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It's been a long time since I've wrote on here, mainly cos as a rule my life style is too hectic to fit any dooyoo-ing in now. But if you think it's a long time since I've written a review, some of you might be shocked to know, it had been an even longer time since I'd been to Lush! Yes, the Lush addict, stayed firmly away from Lush for almost a year! That's what being a skint student will do to you. After working 11 days on the trot with a lot of the days being 8am till 11pm (no, I'm not exaggerating), there was only one place I was headed on my day off - LUSH!!! I needed pampering and relaxing big style. Whilst I was there I bought an Avobath bath bomb as it's one that I've heard nothing but great things about and I figured it was about time I knew for myself what all the fuss was about. So today, I'm working at night and Avobath claims to be for those times where if you really really have to get up early, you should use one of these. Whilst I've not necessarily had to get up major early, I'll be working majorly late, so I figured this is one and the same thing, and that I could definitely use a bath for "liveliness, wakefulness and softer skin". This bath bomb has fresh organic avocado which is rich in vitamins A, B, D and E to nourish your skin. It also contains more potassium than a banana and can penetrate the skin well leaving it soft. It also has extra virgin olive oil, which is great for soothing skin irritation and inflammation and can even stop new spots from developing. It can also make breasts firmer (who doesn't want that!) and used regularly can help prevent breast cancer. It can help ease skin diseases and keep skin firm and tight so is good to prevent any sagging of the skin. It has Lemongrass oil, which tones skin and muscles whilst revitalising the body. It's great for cellulite and for over exerted bodies. There is also Bergamot oil, which is an anti depressant and stimulant so gives the bomb its uplifting properties, it gives feelings of freshness, joy and energy. It also improves circulation and helps maintain a good metabolism. It also relaxes and soothes nervous tension and stress. This makes this bomb perfect for those who lead a busy life and need de stressing and reviving all at once. It has Rosewood oil, which helps regenerate tissue and skin so is great for healing and as an anti ageing product. It hydrates and moisturises the skin without making it over oily. The smell of the bath bomb is gorgeous, it definitely has a citrusy scent but its one that has to be smelt to truly understand how lovely it is. When I picked this up in the shop I couldn't smell much of a scent at all, and it was only cos I had heard so much great stuff about it that I bought it anyway. However, once away from the Lush shop and all the overpowering fragrances that have mixed together, the smell is divine. It's really gorgeous, and feels uplifting from the moment you smell it. The bath was definitely uplifting. Whilst most baths relax me to the point of wanting to go straight to sleep after them, or at the very least curl up infront of the sofa, this one relaxed me in an entirely different way, that left me perked up and ready for the day ahead after it. It's quite a strange sensation if you're used to the normal routine of baths making you lazy and sleepy, but it's definitely a refreshing change. The bomb, being green itself, turned the bath water green (prize for stating the obvious?). Whilst this isn't a traditional pretty colour it is a relaxing one, and it most definitely had relaxing yet uplifting properties that matched the scent and oils of the bath bomb perfectly. Whilst some Lush products have left the bath water feeling soft and silky I have to say I didn't notice that on this one. I thought it would be a particularly silky one due to the avocado and extra virgin olive oil and due to the fact its advertised as a skin softner. My skin, post bath does feel marginally softer but nothing outstanding. That said this bath was great. The scent lasted well without being over powering and it was a gorgeous refreshing scent. The bath perked me up as promised and since I usually need more help with perking up than winding down I can definitely see this one becoming one of my all time Lush favourites! At £2.81 for a regular sized bath bomb or £7.50 for an XXL one this is hardly cheap and couldn't be an every day treat but it's well worth the price as that well needed pick me up when you really need it.
If I had to place this book in a 'genre' I would say it is definitely a mystery or thriller. Whilst it isn't a traditional fast paced crime type thriller, it definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what's going to happen next by feeding you just enough bits of information to keep you hooked and wanting to know more, it is this that drives the book forward and makes it hard to put down, as you're always waiting for a bit more to be revealed. The story starts with Alice, who is clearly quite troubled as it is, taking an impromptu train journey from London to Edinborough to visit her sisters. Shortly after arriving she goes to the toilet in the station, and witnesses something that causes her to flee Edinborough, and return straight away to London, where upon she steps in front of a car and ends up in a coma. It is then that through flash backs, and some present day parts, showing Alice's life, her mother; Ann's life, and her Grandmother; Elspeth's life, that we learn Alice's back ground, and rather than everything being kept a mystery until the last chapter, we are slowly fed more and more in little parts to put the puzzle together ourselves, to learn why Alice was acting how she did on the day she ended up in the coma. The message definitely has a theme of families and secrets, both those kept and those not. It also has a big theme of love and love lost. It shows that damage can be caused, and damage can be limited, by the secrets that are kept. The book is a very engrossing read. Whilst it didn't have me constantly guessing and second guessing myself by trying to work out what is going to happen, like some mysteries would do, it kept me glued to the book because the way that the story was gradually unraveled worked just as well as keeping everything secret. Yes, you could sort of work out as you were going along where the book was going, but not in a "oh great I already know how this will end by page 5" way, it was the gradual feeding of information that kept you gripped, waiting to know more, and the way it all revealed itself was great. The pacing was perfect, just enough to keep you constantly satisfied and interested, and wanting to know more. I loved the way it portrayed so many different characters, relationships and the factors that can affect these relationships so well. The characters all felt very real, and there was always understanding behind their actions. I loved the way the book unfolded as I mentioned, the plot was constantly driven and going somewhere, it didn't ever feel like it lost momentum. If you like books that you can't bear to put down because you need to know what is going to unfold next, then this is one for you. One thing that I found my view differed on, compared with the numerous other reviews of this book on the Internet, is that it didn't reach me emotionally like it was supposed to have. I read so many reviews claiming this as an emotional tear jerker, and I have to say I didn't find that the case whatsoever. I am one to pour out buckets of tears over books, I've been known to actually sob over books, not just the odd tear, but with this I felt nothing of the sort. I can't explain why my view is so different, had I not read so many reviews claiming it was emotional, it wouldn't be something I would have even mentioned, as I wouldn't have realized it was supposed to have been. The book was very easy to get into, the story started straight away, there was no opening section wasted on building up the characters to an unnecessary amount, which can sometimes get boring, we got to know these characters more as the story progressed, and it kept interest throughout. I was actually glad to finish this book because I don't have time to sleep much as it is (busy life these days lol) yet I still could not help but pick this up before going to sleep thinking "I'll just read one chapter", and then "I'll just read one more" and so on! It is very addictive! My mum read this before me and said the same thing! The characters were well enough developed to make the story work, and for some people they were obviously developed well enough to send the tear ducts into over drive, and whilst I didn't find the latter happened to me, I did feel that the characters were well rounded, well developed and easy for the reader to relate to and understand. I liked them enough to care what was happening next, or what had previously happened to them to lead them to this point. They book does jump about a bit, from different time periods, which aren't stated by a date at the beginning, you are just expected to understand where you are as you're reading. It also jumps about from character to character, again, with you just finding out who and what is going on as you read it. Finally it jumps from first person to third person perspective also. My mum did mention the fact it jumps about so much as a slight negative, although nothing major, but it didn't bother me whatsoever. I guess it depends how easy you find it to follow things. If you are not reading this on a regular basis (ie. Picking it up now and then) it might become confusing, but if you're reading a little every night and not going to have forgot what's happening or what's going on, it should be easy enough to follow. I certainly didn't struggle with it. Something both my mum and I enjoyed was that part of the book was set in Berwick, which we are both familiar with, and it is interesting to hear certain places mentioned that you've been to, and that you can picture in your mind, as well as the small town Berwick values which I feel are portrayed perfectly here. The rest of the book is set in London, and the story flits about between the two. If you have never been to either it wouldn't spoil your enjoyment of the book, but obviously it is interesting when you hear or see about things that you can relate to. Obviously I'm not going to give away the ending but I will say the very very end did confuse me, but I feel that may just be me, as there is no mention anywhere else of it, and I had to text my mum to ask her something which she soon cleared up, so I think it's just me on that one, as most people understood it perfectly. For me, I would have liked a slightly better ending, but it didn't matter as the book was so great as it was. This would probably appeal to any adult who likes a good mystery, likes books that look into relationships and families in a realistic way, and just loves a good page turner that you can't bear to put down.
This book would definitely fit in the mystery/crime/thriller so if you like a book that will keep you guessing and have lots of twists and turns along the way then this is one for you. It's truly gripping from the very start and is a "read in one go" kind of book. This book tells the story of Cynthia Biggie, whose whole family (her mother, father and brother) all disappear when she is just 14, in the middle of the night while she is passed out drunk after an argument with them. 25 years on and Cynthia still has no idea what happened that night and is desperate for her questions to be answered, this follows her story, told from her husbands point of view. This book is very simple in someways, it's not necessarily an in depth look at humans, like Jodi Picoult's books seem to be, truly portraying us so accurately, nor does it really have any hidden meaning. It's very simply a thriller book, and the characters whilst fine, are there to serve this exciting plot, all this book is about is enjoying the mystery and seeing it unfold, and wanting to know what is going to happen next! There really is nothing deeper to it than that and that's fine. The book is very easy to read and in my opinion is written just perfectly for a thriller. It is most definitely easy to read, quite simple in some ways, yet the story itself is not. It works well because you can concentrate on the story, rather than any parts of the book confusing you. What I mean by this, is whilst the plot itself isn't simple, and is very clever, the readability is good. You can speed through this book very very quickly, there are no bits you need to re read and the characters and events are very easy to remember. With some books I find myself thinking "hang on who is this?" when it comes to a certain character, if it is clogged up with not particularly identifiable characters, or when it refers back to something that has happened a few chapters back, I might not be able to remember clearly what's happened, but here it was very easy to know everything, so when a new part of the story came about it was very easy to think "ahhh" and relate it to things that had already happened. It made it work very well and meant that during the big reveal, everything fitted together nicely. It is definitely a quick read, very quick. The book I read before this took me literally months to plough through (although I have been very busy over the past few months so that is partly to blame) whereas I read this book in three nights. Given the time, you could definitely sit down and read this in one go. It is quite a thick book but it's one that just reads so quickly, and has you gripped wanting to read the next bit. Whilst there are plenty of chapters and breaks in the book where you can put it down, you will not want to at any point as you will always be wanting to know what happens next, every single paragraph is a cliffhanger! This book is fantastic for what it is, it truly is gripping and thrilling throughout and always leaves you wanting more. It does lack in things that other books might, whilst it does develop the characters enough for this type of book, there is never that bond that can be created in other books, but it seems fine here as it's not what it is about, it's all about the thrill. It's good with the twists and turns and keeping you guessing. I thought I had it all figured out straight away, but I was proved wrong. It doesn't keep you guessing right to the end and then reveal it all though, you find out more and more gradually along the way. One downside is towards the very end you may need to suspend your disbelief a little and just go along with it and accept it for what it is. There was one part of the book that I really disliked and that I felt was a bit stupid and didn't need to be in there at all. It's a shame as it was the one bit throughout the book that had irritated me and then the reveal of it at the end was just a bit like...ok then(!) The main story however was great and made up for it, I just wish this one minor character and storyline hadn't even been in the book at all, as it didn't add anything, and actually made the book worse than what it could have been. Whilst it was definitely thrilling and the story played out well, it didn't have much else to it, it's not one to make you laugh or cry, nor is it scary, it just simply very gripping and great at keeping you intruiged and second guessing yourself throughout. It was definitely very interesting from the very first page it had me hooked, it's not a slow starter, nor does it seem to slow down or dip in places, it's just constant and fast paced throughout. The main part of the ending was quite satisfactory, what had happened was quite clever when looking back at parts of the story where you thought something else had happened, and then something else, and then revealing you were wrong every time. However, it was perhaps a little silly in parts, it felt like some things should have just been left out or left unsaid, rather than trying too hard to tie up every single loose end. I probably wouldn't re read this book nor would it particularly stay with me, but it was a very fun read and for a book of this genre is really good. It's never going to be anyone's all time favorite book but is definitely an enjoyable read. The characters were fine and developed just well enough to be believable but they were simply part of the story rather than THE story. The book wasn't about the characters, but about what was happening to them. I can't see this book offending anyone and I'd say it would be suitable for any adult who likes a good thriller but is willing to enjoy it just for what it is!
Whilst normally in a Jodi Picoult book review, it would be the norm to say how it is a crime based or court room based drama, but with the emphasis firmly on drama, on people and on emotions, here this is not the case. This is I guess somewhat of a supernatural book, focusing on ghosts, which normally would put me right off, but the thing that remains the same here, is that if this is a supernatural drama, the emphasis is firmly on drama, on people and on emotions. It's a very different story for Jodi to have done, but retains all the quality of her usual works when it comes to making you feel for and relate to the characters, and to grow to truly care about them - which is what makes her books work so well. This book is said to be about Ross Wakeman, who loses his wife in a car crash, and torments himself with the fact that she was alone as she died, while he was trying to save the person in the car they had crashed into. Due to his torments he takes up ghost hunting in the hopes of finding his late wife Aimee. Aimee isn't who he ends up finding though, instead he meets a woman called Lea, whose own life leads Ross along a very different journey. I said that this is "said to be about" that, as whilst the story does essentially follow this, it's about so much more than that. There's more to it than I ever could or ever would put in a review, so all I will say is that you should definitely read it to see what I mean! The book is definitely about love and human relationships. Not just love in a relationship sense or a romantic sense but love between various people, of all different kinds. It shows the good and bad that can come from love, and from the things you do for love or in the name of love. It also deals a lot with regret of things that have already happened, and fear of thing that are to come. It also takes a good look at life, from life already lost, to those not appreciating living, to those who haven't got as much life left as they would like. The stories in this book are so intertwined and bound together and yet cover so many different aspects of love and life, it works perfectly, showing so many different perspectives dependent on circumstance. This is the first Jodi Picoult book that I came very close to giving up on but ultimately I was glad that I didn't. It was a strange one for me as there were reasons I would both like it and not like it. The very tag line "The love of your life is dead, in that moment you lost every reason to live" reached out to me a lot. Call me morbid but I like stories of love lost and the idea of him still loving this woman who had died I found to be something I'd be interested in. I don't however believe in ghosts, so I thought I may find that element of the story a bit to unrealistic and stupid. The book is set into three sections and I really really struggled with the first. There were so many times I thought, I'm going to stop reading this now, as it didn't click with me, and more than that, I thought I had it all figured out already. When reading part one, it is likely like me, that you will think, hang on, I can see exactly what's going on, what sort of a twist is this, it's stupid, it's blatantly obvious already. The twist however, is that that isn't the twist at all! I struggled on to part two and I was so glad I did as the story takes a complete turn here. I maybe enjoyed part two most of all, it was very gripping and utterly enthralling, although this is hard to say, because then by part three you are so gripped and wanting to know what happens that this is perhaps the best section. By the end of the book I guarantee you won't be disappointed, and your initial thoughts in part one will be almost forgotten, as there is no way anyone in the world could predict this ending, it definitely delivers. I do think however that the first section, if not eliminated entirely could have been cut down significantly. Not only did I find it a bit boring but also quite confusing. There were simply so many characters introduced, all playing such small parts of the story in part one, that I found myself forgetting who was who, so when reading about someone was thinking who is this and what has it got to do with anything? I have since read on the Jodi Picoult forum that everyone that has read this has found it hard to get into, and someone even recommended jotting down who is who as you are reading at the start so you don't get confused. Good to know it's not just me then. The first part was definitely not up to Jodi's normal writing style, but the fact that the last two thirds of the book are so good more than make up for it. I think the first part in a way was needed to set up the characters for the final part, but as it was hard to care about any of them from the snippets we were given in the first half, it just didn't make for good reading. In the end I loved this book, I felt it was a very clever, and ultimately (if we forget that the first part didn't read well) well put together story. Whilst initially it's the sort of thing that may only seem to appeal so a select few - those interested in ghosts, or love - by the end I felt that if this was a film, it would have a broad audience. I could actually imagine it playing out well, perhaps better even (which is rare), in a film as the story itself is nothing short of fantastic and would certainly take you by surprise, and it would be perhaps easier to follow visually, than with all the confusion of who is who that ruined the first part for me. As always with Jodi Picoult she describes human emotion perfectly. It never fails to amaze me how she can portray such different characters and perspectives so well. There are people who are complete opposites, and all variations in between, in this book, yet everyone of them feels real, believable and has at least a part of them you can identify with. This isn't one that made me cry (like some Picoult books do) but there were definitely some bits that were sad, but it felt much more action based this time. Something was always going on, the story was always running forward and showing you more and more. Once I got into the second part I found it hard to stop reading until I reached the very end. After the first part, which as mentioned several times was boring, the book was enthralling throughout, it was so interesting and multilayered and just when you stop and think about it after reading a fantastically clever piece of work. It definitely took a while to get going but it was worth trawling through the first part, and I do understand the first parts relevance to the book, I just almost wish it could be re-written to make that part more engaging, while still giving us the relevant set up and back story. What it all leads up to though is a more than satisfactory ending. I've become somewhat accustomed to Jodi Picoult's work, and there are elements that you start to figure out a little when you've read so many of her books, this isn't the case with this one though. It's a world away from her other works and I doubt I would have ever guessed the ending had I thought through every possibility I could think of - it's just brilliant. It wasn't one to make me think to seriously about my life or reflect on things, like some of her books can make you do, but it is one that I have still been thinking about, a week after finishing it, just because I enjoyed it so much. I don't think I would re read it, as I tend not to, but it is one that perhaps could be enjoyed a second time around but in a very different way, okay there would be no element of surprise so that wouldn't be as good, but I think starting again once familiar with all the characters and story lines there would probably be a lot to pick up on in the first half and make you think "aahhhh" and appreciate it more than when the characters were unknown and you thought the story was going somewhere completely different. I do believe if I was to read the first half again in hindsight, it would no doubt be quite clever and relevant but at the time I was very distracted by my disappointment of what I thought the twist was and where the story would be going, and also by the lack of distinction between key characters. The characters in the story are all very believable, it could very well be made up of a group of people that you would know in real life - there are things you will like and dislike about each character, but ultimately you will be able to relate to and understand them all in some way. The realness of her characters, and the way she makes the reader care for them, is what makes Jodi Picoult's books work, no matter what subject she is dealing with. Ignoring the first part, the book is actually written very well. The structure of the book being in three parts also actually is perfect for this style of story: the setup, the turning point, and the big reveal! It's easy enough to read and easy to stop and start reading due to lost of small sections based from different characters view points. The book definitely isn't preaching, nor religious in anyway, although it does rely on either believing in ghosts, or allowing yourself to abandon the fact that you don't for the duration of the book. It shouldn't be offensive to anyone though. In some senses the audience for this book seem very narrow, but when thinking about it more it would appeal to quite a wide range of people. Obviously for anyone interested in ghosts and the like this would be very interesting. It also has elements of Native American background so anyone interested in this may also find it interesting. If you aren't interested in either of the previous mentioned things though (like me) it doesn't spoil the enjoyment of the book. It will also appeal to anyone interested in love, yet it won't be too mushy for the blokes. Finally, it will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Jodi's previous work, as it retains the quality, but could appeal to people who normally do not like her work, as it is a world away from the crime or court room based atmosphere's of her other works. It will also appeal to anyone who likes a very clever, intertwined story which will leave you guessing right up until the last page. All in all, I got off to a rocky start with this book, and I would recommend reading the first section as quickly as you can to get it over with and so it stays fresh in your mind, but once I got beyond this, it was an utterly fantastic book!
After falling in love with the scent of King of the Mods hair gel, which has a sort of sherbet lemon-esque smell, someone recommended that I try out Ocean Salt, claiming it smelt the same. Now, it doesn't smell the same really at all, but it is a gorgeous scent nonetheless so that can be forgiven. Ocean Salt has a more lime based scent than the ultra lemon-y King of the Mods, but it is a gorgeous almost Key Lime Pie type smell - absolutely delicious. It's both sweet and refreshing at the same time and certainly a lovely smell for something that is going to be on your face. Whilst the smell was my initial reason for purchase I have also been all around pleased with the product. I didn't need a face exfoliator at all, as I had a really good scrub by the Sanctuary already (which is actually probably better than this), but as this is a fresh product and has an expiry date my Sanctuary scrub has been pushed to the back of the toiletry basket whilst I use my Ocean Salt, and I've been happy enough with the results. I say happy enough, by this point you've probably realized it isn't one of the best Lush products, as by this point I'd normally be raving about all the amazing things it does, and whilst it is great and definitely has no negative aspects, it just lacks that something special that makes me fall in love with a product. It is however a great option if you are in need of an exfoliator. Whilst I use this primarly as a face scrub, and it is gentle enough to do so, it can also be used as a body scrub. The pot I got would not last long at all for a body scrub but it is available in a bigger pot if you wish to use it as that, or as both, and I do think it would make a good body scrub. It uses Sea Salt to exfoliate the skin, which is great as it provides enough friction to exfoliate the skin, but is gentle enough not to irritate it, and it dissolves away as you add water to wash it off, making it easy and gentle to remove all traces from your skin. There's nothing worse than granules that you still find on you hours after your shower but you don't have to worry about that here. As always with Lush products there are also plenty of other beneficial natural products. There is Grapefruit Infusion, which is full of vitamin C which is essential for collagen production, so it can help skin remain smooth and healthy. It is also an energizing scent, so can help give a boost on those morning when you just don't want to wake up. It also has Fresh Organic Lime Extracted in Vodka, it is done this way so that whilst getting all the benefits of Lime, the trace of alcohol helps unblock pores and treat blackheads and blemishes. It also has Lime Oil which works well together with the Fresh Organic Lime so you are getting all the benefits of Lime, and also the gorgeous scent of the product which also helps fight fatigue - so again it's good for those mornings you need a bit of a boost. Like the Grapefruit Infusion it is also rich in vitamin C so again can help with keeping the skin healthy, and is also a great anti-oxidant so can help protect skin against damage. It also improves circulation, relieves congested skin and can help fight cellulite. Fresh Avocado Butter keeps the skin hydrated so is brilliant for dry, cracked or peeling skin whilst also providing UV protection and fighting wrinkles. There is also Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is brilliant at softening and moisturizing the skin, even said to be as good as mineral oils but without the risk of any side effects. When you first get your Ocean Salt it is quite a curious thing to look at. From what I could gather it was a white cream with blue salt crystals on top. I was confused at first, wondering what would happen when the top layer was gone, as it seemed to be that all the exfoliator was on top. With no explanation from Lush I went about using my exfoliator by scraping some of the salt and cream out at once and using it this way. After I had it a while I saw a video on the new Lush website, stating that before using it you should give it a good stir. Uh oh! Oh well, I gave it a stir once I read this and it doesn't look nearly as pretty as it turns into a sort of pale minty blue lumpy mixture. Whilst it does look much prettier when you buy it, it is essentially a bit pointless making it like that and having to stir it but it's no big deal I guess. It is very gentle and nice to use and does combat dry skin and keep the skin healthy and moisturized and isn't harsh on skin so should be suitable on anyone. I do really like the product and over all I am happy with it. It smells nice, it originally looks nice, it's easy to use - simply scrub it all over your face and wash off, and is super beneficial for the skin. That said it didn't particularly give my skin as much as a boost or healthy glow as some scrubs have, which is the only reason I'm not here raving about it. All in all though it's a nice scrub and does it's job well. At £5.06 for a 100g pot which has lasted me well since August, I think I'm probably about a third of the way through it then I can't complain, I do not use it on a daily basis though. If you do fancy it for your whole bod it would probably make more sense to buy the 250g pot at £9.32. I don't think I'd particularly feel the need to replace this when it's gone, but if you do suffer from dry skin and need to scrub away those flakes and hydrate the skin then it is a nice product for the job.
For the longest time now I've been a devoted fan of Benefit's Lemon Aid. I have always claimed though, that whilst I love it, part of the attraction was that I knew of no other products like it elsewhere on the market, yet if I was to see something similar for a cheaper price, I would be very excited to try it. Such was the case that when browsing the Magic Makeup website (erm, THE best place to buy make up from on the net/in the world!!!) and I came across what looked to be Too Faced's very own version of Lemon Aid for a teeny tiny fraction of the price, I simply had to try it! I was SO excited because Too Faced are a great quality brand, so I was expecting results almost on par with Benefit and it was costing me a mere £2.95 which is a complete bargain compared with Benefit's Lemon Aid. Too Faced actually do two of these products; First Base and Second Base. Quirky fun names to go with the cute boxes the products arrive in, and the general fun of the Too Faced brand. Already there are similarities to Benefit, yet at a fraction of the price. Naturally I bought both First Base and Second Base as I wasn't sure which would be best and because they were so cheap. First Base however is my favourite by a clear mile. It's actually not all that similar to Lemon Aid as I would have initially wanted, but it's absolutely amazing in a completely different way. Whereas Lemon Aid is a thick hard to spread waxy substance, First Base is creamy and glides on smoothly which means no tugging around the eye area. Applied on it's own it does brighten the eye area up, which is the basic premise for Lemon Aid. It is a light lemony colour but is also enhanced by millions of teeny tiny glitter particles. It isn't chunky in your face sparkle, it's simply tons of subtle shimmery particles that just give an all over glow and shimmer rather than glitter effect. In short, it brightens the eye up and makes it look fantastic. This really is a brilliant product for those days when you've no time for eye make up. It hides any veins or discolouration or any imperfections on the eye lids, whilst giving them a hint of pale colour, brightening the area, and giving a hint of shimmer. It literally takes all of two seconds to simply rub some on your finger and sweep it over the entire area, yet provides an effect that looks brilliant and means you can go without any other eye make up and still look great. Whilst it is great on its own, it is also absolutely superb as an eyeshadow base. It is in fact possibly my favourite! It's definitely a contender anyway! It's creamy slightly tacky consistency makes the eye shadow you put on top of it literally stick like glue to your lids. It grabs onto every bit of pigment in your eyeshadow so that the colour you see in your eyeshadow pot will be the colour that is on your eyelids - none of this wishy washing barely there colour that some shadows provide without the use of a good base. Before receiving this, but after paying for it, I did read some reviews slating the product saying it makes all your eye shadow gather within your crease of your eye by lunch time. For me personally, I have to say this is absolutely untrue. It has kept my eye shadow absolutely perfectly in place every time, with no creasing or movement of the eyeshadow. The colour you apply will look as it should, and the shadow will stay exactly where you wanted it when you applied it! That said, perhaps if you have oily eyelids it could slip with it being a creamy consistency rather than the dry finish of Urban Decay Primer Potion. If you have oil lids I would recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion, and if you have dry eye lids then this is a perfect option. If you have normal eyelids both are good. If you are worried about it creasing, simply don't apply it around the crease area, although like I said, it hasn't ever creased for me, it always gives a smooth perfect finish. Whilst this and Urban Decay Primer Potion are both my favourite eye shadow bases they are both completely different, there's definitely room for both in your make up bag. Whilst Urban Decay Primer Potion dries within a few seconds and holds your eyeshadow fast all night, this remains a creamy consistency. The difference is basically that the Urban Decay option would probably hold your eye shadow better through any conditions, and holds it so well that some people find it hard to blend eye shadow on top of it (I personally don't), and due to it's dry consistency it doesn't grab the colour as well as the Too Faced option. On the other hand Too Faced makes colours bolder, brighter and truer than ever before, and as it is creamy it is easy to blend colours on top of it. It probably won't hold them as long as Urban Decay, but it's certainly withstood anything I've needed it to do. It's also much better value as it's obviously much cheaper to begin with, but you are also getting more product for your money and it's much longer lasting. I've been using my pot every day since August and there's barely even a dint in it. Interestingly I compare it more to Urban Decay Primer Potion than Benefit's Lemon Aid, considering I bought it as an alternative to the latter. That said it is a alternative of sorts to Lemon Aid, it didn't fail on that area. It would never replace Lemon Aid for me, as that brightens up your eyes so much more and is a more heavy duty option. This however has it's place as a quick fix for days without eyeshadow, and certainly does add a bit of interest to the eyes very easily and quickly. Whilst this was only £2.95 when I bought it it is now £4.99 on Magic Makeup. Unfortunately I think it is actually discontinued by Too Faced, so when it's gone it's gone, which makes me regret telling you guys about how great it is - you probably SHOULD go and buy some, but part of me doesn't want you to, as I can't imagine a day when this is unavailable to buy anymore. I absolutely adore this and use it every single day and can't bare to think of my make up routine without it now.
Having already reviewed the excellent light hold gel by Lush (King of the Mods) and the fantastic strong hold gel by Lush (The Big Tease), then naturally you would only be expecting that Goth Juice, the "inbetweener" would be equally excellently fantastic right? Wrong. There are so many things I dislike about this gel it's untrue. Stealing it's name from The Mighty Boosh, I imagine that the only people this would appeal to (after reading this review) are Mighty Boosh fans, who want it purely for the name, with no intention of actually using it, as once you use it, a name, and funky purple colour are not enough to save it. Just to heighten my dislike, I don't even like The Mighty Boosh (although Noel Fielding is quite fab when teamed with Russell Brand but that's another story!) In the world of gels, which would be something I wouldn't normally consider buying, they have to be something particularly special to begin with otherwise I'm not going to be interested. Whilst King of the Mods is excellent for both it's scent and serum like qualities, and The Big Tease is again great for its scent and it's strong hold properties, Goth Juice fails to deliver. Firstly, the scent, is nothing short of disgusting. Secondly what exactly does it do? I mean, what exactly is the point in medium hold anyway. You either want hold, or don't want hold, you don't want your hair to stay a bit the same but not really stay in place! The whole idea of the product itself is absurd. It doesn't act like a light serum product, just keeping flyaway's in place, neither does it hold hairstyles in place, so it is rendered all around pointless. So back onto the scent because it really is absolutely disgusting. The best way I can describe it is it smells like dirt, like earthy dirt. Not the best sort of scent to smell of. The smell is dirty and bitter and just has no redeeming qualities. On top of this it is very strong, so you are going to stink if you use it. It's perhaps one good quality is the funky purple colour, but a colour alone can not save a hair styling product. It needs to actually do something! On the plus side it doesn't do anything BAD to your hair, for example, it doesn't leave it sticky or greasy, it's just that there is no point putting it on as it doesn't do anything to the hair at all, other than make it stink to high heaven. Being a Lush hair gel of course the advantages it has over regular hair gels are the natural beneficial ingredients, and they are here too in this product, but not in such great quantities as the other better products. Here we have Fresh Organic Lemon Infusion which is great for keeping hair strong, shiny and healthy, and also brilliant for combating dandruff. It also has Organic Hemp Oil, which makes hair both strong and soft and can also stimulate hair growth. Flaxseed Oil promotes hair growth and prevents hair from being dull. It also treats the scalp of any dry skin problems which can in turn affect the hair. Whilst it does have some beneficial properties to the hair, you can see it doesn't have as much as other Lush products. In order for it to be worth putting this horrendous stink on your hair it would have to do something spectacular for it to be worth it. Also, whilst it is a benefit having hair gels that also do good for your hair, it is not the main reason for using a hair gel. If you just wanted to treat your hair, then you would use a hair treatment or conditioner, not a gel. The gel has to be actually useful in the first place in order for this product to be successful and it's just not. As a gel it just completely falls down for me, I don't see the point in having your hair held a little bit when you could have complete hold without it being stiff or sticky with The Big Tease - I'd rather have full hold or no hold, I'm not sure I get the point of an inbetween product. All in all this is just a horrendous product, I know this is a short review for me but there's really nothing else to say about it. It is pointless, it smells horrendous, but doesn't do anything bad to the hair other than the smell. I wouldn't recommend anyone buying it at all, it's such a waste. At £6.95 for a 100g pot, it's not bad value in terms of cost per use as it would last a long time. In fact, it will last FOREVER, as I can guarantee you wouldn't use up your pot once you tried it once, it would stay forever in the disregarded toiletries pile!
With birthday money to spend, and no one monitoring what I was spending it on, I found myself stood longingly in front of the Burt's Bees stand for longer than I will even admit to here. I was looking at everything and trying to decide what to buy. I decided to get the Head To Toe Starter kit, so that I could sample a bit of everything, although the contents of the kit were different to what the box implied (on the website though it does say the kit contents are subject to change at any time so I guess that's just tough luck!) One of the things in the kit was a full size lip balm. I already have the original Burt's Bees lip balm, in a tin form, and I have to say it is the best lip balm in the world...until now??? This lip balm is in a stick form and is a honey variety. I have to say it smells absolutely delicious and there is something about that honey scent that is comforting and just makes it feel like it is nourishing and protecting you whilst keeping you tasting sweet. Whilst however, I think it is gorgeous, I have had my mum comment "You do know that stuff your putting on your lips smells like cat wee don't you?" whenever I apply it within her vicinity. Mmmm, thanks mum. On a personal level I love it but be warned if you're going to go kissing people wearing it in case they are of the "cat wee" frame of mind. I do find that having a stick of lip balm is much more convenient on the go to just whip some on, than having to stick my finger in a pot. It's also great for people with long/false nails, which can be a pain when having to use fingers to get product out of tins/pots. One of the great things about Burt's Bees is they are a natural product range, and they actually tell you exactly how natural each product is. This lip balm in particular is 95.29% natural - which is good enough for me! As it's available in places such as Debenhams it is easier for me to buy Burt's Bees stuff than Lush as the shop is much closer to me. This means that I get all the benefits of products full of natural beneficial ingredients, even when I can't get to Lush. It's also affordable too, with this Lip Balm costing £3.49 when bought on it's own. Anyone who has ever had any form of stick lip balm knows how long they last - practically forever - so it's not much to pay at all, especially when you consider all the goodness within it. This particular lip balm has many beneficial ingredients for keeping the lips hydrated and soft. Sunflower Oil, which helps the skin and lips retain moisture keeping the lips hydrated and preventing them from becoming dry. Coconut Oil, which is an excellent moisturiser for dry skin and helps prevent flaking skin, making it excellent for chapped lips. Lanolin, which is soothing and keeps the skin hydrated and also forms a protective barrier on the skin, which makes it brilliant for providing relief from sore lips, whilst the protective barrier prevents lips becoming more damaged. Comfrey Root, which is a great healer and brilliant at treating wounds and reducing inflammation, making it great for split or particularly sore lips, as it will heal them. It has both tocopheryl acetate which is man made vitamin E, used to protect the skin, and tocopherol which is natural vitamin E, which is a ntural anti-oxidant and very soothing and protecting to the skin. Being a honey lip balm, it obviously has honey, which is fantastic for the lips, as it soothes and leaves them really soft due to it's moisturising properties. Finally it has Rosemary Leaf Extract which stimulates cell renewal and rejuvenates the skin. All these things make for a brilliant lip balm as it has everything you need to take care of your lips; it treats flakiness and split sore and chapped lips that you may already have, whilst protecting against them becoming like that again in the future, and keeping them soft and hydrated. Whilst this lip balm is quite similar to the Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm I have to say I do prefer the over all. That's not to say this isn't good, just that I was absolutely amazed by the results I got from the original one when nothing else had been helping. It may be an unfair judgment as my lips are clearly in better condition now, thanks to the original so I can't judge whether it would be a miracle worker like the other. That said, with my lips in good condition from using the other lip balm when I needed it most, I now don't use the original very often and this is now my lip balm of choice. This is because I love the smell of this one more and find it much more convenient for applying due to it's stick form. This may very well be as effective as the original, the ingredients would certainly suggest so, but I can't personally vouch for that as my lips haven't been in such a bad state to try that out since owning this. That said, as I am not using the original now, just this one, that shows exactly how good this is for me to have not suffered from dry or chapped lips all winter in this awful weather, just by using this. As a preventative measure it definitely works brilliantly. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. Based on my personal experience I would have to say if your lips are in a bad way to try the original, but if they are in okay condition and you just want to prevent them from becoming chapped and dry then go for this one. That said this may very well do the job if your lips are in a bad way, but I can't personally vouch for that. All in all though a fantastic lip balm, it has the perfect ingredients to keep lips healthy, it smells nice and is easy to apply, all this and it lasts ages and is affordable!
Quite some time ago (since real life took over I'm way behind on writing my reviews!) Lush were selling sample tins of hair gel. Hair gel isn't something that would have normally been top of my wish list, being that I'm not a 13 year old boy from the 90s, but with tins being only £1 I could hardly refuse, if only for the reviewing opportunity! Lush sell three varieties of hair gel; King of the Mods, Goth Juice and The Big Tease. I have previously reviewd King of the Mods, which is their lightest hold gel, which actually works more like a serum. At the same time as buying this I also ended up buying the other two varieties. Goth Juice is there medium hold gel and The Big Tease is the strongest hold option. The smell is nice in quite a natural sweet yet spicy sort of way. I'm not sure if that's the best way to describe it but it's the only way I can think of as describing it. It apparently has the same scent as the Olive Branch shower gel, so if you like that you'll like this. The scent is very strong, you can definitely smell it wafting around you when it is on your hair, and lasts well too. If you don't like the scent this could be a problem, but for me I really like it. It's worth having a sniff in the shop first if you are unsure though as you'll be stuck with it all day whether you like it or not. The idea of this gel is that it will keep your hair firmly held in place all day, without being sticky, giving that horrible wet look, or making hair crispy! It actually makes the hair feel better and controls frizz and flyaway hairs and softens the hair, making it good for even the driest hair. If you do want a strong hold hair styling product then this is a brilliant option as it really does help keep hair in place all day, and at the same time makes it frizz free, soft and smooth, all the while giving it a gorgeous scent. Not only does it do all this but it has numerous benefits for the hair too, due to its infusion of natural ingredients and essential oils. It has Bay leaf infusion which is great for both dull and lifeless hair as well as oily hair, making it perfect no matter what your hair is like. It is also stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth. Finally it works alongside the Peppermint Infusion to help remove dandruff. The Peppermint Infusion provides a cooling sensation whilst Linseed Infusion soothes the scalp. Cocoa Butter conditions dry damaged hair and is particularly good for hair damaged from the sun or heated styling tools. The Organic Jojoba Oil is also great for dry, damaged hair. As it is deeply penetrating it is also perfect for scaly, flaky scalps, so can help ease dandruff. It also dissolves build up on the scalp left from other styling products, so is great for keeping the hair and scalp healthy if you do use a lot of products, and it makes this styling product a much hair friendly option as it protects against damage. It keeps hair healthy, clean and naturally shiny. Cupuacu Butter is brilliant for dry hair as it helps improve elasticity and boost natural moisture and keeping the hair hydrated. Bergamot Oil makes the hair shiny and protects the hair cuticle without leaving build up or an oily residue, it is also great at treating scalp conditions, as it literally makes any dry skin come off and leaves behind healthy skin. Finally there is Lemon Oil which is great for greasy hair so ensures that whilst the gel is keeping your hair moisturized it will not make it greasy. Whilst I did actually think I would get a lot of use out of this myself, due to the insane heights my hair sometimes reach - which requires some hold!! - I actually ended up using most of this on my daughter and I have to say, what a wonderful idea this gel is for anyone with daughters. My daughter has the softest finest hair in the world. No matter how long I spend doing her hair in the morning, she always comes out of school looking disheveled! Because it is so soft, even if it hasn't been washed for a day or two it is still near enough impossible to get it to stay in styles such as French plaits and the like. It never gets greasy its just always very soft, which if it was my hair I would love, but for a four year old who needs her hair to stay up and looking half decent all day it's hard work. I had already resorted to using hair gel on her hair to keep it in a plait but was a bit concerned as to what damage I was doing to her hair, as most four year olds probably don't have styling products all over their hair. However with this product all my fears were gone. I knew that whilst making the hair easier to style and keeping it in place all day, it was also doing good for her hair not damaging it. It really does work too. It makes it so easy to style and when I use this on her hair she comes out of school at the end of the day looking relatively similar to when I dropped her off, and if anyone is going to put it to the test it's a young child! The hair doesn't look like it has gel on it, it just keeps it in place. Before my fringe grew too long to wear as a fringe any more, I used this to keep it in place. That shows too very good things. One; that it's so none greasy looking that it can be used on a fringe without worrying and two; that it can hold even the most stubborn of fringes in shape (if you're a girl I'm sure you know how hard it is to 'train' your hair to stay where you want!). At £6.95 for a 100g pot that will literally last you ages (my tiny perfume tin size pot lasted well) it's definitely worth buying, whether it is for yourself or for a safe hair care option for the kids. The only thing I would say is that it's worth having a smell of this one in the shop before as it is so strong and it seems to be a love it or hate it smell. I love it, but I can see how if you wasn't keen on it you would not want this gel at all as you can really smell it once it's on your hair.
When visiting friends or families houses I always find myself overcome with "toiletry envy" whilst paying a visit to the bathroom. I know it may seem unlikely, given the sheer amount of toiletries I own and use myself but I do often find myself gazing at their collection, curiosity over coming me, and having to resist the temptation to lock myself in their bathroom and pamper myself! Which is why perhaps I found the "would it be odd if I took a bath?" line in Run Fat Boy Run so funny! Most recently it was my brothers bathroom in question, and the product was the Lime Orignal Source Shower Gel. Okay I've seen Original Source plenty of times before, I've watched the adverts, seen it on the shelves at reasonable prices, but there's nothing quite like seeing it in the right context; sat there in the bathroom, that gives you the unstoppable urge to try it! The next day I'm in my own personal mother ship, otherwise known as Home Bargains, with the knowledge that I've seen Original Source products here before. The Lime one is nowhere in site, but I comfort myself by snapping up a bottle of the Tea Tree and Lemon shower gel for a mere 99p. The thing I love about Original Source, is it's almost like Lush without the price tag. The stuff is literally packed to the brim with essential oils and in this particular one, no less than 10 lemons are used to make each bottle. And at 99p, you couldn't even buy that many lemons, never mind all the essential oils that go into this! Eager to try it out I jumped in the shower as soon as I got home (well, got to the boyfriends - his house is closer to Home Bargains, and there's no time to be wasted when I have new products to try!!). The shower gel is actually a very runny consistency which surprised me a little, it's much thinner than most shower gels and I found that the generous dollop I'd put in my hand was running straight through my fingers. I quickly rubbed the rest over my body. Normally would have used one of those scrunchy puffy things but I didn't have one at the fellas, but this would be a much better option, as they always are, for producing more lather, not wasting any product, and giving a bit of exfoliation to boot! However, even just applied by hand and bearing in mind I lost half of what I poured out literally straight down the plug hole, the remaining product lathered up nicely and really got me feeling all fresh and clean. The smell is delicious. I can't detect any Tea Tree, which is no bad thing, it just smells supremely lemon-y! The colour and smell of the product really reminded me of lemon curd! The scent was strong whilst in the shower and uplifting and definitely gave me a bit of a boost, as I was tired from lack of sleep the night before! After I got out of the shower the bathroom smelt nicely of the product, but it didn't linger on my skin, whether this is a good or bad thing depends on if you would want to smell of it all day. It definitely is a nice smell so I wouldn't be opposed to smelling of it but I wasn't too bothered that it didn't linger as I've plenty of other nice smelling products that I use too. This has Lemon Peel Oil is astringent and antiseptic on the skin so is great for oily skin and for treating acne. It also boosts circulation and balances fluid in the cells so can be useful in helping treat cellulite. It balances the skins pH levels as well as brightening dull skin. It also soothes and calms red, irritated skin. It also has Tea Tree Leaf Oil which is great for fighting infections and bacteria which makes it great for treating skin complaints like abscesses, acne, insect bites and dandruff amongst many others. It's also great for helping the body fight off infections too and can help build up strength and immunity. All in all I really like this, for 99p a bottle I can't complain! It's very refreshing and reviving, it's absolutely FULL of lemons, it smells delicious and has good benefits for the skin. You can visit originalsource.co.uk for a free sample, which is a great little offer, but you can also pick it up cheaply in the shops. For an every day shower treat that leaves you feeling fresh and clean in every way, this is a brilliant option!
Amongst the Lush goodies I got for my daughter for her birthday (and have subsequently been stealing - bad mother!!) was a Pop in the Bath bubble bar. Pop in the Bath bubble bars come in a variety of colours, rather than all being the same colour as most of the other bubble bar options are. The one I chose was pink with a green flower on top, pink being the obvious option for my pink mad little girl! There are various combinations of blue, green pink and white though, all have the main bar one colour, with a different coloured flower on top. They look quite cute, although not spectacular. The colour variety however ultimately means very little as when they hit the water, the colour all but disappears. Don't be expecting a brightly coloured funky bath like with the bath ballistics as you won't get it. With the pink version the bath went at best very slightly pink to begin with, which soon faded to a murky grey colour. The amount of bubbles it produces is more than brilliant. I used somewhere between a third and a half of bar on one of my daughter's bath, and stole around a quarter for myself for a bath at a later date. Even with the bath full and only using a quarter the bath was full of creamy bubbles. The bubbles as always are great quality and a world away from using a regular liquid bubble bath. The smell on the other hand was extremely disappointing. Even with close to half in a bath that had barely any water in it (my daughters) the scent was barely detectable, and in my bath needless to say it was pretty much undetectable. At best, if I really strained I could smell the very faintest whiff of a slightly citrusy smell which sounds vague, because it's hard to identify something you can barely even smell. For anyone who has used Creamy Candy Bubble Bar then I could say you would know what I mean, only if possible this is even worse, the scent honestly disappears the minute it hits the water. I don't believe even with a full bubble bar in that the scent would be strong. The water didn't feel silky in my bath, nor did it in my daughters. I do think for really silky water it does seem you need a full bubble bar in, although with some it has been silky with half in, so this is lesser quality than some other bubble bar options. For my skin it did absolutely nothing noticeable. It didn't leave any scent on it, unsurprisingly, and it didn't feel softer than usual after my bath. However, it does have certain ingredients in it that should benefit your skin. It has Beragmot Oil, which is uplifting and can help ease depression and lift the spirits and ease anxiety, at the same time as relaxing you completely. It's also antibacterial so great for treating various skin infections. It's used for treating SADs so could be great in these horrible winter months. I did have my bath to escape from how cold it is even inside our house this winter and it did provide relief from that, but that was more to do with the hot water than the Bergamot Oil! There's also Lemon Oil which boosts the immune system and can help with headaches and migraines, all of which are great properties for when you get run down over the winter. It can give you an energy boost and relieve fatigue, as well as easing stress and giving mental clarity. Mandarin Oil boosts the circulation and can ease fluid retention and help prevent stretch marks; both of which are things us women want to prevent so it is an added bonus! In theory it should be the perfect winter bath; it helps with feeling ill and run down, and preventing catching more things, eases headaches, stops the winter blues and gives you a well needed energy boost, all the while making you look better by easing your water retention (ie, making you look thinner) and preventing stretch marks. I do believe essential oils do what they claim to do, I've seen them work too many times to question them. I think perhaps the problem here is that they mustn't be highly concentrated enough in this bubble bar, which is shown by the fact that the bath doesn't feel silky and doesn't have any scent. It's no coincidence that the baths I've been disappointed with due to lack of scent and not feeling luxury, have also been the ones that have done diddly squat for my mood and body too. I think some Lush products must just have a higher concentration of oils than others. This bubble bar is £2.55 and you can get between 1-3 baths out of them. If you are going to use it, I'd recommend using the full lot in one go, as a third isn't going to do anything for you whatsoever, however that said, like Creamy Candy, I don't think it would do an awful lot more if you whacked the whole lot in, based on the fact that half of one in the tiny amount of water my daughter has in the bath is more than the equivalent of one of these in a full bath. I definitely wouldn't buy this one again and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It's all pretty inoffensive, it doesn't smell bad, it doesn't do bad things to your skin or bath, but it just doesn't do anything, you may as well of had a bath in plain old water or in some cheap poundstore bubble bath for the quality you get here. Definitely one of the rare Lush disappointments!
When it comes to the world of lip glosses, you'll not be surprised to know that I have tried more than my fair share. Of late, I've tried almost every lip gloss out there claiming to plump up your lips - because who doesn't want full kissable lips? The best to date has been Too Faced's Lip Injection which I presume will only be beaten my Too Faced's Extreme Lip Injection, should I ever get to try it. There are a few that I were more than happy with until I tried the Too Faced one (and now I expect more plump!), such as Sally Hansen's gloss and the Tesco Skin Wisdom Plumping Gloss. Then, there were the plain bad. Benefit's Lip Plump, comes to mind, although, despite it's misleading name, this is in no way a lip plumper, so perhaps shouldn't be included here. If we remove Benefit's Lip Plump from the list, then the award to the worst lip plumping gloss goes to . . . Jessica Simpsons Dessert Treats! I know what you're thinking, really I do, what exactly was I expecting when I purchased something from the Jessica Simpson range? Celeb ranges hardly ooze out quality, let alone those endorsed by hardly the top quality of celeb. That said, I used to love Newlyweds, and was somewhat fond of Jessica Simpson until her and Nick shattered my dreams of true love and broke up like everyone else! All that aside I decided to buy this as I was getting quite a big selection of things off the Magic Makeup site (courtesy of the fella's mum for my birthday), and this was uber cheap, had a "promise" of plumping the lips and was one of my all time favourite flavours - Vanilla! (Vanilla Ice Cream to be precise!) Yummy! I do believe it's available in other flavours but I'm not sure exactly what, all dessert themed though. However the range has been discontinued (I wonder why??) and the only flavour available on Magic Makeup now is Vanilla (I know there was once peppermint!) At £1.50 I could hardly complain, and wasn't holding out the highest hopes for the product, but that said, obviously it would have been great had it actually been worth shelling out even a measly £1.50 for. The tube is a tiny 5.9ml and looks kind of cheap and tacky. The lid is as big as the product end, and the product end has the product showing through (in this case a caramel colour with gold flecks) and has Dessert Treats written on surrounding tiny childlike drawings of cakes, lips, flowers and snowflakes. It all looks a bit cheap, and like something aimed at a twelve year old but then perhaps it is, I don't know. When applied the product doesn't tingle as promised. I know my lips may have become desensitized somewhat from all the products I've used but there's not so much as a hint of a tingle. Looks wise nothing has changed either. They certainly aren't any plumper and don't look particularly different in any way whatsoever. The gloss whilst looking a caramel shade applies clear but doesn't even look as good as other clear glosses on the market. It looks really no better than applying a little Vaseline to the lips, although it does have shimmery glitter in it, not huge pieces for a glittery effect, just a very subtle shimmer. It doesn't look great though it's barely noticeable. The product itself smells quite nice, perhaps like Vanilla Ice Cream but with a twist of something else. I'm not quite sure. It smells nice enough though. Taste wise it tastes okay, just really sugary more than anything. Whilst the product probably aims to be young and fun it's quite the opposite it's really boring. I mean, I'm finding it hard to even say anything about it! It just doesn't do anything for the lips. I can't come on here and rant about how awful it makes my lips look, I can't come on here and rave about how fab it makes them look. It just does nothing. It's really really boring and there's not an awful lot more to say about it! I can definitely see why this range got discontinued, based by my experience of this product. It doesn't plump your lips in the slightest, it doesn't even make them appear as plump as a regular gloss would as it's not glossy enough. It doesn't colour the lips or add any particularly fantastic effect to them. It tastes okay but nothing fantastic and the same goes for the scent. It's all a bit "blah". At £1.50 I don't feel enraged enough to be annoyed that I bought it, but it was a waste of money, even at that price. What more can I say? It's not worth wasting £1.50 on, that's how rubbish it is!
For those who've seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, if you remember the scene where they are all laughing and belittling the movie that Sarah Marshall was in where mobile phones kill people, well this is that movie! Of course, not literally but as good as. The premise is simple; you get a voicemail on your phone which is the sound of yourself dying. The voicemail will be dated sometime in the near future, and yeah you've guessed it that is when you're going to die. The two main characters Beth and Detectave Jack Andrews are both played by relative unknowns (Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns), in fact they both had bit parts in The Holiday. Doesn't exactly scream "quality" already does it. All the performances to be fair are okay and credit where credits due, it must have been really difficult to put in a serious acting performance in this. You do wonder though, if these are the Sarah Marshall's of the real acting world; so desperate for a part they'll ignore how ludicrous the plot is. Based on a Japanese horror should also give you an idea of what exactly will be supposed to be creepy in it. If you found The Ring or The Grudge creepy (then oh dear) then you will this. If ghosts and murky looking kids don't really scare the life out of you you should be fine. You do remember this is the girl that has actually been truly scarred by a horror film recently (The Strangers), I'm not hard or anything, I'm a complete wimp, but I do have an ounce of sense. It'd be about as scary as my four year old will be at Halloween - ie. Not scary to anyone with a mental age over five, and unlikely to scare those under five. There was some half hearted side story lines about some relationship that no one really cares about that was supposed to have a point, but didn't. You know, it's a whole developing the characters, let us relate to them then we'll feel for them and be scared for them etc. It didn't work though. There was also a poor woe is me irrelevant back story, a bit like the person at a party who always gets drunk and thinks its cool to whine on about stuff that's happened to them in the past. To quote Marcus Bridgestocke; "I don't mean to appear unsympathetic, but I am, so that's how it tends to come across". Now it was actually my idea to watch this. Oh dear. I'm finally allowed to choose a film again after the atrociousness that was Ps. I Love You, and I choose a film that will surely leave me banned from any future DVD picks. To be fair, we had just got our PS3 and wanted to try out our first Blu Ray DVD (on our LG Scarlet don't-cha know!) and there is a limited choice of what you can rent. I quite liked the sound of it to be honest, silly as it sounds because let's face it Final Destination sounds equally stupid but is actually good in a funny sort of way. Within five minutes of watching it it had definitely revoked a response but not the one it was aiming for. We were laughing, none stop. Seriously, this film is laugh a minute. This is it's one saving grace. There is the sort of bad film that makes you want to gouge your own eyes out rather than watch another mundane second of it (The Fountain) and then there are the sort that are so bad they're almost good. I wouldn't go that far, but it was certainly at least amusing throughout. Every part that was supposed to be scary was so unscary, corny and utterly stupid that it was really funny. There is a certain part of the film, a certain camera angle on a shot of a teddy bear that seriously had us stop look at each other in disbelief and go "Omg, surely not!" and whilst we were wrong in what we were thinking (I'm sure if you've seen this you will have thought it for a second too!) it was such an utterly ridiculous film that the teddy bear theory we briefly fell for wouldn't have been out of place. Short of enjoying the Blu Ray quality for the first five minutes (after that, to be honest, you don't notice - and is it really worth the lifetime of watching Fifa you will have to endure if you agree to the "may aswell get a PS3" Blu Ray player theory) there wasn't anything quality about the film. It was complete and utter drivel; it was exactly what you'd expect really from the plot summary. If you had to sum up the plot summary, you'd as good have written an accurate review about this film. I knew it wasn't going to be realistic given the premise, I would have allowed for a bit of stupidity if it had been pulled off well but stupidity for stupidity's sake is just...stupid! There were absolutely no even slightly scary moments, no suspense, no thrills and no point in the film. I'm glad that it was so corny and cringy that it was funny, because it did make it at least mildly entertaining to watch the once but it's not like I'd watch it again for the humour, it's only funny the first time you're watching it as you are in disbelief that it actually can be so tacky and corny and mindless. I wouldn't recommend watching it even for the unintended humour, even if it's on television and you've got nothing better to do. It really is utter rubbish.
We've all been there, sat in the luxury of the hair dressers chair, smelling all those gorgeous salon smells, and looking at how fantastic our hair looks (we may as well enjoy it now, it's never going to look like that again until our next hair cut is it?!) Then an idea comes in to your head, if I buy this product that my hair dresser is using, my hair will look like this every day, and I'll smell like my own portable little salon. It's such a perfect idea isn't it? Now in reality it never really turns out quite like that does it? You're never going to get your hair looking as it did that very first time, short of marrying your hair dresser and getting him to do your hair every morning. More often than not you'll be left with a product that doesn't live up to the dreams you'd created in your mind, and you end up feeling guilty that you spent half your months salary on a pot of rubbish, and swear never to be suckered in to getting the products again. That is, until next time you visit and so the cycle continues. That said it doesn't always end up in regret as sometimes you come across a product that really is fantastic, this is the case with Merlin Hair Doh. There I was inhaling this gorgeous scent as my hairdresser applied it to my hair and I knew right there and then I had to have it. It was love at first sniff. Never mind what it does, never mind how much it costs I'm having it! In the salon mixed with all the other Salon-y smells I couldn't of told you what it smelt of just that it was delicious. When I got it home, and sad as this may be to admit I'm not joking, I kept taking the lid off and smelling it every five minutes all day long! Eventually if we had to put a label on it I'd say it has a sort of cherry smell but that doesn't make it sound nearly as nice as what it is, it's just gorgeous! So other than the smell does it actually do anything? Yes! It's amazing! It's a sort of mix between a wax, cream, putty and gum if that gives you any idea. It's hard to describe but brilliant to use. It's a thick almost solid yet creamy substance in a much taller than average wax type jar. At the time I bought it I'd just had my fringe cut, so the primary reason for buying it (you know the rational one that's there to back up the "I like the smell" reason) was to keep my fringe in place. For those who've battled with a side fringe (why does it not just stay where you want it?) you'll appreciate that there aren't many products in the world that will keep your side fringe, well, to the side! It's awkward product wise because it's your fringe, you don't want it to look greasy or hard or heavy but you want it to stay firmly in place. This is the product for the job! It doesn't change how the hair looks at all when on the fringe, but it honest to god is the only thing I've used that keeps my fringe styled perfectly in place. I've also used this as a sort of balm used all over my hair and it smoothes the hair making it look shiny and sleek but without making it look greasy or weighed down. I've tried it on dry and straight hair and it keeps it all in the exact way it was styled to be, without actually changing the appearance of the hair, other than making it look smoother and healthier. Not to mention, whilst you're going around with this fantastic looking perfectly styled hair, you also smell a bit delicious too! My pot of this did cost me £13 which does make me wince a little when I openly admit it it like that. It's not so bad when you just add it to the cost of your hair cut and try to deny to yourself that it was actually that much. That said the amount of product you need is absolutely minimal. I've had mine now since the beginning of June and you can barely even see it's been used, and the jar is absolutely huge. Normally I would comment that it's cost £13 but will easily last you six months, or a year or so on, and justify the expense that way. This isn't the case though here. You aren't looking at six months, or a year, or even two. I really don't see a time when I will ever use this up, there's just so much product in comparison to how little of it you need to use. Did I mention I have almost bum length hair and lots of it? Seriously, this will probably out last your current car! Merlin themselves say it can give added shape and texture and it definitely can, but it can also make hair smooth and sleek. It's as good for long sleek styles as it is short and choppy. You can use it over your whole hair to keep it all in place and looking smooth, or on different strands to add definition, texture and shape. So you needn't worry that this will only be good for how your hair has been styled at the moment, the looks you can create with it are absolutely endless. From funky spiky do's, to smooth defined curls, to big textured hair, to sleeker than sleek - it will do whatever you want it to do - it's THAT good. It's seriously a dream product. Merlin say it has a hold factor of 7 which is pretty high if we're thinking 10 is tops. I would say this is pretty accurate as I found it really does hold my style, and even my side fringe into place, but like I mentioned it does so without making the hair hard or waxy or greasy. Hair looks, feels and moves normally but retains its shape and style. On the Merlin website this is £11.19 for 100ml (I'll have to have words with my hair dresser - do I not pay him enough already to be adding a few pounds on??!). I would think other than on the website it is only available in salons or professional hair care shops as it is a professional styling product. Would I buy this again? Well, no probably not, as I can't imagine a day when it will ever run out, but I'd definitely tell each and everyone of you, male or female, long hair or straight, big or flat, frizzy or fine - go out and buy this - it's definitely the product for you - for all of you!
Amongst the goodies I got for my birthday was a pot of Retread from Lush. I had wanted this for quite sometime having had various success with the Lush range but not yet finding a conditioner that quite suited my hair. I had tried Lush's pre wash treatment - H'suan Wen Hua and absolutely hated it as it did nothing for my hair other than make it stink to high heaven. I had tried American Cream and had the opposite experience, I absolutely loved it because it made my hair stink to high heaven in a GOOD way, it smelt absolutely delicious. However, it still didn't quite do enough for my hair. American Cream is advertised as a Double Strength conditioner yet it didn't feel strong enough for me. Retread, is advertised as a triple strength conditioner, and Lush pretty much warn you to stay away from it unless your hair really needs it as it could leave some hair flat as a pancake. My hair is very long, and whilst the hair itself is fine, I have absolutely mounds of it - so it does seem thick-ish - confusing I know! It's not in terrible condition since I've started using Lush shampoos but it has been known to take quite a battering from all the heat styling and back combing I subject it to, not to mention I get my hair cut once year (as opposed to the recommended every six weeks!) Needless to say, it could do with a good conditioner! That's exactly what I've found in Retread. The beneficial ingredients alone should give you an idea of exactly how much this can do for your hair. It has; Agar Agar Gel, Soya Milk, Fresh Cantaloupe Melon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Yoghurt, Avocado Oil, Lanolin, Organic Jojoba Oil and Neroli Oil! Agar Agar Gel holds an unbelievable amount of moisture within it and comes from a special species of seaweed, which due to the huge levels of elements found in it makes it healing, protective, nourishing and moisturizing and due to this it is great at softening the hair. Soya Milk can help detangle hair and reduce frizz whilst also providing shine, softness and moisture. Fresh Cantaloupe Melon is hydrating, nourishing and healing due to it containing Vitamins A, B and C as well as natural sugars. Extra Virgin Olive Oil nourishes and conditions, whilst improving the strength and elasticity of your hair. Organic Yoghurt leaves dry frizzy hair silky and manageable by restoring the moisture levels in the hair. Avocado Oil is high in vitamins A, D and E and proteins, lecithin and potassium and penetrates better than other similar oils. It can stimulate hair growth and soothe scaly scalps. It is great for dry unmanageable hair as it is rich, nourishing, and softening. It also strengthens and conditions the hair and leaves it looking shiny and healthy. Lanolin resembles the natural sebum produced by your body and is moisturizing, nourishing and protective especially against the effects of weather. It can also strengthen the hair. Organic Jojoba Oil gives hair glow, shine and smoothness, even to the most dull and dry hair by coating the hair shaft and making the hair manageable. Neroli Oil is rejuvenating and can also help lift moods too. I've had my tub of Retread since by birthday (August) now and there is still around a third of it left. At first I was using it just for special occasions (nights out etc) as it is quite expensive, but I soon became addicted to how good my hair looks when this is used, and have since used it roughly twice a week and it has still lasted well. When I am actually applying Retread, I'm not all that keen on the scent. It smells a bit herby, almost like the H'Suan Wen Hua smell but not nearly as bad, mixed with a scent that's a bit like a mix of banana and melon. In all honesty it doesn't smell great, but it doesn't smell awful either. I'd rather it smell as delicious as American Cream of course, but I'm happy it doesn't smell as bad as H'Suan Wen Hua. When my hair is dry however, it's a different story and the smell it leaves behind is actually quite nice, it's definitely a melon-ish smell it leaves behind, and it's quite faint unless you specifically go to sniff the hair, in which case it smells nice. Since I've had this I've used it in many different ways. I've left it on for a full hour while I've had a bath, I've left it on for a few minutes at most whilst having a shower. I've blow dried and straightened my hair, I've left it to dry naturally. Every way that I have tried, my hair has looked and felt fantastic. It really does just nourish the hair so much, that it doesn't look at all dry or damaged. It looks so smooth and healthy. Whilst Lush warn people of how heavy this is, I don't find it to be at all, I find it's just right for my hair, although if you have very fine or greasy hair it may be too much. When I style my hair straight with it, the extra weight does keep it straighter longer which is great, but when I leave my hair to dry naturally, it still goes wavy. This is the perfect conditioner performance wise for my hair. It leaves it both looking and feeling in brilliant condition and due to all the great ingredients it isn't just faking it - it actually is helping your hair out. The only thing that could make this better is if it smelt like American Cream - then I would be well and truly head over heels in love! At £8.25 for a 245g pot it's not exactly cheap but comparable to other high-end conditioners that hairdressers try to sell you that are full of chemicals - for the price you're getting about as good quality as it possible out there! It has lasted quite well too, and whilst I won't be able to afford to keep this up as an every day conditioner, I would love to and for those who can you definitely should - as there'll be no more bad hair days whilst this is around!