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Aiming to be a bit more active on here now my uni course is done :0

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since 15/04/2011


Stand By Me - Sheila O'Flanagan 14/10/2017

Stand by Me by Sheila O'Flanagan

Stand By Me - Sheila O'Flanagan Stand by Me by Sheila O’Flanagan *****WHY THIS BOOK? ***** I am once again doing the six-book challenge with the work library again. Basically you sign up for free and the library chooses six books for you to read from different categories over a six-month period. I do this each year with the aim to get me reading more and widen my book reading horizons. It is now part of the website. As someone who tends to go for thriller, murder type books this is not one that I would have picked off the shelf, as the cover is also quite girly. *****THE STORY AND CHARACTERS***** The way the story starts I quite like. It tells you Dominique is about to have a party, for what you reason you don’t know. It quickly becomes apparent that Dominique was quite a high flyer in the business / entertainment world but that something went wrong. The story then takes you back to when Dominique was a child in Ireland growing up with overtly strict catholic parents and living in the shadows of her soon to be a priest brother. Through the story you discover how Dominique met her man and started a family who all now call her Domino. Moving along her lifeline the story takes you through the good times and bad, not only of the central characters but of the others too which is nice as they often get forgotten. Domino is the central character and I like her from the start, she has a little edge to her that just keeps going no matter what is going on in her life. I do think the ...

Katy Perry Mad Potion Eau de Parfum 13/10/2017

Was I mad to buy Mad Potion?

Katy Perry Mad Potion Eau de Parfum I like to try out new perfumes and have had a Katy Perry perfume before and liked it, so when I saw another of hers on offer I asked for a test spray and subsequently bought it. The perfume is a Coty perfume which makes a lot of perfume and make up brands, I was actually surprised to see the list of 77 on their website of which Marc Jacobs and Opi are such brands. *****THE POTION PACKAGE***** The perfume comes in a fabulous box, black with circles all over it and the name Mad Potion on it in sparkly pink. It is fun and stands out as a younger perfume I think; I guess teenagers would like it. The bottle itself is a semi opaque thickset clear glass, in the shape of an old-fashioned potion bottle. It only has a couple of black lines around the neck with the name on the front also. The lid is a sparkly pink, which I was hoping for it to be in the same thick glass but it is plastic. I do like the design and it goes well with the name of the perfume but I cant help being a little disappointed it does seem like they have again aimed for the teenagers and therefore not made it very special. The liquid is a bright but dark pink which does look good in the bottle, but does not have the colour effect on your skin thankfully. *****MAD POTION***** The scent I only tried a quick smell test in the shop on a card. Usually I spray test on myself and wander off to do shopping then come back if I like it. You can then see if the scent is going to last and how it reacts on your skin. ...

L'Occitane Verbena Daily Use Shampoo 07/10/2017

L'Occitane verbena shampoo - no vampires around me!

L'Occitane Verbena Daily Use Shampoo Washing my hair with L'Occitane Verbena shampoo. *****L’OCCITANE***** L’Occitane is a French company that produces high-end boutique products, with excellent customer service in my experience. *****THE BOTTLE***** The shampoo comes in a clear plastic bottle, which is unusual as it is rectangular in shape rather than the normal rounded bottles. Detail is simple and elegant with a window type effect and a leaf pattern embossed onto it along with the name verbena. I really like it; it is a bit different from the rest and stands out in the bathroom in a discreet way. There are also a couple of yellow/fawn stickers with the product ingredients and information on them. Being a clear bottle it is easy to see how much is left and allows you to see the lovely yellow colour of the product. The lid is a sliver plastic flip top affair, which is actually very good. It is secure enough to keep the shampoo inside whilst easy enough to use with one hand if needed. Easy to squeeze a small amount out with no issues. *****SHAMPOOING AWAY THE DAY***** As with all shampoo wet your hair and then apply a small amount to your hands and lather into your hair, massaging the scalp as you go. I find that the shampoo provides a good amount of lather from a reasonably small amount of product. It cleans very well and my hair at the end does feel squeaky clean and fresh. It is quite a gentle shampoo which considering the strong scent I was somewhat surprised. I don’t have a particularly sensitive ...

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil 30/09/2017

Bathing in sweet Almond Oil

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil Once in a while I indulge myself into the land of L’Occitane. I recently purchased a gift for someone in there and was lucky enough to receive a free gift with goodies inside. Part of that was L’Occitane Amande Shower Oil. *****L’OCCITANE***** A French company which although uses the website marketing, remains a very luxury feel company. Preferring small boutique shops and high customer service. They also have a few select spas in 5 star hotels and odd ones connected to stores. *****PRODUCT DESIGN****** My product was a 35ml plastic bottle with small silver plastic flip top lid. Although this was a gift version you can actually buy this size on the website indicated as a travel size. The bigger bottle is 250ml but comes in much the same design. The bottles have the ingredients on the back with the instructions for use. On the front is a simple designed sticker that tells you that it is a shower gel in both English and French. I like the simplicity of it but somehow it manages to give an elite feel for some reason. Being plastic it is all recyclable too. *****ALMOND OIL BATHS***** The almond scent is divine, very rich and strong but as it is dispersed amongst the water, very relaxing in use as the scent As a shower oil you simply pour a tiny amount onto you hands or onto a cloth etc., but be careful as it is an oil and so very liquid and may run away. Then simply add water and gently lather to create slight foam and the oil turns to a whiter colour. Apply to the body ...

Clarins Multi Active Day Cream All Skin Types 29/09/2017

Clarins Multi-active day cream

Clarins Multi Active Day Cream All Skin Types Clarins Multi-active day cream SPF20 is a cream that Clarins say is a kind of jack of all trades, a good cream with the ability to hydrate, aid fine lines and protect against the sun. What’s not to love about that? The cream is a fairly thick cream and feels like a quality one from the moment you try it. It has a slight sheen to it when applied but nothing that stays on the skin. To use just apply a small amount to a clean face and blend into the skin until disappeared. The scent is fresh and clean but no particular scent that I can identify. Clarins do have a way of making their products smell divine. The cream usually comes in a thick glass jar of high quality and typical Clarins style of simplicity. My picture is of one of the sample s I received. Suitable for all skin types. *****WRINKLES AND CRINKLES***** The cream is for fine lines and wrinkles and sets its sights on the first signs of them as a marketing tool. They tend to give an age bracket of around 30-40 on the website, which is quite wide however, I think wrinkles appear when they feel like it and it has a lot to do with your DNA and lifestyle, rather than a set age particularly. If I had to put an age on it I would recommend it to early 30 ear olds. In the respect of my face I am not convinced it made a great difference to be honest, but the hydration helped around the eyes and so from that point it does somewhat. *****HYDRATED***** The cream I can say hydrated my skin well with out it being to oily or ...

The 1000 Mile Sock 26/09/2017

Just keep walking and walking and walking

The 1000 Mile Sock I do a fair bit of walking with my two dogs and generally wear walking boots with a good pair of thick socks. However, a friend and I decided that we were going to tackle a 21.5 mile charity walk across the countryside. With this in mind it was suggested that I purchase the 1000-mile all terrain socks. *****WHY ARE THEY DIFFERENT? ***** So you may ask yourself as I did, why are these socks so different to any other sock? These socks have a variety of different things that make them a little bit different form the rest. For the purposes of the review I am going to review each bit individually. My picture shows the socks inside and out. DOUBLE LAYER The outer sock is made from merino wool, cotton, nylon and elastane lycra. The sock feels very soft to the touch and not at all itchy as with some types of wool. I was quite surprised at how light they felt too, wool can be quite heavy and as they are thick I thought they would be heavier so pleasantly pleased. Another thing about the wool is that I was concerned that my feet would be very hot. The walk was on a sunny day around 19 degrees at some points and although my feet were warm, they were not overly hot. TACTEL INNER LAYER The inner layer of the sock is white and 100% Tactel, a versatile nylon fabric that is breathable. Very comfortable. I can say I only had to readjust one of my socks during the whole walk. Very pleased no slipping of the inner sock or rucking up inside the boots. The idea is that these breathable ...

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick 09/09/2017

Everlasting Lipstick my name and nature

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick I have been a fan of Kat Von D as a tattoo artist for some years and was keen to try out her make-up range. I have tried and reviewed the more traditional lipstick and also purchased a liquid lipstick at the same time. This review is of the Everlasting liquid lipstick. *****ARTISTIC DESIGN***** As Kat Von D is a tattoo artist firstly, I expected the products from her make-up range to be well designed and visually appealing. I was not disappointed. This liquid lipstick comes in a black box, which has a detail of silver roses. All of the writing is in silver and written in a gothic type print. The box has a sticker from one end which has the name and colour of the lipstick inside and follows along the side of the box to give details of ingredients as listed below. I like the box. If you are a fan of keeping all of your lipsticks in the original packaging this will stand out but even if you had a set of this range, the colour end will allow easy detection for your choice. Inside the box I am even more impressed. It certainly has the wow factor. The main circular tube is of clear plastic so you can see the colour. The tube has a black ring around the bottom with Kat Von D in silver print, which again matches the box. At the top end is a black leafy type print which flows well into the lid design which is black with silver rose detail and her logo on the top. It all comes together to make an impressive and pretty lipstick that would be lovely as a gift and fabulous to display ...

Astral All Over Moisturiser 31/08/2017

Astral original moisturiser - a classic of time

Astral All Over Moisturiser Astral is a moisturizer that has been around for years. Originally starting in 1953, it is still going today and was last seen advertised on television by Joanna Lumley. ******ABOUT ASTRAL***** From what I can make out Astral have stuck true to the origins and never ventured far from the traditional packaging that they set out with. I like that it shows that they are proud of their product and believe that it will sell without any of the gimmicks and flashing advertising that many others go for today. The only downside perhaps is that Astral may miss out on some of the youth market that may never try it. The packaging comes in an aqua blue pot with a screw top lid and has the words Astral original and the fact that it is a face and body moisturizer, along with a made in the UK stamp. On the bottom there is a peel away sticker with the ingredients as listed further below, contact details of the company in the form of an address and a free telephone number. The simplicity of the product endears me to it. I remember my gran and my mother using this as face cream from time to time. *****MY EXPERIENCE WITH ASTRAL***** The cream is thick and you can tell that it has lanolin and paraffin in it because it has a slight oily texture to it. This makes it ideal for dry skin and it soaks in quite quickly. The scent has a fresh smell to it but nothing I can particularly put my finger on. It does smell a little old fashioned in the sense that I don’t think it has changed over the ...

Clarins Hydra-Matt Day Lotion 29/08/2017

Clarins hydra-matte lotion

Clarins Hydra-Matt Day Lotion Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion. *****WHY THIS LOTION***** I have combination type skin but often get shiny patches around my nose and forehead after while of wearing my makeup. When I saw the hydra matte lotion I thought I would give it a try as it suggested it would be ideal for my skin, in that it is for combination skin and that it mattes the skin so as to reduce the risk of oil and shine. *****FIRST LOOKS***** The lotion comes in a pale green tube with a screw top lid therefore is easy to use and with Clarins standard red writing the information on the tube is clear to read. The lotion is fairly thick for a lotion in that it does not run off your fingers, don’t be fooled by this though as the lotion remains very light. It is white in colour and the scent is lovely. Very clean and fresh smelling, nothing particular that it reminds me off except maybe a hint of cucumber, but I really like it. It is not overpowering or heavy and is a nice smell to apply in the mornings for everyday use. *****DOES IT REALLY MATTE?***** When applied I find that I don’t have to use very much, this in part being due to the fact that it is a lotion, but I do feel that the product goes quite a long way. It absorbs into my skin at a reasonable rate and there are not any issues with applying make-up afterwards, it simply glides on. When I put it on it looks and feels no different to any other cream or lotion that I have used I have to say and my skin does feel like it is adequately moisturized ...

BeneFit Ultra Shines Lip Shine 22/08/2017

Benefit are putting on the shine

BeneFit Ultra Shines Lip Shine I have a few different products from the Benefit Company and so was very pleased when I won a Benefit lip-gloss in a competition. The product in question is Benefit Lip Shine Gloss in the colour who are you wearing? *****BENEFIT***** Benefit is an American company of origin and which over the last few decades have become an international selling company or high quality and somewhat trendy cosmetics. *****DESIGN AND FEATURES***** The lip-gloss does come inside a black and white box with the colour and name of the colour written on the top. Benefit also includes a full list of ingredients along one of the sides of the packet. The lip-gloss comes in a thick and heavy clear plastic tube that from a distance, or even on picky up first resembles glass. The lid is black and is a screw top, which also holds the brush for the lip-gloss inside. I do like the design; it is a little more up market than the usual lipsil type or squeezy tubes. Given the heaviness of the tube it also adds to the high quality factor appearance making it feel more elegant when you take it out of your bag. The design on the tube is very simple with just a couple of swirls of black and Benefit written neatly across the bottom. Again I do like this as it continues the elegant feel and you can perfectly see not only the colour, but how much you have left in the tube. *****WEARABILITY***** When you open the screw top lid and take out the brush you can immediately see that the colour is the same as you ...

Stay Close - Harlan Coben 17/08/2017

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Stay Close - Harlan Coben Harlan Coben is one of go to authors when I want to read a book; I tend to enjoy his stories. He is an American writer who has written a significant number of books now within the crime/thriller set. This book is Stay Close by Harlan Coben *****CHARACTERS AND PLOT***** Megan aka Cassie aka maygin – the suburban married mum of two has it all with a white picket fence, or so you think. Who would have thought she was an exotic dancer. Before you cry out, this is not giving the game away; it is an integral part of the story to realize her background. And then their Ken and Barbie – trust me they are not what you are thinking! Ray, A photographer who was doing well, has fallen from grace somewhat and does cheap paparazzi type photography sessions for those that can pay. Detective Broome, trudging on over the seventeen years to try and solve the mystery of a man that went missing from his family and may or may not be dead. Then they’re Lorraine the old fashioned type ex call girl who now runs a bar. What can tie these people all together? - A murder, and why after seventeen years does it all of a sudden matter again? *****WHAT I THINK***** The book is one of the more sinister in the Harlan Coben books range I have read so far. What I do like about the book is that it swaps fairly frequently between the different stories of the characters. This helps keep you on your toes with the overall story and enables you not to get lost in just one part, I find this makes it more a ...

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream 10/08/2017

Fresh Faced and Energized with Clarins

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream Today I am reviewing Clarins Daily Energizer Cream. Clarins provide higher end cosmetics with a lean towards using plant extracts in all their products and pride themselves on trying to be more environmental in their supply change of ingredients. *****THE DESIGN AND CONTAINER***** The full size version of this cream comes in a pale orange jar with a white screw top lid. I prefer this type of containers for face creams, as it can be quite difficult to acquire the entire product when using squeezy tubes, which is what I found with my sample size. Give that the prices of these more luxury companies you don’t want to waste any! I love the colour combination that they use as it complements the cream scent and gives the impression of something nice and fresh, to which I was not disappointed. The writing is in the usual red Clarins colour which shows up well even against the orange background and of course you u get the standard Clarins deeper information on a leaflet or the box itself. *****THE CREAM AND ITS USE***** The cream is designed to be used as a face cream in the mornings after the usually face cleanse or wash and after your serum should you use one. SCENTS……. The cream when first opened smells lovely and fresh it is mildly orange mixed with some sort of plant scent, which gives it a kind of mild herbal note to my nose at least. Clarins do prize themselves on using plant extracts in the products so this is hardly a surprise to me. It really is a nice smell and in ...

Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel 01/08/2017

Clarins Super Duper Energizer Face wash

Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel I have got into more of a habit over the last few years of using a face wash in the mornings to revive my skin from sleep. I received a free sample of Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel, I choose this when I purchased a couple of items from the website. I do like Clarins they provide quality make-up but it does have a quality price tag and they tend to use ingredients that are sustainable. *****THE PACKAGE***** The cleansing gel itself comes in a lovely peachy orange tube with a white flip top lid. Pretty standard in the design and is easy to use. The flip top lid is quite secure when shut and I have experienced no leakages from the tube as it stands on its lid. The tube is a lovely colour and is quite appealing to the eye. With regards to squeezing the tube, it is a little firmer than some other plastic tubes I have used but it is manageable for most people I would think and because it stands on its lid the gel tends to fall to the opening anyway. The writing on the tube is in the Clarins standard red, which you may think might be difficult to read given the orange tube, however I don’t have any issue with it. As with many of the Clarins products the information is more prevalent on either their boxes or leaflets with how to use and ingredients information that is always red on white background. *****FRESH WASH***** The gel is a nice thick consistency and is clear in colour. It is nice to have a gel, which dissolves into a foam with a minimal amount of fuss, and ...

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara 22/07/2017

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara I have tried a few different mascaras over the years and one of my favourite brands is Benefit, so when I had the chance to try out a different version of their mascaras “roller lash” I eagerly took it. Benefit is an American company set up by two sisters who originally started out as models and make-up artists. They then decided to start up a make-up company to which we now know as the worldwide company Benefit, which now includes their two daughters also. *****PICKING A BENEFIT MASCARA***** Benefit do a few different mascaras and I have tried and loved I have to say the “They’re Real” one. Depending on what kind of look you are going for will depend on which mascara you try, the website is very good for describing what they do, but even better nip to a Benefit counter and ask for a demo on your own eyes. The packaging of Benefit products is really good I find; they do a lot of attention to detail. The actually packaging of a lot of their items seems to have a retro feel currently but in time like other companies they tend to have a change around. My mascara comes in a pink and black box. On the box is a full list of ingredients, little examples of how to use and some percentage rates of what consumer panel surveys have found. There is a fair bit of detail on the box but when you open up there is a fabulous leaflet inside which gives out information in several different languages. The mascara itself is like most others a rounded tube in which the brush is incorporated ...

Clinique Smart Custom Serum 14/07/2017

Is this really a smart serum?

Clinique Smart Custom Serum Clinique smart custom repair serum I had a sample version of the serum given to me a while ago, but have only just used it all. *****DESIGN***** The serum comes in a pump action tube. Mine is a 10ml tube but the full size version comes in three size choices, 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. The tube design like all of Clinique’s products is simple and quite plain but does the job nicely. I do like the pump action it makes using the serum so much easier and there is no dripping of the product. *****IS THIS A SMART SERUM? ***** The serum itself is unlike most other serums I have used, more like a lotion really. It is a pale orange colour and has no particular scent that I can identify. Suitable for all skin types, Clinique recommend that you apply two pumps into the hand and work over the face in the morning and evening before a moisturizer. I have to say I tend to use different products for the night from my day ones so just found this a little odd, but I guess its less space in the cupboard! The serum according to Clinique will do multiple things from the usual improving the signs of fine lines and wrinkles, to smoothing our skin tone differences and that it firms the skin. Smoothing out skin tone – Yes I do feel it does this. The serum when applied does have a nice feeling to it. It does feel like it smoothens the skin over, in some ways a bit like a primer. With that it evens out the skin surface and redness patches seem a little softer. It does not really moisturize ...
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