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tina_teaspoon
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    • Lush Dream Cream / Skin Care / 69 Readings / 67 Ratings
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      09.11.2011 09:38
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      It really does work!

      Dream Cream is a cult best-seller from the bath treats and skin care company Lush. Dream Cream is a body moisturiser, and comes in one of Lush's black pots. I like the fact that they keep the packaging simple- not only does it look good in my bathroom cabinet, but it means that the price charged reflects the ingredients used rather than being inflated by fancy packaging. In addition, if you save up any five empty black pots, give them a wash and return them to your nearest Lush store, then you can exchange them for a free face mask of your choice. This is a great scheme as it encourages recycling and you also get a lovely freebie face mask!

      Dream Cream is only available in one size- a 240g pot is priced at £10.75. This is therefore fairly expensive compared to other alternative moisturisers on the high street. However, this moisturiser is specifically designed to help soothe and heal sore or damaged skin, and is particularly marvellous at healing eczema. In addition, the price reflects the quality of the ingredients it contains. According to th3e Lush website (www.lush.co.uk), oatmilk is the base ingredient, made very simply by boiling oats in water until the water turns white, and then sieving off the oats. Oats are a traditional remedy for sore, broken skin, as well as being used to help to soothe eczema. It also contains a blend of soothing natural oils, including rose, lavender, chamomile and tea tree, and natural moisturisers including cocoa butter, vegetable glycerine, and olive oil. I love the fact that this is bursting with lovely natural goodness, as when you have sorely skin the last thing you want is to risk developing an allergic reaction to nasty chemicals. The texture of the cream is thinner than a body butter, but thicker than a lotion. I have found it is easily absorbed into my skin and that a little goes quite a long way.

      I have dry sensitive skin, and have found this cream fantastic for soothing and healing and sore or dry patches. However the real miracle is that it has worked absolute wonders for my sister's eczema. She has suffered for over a decade with awfully sore red patches, mainly on her elbows and shins but during periods of stress such as exam time this often spreads all up her arms and legs. This had made her painfully self conscious and she would refuse to wear short sleeves or skirts as she didn't want her ezcema on show. She had been prescribed steroid creams from her doctor, and has also tried a huge number of moisturisers including E45 and aqueous cream, but nothing had got rid of her ezcema. I spotted Dream Cream in my local Lush and when the assistant said it was brilliant for ezcema sufferers, I bought one for my sister to try straight away. She was pretty sceptical (who could blame her after trying all the failed potions and lotions?!) but humoured me and gave it a try. The improvement in her skin was noticeable after a couple of days. After three weeks all traces of her ezcema had completely disappeared- it was an absolute miracle and we were both so delighted. She still gets occasional breakouts during times of stress and worry, but Dream Cream helps to minimise them and stops them from spreading. Dream Cream achieved what all of the steroid creams and aqueous creams that the GP recommended failed to do. Not only has it healed her skin but it has also given her her self confidence back, and for this I cannot thank Lush enough.

      Indeed, Dream Cream has such a huge fan base of ex-ezcema sufferers that rumous has it that the NHS are looking into what makes Dream Cream so effective at treating ezcema, with a view to making it available on prescription. I heard this on the Lush forum a few months ago. However, as Lush is fully against animal testing of any kind, this may prove to be a significant barrier if the cream requires any kind of testing, as Lush will simply not agree to it.

      The only downside to this miracle cream is the scent. It is not offensive, but at the same time I wouldn't choose this cream based on scent alone. It is quite an earthy scent, with the notes of lavender coming through the most strongly. However the scent doesn't linger for long, and as you only need to use the cream quite sparingly, neither of us have found the scent to be an issue.

      In summary, I truly cannot recommend this cream highly enough, particularly for anyone who suffers from ezcema. It really does work miracles on sorely skin, which is why it is Lush's number one selling product. If the price tag puts you off then why not pop into your local Lush store and ask them for a little sample of it so you can see for yourself just how marvellous this cream is. This truly is a soothing miracle in a pot!

      Thanks for reading :)

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        06.11.2011 23:16
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        A lovely light natural conditioner.

        I bought a small bottle of Veganese conditioner from my local Lush store on recommendation by one of their lovely sales assistants. There are three different sized bottles (500g is £12.50, 250g is £7.75, and 100g is £3.95). While the larger size is better value per 100g, I decided to buy the small bottle to see how well I got on with it. This is considerably more than I would usually pay for a conditioner, so I needed to see if it was worth the money before spending £12.50 on it!

        As the name suggests, this conditioner is suitable for vegans. Apparently many conditioners contain lanolin, which comes from sheep wool, and so Lush have removed this ingredient to make the product suitable for everyone. It contains lots of natural goodness, including seaweed to help soften the hair, lemon oil and juice to make it shiny, and lavender and rosemary to look after the scalp. These combined ingredients create a light herbally lemony scent, and the lemon lingers beautifully on my hair after use. It is a gorgeous natural lemon that is quite light and gentle- it is not at all overpowering and certainly wouldn't overpower a scented body lotion or perfume. However if I shake my hair then I do get a lovely gentle lemony waft which I really like!

        This is the lightest of the conditioners from Lush (I believe this is in part due to the lack of lanolin), and is designed to leave your hair super shiny without weighing it down. I was attracted to this as I have very fine hair and find that some conditioners are too heavy, and leave my hair feeling lank and greasy. My bottle of Veganese has a use by date of 14 months after manufacture, due to the natural ingredients and minimal preservatives used. A little goes a long way, and I found I needed less than I would of standard high street conditioners. However with daily use I would suggest the 100g bottle could last a month depending on the length and thickness of you hair- certainly no worries about using it up before it goes out of date!

        On applying the conditioner to my hair, it felt very different from conditioners I usually use. This has no silicones, and so I am used to feeling the silicones coating my hair and making it feel smooth while the conditioner is on my hair. This didn't create that softness or smoothness during application. However, when I comb my hair after using this product there are hardly any tangles, so it is clearly effective. It also leaves it feeling soft and healthy, and as mentioned before, with a beautiful subtle fragrance. This conditioner does indeed make my hair shine like it has never shone before- it really deserves top marks in the shine stakes! In addition it hasn't aggravated my scalp at all, unlike some other conditioners I has used in the past.

        The only downside for me in terms of its performance is that my hair is still quite fly away after using this. I do have frizzy, wavy hair, and the sales assistant felt that I would benefit from the lightness of this conditioner. However, I think in the future I shall try the second lightest conditioner, which I believe is American Cream, to see if that is better suited to my hair type. That is the only reason I won't be buying Veganese again, as I want a conditioner that is absolutely perfect for me at this price.

        In summary, this is a lovely conditioner with a gorgeous light natural scent. It performs well but would be better suited to those with perfectly straight hair rather than my rebellious mane. It is pricey compared to other brands of conditioners, but for those who are looking for vegan-friendly, natural product, then I would certainly recommend giving Veganese a try.

        Thanks for reading :)

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        03.11.2011 22:38
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        A simple yet brilliant product!

        I love baking cakes (and am rather partial to eating them as well!) but I have to admit that I do find preparing my cake tins tiresome. It is a fiddly job and one that cannot be rushed. If it is not done properly then the cake will not have a smooth even finish at the sides or bottom, and particular attention needs to be paid to the corners in order to ensure that the finished cake has a neat shape. I'm guilty of doing a quick bodge job on lining my cake tins only to find that the cake mixture has not spread into the corners evenly due to lumps and bumps in my greaseproof paper. I have tried using a silicone tin in the hope that I wouldn't need to bother with lining it. However I found that even with greasing my cake stuck badly to the silicone, and so I was thrilled to discover these liners in the Lakeland catalogue.

        These handy cake tin liners take all the hassle out of preparing my cake tin and are so easy to use. They are simply an enlarged version of individual cake cases that are used for fairy cakes. They are available to fit 1lb or 2lb loaf tins and are priced at £4.29 for pack of 40 liners, which makes them just under 11 pence each. Although greaseproof paper would probably work out a little cheaper, these save me so much time and hassle that I am definitely willing to pay this small premium.

        As a guide, the 2lb loaf tin liner fits perfectly in my 15cm wide by 30cm long by 8cm deep tin. This is the standard size tin for making fruit tea loaves or lemon drizzle loaf cakes. The Lakeland website states the liners can endure temperatures of 230 oC, which is significantly higher than any of my usual cakes require baking at. Lakeland claims the liners are made with silicone and are non-stick, and I have found this to be absolutely true. The liners have never stuck to my tin, and also my cakes have never stuck to the liners. I find it somewhat ironic that my cakes stuck to my silicone baking tin every time I used it, yet have never once stuck to my silicone liners. I suspect it may be something to do with my silicone tin being a cheap one from Woolworths but who knows!

        The liners are really cleverly shaped in a concertina effect around the corners of the cake, which enables the liners to be very easily pulled away from your baked cake. This style also makes the finished cake look really professionally presented, and I have found them ideal for baking cakes in to give to friends, as you can keep the cake in the liner to keep it fresh which is very handy.

        My Gran has recently turned 89 and is still an avid baker (indeed, it was my Gran who taught me how to bake when I was little). She also finds lining tins a real chore, more so as she has got older as it is fiddly work and her eye sight isn't as good as it used to be. I bought her some of these liners and she has been absolutely thrilled with them. They are so convenient and easy to use, and really do save her a considerable amount of time. I have also bought these liners for circular tins, which are utterly brilliant as trying to neatly line circular tins can be a real nuisance.

        In summary, these are brilliant for busy people with limited time and patience, who just want to get on and bake rather than waste time faffing about trying to neatly line a tin with baking paper or greaseproof. There are slightly more expensive than lining tins yourself but they save me so much time and effort, save me from a job I really dislike, and let me save all my energies for the main task of actually making the cakes! I have never had a single one stick as the silicone non-stick coating really does work like a dream. This is another fantastic product from Lakeland and I really can't recommend them highly enough!

        Thanks for reading :)

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          03.11.2011 10:06
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          A wonderful little pan that really does live up to Lakeland's claims! Thoroughly recommended

          My partner works a variety of shifts including nights and weekends, whereas I work nine to five, Monday to Friday. As a result both of us frequently will be eating lunch or dinner alone. I do a lot of batch cooking- things like chilli, curry, lasagne, pasta bakes, soups etc that I can portion them up and pop them in the freezer. We can then take whatever we fancy out of the freezer the night before they are needed, and pop it in the fridge to defrost before heating it up when we come to eat it. On a lazy day we are both guilty of opening a tin of baked beans/ spaghetti/ soup, and just eating it with toaste or a jacket potato.

          It is always quicker and easier to reheat things in the microwave. It is also more foolproof for my partner if he has come in starving from a 12 hour shift and needs to eat before he can sleep, as he can just pop the food in the microwave for three minutes and know that it will be cooked. I would worry he might fall alseep while waiting for something to heat up on the stove, and at least the microwave turns itself off!

          The downside is that my plastic tupperware pots that we've been using to reheat the food have become stained. Anything tomato based seem to be the worse culprits, and have dyed my pots a delightful shade of orange. Curry has died some of them dark yellow, and the ones that had vegetable soup in have gone brown! They never look clean however hard I scrub them, yet I'm reluctant to throw them away as they are still functional.

          I was very sceptical when I spotted this saucepan in the Lakeland catalogue, as it claims that the plastic will never be stained, not even from heating baked beans or spaghetti! The saucepan is made from non-stick polycarbonate, and costs £4.99. Given that Lakeland offer a lifetime no quibble returns policy, I decided I would give it a go and see how well it really faired with my curries and soups!

          The saucepan has a 13cm diameter and holds 600ml. We have found this the perfect size for our needs, as it comfortably holds one or two portions of food. The pan comes complete with a lid, and the little spout on the lid also doubles up as a small air vent. We have both used this saucepan most days for about a year now, and unbelievably, the plastic has not stained whatsoever. It is a little scratched but otherwise looks as clean and new as the day I bought it. I really do find this incredible- I have no idea how they have made this plastic stainproof, but I am thrilled they have as it is so nice to have a lovely clean pan to use everyday. I am hoping Lakeland will develop a range of portable tupperware pots in the same material so that my partner can use them for taking his dinner into work, as the only downside is that a saucepan is a bit bulky for him to be carrying to work (I think he would also get a bit fo teasing from his colleagues if he turned up with his own saucepan!!).

          The only food I have cooked in it that has tested its non-stick ability is scrambled eggs. When the eggs are hot, there has been no sticking at all. It is only when the pan is left to cool that I've found the cold eggy residue has stuck slightly, but nothing that can't be quickly removed with some washing up liquid and hot water. Incidentally, for those of you who are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, this pan is suitable to be cleaned in the dishwasher. It can also be put in the freezer and combination oven according to the Lakeland website, although I have had no need to do either so cannot verify its performance on that.

          Our pan has recently developed a crack along the bottom. It started off just a 1cm crack but has slowly grown into a 5cm crack. It was still useable but I was worried that the bottom was going to give way and create an almighty mess. I gave this feedback to the lovely people at Lakeland customer services, who instantly offered me a replacement or a refund. They really do have exceptional customer service, and I was thrilled to get a replacement pan.

          In summary, I think this is a fantastic saucepan that lives up to Lakeland's claims. I would have never believed it was possible to have a truly stain resistant pan, but I have now had to eat my words! It is well-designed and easy to use and keep clean, and please don't let the cracking issue I had put you off as I have seen no other complaints of this, and in any case, Lakeland's awesome customer service team will put things right for you. I thoroughly recommend this to all microwave users!

          Thanks for reading :)

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            02.11.2011 09:27
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            Sadly this needs further work to improve the quality of the candle.

            Lush brought out a range of candles during 2010. I adore Lush, and I love scented candles, so I was initially extremely excited to hear that Lush had developed this range. There were four different scented candles in the range (Orange Blossom, Tuca Tuca, Lust, and Vanilla Brule), and for starters, I couldn't stand the smell of the first three in that list. While I did like the smell of Vanilla Brule, but I was massively put off by the £20 price tag! (Some of the other scents were even dearer at £30, so I guess I should be greatful that the one scent I did like was the cheapest!).

            I would never pay £20 for a candle and so I left the shop feeling a bit disappointed. However, at the end of 2010, Lush held a forum party, and anyone spending over £30 received a beautiful giftbox packed full of goodies. Included in those goodies was a candle, selected at random. I kept my fingers and toes crossed that I would receive Vanilla Brulee and luck was on my side as I did. I was absolutely delighted!

            As you can see from the picture, the candle has quite a unique appearance. The outside of the candle is made from black cheese wax, and it is a round candle. I think the overall look is quite sophisticated and certainly something I would be happy and proud to have on display in my lounge. However, I was surprised to discover that the burn time was only 20 hours. £1/hour seems pretty extortionate to me so I was even more grateful to have received this as a freebie.

            The assistant in the shop who was telling me about the candles explained they were so expensive because each one contained a full bottle of perfume. This made the candles sound very luxurious, and also that they shoudl be incredibly strongly scented. I was therefore very excited to use my candle, and was expecting great things.

            I am an active member on the Lush forum and noticed that a number of people started complaining about the candles. The most common complaint was of poor scent throw, but other complaints included uneven burning, the outer cheese wax melting causing the whole candle to collapse, and even sparks jetting out of it and setting nearby objects on fire! This made me very cautious and I decided to place my candle in a bowl before I lit in, just in case.

            The scent throw was indeed disappointing. Given that a whole bottle of perfume was used, I would have been much better off using the actual perfume as an air freshener and saving them the bother of actually making it into a candle. If I stuck my nose a couple of inches away from the candle then the scent was beautiful: A delicious light vanillary toffee foody scent that was so tantilising and scrumptious that it made my tummy rumble. Yet if I sat on the sofa just a few feet away then I couldn't smell anything at all. I also experienced uneven burning, and even though I burnt it for several hours per session to try to avoid this, I still found that the middle of the candle burnt down much quicker than the edges, resulting a lot of wax being left over when the wick had burnt out. I chopped this up and used it in my tart burner, and discovered that when melted in this form, it had a much stronger scent hold, so perhaps the issue was the design of the candle itself rather than the quality or the strength of the scent within the wax.

            It has to be said that while cheese wax does look fun and quirky, you have to question the safety of wrapping a candle in a meltable substance. I didn't experience any issues with this, but a number of people on the Lush forum did, and having a lit candle collapse must be a very scary and dangerous occurance. The candles were withdrawn from sale by the end of 2010. The official line was that this was due to poor scent throw, and that they intended to reformulate the range of candles. Nearly a full year on and there have been no publically known developments on this. Perhaps sales were not high enough for them to justify spending a long length of time in researching and developing ways to improve them.

            In summary, I simply cannot recommend this candle. It did smell delicious but the scent throw was so poor that it was impossible to sit back and enjoy the scent. I am also concerned about the safety aspects after people reporting their candles had collapsed or had violently sparked and had set neighbouring objects on fire. However, I do hope that Lush are able to develop a range of candles at some point. I adore Lush scents so it would be such a treat to have a beautiful Lush scent burning and beautifully scenting my house. However I think they need to seriously consider their pricing and cost structure. Yankee candles are probably the market leaders and provide significantly better value for money, and so I feel they would need to lower the price and also increase the burn time if they are to achieve a decent amount of sales.

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              01.11.2011 09:57
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              One to avoid.

              When it comes to toothpaste, I am not loyal to any particular brand. I always pick up whichever paste is on special offer from a number of brands that I have tried before and been pleased with, including Colgate, Macleans, and Arm & Hammer. However when I popped in to Superdrug to purchase some toothpaste, this Beverly Hills Formula caught my eye. I think they were either discontinuing this from my local store, or perhaps they were changing the packaging. In any case, it was reduced to just 89p for a large 125ml tube. Looking online, this now seems to retail for £3.79 at Superdrug, so I was lucky to get such a sizeable reduction. Although I hadn't tried the brand before I thought I would give it a go given the tiny price tag, and bought several tubes to make the most of the savings!

              I suffer from sensitive teeth. I love ice cream and ice lollies but now rarely have them as it causes me so much pain that it takes away all pleasure from eating these foods. So I was very excited to try this sensitive toothpaste- anything that could reunite me with my love for ice cream had to be worth a go! In additional, it describes itself as a whitening toothpaste. I am always eager to try anything that will whiten my teeth. My partner has sparkly white teeth naturally, and mine always look yellowy in comparison so I am on the hunt for effective whitening products as I don't want yellow yeeth in our wedding photos!

              The toothpaste comes packaged in a cardboard box, with a squeezy tube inside. This lid is a screw on detatchable one, so make sure you don't lose it! The paste is easy to apply to my brush, and it is easy to get the desired amount, so there is no wasteage. The taste of the paste is pleasantly minty- certainly in no way offensive.

              However having now used two full tubes I am pretty disappointed with this paste. It cleans my teeth effectively- I had a check up at my dentist last week and he was very happy with my brushing- and so as a basic paste I guess this product is fine. However the sensitivity has not improved whatsoever. I was very eager to try some ice cream recently to see if the pain associated with cold foods had eased, however was bitterly disappointed as it was still as painful as it had been before I began using this paste. I ended up having to give my ice cream to my partner after a couple of spoonfuls, as my teeth were so sensitive that I couldn't face eating the rest of it.

              In addition, my teeth are definitely no whiter than there were originally. The box suggests applying the paste to your teeth and leaving it on for a few minutes for an instant whitening boost. I have tried this on several occasions and it has had no effect whatsoever, which is extremely disappointing.

              In summary, this performs well as a basic toothpaste. It cleans my teeth effectively, removes plaque and freshens my breath. However this paste is marketed as a sensitive whitening paste, and the product has failed at both of these functions. I therefore cannot recommend this product on this basis, as it seriously failed to live up to my expectations. At 89p it wasn't too much of a let down, but I would be furious if I had paid £3.79 for this as it simply didn't do what it clained to do on the package. I certainly don't believe that the glamourous people in Beverly Hills use this paste to get their teeth sparkly white! I would suggest this is one to avoid unless you see it for less than a quid in a bargain bin!

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                31.10.2011 10:51
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                A truly awesome shampoo- highly recommended.

                I have very fine, frizzy hair, that is neither straight nor curly, and tends to have kinks and random waves in the most annoying and rebellious of places! It is truly gravity defying at times, and I find it incredibly frustrating trying to tame it. I have lost count of the number of anti-frizz products I have tried that have been utterly useless. At best they have no effect, and at worse they have made my hair lank and greasy, or even more fly away and frizzy than it was to start with.

                A lovely assistant at my local Lush store recommended that I try their Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo. I decided to give it a go because the anti-frizz products I have previously tried have all contained silicones and all manner of chemicals. The assistant explained that silicones create a layer of chemicals over the shaft of the hair that can actually be damaging over time, and I was left wondering whether this was a contributing factor to my frizz.

                The quirky name comes from a poem by Shel Silverstein, called Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout. Sarah is a very lazy girl who can't be bothered to take out the rubbish. As a result her house fills up with so much rubbish that the walls begin to buldge until finally the house explodes! I should clarify that this shampoo is not designed for lazy dirty girls like Sarah; and rather the only similairity is the stout!

                Stout (or beer) has been used for yonks to wash hair with, to bring shine and volume. The website tells me that stout comprises half of this shampoo, and that they have sourced vegan stout from an independent brewery, meaning that Cynthia Stout is vegan-friendly.

                Other ingredients include yeast, which is a form of protein and conditions the hair, and lemon juice and balsamic vinegar which help to seal the hair cuticles, and as well as adding shine they also encourage the hair to lie smooth and flat. In addition, they have added lemongrass oil and cognac oils to compliment the stout scent. I am not a fan of beer scents at all, but this shampoo does not have an overpowering beer scent. It is a very different scent to any other kind of shampoo I've tried before, and is quite hard to describe, but I will do my best! It is quite a heavy, earthy scent, and I think if I had sniffed it without knowing it contained stout, I wouldn't have associated the scent with beer. You can definitely smell the lemon juice/ lemongrass oil in the background, and this lightens the fragrance and stops it from being too heavy or too masculine. The scent does linger on the hair lightly after using the shampoo, and I have grown to quite like the smell. However I would recommend giving the product a sniff in store to check it is something you like or can at least tolerate!

                You use the shampoo like any other shampoo. I simply apply a small amount to my wet hair, and massage it in. You only need a small amount, and I was surprised at what a great lather this produced. For some reason I was expecting it not to produce a very substantial lather with it being a natural shampoo, so this was a pleasant surprise. When changing from a silicone-based shampoo to a natural shampoo, it can take a while for your hair to adjust, and the assistant did warn me that it might take a couple of weeks of fluffiness for my hair to get used to the shampoo. There was no signicant difference to my hair at first, but after a few washes it was definitely less fly away and less frizzy. The shine is unbelievable- I never knew my hair could be so so shiny. That alone is a huge reason for me to stick with this shampoo!

                The frizz has by no means completely disappeared, but after a month it has considerably approved. My hair is easier to manage and style, and I am no longer at the end of my tether trying to scrape it back into a pony tail for work with lots of short tufts sticking straight like a frizzy halo all around my head!

                The downside to this shampoo is the price tag. I purchased a 100g bottle for the princely sum of £4.25, but larger sizes are available which work out better value for money if you know the shampoo is well suited to you (250g for £8.50, or 500g for £13.50). I would suggest starting with a small bottle to see how you get on as £13.50 is a hefty amount to pay out if you don't get on with the shampoo. However, having tried the small bottle I will now be investing in a 500g bottle of this gorgeous stuff.

                In summary, I really recommend this shampoo for anyone who has frizzy, rebellious hair. It is not a miracle product and I can't promise it will completely rid you of frizz on the first wash. However after a couple of weeks my frizz was considerably reduced, my hair is soft and smooth, and incredibly shiny. A little goes a long way, and so the price is not too horrific when you realise that even the small 100g bottle will last for at least a month even with daily use as you only need a very small dollop! I have come to really like the scent, and I also love that it doesn't contain any nasty chemicals or silicones. I really highly recommend Cynthia Stout shampoo, and it has easily achieved the most impressive results of any of the anti-frizz shampoos, lotions and potions I have ever tried- this is simply a beautiful natural product.

                Thank you for reading :)

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                  30.10.2011 11:41
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                  An ok product but nothing special.

                  I bought a selection of items from The Body Shop's pink grapefruit range this summer, and I shall now review the body butter. For me, body butters are the signature product from The Body Shop. It is what they are known best for, they have a huge range of different scented body butters, and almost everyone I knew has used them before. I therefore had very high expectations from this product.

                  The body butter is packaged in a pink tub with a twist on lid. It has a picture of a grapefruit on the front, and you need to peel off the label with the barcode on the bottom in order to see the ingredients. I'm unsure why they do this really- it does save space and enables them to translate information into many different languages. However if you are browsing in one of their shops and want to view the ingredients, perhaps to check if it contains an ingredient that you are allergic to, or just to see what ingredients you would be putting on your skin, then you are likely to annoy the assistants by peeling the labels off!

                  The natural ingredients in this product are shea butter, cococa butter, and pink grapefruit seed oil. As with the other products in this range, the pink grapefruit seed oil gives this butter a gloriously natural scent. There is nothing synthetic about it whatsoever, and it is a beautifully uplifting zingy scent. More importantly, the scent really does linger on my skin for hours after application. Personally I find this a good thing, as I enjoy the scent and like being able to smell it throughout the day. However, it is worth baring this in mind if you prefer to be able to smell your perfume, as the butter is quite strongly scented, and so has the potential to clash with a perfume.

                  The downside of this scent is that it is a very summery scent. As I said, I bought this in the summer, and really enjoyed using it during the warmer months. It was also great at helping me to wake up in the mornings. However now that winter is approaching, I am finding that this scent simply doesn't fit the season. While I still definitely need help waking up in the morning, I just feel this scent is not best suited to chilly winter mornings, and it has become a bit of a chore trying to use it up. I would suggest purchasing this during warmer summer months, and also making sure you finish it up before the dark, cold winter mornings start to roll round!

                  Aside from the scent, I think part of why I don't enjoy using this product in the winter is that it is so cold to apply to my skin. The mornings are so chilly at the moment that I really don't enjoy smothering my legs with cold butter and than hanging about for ages waiting for it to sink in enough for me to get dressed! The packaging suggests this is designed for normal skin. My legs tend to get pretty dry, and yet I find the butter is not easily absorbed and feels very sticky and greasy to the touch for quite some time. However by the following day, they will be feeling dry and flakey again, so it seems that the moisture the butter injects is not very long lasting.

                  This body butter from The Body Shop retails at £12.50 for a 200ml tub, which in my humble opinion, is extremely overpriced. Yes it smells very nice, but it takes an age to sink in and leaves me feeling sticky and greasy. In addition it does not offer long-lasting moisturisation, so all things considered I feel this is definitely not worth the hefty price tag. I think I paid around £5 for this when it was on special offer, and the website (www.bodyshop.co.uk) frequently has special offers on the body butters- in recent months I've seen them for half price, a free body butter when you spend £26, and also at present you get a free scrub when you buy a body butter. The shops also frequently have them on half price or buy 2 for £15, so I would strongly recommend you bide your time and wait for a special offer as this product is simply not worth the price tag.

                  In summary, if you like zingy, fresh, awakening fruity scents, then you will probably like the smell of this body butter. I'm disappointed with the length of time taken to absorb into my skin, and I also don't like how greasy and sticky it leaves me feeling. However this may just be because I have dry skin, and the butter does deserve some credit for having a lovely and natural scent. However I would suggest only using it in the warm summer months, and definitely waiting for a sale or special offer before purchasing!

                  Thanks for reading :)

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                    26.10.2011 09:11
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                    A nice gentle exfoliator with a fresh fruity scent.

                    I have to confess that I'm not a regular Body Shop customer- I usually shop at Lush. However like everyone else we've had to tighten our belts recently and as much as I love Lush products, there is no denying they are very pricey. So when our local Body Shop had an offer on Groupon and had a sale on at the same time, I popped in to see what bargainous treats I could pick up.

                    The Body Shop sell scrubs in a very wide range of scents. There are lots of fruity ones, including mango, strawberry, coconut, orange, sweet lemon, and grapefruit, as well as shea, olive, moringa, cococa butter, and brazil nut. There are additional scents that they bring out at other times of the year as well, so there really is a scent that would appeal to everyone.

                    I would usually go for a cocoa butter type of scent, as I love chocolatey or foody scents. However I wasn't impressed with the scent of the cococa butter as it was very faint and a little artificial. I therefore decided to try some of the the fruity ones, including the pink grapefruit one, which is what I shall focus this review on.

                    This scrub can be purchased in two different sizes: a tiny 50ml tub is an eye watering £5 (this would probably only last for a couple of uses!), or a 200ml tub is £12.50. The larger size is clearer much better value for money, but even still I would never pay £12.50 for this scrub! I got mine for less than a fiver, and I certainly would never pay more than that for it. I find that many of the Body Shop products seem to be very overpriced, so it is well worth timing your visit for when they have a sale on!

                    The scrub is presented in a tub with a screw on lid. Previous scrubs I have used from other companies have come in squeezy tubs, and on reflection I think the tubes are my preferred packaging of choice. With a squeezy tube, it is easy to squeeze out as much or as little of the product as you require. However with the tub, it can be a little messy trying to scope out the product, and you have the additional worry of trying not to get any water into the pot. This invariably means turning off the shower and drying my hands before using the product, which in the mornings when I'm almost always half asleep and running late is a bit of an unwanted faff!

                    The scrub has quite a runny texture, and although this can make it harder to get the right amount out of the pot, it has the bonus of being not too scrubby. This scrub does exfoliate, but quite gently and mildly, which is perfect for my sensitive skin. The product contains pink grapefruit seed oil, which gives the product a really zingy, fresh, fruity scent. It is a very natural scent- not synthetic at all, and I find that the scent can be quite stimulating and awakening in the mornings, which is definitely a bonus.
                    I also found I used up this scrub more quickly than I have done with other brands. I bought a shower gel, body butter, body lotion and this scrub, and I had used up the scrub before I was even half way through the other products. Typically, it normally takes me roughly the same time to use a pot of 200ml scrub as it does a 250ml bottle of shower gel, so I feel it is due to the runny texture of the scrub that means that I use more of it per use.

                    The product claims that it leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft. I have to admit that I've not noticed any difference in the appearance or condition of my skin since using this scrub. However it does leave me feeling clean and fresh, and helps to wake me up in the mornings. Additionally, I sometimes get a few spots on my chest and back if I don't regularly exfoliate, and this scrub did indeed keep the spots at bay, so I feel it is an effective yet gentle exfoliator.

                    In summary, this is nothing special, but it is a nice basic scrub with a lovely natural scent. I feel it is hugely overpriced at the full RRP, but if you can get one at half price or less in their frequent sales then I would recommend giving it a try.

                    Thanks for reading :)

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                    24.10.2011 09:08
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                    A lovely scented moisturiser that helps to wake me up.

                    I am definitely not a morning person and need all the help I can get to wake up. I therefore thought that the Pink Grapefruit range from the Body Shop was worth a try. I associate grapefruits with breakfast time, and they have a very sharp, citrussy twang to them which is very refreshing to eat or drink, and so I hoped the scent would help me wake up in the mornings.

                    I have tried the shower gel, scrub, body butter and the body lotion, but this review will focus just on the body lotion. The bottle describes this product as a puree, which makes it sound like they have actually popped a few grapefruits in a blender and popped the pulp in the bottle! In fact, the lotion contains pink grapefruit oil, and pink grapefruit water. The result is that the product has a truly natural scent- if you were blindfolded and had half a pink grapefruit to sniff in one dish and this body lotion in a second dish, you would be hard pushed to tell the difference- the scent is that natural.

                    The product comes in a pump bottle, which I have had a few problems with. The lotion becomes dry and hard when exposed to the air for prolonged periods, and as a result, the pump has clogged on numerous occasions. I think the product would be better suited to a simple screw or flip lid, as this way it would still be easy to use as much or as little of the product as you want, without the continual clogging.

                    The bottle contains 250ml (or 8.4 US fl oz), and retails at £8. I think I got this when it was on a half price promotion, and so paid £4 for it. I don't really think it is worth £8 as it is not an overly special lotion. At £4 however I think it is reasonably good value for money, and would buy it again at that price.

                    The body lotion has a lighter texture than the body butters, and so I bought it with the intention of using the body lotion on my arms and the body butter on my legs, as the skin on my arms is normal, whereas my legs are dry. The body lotion still has a relatively thick texture, and as it not runny like some cheaper moisturiser. It absorbs into my skin relatively quickly after a few minutes, and doesn't leave me feeling sticky or greasy. It offers a light level of moisturisation and would be perfect for normal skin. A little goes quite a long way, and so the bottle will last a decent amount of time. I've used this a few times a week for over four months and there is still roughly a third of the product left.

                    I have tried it on my dry legs out of interest to see how it comes with drier skin, and my skin felt dry again a couple of hours after applying it. However it does perform well on normal skin, and the scent lingers for a good few hours after use, which is always a bonus with body lotions.

                    I've found that when used in conjunction with the shower gel, scrub, and body butter, this scent is very invigorating and genuinely does help to wake me up in the mornings. As a result I would suggest only using this range when you want to wake up, as it can be a bit too stimulating to use before bed time!

                    In summary this is a nice light moisturiser with a lovely natural scent. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that needs a bit of help waking up in the mornings, or to anyone who simply enjoys the scent of grapefruit. It is best used on normal skin, and has a light scent that will stay with you for a few hours. If you see it on half price promotion then I would definitely suggest treating yourself to one!

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                    18.10.2011 09:05
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                    This failed to perform for me, and so I'm unable to recommend it.

                    Certain hair products perform better on certain types of hair than others, so I guess I should begin by telling you about my hair. I have fine, thin hair, with a natural kink to it, that is neither curly enough to be wavy, yet is definitely not straight! It is sadly very frizzy- we're not talking a little bit flyaway, we're talking full on gravity defying rebellious frizz. Unsurprisingly, I'm not a big fan of my hair, and so over the years I've spent a small fortune on products that claim to rid me of my frizz. This is one such product. I don't care if my hair is wavy or straight, I just want to get rid of the frizz!

                    It is priced at around £6, although it is currently on offer at Superdrug for £4.49, or £4.99 on 3 for 2 mix and match on selected hair products at Tesco. The bottle only contains 50ml of product, so although this seems a lot to pay for a diddy bottle, a little goes a long way so the product does actually offer reasonable value for money. The bottle has a little pump, and you only need one pump action to release a sufficient amount of serum. I apply the serum to my hands, rub my hands together and then run my hands through my hair. The serum is a clear, thick liquid, and is easy to apply. Some serums are very runny and cause wasteage as they drip through my fingers before I can apply them to my hair- no such problems with this L'Oreal serum, as the texture is much thicker than I'm used to. The scent is inoffensive and quite mild, and I could no longer smell it after around 30 minutes of applying it.

                    I have tried using this product in several ways. As I said before, I don't mind if my hair is left curly or straight, and the packaging suggests blow-drying to achieve straight hair, and leaving to dry naturally to achieve curls. I have tried using it on wet hair and leaving to dry naturally, on wet hair and blow drying, on wet hair annd then leaving to dry naturally before straightening, on dry hair and straightening, and lastly just on dry hair. As I said, different products work in different ways on different hair types, so I was eager to find the way in which this product worked best for me.

                    Sadly none of these methods produced good results for me. Applying it to dry hair and leaving it was a complete no-no. I like the idea of this method to tidying up my hair before I leave the house. I wash my hair every two or three days, so I wanted to keep my hair smooth and sleek between washes. However when I applied the serum to my dry hair, my hair was left looking lank and greasy, even though I just applied the smallest amount. This was not a good look and I ended up being late for work as I had to wash my hair before I could leave the house!

                    When I used it before straightening, both on dry and wet hair, my hair was again left looking lank, shapeless, clumpy, and sticky to the touch. Worst of all my precious straighteners were left with a yucky brown sticky coating on the plates. As the serum itself is clear, I suspect this turned brown as my GHD's reach a very high temperature and probably burnt the serum. The brown bits peeled off with no damage to the straighteners once they were cooled, but given the disappointing results on my hair, this is not an experience I wish to repeat.

                    When I applied the serum to wet hair and then left it dry naturally, I probably achieved the best result from a bad bunch. I scrunched up my hair with my fingers as it was drying to encourage some defined curls to take shape. While the serum definitely did reduce the frizz, as soon as I went to comb or brush my hair, the frizz instantly returned with a vengence. I couldn't leave it uncombed, as it was not nicely defined waves or curls, and also definitely not straight. It looked straggley, unkempt and simply a mess.

                    Looking through the other reviews, I am even more disappointed now as others seem to have had a great experience with this product. Their hair seems to be thicker than mine though, so perhaps this product is best suited to thick, slightly fly away hair rather than my thin nightmare hair! I can't recommend this on the basis that this product simply did not work well at all for me. However if you have thicker hair then it may be worth taking a punt. Definitely not a product I will be buying again!

                    Thanks for reading :)

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                    17.10.2011 09:12
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                    A really easy to use eye shadow pallette.

                    I am seriously lacking in confidence when it comes to applying makeup. My Mum never wears any makeup at all, except for a little lipstick on Christmas Day, and so growing up I never had anyone showing me the best ways to apply makeup. As a result, I also have no confidence in choosing colours that will compliment each other, particularly when it comes to eyeshadows. I love layered effect eyeshadows but was painfully aware from past experience that you can't just mix any old colours unless you are aiming for the Coco the Clown look!

                    I was therefore delighted when I stumbled across this range of pallettes from L'Oreal. They contain three eyeshadows that are designed to be worn together, so they do all of the hard work of choosing the colours for you. What is even better is that the pallettes are designed to enhance your eye colour. At the time of purchase, they were available in shades designed for blue, brown, grey and green eyes. My eyes are green, and having learnt the hard way that having green eyes does not mean lurid green eyeshadow will look fabulous, I was extremely grateful for L'Oreal's guidance and expertise on helping me choose colours that will look good on me! What is more, there is even a little diagram on the back explaining to me where I need to apply each of the three colours to achieve a glamourous look for a night out.

                    There are three colours in my palette. The first is a very dark, smokey brown colour that has the tiniest hint of gold. According to the diagram, this should be applied in a thin line underneath the lower eyelids. The second colour is a light shimmering bronze, and the diagram indicates that this shade should be applied all over the eyelid. The last colour is a shimmery white colour, and is apparently a highlighter. The diagram suggests this should be used in the gap between the eyebrow and the eyelid (helpfully called "the arch" on the diagram- I thought this was on my foot!!). I found that the eyeshadows stayed put all night, for a good eight hours, even after four or five of those hours were spent dancing in a very hot, sweaty club. My foundation had completely slid off my face my this point, leaving me with big shiny patches on my nose and forehead, but panic not as my eyeshadow was still looking good! The shadow was however easily removed with my regular No. 7 eye makeup remover- no scrubbing required which is always a bonus.

                    The pallette also contains two makeup brushes, which I personally find very helpful. I don't own a massive makeup brush collection, and so it saved me having to go out and buy specialist brushes. It is also very convenient as I can simply pop the palette in my travel bag without having to worry/remember to pack a seperate brush. The first brush lookes like a regular eyeshadow applicator. The second brush has a much more narrow tip, and is designed for applying the dark smokey colour to the base of the lower lashes.

                    I have found the shadows easy to apply, and they blend together really well. I have found that it is easiest to apply the highlighter first rather than last, simply because it is the lightest colour, and if you layer it last then the brush will become stained by the darker colours. I apply the highlighter to my whole eyelid, and then use the shimmering bonze colour on the outer half of my eyelids. The darkest smokey colour is incredibly dark, and when I first attempted to apply it to the base of my lower lashes, the end result I achieved was that of two black eyes! Perhaps I just don't have the techniques required to achieve the desired look, or perhaps I'm just too old to pull it off, but I have come to the conclusion that less is more with this colour, and that a tiny dot in the outer corner of each eye is all I need to create a three toned look.

                    At the time of purchase a couple of years ago, the full price of the pallette was £7.99. However Boots had reduced them by £3 on a special promotion, and in addition, I had a voucher for £2 off L'Oreal makeup, which made it a bargainous £2.99. Looking on the Boots website today (www.boots.com), the price has increased to £8.19, and the packaging has changed. The pallette is now circular with a gold edge around the packaging. It is also available in a wider range of colours. £8.19 seems very expensive to me, but then I guess when you compare the cost of buying three separate eyeshadows, it's not so bad. You also get the added bonus that the colours work well together, and the convenience of only having one product to pop in your bag. Also, I only wear makeup occasionally on nights out, so if you wear it every day then obviously you will get better value for money, as you will get more use out of the product. I've had the pallette for several years and there is still loads of all three eyeshadows left, so they are very long-lasting (I very much doubt I will ever finish the darkest smokey colour though unless I ever require the black eye look for a play or something!)

                    In summary, I love having the hard work of selecting three colours that compliment each other for me. I love having the handy brushes included, and I also like the convenience of it all being included in one handy product. I'm not convinced about their diagram of where is best to apply each colour, but that may well be my inadequate application techniques! I would highly recommend these pallettes, to makeup novices and experts a like. They are easy to blend and last well on the skin, and even I have been able to create some good looks with them. And if you can find this range with a promotion on, then even better- Boots regularly does special offers on this range, so if you are not in a dire rush then it's worth hanging on for a free gift on some money off!

                    Thanks for reading :)

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                    16.10.2011 20:09
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                    A reasonably priced product if it works for your skintype.

                    I have sensitive skin, particularly on my face, and find I frequently get allergic reactions to new face products. I chose this cleanser as it claims it is suitable for sensitive skin, and so hoped it would be more gentle on my skin than previous products I've had problems with.
                    This cleanser is currently priced at £4.59 from Superdrug. However the L'oreal range is currently on promotion at 2 selected bottles of L'Oreal products for £4.99, so it may be a good chance to try out a cleanser and get a toner at the same time!

                    There are two main ways you can use the cleanser. Firstly, you can apply the product onto a cotton wool pad, and then smooth the pad over your face. This method is like making a DIY face wipe, and the main advantage is that it's quick and easy. Alternatively, you can apply the cleanser directly to your face, massaging it gently in, before removing the cleanser with a cotton wool pad. I prefer the latter option- there is no waste (the first option uses more of the product, as some of the cleanser sinks into the cotton pad), and I also feel that my face is left cleaner as the massaging motion seems to achieve a deeper cleanse. This takes slightly longer than squirting the product directly onto cotton wool, but I feel it is worth it!

                    The texture of the milk is lovely- not so runny that it is troublesome to apply, and not so thick that it smothers the skin. It has a velvety softness to it that somehow feels very luxurious, which I like as bi-daily cleansing can feel a bit of a chore.

                    My skin is left feeling nourished and soft- often cleansers leave my skin feeling very dry and tight, especially on my cheeks. I was pleased to see that I didn't experience that problem with this cleanser at all. However the downside for me was that I did develop some spots on my chin and forehead. Usually I have clear skin, with just the odd hormonal spot occasionally. I know that sometimes when you change cleansers, it can take your skin a while to adjust, and a thorough cleanser can rid your skin of existing impurities, causing you to go through a phase of looking spotty for a week or too, before the blemishes make way for beautiful skin. However I stuck with this cleanser, using it day and night, for a full month. During this time my skin has deterioted steadily, and I've experienced a surge of underskin spots as well as a lot of whiteheads. I therefore feel it is not a thorough enough cleanser for my skin. I have combination skin, with dry cheeks and a slightly oilier t-zone, and while this cleanser worked very well on my cheeks, keeping them soft and hydrated, it wasn't enough to keep my t-zone under control. Therefore while I would not necessarily recommend this product for combination skin, it would be great for people with very dry skin. I have also suffered no reaction to using the product, so I would agree with the manufacture claims that it is suitable for sensitive skin.

                    Furthermore, this product was not great at removing makeup. I don't regularly wear makeup, so this was not a huge issue for me, but on the odd occasions I did wear it I found that I needed a lot of the product to throughly remove all traces of foundation. It simply couldn't cope with removing eye liner or waterproof mascara, and I found it started to sting my delicate eye area. I would therefore suggest using a specialist eye makeup remover for that (after a night out on the town it is so much easier to be able to use one product to fully remove all of your makeup- sadly this is not the product for that purpose!).

                    I have used just over half the bottle from using it twice a day for a month, so I would estimate that a full bottle would last roughly two months. However, bare in mind that if you apply it directly to cotton wool that you will use up the bottle more quickly. I think this makes the cleanser reasonably good value for money, and very good value if you get two bottles for £4.99 on the current Superdrug offer.

                    In summary, while this product was not for me, I would still recommend it to anyone with dry, sensitive skin. It is nicely soothing and softening, and worth a try as long as your skin is not too oily.

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                      20.08.2011 10:33
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                      A truly indulgent moisturiser.

                      I don't regularly buy Cinique products. They are usually very expensive, and being on a budget I tend to stick with cheaper brands such as Nivea, or Boots own products. However, a few months back Glamour magazine did a promotion of Clinique freebies. There were ten different ones to collect, and at only £2 per magazine, it was an affordable way for me to try out some of the Clinique range. I was particularly drawn to the Moisture Surge, partly because I had just finished my old Nivea face cream, and partly because this was the most expensive product out of all of the freebies- a full size 50ml pot of this retails at £30, and the freebie sample was a very generous 30ml, making it worth around £18! Not bad for the price of a £2 magazine!

                      I had very high expectations from this product, partly because of the usual price tag, and partly because of the brand. Clinique is very well-respected and just generally quite a posh high-end brand for me, so I was very excited to treat myself. The full size version of this product comes in a tub, whereas my 30ml sample is a squeezy tube. I think the tub is probably better suited to this product, as I have a habit of squuezing too much out, however careful I am, which seems wasteful.

                      The tube informs me this product is designed for "extended thirst relief", which to be honest I find a tiny bit pompous! It sounds better suited to the packaging on a sports drink than a simple face cream! I guess this suggests it is aimed at dry skin and acts as an instant moisture boost for those times when you skin needs a little bit of help to look its best.

                      The product is closer in texture to a gel rather than the cream that I was expecting, and is pale pink in colour. It doesn't have a strong scent, which I like as I don't need to worry about it clashing with my perfume! A little goes a very long way, so much so that I estimate this 30ml tube will easily last me three months of daily use, which helps to justify the hefty price tag as a 50ml jar would probably last me around six months (given there would be less wasteage than with the squeezy tube)- £5 per month seems much more reasonable and helps to justify the initial £30 outlay!

                      I have very sensitive, combination skin. I get very dry cheeks, particularly in the colder weather, yet my t-zone can get quite oily. I find it very difficult to find a miracle face cream that will be effective all over my face. Usually creams will either be great on my cheeks but too rich for my t-zone and give me break outs, or fine on the t-zone but not nourishing enough for my dry cheeks. This gel seems to suit my whole face well, which I'm delighted with. It is very light so it does not make my t-zone greasy or oily, and I've had no spots since using this product (hurray!). However it is also great on my cheeks, and my whole face feels incredibly soft after using this. I don't wear foundation, but the moisture surge gel sinks in completely within a few minutes, so it would make a good base for makeup.

                      It also makes for a wonderfully indulgent face mask. I apply a slightly thicker layer of the gel to my face, and after 5 minutes I wipe the gel off with a tissue. This is more of a softening and smoothing mask, and it certainly leaves my skin extremely soft. As face masks go, my skin type is better suited to an exfoliating type of mask, and so I will probably stick to just using the gel as a daily moisturiser. However, anyone with less oily skin than me may well really get the benefit from using this as a mask.

                      My one criticism of this product is that it doesn't contain SPF. I've had to deduct one star for that, purely because I insist on only wearing moisturisers that contain SPF during the day time, all year round. I burn so easily and have heard so many stories about damage the sun can cause the skin that I don't want to take any chances! Most moisturiers aimed at day time use these days do contain SPF, even the cheapy ones I usually get, so I'm quite disappointed that Clinique didn't feel the need to add one to Moisture Surge- it would be my dream product if it did!

                      I reviewed Clinique's Dramatically Different moisturiser recently, and was also disappointed that it didn't contain SPF. Consequently I have been using the Moisture Surge at nightime. I definitely prefer it to the Dramatically Different cream. It absorbs much more quickly, has no greasy or sticky feel to it, and leaves my skin much softer than the Dramatically Different cream. I've had a little browse on the Clinique website, and notice that they have now brought out a tinted moisturiser version of Moisture Surge, which contains SPF 15. I am very eager to try this, as I'm getting on so well with the regular Moisture Surge that the tinted moisturiser day time version may also suit my skin time very well.

                      This gel is available from the Clinique website, as well as from department stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser, and also from Boots. They seem to have special offers fairly regularly which are well worth waiting for- usually you have to purchase two products to qualify for a bag containing quite a lot of trial sized products, and Boots often have points promotions on this range as well.

                      In summary, I really recommend Moisture Surge. It feels like such a luxurious product to use, my skin laps it up and is left feeling silky soft. There is no greasy or sticky residue, and it really is a wonderful product for sensitive skin. This will definitely be going on my Christmas list until I can afford to treat myself to it!

                      Thank you for reading.

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                        02.05.2011 17:37
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                        A nice light moisturiser for those who aren't fussed about SPF.

                        I am not a regular Clinique customer, simply because it is an expensive brand that is usually out of my price range. So, when Glamour magazine recently celebrated it's 10th Birthday edition by giving out one of ten different Clinique freebies with each issue, I was delighted at the chance to try something new and a bit luxurious for the bargain price of a £2 magazine! I treated myself to several of the different freebies, the first of which being Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion.

                        The full size version of this lotion is available at www.clinique.co.uk, as well as Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser, and a 50ml bottle will set you back £15. The freebie I got was 30ml, so worth about £9, which makes it a real bargain!

                        The moisturiser is designed to be used as Step 3 of Clinique's famous 3-Step skincare routine. However, I have relatively sensitive skin, and have heard many horror stories from friends who have likened Clinique's cleansers and toners to paintstripper! While I have no doubts they work brilliantly for those with more well-suited skin, I decided to use this moisturiser along side my usual cleanser (Clean and Clear for sensitive skin by Johnsons) and toners (Breath of Fresh Air and Tea Tree Water by Lush).

                        It comes in a simple tube with a screw cap lid, and it is easy to control the amount of product that is dispersed. However, the picture of the full sized product on the website suggests it is packaged as a pump bottle, which may make it harder to prevent too much product coming out per pump. I personally much prefer the squeezy tubes, as there is less wasteage, and also it is easier to use up the dregs of the product- I sometimes cut the top off to get a few more days of use, which cannot be done with a hard plastic bottle.

                        The first thing I noticed when studying the information on the tube is that this moisturiser doesn't contain any SPF. This is extremely disappointing to me personally. Surely by now, with so much awareness of the damage the sun can do, both in terms of the dangers of skin cancer as well as the more trivial worries of premature ageing and age spots, I strongly feel that all moisturisers should contain SPF as standard. Perhaps this has been designed for people who wear foundation containing SPF instead. In any case, I refuse to leave the house without wearing a moisturiser containing an SPF, and so for that reason, I have been using this moisturiser in the evenings, as well as on occasional weekends/ bank holidays where I have stayed indoors.

                        There is an extremely mild fragrance to this moisturiser, which is completely inoffensive. To me, it simply smells clean, and the scent fades completely within minutes of having applied it, so there are no concerns about it clashing with your perfume. I think the most impressive feature of this moisturiser to me is how quickly it sinks in to my skin. Most moisturisers leave a sheen on my face that takes ages to properly sink in. Yet this lotion is completely absorbed within a minute of applying it. This makes it a wonderful base for makeup, as there is no waiting around for the moisturiser to absorb.

                        This moisturiser is suitable for very dry to dry combination skin. I fall into the latter category, as I often get very tight, dry cheeks, with an oilier t-zone. Having used this product once a day for over a month now, I can confidently say it leaves my cheeks feeling soft and smooth. However, I have found that on the odd occasion when I have worn this during they day, by lunchtime I am left with a very shiny looking nose and forehead. I will continue to use this moisturiser until I have finished the tube, but it seems like my t-zone is a tad too oily for this lotion to deal with.

                        I have had no breakouts since using this moisturiser, which is great, and suggests it is light enough not to block up my bores, unlike heavier moisturisers I have tried in the past. I estimate I have used approximately 10ml of my 30ml tube during that time, so a little goes a long way, making it better value for money than I initially thought.

                        Clinique regularly have "Bonus Time" offers, whereby if you purchase 2 or 3 full-sized products, then you get around 5 or 6 trial sized freebies, and often a pretty case/bag/tin to put them all in. These Bonus Time promotions seem to be on fairly frequently in my local Boots and Debenhams stores, so I would suggest anyone wanting to give this moisturiser a try to hold off until then. The trial sized products are often decent sizes, and are a great way of trying out a range of products without commiting to buying full sized versions.

                        I thought this was a decent moisturiser, but I won't be rushing out to buy a full sized pot anytime soon. This is partly because I am in saving mode at the moment, and would rather use a cheaper alternative and put the savings in our wedding fund, but partly because there is no SPF. For that kind of money, there is no excuse for it not containing SPF, and as I don't frequently wear foundation, I can't make up for it by using a foundation containing SPF. Having had a little browse on Clinique's website, I can see they sell a number of moisturisers that do contain SPF, so if I did decide to treat myself once I have a little more money to spend on treats, I think I would personally try one of those instead.

                        In summary, this is a lovely light moisturiser that sinks into my skin ever so quickly. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a Dramatically Different moisturiser, but my face is left feeling soft and smooth, and my cheeks no longer feel tight or dry. However, after a few hours of applying it, my t-zone does look rather shiny, so perhaps my skin is too combination for this lotion. However for someone with dry skin, who is not fussed about it not containing an SPF or the high price tag, this is definitely worth a try.

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