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First one category becomes non-paying, then another... is Ciao going the way of Dooyoo?

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since 03/01/2011


Nivea Volume Shine Ultra Glossy Matte Lipstick 27/11/2015

Lovely lipstick

Nivea Volume Shine Ultra Glossy Matte Lipstick A while ago, I saw an offer on one of the daily deals sites – I can’t remember if it was Living Social, Groupon, or something else entirely – offering a selection of Nivea lipsticks for about £15. I thought this was a bargain, so snapped it up, even though I’d had no idea Nivea made lipsticks, or indeed any kind of makeup – I thought they just did skincare. When the selection arrived, there were a few different kinds of lipsticks: 6 ‘Pure and Natural’, 2 ‘Volume Shine Ultra Glossy’ and 3 ‘Volume Shine Pure Diamond’. Today I’m going to review the Volume Shine Ultra Glossy variety. These lipsticks came in silver and red tubes with the colour of the lipstick wrapped around them. The packaging is very similar to the Volume Shine Pure Diamond variety. These lipsticks have a blunt cylindrical shape rather than the traditional tapered one. I have the following shades: 01 - Tea Rose: a dusky pink shade 03 - Berry Jelly: a reddish-pink berry shade The lipsticks glide on really easily, and are surprisingly moisturising – even with my dry lips, I find I don’t always need to use a lip balm. Once on, they don’t dry my lips out at all. The colours are versatile and pretty. One is a dusky pink and one is a more reddish-pink. Both seem to suit my pale skin and go well with my general look. I find them to be more spring/summer lipsticks than autumn/winter lipsticks for some reason. They give a slightly glossy effect, too. I wasn’t too impressed with the longevity of these lipsticks, which ...

The Body Shop DeoDry Deodorant Roll-On Chilled & Breezy 18/11/2015

Not a great deodorant

Lush Nightwing Shower Jelly 17/11/2015

Fabulous shower jelly

Lush Nightwing Shower Jelly One of my most recent Lush purchases was the Nightwing Shower Jelly. I love Lush’s shower jellies, and I really like their limited edition ranges. This one was brought out for Halloween. I love Lush’s shower jellies, which are a bit like semi-solid shower gels. You can use them at room temperature, pop them in the fridge or freeze them. I’ve only ever used them at room temperature, not because I don’t like the idea of showering with a cold product on a hot day but because the kitchen’s in the basement and the bathroom’s on the second floor, and I don’t fancy running up flights of stairs every time I want to have a shower. The jelly costs £3.95, which is normal for similar Lush products, and is in the shape of a bat – in the pot he is all squashed up, but when you take him out he is awesomely shaped. A lovely purple colour, he smells just like fruit pastilles, with fresh lime juice and aloe vera, as well as seaweed and glycerine which help to cleanse and soften the skin. The jelly is suitable for vegans. Nightwing Shower Jelly is lasting me for ages, as I only use a very small amount at a time. I normally break bits off from the shower jelly and rub them over a shower puff, but with this one I’ve been using the whole thing. It doesn’t take much to create a good lather. The product cleans well and my skin feels cleansed and soft afterwards – as well as delicious-smelling. I definitely recommend this shower jelly: if it’s still available, it is well worth giving a go.

Tresemme Split Remedy Mend & Protect Leave-In Treatment 09/11/2015

A good product

Tresemme Split Remedy Mend & Protect Leave-In Treatment I’ve accumulated several sachets of this product from beauty boxes and magazines, and eventually decided to use them all in a row to work out if I really liked the product. Each sachet lasted me about a week so I got about a month’s worth out of them – not bad for a bunch of free stuff! A 125ml bottle of the product normally costs £5.75. Tresemme Split Remedy Leave-In Treatment is designed to “retain the look and feel of a salon fresh cut for longer”. It claims to repair split ends – something I find rather dubious, but if it gave the look of repairing split ends, that would be good enough for me. I do sometimes leave it a while in between haircuts, so I hoped that this would help my hair look a bit more polished. The product has the look of a light, white gel; you should apply to damp hair then dry and style as normal. You only need a small amount so it does last a while. It has a faint, pleasant smell but this soon goes away after applying. Immediately after use, I don’t notice the effect of the product on my hair; it just feels “normal”. However, throughout the day I can tell the difference, as my hair is softer, shinier and less frizzy. To an outsider I don’t think it looks as though I am using any product, but I can definitely tell the difference. As mentioned earlier, I’m sceptical of the claim that up to 80% of split ends can be repaired after only 3 uses. It’s the sort of claim that’s really difficult to test. However, my hair certainly LOOKS better, and that’s ...

Lush Granny Takes A Dip Bath Bomb 30/10/2015

Excellent bath bomb

Lush Granny Takes A Dip Bath Bomb It was the name of this bath bomb from Lush that really appealed to me – Granny Takes a Dip! I have no idea where they got this from, but it’s fun, so that’s fine by me. The bath bomb is quite fun to look at too, consisting of bright colours swirled into a disc. It is scented with ginger, pepper and lemon to produce a refreshing, unusual, warming scent for your bath. It is designed to boost your mood and also soothe aching limbs – one to try after exercise perhaps? The product comes as a large round disc with pink, blue, green and purple rings. It smells slightly citrusy but with a bit of an edge. I ended up breaking it in half and using it for two baths – not bad for £3.25 for a Lush product. To use, I ran the bath first then got into the water before dropping my piece of bath bomb in. It fizzed away, leaving a pink trail that slowly changed colour as it shrank. This made the bath water look very pretty indeed. It dissolved quite slowly and in the end it turned out a deep purple colour, which I really liked. The smell wasn’t overly strong, but it was certainly present and lasted for the duration of my bath. I found it very pleasant and relaxing, a bit unusual. I know some people hate ginger, but I really love it, so was pleased to have this scent. When I got out of the bath my skin felt soft, though I still needed to apply moisturiser. Sadly the scent didn’t last on my skin, but it didn’t cause my sensitive skin any irritation. I really liked this bath bomb as it had ...

Lush Pink Flamingo Bubble Bar 26/10/2015

Amazing flamingo!

Lush Pink Flamingo Bubble Bar When I paid a visit to Lush recently I was excited to see that they had lots of new products available. One of these was a reusable bubble bar called the Flamingo. Flamingos seem to have been really popular this summer, and Lush have got in on the act with their bath product. It is suitable for vegans and costs £5.95. This sounds pricey, but you can get around 5 baths from it – as I managed to – so it’s not as bad as it sounds. Mr Flamingo is very attractive to look at, being bright pink and in a fun shape. He reminds me of those retro flamingo ornaments that you can get for the garden. He has a lovely sweet smell, consisting of rosewood, ylang ylang and bergamot oils, as well as softening macadamia nut oil. To use, you just need to hold him under the running tap to create lots of bubbles. I was worried bits of him would fall off but that didn’t happen. However, dissolving the surface did reveal an orange layer beneath the pink – something I wasn’t expecting! I think this was the part that contained the softening macadamia nut oil. After running the bath, there were plenty of bubbles and the water was a lovely pink colour. The smell was gorgeous too and I really enjoyed my bath – I stayed in there for ages with some wine and had a really relaxing bath. After I got out, my skin smelled lovely for ages afterwards, and I didn’t need to apply any moisturiser as it was very moisturising itself. I definitely recommend the Flamingo – it is pretty, smells lovely, turns the water ...

Connock London Kukui Eau de Parfum 19/10/2015

Lovely scent but not so lovely price!

Connock London Kukui Eau de Parfum Some time ago I got a small sample of this fragrance to try in a beauty box. Kukui Eau de Parfum is the signature scent of Connock London though I must admit I’d never heard of the brand before. ***Bottle*** The bottle is pleasant and sophisticated, if a little dull, with an angular shape and white design. The box has a stylised flower design. I would say this fragrance is definitely aimed at slightly older women. ***The Fragrance*** This scent “has been skilfully blended to reflect the soul and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands” – not something I’ve come across before! It is a “floriental” – a floral and oriental – scent and contains bergamot, rose, white jasmine and calla lily, with sandalwood, vetiver and white amber. It is finished off with vanilla absolute and tonka beans to add sweetness. ***My Experience*** The perfume has a fresh, pleasant scent. It is quite summery to me and I think it would be suitable for both daywear and evening wear – it is really versatile. I’ve used it for all kinds of occasions over the summer. It lasts a few hours on my skin, and the scent deepens from a light, fresh fragrance to a deeper, more oriental one. ***Price and Availability*** The perfume costs £75 for 100ml which is pretty expensive. I don’t know if I like it enough to pay this much for it – I know of cheaper perfumes which I enjoy just as much. ***Conclusion*** This is certainly a luxurious perfume with a lovely floral scent. However, the high price puts me off, and I probably ...

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer 14/10/2015

Handy concealer kit

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer I’m a big fan of the brand Soap & Glory, which makes a lot of bath and shower products. In recent years they’ve also expanded into makeup, and despite initial misgivings, I’ve grown to like their cosmetic range. This “Kick-Ass Concealer” appealed to me for three reasons. One, the name, which is striking; two, the style, three different concealer products in one; and three, the colour – it comes in light or medium, and the light shade looked right for my skin. I do have incredibly pale skin and find it difficult to find cheaper cosmetic products to match it, so was pleased to come across this one. The concealer was priced at £10 in Boots, which I felt was reasonable. I also got it on a 3 for 2 offer – even better! The kit is a small compact design that is designed as a 3-in-1 product. Opening the top lid, there is a tiny mirror and a small pan of pressed powder as well as an applicator. Underneath, there are two concealers. One is designed for the undereye area and one is designed for spots and blemishes. I find the product easy to use and apply. I normally use the two concealers each day, after applying my foundation or tinted moisturiser. I do get dark circles under my eyes and the concealer really helps with that, but luckily I have pretty good skin so I don’t always need to use the other concealer. I normally use my own face powder rather than the one included here. This is because the powder in the kit is really handy for taking out and about with me, reducing shine ...

Lush Skydancer Far From The Madding Guns Bath Bomb 06/10/2015

Lovely bath bomb, and for a good cause too

Lush Skydancer Far From The Madding Guns Bath Bomb I hadn’t been inside a Lush store in ages (I can see your mouth drop open in surprise!) so when I finally ventured inside I was interested to see their new products. My eye was immediately drawn to this new bath bomb, as all the profits were to go to fund equipment to satellite tag endangered hen harrier chicks. I like the idea of funding a good cause when I bathe! Hen harriers are at especial risk as there are so few of them in the wild. I also liked the name, inspired by one of my favourite Thomas Hardy novels! Priced at £3.95, which is normal for Lush products, the bath bomb is a yellow circle – the sun, perhaps – topped with a bright blue hen harrier, its wings spread. It is colourful and smells delicious; Lush describe the scent as “floral and liquorice”, and it contains bergamot, Sicilian lemon and cinnamon leaf oils. I couldn’t see a “Vegan” label on the website, but as far as I can tell the ingredients are all vegan – it’s probably best to investigate yourself if you want to be certain that it is vegan. When I went to use the product, I ran the bath first before dropping it in, so I could watch it dissolve. It fizzed away slowly, filling the bathroom with the lovely sweet scent. Overall it turned into a lovely pale green colour, as the yellow of the sun mixed with the blue of the hen harrier. Ingredients-wise, the bulk of the bar is made up of sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar. This makes the water fairly soft – I did have to apply body lotion after my bath ...

Collection 2000 Deluxe Lipstick 05/10/2015

A bargain lipstick with a deluxe feel

Collection 2000 Deluxe Lipstick I was looking at the Collection makeup (formerly Collection 2000) in Boots and as well as purchasing my usual concealer, decided on the spot to buy a new lipstick as there was a ‘buy 1 get 1 half price’ offer. This lipstick cost £3.99, but I effectively got it for £2 – bargain! The Deluxe lipstick seems to be a new sub-brand of lipstick from Collection, with only a few shades available. I chose Shade 02, Tallulah, as it was a pretty dusky pink. The lipstick contains shea butter and vitamin E, so it is designed to be very moisturising. The packaging is fairly smart, with a clear part to the bottom that vividly shows up the colour of the lipstick. Very handy, I would imagine, when you’re looking in your makeup bag for the right shade. The lid is dark grey/silver with a little dot pattern on the top and the word ‘Deluxe’ along the side. I am fairly impressed with the packaging, which is more sophisticated and expensive-looking than I’d normally expect from the Collection brand. After carrying it around in my bag for weeks, the lid is generally secure – it did come off once, but only once, so it’s probably best to keep it in a makeup bag, but it isn’t hugely flimsy. The lipstick goes on well and I find it quite moisturising. I do have rather dry lips and always find I have to use lip balm quite regularly. However, I’ve been able to get away with not using lip balm with this lipstick. Having said that, I prefer to exfoliate my lips before use, so I don’t get bits of dry skin on ...

Sam Farmer Body Wash 30/09/2015

Pleasant, if basic, shower gel

Sam Farmer Body Wash I got a full-size tube of Sam Farmer body wash in a beauty box a while ago. Not being familiar with the brand, I went to look it up. Sam Farmer is a stay at home Dad who went to buy personal care products for his teenage children. Surprised at the heavily-gendered ranges available for boys and girls, he decided to study cosmetic science and create his own unisex range of toiletries. Personally I think this is a bit of an overreaction, but I do admire the reasoning behind it. I’m well beyond my own teenage years, and Sam Farmer’s products are formulated specifically for adolescent skin and hair. However, how different can a body wash be? This product is packaged in a simple white tube with the letter B on the front in blue. It’s a unisex design and I think it would stand out on the shelf. A 200ml tube of the product costs £5: rather beyond the average teen’s budget I would think, but then again perhaps their parents are still buying their toiletries! The shower gel has a handy and secure flip-top lid which means it’s easy to get the product out of the tube in the shower. It has a pleasant scent which is rather floral/fruity but with a slightly musky undertone. To me it seems more of a feminine scent, but I don’t see why men shouldn’t like it too. The product lathers up easily and washes well. It doesn’t seem to dry my skin out though it doesn’t moisturise either. Overall, while I applaud the intentions behind this product and the range, I don’t think there is anything ...

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover 125ml 23/09/2015

Effective and gentle eye makeup remover

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover 125ml I normally use a cleanser at night to remove all of my makeup, but sometimes I wear heavier eye makeup and prefer a specialist eye makeup remover on those occasions. I’ve tried several over the years, but these days the one I tend to stick to is this Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover. It is suitable for contact lens wearers, although I normally use it after removing my lenses anyway. The product comes in a two-phase formula which I like: most of my favourite makeup removers are in this style, such as Lancome’s Bi-Facil. The top layer is clear and the bottom layer is blue. One part is oil-based and effectively removes eye makeup. The other part is caring, designed to protect the lashes. To use, you need to first of all shake the bottle to ensure the layers are fully mixed. Luckily, the bottle is secure and the lid won’t shoot open while you’re shaking it! Then apply to a cotton pad – it’s quite runny, so be careful – and hold pressed to your eyelid for a few seconds before wiping away. A few wipes, with no rubbing, and your eye makeup is removed. The product feels refreshing on my skin and doesn’t cause any irritation. I don’t find that there is any oily residue left afterwards, but even if there was, it wouldn’t bother me as I always use a full face cleanser afterwards anyway. At only £1.94 for 125ml – even less if it’s on special offer – this is a bargain, and I don’t use it every day so it lasts me ages. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a ...
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