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I have been way for a few weeks so apologies if I have missed your reviews. Am starting the catch up!

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since 10/11/2008


Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Radiance SPF10 08/09/2017

A Foundation For All Generations.

Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Radiance SPF10 Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Foundation SPF10 Finding a foundation in mature years can hold several challenges. As moisture diminishes sometimes skin appears dry, and with this there is a tendency to notice more wrinkles. Sometimes there are marks and blemishes as well that appear over the years, and the temptation is to cover all with a heavy duty foundation. I have tried this approach, but prefer to use something more illuminating that imparts a youthful glow to the skin, rather than a mask. Clarins have a lovely product for this - The Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Foundation and as a recent discovery for me I thought I would review it as I have been impressed with the results. Availability It is available from many department stores and from Clarins themselves where it retails for £29. Clarins offer a loyalty scheme where points are earned for online purchases from their website which is lovely, and many retail outlets have similar schemes so it is worth shopping around. I rather like the Clarins website as purchasers can choose free samples at checkout, which is how I came to purchase this item. I don't buy a lot from Clarins as it is expensive, but they do have several lovely products that I buy frequently and this foundation has just been added to this list as it is really lovely. Presentation and Shade Choice Presented in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser the foundation comes in several shades. If you are not sure which colour suits you then there ...

Castlebay Post Office and Macroon's Tea Room., Isle Of Barra. 26/08/2017

The Scone Palace!

Castlebay Post Office and Macroon's Tea Room., Isle Of Barra. Castlebay Post Office And Macroon's Tea Room- Isle Of Barra Ah the Isle of Barra, the thought of it sends an image of peace and tranquillity over me, as thoughts of a Twin Otter landing on a golden sandy beach fringed with wild flowers enter my mind. I have seen this many times, and indeed have taken this trip more than once. The journey is a bucket list experience, but being there is every bit as good, as The Isle of Barra has to be one of my favourite places on earth. In recent months the island has been mourning the tragic loss of life when one of their own was killed in the Manchester concert attack. When you walk on the beaches, or stare out at dolphins playing in the waters just off the coast, it is hard to imagine anything disturbing this peaceful haven, for this is Barra- a Scottish island that is a jewel and a treasure and somewhere very dear to my heart. The main settlement is Castlebay. I adore the place. It is like a mini Oban, the architecture is lovely with old houses framing the port, and a wonderful castle in the bay stands proud. It is quite bustling in summer, but not anything more than the feeling of being alive and interesting, it is a Hebridean delight with various places to eat and sit and stare and watch the world go by. My favourite place has to be Macroon's Tea Room, or I prefer to call it Scone Palace, because if you are partial to home made scones this is the place for you. I promise it is absolutely the place to go, and if you are a dog lover ...

Magimix 11619 LE Blender SLV 27/07/2017

The Queen Of All Blenders

Magimix 11619 LE Blender SLV In Search Of The Perfect Blender I was looking for a high spec blender but didn't want to break the bank. Vitamix comes highly recommended but is very expensive. There are so many different blenders to choose from and each has their own attributes. My preference was that I wanted a glass jug with a wide opening so that I could easily pour soup into it, and was copious enough to hold a large quantity without requiring two blending sessions. Furthermore I wanted to be able to make organic green juices easily especially using Kale and other fibrous vegetables. Enter the Magimix Le Blender- in my opinion Queen of the blenders without the price tag. Where to Buy You can buy this blender in many outlets including John Lewis, Amazon and many others, and there are 5 colours- black, satin, cream red and white. Amazingly the price changes very frequently, and certain colours become bargains at different times, but if you think in terms of just short of £140 you will certainly be able to find one. Also I would really advise to shop around carefully, as from time to time there are offers with purchase. I managed to get two goblets with lids that retail for £45 that you attach to the blender that in effect turn it into a powerful Nutribullet allowing you to blend and go if that is what you desire. This offer really was too good to miss as it meant I had covered all bases with my purchase- an individual blend and go option, a powerful blender for smoothies, and a soup blender that makes ...

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette 03/07/2017

5 Minutes To Look Polished and Beautiful

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette Over the last few years I have tended towards a minimalistic lifestyle, with the emphasis very much on buying only items that I will use everyday. Growing up at the end of an era when many had a Sunday best outfit and my grandparents had a Sunday best room, I did for many years buy things and “keep them for best” This kind of philosophy wasn't bringing me happiness, so now if it isn't an everyday item I won't buy it. I own less but I use it all, and this is something I really try to keep to. It stops clutter and reduces choice which I find calming. Key areas I apply this philosophy to are in the make up and clothes areas of my collection. With regard to make up it has to be something I am going to pick everyday, as products have short shelf lives and require frequent replacement. As a contact lens wearer I am even more particular about this. The palette I am going to review is absolutely perfect for me as it fits all my criteria and is a wonderful product in terms of quality and ease of use. Charlotte Tilbury is a well known make up artist but has only had a make up collection since 2013. It is a higher end set of products available quite widely online and in John lewis stores, and in many ways I respect her ethics as she is similar to Bobbie Brown in that she is creating make up for real women in the modern world who have little time but want to look polished. All About The Palette The Instant Look In A Palette is described ...

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick 10/05/2017

Fallen From The Lipstick Tree

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick K.I.S.S.I.N.G - Fallen From The Lipstick Tree Charlotte Tilbury is a famous make up artist, and since 2013 has had her own very unique and highly regarded make up collection. What I really like about her make up brand is that she inspires me with online tutorials, and actually has designed her website to be so user friendly. You have the opportunity to see colours on your own skin tone, and also there is guidance so that you are able to put products together if you are seeking to obtain specific looks. You can also web chat with or email a make up artist, and this is an excellent service that I have used to obtain specific shade advice. The product that I am going to review today is a lipstick called K.I.S.S.I.N.G. This is a rich creamy formula that is designed for maximum hydration. It is nourishing and UV protecting, so is, in essence, a lipstick and a treatment all in one, so perfect if you are prone to chapped or sore lips. The lipstick is also enriched with light diffusing pigments which capture the light giving the appearance of healthier fuller lips, which is lovely for mature ladies in particular. The lipstick also has an infusion of waxes within the formula, and there is no bleeding from the product into fine lines. The lipstick is also enriched with seed extracts from what has been nicknamed "The Lipstick Tree" a rare shrub that is native to South America. This extract Bixa Orellana seed is a natural plant colourant and it has been used traditionally by Native ...

Clarins Rouge Eclat Age-Defying Lipstick 20/04/2017

A Premium Lipstick With Excellent Qualities.

Clarins Rouge Eclat Age-Defying Lipstick Clarins Rouge Eclat Age-Defying Lipstick Premium make up and toiletries are not my mainstay, but I do have some very select favourite items from high end brands that I repurchase with frequency. They have to really earn their price in my opinion or I will buy inexpensive dupes. Clarins is a brand that I do like, and they have some of my favourite products, including the subject of this review namely the Rouge Eclat Satin Finish Age-Defying Lipstick. I actually like to purchase from Clarins themselves, although occasionally I will use or another online website, but buying from Clarins direct means that you know the product is fresh and hasn't been sitting in a warehouse. They also have a good loyalty scheme, and the product comes directly from Paris. Added to these attributes the opportunity to add samples before checkout gives you a good opportunity to try new things for the first time. I really like this as otherwise the cost would make these items rather expensive mistakes should they not please. This is how I came to trial the Rouge Eclat lipstick in the small 1.5g size. I have been so delighted with it that I now have the full size on order, so this is testament to my enjoyment of this lovely lipstick. The Lipstick Retailing for £20 for the full size this is a premium purchase, and for this cost you are getting a product that claims as quoted from their website to be “A lipstick that offers more than just colour, the first age-defying lipstick from ...

Alt Hotel Toronto Airport, Mississauga 02/03/2017

Perfect Stopover At Toronto Airport.

Alt Hotel Toronto Airport, Mississauga Alt Hotel Toronto Airport Recently we made our first visit to my son and his wife who live in Hawaii. This journey is extremely long from the United Kingdom, and it can cause severe jet lag, especially on the return leg, and breaking the journey often involves the disadvantage of higher airline ticket prices. My husband and I decided when we booked our trip to stop over in Toronto, as this offered a good value ticket, and with a 6 hour initial daytime flight I was able to retire to a hotel bed at a reasonable time of the night. The next morning I was then fresh for the second leg of the flight to Los Angeles. There are endless combinations of flights to Hawaii, but our son lives on Big Island, so the choice is more limited as flights often land in Honolulu, which necessitates a further plane trip once in Hawaii. I think this is an option for another time as the flights give lovely island views, but I was interested in arriving in a reasonable state of health with minimal jet-lag. We chose the Alt Hotel mainly for the proximity to Toronto airport, as we didn't have a lot of time to waste, and this is an easy journey using the free Terminal Link Train which stops within easy walking distance of the hotel. This free shuttle runs every 4 minutes, so it is much better than staying further away with the need for an airport hotel shuttle bus. Easy To Book We booked with Ebookers and were delighted as they have a generous loyalty scheme, and as we had already booked flights with ...

Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix 14/02/2017

In The Bleak Mid Winter Salad Leaves Won't Moan.

Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix Sarah Raven Asolo Lettuce Mix Lettuce has made headline news recently as poor weather has affected harvests in Europe. Customers were being restricted to two per trolley in supermarkets and panic buying resulted. Guy Watson founder of my favourite organisation Riverford Organics answer to this, and to the courgette crisis, is to eat more seasonally, making use of wonderful winter vegetables like leeks and carrots swedes and turnips. Also of course his advice is to eat seasonal salads, which if you are clever with your choice of varieties as they are at Riverford, this is possible, though they do turn to their farms in France to help them out here as lack of light is often a factor in growth in English mid winters. Still if you are looking for tasty salad bags brimming full of hearty salad leaves then I highly recommend them for freshness and for unique leaves with wonderful keeping properties. I also recommend Sarah Raven Asolo lettuce mix seeds for a wonderful supply of salad even in the depth of winter if you prefer to grow your own. Sarah Raven Sarah Raven is a famous gardener and cookery writer and she runs courses in these topics from her large estate at Perch Hill in Sussex. Her main focus is very much all about growing your own, and then using these fresh ingredients to make delicious meals and to decorate your home with gorgeous cut flowers. I have already reviewed her wonderful Attar of Roses Pelargoniums that make the most amazing tea you have ever tasted- like ...

Maxfactor Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish 03/02/2017

A Bargain Price For a 7 Day Manicure.

Maxfactor Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish I love painted nails and as I have got older even more so. However I don't enjoy the process it involves, unless of course I am going to get it professionally done, which I do every six weeks or so. In between I care for them myself and try to choose products with lasting qualities. Many polishes claim to have all kinds of attributes but for me longevity is key. Where To Purchase Wilko has a good range of Max Faxtor Glossfinity polishes for a good price of £5.99 which is where I tend to purchase mine, but they are available in many outlets and are frequently on offer so it pays to shop around. Max Factor is 3 for 2 at Boots at the moment so well worth looking there. These polishes have the claim by Max Factor stated on their website that “High gloss means high glamour. Pure, elegant glossy nails that last for up to 7 days in our specially formulated range.” 7 days is the key word here because above all else this is what I am seeking. I do a lot of chores around the house, and have two Persian cats and a Shih Tzu dog, and so life is quite challenging for nails on a daily basis. I like to paint them on Sunday and know they will last all week, so how does this polish perform and what about its other qualities? Shades The polish is sold in 26 shades ranging from neutrals which are understated and elegant, to bold reds and mystic purples perfect for autumn and winter. I love all the shades in the range, and have 3 favourites - number 50 Candy ...

Lava Ocean Tours, Hawaii 19/01/2017

The Ultimate Natural World Experience.

Lava Ocean Tours, Hawaii Lava Ocean Tours Hawaii My review of this tour boat company will stay in my mind for so many reasons. I want to stay strictly to the company review to make this a relevant account for anyone contemplating the trip, but in order for you to understand its significance to me personally I will briefly touch on how I came to be there, and why I took the trip of a lifetime. Also how in a way this journey may have saved my life. 10 years ago almost to the day my son emigrated to start a new life in the US. He fell in love, married and embraced his new life over there. It was hard for me, but I knew he was happy which is what every Mum's dream is, even if the miles that separate us pose challenges, and make popping in for a cup of tea and a chat out of the question. Fast forward to 2014 when his home in Arizona became a distant memory and his new home in Hawaii a reality. Making the journey to see him this New Year was a dream come true for me, but because I have the disease ME it was also very very challenging. I am not good flying as the payback is immense, but I knew I had to do it, so we booked up and the rest is history. This disease I have battled for 20 years has dealt me mostly negative outcomes from its relentless symptoms. However on this occasion my actions because of it came to offer me a very lucky escape from a situation that I will elaborate on now. My son lives on Big Island. This is home to the volcano Mt. Kilauea, the world's most active volcano. It dominates ...

VAX S7 Total Home Master 16/12/2016

Be The Queen Of Steam And Make Your House Gleam!

VAX S7 Total Home Master Vax S7 Total Home Master Multifunction Steam Mop Steam cleaning is something I value highly as a means of keeping my home free from as much dirt and allergens as possible. I was first introduced to its success some years ago when my dear Persian cat Teddy had a very bad case of fleas. These had set up home in the house in carpets and soft furnishings. We came home from holiday in late August 2007 to a sea of black specks and jumping fleas. It was horrible. Not being keen on sprays and insecticides due to having ME I decided to invest in a steam cleaner, and within a few days of use the problem had gone. Of course I repeated the treatments, as fleas have a rather nifty life cycle, but we have never had a problem since that day. Whether it is my regular steam cleaning or the replacement of carpets over the years with hard floors I don't know, but I am happy to continue as I am very happy with this method of cleaning, and even better the tools have come on in leaps and bounds. I got rid of my heavy old cleaner last Christmas and purchased the Vax S7 from Amazon, at the rather lightweight price of £39.99 – an utter bargain, and I can honestly say it has been so worth it with some provisos which I will elaborate on during this review. All About The Mop! The Vax S7 Total Home Master Multifunction Steam Mop is a multifunctional device in that it can also be used to clean tile grout and windows as well as hard surfaces tiles and so on. It claims to be able to be easily converted ...

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 24/11/2016

Under No Illusion This Is Impressive

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Natural looking make up is what I love, and in recent years I have strived to find make up products that are designed to achieve this look. Charlotte Tilbury is a make up artist who has a range of higher end products for purchase, and I have a great deal of respect for her and her brand. She has worked very hard to really help women to look their best by producing a range of tutorials, and by also having a superb customer service team that you can email on line for help and advice. On a par with Bobbie Brown, these two iconic women lead the field in my opinion if you want good quality cosmetics tailored to the way you want to look as an individual women. Both factor in lifestyles and life choices into their ranges, both offer products for all skin colours, and both are very charity oriented, donating a lot of money to charities that are for women. Having said this I would exercise caution when purchasing higher end brands, as there are sometimes cheaper alternatives, and of course having make up artists within department stores does not come cheap, and to an extent adds to the price tag of many products as does heavy advertising. Where To Purchase You can purchase Charlotte Tilbury make up from her website, or from higher end department stores such as John Lewis. The Magic Foundation that I am reviewing here is one of her most favoured products, so here is my review on the foundation and a detailed look at my experience. The ...

Langass Woodland, Isle of North Uist 15/11/2016

The Enchanted Forest

Langass Woodland, Isle of North Uist Langass Woodland Isle Of North Uist Imagine for a moment an island so windswept and remote that any plant or shrub bends double, as the force of nature pins it into a horizontal position. With every Atlantic depression that sweeps across this desolate landscape, more and more of the vista is flattened – this is the Isle Of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. This is a place that I adore, and one I go back to many times a year, it offers solace and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Then imagine a wood with trees so tightly packed together that they form a dense canopy, each one acting as a windbreak for the other creating an oasis of calm. This woodland is Langass and this place is situated on an island you would least expect- North Uist. Langass Woods are a community woodland, and because of the landscape and environment I described above, they offer a unique place for trees and the flora and fauna that you wouldn't normally except to find on wild places such as Uist to flourish. Managed by The North Uist Woodland Trust since 2005 every effort has been made to make the area family friendly, with stone paths and educational information boards as well as the creation of bat boxes. Where Is It? The location is perfect - about 10 minutes by car on the A867 from Lochmaddy where the ferry docks that carries cars and passengers to Skye. There is a small car parking area that is more than adequate as you will not find crowds here, and the location makes it ...

BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion 17/10/2016

Magnesium Therapy Married With Hydration.

BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion BetterYou Magnesium Body Lotion Holland and Barrett is a shop that I often visit in my city, as from time to time they have really good offers, and also they have a loyalty card that is well worth considering. One of my favourite products they sell is a magnesium based moisturiser which is called BetterYou. This product is one of a collection of magnesium based items that are sold in store and online. About Me and ME I have a serious medical condition called Myalgic Encephalomylitis or ME. I have been ill for over 20 years since falling victim to a vicious enterovirus related to polio that affected my heart and circulation, autonomic nervous system as well as my joints, muscles and neurological system. I have tried many therapies over the years – some have yielded limited success, others have been worthless, but magnesium in all its forms does seem to offer a small degree of help with certain symptoms. The Lotion The moisturising lotion I mentioned made by Betteryou contains 30% Magnesium Oil, that is combined with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. This combination is extremely moisturising, but it also delivers some trans-dermal magnesium that is then theoretically available to the body. It is said by the manufacturer to repair and replenish cells, and to help with skin elasticity and health, imparting hydration, and also promoting a healthy glow. The product also has a lovely fresh scent provided by citrus oils that are included in the ...

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour 23/09/2016

A Holy Grail Lipstick By A World Famous Make Up Artist.

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour Laura Mercier is a world famous make up artist with an impressive list of clients. She was born in Provence and her make up line has been developed based her her expertise and passion for make up artistry. Much like Bobbi Brown these two women are iconic and leaders in their field and they produce many wonderful products. Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour came to my attention, not because of the formula, or the advertising or even the brand reputation, but because of a shade that caught my eye called Spiced Rose. Pinky brown lip colours are universally flattering, and are what I call everyday shades. They can be worn with almost any eye make up, and are a step up from nude colours, and have the ability to light up the face. I think they are especially good if you look tired, or if you have a tendency towards a pale complexion as I do. At the end of this review I will also talk a little bit about my other favourite lipsticks in this category, and compare them to the Laura Mercier option. As Laura Mercier is a high end brand I will also include a price comparison, and the reasons why I think Laura Mercier is an option worth considering. If you haven't tried pinky brown shades before I highly recommend them for their low maintenance if nothing else. The Product Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour has a recommended retail price of £22 so as I mentioned this is an expensive purchase, and not one I make very often in this category ...
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