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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


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 ...

Tattoos: friends or foes? 12/07/2017

Tattoo me, Tattoo you

Tattoos: friends or foes? So I guess I am in the pro tattoo brigade. I like tattoos and have a couple myself. For my review I decided to split it up into sub headings and discuss each a little more. Tattoos have been around for a very long time, spanning countries and different tribes. In different countries they have different meanings in Japan it has a varied history but still in some older generations they see it as linked to criminal activity. Where as in some others it is seen as a cultural like the Maori. Tattoos have also done for various reasons. Nowadays it is because we like them. Some in the past have been tattooed as a punishment, honor, gang related or like Armed forces having their blood group tattooed on them, may seem strange but actually a good idea I think in war zones where the necessity for urgency is paramount. Not sure if they still do this? *****CHOOSING A TATTOO***** Choosing the right tattoo for you is paramount. This potentially is there for life, although nowadays there are makeup options and expensive laser treatments. There is also the cover up option depending on your original tattoo. My chap has had a cover up done and it was fabulous you could not tell there was one underneath before. So how do you know what you like now wont change in the future? You don’t is the answer. My perspective on life is that I will choose what I like now. You never know when your number is going to be up so I am not going to stress about a tattoo choice, there are plenty more thing ...

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Creme with Royal Jelly 11/07/2017

And the Bee's have it, well Burt's anyway

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Creme with Royal Jelly Burt’s Bees items I have wanted to try for a while and so when I needed a new eye cream I thought I would give theirs a go. *****THE BURTS BEES***** It’s a lovely story for a company, not all high flying and corporate to start with. Burt was a guy regularly selling his bee’s honey on the side of the road and came together with a lady who took his unused bee wax and initially made candles, which developed in to later lip balms. The story continues and it is now a worldwide selling company from the USA with nature and bees at its heart. *****THE PACKAGE***** One first impression I was quite pleased. The product comes in a neat little box that is predominantly white but with bright yellow to the front and top. It has Burt’s Bees across the front so it is obvious of the brand from the shelf; this one is called radiance eye cream with royal jelly. On the top I liked the little beehive decoration, although a little bee included would have been a nice touch. On the one side is the list of ingredients, on he other two sides is the product detail and how to use in different languages. On the bottom is the company address use by information etc. I quite looked forward to opening my little box but I have to say it was a slight anti climax. The glass jar is clear with a white screw top lid. Tamper proof plastic to seal. It is easy to see the cream inside, easy to use and practical, but just doesn’t thrill me or have any fun about it at all. Considering this is a bee product it would ...

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter 01/07/2017

Satsuma Sharp Body Butter

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter The Body Shop has long been selling various scents body butters and they tend to be one of the best selling products from the company. The one I am reviewing this time is Satsuma. *****FEELING ORANGE***** The Satsuma body butter comes in a bright orange tub with a screw top lid. I like the colour as it resembles the colour of the fragrance and so when I have purchased a few, I can easily see which one it is when stacked. The ingredients list and product information can be found on the base of the tub with a peel away sticker. Another nice little touch with the aid of technology, they have included a scan box which when scanned with an applicable phone app you can discover their fair trade stories. The texture of the body butter is divine. The cream is very thick, kind of the texture of Greek yoghurt. A slight orange tinge to the colour it is lovely and smooth and you can feel that it is a quality cream as soon as you dip your finger in. The body butter is a 24-hour hydration one and is suitable for normal to dry skin. I do find this body butter is hydrating and you can feel the moisture being absorbed fairly quickly in to the skin. I am not sure that this particular one gives me 24hour hydration though I have to say. If I use it in the morning I my skin is not as moisturized by say 8 hours later, I have found that other fragrances in the range have, so a little disappointed. As I said it does absorb fairly quickly about a couple of minutes to wait I estimate before ...

Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water 26/06/2017

Give me golden glow Garnier

Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water So when it comes to cleansing my face of make-up, especially at night I have to say I prefer a quick and easy option. I have used micellar cleansing products before and generally felt they were good, so this different version caught my eye. *****GARNIER***** Garnier comes under the umbrella of L’Oreal and offers hair and skin products for both men and women. It is an affordable brand, which lies in the mainstream section of products widely available in supermarkets and chemist shops as well as online companies. *****GOLDEN GLOW***** The first thing that caught my eye about this product was the golden glow that sat across the top of the clear plastic bottle. It was clearly visible to see from a distance and attracted me in to see what it was. The majority of the bottle, approximately two thirds, is taken up by the clear liquid which is the cleansing water. It is quite crystal clear that you can see threw it and therefore makes it so easy to see when the product is running out. The top third is a golden orange liquid, which is the oil infused part of the micellar water. You can instantly see the oil part as it sits with definition on the top with tiny globules of oil dotted around. *****MIXING IT UP***** To use the product you first have to mix it up. You need to give the bottle a good shake to ensure that the cleansing water and the oil are properly mixed so that you get the best from the product in terms of cleaning your face. It is easy to see when it is mixed as ...

Clarins Extra Comfort Cleansing Cream 24/06/2017

Oh so thick cream cleanser

Clarins Extra Comfort Cleansing Cream I tend to vary my face-cleaning regime. Mainly I wash with a foam cleanser in the mornings but in the evenings I prefer to use either an all in one cleanser or cleanser and toner. I was quite keen to try the Clarins extra comfort anti pollution cleansing cream as I do tend to like Clarins products and the extra comfort sounded nice as my skin can feel like it needs a treat, especially after work in air conditioning all day. *****THE PACKAGE***** The cleanser comes in a pink/ peach type colour plastic tube with a white lid upon which it stands. I quite like that it stands on its lid as it is far easier to get the cream out as it is already at the base. I like the colour and the fact the writing is easy to read on the tube as it is in a red that stands out from the background. As with all clarins products you do tend to feel like you are getting a quality product, mind you, you do pay for it also. *****SQUEAKY CLEAN?***** The cream I first noticed is very thick. No chance of this running away from you out of the tube. It is so think in fact that I had to re read the instructions as I thought I might have mistaken it for a cream wash to add water, but no it is a very thick cleanser. I do like the thickness actually it certainly adds to the extra comfort that clarins sell to you as it almost feels like it is moisturizing your face as well as cleansing it. This is so much so that some people may feel they don’t actually need a night moisturizer afterwards. This is not so ...

Clarins One Step Facial Cleanser - All Skin Types 06/06/2017

Clarins One-step cleanser and toner

Clarins One Step Facial Cleanser - All Skin Types I have to admit when it comes to taking my make-up off at night I prefer something quick and easy. In with some Clarins purchases I received a couple of sample pots of the one step facial cleanser to try. *****THE LOOK***** The lotion comes in a plastic bottle with a screw top lid, nothing unusual quite standard but it works. I like the fact the bottle is fairly clear, it is somewhat so that you can see exactly how much you have left. The other advantage of this is that because the product is designed to be shaken as it has two separating parts you can see when you have done this sufficiently to use it. Easy to pour onto a cotton pad from the top, but with the security of a screw top lid should it fall over in the cupboard. *****DOES IT CLEAN UP?***** One of the things I really like about this product is the smell. Its lovely the lotion has orange extract and moringa in it. I assume there is other fragrance added but I adore the scent the orange hints through which you can still smell as it is applied to the face. To use Firstly shake the bottle for a few seconds to mix the two products – cleanser and toner I assume together. Just apply a small amount onto a cotton pad and wipe gently all over the face to remove make-up. The lotion feels quite moisturizing on the skin; it is not drying at all which is a welcome surprise as this is a cleanser and toner all in one. Clarins sell this product as an anti-pollution product, which will aid to cleanse, tone and revive your ...

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer 31/05/2017

Little black dress- wait no primer or is it a mascara?

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer I often buy more expensive cosmetics when they have an offer on so that I receive samples, so I feel like I am getting a better deal. With an Estee Lauder purchase one of my samples was The Little Black Primer for your eyelashes. *****THE PACKAGE***** The sample came in small size about 5ml mascara type tube. Dark blue tube holds the product and the eyelash wand is held in a screw top gold lid, about a third of the whole length. If buying the full size product, it comes in a completely dark blue tube and top with gold writing, not sure why its different really. *****WITH IT? OR WITHOUT IT?***** So I have to admit when I first got the free samples I look at them then they go into my bag of tricks ready to be used when I finish something else. So when it came to using my little black primer, I picked it out didn’t read the label as I thought it was mascara. Note to self-read the label! When I opened the tube it has a nice little wand to apply the product, slightly arched with little tiny bristles all over. The colour of the primer is black and so I was not alerted to my mistake. The product goes on very smoothly, just like a mascara, to clean eyelashes. To apply just start at the base of your lashes and raise the wand up to the ends. As a base coat --------------- ----- As I said I thought it was a mascara. I was initially very disappointed in my using it for a few times, thinking god, it hardly looks like I have any mascara on! I then looked at said tube and the ...

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream 21/05/2017

Clarins Extra Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Wrinkle Smoothing Cream My next eye cream that I have tried is another Clarins one; this one is extra firming eye wrinkle smoothing cream. *****THE BRAND***** Clarins is a high-end cosmetic company that tries to manipulate plant extracts into most of its products from what I can see and always has done. I like the idea of this and especially as according to their website they do so in an eco-friendly and preservative manner as is possible. *****THE PACKAGE***** This little eye cream was a tester for me so came in a squeezy tube. The actual eye cream when purchased comes in a small pot of 15mls with a gold colour screw top lid. Easy to read blue writing with the brand and product name on the front and as with almost all of their items comes in a white box. The package is simple and does the job of the product need and it’s all recyclable which is good. *****EYE, EYE, BIG PROMISES***** Reading about the eye cream I was expecting a fairly good result. I am not expecting miracles, I know it is not likely to be a cure all cream, but the blurb raised my expectations. The name is big and bold extra firming eye wrinkle smoothing cream. The cream Clarins say uses shea butter, rose wax and blackcurrant (yes another odd combination to me at least), to provide an eye cream that will reduce your wrinkles, crinkles and generally tired looking eyes It does this my deeply moisturizing the soft skin area around your eye and soothes lines to give an appearance of brightness. When I first tried it I didn’t ...

Roberto Cavalli Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum 10/05/2017

Going for Gold with Roberto Cavalli perfume

Roberto Cavalli Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum I vary my perfumes quite a lot, I have a few specific ones that I always go back to but like to have a variety to choose from depending on my mood. As I was running low on perfume I had a look around in Debenhams to see what took my fancy. The perfume of choice was Robert Cavalli. *****FIRST IMPRESSIONS***** I had tried a sample of this some time ago and remembered the name and bottle but the scent was eluding me. In Debenhams when I purchased they had a great offer of half price bottles on this so I was immediately drawn to it (I do like a bargain). Robert Cavalli is an Italian designer who has branched out into perfumes like so many others. He has a reasonable range of different perfume choices currently but this one I choose was one of the originals I think. The box is gold colour with tiger print to the bottom part and a bright blue band. It is not my favourite box design I have to say and the in your face look of it might put some people off. That said it is not unusual for the designer who is known for his flamboyant designs. I am not that fussed, it’s a box at the end of the day. The bottle is fairly thin and rounded so it makes it easy to handle, even at 75 mls. The perfume inside is easy to see as the glass is clear and oddly enough the perfume is a similar colour of gold to the box, not sure if that was on purpose or accidental. The lid is an ornate gold top with his name printed on it and logo, kind of looks like a crowning piece with a tiny band of tiger ...

Lancome Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask 06/05/2017

Make me a Sleeping Beauty Lancome - Lancome night Sleeping Mask

Lancome Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask I wanted to purchase a new night cream and so as Lancôme had an offer on I decided to buy theirs. I actually bought the full size version of this product and got a sample in the gift set anyway. Picture is of full size and sample pot. *****LANCOME***** Medium to higher end cosmetic brand that has been around for years now and I have to admit there is not often a product that I don’t get along with. Products tend to be very good quality and have a lovely decorative touch to their presentation. *****LITTLE GREEN POT***** So the cream comes in a small, thick glass pot, which is transparent enough to see the cream through, but has a green tint to it. The pot does look nice it is quite heavy too. The lid is screw top, plastic but with a lovely silver finish and the trademark Lancôme rose motif on the top. All the writing is written in black and even the small font is clear enough to see. Lancôme provide this little green pot inside a silver coloured box with a substantial amount of detail about the product on it in black writing. This includes the name, product detail, ingredients, contact information and how to use. All this with the Lancôme rose imprinted in gold on the top and sealed in cellophane. They do provide a lovely looking product and the attention to detail is nice and makes you feel special about the item, they would also make lovely gifts because of this. You can buy from the Energie de vie range to have matching items. ****GIVE ME SOME SLEEPING ...
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