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since 31/01/2011


Frederic Fekkai Protein RX PM Repair Strengtener 08/02/2011

Looks great - but too broke to show it off! Fekkai Protein Rx PM

Frederic Fekkai Protein RX PM Repair Strengtener ~~Introduction~~ If you browse through my reviews (and also those which I read/rate..!) there is a definite trend towards those reviews that relate to hair products. I’m really not vain (no...really...!) I just find that my hair starts to look dry and tattered quite soon after a visit to the salon. I decided about 6 months that it was time to do something about this frustrating trend, so I binned the expensive and hair-stripping high-lights and went for a semi-permanent brown. I also binned the GHDs (well...didn’t literally bin them...they just are now turned on less often!) to avoid the “direct heat” damage. And thus began my quest to find the best products to nourish, moisturise, strengthen and generally glossify my hair! Fekkai’s Protein Rx PM Repair Strengthener (snappy name) caught my eye as it is apparently “the ultimate reparative treatment for dry, brittle or broken hair”. Yes! That’s me! ~~Sounds fancy. What’s it all about??~~ This product is part of Frédéric Fekkai’s Protein Rx Treatment range. I have spent quite some time trying to figure out exactly what Protein Rx actually is, but sadly to no avail! The key feature seems to be that it contains soy and milk proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acids – whilst some of these are produced by the body, others are obtained from external sources (ie food, drink and protein hair treatments...!). As the hair follicle is made from protein, the strength and health of the hair can be impacted by protein intake. ...

Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream 06/02/2011

Silky, luscious locks - Fekkai Glossing Cream

Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream ~~Introduction~~ I should start by telling you a few facts about my hair: it is very very fine; it is wavy; it can easily look fluffy if I don’t use product; it can also look lank if I use product that it too heavy. I used to always highlight and straighten my hair which has no doubt done no end of damage, but about 6 months ago I took the plunge – I went to the hairdresser and am now a brunette and the GHDs are now only for special occasions. I have actually found that I prefer a bit of a curl in my hair as it looks more bouncy. Anyway....back to the product. The background facts about my hair highlight the fact that I really need something that will keep the hairs in their place, but without weighing them down. ~~A bit about Frédéric Fekkai~~ Frédéric Fekkai is a French hairdresser from Aix-en-Provence, who now splits his time between France and New York (are we jealous? Yes we are!). Having created a name for himself in hair styling he expanded his business to include a range of hair products. His philosophy centres on creating styles and products which are right for the individual, by emphasising each person’s natural qualities. His website has some great tips on selecting a style, using products and maintaining your style at home. ~~How and when to use the product~~ The product has a light, yet creaming consistency. It is pale green in colour – I assume that this is merely aesthetic purposes! The packaging suggests that you “apply ‘pea size’ to damp or dry hair”. ...

Shape Up The Pilates Way With Lynne Robinson (DVD) 04/02/2011

Shape up the Pilates Way - standing tall and strong!

Shape Up The Pilates Way With Lynne Robinson (DVD) I have several pilates and yoga DVDs and I have to say that this is probably my favourite Pilates DVD. ~~Format~~ There are 2 35 minute workouts on the DVD so it’s fine to do either one or both in a session (depending on how strong and energetic you’re feeling!). Each workout starts with a gentle warmup before moving onto the gritty stuff. ~~Pilates for real~~ You can really tell that Lynne Robinson is a real Pilates instructor. She provides excellent guidance on the principles of Pilates, both in the introductory section of the DVD and also as you go through the exercises. This ensures that you always remember to keep your back in neutral (not arched in either direction) and your stomach “zipped”. You may get a bit fed up of this phrase as you go through the DVD – basically it means belly button pulled in, so if you’re lying on your front it would be like imagining there’s an ice cube or pin underneath your tummy and you’re trying to pull your stomach away from it! Whilst she does go on about it a bit, it is really important and it’s good to be reminded to keep doing it. She also concentrates on breathing which is an important part of any Pilates workout. ~~What level is this DVD aimed at?~~ This DVD is not for complete Pilates novices. I would say that you should have done at least a couple of Pilates classes with a real life instructor before embarking on this workout. Whilst it is not *tooooo* physically challenging (and Lynne usually provides 2 difficulty levels) it ...

10 Minute Solution - Pilates Perfect Body (DVD) 04/02/2011

A great added extra for your workout routine

10 Minute Solution - Pilates Perfect Body (DVD) I have a few of the 10 minute solution DVDs. They are really fantastic for getting in shape at home in a few spare minutes! ~~What’s on the DVD~~ The DVD comprises 5 10-minute workouts: - Perfect Arms – this workout works all parts of your arms using light hand weights and also your own body weight with exercises such as press ups, side planks etc. - Perfect Belly – This is really a core strengthening workout, so you work your abs, but also strengthens your back. - Perfect Bums & Thighs – Ouch! This workout really works, but I am finding it easier the more often I do it (and the less I have to miss out!). You start with some traditional Pilates side leg lifts and then move on to hip lifts. - Perfect Silhouette – this is quite a gentle workout as it doesn’t concentrate on one particular area, but rather the overall body. The programme includes some gentle squats and twists – a combination of classic Pilates and ballet moves. - Perfect Stretch – this is the cool down section and it’s great to ease off your aching muscles. I find that this is a great one to do after a tough workout at the gym to avoid the aches and pains the following day. It’s also a good workout to do in the morning to stretch out all the tiredness! ~~It does really work~~ I use the DVD a few mornings a week and will do 2 or 3 of the sections for each workout. This is a great added extra to my normal workout routine as it only requires me to get up an extra 30 minutes early (whereas most other DVD ... 04/02/2011 - My money saving downfall.... At the moment I'm economising - and that includes going through my wardrobe and expelling those clothes that haven't been worn for a while (very many of them!). However, as I merrily throw items on the "car boot sale" pile, I have begun to realise that the items in the "must keep and never throw away" pile are often from White Stuff. Now I just have to avoid increasing that pile, which is much easier said than done as I walk past the store almost every day! ~~So what do they sell?~~ Ok, so White Stuff is not the place to go to get a ball dress or something super smart for work, but they do cover pretty much every other base. Their products include: - cosy tracksuit bottoms for lounging round the house/gym etc - lovely patterned skirts for general daytime wear or work wear (if you're not required to wear a suit!) - plain cotton jersey tops - lovely shape which doesn't get distorted in the wash - casual patterned tops which liven up a pair of jeans - great shaped jeans/casual trousers (they generally come in Regular and Long length) - Boots and shoes (including some fab Winter boots in the current 2010/11 season which have a great grip and fur lining - perfect protection from the snow. - THE COMFIEST pants - Lovely patterned socks, scarves, hats etc - handbags - jewellery - Cosy warm coats and gilets (I always said I'd never get a gilet, but now I find myself with a lovely snugly gilet with a furry hood...) - get the drift...they do a bit of everything! ïŠ ~~The ...

Pukka Harmonising Tea 02/02/2011

Pukka Harmonise tea - a sweet treat!

Pukka Harmonising Tea I love the Pukka teas and get through about 8 mugs a day – 2xDetox in the morning, 2xRefresh at lunchtime and 2xHarmonise and 2xLove in the afternoon. They are not only delicious, but a great way of keeping hydrated and warm in a cold, dry and airconditioned office! ~~About the Harmonise tea~~ The tea is described as being “organic rose, sweet vanilla and chamomile”. I was slightly tentative about buying this tea to begin with as I usually hate anything that has chamomile flavouring. However, my gamble paid off and the tea is delicious with the predominant flavours being vanilla and “rose” (although maybe more of a berry-ish taste rather than flowery). The result is quite sweet, but just avoids being too sweet. As with all of the Pukka teas, the tea bags are individually wrapped in paper, with 20 bags in each cardboard box (all packaging is recyclable). The bags come in a white and pink box (which looks great lined up on my desk with my other Pukka teas!). Pukka describes this tea as being “balancing for women”. I’m not entirely sure how (or even what!) it it is meant to balance, but it is very tasty and the pink packaging stops my male colleagues from pinching any! ~~Ingredients ~~ The ingredients listed on the packet are: Chamomile flower (25%), shatavari root (Indian asparagus), hibiscus flower, rose flower (10%), licorice root and vanilla pod (5%). The packaging also states that the ingredients are organically grown (Organic certification UK5). The tea also ...

Pukka Refresh Pitta Tea 01/02/2011

Pukka Refresh - perfect combination of flavours

Pukka Refresh Pitta Tea I love the Pukka teas and get through about 8 mugs a day – 2xDetox in the morning, 2xRefresh at lunchtime and 2xHarmonise and 2xLove in the afternoon. They are not only delicious, but a great way of keeping hydrated and warm in a cold, dry and airconditioned office! ~~About the Refresh tea~~ The tea is described as being “organic peppermint, fennel and rose”, however I would say that the main flavour in this tea is the peppermint. This makes it the ideal drink for lunchtime as it cleanses the palate after lunch, provides a lovely sweet peppermint flavour to stop further snacking and also peppermint is known for its ability to aid digestion. As with all of the Pukka teas, the tea bags are individually wrapped in paper, with 20 bags in each cardboard box (all packaging is recyclable). The box is a green-turquoise colour which is very nice, but one colleague commented that she thought that it was a box of tampons....! The flavour is really quite comparable to the flavour that you get in Teapigs, but at a much lower cost which is always great. ~~Ingredients combine to give a fantastic flavour~~ The ingredients listed on the packet are: Peppermint leaf (50%), licorice root, fennel seed (10%), hibiscus flower, rose flower (5%) and coriander seed. The packaging also states that all of the ingredients are organically grown and ethically sourced – principles. The flavours combine perfectly and really seem to hit the taste buds at the side of the tongue (this is ...

Curry Easy - Madhur Jaffrey 31/01/2011

Curry Easy (and delicious!)

Curry Easy - Madhur Jaffrey I received this cookbook as a Christmas present and have already made several of the curries with 100% success rate. Together with Jamie's 30-minute meals I have managed a homecooked supper (and leftovers for lunch!) for most of the new year! The recipes are very easy to follow and use fantastic combinations of spices which result in curries which are tastier and healthier than those from the take-away. They do not generally take a long time to prepare which makes them ideal for preparing in the evening after work. I would feel very confident making these recipes for guests without any fear of disappointment (or a charred kitchen!). I was particularly impressed with the Chicken and Spinach curry which was very easy to prepare and tasted very professional. This book does not just include curries (vegetable, fish, poultry and red meat) but also side dishes, snacks and desserts. The only real drawback is that the recipes require quite a range of spices, but once you have stocked up your cupboards, they should last you a long time! This review will also appear on Dooyoo under my username LouisaB ...

Biotherm Lait Corps Anti Drying Body Milk 31/01/2011

Biotherm anti-drying body milk - Secret to silky skin

Biotherm Lait Corps Anti Drying Body Milk I have been using Biotherm Anti-Drying Body Milk for about 10 years - it's amazing! ~~Where to buy~~ When I first starting using Biotherm body milk, I had received it as a present from my (now ex!) boyfriend who was from Norway. At the time you couldn't get Biotherm easily in the UK and so it was always top of my list of things to bring back when I went away. However, the UK now seems to have cottoned on and Biotherm is widely available - not only in airports but also in House of Fraser, Boots, John Lewis etc. ~~Light and silky texture~~ The body milk has a really light texture which is instantly absorbed into the skin leaving no greasy residue at all. This is probably one of my favourite things about the product as you can get dressed as soon as you have moisturised. ~~Fantastic Smell~~ The product has a delicious citrus smell (mainly orange, but also maybe a bit lemony). The scent is quite strong so I would recommend checking that out before buying, especially if you are not a fan of citrus. ~~No problems with my Psoriasis~~ One of the most important factors for me with this product is that it does not have an adverse effect on my (guttate) psoriasis - no flare ups or itchiness! I also didn't find that it had a positive effect (as other products such as E45 do), however it is not intended for this purpose and it is great for when my skin is clear. This review will also appear on Dooyoo under my username LouisaB

Warrior Yoga Mat 31/01/2011

Warrior Yoga Mat - Lovely comfy travel-friendly yoga mat

Warrior Yoga Mat ~~Where to buy~~ The mat seems only to be available on Amazon. I had a look in some shops in Edinburgh and couldn't see any there. However, they may well be sold in specialist shops so it's worth a look. ~~Lovely cushioning~~ I bought my warrior yoga mat after I joined a new gym where they were they were used. Prior to that, I had a natural fibre mat which I found to be painful on my hands especially in downward dog. The (4mm) thickness of the mat is great on all floor type - I practice on my (slightly uneven!) wooden floors and I find no discomfort. ~~Size and Weight~~ Potential buyers should note that the warrior mat comes in 2 thicknesses - 6mm and 4mm. I have the 4mm which I find to be fantastic and to have sufficient thickness, but if you have any back/joint issues (or don't plan to travel with your mat) then the thicker mat might be more preferable. The mats are all 183m (6ft) long (which is perfect for 5'3" me, but might be a factor for some people) and 61cm wide. The mat is also very light weight which is fantastic if you plan to travel with it - mine has been all the way to India and back :) ~~Machine washable~~ The mats are machine washable - another fantastic feature for a travelling yoga mat - lots of dirt from the sand...and sweat....after 10 days in India, which came out with no problem at all. ~~No slippage~~ The mat is wonderfully sticky and I have never had any slippage at all - either between the mat and the floor, or between the mat and my ...

Joseph Joseph Index chopping boards 31/01/2011

Joseph Joseph Index Chopping year on....

Joseph Joseph Index chopping boards ~~Where to buy~~ JosephJoseph merchandise seems to be everywhere these days and is often on offer somewhere so it's a good idea to take some time to look about and see where you can get the best deal. Amongst other places, you can buy this set of chopping boards in John Lewis, House of Fraser and Amazon. ~~Appearance~~ As others have mentioned the product looks great on the counter - lovely colourful boards in a sturdy and high quality stainless steel appearance case (although apparently made of ABS plastic). The illustrations which mark the use of each board (meat, fish, veggies and heat proof mat) have a nice simple design, which looks v modern and chic. ~~Usability~~ As mentioned above, each of the individual boards has a different purpose - this is to avoid contamination between raw fish and meat and vegetables. There is also one board which is intended for heat protection, but I use this board as an additional vegetable preparation board. The boards are dishwasher safe and by using both the white and green boards for vegetables I find that there is always a suitable board clean, which is very handy! ~~Durability~~ The big let-down with this product is that the boards score very easily, as may be expected from plastic boards. I do have some concerns that germs may gather in the score marks, but have not found any ill effects yet! It would be fantastic if JosephJoseph provided "refill" boards so that you can replace the individual boards when they are past their ...
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