Wild Rose and Angels

Products 1

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

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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

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