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Perhaps inspired by my recent trip to the USA, I decided that my teeth needed to be whiter. Not glow-in-the-dark, blindingly white, but glossier all the same. True to form, I met a number of people on my trip that had shockingly shimmering teeth, and upon enquiring discovered that Crest 3D Whitestrips were exceedingly popular. So I jumped feet first into the world of reflective teeth.
-----WHAT ON EARTH ARE WHITESTRIPS?-----
Essentially, Crest 3D Whitestrips are plastic strips that you stick on your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes, you whip them off, and voila! Whiter teeth! Or at least that's the theory. Realistically you need to use them every day for 1-2 weeks (depending on how stained your teeth are initially) to make them abnormally white, as they gradually remove the stains from your teeth. Although to be honest, if you don't want crazy sparkly teeth, you do not have to use them all that often and just stop when you've reached your desired shade. I personally use them once or twice a week as the results are so good.
-----WHAT'S IN THEM AND HOW DO THEY WORK?-----
Let me start by saying that I am not going to give you a description with loads of fancy medical terms. Essentially, the strips are covered in a gel that contains peroxide, and it is this ingredient that removes the yellow staining on and in your teeth. According to the Crest website, this is the same ingredient used in professional dentistry. This is safe for your tooth enamel, but it only whitens natural teeth. Obviously, do not use this product if you are allergic to peroxide.
-----APPLYING THE WHITESTRIPS-----
You get a pair of strips in a little packet that are stuck to the same piece of plastic, one for your upper teeth and one for your lower. I personally dab a towel to my teeth first, in an attempt to dry them somewhat, but this is not necessary. I was doubtful at first but they actually do fix themselves to your teeth and as long as you're good, (meaning no eating while you have them on!) they will stay in place and not rub around. The strips are stronger and more durable than they look.
Do not brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste beforehand!
1. Peel off one strip and place the side with the gel along your teeth.
2. Once you have applied it, fold the strip over the back of your teeth to keep it in place.
3. With the front of your finger, gently press the strip down onto the surfaces of your individual teeth.
4. Repeat with the next strip.
5. Leave the strips on for 20 to 30 minutes, no longer!*
6. The strips are easy to remove and a light brushing with your toothbrush, WITH NO TOOTHPASTE ON IT, after the strips have been taken off will remove any excess gel.
7. For the next 2 hours, your teeth will be porous and it is advisable not to eat or drink anything that will stain your teeth, such as tea, coffee, wine or cranberry juice.
*This length of time is stated for Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects only. Crest does offer other products in their range for differing lengths of time, from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
Remember, the strip for the top of your teeth is longer than the one for the bottom of your teeth! The strips are long enough to cover the teeth that are on show when you open your mouth to talk or smile. They do not cover the very back of your teeth that nobody can see anyways.
It is important to note that the gel on the strips can cause some sensitivity. In my case, I have one pesky tooth in particular where my gum has receded somewhat, and it did cause a little bit of pain. Nothing unbearable, just uncomfortable. Paranoid, I had a look at the Crest website online and apparently this is completely normal, but I would advise to try and avoid your gum area if you can. The pain completely disappeared after I removed the strips.
Once you have applied a strip, take a toothpick and gently press in between the ridges of your teeth to ensure maximum coverage. The last thing you want is to only have the very fronts of your teeth a different colour from the sides! If you don't have a toothpick, your fingernail should suffice. This is very easy to do.
Another good piece of advice is if you do have areas which are prone to sensitivity, such as receding gums, a tiny dab of Sensodyne toothpaste on that area will help to protect it before you apply the strip on your teeth.
I have to say that I am incredibly impressed. I genuinely did not think that they would work as well as they do, and trust me, I am a coffee-drinking, wine-drinking, and generally indulgent kind of girl in all those lovely teeth-staining activities. Yet even after the first time I used the strips my teeth were significantly whiter. However, multiple uses are generally required, but this is dependent entirely on your own teeth and how white you want your teeth to be. I have found that one box of 20 pairs generally lasts me anywhere between 3 and 6 months. Overall, I highly recommend this product.
-----WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM?-----
It is important to know that these strips only work with yellow stains on your teeth. They do not work with grey stains, false teeth, crowns, dentures or veneers. Additionally, they will not keep your teeth white forever. It goes without saying that people who eat and drink foods that are darker, and people who smoke, will experience teeth darkening faster than those who don't. Crest do however have a huge range of products in the 3D Whitening range, including toothpaste and mouthwash, that will help prevent staining. And, as I mentioned before, the strips themselves can cause sensitivity whilst they are on your teeth but this is normal and does go away. For extreme users, however, a slight increase in sensitivity can occur after a long period of time. Crest have come up with an answer to this problem by releasing their Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle Routine, which you use for 5 minutes a day instead of 30, with lower levels of peroxide in the gel.
-----WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT THEM?-----
I don't know where to begin! Personally, I love them. They genuinely do work and they are a lot cheaper than a dentist! I really like that you have control over how white your teeth become; once you have reached your desired shade you just stop using them. They are also ridiculously easy to use, and only take a half hour of your time. The strips grip well to your teeth and as they do not cover the back of your teeth, you don't feel like you want to gag when you have them in. In addition, the peroxide gel is safe for your tooth enamel and does not damage your teeth, although long-term usage can result in slightly higher levels of sensitivity.
-----WHERE CAN I BUY THEM?-----
Unfortunately, the Crest 3D Whitening Range is not near as available in the UK as it is in the USA. However, you can buy them online at http://crest3dteethwhiteningstrips.co.uk. Currently they sell six products in the Crest 3D Range, and the Professional Effects reviewed here are available for £37.95 for 20 pairs of strips, with an additional £2.99 for shipping. http://www.agestop.net is another good site that offers you increasing discounts with the more boxes that you purchase. It may seem a little pricey but the results are fantastic and last for absolutely ages.
Overall, this is an absolutely fantastic product that is, according to Crest, available to anyone with natural teeth. I can't recommend this product enough. Thank you for reading my review.
Nurofen 5% Gel Ibuprofen
I was happily chilling out in dreamland, fast asleep, when all of a sudden I sat bolt upright in bed with stabbing pains in my neck. After checking that I hadn't, in fact, been stabbed, I cursed my neck for waking me up and realised that I had somehow injured myself whilst sleeping. How I managed to do this remains a mystery - but now its a few days on and I'm still in pain. I think I've strained something in my neck, my boyfriend thinks it's a trapped nerve. Either way, it still hurts. I am no novice when it comes to neck and back pain; I once even received acupuncture through the NHS (that's a story for another day). So now I'm on a hunt for some kind of effective pain relief.
Which brings me to Nurofen's 5% gel. After rummaging through my rather eclectic medical supply, my hands landed on this - so I thought why not?
The gel is translucent and gooey, and has a whiff of ethanol alcohol to it. I squeezed a blob (hopefully between 4-10cm which is the specified dose, more info on that later) onto my fingers, and rubbed it into my neck. The gel spreads extremely easily over a wide area very quickly, so my advice is to be careful with how much you use and control where you spread it. It's not sticky or greasy, nor does it stain your clothes or leave grease marks. Additionally it's odourless and it absorbed into my skin fairly quickly. The tube that the gel comes in is shaped like toothpaste but is metallic, and I find that I can quickly squeeze out far too much gel, so take care there.
...And then I waited for the magic to happen. If I'm to be completely honest, I'm still waiting. After several hours I noticed no difference to my pain level whatsoever; instead all I experienced was a cold neck and my resulting grumpiness. Perhaps my problem is one that simply isn't helped by this kind of treatment. But Nurofen say that the anti-inflammatory topical ointment is for muscular and rheumatic pain, and strains and sprains. I'm pretty certain that I fit somewhere in there, but nevermind.
Although I didn't experience anything at all, you do have to be careful with how much you use, as at the end of the day it is medication. It's recommended that you squeeze out between 4-10cm/50-125mg of the gel, and should be used a maximum of 4 times per day with a period of at least 4 hours between each application. Warnings include not using the gel if you are allergic to ibuprofen, aspirin, and any kind of painkillers or any of the ingredients in the ointment. Consult your doctor if you are, and if you're pregnant. This gel is not to be used on children under 14. Also, and I hope that this goes without saying, it's for external use only.
In addition, the gel is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians - but no eating it, people!
The gel is only available over the counter in tubes of 35g. I got mine from Boots for £3.30, although this gel currently is reduced by 20% to £2.64. I know that it's also available from Lloyds Pharmacy. It comes in a green and silver box, once opened unscrew the cap and check that the seal isn't broken. Don't use it if it is! The good thing however is that the cap has got a firm grip, so when my fingers were still wet after applying the gel I had no problems putting the cap back on.
Sadly, there's not a great deal more than I can really say about the product. I'm not impressed by it at all as I've not noticed any difference - hence why this review is considerably shorter than my average waffling. I just don't like it. However, Nurofen offer a range of other products, and I have found that Nurofen's standard 200mg tablets have offered some relief of my neck pain in the past.
Thanks for reading my somewhat brief review.
~~~What Is It?~~~
Vicks VapoRub is one of those special little gems that once you've used it, you have no idea how you lived without it. I feel that I was a latecomer on the Vicks train - a few years ago its popularity exploded; everywhere I turned, everyone that I spoke to, glowed with praise about it. Not one to immediately jump in and follow the crowd (more out of a general laziness than any kind of arrogance), I eventually came round to using it a couple years later when I had one of those colds you will do anything short of cutting off your own nose to try and relieve the symptoms. It's now become a staple on my bedside table; both my boyfriend and I are now Vicks groupies.
So what is it? In brief, Vicks VapoRub is a menthol-scented gel that comes in a little pot (sizes vary) that you can either rub on your body, or dissolve in hot water and inhale to clear your sinuses.
~~~About the Gel~~~
The gel is a very thick, glutinous, gooey, transparent substance; less sticky but more greasy. Whilst I realise this description quite frankly sounds rank, it's actually perfect for its designed usage. After sticking my fingers in the pot, I rub the Vicks liberally over my upper chest and neck. You can also rub it on your back, though that only happens for me when my boyfriend is feeling indulgent and helpful - a rarity at bedtime. It's advised to wear loose-fitting bedclothes (or none at all!) to allow the vapours to waft up and delight your nostrils throughout the night. I have even dabbed some of the rub just under my nose - but beware as the vapours are quite strong and can make your nose run! As it smells of menthol (I'll list the full ingredients further on), its main purpose is to ease inhalation and general breathing, which is particularly helpful if you're suffering from blocked sinuses. How I'm sure we all loathe those sleepless nights, punctuated by continual waking to blow your nose. I've discovered that when I've got a cold I blow my nose thoroughly before I go to bed, rub Vicks all over, and my sleep is improved. It's also useful to elevate your pillow to allow the lovely mucus to drain down easier (yuck!). However, I must admit that my boyfriend and I have started using Vicks VapoRub pretty much every night, ill or not, as we've found that it helps us fall asleep easier with its soothing, calming scent. I must specify here that I am not recommending this; just stating my own experience.
When you apply the gel it is cooling on your skin, and you don't have to use a lot as it's incredibly lubricating and spreads easily. In fact the current pot that my boyfriend and I are using at the moment, a little 100g tub, we've been using consistently since before Christmas, although I'm sure it'll be on my shopping list next week, doesn't last forever after all! I apologise for not being able to specify an exact amount of time the vapours last, I usually fall asleep! But when I've applied during the day during a particularly bad cold, if memory serves me correctly it does last a good few hours, if you don't manage to rub it off on your clothes. When used at bedtime, the smell is gone come morning, and it does absorb if somewhat slowly into your skin. I applied some to the back of my hand this morning before writing this review to test its greasiness, and it has absorbed into my skin but I can still smell the menthol (I've probably had it on for an hour or so). So a good moisturiser too?! Perhaps I'll steer away from that particular train of thought. I don't really want the Vicks to absorb that quickly as I want to be able to benefit for as long as possible from its minty freshness. Additionally, and quite importantly, the rub doesn't stain your clothes or leave those dreaded grease marks - giving it extra points from me. The plastic container also works, I'm often not a fan of tubs with screw on-and-off caps, particularly with greasy fingers, but the cap has firm gripping around the edge making it pretty trouble-free to use.
You can also dissolve the rub in hot water for steam inhalation therapy. The directions for this on the Vicks pot state to melt two teaspoons in a bowl of hot water (not boiling), and inhale the mixture for 10-15 minutes. A lot of people that I've known of who do this also drape a towel over their head and bowl together, probably to lessen the amount of vapours that escape and maximise the steam therapy, however I must be honest and say that I can't think of anything worse as I can get quite claustrophobic! I also hate saunas so there you go. But, my alternative is I actually dissolve one teaspoon in a mug of hot water, and inhale that way. No towel involved = no panic attacks for me! Also- it is cautioned not to reheat the mixture.
So which method is better? To be honest I believe it's all about your personal preference. The Vicks is diluted either way, whether you rub it on your skin or melt in water (obviously depending on how much water you use). I know a lot of people, boyfriend included, who love steam. I also can get quite lazy and can't be bothered with the kerfuffle of melting and resulting clean-up so I favour rubbing it on instead. I like the versatility though.
~~~What's In It?~~~
Menthol apparently has anaesthetic and counter-irritant properties, although there is still some debate regarding the actual science of it aiding decongestion. Nevertheless, it must be doing something right for so many people to use it for treatment. I definitely love it, and I find it calming. The full list of ingredients for Vicks VapoRub is as follows:
Eucalyptus oil 1.50%
Turpentine oil 5.00%
White soft paraffin
I'm going to stop myself from researching the individual properties of each ingredient; however the majority of the ingredients are well-known for their beneficial respiratory properties.
~~~Does It Work?~~~
The ultimate question: does it work? Well, it's not a cure but more of an aid. I find it useful, and when I've got a blocked nose I'm happy to try and help it along with a yummy minty scent, why not? It's better than nothing and if it helps me sleep then that can be nothing but a bonus!
I should also mention that Vicks also say on their official website that you can also use the rub on aching muscles and joints, something my boyfriend often does after sport. I can't tell you exactly how this works but suspect it has something to do with the cooling properties. Multi-functional little pot of joy it is then!
~~~Price, Availability and Other Useful Information~~~
The VapoRub is also available in a lemon scent, and Vicks also have a large range of other products if the rub isn't for you. A popular product that I've come across is the VapoInhaler, but Vicks also provide syrup, drops, cream and even a little contraption that shoots steam out (reminiscent of electronic air fresheners), the VapoSteam. Vicks also have their popular Sinex range of products, as well as Nyquil and Dayquil, amongst others. For full information please see their website, which I will include below.
I feel that it's important to point out that it can also be used on children who are above 2 years of age, although I must emphasise that I don't have any children, nor have used it on any children, so don't feel able to fully comment there. But overall it appears to be quite a safe product, provided you don't swallow the stuff.
Vicks is easily available, I bought my Vicks VapoRub 100g pot from Boots for £4.65, but you can also buy it from shops like Superdrug, or online. Please only buy it online from a retailer that you trust though! I'm sure that there are different sizes available, the price changing corresponding to the size, however I can't seem to find that information online, apologies! Overall, I think this is a fantastic little pearl of a product and can't recommend it highly enough. I'm off to go inhale some minty juiciness!
Vicks official website
UK and Ireland: http://www.vicks.co.uk
Australia and New Zealand: http://www.vicks.com.au
Canada (English): http://www.vicks.ca/en
Canada (French): http://www.vicks.ca/fr
For some insane reason the UK website is the most difficult to navigate and looks completely different from the others. Just a warning!
Thanks for reading my review, breathe easy. Awful humour I know.
This review is also available on Ciao under littlejojo55.
The Body Shop Coconut Butter
I've been converted: this is definitely my moisturiser of the moment! Over the past few years moisturising has become an essential part of my daily routine. I've tried many, liked many, hated some - but this one is unquestionably fighting for the top of my list.
~~~A Little Bit About The Body Shop~~~
I've included this section for those of you who've never tried The Body Shop's products - come out of hiding and get involved! To be fair, I used to fob The Body Shop off, believing it was all a little too organic/peace and harmony/let's all love the world and sing together kind of brand. My goodness do I stand corrected! Their products are fabulous. And there can be nothing wrong with a company that strives to use as many natural ingredients as possible.
The Body Shop has been a forerunner in standing against animal cruelty; every single one of their products has never and will never be tested on animals, in fact they were the first international cosmetics brand to be acknowledged under the Humane Cosmetics Standard for their policy Against Animal Testing. They are also crazy about fair trade, which really is amazing.
Interestingly, all of their products are vegetarian (although I wouldn't recommend eating them) - and their parent company is L'Oreal.
~~~About the Coconut Butter~~~
The Coconut Butter is a moisturiser that comes in quite a large plastic tub. The moisturiser is white in colour and delectably creamy. From what I gather, there are three main elements to the moisturiser: shea butter, cocoa butter and caprylic. I had a little browse around The Body Shop's website and here's a summary of what they had to say:
Shea butter: Shea butter has been used by Ghanaian women for centuries to protect their skin against the dry Sahara winds. The Body Shop buy their shea butter from Northern Ghana, supporting local women there.
Cocoa beans: Another method the Ghanaian women have used for centuries to moisturise. The Body Shop also buy their cocoa butter from a fair-trade cooperative in Ghana.
Caprylic: A derivative of coconut oil, which is also moisturising.
~~~Applying the butter~~~
You have to unscrew the cap to get into the tub, and then delve your fingers in. I'm normally not a big fan of moisturisers that come in a tub instead of in a hassle-free, clean tube or squirter, but I love this moisturiser so much that it doesn't matter that much to me. A little goes a long way with the butter, which is great as it can be a little on the pricey side! When I first put my fingers in the butter it feels rather thick and creamy, however once on my skin I find it can be spread over quite a large area of skin and is beautifully soft. To my knowledge there isn't a specific coconut face moisturiser (I could be wrong), but this stuff is so amazing that I use in on my face and body anyways.
~~~The Result: Why do I love it so much? ~~~
There are a multitude of reasons as to why I've fallen in complete obsession with Coconut Butter, so I've set them out in points below for easier reading:
- The smell: Help me I can't get enough! I've surprised myself with how much I LOVE the smell of the butter, as I don't actually like coconut! But I've found myself actually opening the tub to just smell it. Perhaps I'm slightly odd but I don't care because it's amazing! Of course it smells of coconut (hence the name), but it is a creamy, clean scent. It's not overpowering, and once it's been applied though the smell is slightly muted, the scent remains on my skin for ages. It reminds me of sunscreen - but not too much! Instead it conjures up an image akin to sunshine on beaches, warm holidays and Pina Coladas. A refreshing scent then in what I've relabelled as Ice Cube Britain.
- The feel of the butter: Ooh it just keeps getting better! As I mentioned previously, when I first touch the butter it feels very thick and creamy, yet it spreads over a large area of skin. It's not wet or greasy, and once applied my skin immediately feels silky and smooth, it's just lovely. It doesn't feel heavy nor leave my face shiny.
-Absorbency: The moisturiser is well absorbed, very quickly. It doesn't sit on top of my skin, and is still easy to use directly after a shower when your skin is a bit damp (I find that's often my problem time for absorbency).
~~~The Result: What are the problems? ~~~
Unfortunately, as is often the case, with high quality comes high prices. The Body Shop can very quickly make a dent in your pocket, with the medium 200ml/199g tub priced at £12.50. The only other negative is that it's in a screw-cap tub; the cap proving slightly awkward to handle if your hands are wet. Although that's just my personal opinion. Otherwise, I really cannot fault it.
The Body Shop Coconut Butter comes in a plastic tub, with a plastic screw-off lid. The lid has a picture of, guess what, coconuts on it! The colours in the picture make it feel tropical but don't knock it until you've tried it! It comes in 3 different sizes; 50ml, 200ml and 400ml. The benefit of a tub over other types of packaging is that you can clearly see how much moisturiser you have left, and scrape every last little bit out.
~~~Price and Availability~~~
I had a little browse around the internet and found that the 50ml tub from The Body Shop's official website is £5, the 200ml is £12.50 but apparently the 400ml is also £12.50? I don't know if that's actually the case or if it's a mistake, but that's what it says. It doesn't seem to be widely available online, but feel free to look and if you find a good deal I recommend going for it! Of course it's also available from The Body Shop stores as well.
~~~If You Don't Like Coconut~~~
I feel I should point out that there is a range of other coconut scented products available in the range, including a shimmery coconut butter which is now on my must-have list. Or, if you don't like coconut, The Body Shop offer body butters in the following scents (please note that not all scents may be on the following list, for full details please see http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk):
Japanese Cherry Blossom
So many of them are so delicious I can't recommend them enough. Moroccan Rose is a particular favourite. Lip Butters have also been extremely popular amongst my friends.
Overall, a delectably creamy, amazing-smelling product that I'm going to start recommending to every poor soul that comes in contact with me. Mmmmmmm.
MAC Tinted Lipglass
I've been having some lip-smacking fun with my MAC Tinted Lipglass to hopefully provide you guys with a decent review of it! So, breathe in, here we go...
~~~~~A Little Bit About MAC~~~~~
I decided to include a little bit about the brand for those of you who have never used MAC makeup. MAC is a well-established brand, notorious for their good-quality products. Like most makeup brands you can buy pretty much all your makeup from them as they have an unbelievably extensive range. It was originally founded in Canada in 1984, but has since evolved into a global brand. Interestingly, MAC's parent company is Estee Lauder Companies - perhaps providing some explanation for the somewhat hefty pricetag of their products. It's a trusted brand, initially developed for professional makeup artists but now available to all. Yay!
~~~~~What Is It? ~~~~~
MAC Tinted Lipglass is quite simply, extremely glossy lipgloss with a glassy sheen - hence the name. I had a little knock-about the internet to discover there are about a million shades of Lipglass (actually 94 by my count, probably more) LipGelée and a 'Pro-Longwear Gloss Coat'. Sooo there's LOADS available for all you lipgloss lovers. I started listing them, but the list is so long that I've moved it to the bottom of the review. I have Poetic License which is a sort of shiny beige-pink colour.
~~~~~Applying the LipGlass~~~~~
The gloss is very easily applied in pretty much one swipe for each lip; a testament to its lovely thick texture. The gloss transfers effortlessly from the wand to my lips, and has a light vanilla scent. I don't really need to go over it as it is so divinely rich and creamy, so this product definitely lasts a long time - which is should considering the price! (Around £13). No matter what I wear on my lips I have to wipe around the edges of my lips so that I don't have lip-wear all over my face. This could just be my own ungainliness though!
~~~~~The Result: My Likes and Dislikes~~~~~
I can successfully report that it undeniably does what it says on the tin, and coats my lips in a shimmering, glass-like finish. My lips are fully coated after very little application, exactly what I would expect from a high-quality makeup product. My lips don't stick together when I smack them against each other; instead they feel smooth and velvety. Additionally, as the gloss is so thick it lasts far longer than most lipglosses I've ever tried. I'm quite fidgety and reapply more than I should - but would hazard to guess that if you don't touch your lips the gloss would probably stay on for a good hour, perhaps longer. I've found that if I leave it alone it's the glossiness that reduces before the actual colour; the colour lingering for quite some time and definitely considerably longer than most glosses I've tried.
I would love to leave it there and say this product has no flaws; sadly that's not the case. Possibly my biggest complaint would be that although it is quite an intense gloss, it still can't quite mask the slight ridges in my lips, and I worry that because it's so shiny it proves opposite and actually emphasises them. Furthermore, though smooth on my lips, this is extraordinarily sticky if you touch it with your fingers! And it doesn't come off unless I properly wash my hands, instead of sneakily trying to wipe them on my leggings. In fact I've managed to cover my laptop mouse in lipgloss. Not good.
Another niggle is that it doesn't taste like it smells! It appears to be flavourless - but I guess that's better than tasting papery like some cheaper glosses.
The particular shade that I use - Poetic License - is a light beige/nude pink. I have fair to medium skin, and normally shy away from using lip colours that are pale as I worry about looking unwell. However I can happily comment that for whatever reason this shade actually suits my face! Perhaps it is its glossiness - if it were matte I might look like I had one foot in the grave.
Lastly, the price has to be commented on - it is expensive for lipgloss, ranging between £12.50 - £17.00 for a single tube. Rest assured though - it does last ages!
Like a lot of the Lipglass products, mine comes in a plastic tube with a sleek black top. The wand comes out with a satisfying pop which I love playing with - although you really shouldn't do this often as it forces air into the tube, drying out the gloss quicker. I always love products that have transparent casing as you can see how much you have left - although as the gloss is so thick it is a bit difficult in this case. The wand itself has a little foam-like tip, which is shaped to ease application onto the lips and feels very supple and soft. The durability of the wand is excellent, maintaining its structure and ability to affix the gloss throughout the entire period of use, until the gloss runs out.
~~~~~Price and Availability~~~~~
As MAC has a vast range of lip-wear, you can easily find an immense choice available online through various retailers, although you can purchase directly from the MAC website (http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk) for similar prices. Additionally, MAC products are available in shops like Debenhams and Selfridges. The Lipglass series can vary in price somewhat, depending on limited editions and size. I've listed average prices below:
Viva Glam Gaga Lipglass series: £12.50 (4.8g/ 0.17 US Oz)
Wonder Woman Lipglass series: £17.00 (10.5g/ 0.37 US Oz)
Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass: £12.50 (4.8g/ 0.17 US Oz)
Cremesheen Glass series: £16.00 (2.4ml / 0.08 US FL Oz)
Tinted Lipglass series: (4.8g/ 0.17 US Oz)
Dazzleglass series: £16.00 (2.4ml / 0.08 US FL Oz)
Plushglass series: £16.00 (2.4ml / 0.08 US FL Oz)
Lustreglass series: £12.50 (4.8g/ 0.17 US Oz)
LipGelée series: £12.50 (15ml/ 0.5 US FL Oz)
Overall Lipglass is a fantastic gloss - there's a colossal range of shades to choose from, it is superb quality, lasts ages and does what it says on the tin and keeps those lips glossy! However, with good quality comes high prices! Probably not best for those on a budget!
Thank you for reading my review.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, I began listing the various shades of gloss and then suddenly realised what I'd got myself into. There is only about, ooh, a GAZILLION shades available! But me being me, I couldn't stop what I'd started, so I've moved the list to here. I am the ultimate geek, I actually copied each individual shade from the official MAC website itself and did NOT copy off anyone else! Don't think anyone else is crazy enough! So if you're interested, here it is (for full details please see http://www.maccosmetics.co.uk):
**Viva Glam Gaga Lipglass**
Lady Gaga is one of MAC's spokespeople. Hmm. The cool thing though is that all money from the Viva Glam lipcolours (minus VAT - someone should sort that out) goes towards helping people with HIV and AIDS.
- Milky Beige
- Light Blue Pink (it's pink)
**Wonder Woman Lipglass**
Jumbo-sized and jumbo-priced at £17 for one!
- Emancipation (pale pink)
- Wonder Woman (bright red)
- Secret Identity (copper)
- Athena's Kiss (fuschia)
**Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass**
Dedicated towards another famous face attached to the brand - Cyndi Lauper.
- Light Coral Red
Creamier and not as sticky as the other Lipglass ranges.
- Fashion Whim (light beige)
- Fashion Scoop (clear pink)
- Boy Bait (light nude)
- Partial to Pink (light peach pink)
- Richer, Lusher (peach coral)
- Right Image ('midtone blue pink')
- Just Superb (neutral pink)
- Loud and Lovely (blue pink)
- Deelight (neutral)
- Overindulgence (neutral brown)
- Double Dare (coral red)
Your not-so-bog-standard range of Lipglass, with Jojoba Oil.
- Oyster Girl (oyster pink)
- C-Thru (peachy beige)
- Dreamy (pink with gold glitter)
- Florabundance (peachy pink)
- Underage (pale pink)
- Cultured (mauve pink)
- Prr (pinky-peach)
- Nymphette (frosty golden pink)
- Pink Lemonade
- Lychee Luxe (golden shimmery pinky-coral)
- Enchantress (light peachy pearl)
- Spirited (pink champagne)
- Revealing (toffee)
- Pink Poodle (fuchsia with pink-gold shimmer)
- Entice (pale brown)
- Russian red (bright red)
- Chai (beige-taupe)
- Lovechild (plum)
- Lust (soft pink)
- Docile (chrome pink with gold)
- Explicit (bronze with silver shimmer)
- Painted On (grey-beige with gold pearl)
- Oh Baby (golden bronze)
- Pop Mode (plum and bronze)
- Viva Glam V (neutral pink)
- Spite (plum-taupe)
- Viva Glam VI (warm plum)
- Shock-o-late (golden brown)
- Desire (purple)
- Indigo Pink (burgundy)
- Like Venus (bubble-gum pink)
- Steppin Out (yellow pink with red pearl)
- Internationalist (yellow pink with blue pearl)
- Sugarrimmed (pale pinky teal)
- Smile (light coral pink)
- Extra Amps (bright blue pink)
- Bare Necessity (caramel apricot)
- Baby Sparks (pale pink)
- Moth to Flame (neutral beige)
- Roman Holiday (medium brown coral)
- Rags to Riches (plum-pinky pearl)
- Love Alert (raspberry red)
- Money, Honey (rosy mauve)
- Girl's Delight (tan with gold)
- Funtabulous (purple with violet pearl)
- Date Night (deep plum)
- Get Rich Quick (yellow brown)
High-shine, gives a 'buzz' to lips on application, contains Vitamin E.
- Wildly Lush (light apricot)
- Bountiful (mid-tone pink)
- Fulfilled (creamy pink)
- Pretty Plush (soft pinky-white)
- Nice Buzz (light gold)
- Big Baby (soft peach)
- Big Kiss (coral pink)
- Ample Pink (rose)
- Posh It Up (pinky gold)
- Full For You (pink with silver pearl)
- Power Supply (pinky brown)
- Wet, Wild, Wonderful (bronze with gold)
- Oversexed (sheer red with gold pearl)
Very very shiny.
- Lustrewhite (white sparkle)
- Instant Gold (neutral gold)
- Luminary (pastel pink)
- Love Nectar (apricot with pearl)
- Flusterose (rose pink)
- Wonderstruck (pink coral)
- Morning Glory (light lavender)
- Pinkarat (soft pink)
- Spring Bean (apple green with gold sparkle)
- Flashmode (fuchsia)
- Venetian (maraschino pink)
- Sinnamon (taupe beige)
- Star Nova (mauve)
- Ornamental (bronzed copper)
- Beaux (warm beige)
- Decorative (deep plum)
...and breathe out.
*This review is also posted on Ciao under littlejojo55*
Clinique Lash Building Primer
I am addicted to eye makeup. I wear it every day, so much so that I'm worried my eyelashes will all fall out completely one day. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet, so will relentlessly traipse on until that fateful day of eyelash Armageddon.
Although I do wear a lot of eye makeup constantly, I also wear contact lenses so I'm often a bit wary trying to new products, preferring to stick to the old favourites. However I was very lucky to receive this primer as a sample so I thought, why not, let's put my eyes at risk and see what happens.
***WHAT IS PRIMER?***
Eyelash primer is applied to your eyelashes before you put mascara on. The idea behind it is that it builds up your lashes, giving more surface area for your mascara to stick to and thus giving the appearance of fuller lashes. Clinique states on their website that their primer "conditions and protects lashes". I personally couldn't tell you if my eyelashes are conditioned or not, just taking Clinique's word for it.
***CLINIQUE'S LASH BUILDING PRIMER***
Clinique's Lash Building Primer looks just like a little tube of mascara. The main cylinder is white, with a sleek silver cap. The brush is thick at one end, and tapers down to a little point at the end, presumably to help reach the tiny, corner-of-your eye lashes. The primer itself is white in colour.
I did a little bit of research and you can use Clinique's primer as a base for pretty much any mascara brand, although of course they recommend using their own "for best results". Hmm. I tried it a couple of times, once with my Clinique mascara and another with my trusty Maybelline - to me, the result was the same with both. That versatility is great, but I would probably stick with the same brand for primer and mascara as they're specifically made to be compatible.
***APPLYING CLINIQUE'S LASH BUILDING PRIMER***
I applied my primer exactly as I would do my mascara, to both my top and bottom lashes. It's important to do this when your eyelashes are completely clean, and not on top of previous mascara build-up. The primer turned my lashes white (which is expected), and was not gloopy or gooey. It was a bit trickier on the bottom lashes, but the shape of the wand actually made it relatively easy to get the corners. The primer itself was easy to apply and wasn't heavy at all - it simply made my regular lashes white. I then applied my mascara immediately after the primer, which is recommended.
I would love to be able to say that my lashes were transformed into a mega plump lash fest, but sadly not. The main difference for me were my bottom lashes, which did appear slightly fuller, but I think only I would notice that difference and it wouldn't necessarily stand out to people who look at me.
***WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT?***
One thing I did notice with the primer was when I wanted to touch-up my mascara later in the day. Of course you wouldn't expect mascara to slide easily onto pre-mascaraed lashes, but it proved far more difficult than usual, to the point where no difference was made whatsoever so I gave up. Because of this, by the end of the day my eyelashes actually looked smaller and thinner than if I hadn't used the primer so was able to successfully reapply mascara. I was also worried that because you're supposed to apply your mascara directly after priming, that some of the primer would actually stick to my regular mascara wand and go back into my mascara tube. I'm unsure if this happened but am thinking it probably did.
***WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT***
Sadly, not too much. It did make a slight difference to my bottom lashes but that's probably it. I guess also it makes you more aware of covering all your lashes in mascara, as you're trying to cover up all the white left by the primer. However it was easy to remove at the end of the day, with make-up remover.
***FOR THOSE WHO WEAR CONTACT LENSES***
Unfortunately the primer did sting my eyes. Not hugely, but enough to put me off. I have quite sensitive eyes so can't say if this would happen to everyone. But it did cause me bother, I ended up removing my lenses halfway through to clean them and put them back in after I'd finished applying all my eye-makeup. This is a nightmare if you're in a rush as I ended up smudging my makeup all over my face in an extremely sexy fashion.
***PRICE AND AVAILABILTY***
I was lucky to get this primer as a sample, but you can purchase Clinique's Lash Building Primer for £10 on the Clinique website. After a quick scout around the web I found it at £9 from John Lewis, or £10.21 from Boots. I'm also under the impression that the primer will last about the same length of time as your regular mascara, if you use it every time you apply eye-makeup.
Overall, if primer does protect your lashes then that's an absolute bonus, however when trying to achieve a fuller look I might just skip the primer part of the process in the future.
I've raved about a few different makeup products on here, but the Max Factor Facefinity Compact Foundation is definitely one thing that I would struggle without! I first tried it about 5 years ago and have been using it every day ever since. Take the rest of my makeup away, fine - this one I can't live without.
Yes, perhaps there are similar, better products available. But for me, for the price that it is, how long it lasts, and the quality of it - I personally can't find a better product.
----------SO WHY DO I LOVE IT SO MUCH?----------
I don't know about you, but no matter what I do I just can't seem to control my face. I still battle with spots; the myth that acne disappears when you're an adult is totally false. I must state that I don't have bad skin - just slightly uncontrollable. Sometimes it's great and sometimes it's really not. Some days I can scrub my face with every exfoliate in the book and it will STILL be shiny! Enter Max Factor.
I think now is an appropriate time to describe the product somewhat, before I continue on my rant about how important this makeup is (my boyfriend doesn't understand but trust me he wouldn't still be with me if I didn't wear this). Contradictory to its name, the Facefinity Compact Foundation is actually a hard-pressed powder. For full details, please see my 'Packaging' section below.
This is, without a doubt, the best powder that I've ever used. I apply it to my entire face, after I've moisturised, and it leaves me with truly the perfect complexion. It's not heavy so it doesn't look like I've caked my face in makeup, but it gives me that matte finish that every girl I believe wants. After I've applied it I then put my blusher on top of it, but you may vary in your makeup routine. It really gives my skin an even finish, it hides all shininess, and I always get comments on how good and healthy my skin looks when I wear it. I've found that it even provides extra cover to any spots or blemishes I've tried to cover up with concealer, and just blends everything into a great, even colour, that looks natural.
This powder comes in a little gold compact, measuring approximately 12cm/4 ½ inches in length, and less than 1cm/1/2 inch in width.
OPENING THE COMPACT: The bottom half is split in two, half for the powder and half to hold a sponge that comes with it. I am finicky about makeup but I always use the sponge that comes with this; I think that it applies the powder perfectly, and have no need to use another sponge or brush that I've bought separately. The top half once opened is fully dedicated to a good-sized mirror. Even when I'm at home applying this I'll use the mirror in the compact instead of my main dressing mirror. So it's perfect for taking out with you!
----------PRICE AND AVAILABILITY----------
Sadly over the years that I've been using this the price has increased - probably due to VAT rises and everyone just being generally skint. But in general you can buy this from most Boots' and Superdrug's for around the £11 mark. (I actually bought my last compact online for £9 so worth having a browse around). Currently, the compact is available in the following shades:
01 - Porcelain
02 - Ivory
03 - Natural
05 - Sand
06 - Golden
07 - Bronze
08 - Toffee
09 - Caramel
I use 03 - Natural, and think that I have quite a fair to medium complexion, but test it out to find your preference before you buy it.
Overall I would highly recommend this product to any girl that wants that perfect, matte finish.
This is a great little buy if you want a cheap alternative to perfume. Boots offers their Natural Collection Body Spray in a range of fragrances, and this one is by far my favourite.
----------WHY DO I LIKE IT?----------
I used to not really take notice of the Natural Collection range, as I associated it as a sort of 'kid's' range. I personally think that some of the smells in this range are far too sweet for me, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found the vanilla spray.
So what does it smell like? As the name suggests, it smells of vanilla. I'm not a guru when it comes to picking out particular scents (I'd make an awful wine taster), so if there's another scent in there I honestly couldn't tell you but it definitely is a creamy, fresh fragrance. The smell is quite distinctive and I always get comments on how nice I smell when I wear it, so it shocks my friends when I tell them what it is. I know that a few of my friends have now gone out and bought it! It doesn't smell cheap or overbearing, and is a very clean scent. Perfect for when you've just got out the shower!
This body spray is not an aerosol, so it lasts a great deal longer. In fact, I would guess that the amount of time that it took me to finish one bottle of this spray is about the same as an average bottle of perfume, at a fraction of the price.
I also have quite sensitive skin and have never had a bad reaction to this. However it doesn't say that it's hypoallergenic, just to warn you!
----------WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT?----------
I think that smells are quite a personal thing that you really have to test individually. Some might think this is a bit sweet but I don't use a lot of it. To be honest there really isn't a great deal wrong with it in my eyes!
The spray comes in a plastic bottle with a removable plastic cap. I've lost the cap off a few of the bottles I've bought but because of the screw-on squirter it's never leaked which is fantastic. It's quite small and very light; Ill often keep mine in my bag for when I'm out and about instead of carrying around more expensive perfume. I also love that the bottle is transparent because I like being able to see exactly how much I've got left.
----------PRICE AND AVAILABILITY----------
This is an absolute bargain at £2.03 from most Boots. It used to be £1.99 but I guess it's got hit by the VAT increase! Boots often do special offers on their Natural Collection range as well; I got mine on a 3-for-2 offer. If you like having a range of products that are all the same fragrance, there's also a variety of body washes, lotions and the like in the vanilla scent.
Overall, a great fragrance that you just can't beat on the price. I think it's an absolute must-have to carry around and about with you.
----------WHAT IS IT?----------
Don't be misled by the name, this isn't edible! Although it's so delectable on your skin that you're going to wish it was.
I'm fortunate to have a bucket-load of Sanctuary products (thank you boyfriend who doesn't think I know about Boots 3-for-2 offers every holiday), but I love Sanctuary so that doesn't matter. Crème Soufflé is my favourite moisturiser from Sanctuary.
----------WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?----------
This is completely different from any moisturiser I have ever used - for all the right reasons! It's a light moisturiser that looks like it's been air-whipped, as there are little air-bubble pockets in the moisturiser itself. When I first used it I was so delighted by how it felt that I made my pretending-to-be-reluctant boyfriend try it too. It really DOES feel as though you've dipped your fingers in crème soufflé (probably why they named it that...)! Unlike other moisturisers that I've tried in the past that are light, you really don't need to use a lot of this to really spread it; it's obvious that it's not cheap moisturiser, and it's quickly absorbed - great for when you're in a rush. I use it every day over my whole body, without needing to use a lot of it.
The smell is hard to define, but on the tub it says that it has extracts of mango, jojoba, red seaweed and Vitamin E. Personally I think it smells similar to all of the other Sanctuary products but it's a lovely sweet, not overpowering scent.
I just smelt my arm, I used this moisturiser about six hours ago, and there is still a lingering scent. Not a great deal of smell but my boyfriend always comments that this stuff makes me smell good. Bonus points!
As with a lot of body moisturisers it states not to use it on your face, but I do anyways because it's light enough, and not greasy. It doesn't give me 'moisturiser-shine' and I've found it to be a good base for my makeup. However I'm not recommending that you do this; this is just in my opinion.
And, like all Sanctuary products, it's not been tested on animals. Good stuff!
----------WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?----------
Currently I believe that the only size available is this massive tub of 475ml / 16.06 fl. Oz; I measured it at 10cm/4inches in diameter, standing 9cm/3.5 inches tall.
While that's fantastic because I can see it lasting AGES, it's too bulky to carry around or travel with easily. Additionally, if you don't use moisturiser every day, then this could be a bit of a money-waster as other Sanctuary products I've had do expire (they stink after about a year). I've had a good look at my tub and I can't find an expiry date, but just a warning for you!
----------CREME SOUFFLE VERSUS SANCTUARY'S REGULAR BODY LOTION----------
I don't know if the Crème Soufflé is just Sanctuary's regular body lotion that's been whipped up, but I'm tempted to guess that they are different formulas (I did actually try reading the different ingredients labels but got boggled by all the ten-syllabic unpronounceable words, sorry). I have quite sensitive skin, particularly on my hands recently, but have no problem whatsoever when using the Crème Soufflé. However with the regular body lotion I've had some terrible reactions to it on my hands, with my hands stinging and even swelling up. I have no idea why this is as I used to use the regular body lotion before I got the Crème Soufflé, but that was several months ago. I thought perhaps the lotion may have expired, so I opened a new regular body lotion but suffered the same adverse reaction. I then tested it on my boyfriend (poor thing but that's what he gets for choosing to live me) and he ALSO had a bad reaction to it! I don't know if I've perhaps just picked up some dud ones, but I probably won't be using them again. Thumbs up for the Crème Soufflé though.
The packaging is typical of the Sanctuary range. It's a big whitish/semi-transparent plastic tub with a tempting burnt-orange plastic screw-cap. I listed the measurements earlier but will also include them in this section:
475ml / 16.06 fl. Oz.
I measured it at 10cm/4inches in diameter, standing 9cm/3.5 inches tall.
----------PRICE AND AVAILABILITY----------
The Crème Soufflé is currently available from Boots or the Sanctuary website for £10.20, but you may be able to find it elsewhere on the web. I'm lucky to have received this as a gift; I would never spend £10.20 on moisturiser! But I do know that very often Boots has Sanctuary products on offer so keep a look out. Do I think it's worth it? ABSOLUTELY.
Ladies with flat hair look no further! This product is AMAZING! I love TIGI products but often battle as to whether or not they're worth the money. I am constantly on a budget but Small Talk is definitely one of my guilty splurges. It. Is. Just. Too. Good!
***HOW DO I USE IT?***
My hair has a life of its own but when it's flat, it is FLAT! I'll use Small Talk on a day when I can't be bothered to find out what my hair decides to do that day, and apply it immediately after towel-drying my hair. I found that it's best to squirt a little of the serum onto your palm first, rub throughout your hands and in between your fingers, and then go to work on your hair. I start at my roots and work my way outwards and try to apply as evenly as possible. As with many hair products, start with a small amount! One of my main problems is I use too much too soon. From experience a little goes a long way! You don't want a greaseball of a head. I only use one and a half pumps for all of my hair, and I have A LOT of hair.
***WHY IT IS SO GOOD?***
One thing I absolutely adore about this product is the smell. It is fruity and delicious and what's great is the smell lasts, even after your hair is blow-dried and styled. The serum itself is white and gooey and smells delectably fruity and scrumptious.
Once I've dried my hair after using Small Talk, it has noticeably more volume and definitely looks thicker, but in a controlled way. My hair also maintains its volume after I've styled with my blow-dryer and GHD's, and sort-of bounces. I'm not claiming Cheryl Cole bouncy hair, but still fantastic for a high street product. I can even tie my hair back, but once I release it the volume is maintained.
Small Talk also helps to protect your hair against the heat of your styling tools, which I always think is an added bonus, considering you can get heat-protecting products but that's all they do. Small Talk does so much more!
***WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT?***
I can find very little at fault with Small Talk. The only snag I will mention is if you use too much - DON'T USE TOO MUCH! As with so many hair products your hair will just end up greasy and completely defeat the whole point in using it in the first place. I'm always surprised at how little I actually have to use. It's fantastic because it lasts such a long time!
Small Talk is typical TIGI, with a brightly-coloured, funky purple plastic bottle and bright green squirter. I love not having to fiddle about when your hands are greasy, so the squirter is great, instead of having an awkward cap.
As with all TIGI products Small Talk is on the pricey side. I get mine ages ago from my local salon but it was around the £10 mark. I've had a little hunt around online and the price for the standard 200ml bottle seems to vary between about £8 - £18! (Please don't pay £18 for this, if you do you're getting ripped off!)
- Fantastic for volumising flat hair
- Smells divine
- A little goes a long way!
This blush has remained a staple in my makeup case for a very long time now. I have gone through heaps of all different kinds of blush, some are better, some are worse, but as I always seem to be crimping on the cash front I think this is a great buy for little money.
***ABOUT THE BLUSH***
Maybelline air-whips the blush to give it its creamy, light texture and states on its website that it feels "virtually weightless and glides on quickly and easily". The blush itself comes in five shades:
01 - Dolly Pink
04 - Mauve
05 - Plum
06 - Brown
20 - Peach Satin
I personally use Mauve, I think I'm fair to medium skinned, but you can test your preference at a Superdrug or Boots. If you like to buy your makeup online I've found that the colour on the cap quite closely resembles the actual colour of the blush, if you haven't had a chance to test it in-store.
The blush comes in a little glass pot with a thick plastic screw-cap, and it's small enough to carry easily. I take mine everywhere with me! I measured it at approximately 4cm/1.5 inches in diameter and 3cm/1inch tall with the cap on. This sounds a bit odd but the cap slopes in slightly in the middle, making it easy to actually hold in your hand. I'm not sure why you would want to hold it for a long period of time, but credit to Maybelline for the detail!
**Interesting and completely random fact! Found this while browsing around about Maybelline. The name 'Maybelline' apparently comes from the creator, T.L Williams, observing his sister Maybel in 1915 mixing Vaseline with coal dust to shade her eyes (well done Maybel). Maybel + Vaseline = Maybelline. So now we've all learned something new today.
***SO WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?***
I love it when makeup lasts a long time, I definitely feel like I'm getting value for my money. When you touch it, it IS creamy and dreamy, but from experience a little really does go a long way! Be careful not to use too much! I like to draw a tiny line of the blush with my fingertip over my cheekbone, and then spread it by rubbing gently. I even put a teensy amount on the bridge of my nose to give a sun-kissed look. The blush blends well and evenly into my skin, and is faintly shimmery rather than glittery. I only reapply it once during the day, so it's quite steadfast.
***AND THE BAD POINTS?***
I always have a battle with myself over whether to opt for cream or powder blusher. I'm not going to compare the Dream Mousse with any particular powder blusher, but I do find that in general cream blusher stays on your skin for longer. There are two main problems I find with cream blush: 1) it can worsen my skin and 2) the blusher can dry out. As it is obviously thicker than powder, I do find that if I wear Maybelline's Dream Mousse every single day I am prone to the occasional spot along the length of my cheekbone, HOORAY. Never a good look! However I do have quite sensitive skin so this may be uncommon. Secondly, if you forget to put the cap back on it can dry out, leaving the blusher crusty and difficult to apply. I must stress though that this takes quite a long time for this to happen. In general I am able to use the entire pot of blusher, and not need to throw it out halfway through use because it has dried out.
***WHERE CAN I GET IT?***
I always buy mine from my local Superdrug. I've just had a browse on the Superdrug website to find the price and for the life of me cannot find it! Hmm not sure why, probably me not looking properly! However I did find that it is available at Tesco's (didn't know Tesco's had it! Yay!) for £5.96 - £6.09 depending on which colour you choose. Which I think is insane, surely they should all be the same price?! I apologise for not being able to be exact, but we'll go with it being widely available between £5.50 - £6.50, at most Superdrug's, Boots and Tesco's, possibly more!
Overall, it's a decent quality product for a good price. If you're not into cream blushers, this really is very light and worth a tester in shop. If you swear by cream blushers then go for it. I personally think it's a good little product and carry it everywhere.
Thanks for reading my review!
I made the classic mistake at commenting on how I liked Sanctuary products - for several years in a row now, every birthday and Christmas that comes around my lovely boyfriend will, true to form, buy me heaps of the stuff (he thinks I don't know about Boots 3-for-2 offers). Nevermind, it's good stuff, and I'm happy to have it. Thank you boyfriend!
So, onto the review...
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SANCTUARY***
Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden is a ladies' spa in, guess where, London's Covent Garden. They released a range of products and boom! I see Sanctuary products everywhere now. However I quite like that the products were originally created for in-spa use and sometimes like to pretend I'm in a spa when at home. Takes a lot of imagining though considering I only have a stand-in shower and no bathtub but I can still try!
I did a little bit of research for you all and discovered that the flagship spa in Covent Garden was originally intended for dancers from The Royal Opera House to relaaaaax when not kicking their legs above their heads. The spa has evolved since then, however it is still a spa for women run by women. Men go away! Haha.
***THE BODY WASH***
This is one of my favourite products by Sanctuary, hence why I'm writing about it. I go through this stuff like mad (and it still lasts ages!). Let me break it down...
The 250ml/8.4 fl. oz size (the one in the picture) has a cloudy-transparent plastic cap that fully comes off to reveal an orange pop-cap that is screwed onto the bottle. I think having the two caps is a great feature, as sometimes I forget to put the transparent cap back on, so the orange pop-cap prevents water leaking into the bottle when in the shower. The bottle itself is also transparent plastic so you can see the body wash in the bottle. I get so frustrated with body-care products that use opaque bottles as you never quite know how much you have left. With this I'm always happy to see how much I have left!
THE BODY WASH:
The wash itself is a wonderful burnt-orange colour, matching the orange cap and the classic white-and-orange theme of Sanctuary. It is a gel with a luxuriously thick consistency, so a little really goes a long way which is brilliant. It also has an ample amount (but not too much!) of little orange beads in the wash, which, quoting from the back of the bottle, are "...moisturising capsules of sesame oil and jojoba" that "burst on the skin to help leave it feeling soft, silky smooth...". The beads are not exfoliates, so I presume they really do burst! Either that or they wash away but I prefer the idea of bursting.
It's difficult for me to pinpoint a particular smell, but I'll venture at saying that it smells lovely, rich and creamy. I apologise for not being able to be more precise! It's not an overly distinct smell, definitely not very citrus-y, but rather warm and clean. The smell does not remain on your skin though for very long once you have finished bathing and dried off, a possible negative aspect.
I live in a soft-water area and am unsure of how different it would be in hard-water areas, but for me the gel quickly zoops up into a delightfully thick lather and is easy to spread whilst maintaining its thick consistency. I don't have to use a lot of it to wash my whole body. I know that you're meant to use specific products for body and face, but I must admit that when I run out of facewash this is the first product I turn to wash my face. Not the best makeup remover though! But that's not what it's for so I can't complain there.
I've had a look over the bottle and nowhere on it does it say that it's hypoallergenic, but I have quite sensitive skin and have never experienced any problems on my body or face. But please check that it's okay for your skin type before using it as I am not a doctor!
This particular bottle on its own costs £5.10 at Boots, and the travel size costs £2.40. However you can often buy variety packs of Sanctuary products that work out cheaper so keep a look out for offers!
***THE TRAVEL SIZE***
I've accumulated a lot of the travel-size bottles of this and have been left impressed. The bottles are 75ml/2.53 fl. Oz, which is about 12 cm/5 inches tall - so is definitely small enough to travel with, but lasts a long time. In fact in can take me a couple of weeks to finish one bottle.
Random note: This product does expire! I found a bottle that I had hidden away that had probably been opened for about a year and it smelled quite awful. So make sure you use it! It took a while to get that way though.
Overall, it's a good product for a decent price that I would recommend.
May I first start this review by saying that this is NOT GOING TO BE TECHNICAL AT ALL because I'm not hugely technical myself, but rather someone who has had these speakers for several years now so feel able to comment on the longevity of use. I must have been given these speakers 7-8 years ago, and they have travelled with me as I've moved around the world. So if you want a technical review you may perhaps want to stop reading now instead of reading me blubber on!
Even now that these speakers are several years old they still look modern and funky, which is unusual for technological products, and people that come to my house continue to comment on them. 'Creature' is an apt name for these, and I love how versatile they are - with their minimalistic, chic shape these speakers wouldn't look out of place in a cluttered, kooky home nor a sleek, stylish one. I've changed how I've laid out the speakers over the years, sometimes displaying both the two small speakers and the much larger sub-woofer; other times I've hidden the sub-woofer away and just had the speakers out. Luckily the wires are long enough to do this. All of the wires (apart from the power cord) are white, so they don't look like a right mess if I do have them hanging out a bit.
***HOW IT WORKS***
I repeat, this is not going to be technical! I believe that dooyoo actually lists the specifications which might make things easier for those who are interested; I'm not even going to attempt to go there.
As I previously mentioned, this system is extremely easy to set up and take apart again. Below is a quick list of the components:
- 2 small speakers, both with one wire attached to the back of each that plug into the subwoofer
- 1 larger subwoofer
- 1 power cord
- 1 wire that connects from the back of the subwoofer to your preferred input (TV, laptop, etc.)
And that's it! Each wire is also colour-coded and shaped differently at the ends (for example a square or triangle), making it fantastically straightforward of what plugs in where. Great for technophobes!
The subwoofer has two little silver knobs that control the bass and treble. This sounds a little odd but if you twist them out of place, it's easy to find the middle point again because when you turn them they sort of click into place when you reach the middle point - once again, very simple and unfussy. The volume is controlled by two little silver buttons on the right speaker, which are particularly sensitive to touch. They are more like little touch-pads rather than actual buttons and enable very easy volume control.
One of the very few negative points that I have with this system is that the power cord is quite heavy, but that never stopped me from taking the system to people's houses and parties.
As I stated I have had these speakers for a good 7 or 8 years now, and they have moved with me as I've moved across the world. They have been the centre of many house-parties, but then retired to a full-time position connected to my TV. Sadly I no longer use them as I have managed to break one of the speakers, but that was entirely my own fault and not reflective of the quality of the system, as the other speaker and subwoofer still work perfectly. It is a sturdy yet sleek system and I would definitely recommend it. I am not the most careful of people and am impressed at how resilient and robust this system is.
I'm no whizz at things like this but to my untrained ears the sound quality is amazing. It can also go very, very loud! If you turn the bass and volume up it can literally thump the floor. Unfortunately, over the years I think I had it too loud too often because if I turn the volume right up now, the sound becomes a little bit shaky and not as clear as it used to be. But still good considering how much wear-and-tear I've put this system through!
I had a little browse around the internet and this system is available online from anywhere between £60 to £100, although you might be able to get a used set for cheaper if you have a proper hunt. The JBL Creature III (Black) is more expensive - the highest price I came across was close to £200! I'm afraid I can't comment on that version, I suspect as it is a newer release than my white ones the quality will be better, but I'm not entirely certain.
Overall, this has been an excellent system and has suited my needs perfectly. I've been amazed at its durability, its ease of dismantling and set up, its compatibility with a range of inputs, and the loud (and quiet!) moments I've enjoyed because of it. If you are interested in buying this system, I would still recommend it, even if it is a few years old. Well done JBL.
This review is also availabel on Ciao under littlejojo55.
I am a self-confessed mascaraoholic. I love mascara; I wear it every day, and am continually on the hunt for a good bargain. So when I saw Maybelline's Great Lash on sale I grabbed it, having used Maybelline probably far too much in the past (I should have bought shares in the company). I also wear contact lenses so I have to be careful with my eye-makeup. But I put my trust in Maybelline.
That turned out to be a bad decision and I was sorely disappointed. Okay, I wasn't expecting the best, but I was expecting more.
The wand itself is simple, just a straight, standard wand with quite widely-spaced ridges - not great for getting those hard-to-reach lashes. The mascara itself is very wet so clumps easily, and I found it difficult to apply more than one coat because it very quickly turned into an immense gloopy mess. I believe that I am quite practiced at applying mascara yet somehow I managed to get it everywhere. This tiny little tube of doom succeeded in transforming my face into a complete chaos zone. Of course it's also waterproof, so the clean-up wasn't that simple either. Once it's on your skin it is stuck there and I had to scrub it off, even with eye-makeup remover.
I wanted to include a positive point about the packaging - it looks cute and girly and pink. However I only attempted to use this mascara twice before banning it from my makeup case, and somehow the sticker on the tube is still managing to peel away. Quite cheaply made is my only conclusion.
***FOR THOSE WHO WEAR CONTACT LENSES***
Please, if you wear contact lenses and like your eyeballs the way they are, I would not recommend buying this product. I wear both waterproof and non-waterproof mascara, but this just destroyed my lenses. The mascara was firmly fused with my lenses and it proved such a nightmare to try and remove it that I ended up throwing the lenses away.
An additional note on the price - I bought this mascara quite a while ago in a sale (won't be doing that again), but having a browse around the internet it seems to be available for between £4.50 - £5.50.
-Very wet and clumpy
- Difficult to remove
- Not recommended for those who wear contact lenses
This is just my opinion though. I would definitely recommend other Maybelline products and even other Maybelline mascaras. Just not this one.
Whether you call it 'toilet paper' or 'loo roll', I genuinely feel that Asda's Smartprice Toilet 'Tissue' is an apt name for this product. To me, the word 'tissue' implies something flimsy and delicate - thus an extremely appropriate title for the aforementioned product.
Sadly we all need loo roll. It's one of those things that I hate buying because sooner or later I'm going to have to buy it again. However, with the tightening of the purse strings after purging during a month so expensive that it deserves a title before its name, Mr. December, I'm on a budget, and so is my bottom.
Perhaps I am naive but I truly didn't believe there could be that much difference between loo rolls. I was WRONG!
To be fair, Asda's Smartprice isn't as bad as some I've come across - it's not hard like actual paper, which I swear some restaurants and bars do stock their toilets with. Quite an amusing thought to envisage the bar staff cutting up mounds of A4 paper and then rolling it all onto a cardboard tube. But I digress. Asda's tissue is soft - like tissue, and flimsy - like tissue. The main problem with it is that it is just too thin, thus you have to use a lot more than you would than with other, better-quality loo rolls. Does this defeat the point then of buying Smartprice if you're just going to use more? I'm still undecided on that one.
I did a little bit of investigating and found that this particular loo roll has 200 sheets per roll, whereas Andrex's standard white has approximately 308 sheets per roll for comparison. Amazing what you can find on the internet!
Nevertheless, I did buy 12 rolls for £1.49 which is a bargain. I might not be that impressed with the quality but when it was there I needed it, so thank you Asda.