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ryeb

ryeb

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Thanks for all the reads and rates, they are all appreciated x

Reviews written

since 02/06/2011

686

NYC Blushable Cream Stick 08/02/2016

Stop, you are making me blush!

NYC Blushable Cream Stick As I am pale, I rely on blusher to give me a bit of colour, outside of halloween when I can pass as a vampire. I have tried a lot of brands and most formats, be they cheek stains, cream pots or powder pallettes. I have come to the conclusion that the price you pay is rarely a guide to how good the product actually is, so I recently decided to try a cheap blush in the form of the NYC Blushable Cream stick which cost me £3.99 for 11g. I bought mine in Superdrug - the other main high street stockist is Lloyds Pharmacy but you can also buy the products on line from places like Amazon and Fragrance Direct. The blush has the tagline Beautifying Blushable and there is a big BB on the tube as a result but if you confused this with a BB cream, you would get a very pink result! A CREAM STICK NYC is an American beauty brand that is apparently formulated by New York make up artists. I have mixed experience with the brand. I find some products excellent by any standard and ones that punch above their purse friendly price. Others are incredibly disappointing, even considered they were cheap in the first place. But the hits are good enough to make me willing to give any product of theirs a go. The cream stick is as it sounds, a creme blush in stick form. It is a chunky kind of stick, with the head about the size of a 5p coin. In the UK, there are only two colours available, and I have the brighter, no.001, Never Sleeping Pink. I chose this product because I find creme blushers ...

Ivy Counterfeit Money Currency Detector Pen 03/02/2016

A pen for the honest

Ivy Counterfeit Money Currency Detector Pen A few years ago, the day centre I volunteer at had a team of fraudsters target our annual fundraising summer fayre, passing a number of fake £10 notes to the mostly elderly stall holders. They were naturally distraught and many of the volunteers became reluctant to be involved in cash handling activity. As I was experienced in cash handling in a previous job they asked me to check all the notes coming in which was not really practical at a busy event. So to boost volunteer confidence I decided to invest in a few fraudulent note detector pens, one for each stall. The brand I choose was "Ivy" solely because it was available in our local independent stationers who could offer me a charity discount. The full price there was £3.49 back in June, but I can see the same pen being offered for anything between £2.99 and £4.99 online, with Amazon coming in at the lower end. HOW IT WORKS The detector pen looks like any old marker, and on occasion one has found it's way into a general stationary pot as it doesn't look distinctive. But this pen doesn't contain ink. Instead the fluid inside reacts with certain fibres present in fake paper currency and not in the special paper blend used to make genuine bank notes. So you test the notes by making a bold line with the pen across the note and then you are told to wait a few seconds to see if a dark brown or grey mark appears. If it does, the note is suspect, whereas if the line made is invisible or light then the note is genuine. ...

Bama Women's Fresh'Ins Insoles 25/01/2016

Get fresh

Bama Women's Fresh'Ins Insoles I always use insoles in my work boots. Sometimes I use fleecy ones to keep my toes toasty warm, and other times I use deodorising or freshening ones to keep the shoes in good condition as long as possible. I bought a pack of the Bama Fresh In insoles for £4.25, reduced from £4.97, on Amazon because I thought the price was good for a pack of 6 pairs of insoles. I had never heard of the Bama brand but I thought it would be hard to make a bad pair of insoles. Now I am not so sure! Actually they are not terrible but they are not the good value they seem at first. These insoles claim to leave your shoes feeling fresh all day, thanks partially to a "hydrophilic" upper layer that takes any moisture from the top to the inner core. They are scented but do not seem to claim any particular deodorising properties which many insoles do. I didn't mind this as I don't suffer from sweaty feet and wearing insoles is more of a preventative measure. I normally pay a couple of pounds a pair for insoles in a local hardware shop (!) that are re-usable, and can be washed occasionally, although once you have done so a few times they might get a bit raggedy looking. I didn't realise the Bama insoles were not washable but that fault is mine, as lots of ones aren't, and I shouldn't have presumed the Bama ones were. But on the packet, I read the insoles are supposed to be replaced every week for "optimum performance". This seems a very short lived product. I thought that claim was an exaggeration ...

Impulse Be Surprised Body Spray 21/01/2016

Shrinking violets welcome here

Impulse Be Surprised Body Spray The Impulse body spray Be Surprised did indeed surprise me - because I quite liked it! It is not that I don't like the Impulse body fragrances, some I love, even if others remind me of furniture polish or kids fruit squash. It is just this spray scent is described as smelling of violets and red fruits and violet is normally a scent I avoid in fragrances. I am not sure about fruity based fragrance either so you can see why I would not have chosen this particular body spray myself. But I received it amongst other Impulse sprays in a gift set, so I was not going to let it go to waste untried. I do like it but unfortunately for violet fans, this is mainly because it doesn't smell to me strongly of what it is actually supposed to... IMPULSE Impulse call their body sprays body fragrances and as you probably know they are not described as an anti perspirant. So they won't stop you sweating but the scent should be strong enough to freshen you up if you need it. I like to use them after I have been playing tennis or if I have been getting my share of exercise at work, before I have a chance to shower or just whenever I want a burst of fragrance but I don't necessarily won't to use up my "proper" perfumes. As a 75ml spray costs only £1.99 at full price, and the range is a big one, Impulse give me an affordable way to try out different scent combinations. I find they are almost always on offer for £1.00 somewhere though - Boots, Superdrug, Wilko and the supermarkets all run that ...

Wilko Cycle Bell I Love My Bike 18/01/2016

Give me a bell

Wilko Cycle Bell I Love My Bike The route between our holiday caravan and the nearest shop is just over a mile across country and I usually go by bike. I go through several fields of sheep, most of which scatter at the first sight of humans. For the rest, there is my Wilko bicycle bell. Some are quite happy to lie across paths and stiles, and while I am used to jumping over them when on foot, it isn't so easy when you have a bike and they are blocking a gate. A shout or a whistle makes them raise their heads and look disapprovingly at you, but a ring on the bicycle bell makes them reluctantly up sticks and amble away. So I always have a decently loud bell attached to my bike, and the last two have been the Wilko I love my bike design, mostly because it costs just £1.25. As a Wilko own brand product, it is naturally only available from them. TOO CHEAP TO BE WORTH IT? This is a classic "thumb flick" bike bell, so it is a basic uncomplicated design but it easy to use and it works perfectly. In the centre, there is the " I love my bike" sticker, with a heart symbol. I bought my first one, with a polished chrome like look, about two years ago to use on mountain bike I have at home. When I was choosing it, another browser told me that it was too cheap to be any good and it would only last 5 minutes. Well he was wrong as it is still going strong, although the metal outer has developed lots of scratches over time. I have not admittedly taken particular care of it, bar an occasional wipe over if it got muddy. ...

NYC Natural Matte Foundation Soft Beige Anti Shine 15/01/2016

A strange foundation

NYC Natural Matte Foundation Soft Beige Anti Shine I love the NYC brand nail polish but I decided during one of Superdrug's three for two make up promotions to try a different one of their products. This was the Natural Matte foundation, which was a tiny £2.99 for a 30ml tube at full price. I normally have to pick ivory foundations to suit my pale skin, but the one I tried looked a bit orange toned, so I went for soft beige, which is still light. NYC NYC is an American make up brand "created with make up artists." You can buy it from Superdrug and Lloyds pharmacies, and from various online beauty sellers plus Amazon. I personally think their colour descriptions of products like foundation are a bit off in general. So I would be more reluctant than usual to buy face make up from this brand online, without benefit of a tester. PRODUCT PROMISES NYC say the natural matte foundation offers up to 12 hours of a perfect matte finish for your skin. They say you will get a natural and shine free result, thanks to a lightweight and oil free formula that won't clog pores. GOING ON This is a liquid foundation, but it is quite thick, even creamy. I expected that therefore it would be a full coverage foundation, but once blended it seems to disappear strangely but more of that in a moment! It doesn't feel like a lightweight product at first, and I found it was not as easy to spread and blend as most similar foundations are. I tried a few applicators but a blending sponge gives the quickest result. I wouldn't mind if a ...

Natural World Coconut Water Hair Oil 09/01/2016

Oil + hair = a good thing?

Natural World Coconut Water Hair Oil Even though I do not like the taste or scent of coconuts, I am a huge fan of pure coconut oil as an all round brilliant beauty aid. I use it along with other oils to moisturise my skin, look after my nails and remove make up. Buying beauty products labelled as natural or organic can be expensive, but just buying a few trusted raw ingredients yourself and making your own blends cuts the cost significantly. Coconut oil as a hair conditioner was something I had not however experimented with at the time I bought the Natural World Coconut Water hair oil. I paid £1.99 for 25ml on Amazon, and I was really only adding it to my basket to hit the free delivery threshold. I liked the sound of what was actually described as a blend of (unspecified) oils, as I thought if coconut oil might make my hair in better condition, maybe a mix of several oils would deliver the benefits if several products at once. Well the product is not exactly what I thought.. NATURAL WORLD I don't know much about the Natural World beauty company, but I can see they make products in the UK, based on natural ingredients but the hair oil I have is not made of 100% natural ingredients. The blend of oils mentioned in the Amazon product description turn out to be coconut oil (certified organic) and Argan oil (not specified as organic). There was no ingredients list on Amazon when I bought the oil, but I thought it sounded like just an oil blend, but it also contains the silicone cyclopentasiloxane which does not ...

Nubar Nail Lacquer 06/01/2016

Nubar is the nicest, for a while anyway

Nubar Nail Lacquer I came across the Nubar nail polish brand when I spotted a friend of mine wearing a gorgeous nail colour. She told me it was a Nubar polish applied at a salon, but she added that I could buy the lacquers from Amazon as well. When I discovered the brand was also cruelty free (not directly or indirectly tested on animals) and vegan too, I was sold. A 15ml bottle of dark red polish called Barbera (not Barbara) found it's way into my Amazon basket, for the reduced price of £6.00, with the usual cost about £8.99. I have paid more for similar ethical products, so while I could obviously spend a lot less on my nails, I was happy with the price I paid. NUBAR This is an American brand, and while I have not come across it on the high street, outside of a few salons. There does seem to be quite a few UK websites offering it, other than Amazon who offer quite a few colours from what is a big range. They offer all the usual gloss, mattes, metallics etc. Nubar is advertised on Amazon as being free of the chemicals DBP, Toulene and formaldehyde and their derivatives. I know these have been linked to health issues so I am obviously pleased to see them gone but very few nail polish brands still use the so called "toxic three", and European brands are banned from doing so anyway, so this is not really a unique feature. OH BARBERA I love the colour I chose, although it is lighter than I expected from the picture. It takes several coats to get the deep kind of red the polish looks ...

New Look Jeggings 04/01/2016

My second skin

New Look Jeggings I have a few pairs of jeggings, but my favourite ones come from New Look, which is great as they are also the cheapest I have. The last pair I bought cost me £12.99 earlier this year and I am sure I paid about the same for my first pair a couple of years ago. Nice to know not everything climbs hugely in price! They are now £14.99. I am sure if you are looking for a review of jeggings you know what they are but for those that don't they are a cross between jeans and leggings, like slim fitting jeans but not as unforgiving of any lumps or bumps as leggings might be! FIT I usually buy jeggings in a size 10 because they are are supposed to be tight fitting and while I can get away with a size 8 in some stretchy leggings, jeggings are not always so flexible. I find the New Look jeggings in size 10 perfect for me as I don't have to do gymnastics to get them on and they don't gape at the back or ride up or down. They are stretchy to some degree, and happily they gave not lost their shape despite being washed at least once a week. I like to be able to wear a pair of thick tights under jeggings in the winter because they are not as warm as jeans and luckily there is just enough give in the New Look jeggings to let me do this and still get the trousers off with ease! LOOK The first pair of jeggings I bought were in navy, although they are darker than the current colour also called navy appears on the New Look website. My newer pair is black and look more like leggings from a ...

Faith In Nature Pineapple & Lime Soap 16/12/2015

A ray of sunshine indeed

Faith In Nature Pineapple & Lime Soap It may be nearly Christmas but I am still bringing out the toiletries that I got in hampers and gift sets last year. One of my finds was a bar of hand made soap from Faith in Nature, in the pineapple and lime variety. One whiff and I was totally in love! I don't know where my soap was bought from but I have previously bought Faith In Nature products direct from their brand website or from the Ethical Superstore where a 100g bar costs around £1.95, not including postage. You can also buy the soap from places like Ocado and Amazon. WHY BUY THIS SOAP OVER ANOTHER? The soap was part of a hamper of vegan and cruelty free products put together by a friend, and if those kind of products are your thing, then this soap ticks a lot of ethical boxes. Faith in Nature are the sort of brand they sound- one that specialises in environmentally friendly, nature inspired products. They have been around for 40 years, and they aim to make products free from any synthetic additives that may not be desirable for either you or the planet. Sounds good to me. Specifically this is free of parabens which have been linked to some health problems. I am not sure I need to avoid these but I take a cautious approach and tend to opt for paraben free products in preference. It is easy to do when there are so many lovely "free from" products around. The soap is free from artificial colours, fragrance, or preservatives and it carries the leaping bunny logo of Cruelty Free International to signify it ...

Impulse Temptation Body Spray 07/12/2015

A body fragrance for alcoholics?

Impulse Temptation Body Spray The Impulse body spray, sorry "body fragrance", that I really like is called True Love. But when my local Superdrug had the cheek to sell out of it, I decided that I could branch out and try a different scent. I choose Temptation, which is described as vanilla and peach on the front of the spray. While I like those scents indivially, I did think that they may combine to make quite a sweet scent and this nearly put me off. I don't think that Impulse do those kind of scents well, or at least to my taste, because I find them too heavy and cloying. But the back of the spray called the scent earthy and so I hoped that would take the edge off any over the top fruity sweetness. And it was only £1.09 on special offer, down from £1.99 for 75ml. The offer is not that special as it comes around so often in places like Boots and Superdrug that you would be unlucky to have to travel far to find some one offering the same deal. CAPTIVATES, THRILLS AND DELIGHTS So Impulse describes the effect of this scent on you and those around you. It is tongue in cheek with their descriptions. Hence a scent called so likely to inspire flirtatious gestures it should "probably be banned." I am still waiting but my relationship with this scent is shall we say troubled. So maybe I just can't douse myself in enough of it to inspire passing strangers! As you probably know, these Impulse sprays are not anti perspirants or deodorants so they won't prevent odour or damp patches but I am sure they are ...

MAGIT Make Up Remover 27/11/2015

Is Magit a magic mitt?

MAGIT Make Up Remover I am always looking for ways to simplify my skin care routine. In particular I want to use fewer and/ or more natural products, rather than those with artificial ingredients if I am unsure as to their long term effect on my skin. Of course there are plenty of natural products that may not be good to use long term as well so I take a flexible approach. However products that can be used to remove make up with the help of nothing but water appeal to me. Some make up comes off just with water anyway, but I tend to use a number of long wear products that don't remove easily, that being the point of them. I had a list of make up removers to try, and the one whose turn it is to be reviewed today is the Magit make up remover. Not a lotion or cream, this turned out to be a make up remover mitt that slides over your fingers. I paid £3.00 for one on Amazon, and the price seems to hover around £3-5 in general. I thought this sounded a good deal as the mitts are reusable and not something that needs to be thrown after one use. WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO The Magit Mitt is a mitt made of "special microfibre fabric" which is supposed to represent an especially thorough way of removing make up, with the help of nothing but water. We are told that it is hygienic as it does not absorb oils and dirt and that it can be sterilised and machine washed. It is an Italian product, and Magit also make other facial care cloths intended to exfoliate for example. A LITTLE MITT The mitt I have ...

Sainsbury's Three Fruit Marmalade 24/11/2015

Paddington Bear might like this.

Sainsbury's Three Fruit Marmalade My mum had lost her appetite a bit after a illness so I was trying to tempt her with as many of her favourite foods as possible. One of these is marmalade. She has always made her own so presenting her with a jar from Sainsburys is slightly taking my life in my own hands, but we had run out of any home made stuff and I did find a flavour that I thought would especially appeal to her. That was the Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Three Fruit Marmalade, which cost me £1.50 for a 340g jar. I thought the zingy mix of oranges, lemons and grapefruits would spring anyones tastebuds back into life. TASTE THE DIFFERENCE The Taste The Difference range is the more premium range of own label goods from Sainsbury's. To be honest, prior experience with this range has generally led me to avoid buying from it. Maybe I have just been unlucky but I have been disappointed by just about every TTD product I have tried. I don't think you can "taste the difference" all too often, and I almost always prefer the taste of similar items from the cheaper standard own label ranges. This marmalade was inexpensive however, and while I don't think it is an special kind of spread, it is ok and I think it is reasonable value. There is nothing special about the jar, and I wouldn't pay more for prettier packaging anyway. My mum always has her marmalade put in a little special pot bless her, which is a extra step of washing up to far for me. I am happy just to spread it straight from the jar myself! ...

Waitrose Love Life Camomile & Limeflower & Lavender Infusion Tea Bags 10/11/2015

Lavender tea

Waitrose Love Life Camomile & Limeflower & Lavender Infusion Tea Bags I have enjoyed out lots of herbal and flower teas over the sumner and experimenting has really changed my mind about what sort of drinks I would be willing to try. So when I saw a box of Camomile, Limeflower and Lavender infusion in Waitrose, I decided to give it a go. I love lavender, and often use the flowers in baking or to flavour sugar so I was converted to the taste as well as the scent of lavender already. My family are not so sure and this drink has failed to convince them otherswise. That means I have got to make the most of the box myself. Twenty bags only cost me a pound, which seems a good price compared to similar types of infusions from Twinings or Teapigs. LOVE LIFE The tea comes in bags, just average square ones without a draw string or tag but I can live with that. Each one is well filled and there is definitely enough to infuse a mug full of water with flavour. I hate weak "tea" of any kind, and herbal/flower teas are often not strong enough for me, so this was good to discover. This particular infusion is part of the Waitrose Love Life healthy eating inspired range of food and drinks, created by "chefs and nutritionists". I think it earns its place due to the natural caffeine free formula. I know that both camomile and lavender have reported benefits related to aiding relaxation and sleep. I don't find the drink does much for me in this regard, beyond the kind of relaxation of taking a break with any hot drink gives me. But I don't drink it a lot so ...

Herlitz Glue Stick 06/11/2015

Stay Glued

Herlitz Glue Stick I get through a lot of glue sticks, and no I am not a sniffer! I babysit a wide range of little people thanks to having a large number of nieces, nephews and cousins Being an ex nanny makes you popular like that. And with baby sitting comes craft activities more often than not. Glue sticks are relatively mess free so I always use them if the material allows. I found a brand I had not heard of before on my last trip to the stationers, Herlitz glue. It was the cheapest there at 85p for an 8g stick, so I decided to give it a go. I hadn't heard of the Herlitz brand before, but I can see now that they are a German stationary brand supplied by a number of UK office supply companies. Amazon are one of the stockists, and it is around 85p - 89p for the size I bought. You can get bigger sticks as well. WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO STICK Paper, card, textile and "expandable Styrofoam" whatever that is. EASY TO USE? This glue stick is solvent free so ideal for using with children, although as with anything like this you are going to have to supervise the younger ones to make sure they don't eat it or the cap. We all know children can get a little over enthusiastic and heavy handed with glue. Glue sticks are less messy in this regard but if they are too soft, they can spodge outwards if the child presses down too hard. The Herlitz stick had a good texture for this, and it is very much a glue that glides. The smooth sliding is something that makes sticking quick if you are me ...
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