is available in a number of colours and two different finishes (normal and matt).

              The chunky crayon format means it's also quite versatile in the ways you can use it. You can put the product all over your lid directly with the pencil, use an eyeshadow brush to pick up some product from the crayon and then apply it, or use an eyeliner/angle brush to create fine lines with the product (although you may want to wet your brush first so it glides easier). This allows it to be used for many purposes;

              As an all over shadow on it's own.

              As a base to apply an eyeshadow over to create a more intense, pigmented look. This will also help your eyeshadow stay in place because it will have something to stick to... like a primer.

              As an eyeliner along the waterline as well as on the eyelid

              To be honest I didn't realise how great this crayon was until I got the famed benefit bad gal smoldering eye pencil which I was REALLY excited to try out. At around £14 for 1.4gs it's almost 4 times more expensive, but is it 4 times better? The short answer is no. I started off doing a look using the bad gal pencil, but it just wasn't working for me. It seemed less pigmented and it glided too easily (in a bad way). I eventually chucked the bad gal pencil to one side and reached for my trusty Barry M eye pencil. It was much more pigmented and when I went to blend it or spread the product with a brush there was less compromise in the pigmentation I lost compared to the bad gal eyeliner.

              Swatching these two products side by side the main difference is that the Barry M product goes on thicker, I think this is why it blends and spreads better than the bad gal crayon, it's also slightly more matt. HOWEVER as the barry m crayon does go on thicker you always have to blend it out with a brush/your finger to get a really good smooth consistency. In defense of the bad gal pencil I will say that I think it is a truer black, if you really (and I mean really) examine them side by side the Barry M one does come off slightly more brown, but honestly I'm just nitpicking now.

              For £4 you really can't go wrong here though.

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                31.05.2011 23:49
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                A lipstick crossed with a lip balm!

                This is a review of the shade I have: 'Crystal Baby'.

                I haven't really tried many estee products before, but I'd heard great things about their pure color lipstick and so decided to give one a go. They are rather expensive at £18 for a 3.8g lipstick (mac £13.50 for 3.0g) but I think you're partly paying for the gorgeous packaging.

                The lipstick itself comes in a lovely navy blue metallic effect box with golden writing across it and a little 'peep hole' near the bottom to see the colour. When you open it you get an almost vintage-esque looking lipstick tube, reminiscent of the time when make up was a luxury item available to only the rich few and ladies would revere their powder and lipstick the same as their jewellery.

                The bottom half is clear plastic, within which there is a frosted, plastic pearlised rounded section coloured to be representative of the lipstick shade. The pearlised effect of the plastic is a bit misleading, as the lipstick itself has no shimmer or pearl. The square 'EL' Estee Lauder logo on the front of the lipstick is actually quite a nifty little design feature, when you put the lid back on it slides half way down the back of this square and secures the lid VERY well. I just gave it a really robust shake and the lid was not going anywhere, it's definitely handbag proof, more secure than my Mac lipsticks.

                Onto the lipstick shade. Crystal baby in the tube looks like a mid tone peach with some brown tones. On me (I'm fairly pale, with moderately pigmented lips) it works as a great everyday peachy-brown nude, with the emphasis more on the peach.

                When you swatch it on your hand it is a VERY sheer peach colour. It's not highly pigmented at all, even though the cover is buildable, so if you like a more pigmented lipstick then this isn't for you. If however you're a bit lipstick phobic and like your tinted lip balms then you will LOVE this. It feels so nice on my lips, I honestly just feel like I've got a lip balm on and not a lipstick because my lips feel extremely moisturised and kissable. I constantly find myself pressing my lips together to get a feel of the lipstick and despite doing this constantly for hours there's still lipstick there... amazing!

                Overall, this really is a great lipstick. Yes at £18 it's not cheap but if you want to treat yourself and add a little luxury to your make up routine then this really is worth the money in my honest opinion.

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              • Theoutnet.com / Internet Site / 27 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                27.05.2011 14:15
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                Amazing discounts to be had... if you're fast enough.

                The Outnet is the sister company of net-a-porter.com, it's basically their outlet store where they send most of their clearance stock and it operates separate from net-a-porter. The Outnet sells designer womenswear and accessories by brands such as See by Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Matthew Williamson and many more. Discounts can be around the 80% mark and they regularly feature flash sales.

                Flash sales
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                THE WEEKEND SHOP IN - Almost every Weekend, starting on Friday they have a weekend shop in. This usually has a theme, ie 'summer' 'denim' 'Little black dress' 'Patterns'. These selected items will be reduced by a further 40% on top of their usual discount when you get to the checkout. As with anything like this stock IS limited so if you see something that catches your eye, from a well known brand at a great discount it will probably sell out within the hour. The Weekend shop in lasts 72 hours.

                GIVEAWAY - The site regularly features giveaways of bags, tops, dresses, jewellery etc. It's one entry per person but they're usually open for a long period of time, the current giveaway is open for a month.

                POP UP SALES - You will need to be registered to see and purchase from the pop up sales, like the weekend shop in they too also only lasts 72 hours

                GOING, GOING, GONE - A reverse auction (again you need to be registered to take part), the auction lasts for a short period of time and during this time the price keeps dropping. You decide when to bid. So there's the risk of bidding too early and missing out on a bigger discount or bidding too late and just missing out completely. There's limited stock and it's one item per customer.

                My experience
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                I've purchased from the outnet 3 times in total. I bought an Adidas By Stella McCartney top, a pair of missoni sunglasses and a Michael Kors bag. The Missoni Sunglasses arrived to me damaged (one of the lenses had come out of the frame), I emailled the outnet and let them know about this and requested that my delivery charges be refunded on top of the glasses refund but they failed to do so. They sent me a generic email saying they had refunded the sunglasses with no mention of the postage PLUS they charged me for the return (£8.00!!). I can't remember why but I forgot about the transaction for ages and so never got either of the postage costs back. I know I should have pursued the matter further, (this is why I continue to use the company) but I must have had a lot on my plate at that time. This was over a year ago but I do hope they have improved their service in this area. Customers should not pay for delivery of damaged goods!

                The Michael Kors bag I got this month. It was reduced by a whopping 70% from £315 to £94.50. I purchased this before 10am and about 15 minutes after I bought it it had sold out. This is always the case with designer bags on the outnet. They regularly have Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs bags at discounts of 65/70%, but you HAVE to get in early as they will sell out within the hour. I would recommend signing up to their newsletter and checking the site at around 9 - 10am on Mondays and Wednesdays, that's when they seem to get in their new stock.

                The outnet really is the best place on the internet for designer bargains, you have to be on your toes to snap them up but if you do you can have the luxury for a fraction of the price.

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              • More +
                25.05.2011 16:16
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                A fancy name for a not so fancy product.

                I bought this when it first came out about 2 years ago, and I've only just used it up. I will definitely not be repurchasing this or any of the other demaq products (I had the same problems with Milk to Toner 2 in 1).

                My main issue with this product is that it made my eyes STREAM with water for ages afterwards, they would be all red and sore to an extent that no make up remover has ever made them before. I do have semi sensitive eyes though, so if you do too then avoid this like the plague. It was actually quite painful, I remember waking up during the night and just rinsing my eyes over and over trying to get the product out. After a few of these instances and realising that it was DEFINITELY the make up remover doing it I only used the product around my face.

                I still didn't like the product for removing foundation though, although the fragrance was very subtle and pleasant the feel of my skin afterwards was quite 'oily', and instead of feeling clean and fresh I just felt like I needed to wipe the lair of grease off... and I usually have dry skin. I also found that it just wasn't that effective at removing make up gently, I needed to 'scrub' my skin quite vigorously with the cotton wool to try and get all traces off and this just left my skin looking a little red.

                Overall, it's a poor make up remover and just reviewing it now I'm having horrible flashbacks of my tear strewn greasy face... yuck. All that and it wasn't cheap, around £7!

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              • TK Maxx / Highstreet Shopping / 19 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                25.05.2011 15:27
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                Not as good as it used to be

                TK Maxx is definitely one of those stores that you have to in the 'right mood' for. If you're in a rush or don't fancy trawling through item after item on the off chance that you might find something you like at a great price then it's best to give it a miss. It's not really an enjoyable shopping experience for me, however I understand that in order for stores like this to work they have to be basic and stripped down.

                I found the trawling to be paying off less and less and so was really excited when they launched their online store. Here I could peruse at my own leisure and find more premium, designer items that don't get stocked in my local stores (Wakefield, Leeds). The online store started off promisingly, it regularly got new items and after a while even had a homesense section with bargains for the home. The £3.99 delivery charge is a bit of a put off, but with savings of up to 80% I felt that in the end as long as I got a few items it worked out ok. Return shipment is at your cost too unfortunately, but there is the option to return in store for free.

                Lately, however I've found the website to be as dull and lifeless as the store. I regularly check the 'new in' sections for beauty and womenswear but there's hardly any new items in at all, just the same things that I saw in the 'new in' section weeks, even months before.

                Homesense has now disappeared completely, along with my favourite section 'sportswear'. If you're an active person you'll probably find like me that branded sportswear can be really expensive to buy and TK Maxx online used to have great sportswear stock. Pages and pages of sportswear from great brands such as nike and adidas, all really fashionable items and at great prices.

                Having a quick browse through the womenswear section now nothing really catches my eye. Lots of brands that I haven't heard of at about average prices. None of the clothes appear to be particularly stylish or inspiring. For this reason I haven't ordered anything from TK Maxx online since summer last year, the store just seems to be going downhill for me.

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                • Surveynetwork.co.uk / Internet Site / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                  23.05.2011 20:53
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                  Not bad for the new survey site on the block!

                  Ok so let me first say I have done surveys for this site and I have actually been paid for completing said surveys two times. Now I'll just do a little mini break down of the time it took, average payment etc etc...

                  Join date: October 19th 2010. For joining I got a £1 'profile fulfilling payment'

                  Number of surveys taken to get to my first withdrawel threshold (£20): 20.

                  First withdrawal: £20.19 via paypal, paid instantaneously Jan 07 2011.

                  Rewards for surveys varied from 0.50 - £2.92, the £2.92 being the highest I've ever gotten per survey and a very rare occurance! The average amount is 0.75, with 11 out of the 20 completed surveys being for 75p.

                  Second withdrawal was April 10 2011 (£21.69). This time it took 28 surveys to get to this amount. With 23 of those surveys being for 75p! The lowest was a little 16p survey (which took no time do do) and the highest this time was only £1.50

                  So you're basically looking at an average 3 month payout of £20, if you frequently try to qualify for the surveys.

                  If you sign up for surveynetwork they will send you a daily email containing links to all 4 daily surveys. I have a couple of gripes with these daily surveys and I'll tell you why...

                  Daily Survey I is for '75p' and daily survey IV is for '55p'. Clicking on both links will send you to the same 'screening area' where you have to put in your D.O.B & your country. The problem is that these two surveys nearly ALL the time lead to exactly the same survey, yet for one you get paid 55p and the other 75p? So technically you don't get 4 daily surveys you get 3.

                  Another gripe I have is that sometimes it leads me to surveys I've already done for pinecone for £3 and survey network only wants to pay me 75p for completing it. I don't complete these surveys anyway as I've already done them and feel it dishonest, but it's still rather annoying that they're only offering 1/4 of the reward pinecone gives!

                  Daily surveys II and III take you to very dodgy looking sites, which until now I've been wary of using so haven't bothered with. II is for 80p and takes you to a site with the header 'opinionsurveys', here you have to enter quite a bit of information which some of you might not feel comfortable with. Namely your postcode and email amongst other things. This website often leads to toluna surveys.

                  III is for 75p and I just clicked on it now and got a malware warning... hmmm.

                  On top of the email containing the regular daily surveys you will get the occasional email with one solitary survey invite, with the reward amount varying. The holy grail of these being the *cue dramatic music* cint survey!! These usually offer the highest amounts (I've been invited for ones up to around £4.00, although I didn't qualify for those ones).

                  The surveys themselves rank amongst the most tedious out there, slightly pipping globaltestmarket to the post (which, I haven't yet had a cashout from despite being a member for ages). It's just the usual survey stuff you expect to answer on the internet (mobile phones, supermarkets etc etc). I'd say on average you're looking at 15 mins per survey, none of which are particularly enjoyable. Personally I will continue to do surveys from this site, but I do much prefer opinionworld and valuedopinions.

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                  • Batiste Dry Shampoo Diva / Hair Care / 18 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                    23.05.2011 13:51
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                    Fresh hair at a great price

                    Lately I'd been finding myself washing my hair almost daily, which as we've all been told isn't good because over washing can strip it of it's natural oils. Not only was I subjecting my hair to this but also everytime I wash my hair it gets blow dried topped with a session with my straightners set to their top heat.

                    I was finding the over washing and heat damage was really taking a toll on my hair, but I still wanted my hair to have that just washed look inbetween washes. I researched a bit online about salon brand dry shampoos around the £10 mark and found luke warm reviews for the most part, then I stumbled upon people talking about batiste! Super cheap, easy to get hold of and with lots of postive reviews. Now I know why!

                    I went for the diva dry shampoo as I found the smell the most pleasant, it's not as strong as the other ones, it's just a light fragrance. I lift sections of my hair and apply it to the roots (from around 30cm away as instructed) then gently massage it in with my fingertips. This can leave a powdery feel to your hands which I find quite difficult to wash off using water alone. Then you brush the product out (if you don't do this your hair is left with a powdery film on it... it's not visible but it doesn't feel too nice!)

                    I use the batiste dry shampoo about one or two times between washes and it stops my hair from looking greasy, since washing it less (I try to do it every other day) I'm finding that my hair looks more healthy and using the dry shampoo is a great compromise.

                    The only negative is that the packaging is a bit garrish, but it's a great affordable product to have in your bathroom cupboard.

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