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ryeb

ryeb
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Member since: 19.09.2011

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    • More +
      16.10.2015 18:31
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Cooling
      • Cheap

      Disadvantages

      • "Fiddly to prepare"
      • "Ineffective "
      • "Clammy feel"

      An ineffective face mask

      I tried the Girls With Attitude facial revival pack as it was on sale in a local pharmacy for 1.99 instead of 4.00. GWA is a skin care brand that is cheaper than average but I have tried several of their products which would be excellent at any price, so I would not just dismiss them. But this is not one of the star buys.




      The facial revivalpack contains two pop up face masks. Also included are 2 facial revitalising cleansing tonics, so it seemed like I was getting a nice selection of products. But the skin tonic is actually part of the mask you need to add yourself. So what you really get in the pack is two masks rather than two masks AND two skin tonics to use at another time.

      The masks come as small discs. You drop them into the sachet of skin tonic, and squeeze it to get it to absorb and expand the mask. It does this almost instantly. The tonic sachet isn't very full so the process of dropping in the mask isn't as messy as it sounds. You're left with a damp, cold mask that isn't the most appealing to put on. I've used face masks that you lay on your face before but they've always been ready prepared. I can't see the advantage beyond novelty value in getting me to do the preparation.




      The mask feels fragile and despite being gentle, I still managed to tear it. There's ready cut holes for your nose, ears and mouth but they're quite roughly done. It doesnt create the impression of a good quality product.






      You have to press the mask down to stop it falling off. I had to keep adjusting it to ensure good skin contact,as if the mask isn't in contact with your skin it obviously couldn't do anything for your complexion.

      The "pop up" mask is the very opposite of relaxing. Unless feeling you have plastered your face with soggy tissue does it for you! The pack tells me to leave the mask on for a "few minutes" . The mask didn't harden or dry out so it didn't become any more uncomfortable but it didn't get any more enjoyable either. Peeling off was very easy and painless as it had barely adhered in some places.



      My skin just felt clammy and somehow "coated". There was no obvious stickiness or residue though.



      If it had been a hot day, I suppose the mask could lived up to its cooling label to some extent, as it feels cold and damp but I wouldn't call it refreshing. As for cleansing, I could see no benefit whatsover. I don't recommend this. It is more hassle to use than other masks and doesn't do half as much.

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    • More +
      07.10.2015 18:51
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Paraben free"
      • "Aluminium free"
      • "Doesn't mark clothes"
      • "Non sticky"
      • "Works as a deodorant "

      Disadvantages

      • "Not an anti perspirant "
      • "The scent"

      A good deodorant but not pleasant smelling

      I bought the Bionsen roll because my usual crystal stick was out of stock. I chose it because it bore a big "aluminium free" sticker on the front and the possible links between this ingredient and an increased risk of breast cancer and other health problems was something I was looking in to. While I regard this link as not proven, I see no harm in being cautious when aluminium free products are available. Inoted it is powered by "Japanese Spa Minerals". I paid 2.20 for the 50ml roll on in Waitrose. It is NOT an anti perspirant so it not intended to prevent sweating. Instead it neutralizes the bacteria that makes your sweat smell unpleasant. So you can't reasonably expect it to stop damp patches.


      The first thing I noticed when I picked this up was how "sloshy" it sounded. It does feel quite thin and wet on the skin compared to other products to me. This could easily feel unpleasant but actually it is quite refreshing. Most importantly, it does actually dry quickly regardless. I always get impatient while waiting to get dressed so this is a definite plus for me. Once dried it has non sticky feel and it definitely doesn't sting or irritate me.


      Now the major down side for me - the scent. It's obviously better than body odour but that isn't a ringing endorsement I know! The first sniff gave me a scent that reminded me of furniture polish, with an undertone of talc and soap. On the skin, the aroma is diluted and seems to develop a fresher more lemony scent after a while. If it didn't improve in this way, the first use would very likely have been my last.

      This does successfully prevent any odour developing throughout the day. I have used this with perfect confidence at work and have never caught the slightest whiff of body odour. I don't feel it is necessary to re-apply it after first using it in the morning which is a blessing considering how I feel about the scent of the deodorant when it is freshly applied.


      If you do like that fragrance, then I would recommend this as an effective, quick drying deodorant. Personally, while I have persevered in using this up, I won't repurchase.

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    • More +
      07.10.2015 15:51
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Make up tutorials"
      • "Contains money off coupons"
      • "Free or cheap"
      • "Not just adverts"

      Disadvantages

      • "Essentially an advert for Boots"

      An interesting read for health and beauty fans

      If you have a Boot's Advantage Card, you can pick up a free copy of their Health and Beauty magazine. Even if you are not a card holder, you can still grab the latest issue, you will just have to pay a pound for it. I never used to consider availing myself to even the free issue, because I dismissed it as an extended advert for Boots products and services, and I would rather read independent reviews and assessments of products. But while it obviously promotes Boot's, I have discovered that the magazine is actually worth reading.

      It's a glossier and thicker read than the Superdrug equivalent. There are also more actual articles rather than promotional advertorials. It would be easy for every feature to end with a list of solutions to your health and beauty conumdrums that comprised solely of purchasing something from Boot's. But to be fair, there is some effort to give alternative ideas, such energy boosting foods you could include in your diet, or exercises to help flexibility.

      I would say overall the balance of articles is in favour of beauty in general. Cosmetics in particular are well represented, which makes this definitely feel a female orientated magazine. The make up tutorials are always interesting. Some created looks are more catwalk than everyday, but the advice is easy to follow and well illustrated. Flicking through is also a good way to find out about new products, which of course you don't have to go on and buy them in Boots if you can find them for less elsewhere.

      Even if you are not interested in this kind of thing, I suggest picking up an issue if you have a pick spend planned in store. This is because each issue contains a page of money off coupons, and extra points on a minimum shop of 25.00 - 35.00 type of vouchers are in most issues. Other coupons may offer money off a product or service.

      I would recommend this as the price is excellent for a glossy magazine, if you have to pay for it at all. With other similar titles in the newsagents costing 3-4.00 or more, it would be worth trying if you are interested in health and beauty.

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    • Beetroot Boltardy / Plant / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
      More +
      26.09.2015 19:22
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Reliable germination "
      • "Slow to bolt"
      • "Easy to grow"
      • Versatile

      Disadvantages

      • "None for me"

      One of the best beetroot to grow

      I adore beetroot. I grow plenty but if I could choose just one variety to grow, it would be the ever reliable Boltardy. This years crop comes courtesy of Kings seeds, but Boltardy is such a well established and popular variety that you will struggle to find a seed merchant that doesn't offer it. Each seller may say their strain is the finest (eg re selected to ensure that their Boltardy continues to exhibit the best qualities that the variety is known for) but I have found even the cheap 29p packets from the 99p store deliver good results.

      Boltardy gets it's name from the fact it is less likely to bolt than other varieties when sown early when its cold and temperatures fluctuate more. This means it is less likely to run up to seed instead of developing the nice root you want. So it's a useful early main crop that lets you pull beetroot a little earlier but you can continue sowing from the same packet of seed throughout the spring and early summer. Kings recommend sowing from early March in a cold frame or under cloches. In the south where I am, and in a sheltered spot, this early March sowing does work, but I find ones sown more to the end of the month catch up the earlier sown ones so I tend to wait till then. Harvest time is from June onwards if you remember to sow in stages.

      The other reason I like Boltardy is I think it is an attractive variety when cooked. It looks purplish on the outside but deep red in the middle. The red and green leaves are attractive, and of course you can eat these too. Some people like to pick the baby leaves and eat them raw. For me the taste is a bit strong, and I prefer the cooked taste which is similar to the flavour of it's relative spinach. Don't pick too many leaves from plants that are still growing though, or you won't get roots to follow as it is the leaves that keep the plant going. The root itself has a nice classic beetroot taste. It is not the sweetest but it has the distinctive slight earthiness that I love.

      There's a reason Boltardy is such a popular variety. It is reliable and easy to grow over a long season. I definitely recommend it.

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    • More +
      12.09.2015 19:21
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Covers smaller urban gardens"
      • "Well illustrated"
      • "Good advice for beginners "

      Disadvantages

      • "Cover price"
      • "Can be repetitive over time"

      A useful monthly guide for veg growers

      Grow Your Own is a monthly magazine for fruit and vegetable growers. I was given a subscription to this when I first became interested in attempting some kind of fruit and veg self sufficiency. I found it very interesting then as I was lacking in experience and there was something for me to learn on every page. Roll on a few years and the magazine has not proven to be such a treasure trove to my more knowledgeable self but I still buy the occasional issue.

      It is a monthly magazine with a cover price of £4.99 currently. Overall, I would say that while the magazine gives plenty of seasonal and useful advice, if you consider how much you would spend in buying this over the course of the year, I can't help but think a beginner may be better off investing that money in a few good gardening books for reference, as they would instantly give you an overview of the years work if nothing else. The magazine does come with regular free seeds from well known suppliers, which is a nice bonus if you want them but they are not really free considering the high cover price.

      Inside you will find a well laid out magazine with lots of photos. There are sections devoted to fruit and veg, allotments, under cover growing and urban growing too.You will find an overview of what needs doing that month, as well as in depth looks at certain crops or techniques. This is useful but if you read the mag for more than one season, you inevitably find some content repetitive. I sometimes flick through an issue and can't find anything I haven't read before, but then another issue can surprise me with a useful diy feature. I think this is a magazine to pick and choose what issue you want rather than subscribe to once you have got to grips with the basics.

      The only part of the mag I have never found useful are the product tests. A good idea but it is clear the testers don't have the chance to do much more than assemble the items or use them briefly, so it isn't a useful way to find out how something performs under normal use, or how durable it would be. Apart from that the content is reliable, if not always original, and I would recommend it to new growers who find magazines an accessible way to get timely advice. For an experienced grower, I would say this is less an essential read but an entertaining one if you pick the right issue.

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    • More +
      08.09.2015 12:07
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Colour doesnt fade"
      • "Good pigment "

      Disadvantages

      • "Harder to remove"
      • "No incredible length added"
      • "Stray fibres "

      A mascara that doesn't deliver

      I bought the Maybelline Illegal Lengths mascara in sale and I'm glad I didn't pay the full 8.99 as I don't think it delivers.



      I found what looked like odd disembodied eyelashes in the mascara, especially around the tube rim. Then I discovered these are the secret behind the products very specific claim that your lashes will be made 4mm longer. The lashes I saw are actually 4mm long fibres supposed to add length, which the formula is intended to seal in place.



      The brush is supposed to have a unique design that aids fibre placement. I was very sceptical the brush could deliver the fibres to the end of my lashes where they need to be to add length but I thought any that didn't make it would maybe add volume. The brush doesn't seperate lashes as well as most and the shaft seems longer than average, a small difference that I found made it feel awkward to use. One coat sadly is never enough, and nor is two. The pigment is fine, but the mascara seems a bit thick and I can only get even coverage if I do more than one coat.





      Well my lashes do look longer but I doubt there is 4mm of difference. I can't help but think the dark pigment has a lot to do with this as it shows up the length. I've definitely had better results with other products in fewer coats. My main problem is I found the mascara formula does not do a perfect job of sealing in those fibres. Most of the time none come free, but the first time one did, I got it in my tear duct and I had some trouble getting it out. Although the fibres mostly stay put I don't want to keep running the risk of getting these in my eye.



      My adventures in trying to remove the stray fibre has shown me that even the nonwaterproof version I have is resistant to smudging as some stayed put even when I had splashed my eye. The downside is I found this slightly harder to remove than average. Some volume is added although this really does seem promoted as a lengthening formula mainly. I think this is probably due to the colour helping to make each lash more obvious so it's nothing special.



      I don't like the idea of lash fibres coming off, even if only occasionally. Anyway, I would not recommend this mascara over others as I don't think it's anywhere near the best lengthening product I've used and the number of coats needed for good effect mean it isn't really good value for money.

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    • More +
      07.09.2015 20:23
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • Delicious
      • "Fair trade"
      • "No added salt "
      • "No added sugar "

      Disadvantages

      • "More expensive than others"

      A delicious cashew nut butter

      Nut butters come in plenty of varieties that are not peanut related. I got the Equal Exchange Organic cashew butter in a healthfood shop because it doesn't contain any added salt or sugar, and to me this gives the best taste. I paid a little more than I usually do for a similar product, as the 170g jar cost me 3.63. But I didn't mind forking out extra on this occasion, as the butter is fair trade certified.

      The cashew butter is made mainly of lightly roasted cashews. The roasting really enriches the nut taste I think. According to Equal Exchanges own website, the butter is made "solely" from these cashews. However, the label on my jar also lists fairtrade organic brazil nut oil as an ingredient, as does the current ingredients listing of all the online retailers I checked. So cashews are not in fact the only ingredient, which isn't a problem for me, as additional oil is a standard addition to these butters to get the right texture, but there could be people out there with an aversion to brazils.

      The butter has a luscious thick and smooth texture. Some nut butters need a little stirring before you use them as the natural oils from the nuts can seperate out and rise to the top. It isn't a sign of a stale, poor quality product, so I don't mind doing a little mixing, but the Equal Exchange butter holds together better than many. It is easy to spread which makes it a perfect toast topping. The taste is incredibly delicious if you like cashews. There is no added sugar and I don't feel it's absence at all. I think the nuts have a natural delicate sweetness of their own. The butter is probably more versatile in lacking added sugar because it lends itself more to savoury uses as well.

      You can generally use this for whatever you would use peanut butter for. The suggestion on the jar is to use it on toast or in the likes of satays and stirfries. I haven't used it for the latter as I like to add whole cashews so I can enjoy the crunch of them too, and adding cashew butter as well seems a bit OTT. My favourite use is definitely on toast, especially on a seeded loaf slice where all the nutty flavours combine well. I also like it stirred into thick yoghurt as part of a healthier breakfast. It makes the yoghurt more filling than it would be otherwise, and mixes in well despite it's thickness. Lastly a spoonful blitzed in a smoothie adds a nice nutty lift. I can quite happily eat this just on it's own however.

      If you like cashews then this is worth a try. It is a tasty and good quality product and a nice change from peanut butter.

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    • Tetley Green Tea with Lemon / Tea / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
      More +
      29.08.2015 18:13
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Mild green tea "
      • "Good lemon flavour"
      • Refreshing

      Disadvantages

      • "None for me"

      A refreshing and light flavoured green tea

      I reluctantly tried a cup of green tea flavoured with lemon made by my mum, and surprised myself by actually enjoying it. She uses a fresh lemon to flavour her tea, and while I will do the same when I can, I don't always have some to hand. So when I saw Tetley offered some green tea bags ready flavoured with lemon, I thought they would be worth trying. I paid 1.75 in a local Londis for a box of 50 bags, 100g in total, and they cost about the same in Tesco.







      Tetley promises they use the finest green tea with a selection taste tested 8 times before it gets the nod of approval. I have since tried green teas from PG Tips, Twinings and Waitrose own brand and all of them make similar claims about how special their blends are. To me they all taste much the same, so I would happily go for whatever one was on offer but as that is often Tetley, that is my usual brand of choice. Tetley are a member of the Ethical Tea partnership which is meant to improve the lives of tea workers and their environment which is good to know.





      The brewing instructions suggest using almost boiled water and brewing the tea for 1-2 minutes before adding sugar or honey to taste if you like a sweeter flavour. I usually find that what puts me off flavoured and herbal teas is too weak a flavour so I tend to want to leave them brewing for the maximum suggested time, if not longer but I don't think that works so well with green tea. It can develop a bitterness after a while. Thankfully I think a couple of minutes is long enough for the flavour to develop this time. The box promises all natural ingredients and therefore flavourings, and I do think this has a great "proper lemon" taste as a result. It smells more zesty than it tastes, but I don't want to taste only lemon as I may as well have squash and not green tea! I think the tea and lemon combine beautifully, and together make a refreshing combination. Somehow this is much more thirst quenching drink for me than black tea and I find I can also drink more of it.







      The best thing for me is whereas I can't bear "normal" tea without sugar or a substitute in, I never feel I need to sweeten this green tea.

      I would recommend this as it is good value and pleasant tasting.

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    • More +
      23.08.2015 18:23
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Only tiny amounts needed"
      • "Brilliant skin softener "
      • "Versatile and effective"

      Disadvantages

      • "More expensive than some oils"

      An oil with many beauty uses

      As I don't like the smell/taste of coconut, I am a late convert to the many beauty uses of coconut oil. I now buy it regularly, and I'm still discovering new uses for this versatile oil. Coconoil brand Organic Virgin Coconut oil costs me 5.49 for a 280g tub in a health food shop.

      If you tap in a search query for uses of coconut oil, you could probably spend several days reading all the uses of this.. Briefly its uses span cooking, skin care and cleansing, oral health, and hair conditioning amongst others. Coconoil is organic, non refined, cold pressed and 100% pure. I like the fact it's described as non-refined and non bleached so hopefully most of the raw goodness should be maintained. It is also non deodorised, which means for me it still smells very much of coconut but as the results are so good for my skin, I can put up with that. It is solid, if quite soft, until its warmed up enough when it turns into a classic oil. You don't have to really heat it, I find just spooning out a tiny bit from the tub and keeping it in the palm of my hand is enough to melt it to use on the skin.

      It does smell of coconuts although as it only needs to be used in small quantities, this coconut hater can put up with it. I can smell it on my skin for some time after use but I am probably more sensitive to this. I agree that coconut oil is great for softening and smoothing skin. It feels light for an oil and you only need a tiny amount to cover a large area of skin. Coconoil doesn't leave me sticky once absorbed, and the best thing if all is if you use it thoroughly, your skin still feels softer a couple of days later even if you have been too busy to re-apply. It doesn't block my pores nor cause breakouts. I apply it at night because I find some foundations don't sit well if you try to apply them too soon after oiling.

      I have used Coconoil as a deep conditioner by applying it sparingly to my hair and leaving it in for a few hours under a shower cap. It did make my hair wonderfully easy to brush and it always feels extra soft but I don't think it adds any shine and my hair does seem to need washing sooner afterwards.

      Some people told me I would hardly taste the coconuts if I used coconut oil for cooking. Well I can! I think the taste is stronger if anything
      anything once heated. But this is brilliant as a skin conditioner and economical when you consider how little you need to use. I certainly recommend it.

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    • More +
      22.08.2015 20:59
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      • "Doesn't flake"
      • "Good pigment "

      Disadvantages

      • "No great volume "
      • "Clumps on.second coat"

      Not a mascara that delivers spectacular results

      I tried the Maybelline Volum Express mascara because it was on offer. The usual price is around 6.99 (Superdrug) to 7.19 (Boots). I chose the non waterproof version, in 100% black. Are my lashes now colossal enough to frighten passing children? You have probably guessed the answer to that!




      The brush is usually large and takes some getting used to although it does seperate lashes well once you are used to it.



      One coat delivers a strong dark pigment which does create the illusion of volume as each lash is defined but I really don't think the mascara delivers much more than that, certainly not 9x volume as advertised. Second coats do help things along a small amount but are liable to clump, even when you follow the advice not to let the product dry between coats. I did however not suffer any smudging or flaking and the pigment stays strong.



      The formula is supposed to be washable and removable with soap and water but I have no intention of soaping around my eyes. It does however remove easily with the basic eye make up removers without much trouble.



      I would not suggest this mascara offers anything like spectacular results. It defines lashes as all with good dark pigment do, but beyond that, it is average. I am generously awarding 3 hearts based on the good color, a brush that defines lashes well one you are used to it, and good staying power. But I don't recommend this for any dramatic volume look, or for those who like to layer up their mascara as clumping is too much of a frequent occurrence then.

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      • More +
        07.08.2015 19:07
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Traditional style "
        • "Solidly built"
        • "Can be bought cheaply"

        Disadvantages

        • "Anti rust coating comes off"

        A good traditional garden dibber for the price

        I recently took on a second allotment and a few new tools were in order, including a dibber. I knew straight away which brand I wanted - the Spear and Jackson Elements traditional dibber. I use this one in the garden I work in so I knew it was capable of standing up to regular use, and comfortable to work with too. I have other hand tools from the range and I am generally very happy with the quality considering their relatively low price. I paid £3.99 for the dibber in a local garden centre. The Elements range is one of Spear and Jacksons basic garden tool ranges, but in my experience the quality is above similar ranges from other companies.The tools are generally traditional in style and the dibber is no exception with a wooden handle and shaft of the T type, and a metal tip. This means it certainly doesn't look cheap and nasty. It also has the practical modern feature if an epoxy resin coating on the metal to prevent rusting and reduce soil adhesion, making it easier to use in the ground.

        The dibber feels very solidly put together. The handle is smooth and rounded with no stray wood splinters to worry about. It feels perfectly comfortable to use if you are doing a lot of planting in one go, helped by the fact the handle isn't too small to grip easily. I use this for the same purpose as any other dibber. That is creating even sized planting holes quickly for larger seeds or seedlings. There is no depth guide marked on the tip but you could mark one on yourself. Otherwise I have been using the dibber in the traditional way to really firm in young transplants such as brassicas that like to be put in firm soil. That means after planting you insert the dibber tip at one side of the roots and lever it up.

        The wooden handle is coated in clear varnish which I will renew at the end of the year to keep things in good condition, not because the wood needs it. The resin antirust coating has come off the dibber I use for work, in places, after a couple of years use, resulting in a scratched look. This work dibber has of course most likely been used more extensively than one in an average home or allotment would, so I don't think this happens too soon. It's still fine to use, and is not rusting, but it is going to be repainted in the autumn.

        I would certainly recommend this at the price. It does the job and is easy to use and well built. The anti rust coating may not be as durable, but it can be renewed, and if cleaned of soil and kept dry, the dibber should stay in good condition regardless.

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      • More +
        06.08.2015 22:16
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Smells pleasant"
        • "Low fat "
        • "Tastes refreshing "

        Disadvantages

        • "Disappointing overall flavour"
        • "Specific fruit flavour is weak"

        A disappointing and weak flavoured fruit green tea

        I shocked myself by discovering that I actually like green tea, at least when it is flavoured by lemon, I wondered if I would also like it mixed with other ingredients. I was tempted by a Twinings Pineapple and Grapefruit version, which cost me £1.69 for 20 bags in Waitrose.

        Twinings say the tea blend is refreshing and delicate and that only natural flavourings are used to flavour the tea. I think it is great the ingredients consist just of green tea and natural flavourings but it makes it more surprising that the tea doesn't taste all that much of the specific fruit to me. I noticed that of the ingredients list 3 natural flavourings, but only 1 is specified as grapefruit and none as pineapple so maybe that explains it.

        Scent wise, a cup of this smells delicious and more of a grapefruit than pineapple, but still quite sweet, and definitely fruity. Unfortunately, the taste is much more disappointing. I know this tea is labelled as being a delicate brew so I wasn't expecting a very strong fruit flavour, and I was hoping that the delicacy would apply just as much to the distinct taste of the green tea itself, which on it's own I don't relish. Well the green tea taste is subtle, but the fruit flavour is less so. The actual problem to me is the fruit has quite a generic fruit squash kind of taste, and no distinct pineapple or grapefruit taste. I would have guessed this was a fruit blend if I had not had the advantage of viewing the box, but there is no way I could tell which fruit were supposed to be present. It isn't an awful flavour but not the one I bought the tea for. I followed the box instructions to brew the tea for no more than two minutes, at first before experimenting with a slightly longer brew time to see if that helped things flavour wise, but no, it didn't.

        If you don't mind a more generic fruit taste than the name suggests, I would say this is worth a try if you like your green tea taste to be mild as well. But the only reason I buy a grapefruit and pineapple tea is to actually taste those two fruits, so I am only giving this 2 hearts, pleasant though the existing flavour is to me.

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      • More +
        05.08.2015 17:52
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Doesn't mark clothes"
        • "Made of mineral salts"
        • "Works as a deodorant if not too hot"

        Disadvantages

        • "Not as effective as crystal stick deodorants"
        • "Very watery texture"

        Not as good as crystal stick deodorants

        I have used crystal deodorant sticks off and on for years. Made of mineral salts, they are free of many of the ingredients whose long term use may have health implications, such as aluminium chlorohydrate, or parabens. I am not totaly convinced by the "nasties" status of all of these, but I see no harm in adopting a cautious approach when good "free from" alternatives exist. I paid £3.70 for a 100ml bottle in a local pharmacy. This deodorant spray is made of just 2 ingredients, water and Potassium Alum.

        The product works via the mineral salts creating a barrier to the bacteria that cause body odour. It isn't meant to be an anti perspirant, which means it won't stop you sweating.

        It feels just like you are spraying plain water under your arms. In one way this feels quite refreshing, especially on a warm day. However, just like water, this is runny. A couple of short sprays doesn't make things too "drippy" but unfortunately my spray is not very powerful so I feel that I need to apply a bit more than this. And if I do, the spray runs down my arms, which is wasteful. I have come up with a solution. I sponge the stuff on, which probably also wastes some product due to the sponge's absorbancy, but it feels nicer. The other issue is that you need to allow time for your damp underarms to dry, and this takes around 10 mins for me, longer than a solid crystal or ordinary aerosol type deodorant does. I also find the spray top unreliable. Often it doesn't work at all, and when it does, the spray doesn't seem to disperse well.

        The deodorant spray is not quite as effective as the solid Crystal sticks, as I have occasionally detected a faint odour after being active on a warm day, although when I am desk bound or it is not very hot out, its fine. It does feel more refreshing than a stick deodorant but that is shortlived. Long term odour protection is more important to me. There's no added fragrances.

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      • More +
        04.08.2015 18:51
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Not too runny "
        • "Lathers well"
        • "Leaves hair clean and soft"

        Disadvantages

        • "Strawberry scent is fake smelling"
        • "Not the cheapest"

        A pleasant children's shampoo

        I acquired a L’Oreal Kids Very Berry shampoo when my boyfriend's young cousin came to stay. Boots sell it for 2.08 and the Tesco website lists it at 1.99.

        The bottle is bright pink and my young friend is not a pink loving little girl but I think was attracted to the idea of using what she thinks of as a big girls shampoo, at least compared to the baby shampoo that is used on her hair at home. To us of course it looks very obviously something marketed at kids.

        The shampoo is a two in one product offering conditioning properties too. The bottle says it has an ophthalmologically tested to offer a "no tears formula". The shampoo is supposed to deliver soft, shiny, strawberry scented hair. I could smell this before I opened the bottle. It seems a bit overdone to me but the intended user thought it was wonderful. It smells more like a strawberry milkshake or something very sweet and artificial. To be fair this wasn't as overpowering on the hair as I thought it would be.

        The shampoo has a creamy texture which makes it feel nice to use. I like the fact it isn't too wastefully runny but I mostly appreciated the fact it didn't take an excessive time to rinse out. I used to be a nanny and I know that hair washing and rinsing is not always the most popular activity so a product that makes the process quicker gets a thumbs up from me. It does still lather well, which our little lady liked.

        I was impressed by how the shampoo cleaned the hair and especially by how lovely and soft her long hair felt afterwards. It really feels conditioned as the hair is easy to brush and left remarkably tangle free. I don't think the hair was left looking any shinier however.
        < br /> I have snuck a couple of uses out of the bottle, and I was impressed with how it cleaned this adults "goes greasy too quick" hair. The scent doesn't appeal enough for me to be tempted to empty the bottle any further though! As for the tear free formula, this definitely works to some degree. I managed to get a little in my eye and while it was not totally non sting, it was nowhere near as bad as the effect of normal shampoo. A quick rinse and it was forgotton.

        I do think the full price is a little high for not a very large bottle. If you want a good two in one shampoo and don't mind the price or a less than natural scent, I would say this is worth trying.


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      • More +
        03.08.2015 22:10
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "Not cakey"
        • "Doesn't block my pores"
        • "Natural dewy finish "

        Disadvantages

        • "Doesn't disguise under eye darkness"
        • "Light coverage"
        • "Ivory is orangey "

        A good but light coverage foundation

        I was persuaded to try the Revlon Nearly Naked liquid foundation because of a special offer. It normally costs 8.99. I chose Ivory, but this was a mistake as it became orangey later. But roll on 6 months, and with my skin in better condition, I tried the product again, and liked it enough to go out and buy a better shade - Vanilla. I now use it along with a couple of favourites.

        Revlon say this light buildable foundation will melt right into your skin for easy blending, resulting in a fresh, even, flawless look. For someone like me with combination skin, words like "fresh" sometimes translate as not so much a dewy finish as a shiny one in the tzone, but luckily this has not been my experience. Straight out of the bottle, Ivory and Vanilla don't look too different, but I found Ivory was warmer toned and became more orangey throughout the day. The vanilla thankfully remains stable colour wise!

        The foundation does disappear quickly into the skin. I was a bit concerned that I couldn't see much difference between the area I had applied it and those I hadn't. I did want at least some coverage as there is no point wearing it otherwise! But when I have actually finished my whole face, the result is better. The finish is smoother/even on both my oilier and drier patches. It does make my skin look fresh, and healthy, with no shine. So why didn't I like it at first? The coverage was a little too light, and it didn't even out my skin tone enough. The product is called "Nearly Naked" so I didn't expect full coverage but it also promises flawless cover so I still hoped for something in between.

        Coverage isn't really buildable because the more layers of Ivory I put on, the more orangey the result was. My large nose pores were not disguised, but on the plus side they didn't get blocked either. So after using the foundation fitfully for a while I retired it. In the meantime, I got into a good routine with looking after my skin. So when I tried the Revlon Nearly Naked again, I found I could get away with less coverage, and really enjoy the dewy finish. Buying a better colour meant I could build the coverage safely at last, and finally, using the foundation with a Wilko blender sponge, means I could finally disguise those pores.


        For me, the coverage lasts most of the day. The shine on my forehead didn't come through until late afternoon, good considering this isn't a mattifying product. When it does fade it doesn't look patchy. If you want a light coverage foundation giving a dewy but not shiny finish, then I would recommend this.

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