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

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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

Almond and Ginger Delight

Products I Love

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Lots of lovely products this week, hurrah! I’ve been a fan of the Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil for ages and always massage it onto my face night and day, whatever happens. It’s also TOTALLY BRILLIANT to put on spots, especially nasty spots, and stops the nastiness in no time. It’s my go-to product for both good and bad face days. You can buy this one at Holland & Barrett for only £7.69 for 200ml and at the moment it’s part of the (seemingly never-ending) penny sale, so you can’t go wrong!

My hands can get very sore and red raw very quickly – which is why I always wear fingerless gloves from September to about April – but Neutrogena Unscented Concentrated Hand Cream keeps the itchiness and pain at bay. Again I use this morning and night – it’s not the most interesting of products but it does exactly what I want it to and makes my winter hands look normal. NB The other Neutrogena hand creams definitely aren’t as good as this one, so don’t waste your money on them if you need a serious product … You can buy this one at Boots for £2.77 for 50ml, which is a 25% reduction offer they have now.

I usually use a variety of anti-dandruff shampoos on my hair, which are all brilliant, but recently I’ve been mixing it up with Simple Gentle Care Shampoo – which lathers up well and feels really nice every now and again. I’ve already bought more of this as back-up. It’s only £2.99 for 200ml at Boots so a real bargain.

Miaroma Ginger Oil is totally FABULOUS if you have sinusitis or catarrh problems – I use this in the bath and also in face and throat products I make up myself with the sweet almond oil base (see above). I would never be without this as it really clears the passages, and is also good for colds, as well as being supremely comforting. The smell is gorgeous (ignore that 1-star review at the link above – the reviewer must be crazy, LOL!) – it’s £6.49 for 10ml at Holland & Barrett, but again it’s in the penny sale (isn’t everything?…)!

I was sent a free sample of some Roger & Gallet products this week – and though they’re not a brand I ever think of, I’ve actually enjoyed these ones. They even came with instructions as to when to use each one, which I always find very helpful (hint to other sample senders!!) as I am a Beauty Klutz. The Extra-Fine Cleansing Mask was very soothing indeed and made my face clean without drying and also without it being scented too strongly which was nice. It’s £12.75 for 100ml at Escentual and I would actually seriously think about getting this one – it’s suitable for sensitive skin which is great.

The Beauty Vinegar is a toner (no, I don’t like the name either!) which again is very soothing and I think I will definitely buy this as I need a new toner as I’m getting bored with my other ones. It’s £12.75 for 200ml at Escentual, which I think is amazing for this type of product! It has a subtle floral scent which isn’t cloying at all.

Finally, the Legendary Cream is a night-time moisturiser and feels great and very comforting. I did love it, but at £27.50 for 50ml, again at Escentual, it’s a bit out of my price range – but maybe as a special treat, I would go for it, and after all Christmas is coming up, LOL!

Products I Won’t Repurchase

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The Soft & Gentle Lavender & Patchouli Anti-Perspirant has a lovely scent and doesn’t damage your clothing, which is wonderful, but I personally don’t think it’s a particularly lasting product and I couldn’t rely on it alone to keep me sweat-free. You can get it at Boots for £2.69 for 150ml if you want to give it a try.

The Freeman Beauty Pomegranate Revealing Peel-off Mask is astonishingly clear when I expected it to be red! I did like the way this one went on my face – it’s a gel and quite thick so easy to go on and easy to tell where it is. It also really does refine and purify the skin without causing rashes or dryness. My only issue with it is that I do find peel-off masks a TOTAL hassle and so I have reluctantly decided to give it a miss. It’s £1.24 for a sachet at the BeautySpin website but I got two uses out of it, which really brings down the price.

For some strange reason, I found a sachet of The Sanctuary Salt Scrub in my order from the Book People (yes – I know – what?!?) and used this in the bath during the week. I’m never sure about scrubs as I don’t like things that rub against my (already sensitive skin) and indeed this one was quite painful when I used it – ouch, ouch! That said it smelt lovely and my skin was very smooth indeed afterwards but for me it’s just not worth the pain, LOL. It’s £12.00 for 650g at Boots if you’re up to the challenge.

Have a great weekend, and stay beautiful!

Anne Brooke Books