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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Mists, Masks and Matis

Products I Love

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Hope everyone has had a happy Christmas! I’ve had a great time, partly because I’ve LOVED a lot of products I’ve used up this week, hurrah!

The Innisfree Bija Sheet Mask is lovely, and I’ve used it before. It’s great for my acne-prone skin, the mask stays on easily and it’s incredibly softening and refreshing. You can get 1 for £1.00 at the Innisfree site but I buy mine at Ebay and have already restocked. I’m not even a fan of face masks, LOL, but this one is an exception.

Keeping with the acne solution theme, SebaMed Clear Face Gel is just marvellous – though I use it as a spot gel rather than as a gel for the whole face. On the other hand, I might try using it as it’s supposed to be used for once and see how it goes – it’s not at all drying but it does the job I want it to very well. Again, I have already restocked this from Amazon where you can buy 50ml for £5.55. A bargain and one I definitely recommend.

The Neutrogena Concentrated Unscented hand cream is a MUST, at all times of the year for me, but absolutely vital in these cold winter months. I always use it in the mornings as it’s just so good. You can get this for £2.77 for 50ml from Boots at the moment as they’re having a special 25% Neutrogena discount – so well worth popping this in your trolley.

The Roger & Gallet Fig Extract Hand Cream is a new one on me and I have loved it. Roger & Gallet is my new (to me) Rising Star beauty company! The smell is subtle –  fig isn’t my favourite scent – but the quality of the cream is brilliant. I will be buying more of this, but think I will try a different scent just to see what it’s like. This one is £6 for 30ml from FeelUnique and I admit I will buy this hand cream again even though I rejected the Body Shop 30ml hand creams which are only £4 – yes, I am a hypocrite!! – but R&G is just so much better. You get what you pay for, LOL.

I have liked using The Body Shop Smoothing Eye Cream and it has been quite effective, but for £16(!!!) for a mere 15ml, I’m afraid I won’t be restocking. I think I must have got this in a half-price offer or something, as I certainly wouldn’t have considered it otherwise. Still, if you have spare cash, then you might like to try this – or even better send me the spare cash and I can spend it wisely for you!…

The Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish Care came as one of my monthly free FeelUnique samples and I do like it, though I don’t necessarily love it. I did a tidy up of all my beauty products this week (yay, me!) and found a full size product  ready to be used, so no need to think about buying any more. You can find it at Superdrug for £10.85 for 50ml – which is about £3 cheaper than at Boots. Good old Superdrug!

Due to the Christmas excesses (any alcohol- or chocolate-free days, anyone? Um, no, me neither …!!), I have treated myself to the 7th Heaven Nut Oil Mask which is fabulous. A great smell, and it contains marula oil (I really rate this for calming things down), and it clarifies and softens my skin – yes, I will be restocking this one, though I have loads of 7th Heaven masks in my cabinet which are now in one place (see note re the Beauty Tidy above …) waiting to be enjoyed. At the moment it’s not available at Amazon, but you can pick these up really cheaply at supermarkets and at Ebay for only about £1.00 per mask. I get 2 uses out of each.

I have LOVED the Avene Thermal Spring Water spray for absolutely ages, even though I don’t think it’s very popular now, but it still does the trick for me in terms of soothing my skin quickly. I’ve not restocked this yet, however, as I have a couple of new facial sprays to play with, but I’m sure it’s a product I’ll come back to in the end. You can buy this at Boots for £10 for 300ml, which I think is pretty good for a branded product.

I think this is my last Guinot sample and this time it’s their Dry Skin Face Cream – it’s been quite nice to use and I do like the delicate scent, but at £24.95 for 50ml at the AllBeauty site, I think I’ll be giving it a miss. I’ll probably pick up another sample at some point though (wicked me!)…

Finally, Matis is a new brand for me, and I have really enjoyed their Hyaluronic Performance Cream as it goes on so beautifully and seems to make my skin feel so much better. But – alas and alack!! – it’s a whopping £55.14 for 50ml at Amazon and I don’t think my bank balance can take it! I can still recommend it though – and if you get it, I shall have to sneak round and steal a swipe or two when you’re not looking …

Products I Don’t Like

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I picked up the DD Anti-Ageing Cream from Superdrug a while back and all I can say is that it’s okay, but not as good as my usual CC creams which I mix with my foundation. I think it’s just too watery and doesn’t smooth over imperfections very well. However, it claims to do marvellous things, so perhaps someone else will have better success with it. At a mere £4.95 for 50ml with the current Superdrug half-price offer, it’s worth a go.

Now, here’s a list of La Roche-Posay fails, sad to say – as I have other products from them that I totally LOVE, but these aren’t they. The Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour Gel only came in a 2ml sample which isn’t enough for a pinhead really – but I didn’t rate it much, I’m sorry to report. You can find it at Boots for £14.90 for 20ml. Hmm, not sure it will be worth it …

In similar fashion, the Toleriane Ultra Intense Soothing Care was a ridiculously small sample and didn’t leave any great impression on me. Actually, I can’t remember a thing about it, to be honest, but as it was only 2ml, I might well have blinked and missed it. If you fancy giving it a go, you can find it at Escentual Beauty for £17.50 for 40ml – though if you wait until January, you can get one-third off ALL La Roche-Posay products, so don’t click too soon! A special mention for Escentual for actually telling us that before we buy – well done, folks!…

Finally, in this section, I was so looking forward to trying my sample of the Effaclar Duo+ as I’ve heard amazing things about it wherever I travel on the Interweb thingy. La R-P must have been feeling generous (not!) as this sample was actually a whole 3ml – well, perish me timbers, me hearties, as they say!! Whatever next? Maybe La R-P might ease the purse strings a tad and give us decent-sized samples we can properly test out? Don’t hold your breath … Anyway, this did nothing for me and indeed it vanished into my skin and did zilch – if you see what I mean. That saves me a bit of money then, hey ho. You can get this at Boots for £15.50 for 40ml, and everyone else but me loves it!

Happy New Year to you all, and I wish you a fabulous start to 2017!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Konjac and Marshmallow

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Products I Love

I have three TOTALLY brilliant products to rave about this week and honestly I am REALLY excited about them.

First off is one I’ve mentioned before – the La Roche-Posay Serozinc spray tonic is amazing and I use it every morning. It’s particularly good for blemish-prone skin and keeps everything under control without drying the skin out. I already have my back-up in place. It’s £8.50 at Boots but there’s a 3-for-2 specialist skin care offer on at the moment so my advice is to snap this up asap!

I picked up a taster bottle of TreacleMoon’s MarshMallow Hearts Bath and Shower Gel at my local Tesco  a while back and just started using it last week. I LOVE this so much – the smell is TOTALLY gorgeous – it’s like wrapping yourself up in all that was wonderful from your childhood and it’s not at all a childish scent either. It also lathers up very well and the  amazing scent lingers on the skin – bliss indeed! I’ve already rushed back and stocked up on a full-size bottle, which I can’t wait to use. It’s £3.00 for 500ml, but Tesco have a 2 for £4 offer on until the end of January so my advice is buy some soon! This is actually a little better than Imperial Leather’s marshmallow shower gel in my opinion though I do love both.

Finally in this section, I must give a HUGE SHOUT-OUT to Mrs Strawberry Blonde who suggested a week or so ago that I should really get myself some of these new Facial Konjac Sponges from Superdrug. Given that, to my knowledge, Mrs SB has never been wrong, I immediately went online and bought three – they’re £1.99 each, but I bought 3 of them with the current 3-for-2 offer. My dears, this product is absolutely MAGICAL for my spot-prone super-sensitive skin and really my face has never looked so good. No, I kid you not! I use mine in the morning and evening – I make the sponge damp and then very gently rub my whole face with it a couple of times with whatever product I’m using. There’s no tingle or irritation, and it thoroughly cleanses my skin without damaging it in any way so I’m a total convert now. The spots which were threatening me before I started using the sponge have gone away, my make-up goes on better and stays on better and my face looks SO CLEAR!! Honestly, I keep glancing in the mirror now to see if it’s still true, and it is. Gosh! Go get yours now! Just remember to rinse the sponge and give it a gentle squeeze to get rid of excess water and then hang it somewhere dry (not in the bathroom!) to dry out. This is definitely my favourite product of 2016 and so cheap too – result!

Products I Don’t Love

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The Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter came as a sample product recently, and I have to say I really loved it the first time I used it. Then when I used it again, it made me feel quite ill and I realised that it actually smelled like rancid milk. Yukk!! Thankfully, it wasn’t too large a sample so I’ve used it up when I definitely wasn’t going anywhere. It costs £30.27 for 226g at Amazon so I’ll be giving it a miss.

I bought the New Dawn Rose Geranium Face & Body Moisturiser a year or so ago when the menopause seriously kicked in and my skin went utterly TERRIBLE in every way. It started off being okay but my skin back then was so desperate that it would probably take anything and feel better, I think. Then I realised the product was just too rich for my face, so I put it away, but lately I’ve been using it up as a hand cream in the bathroom. It’s okay but the scent is a little too strong for me. I’m also not sure if the company make this one any more as – though it’s mentioned on site – I just can’t find it but the site does seem very confusing. Oh well!

The Guinot Hydra Sensitive Face Cream came as a sample and is okay, though Guinot’s not a range I would normally go for. Then again, at £40.75 for 50ml from Amazon, can you blame me!?! So there’s nothing wrong with it, and it doesn’t irritate my skin, but there are many other better products at more reasonable prices out there.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous and beautiful Christmas!

Anne Brooke Books