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thehonesttruth

thehonesttruth
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Member since: 01.04.2004

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      06.03.2015 15:49
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      Advantages

      • "Lovely sparkle effect"

      Disadvantages

      • pricey

      A fab sparkle nail effect

      Having finally, at the age of 32, gained the ability to paint my nails without making an awful mess, I decided it was time to graduate from my cheap and cheerful nail varnishes used for experimenting and treat myself to something designed for longer wear. Having read many reviews of Nails Inc products before, I was fairly assured they were of good quality, and purchased a few couple of bottles of polish.

      They are not cheap, at around £12 in Boots, so I spent time selecting shades I knew were wearable, and ended up buying a bottle of Black Taxi, and upon recommendation of the consultant in Boots, a bottle of Burlington Arcade, a sparkly overcoat designed to be worn over another shade to achieve a sparkly nail effect.

      Like all Nails INC products, these two are names after London landmarks, and with Burlington Arcade historically having been a place to purchase luxury jewellery, it is fitting that this sparkly nail varnish bears this name.

      Essentially, it is a clear polish containing silver foil sparkles of various sizes and shapes - some circular, some triangular, some just thin strips. It is designed to be worn over another shade, and a darker shade will give a much more dramatic effect. The brush to apply this is thick and widely spread, allowing the nail to be covered in one or two strokes, and this varnish does take a fairly long time to dry - at least three or four minutes I find to be totally smudge proof. It's worth applying a top coat over the top, not only to increase the life of the polish, but also to smooth down any ragged edges of the foil.

      The effect is really very dramatic, the foils catch the light and add a real touch of glitz to your nails, making this a great look for a night out. However, the nails do come up quite rough in texture, and as a bit of a fiddler, I found it so tempting to pick the metal bits off - thats just me though.

      Overall, I was really impressed with this polish, though due to my tendancy to pick I will be saving this for nights out!

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      • More +
        03.03.2015 23:20
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        Such a social way of cooking!

        I decided to buy a Teppanyaki grill during a particularly rainy summer a couple of years ago. I'd been really hoping to have a barbecue, but the weather just hadn't allowed for this, so I decided, following a practice my parents had had for years, to have an 'indoor barbecue'.

        Teppanyaki is a Japanese phrase that means to fry or grill on a steel plate. At least, that is the literal meaning, but culturally it is more likely to mean a system of cooking at the table, with the grill forming a central focal point where everyone can become involved in their own meals. It's a way of eating that is fun, sociable, and very interactive. As well as being a barbecue fan, I'm also something of a Japanophile, so I was definitely going to use this to cook Japanese meals with friends, as well as just for burgers with mates.

        This 2000w grill really is incredibly cheap for what it is. It costs just 22.99 for a cooking area of 46 cm long and 24.5cm wide. Pretty much all of that cast iron surface can, with the twist of a simple dial at the side, be turned into a fab cooking surface, and is excellent for grilling and frying (though the very edges to tend to be a little cooler).

        The cooking surface has feet at each corner, and a drainage hole on one of the long sides to take off any fat.There are handles at either side of the cook plate, to enable easy movement from above the fat drainage pan to a table for serving. The mains cable itself is , of course, detachable for washing, and includes an adjustable thermostat that enables the temperature to be controlled to make cooking not only easy, but tasty!

        This is incredibly easy to use - the manual does recommend pre-heating for five minutes before cooking, and also points out that once food is cooked, you can keep everything warm by turning to the minimum setting. Other than that, it is incredibly easy to set the cooking temp through the online controls. I have had this out on multiple occasions with friends, all of us cooking on this on my coffee table, and it has been so much fun!

        This is very easy to cook on. Food doesn't stick easily, and it does come with utensils for cooking. It is easy to wipe clean, and not terribly heavy to lift to wipe down, although naturally you do have to make sure not to wet the sockets. With that said, you should treat this grill as you would a non stick pan, and avoid unnecessary scratching and scrubbing.

        Overall, I think this is fantastic considering the low cost, and can be an incredibly social way of eating. My only criticism would be perhaps that when washing there is one side you naturally need to be cautious of as it houses the plug connector, but otherwise I am very happy.

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      • More +
        03.03.2015 22:31
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        Expensive but absolutely worth it!

        Not too long ago, I was gifted a trial sized bottle of Bvlgari Au Thé Rouge by a secret santa. Although I hated the scent, I was very impressed with the staying power of the fragrance, and came away with the impression that although I didn't like it terribly much, it was, based on the staying power and the quality of the ingredients, a high quality product.

        So, when I had a little spare money due to a tax refund,and decided to treat myself to a new perfume, I was pretty open minded about trying a Bvlgari fragrance again, and having had a fair few sprays on different occasions in John Lewis, happily splashed out £64 on a 50ml bottle of Bvlgari Pour Femme EDP. Trust me, it's unusual for me to be happy about spending that amount of cash, since that is a weeks food budget!

        What exactly was it that I liked about this perfume so much that I splashed the cash? Well, it wasn't the bottle. Don't get me wrong, it's smart enough, but it doesn't particularly stand out. It's clear glass, and an odd sort of shape - sort or triangular at the sides, ovalish from the top, and a curved rectangle with shoulder bones at the front. There are a few gold accents to the bottle, particularly on the neck and cap, and it certainly looks smart, and I suppose looks expensive in an understated sort of way, but not a showstopper by any stretch of the imagination.

        The perfume sprays out in a fine mist, and the scent is absolutely glorious from beginning to end. At the start,this is a fresh fruity floral - a powdery violet and a clean orange blossom are the first things I pick up, followed by a hint of some kind of slightly peppery scent,and a definite whiff of bergamot. The scent feels well rounded from the very first spray - but this isn't the end of the scent journey!

        The scent begins to fade into a more purely floral scheme - lily of the valley, a dusky rose, and a strong whiff of iris all combine to create a scent that feels both luxurious and light, whilst just a hint of Jasmine steers the perfume in a slightly oriental direction.

        This perfume sweetens and gentles at the end into a sort of musky vanilla, underscored with green tea for a continuation of that oriental theme.

        The perfume has an amazing longevity on the skin. Despite being quite an assault on the senses initially, this is wonderfully suitable as a daytime scent that develops beautifully into something more subtle by evening. I can still tell I'm wearing this even after 18 hours of wear - it lasts that long!

        The longevity and complexity of this fragrance is what I love. I've never spent so much on a scent for myself before, but I don't regret treating myself to this at all, although (unlike with my cheaper scents) I am very precious about this not being left out in the light, and instead store it in my underwear drawer to ensure it retain it's potency for as long as possible.

        I whole heartedly recommend this as a wonderfully complex, yet deliciously wearable scent, and happily award it with a full 5 stars!

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      • More +
        28.02.2015 23:43
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • luxurious
        • "Gorgeous scent"

        Disadvantages

        • "Out of my regular budget"

        Luxurious and with a lovely scent.

        I was given a Champneys Spa Indulgence Distant Shores giftset at Christmas, and one of the components was a 50ml tub of the body butter. Naturally I gave it a bit of a sniff upon receiving it, and liking the fragrance it became something I very much looked forward tpo trying out, though I forced myself to wait until I'd finished the body butter I was currently using (one of my new years resolutions, to stop abandoning products halfway through).

        Fast forward to the beginning on February though, and it was fair game. My pot looks a little different from the one pictured above, perhaps because it was part of the gift set. Its a vibrant hot pink, with a gold lid and a gold bar bearing the Champneys logo. It looks very vibrant and fun, and I think is actually a much more appealing design than some of the other Champneys products which can tend to look a tad old fashioned.

        Opening up, the cream is a bright white and very thick, much thicker than many other body butters I have used, and yet quite soft and easy to spread over the skin. It feels very cooling when smoothed over skin, and absorbs surprisingly well for something so thick. It really does feel like an indulgent treat using this. It leaves the skin soft and moisturised, and leaves behind a lovely scent.

        The scent is very tropical- I actually thought it was pineapple at first sniff, but once it's smoothed onto skin and warms up it is much easier to identify the passionfruit and mango elements. This smells of summer- which I think is why I'm enjoying using it so much on these dreary grey winter days.

        The product has a shelf life of twelve months from opening - I don't think my little pot is going to last that long though, I'm almost at the end, having used this after every bath for the last month. I'm not sure how much was paid for the gift set, but a 300ml tub of this costs £10 from Boots, and whilst that is more than I would typically spend on a body butter, I do think in this case, the quality, the beautiful scent, and the indulgent feeling I get using this justify the price.

        My budget doesn't stretch to me making this my only body butter, there are just some months where a cheapy option is the only option, but I will be purchasing more of this when budget allows, and I very much recommend it!

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      • More +
        26.02.2015 16:57
        Very helpful
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        Advantages

        • "cleans well"
        • "gentle on skin"
        • "Nice cucumber scent"

        Disadvantages

        • "Exfoliating grains underperform"

        Didn't live up to my expectations

        My skin has recently become an odd combination of dry and greasy, due in part I think to a change in medication. As a result, I decided to change the products I was using and see if that would make any difference, and picked up this Tesco Cucumber Facial Scrub for £1.50 for 15Oml. I hoped that the exfoliating element would remove dry,dead skin and revive the rest of my skin, which was looking a little tired.

        This scrub is contained in a tube with a flip top lid. It squeezes out easily, and although quite thick in texture is also easy to spread over the face. Clear, with a light cucumber scent,it contains fine exfoliating grains which can't really be seen too well in the scrub itself, but can be felt when lathering onto the skin. Being a facial exfoliater the grains are incredibly fine, but it is still recommended that you keep this scrub well away from the eyes to avoid any of the grains getting in and causing irritation.

        Applied to wet skin, I massaged this in well. The gel element was quite cooling on the skin, and the grains were not irritating when lathered in. It took a fair few rinses to get rid of the exfoliating grains entirely, and I didn't notice any immediate difference.

        However, I persisted with using this every other day for two weeks (alternating with the Tesco Cucumber Face Wash) and did notice a reduction in the greasiness of my skin - it was less shiny and greasy. I don't however think it did very much for my dryer areas though - they still looked and felt the same as they had before. I don't feel it removed dead skin sells, and my skin still looked quite dull.

        Overall, I think this works well as a facial wash, but the exfoliating element was a bit of a let down, and I see no reason to purchase this as opposed to the regular cucumber face wash. Therefore, I can only award two stars, as it didn't live up to my expectations.

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      • Lush Ultra Toothy Tabs / Oral Care / 1 Reading / 0 Ratings
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        26.02.2015 16:37

        Advantages

        • "range of flavours"
        • "not terribly expensive"
        • "fun to use"
        • "clean teeth"
        • "Leave breath fresh"

        Disadvantages

        • "slightly gritty"
        • "only available in lush"

        A bit of a novelty, but actually perform very well!

        I love nipping into my local branch of Lush to see what goodies they have, and one of the products I decided to try recently was Lush Ultrablast Toothy Tabs, costing £2.95 for a pack of 40 tabs. There were also other flavours available.

        Essentially, this is solid toothpaste tablets that you crunch up a little between your teeth, and then process to brush your teeth as usual. It was a completely new concept to me, and the main reason I purchased was that it seemed a bit of a novelty.

        These tablets are made of Bicarbonate of soda, kaolin (clay) powder, and a number of natural oils, including spearmint, peppermint, and lavender, with the addition of wasabi (an ingredient I've never seen in toothpaste before).

        To use them, you simply put one small tablet between your teeth, chew it up a little, and then brush as normal with a damp toothbrush. Whilst initially this felt a little odd, and the tablet was a strange texture to have in my mouth, I was pleased with the flavour of this which was really quite a pleasant mint.

        I found that actually once the moisture had mixed with the powder this wasn't much different from brushing my teeth normally - there was still a good amount to get round all my teeth, and although it was slightly gritty it was easy to rinse my teeth and get rid of the grittiness.

        My teeth were left feeling really smooth and clean - something I tend to expect when using Bicarbonate baste tooth products anyway. The minty flavour lingered in my mouth for quite a while after brushing, and I really felt very fresh and clean after using these.

        I've also found these quite handy for carrying around in my handbag if I know I'm going for a spice and garlic heavy meal, followed by a night out. A quick crunch and chew on one of these, followed by a swish round with a mouthful of water and a bit more chewing and the garlic whiff is gone.

        Although this product is good, leaving me fresh and clean with lasting fresh breath, I don't know that it will replace my usual toothpaste, mainly because I would have to either go to my local Lush shop to purchase, or order online, versus the convenience of just grabbing any old brand in the supermarket. That said, I may try out some of the other flavours in future, and do find them handy as a breath freshener when out and about. 4 stars - one off for havign to go out of my way to purchase.

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      • More +
        26.02.2015 15:51
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        • "oscillating feature"
        • "adjustable tilt"
        • "two speeds"
        • "Safety cage affixes securely"
        • Inexpensive

        Disadvantages

        • "Cheap looking"
        • "Not suitable for large rooms"

        An inexpensive fan, perfect for holiday use.

        We regularly visit family down in Sussex, and a few years ago when we visited the weather was extraordinarily hot. We decided that we would purchase an inexpensive fan for the guest room, that we could use on this visit and leave behind for future visits. After scouring many of the shops in and around Eastbourne, we found out that most places were actually sold out of fans, luckily Argos rang round some of their other local branches and were able to reserve one of these for us at their Hastings store.

        This fan cost 7.99 at the time, although now retails at 9.99, and is an Argos exclusive product. The main factor in our deciding to purchase this particular model was the low price, coupled with the fact that really, there wasn't much choice available to us. The fan measures 22 inches in height, 20 inches wide, and 20 cm deep. The blade length is 7 inches, and the blades have slightly scooped edges. The fan comes with two speed settings, can be set to either stationary or oscillating movements, and requires minimal assemble (merely clipping on the front safety cage).

        The fan is fairly quiet in operation - yes, it does make some noise, but it's white noise that can be ignored fairly easily, and blocked out completely with earplugs if trying to sleep. The higher speed setting is significantly louder than the lower setting, although it does have much more of an effect stirring the air up and making it feel refreshing. It seems quite sturdy on it's base - even when oscillating there are no concerns that it might overbalance.

        I did like the fact that the fan head is slightly adjustable, allowing you to direct air slightly downwards or upwards as you need, a feature my more expensive home fan does not have, and the fan has a fairly wide swing when oscillating so could easily cover the small bedroom we were staying in, though I suspect a larger fan would be needed for anything bigger than a small double.

        The front safety cage affixes securely over the transparent blades. It is a little difficult to remove for cleaning, but as this makes me feel more confident in the safety of this product this isn't particularly a downside.

        This fan was only purchased to be used and left in a guest bedroom at my boyfriends parents house, and as such I didn't really consider the looks of the appliance at the time of purchase. Had I been purchasing for my own bedroom at home, I would have been put off by the white plastic casing, as it's not the most stylish item, and looks a little cheap. However, for the holiday, all we wanted was something to stir the air a little and stop us cooking in the heat, and this budget fan has served us well so far. Recommended.

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      • Weleda Wild Rose Day Crackers / Weleda / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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        21.02.2015 16:48
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        A nice little gift, but too expensive for me to continue to purchase.

        One of the little gifts I received for Christmas was a Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream Cracker, a gift my mum picked out as she knew I love all things rose scented, and I had been complaining about my skin, particularly around my nose, drying up quite a bit as winter wore on.

        The cracker itself is fairly pretty, mainly white with some lovely bright wild roses in varying shades and depths of pink over it, and a small subtle Weleda logo centred on the box. There were hot pink ribbons at either end of the cracker at the twists, overall really very presentable.

        The packaging of the day cream itself was pretty uninspiring to be honest. For a brand I know to be thought of as quality and with a price reflecting that (the 30ml day cream can retail for anywhere between £13-16) it looked rather boring. A squeezy plastic tube that can stand on its end, again mostly in pink and white with a white cap, although no images of roses on this tube.

        I suppose really it's what is inside the packaging that counts, and squeezing out a blob of this cream, it was clear that this was quite a rich moisturiser. Although rather watery, it does feel quite rich when applied to the skin, and absorbs in fairly easily, though I do feel it leave me a little shiny.The scent is a delicate rose, a little bit powdery, that is pleasant without threatening to be overwhelming. Immediately after use, my dry skin does feel smoother and much softer.

        I have now been using this for around a month (I didn't get round to using it right away after receiving as I got a fair few lotions and potions around the same time and do think it has made a difference. The dryness and resulting redness around my nose has pretty much gone, and my skin look healthy and well cared for, almost glowing, though that may me the slight shininess the product leaves behind. I've been applying fairly sparingly twice a day, and there is a little bit left in the tube, which will probably last another week or so.

        Although I did like this product and appreciated it as a gift, I don't think that I would purchase it for myself - it's a little expensive for what it is, and there are much cheaper products out there that do the same job just as well, if not better perhaps as they do it without leaving a shine behind.

        Overall, I would give this product three stars - I'm deducting one for the shiny skin, and one for the price which for me, which places this outside of my current budget. That said, I would still give it a recommendation, especially if you do have a little more money to spend, and if they are still doing these crackers next year they are a nice little gift.

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        • Sony MDR-EX10 / Headphones / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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          12.02.2015 13:27
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          • "good performance"
          • "Range of colours"

          Disadvantages

          • "uncomfotable after long wear"

          Not bad for the money you pay.

          When my old Samsung smartphone started to die, my boyfriend purchased me a second-hand Sony Xperia from a workmate. Although it came with headphones, I didn;t want to use second hand headphones when listening to music or watching movies, and sadly the sony phone was very stubborn about only using Sony brand headphones, so the ones I had in the house just weren't compatible.

          Luckily, my local Tesco has an electronics section, so whilst doing my weekly shopped, I picked up a pair of the cheapest Sony headphones they sold, which happened to be the MDR-EX10LPPI . They were available in a range of colours - I saw White, purple, and bright pink ones, but opted myself for some in a rather fetching bluey-green colour. I believe I paid around £10 at the time, though it may have been a little more or less, it was some time ago now.

          In the packet, not only do you get the earphones themselves, you also get three sets of earbuds in different sizes, which I thought was a nice touch as it enabled me to get the most comfortable fit for myself right away, and of course to put the spares aside for the inevitable moment when I would pull the earphones out of my pocket and realise I'd lost a bud. There was also a warranty card included in the packet - to be honest I didn't bother reading that and threw it away right away.

          The cord length on these is 1.2 metres - great for listening to music from my phone when it is in my pocket.Perhaps marginally less convenient when listening to music with earphones at home if my phone is on the charger, but still doable. Obviously for listening to music on my stereo at home when I'm sat on the sofa across the room these are impractical - but that wasn't the purpose for which I purchased them, so can't moan.

          I always find with earbud headphones that whilst they are comfortable for a short while, I can't really listen for much more than an hour without them starting to feel a little irritating in my ears, and particularly with this set, I've found they are not terribly comfortable if I wan't to listen to music when lying on my side with my ear against a pillow.

          I thought the sound quality from these was really quite good - nothing compared to the really good sets, but certainly nothing to complain about - I could hear words and music very clearly, and they didn't tend to crackle when the wires were moved as some other pairs I have used before do. I don't think they handled bassy music too well though, so some of the music I listened too with these seemed a little shallow. I found they did a great job of blocking off other sounds around me - my boyfriend would actually have to pull one side out to talk to me!
          The quality overall seemed nice - I liked the bright colours, and they were small enough to be worn discreetly. The wires seemed strong a sturdy, and well able to stand up to the perils of life in my ownership - being tangled in pockets, chewed on by cats.

          These are only basic headphones though, as reflected by the low price. They don't have any sort of volume control built into the phones themselves, and there is no microphone element for those people who might be looking for something to use not only for listening to music, but for answering calls.

          I used these for around 6 months, before passing them along to my daughter (changing the actual bud part, naturally) and upgrading. There was nothing particularly wrong with them - they still worked well for what they were, but I just wanted some headphones with more comfort when worn for longer periods and with a richer sound quality.

          Overall, I'm giving these headphones four stars - perfectly reasonable performance for the price you pay, and very impressed with having replacement buds in the packet in case of loss/damage or needing a different fit - one of those stars is purely for the extra buds, as without them these would now be languishing unused in a drawer.

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        • More +
          12.02.2015 13:01
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          • "Lasts well"

          Disadvantages

          • "Smells horrid"

          I'm a smelly little teapot

          I'm a huge tea drinker - 6 or 7 cups a day, and have a cupboard in my kitchen purely for my range of teas. You may wonder what this has to do with a perfume review - I probably would if it was me reading- but it is quite simply the only reason I can think of why a teensy tiny little 0.17 0z bottle of this perfume ended up under my tree at Christmas, courtesy of a reddit 'secret santa' gift exchange.

          My santa had obviously read my list of likes, and thought 'Well, I know thehonesttruth likes tea, so I'm going to get her some perfume so she can smell like tea, while drinking tea.'
          This perfume is made by Bvlgari. Don't ask me how that should be pronounced, I haven't the foggiest - is it an actual V, or a pointy U? Either way, what I do know is that its quite a 'posh' brand, and a look on the internet tells me that my little teensy tiny bottle of scent probably cost my secret santa around $13.99, or a little under a tenner in our funny old English pounds.

          The dinky little bottle is very simple - a smooth tall cylinder, clear glass but with touches of red on the base and on the stopper. Whilst the bottle is made of glass, the stopper which is a flat round disk, is made of plastic, with Bvlgari embossed into it. There is no label on the bottle, just a black motif of some leaves, which I assume to be tea leaves, the word Bvlgari embossed into the bottle, and the words 'Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge'. It's really very simple and understated.

          My tiny bottle didn't come with any information telling me about the scent, although again, a glance at the internet tells me that "Two red-tea extracts were used to create this fragrance: Roiboos, a South African variety, which gives off its warm and gentle woody character, while Yunnan, a Chinese one, offers its intense and voloptous aroma to the composition. The nose behind this perfume is Olivier Polge. It was created in 2006. Top Notes: Orange, Bergamot, Pink Pepper Middle Notes: Fig, Tea Base Notes: Resin, Musk, Walnut."

          Now, I don't have Oliver Polge's nose (though it is a nose that has contributed to several of my favourite scents) but I can definitely pick up on the Roiboos tea the second I unstopped the bottle and dabbed a little dot of this unisex fragrance on my wrist. Its the first thing you smell, and it's so strong it set my nostril hairs dancing. It smelt exactly like Roiboos tea, but unfortunately like tea that has long gone cold. I can't say I particular picked up on Yunnan tea in the scent, but the pepper was present and correct, along with another bitter note - not orange exactly, but more like the bitterness of the orange pith.

          At this stage, I have to confess I wasn't terribly keen on the scent on myself - it smelt like the inside of a teapot that hadn't been washed in a while, and certainly wasn't anything I wanted to smell of. However, scents do take time to develop, and I was quite looking forward to the fig element - however, the perfume continued to just smell like tea for a good long while. Finally the strength of the tea faded, and became something much gentler and less nostril enraging, underpinned by a very subtle woody musk smell.

          The perfume did have some great staying power - unfortunately for me, as I just didn't get on with this scent at all. I kept catching a whiff of it as I went about my business, and it just wasn't for me. The final straw came when, after about four days of using this scent (determined to give it a real chance) my boyfriend took me aside for a little word and advised me that I had been smelling a bit odd for the last few days, and that perhaps it was time for a bath!

          This scent may well work for some people, but it just wasn't the one for me. I do like the smell of a freshly brewed cup of tea, but this smelt like the dregs of a day old teapot, at least on me. It's such a shame, as I really wanted to like it - it seemed like something I should like, but for me, it just didn't happen.

          1 star

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          • Debowe Mocne / Beer / Cider / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
            More +
            17.12.2014 22:29
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • Strong
            • Cheap

            Disadvantages

            • "I drink it through necessity - with more money I'd happily change brands"
            • "Hangovers are awful"
            • "First few sips are rough"

            A great beer for getting tipsy with minimal spend

            Debowe Mocne is my beer of choice when I have friends round for a drink. Thyis is for a few reasons. Firstly, it tastes pretty tasty, secondly, it's strong and very effective in getting the party started, and three, it's cheap, with four 500ml cans of 7% beer costing £5.25 from my local corner shop, or 5 cans for a fiver from Polish delicatessens a little further afield.

            Now, not being well versed in Polish, I can't interpret much of the label. I do, however, understand that the word 'Mocne' translates to strong.Through further research, I have discovered that Debowe means oak, so as far as I can tell, this is oak matured strong beer.

            Pouring it into a glass, it's a dark beer with a red-gold tint, and a strong odour rather like that of Horlicks. The smell is very malty, and this comes out in the taste, which is malty with hints of caramel and just a little bit of a burnt taste. The first few sips do give away the strength a lot, this not being the smoothest drink to start with of an evening, but once you've drunk the first half can, it's actually rather smooth and very pleasant.

            However nice it is to drink, there is no denying that the strength of this beer not only leads to bad behaviour, but also to painful hangovers. Whilst I rate this beer 5/5, thats a situational rating. If I had more money, I'd undoubtedly drink something much nicer, perhaps something weak but fruity.However,if you're fairly skint and aiming for a good amount of drunkenness per pound spent, then this is fantastic.

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          • Smirnoff Gold Cinnamon Vodka / Spirits / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
            More +
            17.12.2014 15:45
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            • "Attractive appearance"
            • "Smells like Christmas"
            • "Feels special"
            • "Unusual Flavour"
            • Quirky

            Disadvantages

            • "Gold pretty pointless"
            • "Tricky to find suitable mixers"
            • "The taste isn't for everyone"

            Wonderful flavour, but the gold flakes are somewhat unnecessary.

            Being a classy sort of girl, when it comes to drinking, I like something with a little bit of bling. Actually, thats a complete lie, I'm more of a lager girl, but when it comes to parties and special occasions, then I do tend to get a little more exotic and experiment with new things.

            Enter Smirnoff Gold - Smirnoff Vodka enhanced with the fiery flavour of cinnamon and containing real flakes of edible pure gold. I paid about £22 for this in my local corner shop, but it can be found in supermarkets significantly cheaper, generally around the £17-18 mark.

            It's a thing of beauty to look at. The bottle features all the usual smirnoff motifs, but instead of red they're printed onto the bottle in gold. The vodka itself is clear, and a decent smattering of gold can be seen floating about inside - I do like the fact that it doesn't sink to the bottom, but is suspended in the vodka itself, as it makes it an attractive addition to a spirit collection. It weighs in at 37.5%, so it's a good strength.

            Drunk neat, the cinnamon flavour is very strong, and in addition to the usual burn of strong spirits, there is a good amount of burning caused by the cinnamon as you drink it - not at all unpleasant, but certainly something that wakes you up. I perhaps feel the flavour is a little overwhelming when drunk neat - the trouble comes with finding things to drink it with, as many of the traditional mixers don't work. With cola? Disgusting. With Orange? Blech! With Lemonade? Watery.

            After a fair bit of experimenting, I have concluded that the best things to mix with this are apple based. Makes sense really, with apple and cinnamon having been a classic combination in cooking for a long time. With Appletise, it becomes a cool and refreshing long drink. The real beauty though, is putting a double of this in a mug, and topping up with warmed apple juice - a fantastic drink for winter nights, it smells just like christmas and is an easy cheats version of mulled cider.

            Overall, I rather like this. On it's own, it's a pleasant, though perhaps slightly overpowering (certainly some of my friends were not keen) shot. Combined with the right mixer though, it really becomes a thing of beauty and something to be savoured, though this does come with the disadvantage of the gold flakes becoming less visible, which renders them slightly pointless.

            I'm giving this 4 stars. Whilst the gold flakes allow this drink to look very attractive when neat, or as part of a bottle collection, they don't really add anything to the overall drinking experience and a purely cosmetic touch. However, I really like the flavour and the warming sensation I get upon drinking, and for that reason, I have (and will) purchase again.

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            07.02.2014 14:58
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            Worked for me!

            I've had a bit of a manky dry tickly cough recently, as well as other flu symptoms, so when nipping past the pound shop in town last week, I decided to nip into the pound shop and see if there was anything there that might help. Alongside some ibuprofen capsules, I also picked up some Bells Cough Linctus, which comes in a 200ml bottle with no exterior packaging.

            It's an old fashioned brown bottle with a non safety cap, and it's not very fancy looking. It simply states that it is for the relief of sore throats, irritating and chesty coughs. The dosage is 2 5ml spoonfuls, up to four times a day, for those over 14. For those between 7 and 14, the dose is halved. There are many active ingredients, including Ammonium Chloride, Tussilago, Horehound, Squill and Tolu which all possess expectorant properties (meaning, disgusting as it sounds, they they help thin phlegm and mucus so it can be coughed up and gotten rid of. It also contains sodium citrate to soothe and relieve the pain of a sore throat, and menthol which helps clear congestion and provides a strong flavour base.

            This is a strongly flavoured medicine - it's not one that I imagine children taking happily, but I actually like the flavour, which is mostly menthol based, with something almost licorice flavoured in it. Being a linctus, this is quite thick and syrupy, helping it to coat the back of the throat and provide immediate cooling and soothing to the area.

            I've been using this for the last week, and find that, especially at night when the tickling and irritation are at their worst, it's been very helpful. I don't think it helped so much with the other symptoms of flu I had, the headaches, temperature, and achy muscles, but with this medicine not containing either paracetemol of ibuprofen, I have been able to use this in conjunction with both varieties of painkiller in order to minimise all symptoms.

            At only a pound a bottle, I think this is great value, and certainly much cheaper than many bigger brand cough medicines. I would prefer it to have a safety cap, but other than that I have no real complaints. 4 stars.

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              05.02.2014 23:23
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              Something less chalky would be preferable

              I suffer often with heartburn, and one of the products I always have to hand to enable me to cope with it is Rennie, which come in various flavours, Orange, Spearming, and Peppermint . Rennie are widely available, you can find them in any chemist or supermarket, and fortunately for me as a long term heartburn sufferer, in any corner shop too. a wide range of Rennie products designed to relieve similar symptoms, the most popular products in the range are the Rennie Tablets which come in a range of flavours.

              They come in a mainly red box with a smaller blue box on the front that lets you know these are Peppemint flavour, and the bottom left of the box tells you how many Rennie are included in white lettering (72 in this case). It's pretty recognizable on the shop shelves, though there are different flavours distinguished by different ribbons of colour across the box. To use this, you simply take one or two tablets at a time as required, up to a maximum of 16 tablets daily.

              These tablets taste really dry and chalky. But they do taste quite pleasant, and they don't cause any kind of displeasure when you chew them (and you are meant to chew them, not just swallow). I find they leave my mouth feeling dry and strange after use, but I do find that they settle heartburn and reflux for me. Reflux in particular has been a longstanding problem that can never be cured, but Rennie do make it tolerable, and at the price of 4 quid for 72 tablets, which tends to last me nearly 3 weeks, I'm happy.

              These work for me. I've tried all the various flavours, and I've yet to find one that doesn't leave my mouth feeling a bit dry and uncomfortable. So far, these are the best things I've found for dealing with heartburn and reflux. Does that mean they're perfect? Not by any means! But they are the best solution I'm currently aware of, for which I award them 4 stars.

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              02.02.2014 00:46
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              Not the best, but certainly good

              I suffer from severe stress and anxiety, and one of the side effects of this is my tendency to get mouth ulcers frequently. Mouth Ulcers can be incredibly annoying, especially the ones on the underside of the tongue that end up scraping against teeth, so it's good to have something to numb them, and one of the products I use to do this is Medigel, which can be purchased in pharmacies and supermarkets for a little over £2.

              It's simple to use, squeeze out a small amount of the gel, and rub onto the ulcer, with treatment repeatable after 20 minutes. This has a strong, spicy mint taste to it, which is a little unpleasant, but after a few seconds your tongue won't be able to feel anything, never mind taste anything normally. This gives a very quick tingly numbness to the ulcer site, so much so that my tongue feels quite thick and heavy in my mouth. It's a really odd feeling, though not unpleasant, and it stops me from biting and scraping at my ulcer to make it work.

              Effects are immediate, but short term, possibly because I do drink water constantly throughout the day and wash it off. But, with it being something you can use every 20 minutes, it does do a good job of taking away the pain, albeit by distracting you with how weird your own tongue now feels in your mouth.

              It's not my favourite mouth ulcer treatment - I much prefer clove flavoured products, and do find that in particular Boots own brand is longer lasting and more effective, but it certainly does the trick. 4 stars, one off for not liking the taste over much.

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