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As I wear make up most days and tend to favour 50's and 60's styles of eye make up with plenty of black eye liner and mascara, black mascara is a bit of a must have for me. I tend to use a cheaper mascara and I've not been loyal to any particular brand as I have to stick to a budget but I was really looking forward to having something more expensive to try out after getting this Soap & Glory Thick and Fast mascara as part of a set.
This mascara comes in quite a pretty little cardboard package which features a pink background with black writing, fitting in quite well with other Soap & Glory products. On one side of the box there is a rather eye catching black and white close up of a pair of eyes.
Inside the box the mascara comes in a black tube with pink writing. The product name is nice and big so you can easily see from a distance what it is.
***Price and availability***
Soap & Glory products are available in Boots or Harvey Nicholls stores and can also be found listed on sites such as Amazon or Ebay.
Thick & Fast mascara will set you back £10 which isn't a bad price for a good mascara from a well known brand. I can find cheap mascaras for £2 and upwards, but there is quite a difference in quality and particularly lasting power.
If you buy this product in Boots, which is where I buy my Soap & Glory products then you can gain 40 advantage card points (worth 40p) when buying this mascara.
***Using the mascara***
The wand on this mascara is a normal, basic wand which I like. Having tried mascaras which have used different designs for their wand brushes I always decide I prefer the standard type as I find it much easier to use.
The mascara is easy to apply, it glides on and I don't find that it clumps at all. However, method of application may vary from person to person and could give different results. Personally I blink slowly onto the brush while wiggling it side to side through my lashes and this gives fantastic results when using this mascara.
For a normal day time look then a quick swipe of this mascara is enough, but for a more dramatic evening look then several coats of mascara might be needed. I do find that other mascaras tend to dry in such a way that adding a second coat is almost impossible without making a clumpy mess, but I do not have that problem with this product. A second or third coat glides on as easily as the first.
Once applied by lashes look long, thick, glossy and pretty; which is exactly what I want from a mascara.
Although it's not marketed as being a waterproof mascara, the staying power of this mascara is fantastic. Whatever the weather, whatever I'm doing and even on days when I have fallen asleep still in my make up I have not had any experience of panda eyes. I find it does not go dry or flaky through the day as some mascaras can do.
Removing the make up is easy with a make up remover or using baby wipes. I do find that I tend to have to go over it twice, maybe three times sometimes before it's fully removed but I do not need to rub or scrub at all.
I really like this mascara and would recommend it to others. I in fact like it enough that I think I'll be cutting back on something else in future to allow myself enough money in my budget to continue using this rather than returning to a cheaper mascara.
I've tried many foot creams and foot balms over the years as I spend a lot of time on my feet I like to look after them. After getting this product as part of a set right at the beginning of last year I couldn't wait to try it and was really happy to receive it in another set again around Christmas time.
Soap & Glory are one of my favourite brands and so I was fairly confident that this foot cream was not going to disappoint when I first tried it. The company are relatively new to the market having launched in 2006, but have quite a strong following due to their fantastic range of beauty products. They are a British company who does not test on animals, however their products are not marked as being suitable for Vegans.
Obviously the first thing to strike your eye is a product's packaging and so it's important for this to look attractive to the type of market it's aimed at. Soap & Glory products tend to impress with pink, girly packaging with a retro feel.
Although this product is shown in the Dooyoo picture as being in a blue coloured tube, both of the times I have had this cream the packaging has been the usual Soap & Glory pink.
The packaging is reasonably eye catching with it's silver and white bold writing on the pink background and the Soap & Glory logo. I feel it looks good if I leave it out by my mirror alongside other products and I like that it fits in nicely with the rest of the companies range.
There is no extra packaging around the tube which is a bonus for me because I find extra boxes or plastic packaging a waste of time and resources. The tube can be recycled (although you might want to check which items your local council recycles before you attempt to) which is great for the environment and great at helping me make more bin space (if like me you have a full household and a fortnightly bin collection you'll appreciate why I feel that this is important!).
The tube is sturdy enough to ensure that the product inside is kept safe even if the item gets bumped around in transit or you carry it about in a bag, which is exactly as it should be!
***Price and availability***
Heel Genius and the rest of the Soap & Glory product range can be purchased in Boots and Harvey Nicholls, in store and online. As with most things nowadays this product can often be found on Amazon or Ebay also.
This means that the product is easy to obtain, which is always a plus point.
As I previously stated my foot cream came as part of a set which made it excellent value. However, had I bought it at the usual price it would have cost me £5.50 in Boots which would have gained me 20 advantage card points (worth 20p).
The price of this foot cream is around average for this kind of product and because of the quality of the cream it really is good value for money.
***Using the cream***
The tube features a flip top lid which is easy to open and close. The hole in the lid which the cream is dispensed from is a good size, allowing a reasonable amount of cream to be squeezed out at one time and big enough to not get blocked.
When first opening the foot cream the smell is quite distinctive, it doesn't smell too far apart from other Soap & Glory products but has what I thought was a slightly peppermint scent to it. Upon looking at the ingredients (the product features; allantoin, glycerin, macadamia oil, menthol, bilberry, orange and lemon fruit acid smoothers) I realised that it must be the menthol that I was smelling. Overall the product smells quite pleasant but not overly feminine and not too strong. I remember complaining in a review on another brand of foot cream that although it did the job the smell was awful, I'm happy to report that this cream doesn't suffer from the same problem at all!
The cream is a pale bluey green colour which matches well to it's scent but was a bit of a surprise to begin with as other Soap and Glory products I have used in the past have been a pale pinky green colour.
Smoothing the cream into feet is easy and the texture isn't greasy or sticky like many foot products can be, though it is reasonably thick. The cream doesn't sink in instantly, but neither does it take a long time.
Soap & Glory suggest that you "Massage a generous layer onto clean feet every night [or at least as often as you remember]. Slip cotton socks overtop and let it soak in while you sleep." which is what I do, although sometimes I use it in the morning rather than at night, I don't believe the time of day makes any difference.
I was hoping that I would like this product, but I wasn't expecting results quite as impressive as the ones I got! After about a week of using the product once a day my feet were noticeably softer and smoother than they had been and as I previously mentioned I am on my feet a lot and so they do tend to be quite dry with some hard skin. Some other creams recommend that you use them twice or more daily and so to be able to get such good results with one that requires use just once daily is fantastic!
Whilst using this product I have not experienced any adverse skin reactions, not even minor stinging which can be a problem with some foot creams. However my feet were not cracked and so I can't guarantee that it wouldn't sting me had they been.
This works well, smells much better than some other foot creams do and isn't a bad price compared with similar products so I would certainly recommend Soap & Glory's heel genius cream to others and feel that it is worth a full 5 star rating.
I will in future be replacing this cream as it runs out rather than waiting to see if I will receive it in gift sets as it's definitely my favourite foot cream and perfectly does the job it's meant to whilst being in the same price range as rival products on the market.
As mentioned in a few of my other reviews, The King Blues are one of my favourite bands and so I thought it high time I reviewed my favourite album of theirs; Punk & Poetry.
The album was released in April 2011 on Transmission Recordings and was the 5th album from the London based punk band who show influences of different genres and whose lyrics are often political.
The band sadly went on to make only one more album after Punk & Poetry and then split in April 2012 after 8 years together as a band. Lead singer and front man Jonny 'Itch' Fox went on to record some solo work and former guitarist and vocalist Jamie Jazz formed part of the 4 piece band Bleach Blood.
I'm always surprised that so few people have heard of The King Blues, but they do get a reasonable amount of air play on Kerrang radio in particular and they have had some chart success, Punk & Poetry itself went into the top 40 chart, falling just short of making the top 30. However, I suppose that any band who consider themselves punk are not going to measure their success in chart sales.
This band and this album in particular are most likely to appeal to you if you enjoy acts such as:
Cage the Elephant
***The album track by track***
Last of the dreamers is more of a spoken word tribute than a song, a nice short interlude before the real music begins. "This is for the origami swan who dared to soar up to the sun" This is Itch's take on the poet Anis Mojgani's Shake the Dust and the lyrics clearly echo this.
We are f***ing angry clearly demonstrates by title alone that this album is best not listened to around small children! I would describe this as a protest song with hard hitting lyrics and a heavy sound. There are a lot of synth noises on this track that in places I'm unsure of, but overall it's a good start to the album. "Students, workers and unemployed unite and rise out of the slums"
Set the world on fire has to be one of my favourite songs. Again I would describe this as a protest song, but less angry sounding than the previous track. The tune is catchy and the lyrics are absolute genius. "Then I sit down and read the newspaper, it tells me the enemy and lets me know the saviour"
Dancehall is a short piece (less than a minute long) which again is more of a spoken word piece fitted to music than a song. It has piano and vintage dance hall sounds (I mean more 30's - 50's dance hall rather than the reggae kind) which are an interesting mix with modern lyrics. "Make it the centrepiece, glimmering and shimmering"
The future's not what it used to be features some brass sounds which give an old ska feel to the track and lead on nicely from the sounds in the last track. Towards the end the music and vocals speed up a little and become more dub step influenced before switching back to the former beat which is nicely done. The track isn't the strongest on the album but it does fit in nicely and the lyrics are clever. "There's no unity, just you and and me, trying to keep our head above the lunacy"
I want you is another favourite of mine. It's a track to get your feet moving which manages to mix politics and romance into one beautifully uplifting song. The lyrics basically consist of likening things which go together and are simple yet clever "I want you like a foot wants a shoe"
5 bottles of shampoo is a beautiful piece, beginning with checkout sounds and Itch's vocals, the beat gradually comes in to create a song which cleverly speaks of a love for women's strength and a dislike of a society which often fails to recognise it. "Too fat, to thin, that's just media spin"
Sex Education is my least favourite track on the album although I can't quite put my finger on why, I suppose it could well be the subject and language which goes along with it. It is however still a good song, catchy, easy to remember chorus and clever lyrics. It speaks of how our youth today learn about sex from porn, the media and friends which overal gives a skewed idea of how it should really be. "The little box asks him are you 18, he's clicking the mouse passing the testing screen"
Shooting fascists is another short piece. Simply done with just a ukulele and Itch's vocals the track lasts less than a minute and reminds us that "Grandad didn't vote for fascists, he shot 'em"
Headbutt is another favourite of mine (I know, I know, I have lots of them on this album!). It's a wonderfully upbeat track with beautiful imagery in the lyrics. The song manages to stay away from anything political and instead has lyrics that are about a girl. "Strip teasing, fire breathing, dancing burlesque, producing beads of cold sweats on men's foreheads"
Does anybody care about us is the penultimate track of the album and is another good one! It's not as fast or angry sounding as some tracks whilst still being quite political. It features a nice catchy chorus. Lyrically this song managed to sum up pretty much how the current government makes me feel with lyrics like "digging graves to climb out of the ruts, we bare the scars from your cuts"
Everything happens for a reason brings the album to a wonderful close. It's not one of the better tracks in my opinion, but it does have it's place and brings the album to a nice finish. It's an easy going tune with a repetitive chorus and reasonably happy lyrics that talk about Itch's (now former) relationship and finding out that he was going to become a father. "The quack called us into his room where we had a scan and I realised for the first time I'd become a man".
I adore the cover for this album, it's quite intense which I feel is a good match for the music and it's monochrome design featuring a close up of Itch (looking a little angry with his hood up) makes it attention grabbing. I feel it fits the album well.
***Price and availability***
Punk & Poetry is available to buy from Amazon at £7.83 for a physical copy of the CD and is eligible for free delivery if you spend over £10 on the site. You can also buy the digital version for £5.99. Individual tracks can be purchased at the price of £0.69 each
HMV also have this album available for digital download at the same price of £5.99 for the full album, but are more expensive for individual tracks at £0.99 each.
You can also find Punk & Poetry on Spotify.
I think the price paid for this album is fantastic considering the quality of the music! It's obviously most cost effective if you opt for the digital download of the full album.
The tracks on this album all fit together beautifully and lead on from one another nicely, meaning that as well as having songs which are nice to pick out to use as play list favourites as I do with most albums, this is also a wonderful piece to listen to as a whole.
It's difficult to sum up the overall sound of this album, the band stay true to their ska-punk beginnings here whilst at times also using influence from hardcore, pop punk and dub step, all tied together with hard hitting political lyrics, a little spoken word poetry and a smattering of humour which makes quite a unique sound overall. Whatever you choose to call it, I sure do like it!
There will of course be people who find that this album is not quite their cup of tea (my poor boyfriend being one of them, playing this is a sure fire way to get him to vacate the room!) but if political punk is your thing, or you like a bit of melodic pop punk ska then this album beautifully delivers exactly what the title Punk & Poetry promises.
I guess it comes as no surprise that I am awarding this album a whole 5 stars and would wholeheartedly recommend it!
I have had this product both in gift sets and I have bought it as an individual item because I found it worked so well for me. I am quite a Soap & Glory fan (or addict!) as you may already know if you have read some of my other reviews. This particular product is a facial cleanser which removes make up.
Dooyoo's product picture for Peaches & Clean shows the old style of bottle which matched many of the other products with it's pink colour and bold writing. The packaging has since changed (although not too drastically) to fit in with the style of products in Soap & Glory's new skin care range.
Unlike the old bottle, the new one is colourless and so you can see the creamy colour of the product inside. It's really handy to be able to see how much of the product is left as you use it. The label now features pink and black writing which is still clear and bold, but a little more streamlined than the old label which had several different fonts and colours on it. The rest of the bottle is still the same, being a slim cylinder with a pump action dispenser at the top.
Although easy to use, I do have a bit of an issue with the pump dispenser. The design means that there is always a little product left in the bottom of the bottle and I really dislike waste and so in this respect the packaging could be improved slightly. However, I do find that the pump works well without blocking, breaking or sticking which is great.
***Price and availability***
Available from Boots or Harvey Nicholls along with other Soap & Glory products, Peaches & Clean will set you back £5.33 for a 200ml bottle. If you have a Boots advantage card you can earn 20 points with this purchase.
Seeing as most facial cleansers or make up removers will cost me around the same amount or more then I am more than happy to pay this price for a product that works well, I feel it offers reasonable value for money.
***What do Soap & Glory claim the product does?***
Soap & Glory claim that Peaches & Clean will remove both make up and impurities from your skin whilst boosting circulation, unclogging the T-zone and being balanced enough for all skin types. They say; "It's gentle, effective, melts away make-up (even waterproof mascara), and re-energises your complexion in two minutes. " This all sounds pretty awesome! If I hadn't already received this item in a gift set then reading these claims would have been enough to encourage me to buy it.
Some of the other claims lost my attention a little however as "antioxidant-rich PEACH & GOJUICE extracts, and detoxifying OXYGINSENG TECHNOLOGY" are all things that don't mean much at the end of the day. I mean hands up who actually knows why antioxidants are good for your skin? (without looking it up please!) And who knows what gojuice is? Also, I prefer my technology in my electronics rather than my skin care. However, I imagine that these things might well make the product sound attractive to many.
When I first used this product I noticed how lovely it smelt, I can certainly detect peaches in there, it is quite delicately scented though which is nice for something you use on your face. I also noticed how smooth and soft my skin felt after using this, which was fantastic. The creamy cleanser was very good at removing all kinds of make up and so I was rather impressed.
Within a few days of regular use I found that my skin got rather spotty! I put this down to hormones, but I have noticed that any other time I have a break from this product and come back to it my skin reacts the same. I suppose this could be the product clearing my skin of impurities, but it is annoying!
***Results after long term use***
After persevering through the spotty stage which thankfully didn't last more than a handful of days I find my skin looks and feels fantastic! I tend to use 2-3 pumps of this at night (or sometimes in the morning if I commit the awful sin of falling asleep in my make up) and my skin feels clean and soft just as it did after the first use. It certainly does live up to it's promises of unclogging skin and removing make up and so I'm very pleased with it.
I'm prone to problems with my skin because of eczema and allergies but my skin looks so good after using this that others have commented how much better it is!
***Overall opinion of Peaches & Clean***
As I said to begin with, this product does work well for me, I have purchased it many times before and I will do again in the future and so I clearly like it. Because the face cleanser is suitable for all skin types I would recommend it to others without worrying that it may not work so well.
All in all this is a good quality product from a well loved brand which makes my skin look and feel fantastic. However, the sales patter would have been more attractive to me had it been kept simple, the tiny bit left in each bottle gets on my nerves and I have found that I need a period of adjustment when using this product before my skin starts looking good and so I feel it deserves to have a star knocked off, so I'm giving it 4/5
My boyfriend certainly knows how to keep a girl happy because I barely even had to drop a hint for him to surprise me with these shoes and make many of my friends so green with envy that they very nearly could have coordinated with them!
The shoes are made by Iron Fist who specialise in alternative clothing and footwear. I own quite a few items from this label already but this was my first pair of high heels from the company.
***Price and availability***
I had seen these shoes when they first came out and were available directly from the Iron Fist UK website for around £60 but couldn't afford them at the time. They are no longer available directly from Iron Fist (I don't think they have been for some time) but can be found in many other places for around £40. I believe my boyfriend bought these on Ebay (because he's almost as addicted as I am) but there are plenty of other stores online who have these currently in stock (shoes.co.uk is one of many that comes up in a quick google search).
It probably won't shock you much to hear that these shoes come in a shoe box! It's a rather nice black one with Iron Fist written over the top and sides in bright pink and features a cord carry handle on one side for easy transportation. As far as boxes go I guess this one is pretty good.
Inside the box the shoes come well packaged with a plastic piece in each shoe to help it retain shape and tissue paper printed with Iron Fist to ensure that the shoes will not rub against each other or the box and incur damage.
These are really eye catching shoes! They are mainly green in colour with pink surrounded zombie eyes on the sides (one on the side of each shoe, though the inside one is smaller than the outer), a fancy black bow to the back and white teeth surrounded peep toes. The green and black patterning to the shoe continues into the lining making the shoes look fabulous inside and out and there is even an eye printed onto the bottom of the shoe in black to complete the look!
I appreciate that many people may not manage to co-ordinate these with anything in their wardrobe but they do ft in perfectly with my mix of mainly punk rock and rockabilly pieces interspersed with more plain, classic pieces. I find the shoes look particularly stunning worn with a plain black dress.
As I said previously I own other items from Iron Fist, this includes a few pairs of sandals and flat shoes and so I was very surprised to find that it took me a good few minutes to wedge my feet into these shoes as I know that other shoes from the same place fit well! I do admit that this gets better and they ease up a little with wear but the fit is still quite snug!
***These shoes are made for walking...or are they?***
Surprisingly, despite the fact that these shoes are a bit snug and I don't often wear heels (especially ones this high and thin) I can walk quite well in these shoes! They are obviously not ideal for anything where you expect to be doing a lot of walking, but you won't wobble everywhere you go!
As with any well made high heel, the shoes are made in such a way that they distribute your weight well, making it easier to balance in them and meaning that your feet are less likely to hurt after an evening of wear. I'm pleased to report that although these are never going to be the most comfortable choice of footwear these killer heels don't kill my feet!
***Other colours and matching items***
These shoes also come in a pink colour, I vastly prefer the green as I've never really been one for pink. The pink ones seem less easy to come by.
Also available is a matching bag , the Zombie Chomper Bag; which comes in green or pink to match with the shoe colour. These are reasonably small handbags with a zombie like face similar to the shoe design with black bows on the handles. My fella kindly offered to get me the matching bag but for some reason it doesn't appeal to me. However, it's nice to have the option of a bag to match your shoes!
I have also seen high tops, hoodies, t-shirts, backpacks, boots, flip flops and vest tops with the same kind of zombie print available from Iron Fist to ensure that all your zombie clothing needs are catered for. These all seem less popular and more difficult to find than the shoes and bag though.
***Thoughts of others***
The fact that my boyfriend purchased these is pretty high praise to begin with, if he hadn't liked them he would have let me spend my own money rather than surprise me with a pair. He likes the fact that they make me tall, it makes a nice change for him seeing as I'm only 5'2" and he's around 6'6"!
I've never once worn these shoes without them attracting positive comments, even people who wouldn't necessarily wear them themselves still tend to marvel at the design. They also attracted a lot of attention when I posted a picture of them on a social networking site, with many friends and relatives asking where the shoes were from.
The biggest fan of these shoes so far is my 12 year old daughter who confessed she would have been hobbling around the house in them by now if only her feet weren't too tiny for her to pinch my footwear!
I very nearly gave these 5 stars as they are fantastic, well made shoes which never fail to draw attention and have a range of coordinating items available to go with them, however the fit of them let them down just enough that I felt I should knock a star off. I would still highly recommend these shoes!
I wrote a review back in 2012 for another of The King Blues albums Save The World, Get The Girl which actually was around the time that this last album Long Live The Struggle was released and the band split. They remain one of my favourite bands despite their split.
***Who are The King Blues?***
The King Blues were a punk rock band from London fronted by Jonny "Itch" Fox. Their music uses influences from hardcore and ska among other genres and the lyrics are quite often political. The King Blues officially split in April 2012 after 8 years of working together stating that they had "Taken things as far as they could go".
Since The King Blues parted ways former front man Itch has gone on to form a solo career, whilst former guitarist and vocalist Jamie Jazz is now a member of the dance punk band Bleach Blood.
You might find that you like The King Blues if you have a fondness for acts such as:
*Pulled apart by horses
It can be tricky to advise of similar bands because of the way in which The King Blues changed and evolved during their time together, there can be large differences between albums. There is also the consideration of the unique sound of the band. However, I feel that the above are a good suggestion list based on the feel of the Long Live The Struggle album.
***Price and availability***
The album can currently be found on Amazon for £8.45 for a physical copy and if you spend over £10 on the site then the delivery for this particular item is free. A used copy will cost you slightly less. You can also download a digital copy of the album for £6.99 or purchase individual tracks for £0.79.
HMV also have the album available for digital download at £6.99 but buying individual tracks from them will cost you the higher price of £0.99
You can also find Long Live The Struggle on spotify
These prices are around average for an album and I think they are certainly fair, but there are better albums you could spend your money on. I would recommend purchasing some of the better tracks individually rather than waste money on the whole album.
Although reasonably attention grabbing with it's red and white font on a black background, this album cover is not exactly inspiring. As the picture on Ciao shows, the cover simply features bold writing with the band name and the album name, some of which is underlined. I far prefer the pictures and artwork featured on previous albums to this cover. Perhaps having already split when this album was released it was difficult to organise a photo shoot or get the band to all agree on artwork but I still feel a little let down.
***The album track by track***
* We are what we own is the first track and the music has a fairly easy laid back, joyful feel with it's acoustic guitar (or perhaps ukulele?) and many voiced chorus, but the lyrics have Itch's usual cleverly worded, angry, political stance. Proclaiming that politics doesn't care about the youth of today and that they should wise up and rise up. "Saying they don't care about politics when it's politics that don't care about the kids". All in all I like this song quite a bit.
* We are the future has a very upbeat feel and is quite fast paced with a lot of synth sounds going on with Itch rapping over the top. The chorus is quite catchy and I like how the music builds and breaks in different places, but overall it's quite a difficult song to get into and even the lyrics don't save it due to the fact that much of it is too fast paced to catch the words (and thus the meaning behind them) and some of it is screamed (I'm quite a fan of a lot of loud shouty screamy music, but in this case it just sounds like he's a bit too angry and about to lose his voice) which I guess may add to the overall passion but doesn't make for a great sound. "We are the future, we are the future". If I'm being honest (and this is difficult considering how much I love the band) this song is quite awful.
* Modern life has let me down begins with some office type sounds, including a phone ringing which combine to make the backbone beat of this song. The lyrics speak of feeling cheated by modern life, one where you are conditioned to believe that you are free and doing what you wish but all the while in fact living up to society's dreams rather than your own. This is completely amazing after the last disaster of a track, it's a good solid song with a catchy chorus, brilliant lyrics and cleverly used sounds. The lyrics are a bit shouty again, but it lends to the overall feel and doesn't sound quite as bad as the voice straining in the previous track. "Freedom is not a coffee break with your boss" I do like this song and often find myself singing it as I go about my day.
* Wasted words sounds like it would be good for radio, it's a pleasant enough song (I might even stretch to call it pretty) and the lryics are ones that many people could relate to (they speak of a messed up relationship that doesn't seem to have been working for a while coming to an end) but I just feel it's a little lacking compared to past work from The King Blues, as if their heart wasn't in it. "Cos the currency that we spent was time, our hopes and our dreams, fell down the line"
* Can't bring me down features a similar sound to the second track, but it's done much better this time around. This track really shows the different direction that the band took with this album as it leans much more towards post hardcore sounds than previous work from the band. It seems to mainly be about Itch doing things his own way despite what anyone else thinks, the lyrics are clever but overall a little self absorbed. "Written in the stars that I can do anything". Not amazing, but ok.
* Tear us apart is a beautiful song, with melodic guitar sounds and Itch singing rather than screaming. Far more ska inspired than the rest of the album and a track that I image would please the majority of fans. I can't decide quite how to interpret the lyrics of this one but it's a nice song none the less. "Where beginnings are born and every end is a start".
* This is my home starts off with some spoken narrative from Itch as though he's speaking to a partner on the phone before it cuts into female vocals and the song continues in this manner with some news story style clips thrown in the middle and end. The lyrics tell a story of a family living in a rough area but they are not particularly clever ones. The song is quite slow and pretty sounding which contrasts nicely with the lyrics of chaos on the streets. "Now I'm leaning out my window and I'm screaming this is my home". Certainly not one of my favourite tracks.
* Booted out of hell is truly brilliant. Clever political lyrics teamed with a cheery feeling ska vibe make this one of my favourite tracks on the album. The lyrics could easily be written about Itch's youth as a homeless punk. "I live my life like a wandering ermine, floating on the edges of the brink of going mad, following a star, chasing the sun, taking a map of my heart, forever on the run"
* Power to the people is one that really gets your feet moving. Lyrically it is a general protest song, and ode to the power held by the masses. Musically it has some nice guitars and some strange dub step stuff thrown in. "My message is marching and every single time I'm taking out the beacons with my protest sign". This song is good enough, but it's not anything new or exciting.
* Walking away is a slow, sad song which seems to be another one about breaking up, I find myself wondering if this has anything to do with Itch's personal life whilst thinking that one break up song per album is more than enough. Not one of my favourites but a nice change of pace after the last track. "I suck in the scent of her perfume, anything that I can take" Bit of a disappointment really.
* When the revolution comes is another upbeat track with a heavy ska vibe. I love the lyrics on this track and the song of Itch's vocals (there is a bit near the start where he's speaks about being drunk on rum where he actually sounds like he might be...it strangely makes me smile every time). Another general protest song, nothing new, but nicely done. "You're damn right I'm a history writer, freedom fighter, flame igniter"
* Keep the faith is a nice enough note to end on, nothing new or ground breaking, but a nice, slow easy to listen to track. The lyrics urge you to keep faith in your beliefs despite struggles and are mostly sung rather than the usual rapping speech style of Itch (though he manages to fit in some of this) or the screaming seen in a few of the tracks. It seems to be sung with a reasonable amount of passion but overall it fails to inspire much feeling in me. "They say we don't believe in nothing at all, but I believe and I ain't gonna fall".
It took me a while to decide how many stars to award this album because when compared with other albums from The King Blues this one doesn't stand out as anything special and many fans saw it as an anti climax for a final album, however if you disregard the other albums and judge this on it's own merits alone then I feel it is slightly better despite a few tracks that I wouldn't have chosen myself. Overall though it's difficult to not be disappointed with this album as a whole.
The tracks on Long Live The Struggle are quite a mixed bag. In my opinion where the other albums have all featured songs which fit together nicely this one is a combination of tracks that would have slotted nicely into The King Blues past albums and tracks which showcase the musical path which Itch has decided to follow for himself in the future. This is an album that I like to pick and choose tracks from rather than one that benefits from being played in it's entirety.
Three of the tracks feature swearing which is fairly easy to pick out of the rest of the lyrics and so this isn't something to play when small ears are about.
I feel that in this album a few of the lyrics begin to point to Itch's arrogance which is further expressed in his solo work following this album. Going back and listening to this after hearing some of the solo work I feel that some tracks are more Itch's influence than the band working together as a whole. While I suppose this is to some extent to be expected for a band who have decided they have reached the end of their journey and with a front man keen to go his own way, it does make me wonder why they bothered with this.
After much deliberation I decided to award this album with 3 stars. There are a few weak links and it may not been quite what some fans expected, but Long Live The Struggle is still worth a listen despite this not being The King Blues at their absolute best. However, I would not recommend this album, I would rather point people in the direction of some of the bands better work!
I decided to give this a try last year while I was shopping in Boots seeing as I really enjoy Soap & Glory products and tend to prefer pump action sprays like this one rather than aerosol can sprays.
I love soap and glory packaging as it tends to be nice and girly with a retro vibe and the bottle that this body spray comes in is no exception.
The bottle is pink in colour with a nice slender shape which features smoothly curved shoulders and a pump action spray top covered with a small, clear plastic lid. The product name in a nice flowing black font and Soap & Glory's logo are surrounded by small white stars on the front of the bottle. The back features the usual warnings and ingredients list.
A 250ml bottle of this body spray (this is the size I buy) will cost you £6.50 (or 650 points from your advantage card if you have one) in Boots and if you have an advantage card you can collect 24 points by purchasing this product.
There is also a small 100ml bottle available which might be handy for travel. The smaller bottle costs £3.50 (or 350 points) and you can collect 12 points on an advantage card for the purchase.
Although there are many cheaper body sprays available, the quality and lasting power of this one does mean that it works out to be pretty good value for money and I do think that it's a case of getting what you pay for where this product is concerned. Besides, for every 27 250ml bottles of this I buy using my Boots advantage card I'll be able to buy one whole free one (however I'm still yet to figure out why I'd need to buy quite that much body spray)!
***Using the product***
The pump action bottle is easy to use without problems. A few quick sprays are all that is needed. I tend to spray this before I get dressed so that it sits on my skin rather than my clothes, but it would not harm your clothes to spray it directly onto them.
As soon as you spray this product the amazing smell hits you, I find it warm and girly yet sexy. The smell co-ordinates nicely with the rest of the Soap & Glory range which is great as it means I can use a scrub, body wash, moisturiser and then this which all complement each other and add to the overall effect of the product, however it is of course also lovely when used alone. I found it quite hard to distinguish exactly what I could smell in this scent but Soap & Glory say that this is a: "flirty, floral, fragrant body spray featuring notes of bergamot and blackcurrant, magnolia, freesia, vanilla and musk." I think this sums it's up rather nicely!
I find that this product has amazing staying power. I often use it for nights out and I find that after being out all night and falling asleep at some ridiculous hour, I wake up still smelling of this! I find this a lot more impressive compared to similar products I have used which tend to need respraying after a while because the scent has faded.
If I wear this when I'm going somewhere nice then I do still wear perfume too, however it is nice enough that when used for day time I find I don't want or need any extra perfume because this smells so lovely and the scent stays so well.
One bottle of this tends to last a reasonable while. If used only for evenings out then I can get a good few months use at least from the larger bottle of this, if used daily then it will last me around a month.
I have had friends comment on this spray and how lovely it is when we've been getting ready to go out together. I've also had a fair few people tell me how great I smell when I'm wearing this!
I have quite sensitive skin but this product has never caused me even the slightest irritation which is fantastic for something so fragrant!
This is a lot more pricey than the sprays I usually use and so I don't buy it often but it is well worth the price paid so I do like to treat myself to some every now and then. I would recommend this to others.
***Who are Abel and Cole?***
Abel and Cole started off with one man selling potatoes in London during the late 80's. After learning about pesticides the operation went organic and after a while they branches out into other organic foodstuffs. Today they have been going for almost 25 years and work closely with farmers, butchers and bakers so that they can ensure they know what goes into the foods that they sell. This also means that you get the best products and the people making it are treated ethically and paid fairly. Almost all of Abel and Cole's produce is from within the UK but the odd bit of produce comes from warmer places (because our British weather doesn't give us much interesting fruit in winter!) and the company ensures that this is bought and transported as fairly and eco friendly as possible.
You can read all about Abel and Cole's story on their website (www.abelandcole.co.uk)
***What can I buy from them?***
The main thing Abel and Cole sell are their boxes. They sell fruit boxes, veg boxes, fruit and veg boxes, salad boxes and even boxes for juicing! These come in different types and sizes, I get the medium sized fruit and veg box which is meant to last a week for 2-3 people. This costs me £18.75 and includes 3 types of fruit and 7 types of vegetables (one of these is always potatoes and there are almost always onions too) each week. I find that the amount in the box is just right for the amount of people that they suggest. If you don't like a certain food you can mark this online on your preference list as a dislike and they will substitute that food whenever it is due to come in one of your boxes. You can also request that items are substituted for just one delivery but allowed on future ones.
On top of your box you can order whatever other fruit or veg that you fancy and some of it is rather fancy! Abel and Cole tend to stock things that I can't find anywhere else and things that you may not have heard of before, such as purple carrots, butternut squash and black salsify. The prices are a little above what you would pay in the shops or on the market but the quality and freshness are excellent and so I'm happy to pay!There is also a whole range of other things that you can buy from Abel and Cole which include:
*Dairy and eggs
*meat and fish
*pies, pastries and delicatessen items
*desserts and snacks
*store cupboard items
*household cleaning products
I find that I can buy most things I would need from Abel and Cole, however although I would love to only give my hard earned cash to an ethical British company like this one, it would not be cost effective for me to purchase all of my shopping from them. I tend to buy my fruit and veg box, the odd extra item or treat and milk.
***Delivery and packaging***
There will be a delivery day for the particular area you are in, which means you can't choose which day your order will arrive. However, the day will stay the same week in, week out and so it's not too much to adjust to your delivery day. You are given a name of the delivery person for your area which is a nice personal touch.
Delivery times are not given and can vary, so Abel and Cole ask where is safe to leave your delivery. They are able to take a spare key for a shed or similar if you wish for your delivery to be kept extra safe. Our delivery usually arrives very early in the morning and so we just have it left on the doorstep and I bring it inside when I wake up.
Delivery costs just 99p regardless of how much or how little you order. You can't really complain at 99p, I think it's a pretty fair delivery charge!
If you don't want a delivery on a particular week then you can easily mark this down on the website as a holiday or give Abel and Cole a call and they will skip your delivery and you will not be charged.
Packaging is kept to a minimum and is recyclable where possible. Your main box will come in a cardboard box with the majority of things loose inside (the odd item may have a plastic bag or a small box that can usually be recycled). Extras may be packaged into another box, a paper bag or an insulated box (these are insulated with wool and packed with a few ice packs, I have found them very effective!) if you have items that need to be kept cool. Rather than throw away the boxes you are asked to leave them outside ready for your delivery person to take them away when your next delivery arrives. This means that boxes can be reused for as long as possible before they are to be recycled. This all seems far more favourable to a mountain of plastic bags being used and is in keeping with the companies ethics.
I find that the website has a welcoming feel and is easy to navigate. There are lots of lovely colourful pictures and a nice use of fonts without any pages seeming too "busy" and although there are many links to different parts of the site these are all clear and there is a search box right at the top of every page which I find helpful. I have never experienced broken links or any slowness to the website.
As well as organising your shopping and accessing and changing account details there are other nice features to the website such as a favourites list, recipes which can be searched by ingredient and the Abel and Cole blog.
***Freebies, gifts and guides***
Abel and Cole really make me feel like an appreciated customer with all the little extra touches to their service. I find that although the cost of their products can seem a little high, when you take into account the ethics of the company, the quality of what you get, the helpful tips and the odd freebie then I'm happy to continue giving the company my money.
Currently there is a fantastic offer for new and returning customers where your 4th box is free and you also get a free recipe book. The offer has been running for quite some time and I hope it will continue for a good while as it's a good deal offering great value for people new to Abel and Cole. The recipe book Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion is a nice thick A4 size book with an RRP of £12.99. The cover features a pan and lots of colourful veg and the inside is packed with ideas and recipes to help you use up fruit and veg in interesting and tasty ways ordered seasonally with a nice clear contents list and index. The book alone would be a nice freebie, with the free box to go with it I really do think that this offer is wonderful!
I am occasionally sent a little envelope of 4 cards entitling friends I pass them onto to a free veg box. It is necessary to fill out a few details on the cards before they are passed out and then they're good to go. These cards can only be used by people who are new to Abel and Cole. My sister used one of these cards and was still able to claim the offer I explained above with the free 4th box and recipe book. It is necessary to make an account and sign up for weekly boxes in order to use a card if you are given one but you can cancel after receiving the free box if you wish. This is a really nice way to introduce new people to shopping with Abel and Cole.
In many of my veg box's I find cards or leaflets telling me about my fruit or veg, how to use it, the farm it came from, or I'll find things which tell me what is currently in season, or sometimes recipes. A few months ago I was given a little ring binder in one of my box's and some of the leaflets are hole punched so I can build up a nice little collection of recipes and information which is lovely. Some of the most useful leaflets I had were with my first box as these gave me lots of information about Abel and Cole, how they stared and the farms that they work with as well as some really handy tips on storing fruit and veg to help them stay fresher for longer.
Sometimes I receive emails with money off voucher codes. These quite frequently give you £4-£5 off when you spend around £10 in a specific section of the website (usually with a choice of 3 different ones so that you can always find something you want to buy!). This is a nice amount to save and I enjoy treating myself to some nice little extras when I get these voucher codes.
As if the above things weren't enough to keep customers happy, the lovely people at Abel and Cole also give you the occasional freebie! Most recently I had a tiny free sample mince pie in with one of my December orders (it was perfectly made and delicious!). In the past I have received a bottle of juice, a large pot of yoghurt, a pot of soup and a small bottle of olive oil! Sometimes you will know in advance that there will be a freebie and even choose from a small selection of things, other times I have been surprised. This is a really lovely way to encourage customers to try new products and also for Abel and Cole to show that they appreciate their customers.
There are various ways to contact Abel and Cole should you need to, email, a web chat service and a phone line. This means that it's easy to choose a form of contact that is convenient for you and you can choose to contact them at a time which suits you. Emails and phone calls are responded to between 8.30am and 7.30pm Mon-Thurs, 8.30am-6pm Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday which means that most people would easily find a time to suit them.
I have not had any problems with Abel and Cole myself, but I have received the odd courtesy call (you would usually get one around joining or leaving) to see how happy I am with service and the people I have spoken to have been perfectly lovely and polite.
My sister did have a problem where some money was taken for a box that should have been free. This was quickly and easily sorted out and again, she tells me that they were helpful and polite.
I have also received personal feedback in the form of an email after filling out a survey for Abel and Cole. This made me feel like my opinion was valued and listened to, something very lacking in many companies these days!
***My personal opinion***
You have probably guessed by now that I rather like Abel and Cole! My kids also enjoy our fruit and veg from them, which is fantastic! because the kids are excited to see what is in each box and can see the pictures and information about the different farms and people who work on them they are encouraged to try new foods, enjoy their veg and learn about where food comes from. However, in our very first box we had a caterpillar hiding in the corner of our box and my 3 year old son is now incredibly disappointed that they haven't sent us any more of them!
I find that the quality of the food we receive in our box each week is brilliant and things last much longer generally than they would have if I'd bought from the supermarket. I tend to find that organic fruit and veg taste and smell a little better than their GM cousins. With some things I find a huge difference in taste, such as tomatoes and carrots. It's nice to know that I'm not feeding my family lots of pesticides and that my food hasn't travelled loads of air miles to reach my plate. The benefits of eating organic are debatable, but I certainly prefer to use organic when and where I can afford to. I don't eat meat, but it's nice to know that if I buy it for other people in the household that it isn't full of fillers and things and that the animal it came from was well treated.
I have been nothing but delighted with both the service and products I have received over more than a year of using Abel and Cole, this is a company who seems to genuinely care about what they do and keeping the customer happy.
***Overall experience and would I recommend Abel and Cole?***
I can't rate this company and their products highly enough! Although shopping with Abel and Cole is more expensive than using the supermarkets it is certainly worth it! I give them a whole 5 stars and wholeheartedly recommend them.
I treated myself to some Lush goodies in December while I was in there shopping for Christmas presents and this little Sandy Santa bar really caught my eye, it looked so cute and festive that I couldn't resist.
Lush describe this bar as a body butter, but it is certainly more of a scrub rather than a body butter!
This item, being a festive one is not currently available from Lush, I am patiently waiting and hoping I can get my hands on another one (or 3!) next year when the season to be jolly rolls around again.
Whilst it was in stock it was available from Lush stores or their online shop (www.lush.co.uk) and it cost £4.50. I think this is a pretty fair price, it's not cheap but then I wouldn't go shopping in Lush if I wanted something cheap. It is a good quality product worth paying out for though.
There are still a few of these on Ebay at the moment if you really wanted to get hold of one. They can be found for around £4 on auction or there are buy it now versions for up to £17! (Knew I should have invested in more!)
With it's santa face shape (including hat) this product looks very Christmassey. The bar is mainly a creamy white colour and the hat part is a lovely vibrant red. I really like the look of this bar, as I said to begin with it is what attracted me to buying it.
Sadly, after a use or two this bar no longer looks so cute. The red starts to bleed out (so much so that my boyfriend actually asked me who had been bleeding in the bathroom!) and the features smooth into one another, but I guess that is to be expected!
It's a good idea to place Sandy Santa in a soap dish so that he doesn't make a mess when he starts to melt a little.
One of the reasons I adore Lush is because their product scents are...well...lush! Sandy Santa is no exception. He is made with shea butter, murumuru butter (not heard of this one before now!), coconut oils and butters and a brazillian orange fragrance. These combine together to create quite a summery, beachy smell, which is a little surprising for a yuletide product but still yummy!
This bar is packed with sugar and sand which are fantastic for a really good scrub. The sand again goes with the summery, beachy feel and is apparently why Lush chose to give Sandy Santa a brazillian orange scent.
I find this product very easy to use, just rub it over damp skin in the bath or shower, give yourself a good scrub over with the sugar and sand bits then rinse off.
I find this is a very efficient exfoliator and I prefer it to many other scrub products I have tried! It is also good at treating skin to a bit of moisture thanks to the butters and oils used in making this bar. It gets rid of dead skin cells, scrubs away dry skin and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.
I could detect the scent of this bar both on my skin and around the bathroom after use, but only faintly, though it did linger for quite some hours after.
Not only was this bar good for my skin, I found that it left very little mess in the bath after use which is a big plus, a quick rinse and by bath looked just as clean as it did before I got in!
I used my Sandy Santa bar from around mid December to early January, so I got a lot of use out of it which pleased me no end, though I was still a little sad when it had finally all been used up!
I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scrub product and I can't wait until Christmas time rolls around again so that I can treat myself to another one!
I adore Soap & Glory products and was lucky enough to both last year and this year get my hands on one of the large bags of Soap & Glory do around Christmas time. This means I have many yummy products to use and review! I thought I'd start with Hand Food, which if the name didn't already give away is a hand cream.
I managed to get my hands on a Soap & Glory "Yule Monty" set in a bag/case for just £27 from Boots, which this was part of. I recommend getting one of these when they are around at Christmas time as if you buy on certain dates at the release or wait for the sales then the £27 price tag (compared to the usual £60) means that you pay just £3 for each (full size) product and the bag itself is free. Hand food has been included in these gift sets for the past 2 years that I have had one.
If you buy Hand Food on it's own then a tube of it will cost you £2.50 for 50ml or £5 for 125ml in Boots. There is also a pump bottle version which costs £7 for 250ml. I have the 125ml tube.
I think this is a very good price for a popular branded product and it's certainly worth this price for a decent hand cream if you use one.
You can also find Soap & Glory products in Harvey Nicholls and on both Amazon and Ebay so it's quite easily available.
The packaging is instantly recognisable as Soap & Glory as it features the same pink colour as many of their other products and has the Soap & Glory logo on the front. It is quite girly packaging which I find neither overly attractive or unattractive and it looks ok on my shelf of cosmetics (I certainly wouldn't feel the need to hide this one away).
On the front of the tube Hand Food is written in large white and cream block lettering and underneath in both English and French there is black writing telling you that the product is hand cream and contains shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow. On the back of the tube are the usual warnings and ingredients list (if you wish to view the ingredients they can be easily found on soapandglory.com) There is also a small symbol which indicates that the product should be used within 24 months of opening (which gives it a nice long shelf life) and a small British flag logo near to writing which tells you that the product is made in the UK and gives a London address for the company. I like to be able to support British companies and so I really like that they let you know on the packaging that the product is made in the UK.
The tube is large enough to last a long while yet small enough to shove in a bag if staying overnight. It is sturdy enough to do the job, I've never had problems with the tube or lid breaking, being flimsy or clogging up with product.
I don't tend to use this cream every day, more just whenever my hands feel dry and need a pick-me-up, but if your hands are very dry or chapped then you might want to use it daily or even a few times a day.
The cream is a white colour and is easily squeezed out of the tube. It is neither too thick or too thin and spreads and sinks into the hands reasonably quickly and easily. I find that this leaves my hands feeling soft and smooth without leaving my hands slippy or with any stickiness on them which is exactly what I would want in a hand cream. I find that a little of this goes a long way, which means the tube lasts quite a while, especially as I don't tend to use it every day.
I really like the smell of the product, you can definitely smell the shea butter and macadamia oil in there. It leaves a light fragrance on my hands for a good few hours afterwards which I find pleasant.
I can't find any faults with this hand cream, it is exactly the kind of wonderful product I have come to expect from Soap & Glory and so I'm awarding it a whole 5 stars and would happily recommend it to others
I'd not tried a Lush massage bar before, tending to stick more to the soaps and bath bombs so I decided it was about time I treated myself to something new and I gave this Soft Coeur bar a go. I chose this particular bar over other massage bars as I really liked the smell of it and found the heart shape that it comes in quite cute.
Available only from Lush stores, but if you don't have one near you you can find them online (www.lush.co.uk).
This massage bar will set you back £4.75 for a 30g bar. I think this is a little pricey, although the bar does last a reasonable amount of time which means that the overall value isn't too bad.
This massage bar is quite small (it's only 30g and most of Lush's other massage bars are around 50g) but looks nice due to it's heart shape. It is a creamy colour with brown chocolate looking pieces scattered through it.
Lush say that this bar is made with cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil and that it is "fragranced with our yummy, toffee smelling Honey I Washed the Kids perfume. With a cheeky soft centre made of honey and cocoa powder". I can certainly smell the coco and shea butter in this and I find these smells quite pleasant.
You can use this massage bar either to give your partner a lovely massage or you can massage it into your own skin for a nice skin softening treat.
The solid bar starts to melt at body temperature and so it will melt into your skin as you rub it over your body, or alternatively (and this seems to be the best way to help it last longer) let a little of it melt onto your hands and then rub it over your skin.
The massage bar glides beautifully over the skin, at least it does until you hit the chocolately brown bits, these can be a bit sticky and messy and they require some careful massaging in to prevent them from making a mess on your skin.
You need to be quite careful not to get any of this massage bar on your clothes as it may stain, I would give it a little while to sink into the skin properly before getting dressed after using or alternatively use at night time and stay in bed!
This left my skin feeling really soft and smooth for hours after use. It also left my skin smelling great. I found I got the best and longest lasting results with this if I used it after a bath or shower.
I kept my massage bar stored away in the waxed paper bag that it left the shop in, but if you like you can keep it in a Lush massage bar tin which will set you back £2.95. I would recommend that this massage bar is stored carefully so that it does not rub onto anything else as it may leave marks or stains. It's quite important to keep it somewhere cool too so that it does not begin to melt.
I like this massage bar and I would recommend it, but I would buy this as an occasional treat rather than purchase it often. I'm now looking forward to trying some other massage bars.
I wear foundation most days and so was very interested over all the hype of BB creams last year. After a bit of investigating online I saw that this particular one was not too pricey and had some really great reviews and so I decided to buy some to try.
The letters BB mean blemish balm or beauty balm. The cream originated in Asia and is meant to be an all round product which will give a natural looking coverage whilst also covering minor imperfections, hydrating skin and improving complexion. It can be used in place of a foundation or tinted moisturiser or can be used as a primer.
I love the packaging for this product because it's so simple. It comes in a classy looking black box with white writing and no pictures. The writing on the front of the box tells the brand and name of the product as well as stating that it is "all in one magic make up". The tube inside matches the box.
Once the box has been discarded, the tube stands easily on it's lid if you wish to keep it out (although I shove mine in a make up bag along with everything else). The tube opens and closes easily by twisting the lid and it is easy to squeeze out the right amount of product.
As this BB cream is a Boots 17 brand product you can only buy it from Boots, but this can be done online or in store. The product costs £6.99, which will earn you 24 points if you have a Boots advantage card.
This is one of the cheaper BB creams and so I'm very happy with the price. I bought a tube of this in late November, have used it most days and it is only just running out now, so I've certainly gotten a fair bit of use out of the product for the money I spent!
Applying, wearing and removing
The cream is easy to apply, simply squeeze a bit onto fingers, a make up sponge or a foundation brush and smooth it over your skin. The cream blends in easily and takes very little effort to apply correctly.
I usually wear this product alone for a normal day and use it alongside concealer and powder at times when I want to make more of an effort. It looks great either way.
I find that this product gives a much lighter look and feel when compared to my usual make up whilst still managing to provide a decent coverage. It stays put well all day (or night).
When it comes to removing the product I have had no problems at all, soap and water is enough to remove it, although I do usually use a make up remover.
Effects on skin
The product claims to:
Covers: full coverage which conceals imperfections and helps control oil.
Enhances: the creamy formula evens skins tone for a flawless finish.
Protects: SPF 15 and hydrating formula for healthy skin
it certainly does seem to do these things for me. Since using this BB cream I have noticed an improvement in my skin (and others have too!), I'm prone to break outs and my skin can be dry in areas and at other times very greasy, but I seem to be having less problems now. My skin can also be quite sensitive and so I am happy to say that this product has not caused me any problems at all.
I really like this product and will be buying it again in place of the foundations I used to use. I would most certainly recommend this BB cream to others and feel that it is very deserving of 5 stars.
One Saturday night when me and my partner were at a bit of a loss for something to do we decided a nice cosy up with either some TV or a film would be good. At the recommendation of a friend we went for a film, in particular Babylon A.D. We were told little more than "It's a sci-fi film with Vin Diesel and I like it" considering I trust my friends, this seemed a good enough reason to watch the film.
*********The plot (contains spoilers!)*********
In the not too distant future a hardened mercenary named Toorop is given the task of smuggling a young woman known as Aurora from Russia to New York. The task is given to Toorop by a mobster, Gorsky, who in return gives Toorop a passport back to America.
Aurora's carer (a nun) who brought her up in the absence of Aurora's parents (Rebeka) travels with Aurora and Toorop by foot, train and submarine. Along the way Aurora displays some strange behaviour which is explained away by Rebeka until she admits to Toorop that Aurora has always held knowledge without needing to learn it first. Someone suggests to Toorop that Aurora may be carrying a viral bomb.
Once reaching New York, it turns out that the convent Aurora and Rebeka previously lived at has been bombed, Aurora is somehow pregnant with twins although still a virgin and we learn how Aurora was genetically modified before birth to provide a manufactured miracle.
Several deaths and action scenes take us though the story, which ends with the birth of Aurora's children and Aurora's own death.
Vin diesel (Toorop), Michelle Yeoh (Rebeka) and Melanie Thierry (Aurora) are cast as the main characters. The film also stars Gerard Depardieu, Lambert Wilson, Mark Strong, Charlotte Rampling, David Gasman and David Belle.
I'm pretty sure that I've never had such a poor film recommended to me. I found the story line messy, the dialogue and characters not interesting enough to hold attention and the action scenes were adequate at best.
I was left very frustrated at the end of the film, too much was left explained, too many random things had happened and I was struggling to make sense of the whole thing.
I'm not a huge fan of Vin Diesel (I don't particularly dislike him either though, he's just not my kind of guy) but I would think that the film might be slightly more enjoyable if you are a fan of his. Although I can't see that the slight advantage of liking the actors would make this film much more watchable.
My partner did not enjoy this film either, he described it as a waste of time. He had appeared only mildly interested after the first half hour had passed and "what the hell"-ing at the screen with me by the final scenes.
As you probably already gathered from my opening and the fact that I only gave this film one star, I cannot recommend this film at all, I wish I had watched something else instead!
Release date: 29th August 2008
Directed by: Mathiew Kassovitz
Produced by: Iian Goldman
Running time: 101 minutes
Based on: Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec
Babylon A.D. can be bought on DVD from Amazon.co.uk from £4.80 with free super saver delivery.
I use a fair few of Boots Natural Collection products. Some of them I don't rate so highly but some of them are a fantastic budget buy. In this review I am going to be looking at Natural Collection Blusher.
*********What does it do?*********
Blushers are designed to add colour to your cheeks. This product is supposed to give a natural glow to your skin. This is great for me as I tend to emphasise my eyes and leave the rest of my make up quite natural looking.
There are four different colours available (peach melba, dusky pink, pink cloud and rosey glow) so that you can choose one that goes best with you skin tone. I chose the dusky pink colour.
This product is fragrance free and dermatologically tested, so it should not irritate your skin. I have sensitive skin but I've not had any problems at all with this blusher.
*********What does it look like?*********
The blusher comes in a small round white pot with a clear lid that allows you to see the product inside. The lid is stamped with "Natural Collection" .
The blusher looks quite basic, but then you would expect that from a product as cheap as this one is.
*********How do I use it?*********
This is a powder blusher and so it should be applied to the cheeks with a large round brush. There is no brush or applicator in the pot so you will need to buy one in order to use the product if you don't already have a blusher brush.
*********Where to buy and how much for?*********
This blusher is sold by Boots only as it is a part of of of their ranges. You can find it both online and in the shops.
The blusher will set you back just £1.99 which is a very good price, although there a few draw backs to using a cheaper product.
If you have a Boots advantage card then this product will earn you 4 points (that's 4p to spend in store).
*********Would I recommend it?*********
I quite like this product, especially the price of it!
The blusher is easy to apply and feels nice and light on my skin.
I find that this blusher leaves me with a nice natural looking rosy glow, but this will not last all day (it will last a fair few hours though). I find it is best to take this product with you in case you want to re-apply part way through the day (or night).
As you need to re-apply then you might use this product up a bit faster than you would use up a longer lasting blusher.
Overall this is a nice basic product, it might not be suitable if you want a strong colour and it will need re-applying over time, but it does a great job for a value product so I would recommend it to others.
My lips and skin dry out quickly and so vaseline is a must have item for me, especially when the weather turns colder. Rather than a nice big tub of it, I find these little lip therapy tins are more handy.
I find these tins a fantastic size for slipping into my pocket or bag, making it easy to carry them around with me.
This product does stop my lips from getting chapped and soothes them if they are already chapped.
The rosy tint makes lips look healthy and "polished" without giving too much colour or an overly made up look. Perfect for when you want to keep things looking natural.
The tin seems to last a good while, I usually have one in my coat, one in my bag and one in my make up box and replace them around every 9 months (or sooner if they get lost and I seem to be good at loosing lip balms!)
The tint in this vaseline means that unlike the other varieties of this product you can't use it on your nose if it gets dry. Although these little tins are designed for lips I do find it quite handy to dab a little onto my nose too if I have a cold and it was annoying to not be able to do this.
The tin is easy enough to get into that my toddler son can open it, but inexplicably at other times it takes at least 30 seconds of prising off the lid with my nails to manage to open it! A different design would be much less frustrating.
Last year I went for a nap with this tint on my lips and I can still see a feint mark on my pillow case where it stained the fabric! I found this very frustrating.
Because you apply this tint with your fingers, you are left with rosy tinted stuff on your hands that you have to be careful with as it might stain something.
*********Price and availability*********
I usually buy my vaseline lip tins from Boots (you can buy them in store or online) where it costs £1.99 for a 20g tin (and earns me 4 points on my advantage card).
These little tins are available in many other places, they are usually around the same price that Boots sell them for. Most chemists stock them, as well as supermarkets and some smaller shops too.
I didn't like this product much, although it does keep your lips looking good I just didn't get on with the tint. In future I would stick to the original and aloe vera varieties.
Although I would on the whole recommend the vaseline range of lip balms, I would not recommend this one in particular.