Foot Magic and Figs

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Palmer’s Foot MagicMade with pure Cocoa Butter and enriched with Vitamin E and Mango Butter, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Foot Magic provides a deep penetrating treatment for the feet. I bought this one just to give it a try and because it’s relatively cheap – and actually I really love it! The mango & peppermint is a lovely smell and it feels gloriously smooth going onto my feet – a real treat for the sole, LOL! You can get it at Superdrug for £3.99 for the 60g tube and when I’m running low on foot cream, I shall definitely repurchase this.

Roger & Gallet Fig Shower Cream: This refreshing shower gel develops into a soft and light foam that gently cleanses the skin without drying it out. I started out not liking the smell of this, though the lather is lovely as with all R&G shower creams. Then, actually, I warmed to it, as I think it’s a very adult and sophisticated scent and I would definitely buy it again. My version is the 50ml tube as it came in a set, but the link is for the 200ml one, and it costs £9.50 at Marks & Spencer, which I think is pretty reasonable.

4160 Tuesday’s The Sexiest Scent on the Planet Ever (IMHO)This is a scent with wafts of something akin to lemon meringue pie at first, then it settles down to stay close to your skin, with a velvety, woody fragrance you only detect close up. This is a very elegant scent which will take you from day to evening wear with no problem, as it’s subtle enough to encompass both. I’m not sure it’s my favourite of the 4160 Tuesday range, but definitely worth a shot. It costs £65 for a 30ml bottle, so one to treat yourself to, LOL.

Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask: Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask with Pink Clay provides purity, freshness and radiance for combination and oily skin. This mask comforts and purifies, refines the skin’s texture and leaves it matte and very soft. Non-drying, it is rinsed off easily. I totally LOVE this product and it’s my first go-to mask for spotty or blemished/sensitised skin. The pink clay ingredient is AMAZING. It really heals things up in double quick time without drying out the skin and you can use it for several days in a row with no problem. One of my favourite masks, and I already have 2 back-ups in my cabinet. It costs £18.78 for 50ml at Amazon. Go for it!

Products 2

Dove Invisible Dry Compressed Spray and Roll-on: Both of these products are brilliant anti-perspirant deodorants, they don’t stain your clothes and they’re gentle on the skin. What’s not to like? Well done, Dove! They’re the only deodorants I use now – I tend to go for the aerosol in the morning, and then the roll-on in the evening when I’m back home after work, but that’s just personal choice. They only cost about £2 or £3 each anywhere, though I’m linking to Boots here.

Carex Coconut & Almond Hand WashCarex Care+Plus Enriching Hand Wash with Coconut Oil and Almond extracts leaves your skin beautifully soft, fragrant and protected between washes, so that you and your family can feel free to live life hands on. This is okay as a hand wash, though I was expecting the scent to be stronger and just more interesting. But it does the job and doesn’t dry out the skin, so that’s good news. I just wanted more coconut! So I probably won’t buy this again, as Carex have other more zappy hand washes available. This can be found at Superdrug for £1.00 for 250ml as it’s on offer at the moment.

Otrivine Sinusitis SprayOtrivine Adult Measured Dose Sinusitis Spray delivers a measured fine mist of medication with each application. Otrivine is a highly effective decongestant which acts gently within minutes to relieve nasal congestion associated with sinusitis for up to 10 hours. This is not the best nasal spray I’ve used, and I use them at least once a day all year round, so I won’t be repurchasing this one, I’m afraid. You can find it at Boots for £3.79 for 10ml.

HRI Clear Complexion PillsHRI Clear Complexion is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the symptomatic relief of minor skin conditions such as spots, pimples, blemishes, mild acne and mild eczema, based on traditional use. This gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs, Sarsaparilla and extract from Blue Flag and Burdock Root that are beneficial for the following conditions: spots or pimples, blemishes, acne, eczema. If you have spots, zits or skin problems, the natural herbs in HRI clear complexion tablets help to treat skin from within and keep it clear. This gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs: sarsaparilla and extract from Blue Flag and Burdock Root that are beneficial for the spots or zits, acne, eczema and psoriasis. This herbal medicine is suitable for adults and teenagers to help keep skin free from spots and acne and looking good. This clear complexion is a UK licensed herbal medicine and is safe to take at the recommended dose. Goodness, that’s a big blurb! Still, I love this product and take a pill once in the morning, and once in the evening, and it keeps most things under control. I already have a spare packet. You can get this at Amazon for £5.98 for a pack of 60, and they’re well worth it.

Oral B Dental FlossBrushing alone can’t get to all the hard-to-reach places where plaque builds up. Oral B Essential Waxed Mint Floss can. With its light wax coating and its shred-resistant texture, it slides easily between your teeth and below the gumline. It helps clean the tough-to-get plaque away. Used morning or evening when you brush, Oral B Essential Waxed Floss helps your gums and teeth stay healthy. This is the best dental floss I’ve ever used, and the only one I go for now. The cord is thin enough to get in even the tiniest space and it easily dislodges any gunk, plus it tastes great! You can pick it up at Boots for a mere £1.60 and it’s worth every penny.

Hope you’re all having a great Easter break!

Anne Brooke Books

Grapefruit, Ginger and Peony

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I received another DHC sample package in the post recently – I had the Eye Bright (£19.50 at Amazon), the Deep Cleansing Oil (£23.98 for 200ml at Amazon), and the Face Wash Powder. (£10.50 at Amazon). The Eye Bright was fine, and the Deep Cleansing Oil is okay – I’ve used it before as a first cleanser but I have others I prefer. But it was the Face Wash Powder that was seriously weird! It’s literally a powder that you dab onto your skin and then add water to make it into a foam. I really didn’t like it as it felt disgusting – like making glue on your face, yuk! Personally I’d avoid it, and on the whole I’m still not sold on the DHC brand, LOL!

I also received another sample Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream – which I used as it was there, but I’m not rushing out to buy it. It doesn’t seem available at Amazon any more, but I’m not that bothered …

It’s a whole other story for the sample Yves St Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche perfume though – I LOVED it! Live the night with BLACK OPIUM NUIT BLANCHE, an electrifying new interpretation of the iconic BLACK OPIUM coffee signature. A seductive white coffee floral fragrance designed to give the wearer a burst of energy to last through the night. NUIT BLANCHE translates to ‘White Night’, a night in Paris once a year when rock chicks take control and make the city their playground until dawn. The iconic white floral heart of the original Black Opium Eau de Parfum is electrified with a burst of energizing aldehydes and aphrodisiac white musk for an all-night adventure. Well, I’m no rock chick and I adored it – a perfect mix of sultry and sweet and strangely right even for the office if you want to go for that essential hint of sophistication. I got loads of compliments on this one! Sadly, it’s way beyond my price range, being £64 for 50ml at Boots, but if you’ve got the cash, then grab this one for sure.

Products 2

From the sublime to the ridiculous, I’m nothing without a handful or two of HSL Epsom Salts in my bath – so very cleansing, my dears! And only £10.29 for 3kg at Amazon and I’ve already restocked it.

Meanwhile, me and my super-sensitive teeth absolutely LOVE Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste – I usually go for the whitening one as it’s really good so I must have picked this one up by mistake at some point. Still good though. It’s only £4.50 for 75ml at Boots, and they have a 2 for £6 offer on Sensodyne toothpaste at the moment – so don’t forget to pick up the whitening one too!

I’ve at last managed to finish off the dreaded second bottle of the frankly appalling VO5 Volume Boost Gel Spray. Does anyone really still believe in this? It’s sticky and doesn’t boost the volume, though the scent isn’t bad. I won’t be bothering again, but if you’re feeling foolhardy, you can get it for £5.98 for 200ml at Amazon and there appear to be only 8 bottles left. Which is surely a blessing, eh.

Products 3

I wasn’t really prepared to like the Greenland Fruit Emotions Grapefruit & Ginger Body Butter, but actually it’s not too bad. It’s not available on Amazon any more, but costs 14 Euros at the Greenland site. I think that’s far too pricey for such a small tin and I won’t be bothering again, I think. However, on the plus side, it doesn’t smell cheap, which is great, and it sinks into the skin well.

I totally LOVE the Marks & Spencer Peony Shower Cream – the smell is wonderful and very grown-up too. Sadly, M&S don’t seem to do this separately as it was part of a Christmas set – but I really wish they would produce this on its own and in a bigger tube. I would rush to buy it!

The Olay Firm & Lift Anti-Wrinkle Booster & Firming Serum is quite nice, as well as being a mouthful to say, LOL! I use this in the evenings, after work as a primer for my evening top-up make-up, though I’m not sure I’m going to buy another one, as I have others to use. It costs £4.99 for 50ml at Boots, which I believe is down from £9.99 so do give it a go.

And I absolutely would NOT be without my trusty Max Factor Pan Stik in Fair – it is GENIUS and covers every possible spot, blemish and redness you can imagine. I don’t like using it as a foundation – though I know many people to – as I prefer to have a liquid surface on my face. I use this as a concealer instead and it makes my skin look totally amazing. You can get it for £7.99 for 9g at Boots and it is worth its weight in gold, I tell you!

Products 4

Last but not least, my Lancome Love Your Age sample which came in the post last week. I didn’t expect to like it, but actually it’s very good, and certainly smoothes my skin out. I’ve been using it day and night, and am impressed. The Youth Activating Concentrate goes on first, and then is followed by the Renergie Multi-Lift. They make my skin look brighter and smoother without causing any irritation. The only thing I’m not happy about – and which means I sadly won’t be trying out the full-sized products – is the horrendous price! £47.20 for 30ml of the Concentrate, at Boots, and £53.60 for 50ml of the Multi-Lift, again at Boots. Really, you’d have to take out a mortgage! But if I ever won the lottery (which I suppose means actually entering it!), I would buy this set.

As ever, have a beautiful week!

Anne Brooke Books

Wild Rose and Angels

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Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum: Scents: sweet, patchouli, warm spicy, cocoa, caramel and woody. I received this as an incredibly tiny sample that you somehow had to pull out in order to smell it. You couldn’t even get it on the skin! What’s the point of a sample like that? I also broke mine whilst trying to open it so was really cross with it. As far as I can tell, it smells really sweet and sickly and is probably one for the younger woman who doesn’t mind when people around her start fainting, LOL! Definitely NOT one for the office – though on the other hand it depends who you work with … You can find it at Amazon for £36.02 for 25ml.

Tesco Nail Polish Remover: I’ve had this for years and only rediscovered it in the cupboard recently. It’s perfectly okay though not the best nail polish remover I’ve used. I was happy to finish it up though – but be warned, it’s not great at getting the glitter polish off, even if you do use the kitchen foil trick! You can get it at Tesco for £1.25 for 250ml, so a real bargain.

Imperial Leather Sherbet Lemon Shower CreamRefresh your skin with this zesty sherbet lemon shower cream leaving you feeling clean, revived and smelling great. I started off really liking this one as the lemon scent is the perfect balance between sweet and sharp – but I must admit I got a bit bored with it so won’t buy it again. However, if you’re a lemon freak, this is the one for you! It costs £1.00 for 250ml at Boots.

L’Oreal Velvety-Soft Toner: Specially adapted for dry and sensitive skin.Thoroughly cleansed, your skin feels soothed, skin is more supple, softer and brighter, and it feels comfortable and less taut. I didn’t really get on with this one, I have to say, and in the end I threw it away as I just couldn’t bear using it any more. It just feels slimy on my face and left a curious film on my skin that I didn’t take to. I know loads of people like it though, so I’m probably the exception that proves the rule! You can get it at Amazon for £7.48 for 200ml.

Max Factor FaceFinity Compact Foundation in Porcelain (01)A pressed powder which combines the comfort of use with the properties of a liquid foundation, giving you the desired smooth coverage and a satin finish. The Perma-Wear technology provides all-day fade resistant colour and flawless coverage that lasts up to 8 hours. This compact contains SPF 15 which helps to protect your skin from the sun rays. I love this compact and always take it to work with me – I need to touch up a couple of times during the day so it definitely doesn’t last 8 hours, but then again, what does? It gives great coverage and reduces the appearance of redness and scarring. The only problem is that it doesn’t last long and it breaks up easily which is a SERIOUS pain. However, it’s still the best touch-up compact I’ve found for day use. It costs £9.74 for 10g at Amazon which is a ridiculous price, but I still buy it because it’s just so good.

Vanilla Flower Air Purifier Concentrate: this came with my Amos Air Purifier which is just brilliant for helping my breathing at night, and I do really like this scent. I put two or three drops into the water holder every couple of nights and it works like a dream. You can get the whole caboodle at Amazon for £19.99 which is a great bargain for a good night’s sleep without the snorting and gagging, LOL!

Products 2

Simply Supplements Menapol Plus Capsules: An invigorating herbal complex that may help to ease women through the uncomfortable transitional period of the menopause. Each MenapolTM Plus EasyGest capsule provides: Red Clover, Liquorice Extract, Dandelion Root, Acai Berry, Soya Isoflavones, Chamomile Extract, Cranberry Extract and Siberian Ginseng. These are really very good – I take one each night and it keeps menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms very much at bay. Even when hot flushes come, they’re much shorter and less dramatic than they used to be, so that’s a definite result! They cost £12.15 for 120 capsules which is a pretty decent price, to my mind.

Baylis & Harding Wild Rose & Raspberry Leaf Cleansing Hand Wash: a luxurious, scented hand wash and fragranced with exotic jasmine and fruity raspberry. It is made with gentle notes of wild rose for a fresh light fragrance. I really liked this one and it’s also very gentle on the hands, which is fabulous. The only problem for me is the enormous size of the pot as it just doesn’t fit on my basin very well. If only they made a smaller size, I’d buy it, but I’m not repurchasing this large one again. I will have to find my subtle rose fix elsewhere! You can buy it at Amazon for £2.15 for 500ml, so a decent price too.

MiaRoma Sweet Almond OilA natural, cold pressed oil with a neutral aroma that provides the perfect base for you to create your own blend of aromatherapy oils to suit your mood. The softening and nourishing effects of sweet almond oil mean it can be used alone as a face or body oil. This oil is totally fabulous for my face and I use it morning and evening just after my toner. I also smear a small quantity on spots and it really helps to heal them very quickly. Result! It costs £7.69 for 200ml at Holland and Barrett, and they’re also running a Buy One Get One Half Price offer at the moment so this is well worth popping into your shopping basket!

HRI Clear Complexion Tablets: Treats skin problems from within; it is used for the symptomatic relief of minor skin conditions such as spots, pimples, blemishes, mild acne and mild eczema; this gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs. Contains burdock root.  I use this product regularly and it definitely keeps my skin problems under control. One tablet in the morning and one at night seems to suit me just fine. They cost £5.98 for a pack of 60 at Amazon and I have already restocked them.

Montagne de Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac: Dead Sea Mud draws out impurities and opens blocked pores to give clean, soft skin in a refreshing mud pack; anti stress relief for normal, oily and T-Zone skin; a relaxing ultra deep pore cleanser with Sea Kelp nutrients; contains aromatherapy anti stress oils. I really love the light blue colour of this mud pack – it’s fun! The light scent is also very pleasant and it feels very soothing on my face. I would definitely restock this one at some point though I have loads of these masks at the moment and need to use them up! You can easily make it last for two face packs as there’s loads in the sachet. It costs £1.00 for a 20mg pack at Boots.

Have a beautiful week!

Anne Brooke: Biblical Fiction UK

Pearls and Pokemon

Products I will Buy Again

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You can’t go wrong with the Boots Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 shampoo – I like it very much as it lathers up easily, cleans the hair well and gets rid of any dandruff, hurrah! The link takes you to the citrus one which I didn’t have but which sounds nice anyway – the only other linking option was the men’s shampoo and so I decided against that one. The one in the picture must have been discontinued for some reason, but in any case both options now at Boots are in an offer of only £1.00 for 400ml so you can’t go wrong.

I love the Lifeplan Aloe Vera Gel and use it on my skin (not the face) after a bath or shower when I’m feeling sensitive. The only issue I have with it is it does feel very cold in winter – it takes on the cold more than other body gels I’ve used, I think – so you have to be prepared for the initial shock! Other than that, yes, I’ll be repurchasing later as I already have a back-up for now. You can get this at Boots for £7.49 for 200ml, but Boots now have a 3-for-2 offer on selected products including this one – so treat yourself!

I’ve started using eye make-up products again now I’ve discovered that I can use mascara on my top lashes without getting crazy-eye syndrome, hurrah. These Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make Up Remover Pads do the trick even on waterproof mascara, and don’t hurt my eyes so that’s great. I’ve got 2 extra packs but will restock later. A pack of 30 pads costs £4.99 at Boots but there’s a 3-for-2 on selected Simple products and these are included.

I quite like the Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Eye Perfect Cream and it does help with under-the-eye wrinkles. I will probably get more (cream – not wrinkles, I hope!!) at some point, but I have other eye creams to try and there are some I prefer anyway, so I’m leaving it for the moment. You can buy this at Holland & Barrett for £8.99 for 15ml.

The Milton Lloyd DNA Parfum de Toilette is my favourite of the Milton Lloyd range so far. The scent is a nice blend of spicy orange and ginger and it just sets me up for the day perfectly. It’s my go-to weekday perfume as it’s ideal office wear. I buy mine at Fragrance Direct and it’s only £2.99 for 55ml, so a complete and utter bargain.

This sample of Lioele Blooming Shimmer Pearl Base came with a beauty package recently and I love the whole pink and sparkly thing going on – it’s great! The product feels wonderful on my face and gave me a smooth and gently glowing base to work with – which I loved. Sadly I can’t find it anywhere so maybe it’s been discontinued which is a shame. Oh well. If I knew where to find it, I’d definitely consider buying a full-size bottle.

Products I Won’t Buy Again

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The Tesco Hand & Nail Cream is okay and I do have another at work where I use it – but I have a lot of other small hand cream tubes now which are much nicer so I don’t think I’ll buy this again. It’s £1.00 for 75ml, so it really doesn’t have to be great and still be worth it, LOL!

The Baylis & Harding Beauticology Pink Grapefruit & Raspberry Shower Scrub was a gift for Christmas, so I’m really sorry that I just totally dislike it. I think the two of us got off to a bad start though, as I expected it to smell of grapefruit and it doesn’t. It smells entirely of raspberry, which was a bit of a shock as the raspberry is definitely not the main theme here! The colour is a very lurid pink which is far too much for me first thing in the morning. However, the most awful thing about this stuff is that it doesn’t – whatever you do to it!!! – lather up at all. Yes, I know it’s a scrub, but I expected some kind of lathering ability but there’s just nothing. It also doesn’t massage in very easily and in fact it just slips off the skin and lands, globule-like, in the bath and you have to chase it round to try and catch up with the pesky beast, sigh. It’s one of the most disheartening washing experiences I have ever had (and this includes the time when I came out of a shower on a campsite in France wearing nothing but a towel and a smile and found myself surrounded by four snarling security alsatians with a taste for the full English(woman) breakfast!…). Hey ho. However, if you like bath time challenges, you can pick this up at Boots (why, Boots, why??) for £4.00 for 250ml. Good luck. You’ll need it.

The TonyMoly Pokemon cream was another sample I received this week and it’s a total mystery what it was as I can’t understand any of the language on the sample. It might have been a face cream with a tint of some kind as my skin did take on a strange tanned glow when I put it on. I instantly put on the next sample product to try to counteract the existential horror of it all, which is …

The BCDation foundation. This is supposed to be an all-in-one foundation, BB and CC cream mix – it’s okay but seemed a bit runny to me – though in its favour it got rid of the alien glow that the weird Pokemon cream gave me. I couldn’t find any links in the UK, but it’s $36 for whatever sized bottle they have on offer (currently unavailable) at the TonyMoly site, so it’s not one I’m adding to my purchase list. And while I think of it, why can’t companies send instructions about samples in a language we can work out rather than playing Guess What The Product Does and getting it terribly wrong? It’s surely not that hard to do!…

I’ve been using my sample of Guinot Shine Control Moisturiser as a primer before foundation and haven’t been greatly impressed. Which is brilliant news as it costs £57.75 for 50ml from Amazon and comes in a totally odd-looking pot. Just think of all the money I’ve saved by NOT liking this one!

Sadly, I’ve not been very impressed by the sample of Matis Absolute Soothing Serum either even though I’ve had other Matis products I’ve loved – it just seemed very average to me and didn’t sink in terribly well either. You can find this at Amazon for £36.74 for 30ml if you want to give it a go. [And, while I’m on the subject of Matis, I see that the product I loved from my previous post – Matis Hyaluronic Performance Cream – is down from the £55 it was when I first blogged about it to about £39 so I have ordered some, go me! Can’t wait for that one to arrive …].

Finally, the Marks & Spencer Senteurs Blanche hand cream was part of a gift box at Christmas once again. The quality of this is good of course – it’s M&S, my dears! – but the scent is a bit too subtle (it’s supposed to be lemon and … err … green …) and I do so dislike twist-off tops on hand cream tubes. I know that’s weird – but I don’t want to mess around getting tops on and off, dropping them and scrabbling round the bathroom floor like a crazed guinea pig in the morning trying to retrieve them. I just want to squirt and go. If you’re in the mood for tube-top juggling, you can find this at Marks & Spencer for £5 for 75ml.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke

Clear skin, scent and an eyeliner disaster!

Products I Love

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A nice bunch of products I love this week for a whole lot of reasons. First off, there’s good old Femarelle tablets which are just BRILLIANT if you’re going through the menopause – they keep those hot flushes to a minimum and if you do get one, they make it a lot shorter – which is a huge relief. I take one every morning (and have another type of menopause pill in the evening) and the combination works like a dream. The main ingredients are soya and flaxseed. They’re not cheap – £21.13 for 56 tablets at Amazon, but worth their weight in gold.

I’ve been taking a teaspoon of Pukka Elderberry Syrup every morning for a while now and it definitely keeps those winter colds and bugs at bay. Yes the bottle gets messy, but if you wipe it down after each use and keep it in the box, then you should be fine. Just don’t get it on your clothes though or it won’t come off! Once opened, you need to store it in the fridge. The cost is £10.48 for 100ml and I’ve already restocked it.

The Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash (with zinc and chamomile) is a product I’ve used for ages and it’s very reliable for calming down spots and soothing the skin. I’ve not been using it as much recently as my skin is so much better these days (hurrah!!) but I have 2 or 3 back-up bottles from the years when I used it all the time. It is always going to be one of my favourites, and you can pick it up for £3.75 for 150ml at Superdrug.

I’ve really loved using my little tube of Couvent des Minimes’ Gardener’s Hand Healer – the smell is very fresh and it’s very soothing on the skin. However it doesn’t seem to be in stock anywhere in the UK now, and the original website link shows it as hugely pricey anyway at $19 for 2.6 oz. Um, no … no matter how good it is …

I set great store by the HRI Clear Complexion tablets and was a bit traumatised recently when I just couldn’t get hold of them anywhere – yikes! Apparently they were updating the ingredients and the new formula version is now available, hurrah! I take one of these a day and it does wonders for my skin. They’re currently on sale at Amazon for £5.99 for a pack of 60 tablets, and I can thoroughly recommend these.

As I’ve said before, I’m sure, I love my new deodorant – Dove Invisible Dry roll-on – it does exactly what it says on the tin and there are no stains on my clothes so I’ve stocked up on this product. It’s a snip at £1.75 for 50ml at Boots, so buy early buy often!

I have very sensitive teeth which tend to stain as soon as they look at a cup of tea, so I’ve been using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Whitening toothpaste every evening for ages (I mix it up with a similar product as I don’t like having the same thing all the time …). It makes my teeth much less sensitive and I now have no staining, so I can’t recommend this enough. It’s half price at Superdrug at the moment at £.1.82 for 75ml so well worth picking this one up if you have teeth like mine.

I’m a fairly recent convert to the Simple Gentle Care Shampoo and use this as a ‘chaser’ between my stronger anti-dandruff shampoos as I think it gives my hair a bit of a breather. It’s a lovely clear shampoo which lathers up easily and does the job of making my hair super-clean without damaging it. I have a few bottles as a back-up and will continue to restock this in the future. You can pick it up at Boots for £2.99 for 200ml, which I think is a real bargain for a decent product.

The Sanctuary Velvety Hand Cream is just lovely – it has that wonderful Sanctuary scent and makes my hands feel wonderfully smooth. However, though I do like it, I have lots (lots and lots!) of hand creams to use up at the moment so I won’t be restocking this one for now. It’s £3.00 for 30ml at Boots so not the cheapest hand cream around but a nice one if you want to treat yourself now and again.

Products I don’t like

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The Milton Lloyd Summer Flowers scent hasn’t been bad actually, and I’ve been happy to use it up but it’s not my favourite Milton Lloyd perfume spray as I have several others I prefer. It’s floral and feminine, but not as spicy as I personally like. Still, at £2.99 for 50ml at Fragrance Direct (where would I be without them?!?), you can’t go wrong – and as I say there are a lot of lovely £2.99 scents to choose from which is a total bargain.

This week, I’ve been trying to be more adventurous with my eyes – which I usually leave WELL alone as they are hugely sensitive and start stinging at the slightest thing, groan … The wonderful news is that I have worked out that I CAN use mascara as long as I put it on my top lashes only and not my bottom ones, and it just makes me feel great to finally be wearing mascara at last! On the other hand, I had a go with eye-liner – the Bourjois Ultra Black eye liner as pictured above – but, my dears, I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was supposed to do with it. First off, I put it under my bottom lashes which made me look like a panda so I wiped it all off again. Then I resorted to the Internet to tell me what to do with eyeliner and realised it was supposed to go above the lower lashes, LOL! What a dork I am, eh! Once again, missing out on the “how to be a woman properly’ lessons at school has been my undoing!… Anyway, I tried it as it’s supposed to be done, but I HATE anything that near my eye so it was the world’s shakiest line – plus it was starting to make my eyes itch, yikes! – so I wiped it all off again and haven’t repeated the traumatic experience since! I think I’ll cut my losses and stick to the top-lashes mascara trick only – that seems to be working so far … Anyhow, I’m sure the eye liner is fab, if only it suited me or I had the abilities to put it on, and it’s £6.99 for 10ml at Superdrug if you fancy a try.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

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