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shrimpy_80

shrimpy_80
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Member since: 05.01.2009

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      09.04.2012 10:57
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      A super intensive hand saviour.

      The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

      The facts and figures

      The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is one of their best selling products and has become one of their staples. It comes in a distinctive silver metallic tube with a green label and black screw top lid. The lid is ridged which makes it easy to remove and replace, even after using the product. The metallic tube gives it a durable look, almost suggesting it is a utility rather than beauty product.

      Inside the product itself is a thick green cream, so thick I would almost describe it as a paste. The most distinctive thing about this product, however, has to be the smell. It has a very strong scent of hemp which definitely will not be to everyone's taste.

      The hand protector is currently on sale for £10 for 100ml, which is a little pricey for a hand cream but, as this is an intensive treatment, I actually think is quite reasonable.

      Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it.

      What are the claims?

      The hand protector claims to help soften and protect hands. It is dermatologically tested for very dry skin and contains Community Trade hemp seed oil, which is produced by a family run cooperative in England.

      Does it deliver?

      The main drawback for me with this product is the scent. I personally am not keen on it (although it is growing on me) and for that reason, I don't tend to use this during the day. Having said that, the product works so well that I continue to buy it. I apply about a pea sized amount at night when my hands are feeling dry and know that when I wake up the next morning the dryness will have vanished.

      The cream is thick but not greasy, and sinks in fairly quickly. The smell does linger on my hands though, which is why I don't use it at work, but if I was really suffering with dry hands then I would use it regardless as the results are so impressive. Within a few minutes of applying this to your hands you can feel the dryness relieved, and the effects are long lasting.

      Would I recommend this product?

      I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking for an effective handcream. I don't suffer extensively from dry hands, it is mainly triggered by being outside in cold weather, however I would rather invest £10 in a product that I know will work each time, rather than buy a cheaper cream and end up using more of it.

      The packaging makes this cream easy to carry around and use on the go, so if you have a job which is tough on your hands this product would be excellent.

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      • More +
        07.11.2011 14:54
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        Can I kid myself I'm young enough to buy this again...?

        Good things fresh start

        The facts and figures:
        As with most products I buy on a whim, this was part of a promotion in Superdrug when I first bought it, and from memory I think it cost around £1.20. It usually retails at £4.99 for 150ml. The packaging is mainly white with a modern floral design. It has a flat lid at the base, which is fairly conventional for a face wash and makes it easy to dispense the product. The cleanser itself is creamy white and fairly thick, making it easy to control how much you use. 

        What are the claims? 
        This facial cleanser is part of a new range by well known beauty expert Alice Hart Davies, who wanted to create a natural, affordable range of skincare products aimed specifically at younger skin. The product is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and free from sodium laureth sulphate, parabens, mineral oils and animal ingredients. 

        It contains moisturising mango seed oil to clean skin without drying it out, along with calming cactus extract and antioxidants derived from grapes and pomegranates. Together these ingredients allegedly give you the 'fresh start' your skin needs every day. 

        Does it deliver?
        I have to confess, I didn't realise this product was aimed at younger skin otherwise I would never have bought it, as much as I may be in denial, I don't think I quite fall into that category any more! There is nothing on the front to state who the product is aimed at, although on hindsight the package design is probably aimed more at a teenage market. In fact, I only realised because I stumbled across a mention of it in a magazine after I had started using it. Sure enough, the blurb on the back does say it was designed for younger skin. Which in fact leaves me with a dilemma, as this is one of the nicest face washes I have ever used. 

        The wash doesn't lather up in your hands, in fact it virtually disappears if you try to add any water to it. I'd guess this is due to it not containing sodium laureth sulphate as that is usually added as a foaming agent  If you apply it with wet hands to a wet face, it goes on nicely. 

        The first thing I noticed when I put this to my face is how absolutely amazing it smells. It is an intensely fruity yet very natural smell and I instantly fell in live with it. 

        Initially I was a but worried by the lack of foam and used this cleanser in conjunction with my Body Shop facial brush in order to be sure of a thorough clean. For the purposes of this review, however, I started using it alone and simply rinsing it away with water. I was immensely impressed with the result, it left my skin feeling clean and very soft. 

        Would I recommend this product?
        I would never have bought this product if I had known it was aimed at teenage skin. However, I am really glad I bought it. It has left my skin feeling super soft and smooth and the scent makes it an absolute treat to use every morning. I do think it is a little pricey at £4.99 compared to what I would normally buy, but for anyone looking for a product free from any worrying ingredients, this is guaranteed to please. 

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          06.11.2011 14:29
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          Yippee for Yankee!

          Yankee Candle Wax Tart

          The facts and figures:
          Yankee Candle Products originate from South Deerfield, Massachusetts and are a very popular and generally expensive range of candles and other home fragrance products such as room mists, reeds and even car fresheners.

          Garden Sweet Pea is available as a wax tart or a candle, in a choice of sizes. My review is for the wax tart.

          These tarts can be picked up for around £1 from stockists (RRP is £1.10 but can be picked up more cheaply from some independents). There are a few independent shops near me that stock Yankee products, and I have seen them in larger branches of Clintons. Each one is 22g and in terms of size, is a bit bigger than an average tealight. The Yankee range is enormous and there are well over 100 fragrances to choose from including seasonal and limited edition fragrances, although availibilty may be limited according to your local stockist. They can also be bought online from a range of authorised websites, my favourite is yankeedoodle.co.uk who often have some varieties on sale from 50p.

          What are the claims?
          Yankee candle products, whilst expensive, are good quality with strongly fragranced, long lasting products. With such a huge range, there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone, including fruity, floral, and themed scents such as sea breeze and cotton fresh.

          Garden Sweet Pea is quite a traditional, very floral fragrance. It gives off a lovely light aroma and is perfect for conjuring up a typical English summer garden.

          Does it deliver?
          These wax tarts are, in my opinion, excellent value for money. I use them in my oil burner and, as it is on the small side, can get away with cutting the tarts in half and using half at a time, which makes them even better value (although it can be a tiny bit messy so take care). Simply pop the tart (or half) into the top of your burner (no water is needed), light an unscented tealight underneath as normal, and within a minute the fragrance will fill the room. Yankee do make unscented tealights which they naturally recommend that you use, but the normal cheap ones work fine. I usually find I can reheat the same wax about 6 or 7 times before it starts to lose fragrance, depending how long you heat ot for each time of course. One excellent tip that I picked up from my stockist is how to change the wax easily. The supplementary leaflet I received recommends decanting the molten wax and then leaving it to cool but instead, if you pop your burner in the fridge, the wax will set and you will be able to 'pop' it out intact and either dispose of it or store it for reuse (wrapped up in cling film and kept somewhere reasonably cool it will keep fine).

          Although I really love the Sweet Pea fragrance, I actually don't find it as strong or long lasting as other I have tried. Usually, I can smell the wax tarts almost as soon as I light the oil burner, but I find it takes a lot longer to detect this fragrance and it remains very subtle. If you are not a fan of overpowering scents then this is definitely one to consider.


          Would I recommend this product?
          I would absolutely recommend the wax tarts in general as a very affordable way of sampling the deliciously tempting yankee fragrances. I much prefer using an oil burner to aerosol based air fresheners and these are an absolute treat. In terms of the Sweet Pea fragrance, I would probably prefer it to be a little more powerful. With some of the other fragrances, you can smell them clearly throughout the house once lit, but that isn't true of this fragrance, it can only be detected in the room where it is burning. However if you wanted something subtle, perhaps for a dinner party where you didn't want an overpowering smell spoiling the taste of your food, this would be perfect.

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          • Clairol Nice n' Easy / Hair Care / 14 Readings / 12 Ratings
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            06.11.2011 14:14
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            Fairly easy but gives a great result

            Clairol Nice N Easy

            The Facts and Figures:
            I most recently bought this for £5.11 from Tesco, I have seen it on sale upwards of £6 but usually shop around and pay around £5 for it. If you have longer hair, you may well need more then one bottle.
            Contained inside, you get a bottle of Colour Blend Formula and a bottle of Colour Activating Crème, which you mix together to get your dye. If you have used home dye kits before, you will be familiar with this but even if you haven't, its very simple and the instructions are straightforward. My only small criticism is that the necks of both bottles are the same size, it would be a little easier to add if the neck of the smaller bottle fit inside the neck of the mixing bottle, so you could pour from one to the other with no risk of spilling. I only noticed this in comparison with other home dyes which seem slightly better designed in this respect. That said, it is easy enough to do with only minimal care and attention.
            You also get a pair of gloves and a tube of Colourseal Gloss Conditioner. The gloves are separately packaged in their own cardboard sleeve which to be honest, I find a bit unnecessary and wasteful. However, they are excellent quality and I have never had any problems with them. Another bonus is that they are powdered inside, so they are easy to slip on and don't get clammy. This is especially useful if you are applying as a root touch up and need to take your gloves off for a time in the middle of the application, as they are just as easy to put back on a second time.
            The conditioner is a very generous tube. You are supposed to apply it after rinsing off your colour, then use weekly for six weeks afterwards. I always find that there is more than enough for six applications, in fact I am usually only about halfway through the tube by the time my roots are rearing their ugly heads again.
            Finally, as with all home dye products, you need to do a sensitivity test at least 48 hours prior to full application. As both bottles are resealable, this is easy to do. Likewise, if you are dying your hair for the first time or a different colour to normal, it is easy to do a strand test to ascertain what the end result is likely to be and to give you a guide as to how long you need to leave the product to develop. Grey hair or lighter shades will usually take longer, up to 45 minutes.

            What are the claims?
            Nice N Easy contains Clairol's 'Colour Blend Technology', which alleges to give natural looking colour with layers of delicate tones and highlights.
            As the name would suggest, the dye is intended to be very easy to apply and give tones of colour in just one step. In my case, I use a very light blonde shade, which additionally promises to give maximum colour lift on just one application. The product is also suitable for covering grey hairs.
            As mentioned above, the development time varies from 20 up to 45 minutes. As I go for a light shade, I always leave it on for the full 45 minutes if not a bit longer.
            As with all home dye products, it is important to read the safety information thoroughly as, although very rare, allergic reactions can occur and sometimes prove fatal.

            Does it deliver?
            The product is very easy to use and simple to apply. The nozzle on the bottle makes it easy to control and the product is thick enough not to drip or be messy to use. In fact, I would probably prefer the product to be slightly less thick, as you can't really rub it in or spread it through the length of your hair too easily. My hair is just over shoulder length and quite thick, and I think I would need to use two bottles of this if I were going for a colour change as I wouldn't be sure of getting enough coverage through to the ends of my hair. As it is, my hair was much shorter when I started using it, so I only buy it for root coverage.
            In terms of the end result, I have always been really pleased with this product. I find it gives a really natural colour which does work well with my hairs natural tones and shades. Also, the colour is identical to the colour on the box which in my experience is quite rare! In particular, the conditioner is lovely to use and leaves my hair feeling very soft and healthy. Not to mention the fact that it smells amazing! It is also a bonus that you get six weeks of applications as it gives my hair a great pick me up and saves on buying separate intensive conditioning treatments, which I have done in the past.

            Would I recommend this product?
            I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who was used to home colouring and wanted a great end result. For a first time user, I would only be inclined to recommend it to someone with shorter hair than mine i.e. shoulder length or shorter, although if you are lucky enough to have someone to help you then you would probably find it easier. (I definitely don't trust my boyfriend to help me with his minutely short attention span!)

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            • More +
              03.11.2011 14:24
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              Didn't live up to the picture on the tin

              The soup is from Waitrose's new LOVE Life range, and as such is currently available at an introductory price of 56p. The Waitrose website advises that the regular price will be 85p. A can of this soup is 400g and contains 196 calories, it also provides two helpings of your recommended five a day.
              The main vegetables are sweet potato, butternut squash and red pepper and the three beans involved are haricot, cannelloni and berlotti.
              I don't normally shop in Waitrose so initially didn't realise that this was new, but the packaging immediately appealed to me when I spotted it on the shelf as the image looks so hearty and colourful. I hadn't planned to buy any soup but, with the weather becoming colder, it seemed like a good plan. I also love red pepper soup so that was what sold it to me more than anything.
              The can has a ring pull opening which is handy for work as it saved me having to wrestle with our antiquated tin opener, and I was also pleased that it opened easily with out having to tug and spattering myself with soup, which I find can happen with some ring pulls if they are too stiff.
              I must admit, I was a little disappointed when I first opened this soup as it seemed to be predominately beans with not much veg. I warmed it up as directed and gave it a good stir. The chunks of vegetables that were in the soup were very chunky indeed, but I still felt that there weren't as many as I would have liked. Eating the soup only confirmed this for me.
              I was expecting this soup to be a little spicier, if only because the vegetable soups I usually eat are a bit more peppery. Initially I was quite pleased that this was so mild, but by the time I had finished eating it, it became a bit bland. Also, although I was conscious of trying to 'ration' the vegetable chunks, the last few spoonfuls only contained beans and weren't particularly tasty.
              If you are a fan of beans then you may well enjoy this more than I did, but for me, I would have preferred to see the vegetables (and red pepper in particular) feature a bit higher in the mix. I might be tempted to buy it again at the offer price of 56p but couldn't see me paying 85p for it. Maybe the moral of the story is to start making my own again!

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              12.10.2011 19:53
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              I think my lips will be glad of it over winter

              Body shop Shea lip butter

              The facts and figures 
              The Body Shop Shea Butter is one of several varieties of lip butters available firm the Body Shop. It is priced currently at £4 for a dinky 10ml tub. The Shea butter comes in a beige coloured tub with a picture of Shea nuts on the top (ever wondered what a Shea nut looked like? Me neither, but now we know). The tub is compact and easy to carry around, although it could be a bit flatter in my opinion. When you open the pot, there is quite a gap between the product and lid which is essentially wasted space and, whilst you could never call the product oversized, I do think a slight 'flattening' of the tub (more like the shape of Vaseline lip balms) would make it fit in small clutch bags or make up bags just that little bit better. 

              Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it. 

              What are the claims?
              This balm claims to melt into the lips for instant hydration. It contains community trade Shea butter, community trade beeswax and vitamin E. 

              Does it deliver?
              I usually stick to unscented lip balms as I find any scent can be a bit overpowering and even leave me feeling a bit nauseous. However my mum absolutely raves about this stuff and eventually surprised me with a tub in an attempt to convert me. The scent with this balm is very natural, similar to cocoa butter but a bit lighter. Personally, I still prefer unscented lip balms but I will put that prejudice aside for this review and do think that the smell is very pleasant whilst remaining subtle. 

              In terms of moisturising, this product definitely feels worth the money in my opinion. It is very soft and not at all greasy on the lips, and you can almost feel it working as soon as you apply it. The thick consistency means that you can feel it on your lips for a long time after applying, and it feels nourishing and soft rather than greasy or sticky. I did notice it made my lips very slightly paler but only if I applied it generously. 

              Would I recommend this product?
              I have been pretty impressed with this lip balm to be honest, it has definitely left my lips feeling and looking in good condition and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so through the winter. The only slight drawback for me is the price; although it isn't a huge amount of money in itself, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives on the market. That said, it's quite reasonable in terms of some of the other Body Shop lines.  If you have particularly dry lips or just fancy an affordable treat then I would definitely recommend this balm. 

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              • Benefit Posietint / Make Up / 31 Readings / 29 Ratings
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                10.10.2011 18:30
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                Expensive but worth it

                Benefit Posietint

                The facts and figures
                Posietint is essentially a pink version of Benefit's original lip and cheek stain, called Benetint. 
                Benefit posietint retails around the £24.50 mark for for 12.5ml. As with it's sister product, Benetint, you can occasionally pick up a free sample with a magazine which was how I first came to try it. This also means that there are also always mini sizes available for a few pounds an eBay and the like, although of course there is no guarantee you would be buying the genuine article. 

                The product comes packaged in a small cylindrical bottle with a white screw off lid. Considering the price tag, the packaging does not really look high end, but it does fit in well with the cute, slightly kitsch look of the Benefit range.  I like the fact that the lid is the same diameter as the bottle and quite chunky as this makes it very easy to grip and manoeuvre. The bottle itself is a shiny almost metallic pink colour. I can understand that Benefit have done this to make the product look different to the original Benetint, and I do think it looks nice, but of course the drawback is that you can't see how much is left. However, I do really like the bottle design so that isn't too much of a quibble. Inside the bottle is a thin, fairly bright pink liquid which has a very slight sheen to it. Despite the bottle colour, i must admit i was still quite taken aback by quite how pink the actual liquid is, think 80s Day to Night Barbie and you'll be somewhere close. There is a brush attached to the underside of the lid, not unlike a nail brush, which you use to paint the stain onto your lips or face, or both. If you have used Benetint before, I would say this this product is slightly thicker and so you tend to get more loaded on the brush. 

                What are the claims?
                Like Benetint, Posietint is a cheek and lip stain, so is designed to be dual purpose which obviously makes it a handy product to carry around. Also, the word 'stain' might give you a clue that the colour is meant to be long lasting. Due to the thicker and glossier nature of this product, it does feel a little more like a lipstick and you can feel a very slight moisture after applying, even once dry. 

                Does it deliver?
                Posietint is a very pink colour and as such, won't be everyone's cup of tea. Personally I love it as it is such a girly colour. I usually apply a few coats of this for a more intense colour and do find that it lasts well, although it doesn't usually survive food or drink. I find this very easy to apply on the go and it always gives a nice even finish. 

                I also find it easy use on my cheeks and it gives a lovely natural hint of colour which is easy to build up gradually, although it only blends well if you do it immediately as it drys fast. 

                One other drawback to this tint is that your lips need to be in top condition as it is very unforgiving. The tint sinks much more readily into any dry patches, making them much darker and more evident. If you only apply a light layer at a time then you should avoid this problem. 

                Would I recommend this product?
                As I was already a fan of Benetint I was very excited to own this and it didn't disappoint. In fact, writing this review has reminded me how much I love it! It's not very often that you try something and it instantly becomes a staple, but this for me is one of those products and i I rarely leave home without it now. Its so handy just to keep in a handbag and gives an instant colour lift to your lips and face. I only wish it was a bit cheaper so I could have one stashed in every handbag!

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                07.10.2011 14:39
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                For me, a tiny bit of a let down

                The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Butter 



                The Facts and Figures: 
As with other Body Butters, this currently sells at £12.50 for a 200ml tub. This is one of The Body Shop's regulars, and as such will often be found on promotion of some sort. At the time of writing, they are buy one get one half price, but are sometimes on buy one get one free, so worth keeping an eye out for.



                As with the other body butters in the range, a round plastic tub with a matching screw top lid. In this case the tub itself is a light lemon colour with the sticker on top of the lid featuring, you've guessed it, lemons. Although the packaging is fairly standard, I have to say it isn't one of my favourites, probably due to the colour. 



                Inside the body butter is a very pale yellow in colour and has quite a thick consistency. The tub is nice and full, which is a good job considering the price!

                Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it. 



                What are the claims? 

                The Body Shop was founded on the principle of ethical retailing, so all products it sells claim to be fairly sourced, and use natural, sustainable ingredients. None of its products are tested on animals. The Body Shop also supports a number of global causes and is currently heavily involved in a campaign against sex trafficking. 



                Sweet Lemon is one of their staple varieties and can also be purchased as a shower gel, scrub, soap and lip balm should you so wish. The body butter claims to provide 24 hour hydration with a refreshing citrus scent.

                The fragrance is derived from lemon seed soil, whilst the butter's moisturizing properties come from both Community Fair Trade shea butter and cocoa butter. As an aside, the website states that the shea butter comes from an all female association in Northern Ghana, for whom trade has funded three medical centres and ten nursery schools. 


                Does it deliver? 
I had previously bought the Sweet Lemon shower gel on something of a whim, and had fallen head over heels in love with the sharp but sweet fragrance. As a body butter devotee, this naturally led me to purchase this body butter when taking advantage of (or rather, falling prey to) one of the Body Shop online's frequent email offers.

                Whilst the scent here is equally light and fresh, it isn't as noticeable as the shower gel in my opinion. It does linger on the skin if you apply it fairly liberally but, considering I am using it in conjunction with the shower gel, I had hoped for something a little stronger. It is much weaker than the strawberry and coconut versions, for example.

                Also, I found that the butter didn't rub in as easily or feel as moisturizing as usual. This may be because I had previously been using the coconut version which is designed for dry skin, but either way, I was a little disappointed.

                Would I recommend this product? 

                If you don't like strongly fragranced products but want a very light fresh scent, then this might suit. However, I can't help feeling that if you were to choose this as your first Body Butter, you would be left wondering what all the hype was about. In summary, I wouldn't be upset to receive this as a gift or freebie, but it definitely wouldn't be my first choice.

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                04.10.2011 19:26
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                A little pain is worth the gain

                Sure Women Cool Blue Fast Drying 48hr Antiperspirant Roll-On

                The facts and figures
                Sure is arguably the best known brand for antiperspirants and deodorants and, although I tend to be swayed by whatever is on offer, I usually come back to Sure. 

                This version will usually cost around £1.60 for 50ml depending where you look, although when I bought mine a few weeks ago it was on a two for £2 offer at Tesco. 

                What are the claims?
                What claims to set this product apart it that it is quick drying. In addition to this, it promises 48 hour protection. 

                Does it deliver?
                In terms of being quick drying, I have been really impressed with this product. I usually apply it as soon as I get out of the shower. I then moisturise my face and apply body lotion before dressing, by which point this deodorant is completely dry. Previous brands came nowhere near this for speed and would usually result in standard arm flapping or occasionally, use of the hair dryer (I would like to point out for avoidance of doubt that my arm pits are fuzz free!)

                In terms of performance, again I am impressed. I don't do anything particularly strenuous during the day but I do walk to work, and as we all know it's easy to misjudge the weather in this country, meaning I'm often a bit hot and bothered when I arrive. This deodorant has never let me down. I also like the fact that it doesn't smell particularly strong either, I want to smell of perfume and nothing else. 

                Finally, the packaging is also fit for purpose, the bottle fits nicely in my hand and the screw top fits snugly and is easy to remove. The upside down design, which is fairly common these days, means that the rollerball doesn't dry out and the product isn't top heavy making it less easily knocked over. The rollerball could be slightly bigger for quicker application, but overall I like the slim design. 

                The only downside to this product is that it can feel quite drying, and it does sting if applied immediately after shaving. Although the sensation goes quite quickly, it can leave my underarms feeling a little tender and I suspect that it wouldn't suit anyone with sensitive skin. 

                Would I recommend this product?
                On the basis of performance, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product, but be aware that it is geared for performance and not for moisturising. I have noticed that my underarms have become more resilient and now hardly sting at all after shaving, and as yet no dry skin or irritation has developed but I will keep an eye on this as it has only been a few weeks. 

                Assuming my underarms agree, I will definitely be buying this again, I like the fact it doesn't have a strong fragrance and can't fault it on performance, and unlike other brands with similar claims, it does actually dry quickly.

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                • Benefit Benetint / Make Up / 29 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                  27.09.2011 14:56
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                  An investment, but definitely worth having to hand

                  Benetint

                  The facts and figures
                  At around £24.50 for 12.5ml, this tint is not cheap. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you can occasionally pick up a free sample with a magazine which was how I first came to try it. Because of this, there are also always mini sizes available for a few pounds on eBay and the like, although of course there is no guarantee you would be buying the genuine article. 

                  The packaging is attractive in a cute and quirky rather than stylish way; a small cylindrical bottle with a white screw off lid. I like the fact that the lid is the same diameter as the bottle and quite chunky as this makes it very easy to grip and manoeuvre. The bottle itself is transparent which allows you of course to see how much product is left, and has a pink logo with the product name in white. Inside the product is quite a thin liquid, thinner than I expected to be honest. There is a brush attached to the underside of the lid, not unlike a nail brush, and you more or less paint the product on, for want of a better description. 

                  What are the claims?
                  Benetint is a cheek and lip stain, so is designed to be dual purpose which obviously makes it a handy product to carry around. Also, the word 'stain' might give you a clue that the colour is meant to be long lasting. However, you shouldn't expect a nice shiny finish like you would get with a lipstick or gloss, this product is essentially colour only. Think of how your lips get stained from eating berries and you get the picture. 

                  Does it deliver?
                  When I first bought this product I mainly used it as a lip stain. The colour is darker than I expected and quite a cold tone, almost like I have been drinking a mixture of red wine and Ribena (I haven't, as that probably wouldn't be sensible). It first I wasn't sure if it suited my skin tone but once it dried, I liked it much better. As the colour is fairly sheer, it allows your natural lip colour to show through, so it will be a slightly different shade on everyone and is likely to suit. On me, the dried colour is almost pink, and definitely has something of a berry stained sweetness to it. 

                  I usually apply two 'coats' of this to get the colour I like as just one application isn't quite enough colour, whereas any more and the colour becomes too dark. Again, this is an advantage as it is easy to get a darker or more subtle shade. The product does take about 15 seconds to dry properly, and I usually leave it a minute or two between applications. One word of caution, do not be tempted to lick your lips whilst the tint is drying, it has a horrible bitter chemical taste which is totally unexpected. Once dry however, there is no taste at all. 

                  One other drawback to this tint is that your lips need to be in top condition as it is very unforgiving. The tint sinks much more readily into any dry patches, making them much darker and more evident. If you only apply a light layer at a time then you should avoid this problem. 

                  I have also used this as a cheek stain. Again, the colour is very sheer despite looking so dark in the bottle, which makes it easy to control the colour when applying.  

                  Would I recommend this product?
                  Initially, I wasn't sure I would like this as the colour of the liquid in the bottle seemed too dark and plummy for me. However I soon changed my mind. I love the fact that it is easy to choose and change the intensity of the colour on my lips. 

                  I don't generally wear blusher, but have started to wear this on my cheeks now and again. It is great for novices like me to experiment with as you can dab it on a tiny bit at a time and rub it in until it virtually disappears, then build up the colour very gradually, which is great if you aren't very confident in what you're doing. The fact that it's a two in one product also means it's great to carry around with you and pop on if you think your complexion needs a quick lift, as I often do when I get to work. I usually have at least one lip gloss or balm with me anyway, so carrying this instead means I can kill two birds with one stone. 

                  I quite often put this on my lips without a mirror if I'm out and about and always looks fine; as the colour is sheer one coat is fairly forgiving and it is easy to follow the contours of your lips with the brush applicator. I wouldn't go so far as to apply blind to my cheeks though, I'm not that brave! 

                  The product does stay on quite well, although eating and drinking does tend to get rid of it fairly quickly. Obviously this is  true of most lips products, but as a stain I had expected this to be a tiny bit more resistant if I'm honest. However, it is so easy to carry around and to reapply that it isn't really an issue. 

                  Overall, although this is an expensive buy I was really pleased with the results and definitely get lots of use out of it. I also bought the pink version, Posie Tint, and slightly prefer that one, but still get plenty of wear out of this original shade. 

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                  24.09.2011 11:39
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                  Worth it for the time gained in a morning

                  Lee Stafford Blow Dry Wonder Spray

                  The facts and figures
                  The product comes in a spray can which is the trademark Lee Stafford metallic pink colour. It is a pump action spray rather than aerosol which is obviously better for the environment as well as less likely to choke you. 

                  The transparent pink lid fits well enough but is not very secure and is quite small, I find myself quite prone to dropping it. Also many of the products on the range look similar; I also have the dehumidifying spray and am forever picking up the wrong one to use. 

                  The product is currently on sale at Boots for £6.19 for a 200ml can. 

                  What are the claims?
                  The product claims to speed up the hair drying process, as well as helping to detangle hair. 

                  Does it deliver?
                  My hair takes an age to blow dry. It is quite thick but also lightened, which makes it more porous, meaning it sucks in as much water as it can and tries to hold on to it! My sister first recommended this to me, but the price put me off. However I wanted some dry shampoo and Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on all haircare, so I bit the bullet. 

                  The first time I used this, I immediately noticed a difference, my hair took under ten minutes to completely dry as opposed to nearer fifteen without the spray. On the next few tries I noticed less of a difference, but I think I was being too sparse with it. I now apply it quite generously, about ten or fifteen good sprays, and it definitely has an effect. 

                  Would I recommend this product?
                  I would recommend this product on the basis that it does work. I have found that it definitely takes less time to dry my hair than before and, especially first thing in the morning, that is a great help to me. It is expensive in my opinion, but it probably saves me half an hour or more a week and I would say this can will last me at least three months, so if you think of it that way it seems more reasonable. It doesn't smell of anything in particular and I couldn't really comment on it's detangling abilities as my hair is usually pretty tangle free after conditioning. In my opinion, it's a functional rather than luxurious product, but it works so I'm happy!

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                  21.09.2011 15:24
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                  Has cured my fickle foundation ways... For now!

                  The Body Shop Moisture Foundation

                  The facts and figures 

                  The Body Shop Moisture Foundation is currently on sale for £13 for 30ml. It comes in a choice of 6 shades. The website describes it is a lightweight foundation giving low to medium coverage. It also has SPF 15 to help protect your skin from day to day skin exposure. 

                  The packaging is fairly straightforward, a clear plastic tube with a flat silver base to stand upright on, and a silver pump dispenser at the top. Although simple, the packaging looks stylish enough and is practical, the pump is easy to control and I haven't had any issues with it. 

                  Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it. 

                  What are the claims?
                  This moisturiser claims to give a flawless finish and be suitable for medium to dry skin. 

                  Does it deliver?
                  I first tried this foundation by chance, I was staying over night with my sister and had forgotten my own, so borrowed this from her. I usually use a mousse foundation and was worries that I would find this too greasy, and that it wouldn't give enough coverage. I have combination skin. However, I was really pleased with the results. The foundation blended really easily (I always use my fingers, rightly or wrongly!) and looked very natural. However, the coverage is deceptively good. My main concern is that I am quite prone to blushing, and if I think my foundation doesn't cover it up well enough, I get more self conscious which obviously worsens the problem. I'm pleased to say I felt reasonably confident wearing this. I also think it makes my skin look really healthy, and actually got two random compliments the first time I wore it on how well I looked. That pretty much sealed the deal for me! Also I've notices it doesn't seem to rub off as easily as my previous foundation, on my phone for example. 

                  Although I don't gave dry skin myself, there are a lot of positive reviews from people who do on the Body Shop website praising this product. 

                  My only reservation is that the foundation is only available in 6 shades - at least, that is all that was available online at the time of writing. I use shade 6 which is the fourth darkest and I am naturally blonde with reasonably fair skin, so I would say there isn't much scope for darker skin tones. 

                  Would I recommend this product?
                  If you don't want a heavy coverage then I would definitely recommend this product. It sinks into the skin so as to become almost invisible, but still works throughout the day to even out skin tone. To top this off, it gives a lovely dewy glow. I even used this on holiday recently and it did a great job of staying on in the heat. A new make up bag staple for me!

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                    20.09.2011 13:02
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                    A new firm favourite

                    Body shop coconut body butter

                    The facts and figures:
                    As with other Body Butters, this currently sells at £12.50 for a 200g tub. Coconut is one of The Body Shop's staple fragrances so should be widely available. 

                    The packaging is similar to other body butters, a round plastic tub with a matching screw top lid. In this case the tub itself is brown with the sticker on top of the lid featuring, what else, coconuts. It struck me whilst writing this that, as the sticker is predominantly white, the tub almost looks like half a coconut. If coconuts were cylindrical that is. Hmmm. 

                    Inside the body butter has a firm rather than runny consistency and is white in colour. 

                    Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it. 

                    What are the claims?
                    The Body Shop was founded on the principle of ethical retailing, so all products it sells claim to be fairly sourced, and use natural, sustainable ingredients. None of its products are tested on animals.  The Body Shop also supports a number of global causes and is currently heavily involved in a campaign against sex trafficking. 

                    In keeping with the Body Shop's ethos of rewarding local suppliers, it also contains Community trade soya oil from Brazil which, according to the website, has proteins and minerals to soften skin and is easily absorbed, as well as being rich in fatty acids which makes it especially suitable for dry and mature skin. It also contains Community Trade Cocoa butter from Ghanian cocoa beans, often used in body lotions as it melts at body temperature, and Community Trade Shea Butter, also from Ghana. 

                    Does it deliver?
                    I'm not massive fan of coconut as a rule as I find it quite sickly. I received this tub free as part of a promotion (which involved spending far too much in an online purchase, as usual!) and moved onto it when my usual tub ran out. 

                    I have to say though that even as a non-coconut fan, I love the smell of this. It lingers on your skin so that it is noticeable all day long, but is a subtle fragrance and not sickly or overpowering. 

                    I didn't know that this product was specifically tailored for dry skin when I received it, but could have guessed. From the first application my skin felt noticeably smoother and softer and felt more nourished. 

                    Would I recommend this product?
                    Firstly, I would never pay £12.50 for a body butter, not because I don't think they're great but simply because the offers are so frequent, if you shop there regularly then there's just no need to pay full price. 

                    That said, I am so impressed with this variety that I will definitely be choosing it again. It will be perfect for my holiday next month as the extra moisture will be good after a day in the sun, plus everyone knows that coconuts smell like holidays! That said, I can imagine it would also be great in winter to soothe dry skin and conjure up images of sunnier climes!

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                    05.09.2011 19:17
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                    A nice product but doesn't justify the price tag

                    The facts and figures 
                    This wash is part of a new facial care range from the Body Shop, with an emphasis on refreshed, healthy looking skin. 

                    The facial wash costs £9.00 for a 100ml tube. The tube is a light orange colour with a yellow pattern, which ties in with the Vitamin C content. It has a flat flip lid which it stands up on, meaning the contents are already at the right end when you want to use it and making it easy to get the last drops out. I found the lid easy to open even with wet hands, but tight enough that nothing leaks and sturdy enough not to snap off after a few uses or being accidentally dropped. 

                    The liquid itself is clear with a slight orange tint, and contains tiny orange beads which provide the exfoliation. It is quite a thick consistency which makes it easy to control and although it doesn't really produce much lather, it is still easy to apply to your whole face using only a small amount. 

                    Finally, if you shop at The Body Shop even a few times a year and don't already have one, you can purchase a 'Love Your Body' discount card. This costs £5 but is valid for 12 months and gives you 10% off all purchases including online. You also get a free £5 to spend in your birthday month and up to £15 back to spend over the year, depending on how often you use it. 

                    What are the claims?
                    The website describes this facial polish as an all in one 'radiance revealing' facial wash, in other words an exfoliator which is gentle enough to use every day. Strangely, there is no actual orange extract listed as a key ingredient, only the exotic sounding Camu Camu berry and community fair trade organic Aloe Vera. 

                    Does it deliver?
                    The product does work as an everyday exfoliator in the sense that you can feel the exfoliating beads doing their stuff but the action is gentle enough to use every day. The cleanser did leave my skin feeling clean and soft and I didn't experience any irritation from it. I also found it easy to apply although it doesn't really lather.  

                    Would I recommend this product?
                    On the whole, I was satisfied with this product but not blown away. The best thing in my opinion was the fragrance, a lovely light citrus scent which was really refreshing first thing in the morning. Other than that, although the product suited my skin, I can't say I noticed it looking any more radiant than usual. And of course, there is the issue of price. At £9 a tube, I think this is just too expensive for a daily facial wash. As it stands, I would be happy to receive this as part of an offer etc and would happily use it again, but I don't think the results justify the price tag. 

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                      21.07.2011 16:52
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                      Don't know how I lived without it!

                      Batiste Dry Hair Shampoo

                      The facts and figures
                      First things first, Batiste Dry Hair Shampoo isn't a shampoo in the traditional sense but a spray. The idea is that it can be used in between washes to freshen hair, absorb any greasiness (within reason), rather than as a substitute for regular shampoo.

                      There are quite a few different varieties of this dry shampoo available now, after a quick sniff test in Boots I plumped for the Blush variety. I paid £2.35 for my 150ml can, which is about standard. Other varieties include original, tropical and brunette. 

                      The spray is an aerosol similar to hairspray, and is an extremely fine powder which absorbs any slight greasiness. I like the retro design on the can but apart from that, it is functional rather than fancy. The can is quite chunky for an easy grip, and the top clicks on and off and feels fairly secure. 

                      What are the claims?
                      As mentioned above, this is designed to freshen hair between washes, not as a substitute for liquid shampoo. 

                      Does it deliver?
                      I had read so many good reviews of this product that I felt really confident buying and, I have to say, it more than lived up to them. I only wash my hair every other day now as it is lightened and quite long, so I think it's probably better for it's health to give it the rest in between. However, I have always washed my hair daily in the past and found it a hard habit to break as  I hate feeling that my hair isn't clean. A couple of years ago I went to V festival and washed my hair twice over the weekend I was there, that's how silly I am. This product has eliminated that feeling. It isn't the same as washing your hair, of course, but it looks clean, smells great and feels nice, so I'm more than happy with that. I'm also impressed that the scent lasts throughout the whole day. 

                      Would I recommend this product? 
                      I actually can't believe it took me so long to buy this product and would never be without it now. When your hair is having an in between day, this is the perfect thing to pep it up. 

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