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.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish - Coral Crush

When I did an order with Fragrance Direct, one of the nail polishes I bought was a Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish in Coral Crush which is a lovely orange/ peach kind of shade. I have a lot of summer clothes with this kind of colour in it which is mainly why I picked it in the first place. I do like to match my nails to clothes when I can even though that isn't all the time. 

One Coat
Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polishes are great because you don't need to wait around ages when your nails are drying. This range is something that can be used when you need a change quickly or are on the go and don't have a lot of time. After one coat, the colour unfortunately doesn't look great but it does dry extremely quickly. I'm not quite convinced that it does dry completely in the 60 seconds but it doesn't take much longer. 

The second coat is really what makes this colour shine and look great. The second coat really intensifies the coral colour and it also adds a glitter element to the nail as well. I really love how this colour looks after both coats and also how quickly it dries. I think this is going to be one of my favourite colours for this summer. It's cute, bright and also matches so many of my clothes which is something I love so much about it. 

Here's how my nails looked after both coats. 

What do you think of this colour and are there any others in this range you would recommend?

Monday, 19 August 2013

Premae Harmony Moisturising Balm

Every month I look forward to seeing what I’m going to get in my Glossybox, a subscription beauty box. In May’s box, amongst other items, I received a small tub of Premae Harmony Moisturising Crème Balm. This is not a brand I have heard of before nor did I really know what part of the body this product was for. I only received a small 10ml sample whereas the full size product is 30ml and costs a shocking £27.50. Considering that is only three times the size of my sample, I was expecting this crème to work wonders for that kind of price.

The crème comes in a small tub which is extremely basic in design. The sample design is exactly the same as the full size tub. Wrapped around the glass tub is a white label which has on it the name of the product ‘Harmony’ printed in black and with a yellow background. Underneath that is a description of the product as well as stating one of the ingredients. Now, if I was paying full price for this product, I would be extremely disappointed with the packaging. It doesn’t stand out, it doesn’t look overly nice and it definitely doesn’t look expensive.

This moisturising crème is also to be used as a primer, something which I have never used before on my face so I was very unsure about how well it would work. The crème also has ingredients such as lemongrass oil and aloe vera both of which sooth the skin. Unfortunately though, as soon as you unscrew the lid, it becomes clear that this crème does not carry the scents of the ingredients which was a massive shame.  

The crème itself is very thick in texture and due to the small sample size, I began to use it very sparingly. As this is intended as a moisturiser and face primer, I didn’t think the sample would last very long at all. However, even with the thick consistency, the crème goes quite a long way. You only need to use a little bit at a time and it softens up quickly as you begin to apply it to your skin. After applying the crème to my whole face, my skin did feel a little tight but nothing too uncomfortable and this did ease up.

After applying the crème, I then went on with my normal make-up routine and applied foundation. I do usually use a moisturiser beforehand but not one that also acts as a primer. I could definitely see the difference between the two different kinds of products. With this crème, my foundation went on a lot easier and looked a lot nicer. My skin had a flawless finish to it whereas sometimes, I can end up with some patchier bits on my forehead/ between my eyebrows. The crème also helped my foundation to look nicer for a lot longer than it normally does so because of this, I was impressed.

Although I did like this crème, I couldn’t justify paying such a price for it. I would, however, like to try different primers now so I could compare a cheaper one to this. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Theatre Royal, Norwich

The show we saw
Knowing that I have wanted to see him for years now, my boyfriend bought me tickets to see Derren Brown for Valentine’s Day earlier this year. Unfortunately though, we had to wait until the middle of June until we could actually go to the show at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.

The Theatre Royal is located in the city centre of Norwich, which is easily accessible by bus, car and train. Although there is no parking at the theatre itself, there are plenty of parking options nearby. If you are coming to the theatre from the train station, you can look to take about a 20-25 minute walk. What I like about this theatre is that it is really easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the centre of Norwich.

As you walk up to the theatre, it doesn’t exactly look like much in comparison to other Theatre Royals, such as the one in Nottingham which does look very impressive. The theatre is a very long building which, on first appearances, could look like any row of shops on a high street if it wasn’t for the show posters outside. In the day time especially, it would be quite easy to walk past the theatre if you didn’t know where you were going. However, at night time with the outside all lit up, it does look much better but with light evenings in the summer, I didn’t get to see this until after the show was finished.

Walking inside the theatre lobby didn’t have the best first impressions either really. As you walk in, there are elevators to the right and ticket desk to the left. Also on the right are stairs heading up to the circle level. Following the corridor to the left will take you to the refreshments counter, customer toilets and the bar, as well as another set of stairs to the circle level. Even though the lobby was quite plain looking, the downstairs bar was very nicely decorated and had a great atmosphere once filled with a fair amount of people. Upstairs, there is another refreshments counter and toilets as well as areas to sit and stand around whilst waiting for your show to start.

It isn’t until you get into the actual seating area of the theatre that it becomes more impressive. This particular theatre is split into two sections; the stalls in the lower section and the circle in the higher. We had seats about 8 rows into the circle section and before getting there, I was worried about the view I was going to have. However, the seats in the circle are nicely placed so that each row is slightly higher than the one below it. Even with these kinds of seats, they can still be too close together meaning if you have someone really tall in front of you, they can block your view. This, luckily, was definitely not the case at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.

Our view
From our seats, we had a fantastic view of the stage. Derren Brown’s ‘Infamous’ wasn’t the kind of show that had a big screen behind him like some do so that people right at the back can see better. However, from our seats in the circle, we had a perfect view and we could see everything that was going on. There were a couple of parts of the show that were a little trickier so a projection was used during these times but it still wasn’t the size of the back of the stage. In front of most seats in the circle are binoculars which can be rented for 50p if you are having trouble seeing the stage though.

Another thing to mention about the seating is the comfort. ‘Infamous’ was nearly two hours long but I was extremely comfortable staying in my seat for the whole show. The seats were also plenty big enough/ wide enough and they were very easy to relax in. Some other theatres have tiny seats that look and feel worn out but these seats were in perfect condition.

Although we didn’t use all of the facilities, the theatre does also have a café which serves lunch and dinner before evening shows. These tables can be booked in advance and meals begin from 5pm. Your table will also be reserved throughout the show in case you want to sit there during the interval or have dessert during this time. I did have a look at the menu online and the prices were more than what I would be willing to pay. For a burger and chips, you would be looking at £12. We chose to go to Wetherspoons not too far away as it is a much cheaper and quick option.

Overall, although the outside of the theatre doesn’t look impressive, the actual theatre and seating areas are. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time watching Derren Brown and I would definitely go back to the Theatre Royal, Norwich to see something else.

Theatre Street

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Figs and Rouge Coco Rose Lip Balm

Due to being a subscriber of Glossybox, I get a box of random beauty products through my door every month. As part of the June box, I received a tube of the Figs and Rouge Coco Rose Lip Balm. Figs and Rouge is a brand I had never heard of before but I am always willing to give something new a try, hence me subscribing to a thing such as Glossybox. Although mine came with my monthly subscription, a full size (12.5ml) tube of this product costs £5.

The lip balm comes in a very loud and colourful tube which definitely stood out in comparison to the other products I received. This product comes in an aluminium tube which is mostly covered in a bright pink colour with pictures of little storks. There are also hints of yellow, green and black which feature on the lid and the printed text. Wrapped around the Figs and Rouge logo are the statements that this is a 100% natural and 100% pure product as well as the fact that it is moisturising and soothing. These are great claims that I was hoping would stand up.

In order to use the lip balm, the bright green cap needs unscrewing. After this, it is possible to see the glittery pink balm inside the tube. As the name of this product is Coco Rose I wasn’t sure whether to expect pink or a chocolate looking product but I did like the colour that it was. The balm squeezes out with ease so care needs to be taken when doing this as you could end up with it everywhere if you squeeze too hard. The balm is also quite thick in consistency. Sometimes, thick creams and balms can be tough to rub in but not this one. With just a tiny amount on the end of my finger, I was easily able to rub this into my lips and it was absorbed really well. If you do use too much in one go, your lips can end up feeling quite greasy which isn’t a nice feeling.

Something I wasn’t expecting with this product for it to not really have a particular scent. However, it does have quite a strange taste to it which I can’t quite put my finger on. It neither tastes completely of rose nor coco but I would say it does lean closer to coco. This isn’t a taste that I like though so quite quickly I was put off this product. While I didn’t like the taste, I did like how it looked and felt on my lips. The balm gives a lovely pink, glittery sheen to my lips which is a nice look if you don’t want something as heavy as lipstick or lip gloss.

Even though I didn’t like the taste of this product, I did stick with it to see what the results would be like. The lip balm is extremely moisturising and after a couple of days, my lips were a lot softer and smoother than they normally are. However, this lip balm is more expensive than what I would normally pay for this kind of product and I don’t think it works much better than a cheaper alternative. That, plus the fact that I didn’t like how it tasted means that it just isn’t a product for me. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Revlon Nail Enamel - Mysterious

A while back when make-up was on 3 for 2 in Boots, I decided to treat myself to a Revlon Nail Enamel as my free object. I usually go for cheaper nail polishes but didn’t want to waste the opportunity to get a slightly more expensive one for free. A bottle of this nail polish will normally set you back £6.49.

Revlon Nail Enamels come in a clear glass bottle with a long, black lid at the top. The shape of this bottle is very unlike any of the other nail polish bottles I own and it is also slightly larger. For me, this means it doesn’t fit well into the boxes I keep my polishes in but I can overlook that really. The design of the whole bottle is quite simple though, with only the Revlon logo being printed at the base of the lid. As the glass part of the bottle is quite large, it is possible to see the colour of the polish inside clearly which is a good aspect to the design.

The colour I chose to buy was ‘Mysterious’ (#460) which is a rich, blue colour. The reason I chose this particular colour is because I don’t own anything else like it and I do wear a lot of navy clothes so thought it would match quite well. Upon unscrewing the lid and removing the brush inside, I could see that the liquid was quite thin and runny compared to the thickness of a Barry M nail polish. Due to the consistency of the liquid, I was a little unsure about how well the colour would transfer when on my nail.

After painting on a thin first coat, I was not impressed at all with the colour. My nails were covered in brush strokes and the colour was thin and watery. It definitely didn’t look anything like it did in the bottle. Although it looked terrible at this point, the first coat dried incredibly quickly. Due to the time in which this coat took to dry, it meant that I could put on my second coat not long after I had done the first one. Luckily, the second coat made my nails look much better. The colour after the second coat looked exactly like it did in the bottle and there were no streak marks to be seen.

At £6.49, the Revlon Nail Enamel range offers a great choice of colours and after two coats, it really does look good. Although I wouldn’t buy this all of the time, I would buy it if it was on offer again.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Palmolive Soft & Gentle Extra Fresh Deodorant

I’m always up for trying a new deodorant, especially if it is cheap or on offer. Although I had tried other Palmolive Soft & Gentle deodorants in the past and wasn’t totally impressed, I was willing to give a different one a chance. I managed to get the Palmolive Soft & Gentle Extra Fresh Deodorant for £1 at the time of purchase.

The packaging for this product does look lovely and fresh, which matches the name really well. The aerosol can holds 250ml of product and is white and blue in colour. The scent of this product is lotus and watermelon and I think the colour choices reflect this really well. The can also has some pictures of these things which helps to emphasise what you are buying. I like that this can doesn’t come in the usual pink that a lot of deodorants for women do. However, it still manages to look quite feminine due to the pictures on the front. The can is very comfortable to hold although with a deodorant, how long do you ever actually have to hold it for. There is a slight curve in the middle of the can to make it easier to hold.

After popping off the blue lid, you will find a push button underneath which is where the deodorant comes out of. For the first use, you will need to press down quite hard to break the seal but after that, the button presses down very easily. When held down, the spray comes out in quite a powerful burst so be careful not to hold it down for too long. As the button works so easily, you can use quite short bursts which will make sure you haven’t used too much. Even with using quite a bit, there are no white marks left and it dries very quickly, meaning you can get dressed near enough immediately after use.

This deodorant is extremely gentle on the skin, which is a good thing considering the name of the product. It doesn’t sting and it doesn’t irritate the skin whatsoever. It also smells fantastic. The watermelon and lotus scent is very refreshing and different from the girly, floral deodorants I have been used to using. While there are still hints of floral scents, it is the watermelon that I can smell the most.

With another deodorant from this brand, I didn’t feel that it lasted very long at all. I can happily say that this one does last much longer. Working an 8 hour shift and being on my feet all day means that I do need a good deodorant that will last. With this one, I feel fresh throughout my whole shift and I feel that it deals very well with any sweat that may occur. However, I don’t think it is a strong enough product for people who would use this before going to the gym etc. or for using over the course of a longer day.

For £1, this is a good deodorant and thankfully better than others from Palmolive.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo

When it comes to brands of hair care, Aussie is one I have never tried before… until very recently. When my boyfriend and I stayed in Norwich for the night, I forgot to pack shampoo and conditioner so I had to head to boots to get some travel size products. The best price at that time was the Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo and Conditioner. For a full 300ml size bottle of shampoo, it will cost roughly £4.49. Boots regularly have this in their 3 for 2 offer.

My hair is extremely dry due to using too much heat on it. The Aussie Miracle Moist bottle states that this shampoo is for dry and damaged hair and also hair that is a bit unhappy – all three things describe my hair, especially the last. Using hair products that don’t agree with my hair certainly makes it very unhappy and full of knots. The bottle is white in colour with a purple lid. The front of the bottle has the Aussie name and kangaroo logo at the top in purple lettering with the name of the product underneath which is in blue lettering. There is also a small paragraph about the shampoo which explains what is in it and what it does.

As I poured the shampoo out into my hand, the light orange colour of the liquid was a nice surprise. I’m not sure what colour I was expecting but it definitely wasn’t orange. To match the sweet orange colour, there is also a lovely, sweet scent. I can’t really describe what it smells of specifically but sweet really does seem to be the best word to use. I really liked the scent of this shampoo even before it touched my hair. The liquid also felt extremely silky in my hand which was a good first impression.

Once in my hair, things only got better. I used a blob of shampoo about the size of a 50p piece and began to massage it into my scalp and the length of my hair. With the shampoo warmed up, and lathering up quickly, I loved how it felt in my hair. The bathroom was filled with the sweet scent of the shampoo, which I still couldn’t put my finger on at this point either. At this point, I began to rinse out the shampoo and it felt incredibly smooth and soft. Sometimes, my hair can feel great when rinsing the shampoo out but not afterwards. Luckily, when I got out of the shower and began to brush through my hair, it was still as soft and smooth as I had hoped.

As well as a great smell, this shampoo worked really well for my hair type. I could get a brush through what is normally a tangled, knotty mess with complete ease. Also, after blow drying, my hair looked fantastic and felt as soft as it did when wet. As a brand I hadn’t tried previously, this was a really good first impression and I was really happy with the results. Due to this, I would quite happily buy the larger sized bottles. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Sanctuary Intensive Rescue Heel Balm

I’m really prone to getting rough, hard skin on the heels of my feel and I have a hard time getting rid of it. As part of my Sanctuary gift set I was extremely pleased to see a bottle of the Sanctuary Intensive Rescue Heel Balm. Even though I have used all kinds of files etc, I hadn’t thought about using a cream or a balm to help with the hard skin. Sanctuary claims that this product is moisture-rich and tackles very dry skin.

As a Sanctuary product, you can find this at Boots or the Sanctuary Spa and it costs £7.50 for a 75ml bottle.

Unlike the majority of Sanctuary products, this one does not come in the usual orange packaging. Instead, the heel balm comes in a tube like bottle which has a light blue flip cap at the bottom and blue and black text printed on the front. It is only the Sanctuary logo that makes this look like a Sanctuary product and if it wasn’t for that, I would have thought this product to be from an extremely cheaper brand. It’s a shame this doesn’t have the same coloured packaging as other products from this brand as it means it doesn’t match other things in my bathroom.

The cream inside the tube is of a very thick consistency and is white in colour. As the flip cap is at the bottom, it only takes a little squeeze to get the cream out. On first use, I had no idea how much I was going to need in order for this product to start working and it turned out I used far too much. A little really does go quite a long way with this heel balm. You only need to use a small amount on each heel. The cream rubs in and soaks into even cracked heels extremely well and quickly. I ended up with cream being rubbed into the whole of my feet because I had used far too much the first time.

After using this for only a couple of days, I could instantly feel the different in the skin on the heels of my feet. At this point, my skin felt a hell of a lot softer and the cracks were not nearly as harsh as they had been before. When using this on a longer basis, it gives fantastic effects. After a couple of weeks, the skin had improved considerably and along with using a foot file, my heels were looking great. Within a couple of weeks, the cracks had nearly disappeared and the skin was really soft instead of hard and dry.

The only downfall that I can see with this product is the scent, or lack of. Instead of having the scent of regular Sanctuary products (which is one I love), the heel balm doesn’t really smell of anything. Although no one goes around smelling my feet, it would be nice to have a nice scent while using the product. For £7.50, this is an expensive foot product and while the small 75ml bottle does go a long way, it is quite basic for what it is.  

Friday, 2 August 2013

MeMeMe Cosmetics Long Lasting Nail Gloss - Graceful

As part of my June’s Glossybox I received a bottle of the MeMeMe Cosmetics Long Lasting Nail Gloss in Graceful. I had never heard of this brand before and I probably wouldn’t have picked the colour I got in a million years. If, like me, you have not heard of this brand before you can have a look and their range here:

This nail polish retails at £5 a bottle.

The product comes in your average glass nail polish bottle with a black screw top lid. Although the bottle is quite basic, the design on the front is what make it looks nicer than it could have. The MeMeMe logo is printed in quite a swirly and feminine font even though the colour of it is black. Also, to the side of the brand logo and product description is a lovely black flower design which helps add to the feminine feel of the bottle. I do think that this bottle is a little nicer than some other nail polishes due to the finishing touches of the design.

The brush is nice and thick so applying to a whole nail only takes a couple of strokes and it also goes on very evenly. The nail polish itself is quite thick in consistency so you should make sure to wipe a little of the excess off the brush before applying to your nail. This also dries a lot quicker than I expected it to. The first thin coat dried within only a couple of minutes and when I say dried, I mean bone dry. No tackiness or anything. The second coat did take a little longer to dry but in total, my nails were properly drying within the space of 10 minutes which is quite impressive for a nail polish.

The shade of the nail polish I received is called Graceful and it is exactly how it sounds. Inside the bottle, it looks like quite a nice pink but that is not how it ends up drying on nails. As this one dries, it turns into a barely there pink – think of a French manicure kind of pink colour. As I had acrylic nails for a long time, my nails are in far from perfect condition and this nail polish shows off all of the bad bits. The colour, more than the nail polish itself, just isn’t for me. However, as I liked how quick drying it was and how easy it was to apply, I think I would have been much happier with a different colour which is a shame.

At £5, this is a pretty good nail polish but if light colours aren’t your thing then I would advise staying away from this one.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Gloss Shampoo

When my mother in-law bought me the Schwarzkopf Gliss set for my birthday, I already had quite a few bottles of shampoos stocked up so I wasn’t really in a great need for this part of the set. However, after giving the conditioner a try, I just had to use the Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Gloss Shampoo as well due to the great results the conditioner gave me.

The first thing that I really like about this product is the packaging. It comes in a lovely light, sugary, pink bottle which looks really girly. I’m used to Treseme bottles in my bathroom which are either black or white so pink is a nice change. The bottle has the Schwarzkopf logo right at the top with Gliss printed in large, bold letters underneath. The opening on the bottle is at the top which comes in the form of a flip top which makes it easy to get the shampoo out. The bottle also states that this is a hair repair conditioner and aimed at people with brittle or dull hair.

I have real trouble finding a great shampoo or conditioner for my hair. It is long and very fine and not in the best condition due to blow drying and straightening. Sometimes, I can barely get a brush through it after washing which is a horrible feeling. This shampoo claims that it smoothes the hair’s surface and contains proteins that are identical to the hair itself which enables it to repair from deep inside. If these things worked like they did with the conditioner, I was going to be a happy girl.

When shampooing my hair, I used a blob of the liquid roughly the size of a 50p piece. As soon as the hot water mixes in, it creates a wonderful lather so I probably could have done with using slightly less. This is one of the shampoos which actually lathers up extremely well and more than the average conditioner. It also smells fantastic both in and out of the water. The scent is soft and floral but not overpowering. While washing my hair with this shampoo, it makes my hair feel great immediately and I love how it smells.

When blow drying my hair, I could also see and feel the effects of this shampoo. For one thing, I could brush my hair through with complete ease instead of having to fight with it for a good while. Also, my hair felt smoother and in better condition as well as looking silky and shiny. It’s quite hard to believe that something could make my hair so much better only the day after using two other different products which resulted in my hair being knotty and extremely tangled.

As you can probably tell, I love this shampoo. It does everything I could possibly want it to do, it smells fantastic and it works so well with my hair. RRP is roughly £2.50 for a 250ml bottle.