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since 28/08/2002


GHD Salon Styler - Hair Straightener 26/07/2004

My name is Mini and I'm a straight hair addict

GHD Salon Styler - Hair Straightener I know there are already a lot of reviews about this gem of a product and that I have probably missed the boat here but it is only in recent weeks that I have been introduced to ghd straighteners in earnest and I cant help but want to write about them. I am actually sitting writing this sporting my newly straightened hair, which might not seem much to write home about but believe me, this is an achievement not to be underestimated… I have naturally very curly hair, if left to its own devices it will curl and frizz to its hearts content… on better days I can get some decent looking ringlets out of it. I wouldn’t class myself as a sucker for new products, I don’t buy everything that’s advertised and I do have a healthy dose of scepticism when it comes to ‘wonder products’ for my hair. Which is why, when a friend of mine suggested we straighten my locks in preparation for a night out I simply scoffed and admonished her for such a suggestion… after all, even if my some miracle we could get the damn stuff straight, one hint of moisture in the air and I would be left with nothing but a frizzy mess… But she can be very persuasive at times…which is why, one fateful Friday evening I found myself plonked in a chair surrounded by combs and clips with my hair being warmed nicely by a pair of ghd straighteners. After only around 10 minutes I was allowed to see the results and there was a comedy double take moment when even I had trouble recognising my own hair… smooth, sleek and ...

Wilkinson Sword Intuition 18/05/2004

You can't argue with female intuition

Wilkinson Sword Intuition For my first review in a long time I am forced to mention the fact that I have just returned from a very nice time backpacking around Oz. Now its not that I’m trying to show off (really, its not), more that it might go some way to explaining why I bought some of the things that I did. You may start to notice a theme based around these travels as reviews progress but bear with me, I've learnt a lot these past few weeks... Valuable lesson number 1 was the art of packing - when you have to carry everything on your back suddenly that extra pair of socks begins to look rather too heavy. Which brings me to today's subject, the Wilkinson Sword Intuition, and what a marvellous subject it is too. Despite spending far too long as a dishevelled backpacker a girl has to have some standards and hairy legs just won't do! I'm a sucker for any sort of gadget, so when a friend of mine pointed me towards this odd looking device my radar was working overtime… 'Intuition' (exciting name isn’t it...) promises to 'lather and shave in one easy step' - so no need for bulky shave gels then, perfect! Lets have a closer look... *The Packaging and Price* The packaging was rather over zealous in my opinion, but isn’t it always? Too much plastic surrounded by yet more plastic. Despite this, it was very easy to open – no fiddling about with scissors here, just pull in the appropriate places and the perforated plastic comes apart in no time – now why can’t they all think of this? In the ...

Beverly Hills Natural White Breath 04/09/2003

From yellow fright to pearly white

Beverly Hills Natural White Breath The never ending pursuit of perfection has led me to believe that my teeth may be letting me down somewhat… now before you all go jumping to conclusions that I have god awful ‘Billy Bob’ style gnashers I’ll have to stop you right there. Technically there is nothing wrong with my teeth, they are certainly not sticking out, full of fillings or have any gaping holes, it’s just that they aren’t as white as perhaps they ought to be. Years of coffee swilling and cigarette smoking have taken their toll and my little pearly whites are more like pearly yellows – ick! Now that I have given up the smoking and coffee drinking I would rather my teeth were back to their former glory which, all rejoice, brings me to the topic of the day, Beverly Hills Formula toothpaste. The vast array of whitening toothpaste products currently available make it hard for us to know what’s what but somewhere in the back of my mind this product registered enough for me to pick it up and take a look at what it promised. The packet looks like something out of an American infomercial with pictures of sparkly perfect teeth and all manner of claims plastered on box. A white background with gold stripes across the middle and ‘Beverly Hills Formula’ clearly labelled make it rather eye catching, you certainly wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. The tube itself is pretty standard, and is in the same colours and writing as the box it comes in. Stand it upright for easy storage and to help get the very ...

Tesco Finest Valencia Orange Ice Cream 06/08/2003

If only everything orange was ice cream

Tesco Finest Valencia Orange Ice Cream Since today is supposedly going to be the hottest day ever, I thought a nice ice cream review would be just the ticket to keep you all refreshed… I don’t buy ice cream very often, it doesn’t do much for me dietwise, so it has to be something pretty special to tempt me. Plus it will need to be something a bit different, much as I like the choccie and nutty and caramelly flavours, it can get a bit dull even for a confirmed chocaholic like me. Which brings me to this offering from the Tesco Finest range. It ticks all the boxes - it’s a bit special, its not one of the bog standard flavours and it looks rather impressive too. The Finest range from Tesco is their premium brand, the affordable posh nosh, and this is where we find the Valencia Orange Ice Cream. There are others in this range (more later) and all have the distinctive Finest silver packaging. Very tasteful and understated… just what you need in a posh ice cream, no? Anyway, I digress… the packaging is really just the bog standard 500ml plastic pot, same as all the others but with a slightly rounded bottom and made of sturdy thick plastic. Although the lid is silver the pot itself is clear plastic so you can see the lovely ice cream from all angles. Not much else to mention here… the Valencia Orange flavour has a rather attractive pic of some oranges and a bit of blurb about the poshness of it all but lets be honest, it isn’t really what you lot are interested in is it? So, the flavour… Once you rid ...

10 Things I Miss About My Childhood 05/08/2003

Happiness is... a really big stick

10 Things I Miss About My Childhood To get back into the swing of things here I thought I would take a swift trip down memory lane and regale you all with what I miss about my childhood… so in no particular order I present you with my top ten: Gangs Not the gun toting, bandanna wearing, hip talking scary gangs you see today, but the group of kids I used to hang around with. I was always part of one ‘gang’ or another… before we headed to the ‘big school’ it was a gang of kids in the village. After that it developed into various secondary school guises and although I was never part of the ‘cool’ gang I think we had a certain something going on… these were the people I could trust, the ones who would gather round you to comfort or cajole you into doing something and the first you would call on a boring Sunday afternoon. We never actually ‘did’ anything – those were the days, whiling the time away sitting about or hiding from parents. That’s really what I miss I think – being rebellious… when I wasn’t allowed to do anything (or so I thought) – time was dictated to me, what time to be home, what time to go out and so on – these days the most rebellious thing I do is have my hair cut a few inches shorter or maybe keep my mobile switched on in the cinema! I suppose I’m still part of a gang now… but its not the same anymore… we can do what we like and usually get away with it – where’s the fun in that? Sitting in trees Following on from the gangland theme… one of my favourite pastimes as a kid was sitting ...

Tesco Coconut Moisturising Cream Bath 22/05/2003

No troubles with coconut bubbles

Tesco Coconut Moisturising Cream Bath I’m on another economy drive *sigh*, which means being rather more choosy with those ‘essential’ items like food and of course, bubble bath. Ok, ok, I know bubble bath isn’t technically an essential item as such but it is one that makes my life much more bearable… which in my mind is essential when you are on an economy drive. Which brings me to why I happen to have a bottle of Tesco Coconut Moisturising Cream Bath. It certainly isn’t my typical choice but then again, I usually pay out for the bubble bars and bath ballistics at Lush and I can’t justify that sort of expense right now *sob* So it was that I could be found in the bubble bath aisle at my local Tesco sniffing each and every one of the cheaper brands and wondering what on earth I could get that wasn’t going to smell of chemicals or be so runny that I need half a bottle for a decent bath. Feeling slightly faint from the 20 or so bubble bath bottles I tried I eventually came across Tesco’s own brand range. After some consideration I opted for the Moisturising Coconut flavo... there are a couple of others to choose from including Aloe Vera and Cocoa Butter. I was sold on the smell alone... unlike some of the other cheaper brands this smelled fantastic, reminding me of holidays past, sun, sea and…well, coconuts really. At £1.49 for 500ml I felt I was getting a bargain so in the basket it went. The bottle itself is nothing too exciting but doesn’t look so cheap you would want to hide it away. The Coconut ...

BeneFit You Rebel Tinted Mousturizer 16/04/2003

Im a little rebel

BeneFit You Rebel Tinted Mousturizer I have a love of Benefit Cosmetics (I still blame Kirsty1) so when payday finally arrived I decided to treat myself to something nice. For anyone who hasn’t yet discovered Benefit, this is a range of makeup and skincare products originating in America and slowly making its way over here. Popular with many a celeb, the products are packaged and presented in a 1950’s stylee with plenty of chic and glamour thrown in. You’ll find everything from mascara and eye shadow to lifting cream (!), body moisturiser and bubble bath. You can now find Benefit counters in the bigger Debenhams and Boots stores or take a look at their website ( to find out more. I went along to my local Benefit counter in Debenhams to see what took my fancy. The range is pretty extensive so after picking a few things up and looking a bit bemused the nice Benefit lady came over to help me out. Thankfully - you see I’m a bit picky when it comes to makeup and I hate to be slapping thick layers of anything on, especially in the summer. I explained that I wanted something to sort out my erratic complexion and smooth out any blotches that might appear but I don’t have the time or the inclination to be painting a full face on every morning. In fact, what I really wanted was to look like I wasn’t wearing any makeup at all but still have a nice healthy glow and something protecting my face. No problem – I could try out some products there and then to see what I thought suited me and ...

Coca-Cola Lemon 07/04/2003

Mines a pint of vodka and a dash of lemon coke

Coca-Cola Lemon Anyone who knows me well would be very surprised to see me talking about Coca Cola, let alone drinking it… I’m not a huge fan and as a general rule it only appears when vodka is involved. This time my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to throw caution to the wind and give this newfangled coke a try. I chose the diet version to test out... Now widely available in supermarkets and corner shops, lemon coke has become a permanent fixture alongside the full fat and diet coke racks of drinks. Costing the same as original coke (around 35p/can, 75p/small bottle and £1.20ish/big bottle), there are only a few subtle differences to the label… the addition of a yellow lid to the bottles, the word ‘lemon’ below the Coca Cola trademark writing with a slice of lemon at the side. Pretty easy to recognise on the shelf then. So, was I being sucked into the advertising whirl? Would this taste any different to original coke and had I made a dreadful mistake with this stuff and it would ruin the taste of my vodka? These are all burning questions and I know you are dying to find out what I thought… To test this properly I elected to leave out the vodka to start with and see what this really tasted like. Not something I would normally do so don’t think I have taken my responsibilities lightly! Into the glass with the newly refrigerated lemon coke… and the first thing to hit you is the smell… your normal coke smell but with a real lemon tang. Ok, so it was pretty obvious but ...

A Day In The Life Of.... 03/04/2003

My miniloopie life

A Day In The Life Of.... Who am I to turn down a challenge.. and Purebitch has come up with yet another goodun! A day in the life of... miniloopie. Insert your own name as appropriate... so here goes, a typical day for me. 7:00am - Alarm goes off, snooze button activated and back to sleep for me. 7:15am - Sick of ignoring the alarm I finally get up, shower, dress etc and head downstairs for brekkie. Mmm, Weetos and cold milk. 7:30am - Make lunch (skinflint that I am), catch up on the news headlines. 7:40am - Drive the 12 miles to work in my nice shiny new sports car... I never thought I would actually look forward to going to work! 8:00am - Arrive at work... on with the computer and the kettle... coffee and catching up on email etc. I work in a small computer company officially as a technical author but really a general 'doing stuff that no one else wants to/can do' person. This can range from revamping our websites, writing training manuals, designing brochures and cd promotional material... lots of stuff to keep me busy and my days are pretty varied. 1:00pm - Lunch time! Hoorah... smug that I have made the effort to bring my own lunch I settle down to eat - forray into Ciao and the news websites to see whats happening. Usually will be found reading a book at lunchtime too - woe betide anyone who wants anything doing then, I'm completely absorbed... 4:00pm - Home time for me... coming into the office early means leaving early and looking smug (once again) that most of the ...

Alberto 3 Minute Miracle 03/04/2003

Hair - reconstructed

Alberto 3 Minute Miracle The years of searching seem to have finally come to an end... I have found something that conditions and freshens my hair leaving it clean and sweet smelling and, most importantly, frizz free. *HOW WILL I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT? I bought it in a 250ml size bottle which has a really handy dispenser to avoid mess, unlike other treatments I have used where I was left with messy jars and fingernails! You just squeeze the bottle firmly and the plastic dispenser in the bottom of the bottle produces the amount you need. It can be quite tricky to get any out towards the end of the bottle but persistance works - or of course you could buy a new bottle! The bottle itself isnt really anything to write home about... white in colour with the Aussie logo and details in a caramel colour label in the middle. The only problem I have with this is that it can be hard to tell how much is left to make sure you dont run out! This size costs about £5 and is available from all the usual places like Boots, Superdrug and supermarkets. Most places like Boots also have smaller samples available to buy as a trail run. *WHATS THE STUFF INSIDE LIKE? Well, the smell is quite strong but pleasant, it's almost like the smell of bubblegum or a bag of sweets and gets pretty addictive by the end of the night.. or sickly depending on how you are feeling. The conditioner itself is a pinky peachy colour and is really thick and gooey so like I said, you don't need to use much. The Aussie people ...

Lush Fresh Farmacy 01/04/2003

Lushious skin revisited

Lush Fresh Farmacy One of my older ops that I have now given a spruce up... so no apologies for the subject matter! The quest for natural beauty continues... and since not all of us are blessed with drop dead gorgeous looks and tons of money to keep them that way we have to rely on the high street offerings. With this in mind I trawled through the shops to see what I could find to keep my complexion radiant and spot free. Cue me finding the Lush shop... I followed my nose! For anyone who doesnt know Lush, (where have you been!) they are a chain of high street shops selling hand made beauty products. They only use natural ingredients and have a strict not tested on animals policy. Famous for their huge blocks of soap and bubble bath bars, this lot have really made a huge impression - if opinions on Ciao are anything to go by... So, back to me *grin*. I asked one of the very helpful shop assistants who pointed me in the direction of Fresh Farmacy. I have to say that first impressions weren't all that good - just take a look at the picture! Reminicent of meat spread with hair, I wasnt totally convinced I wanted to have this anywhere near my skin! I was assured however that this was exactly what I was looking for. My skin is particularly sensitive so I wanted something that wasnt going to leave it bright red, feeling stretched or dry. So it was that I found myself merrily walking home clutching a £3 bar of meat paste!? Lush products are generally sold as chunks of a much ...

Everything that starts with P ... 31/03/2003


Everything that starts with P ... On Saturday I decided to make my mark on the world and stand up and be counted, to actually voice my opinion instead of standing on the sidelines watching others. So, along with a group of my friends I wandered down to City Hall in Cardiff for the start of the anti-war protest. I wasnt sure what I might find there, a bunch of hippies spouting off? A load of students just there for the atmosphere... I really didnt know. It isnt something I have ever done before, nothing has moved me enough to get me off my arse before. What I actually found was a real surprise. People of all ages, from all walks of life and the whole range of ethnic backgrounds. Everyone I spoke to was friendly, each person there had their own reasons but the message was the same, no one wants that war. Eventually the march began and we were organised into a long line of people flanked by police on horseback and led by yet more police who closed the roads for the march to take place. This is when I really felt the emotion... the atmosphere was electric. There were people there with banners, drums, megaphones and armed with a range of chants to get the crowd going. But a majority of us, me included, simply marched along in silence feeling that we were part of something important. I didnt feel the need to shout or clap or anything like it but I wanted to be seen, to let people know that I dont want this war. The march route took us down the major city centre roads, stopping traffic on the way. We ... 25/03/2003

Up yours As some of you may know, I am getting to be a bit of an expert at this moving house business and I’m on the move again, back to Cardiff… don’t ask! So it was that I found myself searching for a house in an area where (hopefully) I can park my car outside my own house and pop to the corner shop without fear of being attacked… ok, so maybe I’m a tad paranoid but you can never be too careful… This is why has become a vital weapon on my ceaseless house-hunting quest. It gives you scarily detailed information on the area of your choice, simply type in your chosen postcode et voila, everything you ever needed to know about your current/potential neighbours and the surrounding area. First impressions of the site wont be too overwhelming… but don’t panic! Type in your postcode/town, click on ‘go’ and a whole world of information will be at your feet… The main site is split into several tab pages, Information, Find My Nearest.., Classifieds and Conversations. **Information** This is the bit I tend to use the most and covers everything from a map of that postcode area and the population breakdown to the weather forecast, property prices, council details, public transport links, policing and crime, and the ACORN profile. Most of these are self explanatory, well laid out and easy to decipher. The information is detailed and includes some very useful links, for example, the council information includes links to your council website and the people who ...

All About Me 13/03/2003

Read it and weep

All About Me All righty then... another new day and another new challenge is set and who am I to refuse? So, here goes... a little about mini... 01. What time is it? 11:04 - I'm on a break I tell you! 02. Name: Miniloopie (ever the mysterious) 03. Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake: Hmm, well if I had had a cake then it would have been 25... *sob* 04. Hair colour: Blonde... a mixture of very very blonde down to darker blonde... I think it gives me character that way! 05. Tattoos: A very nice sun on my right ankle. I hope they dont mean the military kind... I dont have any of those, although it might be nice ;) 06. How much do you love your job on a scale of 0-5: 3 Is getting better the more I get paid and I love the people I work with... 07. Favourite colour: Hmm, well, yellow if its not a colour I have to wear, green if it is... the darker varieties though. 08. Home County: Somerset 09. Current Relationship Status Single 10. Favourite food: OOoh, tough one this... it has to be a dead heat between a traditional roast dinner, homemade lasagne and homemade coleslaw depending on my mood. 11. Been to Africa? Nope. Wish I had though... maybe in the future. 12. Been to Camden? Yes. Despite my constant fear of being mugged/stabbed/run over in London I have visited on a few occasions. 13. Loved somebody so much it made you cry? Yes. But probably not for the romantic reasons... he could be a real git at ...

HQhair 18/02/2003

Because I'm definitely worth it...

HQhair I have spent years trying to find decent hair and beauty stuff that is cheap and readily available only to reach the conclusion that sometimes you really only get what you pay for. This year I have vowed to take proper care of my hair and skin and not to skimp on haircuts or products, I figured that if I can justify spending £30 or so on one piece of clothing, why not spend a bit more on my hair and skin to match – well I think its a good idea anyway. The result of all this positive thinking is that I splashed out on a fantastic day having my hair cut and coloured and trying out a load of new skincare products and I can honestly say it feels fantastic *grin*. I decided not to buy any of the lovely things they used on my hair from the hairdresser but promised myself that I would seek them out at a later date… and being the lazy so and so I am I thought the internet might provide the answers – which brings me to! **WHAT IS IT?** To put it simply this is a fantastic hair and beauty product website with top branded goods at reasonable prices brought to you by the same people who have the HQ Salon in London. **WHAT CAN I BUY?** The site is split into various easy to navigate sections… there are two main menus, one across the top and one down the left hand side and all are fairly self explanatory. The homepage shows some of the latest trends and articles with links to other sections of the site, the latest offers, newest ranges and tips and tricks to give ...
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