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purplepenguin

purplepenguin
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Member since: 20.02.2012

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      26.02.2013 17:55
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      A great shredder

      We were desperately in need of a shredder after my old one (one of those terrible ones that only take a couple of sheets and have to be perched over a bin) bit the dust about a month ago. When we started to shop around, we were very pleasantly surprised to see just how much shredders had come down in price, not to mention how much easier and more functional they looked.

      We were buying a few other items from Argos and decided to take a look at the shredders they had on offer there, and caught sight of this ProAction shredder for just £19.99- that seemed like a pretty good price for a sensibly sized shredder that would take five pages at once. One of the most appealing things was the size of the paper bin underneath the shredder. It can get really frustrating if you have a lot of documents to shred and have to keep stopping to empty the shredder. (To be fair, this would be less of a problem for me if I was a little less lazy and shredded all my documents in a timely sort of manner instead of letting the shredding pile just build up and up... but I suspect I'm not the only person out there who does this).

      We collected our shredder from Argos, along with a few other items- even though it came in a big box, the shredder itself actually isn't that heavy so there were no problems carrying it to the car. For anyone who doesn't have access to their own car, or who doesn't have a local Argos, Argos do carry out home deliveries.

      As I said, the shredder is not particularly heavy, so it was easy to carry upstairs once we got home, and required very little setup. Find a spot for it, put the mechanical shredder on top of the wire basket, plug it in and off you go! The wire basket/bin underneath the shredder is sturdy and secure, and even though the shredder cuts your documents into pretty small pieces, the basket holds it all in and prevents mess.

      The shredder is very simple and easy to operate- there are function controls on the front labelled Auto, Off and Rev (reverse), which operate as you'd expect. Auto is the general shredding setting, and causes documents fed into the shredder to be automatically grabbed and shredded; Off turns the shredder off; Rev will reverse the motion of the shredder, which is really handy if you accidentally feed through too much paper and it becomes jammed! In addition to this, there is a power light on the front, and written reminders that the shredder will only take a maximum of five sheets.

      I have used this shredder a lot since we got it, and now I don't know how I ever coped with my old one. This shredder is efficient and quick, and in addition to that, having a nice, matte black finish, it doesn't look too out of place in my house- in fact, it actually looks quite nice. I've also noticed that the ProAction shredder operates quite smoothly, which means that it doesn't make a massive amount of noise.

      My only (slight) niggle is that when the shredder was new, there was a bit of a strange, almost rubbery smell when we started to use it, but after a couple of weeks this wore off, making me think it was perhaps something to do with the original packaging.

      On the whole, I am really happy with this purchase. I don't think it was the cheapest shredder out there but it does the job (and does it very well too) and it looks good in the home. Or at least as good as a shredder can! I've been very happy with this purchase.

      I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has documents they need to shred- just about everyone really since in this day and age identity theft is a real possibility. I found the ProAction shredder really made shredding quick and painless.

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        26.02.2013 15:40
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        Not bad, but not great either

        I've used Boots Protect and Perfect serum for a while now and really like so, I when I saw the Lift and Luminate range advertised on the TV before Christmas I thought I would give it a try when I was next in the market for a night cream. Protect and Perfect really did seem to be good for my skin and Lift and Luminate looked like the next step up. Boots claim that Lift and Luminate will 'work mini miracles while you sleep', and will even and 'lift' skin tone.

        I purchased a jar of Lift and Luminate night cream in January of this year. The first thing I have to say is that this cream is NOT CHEAP. I know there are more expensive creams on the market but £24 still felt like a lot of money. However, since Protect and Perfect is equally expensive but has proven to be worth it in terms of results, I thought I would still give Lift and Luminate a try. I should also mention that Boots very often run offers on their No 7 skincare range, such as three for two, so if this is a product you like then it would be worth taking advantage of these offers.

        Lift and Luminate night cream comes in a 50ml jar- it's a nice-looking glass jar with a blue inner lining and a black lid, but it's also rather deceptively shaped to suggest you're getting more product than you actually are. 50ml is a fairly standard size for a jar of night cream and will normally last me several months, depending on the product.

        Once you open the jar, the cream itself seemed rather heavy to me, even for a night cream, although when I applied the cream to my face it was a lot less heavy and oily than I had first thought. I thought the scent of the cream was rather strong, and for the first night or two that I used it I was very aware of this scent as I went to sleep; however, it's not an unpleasant smell, and just took a little getting used to. I doubt I would have noticed it to the same degree in a day cream.

        I used Lift and Luminate for about a month, but have to say that I did not notice any difference in my skin. In addition, my initial fears about the cream being on the heavy side for my skin proved to be correct, and in the end I had to switch night creams as I was worried about spots. I did find, though, that my skin was really soft to the touch whilst I used this cream and felt really well moisturised.

        To be fair, I wonder if the fact that I had been using (and continued to use) Protect and Perfect for so long stopped me seeing any major benefits from Lift and Luminate, as they are essentially from the same family of skincare products. In addition, Lift and Luminate is marketed for older skin than mine; although I have rarely found that to make a difference when trying out skincare products, this would explain why the cream seemed to heavy for my skin.

        I didn't love this product but, although it didn't deliver on its promises, I didn't hate it either. I think the best thing I can say is that it just wasn't for me; since I've personally had good results with Protect and Perfect, I wouldn't want to put anyone off trying this range and finding the best product for them. Given the high price tag though, if possible it might be worth trying a sample first, or nabbing a bit off someone else who has a jar.

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          26.02.2013 13:57
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          Good product and good value

          I've been tempted to try a dry shampoo for a while, and after reading in a magazine that dry shampoos could help add volume, I decided to give it a go. Faced with an unexpectedly wide range of dry shampoos to choose from, I decided to try Batiste, as this was a brand I had heard of. I chose the Fresh fragrance as I thought this would smell clean and.... well, fresh.

          Batiste dry shampoo comes in a pretty generous looking 200ml can, although it also available in smaller sizes for travelling (which could be really convenient). Instructions for use are on the back of the can, and are really straightforward; spray into roots, massage through hair, brush and style. The can itself sports a blue and yellow swirly design that wouldn't have looked out of place on a Boots shelf in 1984, although this does mean that if you stumble into your bathroom, bleary-eyed, first thing in the morning you're unlikely to mistake this product for your deodorant.

          I gave the Batiste spray its first test a little later that week- I was going out that evening and didn't have time to wash my hair first. I followed the instructions on the can, spraying the Batiste onto my roots, massaging through the hair and then brushing. The first thing you notice is the smell- Fresh is a good name for it, as it really does smell very pleasant and clean. The second thing you notice, if you happen to catch sight of yourself in the mirror, is that your hair, covered in Batiste, looks grey. Not a natural grey- more like the kind of grey hair you would see on a TV show where someone has been made up to look old. Maybe that's how they do it.

          The Batiste brushed out really easily, restoring my hair to its original colour and looking (and smelling) fresh and clean.

          I felt that, although the Batiste was good and worked exactly how it said on the tin, this is no substitute for a hair wash. It is, however, brilliant for those situations where you just want to look a little fresher but don't have time to wash your hair. I didn't notice that my hair had any more body after using it, but it certainly looked and smelled fresh. In addition, you really don't need to use a lot (since you're just spraying it onto the roots then working through) so this can will probably last me for quite a while, making it good value for £1.79.

          Overall, a very useful product, and one that would be great for use when traveling.

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        • Lush Snow Fairy / Bath & Shower / 19 Readings / 19 Ratings
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          26.02.2013 12:58
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          Fab and fruity

          The first thing you notice about Snow Fairy is that it's pink. Really, really pink, a sort of bright cotton-candy colour with sparkly bits. It's fair to say (though I don't want to fall into the trap of gender stereotyping here) that this shower gel was created for the female of the species. Snow Fairy is to shower gels what Sheila's Wheels is to car insurance.

          I first tried Snow Fairy when it came out a few years back, mainly because every Christmas I go into Lush, sniff everything, and come out of the store with armfuls of Christmas Lush goodness (and with a lot less money in my bank account). Snow Fairy appealed to me, not just because of the sparkly pinkness but because of the wonderful scent. Snow Fairy smells like pear drops and sweet shops. I think this is why I love it; the fragrance just takes me straight back to childhood. It's a really happy sort of smell.

          As with everything Lush sell, Snow Fairy doesn't come cheap, but it is one of the cheapest shower gels Lush sell- it's more economical to buy a big (500g) bottle, which set me back £9.95 last time I bought it. Like I said, it's not cheap, but it's not a silly price either. The advantage of buying from Lush is that you know your product will have been made with decent quality ingredients too, and that everything is ethically sourced and vegetarian.

          Snow Fairy is marketed as a shower gel, but I also like to use it as a body wash in the bath- either way, it's used in exactly the same way, by applying to the skin, lathering and rinsing off. The sparkles and the fragrance linger on the skin after using, and it's a real feelgood fragrance- a good dose of Snow Fairy really leaves me in a good mood for hours. I find Snow Fairy to be gently on my skin and although it isn't moisturising it doesn't dry my skin out at all.

          The best thing about Snow Fairy is the smell- it smells exactly as pink and delicious as it looks and will leave you with a lingering desire to go out and buy pear drops. I love it. The worst thing.... why is this product only sold at Christmas?!? Oh well. At least I stocked up in the January sales.

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            26.02.2013 12:31
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            A really good product, especially if you colour your hair

            I've been pretty cruel to my hair over the years, what with dyeing it and styling it, and my so my hair definitely appreciates a bit of TLC from time to time. I like to use an intensive conditioner or hair mask once or twice a week just to keep my hair shiny and in good condition. VO5 products are generally pretty good, so when I saw this intensive conditioner on sale I thought I would give it a go. This product is described as being an 'intensive mask' and a 'deep conditioning treatment', and includes an essential oil blend, which sounds like just what the hair doctor ordered.

            VO5 Treat Me Right comes in a fairly hefty 300ml tub- it's a white tub with a pink lid that co-ordinates with the rest of the VO5 range. I paid £4.39 for this, which seems about right for this type of product- intensive conditioners are always a lot more expensive than ordinary ones.

            The first thing I noticed about this product was that it smells really nice; perfumed, but clean and floral. The consistency is good too; it's pretty thick and has a much creamier texture than regular conditioner, so there is no need to use a lot. After shampooing, I applied this first to the ends of my hair (where it's needed most) then working through to the roots. I left it on for about three minutes then rinsed out. Despite the thickness of the product, it rinsed out really easily and my hair felt light and clean.

            When my hair had dried, I noticed that the lovely scent was still in evidence- but best of all, my hair looked healthy and shiny. As the product was quite thick and creamy, I had been concerned that it might make my hair greasy, as my hair is rather fine- instead, my hair was light and glossy.

            I would definitely recommend this product, especially to anyone with processed hair. I really noticed a difference in my hair after using it, and even though I don't use it every day I'm sure it has had an effect on the long term health of my hair. This product is also great to use for a day or two after colouring, just to help get your poor hair back to normal!

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          • Avon Nailwear Nail Enamel / Make Up / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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            26.02.2013 12:07
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            Great colour and finish

            I do like to paint my nails- it's a great way to add a little bit of colour to the day and always makes me feel like I'm pampering myself. Avon offer their Nailwear nail varnish in a large number of colourful and appealing shades, and I'm always tempted by these when I open the Avon catalogue.

            Recently, I purchased a bottle of Nailwear in the shade Blue Water Lilies; this shade has only been added recently, so it looks as though it is one of the temporary, seasonal shades Avon add to their range rather than a permanent addition to the collection. Blue Water Lilies is a light blue/lilac shade with a touch of sparkle, and it looks really pretty in the bottle. On the subject of the bottle, Avon have revamped their makeup range and packaging in an attractive, more minimalist style. The bottle is now squarer than the one illustrated, and with a squarer font to the front. It looks much more professional (in keeping with the fact Avon have rebranded it Nailwear Pro +) and sleek.

            The bottle looks great, but unfortunately the applicator brush isn't anything out of the ordinary; when you first open the bottle, an awful lot of nail varnish is loaded onto the brush, making it harder to apply. The texture of the nail varnish is quite good but I found it hard to get the right quantity onto the brush, meaning that I was applying more to my nails than I would have liked. Once on the nail, the varnish spread nicely and, despite the light colour of the varnish, the colour spread evenly and did not streak.

            I felt like this nail varnish took quite a long time to dry- I waited about ten minutes before applying the next coat, because the varnish still seemed tacky up to that point and I was worried about smudging it. Once the second coat was applied, the colour was bright and vibrant with a glossy finish, and I was happy with the quality.

            I found this varnish to be quite long-lasting, which is particularly good as I tend to do quite a lot of typing so my nails can take quite a lot of punishment. I keep my nails fairly short, which I think does help a little. My varnish didn't chip for four days, which might be a long way short of the ten days promised but I have yet to find a varnish that lasts anywhere near that long!

            I paid £3 for this nail varnish, reduced from the normal catalogue price of £6- I think £3 was a reasonable price. Avon often run offers in their brochures or online so it is often possible to buy this nail varnish at a decent price.

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            26.02.2013 11:06
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            A great antidote to a tiring day

            The Sanctuary Foaming Bath Soak sounds amazing. According to the bottle, you can 'immerse yourself in decadently creamy cleansing bubbles with moisturising wheat proteins and fragrant essential oils', which sounds pretty darn good after a long day at work.

            I treated myself to a handful of Sanctuary products when they were on a three for two offer at Boots (at £5.50 per 250ml bottle, this would have been a bit expensive otherwise). I loved the smell and was hopeful that a product containing essential oils would be of a good enough quality to justify the price tag. In addition, as this product contains Aloe Vera as well as wheat proteins, I was hoping it would be good for my skin.

            I tried this product the night I bought it, and it was every bit as much of a treat as I cold have hoped. Although the instructions on the back of the bottle suggest pouring 'generously' under running water, I'm a bit mean when it comes to these things and I just poured in a bit- and really, a bit was all I needed. The bathroom filled with an amazing, soothing scent (it's hard to tell from the label what essential oils are included but to me it smells like camomile). My only niggle was that there were not huge amounts of bubbles. When I got out of the bath, my skin felt soft and moisturised and the Sanctuary scent definitely lingered for a few hours afterwards. Because the fragrance is really quite soothing, I think this is a great product to use in the bath not long before you go to bed, as it really is relaxing.

            On a side note, the next time I used the product I was rather more liberal pouring it into the bath, and as a result got a lot more bubbles. So the instructions on the bottle are right- it is better if used generously!

            I loved this product- it was so relaxing and felt really luxurious too. I felt this justified what seemed to be a rather hefty price tag. I will definitely use this again as it's the perfect antidote to a long day.

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            26.02.2013 10:39
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            This is a classic product, and with good reason

            I'm not sure I can say enough good things about Palmer's Cocoa Butter. Where to begin- the chocolatey fragrance? The moisturising properties? This is a classic body moisturiser/ lotion, and it's easy to see why.

            I've been using Palmers Cocoa Butter for some time. The first thing that attracted me to it was the smell- a friend of mine had some and it just smelled amazing. Palmers has a strong chocolate smell, which might sound a bit sickly but it isn't- it's more like good quality cocoa. I got some of my own to try.

            Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula comes in a white, squeezy bottle, and it's easy to use- just tip the bottle up and give it a squeeze. I love the texture of this product- it's thicker and creamier than most body lotions but lighter and more easily absorbed than most body butters. The lightweight and smooth texture makes it easy to apply, and I find it gives me a similar sort of moisturisation to a body butter but in a much lighter form. I find after applying this product that my skin feels really soft and smooth, and that it looks better to. According to the bottle, Palmers 'smooths marks and tones skin' and I would say that it does make my skin look a lot better whilst I use it.

            During the winter months, I can be a little prone to dry skin on my hands (especially if I forget to wear my gloves) and I find that Palmers is great for making my poor dry hands feel more moisturised and comfortable.

            As I said before, the scent is amazing and it lasts all day.

            I tend to buy Palmers Cocoa Butter from Boots (with points on my Boots card as an added bonus) and it's usually very reasonably priced- the last bottle I bought cost me £1.74 for 250ml, which seems like a random figure so it must have been discounted. Palmers usually costs in the region of three pounds, but there are very often offers on this range so it's quite easy to get it more cheaply. I would say even at full price this product is decent value for money- it's great quality and a little goes quite a long way.

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              26.02.2013 10:21
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              A nice body spray, but I'd be tempted to rename it Lots of Musk.

              Body sprays can be a great alternative to using a full-on deodorant or spritz of perfume- they're cheap, cheerful and a quick spray can leave you refreshed and scented. I usually have a couple on the go so I can choose my fragrance for the day depending on what mood I'm in (and what sort of day it is!). Impulse are one of the leading manufacturers of body sprays and it's a nae everyone recognises.

              As a brand, they will often come in a little more expensive than, say, a supermarket own brand. I usually buy Impulse when it's on offer as I think £1.99 (or thereabouts, depending on where you buy the spray) is a bit steep for a body spray. I got this spray as part of a two for one offer, so it cost me a pound, which seems reasonable.

              I chose Impulse Hint of Musk because I really do like other musk-based perfumes. The Body Shop's White musk is one of my favourites, as is Avon's Soft Musk. According to the can, this spray also contains notes of lime and sandalwood. I have to be honest- I can't smell any hint of lime at all, although the smell of sandalwood is really quite strong, as is the smell of musk- a lot more than a hint. According to the can, this spray is 'known to inspire insanely romantic actions'. I don't quite see how, unless it's along the lines of your loved one saying 'darling, I'm not keen on your body spray but I love you anyway'.

              That being said, it's still a nice fragrance- it just doesn't match the way it's marketed. Firstly, it's a strong smell of musk, not a hint. Secondly, if you've bought this thinking it will be a lovely, sultry sort of fragrance, you'll be disappointed; it's more of a comforting smell, that reminds me a little of Imperial Leather or sandalwood soap. I like it, though. I just think the description could use a little work.

              Impulse sprays are refreshing and light, and nice to spritz on during the day when you need to freshen up. This one is no exception, and I will probably buy it again. I also like the design of the Impulse can- instead of a lid (which almost inevitably gets lost in the dark recesses of my handbag) it has a twist top to open. And the design on the can is lovely, with a gradiating shade of brown to silver and a delicate floral pattern on top.

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              25.02.2013 17:52
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              An excellent exfoliator with a wonderful scent that lingers

              As you can probably tell from this and my other reviews, I really like the Body Shop and I've been shopping there a long time. When the Body Shop stopped selling their Fuzzy Peach range, it was a dark day... admittedly it was quite a long time ago, and I'd (just about) started to get over it, when....

              The Body Shop started selling peach scented stuff again!! I was so excited when I saw this range on sale before Christmas. Luckily I had one of those vouchers the Body Shop give out with most purchases, giving you a tenner off if you spend £30 (I know, you still have to spend quite a lot for the voucher to be worth while, but sometimes it's worth it) so I splashed out a bit on some lovely peachy-flavoured Body Shop products.

              My favourite of all the Vineyard Peach products I tried was, by far, the Vineyard Peach body scrub. It has a really lovely, fruity peach smell that lingers on the skin long after it has been applied. For anyone who does remember Fuzzy Peach perfume, this is very similar. It is a warm, fruity peach fragrance, with a little hint of apricot too- a real feelgood fragrance.

              This is a body scrub with a really good texture- rather than being too gritty or grainy, it really does leave your skin feeling soft and invigorated but without feeling in any way scratched or irritated. The exfoliating shells are in a really soft and moisturising peach scented cream which makes the whole experience feel quite luxurious.

              I have to say that at £12.50, despite being lovely, this body scrub is overpriced- however, there are usually offers on in the Body Shop meaning you can end up paying a lot less for this product. Sadly, I think the Body Shop may be discontinuing this line as I saw it in the sales after Christmas, which is a great shame as this would be a great addition to their permanent range.

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              • Avon Bubble Bath / Bath & Shower / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                25.02.2013 17:05
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                Ideal for a nice long soak. The hardest bit is choosing the flavour!

                It's hard to imagine Avon without their own brand bubble bath in its iconic bottle (something I personally love- it's a little bit of retro chic for the bathroom).

                Avon sell their bubble bath in a range of scents, and they're usually pretty reasonably priced, at around £2 for 500ml or £2.50 for 1l. This price can and will vary, depending on what offers Avon is running in their current brochure- just after Christmas, I got four of the 500ml baths for a fiver, which seemed pretty reasonable. It also meant I could try all the new flavours too!

                I find Avon's bubble bath to be decent value- I don't need to use much to get a lot of bubbles, and the scent is long lasting (that's important, because I like a nice soak in the bath). I wouldn't say that the scent lingers too much on the skin when you get out, which is a shame, because some of the fragrances are lovely.

                Avon have a few core fragrances of bubbles they sell all the time- Soft Pink, Lavender and Sensitive come to mind- as well as other fragrances that they switch in and out. Because the scent of a bubble bath is all-important if you're going to wallow in it for hours (I hope that's not just me), I'll run through the ones I've tried and tested!

                Soft Pink: this is a lovely, floral smell. There's something that I can only describe as quite old-fashioned about it, but that just might be because Avon have been making it for so long. There is something very comforting about it, and it's a scent that I very much identify with Avon. A good summer bath time treat!

                Lavender: this is a lovely, relaxing smell. Although it does smell of lavender, it's a very different smell from what you might expect with, say, a Radox bath, and more like lavender talcum powder. Soothing.

                Violet: this is a new fragrance, and it's absolutely lovely- my current favourite. It reminds me of parma violets or violet perfume and is light and fresh and very relaxing. I've ordered a couple of big bottles of this from my Avon lady just in case Avon suddenly decide to discontinue it.

                Blackberry and Vanilla: this is a really comforting, fruity, vanilla smell- the two scents combine really well. It's a little like the smell of blackberry crumble and custard!

                White Lily: again, this is a lovely, light fragrance with a strong scent of lily of the valley. I might have to stock up on this one as well. I would say this and the Violet fragrance will be perfect for the summer months.

                Sensitive: this is a little harder to describe but the smell reminds me of baby powder and is also comforting. I find all Avon bubbles to be gentle to the skin so I can't really say if Sensitive is any kinder than the rest of the range.

                The fact there are so many lovely scents to chose from is a big plus- and I'm sure I've missed some!

                I would definitely recommend this as a reasonably priced and good quality bubble bath. And apart from anything else, you'll be keeping your poor Avon lady fit carrying all those big bottles of bubble bath to your home.

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              • Avon Plump Pout Lip Gloss / Make Up / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                25.02.2013 15:06
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                Lovely bargain lip gloss!

                Having tried and loved Avon's Plump Pout lip gloss in the past, I thought I would give the gloss version a go. Avon are a reliable brand, and generally pretty well priced- I got this gloss for £2.50, although prices do change from brochure to brochure depending what offers are on.

                I chose a Plump Pout lip gloss in Luscious Mauve- this looks like quite a dark shade of mauve, but when applied makes my lips look a darker (and, obviously, glossier) shade of pink. I found this to be a flattering shade for my pale skin. The gloss effect is really good and very shiny. I found this lip gloss really easy to apply, as it has a small brush which is a little more delicate than most lip gloss applicators. With something like lip gloss, I prefer a smaller applicator because I'm not the neatest person when it comes to applying products, and the small brush helps me to keep the gloss strictly on my lips, rather than all over my face (not a good look). The texture was great- smooth, not sticky, and moisturising- and the tingle effect is fantastic! I don't think I would go so far as to say it makes my pout any plumper, but gloss gives an illusion of fullness anyway, so I won't quibble too much.

                The packaging is nice and sleek and rather minimalist- it makes the gloss look a lot more expensive than it actually is.

                This lip gloss lasts about as long as any other- usually up to the point where you eat or drink something. That being said, I love the tingling sensation so much that I end up applying it probably more than I need to. This gloss has a lovely fragrance with a hint of cinnamon, and a sweet taste.

                This is a really good quality, non-sticky gloss, which is a bargain for the price, and is available in a range of colours to suit different skin tones.

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                25.02.2013 14:36
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                A good quality lipstick, lovely colour and a bit of shimmer

                As the New Year rolled in, I decided to treat myself to a nice new lipstick to herald the New Me (you know, the one that's made loads of resolutions to be fitter, healthier, thinner and so on...). I don't know quite what it is about the Bourjois stand in Boots, but it always looks somehow prettier than the other make-up stands. And a little quirky. I generally find Bourjois to be a reliable make-up brand so I decided to chose a Bourjois lipstick. I went for a Sweet Kiss lipstick because the tester colours looked so appealing and I liked the shiny purple packaging.

                I chose a Sweet Kiss lipstick in Rose Habille, which is a soft, muted, dusky rose with a hint of shimmer. When I got the lipstick home, I discovered that the shiny purple packaging which had attracted me to the lipstick in the first place is, in fact, the worst lipstick packaging ever. It took a few minutes to figure out how to get my new lippie out! Basically, the lipstick packaging has a silver slider up the side- it looks as though this will slide out the lipstick bullet, but in fact pushes out a silver lipstick holder that contains the lipstick bullet. It took me a while to figure this out because I was holding the lipstick the wrong way up. Guess I should hold off applying for Mensa for now.

                The lipstick itself has a really nice, creamy texture that doesn't dry out the lips, and provides a nice, even colour application. The shade a chose is a lovely neutral colour for those with pale skin, and the sheen gives a nice, fresh look. I noticed that, with a second coat, the colour is more pronounced and the sheen becomes more of a sparkle- good news, as it means this lipstick will be versatile, good for either day wear or for dressing up a little in the evening. There are times when a little extra sparkle is definitely a good thing.

                This isn't a particularly long lasting lipstick, and it isn't marketed as such- that being said, though, because it's a natural looking colour it isn't too noticeable when it starts to wear off and the moisturising effect is long lasting.

                This lipstick cost £7.99, although actually less than that as I got it as part of a three for two offer. Boots very often run these offers so it's always worth checking before you shop there. If you have a Boots card, you'll get points too (if you don't have one, get one!). I think this was fairly decent value for money as it's a good quality, versatile lipstick, available in a decent range of colours. I'm going to ding it a star for the awful packaging though. It's easier to blame Boujois than admit I can't figure out how to open a lipstick.

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                25.02.2013 14:08
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                Great lip care product and good colour

                As a teenager, I loved, loved, LOVED the Body Shop, and their potted lip balms were my first foray into the world of lip colour. Then I grew up a bit and, like so many childhood things, Body Shop lip balms were put to one side. I've always shopped at the Body Shop though so when, on a recent visit, I saw a tub of Born Lippy lip balms by the till, I decided to give them a try. I chose Pomegranate flavour, which is an orangey-red colour.

                First- if you've ever used any Body Shop lip balm at all, the taste and scent haven't changed. The only real difference, as far as I can tell, is that because the lip balm is in a stick it's a little more solid- this to me is a bonus, because the Body Shop potted lip balms have always seemed a little too sticky. If you haven't used a Body Shop lip balm at all, this is a very fruity taste and smell- the Pomegranate Born Lippy stick reminds me of fruity lollipops or boiled sweets. I love the taste, but it's not a good idea to apply this product just before eating your lunch.

                The Born Lippy lip balm has a lovely smooth texture, and it feels moisturising as soon as it's applied- and this is a long lasting feeling. For me, one of the main benefits is that it gives the lips a wash of subtle colour (much more subtle than you might expect from looking at the colour of the lip balm); this is flattering and also great if you're going for a natural look. I'm a big fan of products that simultaneously tint and care for your lips, and this is a winner. I liked it so much I went back and bought another in Plum, which is equally nice. This product is available in a few different colours, so it would just be a matter of choosing which would best suit your skin tone. I have really pale skin, and I found that Pomegranate and Plum worked best for me. It will also double as a blush- just apply a little with your finger to each cheek for a quick sheen of colour. Bonus!

                This product cost £3- I might balk at paying this much for a lip balm, but the fact it's such a good one plus is an excellent lip tint (and the tint is pretty long lasting- basically, it stays put until you eat or drink something) makes me think £3 is actually a bit of a bargain. I'll be buying this again. Oh, and the packaging is pretty good too. The Body Shop goes Pop Art!

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                25.02.2013 13:25
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                Good quality citrus fragrance

                I was given a bottle of MaDame as a Christmas present after I'd tried a fragranced page in a glossy magazine and said I liked it. Sometimes dropping hints really does work!

                Jean Paul Gaultier is an old hand at creating iconic fragrances, packaged in bottles that reflect his trademark style. Madame is no exception- the bottle is fab, and very much what you would expect from JPG- frosted glass with one of his stylised corsets raised up on the front. Looks great in the bathroom and you wouldn't be embarrassed to pull it out of your bag if you were on a night out.

                MaDame has been described as a fragrance for a modern woman. I don't know quite how far I would agree with that. To me, it smells mainly of oranges- in fact, it reminds me a little of the Body Shop's grapefruit body spritz, but with musky undertones that give it a bit of a kick. It's a very long lasting fragrance, as you would expect for the price tag; the citrus scent is really very fresh and not cloying at all (as some more long lasting fragrances can be). I think this would be a great spring/summer fragrance, and I'd certainly say it was a feel-good one. Fragrance can be such a personal thing, but I would generally say that if you like citrus perfumes, this is a good-quality one to consider. Yes, it's pricey- but it is long lasting, and has a great warm, fresh citrus scent. However, if you're looking for something similar on the cheap, it might not hurt to pay a trip to the Body Shop and check out their grapefruit and satsuma body sprays.

                One last thing- as an added bonus, my husband loves this fragrance (on me, not on him)!

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