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I received this as a Xmas gift and having not previously heard at all of Thierry Mugler as opposed to Chanel I smelt it, I took a risk and actually liked it!
I have always liked my perfumes to smell sweet instead of floral and this is at the height of the spectrum- the smell to me smells like walking into an old sweet shop with all the glass jars lined up against the back wall. It smells like icing sugar with an undertone of vanilla and almond. Basically, what you would expect an Angel to smell like- heavenly that is.
However I feel that this scent is quite light as opposed to sultry, floral, deep and musky- so it is a young persons perfume and would be out of place on a more mature skin.
In my little 15ml perfume box I even received a small little envelope invitation to become part of the online world of Thierry Mugler for offers on his products and news on latest developments and such- I thought it was a nice touch to the perfume to find a little hidden gift in there.
Having been on his website, I found out that you can buy larger star shaped bottles which are refillable at department stores and the re-fills are cheaper to buy than rebuying another bottle of the scent too so that seems to be an in-scent-ive for some people. (Excuse the pun!)
The one that was bought for me however was a non-refillable one - which was a little disappointing- but the branding on the website for the non-refillable ones make it seem quite romantic- like fleeting stars which gradually fade and run out of light.
The bottle is quite cute, it is a star shape but not a conventional one- it is more like a star that you would find on top of a xmas tree at xmas shape- more of a biblical and astronomical shape as opposed to the conventional style so this perfume bottle doesn't stand up on its own which is a bit of a shame on my shelf.
I temped for a Bare Minerals counter at work for one day and learnt so much about their products. They have revamped their branding to look a bit like the "Benefit" counter. Also they no longer have "i.d" on any of their products.
This product review is for the "True" colour pot that they advertise as an all over the face colour, when personally I use it as a subtle blusher which looks pretty and gives a nice glow.
The packaging is a simple small plastic container with a matt black cover which you twist off. Inside there is a "twist, lock, go" system where you twist the container and lock into place which opens the holes inside which releases the powder.
This is very handy if you are a total klutz like me who has the tendancy to drop things and the expensive powder goes POOF all over your carpet and you want to cry.
To get an even and perfect coverage- Bare Minerals have a little demonstration video usually on their counters which tell you to "swirl, tap and buff" their products.
This means that using a blusher or kabuki brush you swirl the powder in the lid of your product, you then tap off the excess off the brush and then buff it onto the desired area- and it works- a lovely even coverage that a make up artist would be proud of.
This powder is much more pinky than in the photo above and in it has tiny micro bits of glitter which are pinky, silvery and gold, giving your cheeks a shine.
This make up is also said to be so natural and good for your face that you can even sleep in it, and I can believe them- none of my pillows have been covered in powder and my boyfriend has never complained about it either.
Due to being such a high quality product though- you do have to pay a premium- these pots are £20 each, and they do not really do sales and discounts at these counters. I got this as a gift from someone and treasure it dearly as I do use it daily to bring back the colour in my cheeks and I have had a pot of this for over a year and have not used all of it yet. You would be surprised how little you need to get a nice look.
Firstly the cost: I bought this book on ebay for £5.60, and on Amazon I think currently its £6.99- it is near impossible to find this book in your standard bookstore as it is an American cooking book and lots of stores still don't have a decent enough vegan section.
This book is in an attractive and fun "kooky" design throughout that would make this new generation of "Cath Kidston" houseproud people well... prouder! One thing I would say about the design though is that there really are not enough mouthwatering photos to oogle over and decide what you want to cook. Also I find having a photo there is a guide for me so I can make my cakes look like theirs.
Having said that, the book is very helpful and has appendices in the front which explain the best ingredients for vegan cupcakes and why they are used essentially and caveats incase you want to go off the rails from their original recipes.
They also have a troubleshooting guide for many problems like cupcakes sinking and mixtures being lumpy which are extremely helpful as well but as long as you follow their exact methods, you should not be having problems anyway! Most of the problems entail impatience and opening the oven too soon because you would be over eager to eat the cakes or to ice them etc...
After the cakes section, they have a whole section on icing so you can pick and choose your icing to match the cake if you do not want to take their recommendation.
Even if you are not a vegan, these cupcakes would fool an omnivore they are that good.
These cooks even have put the extra effort to make vegan cupcakes incredibly interesting with flavoured cupcakes like Green tea and rosewater ones and chocolate orange ones. They even have written next to most of the recipes a way to vary it with a slight difference in the flavour to create whole new combinations of cupcake. Such as they have a recipe for a standard chocolate cupcake but they revamp it into a cookies and cream cupcake as well.
They also do low fat recipes and gluten free ones so they cater for all types of problems that people may have. I personally am lactose intolerant and love being able to eat piles of cakes and not be sick!
The ingredients are surprisingly not that hard to find- Holland and Barrett stocks agave nectar (which they use like a sugary syrup or honey to make frosting) and supermarkets all stock soy milk, flours, sugars, extracts and shortening (which I previously was tearing my hair up about as I had never heard of it before- its VEGETABLE FAT/LARD)
I would say though, buying more healthy ingredients does cost more than the usual cupcake ingredients but you do have to pay more for being healthy I guess.
One more thing I would say though is that as it is an American book, buy yourself a set of cup measures as this will make your life a lot easier otherwise you have to go online and type in cups to grams conversion and it really does take up more of the time that you could be eating your creations!
Other than that, have fun eating "healthy" cupcakes :D
Cath Kidston has rocketed in popularity over the last 5 years with her "vintage" outlook on designs and revamping the British attitudes to being houseproud.
She has opening branches and small franchises in department stores not only in London but branching out into towns like Canterbury (where I live, and its a MASSIVE store too)
I first bought this mug from a kitchenware store much like Lakeland- and they were selling these mugs for £4 each which are a much better price than the £6 they charge in Cath Kidston stores. But during sale time, these mugs sell for as little as £2.50
The only place where you can see the branding of Cath Kidston is on the bottom of the mug anyway but her designs are so well known now and lots of other vendors are copying her floral or clear cut designs such as this one- I say that for a cheap price, its worth having a Cath Kidston mug so it can make your friends swoon with jealousy for having the real deal.
The mug designs don't just come in this starry version, there are many to suit different pallettes such as dainty floral ones, large floral patterns and fruity ones too.
The mug is also quite large so would be great for tea lovers who prefer a bucket of tea as opposed to a small jam jar size of tea.
It is just a standard ceramic mug and is NOT made from bone china, although she does also stock those as well.
I never knew what Sourz were before I set foot at university and everywhere during freshers week kept giving £1 shots of Sourz in all the different flavours and I have tried them all due to the offers.
There is the very popular Apple, the newest one Raspberry (which I adore now), Cherry and Pineapple. Sometimes they bring out special edition ones near Christmas and there is one with Apple and Cranberry.
The Xmas bottle is very pretty and has snowflakes on it so the company is very obvious about special editions.
However, the bottles in the picture above are very different to what they are now... they have a better more "bubbly" logo, and do not have the crest on it, but the colours of the bottle remain the same as with the shape.
These bottles retail at about £11 each, but in places such as Macros can go for as little as £7 + vat.
These tend to get mixed a lot to make more fruitier cocktails if you are the creative type but otherwise these are fine for shotting.
The alcohol content is at 17% so reasonably strong, though the alcoholic taste is not that strong among the fruity taste, though the aftertaste is as they say "Sour"
These are available at practically every pub now, even weatherspoons offers them behind the bar!
ASDA has been a revelation to my life due its competitive pricing compared to other supermarkets.
In this packet you get 100 straws for £1.50 however near BBQ time in the summer, this can be reduced to £1.
The neon colours work for all sorts of parties and occassions - even for day to day use, from neon crazy rave parties to sophisticated cocktail nights in with the girls and children's parties. The colours included are pink, green, yellow and orange.
These straws are also not your normal burger joint straws as they have the bendy capability in the top of them so they can bend over the side of your cocktail or juice tumbler glass neatly.
They are quite small, so if you are drinking particularly thick beverages like smoothies, I would use two to drink with.
Also they are quite thin and flimzy and can break easily- so some people use straws as kids craft material but I would get some tougher ones.
There is not really a lot to say other than that they are pretty standard straws in pretty colours.
One disadvantage I would say is that they should have far more colours available such as blue and purple etc as the neon range seems to be quite limited.
I am a sweetie snob, but I have always prefered my sweets to be meat and animal free and more naturally fruit based as opposed to colorings and E-numbers.
These sweets were formally known as OPAL FRUITS and generally in their standard packet in consists of strawberry, blackcurrent, lime, lemon and orange chews. The packet is bright yellow in colour with bright writing and pictures of fruits scattered on it.
Each one is individually wrapped in a corresponding colour of red, purple, green, yellow and orange, so it is less sticky for the consumer to eat. They usually come in a 45g packet in a tube style thing for 60p in supermarkets but you can get bumper packets for £1.50 and you do get a lot in them around 40 or 50 chews.
-TASTE AND SMELL-
Starburst has no artificial colorings in it and uses real fruit juices to make their flavourings so they do not taste fake like some fruit flavoured sweets do. They also smell pretty authentic as well.
I now know there are variants like the Starburst Smoothie flavours and even though they boast that one of the flavours is yoghurty, it is still VEGAN, meaning no egg, no animal product and no dairy.
They really should market this to vegans, as very few know that this product is safe!
I have enjoyed the tipple of Southern Comfort for many years now. It has a memorable smooth whiskey-ish taste to it which is refreshing when mixed with Lemonade. However, I find that most bars and pubs get this mix a bit wrong- they either put too much spirit in it which makes it taste like pure alcohol, or they put too little so it tastes like you are drinking just a soft fizzy drink.
When this pre-mix came out in supermarkets- I was psyched. Being a student I couldn't afford a massive bottle to myself as the litre ones cost £20 and the 50cl ones are about £12 and on top of that buying lemonade was a big issue as I knew I did not know the right mix to drink it as either.
These cans come individually but cost 4 cans for £5 in most good supermarkets, so they are not expensive to purchase and they are easily kept in the fridge so perfect for BBQs too. On their own they retail at about £1.80 each if not on this special offer, which is still cheaper than bars and pubs!
They come in the slimline shape of a red bull can as opposed to Coke can, so I suppose in that respect, they seem more refined and "grown up" to drink at BBQ's as well.
Now to the taste, the mix does not taste particularly strong which is great, it has a great balance with the smooth whisky with the sharpness of the lime and the fizz of the lemonade, it is entirely pleasant that my grandmother drinks this mix as she has always been a fan of Southern Comfort as well.
I was introduced to fruit tea long before normal tea as it is more suited to sweeter and younger pallettes such as mine.
I have always enjoyed berries and that manner of forest fruit and decided to drink this herbal/fruit tea rather than the normal green or mint tea. I did not know what a loganberry was but from the packaging I gathered that it just looked like a rather large raspberry? And anything with raspberry and strawberry also in it cannot be that bad now.
I found it was quite easy to brew, just add hot water, or even cold as it does taste quite nice cold as well. But I did find that you did have to squeeze and poke at the bag to get more of the richness of the flavour out as it just floated and took ages to filter itself. On its own the flavour is more sharp instead of sweet tasting but this is remedied by adding runny honey to the mixture, DO NOT add sugar! Keep it healthy and natural with the honey and I promise you it will taste perfect.
Also in the ingredients there is Blackberry Leaf and this will alleviate most stomach gripes you will have, so this is a nice natural and soothing remedy for most ailments. And 20 bags only cost about £1.80 in the supermarkets. Bargain.
Being from Ireland, Bailey's and Guinness are my go-to happy places.
Guinness for the nights out and Bailey's for the sophisticated night in. Bailey's can be used in cooking and personally I use it to lace hot chocolates as it tastes gorgeous.
You can get the 700ml bottles of Baileys for around £13 and they do last a long time if you are just merely using it for cooking and shotting occassionally.
Also, Bailey's have released various flavour variations on their original recipe and these I find are even better than the real thing. The ones that I know of include Mint Chocolate, Creme Caramel and Hazelnut, and you can taste the little hint of something extra among that creamy silkiness that is Baileys. It can be a little sickly if you drink a lot of it in one go so hence why a lot of people dislike it or have bad memories from it.
Also Bailey's is also a Haagan Daaz flavour! Though I sincerely doubt there would be any alcohol content and instead just the flavouring and if you are interested, at the moment I know ASDA are doing an offer where all haagan daaz is just £2 a big pot.
When you have just been dumped and you feel like rubbish, this is the book for you. You can empathise with the main character's bitterness and then laugh at his crazy thoughts.
Basically, the bloke whose point of view the book is written from is called Will, he is an ex film student, working as a teacher (a job which he hates) and lives in a studio flat in North London (which he also hates) and his only lifeline to the world is his telephone from which he gets phone calls from his best mate Simon (who he hates a little bit), Alice (who is way beyond his league and he secretly fancies but could never actually fancy because she is too amazing) and Martina (the one-night stand who he keeps trying to get off the phone).
The way this book is written is with biting sarcasm and a very clear insight into a human's mind when they are in a state of grief like his.. even though Aggi (his ex) left him 3 years ago and he still pathetically is not over it and he daydreams about the day she broke up with him and fantasizes about her coming back to him. It is written very vividly and aptly seeing as the author Mike Gayle was an Agony Uncle.
I could read this over and over and over. Gets me giggling on the bus and people look at me strangely....
After going to Thorpe park 4 times at different periods of my life, after riding on Stealth which is supposed to be scary and fast, this one tops it all.
I personally have not seen the Saw films as of yet, but know the general theme of gore and blood and a weird creepy fellow called Jigsaw.
This year was my first experience of Saw, I had only just eaten at KFC with my friends (BIG MISTAKE!) and while being tentative about going on the ride, we thought it would be popular enough that we would have to queue for a long time to give us enough time to digest.
The Queue line is made creatively, the fences have iron railings and barbed wire along the top, the inside of the housing of the ride looked desolate and creepy with broken and bloodied mannequins strewn about the place.
Getting to the front of the ride, my friend felt a bit sick, but I told him to stick it through as we were already sitting in our seats. I felt a little nautious myself seeing that the ride has a totally vertical climb and a very thrillingly scary drop past some chainsaws. The ride starts off indoors and you get thrown about above a bloody pool of dead matter and Jigsaws face appearing on television screens creepily and saying weird things. I had to close my eyes on the vertical incline, it felt like impending doom. I closed them on the way down to hold my food in and then I opened them and went white.
I have never screamed so loud, I have never heard guys scream like girls before.
After getting off most rides, the normal feeling is to want to go through the rush of it all again, but as it is a traumatic experience on the senses despite the pure thrill, we all decided otherwise as we all had exceedingly wobbly legs after getting off the ride.
Elizabeth Arden is an established brand, favourited by mothers everywhere. I worked for Elizabeth Arden one year and had to get clued up on the 8 Hour range.
The 8 Hour range has even invaded my generation as my older sister swears by this on holidays as they released an 8 hour cream that is in a yellow tube instead of a white tube with built in SPF protection.
This is a multi-purpose cream, used for neck, hands, lips as it feels so mild but it is heavy duty. I do feel it is a little greasy when applying as I have naturally oily skin anyway but it does soak in after 10 minutes and softens skin for the rest of the day. Or at least when the sun light is about, so 8 hours.
The skin specialised ingredients of Lanolin and Vitamin E are soft and nourishing for the skin while the useful Glycerine is the smoothing factor and even encourages the growth of your nails if you use it as a hand cream. Due to Glycerine though, this product hence has a form of animal fat and is not suitable for those who are vegan. Elizabeth Arden also do not test on animals either but Glycerine is an ingredient found in many food stuffs also.
I am the sort of person that buys perfume cautiously. I try them on in the store, walk around shopping all day, and wait for a compliment from random passers by or my friends and then I go buy the product if they can smell it on me strongly and it is pleasant.
After spraying within the Givenchy range, which is a perfume range that I trust and grew to love while working for them, I found that Amarige was the most attractive as also, there was only one bottle left on the shelf in Debenhams too, that must mean its good!
The smell attracts the noses of others as you waft on by, it has a strong musky undertone of vanilla but with a heady floral mix after the spraying.
The bottle is beautiful yet I do not feel it matches the box as such, the bottle looks mermaid-ish and the box looks more forest like. The bottle has a shell like misted glass top and a rounded curved petal body bottle.
In the Amarige range- especially at Christmas in Debenhams, in a box set, for the same price of a bottle £35ish for a 50ml bottle, you can get a body lotion or body cream or bath gel free.
I am more susceptible to Eau to Parfum as it is stronger and more expensive (you get what you pay for!) but due to Amarige's light nature that surprisingly stays on me, Eau de Toilette is very doable.
Mac Pigments come in a whole array and themes and varieties of colours. The particular one I am reviewing is the special edition Wonder Woman Bronze Pigment which is glittery and golden and stunning to look at. The pot I have is small and clear but instead of a black top like most, it has a Superhero red lid to celebrate Wonder Woman.
The powder inside feels very fine and soft to touch with the finger tip. Being not pressed, if you do drop the pot, the beautiful and subsequently expensive powder goes everywhere and you will weep bitter tears.
Mac advertise that the powder will automatically stick to your skin, but when I was getting one of the ladies to put it on me, she put a dab of moussey stuff to make the powder stick even better. The powder will stick with a little swab of a finger or brush for a light coating but will not give a dramatic impact. For this you need a base and a good brush. With a brush you then press and dab the powder onto your eyelid and then you have high impact eyes!
I paid £18 for my pot at the Duty Free in the airport when normally other pots are £15, but I guess as mine was special edition I really did pay for that.
The lady at the counter also said I could blend it with many things and multi use it. If I choose to mix the powder with clear nail varnish I could create my own nail varnish, I could use it as a light body powder or just limit it to its use on my eyes. It really was all up to me!