Shampoo and Paradise

Products I’ve Enjoyed This Week

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I’ve used Vick’s VapoRub for a very long time and ALWAYS carry one in my handbag – I’m a regular sufferer of throat sinusitis (no, don’t ask!) and it really helps to settle things down. On days when things are okay for me, I use it at night on my neck, chest and upper back. When things aren’t so okay, I’ll use it in the morning as well, and throughout the day as and when needed. It’s one of my serious health staples, though I never actually use it with steam as that’s way too strong for me. You can get it from Boots for £4.36 for 100g and it’s a little miracle worker.

Pantene 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is also brilliant and up until now I would never be without it. Sadly, however, it seems to have been discontinued, so I will have to look for other options, DEEP sigh …  I do mix and match my shampoos and usually have two different types of anti-dandruff shampoo on the go, alongside one normal shampoo. However, this one has always been one of the choices. NB I never use Head & Shoulders as I think it’s awful and makes my dandruff worse!!! Anyway I’m really sorry this one has gone (badly done, Mr Pantene, badly done) …

Before the menopause hit me, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in ivory was always my go-to choice of foundation – and to be honest the only one I had! Then, when the menopause arrived, it was seriously drying out my skin and making me all flaky and horrid so I had to stop using it and try to find more suitable products. That search included totally revamping my skin-care regime anyway so things are now a lot better – and recently I’ve been using this foundation again. And it’s been fine – maybe not as good as other foundations I now use and trust more, but I still like it. It’s £7.99 for 30ml at Boots, but is currently part of a 3-for-2 Rimmel offer, so a good time to try it out.

I received a sample of the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque recently and have found I really love it! It’s very soothing, easy to put on, I like the light-blue colour, and it makes my skin feel really fresh. What’s not to like? I’m definitely going to be getting a full-size product, and you can buy it at Boots for £16 for 50ml. When I next get low on masks, that one is going into my shopping basket for sure.

Products that have Disappointed Me This Week

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I’m really sorry to have to include an Imperial Leather Body Wash product in this mix, as I usually LOVE them, but the Tropical Paradise Body Wash has an overly-fruity smell I just can’t warm to. I think when I bought it, I was seduced by the concept of lotus flower, but the guava smell takes over and it’s really wearing. That said, as ever, Imperial Leather knows exactly how to do a bath wash, and one squirt is so luxuriously foamy that it does everything, LOL! If you want to give it a go (though I don’t advise it), it’s £2.00 for 250ml at Superdrug.

The Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser came as part of a pack and it was okay, but nothing special really. I also found it really hard to get the pesky stuff out of the bottle and had to keep shaking it and putting my finger in to retrieve it. All a bit too much like hard work for me, and with little result. You can get it at Amazon for £22 for 250ml, but I don’t think it’s worth it.

I would also definitely advise you against the Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist – what a truly awful medicinal smell!! It’s like being in a hospital, which isn’t actually something I want to be reminded of. It’s definitely this week’s worst product by a long chalk. Why on earth do companies think we want to smell like this?? Yes, it might be doing me the world of good, but I was so busy rushing to counteract the horror (oh, the horror!) of it by spraying perfume on myself that I decided it’s just not worth it. If you want to have a go, it’s £29.48 for 177ml at Amazon, but you’d have to be feeling brave!

Lastly, I’ve finished my last tube of the Body Shop’s Pink Grapefruit hand cream – which I’ve been using on my feet. The smell is lovely, but really I ain’t paying £4.00 for a 30ml product for anyone! It’s worth £2.00 at the most, surely. Wicked Body Shop, eh! Such a shame, as if it was priced at a reasonable rate, I’d buy more of it. But, alas, the cost alone means it’s a disappointing product, ah well.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Anne Brooke

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Salt, Sanex and Scent

Products I Love:

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I’ve got a fair amount of stuff I’ve loved this week (hurrah!). The Sanex Shower Cream for Sensitive Skin is something I’ve used for years, but then went off it for a while as I preferred something with a bit of scent in the bath – and shower. Recently I’ve been using this on my more sensitive neck, chest and upper back areas and then using whatever scented cleanser I have everywhere else – thus getting the best of both worlds. The Sanex really does work wonders on the skin and keeps spots and redness at bay. I’ve already restocked it. You can currently get it half price at Boots for only £1.64 for 500ml.

HSL Epsom Salts are brilliant for the bath – good for cleansing and relaxing so I put a couple of handfuls in automatically now. I used to get these at the garden centre (it’s the same product so don’t worry!) but I prefer this box as it’s easier to keep in the bathroom and comes with a very handy scoop. Yes, I know epsom salts are something your granny used to swear by but she was right! You can get them for £9.89 for 3KG at Amazon which I think is a pretty good bargain.

Regular readers of this blog will know how obsessed I am with teeth (totally, I tell you!!) and I wouldn’t be who I am at all without my Dentyl Active Smooth Mint mouthwash. It’s alcohol-free which is a key factor for why I buy this one, as I don’t trust alcohol-based mouthwashes, and it totally does the trick. You’ll be amazed at what ends up in the basin as you rinse out, LOL!! It’s a definite plaque-fighter! You can get it at Amazon for £3.95 for 500ml, but it’s also available at chemists/supermarkets etc and there are other flavours.

A new try-out for me has been the Dove Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant roll-on which I love as a top-up during the day and for the evenings. It works very well and – total bliss – doesn’t stain clothing. I have already stocked up and will be using this one from now on. You can get it at Boots for £1.75 for 50ml.

I picked up the Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom scent just to add something to my online basket to get free delivery and because I do love cherry blossom. I wasn’t expecting a great deal as I don’t set great store by Body Shop perfumes, but this one is absolutely lovely. Fresh and floral and oh-so-summery, it lifts the mood at once, and puts a spring into my step. Okay, it’s light so doesn’t last long, but it’s great for topping up and giving me an extra boost in the evenings. I must admit I don’t like the bottle shape – it’s a dome – because I find it hard to hold steady. However, the good news is that when I restocked it, the bottle shape had been changed (temporarily, I think, sadly …) to a longer and thinner one which is far easier to handle. It costs £15 for 50ml so not cheap, but I like it.

I’ve LOVED Rimmel Match Perfection Silky Loose Face Powder in Transparent for absolutely ages and always have at least two spares in stock. It’s so easy, it really smooths the skin and it keeps the shine at bay. I do love the feel of a loose face powder. Basically, it does what it says on the tin with no extra fuss, which is exactly what I want in any product. It’s £6.99 for 10g at Boots, but they’re currently running a 3-for-2 Rimmel offer, so it’s a good time to buy!

I’ve talked about it before, but I do rather like the Roger & Gallet Beauty Vinegar, and have a full-size bottle to use too, as well as this sample size which I’ve just finished. It might be a tad too scented, but it feels good on my face and wakes me up nicely in the mornings. You can pick it up for £15 for 200ml at the Feel Unique website, so maybe a little treat for your Christmas! It’s also stocked at Marks & Spencer, I believe.

Products I Don’t Like:

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Oh dear me, I was so VERY hopeful when I picked up this pot of the Twist & Out Instant Nail Varnish Remover. I thought my days of struggling with those cotton pads were over, but alas no! This pot was okay for the first couple of times I used it, though it did sting my skin in a way that other varnish removers haven’t. Then it simply got too loose in the pot so no matter how often I waggled my fingers about, nothing happened sigh. It’s £3.79 for 55ml at Amazon, and that’s four quid I won’t get back, isn’t it …

Keeping to the nail polish theme for a moment, I bought a set of ‘London’ themed nail polishes at Nails Inc recently as part of my Black Friday splurge (well, it happens to us all, doesn’t it!) They’re not great polishes, I have to say, though the London street names are nice. The one I’ve singled out above is Kensington Gore and is honestly the most disgusting shade of dog-poo brown I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s also the sort of shade that makes you think that maybe the dog isn’t very healthy either, LOL! It’s making me feel quite ill even as I type this (yes, I have it on to give it a go – how brave am I!!!) and I can’t wait to take it off. You can get it for £6.99 at eBay, but really, why would you?

I’ve used the Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Facial Oil by Una Brennan as a make-up pre-cleanser a few times and used to like it, but now I think it’s a bit too strong for me – and I have other more suitable pre-cleansers now. So I’ve taken it from my Likes to my Dislikes list for that reason, though other people will be fine with it, I’m sure. It’s now £9.99 for 30m at Boots and is part of a one-third off superfacialist offer. The rose smell is lovely, anyway.

I’ve used up a Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate sample this week, and wasn’t very impressed. It did nothing at all for me and so I’m not rushing out to buy a full bottle. At £45 for 40ml, I have therefore saved myself an absolute fortune!

The same can be said about my Roger & Gallet Double Extract sample, which felt a bit slimy to be honest and once more did nothing for me. So I have saved myself another £40 for 35ml at the Feel Unique site. All money which I can happily spend elsewhere on products I like, hurrah!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Anne Brooke

Doves, bees and argan oil

Products I Love

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Have just finished my last tube of Dr Organic Manuka Honey Foot & Heel Cream this week and have been enjoying that, though I do get annoyed because it’s so difficult to get the last little bit out, grrr! Never mind, at £5.99 for 100ml, it’s pretty good value and even more so now as Holland & Barrett are having a Buy-One-Get-One-Halfprice offer on it, so well worth a look. That said, I won’t be stocking up for now as I have a lot of other foot creams to try out and don’t want to crowd the dressing table too much, LOL!

I TOTALLY love love love the Carex Care Plus Macadamia Oil & Vanilla Hand Wash – the smell is amazingly delicate and I loved the colour – it’s pink. It’s very moisturising and feels very luxurious too. It’s just £2.19 for 100ml at Superdrug so don’t miss out. As a side issue, I really like the pump dispensers as I can get much more of the product out, I find. Is that just me?

The Garnier Hand Repair Intensive Restoring Hand Cream is very good indeed – though again, the tube means I can’t get all of it out. It’s for extra-dry skin so I’ve been using it at night and I think it makes a real difference to my hands. The smell isn’t overpowering either. At the moment it’s HALF-PRICE at Boots for only £1.99 for 100ml, so I can recommend this one. It’s odd really, as I usually avoid Garnier products as I’ve never got on with them, but this one bucks the trend.

I received the sample of Clinique Aromatics in White scent recently and was prepared to be utterly unimpressed (don’t really know why, though Clinique products have let me down in the past, so possibly that’s it). However, this scent is absolutely incredible and I am so in love with it! I would say it’s one for the evening rather than daytime, though I have been wearing it at the office and nobody’s complained, but honestly I can’t get enough of it. The price at Amazon is £36.95 for 50ml and I’m desperate to have this, even though I have loads of perfumes (I am a perfume tart, LOL!) and it’s too pricey for me!! I think I might have to pop some in my shopping basket at some point over Christmas though – it’s just too good to miss.

The surprise of the week for me has been the sample of Dermalogica Precleanse which I also received in a parcel recently (can you tell I’ve been Christmas shopping?!?) Again, I wasn’t expecting much but it’s so easy to put on, it feels wonderful on the skin, the fragrance is a very subtle floral one which I love, and it gave my skin an amazing glow after I’d washed it off. After drying my face, I rushed to my computer and bought a full size bottle. It’s £34.35 for 150ml and it’s arrived today, so I can’t wait to use it! And yes, I know I have weird standards, as I’ll pay this for a cleansing product that’s good for my skin but baulk at a perfume which is almost the same price. But that’s just the way I am – crazy but cute!…

Products I Dislike

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Ah, Burt’s Bees. Oh dear me, Burt’s Bees!!!! I have no idea why, but I always have a problem with their products. I really try to love them – or even like them (honest I do) – but I just can’t do it and over the years I’ve been bitterly disappointed with every single one of their offerings. Yes, even though everyone sings their praises and they are good for the environment – the bee’s knees if you like (did you see what I did there?), I still hate them. Anyway, I have tried one last time (I swear it!) with their Citrus & Ginger Body Wash – as I love citrus products and ginger, so surely nothing can go wrong this time … Um, yes. This product is truly awful (sorry!). The scent is plastic and feels like something which wasn’t very successful in the seventies, and the consistency is very thin so it doesn’t lather easily. It’s £9.99 for 350ml so if you want to suffer then this is a bargain. As for me? I’m avoiding those pesky bees from now on …

Dove DermaSpa Body Cream is okay – there’s nothing really wrong with it though the scent is a bit sweet so it feels more like a teenage-focused product rather than one for adults. It’s disappointing as I usually rate Dove quite highly, but this does nothing for me. I don’t think it’s made my skin any smoother and I’ve used the whole tub now. The really positive point is that I can use all the cream as it’s in a tub, hurrah! It’s £7.99 for 300ml at Boots, but I won’t restock it.

And now – in shock news! – I have found a Montagne Jeunesse mask I really hate! Honestly I even rather liked the cucumber one that Mrs Strawberry Blonde didn’t like because of the smell. But this Argan Oil Mud mask is just awful. The smell is horrid and very medicinal, and I swear to you that as I put it on, my whole face recoiled in terror! Or that’s what it felt like. As there’s such a lot in each packet, I only used half and had to come back a couple of days later and use the rest of it up – honestly, I was all but crying when I entered the bathroom to do this (I can’t stand waste!) and now I’m just so pleased it’s finished. A brief round of applause for my courage here! Thank you … So, if you want a terrifying mask experience, it’s £1.00 at Boots, but I wouldn’t advise it.

In more Dermalogica news, I also received a sample of their Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque this week – well, I’ve used it and it’s nothing to write home about, though honestly it was hard to tell as there was so little of it in the sachet. Maybe today’s spot-suffering women have smaller faces or something? Well, I have a big head (oh, in so many ways!) and this barely covered my nose, hey ho. If you want to give it a go, it’s £16.15 for 75ml, but I’ll give it a miss.

A friend gave me the Champneys As Good As New Hand Cream for Christmas last year, and I’ve been using it in the downstairs bathroom – but then it got moved to the bedroom to be used as a foot cream as the top is so hard to open. It’s good for both, and moisturising enough, but there’s not much of a smell to it – which I prefer for hand and feet products. At Boots, it’s £6.00 for 75ml, and they’re doing a 3-for-2 indulgent body care product offer at the moment if you’re interested.

Have a fabulous weekend, and keep beautiful!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

This Week’s Beauty Stash, plus 2 Beauty Tips

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I’ve not finished up many products this week – just a couple as above, though I suspect there’ll be more next week.

First off is the Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate – which came as part of a Sensitive Skin pack from their site. All I can say is that it’s okay, and it did no harm, but I won’t be buying a full-size product, as it was a bit average for me. And I definitely won’t be buying it now I see it’s £53.15 for 40ml!!! Horrific!

I also used another of the Masque Bar Anti-Wrinkle Sheet Masks, which I always do find quite refreshing, and I like the collagen in the ingredients as it definitely plumps up my skin for a while. This came from a pack of three and, while I might buy it again at some point, I’m leaving it for now as I have loads of other masks to try. It also says I shouldn’t be putting it on spots or sensitive areas, but if I listened to all that kind of stuff, I’d never use anything, harrumph. Anyway, you can get them at Boots for £9.99 for three.

This week, I’ve also joined – by means of an email invite I received – the new Marie-Claire beauty site, www.fabled.com. I’ve purchased one item from it during the week at a launch price as the site is very new – sorry, but I can’t now remember what it was, but I’m sure I will find out soon enough, LOL! Knowing me, it was probably something for spots or sensitive skin, and I think it was about £10 – as the rest of the site seems to have high-end products which are rather beyond me, at all levels. Perhaps we all have to wait for more sales …

Something else I picked up on during the last week or so is lots of different ways you can use concealer which I’ve found to be really useful – from a post at Love, Estelle. It’s particularly brilliant in terms of how to use it around the lips and eyes. Result! I always love reading about good beauty tips, thanks, Estelle.

One other thing I’ve picked up on in my web-surfing moments is that if you put powder on AFTER the primer and BEFORE the foundation, it makes your make up last longer – this really works, and I have been doing it with good results for a few days now! As my T-zone is a nightmare I also put a little powder in that area after my foundation and concealer are done, but you don’t have to if you’re not oily like me.

Have a great weekend, all!

Anne Brooke Books

 

Tea Tree and a Bit of a Rip-Off

Here are the products I loved this week:

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The Avene Eau Thermale is a facial spray I’ve used for a long time and I really love it – it’s very soothing and I tend to use it several times a day, whatever the season. It’s only £3 from Boots, so well worth it.

I’ve used a couple of masks this week – one is the Innisfree Real Squeeze Bija Mask – which confused me as I didn’t realise it was a sheet mask until I opened it up. However, it’s very soothing indeed and I shall definitely buy more of that one. The other advantage is that you can wear it at the same time as brushing your teeth and it doesn’t slip off, hurrah! What could be better, LOL? NB I bought this one as part of a really cheap set from eBay so that’s good too.

The Montagne Jeunesse Tea Tree Peel-Off Mask is also very cleansing but not in a horrid way -though I must say peel-off masks aren’t my favourite, I will be buying this one again as it made my skin feel refreshed and ready for action. And that’s a rarity at any level! It costs £1 from Boots, but they’re doing a 5 for £4 deal at the moment so I’d stock up if I were you.

Keeping to the tea-tree theme, I’ve just finished using the Boots Tea Tree Cream– which I use for keeping my spots under control in the mornings (I use a stronger product in the evening for overnight healing). I really do like this cream and I will buy it again. It’s priced at £4.39 for 30ml, but there’s a 3-for-2 offer for herbal products and complementary medicines at Boots.

I’ve also been trying out the Dove Invisible Dry roll-on Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, which is good as it doesn’t leave white marks on my clothes like Mum Deodorant always does. Yes, I think Mum is probably better at keeping me entirely sweat-free, but Dove isn’t bad and at least it’s doesn’t ruin my clothes! This costs £2.30, but Boots are doing a 2 for £3 offer on it, hurrah.

My final favourite of this week is by far the best – I bought a sample product of Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Barrier Repair recently just to have a go – though I know Dermalogica is very expensive and it’s the slippery slope to bankruptcy, LOL. Much to my purse’s horror, it’s TOTALLY brilliant – I use it in the morning after toner and before adding my moisturiser and it just creates an amazing barrier across the skin which feels wonderful and is totally invisible. I LOVE it. I have already bought a full-size version, eek! It’s £36.90 for 30ml (double yikes and call my bank manager) but you can get it cheaper elsewhere if you search the Interweb thingy and it is SO GOOD.

Products Which Have Disappointed Me:

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I’ve already spoken about my disappointment with the Soap & Glory Smooch Operator Lip Balm, but have now finished this jar and it didn’t really impress me any more than at the beginning – which is a shame as I normally rate S&G very highly indeed. Yes, it became easier to get out and onto my lips by the time I was halfway through, but it wasn’t anything above average, in my view. It’s priced at £5.00 which is WAY too much for the minuscule size of jar, but you can buy one and get a second S&G product half price at Boots, so you might want to give it a go? Needless to say, I won’t be joining you …

The funny little pink & silver foil package in the picture isn’t a really odd shaped condom (perish the thought!) but a sample of Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream – no I’d not heard of them either, but they’re very big in Korea, which is where it’s all happening in the beauty world, I gather. My big problem with it was that I got terribly confused and thought it was a serum so put it on instead of my morning moisturiser and was deeply bamboozled, until I got my glasses out and read the packet properly, deep sigh! What am I like?!? There’s nothing wrong with it, as far as I can tell, but at £54.99(!!) at Amazon, it doesn’t inspire me to rush out and buy it, even in order to use it properly!

However the biggest swizzle-stick disappointment of my week was my ‘sample’ of the new Charlotte Tilbury Scent of A Dream perfume. Call me an old fool (many do), but when I think of sample perfumes, I think of actual mini-handbag size tubes that you can get three or four decent sprays out of. This however is just a piece of card that you have to rub to get the scent off so can’t even put it onto your skin!! How are you supposed to know if it suits you or not? When I pressed my nose to the card, it’s a pretty decent scent – though remarkably like the other 150 million scents there are around, but I was so annoyed by the ‘sample scam’ that I couldn’t be bothered to pay £49 for a 30ml bottle. Who would, harrumph? It certainly hasn’t filled me with the ‘light, power and positivity’ it’s supposed to give me, and in my view a good bottle of champagne will give you far more l, p & p and at half the price, hey ho.

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books