Thursday, 31 January 2013

Original Source Lavender and Tea Tree Shower Gel


Original Source products are something that I will always buy if I see them on offer. I try to get something I haven’t had before every time and the newest was the Lavender and Tea Tree shower gel.

Original Source is a company that is proud to use as many British products as possible. Their 'About Us' page on the website (www.originalsource.co.uk) states that they are proud to use British products and where possible, will always use these. Original Source are a member of the Aromatherapy Trade Council and also work closely with the Vegan Society. The website also has a great list of promises that the company has made and they can be seen below.

Never ever consider, or even think of, showering or bathing as a routine
Always remain curious
Use our senses to discover intense experiences
Use natural ingredients
Never tire of looking for new ingredients
Never stop messing around with new ingredients and packaging
Never test our products on animals
Always test our products on ourselves
Never be wasteful

This shower gel comes in the usual Original Source packaging, a clear bottle which lets you see the colour of the product inside. The plastic the bottle is made out of feel quite thick and not flimsy at all unlike some other shower gel bottles I have had before. The brand name and variety of the shower gel are printed on the front of the bottle. The colour of the shower gel inside and the Original Source packaging make this a product that is hard to miss on the shelf.
The bottom of the bottle is black and that is where you can find the flip lid which allows you to get at the shower gel itself. The clasp clicks open with ease and I have never had problems being able to open it, even with wet hands. The bottle is also really easy to grip whilst in the shower and I have not had any problems with it slipping out of my hands. I really like the packaging as sad as that sounds but it is one of the better brands out there for good packaging.

As soon as you flip open the lid to this shower gel, the strong smell of lavender hits you immediately. Although this shower gel has tea tree in it as well, it is quite overpowered by the lavender. I love lavender as a scent and find it really relaxing so this is a product I tend to use more at night rather than in the morning. As with all Original Source shower gels, once put onto a shower puff, it lathers up really well so you don’t need to use a lot of it at once. The shower gel lathers up quickly, filling the bathroom with a wonderfully relaxing scent. This shower gel is also really soft on the skin and it feels fantastic to use.

Original Source can be found is all major supermarkets or anywhere that sells cosmetics/ toiletries. At regular price, the same size bottle will usually set you back somewhere between £2.50 and £3 which is still very reasonable and well worth paying for such an amazing product. Original Source shower gels can often be found on offer though so they’re worth looking out for.

I really love this shower gel and is now one of my favourites from Original Source. I do with the tea tree was a bit more evident but I don’t mind too much because I love the lavender scent so much. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wilko Candle In Glass


The product in question for this review is the Wilko Candle in Glass. I love Vanilla scented candles so I'm always on the lookout for new ones. As this is a Wilko product, you will only be able to find it in store or online. You can buy this one here.
The reason why I bought this candle (multiples of it actually) is because it was already housed in a glass casing. Most candles from Wilkinson don’t have any kind of covering unless you buy candle holders from them. This vanilla scented candle is only £1 and it has a lovely glass casing which I assume will be reusable. The glass is nice and thick and you can see that it won’t break easily. The candle inside is also of a decent size with about an inch left clear from the top. The candle is white in colour which goes with the vanilla scent and has a small white wick in the middle.
This candle is so much better than the cheap tealights you can get from Wilkinson. There is no advice anywhere about how long the candle is supposed to last for although I have been burning one for roughly 7 hours and there is still way over half of the wax left. The scent of vanilla is also really strong with this candle, which is something that you don’t get with the tealights. The wick burns really brightly and as I normally have 4 of these burning at any one time, they light up my bedroom really well. I have these on my bedside table so 4 of them give off enough light for me to be able to read next to them.
I really like these candles in comparison to the cheaper items available. Once the candle are blown out, they do give off quite a lot of smoke which is my only real negative about this product. It takes a little while for the smoke to clear and that isn’t a good thing when I blow them out just before going to sleep. However, I would definitely buy this candle again. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Lush Angel's Delight Soap


As part of my shopping splurge in the sales after Christmas at Lush, I picked up quite a few different things. I like to try something new and although I don’t use soap (always shower gel instead) very much, I decided to give Lush Angel’s Delight Soap a try. Now, this is another Lush product which is only available at Christmastime so if you want some, you will probably need to stock up for the year if you use it a lot.

Usually this product is sold in chunks although I got mine as part of a set which was on sale. My piece of soap comes in the shape of a star and is a lovely sugary pink colour. When sold in a chunk, there are other colours such as blue, yellow and purple running through the soap. I do think the larger chunks of soap are much prettier than the star shaped soap you get in the gift box.

Before even wetting the soap, you can smell how sweet it is. To me, the soap smells like a lovely chunk of sweets which is one of the reasons why I couldn’t wait to try using it. The soap contains coconut oil, rapeseed oil as well as tangerine oil amongst a range of other ingredients which is why it smells so sweet and nice. This has a very girly scent to it though so I can’t imagine too many men wanting to use it.

While using this in the shower, I was surprised at how well it lathers up. I wasn’t expecting a soap to get anywhere near as much lather as a shower gel but this one did really well. The warm, sweet scent of tangerines fills my bathroom each time I use this. The soap is very soft on the skin and the scent also clings to my skin. However, if you use any other product after this one, the scent will be overpowered but if you don’t, it will last on your skin all day.

I was also surprised to see that the soap doesn’t go down very quickly at all. I’ve been using this for a good few weeks now and the soap is barely any smaller than it was when I got it. Because of that, I think it would be fantastic value for money should it be bought in a larger chunk. I definitely want some more of this next year when it comes back into stock. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Nails Inc. Motcomb Street


A good friend bought me some new Nails Inc. nail polishes for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to use them. The first one that I got to try was the limited edition Motcomb Street. Nails Inc. polishes are pretty expensive considering they’re £11 each for a single bottle so they’re not something I would buy myself very often. However, Nailsinc.com often have them on offer at 3 for £22 which is basically 3 for 2.

This nail polish comes in the typical Nails Inc bottle which is quite small and made from glass. The lid is metallic silver and unscrews to come off. On the see through bottle is the Nails Inc. logo along with ‘limited edition’ printed below. The back of the bottle has on it the company address along with showing that there is 10ml of liquid inside. If you turn the bottle upside down, you can see the name of the nail polish on the underneath.

Motcomb Street is actually a really dark navy blue nail polish although I originally thought it was black. It wasn’t until I started painting my nails that I realised I had gotten the colour wrong. As you paint on your first coat, the colour looks like a mixture between a strange green colour and blue but don’t be put off, the second coat makes all the difference. The brush used with this nail polish is just like any other and generally takes 2-3 strokes to cover one nail which isn’t too bad.

The nail polish itself is quite thin so be careful how much you have on your brush at any one time. This isn’t too bad if you’re doing one of your bigger nails but I did my pinkie finger first and ended up with way too much. What I really love about this nail polish is how quickly it dried. Although it isn’t a quick drying product, the first coat dried in a few minutes which made it possible to do the second coat quite quickly. After the second coat, all of my nails were completely dry and not tacky at all after about 10 minutes.

This polish is also extremely easy to remove which I was glad to see. I use acetone to remove my nail polish instead of general nail polish remover which does make it a bit easier than normal. Using cotton wool pads, each nails needed one quick swipe over, removing all of the nail polish.

Although I do think this is an expensive nail polish, I love the colour and I think it will quickly become a favourite. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel


It’s only over the past year or so that I’ve gotten more into my bath products. One of the best known and most popular is Lush, a company who prides themselves in selling fresh, handmade cosmetics and bath products and I only tend to shop here during the sales after Christmas. While their products are nice, I don’t want to pay their full prices.

Last Christmas my fiancé bought me the Snow Fairy lip tint after I had tried some of my friend’s so this year, I went on a hunt for other Snow Fairy products. I managed to get hold of a 100ml bottle which cost £1.75 although full price is £3.50. Larger 200ml and 500ml bottles are also available before Christmas but these had already sold out by Boxing Day. All Snow Fairy products are limited edition and are only available around Christmas time.

== How Lush describe it ==
Our winter temptress shower hair and body gel that’s bursting with fruit fragrance and has a sparkle of ice through it.

Now we must confess, it’s a mystery to us why this one particular product should become our No1 Christmas bestseller. It’s not your classic hippy dippy Lush herbal offering. Instead it is an intensely sweet, fruity pink shower gel loved by people everywhere.

== My experience ==
I couldn’t wait to try this out on Boxing Day night after braving the shops during the day. The shower gel comes in the typical Lush shower gel bottle which is made from plastic with a black flip top cap. On the bottle is a black label which has on it the Lush logo, a ‘packed by’ sticker with a use by date along with the name of the product and a description. Although the Lush packaging is pretty much all the same in different colours, at least they match on my bathroom shelf. A good thing about the Lush bottles is that you can take the lids back to the shop to recycle.

The colour of the shower gel is a bright pink which will appeal to girls of all ages but I think this would be a lovely treat for younger girls. As soon as you open the lid, the rich and sweet smell. Although this is supposed to smell like candyfloss, I think it smells more like cheap cherryade which I love the smell of. I haven’t had a Lush shower gel before this one but when I began to pour the liquid out of the bottle, I was pleasantly surprised with how thick it was. Unlike cheaper shower gels, this one has a lovely consistency which also means you don’t need to use too much of it in one go.

As I began to pour out the shower gel onto my fluff ball thingy, the sweet smell instantly hit me again. Now, while I really love the scent of this shower gel, I think it may be too sweet for some people. While this is in the bottle, it has tiny flecks of glitter mixed in but once out of the bottle, it seems to disappear which was a bit disappointing. You only need a small amount of Snow Fairy and it lathers up really quickly. The shower gel feels very luxurious and thick on the skin and feels wonderful to use in the shower. It feels extremely soft and smooth on my skin and the scent fills the bathroom for ages.

My only real big disappointment with this shower gel is that the scent doesn’t last very long on the skin. I wish it lasted longer as I think this would make it better value for money. I wouldn’t pay the full price of £3.50 for a 100ml bottle but I will definitely be looking for it in the Christmas sales every year.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Disney Mike Soft Toy


After being bought the Sulley soft toy by my fiancé a, I desperately wanted Mike Wazowski to go with him. Sulley looked lonely sat on top of one of my chests of drawers and needed his best friend to keep him company. Luckily, I got bought the Disney Mike Soft Toy for Christmas.

Mike is a small, green, one eyed monster. The material used for this soft toy is polyester and a bright lime green colour. Next to Sulley who is blue and purple, they make a well matched pair. This soft toy also has a partial bean bag filling in the bottom of his belly. The most striking feature about Mike is his one, big bulging eye which is made from a deep green with gold stitching. He also has grey horns on either side of his head and his claws on feet and hands match. Mike is roughly H34 x W36cm in size although he does also sit down which makes him smaller (About H23cm).

At full price, this soft toy costs £18 although he is in the sale quite a lot for £10. At either price, I think he is worth the money. Mike is soft and very cuddly, although he doesn’t look like he should be. The material he is made from is very smooth and his long dangly arms and legs make him perfect for kids to drag around. He also makes a great addition to your collection if you have other Monsters, Inc. characters like Sulley or the Yeti (which I really want now). This soft toy is also of a decent size, although not as big as some of the others which cost the same.

Somehow, I love Mike much more than I do Sulley. I think this is mostly down to the fact that he is better to cuddle and is just a nicer looking soft toy generally. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Disney Sulley Soft Toy


I really love my Disney soft toys and a while back, my boyfriend bought me Sulley from Monsters, Inc. This is one of my favourite Disney films so it was a nice surprise to get a character that I already loved so much.

Sulley, at full price is £18 although The Disney Store, both in shopping centers and online, often have sales on where you can get him for £10 instead so this is worth looking out for. I think £18 is a reasonable price though for this soft toy and I would have happily paid it myself. Sulley measures 31cm in height and roughly 26cm in width which is why I think the price is so reasonable. There are smaller soft toys available for the same price so with Sulley, you’re getting quite a large soft toy for a very good price.

Sulley looks exactly like he does in the film. His fur is bright blue with purple spots and is really soft. However, it feels as though some of the inside of Sulley is made out of something a bit harder than other Disney soft toys as he isn’t quite as cuddly as others I have such as Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear. Sulley also has brown claws on both his hands and feet and purple horns on either side of his head. This soft toy also comes with a huge smile on his face which is something I think children will like.

Although I do love my Sulley, I don’t quite love him as much as some other Disney soft toys that I have. For children especially, he isn’t the kind of soft toy that you can cuddle up with in bed so this is why he isn’t a five star toy for me. I still need to get a Mike to go with Sulley which might be something to buy in the Christmas sales. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Disney Lots O Huggin Bear Soft Toy


My absolute favourite Disney soft toy that I own is Lots O Huggin Bear from Toy Story 3. Again, he was a gift from my boyfriend and one of the first things he ever bought me. There hasn’t been a day while I’m at university that I haven’t slept with Lots O in my bed at night. You will understand why later in this review.

Lots O Huggin Bear is slightly more expensive than other Disney soft toys and is usually priced at £22. However, there is a bigger version of this soft toy which I recently bought for something else and that one costs £40 (although I got mine half price in a sale). Lots O is 34cm in height and 35cm in width which does also make him slightly bigger than other soft toys which I guess is why he is a little more expensive.

Lots O is a lovely raspberry pink colour and his fur is extremely soft. The pads of his paws and feet are an off-white colour. He also has a large white mouth with a large raspberry coloured nose. One of Lots O’s eyebrows is slightly arched which makes him look a little bit evil. However, as evil as he looks, I cannot help but love him. He is so cuddly and warm and kids will be able to pull him around all over the place.

Lots O Huggin Bear is slightly more special than other Disney toys. The reason being, he smells like strawberries. The scent is really fake but it does smell wonderful and that’s the reason I like having him in bed with with. He’s so cosy to cuddle up with and I love having the smell of strawberries next to me as I fall to sleep.

This is a great soft toy from Disney and I am yet to find one I love anywhere near to how much I love this one. Highly recommended for both kids and adults! 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Wilko Smoothie Blackcurrant Fruity Shower Gel


I love my baths and showers so having a range of products in the house is a must for me. A new range that I have recently been introduced to is the Wilko range of bath and shower products. The item I will be reviewing here is the Wilko Fruity Shower Smoothie Blackcurrant.
This product is currently on offer with the rest of this range from Wilkos. Each item costs only £1 although at the minute, you can buy any two products for £1.50, which is why I treat myself and bought a couple of different things.
This shower smoothie comes in a squeezy plastic tube which is larger at the top than it is at the bottom where the black flip top cap is. The tube is partly see through, so that you are able to see the contents inside but there is also a large purple printed on label which explains the product. This part of the packaging says what the product is called, along with FRUITY written in large letters down the side. There is also a description of the product which is; Scrub up in your shower for glowingly clean skin with a blackcurrant and blackberry scent. The tube is bright and eye catching which is why I noticed this range in the first place.
Upon opening the tube for the first time, there isn’t really much of a smell. You can see inside the tube that the product is a light purple colour with added bits which makes it more like a scrub than anything else. Once you begin to squeeze the product out though, you can definitely smell the blackcurrants. I use this with one of those round puff ball things and it does lather up quite well although not as much as a regular shower gel. I think this is due to the scrub like feel. When in the shower and the product gets warm, it smells extremely sweet but not to the point where I think it is sickly. I really like the smell of this in the shower and using it is lovely.
So the smell and texture of this smoothie are great and I can feel it working well on my skin each time I use it. While it doesn’t necessarily moisturise too much, the scub part of this makes me skin much softer than it is with a regular shower gel. I feel as though it removes any dead skin really well which you wouldn’t get with a shower gel. With this though, it works as both a scrub and a shower gel so for me it is great value for money. It’s really like getting a 2 in 1. So far this has been my favourite of the Wilko range but I also can’t wait to try out some of the other products as there are so many.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Dove Silk Dry Aerosol Deodorant


When it comes to buying deodorants, I never know where to start. With so much on offer, there is always too much choice especially when you can’t remember which ones are good and which ones are rubbish. So, generally I tend to go with whatever is on offer at the time, much the same as I do with most other products. Dove Silk Dry Aerosol Deodorant was on offer for £1 when I bought it from Wilkinson.
The packaging for this product is quite bland and definitely doesn’t stand out on the shelf. The canister is mostly white, with the Dove logo on in blue and the product name on in gold. The cap to the canister is also in gold which matches some of the other text. While it isn’t overly feminine, it isn’t a masculine canister either but I found it to be really boring looking. Nothing about it stands out for me and I wouldn’t even go as far as to say that it looks remotely nice. Again, I bought it because of the price.
Dove Silk Dry claims to give 48 hour protection while improving the look and feel of underarm skin while gently taking care of skin after shaving. All of this information can be found on the back of the canister. The canister also gives directions for use which are: shake well and hold can 15cm away from the body then spray. Use in short bursts in a well-ventilated area. Obviously, anyone who has ever used a can like this will already know what to do but I guess they have to put it anyway.
So on first use, I was expecting this to be a pretty good product due to it coming from Dove. I sprayed the deodorant in the air first to check out the smell which was actually very pleasant. There isn’t too much of a scent to this deodorant but it does smell clean and fresh. So far so good. When using on my underarms, this is where the product doesn’t do so well. The first couple of times, I didn’t notice anything wrong particularly apart from the 48 hour protection definitely not standing true to its claim. This doesn’t even last 24 hours let alone 48. Anyway, I used this on a normal day and went to uni then came home. Same thing the next day but with work. The third day though, I had on a black vest top while I sprayed this and then I noticed when I took it off that it was covered in white powder. If I had been wearing something nicer than a vest top, I would have been extremely annoyed.
Deodorants should not leave white marks and because of this, I won’t be using this one again.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wilko Blackcurrant Juicy Fruity Foam Bath


To go with my blackcurrant body smoothie, I bought the Wilko Blackcurrant Juicy Fruity Foam Bath. I do like products that match and the current offer on these makes it easy to buy more than one thing of the same scent. As this is a Wilko product, it is only available to buy online or in store. Currently, everything in this range costs £1 or you can buy two products for £1.50.
This bubble bath comes in a plastic bottle which holds 500ml of liquid. The bottle is made out of plastic and is mostly transparent. The main part of the bottle has on it a purple label which matches is a bit lighter than the colour of the product inside. On the label is gives the name of the product with FRUITY written down the side in large letters. The label also gives a description of the product which is; this’ll be your pick for a rich, fruity, invigorating soak. I think the descriptions on these products make them sound much more tempting than if it weren’t there. The top of the bottle has a black screw and flip top lid which is how you dispense the product. The bottle is nice and bright which makes it stand out on the shelf.
The smell is very sweet but I love it so I don’t mind that at all. To use this product, you need to flip open the lid and squeeze the bottle underneath hot running water. Unlike the smoothie version of this scent, once you open the bottle you can immediately smell the blackcurrant. Once the bubble bath hits the water, it fills the bathroom with a lovely blackcurrant smell. The hot water makes the smell even nicer than it is in the bottle. The bubbles begin to form as soon as the liquid hits the water. You don’t need to use much to make some bubbles but I like the bath to be completely filled so I tend to use more of this than I really need to.
While this bubble bath doesn’t moisturise the skin, it does make a bath a lot more relaxing. Due to the smell and feel of the bubbles, I can easily lay in a bath after using this product for an hour, occasionally topping up the hot water. The scent from this bubble bath stays in the bathroom for quite some time after my bath has finished which was a nice extra touch. As you can see, I love this bubble bath!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter


As a lover of body butters from the Body Shop, I couldn’t help myself when they had a sale. I bought two for myself and one for my fiancé. As well as buying raspberry scented body butter, I also bought the Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter. At regular price, a 200ml tub will set you back a whopping £13 although I bought mine for £4.55 which is a complete steal in comparison to the full price.
The body butter comes in a round plastic tub which is a rich, dark purple colour. The tub has a screw top lid on which is pictures of raspberries as well as the name of the product and the body shop logo. The tubs for these body butters are they are normally quite bright and they are easy to get in to, which makes me like them more than the packaging for most beauty products. The tubs are large and are nearly full to the brim with the product. I think that these tubs also stand out and you know when you see one that it is a Body Shop body butter that is inside.
After unscrewing the lid, you can see that the thick cream inside is a lovely light lilac colour. The colour goes really well with the colour of the packaging with them both being a shade or purple. The smell of this body butter is very sweet and in my opinion, not exactly a true replica of passion fruit. Most other body butters do smell exactly like the fruit they are supposed to smell like but not this one. However, I don’t mind that too much as the smell is still really nice. It is very sweet though so it may end up being a bit too sweet smelling for some.
What I really love about Body Shop body butters is how well they work. The cream is so thick and it soaks into skin easily. I only need to use a little bit to cover my calves, which I use this on mostly and it is easily absorbed. I don’t need to spend ages rubbing it into my skin which is nice. I don’t like wasting a lot of time on doing things like moisturising. The smell and soft feel of my skin lasts the whole day after using this product which is another thing I love about it. I don’t have to worry about my skin getting dry throughout the day and I also smell lovely at the same time.
I wouldn’t pay full price for this particular scent of body butter but it is still a great moisturiser.

You can buy this product here.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Models Own Nail Polish - Grey Day


After the bad results of the Aqua Violet version of Models Own nail polishes, I still wanted to try the other colours I had bought. This time, I tried Grey Day, which I bought because it was different to any other colour I owned and I’m really liking the office kind of colours that nail polishes are available in now. Models Own products are available in either most Boots stores or online from their website which is www.modelsownit.com. This nail polish cost me £5 although it is available in an offer at the minute online for buy 3 save £3 or buy 5 save £7 (from the brands own website). I wish there had been an offer on these nail polishes in Boots when I first bought them as I paid full price for them all, something I wish I hadn’t done now.
The nail polish comes in the standard Models Own nail polish bottle, which is made from glass. The bottle is clear with the Models Own logo on the front in white text. On the back is the company address and website information while the name of the nail polish is on the bottom of the bottle. The lid is white which matches the text on the front of the bottle. The bottles are very plain but it does make it possible to see the colour inside and it will match any other Models Own nail polishes that you may have.
Once you unscrew the lid and pull out the brush, you will see that it is not much different than any other nail polish brush apart from it is slightly longer. The thickness of the brush is nice and it looks like it would cover the nail easily. The liquid is quite thin on the brush but the colour is really visible. The polish does go on the nail easily although I needed two quite thick coats with this one which took a while to dry between coats. Two coats I don’t mind doing but I do wish that the polish had dried a little easier. The grey colour is lovely and does look quite a professional colour in comparison to having something like a pink or a blue.
Grey Day had a much better finish than the Beetlejuice nail polish I tried before this one. The finish was lovely and smooth, with a matt finish. There was also no air bubbles in the polish which is an effect I experienced with the previous colour. This colour also lasted a little longer and only began to chip after about 4 days. I really liked this colour and because it was a lot better than the other colour I tried, I would happily buy Models Own polishes again, just not from the Beetlejuice range.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Wilko Vanilla Scented Tealights


I’m a massive lover of candles, especially those which are vanilla scented. However, I hate paying a lot for candles so Wilkinson is always my first choice for stocking up. The product in question for this review is Wilko Vanilla Scented Tealights. As this is a Wilko product, you will only be able to find it in store or online.
For only £1.50 (or £1.75 if they’re full price) you can buy 30 vanilla scented tealight candles. The candles come in a clear plastic bag, with a grey swirly printed label on the front. On the printed label is the Wilko logo, the name of the product along with how many candles you get and it also states how long the candles burn for, which is 3.5 hours. The packaging is extremely plain but seeing as you will take the candles out of the bag anyway, I don’t think that this matters too much.
The candles themselves are housed in a round metal casing. The casing holds the wax safely and strongly, without the wax being able to move inside. The wax is white in colour, due to the candle being vanilla scented and has a small white wick in the middle. These candles are very much like any other tealight candle that you can find from other shops.
Although the packaging states that each candle will burn for roughly 3.5 hours, I haven’t found this to be true. At most, you will get about 2.5 hours out of each candle. If you’re like me and have quite a few candles burning at any one time, you will be able to go through a bag of 30 tealights quite quickly. When burning, the candles do smell very nice although not too strongly. There could be more of the vanilla scent but then what can you really expect for £1.50. You can smell the vanilla while the candle is burning although not very much.
These candles are good value for money and although they don’t burn for too long or smell very strongly, they would be a nice addition to bigger candles with the same scent.
You can buy these online here!

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Blog Giveaway!

I've been a book blogger (if you're interested in that kind of thing, you can find also find me at (http://pageafterpagereviews.blogspot.co.uk/) for roughly 3 years now and I thought it was about time I made a more personal blog which could also be used for reviewing other products I enjoy as well as places, restaurants and hotels etc. I've been reviewing for a few other websites for years now and for some reason, I never even thought to blog those reviews!

To celebrate the new blog, I wanted to have a bit of a giveaway and to show people the kinds of reviews you're likely to find over here. This is what I'll be giving away!  



Accessorize Stace Clutch Bag (RRP £16.00)
Be Enchanted You Shall Go To The Ball - The Key To Colour Beauty Palette (RRP £12.00)
Accessorize 'Amore' Necklace (RRP £10.00)
Accessorize charm bracelet (RRP £12.00)



This giveaway is international due to the items only being light. The giveaway will run until 4th February at midnight and the winner will be chosen at random soon after. The winner has a week to reply, after which time a different winner will be chosen and notified. 

Best of luck!



Models Own Nail Polish - Disco Mix


Another of the Models Own nail polish which I purchased not too long ago is from their range of glitter polishes and called Disco Mix. As well as having a range of matt polishes and others that are a bit different, I love a good glitter nail polish. I think they stand out extremely well and look fantastic for nights out. Models Own products are available in either most Boots stores or online from their website which is www.modelsownit.com. Although I got my nail polishes from Boots, the website does have regular offers on so it is worth checking out.
The nail polish comes in the usual Models Own nail polish bottle, which is round and made from glass. The bottle is clear with the Models Own logo on the front in white text while on the back is the company address and website information. On the bottom of the bottle you can find the name of the nail polish. The lid is white which matches the text on the front of the bottle. The bottles are very plain but it does make it possible to see the colour inside and it will match any other Models Own nail polishes that you may have.
After unscrewing the lid and pulled up the brush, I could see it was quite long although not much different than any other nail polish brush. As this is a glitter nail polish, the liquid did not look the same as it did in the bottle. Glitter nail polishes generally need a good few coats to get the desired colour, especially if you want it to look like it does in the bottle. However, with glitter nail polishes, I always put on a coloured coat underneath as it tends to make the glitter stand out more. I had never thought about doing this before but the guy who used to do my nails told me about the trick and showed me how well it worked. The size of the brush meant that the polish was easy to apply and it coated my nails well.
As I already had on a purple undercoat, the glitter looked quite effective after only one coat. I did put on another one though just to make my nails super glittery but one coat would have been enough. However, if you do not use a colour base coat like I do, you will be looking at having to do at least 3 coats of this nail polish to make your nails very glittery. With glitter polishes too, I always use a clear top coat. This nail polish especially felt quite rough on the surface and a top coat fixed this problem for me. I love the colour and think it’s fab for nights out. I would happily buy from the glitter range again.
My only problem with this product is how hard it is to get off. Normal nail polish will make hard work of removing the polish. I would strongly advise buying a bottle of Acetone instead. This kind of thing is used for removing tips and acrylic nails so it makes removing this kind of nail polish much easier.
This particular colour is worth the £5 I paid for it!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Vapiano Great Portland Street, London

While in Finland, my sister and I had found this amazing restaurant called Vapiano and ever since I found out there were two branches in London, I was desperate to go back. Unfortunately though, it took me a year and a half to make the trip to London and to find the restaurant. 

Finding the restaurant

The branch I visited is located at 19-21 Great Portland Street which is just behind Top Shop on Oxford Street. Due to the location, it can easily be found after getting off the tube at Oxford Circus. I say easily but this wasn’t so true for me. I had read the map wrong on the website and not even looked at the actual printed address and I thought the restaurant was on the street next to where it actually is. Needless to say, I was disappointed when I went to find it and it wasn’t there. My flatmate and I (who I was in London with) decided to eat at Strada instead, only to finish our meal there, turn the corner and see Vapiano looking right at us. At least we had another day in London so we could go back. 

How the restaurant works

As you enter the restaurant, someone at the front desk will greet you and then hand you a credit card style card and explain that this is what you use to order your food with. The restaurant is set into different sections and as you go up to the station you wish to order from, you hand over your card and someone behind that counter will scan in whatever it is you have ordered. This is a really good thing for people who like to order separately or order different kinds of food. At each station, when you order, the food is then cooked there and then right in front of you. However, if you order pizza, you will be given a buzzer so you can go back and collect the food when it’s ready.
At the end of your meal, you take the card back to the front desk where they scan it and give you your final meal price. Everything apart from how much a drink will cost is clearly priced on the menus so you pretty much know what you are going to spend anyway. There are paper take-away style menus at the front desk in the restaurant or there are menus are each different cooking station. 

My experience

As my friend had not been to a Vapiano restaurant before, I explained to her how it worked. I already knew what I wanted to eat and we decided to split two dishes so we could have the best of both worlds – pizza as well as pasta. Kate went off to order our piz-za while I went to the pasta station.
At the pasta station, first you must decide which kind of pasta you would like. The choices were Pappardelle, Spaghetti, Penne, Linguine, Conchiglie, Campanelle, Fusilli, Tagliatelle, Ravioli, Spelt Spaghetti and Spelt Fusilli. Both Kate and I always have penne pasta so this was an easy choice for me. Once you have decided this, then you choose what kind of sauce etc. you would like. The menu is split into four different price categories with everything in A costing £6.75, B £7.75, C £8.75 and D cost £9.75. As you can see, the prices vary depending on what is in the pasta and D costs more because there are dishes with seafood items and expensive meat. Carbonara (menu B) was our choice so this cost us £7.75,
After telling the chef what you want and scanning your card, he took a little bag of pasta out from behind him which had obviously been weighed out earlier in the day. In this branch, you can actually see people making the pasta fresh and then bagging it up which was something I didn’t get to see in Helsinki. Next, he added oil into a wok and threw in a lot of chopped up ham for a few minutes, letting it cook. While this was cooking, he added the pasta into the cooker beside him so it would be ready when the sauce was. Next, I was asked if I wanted garlic which I did but at this point, I also said I didn’t want onions in my meal so he left them out. The garlic smell mixed with the ham was amazing and I couldn’t wait for my pasta to be ready. Next he added in some white wine and the carbonara sauce along with an egg yolk and began to mix it all together. This only took a couple of minutes and then the pasta was added, letting it mix together. Once the pasta was placed in a dish, basil and ground black pepper, along with cheese was added to the top. The basil was pulled directly from a plant in front of the chef which I thought was a great thing to do, instead of it being from a tub.
Carbonara is my favourite of pasta and my flatmate’s too so we were both excited to eat this amazing dish. Kate was extremely impressed and now understands why I wanted to go back to Vapiano so mucj. The sauce was rich and creamy but mixed with the parmesan and black pepper, it had a bit of a kick to it at times too. The pasta was soft and the portion was very reasonable for the price. Each of us had a bottle of coke with our meal, which came in a glass bottle instead of plastic and cost us £2.25 each which I don’t think is bad, especially in London.
We had nearly finished eating our pasta when the buzzer went off and the pizza Kate had ordered was ready. This was perfect timing and such a good idea if you are sharing meals. Again, the pizza menu is set up into four sections with the same prices as pasta. We only had a margherita so this cost us £6.75. The pizza comes on a thin and crispy base with the normal tomato based sauce and then loaded with cheese. The pizza was lovely but nowhere near as nice as the pasta but it was nice to be able to eat two different meals without being bored of just one thing. I know I would have struggled to eat either a whole pizza or a whole pasta dish to myself.
The restaurant has a very contemporary feel and look to it with the tables being high and surrounded by stools. There are fresh herb plants in the middle of each table and in this branch, a massive tree at the front of the restaurant. The herbs are mostly grown in the restaurants themselves so you know how fresh they are. I like that you can see the chefs working and watch them make your meal for you and with the pasta section, a dish only takes a maximum of 5 minutes to cook. The chefs were also extremely friendly and didn’t mind if you wanted certain items not cooked in your meal. The front desk staff were also very friendly and had big smiles on their faces. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this restau-rant and I couldn’t have asked for better service. Vapiano on Great Portland Street is just as good as the branch in Helsinki and I would happily go again!
Find out more at www.vapiano.com

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Travelodge London Central Kings Cross Royal Scot, London


Due to going to London with my flatmate, we knew we wanted to stay somewhere tried and tested – somewhere where we would know what we was going to get. This is why we picked to stay in a Travelodge. Although not the best hotels in the world, they are clean and the beds aren’t too uncomfortable. The Travelodge branch in question is the Kings Cross Royal Scot. 

Location

As you can probably tell from the name of the hotel, it is located close to Kings Cross station. Unless you know London and this area really well, I would advise printing a map from the Travelodge website although the hotel is easy enough to find. This Travelodge is only a quick 5 minute walk away from the train station. Exit the station at Pentonville Road and carry on walking down that street until you see a turn for Kings Cross Road and keep following that down until you see the Travelodge which will end up straight in front of you. 

My experience

We booked this hotel way back in the summer and it only cost £40 for a twin room for the night. I have stayed in some terrible hotels in London for more than this so I thought the price was great. I booked through the Travelodge website instead of any other hotel booking sites. The website explains what time check in/ out is and what amenities the hotel has.
As I have said, the hotel was extremely easy to find which is a huge plus for me. First impressions of the hotel were quite good. The front of the building is nice and clean with large glass windows showing the inside of the hotel which consists of lobby and bar/ restaurant. At the time we arrived, the lobby was full of a (what looked like) school trip of foreign students but we had no problems checking in easily and without any hassle. However, check in isn’t until 3pm and we arrived in London at 11am. This meant having to cart a bag around the city for a few hours before being able to check in. Due to this reason, we only took the bare minimum with us so we didn’t have to carry too much around. You can pay more to have a later check in but not earlier, which I would have been happy to pay for.
After checking in, we headed up to our second floor room. The hotel does have lifts in case you have a lot of luggage but there is a decent walk to your hotel room. We had to follow a really long and windy corridor around until eventually finding room 241 which seemed to take forever to get to. All rooms have electronic key cards so entering was very simple – we just put the card in the door and the little green ‘open’ light popped on and unlocked the door. The room was pretty much what I had expected it to be although nowhere near as nice as the lobby and bar. The Travelodge website shows rooms with modern furniture whereas our room had furniture which looked quite old and worn. We didn’t mind this too much as we were literally only sleeping there for one night and going out early the next day.
The twin bedroom comprised of two single beds which shared a bedside table with one drawer. Each bed has a light and switches next to it. The room also has a large desk with mirror behind which had on it a TV and a kettle with tray of teas and coffees. Next to the desk was a chest although it seemed to be used more for a seat than anything else. There is also a large wardrobe in the room next to the door which had hangers and extra pillows inside. The room was spacious and nice enough and was generally your average cheap hotel room. The window in the room was lovely and big though which let in a lot of light. The curtains were nice and thick though so it blacked everything out when we were ready to sleep. I was glad to see a working radiator in the room which we made full use of!
The bathroom is really what lets this room down so much as it was so small! Inside the bathroom is a sink with mirror behind, toilet and bath/ shower. There was barely any room to stand in the bathroom so taking pictures of it was extremely difficult. As long as I could have a shower in the morning though I thought it would be ok. Unfortunately, the shower was rubbish! The water pressure was terrible and being someone with very long hair, it took me a long time to rinse both shampoo and conditioner out of it. The water came out in the slowest trickle which I was very disappointed with. The bathroom also does not have an extractor fan nor a window so it gets very steamed up in there quickly.
Even though this hotel room did have some problems, I had a wonderful night sleep! The second floor of the hotel was quiet and we weren’t disturbed at all by others staying here. The beds were extremely comfortable and it didn’t take me long to get to sleep and stay asleep until my alarm went off. I can’t actually remember a night where I didn’t wake up at least once apart from when I stayed here. Staff at the hotel were friendly although we barely had any interaction with them. A lovely girl at the front desk quickly gave us our key cards upon checking and in explained that to check out we only needed to deposit the card into a box. Because of this, I cannot really comment too much on the staff’s competency because we didn’t need to talk to anyone! 

Overall

The Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot isn’t the best hotel but you do get what you pay for along with a decent night sleep. I would stay here again if I paid the same £20 a night per person because you won’t get much else for that price in London!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A pretty good day


Today has been a pretty exciting day considering I haven’t left the house! Being in my last year of university, I don’t have long left living in Nottingham before I move to Norfolk to live with my fiancé. Something I wish I had done more of while I have lived in Nottingham is making the most of the theatres here and going to see more. So far, I’ve only been to see Romeo and Juliet last year. I’ve also never been to see a ballet and have always wanted to. The fiancé and I aren’t getting to see each other on Valentine’s Day and instead have to wait until the week after. When I saw that the Moscow City Ballet are performing Swan Lake here, I was desperate to go and today I finally remembered to book tickets. They aren’t the best tickets because I left it too late but still – ballet tickets!!


Not only did I book John and I ballet tickets, I also booked and paid for our wedding extras. The company we’re planning our wedding through is so helpful and straightforward which makes adding anything else we needed super simple. I thought getting married in Florida worried me slightly to begin with, thinking that everything would be so hard to organise but it has actually been super easy. Today I booked and paid for our town car, someone to come and do my hair and make-up as well as our photos. Now all we need to do is finish paying for the holiday, get our spending money together and buy our Disney and Universal park tickets. The wedding is just under 10 months away now and I can’t wait. 2013 is going to be a great year. 

Not over the top but still lovely!

Beautiful setting for a wedding. 

Fortune Theatre, Covent Garden, London


On my recent trip to London, my flatmate and I went to see The Woman in Black which now has its home at the Fortune Theatre. I haven’t been to that many shows in London so my experience of theatres here is a bit limited. 

Location

The Fortune Theatre is located on Russell Street in Covent Garden. The easiest way to get to the theatre is to get the tube to the Covent Garden stop and take a quick walk through the shops. There are maps all around Covent Garden so you will be able to follow these easily in order to find the theatre. The theatre is also a short walk away from the Holborn stop on the tube. The theatre is in a lovely area, very close to the theatre playing Shrek at the minute.
Russell Street, 
Covent Garden
London, 
WC2B 5HH

Appearances

As I said, The Fortune Theatre is very close to the theatre which plays Shrek. This theatre is quite grand looking with an amazing and impressive looking entrance. The Fortune Theatre does not have this. On first appearances, the theatre looks quite run down in comparison to others in the West End and honestly, looked like a complete dive. Outside the theatre are small banners hung on the walls advertising The Woman in Black along with some quotes from reviews. The name of the theatre is also on the banners on the walls in red which stands out compared to all of the black there is surrounding it. The outside of the theatre is very plain looking compared with others and if I hadn’t had tickets already, I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at it. 

Inside

As soon as you enter the theatre, the box office is on your right hand side. The box office is tiny and no one was working there when a member of staff opened the front doors for us. To the right are the different entrances to seating areas. As we had seats in the stalls, we were shown down a small set of stairs which seemed safe although they were extremely creaky and old sounding. In the waiting area for the stalls is a bar a small shop selling programs and sweets and further along, the toilets. The bar was small and only sold a limited selection of drinks which I did not buy.
The toilets were the worst part of the theatre for me. The ladies toilets are accessible through a door and then again, down a couple of stairs. I have no idea whether or not the theatre is accessible for wheelchair users on other levels but these toilets would not be ok for disabled ladies. Inside the toilet area, there is one sink and about enough space for one person to stand. If there is a queue, which there was, people have to stand up the steps and outside of the door, where there is not much extra space for people waiting. There are only two cubicles in the toilets and those were extremely small. Both my flatmate and I struggled to even get in the cubicle let alone move around a little bit in it. I know the theatre is quite old, as it opened in 1924, but I think it is in desperate need of some improvements. 

The theatre

Inside the theatre was much larger than I had expected it to be after experiencing the toilets. The stalls area was large and although we were in front row seats, it did not feel cramped at all due to adequate chair space. Above the stalls is the dress circle and even higher up is the upper circle. However, it is one of the smaller theatres in the West End only having roughly 400 seats. I didn’t mind this though. As we were seeing The Woman in Black, I think the smaller theatre made it more intimate and scary due to spaces being more confined than in other theatres. The seats were very comfortable and had plenty of leg room which isn’t something you normally get when going to see a show or a play. I had bags of shopping with me and I could still spread my legs a little bit.
The stage is, again, smaller than most. There were only two different kinds of scenery on the stage during the play, one being hidden for the most part by a curtain. However, the play did not need a large stage with lots of fancy props so I don’t see this as a disadvantage. Some aspects of the stage and surrounding area did look as though it needed having some work done to it but considering the play again, this only made it more atmospheric. I’m not sure the theatre could cope with a more modern or bigger staging though. 

Overall

The Fortune Theatre is old and a bit worn out and could do with a bit of an overhaul. However, for the play we went to see, it was perfect. My only wish is that the toilets hadn’t been so bad!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Models Own Nail Polish - Aqua Violet Beetlejuice


I decided it was about time I tried some new nail polishes. I usually stick to Rimmel’s 60 second range or anything by Barry M. However, many of my friends use Models Own nail polishes and have been telling me how good they are. Models Own products are available in either most Boots stores or online from their website which is www.modelsownit.com. Although I got my nail polishes from Boots, the website does have offers on regarding pricing.
I decided to splash out and treat myself to quite a few nail polishes so expect a few reviews about the different colours I bought. The nail polish in question for this review though is Aqua Violet which comes from the Beetlejuice range of polishes. Models Own separates their polishes into different ranges although I didn’t know this until I looked at the website. The Beetlejuice range is described as ‘Duo-chrome shades in a range of hues’. I bought this colour because it was a lovely shade of purple and blue mixed together.
The nail polish comes in a clear nail polish bottle with a white lid. The glass bottle also has on it the Models Own logo in white text which matches the lid. The packaging is quite plain looking although this does make it possible to easily see the colour of the nail polish inside. The back of the bottle gives website information as well as the company address while on the bottom of the bottle is a sticker stating what colour you are buying. Also, as each Models Own bottle looks the same, they will all match if you have a large range of their products.
After unscrewing the lid and pulled up the brush, I could see it was quite long although not much different than any other nail polish brush. The liquid on the brush didn’t look very thick though so it didn’t give me much of a good feeling before starting to paint my nails. The polish goes on the nails easily but as the liquid is thin, it took a couple of coats for my nails to look anything like the colour in the bottle. I would have liked to have been able to achieve this colour in 1 or 2 coats, rather than 3 especially as I’m used to the 60 second nail polishes. This nail polish takes a fair amount of time to dry so doing 3 coats takes up a lot of my time.
As well as taking a long time to paint my nails, the finish was also not great. The nail polish doesn’t go on very smoothly and I ended up with plenty of air bubbles. The colour began to chip after only three days which is another thing I am not used to experiencing with other nail polishes. This nail polish cost £5 and I don’t think that is worth it for the end result. However, as this is a polish mixed with different colours, I wondered whether or not this would happen with the other colours I bought. That you can find out in later reviews of Models Own nail polishes.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Paperchase Book Journal


My sister knows what I’m like when it comes to lists and being organised as well as understanding my love of books. What better Christmas present to get me than a book journal? Also, she knows I love Paperchase and pretty much anything that comes from there.

This book journal is the perfect thing for bloggers and book reviewers of any kind really. The journal is quite nice in size, measuring 210mm x 120mm x 15mm, which makes it easy to fit in most handbags regardless of their size. My handbag is pretty large so it obviously fits in really easily. The journal is covered in grey photos of stacked up books, which flows from the front cover to the back. The front also has on it ‘Book Journal’ in large letters surrounded by a white box with black edges. The spine of the book is light blue which matches the bookmark inside. A light blue elastic band is also attached making it possible to close the book nicely.

Inside the journal are different sections. There are pages at the front for book reviews, having sections for the title of the book, the author and quite a large amount of lined paper for any notes you want to make. This section takes up roughly the first half of the journal. After that, pages alternate between ‘books to read’ and ‘books borrowed/ lent’. The ‘books to read’ pages only have the heading at the top with the rest of the page being lined while the ‘borrowed/lent’ pages are lines with a line running down the middle of the page. The pages give you plenty of space to write even though it is quite thin in width compared to say, a normal note book.

I’m always reading on the go and although I try to write my reviews soon after finishing a book, I don’t always get the chance. This journal is perfect for me as it means I can write down anything important I want to remember to put in my reviews.

Full price, this costs £6.75 although it is currently on sale for £4.50 and can be found online and in Paperchase shops. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Wilko Minty Shower Cream


I have really begun to love trying out Wilkos own brand of bath and shower products, especially because they’re still on offer. My next product up for review is the Wilko Minty Shower Cream. When buying these products, I’ve just been picking up something randomly that I haven’t tried yet although I have not been a big fan of other mint scented products in the past.
As this is a Wilko product, you will only find it in stores or online. Current price of the shower cream is £1 although the whole range is on offer for 2 for £1.50, meaning you save 50p if you buy two products together. For this price, you will get a tube of shower gel, containing 250ml which I think is fantastic value for money. The shower gel comes in a plastic tube/ bottle, which stands upright on the flip top cap at the bottom. The tube is covered with a green printed on label, which gives the product information and description along with pictures of mint leaves and slices of cucumber. Just underneath the printed label you are able to see the mid-green colour of the shower cream.
The cap at the bottom of the tube is quite stiff which makes it a bit hard to pop open. This isn’t the best idea for when you’re in the shower and already have wet hands. I tend to leave the cap slightly open all of the time now without clicking it back shut after every use. The shower cream squeezes out of the tube easily enough and it comes out in thick amounts so not too much at any time. The colour of the shower cream is green, to go with the minty scent, but it is neither lime green nor dark green – somewhere in the middle.
As soon as the shower cream hits my fluff ball, I can smell the mint which is lovely and refreshing. The cream lathers up really well and I only need a little bit each time I use this product. As you don’t need to use much, the 250ml tube lasts quite a long time, especially if you are the only one using it. The shower cream feels nice on my skin while in the shower although no better or worse than other bath products I have used before. However, I do love the smell of this while in the shower and I think it helps to wake me up in the mornings.
Up to now, this is one of my favourites from the Wilko range and I really didn’t think I would like the minty scent as much as I do. Now I want the other minty products available!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Boots No7 Smooth Base Coat


No 7 is one of those brands that I sometimes forget about, especially for nail polishes. However, due to wearing either bright or dark colours on my nails quite a lot, I thought it was about time I got a good base coat polish to stop the colours staining my nails. I bought Boots No7 Smooth Base Coat from my local Boots store for £5.50 but you can also use 550 Boots points to buy this product as well.
The clear nail polish comes in a small glass bottle which holds 10ml of nail polish. The lid screws off to show the little brush which you then use for applying the polish to your nails. For some reason, I quite like the No 7 nail polish bottles even though they are quite plain and not much different to any other brands.
The nail polish is easy to apply and you can either use this on its own or then paint another colour on top of it. The brush is thick enough so that it only takes two or three coats to cover your whole nail. The smell of the polish is the same as any other, with a slight chemical smell to it but it isn’t that bad at all and it isn’t overpowering. The polish does dry quite quickly compared with other nail polishes I have bought in the past and I have found that my whole nail is dry in only a couple of minutes.
What I like about this base coat is that while it looks nice on its own, it is also good for other things. If you are using this as a base coat to another colour, it gives your nails a smooth finish which makes it easier and smoother to apply the other colour. I actually think that applying nail polish is a lot easier once you have a base coat in place compared with not having one at all.
Removing the nail polish is quite easy too. Sometimes when using dark colours, it takes me ages to get rid of all of the colour but when using this base coat, I find that there is no scrubbing needed. The dark colour on top comes off easily and my nails look perfectly clean afterwards, which is the benefit of using a base coat.
I really like this base coat and I would definitely buy it again, as well as some other No 7 nail polishes.