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I am not particularly loyal to any brand of moisturizer as yet, mainly because I have not found an exceptional one that I love. Because of this I am happy to try different brands and this time I chose a moisturizer from The Body Shop, vitamin E moisture cream.
The Body Shop claim the moisturizer is for all skin types provides antioxidant and moisturizing.
The moisturizer comes in a pale pink 50ml pot with a black screw top lid. This provides easy access to the cream and the ability to use every last bit.
The lid comes with a small Body Shop logo and the words Vitamin E in pink and below the fact that is a moisturizer with the claims stated as above. It is also written in French.
Around the side of the pot is similar information in various languages. On the bottom is a peal open paper sticker with a full list of the ingredients, the fact that it is made in the UK, against animal testing and that it lasts 12months from opening.
It is quite basic information but is all that you actually require, they don’t really claim vast amounts of things, which is refreshing, but at the same time did leave me wondering if it was just going to be a very basic cream.
***WHAT I THINK***
On opening the pot the cream is again a pale pink colour like the pot it comes in, quite nice it makes a change from plain old white.
The smell is quite strong for a face moisturizer I think and I am not sure what the smell is exactly but it reminds me of baby lotion. It’s not unpleasant and after you have applied and put makeup on the smell has decipitated.
The texture is a cream but not a thick luxury one; it does seem quite basic in nature to me and slightly thinner than I personally like.
It applies well to the skin and is absorbed within a few seconds leaving my skin feeling moisturized but I don’t think it does deep moisture that I would require. The product is for all skin types but I have combination skin which can get dry around the edges from walking the dogs and I don’t think it does a good enough job for this unfortunately especially as vitamin E is supposed to help against dryness. I think this cream is best suited for a young person with good skin who requires just a simple moisturizer.
For myself I prefer a cream thicker with sun factor protection and some anti age properties.
Overall considering this is apparently one of the body shops best sellers, I am not convinced.
***AVALIBILITY AND PRICE***
The cream can be purchased from The Body shop or there website www.thebodyshop.co.uk
Cost is £11 for 50ml, which I think you can purchase other creams that are better in the high street for that from the likes of Nivea, Garnier etc.
Review maybe posted on other sites under the same user name Siberian-queen ©
Nivea crème is a more old fashioned moisturiser I would say than a lot, it is a classic.
This cream has been around since 1911, so to still be going strong it must be good right?
The formulation remains a secret within the holds of the Nivea Company, it is also preservative free.
The ingredients are listed as follows: - Aqua, paraffinum liquidum, cera microcristallina, glycerin, lanolin alcohol (eucerit), paraffin, pathenol, decyl oleate, octyldodecanol, aluminum sterarate, citric acid, magnesium sulphate, magnesium stearates, parfum, limonene, geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, linalool, citronellol, benzyl benzoate, cinnamyl alcohol.
***THE PRODUCT AND WHAT I THINK***
The cream has a pleasant sweet smell, which is the traditional "Nivea" smell, difficult to describe unless you smell it. The smell is clean, fresh, unobtrusive and doesn't really linger on your skin noticeably.
The texture is what makes the cream seem old fashioned to me. It is not your usual runny lotion or rich cream that many are, but a thick, stand up on its own, won't fall out the pot even if you turn it upside down and shake it cream. Excellent for the accidental person who tips pots of cream everywhere.
To use I find it best to apply in small finger scoop amount, which I then rub between my hands before applying to an area. This is because the cream is so thick it takes a bit of work to get it to rub in and absorb. When you first scoop it out it is quite cold to the touch and therefore working the cream warms it helping it absorb better in my opinion.
Absorption does take more time than some moisturisers; it is quite oily probably from the lanolin and paraffin. It takes a bit of effort and you need to be prepared to wait for it to absorb sufficiently to put your clothes on (approximately a couple of minutes), or end up with fluff stuck to you!
The company do not specify a particular type of skin that this moisturiser is made for but I find that it is really good for dry skin areas, great for after shaving you can feel it soaking into your skin and rehydrating it.
The cream can be used on the face too. There was a recent article in the Daily Mail newspaper where a woman used it on half her face for 30 days and the other half with an expensive cream. Apparently Nivea came out best, the article is easy to find online if you search and is an interesting read, even though it is only one person.
I have used it on my face in the winter when my face becomes chapped by the icy wind taking the dogs out and it does work well, although I have not used it for a prolonged period on my face. Given that it is quite oily, I personally wouldn’t used it on oily facial skin. Saying all that, given the article reports, I may try it as a night cream for a while!
The fact that it is so simple and none gender specific, women or men can use it.
The cost for this classic cream, just £2 -£3 on average for 200ml blue plastic tub with a screw top lid, perfect for home. Or £1 - £1.50 for 50ml tin perfect for handbags.
Available from supermarkets, chemists, and online at www.nivea.co.uk
Overall, I can’t fault it really especially given the amount you get for the price.
Review maybe posted on other review sites under the same username Siberian-queen ©
Review of Clinique stay matte sheer face powder.
Clinique do a few different face powders, but I chose stay matte sheer pressed powder after discussion with a Clinique representative in store. My chosen shade "stay buff".
The main selling advantage of this product is that it is for oil control and when applied does not disrupt your make-up underneath. It is suggested for oily and combination skin types.
Unfortunately it has no sun factor protection, however others in there collection do.
The powder can be applied with the included white circular pad or if you wish, with a brush. Personally I tend to use a brush at home as you can achieve a lighter covering and then use the pad if I am out and about for top ups. Powder can be applied all over the face or just onto oily areas like the TZone more susceptible to oil.
WHAT I THINK
I like the style of the compact, not so keen on the colour but it's ok. I like the fact the compact is quite sturdy and despite having a mirror inside, can be thrown in my handbag without fear of it smashing.
The powder is in set format but is picked up by the brush or pad easily and with minimal waste dust. I prefer a set powder as I feel they last longer and give less wastage. No particular smell that I have noted.
The powder is delivered to the skin easily and gives a light dusting over make-up. I feel it sets well on my skin, it does not feel heavy or pore blocking in anyway. Good coverage is achieved and does fade my oily patches. I do have to top up my powder frequently as in a few times a day as I do get quite oily skin especially around my nose and forehead. To this point the powder lasts me about 2-3 months which is ok but can be quite expensive given the price of the compact.
Easily removed with general cleansers, make-up cloths or soap and water. It does transfer to clothes a little if you are not careful especially collars, but no more than similar products.
Would I recommend? Yes is is a good product, however I personally would probably only buy when on offer somewhere of if buying a few items to get a free gift as its quite expensive and some high street brands like max factor and revlon do similar at half the price.
It comes in a compact which is retro 70's looking in a green slightly washed out look. A neat little silver effect clasp always closure to be secure and no accidental openings as you have to push it in and lift the lid at the same time. Inside the top half has a mirror in it
Solid and tidy, small and sturdy.
In the lower half is the actual powder which is compacted into a set format.
Cost is £23 for a 7.6gram (this is the Clinique price)
Available from www.clinique.co.uk , many big department stores and chemists where Clinique counters are held, EBay, Amazon and some other make-up websites.
Review by siberian-queen © and maybe found on other review sites under the same username.
Lancôme is one of the brands I am currently using and decided to try out their mascara hypnose.
....the design and brand...
Lancome is a well-known premium brand of makeup founded in the 1930’s in France and has a wide range of cosmetics products and fragrances.
The mascara hypnose comes in a sleek black tube similar to many mascaras, but with a curvaceous hourglass effect. It comes with a screw top which has the brush attached on the inside, which appears sort of twisted in the middle.
Application is achieved by applying in a saw type action of backwards and forwards motion from the base to the tip of the eyelashes. This method helps to define lashes more individually. A straight base to tip motion can also be used in and I tend to do this after the first method, especially if I want to achieve a more volume defined look.
Lancôme hypnose mascara is elegant and defines your lashes with individual care, you do get the occasional clump but I feel that is when you get towards the end of the tube, or have not applied with care. It is marketed as a volume, smudge proof mascara without clumping and it does do that to most part.
The look achieved is ideal for work, evening meal and day to day per poses but I would like a little more high definition for a big night going out. The mascara defiantly highlights my lashes and I can certainly tell the difference between wearing and not wearing it.
I do find I need to apply again in the afternoon to redefine my lashes. It does not irritate my eyes and I have personally had not issues with smudging. To remove it comes off simply with a good makeup remover.
....the cost and availability....
The mascara only comes in two colours black and brown. This is enough for most people and I don't think Lancôme are really in the younger partygoers market, which would require other colours necessary.
At around £22 this is not cheap and there are in my opinion mascaras that are half the price and just as good. That said I would recommend it as it does what it says and is nice mascara it's just more expensive.
The product can be found on the Lancôme websites, department stores where Lancôme counters are situated such as House of Fraser, Boots and Debenhams.
Review maybe posted on ciao and dooyoo under the same username.
After reading reviews by Graygirl I thought I would give Lancôme a go. I needed a new foundation so then seemed a prime opportunity to take advantage of their free gift when you by two products deal.
A counter assistant of Lancôme selected the foundation for me and they came up with Lancôme teint idole ultra 24 hour.
With the packaging Lancôme are simple and elegant, it comes in a silver box with a little gold Lancôme logo on it. Other than the front that simply has the name, size, colour and minimal detail; each side is full of the same detailed information about the product in several different languages and a list of the full ingredients.
Lancôme boasts about their 8 year research into the foundation and have a substantial list of criteria that the item is supposed to meet. This impressed me- if the foundation could meet all of the said targets I was onto a sure winner!
So when you open your box a thick clear glass bottle with a pump action top secluded by a pull of lid greets you. Again simple and elegant, the lid fits well and needs to be given a little push to pop on so it fits securely. The pump action is good I tend to do little pumps as I am always afraid of wasting too much product if a give it a good squirt! More often than not I use my fingers to apply foundation and it suits this purpose well, I do occasionally use a brush if I am going out or spending more time perfecting my makeup, again it suits it well tending to use a little more with a brush.
This foundation has an agitator in it, a new thing for me, but basically means you need to shake the bottle before use to mix the foundation to get its full benefit. The agitator is quite useful in that when settled you can see a faint line in the foundation and shows you roughly how much is left! It serves as a good reminder to shake the bottle too, as I am sure you probably should with many other brands but I always forget.
So to evaluate I will go through each of the claims and give you my opinion on each.
Divine Comfort, Smooth and velvety.
The foundation feels more expensive than a lot of others I have used. It glides onto your skin. It does feel very velvety and smooth I have to say and I am impressed with the way it blends into my skin to leave no great streaks of foundation lines! The advantage of having a make up assistant suggest your foundation is that the colour is suited to your skin tone. If left to pick on my own I always go for something far lighter than I actually need it turns out. So because of this your foundation sits well against your natural colour and is far less noticeable. This foundation comes in a choice of 18 shades.
Because it is so light you hardly notice its there. Even being so light it does cover well and I only use a concealer for more defined things like the odd spot.
24 hour matt, touch-up free, sweat and friction resistant.
Ok this is quite tough to achieve I feel but that is what they state on there box.
For me personally, I do need to touch up. My make-up is still there at the end of the day as when I go to bed I take off my make-up and there it is on the cotton wool. However, I do not feel it is in good enough shape by the evening for me to go out again so I always touch up my entire makeup.
Now when I put my makeup on I do get a lovely matt finish with a slight gleam of what I describe as a glow, which is great and I have been complemented on how good my skin looks lately since using this and a few other bits and pieces.
As for sweat resistant, as mentioned I still have makeup on at the end of the day. My skin though is quite oily around the t zone and I don't feel it stays on my skin here; it sweats off especially after a busy day. This is improved somewhat with a good primer but I still end up with a shiny nose and forehead :( whether this is the product or just me who knows but I have not found a product yet that stays put all day without my nose shining and no touch ups!
Not completely convinced. If I use my mobile phone to my face I have makeup on my screen. I appreciate this May again be partly down to my complexion but it does say the foundation is suitable for all skin types including sensitive. It does not however rub off onto my clothes when I pull them off, so it must have some transfer resistance I guess.
I do love this foundation even with the minor flaws that I have noted. This is because it feels so good and looks right for my skin.. I would prefer not to have to do touch ups but I have always had to do that anyway so I don’t think I am losing out particularly. It would be nice if what they suggested, as in 24 hour matt, was true though.
The foundation has sun factor 15 in it, so a little added extra especially as I am diabolical at remembering face sun cream!
The product can be bought on various make up websites, however I suggest that you go to a Lancome make up bar, at least the first time to get your match. These can be found in House of Frazer and Debenhams plus a few other big retail shops. Or your could visit the website www.lancome.co.uk where you get a couple of free samples with purchases too.
For a 30ml bottle expect to pay about £28
Made in France and lasts 12 months from opening.
So overall would I recommend? Yes if you are prepared to take the 24hr no touch up bit with a pinch of salt. Maybe for others it will be just that.
Review maybe posted on ciao and dooyoo under the same username ☺
Theodore Boone by John Grisham
Theo is a young boy still at school who likes to act as a mini lawyer. Being a lawyer runs in the family, his parents parents are both lawyers and uncle Ike was a lawyer but is not longer practising. That said he keeps up to date with all that is going on in the judicial system and is more than competent at helping young Theo out where needed.
Theo likes his position at school as the go to lawyer - he helps out friends with legal issues of their families, offering advice which may not otherwise be found. This he probably gets from his parents who although busy and successful lawyers, still find the time to work for free a few hours at a refuge handing out food with a side dish of free legal advice.
In a small town when something big happens, everyone knows.
Mr Duffy is accused of killing his wife for the life insurance. The trial is big news and Theo wants in on it and acquires himself a seat at the trial curtesy of the Judge, along with his class mates for one of there legal study's lessons. However as intriguing as it is, Theo does not realise how involved he is about to get.
The trial is all but coming to an end and it seems like Mr Duffy is going to literally get away with murder.
It isn't until then Theo's friends cousin Julio an illegal immigrant, admits to seeing Mr Duffy coming out of house and dumping gloves in a trash can that all might be about to change, or is it? Can Theo convince an illegal immigrant to go to the police? Can Theo convince the Judge to look at supposed new evidence this late in the trial? Will anyone believe Theo, a child, with what he is saying anyway?
So will Mr Duffy get away with murder?
The story for me was quite engaging from the very beginning. I enjoyed the fact that I was learning a little about how the judicial system worked and the fact that it was a child, gave a novel take on the story.
The ending was not so good for me. I was left disappointed. I wanted to know what happened after the trial. They introduced a menacing character Omar half way through the story, but I felt he never really can to any fruition, so much more could have been done.
I would read further books by the author as up until the last chapter really, I enjoyed the book. The book is part of a series if Theodore Boone books by John Grisham.
Available on book sites and bookstores for around £6.00 in paperback, hard aback and Kindle.
Review maybe posted on ciao and dooyoo under the same username.
Little Face is the story of a lady called Alice.
Alice is married to a wealthy man called David a widower whose first wife Laura was murdered after they had separated.
You never really know what goes on behind the closed doors of a home and this is never more so than in the case of David and Alice. They appear from the outside a happy well off family with a young child and a new baby being assisted with whatever they need by a doting grandmother. Is that really what lies beneath? No, far from it.
Alice seems to have fallen for this persona in the beginning and merrily got married and became wife, stepmother, mother and daughter in law to all concerned. It isn't until Alice has baby Florence that little things begin to hint to Alice that all was not right.
Mother in law Vivienne is a woman who is as sharp in her demeanor as in her dress and controls each and every situation she encounters including the lives of Alice, David and Felix. Felix is David's son from his first marriage to Laura and spends his time with his grand mother when not at the private school that she enrolled him in.
Up until Alice has her baby everything seems to be well, Vivienne is buying and advising on everything the couple need and want for their new child. You as the reader get the hints then that she is a control freak with perhaps more of an agenda than one could imagine. Alice seems to be not concerned by this and when she has had Florence, she leans to Vivienne for support when she finds none in her husband.
Florence is the baby but is she Alice's baby?
When Alice returns home after leaving Florence for the first time with David, the story twists.
Alice swears blind the baby is not Florence. David is having none of it and becomes increasingly angry. As a reader you want to believe Alice but a little part of me thought is she right? Could this just be postnatal depression serving a cruel twist and making her delusional? Or is she right and that is not her baby and someone has stolen her? Did David know?
Alice enlists the help of Vivienne, strange as she is David's mother, but she believes that Vienne is a matter of fact person and will be hell bent on finding the truth whatever the cost.
Simon is the police officer sent to look into the case of missing Florence and has a bizarre infatuation with his newly acquainted Alice. Simon in turn has an admirer in his college Charlie and is somewhat bitter by the fact that Simon has his sights on Alice. This plays as a background to the story but does show how Simon's determination to believe in Alice helps solve the mystery.
Darryl is the man who is serving a prison sentence for the murder of Laura. Is he involved? How could he be he's in prison, but did he murder Laura in the first place or is the killer closer to home?
The story unfolds and the killer of Laura is revealed along with the story of whether or not this is Florence.
What the story does involve the reader in is the complex relationships between the characters and the psychological / emotional torture that some people endure and place upon others. The person who inflicts the most demeaning acts is two part where they born like that or made like that by some close, you never really get to find out - maybe it's a bit of both.
Overall a good psychological thriller.
Little Face by Sophie Hannah, available in paper/hard back and kindle from all good book stores for around £5.00 and under. Published by Hodder 2006.
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
The benefit range of beauty products are often a favourite of mine so when I bought a day cream from them I asked if they had a night cream too. The girl at the benefit counter said that they didn't do a specific night cream but that she uses and recommended the benefit moisturiser.
The cream comes in a glass pot with a screw lid in pale brown the whole design is simple, nice and reminds me a little of Art Deco style. It is the box and packaging that holds most of the product information
The box itself is lovely with a cute little string wrap around button to keep it shut and it's those little touches that puts benefit in a higher league than some other cosmetics for me.
The cream is pure white and of a thick creamy texture that is lovely to dap onto your skin and smooth's in quickly without any issues.
Being an intensely high moisturiser this is better as the girl suggested as a night cream or perhaps if you have dry skin. I tend to get dry skin sometimes after working a lot or walking the dogs in the winter cold and wind. I use this cream as a day cream in these times but alternate it with my normal day cream and find this works well to combat the ill effects of winter on my skin. The cream feels cool on application and a little really does go a long way, if you do use to much you end up with a greasy edge to your skin fine for night time but not day.
Make up glides onto this base very easily, whether that is foundation or a primer base.
On of it's aim is to provide immediate relief from dry skin and yes my skin does feel quenched on administering the cream. Another aim is to provide long lasting protection against dry skin and to be fair I think it does that too, but as previously said if you use it all the time it may feel too much.
It may seem a bit of a steep price at £27.50 For just over 48 grams but as you only use the cream sparingly because it is so moisturising it last much longer than some other creams on the market.
An advantage of this product for some maybe that it comes as part of a range with another moisturise lotion, a skin prep and an eye cream which all come in similar packaging which looks great on the dressing table. Again on this note they do a mini set, which is an ideal gift or test package to see if you like them.
Down sides for me is that it contains no sun factor, this is ok when I use it as a night cream but in the day I really need sun factor as I have pale skin. It also appears to contain has no anti aging properties. For me personally this is an issue, I need anti aging components in my creams now as I get older and although I may be prepared to accept this without as a night cream there are many other product which cater for my needs better. I suspect benefit are aiming there brand at a younger age bracket than myself and so do not necessarily see it as a primary issue.
Would I recommend? Yes but for a younger age range of teens to mid twenties and with dry or combination skin.
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
CAPSTORE PARCO FOR NESSTLE DOLCE GUSTO PODS
I chose this design for my pods as it is tall and compact in width and so fits in my very small kitchen. The dimensions are approximately 11 ½ cm width and 31 cm tall.
The pod holder itself is made of metal in a chrome finish and so fits in nicely with most kitchens. It has a circular base which underneath has a felt pad so that you don't scratch the kitchen surface when turning your holder around. The circle base swivels so that you can pick a pod from each of the four slots.
The pod holds 24 of Nescafé dolce gusto pods, these are inserted from the top and they slide down to the bottom where you pick one out when required. Occasionally if you have not lined up the pod with the runs correctly the pod ends up in the middle at the bottom which is a little annoying but you can just manage to get you hand in to pick it out again. I guess if you have really big hands you may have to tip it up, so make sure you aim is right to start with!
I tend to have a variety of pods but put the two pod flavours together for example, the milk pod then the flavor pod so it is simple when you want a drink.
To clean you just need to use a damp cloth and dry, the inside circle is a tad more difficult and collects dust more but if you feed a cloth through and out the other side I find it works well.
Made by Tavola Swiss, I bought mine from www.Amazon.co.uk for about £25, which I think, is a fair price for something that is going to last years.
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
I bought the bird table accessory kit by Tom Chambers when I bought my new bird table.
I had a standard bird table before but found that I was adding other bits around the garden like fat balls and the birds use my pond as a bath when the sprinkler is on. Buying this enabled me to have most things in the same place.
Bought at a local Wyevale garden centre for just £12.99 I think it is good value as when you break it down it means each piece costs just over £3.
The box is a mine of information, on the front it shows a small picture of the accessories attached to a bird table and what is included. On the side is a larger version of the picture showing in more detail where each item should be placed and on the opposite side a larger picture of each item explaining what they are for. On the back is a brief and simple set of instructions, which basically tells you to carefully screw the items to the bird table - really it's so simple anyone can do it.
What I do like on the back of the box is the tips they give you for feeding birds and the importance of keeping the bird table clean and free from rotting food to ensure birds health. Despite my aim to keep it all in one place the box advises against this to prevent overcrowding and I see there point, in the summer we had loads of birds all at the same time! We have now a few other bits in the hedge where there is a nest every year.
So what do you get in the accessory kit?
****Fine mesh seed tray****
This a small metal round dish with a mesh base. In here we place larger seeds and peanuts and it being on the outside of the bird table makes for better access for the pigeon and magpie that visit as they are a bit big to squash under the roof of the bird table. Easy to clean with a small brush which clears the pieces of left over food from the mesh.
The water dish is a clear plastic bowl which sits inside a metal ring which is screwed to the bird table. Very easy to clean as it simply lifts out and can be washed with warm soapy water.
****Bird feeder bracket****
The bracket is a large hook much like the ones you get for hanging baskets. It allows hanging bird feeder to be placed, making good use of one I already had.
****Four fat ball hooks****
The hooks are just that hooks like the ones you use in the home and neatly fit fat balls one at a time.
One of the things I like about the items is that they are made of a good quality metal that despite the wind and rain over the last 6 months have no sign of tarnish or rust and look pleasant in a metallic brown finish. I know you could use items from the home like the hooks and a hanger from a hanging basket but this just looks so much nicer and matches. If you did want to do that though you could and purchase the seed tray and water bath separately which is an option in the garden centres, but tends to work out a little more expensive. I have added a few other bits to my bird table.
I think if you love to have birds in you garden then this is an ideal adage to a standard bird table and gives the chance for a variety of food to be used and different platforms for the birds to engage in.
Review maybe posted on ciao and dooyoo under the same username
The road home by Rose Tremain was another challenge book for me. Not one of my usual picks but it has won prizes so got me intrigued.
The story is mainly about a man called Lev who is from Eastern Europe. You first meet Lev as he is on a bus to England seeking better fortune to enable a brighter life for his family back home after the death of his wife.
Lev sits next to a lady called Lydia who after numerous hours together on a bus, develop a brief and what was thought to be fleeting relationship. Even when she gives Lev her number in case he needs help, you don't expect it to go further.
Lev has arrived in England and it quickly becomes clear he is somewhat overcome by the hustle and bustle of London, with little money, no place to stay and no job it seems dismal. Lev is progressive in trying to acquire a job and accommodation, as he just has to remember his little girl Maya back home.
Lev initially homeless finds a job delivering leaflets but as pay is little he decides that he needs a little help and calls Lydia.
She sets him up with a flat share with an Irish divorcée who likes a bit too much to drink. They muddle through together and develop a beneficial relationship where by Lev assists Christy stay off the drink and Christy enlightens Lev to the English ways.
With a new place to stay Lev gets a new job at a restaurant kitchen and meets Sophie who he has a intimate relationship with but clearly it meant more to him than to her and it goes downhill. This is the only time when the author gives you another side to Lev, which is not so nice. Setting this aside Lev pushes on to pursue his goal of making money for his family back home, eventually hoping to go back. His goal changes after working in the restaurant and he not only wants to earn money but create a business to take back home.
Whether this happens and whether Lev makes it home you will have to read to find out!
The book itself is insightful to the immigrant worker and what it must feel like for them coming to this country without hardly anything in search of a better life. It also shows a degree of will power and stubbornness on the part of Lev to get himself to where he wants to be, especially as he has left his young child at home.
The narrative of going back to Lev's past and seeing how he coped with his dying wife is insightful to the story, along with the chats that he has every now and again with his friend Rudi from home. They keep you focused on what Lev's end game plan and his reasons for doing this.
It does have a tendency to be "to good to be true" aspect about some parts of the story, however I thing the author has done well in the earlier parts to show how little things can make or break people living on the edge of society and perhaps our intolerance to certain things.
It is a book I enjoyed and would recommend to others because it does make you thing about the story behind people lives.
Published by Vintage in 2007 and is available on Amazon and good book stores for around £3 - £7
Review may also be posted on ciao and dooyoo under the same username.
Ok so I know the program Metal Evolution is not going to appeal to the majority of people perhaps however for any serious metal music fan this is a right of passage I feel.
Metal Evolution is a documentary series made in 2011 by Banger Films Inc., aired on Sky TV. You may currently buy the DVD and Blu-ray version on Amazon for around £15.
The program is narrated by long-term heavy metal fan, called Sam Dunn who not only narrates it, but is also the creator and director along with Scot McFadyen plus wrote the series with Scot McFayden and Ralph Chapman.
So what's it all about? Heavy Metal music of course but not just the who's who of bands, this series takes a deeper look right from the start and peers into the history and family tree of metal - where did it come from and why?
Lets start at the very beginning. Where did heavy metal come from? It's been around in some way or form for about 40 years. Sam goes back to the roots talking to various band members and finds links between old blues music like Howlin Wolf who's lead singer has a unique gravel effect voice and some much older jazz musicians; this can be seen in some rock bands through the ages.
With regards to Jazz, Slayer's drummer says his idol was Buddy Rich because he played so fast and furious it was like no other person he had seen before. Slayer and Jazz who'd have thought!
Rock n Roll has to be in there doesn't it. It gave us the distortion sound by accident apparently, it's that sound effect noise that can be made with pedals nowadays with electric guitars. Here they give you a look inside the Marshall amp factory and go through the history of there coming about too and why they are still one of the major amplifier companies of the world today.
You can't mention guitars without mentioning Yngwie Malmsteen the legendary guitar player, so who is his idol? Paganini! A classical violinist? I hear you say; well Yngwie apparently liked the speed of his music and challenged himself to play the music on his guitar, I guess that's why he's so damn good at what he does and when you listen to his music you can hear the classical hints.
So is that the end of the classical link, no. Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford says that his icon is Pavarotti the opera singer no less for the deep and varied theatrical tones he can hit.
So why do we like heavy metal? They say it's because we are angry ..... I am just about to do my "now hang on just a minute" line, but Sam goes off to a neurological scientist and sort of proves it - dam you! Apparently the intensity and distortion of the sound turns off the conscious thought chemical in the brain and makes us less inhibited. I admit I like the music and it makes we want to have fun and let go and gives me at least a release from some off the issues that I have to deal with being calm and collected especially with work. As Slash from Guns n Roses says in the film " if there wasn't heavy metal there maybe a lot more violence between the 16-25 year old group" and I think he's right to a degree.
Many consider Black Sabbath to be the first real metal band, there first album also named Black Sabbath was like no other that had been heard before and allowed a whole new generation of music to spill out.
At the time when Black Sabbath came about the peace and hippy movement was under way, for many this was great but for some it just did not fit with they way they felt especially to an industrial inner city Birmingham. Black Sabbath managed to capture the feelings that people were going through and bring something new to the music scene. Ozzy Osbourne later went on to have his legendary solo career still going today and in recent years having a resurgence due to the reality show The Osbournes and his wife Sharon being on the X factor.
Live shows and touring have often been a big part of the metal scene right from the beginning. Alice Cooper set about the infamous horror type stag shows aiming to shock the audience, which it did. Nowadays bands still try to do this like Marilyn Manson but it is more difficult to achieve perhaps as what is shocking to an audience has shifted with the main stream media of television and internet. Perhaps this is also why bands tend to get blamed sometimes for the horrible things that happen as Marilyn Mason has; the columbine school shooting was placed at his feet when it later turned out neither children were fans of his. People jump on the bandwagon of hating something because they don't like or understand it. In the documentary I think you can see that it still hurts Manson to date and in a columbine documentary Manson was asked what he would say to the columbine children - "I wouldn't say a single word; I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what none did" A sad but truer word could not be said....
(Taken from wikipeadia)
Big acts like Slipknot and Rammstien now do not shock but they do have a large emphasis on putting on a experience for the crowd - Slipknot with there iconic masks which hid there identity for a while and Rammstien with theatrical and pyrotechnical effects. Having see Manson, Slipknot and Rammstien live I can vouch for the impressive stage shows.
Big tours are favour by bands such as Aerosmith who continue to trek around giving there fans what they want it's somewhat nice though I think though that in contrast long term bands like Motorhead still play very small venues like local leisure centers.
Make up - now here is the big divide! And it's not your hair parting.
Glam rock started with a bit of flashy clothes and eyeliner and some turned into Kiss, which heavily market their band on appearance and makeup. They have probably done it to the hilt with an excessive market campaign and very successfully profiting from it.
In the 80's and early 90's bands kind of went either way along with their allegiance of fans and never the two shall meet! Glam really came to the fore front when in the 80's MTV started up and the need for videos and giving something extra for the fans to watch and the vast array of bands appeared Poison, Ratt, Warrant, Motley Crue etc the list was gigantic - not many are around today some changed tactics and dropped some of the glam like Motley Crue and some slip and went on to other things. Rikki Rockett drummer of Poison moved sideways and made a success of building drums.
On the opposing end is thrash metal, fast and aggressive sounding gets you heart racing. These are the likes of Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeath all big bands still going strong today and outweighing some of the newbies. The rock mega tons are Metallica - started really heavy, went a bit ballad in the middle, even played with an orchestra but heading back to there roots.
So if glam went and slipped from top spot who did it to them? Most people feel it was Guns n Roses (the original) I was one of the ones that had a brief fling with glam quickly super imposed Guns n Roses into my brain (I know I am hinting my age here!) I love appetite for destruction and could and pretty much still can sing every word from every song on that album! My tastes nowadays diverse across the whole genre old and new bands.
So what else is there!! Surely there cant be much more you all though it was just metal....... Numetal with combos like Aerosmith and run dmc and of course grunge and Nirvana sadly gone to soon Kurt and the more power gothic types Nightwish which envelope female singers with theatrical/classical voices.
**** OVERALL ****
This whole series captivated me from start to finish it was like a blast from the past in some cases as I went tripping down memory lane.
The way the whole series is set out into methodical sections each episode is ideal and allows you to finish about one genre before moving onto the next, ideal if you stop start the dvd.
Sam makes the series much more compelling as you can see that he not only knows what he is talking about but also loves the music and it's not just about making a documentary for money - his interest comes through.
The documentary gives factual information alongside interviews and old clips.
I think this is an ideal DVD for a heavy metal fan - it has plenty for the older fans who will remember many of the bands and for newer fans, seeing where it all came from. This is an ideal DVD for music students with an interest in metal.
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
I am a great fan of the Treacle Moon selection of bath and shower gels and am gradually making my way through the range. My choice this time was Iced Strawberry Dream.
Treacle Moon is a owned by a company called Blue Orange who have apparently managed some big name brands over the years, yet the Treacle Moon selection seems small and more homely than big brands which gives it a more natural feel which I enjoy.
Treacle Moon is also British and does not test on animals. Foe further information see the website www.treaclemoon.net
The bottle is standard for Treacle Moon bath and shower gel, a 500ml clear plastic bottle with a black flip top lid. Easy to squeeze when the product gets a little low and the lid snaps shut so stops any leakage if tipped over. Being plastic it is recyclable too.
The gel is a sweet soft baby pink colour, which is very girly but gives a nice summer feel to the product. I like the idea that you can see the colour through the bottles as it looks lovely on the bathroom shelf and you can see when you need to buy some more.
On the bottle is a little passage of writing that reads like it comes from a book, these often give you a glance into the thoughts behind the idea for the gel I think and are nice to read. On the back gives you a full list of ingredients and how to use guide.
Using the gel is simple and the same as all the rest, just squirt a small amount onto a cloth or directly onto your skin and wash. A little does go a long way with the product and you get a better lather if applied to a washcloth I find. You get a soft hint of strawberry but it is very gentle and I find I need to take a good sniff to notice it, this improves if you run a little under the tap where you achieve a reasonable bubbly bath, but the smell could be a little stronger for me. Rinses quickly without any residue on bath, shower or me.
Afterwards I can't say I notice the smell on my skin but this doesn't bother me really as I use a body lotion but it would be nice if they did a body butter in this flavor to use in combination - I don't believe they do or at least I have not found one yet.
Makes a lovely gift for people.
****THE COST AND AVALIBILITY****
At £2.99 for 500mls I believe this is a great value for what looks like and feels like a high quality product on a cheaper price.
You can buy Treacle Moon products from Tesco and from some websites such as Amazon and there own website as above, but Tesco is the main distributor.
This is a limited edition product so may not be around forever ☹
P.s apologies if some info on brand is repeated as I review more of Treacle Moon products
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
Damage by Josephine Hart published in 1991 this book is part of the World Book Night 2013
Damage is the first novel of several written of this author from Ireland, who has sadly since died.
The book was also made into a film staring Jeremy Irons.
This book was given to me to read as part of a book reading challenge and although slightly intrigued after reading the back cover it is probably not something I would have chosen for myself.
The book is set around two main characters Anna and Stephen. With various family members brought in.
Stephen is a man in his fifties who began life as a GP but found his way (helped by his father in law) into politics which although not particularly enjoying it seemed to excel.
He is married to Ingrid a strong yet unassuming character who has a deep bond with her politician father. Between them they have two children Martyn and Sally.
They bumble along in what appears to be a wonderful life of health, careers, money and children. But life is never a perfect as it seems from the outside, being content is great but Stephen feels there is something missing, has he settled for what he knows everyone expects of him because he can't find what he is looking for? What if he found the excitement he was looking for? Would it be all it's cracked up to be?
Anna is the other side of the coin; she knows what she wants and how to get it. Working as a journalist she is first brought into the story line by becoming Martyns girlfriend. This alarms his mother and sister as before he has had many girlfriends all blonde, young and last not long. Anna however is older, brunette and has been there for more than a few weeks. This on it's own is not to daunting but Martyn seems cagey when asked about her.
Stephen meets Anna at a function and has an unusual attraction to her. He feels a connection like he has never felt before and it appears Anna feels the same. It was not long, a few brief encounters later and they embarked on a love affair that would end in tragedy.
The plot thickens as Anna reveals little about her past and when she does it has a sinister appeal to it especially when you discover what happened with her brother Ashton, who later died.
The psychological thriller is very much that very descriptive in nature the book leads to see how Stephen has become infatuated with this young women, who warned him that she would bring him pain in his life.
A dark seductive read which is quite racy in parts and leaves you feeling sad at the end but I'm not sure whom for more to be honest! The betrayed wife? The disloyal husband? The lost soul? Or the person who ends up dead because of it all?
In all although I was a little skeptical that this book was for my taste it was an interesting read that I would recommend if you like a racy, psychological thriller.
Currently available on Amazon available in paperback, hardback, kindle, VHS and DVD - prices range from £5 - £25
Also available on EBay second hand from 99p
Review maybe posted on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.
I like to use a face wash in the mornings to help wake me up and feel fresh faced for the day, well that's the idea anyway.
I tend to buy no particular product for this purpose just what seems good at the time.
What first attracted me to the product was it's bright and vibrant colour - a yellow with a delicate pearl effect and tiny beads of darker yellow mixed in. Reading the front of the bottle it enticed me in in more by saying it was for "morning energy which wakes you up and brightens you skin" they had kind of got me there already. The only slight reservation I had was that the brand clean and clear is marketed at teenagers really so I wasn't sure it was going to suitable for my skin. I decided to read the details before impulse buying based on the colour and promises.
*** THE CLAIMS ***
The product claims to have a gentle oil free action, which not only cleanses your skin but also brightens it.
Aside from the more chemical ingredients found listed on the bottle the wash includes lemon and papaya extracts. I like the idea of fruity citrus components as they immediately make me feel energized in mood and I hope that this would also be the case for my face and morning get up and go.
*** WHAT I THINK ***
The colour is enticing in the morning it is fresh and colourful to start the day rather than a bland foam and although it is supposed to have a lemon fragrance, it is not as apparent as I expected, very mild in fact which is slightly disappointing.
The wash foams well with a little water and applying is easy plus simple to wash off. Do avoid the eyes though as even being a gentle wash it stings if it gets in your eyes so take care and clear with plenty of water if done.
I can see that the was could be used both day and night as indicated on a daily basis being so gentle however I prefer to just use it in the morning, favoring a makeup remover in the evening.
The bursting beads are a great idea and look appealing in the bottle but in reality you done get them all, a lot end up stuck in the push action lid which is a bit of a shame.
*** OVERALL ***
Overall the wash is gentle and does not dry out my skin. I am not overly convinced it actually brightened my skin, but it did brighten my mood that has to count for something! As for waking me up I think some of that may have been down to the fact I use cold water rather than the product.
That said I did like the product and would recommend it for a gentle bright mood lifting wash in the morning, if you take the energizing bit with a pinch of salt.
The product can be found in most large supermarkets and chemists retailing at around £3-£4 for 150mls so it is a bit more than some others.
There is also a ginseng variation which I wouldn't mind trying. Lasts 12 months from opening and is a Johnson and Johnson product.
Review maybe found on dooyoo and ciao under the same username.