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Hello and thanks for all your rates. I'm working around everyone but drop me a note if you're feeling neglected :-)

Reviews written

since 22/03/2014


Baylis & Harding Hand Wash & Lotion Set 25/02/2017

Looks good but underperforms

Baylis & Harding Hand Wash & Lotion Set This hand wash and lotion set was my first introduction to the Baylis and Harding brand a few years ago. Since then, they have exploded on to the market in a big way and a lot of women will find they have a set from B&H when it is their birthday or Christmas. Packaging and branding B&H - you have to hand it to them, they have totally mastered the art of shadowing the more expensive and hugely sought after Molton Brown brand in the look and feel of their products. I have no issues with the packaging it is great but the products themselves are lacking in quality I have found since I first tried them. My experience My hand wash and body lotion set was pink and was wild rose and raspberry flavour I remember it well. It looked really posh and I was very happy to display it in my bathroom. The handwash was OK, it did the job and foamed up a little when the water came in to contact. It smelt nice too, quite fruity. It was rather runny though and not as concentrated as other hand wash brands I have tried so this is where the hand wash let itself down. The lotion was really runny and just would not sink in to my skin. My thoughts I know some people that love this brand and the sets they sell, but I have to say I hate it and I don't mind budget range items but the quality is far too poor on this set for me to recommend it. I think it looks nice just to look at this set as it comes in a clear plastic (disposable) holder and the pump top dispensers are quite handy and it's nice when ...

Opi Alpine Snow Nail Varnish 24/02/2017

Three coats for Alpine Snow

Opi Alpine Snow Nail Varnish I bought a boxed set of two nail polishes from TK Maxx one of which was OPI's Alpine Snow and the other one a bright pink. I like to use white nail polish as a base for stamping or as a single nail in a skittle manicure (where every nail is different). Within days of purchasing I tried it out as a nail polish to see how well it covered and check out the colour and length of wear. First impressions This looks like a lovely clean colour and whilst a few may think "white nail polish? Hell no!" for me it's a staple item for my collection and I like to use gloss and matte versions which can also be achieved with top coat finish. The nail polish is one of the most generous sizes at 15 ml so you get a lot for your money and the shape of the bottle is good as it does not fall over. The brush is inside the handle as you'd expect and it is long and quite thin so takes a few stripes to get full coverage. In use This colour goes on a little translucent so would not be the best for French tips. To get a completely opaque look I found it took three coats which added to a base coat and top coat makes five layers so not the quickest manicure but it is a very pure white and the the fact that it is quite thin and not gloopy means it sits better on the nail and lasts for longer, plus it works well with a matte top coat which makes it even more long lasting as a manicure in my experience. It does have its own natural shine so you could just apply this on its own but I find a top coat helps ...

Lush Refresher Shower Jelly 23/02/2017

Jelly in the shower?

Lush Refresher Shower Jelly I received a pot of Lush shower jelly in the fragrance Refresher this Christmas from my aunt. It came with a calendar and seemed like an odd gift but my sister got the same so she must have just shopped around for these presents. I have seen these in store but never bought or used one before. I like the bath bombs from Lush but have not ventured much further as the smell of the shop is a bit overwhelming I find. First impressions I was a bit surprised to receive this but willing to give it a go. The first time I opened the lid I noticed a few bits missing from an otherwise perfect dome shaped mould so I figured the kids had been poking it a bit which is a likely scenario as they do like to play in the bathroom sometimes (picture that scared face emoji to know what my face looks like when I find them in there!!). In use I was not sure how to use this. On the label it says to put it in the fridge or freezer then take in to the shower... I didn't do that but I was not sure if you used the whole blob or a bit so I opted for a bit as it felt more hygenic and if I didn't like it I can pass the pot on to hubby or the kids! I did find the little blob a bit slippery to use and it did not lather up much but I could definitely smell a lemony fragrance coming from the product. My thoughts I did not feel super clean after using this but I suppose I was generally refreshed. I didn't mind it but I did drop the blob and it went down the drain after a bit and that seemed a bit of a ...

Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow Beige Pailettes 21/02/2017

A few of my favourite things

Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow Beige Pailettes I have probably used at least six of these little neutral eye shadow pots from Bourjois in the last decade. I try others in between but always return to these! The photo below shows one of them mid use in a "Project pan" photo (one of my make up habits is to document use, don't worry it's a real thing on Instagram!!!). First impressions The little round pots from Bourjois come in a range of neutral shades. I prefer a matte one but my current one does have a little shimmer in it but that came in a beauty box and I am making myself use it. They are like a baked shadow which means they are dome shaped when they first arrive and do not flake in to powder as much as a normal eye shadow. Packaging This little pot is sized 1.7 g is a nice little compact shape. It closes with a little button so is easy to open and stays shut too with a hinged lid. Inside the lid is a little mirror too which is a nice touch but not necessary as I will always use a bigger mirror for make up but I suppose it could come in handy when on the go. What they say Add depth to your eyes with the Bourjois Little Round Pot Eye Shadow, a highly pigmented nude shade with excellent colour longevity. Suitable for both wet and dry application, its luxurious cream to powder formula effortlessly defines your eyes, creating sheer, soft looks when dry and high-impact intensity when wet. Easy to apply and offering seamless blendability, you can create layered, natural looks with expert results. Complete with an ...

What I'd put in room 101 20/02/2017

... and now for something a bit different!

What I'd put in room 101 This will be my 1000th review, thanks to the reminder from 1sttothebar that I need to put a bit more effort in to this milestone review. I like to watch the Room 101 programme on TV sometimes and read the novel 1984 a few years ago. Room 101, introduced in the climax of the novel, is the basement torture chamber in the Ministry of Love, in which the Party attempts to subject a prisoner to his or her own worst nightmare, fear or phobia, with the object of breaking down their resistance. I do hope there is no torture in the the reading of this review though! I don't tend to write long reviews so I shall set the scope of this room 101 to the grand total of five. I do not intend to upset or offend but if I do I am sorry. Let the ranting commence! 1. Pyramid selling from friends I'm talking about the Younique make up and Scentsy and PartyLite reps - sorry "Consultants" that "run their own businesses" mainly ramming their overpriced products in front of their so called friends to make their commission. I don't mind the people who sell Avon, or even those that work at people's houses doing a party with usually overpriced goods.... but the friends online who maintain that you should support their business (so they can stay at home) really irritates me - the argument being if a friend was a hairdresser you would support them - yes if they were good, I would, but not if they were overpriced. One "friend" does around 8-10 posts per day on the makeup and suggested as January and ...

Lush Father Christmas Bath Bomb 19/02/2017

Swamp water

Lush Father Christmas Bath Bomb For Christmas, my Mother in Law bought me a tin of Lush bath bombs. She knows I like them and the kids do too. Lush bath bombs are massive compared to other company offerings and it seems like a lot to chuck in the bath at once. You can break them down if you wish but with the Father Christmas bomb it's best to chuck in the whole thing of it spoils the surprise. LOL. First impressions I don't get the Lush obsession but I do like their bath bombs! The bath bomb is a little pink looking face with white hair and a hat and it does look like Santa. It looks quite sweet and innocent and obviously has a seasonal feel to it. What does it smell like? This is important with the sensory experience a bath bomb can provide. The Santa bath bomb promises a sweet candy floss smell. If you like Lush you will know they have seasonal scents and this bath bomb is part of the Snow Fairy range. It does smell really sweet and fills the bathroom with a lovely smell that is very nice and quite long lasting too. The surprise Despite its wishy washy (geddit??!) appearance in pale pink and white this bath bomb has a surprise inside, actually bursting in to life once the outer layer dissolves and the green inner is revealed, fizzing out and dying the bath water a swampy (oh sorry "Holly") green colour. My thoughts I save bath bombs for bath only nights when I don't want to wash my hair. I just enjoy the fragrance and bath colour and relax in the water. On this occasion, I ended up with a swamp ...

Summer's Child - Diane Chamberlain 18/02/2017

Shelly is the baby on the beach

Summer's Child - Diane Chamberlain My Mum always buys me a few books each birthday and Christmas from a discount book store. Sometimes I have already read them and I think she forgets I have a Kindle now but anyway, she bought me Summer's Child by Diane Chamberlain (2014). I have read a few books already by this author and enjoyed them so I knew I'd get round to reading this eventually. What's it about? A baby girl is found on the beach early one morning by a young girl who has the sense to wrap her up and bring her back to their beach home. The baby, named Shelly is adopted by the family then 25 years later she decides she wants to find out who her birth mother is. Slow paced After the initial chapter the pace of this book really slows down. Characters As main part of the book is set in the present day, we get to know the kids better as adults. There are a few complex relationships going on and the lead character Daria Cato (the girl who found the baby) is keeping a big secret or two under wraps that help to keep the story reveal hidden a bit longer. Rory Taylor, the ex soccer star is humble and recently divorced yet still turning heads on the beach. Lots of potential as the book goes on for a happy ending to conclude the childhood crush Daria has but other women keep getting in the way! What about Shelly? Good name for a baby found on the beach hey? She is a little bit brain damaged but leads a happy enough life. Who are we to judge if she's getting enough from her life. Did I guess it? Sort of. It's ...

Maybelline Great Lash Big 17/02/2017

Big lashes make a small dent in your purse

Maybelline Great Lash Big I have used many different mascaras over the years, but one I have returned to many times is the great big lash mascara by Maybelline. I really rate this mascara, it's a great price and it's also easy to remember due to the distinctive packaging. Affordable lash enhancement This mascara rarely costs more than a fiver and can be relied on to last for many months, in fact the tube tends to last me longer than six months and you are advised to change eye make up every six months to protect yourself from infections. My experience I like this mascara from day one of use, it's not too wet and it gives me the lash volume I am after without causing spider leg effect on my eyelashes. It only takes one coat to look good, I don't have to repeat use and the black is a great true black that doesn't dry grey at all. But why...? The only thing I wonder about is why they kept the colourful packaging. It makes it look like something from the 1980s but it also makes it easy to remember I suppose. Still going strong I even got one of these mascaras fairly recently in a beauty box, which surprised me as it was full sized and also not a new product on the market but I didn't mind getting a spare mascara, especially this one as I will be happy to use it. Where can you buy it? You can buy this mascara online and also it is widely available in stores, supermarkets, Superdrug and Boots, they all sell it. I think I used to buy something similar from Maybelline when I was a teen from a market ...

NYX Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow 16/02/2017

Baked beauty

NYX Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow This eyeshadow edged its way in to my life and I just cannot remember buying it. I have no idea how it landed in my make up bag but I do like using a neutral base so must have picked it up on my travels knowing it fit in that universal everyday make up category. First impressions This eyeshadow comes as a baked dome and I do like baked products as they seem to hold together better, last longer and not just disintegrate as soon as you use your brush on them. The packaging is also very cute as it comes in a little box like a display case with a bow as the clasp so they are easy to unhinge open and no broken nails to report. The brand NYX is pretty much in the budget beauty category yet it constantly gets a good report back from the beauty blogging community. It's definitely on my radar although I am pretty sure it's the only item in my vast collection at the moment. Price and availability There are 32 colours to choose from on the Boots website and each is individually boxed with the bow clasp. I have Easy Rider and this sells at £5 on Boots website. I can't say what I paid as I just can't really remember buying it! What they say Just when you thought Eyeshadow couldn't be any bolder NYX does it again! This lightweight eye colour really packs in the pigments. Our uniquely designed baked formula blends seamlessly and is ultra versatile. Apply dry for an even wash of colour or wet for a more dramatic look. In use I use a regular flat eyeshadow brush with this eyeshadow ...

Inika Mineral Blush 15/02/2017

Blushing nude

Inika Mineral Blush I have this Iniika mineral powder blush in the shade "Blooming Nude" and it came to me in a beauty box. I use a lot of bare minerals powders so I was really happy to give it a try. First impressions This powder looked quite dark in the pot and very finely milled. I used a big kabuki brush to take a little from the lid and swirled it around to make sure there was not a concentrated area of powder. In use I found it hard to apply this product. It went on very concentrated and was hard to blend which is quite annoying as the blush stage of make up means to remove it means you have to start again so I did my best to make it work but it was quite concentrated. How much? (and where from?) I have had a few Inika branded products from beauty boxes in the past year and the brand is mainly to be found online. At HQ Hair this mineral blush is priced £21. It is the same price at the Naturismo website and you get a 3g pot which is an awful lot of product and it will go a long way. What they say Boasting a texture that's silky soft, the INIKA Mineral blusher has a highly concentrated, pigmented formula to give your cheeks a sweep of luscious, rich colour. This hue is a translucent bronze which suits medium to dark complexions, whilst the oil, alcohol and fragrance free formula is kind to the skin. My thoughts Aside from not blending very well, this product frankly terrifies me because I am one for dropping things and we have a cream carpet so it's a bit of a dodgy one for me as I ...

L'Oreal L'Oréal Super Liner Perfect Slim 14/02/2017

Slim Shady?

L'Oreal L'Oréal Super Liner Perfect Slim I wear eye liner every day but I tend to favour a pencil more these days as I find them more versatile, blendable and can achieve a softer look overall. I think this slim liner arrived in my Christmas advent beauty calendar from Look Fantastic, so I was willing to give it a go as I do like winged liner and as a rule I do find L'oreal products to be generally good. First impressions This is indeed a slimline pencil, plastic all over with a click on lid. The lid never feels like it is quite on fully and pulls off easily so I worry that the felt tip liner is in danger from drying out. The pen has a gold shiny band around it which gives it an expensive feel although it is actually an inexpensive product. Once the lid is off you can see a long felt tip liner (like an artist brush felt tip) and this is quite long and slim with some flexibility to it. In use The colour is a very deep black so you do get quite a dramatic look from this eye liner. It is quite flexible and you can get a decent thin line with it or draw an outline and fill in a thicker line if you prefer. I find this liner easy to use and can vary the look using the pencil in different ways. Once dry it stays on all day and it is a nice eye liner to use for a dramatic looking eye. Removal with eye make up remover and a cotton wool pad is easy and pain free. No rubbing required. My thoughts I do quite like this but I have said three stars as satisfactory simply because this is a bit heavy and I prefer my eye ...

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil 13/02/2017

Go to lip product

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil I have the Nars Velvet lip pencil but mine is a gloss rather than Matte although I am very tempted to try the matte as it sounds great. The shade I have is quite a nude colour which is named Buenos Aires. First Impressions I got this lip pencil in the same way I get a lot of new make up, in a beauty box. I noted the colour was quite nude and was pleased to try it out. At first it felt very firm and precise and was easy to apply. More on the sharpening process later! In use This is a lip pencil with a lid and you just draw it on your lips. I use it with a nude lip liner and try and keep my lips well moisturised underneath so it just glides on. The pencil is made of a black wood and is chunky in size so when it comes to sharpening I use the bigger side of a double sharpener which fits it OK and collects the shavings so it is not too messy. It also cuts in to the product though which I feel is wasteful and you never get back to that sharp point that the original state of the product which is the best way to apply it. Price and Availability Nars is quite a premium brand so it is available in the bigger and more expensive department stores or quite widely found online. A full sized lip pencil is universally priced at £20. This is 2.8 g of product. What they say Benefits of NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil: - Ultra smooth, buttery feel on the lips. - Contains vitamin E, hyaluronic spheres and phytosterol esters; ingredients known to moisturise, increase hydration and improve ...

OPI OPI Liquid Sand Stay The Night Nail Varnish 12/02/2017

OPI Liquid Sand: Your number's up

OPI OPI Liquid Sand Stay The Night Nail Varnish I received a blue sparkly shade called 'Get your number' of OPI Liquid Sand a while ago in my pink parcel beauty box and immediately thought it would not be for me as I am not a fan of textured polishes. Talking me round I mentioned this dislike online and a friend on Instagram said she loved it (she's overseas) and that the liquid sand range were her favorite, so much that she had bought them all. The colour is OK... I do like a blue nail (dark shades) so decided not to write it off straight away. I thought if she liked them so much they couldn't be that bad! See through... I tried it out on top of a base coat and was quite disappointed that whilst it had the colour to go with the glitter, I could still see my nail underneath and it made the whites look yellow against that shade of blue. Not pleasant at all. Also the texture was all bumpy. Alternative approach I could have tried it over a plain dark blue and would have probably got better results but by then I'd already made my mind up that this colour was not for me. Removal? Oh no! It was also a pain to remove from the nail, the blue going on the skin and cuticles. If it was this hard to remove whilst still tacky I hate to think how much scrubbing it takes when it has fully dried! Not keeping this one... I shall be giving my polish away. I am not put off the OPI brand as a whole but will not bother with any more liquid sand for them.

Carmex Lip Balm Pot 11/02/2017

OK, just not for me

Carmex Lip Balm Pot I have never bought a pot of Carmex yet I must own half a dozen through beauty box and reciprocal swap deals! I know the Carmex brand has been around for many years and was pleased at first to try it. First impressions The lip balm is housed in a bright yellow pot which really stands out. It has a pop art look to the logo which is white text in a red box on a bright yellow lid. The product offers relief to dry and chapped lips. What's inside the pot? Inside the pot is a gooey yellow balm which is pretty solid and sticky. It's a very different consistency to vaseline and is more waxy I think. In use I do keep some of this next to the computer desk at home so it gets used fairly frequently. It has a sort of medicated smell to it and also feels quite smooth as it melts on to the lips. It helps to hydrate dry lips and has a sort of menthol infusion to it too. My thoughts This is really not my favourite type of lip balm but I do appreciate that it can help sore lips. I'd be more likely to use it as an intensive treatment rather than a balm of choice and it is a bit messy to use so I am unlikely to put it in my pocket when I go out! Price Expect to pay £2 or £3 for this product in store. Final word I will use this but it is not my favourite or first choice item. I have at least two brand new and unopened ones that I clearly need to palm off on someone else as they have clearly done it to me in the swapping stakes!!

Sylvanian Families Triple Bunk Beds 10/02/2017

Bunk up

Sylvanian Families Triple Bunk Beds Since she started to collect Sylvanian Families, my daughter has scoured the catalogue and knows every piece, character, accessory and play set and the one thing she has hankered for was the triple bunk bed set so I bought it for her as a a surprise from Amazon. What do you get The bunk beds come boxed and inside are three beds which slot together, two ladders and matching covers.They are just the right size for tucking in the little characters and fit nicely in the bedrooms of the SF play house either constructed as bunk beds or laid out separately.. First impressions The beds have a bit of coloured detail that match the bedding colours yellow, pink and blue. The bedding has a mattress with a built in pillow and a colour coordinated blanket. The ladders hook on to the side of the bed and look very cute and we found a way to hook them in the house when not in use if the beds are placed side by side (this way they don't get lost!). The detail is excellent on these beds with the cot rail sides to stop the sleeper falling out and the little ladders, they really are a lot of fun to play with! Dimensions Length 74mm Width 51mm Height 112mm when stacked as bunk beds. Price and availability We normally buy the sets from Toys R Us after looking at everything but this was not in stock when we looked so I bought it from Amazon with free postage because I am a Prime member. They were £8.99 and came within one day of ordering. My thoughts I don't think my daughter was disappointed ...
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