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since 22/03/2014


Ty Beanie My Little Pony Buddy Plush Rainbow Dash 24/07/2017

Rainbow Dash: small and plush

Ty Beanie My Little Pony Buddy Plush Rainbow Dash I bought this plush toy around a year ago, I can't really remember where though! ... and last night I bought it again... the kids were playing shops and this was one of the items for sale and the cheeky little monkeys charged me a pound for it! It did remind me to look here on Ciao! though to see if it was listed. First impressions Our toy measures six inches high and is soft and cute to the touch. The main colour is blue and the pony has a rainbow coloured mane and tail and also a pair of wings. What my six year old says .... This is great to play with, it's better than my plastic horses because they are harder to play with and I can take this one to bed with me for snuggles and hugs. What I say about it This is a cute little pony, I can remember playing with these when I was a kid and Rainbow Dash was my favourite. I think it is the most popular horse from the range anyway. She is recognisable from the logo on her hind quarters which is like a cloud with a rainbow coloured flash of lightning going through it. The colours are nice and bright and it is suitable from age three upwards and my six year old really likes hers so I would say it lasts a few years. Price and availability Claire's sell this for £7 although it is usually £10. Smyths Toys sell an XL version for £40. My thoughts These are really not expensive, so not a bad buy really. My kids do not play with it very often though so it falls in and out of favour hence it being for sale in their "shop" today! I ...

Nuxe Sun Refreshing After Sun Lotion for Face & Body 23/07/2017

Best smelling after sun!

Nuxe Sun Refreshing After Sun Lotion for Face & Body The Nuxe website are great at adding little extras at the checkout, so you get to try out items you might not otherwise think to buy and this after sun sample was a generous example of this. The claim This after sun by Nuxe claims to prolong tanning and also helps repair and sooth skin. First impressions There was a lot in this foiled sample, me and my daughter dived straight in and shared it, we love the Nuxe oil and it smells just like that, very luxurious. I was not sure what the texture of this after sun would be like but it was pleasantly creamy. In use We did arms and legs with the after sun and it went a long way. It is non greasy and sinks in quite quickly. My legs were a bit dry when I applied it and it definitely improved their condition in an instant. What they say ... This face and body after sun care with Sun and Water flowers repairs, hydrates and perfects skin and prolongs your tan by two weeks*. Its fresh texture is immediately soothing and leaves skin feeling comfortable. A bewitching fragrance with notes of Sweet Orange, Tahitian Gardenia and Vanilla. Price and availability A 200 ml tube is priced £15.50 on the Nuxe website. However, it pays to shop around as the beauty website Escentual has it for £10.33 at the moment so there is a third off the price. My thoughts This is not cheap skincare but it is a nice luxury product and on holiday it could be cost saving as you will not need perfume or fragrance if you use this after sun with its lovely ...

American Horror Story Season 1 (DVD) 22/07/2017

Beware the man in the gimp mask!

American Horror Story Season 1 (DVD) I have been watching American Horror story over the last 12 month and have worked my way through all the seasons but I did start right at the beginning on Season 1 which began very much like a familiar film – new family move from Boston to Los Angeles and buy a house (cheaply) and then find out it’s haunted…. That’s not a spoiler really. All sorts of strange things start happening in the house and the Harmon family are not sure why. It’s a dark programme and crosses many boundaries that some may find unacceptable. I streamed my version through Amazon Prime and I think it was free to watch at the time. Cover - suggests adult content! I think the cover of this title suggests that there is some extreme content at play. A figure in a pvc suit including gimp mask and a very pregnant lady sort of sprawled may put a lot of people off or tune people in on the other hand! I took a recommendation to watch it from someone at work who has similar taste to me in films. The family The family unit is the basis for this series. A father, daughter and mother move in to the house, seemingly after a new start and the reasons for this start to unfold. The daughter (Violet) suffers from bouts of depression and makes friends with one of her father's patients, a psychotic teen boy called Tate. Ben, the father becomes a little distracted from his relationship but can’t explain why he feels as he does. We meet a few other characters along the way… the local people who really don’t want them to ...

Andrex Toilet Tissues 21/07/2017

Quality paper

Andrex Toilet Tissues I don't compromise on toilet paper, so we always buy Andrex as we have had problems in the past with other brands blocking the toilet! We never seem to have a problem with Andrex though and I always pick up the multi packs when they are on offer so we never run out. First impressions The toilet rolls in multi packs come with a bag that has a built in handle which is useful in the days of 5p carrier bags, if you don't mind wandering around swinging a dozen toilet rolls that is. My Nan always used these bags to transport her newspapers, tv guide and magazines with her when she visited which always made me chuckle. They make useful bin bags too if you want to recycle them. In use Don't worry, I won't get graphic! We always buy white as I dislike coloured toilet paper and it always looks nice and clean. The toilet sheets are strong, thick and I am not sure how many "ply" as they hold together well. There's a proper way to hang it on the wall with the sheet facing outwards (rather than along the wall) but some schools of thought differ on this. I don't fold the ends in to a point like hotels do as life is simply too short and I am not sure why you'd want to unless you are monitoring usage. The brand Andrex are celebrating 75 years of toilet paper production, so they should know what they are doing by now. What they say Andrex wants everyone to feel as clean as possible. Andrex Classic White is designed with this in mind and has a touch of cotton. It has the perfect balance ...

Benefit Lollitint Lip & Cheek Stain 20/07/2017

A tint for cheeks and lips

Benefit Lollitint Lip & Cheek Stain I got a boxed set of Benefit makeup for lips and it included this small pot of Lollitint. The make up is a dual purpose item that works on lips and cheeks. It is a metallic pink shade and I was interested how it would work for me. First impression This has a brush built in to the lid so it is easy to use on the go. You can dab it on direct or put a little pool on the back of your hand to work with. The bottle is round and although it only holds a small amount, a little bit goes a really long way. In use I only really use this on my lips, as it has a bit of a shimmery finish that is not an everyday look for me on my cheeks. On my lips it works well though and feels a little wet before drying to a non slippery finish. My thoughts This is OK but not my favourite out of all the Benefit tints so to be hones this is a bit of a "meh" product for me. I really can't rave about it but as per the Ciao! rating it is satisfactory and I am sure it has its own fan base amongst the benebabes out there. It works fine and is consistent with the rest of the range in how it works. You can work with the product for only a short while until it dries so it is harder to use successfully on the cheeks I think. I would use this if I was going out for the day and wanted a bit of colour on my lips but not an overly made up look. Price an availability This is sold in a 10 ml bottle. This retails for £24.50 on Feel Unique but you can also get smaller versions in the Boots Benefit pick and mix ...

PurMinerals Disappearing Act Concealer 19/07/2017

As if by magic...

PurMinerals Disappearing Act Concealer I know about the Pur brand because they sell it in Marks and Spencer and I like to browse their beauty section, is all good quality brands. The concealer came in to my life through a beauty box from Marks and Spencer (I think!) and it sat unused for a while until my current concealer was finished. It was fortunate that I got the shade "Light" as it is definitely the shade for me. First impressions The concealer comes in a little round pot with a hinged lid and I use a brush to dabble in the product rather than my finger. You get 2.8g in the pot and it's nice neat packaging with a clear lid so you can see the product inside. In use I use a brush to get the product from the pan then dab light strokes or dots on my face where I want to conceal. I am fortunate as I do not usually get spots but the odd one appears every now and again! I also have some pigment areas to cover that appeared during pregnancy and have faded but never really left. I then use a beauty blender (sponge) to lightly tap and get the right finish on my skin. My thoughts This works like magic! It is a well titled product, "disappearing act" as it does lightly cover the area and evens out my skin tone. It is quite hydrating and does not go chalky on my skin. Worn on its own it is a little bit too porcelain and shiny but under my make up or with a little powder it evens out nicely. I like that you can work with the product as it has a bit of shift in it, so you can blend it around easily. Once left alone to ...

The Body Shop Organic Cotton Rounds x 100 18/07/2017

Soft and strong,,,

The Body Shop Organic Cotton Rounds x 100 I recently bought a cleansing set from the Body Shop outlet near where I live because I wanted the balm and it came with some eye make up remover which I knew I would use. It also came with a pack of the Body Shop organic cotton pads which I have not used before but was interested to try. Quality Now I have a few rules or standards when it comes to removing make up. I like using a muslin cloth in the bathroom for the products which require water for removal but in the bedroom I like a large flat cotton wool round or square. I don't like it to be at all scratchy on my face so I don't mind paying a bit more but I have found cheaper packs that I like so it's been trial and error until now. Rejected pads are used for nail polish removal and the more luxury ones like these are reserved for the face! First impressions These come in a square pack with drawstring top and perforated opening. There are 50 pads in the pack and they are a square shape. The pads have different textures on each side so you can choose which you prefer to work with the products you are using. In use If I am using cram cleanser I usually scoop or pump some on to the back of my hand before massaging on my face then swooping off with a couple of cotton pads. Eye make up remover and toner is applied to the pad before sweeping over my face. I do use quite a few morning and night so a pack this size will not last me very long! My thoughts I found these a good size in terms of surface area and I liked the ...

The Midland Hotel, Morecambe 17/07/2017

Did Poirot enjoy his stay here, I wonder?

The Midland Hotel, Morecambe I was away with work for a few nights and happened to end up at the Midland Hotel in Morcambe for two nights. I'd been on the website before the journey and immediately recognised it from the photographs online as I approached driving along the sea front. Price paid for two nights B&B £150. The first impressions My approach was good. First of all I recognised the hotel, standing alone on the horizon it looked impressive, then up to the front wall there were two entries you could drive in to and adequate parking. The roads are quite pedestrianised around the sea front so it's best to go slow or you might knock a distracted tourist over! Once parked, I unloaded my bags and coat and booking information and made my way up the ramp to reception. There were optional steps if you were not wheeling a case or knees not up to it. Reception The lobby is spacious and looks out on to the sea via a glass fronted conservatory where the main dining room and breakfast is. There is a sweeping round staircase which is very grand too. Reception were courteous and welcoming and sorted out my room straight away as it was tea time when I booked in so no quibble over the check in time. I was given hotel information about breakfast times and locations and also offered the opportunity to book in to the restaurant for my evening meal. I was meeting a colleague so declined but was a bit unsure so she told me to ring from my room if I changed my mind but there was no pressure. I had the option ...

The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream 16/07/2017

Dual function cream

The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream Did you know about dual functionality creams for both lips and eyes? I did not connect the two until quite recently. i have been waiting a while to use this lip and eye cream because I have been using a similar product by RENU and I was waiting for it to finish before cracking open this one. I am quite surprised at how similar the creams actually are. First impressions This Organic pharmacy lip and eye cream came to me in a beauty box and it is a simple white tube that is quite large considering how small the eye and lip areas are. You hardly need any per application. In use I use this in the morning before make up and at night time as a mask for my lips. I don't use it on my eyes much but it is a nice formula if you want to treat that area. What they say The delicate eye and lip area needs particular attention to avoid the signs of ageing. Infused with Shea butter, bilberry, evening primrose, rose hip and frankincense to keep the eye and lip area plump, moist and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. My thoughts This takes a bit of getting used to as it goes on as a mainly white cream and is quite different to a lip balm or other lip treatments I have used. It does go see through once it settles and if I can wait ten minutes after applying I have found my lipstick and liner goes on a lot more evenly and lasts longer. It prevents the flake and dry lips too. Around 15 years ago I used a Benefit lip treatment that they stopped producing and I really ...

Kenzo Flower Eau de Parfum Spray 14/07/2017

Kenzo: not for the faint hearted

Kenzo Flower Eau de Parfum Spray Latest in Beauty were kind to me recently and threw in a couple of fragrance samples with my order. The Flower By Kenzo fragrance was one of them. I have noticed this bottle before as it is quite distinctive, but never tried this particular fragrance. First impressions I took this away with me as an only option for a work - the lighter option than taking a heavy perfume bottle! There's enough in this little spray bottle to last a couple of days. What is it like? Delicate and strong flower the poppy is naturally scentless. Kenzo invented its fragrance. A pure and unusual floral powdery perfume. Main ingredients? Bulgarian rose, parma violet, bourbon vanilla and white musk. What they say... Clear and unusual, Flower by Kenzo links nature with city, emotions with a high-paced contemporary city life. This powdery floral scent is built on three basic notes. Floral note revolves around parma violet, gentle wild hawthorne, cassis and Bulgarian rose. Its powdery note is composed of voluptuous vanilla, white musk and opoponax with a gentle woody touch. It was created in 2000. Click here to watch an advertising video for Flower by Kenzo. Flower is created by Alberto Morillas. It is available as 30, 50, 100 ml Eau de Parfum spray together with its bath & body line. This perfume also won a 2001 and 2003 Fifi award. My thoughts I did not dislike this fragrance but found it rather strong and definitely flowery which I can understand with the ingredients. The clues are also on ...

BIC Soleil Lady Triple Blade Disposable Shaver 13/07/2017


BIC Soleil Lady Triple Blade Disposable Shaver I was sent this razor in a beauty box and just assumed I had used it before. It is a triple blade and pink in colour. Mine says "miss" on the packaging, not sure why but before you go gifting razor blades to your kids, please read my review... I took this on a hotel stay as it was new in packaging and an instant use, disposable razor. Just using it to freshen up and not chop down trees or anything and I cut myself to ribbons. The razor was pink and triple bladed. It is quite neat with a rather short handle. The razor made my leg bleed in a few places and scraped my under arms so they were really sore and zinged when deodorant was added later (I know, but I can't go out without a bit of roll on!). Just why this style hurt me so much I do not know but it confirmed my preference for men's razors! I usually buy the locking heads style ones as I find them easier to handle, hold and more economical. I will positively avoid the Bic disposable razors from now on... I love their pens but these razors are definitely not for me. A little research in to the cost... bearing in mind that I only got a single pack, you do buy these razors in multiple packs. On the Boots website, a pack of 4 is £3.69 which is not very expensive. Whilst these are not expensive, I will definitely avoid buying them again as the painful experience lasted two days and generally I want a quick and pain free result.

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee - Martin Sixsmith 10/07/2017

Giving up baby

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee - Martin Sixsmith I picked up this book from a charity table with no expectations as I had not seen the film with Judi Dench titled "Philomena" but also centered on this true story. I picked up the gist from the back jacket and understood the book was all about the Irish single mothers who were disowned by their families and put in to homes to carry on working in laundries, then giving birth with nuns as their hosts and giving up or having their babies sold to people in America. The mothers were not always consenting but this is what happened in 1950s Ireland. A bit about... The book describes the birth of Anthony (latterly named Michael or Mike) and the two blissful years he spends with his mother Philomena Lee in the home for unmarried mothers until he is adopted with another child called Mary and flown out to America. Mike's life is then followed through his childhood, which is largely happy and it describes a lovely bond with his adoptive mother. As he moves in to adulthood he becomes more troubled and longs to understand what happened to him in Ireland. It is never kept from him that he was adopted but neither is it explained the culture and ethics behind how he was sourced and rehomed. Style and content The book takes a liberal dose of fiction with imagined conversations and scenarios loosely based on true happenings in Mike's life. There is no way this dialogue can be proved to be completely true as the author wrote the book after a series of interviews with people who knew him. I ...

Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub 28/06/2017

Scrub sweetly

Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub The Clarins Gommage Exfoliant or exfoliating body scrub for smooth skin was given to me by my mum’s best friend who is a regular at the Clarins counter. I was impressed with the sample size which is 30ml and to be fair as a body scrub it needs to be as a 5 ml sample would go nowhere if you are trying to exfoliate your limbs. I do like using body exfoliator a couple of times per week and like to be able to feel it working on my skin as soon as I start to massage it in First impressions The tube is white with red lettering which is typical for the Clarins branding. On the tube, this Clarins body scrub suggests it will soften, smooth and firm with Bamboo Powder which sounds quite exotic. When you squeeze out your first “walnut” of product it is a pretty soft peachy pink and creamy colour and you can see the texture in the lotion which is firm and holds its own shape. In use An excellent exfoliator, which is easy to apply in the shower or on damp skin prior to showering. The creamy consistency, along with the exfoliating granules leaves skin soft and smooth and it also has a really attractive smell to it which is light and a little bit fruity. The grain is nice and effective and does definitely help to renew skin and give a firm (but not heavy) level of exfoliation. My thoughts The great bonus to this product is that I find the smell very nice indeed. I think exfoliation is good for helping renew skin, remove old skin cells, get skin ready for holidays, move on old fake ...

Stargazer Chrome Metallic Nail Varnish 27/06/2017

shine on

Stargazer Chrome Metallic Nail Varnish The purchase I bought a set of Stargazer polishes recently from Amazon because it had a chrome colour in the set (to do a shiny French tip) that I was after but it worked out better value to buy the set. Memories I remember Stargazer polishes from being a kit when they were a bit 'alternative' as a brand and therefore the choice of many! My set My set is a french manicure set with a clear, pink and chrome shade in mini bottle sizes and I got this set for around five pounds which I thought was a pretty good price. All three colours work well but I am particularly taken with the chrome shade which is one of the best I've tried. It gives an unusual foil effect to the nail that in the past has been difficult to achieve with the shades on the market. What's good about it? What I like about this chrome is the fact that you can't see through it to the nail after two coats it is a shiny inpenetrable finish. You don't even really need a top coat but it may make it last a little longer. What's not so good about it... I find the colours wear after a couple of days so it's not a particularly long lasting nail colour but I am usually bored after two days so get ready for a new look and colour quite quickly. So I don't mind that they wear quite quickly. In conclusion I would buy Stargazer colours again. I like the round bottle shapes and find the consistency to be good and the brushes are easy and even to use.

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser all skin types 26/06/2017

Foaming cleanse

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser all skin types My mum's best friend is a huge fan of Clarins and she often sends goodies my way as she seems to get a lot of samples from the counter lady (she is probably her best customer!). I got a small sample tube of the gentle foaming cleanser which I used for a week in the shower. First impressions This is a creamy cleanser and you don't need to use a lot to get the product foaming up over the skin. It's white and lightly fragranced. The tube is white with red lettering in keeping with the usual Clarins branding. In use This cleanser is easy to use. I firstly remove make up with a separate eye make up remover and cream cleanser and use the foaming cleanser to follow up, so a double cleanse which helps me keep my skin in a good clean condition and prepares the skin for the night time serum and night moisturiser. My thoughts This is a nice cleanser, it smells good and is effective at cleansing my skin. I I did not wear make up I would only use this on it s own but as i use make up I feel my skin needs extra help to get it totally clean. This is not a drying cleanser like some soap based ones that you rinse off, my skin feels light but not tight after using it, although I do need to moisturise quickly for my skin to feel 'normal'. Price and availability It is easy to buy most things from Clarins whether in a department store or online. It's never cheap but you may be able to find it a few pounds cheaper if you shop around. This cleanser in a size 125ml is £17.60 from Escentual. ...
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