Monday, 16 September 2013

Sanctuary Body Scrub

The Sanctuary Body Scrub is the last item that I received in a gift box for my birthday earlier on in the year. I have to be honest to begin with and say that I’m not the biggest fan of any body scrub. I much prefer a smooth and silky feeling shower gel but as I have liked so many other Sanctuary products, I was more than willing to give this one a go.

Sanctuary products are available from Boots and the Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden. This particular product currently costs £5.50 from Boots for a 200ml tube.

The packaging for this body scrub is much like any other product in the Sanctuary range. The plastic tube is see through for the most part, save for the black printed text which gives the Sanctuary logo, name of the product as well as a description. At the bottom of the tube is an orange flip cap which is really easy to open. The orange colour of the cap is in keeping with the Sanctuary brand colours which means this matches the other products I have.

When squeezing the scrub out of the tube, I can quickly feel that it is of a really thick consistency, much like a paste. The scrub comes out of the tube really easily so you only need to squeeze it gently in order to get a decent amount in your hands. As well as being thick, the scrub has a rough texture to it. This comes from the particles inside the liquid and those are what makes this a scrub instead of a shower gel.

When using this product, Sanctuary advise that the best results can be seen if you use in a slow, circular motion on the skin. As a body scrub, this is designed to help clear your body of dead skin and to make it feeling wonderfully soft and smooth. The circular motion helps to exfoliate the skin. This product does feel a little rough on the skin but not as much as some other body scrubs I have tried in the past. Whilst in the shower or bath, I can feel the particles rubbing on my skin but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all. The scrub also has the addition of a soothing orange oil which helps to make the scrub feel softer than it maybe should.

As scents go, this one is very gentle in comparison to other Sanctuary products. The scrub contains patchouli oil as well as the previously mentioned orange oil. Strangely though, I don’t really smell either of these in the product. I would have loved for this to smell more like the orange oil but instead I got a weakened down version of the scent that you normally get with a Sanctuary product. Usually, these smell quite strong in the bath or shower but not this one.

After using the product, my skin does feel very soft and exfoliated. I can definitely feel the difference between my skin before and after using this body scrub. I do feel that my skin feels even softer though with the use of a body moisturiser straight after but the body scrub on its own does do a good enough job. This is one of the better body scrubs I have used mainly because it doesn’t feel incredibly rough on my skin. I would have liked this so much more though if the scent had been stronger.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Carex Nature Protect Handwash Manuka Honey & Oatmilk

Handwash is one of those products that I’ll buy when something is on offer. A little while ago in my local Sainsbury’s I found Carex Nature Protect Handwash with Manuka Honey & Oatmilk on offer for only £1. The normal price for this product is roughly £1.80 depending on where you buy it from and this is for a 250ml bottle.

This handwash comes in a square, plastic bottle which has a pump dispenser at the top. The front of the bottle has the Carex logo printed on it which is quite large but there is also room for the name of the handwash as well as the ingredients to be printed on there as well. As the bottle is clear, you are able to see the honey coloured liquid inside. The packaging is quite plain as there isn’t too much on the front but it does look appealing on the shelf.

One of the two main ingredients in this handwash is Manuka Honey which I had never heard of before. After looking it up online, I found that it comes from New Zealand and it is supposed to be a good antibacterial product. This, added with Oatmilk, makes for a good handwash as it combines antibacterial with moisturising ingredients. Due to working with money all day as well as making drinks, changing beer barrels etc. my hands do get quite dry and rough at times. I need a good handwash to help put the moisture back in and make my hands look nice again so this is what I was hoping this particular product would do.

In order to use the handwash you just need to give the pump dispenser a quick push down and out will come the liquid. One pump will dispense a really good amount of liquid so you only need to do this once. The handwash is a lovely, rich honey colour which feels silky and smooth in the hands. Once added to a bit of warm water, the handwash lathers up extremely well, which again, backs up the only needing to use one pump of the liquid. Although this has both Manuka Honey and Oatmilk, it does smell more like honey which is extremely sweet but a scent I like a lot.

After using this handwash, my hands feel smooth and in much better condition than they did before. Although not a miracle working in regards to dry and rough skin, continued use does make my hands better over time. For the £1 I paid for this product, I really can’t complain. It makes my hands feel great and it also smells really nice. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Avon Seventh Heaven Senses Shower Gel

As my Nanna is an Avon lady, I tend to get a range of bath and shower products for my birthdays and Christmas. One of the newer things I have received is the Avon Senses Seventh Heaven Dreamy Shower Gel. This product can be found through an Avon representative or from the Avon website. For a 500ml bottle this will set you back £3 although it is often on offer for £1.50.

The shower gel comes in a pretty basic bottle which has slight curves to the edges. There is a large lid at the top in a bright pink colour. Although the lid is large, it only has a small flip top part right at the top which reveals the smallest of holes for the liquid to come out of. I think that the lid of this bottle could have been better designed for ease of use. As this shower gel is called Seventh Heaven, the bottle also has a picture of a really pretty pink sea that looks really calming and pretty.

The main ingredients that affect the scent of this product are Rose, Peony and Musk and this is stated on the front of the bottle. Inside the bottle you can see the soft pink coloured shower gel which matches the packaging really well. As soon as you flip up the lid and have a quick sniff, there is a lovely, fresh but feminine scent that comes out at you. I was looking forward to using this based off of the scent that comes out of the bottle before even using the shower gel.

However, once being used in the shower, I wasn’t as impressed. The shower gel doesn’t lather up too well and you need to use quite a lot on a fluff ball which means the bottle doesn’t last as long as it could. Also, the scent that I loved in the first place is quite non-existent once the gel gets warm. With other shower gels I own, the bathroom (and me) keep the scent for quite a while after a shower but I couldn’t even smell this one whilst I was using it which is a real shame. But, there are some going points too. The shower gel is really soft and does make my skin feel nice after using it. Even though I come out of the shower with my skin not smelling of much, my skin feels soft, smooth and moisturised.

I definitely wouldn’t pay full price for this shower gel but I wouldn’t mind getting it again as a gift or paying the reduced price. 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Monu Professional Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser SPF15

As part of June’s Glossybox (a monthly subscription beauty box) I received a sample sized bottle of Monu Professional Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser SPF15. Before trying this product, I had been using the same moisturiser for quite some time so I was looking forward to trying something new. Although I received a sample, a full 50ml sized bottle costs £29.95.

The product comes in a clear plastic bottle with a screw top cap. The bottle does have quite a lot of information printed on it in a light grey colour but it doesn’t look overly messy or too full. The bottle explains that this product is suitable for all skin types, has SPF 15 and that the moisturiser contains Vitamin E and Cassia Alata. There is also a more detailed list of ingredients on the back of the bottle. For a product that costs just under £30, I would have liked for this product to have nicer packaging.

As the bottle is see through, you are able to see the white cream inside. After unscrewing the lid, you can also see that the cream is quite thick and a quick smell which gives off a lovely, fresh citrus scent. The moisturiser looks and smells very appealing and that is without even putting it on my face! Unfortunately, the bottle isn’t very well designed in regards to getting the moisturiser out. While the bottle is full, you can easily give it a squeeze in order for some to pop up out of the top. When the bottle starts to get empty though like mine is now, the moisturiser stays at the bottom and is very hard to squeeze out.

During the summer I tend to get quite dry skin due to walking around in the sun so I really need a good conditioner to stop this from happening. This moisturiser is as thick as it looks in the bottle but when using on your skin, you don’t need to use as much as you may think. A little goes a long way with this one and it absorbs into the skin quite easily. While the thickness of the moisturiser is good in one way, it is not so good in another. After rubbing the moisturiser into my face, I have noticed that my skin is quite sticky/ balmy for a while afterwards. I have had to wait at least 15-20 minutes before applying my foundation which was quite annoying for me.

However, even with a few problems, I do like this moisturiser. After it has completely soaked into my skin, it feels extremely soft and my dry skin was cleared up in no time. I’m not sure if I would purchase a full size bottle though as £30 is a lot for a moisturiser, especially if you are unable to get into the bottom of the bottle. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Breville VTT273 Polished Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster

For such a long time, I have had a really cheap toaster from either Tesco or Asda. I say both because they have tended to break quite quickly so I have tried cheap versions from both supermarkets. Now I live with my boyfriend though, we needed more than a cheap two slice toaster. While Sainsburys was having a sale, we decided to buy the Breville VTT273 Polished Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster. I can’t remember exactly what we paid for it now but you can find this particular toaster on Amazon for £27.50.

We had a couple of reasons for buying this toaster over the others that were available. The first reason being that it could toast 4 slices of bread at the same time and the second being that the slots were quite wide. I like to have crumpets for breakfast and our old toaster wouldn’t fit them in. We did get this out of the box in the shop just to make sure the slots were wide enough though.

This Breville toaster comes mostly in stainless steel, which was another reason why I liked this toaster. On one of the larger sides, there are the function buttons which include cancel, reheat and frozen along with a time setting dial at the bottom. The three buttons are illuminated in blue once in use which I think is a really nice touch. It means that you can’t forget that the toaster is on and you can also see the buttons in a low light. The time setting dial goes from 1-6 in minutes so you can control how brown you want your toast.

On the side are two push levers but instead of being in stainless steel, this part of the toaster is in a matt black. I like the contrast of the colours but was also glad to see the black doesn’t take over the silver colour that matches everything else in my kitchen. Each of the levers control two of the toasting slots and are easily pushed down and released again if the cancel button is pressed. Underneath these levers are two push buttons which reveal crumb drawers. These are really nicely concealed but also easily opened so that you can empty them. The trays don’t hold too much though and we tend to empty ours at least once a week depending on how much we use the toaster.

Although I love the look and design of this toaster, it does have some problems. The first couple of times we used it, the toasting slots really smelt funny once they got hot. Luckily, our toast didn’t taste any different but the smell was quite unpleasant. Also, this toaster does not brown bread evenly at all. Although each slot is on the same setting, we always have to swap the bread around as the far right slot takes a long time to toast bread. Some of the other slots are hotter/ better on one side than the other which results in one side of the bread being toasted how it should be while the other has barely been touched.

If I had paid more for this toaster, I would have been extremely annoyed with the way that it toasts. I usually stay in the kitchen anyway while making toast so it isn’t a big deal for me to turn it around every now and again. However, £30 still isn’t cheap and it would have been nice to not have to do this every single time I want to make toast. So, overall, this toaster is lovely in the way it looks but be prepared to have to fiddle with it quite a lot. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Superdrug Apricot Exfoliating Mask

As soon as the weather starts to get remotely nice, my skin gets extremely dry and I find myself having to look after it a lot more than I normally would. Face masks aren’t something I have used too much in the past but this year I decided to try something new. Superdrug often have offers on their face masks so I bought a few to see which I liked best and to see which were best for my skin. This review will be covering the Superdrug Apricot Exfoliating Mask.

Superdrug face masks cost 99p each for a single packet or can often be bought in a 4 for 3 offer.

This particular face mask comes in a lovely, bright orange plastic packet. Along with pictures of apricots, which is the featured ingredient of this scrub, there is also a picture of a woman using the mask. I really like the packaging for this product as it really stands out, looks tempting and is brightly coloured so can easily be seen on a shelf.

The back of the packet gives instructions on how to use this mask and they are as follows: Gently massage mask into a cleansed, dry face using your fingertips, avoiding the lip and eye area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat face dry. After washing my face and drying off, I tore open the packet and began to apply to my face. As soon as I put some of the mask on my fingers, I could feel the rough parts which would be exfoliating my skin. This part of the mask is made from crushed walnut shells and apricot seeds which is something I have never heard of being used before. Also, there is a lovely smell of apricot which comes from the Apricot Kernel Oil. I really liked the scent of this product as it was fresh and fruity at the same time.

Unlike in the picture on the packet, this face mask is actually a cream colour and not the orange colour which is shown. This, I don’t mind but it would be nice to get the colour you are expecting it to be. After applying this mask to my whole face, the mask began to set quite quickly which in turn, made my face quite tight. This wasn’t an uncomfortable kind of tight though but the kind you always get with a face mask.

After the recommended 15 minutes, I removed the mask with a warm flannel and it came off my face with ease even with it feeling tight and as though it had set. After removing all of the mask, my skin felt fantastic. There had been a couple of dry patches that were quiet visible before using this and they were pretty much completely gone afterwards. I was so happy with how this mask made my skin feel and for 99p, it was a complete bargain. Also, there was enough left in the packet for another application.

This is definitely one of the better masks from Superdrug and I happily recommend it.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

When I bought a travel size bottle of the matching shampoo, I also bought a bottle of the Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner. I bought my bottles from Boots and a full 250ml size bottle of the conditioner will set you back roughly £4.49. Boots do often have offers on hair care though so be sure to look out for that if you like this brand.

I am terrible for washing my hair every day, blow drying and usually straightening it as well. Due to all of this, my hair gets in terrible condition and the ends look split and broken quite often. Not having my hair cut enough adds to this as well though. However, I do like my hair to look as nice as possible even without having it cut and I’ve found that a good shampoo and conditioner can really help how it looks. This particular conditioner states that it is for dry and damaged hair and also hair that is a bit unhappy – which my hair definitely is at the minute.

The bottle is white with a dark purple lid – colours which are on all Aussie products that I have seen. The bottle has on it a mix of light blue and purple text as well as the Aussie logo which is in a large block of purple. There is a quite large paragraph underneath the product name which explains what the conditioner does and why it is good for hair. In this case, the Australian Macadamia Nut Oil is what helps to put moisture back into dry hair.

As I had already used the shampoo by the time I used the conditioner, I was already expecting the light orange coloured liquid. The conditioner is quite thick in consistency which is something I like in a conditioner. I don’t feel as though runnier liquids work as well on hair and they definitely don’t absorb into damaged hair as well. Matching the colour of the conditioner is a really sweet scent which comes from the macadamia nut oil – a scent that I now really like. When on my hair and wet, the scent smells even better. The liquid was also really silky and smooth which gave me confidence that it would leave my hair in a better condition.

As a conditioner, this product does not lather up like a shampoo would. Instead, I smoothed it on my hair and left it for a couple of minutes before rinsing off. After rinsing, I could feel that my hair was softer and smoother than it was before using this product. Of course, I did use the matching shampoo as well so that had something to do with the condition of my hair too. Never at any point before getting out of the shower was I worried about my hair being unmanageable and knotty like it has been before with other products.

Out of the shower and after using the conditioner, I could easily brush through my hair. This is such an important thing for me as sometimes I can end up pulling large clumps of knots out and I didn’t have this at all with Aussie products. After blow drying, my hair felt (and looked) incredibly soft and it looked a lot smoother than normal. Because of this, I definitely recommend Aussie as it works so well for damaged hair like my own.