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As you will no doubt be aware I am a bit of a cosmetic junkie and as I have worked in the industry for many years I feel that it's my duty to try everything on the market!.
I am not a brand snob and my beauty suitcase (Well, it wont fit in a drawer!) has high end brands sitting next to lot's of budget brands and I get a kick out of purchasing a bargain as much as a luxury brand.
I bought the gloss last Christmas while shopping, I had bought lots of Christmas presents for people and I decided to buy myself a little gift also, as you can see I can and will use any excuse to buy cosmetics.
I had purchased something for my mum from Clinique and my eye was drawn to the lip gloss section.
The Product -
At first I thought that this was just a standard lip gloss, when I picked a tube up I realised that it was actually a lip balm with a hint of colour to it. Well I thought, It's winter and my lips are dry and it's really two products in one, almost a bargain.........Although at £13.50 for 15ml I am not sure even I could get away with calling it a bargain!
The product is called Superbalm and is designed to repair, condition and protect your lips while also providing a subtle colour.
There are 6 different colours to choose from and while they range from Peach, pinks and slightly darker shades they are all quite subtle and wont give you a strong colour look on your lips.
The balm comes in a strong plastic tube with a sliver screw lid. The plastic is hard enough to stop it from being squashed in your makeup bag and means you wont squeeze too much out, I have lost 20 lips worth of gloss from squeezing a tube too hard! . Having said that it doesn't mean that you need to apply lots of pressure to dispense the lip balm.
Applying The Product -
The design of the balm allows you to apply straight to the lip from the tube but I always just use a clean finger as I find that it's easier to apply and rub in with a finger rather than an applicator.
The balm has quick a thick consistency when you apply and I noticed that my lips felt instantly smooth and well coated and I only applied quite a fine layer which considering its not the biggest tube is good. Along with most Clinique products there is no real scent or "Taste" to the product.
I chose quite a pale pink colour and on my lips it appeared as a very subtle pink and the colour is quite sheer so you can not really tell that I am wearing a colour and my lips just look rather healthy.
Repair And Protect? -
I do have quite dry lips and it doesn't matter if its summer or winter my lips tend to suffer and usually my little Vaseline pot does the job just fine and I really wasn't sure if the extra expense of this product would deliver better results to warrant the difference in price.
Almost instantly my lips felt nourished and soft and after using the product for a while I noticed that the condition of my lips had improved and those dry sharp edges had gone and in their place were a pair of smooth looking lips.
Through winter and summer my lips feel protected and on most days I will wear a slick of the balm to protect my lips and also give them a subtle colour. I do always wear the balm on top of any lipstick that I wear and it give the lipstick a lovely soft shine .
Staying Power -
The balm clings onto the lips longer than a Big brother contestant clings onto their 15 minutes of fame.
I usually find that due to the very nature of a balm or gloss it lacks the staying power that I like, however I was more than pleased with this particular one as It stayed in place most of the day and only required a top up once or twice.
What I did notice after a while was that I couldn't really feel that I was wearing it, it's very comfortable to wear and while it gives you protection and coats your lips you don't get the thickness that you can sometimes get with other brands.
All in all the Superbalm is a great way to repair your lips if they have suffered from the elements and protect them in the future while wearing a soft sheer colour.
The biggest advantage that it has over other products for the lips such as Vaseline is that it has great staying power and you don't need to use a great deal. However with products such as Vaseline being low cost you can apply them as often as you want to and you can now get the ones with a subtle tint so unless you really love your brands stick to something cheaper!
Over the year I have slowly built up my collection of Soap & Glory products. I along with most people have been enticed by the gorgeous kitsch packaging and branding.
The range has an incredibly femmine look and feel to it that runs throughout the range and we are talking old fashioned femmine glamour with new attitude.
The range is sold through Boots and is what I would class as middle range as far as pricing goes and as Boots quite often has some great offers on such as % off or 3 for 2 you can build up the range really quite quickly.
The body spray costs approx £6.15 for 250ml.
The Product -
The body spray is presented in the usually cute and kitsch shiny pink plastic bottle with a clear plastic lid that holds the pump style dispenser.
The spray it's self states that you should "Spitz mist you madly on whenever you need a flash of fabulousness" Well that sounds good! With three young children I'm lucky if I can manage "A flicker of fairly Okay!"
The fragrance is described as a flirty, floral fragrance. The scent is very similar to the whole Soap & Glory range and if you are not aware of what that is, my best description would be to say that it is indeed floral and reminds me of what I call a holiday scent, and by that I mean sun cream and sunshine, not cocktails and chlorline!
I used the spray in the way that I do with anybody spray and that's spray it pretty much all over, The design of the spray on this bottle means that you need to press down every time you want a spray as it doesn't just spray until you release the dispenser.
The scent is really rather fabulous and full bodied when applied and it did put a smile on my face when I and transported me to sunshine days and evenings on holiday.
I always prefer a scent that I can smell while I am wearing it and that goes for both body spray and perfume with this in mind I was quite disappointed as I felt that the scent disappeared rather quickly and I did end up applying it quite a few times throughout the day for a fresh burst. Although I can still get a trace of the spray when I go back into my bedroom of an evening so this might be down to the fact that it's not strong enough for me to be aware of it after wearing for a while.
I did find that with all the other products in the range having a very similar scent I was able to layer the scent by using any of the body or shower cream and moisturisers before applying the body spray. By doing this it created a slightly stronger scent and also lasted a lot longer than just applying the body spray on its own.
As I stated at the beginning I do love the Soap & Glory range but I have also found the range to be a bit hit and miss, not with the scents of the products or the quality but more with the claims and some have fallen short on delivering on those claims.
Thankfully this product not only delivers on the scent and quality but also managed to live up to its claims and I am pleased to report than I now quite often experience flashes of fabulousness!
It's also worth noting that while I do have quite sensitive skin I had no irritation at all from using this product and as I spray it over myself while also dressed it did not stain any clothing or bedding that it came in contact with.
As you are probably aware from my reviews, I am rather fond of my makeup. My excuse is that I trained as a makeup artist, so its' really my duty to try nearly every item out there, wouldn't you agree?
I have a few favourite brands that I use all the time, however I will and have tried most brands on the market from the top end brands to the cheaper brands.
The only thing that I don't really spend a great deal on is lipsticks as I usually just stick to a gloss. I have a Bobbi Brown one that goes with everything.
I ended up buying this one due to my eternal search for a soft nude lip colour. I am not a fan of bright colours and I spotted my friend wearing a shade that had the perfect mix of natural with a hint of colour. I asked where she had bought it and she replied Clinique. So off I went to buy my new lippy.
This is where you see the difference in price. The lip stick is housed in a lovely sliver colour tube that is bevelled in shape and feels a bit heavier than your average lipstick.
When you pull the top of the lipstick off you will see the sliver coloured inner holder that holds the lipstick. I have to admit that it looks fabulous and is definitely a lipstick that stands up to others in the looks stakes but it needs to perform to be included in my makeup bag.
What it claims to do -
Well, it's a "long last" lipstick although it doesn't say how long. I wonder why? Hmmmm.
It claims that it will stay put for hours without any bleeding over the lip line. It won't feather which is really the same thing as bleeding in my book.
Did it stand up to its claims? -
I do usually apply my lipstick with a lip brush and when I wiped the brush across the lipstick I was surprised at how soft the lipstick was and I only needed to wipe across the lipstick once to get enough of the lipstick on the brush.
When I applied the lipstick to my lips it was incredibly soft and felt quite thick in consistency. This meant that I was able to move the lipstick on my lips quite easily to blend it in. The downside was that I could really feel that I was wearing it which I didn't really like especially when I accidently licked my lips and could really taste the lipstick.
The appearance of the lipstick was lovely and had a very slight gloss look to the lipstick when applied and is much more flattering than a matte variety.
Because it is a high quality brand the pigmentation of colour is high and you do get an exact match to the indicator on the bottom of the lipstick case.
As far as living up to its claims it did and it didn't. I noticed that the lipstick came off easily when I drank my coffee and left a rather impressive "My lips woz ere" effect.
It did last quite a while about 3 hours however by this time I had had another coffee and there was not much of the original colour left, more of a faint trace and bearing in mind that my colour is very neutral this wasn't too noticeable but I would imagine if you had a stronger colour on then it would fade quite a bit from the original colour applied.
It didn't bleed or feather so it did live up to its claim in that respect although again I do think that this was down to the fact that this colour was neutral and would again be more noticeable with a stronger colour.
Would I buy it again? In all honesty No I wouldn't. I think that there are so many brands on the market now and the cheaper priced brands are really catching up with their more expensive sisters in the quality, price and availability.
Available from Clinique online and also larger department stores. Price is £16.00
You may have seen the recent Benefit give away in the Glamour magazine. They were offering a free product with the magazine and were either the High beam lotion which is a shimmer highlighter. The Benetint, which is a ruby red lip and cheek stain and the Posie tint which is a poppy pink lip and cheek stain.
All of these or cult products of benefit and the only one I didn't have was the Posie tint. I did not get along to well with the benetint as I found it too red and was more "Aunt Sally "and less "Vampy Vixen".
I did buy the moon beam as the magazine was only £2 so £4 in total for both products and while they are only 4.0 ml and not the regular size of 12.5 ml. It's still a great buy as the 12.5ml size costs £24. The sizes make them great for holidays or fitting into your handbag rather than carrying around the full size. Although my handbag is like Mary Poppins and I actually carry round a full dressing table in mine.
What is Posie tint? -
Posie tint is a liquid based tint for your cheeks and lips and is designed to give you a fresh pop of colour, the result is aims to give you is a natural blush as though you have been in the gym and out in the fresh air.
The Packaging -
As with most Benefit products the packaging is rather kitsch and harks back to a bygone era of glamour and I find it hard to resist and am often tempted to buy a certain product because of the design on the box or container and I'm only stopped by my purse, unfortunately that's not like my Mary Poppins bag and does have a limit to what's in there!
The product comes in a lovely pink box and the Posie tint is housed in a fabulous bottle. The bottle is a shiny Pink colour and has a white screw off lid. The design is similar to a nail varnish bottle and when you unscrew the lid and lift it up it starts to look even more like a nail varnish as it has a brush on the end measuring about half an inch and that's what you use to apply the tint.
Using the tint -
When I first unscrewed the lid and lifted the brush out I was quite shocked at the colour. It's a rather vibrant Pink and looked a little fluorescent. Now I want a fresh pinched cheek look but I don't want to glow in the dark!
The instructions tell you to brush three lines onto the cheek, Great I thought, not only am I going to glow in the dark, I'm also going to look like I'm playing a war game, going skiing or have joined the local rugby club. Thankfully as I read on it does say to blend quickly into your cheek.
As I said earlier the bottle looks a little like a nail varnish and the similarities don't stop there. The tint itself it very like a nail varnish in its consistency.
So I used the brush and applied three stripes on each cheek and blended. The colour was still quite vibrant when I put the stripes on but with blender the colour became much more subtle and indeed gave a very fresh colour to my cheeks. You do need to blend quite quickly before it starts to become hard to move. I always find that if I rub my fingers together and warm them it's a great deal easier to blend the tint.
What I did notice was that as I already had foundation on when I applied the tint it did seem to strip away a little of my foundation and I found this was the same with both my cream foundation and mineral powder foundation. Now don't get me wrong It doesn't remove it completely but enough for me to notice. What I always do now is to apply the tint and build up the colour a little more and then I apply my foundation over the top and that way I get a lovely soft colour that looks natural with just an extra pop of colour. If I am wearing it for an evening out and want the colour to stand out a little more I follow the same routine and just apply an extra "stripe" and gently press into my skin.
Staying power -
It has more staying power than Katie Price on a husband hunt.
I can apply this first thing in the morning and by the evening while I may be knackered I still look fresh as a daisy or in this case a posie!
The tint did not move all day and gave the same pop of colour all day without needing to reapply at all. This makes the tint very cost effective and saves you time having to reapply throughout the day.
I am aware that I have not mentioned much about the product as a lip tint. I have to be honest and say that I don't use it a great deal as a lip tint. The few times that I have used it as a lip tint I have always worn a gloss over it.
When applying it as a lip tint it reminded me of that brush on sealant that used to be the rage ages a go, Lipcote, I think it was called and you brushed it onto your lips and walked round with a shocked expression until it dried or your lips were stuck together. Thankfully you do not need to do that!
Simply brush the tint over the lips and it dries almost immediately. The colour that you are left with is very natural and if you like a strong colour on your lips it's perhaps not for you. You can apply another coat and it does intensify but only slightly.
It didn't dry my lips out although it does dry to a matte finish and I usually apply a slick of clear gloss as I find that's more flattering than a matte lip. Again the staying power of the tint is good although you use your mouth more than your cheeks so it does wear off after a while.
Benefit products are available online from www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk and also large department stores. I am aware that you can purchase Benefit products on Ebay but beware as I have been told that there are quite a few fakes ones out there.
I needed to get a new brush as mine was getting old and had lot's most of its bristle's.
I am a little bit of a neat freak and as I have hard flooring on the whole downstairs of our home I needed a good brush that will work well from tiles to laminate and won't scratch.
I was in Focus DIY store buying paint and stopped at the JML stand that they have and noticed this broom. It caught my eye because it's quite a vivid Yellow and looked quite unusual as its quite slim and neat in design so I thought that I would give it a go.
Design of the Broom -
The broom has a long Yellow telescopic handle which can increase the length of the handle, you just need to loosen the middle of the broom, increase or decrease the length and tighten it up. This makes it great if you are small or tall and comes into its own for doing windows and your car. Windows! I hear you say. You can't use a broom on your windows? Well all will become clear later on.
The actual sweeping part of the broom is made from a durable rubber and the bristles are all made from the same rubber which while sturdy is actually quite soft and will not scratch the surface that you are sweeping.
As it's quite a slim design it means that you can easily store the broom away and it takes hardly any space.
The Functions of the Broom -
This isn't any old broom; this is a JML wonder broom (That was my Marks & Spencer Voice over there)
One of the many great things about this broom is that you can use it on carpets. The rubber prongs are quite tightly packed which means that it's great for sweeping fluff and pet hair of the carpets. I use mine on the stairs in between hovering time and it not only gets all the fluff or hair it lifts the pile up and keeps my carpets looking great.
I don't have any pets but my friend also has the broom.......and three dogs and two cats. It was my friend that told me to try it. She said that it's the best broom ever for removing pet hairs. She uses it on her sofa, chairs, carpets and floors and said while most people may grab personal effects and photos if their house was on fire she would grab her Wonder Broom. No, really she did. I nearly pointed out that there would be no carpets to sweep but thought better of it.
Unlike your average broom the rubber prongs don't harbour any germs or bacteria.
Sweeping the laminate and tiles is so fast and easy with this broom, you need to brush towards you rather than away due to the way the broom is designed as the bristles or on a slight slant.
I was amazed at how much the brush swept up. It literally picks up everything in its path and while yes that's what a broom is for you know how it is, you've usually leave behind a few bits of fluff or something. The broom didn't scratch or harm any the laminate or the ceramic tiles.
Windows and Cars-
This is where the broom comes into its own for me. I am quite little at 5 foot 2 and I always struggle to clean my car on the roof. Well not anymore thanks to the wonderbroom!
I have to be honest and say that I was a little unsure about using the broom wet on my car as I was quite worried that it may scratch the car but I'm pleased to say that it didn't leave a mark on my car.
The ability to use it wet is great. I just covered the car in shampoo and scrubbed away with the wonderbroom. I was able to reach all places and with the handy telescopic handle I was able to clean the roof of the car quickly and easily.
I have a conservatory on the back of my home and it's a pain in the rear end to clean the windows and using the wonderbroom did not save me a huge amount of time but it was certainly easier and less hard work and obviously I could reach the top. (Wink) It is also brilliant for cleaning the top of the conservatory as you can give it a good scrub and this also applies to the PVC, it brought mine up lovely and much easier than doing it all with a cloth.
I used it to clear the snow and ice of the path in the winter and it worked great and I could leave my shovel in the garage. It was also brilliant for getting the snow of the car roof and windows in the morning and left no makes or scratches at all and this also meant that I didn't have to drive to work looking like a snowman as usually I end up covered while clearing the car.
The Garden -
The wonder Broom is really handy for using in and around the garden. I have used it to give the decking a good clean and it got all the mud and marks off. It is great for sweeping up the grass cuttings or leaves and a general tidy up.
The best thing about the broom for me is that it does all those jobs in and around the house. I do give it a good wash in soapy water if I have used it outside and it still looks brand new. You can also put the head in the dishwasher to clean it.
I have recently bought the Wonder brush. This is a handheld version of the broom and I bought it to clean out the rabbit hutch and its brilliant. It gets all the mess out and then I can wet the brush and give it a good scrub clean. the brush is priced at only £2.99
Cost and Availability -
The Wonder Broom costs just £7.99 and is available from JML Direct and online. It can also be purchased in many stores that stock JML products including - Argos. Homebase. Wilkinson's and Asda.
*Disclaimer* I have not tested the brooms flying abilities so I can not be held responsible for any accidents that may occur should you attempt to fly ;)
If you ask anyone who knows me they will tell you that I am a little obsessed with makeup. I say a little, that's a bit like saying that Ben Nevis is a little hill.
I am like a child in a sweet shop if you put me in a makeup store. You could lose me for hours, literally hours. I just have to step through the doors of MAC and I am salivating at the prospect.
As you can imagine this is a rather expensive habit especially as I do like quality and that always comes at a price. Or does it?.......
I popped into Superdrug one day and noticed a brand that I had not seen before (Amazing in itself I know!) The brand was MUA.
What is MUA? -
MUA Stands for Make Up Academy. The brand is part of Superdrug's own brand and consists of everything from Eye shadow, mascara and Nail varnish. Each item is priced the same at £1.00. No, really £1.00.
I decided to buy a couple of the eye shadows as I was unsure of how good they would be at that price.
The Packaging -
The eye shadow is packed quite neatly. It comes in a round black base with a clear flip top lid.
The lid is really easy to flip up and does not cause you to break a nail. Some eyeshade pots are so hard to open it would be easier to break into a bank!
Using the Eye Shadow -
As I said I bought two, a very basic cream beige colour and another a vivid green. I used the cream beige one first and when I swept the brush across the shadow I was pleased that it had picked up a decent amount of product as with some pressed shadows it's hard to get the product on your brush.
The first thing that I noticed when I applied the shadow to my eye was that it felt very smooth. There were no really grains to the product and the shadow was fine and had a slightly silky texture to it. As I said the shadow went on smoothly and the depth and pigmentation of colour was really good exactly the same shade as it looked in the container and often with cheaper brands the quality of the colour on the lid is quite poor due to low pigmentation to keep costs down.
The coverage of the shadow is very good and due to the pigmentation I only really needed a few sweeps and I had the look that I wanted.
Looking at the little pot after applying the shadow I was surprised that I had not even skimmed the surface. This is a shadow that will last a long time.
I have to say that I was really impressed with the shadow so far and thought it's obviously going to wear off quick as it was so cheap. (I think that there was a part of me that wanted to be proved right that I NEED to spend money for the quality!)
So did it wear off quickly? The short answer is no. I put the shadow on before work and at lunchtime when I do my usual re touch I was pleased to see that the eye shadow had stayed in place. The colour had faded slightly but you will get this even with the high end brands.
What was also pleasing was that even though there was slight fading it was very even and the shadow didn't go into the creases which can sometimes happen.
As this was quite a neural colour I decided to give the other one a road test. The colour of this eye shadow was the most brilliant Green and unlike the first one which was matt this shadow had a fantastic shine to it and looked almost wet when applied.
I thought that perhaps with a stronger colour I would notice it fading faster or sinking into my eye crease and it did neither again there was a little bit of fading but other than that the shadow hardly moved.
With the brighter shadow it was just as easy to apply and although I did build the colour up a little by adding a few layers just to make it really intense. The colour in the pot is exactly the colour when applied with just a couple of layers.
What I love about the shadows with the shimmer is that they glide onto your eyes. You don't need to press hard to get the colour on and as it's quite tightly packed it doesn't fall onto your face when applying.
There are many colours available in both the matte and the shimmer shadows. Everything from white to Black and everything in-between.
We girls do tend to stick to the same colours and can sometimes be reluctant to try other shades in case they don't suit but this range is great for experimenting as at £1.00 per go you can afford to try that bright yellow one!
I now have 6 of these fabulous pots and I'm sure that I will be adding to my collection as I have not found one yet that I didn't like.
I should also say that I have quite sensitive eyes and am a contact lens wearer and suffered no irratation at all while wearing the shadow.
The one downside is that I am worried that it will become so popular that Superdrug will realise how good it is and put the price up. So I will share this gem with you but please don't tell anyone about this secret.................Shushhhh!
While I am still hopelessly devoted to MAC I'm most definitely enjoying my bit on the side with MUA.
As much as I love my heels and I really love my heels they are just not practical for everyday use.
As a mum of three little ones flat shoes are a must for running around after them, school runs and the like and every girl needs a funky pair of flats.
I saw these cute flats in Dorothy Perkins on sale for just £9.99 and well I couldn't resist.
The first thing that you notice about the shoes is the pattern on them. They are very striking with the cream and black zebra style print. The front of the shoes have a little leather style bow in pink and that's also the colour of the trim around the shoe. The shoes themselves are very bendy and the rubber sole on the base of the shoes is quite thin and it's a very soft rubber which does make them comfortable to wear as there is no tough leather base.
The shoes themselves have very suede like quality to the feel and look of the shoe and they are very soft to touch as indeed are the rest of the shoes. They are very bendy and I mean that they give easily due to the soles and have a slipper like feel to them.
I do have quite wide feet and for the price I was surprised at how comfortable they were and I think that that it down to the slight padding that the insole of the shoe has. Even from the first time of wearing the shoes I didn't get any blisters and my feet were snug in the shoe and I didn't experience any rubbing against either my toes or the back of my heels.
What I did notice while wearing the shoes is that due to the soft rubber soles you can feel everything under your feet and everything that you walk on so they are not best suited for walking on uneven ground or pebbles.
What I did notice with the shoes was that they did wear down quite quickly on the soles with them being made of quite thin rubber. This also means that your foot in the shoes is closer to the ground and I found that the sides of the shoes started to wear down as they were rubbing against the ground. I do have wide feet so I appreciate that that may account for the wearing down on the sides however the sole on the shoe is quite narrow and only the daintiest feet would fit neatly on the sole!
I have had the shoes for over 6 months now and they are still in good condition apart from the slight wear on the sides of the shoes. I keep the shoes clean by just using a hard brush and gently sweeping them to remove any dirt or marks on them.
I should say that my friend also purchased a pair from a different store and the material on hers is a little different, they have more of a leather type feel to them rather than suede and the trim and bow are more of a red colour so I think that there are a few slight variations.
I was lucky and purchased mine in the sales for just £9.99 and the usual price is £19.99 so they were a bargain and are perfect when you want to add a little glamour to your feet while still being comfortable.
I love my shoes, I love my shoes! Every time that I buy a new pair of shoes they instantly become my favourites........until my next pair. These ones however are still my favourites and I have bought one or two pairs since then.
I have far too many shoes and they are nearly all black apart from a pair of red glitter shoes that would give any self-respecting Dorothy a run for her money. So when I spotted these lovelies I had to have them.
I purchased mine from a Dorothy Perkins store and they cost £30.00
The Shoes -
They say that a nice pair of high heels can make your legs look great as they lengthen your legs and these are certainly high. The heel is 6 inches and while that heel height is usually an inch or two too high for me the beauty of these shoes is that they are built up at the front with a platform base of about 1 and a half inch which means that you are actually walking on a heel height of 5 Inches.
The actually name for the colour of the shoes is blush. The best way to describe it is to say that it's a slightly pink nude rather than a beige nude which is rather fabulous and is a colour that goes with everything from your favourite jeans to your little black dress.
The shoes are patent leather and have a fabulous wet look shine to them which looks great against bare legs and adds a touch of glamour poking out from your jeans.
The heels of the shoes are quite thin and the base of the heel is beige. The great thing with these shoes is that you get a spare pair of the beige heel points so that if one breaks or comes off you can quickly replace them.
The front of the shoes are either pointed or rounded and fall somewhere in between which means that they do not nip your toes but also don't have the bulky look that a rounded toe can give.
How Comfortable Are They -
I should say first that I do have quite wide feet and often have to struggle to fit into some narrow shoes at all.
At first I did have to squeeze me feet into them when I first bought them but I knew that they would give a little. After wearing for a little while they leather warmed up and my feet felt comfortable and very secure.
The shoes were really comfortable to walk in and although the heel is high and thin due to the platform base this gives a much sturdier feel to the shoes and you don't feel that you are about to topple over as can be the case with some high heels.
I was rather silly and the first time that I wore the shoes was for a conference with work which meant that I was in them from 7.30 in the morning until 6.00pm. I should have worn them in first as by 2.00pm I would have gladly chewed off my arm for a pair of flat shoes!
I have since worn them many times and they are one of the most comfortable pairs of high heels that I have. After wearing for a long time I do notice that the balls of my feet can be quite sore and always use a a gel cushion with them. Having said that if you are not used to wearing heels then they are not the ones to break you in and instead you make break your leg.
Any Downsides? -
I love the shoes because of the patent leather but this is also the downside to them as they do scuff quite easily and it's quite hard to remove marks from them. Obviously if you have a darker colour you can get away with a few scuffs but with the nude ones any marks will show up.
I also think that they would be better with a cushioned insole as the inside of the shoe is quite hard after you have been wearing them for a while and I would really recommend that you use a set of the great cushions that you can get to put inside the shoes.
I love them! They go with everything and are a great way to bring a touch of glamour to any outfit as they do go with everything. They are comfortable to wear as much as any high heel can be and I actually bought another two pairs in different colours as they give my little legs some length, look good and I can wear them for hours!
When did it become so difficult to purchase a pair of tweezers? The choice is literally mind numbing, how do you chose, what shape? What colour? Slanted or not slanted?
Tweezers have long been a staple and in many ladies and gentlemen grooming kits but the choice is now huge
The purpose for many is just to keep a tidy brow in shape and for some to disguise a mono brow (I sported a rather fine one a school until I discovered my mum's tweezers!) Eyebrows are one thing that can really change or enhance your appearance and I think that it's true that a well groomed brow can really finish off a look.
Eyebrow fashions do tend to change all the time and while if you want to follow fashion that's great I do believe that you should groom and tidy your brows but keep the natural shape as you can often ruin them following fashion, I have had many a client rushing in to have me "fix" the eyebrows after they tried to achieve a particular shape.
Shavata Eyebrows -
Achieved beauty guru status for tending to the brows of celebs in her salon and wanted to bring the artistry of brow shaping to the masses and launched her range of accessories including eyebrows stencils, brow make up and of course tweezers which I will be reviewing.
What Are Precision Tweezers? -
These tweezers are stainless steel and hand finished in Switzerland. I got my tweezers in a set and they came in a clear plastic tube with a screw off lid, the tweezers inside also have a clear plastic covering over the tips off the tweezers and the reason for this is that they are incredibly sharp.
The precision tweezers are designed to enable you to remove even the shortest and finest hairs. They have an incredibly fine and extremely sharp point and in my opinion should come with a warning as I have sharp knives that are less pointy. If you were to put your finger on the top you would prick yourself and you are then going to use these next to your eye!
How to Use Them -
The best time to tweeze your eyebrows is to do it after a hot shower or bath as the heat warms the skin and opens the pores to make the hairs easier to pull out.
Sit in front of a mirror so that you can see both eyebrows and also have a hand mirror handy for close up work.
Gently pull up the eyebrow by placing your middle finger just above the eyebrow, this will make it easier to see where you are removing the hair from. With your other hand hold the tweezers near the tip as this allows greater control and hold them so that they are at a 30 degree angle from your eye and then start to remove the hairs from the start of your brow and move outwards.
It is best to do a few at a time from each eyebrow as this allows you get both brows the same and stops you removing to much from one side.
I have included some tips below for achieving the best shape for you.
Well, they tweezers did allow me to remove even the finest and shortest hairs so it wins on that claim however that is only part of the story.
Due to the extreme point on the tweezers is very hard to get the point on the hair and you can end up picking at the skin trying to grab hair. I have spent many years waxing and plucking people's eyebrows in the salon and even I ended up just plucking at my skin trying to aim for a hair. To get the best results with this tweezers you really do need a magnifying mirror or you will end up plucking at the skin. Due to the extreme point you cannot get that close to the skin and therefore close up work it hard.
Availability and Cost -
Shavata tweezers and all other products in the range can be purchased online at www.shavat.co.uk and also on QVC.
The tweezers are priced at £19.50
The tweezers are great in the respect that they are great for removing the hairs and allowing you to get even very short and fine hairs but I do believe that these are best left in the salon where a therapist is able to get really close and use the magnifying class for picking out the individual hairs.
I would recommend that you use a slanted tweezers for taming your brows as they can be placed close enough to the skin to pull out the hairs from the root which makes removal more effective and is less painful that just tugging at the hair which can happen with tweezers that are not slanted and definitely with these ones.
Hints and Tips -
- Warm the skin prior to plucking. Either have a warm bath or shower or place at cotton pad soaked in warm water over the area or even better a flannel as this will hold the warmth longer. This opens up the skin and makes removal less painful.
- Never pluck from the top of your brow. This is the natural line and you can end up making a mess of the brows. If they need taming on the top, apply a little Vaseline and smooth them or spray an unused tooth brush with a small amount of hair spray and brush them into shape.
- If you have eyebrows they go too close to your nose the best way to find where they should start is with the pencil test. (No not that test!) Hold a pencil straight up from your nose to your eyebrows and that's where they should start.
- If you want to create an arch to lift the eye grab your pencil and follow the pupil of your eye up and the arch should start just to the left of your pupil. Pluck the brows from there and taper them outwards from that point.
Thanks for reading x
Having studied as a makeup artist I have always been interested in many different styles and its quite usual for me to wear a different makeup look everyday and that's my excuse for buying so many different make up products.
I purchased the Smoky effect eyeliner in boots as I had run out of my Max Factor mascara and boots were having a 3 for 2 promotion and decided to treat myself to a couple of new eyeliners.
The Bourjois Eyeliner is in the form of a pencil and is designed to be used to draw a line above or below they eye and then be smudged to give a different look.
The pencil is two ended with a brush on one end and the pencil on the other. Both ends have a protective cap over the end.
It is available in 8 shades including classic Black and Brown and other shades such as Blue, Green, Grey and a Pink/Grey colour.
I bought the Black and also the Pink/Grey colour.
The price of the eyeliner is £5.49.
The Pencil -
The pencil is the same standard size as your average pencil. when you take the top off and try the pencil you notice straight away that the pencil has a very creamy feel to it and when I applied it to my hand to test the application it just glided onto the skin on my hand. The pencil does have natural waxes and vitamins in and this is what gives it the creamy feel and application.
Applying the pencil to the lower lash line I was pleased to feel that the pencil glided on my lash line and did not drag the skin at all, there is nothing worse than trying to apply an eyeliner that sticks on the skin and demands that you drag the skin to create a line, it is not only uncomfortable but also damaging to the delicate eye area.
I decided that I would apply the pencil to my top and lower lash line before trying to smudge the line with the provided brush. As I do like quite a thick line on my top eye line I found that the pencil was a little harder to apply onto the eye area, it was quite smooth to apply right on the lash line but applying anything other than a fine line was more difficult and did drag the skin a little but the skin there is not as tight as the lash line and therefore makes it a little difficult to apply.
The Brush -
The brush on the other end of the pencil is approx ¼ of an inch long and tapers into a very soft point on the end so that you don't over smudge and allows you to create a better shape with the eyeliner.
The brush is of good quality for the price allow I do usually use a eyeliner brush with more tightly packed fibres to create a better finish.
Once I had applied the eyeliner to both my top and bottom lash line I then used the brush on my top lash first and without much effort I was able to easily smudge the eyeliner and create a softer and less harsh finish. Because the eyeliner is creamy you could actually use your finger and get the same effect although it is more hygienic to use the brush provided as long as you keep that clean.
Smudging the eyeliner on my bottom lashes was slightly more difficult with the brush as its not tightly packed it actually tickled me and in the end I gave up and smudged in my usual way and used a Q Tip!
I was pleased with the overall effect and my eyes had just the right amount of smudge and looked less like eye liner and more like I had applied a creamy eye shadow.
What I was really impressed with was the staying power of the product, usually if I apply a cream based eyeliner on my top lash line within an hour or two some of the line rubs off onto the top half of my eyelid and ruins the effect but this one stayed in place almost all day and only required a touch up once through the day. The Black eyeliner needed a couple of touch us through the day but that's just down to the strong colour.
If some of you have the same problem a great trick is to take a little eye shadow the same colour as the eyeliner and dab a little over the eyelid as this not only stops it coming off but gives your look extra staying power.
The Product has been tested on people with sensitive eyes and also contact lens wearers to provide optimum comfort and I have to say that it was really comfortable to wear and did not irritate my eyes at all and I am a contact lens wearer.
I let George do my nails.
I have so many nail polish bottles that I keep them in two shoes boxes!, I don't buy them often as with three children there is always something needing money more than my feet. I am very lucky and my lovely mum buys me lots usually in a gift set so I get four or five at once.
I have seen the George makeup range in my local Asda store before but I haven't really stopped to look until a few months ago when the nail polish range caught my eye, they had some fabulous bright and citrus shades which are rather on trend at the moment.
The price of the polish is only £1.75 so I decided to treat myself to a couple. I picked up a gorgeous bright pink with an Orange tone and a pale Pink colour.
The polish comes in a clear bottle with a tall black screw lid with the brush attached and the bottle contains 6ml of polish.
Before applying I did the usual and shook the bottle and screwed the black lid off, I was pleased that the brush was quite neat and long rather than the short stubby varieties that you can get with lower priced brands.
The polish looked quite thick when it was on the brush and not weak as I had actually expected, unfortunately when I put the polish on it was actually quite watery in consistency and did not go on as a block of colour and was very patchy. I decided to reserve judgement until the colour dried as some polish does look better when dry.
I completed both hands and was very disappointed with the result as not one nail looked evenly coated and I was wearing a base coat that evens out the nail base so I knew that this patchy look was down to the polish and not my nails.
It did dry really quite quick and I then went on and applied another coat and this did improve the colour, it looked more like the colour on the bottle and also made the nails move even in colour and as it was the pale shade I was able to just use two coats to get a good even colour. My nails dried to quite a nice shine as well and this did last although I do always wear a top coat.
I did notice that after a day or two the polish was slightly chipped in places and I think that this might have been worse had I not applied a top coat, however with just a few touch ups I did wear the polish for the best part of a week.
I have also used the brighter colour and strangely enough this colour applied well with just one coat although I did have to apply three coats to get the colour to look vibrant and have a shine.
Removing the polish was easy enough and I found it no more difficult to remove than any other polish and while most don't leave a stain on your nails the dark ones may so you should always use a base coat. This will help the colour go on smoother but also protects the nails from staining.
I have since purchased a four more shades in the polish range as they almost every colour under the sun and add new ones to reflect fashion such as darken green and the fluorescent colours. If you do like to follow fads or trends it's a great way to keep up with them and you wont worry when it goes out of fashion at that price.
Moisture surge anyone? For some strange reason I get the idea of someone chucking a bucket of water over me when ever I think about the name of this product. While that might be refreshing its not the way I want to start every day.
When I was younger I always covertated brands like Clinique and then through my job I was lucky enough to get to use and test products from brands such as Clinique and this allowed me the opportunity to find out what products suited my skin. Just because one product in a range suits your skin it doesn't always follow that all the products will suit and I have found with this brand that some products are perfect for my skin while others can actually irritate it quite badly.
What It Claims -
The Moisture Surge thirst release is designed to give your skin a moisture boost and keep the skin hydrated for a full 24 hrs. is designed to work for all skin types.
It claims to plum skin so that fine lines, flakiness and tightness are washed away and replaced by supple, firm and vibrant looking skin.
Why I bought It -
My skin type is quite dry and a little bit rough and I do get really dry patches around my nose and on my eyebrows. I have tried many different moisturiser and the one that I use currently is Nivea, cheap as chips but does the job. I actually bought the moisture surge while on holiday as I decided to treat myself and this is how I got on.
Using The Product -
The product is designed to be used morning and night as you would with any moisturiser. After cleansing I dipped my finger in and the first thing that I noticed was the gel like look and feel that the product had, it's a very pale pink in colour and as soon as I applied some to my skin I noticed how cool the gel felt, it was almost like applying after sun to sun burnt skin when you experience that calm and cooling sensation.
When I applied the product it disappeared quite quickly into my skin and did not need any rubbing as it just sinks in. I did find that the cooling sensation also disappeared quite quickly and I am used to having a feeling of dampness on my skin after moisturising but this was not the case with this product in fact I would go as far as to say that I actually felt that I had not applied anything to my skin at all. I do use a primer for my skin before makeup and the moisture surge feels like a primer in my opinion, it smoothes the skin and the result that you get is a matte skin texture.
After applying the product I touched my skin and found that it did feel quite smooth and a little soft although it did not actually feel moisturised. While Not wanting to risk contradicting myself I have to say that my skin did not feel tight at all.
When I applied my makeup after using the product it did go on smooth and where my makeup can appear a little flaky in certain parts I was pleased to see that after using the moisture surge this was not the case.
As far as the 24 hr claim goes I am afraid that it did not work for me, while my skin was not really dry it did not feel well moisturised and certainly did not last for 24 hrs.
I have continued to use the product but only as a base for my makeup and I apply it after I have applied my usual moisturiser. If you have normal skin with no dryness it may work for you but I believe that there are better products out there at better prices.
I did have high hopes for this skin thrist quencer only to find it was like opening a bottle of expensive wine and finding lemonade inside.
Cost And Availability -
You can purchase the moisture surge and other Clinique products at most large department stores and also online. The cost of the product is £30.00 for 50ml.
You don't get a cheque book and pen with this blanx
I do like a nice set of pearly white teeth and have used a whitening tooth paste for as long as I can remember although I think that I use them out of hope for whiter teeth rather than the actual results that they give.
There are now so many different whitening treatments available thanks to an overdose of pictures of celebs with their perfect smile and pearly white teeth. This has also seen a huge rise in cosmetic dentistry and while we can not all afford a new set of veneers Tom Cruise and Celine Dion are two of the rather extreme before and after cases for being in favour of veneers, Would they have had the same success with their own teeth? I would like to think that talent wins through but in image conscious Hollywood I fear not.
So veneers are not easily accessible for the masses but less evasive and less expensive treatments means that we can all have whiter if not perfectly straight teeth!
I have quite often seen the blank range in my local Sainsbury's when doing my shopping and like a magpie I am drawn to them ("Ohh shiny!") unfortunately my budget wont allow my inner magpie to purchase said sparkly box that has the promise of white teeth on it. I was surprised to see it on offer one day for just £6.50 reduced from the usual £9.00 and I just couldn't resist.
What It Claims -
The tooth paste claims to remove all stains including those caused by smoking, foods, coloured drinks and plaque deposits.
It also claims to restore the health and whiteness of your teeth.
The Product -
The Blanx range using an ingredient called Lichen which it claims is particularly effective against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and discoloration.
Lichen was discovered in the artic where explorers discovered the people who lived there had brilliant white teeth and found that they were using the Lichen substance as a method to clean their teeth.
The tooth paste comes in the form of a solid plastic bottle that stands up on it's own, it has the Blanx brand written down the centre of the bottle. The bottle has a white plastic lid that when removes reveals the dispenser to release the product.
You also get a strip on the box to test the whiteness of your teeth before and after using the product and the the colours range from yellow , cream and then bright white . The scale is set from and I was very hopeful of reaching the top end of the white scale. My teeth are naturally quite white although I am rather fond of coffee which is one of the main ways to stain your teeth. I measured on the top half of the cream on the scale on the box.
Using The Product -
There is no special way to use the tooth paste just use it the same way as your usual paste.
When I dispensed the paste I noticed that the paste is bright white in colour and the consistency is slightly thicker than your average tooth paste. The paste is very also very smooth on the teeth, I have used some whitening products that have a slight grainy feel to them but this was not the case with the Blanx.
The taste was at best very subtly minted at worst quite bland, I didn't get that clean and fresh feeling in my mouth that I like but decided to carry on and give the paste the benefit of the doubt. Once I had rinsed my mouth I did the usual and moved my tongue around my mouth to feel how clean they were and I was pleasantly surprised to feel nothing on my teeth, I felt that all the plaque was gone and using a phrase I use with the girls, they were squeaky clean!
Although I knew that my teeth were clean I was convinced that my mouth wasn't fresh and actually did a breath into my hand to check like a teenage boy before a date! Thankfully my breath was fresh I just didn't have that strong minty freshness that I was used to but with a touch of mouth wash I was fine.
Can my husband pick me up and use me as a torch? -
Well, I have to say that I did notice a difference immediately, my teeth actually looked brighter and more of an all one colour so I could see that the paste had removed some stains that were on my teeth that my usual brand had not shifted. I have to be honest and say that I did move one shade on the scale on the box and this was after the first use of the product.
I have since used the toothpaste for a few months and have moved up two marks on the scale which I am happy with. My hubby did notice a difference and one night when the light bulb went in bathroom asked would I mind standing in there and grinning like a Cheshire cat while he got washed!
All in all I am really happy with the results that the toothpaste produced. My one criticism would be that you don't get that really fresh feeling in your mouth but as I always use a separate mouthwash this has not been a reason for me not to use it.
If you want a cleaner, whiter teeth with a non abrasive toothpaste that's kind to your teeth then its really worth giving it a go.
Obviously it goes without saying that the best way to stop your teeth getting stained is to do none of the following - Eat anything containing sugar, biscuits, cakes and sweets. Don't drink coffee, tea or anything with caffeine in. Or.............................Have a few of those things once in a while and smile anyway with your less than snow white teeth!
The Blanx range is available in most chemists and some supermarkets, look out for it when its on offer. The Blanx range also includes mouth wash, intensive whitening treatment and many more. More information on the range can be found at www.blanxuk.com
We have nits!!!
Yes, one of the many joys of having children is being confronted with the letter from school announcing that "there are cases of head lice in school, please check your children's hair and take appropriate action"
I have three girls and my eldest daughter is 9 and until recently we had managed to escape the dreaded nit problem until I noticed one of my girls scratching her head in a rather manic fashion and when checking her hair I noticed 3 little head lice. So I dragged them all off to the chemist and asked the pharmacist which was the best treatment and he suggested Hedrin 4% solution after I handed over my £12.00, yes £12.00 pounds we came home and then the fun really started!
Nitti Gritty Facts And Lets Bust Some Nit Myths! -
All nits are not the same, they vary in size from the size of a printed full stop to a sesame seed.
They are not all one colour - Scary but true, they can match their colour to that of the environment which means that they can be hard to spot.
Head lice can not jump, fly or swim! - They can only be acquired by direct head to head contact and that's why they are so common to children as they are often in direct contact with other children. I have to say that I don't rub heads with my work colleague unless it's a night out of course!
Nits are not fussy!, they don't care if your hair is clean or dirty.
The female louse lays between 3 and 5 eggs per day and these hatch after 7 days.
The lice live close to the scalp where they feed on blood and its this process that causes the horrid itching.
The nit is actually the case in which the egg is laid and after the louse has hatched the nit will remain glued to the hair. The nits are actually harmless and can be removed with the fingers or a fine tooth comb.
The product -
The Hendrin product that we bought is a 4% spray. The 4% is the active substance called Dimeticone, its not a chemical poison, it works by a physical process which effectively covers and drowns the louse.
I decided on the spray rather then solution as I thought that it might be easier to use on the girls.
When you open the box the spray is already assembled for use, the bottle is a white opaque bottle and you can see the clear liquid inside, the bottle has a trigger to dispense the liquid and looks a little like the spray you get for household plants. It has a little red tag around the trigger and this pulls away easily and then the spray is ready to use.
How To Use It And Safety Precautions -
When applying the lotion you must keep away from sources of naked flames and burning cigarettes.
First you need to cover the shoulders with a towel, Hold the spray about 10cms away from the hair and spray from the roots to the ends of the hair, It comes out as quite a fine spray but I found that the trigger was quite hard to pull and you only seem to get a little spray out each time and as I was doing 4 heads my arm was aching after a while.
You need to completely cover the hair and scalp and make the hair saturated with the liquid by rubbing in with your fingers or a comb and this is where you notice the really greasy quality of the spray, it really was like spraying cooking oil onto your head.
Once you have saturated the hair the solution needs to be left for 8 hours or overnight, bearing in mind the ages of my kids it was easier to leave it on over night, you also need to allow the hair to dry naturally, you can not use a hairdryer so if you are leaving it on over night I would suggest that you use an old pillow case on the Childs bed to protect it from the oil.
Obviously I had to do my hair as well and one of the main problems that I and the kids had was that it actually makes you head feel really itching and while its not a poison due to the safety warnings I was having to tell the girls not to itch or making sure that they were washing their hands all the time and I was starting to get on my own nerves by the time they went to bed!. As the girls all have long hair I also tied their hair up to make sure that none of the lotion went into their eyes.
Another to be aware of is that with the lotion having an oil like consistency it is extremely slippery so be careful not to get any on the floor and also give the bath or shower a good wash after washing the hair out as the surface of our bath was really slippery.
The Next Morning -
Ewwwwww!!!!! That was the noise the greeted me from all the girls in the morning and the reason for this outburst was not because I didn't have my make up on, it was because the girls are had dead head lice all over their pillows! Once the girls got over the shock they did the natural and counted them, 20,17 and 12 in case you are wondering!
We then went into the bathroom to wash the solution out and as per the instructions we just washed with normal shampoo and my goodness the solution was really hard to get out of the hair, obviously its on oil and therefore clings to the hair, I had to wash the girls hair 3 times with the shampoo to get all the solution out and my husband remarked that it would have been quicker to shave all the hair off and let it grow back......
Once the hair was dry it was clear to see that all the solution had come out of the hair although had I just washed it once I am sure that some of the solution would still be present in the hair.
The solution didn't affect the condition of any of the girls hair or mine although a couple of us did feel that our heads were still really quite itchy, this is apparently quite common and using the solution may also cause a flaky scalp and in some cases an itchy feeling around the eyes. The instructions also recommend that if you notice any other side effects to contact your doctor.
7 Days Later...........
You do need to apply a second treatment 7 days after the first and the reason for this is that the female louse lays her eggs and they take 7 days to hatch. This is why its important to apply another treatment after 7 days to make sure that any lice that have hatched after the first treatment are killed.
I am pleased to say that this treatment worked for all of us and having tried other brands that although they are quicker have been less effective I was really pleased that this worked and we had no more scratching of heads.
The only way to really prevent them is to make sure that you don't touch heads and hair with others and while some adults are better at this than children if you have kids its so easy for us to pass them onto each other.
Keep long hair tied back when kids are going to school and this can help prevent your kids catching and passing the head lice and my kids have now stopped complaining when I make them tie their hair back for school.
Check your kids regularly and inform the school and that way everyone can be treated at the same time and stop it turning into an epidemic of head lice.
Price And Availability -
The hedrin solution can be purchased from chemists and some supermarkets and the 4% lotion 120ml costs approx £12.74.
You can also get other hedrin products such as the 15 minute gel lotion and also the fine tooth combs for removing the lice after treatment.
This is the second bath and shower gel that I have purchased from the Nspa range and I was really impressed with that one and for the purposes of reviewing I have decided that I should really try them..........Yes, that is my excuse and yes I am sticking to it.
The Nspa products have a very simple and classic look and if you are familiar with the more expensive Philoshy brand you will notice that they are very, very similar although they are obviously different enough for Philosophy not to sue!
The bottle is a clear plastic which means that you can see the product inside and in this case it's a fabulous vivid mint green. The bottle itself is quite soft which makes it easier to squeeze the product out. Sometimes bottles like this are hard and it can take some strength to get the bottle out. My mum has arthritis and struggles with some bottles but she can mange this one fine.
The bottle has a flip top black lid and again this is easy to open and close.
The Product -
I have used the product both as a bath gel and also as a shower gel and first I will review how I felt the product performed as a bath gel.
The first thing that I noticed when using this was the scent as I poured it under the running water and while the scent is described as Apple - Mint the mint is much more dominant and it's a very strong and full bodied scent, it is a refreshing scent and its great for clearing your head!, my hubby used it
When he had cold and was all bunged up and he said that it really cleared his nasal passages and that's down to the mint and while its not as strong as menthol it worked wonders for him.
I have be honest and say that I found that the scent was a little overpowering as a bath gel and I certainly would not use it before I go to bed.
This performed okay in the bubble factor stakes, I got a decent amount of bubbles with it although they did evaporate fairly quickly once you are in the bath.
I thought that this is where the product came into its own. I used it to wash and using only a small amount I was able to get a great lather going and it felt incredibly smooth and creamy when I rubbed it into my skin and again the scent was very strong but as you use it and it washes straight off the scent was just really refreshing rather than overpowering as it was as a bath gel.
After using it as both a bath and shower gel I didn't notice any drying of my skin and the product is highly moisturised so I was left with smooth, soft skin after using it.
I would definitely buy this one again, although I would only use it as a shower gel as I find that its to strong to use as a bath gel. If you struggle to wake up in the morning this is like an alarm clock for the senses.
I purchased my Nspa products from Asda and they often have them on offer, at the moment they have some of the creams and sprays on half price. The price range is approx £2.50 - £6.00.