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manlybeach

manlybeach
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Member since: 03.09.2008

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      01.02.2010 12:27
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      Smoothes and refeshes the skin and softens lines and wrinkles

      WHO ARE PRAI? A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THEM
      *************************************************

      Taken from the website


      The PRAI family of fine skin care is named for a key ingredient -prai root, a botanical native to the jungles of central Thailand. The smoothing properties of the prai root were well known to ancient monks, who used it in preparations in their temple sala, which were healing and restorative centres much like today's spas. Today, we combine it with the latest breakthroughs in anti-aging to provide powerful benefits.
      PRAI focuses on the beauty needs and wants of women: individual products and daily regimens that help skin feel and look better, that help thwart the effects of environmental and personal stress, that minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and that offer affordable and realistic alternatives to costly cosmetic surgery and procedures.

      The PRAI collections of skincare, body care, fragrance and anti-aging are available in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. Our customers all over the world love PRAI because it looks terrific, feels spectacular, smells divine and PERFORMS as promised.

      Founded in 1999 by Cathy Kangas, the PRAI Beauty Group, Inc. has earned an international reputation for exceptional quality and performance. Using the latest innovations in skin care -- including our well-known "second skin" technology -- and incorporating the finest ingredients, all PRAI products are manufactured in the US under stringent laboratory conditions.




      I first came across this serum when watching QVC and it was part of a Todays Special Value set containing 97.6 mls of the intensive serum, 24K Golden Caviar Skin Rejuvenating Concentrate and Ageless Throat and Decolletage Crème. I was impressed by the presentation and decided to order the set which cost me £45 plus P&P. Having a swift look at the website it is now selling at £47.75.

      WHAT THE BLURB SAYS
      **************************
      Prai Pure Intensive Serum is a potent and pure skin serum designed to target and repair age related skin damage. Dermaxyl provides intercellular cement to glue surface cells together locking in moisture and keeping out environmental irritants. A 56 day clinical test showed a 35% reduction in wrinkles.

      MY EXPERIENCE
      *******************
      As a lady in my 50's I have a few wrinkles and some sun damage to my skin so I was very keen to try the serum out to see if it would help. The serum comes in a clear bottle with a spray pump applicator and strangely had no cap. When I tried pressing the pump far too much serum came out and, when I looked at the reviews on QVC's website, I noticed a couple of people had complained about this so it must be a design fault. However after using it a couple of times it worked fine but I did dislike the fact I was wasting the serum especially when it is so expensive. The instructions said to put a drop on your hand and rub your hands together to warm it up then pat gently over the face avoiding the eyes. This didn't work for me as the serum soaked straight into my very dry hands so I sprayed a couple of squirts into my palm, dipped my finger into it and applied it over my face and neck. There was a slight fragrance which smelt a little bit chemical although not unpleasant but it did surprise me as I had expected a more natural type of smell. My face felt slightly oily but within a few minutes the serum had sunk right in leaving my skin nice and soft and moisturised. What really surprised me though was how refreshed my skin looked. It looked smoother and much more radiant than before using the serum. Prai advise you use the serum under your normal moisturiser for the best effect and say it generally takes around 60 days to see any benefit. I have been using it for nearly 4 months and have seen a marked improvement in my skin tone and also a softening in some of the lines on my face. In particular the lines from my nose down to the corners of my mouth have shown the most improvement and are now barely visible. Being a smoker I have tiny lines above my upper lip and these too have softened so I'm definitely pleased with the effect of this serum. I'm so impressed I asked my husband to buy me another Prai set for Christmas as I was running low on the two other products in the set although I did have plenty of this serum left. It actually worked out cheaper to buy the set rather than just the serum as the serum by itself sells for £25 for only 30mls although it can be found on eBay from around £37.99 for 97.6. I have checked Boots Superdrug and other similar retailers but no-one seems to stock Prai products in the UK apart from QVC and eBay however it can be bought directly from the American Prai site.

      CONCLUSION
      *************
      Would I recommend it? Yes I would as I have seen a big improvement in my skin tone and softening of lines and wrinkles. Yes it is very expensive and normally I wouldn't dream of spending this much on a product but considering I have been using it for nearly five months now and there is still about a third of a bottle left, it actually is working out to be quite good value. I don't need to use so much of my moisturiser either so I'm saving money there. So all in all a very good product that lasts well and if you have lines, wrinkles, sun damage or a dull complexion it's got to be worth a try.

      I hope this has been useful for you and thanks for reading

      manlybeach February 2010

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        23.01.2010 16:48
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        Reasonably priced mascara with no clumping

        I have been using Maybelline Define a Lash Voume for around 18 months now and, despite trying out other mascaras, this is the one I keep coming back to. Prices range from £5.99 (Cheapsmells and Ebay) to £8.99 (Boots) and Superdrug have it on special offer at the moment (January 2010) for £7.64. There are only two colour options black or brown and a waterproof version is also available. The one I use is black and is not waterproof.

        The mascara comes in an attractive maroon coloured container and has a slim brush which sits comfortably between the fingers. I can feel the pull of the built in clump remover as I take out the brush. The clump remover does a good job of making sure too much mascara is not deposited on the brush thus resulting in clump free lashes. After trying out many different mascaras which claim to be clump free I have been disappointed but with this one it does what it says. I usually only need one coat for the top lashes but tend to put two on the lower ones which are much shorter and harder to cover. Even when appling a second coat to still wet lashes there are no clumps.
        The mascara defines, separates and colours my lashes well and by sweeping the brush upwards over the ends of my top lashes it gives them a nice curl too. As a rule I don't need to reapply it through the day but sometimes, if I''ve been reading or on the computer for long periods of time wearing my glasses, I find the lower lashes have lost some of the mascara and need a top up.

        Removal is easy. As I said earlier I use the non waterproof version and I find a make up remover wipe brings it all off without the need for rubbing which can harm the delicate eye area.
        I dread to think how much money I have wasted on trying out different mascaras always hoping the latest one will give me the lashes I dream of but of course they never live up to their claims. Maybelline Define a Lash is the best one I've come across so far and is, I feel, a reasonable price so I'm going to stick with it. It gives me natural looking lashes which are defined and lengthened and not the spiders legs effect some mascaras give. It takes me throughout the day and is suitable for night time use too so I have no hesitation in recommending it.

        I hope this has been useful for you and thanks for reading
        manlybeach January 2010

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        • yankeedoodle.co.uk / Online Shop / 273 Readings / 268 Ratings
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          28.11.2009 17:56
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          If you love Yankee candles this is the place for you

          WHO ARE YANKEEDOODLE?

          Well they are a UK based online company who specialise in Yankee candles and accessories. They do not sell any other brands of candles so if Yankee candles aren't your favourites then this is not the site for you. They have been in business since 2002 and are the largest UK stockist of Yankee candles online. Having looked at various Yankee candle sites I can confirm that this is true.
          THE SITE

          The home page is nicely laid out with clear headings to help you find your way around the site. There is a search box of course if you already know what you're looking for but otherwise you can just browse the different section headings which are at the top of the page.
          HOME

          START HERE For your first visit this section will tell you all about the company and it's products and general info
          NEW ARRIVALS Obviously the latest products

          YANKEE CANDLES
          CAR AND HOME

          ACCESSORIES 1
          ACCESSORIES 2

          OTHER RANGES asmall range of various items including Zippo lighters, wick trimmers, candy, cuddly bears and other sundries
          SPECIAL OFFERS

          Once you have made your selections you can either add them to your basket or create a wish list for future use if you don't want to buy straight away. You will be asked for your email address and a password to create your account and payments can be made by all major credit/debit cards and also by paypal. Once a member all your orders will be viewable from your account page so if you've bought something and want to buy the same thing at a later date you don't need to trawl through the products to find what you want. Recently YankeeDoodle have started a reward scheme where for every pound you spend you will earn 2 points which is the equivalent of 2p and once you have enough points they can be used for future purchases. You can also earn points for recommending friends and family and earn bonus points for any orders they make. When you log into your account your points will be shown beside your shopping bag so you will always know how many points you've earned.
          SO WHAT DO THEY SELL?

          Large jar candles 220z around £17.50
          Medium jar candles 14.50z around £14.50
          Small jar candles 3,70z £7.49
          Wax tarts from 70p to £1.00
          Tealights box of 12 from £4.99 to £5.99
          Samplers £1.60
          Electric plug in fragrances £11.48 with refills also available
          Reed fragrancers
          Pot Pourri
          Refresher oils
          Room sprays
          Fragranced sachets
          Tart burners
          Sampler holders
          Tealight holders
          Car gel fragrancers
          Delivery charges are:
          up to £9.99 is £2.00
          £10 and over is £2.95
          Packaging used is recycled wherever possible and usually consists of cardboard boxes with biodegradeable nuggets used to protect the contents. Once the nuggets are in contact with water they simply melt away.

          Payments are made through 100% secure payment server Safepay.
          MY EXPERIENCE

          Obviously nothing beats being in a shop and smelling all the lovely candles so I tend to use this site to buy my favourite ones. I also use it to buy candle accessories. Last Christmas I bought my friend a Santa tart burner which she loved and I hadn't seen anything like it in the shops. It saves me so much time and hassle just sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee browsing away and doing my shopping in comfort.
          I have used YankeeDoodle many times to buy my candles and accessories and have never had a problem. Delivery has been very quick and the products have been exactly as described and arrived in excellent condition. I find the range of products to be the best available out of all the different sites I've visited and the prices very good in comparison. The website is easy to navigate and clearly laid out which makes finding what I'm looking for simple. They have special offers going on all year around and once a member you can receive emails letting you know the latest offers if you so wish. All in all an excellent company who I have no hesitation in recommending to all who love Yankee candles.
          I hope this review has been useful to you and thank you for reading
          manlybeach November 2009

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            18.09.2009 17:37
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            Interesting autobiography whether you belive in the paranormal or not

            I'm not one for reading books but when I saw this in Asda last week I couldn't help putting into the trolley. I have always been interested in the paranormal not really sure whether I believed in it or not so this book drew me to it. At £3.13 it wasn't going to break the bank so in it went.

            I was shocked when the Soham case was going on and took great interest in the media coverage wanting to know if the girls had been found safe and well but as we all know that wasn't to be. Despite my interest in the case I had not heard about Dennis McKenzie in his capacity of a psychic being involved so my curiosity was sparked.
            Dennis McKenzie was an ordinary working class bloke who lived in a council house in Cambridgeshire with his wife and two kids and he was also a psychic. After being laid off from his job as a gamekeeper he decided to see if he could make a living from his psychic abilities and turned professional. He began giving readings to friends and his reputation grew from there. When Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells went missing in Soham he was called in to help find them and that was the taking off point for his career and led to him being dubbed "The Soham Psychic".

            The book begins with a brief rundown of his childhood and when he first discovered he could see dead people at the age of 3. Of course he didn't know they were dead and just assumed everybody could see them. He first realised other people couldn't see his "friends" when he was in hospital after being badly burned at the age of 4. Every night a nurse dressed in an old fashioned uniform would sit beside his bed and comfort him with her smiling face if he woke in the night. None of the other children in the ward could see her and his was the only bed she went to so she made him feel special. Her appearance didn't frighten him as he was used to seeing figures no-one else did and it wasn't until he was around 11 or 12 he realised that she was from the spirit world.
            He says being a psychic is like watching a TV set sometimes getting a clear picture and sound whilst other times it is fuzzy and distorted. He has never had any training for his work and says his ability is raw and natural and the only help he has is from his two guides Jagna and White Cloud.

            It is in the second chapter we hear about his connection with the Soham case.The day after the girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman disappeared he was called by one of his clients who was a friend of the Wells family. She asked him if he could help.He had only turned professional two years earlier and was making a living through his ability but never dreamt how his life would change beyond all recognition after taking on this case. On meeting Hollys parents, Kevin and Nicola, he was amazed at their quiet dignity and self control. Dennis's spirit guides had already told him both the girls were dead and he felt wretched at the thought of shattering this desperate couples hopes. He worked closely with Hollys dad Kevin and they became great friends. The information he was able to relay about the girls disappearance turned out to be stunningly accurate and led to Dennis being much in demand in helping with other missing person cases and murders from all over the world. When Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr were on remand for the murder of Holly and Jessica Dennis was working in Finchley when a young woman came in for a reading. Holly's spirit came through as she often did when there was some kind of connection to the client. He told the woman Holly was there and the woman smiled and said "You're the guy they call the Soham psychic aren't you?" "Yes" he said to which she replied " I am Maxine Carrs wardress" This hit him like a bombshell and he asked her what her opinion of Carr was. She turned the question around on him for his opinion and he said "I think she is a devious lying shitbag" to which she replied "You've got her in one"
            He tells us of some of the cases he has worked on, some with the families of a victim and some where he worked with the Police. Some stories were violent and unpleasent whilst other ones amusing and lighthearted. He also touched on the Madeleine McCann case saying he had been asked many times for his thoughts about her disappearance. He says the McCanns have never asked for his help and if they did he whatever they discussed would be confidential. Out of respect for the family's privacy he refuses to publicly discuss the very sad case.Also saying the McCanns have been inundated by approaches from psychics, some of whom are charlatons and he has no intention of adding to the list. I found it compulsive reading and indeed read the book in three days not bad for someone who hasn't picked a book up in 30 years!

            I liked his style of writing which was down to earth and gritty and he came across as an ordinary bloke who just happened to be psychic. Whether you belive in the paranormal or not I would recommend reading this book if only from an autobiographical angle as it is an interesting read. However if you are easily offended it may not be for you as there is a fair amount of swearing, violence and sexual reference.
            There are a lot of people out there who pretend to be psychic to gain money and fame but I believe Dennis McKenzie is one of the genuine ones. He refuses to take money when helping with missing persons or murders and will give his time and ability for free in deserving cases. How can he give such accurate information about things he has no knowledge about? There's got to be something in it but I will leave it up to you to make your own minds up.

            Thank you for reading
            manlybeach September 2009

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            • Derma Wand / Skin Care / 192 Readings / 185 Ratings
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              08.09.2009 20:21
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              Improves complexion

              WHAT IS A DERMA WAND?.

              Most of the ladies reading this will have heard about facial toning machines which work on the muscles of the face to tighten and strengthen them well the Derma Wand is similar but works on the skin instead. It is a condensed version of machines used in salons to help tighten up loose skin and refresh the complexion as well as helping to smooth out fine lines. It is recommended if you use these facial toners to follow up with the Derma Wand to give you an even more youthful appearance.

              WHAT THE BLURB SAYS

              Derma Wand is a skin treatment device which generates ozone. The ozone is a strong oxidizer, which is beneficial in eradicating bacteria in the skin surface area.
              The beneficial effects of ozone on the skin are well established and it has been a conventional practice in beauty salons to provide a ozone producing apparatus for the purpose. Derma Wand is a home version of the units used in salons.
              Now you can treat lines, wrinkles and aging skin just like the experts without cosmetic surgery.
              The Derma Wand, the breakthrough skin care system that can take one, five, up to 10 years off your skin's appearance in just minutes a day. Based on a skin care technology that's been used with great success for over 50 years in the professional beauty clinics and spas all over the world, Derma Wand condensed it, perfected it and made it available for everyone. Now go from damaged and blotchy to healthy, beautiful and more even.
              The secret is a gentle high frequency pulse that stimulates the skin at an incredible 100,000 cycles per second bringing blood and nutrients to thesurface.
              At the same time, the Derma Wand is producing enriched oxygen, one of nature's most powerful cleaning sources to exfoliate, oxygenate and purify your skin. You'll experience a pleasant smell like after a fresh rainstorm plus you'll feel and see the Derma Wand working wonders on your skin.


              I first came across the Derma Wand when watching a television shopping channel and thought it sounded pretty good so sent for one to try out. On opening the parcel I found a little black leather case containing the Derma Wand along with an instruction leaflet. The wand itself is around six inches long and has a bulb at one end and a dial at the other which goes from 0 to 8 indicating the strength of the pulses to be emitted. When in use the bulb lights up red. The instruction booklet tells you to remove the dust cap from the bulb (doh!) and use on cleansed, dry skin. It is advised to try the wand out on your hand first to experience the tingling sensation it gives out. It isn't at all painful but is rather strange until you get used to it. When you first use the Derma Wand use it on the lowest setting of 1 for a few days until you no longer feel the intensity of the stimuli and then gradually build up to the setting you feel most comfortable with. Even at the lowest setting the Derma Wand is effective and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
              USING THE DERMA WAND

              Use on clean dry skin gently sweeping over the face in either circular movements or backwards and forwards whatever you prefer. This just helps to make sure the skin is properly cleansed and only takes a couple of minutes. Apply your usual moisturiser and repeat the process of sweeping the wand over your face and neck. It is not necessary to apply any pressure just let the wand touch your skin lightly. This helps your moisturiser to really sink into the skin. This should be done in the morning and at night for the first few days and then just as often as you want to use it after that. I use mine everyday as I enjoy the tingling sensation on my skin and also the fresh smell of ozone.

              MY EXPERIENCE
              I have been using the Derma Wand everyday for several years now and have seen a noteable improvement in my complexion as well as skin tone. Even my husband noticed my skin was looking a lot better and he never usually notices anything like that! It is also useful for drying out spots.Using the wand you dab at the blemish by lifting the tip of the wand off the skin slightly. This will tingle a bit but is not painful. If this is done 3 or 4 times a day you will find the spot dries out much quicker than when left to it's own devices. I also feel it has helped with my fine lines, although not getting rid of them, they do look slightly more smoothed out and certainly haven't got any worse during the time I've been using the Derma Wand. After I've done the cleansing bit with the wand I then use it to exercise my face. Starting on the outside corner of my eyebrow I gently lift the skin with the wand and hold for 5 seconds then move onto the middle and outside corner in turn holding again for 5 seconds. I continue using the same method on my forehead, chin and jowls. Lastly I turn the Derma Wand down to 1 to use it on the delicate eye area. I place the wand on my browbone above the eye and gently lift the skin again for a count of 5 seconds in the inner, outer and middle of the brow and then move down to the under eye area. Gently sweeping from the inner eye area to the outside and holding for 5 seconds. Repeating these exercises a few times I have found it helps with puffy eyes and loose skin and even my fine lines look more smoothed.

              CONCLUSION
              Since I have been using Derma Wand my skin has definitely improved and a lot of people tell me I don't look my age in fact just the other day someone thought I was my 29 year old daughters sister so that really made my day! I feel the Derma Wand has a lot to do with this so I would not hesitate to recommend it if your skin could do with a pick me up. I originally bought mine from Ideal World for £49.00 around 5 years ago but I have seen them on ebay for around the £35.00 mark so do shop around. They are a bit difficult to find but well worth the effort and when you consider what we girls pay for various creams and potions the Derma Wand is a sound investment.

              Thank you for reading
              manlybeach 2009

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              • More +
                19.05.2009 22:39
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                A beautiful place to visit

                For some the North East conjures up images of grimy industrial areas with men in flat caps and whippets. They couldn't be more wrong. Northumberland, where I am lucky to live, has stunning coastal and countryside locations with something for everyone.

                Northumberland has more castles than anywhere else in England so if that's what interests you then look no further.
                Starting off with perhaps the most well known castle Alnwick which has been used in several films most noteably it was Hogwarts school in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It dates from the 11th century and is the second largest inhabited castle in England and is home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Tours of the castle and Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland are available and entertainment for the kids such as Harry Spotters tours, Knights Quest where they can dress up in medievel clothes and learn to swordfight are a must for the young ones.
                If you don't fancy the castle they are Alnwick gardens which are the most popular visitor attraction in the area. The gardens have the largest water feature of it's kind in the UK with 38 spectacular water fountains. There are Ornamental gardens, Rose gardens and the Serpent garden which has interactive water sculptures exploring the way in which water can be made to look and move. Alnwick Garden is also home to Europes largest tree house which is a huge collection of turret topped cottages connected by a suspended walkway.

                Craster is a small fishing village with the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle just a short walk across fields to the north of the village. Close to the harbour is the famous Kipper Smokehouse which also sells delicious crab sandwiches.
                Bamburgh Castle is another impressive site. An 11th century Norman fortress perched on the rocks above the unspoilt beach of Bamburgh. The Grace Darling museum can be found in Bamburgh across the road from St Aidens church where the Darling family grave is situated. Grace Darling is famous for helping in the rescue of survivors of the wrecked SS Forfarshire just off Bamburgh coast in 1838. The original boat used in the rescue can be seen in the museum as well as other artifacts.

                Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne, is a tidal island only accessed by a causeway when the tide is out so always check tide times before visiting and allow plenty of time to make your return journey unless you want to be stranded. There are only 150 residents on the island and it is renowned as a wildlife haven which is home to the National Nature Reserve.Lindisfarne Castle,Priory ruins and the Lindisfarne visitor centre are all worth seeing.Another place I recommend you visit is St Aidens Winery where you can try out free samples of Lindisfarne mead. Mead is one the oldest drinks and in it's simplest form is honey and water fermented with yeast so the sugars turn to alcohol. I'm not a drinker but I will make an exception for this lovely nectar! The winery also sells English wines and fruit wines, British beers and ciders, malt whiskeys and liqueurs, Craster kippers and speciality preserves. There is also a craft shop there selling Celtic jewellery, pewter,pottery, glassware and throws etc.
                Those are a few examples of interesting architectural places to see but what about the coastline? Well Northumberland has miles of unspoilt coastal stretches some of which have been designated as Outstanding Natural Beauty. Just to name two worth visiting would be Bamburgh situated beneath the imposing castle or Seahouses from where you can take a boatride out to the Farne Islands. Once these islands were a home for soldiers,saints and the lighthouse keeper, Grace Darling, but are now owned by the National Trust. It is a haven for 100,000 pairs of nesting birds such as puffins and guillemots so if you decided to go there I advise you to wear a hat unless you really like bird poo on your head! It is also home to one of Europes largest grey seal colonies and is a superb spot for keen wildlife photographers.

                Further inland there is the Kielder Water National Park complete with Englands largest forest, rivers and Northern Europes largest man made lake. The lake covers over 27 miles of shoreline and is popular for water sports and sailing. You can also take things easy and take a cruise around the lake. There are picnic spots, cafes, mountain bike trails and lovely walks to be had where you might spot some of the contempory art scatterted about the area.Fifty percent of Englands red squirrel population live here too so you might see one or two of them on your travels or some deer or maybe one of the many rare bird species who visit here.
                Take the drive through the forest to the former hunting lodge of the Duke of Northumberland which had now been turned into an eatery called The Dukes Pantry. Have yourselves a well earned cuppa while the kids play on the adventure playground and enjoy the surrounding scenery.
                Cragside Near Rothbury where the grand house, built by Lord Armstrong, was the first home in the world to be lit by hydro-electrictity. Surrounding the house is is one of the largest hand made rock gardens in Europe and it is also home to to Englands tallest Douglas Fir tree. Stunning displays of rhododendron,lakeside walks, adventure playground and a labyrinth all make this a delightful place for a family day out. Although some parts of the gardens may be unaccessable to those with limited mobility or pushchairs due to steep slopes or steps the house, and other facilities, are all disabled friendly.

                Hadrians Wall, dating back to AD122 and named after the Roman Emporer of the same name, streches for over 70 miles. Ancient Roman barracks and even remains of the earliest known flushing toilet can be seen here. There are 16 permanent bases of which Housesteads Fort is one of the best preserved. You can take a guided tour or simply go off by yourself and enjoy the panoramic views along the way. There is an information centre, refreshments kiosk, picnic tables and baby changing/toilet facilites. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on the lead because of grazing cattle nearby and ground nesting birds.
                There is so much more I could tell you about Northumberland but I don't want to make it too long a read. I hope I have wetted your appetite enough for you to give us a visit. Northumberland is a relatively small county but packed with amazing beauty just waiting for you to discover it so come up and see for yourselves and I'm sure you will be surprised.

                ***How to Get Here***
                Taken from official website


                By Air
                Newcastle Airport can be reached in less than 1 hour from most destinations in Northumberland and is easily accessible. The airport handles flights from the UK and a wide range of European destinations. Emirates airlines now operate a daily service connecting North East England to the Middle East and beyond.
                Newcastle Airport
                T: +44 (0)871 882 1121
                www.newcastleairport.com

                By Car
                Northumberland has fantastic access from Scotland and the south via the A1 London to Edinburgh highway running the length of the county. The A69 and A66 connect to the M6 whilst the A19 provides an alternative route from the south, linking the Port of Tyne to Northumberland.

                By Rail
                Northumberland is about 3 ½ hours from London Kings Cross. Services to and within Northumberland are operated by National Express East Coast, Cross Country Trains and Northern Rail.

                National Rail Enquiries
                T: +44 (0)8457 48 49 50
                www.nationalrail.co.uk
                National Express East Coast
                T: +44 (0)8457 225 333
                www.nationalexpresseastcoast.co.uk


                Cross Country Trains
                T: +44 (0)844 811 0124
                www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk
                Northern Rail
                T: +44 (0)8457 000 125
                www.northernrail.co.uk

                By Sea
                Regular ferry crossings link North Shields with Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Bergen, Stavanger and Haugesund in Norway.

                DFDS Seaways
                T: +44 (0)871 522 9955
                www.dfdsseaways.com

                By Coach
                A cost-effective way to reach Northumberland.
                National Express Travel Enquiries
                T: +44 (0)8717 818179
                www.nationalexpress.com

                MegaBus Travel Enquiries

                Thank you for reading
                manlybeach Masy 2009

                Thank you for reading
                manlybeach May 2009

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                  14.05.2009 19:47
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                  Plug in fragrancer but far too strong for me

                  Yankee candles are at the forefront of candlemaking and are always the leaders in coming up with new ideas. The plug in fragrances are fairly new on the market and make an ideal alternative to conventional candles.

                  Inside the box you will find a glass bottle containing the essential oils and this is attached to the plug in bit. The unit also has a white shade on top which makes it look rather attractive as well as acting as a cover for the bottle.
                  There are three power levels on the unit so you can choose how much fragrance is released. In a small room level one would be enough and in a larger room level three. Obviously you plug the unit into an electric socket and away you go. Within a few minutes the fragrance begins to come through.

                  ***What Yankee Candles say***
                  Invigorate your home with the Clean Cotton Electric Home Fragrance Unit. Rich in the true to life scents of sun dried cotton sheets combined with green notes, white flowers, and just a hint of lemon, this plug-in electric air freshener is sure to bring the freshness of the great outdoors into your home. The Clean Cotton Electric Home Fragrance Unit is high quality and easy to use.
                  I plugged the unit in at the bottom of the stairs and very shortly afterwards I could smell the fragrance coming through to the sitting room. What I was expecting was the smell of a brand new cotton shirt when you first take it out of the packaging or sheets dried on the line on a crisp spring day but this is not what I smelt.

                  I'm sad to say I was not impressed by this one. It wasn't my idea of clean cotton although others who have smelt this fragrance say they like it so I guess it's all down to personal taste. The smell was one of such a strong perfume which I found was very overpowering even on the lowest setting.So strong was the smell after half an hour I had to unplug it as it was giving me a headache and the smell was sticking in the back of my throat. I usually love Yankee candles but this was a real let down for me. I would suggest you have a sniff of this one in candle form to see if you like the actual smell because, as I said before, it's down to personal taste and you may well like it.
                  These plug in units generally last for around 4-6 weeks and are priced at £8.49 at YankeeDoodle.co.uk or £7.21 from The ScentedCandleShop.com on special offer at the moment (May 2009) Refills are also available at £5.09.

                  I think these units are a bit on the expensive side considering they only last for 4-6 weeks so I doubt I will try any of the other fragrances available and stick with the candles and fragranced reeds instead.
                  Thank you for reading
                  manlybeach 2009

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                    14.05.2009 12:09
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                    The smell of real strawberries to fragrance your home

                    Of all the fruity scented Yankee Candles Sweet Strawberry is my favourite. Readers over a certain age will remember how strawberries used to taste before mass production in greenhouses churning out the far less tasty varieties began. They were lucious,juicy,soft and so sweet you didn't have to add any sugar to them. Well this is what Sweet Strawberry smells like just like an old fashioned strawberry. With my eyes closed I could just imagine a lovely bowlfull sitting in front of me waiting to be devoured when I smell this candle. Just looking at it's lovely red colour accompanied by the delicious aroma makes it almost good enough to eat!

                    This one comes in various forms but in this case I am reviewing the jar version which has some advantages over tealights and votives. Firstly it lasts much longer with a burn time of 30-45 hours for the small jar (£6.36), 45-90 hours for the medium jar (£12.74) and 90-150 hours for the large jar (£15.29). Prices quoted are from the Scented Candle Shop.com who have a 15% off offer on at the moment with free next day delivery when spending over £20 . This is the cheapest I have found them at but be prepared to pay more if you go elsewhere.
                    Secondly when extinguishing a candle you always get that burning smell for a few seconds whereas with a jar candle you simply replace the top which cuts off the air supply and the candle goes out leaving no nasty niffs! The glass jars can also be reused once washed out either for making your own candles in or as storage jars.
                    So would I recommend Sweet Strawberry? Yes without doubt if you like fruity smells to refresh your home this is definitely one of the best. Go to your local garden centre and smell the strawberries in a jar and I'm sure you'll love it!

                    Thank you for reading
                    manlybeach May 2009

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                      13.05.2009 20:49
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                      A lovely way to fragrance your home at Christmas

                      Yankee Candle Cinnamon Stick tealights are on my shopping list every Christmas. I first tried them a couple of years ago and loved the homely, slightly spicy aroma so reminiscent of the smells we associate with the Festive period. Mince Pies and Christmas cake cooking in the oven, freshly baked cinnamon cookies and mulled wine are all present in these lovely little tealights. A real smell of home cooking but not overly strong just a gentle hint as you enter the room they are burning in.

                      I mainly use them in the kitchen with one or two in the sitting room too. I don't even need to light them as I can still detect the aroma when sitting or working near them. Any I don't light I put away for the following year as Yankee Candles do not lose their scent at all like some of the cheaper candles on the market.
                      The tealights come in a box of 12 and are priced around the £5.99 mark with each one having an approximate burn time of 4-6 hours. You can buy much cheaper tealights but I find they don't burn as long as Yankee Candles nor does the fragrance last right till the very end so I consider it a false economy

                      Yankee candles are available from most good garden centres.and some department stores but I tend to buy mine online mainly from Yankeedoodle.co.uk where they often have some good deals on.
                      Next time you're at the garden centre give these tealights a sniff and I'm sure you'll like them. They are not always available all year round with them being a Christmas fragrance so perhaps better to wait until nearer Christmas to try them out.

                      Thank you for reading
                      manlybeach 2009

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                        13.05.2009 16:12
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                        Makes your home smell lovely

                        Yankee candles Baby Powder fragrance is one of my favourite smells so I was very interested to try out the fragrance in the new reed diffuser variety. I had never used reeds before and wasn't sure of what was involved but decided to order them from Scented Candle Shop.com where they were advertised at the cheapest price I could find of £13.59 for the small (50ml) and £16.99 for the large(200ml). I decided to opt for the small version and, on placing my order, I was delighted to find it was free delivery.

                        When the package arrived I couldn't wait to try them out. Inside was a slim glass bottle containing the fragranced oil with a lift off top and a screw off top. You remove the lift off top and then take off the screw top. Next put back the lift off top and this is where the reeds go into It was very simple to insert the reeds and it was then ready to go. I placed the diffuser in my bathroom and sure enough, after about a half an hour, the lovely baby powder fragrance began to gently waft about the room. It was by no means strong just a very subtle absolutely delightful smell exactly the same as the Baby Powder candle which I love so much. The oil also has the advantage of being alcohol free so is a more true to life smell.
                        The advantage of a reed diffuser over candles is you can leave it unattended which you obviously can't with a lighted candle. It is always gently releasing the fragrance into the air through the reeds so once you have set it up there is very little to do afterwards. You are advised to invert the reeds every now and then to refresh the fragrance but I only did that once as I found they soaked up the oil very slowly and it wasn't really necessary. The diffuser lasted for around 4 months which I think was pretty good. The bottle can be reused with other fragranced oils although I haven't been able to find any Yankee candles refills up to now. This is a shame as they are my favourite of all the candlemakers. Hopefully they will bring out refills in the future.

                        So in conclusion I would recommend reed diffusers as they are a safe way to fragrance your home without the risk of split wax or fire. They are an attractive addition to your decor and will go into any room without taking up too much valuable space.

                        Thank you for reading
                        manlybeach May 2009

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                          20.04.2009 17:34
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                          A good moisturiser and toner

                          Garnier Skin Naturals Ultralift anti wrinkle day cream is a product I have been using for a couple of years now. I have used various Garnier products and have never suffered any irritation on my sensitive skin and this is what prompted me to give this one a try. Also, being on the wrong side of 50, I hoped it would help with the appearance of my wrinkles and fine lines. I really want to look 20 years younger but short of cosmetic surgery I don't think there's a cat in Hells chance of that! But I live in eternal hope!

                          ** What The Blurb Says**
                          The Ultralift range has been specially designed for skin that is showing signs of ageing, suffered loss of skin elasticity and firmness.
                          Using natural ingrediants, including 10 times more concentrated ginger than before,helps to decrease deep wrinkles and and firm the skin.
                          As you can see from the picture this cream comes in a red glass pot with a white domed screw off lid. The cream itself is white and of a thick consistency which spreads easily over the skin. It is lightly fragranced and whilst I can't put my finger on what it smells like it is very pleasant.

                          ** Directions for Use**
                          Warm up a small amount of cream between your hands and apply to thoroughly cleansed skin in light upwards circular movements. Massage stimulates the skins micro circulation and improves the appearance.
                          I use this every morning after cleansing and toning and find a couple of pea sized blobs is generally ample to cover my whole face. On application I can feel it tightening the skin especially around the cheekbone area and the laughter lines from the sides of my nose down to the corners of my mouth. The forehead feels more taut as well but not in a way which makes me feel I am wearing a mask just firmer and more toned. This effect can be felt for some time and is in no way uncomfortable.

                          ** So does it Work?**
                          Well yes and no! I don't look 20 years younger but I do feel when I am wearing it that my skin feels and looks more toned. The wrinkles and fine lines are still there but not quite so prominent as they are without wearing the cream.My skin absorbs the cream quickly and feels moisturised and soft without any tackiness to the touch.
                          .
                          So all in all I would say it is a very good moisturing face cream which does help with skin tone and elasticity but not a miracle cream that will make all your lines disappear like magic.
                          ** Ingredients**
                          Glycolic acid
                          Hyaluaronic acid
                          Skin relaxing Ginger
                          Wheat Proteins
                          Cherry Extract

                          ** Other Items in the Range**
                          Ultralift Intensive Daycream
                          Daycream with SPF15
                          Night Cream
                          Eye Cream
                          Firming Mask
                          I bought my 50ml pot from Superdrug for £7.99 but it can be found on offer regularly. Feelunique ( formerly Island Cosmetics) retail it for £6.99 inclusive of delivery and it can also be found in most good supermarkets and chemists.

                          So in conclusion a good moisturiser at a reasonable price that will help with the look of wrinkles , fine lines and skin tone but won't knock 20 years off your age!

                          Thank you for reading
                          manlybeach

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                            17.04.2009 14:18
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                            Luxurious bodywash

                            Having fallen in love with Clinique Aromatics Elixir perfume I thought I would give the matching body wash a try.I had a birthday coming up so asked my husband to buy it for me which he duly did bless him.

                            The body wash comes in the same lemon coloured box as the perfume with Aromatics Elixir Body Wash in gold coloured writing and the following on the back: Now the famous complexity of Aromatics Elixir can wash the body with scent. For shower apply body wash to moistened skin and complete your shower as usual. For tub bathing dispence gel under running water to create a scented foam that leaves skin fragrenced cleansed and softened. There is then a long list of the ingredients which don't really give any idea of what it smells like so I won't bore you with them.
                            So on to smell. Obviously it smells the same as the perfume with a fresh woody character with light violet overtones, camomile, white jasmine and patchouli. It is not as strong as the perfume but a milder version of it. Does make the bathroom smell wonderful though.

                            The tube itself is lemon coloured with a flip top dispenser which is easy to use and handle in the bath or shower. I squeezed out a ten pence piece sized blob onto my net scrunchie thingy which I think was too much as it lathers up really well and I probably could have washed myself twice over with the amount of foam. Clinique call it a gel but I would say it was more a golden coloured cream, quite thick and luxurious.
                            I was a bit concerned about my "delicate" parts with it being a perfumed product but there was no irritation at all. The lather was rich ,smelt lovely and felt luxurious.
                            Aterwards my skin smelt of the fragrance but not strongly so and it lasted for the rest of the night. I felt thouroughly cleansed and my skin was nice and soft.

                            My husband paid £15.90 for 200mls from Island Cosmetics with no P&P which seems expensive for a body wash but considering you don't need much of it to get a good lather it should last a fair while. I wouldn't use it everyday either maybe just special occasions or when I feel the need for a bit of pampering (that'll be most days then!). It can be bought from StrawberryNet for £14 something but as this company is based abroad and I've never dealt with them before i'm not sure if there would be any import duties payable.
                            Conclusion
                            I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this gel especially if you are already a fan of the perfume. I would love to use it every day but tend to save it for special occasions due to the price. So if you have a birthday coming up drop a few hints and give it a try I'm sure you'll love it!

                            Thank you for reading
                            manlybeach

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                            • Samsung LE-32A556 / LCD TV / 143 Readings / 136 Ratings
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                              15.04.2009 15:37
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                              excellent telly

                              After much deliberation we decided to upgrade our old Panasonic to a LCD HD television which would free up some space in our small living room and give an improved picture quality. So off we went to the retail park and began looking. We went into Currys then Comet , PC World back into Currys and Comet by which time I was sick as a chip! My husband asked which one I liked best to which I replied "the Panasonic Vierra" and as usual he totally ignored me and decided the Samsung LE32A556P was the best one he had seen. As he was paying I left the final decision up to him.

                              I must admit the Samsung did have a slightly better picture quality than the Panasonic and I think it was only the fact I didn't know much about Samsung that was holding me back. Anyhow we decided this was the one we would go for but we would go back home and do a price comparison on the computer to find the best deal first.
                              The price in Currys was £749 and on doing a price comparison we found the cheapest was Dixons at a total of £555.49 including delivery. A considerable saving especially when you consider Dixons and Currys are owned by the same company. So we went ahead and ordered it and a couple of days later it arrived.

                              I have no technological interest at all so left the setting up to my husband. He said it was the easiest telly he's ever set up. Just a case of plug it in and let the remote control do the channel set up. The only fiddling to do would be to alter the picture or sound etc if you weren't happy with the factory settings it comes with.The manual explains how to do everything and tells you of all the other things that can be done. So if, like my husband, you like playing with the buttons and changing everything around then you will also be pleased to know there is a reset facility which will put it all back again should you mess it up!
                              SO WHAT DOES IT HAVE?
                              1080 Pixels which basically means it is High Definition (HD) quality
                              3 HDMI sockets
                              Graphic Equaliser
                              2 Scart sockets
                              PC Input
                              Wiselink this function enables you to view photos (JPEG) and listen to audio files (MP3) saved on a USB MSC device

                              Automatic Software Updates
                              Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
                              Anynet which finds any new equipment you plug into the telly and recognises it without it having to be tuned in

                              4 Energy saving settings: low or off giving the best picture quality through to high which is the most energy saving but produces an inferior picture. However the only real difference I could see was the picture was darker with the high setting but perfectly watchable.
                              Built in Freeview


                              Automatic Volume control. This keeps the volume at a steady level so you will no longer be shouted at by that annoying man from the BOGOF windows advert. However it means when this is in action you can't turn the sound up really high which I like to do when listening to my favourite radio station Mojo. Rock music is meant to played loud although I don't think my neighbours agree! When I get time I will find the button that turns that off ha ha.
                              Sound output of 10w x2 and built in surround sound

                              The telly measures 865mm wide and 561mm high with a depth of 220mm. It weighs 13.7kg with the stand and it can also be wall mounted if desired. The visable screen size is 32".
                              The remote control is fairly straightforward and the manual gives step by step instructions so you don't need a degree to understand it.

                              SO WHAT'S IT LIKE?
                              Well, comparing it to the old Panasonic which also had Freeview built in and had a good picture, I can see a definite improvement. The colours are more realistic and the overall picture much clearer. It has a very realistic almost 3D quality to it. I notice it most on outside shots where it is so real looking I could almost believe I was there. I can imagine having a bigger screen would enhance the experience even more but unfortunately we didn't have the room to take up this option.
                              I haven't got the best hearing but even I could notice the difference in the quality of the sound. With the old telly the sound was flat if you know what I mean whereas with this one it is much clearer and crisp. I can hear background noises now such as a phone ringing or footsteps. It doesn't seem very important but to be able to hear more or less everything going on has made a big difference to me.

                              The only negatives I can come up with are it is slightly slower than the Panasonic in coming on and changing channels which can be annoying when I am missing the beginning of Corrie. Also when changing channels ,on the old telly, programme information would come up at the bottom of the screen but it doesn't with this one. However they are both very minor niggles that I can live with.
                              One problem we did have at first was the picture would keep freezing. We upgraded the ariel and this has helped but not removed the problem entirely. It is easily remedied by turning the telly off then back on again though and happens so rarely now we don't worry about it. The Panasonic used to it sometimes as well especially if the weather was really bad so we're aren't sure if the same thing is happening here or if it's just a case of a bad signal from time to time. However if I do find out anymore I will update this review.


                              As with all tellys like this the manual advises against leaving a still image on the screen for longer than two hours as it can cause screen burn. So now when I pause my recording of Eastenders while I go and peel the spuds for tea my husband panicks and turns it off. I don't know how many spuds he thinks i'm doing! Really it's just an excuse so he doesn't have to watch Eastenders I reckon!
                              I must admit I do think my husband made a good choice with this telly. The picture and sound quality has enhanced my viewing pleasure. I like it's sleek black profile which saves so much room and I love the fact that it doesn't attract dust!

                              This is my first "techno" review so I hope I have covered the things most people would want to know. If I haven't then please let me know...I will probably ignore you though as this is as technical as I get!
                              Thanks for reading
                              manlybeach

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                                11.04.2009 20:34
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                                Lovely smell

                                I discovered this perfume a couple of years ago after trying a tester and it very quickly became a firm favourite of mine. The fragrance is from Estee Lauder subsidary company Clinique.

                                Aromatics comes in a lemon coloured box and the bottle is glass as shown in the picture with a spray top. It retails for around the £30 mark 25ml size and can be bought at most good department stores and chemists. It is also available at most online fragrance sites at a slightly cheaper price so do shop around.

                                <<<What Clinique say>>>
                                The fragrance has a rich woody dry character with light violet undertones. The rich fragrant ingredients that also have physical benefits include
                                Rose de mai for toning properties
                                Sandalwood and camomile for cleansing
                                Orange blossom to relax muscles
                                White jasmine
                                Oakmoss and Patchouli

                                When first sprayed on it is quite strong and spicy and, at first, I wasn't sure I liked it. However, after waiting for about 15 minutes, it had died down to a lighter, fresher and slightly floral scent. The final smell I was left with was a subtle sweet and ever so slightly fruity fragrance which I really loved. I have had many compliments when wearing it from both men and women and from various age groups too. In fact my daughter who is 27 often "borrows" it and I know ladies in their 70's who love it too so it's a scent suitable for any age.
                                It can be worn at any time and for any occasion as it is not overpowering and has a sort of classiness about it. My husband really likes it and he's not keen on many perfumes but reckons this is one of my better ones!

                                CONCLUSION
                                I would recommend you try a tester of this perfume but don't judge it straight away. Perfume has three stages the first being when it is first applied. This is called the top note and will be a stronger smell than the one you finally end up with.
                                The second is the middle note which can kick in after 10 minutes or thereabouts. This will be remnants of the initial smell but with a new set of ingredients blending with it.

                                The third is the smell you are left with and is called the base note. Stages 1 & 2 will die down to be joined by the last of the ingredients to complete the fragrance. This can take up to 30 minutes sometimes longer.
                                So you really need to wait about half an hour before you make a decision on whether it's for you or not. Give it a try it won't cost you anything for a tester and you might like it.

                                Thank you for reading
                                manlybeach

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                                  09.04.2009 16:34
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                                  A gentle cleanser suitable for sensitive skin

                                  When I was in Asda the other week I thought I would have alook at the toiletries aisle to check out facial cleansers as mine was nearly empty. I had been using Clinique extra mild but at £11 a bottle I was on the lookout for something cheaper and wondered if Asda had anything suitable on offer. Being in my 50's my skin is mature with a tenency to be dry and sensitive so I have to be careful what products I use.

                                  Nothing immediately grabbed my eye but then I noticed Asda Essential Care Sensitive face cleanser. It was in an unassuming slim clear plastic bottle with a flip top lid and to be honest it didn't look too inspiring but as time was getting on I checked the price and put it in the trolley. At £1.89 I didn't expect much but thought at that price it was worth a punt and if it wasn't any good at least I hadn't wasted any serious money.


                                  ***WHAT ASDA SAY ABOUT THE PRODUCT***

                                  ESSENTIAL CARE SENSITIVE has been specially developed for sensitive skin using formulations that are free from harsh ingredients and unnecessary additives that can aggravate delicate skin. A gentle cleanser that nourishes dry skin while removing impurities. Enriched with Aloe Vera to soothe and soften the skin and Vitamin E to moisturise and improve skin condition. pH balanced and suitable for sensitive skin. Dermatologically tested. 100% fragrance and colour free. Suitable for all skin types. Asda is against animal testing and funds research into alternatives.
                                  Country of Origin UNITED KINGDOM
                                  Packaging Dispenser
                                  Pack Size 200 ml

                                  I thought the best plan of action was to try it out a couple of times and if they was any reaction with my sensitive skin then I would just go back to the Clinique cleanser I still had in the cupboard. The instructions on the bottle are in very small writing and even with my glasses on I struggled to read it. I thought oh what the hell I know how to wash my face and set to splashing my face and neck with warm water before squeezing small amount of the fluid onto my hand and worked into all the nooks and crannies of which there are quite a few!

                                  The cleanser is a thick white lotion with no detectable smell to it and it spread quickly and easily around my face. I felt it was giving me a thorough cleanse and was pleasant to use. As I rinsed it off with warm water my face didn't feel at all dry or tight and almost like it had a film of moisture left on it. In fact it felt just as good as the Clinique cleanser and I hadn't had to use as much as the Clinique to get the same effect.

                                  When I finally managed to read the instructions on the bottle it said I should be using a cottonwool pad soaked in the cleanser but as I prefer the soap and water approach to cleansing my face I carried on using it in this manner and it works just fine.When checking the Asda website for more information on the product I noticed there was also a cream wash available so perhaps this is what I should have chosen but for the time being I am completely satisfied with what I am using. Maybe when it runs out I will give the cream wash a try.

                                  I have been using this for nearly a month now and have not had any reaction to the cleanser nor have I broken out in blackheads or spots so it's definitely doing a great job of cleansing my skin gently without drying it out. I am prone to a few blackheads around the nose area but I have noticed they are disappearing. Now I can't say it's all down to using this cleanser but, as it's the only new product I've used, I feel it must be helping. My skin feels clean, soft and definitely not tight or dry so all in all I am very pleased with the results I'm getting from this incredibly cheap cleanser. I'm so impressed I'm going to check out others in the range too and maybe do a review on them too!


                                  ***INGREDIENTS***

                                  Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-20 Stearate, Sodium Carbomer, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Ceteareth-20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid

                                  ***ALSO IN THE CLEANSING RANGE***

                                  4in 1 face wipes
                                  Eye make up remover
                                  Toner
                                  Eye make up remover pads
                                  Cream Wash

                                  I would definitely recommend this cleanser as I feel it is every bit as good as the much more expensive Clinique at a fraction of the price.So if you're looking to save a bit of money in your cleansing routine give this one a go and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

                                  Please note the picture dooyoo are showing is of the face wipes not the cleanser.

                                  Thank you for reading

                                  manlybeach March 2009

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