Gold Lady and Grapefruit

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I never would have bought the Imperial Leather Sweet Vanilla and Cherry Blossom Foamburst Body Wash as I thought (weirdly) the look of it was way too masculine and I couldn’t work out who it was aimed at. I mean what’s with all the spooky black background? Seriously odd. It was only because I came across a blogger who was raving about it and said how much both she and her husband loved it that I decided to give this one a go. This luxurious body wash transforms from a smooth gel into an abundance of rich, creamy lather that glides across your skin like silk. Benefits: Immerse yourself in a delicious heavenly fragrance with this sumptuous vanilla and cherry blossom body wash. Leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth after just one wash. Our expertly crafted blend delivers a unique fragrance burst and a lather so rich and silky it can also be used for shaving. I’m glad I bought it, because I must say I absolutely LOVE it. The smell is glorious – like immersing yourself in the best ever cherry pie and it somehow feels very Christmassy too. As with all Imperial Leather products, the foam is fabulous and you only need one small squirt for your whole body – bliss! I will definitely be picking this one up again very soon. You can find it at Superdrug for £3.15 for 200ml, but they’re doing a 2 for £5 offer at the moment.

I must admit that when I bought it online, I thought the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter was going to be a much larger tub so when it arrived it was fairly disappointing. I’m no good with measurements, as you can tell! This rich and creamy Body Butter is a feast for the skin. It melts straight in to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. It contains Community Trade cocoa butter and has a zingy grapefruit scent. 

  • Body moisturiser
  • Lightly moisturises (24hr hydration)
  • Nourishes skin
  • For normal to dry skin
  • Skin is left feeling softer, and suppler
  • Easily absorbed
  • Refreshing, zesty scent

However, I enjoyed the product a lot more than I thought I would – the smell is great and not too harsh, and it rubs in very easily. The only issues are the size and the price – it’s £6 for 50ml, so you don’t get much bang for your buck. A shame really …

The Olay Regenerist 3 Point Day Cream was sent as a sample, and left me fairly cold actually. Olay Regenerist 3 Point day Cream with SPF30 provides fast anti-ageing results on face, neck and décolletage. From the first use, its lightweight, non-greasy texture leaves skin brighter, hydrated and protected from the ageing effects of sun damage. After 5 days skin feels firmer. Firms and helps protect from damaging UV rays SPF 30 protection in a lightweight prestigious feel. Hydrates skin and regenerates for a youthful look. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliates, smoothens and brightens. The trouble is that it’s just so lightweight that I didn’t feel it was doing me any good at all – like putting absolutely nothing on my face. I do at least like to feel it’s making some kind of difference, LOL! However, if you like things being that invisible, maybe this is the one for you? You can get it at Boots for £19.99 for 50ml, but they are having a one-third discount on Olay products at the moment.

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The Tesco Lens Wipes are my go-to product for cleaning my glasses and sunglasses. For spectacles, cameras and optical devices: quick drying, smear free and individually wrapped. I only actually clean them once a week but I really should do them more – I’m just too lazy! I would say these ones do leave some smears but they vanish very quickly so there’s no need to scrub at them. They cost £1.25 for 26 wipes, so not too bad at all.

I tried the Mario Badescu Facial Spray, as so many beauty bloggers were recommending it. A refreshing & hydrating facial mist. Features a gentle & non-irritating formula. Contains fragrant Herbal Extracts & Rosewater to provide a boost of moisture. Instantly soothes tight, dehydrated skin. Leaves skin refreshed & comfortable. Perfect for all skin types. Can also be used on dry hair. To use: mist on face, neck & hair as needed. Also great for setting makeup. This one is fine and the rose smell is nice, but I wouldn’t say I was wowed by it at all. I think there are better and cheaper rosewater sprays on the market. You can buy this one at Amazon for £10.66 for 120ml.

The Milton Lloyd Gold Lady Parfum de Toilette is one of my reliable day-time/work scents and I already have a spare to use now I’ve finished one. The notes are:

  • Citrus, Fruity
  • Jasmin Lily Rose
  • Caramel – Musk
  • Oriental-Fruity

For me, it’s pleasantly floral with a slight spicy kick that I love. You can get it at Amazon for £2.95 for 50ml, so a real and worthwhile bargain!

I’ve got loads of the Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Blemish Mud Masks and they’re fairly good at clearing up the skin. The attributes are:

  • Special mud blend of Aloe Vera, Willow, Rosemary and WitchHazel
  • For Clear, Clean & Refreshed skin

The trouble is that the smell is starting to annoy me a bit so I have tended recently to approach it with a slight groan. It does the job fairly well, but I’m opting for one of my other blemish masks when the need arises these days. I’m hoping this is just a blip as I do have lots left, LOL! You can buy it at Amazon for £1.98 per 20ml mask, and this will last you at least two sessions.

Finally, I’ve been using the Nyx Dark Circle Concealer in the Fair shade for a while now. A serious solution for one of beauty’s most challenging problems! No fancy names – just a product that can be counted on to do the job. The product glides on without looking thick or obvious. Coconut oil provides intensive moisture and ensures no caking. The subtle hint of orange counteracts the appearance of dark circles while natural skin-toned pigments work in unison to provide the ultimate coverage. It blends in well – but I don’t think it does the job as well as other products to be honest – though my eyes do need a lot of help! I was also annoyed by the way it caked up in the pot as I was coming to the end of it, which was very irritating. I kept putting caked pieces of the concealer onto my face and having to wipe it off and start again, grrr! So, while it’s been an interesting experience, I won’t be bothering again. You can buy it at Boots for £6.50 for a 2.9g pot, and it lasts a good while.

Happy Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books 

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