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My kitties must be about the most spoiled on the planet, as I'm always on the lookout for new tasty treats for them. Because they're so spoiled, there are certain brands that they turn their noses up at and certain ones they're happy to eat. Luckily they deign to accept Dreamies and in fact it's probably their number one choice. Their favourite flavour is chicken which comes in the bright orange packet. Dreamie also makes beef, cheese, and salmon treats which my cats also enjoy. However they tend to scarf the chicken ones up the fastest so these are the treats they get most often nowadays. There are never any treats left when they get these. I just sprinkle them onto the kitchen floor and the cats hoover them up, leaving no mess at all. Compared to the whiskas treats they used to get, these treats make no claims to be good for your cat's teeth. However, I can't see why they wouldn't have the same effect as the whiskas dentabits as they are both hard, crunchy treats that might help shift tartar from cats' teeth, just as any dry food would. So if you only feed wet food to your cats you might be best off giving them some of these treats from time to time to keep their teeth in good condition. One thing I prefer about the Dreamies treats over the whiskas ones is that these say they are appropriate for cats and kittens, while the whiskas ones are only meant for adult cats. Since I recently got a kitten, this is important to me, as it's not fair for her not to get any treats! Dreamies cost around £1.49 and are widely available. I buy mine from either Tesco's or Pets at Home. They come in a resealable packet so they stay fresh. The only downside about them I can see is that they contain more vegetable protein and cereals than they do meat, which seems strange as cats are meant to be carnivores. However, my babies don't seem to mind this so I can't really complain either I suppose.
I got the KS360 a few months ago when I found it on sale for around £60. Now the price has dropped even more and you can get excellent deals on this phone if you shop around. I think the reason why these phones haven't held their value better is the fact that there are so many reviews on them that state they're quite buggy. When I first got my phone I thought it was fantastic and couldn't understand what all the negative press was about. Now I know. First, the good points. You get a lot of phone for your money with this one, as it has so many features that you don't get in a lot of phones in this price range. It has a digital camera that takes decent pictures, video, an FM radio, and access to the internet. It also has a little pop-out keyboard to help you send messages and surf the web. I bought this phone originally due to all of these features, including the radio. However, it turns out that there isn't any FM reception available where I work, so this was a waste for me. I got my phone in basic black, but it also comes in blue and pink. I found the pink too girly even for me, and the blue doesn't really suit me either. The black is quite businesslike and would be a great-looking phone for a professional to use for work. However, even though it looks a bit impersonal its sleek design means I'm quite proud to use it for personal as well as business calls. Now on to the problems. After about two months of using the phone (and I'm not a heavy user, sending a couple of texts a day and maybe making a voice call about 3 times a week) my phone started acting strange. When I make a call, it takes about 30 seconds to start transmitting the sound of the other person speaking to me. Therefore if I make a call, the other person will answer and say "hello, hello?" and then hang up. If I'm lucky I'll hear them before they hang up and can then apologise for my phone's behaviour! Needless to say this is extremely inconvenient! I have no problem with any other features on the phone and find it's great for surfing the internet. The menus are very intuitive and the keyboard allows me to type much more quickly than I could with my old phone that only had the traditional numbers on it. Typing on this keyboard is really easy as the layout is just like that of a regular keyboard, meaning as a touch typist I know where all the keys are and can therefore go fairly fast with it. All said, if it weren't for the problems making calls this would be an excellent phone. However, even with all the bells and whistles, nothing can really excuse a phone that can't easily be used for making phone calls! Therefore I have to give this phone only two stars. If it worked perfectly it would get 5, but having read other reviews saying there were frequent faults with these phones, I don't think I'm the only one to experience problems.
I used to be one of those people who ridiculed the expense of these straighteners and thought it was insane to pay the better part of £100 for something that other brands with less snob appeal were selling for £20. For years I made do with Babyliss straighteners with very little complaint. But one day, a few months ago, I decided I just couldn't deny it any longer. I wanted a pair of GHDs, and I couldn't rest until I got them. So I did. And I'm so, so glad. These straighteners are absolutely perfect. They're just so well made and they straighten my hair so much better than anything else before them. Maybe my favourite feature is the fact that they beep when they heat up to the correct temperature, thus taking the guesswork out of knowing when they're ready. While waiting the few seconds for them to heat up, I spray my hair with the GHD heat protector spray and brush it through. Then I go to work with these babies. When I first got them I used to section my hair carefully with clips and then just straighten a section at a time, letting each one loose in turn. Now I've gotten lazy and just go around my head, grabbing sections and straightening them, and then straightening them again if I haven't managed to get close enough to the root to get that perfectly flat look on top. I find this sloppy technique works almost as well and is much easier and faster than the way I used to do it. Since getting these and giving up my Babyliss, I have had many compliments on my hair. It stays straight throughout the day and I don't even have to redo it in the evening if I'm going out. There's no frizz and my hair can even stand up quite well to the humidity we've had this summer. If I want an extra-straight look then I'll use a silicone gel to smooth my hair after straightening but there's really no need. I've read a lot of reports about GHDs breaking, the plates slipping off, etc. Well, I haven't had any of these problems and even though I admit I have only had them a few months, I do use them everyday and so far they look absolutely as good as new. Another thing I'm very pleased with is that they haven't damaged my hair much at all. My hair is really fine and limp and easy to damage. Therefore I was worried about ending up with straw for hair, but I haven't noticed anything but a few split ends - nothing but a trim every couple of months won't cure. I also love the fact that these GHDs will shut off after 30 minutes of inactivity even if you leave them on. This gives me peace of mind as I'm one of these people who often finds herself sitting at work wondering and worrying about whether she switched off her appliances that morning! All in all, these straighteners are a lot more expensive than other kinds but they're well worth the difference in price. I haven't touched my Babyliss since getting these and I wouldn't ever want to go back. Although the price seems outrageous, I find they really are worth it.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel by Mohsin Hamid that was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2007. It's a slim volume that's deceptively easy to read but will keep you thinking about it for a long time after you turn the last page. The story is told from the perspective of Changez, a young man from Pakistan whose intelligence and hard work propel him into an elite group of international students who are able to obtain a scholarship for an Ivy League education in the United States. Changez leaves his family in Pakistan to attend Princeton and then he settles in New York City, working for a highly respected valuations firm. Things appear to be going extremely well for Changez - he has an expense account and a high salary that enables him to live the American dream. He also starts going out with a young woman, Erica, but her inability to let go of the past poisons their relationship - Erica's childhood sweetheart died of cancer and she suffers serious emotional problems due to this. Then September 11th hits and Changez, by all appearances out of nowhere, finds that he feels glad. This is the first real hint in the novel that Changez has anything other than respect and appreciation for the chance he has been given in America. Instead, the reader slowly begins to realise that Changez must resent the fact that everything comes easily to his American peers, but for the people of Pakistan life is a great struggle. And this despite the fact that Pakistan is an ancient civilisation with a long, proud history. Changez means "change" in French, and the entire plot of the book hinges on the way Changez changes due in part to the events of September 11th. While the change begins internally when he feels this unexpected happiness about the terrorist attacks, it is compounded by the way he begins to be treated by others around him. Racist incidents and American flags everywhere combine to make him feel more and more like a stranger in a strange land. While once he wanted nothing more than to fit in with the Americans around him, he begins to want to stand out for who he is. In an act of provocation, he stops shaving his beard, and sure enough nearly all of his formerly friendly American colleagues begin to view him and treat him with suspicion. The novel can be read on so many different levels and while the story itself is interesting it's the meaning behind the story that really makes you think. One reviewer for the New York Times pointed out that the meaning one finds in this book can be a sort of "Rorschach test" for one's own personality. For example, the character Erica, who is unable to let go of the glorious past that she lived with her ex-boyfriend who has since died - to me she represents the golden age of America. This former incarnation of the country welcomed immigrants from the old world who sought a new life, battled Nazi Germany, and was a force for good in the world. But this former America has now died, and yet its citizens continue to live in the past, unable to see their country for what it truly is today. Others who read the book may interpret her character differently - perhaps she could represent Pakistan which also had its golden age, for example. The way this novel is told is very unusual. It's a monologue delivered by Changez to an American stranger at market in Lahore. The stranger is jumpy and clearly uncomfortable but he spends hours with Changez listening to his story. Interpreting the reason why this stranger sits and listens and who he is may reveal a little bit about where one's personal loyalties lie. The Reluctant Fundamentalist reminds me a bit of The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing in its theme. Both books are about someone who is seemingly a good person become corrupted by the environment they find themselves in and end up committing acts they would otherwise seem incapable of. The Good Terrorist is written in a very different style, however - it's a detailed novel that takes a long time over character development and events, whereas The Reluctant Fundamentalist is striking in its spareness of detail. The way in which The Reluctant Fundamentalist reveals something about the inner beliefs of its reader reminds me of The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I highly recommend this novel to anyone with any interest in world affairs who wants a novel that's easy to read, but far from simplistic.
With its frightening cover and "in your face" title, as soon as you pick up this book you know you're in for something a little different, and probably a bit scary. Grotesque is a shocking, disgusting, horrifying, and very dark novel. And I loved it. Grotesque was written by Natsuo Kirino, a Japanese writer who has gained a cult following for her crime novels that go way beyond most of the other novels in the genre in terms of characterisation and motivations. Upon reading another of Natsuo Kirino's books, Out, I immediately became hooked on her style of writing and decided to read as many of her books as I can, given that most of them have not yet been translated from the Japanese. One of the few that has been translated is Grotesque. Grotesque tells the story of some of the girls that are admitted to the elite Q high school for girls in Tokyo. In this rarefied setting, it seems that the girls would only have superficial worries. Which school club to join, whether they have the right designer clothes, and whether they are in with the cool group or orbiting as outsiders. But these seemingly small troubles mixed with the warped personalities of some of the students grow into something much sinister. As you learn right from the beginning of the book, two of the girls grow up to become prostitutes who are then murdered. What amazes me the most about Kirino's books is the way she is able to write about small details of a character's life and use them depict the raging turmoil that's going on inside her mind. We can almost smell the antiseptic frugality of Kazue's parents home, taste the packets of dried squid that she buys as nearly her only sustenance, and feel the eyes of other students and colleagues drilling into her as they look at her with contempt. Grotesque is not a book everyone would enjoy. For one thing, it is very explicit in a way that would probably turn many readers off. For example, we learn the details of the interactions between prostitutes Yuriko and Kazue and their customers. These details become even more sickening as the women spiral further and further downwards, sinking to new lows in the types of customers they see and the acts they perform with them. Another issue with the book is that it becomes less believable towards the end than it did in the beginning, and the story is never wrapped up as neatly as I had hoped for. I expected to see the motives of the narrator revealed in greater detail, for example, and this never happened. I felt the slight disappointment in the ending was the same as that I felt when reading Out, another of Kirino's novels, so perhaps this is part of her writing style to never give a neat ending, but instead leaving the reader to think about what happened and ponder the motivations for themselves. As someone who is interested in Japanese culture this book enabled me to see the underside of this society that other contemporary Japanese novelists such as Haruki Murakami with his more storybook style of writing never quite reveal. This novel was a fascinating look at the darker side of life that I will not forget anytime soon.
I can't remember exactly when it was that the stick blender replaced the jug blender on most of the cooking shows on television or in the kitchen of most of my friends. However, thank goodness it did as it's so much more convenient to use. I started using one when I went to my friend's house to help prepare dinner. She had a Kenwood and I used it to make soup, and it turned the whole experience into a breeze. I immediately went out and bought one myself. I chose the Kenwood HB300 as it comes with a blending beaker, a little pot with a blade inside for chopping, and a nifty little whisk attachment as well - for some reason these aren't mentioned in the desciption though. To use the stick blender, all you do is put the stick into the pot of soup (although it shouldn't be too full or it will overflow) and press the on button. In seconds you have a creamy soup with no lumps. It used to be that to perform this same task with any reasonably large quantity of soup you needed to pour a bit of the soup at a time into a blender, blend, and then pour into another bowl and repeat. There is very little washing up and very little bother. I also love to use mine to make excellent fruit smoothies. It can even handle rock-hard frozen fruit like berries to make your drinks extra refreshing. To use the whisk attachment, you simply twist the blender bit off and the whisk bit on. You can then make the most delicious omelettes that are light and fluffy with very little work. The whisk can also be used to make meringues and anything else you can think of. It isn't powerful enough to mix something like cookie dough, though. The only thing about this blender that disappointed me was the attachment with a blade inside. This broke almost immediately after I started using it. The blade just refused to go around and no matter how many times I tried to fix it I couldn't. It may have been due to putting thick mixtures in the pot and trying to blend them as I think a little plastic part broke although I couldn't figure out exactly what was wrong with it. Anyway, I find my food processor to be much more appropriate for any chopping tasks so this particular attachment was a waste of time to me. I paid only £20 for this hand blender and feel it was extremely good value, even taking into account the fact that one of the attachments broke. I would recommend that every keen chef who likes to cook from scratch buy one of these as it will make your life much easier. I only wish I had gotten one sooner. The only thing I would say is that you need to be extremely careful when using this as the blade is very sharp and there are no safety mechanisms to stop it from slicing through any stray finger that might get in its way.
Globalisation, conspiracy, and a secretive and shadowy business that is compared to the CIA and sound like the kind of entity that could be plotting the New World Order. These are the themes that drew me to "The Business" and as thrilling as they sounded, the book ended up leaving me cold. Iain Banks is one of my favourite authors, as is his alter ego the science fiction writer Iain M. Banks. My particular favourites of his are The Crow Road and The Player of Games. Therefore I expected that I would love "The Business" as the subject matter also looked interesting. The story is told from the perspective of Kate Telman, a woman who was picked out as a child from her council estate and groomed to become a top executive in The Business. She becomes involved in their plans to take over a small country in order to have greater political power, be able to issue passports, and conduct all of their offshore banking and business dealing in privacy in one location. They also hope to gain a seat at the United Nations. However, the plans for the takeover are not straightforward and there are many twists and turns along the way. However, the problem with this book is that none of the characters are particularly intriguing or realistic enough to gain the reader's sympathy. Kate Telman, the main character, is a bit of a stereotypical smart-mouthed and plucky executive. Her best friend Luce who she only ever seems to speak to on the telephone provides the voice of a devil on her shoulder tempting her to be even more daring than she is. While Luce is quite funny, she's also a stereotypical loud-mouthed American type and isn't a terribly realistic character. Add to that the very dull details about what Kate is eating and wearing, the descriptions of hotels and business travel, and the far-fetched and convoluted plot that doesn't seem to go anywhere much until the very end of the book at you're left with a bit of a yawn-fest. I did manage to finish this book but there were several times while reading it that I felt tempted to just cut my losses and walk away. While the last 100 pages of the book were definitely the best, even they weren't worth the struggle of getting there and I do wish I had stopped reading instead of wasting my time getting through. It's quite surprising to me that an author who could write such intricate and creative novels such as The Player of Games could come up with something quite so dull. However I suppose everyone has their off times and if this is the first book of his you've read then please don't let it put you off him in general.
I always seem to be dieting and when I am, I tend to rely quite heavily on weight watchers products. Generally I find them to be of good quality and nearly as good as the "real" versions of the foods they are substituting for. I love their cakes and yogurts, so when I saw these frozen desserts I was thrilled and decided to try them. When I opened them up and saw the clear plastic containers with the peel-off plastic tops I was slightly disappointed because the plastic looks a bit cheap. I suppose you could spoon them out of the plastic into a bowl but I decided to just take the easy way out and eat them from the plastic pot. The main thing I was worried about was the taste, anyway. And the taste is....really good. There is a lot going on in each pot - creamy mousses that are flavoured with banana and toffee, swirls of rich thick toffee and little slivers of white and toffee chocolate on top. The base is made of a biscuit that tastes a bit like cardboard and is my least favourite part of this dessert. You really do need to have a major sweet tooth to enjoy these as they are a bit sickly. I find the portions fairly large, especially for a weight watchers product which are usually tiny. Eating one of these definitely eliminates my cravings for dessert. My boyfriend also enjoys these but unlike me he prefers to take them out of the freezer half an hour before eating them so that they defrost and taste more like mousse. I like them totally frozen so they're more like ice cream. Either way they're very good. I think they're nice with a sliced banana in a bowl with the frozen dessert spooned on top. This is good for stretching these out if you have a big appetite and also adds something slightly healthy to alleviate the guilt of eating pure junk food. These ice cream desserts contain about 160 calories and 3 weight watchers points and come in boxes of two. Quite frequently a box will be on sale at Tesco's for £1 and it's definitely worth waiting for the sales and stocking up. If like me you don't have much room in the freezer, it helps to take these out of the box and throw the box away before freezing them.
Recently The Body Shop decided to bring back some of the products that it had discontinued over the years, mostly dating back to the 1980s when the Body Shop was a real purveyor of natural beauty products rather than the chemical-laden stuff they tend to sell today. The products that they've brought back are now grouped together as "Anita's Favourites" on their Web site. They're named this for the founder of the company, Anita Roddick Why she discontinued them if they were her favourites is anyone's guess, but what matters is that they're now back, if only for a limited time. I placed an order for several of these "favourites", one of which was the carrot moisture cream. This cream appealed to me because I have very dry skin and the reviews I read on the Body Shop web site and here on Dooyoo indicated this would be a good choice for me. I wasn't disappointed. The cream, like the other Anita's favourites, comes in a retro-type packaging that looks very plain by today's standards - just a boring green label that doesn't make the product look particularly appealing. Opening the pot, you can see a light orange cream inside that looks nice and fluffy and light. The orange colour did worry me a bit when I first saw it but after applying I was happy to find that my skin wasn't orange at all. I was also happy to note that the cream didn't smell at all like carrots, which was a big relief. It does smell quite woodsy, like freshly cut pine I would say. It's a pleasant smell but not overwhelming in any way. The cream itself is definitely great for my dry skin. I put it on and my skin stays hydrated for most of the day without the need to use a face oil under it, which I usually have to do with most daytime moisturisers. At the same time, my face doesn't look oily with this on. And it's a good base for foundation or you can just wear it on its own. This moisturiser costs £3.99 but I was lucky enough to get mine in a buy one get one free sale. This sale is now finished but hopefully it will come on again. If not, though, £3.99 is still a great price for a day moisturiser! Overall, I'm very pleased with this moisturiser. I hope the Body Shop continue to sell this along with many of the other Anita's favourites that I have also bought and enjoyed. I highly recommend this to people with dry skin, particularly those on a budget.
After hearing so many people recommend Ian Rankin, I decided to give him a try. I picked "The Falls" for the simple reason that a friend offered to lend me a copy. I enjoyed every minute of the book and am now ready to read more Rankin. The Falls is a crime novel set in Edinburgh and is one of Rankin's Rebus novels. Although it's not the first in the series (that would be Knots and Crosses, and The Falls is number 12), it was very easy to get into the book without having read the others and I didn't have any trouble figuring out who everyone was. The book is about a student, Philippa Balfour, who goes missing just before going to meet a group of her friends. Philippa, or Flip as she's known to her friends, isn't just an ordinary student but the daughter of a very rich banking family with an intriguing history. A crude handmade miniature coffin is found near her home after she goes missing very similar to those found when Burke and Hare were on the loose in Edinburgh. And in addition, it seems Flip was caught up in an internet game run by someone who will only identify himself as the Quizmaster. Inspector Rebus follows up on the coffin clues which lead him everywhere from an eccentric woman's pottery studio to the Edinburgh museum. Out of his element with the computer games, he lets DC Siobhan Clarke examine the evidence from Quizmaster. But does Clarke get too caught up in the game for her own good? What I love most about this novel is the realistic portrayal of the characters on the police force. Everyone is acting for their own very understandable motives and everything fits together so that they are both cooperating and conspiring against each other - and sometimes both at the same time. There are so many well-rounded characters to get to know here, each with their own all too human flaws but most of them working towards a common good - to catch whoever harmed Phillipa Balfour. Of course, this wouldn't be a crime novel if there weren't a few baddies thrown into the mix as well. Another aspect of this novel that's highly enjoyable is the use of Edinburgh as the backdrop. The city really comes alive and is portrayed with both love and hate. Yes, it's' a beautiful place steeped in history but looking at it with Inspector Rebus's eyes you can't help but see it as a stark and desperate place full of sad stories and old ghosts. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers. This is up there with the best of what the Scandinavians can offer, and I'm glad there are over a dozen other Rebus novels left for me to enjoy.
I am a huge fan of the Body Shop's body butters, and when they recently offered a special 2 for 1 deal on their winter skin essentials, I decided to stock up. I chose the Hemp Body Butter because it states that it's meant for very dry skin, and that's definitely me. I am always looking for moisturisers that are extremely thick and creamy and this body butter does the trick wonderfully. I got off to a bad start with this body butter because I ordered online and when it arrived in a soft padded envelope, the bottom of the tub was cracked open and the body butter had leaked all over the place. So I emailed the Body Shop customer service and immediately got a very helpful email back saying they would send out a replacement right away, or if I wanted I could have my money back. Excellent result - I chose the replacement body butter and feel very pleased with their customer service. So on to the product itself. It comes in a plastic tub with a huge picture of a pot leaf on it! I will be hiding this one in the bathroom cabinet and will also not be wearing it to work because it really does smell a lot like the leaf does - remembering this from my university days when this scent would linger in the hallways sometimes! So this is one for the weekend only. However, I really do love this product. It's a light green in colour and very rich and thick. I apply it all over my body after my bath and before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning my skin is as smooth as a baby's and very, very soft. This is a miracle product for me and I wish I could wear it during the week, but in my very conservative workplace I don't dare! This body butter normally costs around £12 for a large tub from the Body Shop. However, you can buy it for a lot less if you watch out for deals. A great way to do this is to go to the moneysaving expert web site and keep an eye on their "Grabbit while you can" forum which often lists great prices on Body Shop stuff. Or if you're too impatient for that, go ahead and buy it, but go through Quidco for about 8% cashback!
What would happen if Pippi Longsticking, the girl from the Astrid Lingren children's books, grew up? Well, according to Stieg Larsson, she would become the girl with the dragon tattoo. Larsson modeled his main character after Pippi, a girl who did as she pleased and didn't worry about what adults thought of her behavior. Salander, the girl in Larsson's novel, doesn't care what people think of her either. She lives her life according to her own rules, and does so extremely well to the point that I found myself admiring her very much. On the surface, Larsson's book is one in a long line of Swedish thrillers where a serious crime drives the plot forward as the main characters try to solve the mystery. But this book is so much more than a simple thriller. Larsson said that he wrote in order to help society improve itself by holding up a mirror to it. He did this by showing people's motivations and actions in different situations very realistically. But his most effective device is Salander who does only what she thinks is right without worrying about how she will be judged. Therefore the person who society judges as the most immoral is actually shown to be by far the most ethical and moral person around. This is not to say that the book is boring or moralistic - this is very far from the truth! You have an unsolved murder, political scandals, computer hackers and lesbian rockers so how could it be boring? The other main character, Larsson's alterego the journalist Blomquist, is also a very sympathetic and interesting character, although he doesn't always make the right choices perhaps, the way that Salander does. I found this novel impossible to put down and raced through it in record time. And then I immediately went out and purchased the two additional books in the trilogy. It's very sad that Larsson died after finishing the third novel in the series as he was planning to write more, and the world is a poorer place without these additional books of his in it. I highly recommend The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. You can buy it on Amazon for £3.86 including delivery at the moment. I truly envy those who haven't yet read this book as you have a good few hours of serious enjoyment ahead of you!
I decided to treat myself to some Moringa products after reading about them in a magazine and seeing the very positive reviews for them here on this site. As I love the Body Shop products in general, I felt sure I would love this one too. Unfortunately while I do like it, I feel it's not one of their best offerings for me and won't be buying it again. This review is for the body butter. The Moringa body butter comes in a large plastic tub that's yellow and has a sticker on top of it with some white flowers on it. I had never heard of Moringa before seeing it associated with the Body Shop, but I looked it up and apparently it's a type of flowering tree from the tropics. I would imagine the white flowers on the sticker look like the flowers you'd see on a Moringa tree. To use the body butter you just scoop some out of the tub with your fingers and then rub it on your skin. I rub it all over but you don't need to use much as it's so thick, so the tub will last ages anyway. I particularly concentrate on applying this to the dryest parts of my body like my elbows, upper arms and upper thighs and it sinks in very well. The thing I'm not wild about with this one is the smell. I know everyone else seems to love this scent but I find it rather cloying and old-fashioned. It's just a light, flowery scent that you might expect an older person to be wearing in my opinion. It's certainly different from the usual fruity or home baking scents the Body Shop do, but I prefer their other scents a lot better. My favourites are their shea butter and cocoa butter. This moringa stuff is just too strong for me and it clashes with my perfume for that reason. Also, I find the colour as well as the scent quite artifical and plasticky, which is another point that puts me off. So although this body butter does moisturise quite well, I won't be buying it again. If you do want some (and so many people seem to love it!), you can buy a large tub for £12. However, there are so many good deals to be had on the Body Shop at the moment that I recommend looking at the Moneysaving experts forum before you buy anything from there, as you can find codes for money off making their products a much better deal.
I had received a pack of The Body Shop's Africa Spa products as a gift some time ago but have only recently gotten around to trying them out. One of the items I received was this Spa Wisdom Africa Spa Salt Scrub. I don't know why I waited so long as this is now one of my favourite products from the Body Shop. This salt scrub comes in a very nice-looking glass jar that I'm definitely going to wash out and reuse when I'm done with the scrub as it's such nice quality. When you open the jar you can smell the scrub inside which is creamy and sweet and smells like home-baking. It's a very relaxing scent and immediately puts a smile on my face each time I use it. To use the scrub, you just scoop some out onto your hands and, after washing your body with soap, you rub it all over your skin, especially on dry areas. Another great way to use this is to wear a pair of those scratchy exfoliating gloves when you rub this in. I actually think it works much better with exfoliating gloves because the exfoliation power of the scrub alone is not that high. It's quite oily instead of being grainy which is great for my dry skin, but it needs a little extra help to exfoliate well and a pair of these gloves can provide this. Unfortunately you'd have to buy the gloves separately because they don't come with this scrub, but the Body Shop do sell them. One great thing about this scrub is that it doesn't sting when you use it like other salt scrubs can. I've used salt scrubs in the past that seem to find every little nick or cut in my skin I didn't know I had and end up stinging like anything. This stuff doesn't do that, thank goodness. Perhaps it doesn't contain as much salt as other scrubs do. After I've used this my skin is soft and smooth and smells lovely and sugary. The effect lasts quite well and even allows me to skip my all-over moisturiser that I usually have to put on after a bath or shower.
I was looking for a replacement for a more expensive brand of leave-in conditioner when I came across this product from Aussie. As a fan of their "3-minute miracle," I decided this was worth a try. I'm really pleased with it and am definitely going to keep using it. My hair is fine and damaged due to colouring and heat-styling. I shampoo and condition it but need something extra afterwords to keep it in decent shape, so leave-in conditioner is definitely for me. However, as my hair is fine I need something that won't weigh it down, which is why this lightweight conditioner is perfect for me. The conditioner comes in a fairly unattractive spray bottle that has the Aussie logo and typical style of all their bottles. I have been buying the 3-minute miracle for many years and know they haven't changed their style in over a decade. It's easy to find it on the shelf because of that but really I think their bottles look old-fashioned and boring and should be updated. It doesn't really matter much, though, as I didn't buy it to look at and admire but to use! I towel-dry my hair and then spray this on afterwards. I suppose I use about 5-6 spritzes after each wash. One thing I really like about this is the fact that it's in a spray bottle so I never have to actually touch the product. This is great because when I'm applying all my potions and lotions after the bath I find I have to wash my hands very often as I don't want my body lotion on my face, my face cream on my hair, etc. Since this is a spray it's one less handwashing which may sound like a minor point but my dry hands are certainly very thankful for it. The scent of this product is pleasant. It's a light floral smell that is certainly inoffensive and it's not cloying or sweet. Also it's not too strong so it won't get in the way of any other perfume or scent you may be wearing. When I first started using this product I wasn't really convinced it did much because it's so light and isn't creamy and slick like other conditioners. However, having used it for about 3 weeks now I find that my hair is in much better shape than it used to be. When I straighten it, it stays straighter for longer, and it's also nice and smooth instead of frizzy most mornings when I wake up. This product costs around £3.49 but you can often find it on offer at Tesco with other Aussie products at 2 for £5. I think it's a real bargain and will definitely be buying it again.