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Last Man Down. The Fireman's Story - Richard Picciotto 29/07/2017

Last man down

Last Man Down. The Fireman's Story - Richard Picciotto I have written before that I have some interests that could be considered macabre by others and my interests in disasters such as 9/11 could be considered odd by some people. I read this book years ago but when I saw it in a charity shop recently, I decided to buy another copy and to read it again, even though I had read the same story from a few different sources over the years, I thought that it would be an interesting read. The Book This book tells the amazing story of FDNY Battalion Chief Richard "Pitch" Picciotto who has just signed on to his job on the morning of September 11th. Thinking it would be a normal day, things were quickly shattered for Pitch and his team when it became apparent that things would never be the same for the FDNY. Pitch had worked the evacuation of the North Tower of the Twin Towers after the 1993 bomb there and saw how tough it was, so he volunteered his services as he had prior knowledge of the buildings and had recently written a piece about firefighting in high rise buildings. Within minutes he was at Ground Zero as the Twin Towers burned and then began to buckle. Having used an elevator that was still in service, he had managed to get fairly high up in the tower when there was a massive roar that consumed the building. As the stairwells were dark, they had no idea what the sound was but within minutes it became clear that the South Tower had collapsed and the roar has been the building coming down. Pitch made the call for firemen and ...

Lush Sikkim Girls Eau de Parfum 22/07/2017

Spicy and seductive scent

Lush Sikkim Girls Eau de Parfum I have been in one of those moods recently where perfume has taken on more of an importance in my life and I like scents that are slightly different and that also boost my mood. I had been looking for a nice scent although I didn't set out to buy a perfume specifically from Lush, when the sales assistant recommended this one, I immediately liked it and decided to treat myself. The Perfume Sikkim Girls if described by Lush as an exotic scent and was inspired by a story told to musician Sheema Mukherjee of the "Sikkim Girls" who seduced a Darjeeling cafe-owner's son with the sensual sway of their bodies. This is a warm and exotic floral scent with the veiled allure of jasmine. Lush have tried to capture the exotic heat of Darjeeling, India in clouds of tuberose and frangipani. The overt sensuality of jasmine is demurely covered in this perfume, creating a subtly seductive fragrance with a hint of ‘come hither’. A contrast to the up-front and overtly sexual jasmine notes of Lust.  Sikkim Girls was launched in 2013. Sikkim Girls was created by Simon Constantine and Mark Constantine. It is described as a unisex scent and while I have noticed that it could appeal to both men and women, the slight floral undertones of this scent means it's more of a feminine fragrance to myself. Unlike most scents in my collection, I don't think this scent evolves much and only has the notes of Frangipani, Jasmine, Vanilla and Tuberose in this scent rather than the usual heart and base notes ...

Tattoos: friends or foes? 15/07/2017

Friend or Foe??

Tattoos: friends or foes? It maybe is just me or a language barrier but I find the phrasing of this question a little odd so apologies in advance if I have misinterpreted what it's asking. I'm not sure if you could describe a tattoo as a friend or a foe but I am guessing that this means that they can sometimes be a hindrance to some people. I will try to write my review so that I can explain why I feel the way I do about tattoos. About tattoos A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the colour of the skin. Brought to Europe from Polynesia in the early 19th century through naval routes, it was originally largely restricted to naval use, and was a male-only domain. By the later 20th century its use was more widespread and extended to female users. By the end of the 20th many stigmas of the tattoo culture had gone and it moved into the realm of being a fashion accessory for both men and women. My Opinion I love tattoos in general and follow a number of artists on Facebook and Instagram. Yes, there are some negatives in the world of tattooing but it is something that has always fascinated me, although the more I know, the more annoyed I am that there are so few regulations out there and so many people walking around with tattoos that look like they were designed by a toddler. Personally I don't have any tattoos, partly because I am scared that if I did, I would ...

H&M Nail Varnish 01/07/2017

Fantastic cheap polish

H&M Nail Varnish I was in H&M in Dublin a few months ago and as I only had about 2 euro’s worth of stuff to buy and needed to use my card so when I saw these at the till, I decided to grab two of these polishes just so I’d have enough to warrant a card purchase.  These nail polishes were 95 cents or 99p had I bought them in the UK, so I figured that even if they were rubbish, I hadn’t wasted a lot of money.  I bought a dark blue and a pale pink as I thought the blue would be nice for evenings and the pink for daytime.  This review will recount my experiences of the dark blue coloured polish. The Polish H&M describe their polishes as Fashion-focused nail polish in a gorgeous array of inspiring colours and effects. They also claim that application is quick and easy – one coat of the high-gloss formula provides a rich, flawless finish. This polish is a dark blue and is called Midnight Blue which is a close representation of what the colour is. Despite it being a very dark colour, it has quite a glossy finish and while this could look severe, it doesn't really seem that dark on my nails. It just looks quite glossy and classy when applied. My thoughts This polish comes in a small 5ml bottle which is clear so you can see the colour through the glass.  The lid of this polish is the most eye catching part and has Nail in capital letters and polish in small letters on the lid, giving the packaging a modern, vibrant look.  The brush is understandably quite small as the polish itself is only ...

The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Eau de Parfum 24/06/2017

Not quite the perfume of my dreams

The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Eau de Parfum I have quite a wide selection of perfumes, as I always get some for Christmas and my Birthday, as well as the samples that I get in beauty boxes.  This was a gift from my best friend two years ago, but it’s only now that I am really using it as my main daily perfume. The Body Shop In 1970, Anita Roddick visited "The Body Shop" in Berkeley, California which sold naturally-scented soaps and lotions. The shop used natural ingredients, and helped to employ and train immigrant women. In 1976, Roddick opened a similar shop in the UK, using the same business name, colour scheme, and cosmetic lines. The Body Shop's main selling points have always been natural products, always against animal testing and to try to make a difference in the world. Following the company's takeover by L'Oreal, whose business practices were very different, it was feared that the company could change dramatically, but they seem to have tried to remain true to the core values. This perfume was apparently inspired by Anita Roddick. The Perfume The design of the bottle is very simple, but effective.  It reminds me a lot of the bottle that you’d fine the Davidoff scent Cool Water in, although their glass bottles are a blue colour, and this one is clear.  There isn’t much information on the bottle itself. It just has the name of the perfume on the front in purple and it also has a silver coloured lid with The Body Shop's logo on it. The packaging of this is simple and elegant, although it won't stand ...

Afternoon Tea at the Dunadry Hotel, Belfast 17/06/2017

A relaxing afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea at the Dunadry Hotel, Belfast It was my friend's birthday recently and she decided that an afternoon tea experience would be a good idea rather than a meal or a night out and I thought something like that would be a nice idea. I did leave it up to her though where we went but when she presented me with a few options, I thought the combination of a spa treatment and afternoon tea would be a good idea as I know I don't take the time to relax as much as I should. Packages Afternoon tea at the Dunadry is available from 12-5pm Monday to Friday and 12-3pm on a Saturday. The packages available are: * Traditional Afternoon Tea | £12.95pp * Traditional Afternoon Tea & Glass of Prosecco | £16.50pp * Afternoon Tea & ½ Hour Treatment | £32.95pp * Afternoon Tea & 1 Hour Treatment | £48.95pp The ½ Hour treatment includes a choice of, Boutique Express Facial, Mini Manicure/Mini Pedicure or Relaxing Back Massage. The 1 hour treatment includes a choice of, Full Body Massage, Full Steam Facial, Full Body Exfoliation or Spa Manicure/Spa Pedicure We both decided to go for the back massage as I have been a bit stressed out and thought it would help me relax. My friend did pay a deposit when she was booking the package but I'm not sure how much this was. Location As I work close to Dunadry and I have been at the hotel a few times in the past, I find it easy to get to but if you're not familiar with the small village it can be hard to find. It's well signposted from the M2 at Antrim though and if you follow signs ...

Boots Skin Clear Deep Cleansing Scrub 03/06/2017

Clear Skin

Boots Skin Clear Deep Cleansing Scrub I have a habit of buying skincare items that I try for a few weeks, decide they weren't the miracle product I hoped and then they sit in the bathroom gathering dust. This is one such purchase, although when I tried it again, I did wonder why it had sat on the shelf for so long gathering dust. About The Scrub This is part of the Boots Clear Skin range and while I have tried one or two of their products, I tended to buy more 'branded' scrubs and washes for my face but occasionally I am swayed by special offers and I think this was on offer when I purchased it. Boots Skin Clear Ultra Deep Pore Facial Treatment Scrub (to give it it's full name) contains a unique formulation with ingredients which are claimed to be scientifically proven to give visible results by exfoliating and clearing skin. This scrub is created by Boots skincare experts to penetrate deep into pores and lift away impurities to help clear skin fast. It is said to start working immediately and helps clear spots and reduce redness. This scrub is also dermatologically tested. You can use everyday as part of your Boots Skin Clear Ultra regime or as required. This scrub should be used within 24 months. Packaging This scrub comes in the same style of packaging as the rest of the Boots Clean Skin range which makes it instantly recognisable when you see it on the shelf in store. I find the red and blue packaging on this brand of skincare a little strange as red isn't a colour I want to associate with a skin ...

Garnier Simply Essentials Facial Cleansing Wipes 28/05/2017

Not an essential for me

Garnier Simply Essentials Facial Cleansing Wipes While I don't use facial wipes all the time, I do like to have a packet of facial wipes for those occasions where I am out and about and am home late or for those days where I can't be bothered with the full cleansing regime. I have tried some expensive brands but also some cheap brands with good results so when I saw these on offer in Gordon's Chemists at £1 for 25, I thought that I would buy some as I know Garnier is a good brand and I thought I was getting a good deal on these wipes. The Wipes Garnier Clean Sensitive Wipes are formulated with Plant Extract, and cleansing and make-up removal agents which remove all traces of make-up with no need for rubbing. These wipes are designed for skin is easily irritated by cleansing, make up removal, changes in temperature, fatigue or stress or you have sensitive skin and are looking for an effective, easy and extremely gentle way of cleansing your skin. Each wipe contains the following: * 2 Doses of cleansing milk in 1 wipe * Removes even waterproof mascara without rubbing * No perfume, alcohol or colourants These wipes are suitable for even sensitive skin including sensitive eyes and are both Dermatologically and ophthalmologically tested. These wipes gently respect sensitive skin and leaves the skin feeling refreshed, non-sticky and non-greasy. Packaging I loved the colour scheme of these wipes, the light blues and whites puts me in the mind of something gentle and soothing and as these wipes are designed for sensitive ...

Aussie Aussome Volume Dry Shampoo 14/05/2017

Not an aussome product for me

Aussie Aussome Volume Dry Shampoo Dry shampoo is something I use a lot of and while I have my favourites, I like trying new brands. This one caught my eye for three reasons – it was fairly cheap, it was a small can which was ideal to bring with me on holiday and also because I like the Aussie brand and had high hopes for this dry shampoo as well. Only reason this made it back from my holiday was because I felt I needed to write this review to warn that just because most Aussie products are good, they are not all equal. Aussie dry shampoos I didn't know until I started writing this review that there are more than one dry shampoo available in the Aussie range. At the time of writing, there are 7 different ones available on the Aussie website which are: * Mega Instant - The no-show spray for show-stopping hair. * Aussome Volume – Stay big and bouncy in between washes. * Colour Mate – the no-show between washes boost * Festival Fresh – Self explanatory really! * Flower Power – Gives a flowery boost of just-washed freshness * Beach Mate – gives hair a just-washed boost * Winter Miracle – for times when your hair needs a little extra in winter. While there are a few in this range that do appeal to me, as you read this review it will become clear that I don't think I will bother trying anymore in the range just in case! The Dry Shampoo According to Aussie, this dry shampoo is described as: Low on volume? Short of time? Meet the next big thing. No shower necessary. A quick blast from Aussie Aussome Volume ...

Reykjavik Chips, Reykjavik 13/05/2017

Chips in Reykjavik

Reykjavik Chips, Reykjavik I was recently in Iceland and while planning our trip, I wanted to check out some of the nicest places to eat while in the country. This was a place that came highly recommended and I was particularly keen to try after I checked the menu and their garlic sauce was called Buffy, especially when I was traveling with someone who was a big fan of the TV show. I'm just a fan of chips in general so anywhere that sold them was somewhere I was happy to try out. Location We didn't have too much bother finding the place and the first time we walked past, it was by accident that we found it. Located just off Laugavegur Street, the main shopping street in Reykjavik, the forest green fronted cafe with it's bright mural is easy to spot, although the streets are quite colourful in general around that part of Reykjavik. Although the street the cafe is located on is steep, the cafe is at the bottom of the street and on the ground floor so easily accessed for those who are in wheelchairs or limited mobility or with a pushchair. Decor The place itself was fairly small but very quaint and the green from the outside continues on the inside as well. There are lots of sacks of potatoes around the place and also lots of pictures on the walls of films such as Mr Chips and even a framed photograph of Stephen Fry which did make me laugh. There is also a large mural on the wall where you order your food which shows the processes that they go through in order to make your chips which is a nice ...

L'Oreal Magic Retouch Root Concealer 16/04/2017

Not a magic product for me

L'Oreal Magic Retouch Root Concealer When I received an invitation to test this new product for BzzAgent, I jumped at the chance as I was between hairdressers and hoped that this might make my roots less noticeable. Turns out I had kind of misunderstood what this product was and it was only when it arrived and I read the blurb that this was a product that was designed for disguising grey hairs... About the Magic Retouch I'm not entirely sure what way you would describe this product. It's kind of a temporary hair colourant and is designed to cover and roots and/or greys. This colourant promises to match any hair colour, even salon shades. Magic Retouch conceals greys and roots in just one quick spray - when, where and how you need it. The pinpoint micro-diffuser precisely targets greys and the rich colour pigments give you perfectly blended coverage. It only takes 3 seconds to flawless roots and the lightweight, transfer resistant formula lasts until it is washed out. Each can should have around thirty uses, depending obviously on how much you use each time. When you open the lid, there is a spray nozzle with a thin smaller nozzle which you point towards where you want this to spray onto. It looks a little weird to start with but I was reassured that this nozzle meant that I would only get the product where I needed it rather than all over my hair. Packaging To be fair, this can is certainly eyecatching and I have seen these in a couple of shops and they always have caught my eye when I have been ...

Ted Baker W Eau De Toilette 25/03/2017

A floral daytime scent

Ted Baker W Eau De Toilette My friend knows that I have a very slight Ted Baker obsession so bought a gift set of this perfume and the matching body wash and lotion as a Christmas present. I was quite excited when I received this as I always have high hopes for Ted Baker items and everything I have tried in the past has always smelt lovely. The Ted Baker brand The Ted Baker brand has become known across the UK through word of mouth rather than advertising. Ted Baker was created when managing director Ray Kelvin started his 1st store in Glasgow in 1988. This was quickly followed by Leeds Manchester and Nottingham. Initially Ted Baker exclusively offered men’s dress shirts and offered dry cleaning with every shirt sold. In 1995 as the company continued to grow Ted Baker launched a new range, Ted Baker woman. Packaging This is certainly one of the plainer bottles on my dressing table, although I notice that the packaging has changed slightly to more of a light pink hue with a clear lid whereas my bottle has a darker pink lid and the base of the perfume is clear so you can easily see how much perfume is left in the bottle. My 30ml bottle is what could be described as modern with clean lines but I think it is slightly boring compared to other bottles on the market. It is a clear glass bottle with a dark pink lid and the only writing around the bottle is that this is a Ted Baker perfume and that it is the W scent, denoted by the slightly brighter coloured W on the front (the male equivalent has the ...

Garnier Ultralift Firming Eye Cream 18/03/2017

An effective eye cream

Garnier Ultralift Firming Eye Cream When I hit 30, I started to notice some differences in my skin and there were a few fine lines which had started to appear around my eyes.  Up until that point I hadn’t been that bothered when it came to ageing and using products that may help delay the effects on my skin.  When these fine lines appeared, I decided to start using an eye cream to see if it made any difference.  I also had a few dark circles under my eyes from those nights where my insomnia was at it’s worst so something that would help improve the appearance of my eyes would be a welcome addition to my skincare routine.    The range of eye creams in Superdrug was staggering and I felt slightly overwhelmed.  I chose this Garnier eye cream as I’d heard good reports about it and it wasn’t overly expensive. The eye cream According to Garnier, this UltraLift Complete Beauty Eye Cream acts upon signs of ageing on this delicate eye area: * Wrinkles: Visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles * Firming: Leaves your skin feeling firmer * Radiance boosting: Skin complexion looks more even and your natural radiance looks restored Garnier claims that you can FEEL and SEE the results for yourself: After the 1st application your skin feels smoother, wrinkles appear reduced, your skin feels firmer, and your natural radiance is revealed. This cream is also ophthalmologically tested so it shouldn't irritate or upset the delicate eye area. In use This cream is quite thin and is a bright white colour.  Oddly, I ...

Charlie Red Body Spray 05/03/2017

Feeling in the red

Charlie Red Body Spray As anyone who has read my first review on my set of Charlie scents may already know, I received a 50ml can of this along with 3 other Charlie scents in a gift set from my mum and this is the second one that I chose to use. I don't normally use body sprays as I prefer the longer lasting scents of perfumes but I was surprised at how much I liked these Charlie scents and now kind of regret that I was so quick to write off the brand in my younger years. Packaging I noticed when I was checking out this that the packaging has changed on this range of body sprays spray and, the same as my previously reviewed Charlie Pink, my body sprays are of the old packaging. It is a very red can with a pink lid (as you would expect) and the writing is in silver which gives it a slightly more classy appearance in my opinion. The background is made up of silver flowers although as I am rubbish at picking out flowers, I can't say what they actually are. A couple of the flowers almost look like butterflies as well but I am certain that they are all flowers. My can is 50ml and there are all the usual warnings on the back about aerosol abuse and flammability. The bright red colour scheme does mean that I find the warnings and other information on the back of the can hard to read but since I know the dangers of aerosols and also know how to apply this body spray, this maybe isn't as big of a deal as it might be with other products. My Thoughts This scent is described by Revlon as that you ...

Impress Press-On Nails 26/02/2017

Wasn't impressed with these nails...

Impress Press-On Nails I had received a set of the Broadway imPress nails in a beauty box a while ago but I had been saving them for a special occasion. I did manage to kick my habit of biting my nails a while back but a stressful job has meant that I have fallen slightly back into my old ways. So when I had a special event coming up, I decided to use these nails for my night out as I was attending a Fashion Tea at a posh hotel in Belfast. The Nails The company makes the following claims about these nails: * Perfect salon look manicure in minutes * Lasts up to 1 week * Won't damage nails, no waiting to dry, no glue needed, harmless and easy to remove with no soaking off *24 nails across 12 sizes to fit most nailbeds As you will read on later in my review, I didn't quite agree with some of these claims... These nails come in a variety of colours and there is probably a colour out there for everyone. These nails appealed to me as they looked like a classic french manicure and something that would go with anything, quite handy especially if these are supposed to last for around a week – you don't want something you'll be bored of after one night. There is a company website but it's not available at the time of writing this review. Packaging I loved the packaging on these nails as it looks like a bottle of nail polish and the nails are inside the 'bottle' The bottle is only for show though and is hollow. There are a variety of different sizes in this kit and ...
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