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Garnier 2 in 1 Anti Dark Circles Roll-On claims to refresh and hydrate tired eyes and to cover up dark circles. Like many women, having a busy job and running a home tends to leave my eyes looking tired especially in the summer when I also suffer from hayfever so this seemed worth trying. It costs £10.20 at Boots for 15ml and is also available at other stores that sell skincare items as well as online. Boots sometimes runs 2 for £10 or 3 for 2 offers with Garnier products so you can get a better deal if you look out for one of these.
The roll on comes in 4 different shades: very fair, fair, medium and dark. I picked fair as I have pale skin but was concerned that the lightest shade might be too pale and look fake on me.
To use the roll on, unscrew the cap and apply in circular motions, working from the inner corner by the nose to the outside. The metal roller ball that applies the product is cold which I found very soothing and refreshing on my under eye area. The concealer needs to be blended in with a finger to give proper coverage. The roll on dispensed the right amount of concealer to cover my dark circles and they disappeared seamlessly. I found they were disguised well whether I wore foundation alongside this concealer or not.
The only downside is that it is quite hard to tell how much of the product is left. I guessed when it was nearly out and bought a back up ready for when it was empty, but had I not I probably would have been frustrated when I ran out mid application.
I got this as part of a Soap and Glory bundle from Boots. At £35 for £80 worth of Soap and Glory products, I couldn't resist, and despite my preference for Lush cleansers I thought I'd give this a try. Soap and Glory products are available from Boots, Harvey Nicholls, and online, and this cleanser retails at around £6 for 180ml.
Clean Mary cleansing milk comes in a clear plastic pump bottle with the standard Soap and Glory retro feel. There is a picture of a woman cleaning her face on it so there's no mistaking what this product is for. The pump was particularly handy as it allowed me to dispense the right amount of cleanser and didn't risk wastage as can sometimes happen with a squeeze bottle. I also liked the convenient of the pump and not having to deal with fiddly flip caps.
The cleanser itself is a white lotion with a pleasant light floral scent. This is the same scent as many of the products by Soap and Glory so great if you like all your products to smell the same. To use it, massage it onto the face and then rinse off. I prefer cleansers that are simply wiped over the skin, but this was easy to remove and did not leave any greasy residue. After use, my skin felt soft and clean, and I did not find the product irritating despite having fairly sensitive skin. It instructed me to pay close attention to areas with large pores although I did not find it made any difference to these, even after regular useage.
Overall, I thought this product was nice enough, but nothing special. It didn't minimise my pores or do anything that a cheaper cleanser couldn't do, and I dislike using products that have to be washed off. I won't be buying this again, but if you like consistency amongst fragranced skin and body care, this could be good for you.
As a Soap and Glory addict I was excited when I spotted the Boots bundle where you got £80 worth of Soap and Glory products for only £35. Normally it retails for £8.43 (available at Boots, Harvey Nicholls and online) so it's a similar price to a lipstick although obviously better value if you can get one of these bundles or take advantage of one of Boots' frequent 3 for 2 offers on the brand.
The packaging is the usual pink retro style that you would expect from Soap and Glory and the product can be seen through a cut out section. I thought the outer box seemed a little excessive when compared to the size of the product itself and perhaps less card could have been used.
Marvelips itself is a two ended lip pencil. It is quite chunky and feels comfortable to hold. The two ends are a pink base coat and a shimmery white highlight. The packaging instructs you to use the pink end to outline and then fill in your lips, reshaping as desired, and then use the highlighter end on the centre top to add fullness.
I find that the pink colour goes on very smoothly and easily. The crayon design makes it easy to control and I found I could add a little more shape to my lips without it looking unnatural. The highlighter however was harder to use and I found had no real effect on the look of my lips. Instead of adding highlights, it seemed to just pick up some of the pink colour meaning that I had to clean it after every use. The overall effect was good, and I felt did make my lips looking fuller without having to resort to uncomfortable lip plumping products although this was more down to a little reshaping of them than the highlighter end as the package suggested.
The lipstick has a light creamy chocolate scent that is very much like cocoa butter and did taste a little of this too. I prefered this to the usual lipstick taste/scent of many products. It was fairly durable, only needing a little touch up after eating, and the crayon design made this very easy to do without overapplying to other areas of the lips. The main downside of this is that it only comes in one shade. The pink is a nice natural looking pink and very wearable for most women, however I would have liked some bolder shades too.
Flowerbomb is a scent from Viktor and Rolf, an Amsterdam based fashion house founded in 1993. They branched out into fragrance in 2005 with this scent and have since produced two others.
Flowerbomb Eau de Toilette can be purchased in two sizes, 50ml and 100ml. These cost around £50 and £68 respectively and are available online and from good fragrance counters. The 50ml comes in an eight sided bottle about 3 inches tall with a shiny silver cap. The 100ml bottle is a multifaceted grenade shape designed to resemble a cut diamond and evoking the explosive nature of the name. Both bottles show the attractive pale dusky pink perfume inside.
The perfume notes are green tea, bergamot, sambac jasmine, orange tree, catleya orchid, freesia, rose, and amber, musk, and patchouli. Don't be put off by this though. I'm not a big patchouli fan but I found this very wearable.
When first applied I found this very fresh and citrusy. The green tea is very prominent giving it a clean scent. As it dries, it becomes sweeter. I couldn't pick out most of the individual flowers in this and wouldn't describe the scent as particularly floral. I could detect the rose but mostly to me it smelt like sugary sweets or some sort of dessert. The throw is small, but enough that I got comments on my perfume, and I found it lasted for around 6 hours. I'd recommend carrying the bottle with you for a top up if you want to wear it for longer than that.
I thought this was similar to Angel which is one of my favourite perfumes, and found this very wearable both during the day and in the evening. It's feminine and sensual without being too girly.
I adore Soap and Glory. If you're not familiar with the company, they produce retro looking products, usually with fun pun based names and aim to be luxurious without breaking the bank. You can buy these products in Boots and Harvey Nicholls, or online. I bought this particular product in a recent 3 for 2 Boots offer and it's worth keeping an eye out for these as they occur regularly and are a good way to save a little on Soap and Glory. Wish Upon a Jar usually costs around £14 for 50 ml which should last for 2-3 three week applications.
This particular product is an intensive anti aging moisturiser. It describes itself as a "collagen overhaul cream" and should be used for 21 days in a row (it's too strong to use all the time) either instead of or under your usual moisturiser for smoother, brighter, younger looking skin.
The packaging for this is the standard retro looking pink box that most Soap and Glory products come in. It's fun and eye catching- you can always spot Soap and Glory products on the shelf at a glance. Inside the box, the jar is a shiny silver sphere with a flattened bottom so it can sit in your bathroom cupboard, dresser or wherever you like to keep your beauty products. The jar has a cool retro sci fi feel to it.
Once you unscrew the jar, the product can be found in the bottom half of the sphere. It is a pink cream with a light floral scent that I found pleasant. The cream feels thick to the touch and was easily absorbed by my skin. I have oily skin but didn't feel too greasy or look shiny afterwards. I opted to use this instead of my moisturiser rather than under it as I felt too many products might overload my skin.
So does it work?
I used this twice a day for three weeks as instructed. After a few days my skin started looking a little brighter, and after three weeks it was brighter and the tone was evened out, with the redness I'm prone to on my cheeks reduced. It also felt comfortable and well moisturised. This brighter even skin tone has so far lasted for a couple of weeks since I switched back to my usual moisturiser.
I'd definitely recommend this product. It improved the look and feel of my skin and at £14, or about £5 per three week course, it won't break the bank.
Donkey Oaty is part of the Lush Easter. It is a brightly coloured donkey shaped ballistic and while it's not necessarily a typical Easter theme, Lush have come up with some fun videos to go with it featuring the story of Donkey Oaty. It costs £1.95 which is on the cheap side for Lush ballistics, and between that, my love of all things Lush and the fabulous pun name I had to pick one of these up to try.
The ballistic itself is kind of donkey shaped (with a little imagination needed perhaps) and a combination of pink, yellow and orange. Some of the rice paper ribbons it contains are visible on the surface giving it an interesting texture. The scent is very similar to the Charity Pot moisturiser- a delicious creamy chocolately smell with a floral hint.
When added to the bath, the ballistic fizzes vigourously, dissolving in a couple of minutes. The separate colours all mix together to form a yellowy-orange shade of bathwater that I didn't find too appealling. The rice paper ribbons float on the surface for a bit, but I found that they dissolved in less than five minutes. I was a little disappointed as I like additions to my bath such as glitter or confetti, but on the plus side, this does make for an easy clean up. The scent did not last once the ballistic had dissolved and no trace was detectable on my skin afterwards. It did leave me feeling smooth and moisturised however.
Overall I was rather disappointed by this ballistic. The recent new products from Lush have been extremely high quality, but this left a lot to be desired in terms of both appearance and scent once in the bath.
Honey Bee is a ballistic from Lush. If you've not used these before, they are a solid bath product, rather like scented bath salts but compacted into a sphere. When added to the bath, they fizz thanks to the combination of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate they contain, releasing their oils and scents.
This ballistic is around the size of a cricket ball and is yellow with brown stripes. It's designed to look like a bee, and the original ones had little wings, although this didn't last long due to the time and effort it took to attach them to each ballistic. It costs £2.85 and weighs 200g. You can get 2-3 baths out of one ballistic if you carefully cut it into pieces, which improves the value.
The ballistic smells of honey before use. Once popped in the bath water it fizzes and dissolves, turning the water a lurid shade of yellow. I didn't think this was very appealing as it did remind me a little of urine. Don't let that put you off though. If you don't mind the colour, the delicious sweet honey and toffee scent is worthwhile.
It contains honey and rhassoul mud which are good for cleansing and moisturising. While it left my skin feeling clean and soft, I had expected it to be a bit more moisturised. Most Lush ballistics are moisturising so I thought that one that is advertised as containing moisturising ingredients would be especially so. I did find the honey very soothing. I suffer from itchy skin and it helped relieve this. The scent lingered on my skin for a couple of hours, during which time I couldn't help smelling myself. In order to make it last longer, I suggest using one of the complimentary scented products such as Honey I Washed the Kids solid perfume or Soft Coeur massage bar.
The downside to this ballistic is the clean up afterwards. The yellow colour stains so if you don't rinse the tub after use you'll be left with a ring around it. The mud is also messy- it reminded me of how the bath looked after a day at the beach getting covered in sand when I was younger. It's nothing that can't easily be fixed by rinsing straight away, but you do need to remember to do this rather than letting it dry.
The Blackberry Bath Bomb is part of the amazing range of natural bath products from Lush. While a little on the expensive side, they are full of good quality natural ingredients and are great for a luxury bath time experience. This particular ballistic costs £2.65 and weights 180g.
The ballistic is one of the largest ones, a little bigger than a cricket ball. It is a purple colour and has the word "BOMB" stamped on it. The scent is delicious and fruity. It reminds me of blackberry jam or perhaps sweets.
When you pop this is the bath, it immediately starts fizzing. I thought it took a bit longer to dissolve than some other Lush ballistics, but this may just be to do with the large size. The water turned a gorgeous shade of purple and the whole room smelt of blackberries. I found the scent very soothing and relaxing. Unlike many ballistics, this doesn't contain glitter, petals, confetti or any other bits so there was nothing floating on the surface of the water. This might sound like it's less fun, but it was a very enjoyable relaxing bath and I didn't find myself wishing I had some glitter. It also made clean up easier after my bath. Apparently some people had a note in their ballistic, but I didn't find one in mine.
The ballistic contains perfume which must provide the blackberry scent as there's no other ingredient to do this, frankincense oil and bergamot oil. The frankincense nicely compliments the blackberry as it has a fruity scent. The bergamot oil is meant to be uplifting. I always find that bergamot is great with fruity scents, and it provides a feeling of comfort and relaxation.
My criticisms for this ballistic are that the scent didn't last long enough and it wasn't moisturising. After 20 minutes the scent had faded but I wasn't ready to get out of the bath yet, which was disappointing. My skin didn't feel at all soft or moisturised afterwards so I needed to use lotion, although it did have a slight fruity scent.
Overall I'd recommend this one for a delicious fruity bath.
Avobath is a bath ballistic from Lush. In case you've never encountered one before, ballistics are a scented bath product predominantly made of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid which make them fizz on contact with water. This one costs £2.90 and is available from Lush stores and the website.
The ballistic is the standard size rather than the new smaller one although weighs 180g when most of the same size ones weigh 200g. I don't know if that's due to a difference in composition, or if it is in fact very slightly smaller and I didn't notice. It is a bright lime green colour and flecks of glitter are visible on the surface. The scent is a lovely refreshing citrus and lemongrass.
On contact with the water, this fizzes vigorously and dissolves. I always enjoy watching this as it's a fun start to my bath. It turns the water a bright green shade and the glitter, which is very fine, gives it a shimmery effect. The scent isn't as strong once the ballistic is dissolved, which is a shame, but there's still a citrus smell which I found stimulating and refreshing. This isn't a bedtime bath ballistic.
The avocado in this is meant to be very moisturising and soften the skin. I didn't think the water felt particularly moisturising, unlike when I have used some other ballistics. When I got out, my skin didn't feel particularly moisturised either although it did feel soft. I still needed to apply moisturiser afterwards. The scent lingered a little on my skin, but not for long, and I did need to actively sniff myself in order to smell it.
I didn't end up coated in glitter after using this. This can be seen as good or bad depending on how much you enjoy being covered in sparkles after a bath. Personally, I like a bit of sparkle and would have liked some of the glitter to stay on my skin, especially as it was very fine and I think would have given a shimmery effect. Instead, my bath ended up looking shimmery which I then needed to clean before it dried on. Having said that, it was easy to wash away and this is by no means the hardest Lush product to clean up after.
American Cheeseburger flavoured crisps are part of Walkers World Cup range. They come in a brightly coloured American flag patterned packet so there's no mistaking which country the represent. These cost around 60p for a standard size packet, or around £1.50 for a multipack (note this contains smaller 25g packets) and are available from supermarkets, newsagents, and anywhere else you might expect to purchase crisps.
The crisps themselves are the usual quality you'd expect from Walkers. They are crispy, crunchy and have that slight greasiness I like from my crisps. They smell strong, tangy and slightly meaty. My initial thought on opening from the aroma was that I'd gotten Monster Munch instead as it very much reminded me of the smell of those.
I'll admit for the record that I've not eaten a cheeseburger in nearly 20 years so my taste buds for such things may be a little off. I'll do my best though. The crisps taste very meaty, and what I would consider burgers to taste like going by the meat free ones that I've been told by my meat eating husband are the most realistic. I could taste tangy ketchup but disappointingly no cheese or gherkin. I felt the flavour was tasty but could be a little stronger.
These contain 180 calories in the standard size bag and 131 in the smaller multipack bag so they're by no means healthy. As always though, crisps can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. For those of you who are interested, these are suitable for vegetarians, but contain dairy so are not vegan friendly.
I was immediately attracted to the fun metallic animal print packing of Wild Curls Mascara, the latest product from the Boots 17 range. It comes in a standard shaped 9ml mascara tube which is gold and has leopard spots. The claims of this mascara are that it provides six times more volume and an intense curl. It currently comes in black or brown and costs £5.99.
So let's put it to the test...
The wand is straight and the brush soft uneven length bristles. The aim of these are to allow you to easily coat the roots of your lashes, and to provide lift. I didn't find the brush any easier than normal to coat the whole length of my lashes so I'm not sure this new design is all that much of an improvement.
The mascara went on easily and didn't leave me with any clumps, even after multiple coats. The colour was dark and even. I noticed a slight lengthening effect when I applied this to one eye only to compare, but it wasn't dramatic. I was also disappointed that the promised intense curl and boosted volume were nowhere to be seen. On the plus side, my eyelashes did look well defined, the mascara lasted for the 10 hours it claims to, and it didn't flake off.
At the end of the day, this was a little harder to remove than a lot of other mascaras I've used. I needed to spent more time than usual on my eyes and it needed a bit of scrubbing to ensure I wasn't left with any bits still attached to my lashes.
It's worth noting that the lid closure on this is very good. You can feel and hear it click back into place when you screw the lid on and it feels very secure. I was confident about throwing this in my handbag with no worries that the lid might come loose. It also currently comes with a free gift containing tweezers, eye liner and eyelash curlers.
Overall, I was rather disappointed with this mascara. It doesn't live up to it's volumising and curling claims. It is however long lasting, good quality and provided a natural look so would make a decent everyday mascara if you don't want extra volume. The free gift is also pretty good and a nice little extra.
Double Choc is part of the brand new range of Lush Lip Tints, along with It Started with a Kiss. The idea is that it provides a little colour along with your lip balm. It cost £4.95 and comes in the same tins as the other Lush lip balms and solid perfumes. It's worth noting as well that this one is suitable for vegans.
The lip tint is a mid brown colour and has a delicious rich chocolate and treacle smell. You can instantly tell when you open it that it contains dark chocolate. It is a similar texture to other Lush lip balms, and I find it a bit hard to apply if it's too cold. To solve this problem, I keep the tin in my pocket to warm the tint for easy application. I've usually used my fingers to apply the tint, although if you do this make sure you wash your hands afterwards to avoid staining your skin. I've also tried a lip brush and found it goes on a little better, but it's not enough of an improvement over fingers for me to make the effort to use a brush that I then need to clean afterwards.
The tint goes on smoothly and easily. The colour is slightly bronze, subtle and looks a lot more natural than I expected. I'm very pale but this looked good and natural on me and wasn't too dark so don't discount it without trying the colour out. My lips looked shiny and felt moisturised unlike when using It Started with a Kiss (see my review for more info on that one). The hazelnut and brazil nut oils this contains are great for moisturising and protecting lips so this gives you more than just colour. The flavour is delicious and chocolately. It reminds me a lot of Whipstick. Once you're wearing it though it's not too noticeable unless you lick your lips so it won't interfere with anything you eat or drink.
Like many other lip products, this transferred a little onto glasses and after lunch I needed to reapply it. It does last longer than the Lush lip balm range though. It's easy to remove along with your other make up and doesn't require any scrubbing or leave stains behind.
Overall, another great product from Lush. It's good if you want a natural lip look or perhaps if you don't wear any or much make up and want to add a hint of colour to your lips.
It Started with a Kiss is one of two brand new tinted lip balms from Lush. It comes in the same size and style tin as the existing lip balms, and costs £4.95.
The lip tint is a pinky red colour in the tin and has a lovely Christmassy smell of apples, cinnamon and sugar. As I've found with other lip balms and the solid perfume range, it can be a little too hard to apply when it's cold. I keep mine in my pocket to warm it so it's a better consistency. It can be applied with either your fingers or a brush. I got a good even result with fingers, but a brush gives you a little more accuracy. If you use your fingers, make sure you wash your hands afterwards or they'll be stained too!
Once applied, this gave me a lovely natural rosy lipped look. It's not a garish or obvious lip colour. The finish was matte which I hadn't expected so you may prefer to wear a gloss or a shinier balm over the top. I found it a little drying as well, so another balm can help with that too. I didn't really notice the flavour once I was wearing it. I could smell the lovely spiced apple scent and if I licked my lips deliberately I could taste it though. The flavour is a sweeter version of the scent. Very tasty.
It lasted fairly well. After applying in the morning, I needed a top up mid-late afternoon. It deals with eating and drinking better than gloss or non long lasting lipsticks, but you still do lose some colour when you do these. It was easy to remove at the end of the day with make up remover, with no residual staining.
I'd recommend this lovely lip colour. It's more natural looking than lipstick so it may well suit you if you don't wear much make up.
I was disappointed to find out that Lush is discontinuing their I Should Coco soap as it's one of my favourites (pink, looks and smells like sweets, how could I resist?). They're still selling off the last of it though so get down to your local store while it's still available, or buy it online. It's also still available as part of the Sweetie Stack gift. It costs £2.60 per 100g and I find a little goes a long way so it's one of the better value Lush soaps. To get the best value, cut your block into smaller pieces so that you don't waste any if it sits in water.
I Should Coco is a pale pink colour and topped with brigher pink bits of coconut. It looks edible, and will make an attractive addition to your bathroom. The scent is extremely sweet and coconutty. In my opinion it's exactly like coconut ice, smelling sweet enough to make your teeth hurt if you ate it (not that you should of course, it's a soap). The scent is quite strong although not overpowering, and I find having a piece of this in your bathroom makes the whole room smell lovely.
The coconut bits are gently exfoliating so this is a good one for sensitive skin. Personally I like a bit more of a scrub so this isn't ideal as an exfoliator. It doesn't lather much but feels lovely and creamy on your skin. After use, my skin feels soft, clean and moisturised. There's no greasy residue left behind by it, but the scent does linger. If you don't want to smell of coconut ice afterwards, don't use this soap. It's strong enough and long lasting enough that it may interfere with your perfume, so take that into consideration when using this.
If you're familiar with Lush, you're probably wondering if this'll make a mess like so many of their products do. Luckily, the coconut pieces are very small and seem to either wash away or dissolve, so I've not been left with bits in my tub or sink and no clean up is always a bonus!
Aurora is a US company that prides itself on producing high quality yet affordable toys. Their toys are widely available from many places including toy stores, zoo gift shops, and online.
Rory is part of the Aurora Babies range, featuring an assortment of cute baby animals. He is a lion cub and sits about 12" high. He is made from soft plush fabric in natural looking colours for a realistic appearance and has a good level of detail, including spots for whiskers. He's extremely cute with an expressive face which is why I purchased him. He is mostly filled with stuffing, with bean bag beans in his belly and paws to give them a better weight. He feels squishy and huggable and isn't over stuffed. He is well made and hasn't shed any fur or developed loose threads during the time I've had him.
Rory is a fairly poseable toy and can be made to sit, lie down, or stand as if about to pounce. This should give children plenty of opportunities to play with him as well as cuddle him. If he gets dirty, like most toys he is surface washable. I've not had to wash him yet, but judging from my experience with other toys from Aurora, he should wash well with no fading or loss of softness.
Rory costs around £10 depending on where you purchase him. Mine was bought while on holiday in the US for $14, although he seems to be more expensive in gift shops (unsurprisingly) and a little cheaper online. I think this is good value for a toy- he's well made and durable, and £10 is less than a lot of similar toys can cost. He is suitable for ages 3+, but make sure you remove the tags before giving him to your child.