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since 23/11/2015


No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum 16/01/2017

NO7 Protect and Perfect Intense Serum for soft skin

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Until now, these are the products my Mum always used so I shunned away from it thinking it's only for anti-wrinkles and eye bags. Unfortunately I'm now at the eye bag stage myself, so I asked Mum what she would recommend. And here we are. Introduction So I have been using this product for a few months now, and my Mum has been using NO7 products for years. My Mum swears by them, saying they are just about the perfect anti wrinkle creams you can get but the price tag for me always put me off. I like to spend a few pound on products, and when it starts to creep into double digits I get a little uncomfortable, especially if it's a beauty product. You have to take all of the claims they tell you with a pinch of salt and use some common sense. Is a cream that costs £2 really going to make you look ten years younger? Similarly is a product that costs £25 going to either? What is it? This is an anti wrinkle cream by the Boots brand NO7. It claims to deliver "proven" anti wrinkle results that just keep getting better with repeated use. Funny enough that their scientists would claim you need to keep using the products to see the results further ensuring that people will continue to buy the products even if they don't see results. Good marketing if you ask me. Here are the sciencey bits: Matrixyl 3000 Plus™* – the technology for helping to restore a more youthful appearance to your skin. Hyaluronic acid – for added firmness. Patented antioxidant complex – to protect the skin ...

Boots VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray 13/01/2017

A great heat protecting spray

Boots VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray I am really bad at looking after my hair, for years now I have used bleaching products, over the counter hair dyes and harsh shampoos and conditioners without sparing a thought for the condition of my hair. A few years ago I decided to go "no poo" and not use any harsh chemicals on my hair at all, which did work wonders but got tiring. Nowadays I do use shampo o and conditioner, I use henna for dyeing my hair and I use heat protectant spray. That's about as far as I go with caring for my hair, with the exception of a shikakai hair mask every now and again. Introduction A few months ago during a coffee with a friend of mine, the topic of hair care came up as it usually does. She was talking about how her hair was feeling dry and looking dull and we started talking about her routine. She went through this long list of things she does, including using heat protectant spray. When I admitted that I didn't actually use a heat protectant product she was completely horrified. That got me thinking, maybe I should start using one? All my hairdressers in the past have told me to use one and I always ignored them, thinking they were just trying to sell me a product. Nevertheless, off I went researching a good heat protectant to try and this one from VO5 came up. I have used the brand before and know their volumising products are extremely effective, so I thought why not? So off I went to pick it up. What is it? This is a heat protectant spray by the brand VO5. It contains a heat ...

Alberto VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel 11/01/2017

Mega Hold styling gel in Sculpted finish

Alberto VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel Not one from my pile of beauty products this time folks, but rather that of my four year old son's. Introduction I went to school with a guy who later became a very successful barber who has since opened his own shop which is booming with business. This barber has become a family friend, doing the hair of all of the men in my family including my son and husband. The old adage of a man's barber knowing all his secrets certainly is true when it comes to our barber. Our son has been going to Nick since he was fourteen months old, and no one else is allowed to touch a hair on his delicate head. He always had a side swept cut shaved to a side part and then a line shaved in to accentuate it. Now though he is four and he has had enough of my faffing around with his hair in the mornings so in he stomped last week. "Mummy!" he demanded of me. "Yes darling?" I politely anticipated the wrath about to come. "My hair is too long! I need to go to see Nick and I want it all off this time please!" Ok I thought, don't panic Mummy, but he's growing up. So off we went to the barbers where he sat in the Lightning McQueen barber chair as Nick shaved his fashionable quiff into a french crop. Grade two back and sides with a short top. It looks nice, but I am devastated, for no longer am I allowed to gel his hair across to the side and into a quiff at the front, I'm not allowed to touch it at all. Cue tears stage left. So I thought I better get this review in, for after three years of use, it is ...

Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler LSHT01 10/01/2017

A curler with a cult following

Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler LSHT01 Introduction There are so any different hair styling products on the market these days designed to give your hair some extra bounce, a bit of curl or to just straighten it out all together. I have curling wands, I have hot rollers, I own straighteners but I I wanted something that would give me more a natural looking curl that would last. After some looking around and a bit of online research I found that the Lee Stafford chopstick styler is one of the best out there to give a tight but natural curl that would apparently last all day, sometimes more! It wasn't a big price tag and it was available at Argos so I could pick it up the same day, I thought "Why not?" What is it? This is a hair curler by Lee Stafford the hair stylist. He created this as he saw a gap in the market for tight curls that would not only look very natural but would last in the hair without dropping out. It has a maximum temperature of 200 degrees celsius and a maximum heat up time of just ten seconds, you won't be waiting a long time for this to heat up to the maximum temp. It has a tiny little barrel of just 7mm making it one of the smallest barrels out there on the market currently. It is mains connected and the wattage is 25 watts. Like most heat products these days it is ceramic coated to help with shine and to help protect hair from heat damage, although you will still need to use a heat protectant spray or cream. It has a 1.8 metre swivel cord so you can use it with either hand easily. For that ...

LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System 09/01/2017

Teaching a preschooler to read and write with leapstart.

LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning System My four year old goes to school in September, oh how time has flown by. He has always been interested in books, an d we read together every day with him doing more of the listening and pointing to pictures. With the invention of tablets and phones, it seems even reading is less like reading these days though. Introduction For his birthday back at the beginning of December our son asked for some new books. While we stuck with some traditional ones including some Max and Ruby books and a Pocoyo book we decided to buy this interactive learning system that can be used with the branded books to help learn to read and write. While that might seem slightly confusing I promise I will explain it better throughout so keep with me. What is it? This is the Interactive Leapstart learning system by Leapfrog. When we first bought this we thought it was more of an E-reader than a tablet, but now we think it is kind of a mixture of both. It's a "learning" system according to the name so just go with it. What does it look like? It looks just like a really big book if you squint your eyes a little. It has a plastic exterior and is very chunky and durable. It doesn't feel like it will break easily, and has withstanded being dragged around our house, and indeed out in the car too. There isn't a scratch on it and the Leapstart branding has lived up well. It is mainly white with apple green corners, the handles are blue and the Leapstart logo is blue too. Who is it for? The age on this ...

Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub 08/01/2017

Scrub a dub dub, soft skin with Sanctuary Spa

Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub Introduction We all suffer with dry patches of skin now and again most notably on elbows and knees usually but it does help to exfoliate the whole body. I am a bit of a mad exfoliator, I like to scrub my body until it's red which is a terrible habit but I like the soft and slightly stinging feeling after. This is a nice scrub that I have been using on and off for around three years now and I would say this is one of the more luxurious scrubs I have used and it's not surprising considering the brand, Sanctuary Spa. The brand Sanctuary Spa are known for their luxurious bath and body products, mainly consisting of scented soaps, shower gels, scrubs, body butters and creams they have now also branched out into facial washes and more importantly for me, bubble baths. I was given this as part of a gift set this time around for Christmas and it is normally one of the products I get every year from my husband. Why change something when it 's good, eh? What is it? This is a body scrub by the brand Sanctuary Spa, it contains all natural scrubbing ingredients, no micro beads here. It doesn't contain salt either, which I thought was unusual for this type of product. Salt can be really drying on the skin but lots of scrubbing products do put it in there, probably in the hopes it'll dry skin out further providing more of an opportunity for the person to repurchase in the hopes of getting off the dead skin. And the cycle continues. Nasty companies. What does it look like? It is in a ...

Bristle Blocks Big Value Set 07/01/2017

Bristle blocks are great creativity, for kids and adults.

Bristle Blocks Big Value Set I remember these when I was younger using them in primary school, but I don't remember them being that good. My husband refers to these as stickle bricks, which is what I remember them as too. Introduction For his fourth birthday back at the beginning of December my four year old son had requested construction toys and a lighthouse with a weathervane on the top. He has a fascination with weathervanes but alas we were unable to find the lighthouse in particular he wanted for less than £400. For a four year old he was very understanding, so we picked up lots of construction toys including lego, peppa pig construction and these Bristle Blocks among some other non construction toys. These ended up being our son's absolute favourite toy and left us wishing we had just bought a few boxes of it for him instead of spending a fortune on everything else. What are they? These are little bricks in different shapes and sizes, they each have little plastic spikes all over them that function to keep the bricks stuck together. Each block or shape is covered on all sides by these little bristles, hence the name "Bristle Blocks". What do they look like? They are made from hard plastic and come in a variety of colours. The colours we have are green, yellow, blue, orange and red. They are bright and eye catching colours making for some very interesting structures. This bumper pack also has the added bonus of coming with a carry case, the carry case is made from lightweight plastic and ...

Skip Hop Zoo Pack Giraffe 06/01/2017

A great backpack for preschool

Skip Hop Zoo Pack Giraffe Having a four year old means I have traded in my little clutch bags that I used to have, and my attractive shoulder bags instead opting for "Mummy" bags with lots of room for myself and a four year old to put our belongings. I have been through my share of bags, and after the seventh toddler backpack broke we decided to splurge a little on this bag. But what was the quality like at almost twice the price we were previously paying? Introduction Bags. Glorious bags. In my pre mummy days I used to carry shoulder handbags, little sequin clutch purses and weekend bags that I used to carry my work stuff and womanly woes in. Then I got pregnant and had to upgrade to a changing bag which consisted of everything but the kitchen sink. With a growing baby comes a growing bag collection, soon to be upgraded to a toddler bag. Then, and most recent to us, a preschool backpack. Our son now carries his own backpack to and from preschool, while I can now go back to carrying those smaller type bags. Just because I can, doesn't mean I have, but instead have opted to just put my purse, keys and phone in my sons bag if we aren't doing much that day, or if we are doing lots I'll opt for a full size backpack and put all of our stuff in the instead. After all the bags we were previously using for preschool had broken, thanks in part to buying them on the cheap, we decided to spend a little more money and do a little more research on the best bag for a four year old that could be used by both of us ...

Make Up Academy MUA Trio Eyeshadow 05/01/2017

Good price, not great pay off

Make Up Academy MUA Trio Eyeshadow Unfortunately guys, the product I am reviewing is different from the colour listed in the pictures but Ciao asked me to put it here. This is becoming a regular occurrence so I apologise if anyone is getting annoyed with it. The colour I am reviewing is the smokey trio and not the nude trio and I have provided some pictures of it to help differentiate from the other reviews. Introduction I have always stayed away from eyeshadows and opted instead to use either an eyeliner to smudge out into a smokey eye or a tiny bit of eyeshadow near the lash line. I have hooded eyes so I always felt like I was putting all of this time into blending the eye shadow and applying it exactly where I wanted, then for it all to be hidden once I open my eyes. As of late I have been learning how to do my makeup correctly, and as such I have learned how to apply makeup to hooded eyes better. I now know that I can blend my eyeshadow beautifully and I know where to put it so that it doesn't all disappear. And can I just take a second to praise the beauty of the cut crease? Hallelujah guys. So because I have learned how to use eyeshadows in a better manner, I have naturally bought lots of them. This baked trio from MUA is one of them, I actually have it in the nude colours and the smokey colours. The smokey one I will be reviewing today, Ciao made me put it here even though the picture is of the nude one, so I will provided some pictures of the smokey one too. A little about the brand The brand, ...

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick 04/01/2017

Not pink berry toned nor long lasting

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick Introduction The hunt is on for the perfect long lasting lipstick. As most lipstick wearers will tell you, some lipsticks have the knack of just lasting for hours, while others come off almost instantly. Of all the potions I have in my makeup case, none seem to live up to the expectation of just putting it on and leaving it alone all day. As I have mentioned before, I am such a makeup sloth. I like to take my time first applying it, and then not have to touch it up for the rest of the day. It seems that asking this of a lipstick though seems a pretty tall order, so will this live up to it's promise of long lasting or will it be another flop? What is it? This is a soft shimmer lipstick by the brand Estee Lauder, it is a well known and well trusted brand so I did have high hopes. It is claiming to be long lasting, like most lipsticks do. What does it look like? The lipstick that I have differs from the picture that Ciao have provided, although I know mine is a genuine product as it came from a beauty box a few years ago. A quick google tells me that they re released the product under new packaging and a new formula recently so this explains it. Bear in mind when reading this review that I do have the old formula which has been improved so you may have to try this product for yourself. I can only review the product that I have. The lipstick tube that I have is a very deep blue colour, the lid is the same colour blue with a gold band going around the middle. When you ...

L'Oreal 24H Super Liner Gel Eyeliner Violet Black 03/01/2017

Golden black eyeliner, not the violet black version

L'Oreal 24H Super Liner Gel Eyeliner Violet Black I just want to start off by saying that the product I have is not violet black, but has a golden shimmer. I tried to submit this as a new product, because it is a completely different colour from the one listed by Ciao told me they don't differentiate between colours so I had to put it here. The product is the same in all ways apart from the colour of course, but the shimme r factor of this means it will have a slightly different formulation and probably a different long lasting ability because it isn't matte. But nevertheless, I hope this is useful. Introduction Lining the eyes when doing eye makeup is one way to make your eyes look more dramatic. I tend to use eye liner if I want a more dramatic eye but I tend to tightline (line only the waterline) because I have hooded eyes. If I go too heavy on the eyeliner all of the important blending that I did on the upper eye is invisible when my eyes are open so I have to be super careful. As such, I tend to go for a soft kohl pencil eyeliner, or a felt pen eyeliner so go for a winged or cat eye. My mum actually gave me this eyeliner as she received it as part of a subscription service that she gets and she doesn't use eyeliner at all. I only use this if I want a very dramatic eye look for a night out so it hasn't had a lot of use, but enough that I have developed my view on it. But will it be positive, or negative? What is it? This is a gel eyeliner by the brand L'oreal. It claims to be extremely long lasting, up to 24 hours ...

Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Black Drama Mascara 02/01/2017

A great mascara for swimming in, and I'm not joking

Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express Black Drama Mascara I have the waterproof version of this which again I tried to submit but Ciao told me that they don't differentiate between di fferent kinds of products of the same type. Even though this is completely different formula to the non waterproof one they have listed. So this review is for the waterproof one, not the original. Introduction Though this isn't my favourite mascara, it does bounce between my top three. As most women will tell you, mascara can give you a more opened eye look and longer appearing eye lashes. If the beauty industry is anything to go by, we should all be striving to have longer, thicker, more fanned out eye lashes. I feel like the beauty industry as a whole is damaging to women in the sense that they use false eyelashes and lash inserts for advertising making women think that celebrities and models all have longer, thicker lashes than we do. It's one of those unattainable beauty goals that we all try to strive towards and it is unfair, but as such, like a good little lamb I do buy into the industry and the promises they whisper. What is this? This is a waterproof mascara by the well known makeup brand Maybelline. It promises to give you up to 300% more visible, fuller lashes than no mascara. It has a patented spoon design brush which promises to "spoon feed" lashes mascara from corner to corner for a fanned out effect and a pro keratin formula which builds the product without clumping. What does it look like? Again I'll point out that I am ...

Makeup Academy MUA Lipstick 01/01/2017

A 2 in 1 product that comes in beautiful colours

Makeup Academy MUA Lipstick Introduction Another newish brand on the scene, Makeup Academy is available exclusively at Superdrug and know Superdrug Online. Lipstick is one of those makeup products that every lady owns a few of, most are available in a plethora of colours suited to different skin tones and looks. I like to stick to nudes and browns during the day and then switch it up to deep reds and dark berries for the evening but I do own a few bright purples and the like. I am still on the lookout for the best lasting lipstick, this isn't it. But they do have a great colour selection and for the price which I will reveal below you can't really go wrong. What is it? This is a basic lipstick by the superdrug brand Makeup Academy, or MUA. It is available exclusively for Superdrug and it is their own brand makeup. It is known to be a relatively good makeup brand for the prices, a less upmarket version of their other brand Makeup Revolution if you will. This one is simply shade 09, it doesn't have a name. What does it look like? This brand does try to make the makeup look well presented and attractive and this is no different. The tube is black with MUA printed on the lid. Once you take the lid off you see the tube is silver inside. You have a preview of the colour on the base, which contains a pleasant little surprise. The lipstick itself is a lovely nude colour, very suited for a day look or if you have a very dramatic eye look. It's quite shimmery and soft. The lipstick is moulded into a pretty ...

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen 30/12/2016

For a killer cat eye

Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen Introduction As most who wear makeup know, being able to do a good cat eye or winged eyeliner is essential for eye makeup. An awful lot of tutorials for eye makeup include doing these techniques so it is important to have a good eyeliner pen for doing the more intricate points and wings. What is it? This is an eyeliner pen from the brand Soap and Glory and is called the Supercat. It comes in the colour Black, and it is jet black. I have provided a picture so you can see the colour, it's basically a sharpie. What is it for? It is an eye makeup product for doing eyeliner, mainly for doing the points of a cat eye or doing a long winged eyeliner. What isn't it for? It isn't for writing messages on your hand to an online community of product reviewers, this might ruin the tip. Apparently. *Ahem* It's not really for lining the waterline (tight lining) as it isn't waterproof so it'll just smudge right off. I use a different product for that. I probably wouldn't write a sonnet on note paper with it either, but that's your choice. What does it look like? It looks just like a felt tip pen, it has a black body with the typical branding of Soap and Glory in pink up the side horizontally. Supercat is written in a soft pink and that's about it. The tip is the same as a thin felt tip pen, I didn't think you'd need a picture to confirm this but if you do I am happy to provide one. I have provided a picture of the product on my hand, as you can see with varying pressure you ...

Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Primer 29/12/2016

Will this reduce appearance of my pores?

Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Primer Introduction So the search goes on for the perfect primer for me, one that will mattify my combination skin and oily zones but will also reduce the appearance of larger pores. I have been trialling different products in the hopes that one of these "pore minimising" primers will in fact live up to their hefty promises and this is no different. Promising to reduce the appearance of pores and to resurface skin. But will this? What is it? This is a primer intended to be used under makeup to keep it on all day. This one is by the brand Rimmel and promises to reduce the appearance of pores, resurface skin for an even complexion, brighten skin, mattify and eliminate shine and protect skin from environmental factors. Not sure how it does that last one though seeings as it's not SPF but there we go. What is it for? This is a skin primer by the brand Rimmel. It is for use under the makeup, before putting on foundation. How do you use it? Use this in a similar fashion to moisturiser. Apply to your clean, dry face. I normally apply dollops to forehead, chin, each cheek and end of nose and then rub in. I normally let it dry for a few minutes before applying foundation but I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not. What does it look like? It comes in a small 30ml tube similar to toothpaste. It is a squeezy tube with a soft plastic body and a hard plastic lid. It is white in colour and has the branding and product name on the front with some essential information like what ...
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