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    • JVC HA-F240-VN-E / Headphones / 25 Readings / 22 Ratings
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      30.08.2011 17:22
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      A decent product, but it may be worth paying more for a better set

      I have got through a lot of ear phones over the years, but it's not always my clumsiness that forces me to buy a new set. In the past I largely chose budget ones, but while this pleased my purse it did little for my ears. I will admit that I was tempted by the affordability of the Gumy earphones, but the funky range of colors also appealed to me. The only shades available when I made my choice from Amazon were the grey and yellow. There was no chance of me going for the dull grey set, but even with a rainbow of choice I probably would have gone for the sunny yellow ones.

      The earphones are nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of design, but they do the job. They slip easily into the ears - even little ones, like mine - although like every singly other set I have used after prolonged use they do tend to cause my ears to ache. They convey sound amply too, although I have noticed at louder volumes there does tend to be some noticeable distortion of sound. If you prefer lower volumes and/or enjoy listening to music merely as a distraction, this is not a problem.

      The cord measures aprox 1m in length, and this is plenty long enough should you wish to carry your iPod in your pocket, or even rest in on a surface while you work or study, with an adequate supply of spare cord left over. The cord is also quite durable, so you don't feel as though it is prone to fall apart easily or that it is likely to become detached from the earphones themselves.

      I purchased my Gumy earphones for around £4, which is excellent value when you consider some of the other earphones on the market. You should expect to get what you pay for however - some sound does escape from the product when you are listening to music, and as I mentioned previously, I have experienced the distortion problem with most other earphones in this price bracket. They look great though and do the job you expect, so I can't complain.

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      • Sainsbury's Basics Steam Iron / Iron / 21 Readings / 18 Ratings
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        07.07.2011 20:23
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        You get what you pay for

        I was given the Sainsbury's Basics iron by my boyfriend's mum when I was heading off on a trip to a cottage in the Lake District earlier this year. I knew that there was no iron at the accommodation, and I didn't want to take an expensive iron that may become damaged in the trip up there. My ironing needs are only very modest, and so I didn't require a machine that was particularly professional.

        Aesthetically the iron is not particularly groundbreaking. It is vaguely streamlined in appearance, and is comprised of a number of panels in various complementary shades, and the controls are easy to access at the head of the device. One strange thing I noticed about the iron was that the cord is positioned in such a manner it makes manoeuvring the device troublesome at times. The cord is also stiff, and this means should you need to change the position of the iron - easier than repositioning the garment on the ironing board sometimes - you do sometimes have to give it a yank and risk moving the ironing plate perilously close to your skin. Another gripe I have with the iron is filling it with water. I'm not sure how much consideration the designers gave to the shapes of taps people may have in their homes, but the opening in the iron is not at all complementary to any of the taps I have used with the device. The consequence of this is that water tends to spurt from the tap over the outside of the iron, with a less than satisfactory amount entering the machine itself.

        The Basics Steam Iron comes with six options depending on the sort of fabric you are working with. This, and indeed most of the options the iron offers, was not something I have ever explored in much detail. I tended to stick with the cotton setting, or switch on to using the delicates option if I had cause to iron anything particularly flimsy. When using the latter setting however, I should caution you that it is perhaps unwise to use even this feature on the likes of silks. I have used the setting on lace-based items, but even then was so scared I would cause damage to them I literally pulled the iron across their surface in one swift movement and left it at that. Luckily this action has never resulted in any real damage to items, although I did notice on one of my earlier experimenting sessions that the outer edge of a lace blazer was left very slightly discoloured from using the iron.

        Even had I not seen the box I would have been able to tell this was a value iron. It has a flimsy feel to it that is not especially reassuring, although on the occasions I have used it I have not sustained any injuries, nor has the iron caused any significant damage to my garments. The Basics Iron can be purchased for around £10, but I would rather invest in a machine that is more substantial and is easier to use.

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        07.07.2011 17:04
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        One of Bryson's best

        I have been a fan of Bill Bryson for many years, and have read most of his books - all of his travel writings, anyway. It is tough to pick a favourite, but I would say it is this one, A Walk in the Woods, and Notes From a Big Country that are the ones I return to time and again.

        A Walk in the Woods follows Bryson and his friend Stephen Katz (also seen in Neither Here Nor There) as they set out to conquer America's famous Appalachian trial. Bryson described how he has tackled portions of the walk before, but stretching over a good chunk of the country he has never completed it. The trail encompasses many national parks, and Bryson's descriptions of the natural wonders he encounters are breathtaking. I knew very little of the Appalachian trail before reading this book, and Bryson mixes observations with history and his characteristic comic observations to create a truly enjoyable read. What is so great about A Walk in the Woods is that is caters for a variety of tastes. I am not particularly inclined to read about history or geography, but even I was sucked into this tale, as Bryson presents his journey in a way that makes the reader hungry for more.

        As in all Bryson's offerings, it is the descriptions of characters he meets along his journey, and in particular the wonderfully inept Katz, that keeps the humour flowing. I loathe books that are heralded as 'laugh out loud funny', as they so rarely are, but this book always gets me rolling around laughing, which is not something I can say about many other tales. One of my favourite sections is near the beginning, when Bryson attempts to persuade a reluctant Katz - more a fan of doughnuts and the X Files than hiking - to accompany him on his adventure. This, and Bryson's in creasing hysteria as he reads of the stories of the bears he is likely to encounter on his way, had me in stitches.

        The scope of A Walk in the Woods is astounding, and as well as being genuinely funny it is also very touching in parts. It is educational too, but not in a boring way. As always Bryson's observations are very entertaining, and I would not hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend this book.

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          02.07.2011 20:47
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          A lovely shower cream, but fragrance could be loner lasting

          I have tried a good few of the Original Source products. I love the company's ethical policy, and I also love the beautiful fragrances in their shampoos, shower creams, etc. I picked up the Shea Butter and Honey cream a few months ago when it was on offer in Sainsbury's for about 99p.

          The cream comes in a vaguely triangular shaped bottle with a flat bottom, where the product itself emerges. The bottle is clear yet cloudy, so you can see the creamy beigue colour of the liquid inside. The text on the bottle is, as on all other Original Source products, funky looking and informative. It states that 49 bee miles went into making the cream, and the colours used compliment that of the product inside.

          The bottle houses 250ml of the cream, which is fairly viscous and has a 'wobbliness' to it that reminds me pleasantly of custard. The hole through which the cream emerges could be a bit smaller, or perhaps one of those sealed holes which only allows the product to emerge when the bottle is squeezed, because as it is I do find a trail of the cream tends to emerge when I snap open the lid. The scent of the product is heavenly though, with the prevailing aroma that of sweet honey. The richness of the shea butter tends to creep through as a base note. During one shower I get through a small handful of the crème, and it works up a nice lather. As with most products of its kind you have to be careful to rub it in while you can however, because it will slide off wet skin rapidly. I have never experienced any irritation when using the cream, despite the fact that the ingredients list looks as though it contains a variety of chemical products rather than the natural-sounding ones you might expect from a product of this kind.

          The bottle and cap are recyclable, and it states on the back of the product that the Original Source products are tested only on willing volunteers. Although the scent of the cream is beautiful, the one disappointment I faced was that it does not last long after you have dried off. Given the intense fragrance you would expect at least a few hours of the scent remaining detectable on your skin, yet it is barely noticeable even straight away. I have found the same problem with some of the other Original Source shower creams I have used, but I will continue to use them nonetheless.

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            02.07.2011 13:27
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            Please your purse

            I have got through a lot of ear phones over the years, but it's not always my clumsiness that forces me to buy a new set. In the past I largely chose budget ones, but while this pleased my purse it did little for my ears. I will admit that I was tempted by the affordability of the Gumy earphones, but the funky range of colors also appealed to me. The only shades available when I made my choice from Amazon were the grey and yellow. There was no chance of me going for the dull grey set, but even with a rainbow of choice I probably would have gone for the sunny yellow ones.

            The earphones are nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of design, but they do the job. They slip easily into the ears - even little ones, like mine - although like every singly other set I have used after prolonged use they do tend to cause my ears to ache. They convey sound amply too, although I have noticed at louder volumes there does tend to be some noticeable distortion of sound. If you prefer lower volumes and/or enjoy listening to music merely as a distraction, this is not a problem.

            The cord measures aprox 1m in length, and this is plenty long enough should you wish to carry your iPod in your pocket, or even rest in on a surface while you work or study, with an adequate supply of spare cord left over. The cord is also quite durable, so you don't feel as though it is prone to fall apart easily or that it is likely to become detached from the earphones themselves.

            I purchased my Gumy earphones for around £4, which is excellent value when you consider some of the other earphones on the market. You should expect to get what you pay for however - some sound does escape from the product when you are listening to music, and as I mentioned previously, I have experienced the distortion problem with most other earphones in this price bracket. They look great though and do the job you expect, so I can't complain.

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            30.06.2011 21:11
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            One of the better celebrity fragrances

            I have received a number of testers over the years from a friend who works in one of the better known high street chemists. This has ended up being a nice cheap way of building up my scent collection, even though some of the bottles I come into possession of do appear a bit the worse for wear. Few have been more so than LA glow, which leads me to believe that it must be a fairly popular fragrance.

            LA Glow comes in an enchanting bottle that would not look out of place in a stereotypical witch's house. You can almost imagine fumes billowing out of it, and some magical potion being contained within. From its exterior I imagined a rich perfume reminiscent of long nights and dark spices. Instead I found this was a very fruity scent - too much so for my liking - whose amber and musk notes do not develop enough to give the product much substance. Unlike many other celebrity fragrances however, Jennifer Lopez's offering does smell more like an adult scent rather than a teenage one.

            I much prefer perfumes over eau de toilettes, mainly because the latter tends to have much reduced staying power. I was somewhat surprised by LA Glow in this respect though; while you need to top up the scent a couple of times during the day, it does seem to 'cling on' for longer than many others like it. The aroma also changes markedly as it remains on your skin for longer - it sheds much of the fruitiness that is detectable in the first hours and takes on a delicate floral scent.

            This is one of the better fragrances of its kind I have come across. I am not a fan of celebrity perfumes in general, and would rarely invest in one. For the relatively low price however (around £25 for a 50ml bottle) this is a nice quality product. The bottle is pretty and an unusual design, the spray emerges finely and the pump is not prone to sticking or stalling, and you even receive a nice accessory in the form of a wearable ring on purchase of the product. If you are looking for an inexpensive feminine fragrance you may appreciate this product.

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          • Nivea Glamorous Gloss / Make Up / 24 Readings / 23 Ratings
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            30.06.2011 19:03
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            My favourite ever lip gloss

            I have used Nivea Care Gloss and Shine for a long time now, and have loved its combination of moisturising ability and shimmering appearance on the lips. I discovered recently however, that Care Gloss and Shine has been replaced by Glamorous Gloss. Like Care Gloss and Shine, there are several shades of the product available. The two that I most often use are Natural and Pink Sugar. The Natural shade seems identical to its Care Gloss and Shine predecessor, being smooth and natural in appearance. The Pink Sugar variation is a little different, however. In its former incarnation Pink Sugar was viscous and much darker in shade, but the Glamorous Gloss is of a lovely consistency and shows just a hint of rosy pink even when a good slick is applied.

            The Glamorous Gloss comes in a long tube that is 'sliced' at an angle under the lid so that you can apply it very easily to the lips. The gloss will emerge when little pressure is applied to the tube, and not much is required to adequately cover the lips. This is not a sticky gloss at all either, so the problem of windy weather gluing hair to the face is not an issue when using Glamorous Gloss!

            The gloss has fantastic moisturising ability. I tend to get sore/dry lips quite easily, but even when they are at their worst after a few hours of wearing the gloss the transformation is miraculous. I would say the gloss even rivals the likes of Vaseline for imbuing the lips with much needed moisture.

            If you are looking for a well tinted rosy gloss, then perhaps the Pink Sugar gloss is not for you. As previously mentioned, the tint is only subtle. I prefer this, as I like the more natural look, however. A set comprising two tubes of gloss - Natural and Pink Sugar - and a small container of lip glitter is currently being sold in some Bodycare stores for £2.99. This is a great deal considering one tube of the gloss normally retails for about £2.10. The problem I have found recently is that many of the stores I have previously relied on in which I could purchase individual Glamorous Glosses - Bodycare, Superdrug - no longer seem to stock it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when my current stock runs out, but this is my favourite ever gloss, and I really need to get some more!

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            30.06.2011 15:00
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            I don't think I'll be sticking to this one long term

            The first thing you notice on forking out a not insubstantial sum for the Clinique clarifying lotion is how uninspiring the bottle is. It is very plain, with a green theme throughout, and unadorned by fancy images. I suppose you could argue that given the high quality of the product itself there is little need for the company to try to impress buyers with unnecessary adornment.

            I rarely use clarifying products of this kind, even though I think I have a good skin care routine. At the end of the day I tend to use a cleansing lotion to remove make up, and a cleansing wipe to remove the excess. I tend use a gentle exfoliator and finish off by applying moisturiser. I noticed at the beginning of this year however, probably owing to exam stress, that I was developing more spots and blemishes than usual. I need a product that would rectify this, so I decide to try a trusted brand. I purchased the lotion online and paid around £13 for a mid-size bottle.

            The lotion itself has approximately the same viscosity as water, so you do have to be careful when dispensing it on to a pad that you don't overestimate the quantity emerging and spill any excess. Having said that the opening in the bottle is very small, so you can better control the emergence of the product even though you do have to be mindful not to squeeze it too hard.

            Most of the skincare products I use have either no smell at all (the Simple range) or have a natural fruity or floral scent (such as St Ives exfoliating products). For some reason this puts me at ease, as in neither case do I feel I am putting harmful chemicals on the delicate skin of my face. I had expected the clarifying liquid to be devoid of scent, but in fact it disappointed me by smelling of some kind of medical product you might find in a doctor's surgery. The smell is not overwhelming by any means - it is more a dilute, medicinal sort of aroma, but still I was not keen on it.

            You use the product by applying it to a pad or cotton cushion of some kind, then working it gently into the face. The lotion is intended to rid the pores of small amounts of grease and dirt that accumulate, with the aid of micro-beads. The problem I found was that as the liquid is absorbed quickly by the pad, the cotton can irritate your skin after a time. It also means the micro beads work with relatively little liquid to accompany their action.

            I used the liquid religiously for perhaps two months, once a day. I did notice that I developed slightly fewer spots, but then again I was under less stress by then, so cannot say that this was not the responsible factor. I do use the liquid every now and then, but I much prefer my Simple and natural-smelling skin products, and my purse does, too.

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            30.06.2011 14:30
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            Just too overpowering

            I am a great fan of the Original Source products, and am gradually working my way through the range. One of my favourite products thus far is their White Pear and Avocado shampoo, which, as with all the company's offerings, smells natural and divine, and lives up to its promise. With the success of this, when I saw the Tea Tree and Mint shampoo in my local pound shop I had to try it out. It was quite an experience.

            The bottle is vaguely triangular shape, like other products in the range, and this shampoo is a deep mint green, almost clear. The shampoo smells intensely minty - zingy and fresh and exactly as you would hope based on the name of the shampoo. I dispensed a small handful of the product onto my wet hair, and proceeded to massage it into my scalp. Almost immediately my head began to tingle, and this sensation escalated rapidly until I began to feel as though the top of my head had been submersed in liquid nitrogen. I have never felt anything quite like that before, even from other mint-based shampoos that promise a tingling feeling. Rather than finding it refreshing however, it was just too much and I didn't want to leave the shampoo on for long. That is not the worst of it, however.

            When it was time to wash the lather out of my hair I submerged my head to rid it of the shampoo. What I did not know was that the water was now potent with the tea tree and mint concoction. Thus, when just a small amount of water got into my eyes, I found that the stinging sensation that resulted was incredibly painful. It felt as though my eyeballs were going to fizz out of my head. This is incredible considering the shampoo must have been considerably diluted by the bath full of water.

            I found that not much shampoo was required to leave my hair feeling clean and fresh, even though the scent of the shampoo, intense in the bottle, did not remain on my hair for long at all. It is the potent nature of it however, that would deter me from ever purchasing this product again. Use with caution!

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            29.06.2011 20:27
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            An investment

            I am not a regular lipstick wearer, but I received this Long Last product as part of a promotional pack not long ago. Ironically, long lasting lip colour is not an issue for me, but I decided to try this out anyway.

            I wear glosses during the day, but do sometimes resort to a bit of colour for evening events. Most often I prefer neutral or pink-based shades, but it was a somewhat vampish red I received as part of my kit. I do not particularly like the idea of bright lips, so used the lipstick first by applying a slick of lip gloss as usual, and then used a slim brush to dab a small amount of colour on top. Just like the High Impact Clinique lipstick I was also given, this product was creamy and glided on perfectly. It also seemed to absorb into my lips rather than sit on top, lending my lips a beautiful even coverage.

            The tube feels of very good quality, and looks very glamorous with its chrome finish and band design. The screw mechanism allows you to dispense the lipstick easily if you wish to apply it straight from the tube, and given that it is very thick, I can imagine it lasting a good long time.

            I did notice that the Long Last remained adhered to my lips as the evening progressed, even when my gloss became lost to glass rims and cutlery. However, I realised that as my gloss and the lipstick became separated the lipstick became slightly cracked, allowing the natural colour of my lips to appear in fine lines in some parts. I cannot say that the colour remained as intense as on first application for the duration of the evening, either. It did become more muted after a few hours, but I will say that even by morning and following a vigorous rubbing with a cleansing pad the bright red was still detectable.

            This is a very good quality product, but you would expect this given the retail price of the lipstick. I very much doubt I would purchase another Long Last lipstick should my current one ever run out, but I enjoy experimenting with it, and if you are looking for a nice product that will stay put, this may be an investment you will appreciate.

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            29.06.2011 19:10
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            A lovely product, but not the best from the company

            I am a big fan of Original Source, and until early this year my experience with the brand had been limited to their shower range. When I saw this conditioner however, I had to try it. Coconut is my favourite fragrance in a body product, and this one smelled good enough to eat.

            The bottle the conditioner comes in is vaguely triangular in shape, and the product emerges from a hole which contains the product cleanly until the lid is removed and the bottle given a good squeeze. I found that this mechanism means it can be troublesome to dispense just a small amount of product, but it does prevent leakage.

            The colour of the conditioner is as you would imagine for a combination of coconut and almond - a creamy off-white that is verging on beige. The viscosity is also pleasing, being as it is thick, but not so much so that it is difficult to work into the hair. The conditioner is smooth in consistency, and leaves your fingers as well as your hair smelling divine.

            I used the conditioner first by using shampoo in the shower as normal, then working a small handful of the conditioner into the tips and mid lengths of my hair. I was a bit disappointed that despite the pleasant viscosity of the product when it emerged from the bottle, it quickly became runny as it lay in my hair, and when I came to wash it out it had mostly gone. I found this even when my hair was moistened only slightly. Similarly, I had hoped that the conditioner's fragrance would be detectable for at least a few hours after my hair dried. Again I was disappointed, as almost as soon as I had washed the conditioner out the delicious aroma almost completely disappeared.

            This Original Source conditioner is quite good at moisturising the hair, but is certainly not the best I have come across. This, coupled with the limited staying power of the coconut and almond smell, let me down. This conditioner can be purchased for around £1.09 for 200ml at Bodycare, which is a very good price. I would consider buying this product again, but I would certainly not replace my regular conditioner with this one based on my experience thus far.

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            29.06.2011 13:09
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            One of my favourite Bryson books

            I have been a fan of Bill Bryson for at least ten years. There is an enormous array of books which are described as being 'laugh out loud funny' and rarely live up to their promise, but in all of Bryson's offerings, and this one in particular, even my sense of humour has been satisfied.

            The novel is actually a collection of newspaper columns written by Bryson over more than a year. This means the chapters are limited to perhaps three or four pages, but this is of great benefit to the book. Each chapter covers a different aspect of American life, experienced by the author as he returns to his home country after a long period spent living in the UK. The overwhelming sense you glean from Bryson's narrative is of a genial yet hapless middle age gentleman who is utterly bewildered by life. The chapters cover a whole range of topics including a spoof of a tax form (one of my favourites), DIY, bizarre statistics and return to his home town of Des Moines.

            Perhaps the one criticism I have of Notes from a Big Country is that there is not enough space in the column/chapter for the author to explore the topic in any real depth. However, the writing is of a superior quality, and Bryson himself so likable you cannot help but sympathising with his plight. The way in which he describes situations and the inventive description allows the circumstances in which the writer finds himself to leap from the page.

            This remains one of my favourite Bryson books, and due its structure and relative lack of continuity can be enjoyed without following it chapter by chapter. It does not have to be 'got in to' and I defy anyone not to identify with Bryson's dilemma at least once. A fantastic read, and highly recommended.

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              28.06.2011 20:45
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              A great range, even if you aren't going to use it often

              I own very few lipsticks, as I am resolutely a lip gloss girl. I like how glosses are able to moisturise your lips and well as make them look attractive, and I have rarely found the same in lipsticks. I would also say that I limit significant lip colour to night time events, as I prefer more subtle make up during the day. When I do go for some colour at light however, it is most often a muted nude or pink-based shade.

              Just before Christmas I received a promotional pack of products that contained one of the High Impact shades, Nude Beach. As the name suggests, this is a nude-based colour that is verging on beige/brown. I have used the lipstick perhaps four times, although I do not apply it straight from the tube, instead I prefer to use a slim brush to dab colour onto my already moisturised lips. I have found that this technique tends to even out the colour and ensure it stays in place for longer.

              The High Impact range is designed to provide lasting colour, although this is a bit more difficult to judge with paler shades, and especially so when you further dilute the colour as described above. One of the most pleasant things about the product for me was that it felt much more moisturising than many other lipsticks I have used. Most feel very stiff and dry on application, and tend to flake easily. High Impact felt more oily however, but not in a bad way. Mixed with a lightweight gloss Nude Beach blended well and did not merely 'sit' on my lips, but seemed to fix so that even as my gloss adhered to drinking receptacles the lipstick remained in position.

              As I do not use lipstick overly much, I can appreciate other factors such as the packaging: the tube the product comes in radiated glamour with its bright chrome bands and pleasing weight. The lid glides off without any fuss, and the lipstick itself does not feel as though it would snap easily even of your twisted it all out and applied some force (not that I would try this!)

              This is not a cheap lipstick, and probably not one I would instinctively have chosen had I not received the sample, but I would certainly consider purchasing it again if my own Nude Beach ever runs out. There are a number of other shades available in the range, some of them being:

              - Citrus Rose
              - Very Currant
              - Cider Berry
              - Rose Spectrum
              - Plum Nude

              I will say that if you are looking for a classic shade, Nude Beach is a very good choice even though I do not know much about the others. It is creamy and rich, and understated enough that you could wear it to work. Overall this product impressed me very much, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.

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              28.06.2011 19:16
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              Does not deliver

              I have a thing for perfume, and own a good collection of it now. I do like choosing new fragrances for myself, but I am also lucky enough to have a friend who works in a well known high street chemist who often passes on to me their part-used testers. This is how I came upon Heat Rush. I will admit that while I am a fragrance fiend I would rarely choose a celebrity perfume. This is because from my experience they tend to be a bit wishy-washy, and also they wear off soon after application.

              I did not receive the box with the perfume, but the bottle is surprisingly attractive for a product of this kind. The elongated glass reminds me of some kind of Aztec or Egyptian hieroglyph, and the perfume liquid fire. It is a sumptuous amber that is very pleasing to the eye, and could almost be mistaken for an expensive liqueur.

              You would assume from the nature of the packaging and the name of the product that Heat Rush would be most suitable as a night time fragrance, yet I would say this is not the case at all. The overwhelming impression I gleaned from Heat Rush, from the second it emerged from the bottle, is one that is overly sweet and almost old-lady floral. It does not pack enough punch to compete with other fragrances in a night time environment, but even worn during the day its synthetic aroma is a bit limp.

              Most perfumes settle into a more hearty blend after they have been allowed to dry on the skin for a couple of minutes, but for me the change was not significant enough. I expected honey and sandalwood tones, something to give Heat Rush the substance it needs, but instead I detected a more muted version of the fruitiness - tropical fruits from drinking squash, perhaps - that I had noticed on initial application. Having said that there is a very light woodiness, verging on musk, that is just about notable if you concentrate hard enough.

              I wore Heat Rush just twice, and cannot imagine that I would wear it again. It is too reminiscent of a body spray for my liking, and has the barely-there staying power to match. This is a great shame, as the marketing and packaging promise great things, but it is the fragrance itself that is the decider, and this doesn't give me much of a rush at all.

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                28.06.2011 16:45
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                An expensive glue

                I received a batch of Clinique products as part of a promotion not long ago, and the Moisturising Lip Gloss was among them. I adore lip gloss and generally much prefer it over lipstick, at least during the day. My gloss of choice is Nivea Care Gloss and Shine, and I have been using this for a good few years now. For some reason I have had great difficulty tracking this down in the last few months, and so when I ran out recently I remembered I still had this one to use.

                Some glosses, like the Nivea product mentioned above, can be applied and forgotten about as they feel so lightweight. The same cannot be said of the Clinique product. The gloss is so viscous it makes application tricky at first. You need to give the bottle a good squeeze to get a fat blob of the stuff out, and then carefully manoeuvre it over your lips to ensure even application. I found that using my finger to do this worked best, and the warmth of my skin also seemed to encourage the gloss to glide over my lips more smoothly.

                Every time I used the gloss I was very aware that it was there. It feels heavy, and when I rubbed my lips together for the first hour or so there was a tackiness that I did not much care for. Windy weather is also a problem. I have long hair which I like to wear loose, and when a gust of wind came over me and made my hair come into contact with the gloss I found the two almost glued together. Even when I managed to free the glued strands, they often smeared the product in trails across me cheeks, and retained it so that the hair closest to me face became a little stiff and sticky. This does not sound good I know, but there are very good things to be said about the Moisturising Gloss; most importantly, it delivers fantastic moisture. I often get dry lips and so prefer glosses that will repair and make my lips soft as well as making them look good. This product excels in that regard. I have used it when my lips have been very dry, and discovered that even after as little as a few hours they are feeling almost normal again.

                I experimented with the gloss in a number of ways, and while there is no method of eliminating the heavy feel or the 'glue hair' effect, if you apply a small amount of simple lip balm such as Vaseline prior to using the gloss, you can get away with using less and thus minimise the disadvantages previously mentioned.

                I would be reluctant to purchased this product at the full price of £12, but it is certainly effective in terms of its moisturising ability. If you want a gloss that is equally good at repairing the lips but is significantly light and will not glue your hair to your face, try the Nivea Care Gloss. If you can find it.

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