Pearls and Pokemon

Products I will Buy Again


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


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


Rice and Soya Solutions


I’ve not used up many products this week – just two! – but have loved them both, which is great news.

The TonyMoly Rice Face Mask Sheet isn’t one I wholly expected to enjoy, as I’ve been a bit on-the-fence about previous TonyMoly products, but this one is very good and I will definitely buy it again (I have one left to use) – assuming I can find it anywhere in the UK, as it’s out of stock, groan. It feels lovely on the skin, it’s very soothing and my face looked better afterwards for quite a while, so I was very pleased indeed.

I’ve been taking one a day of the Femarelle tablets – a soya-based product for menopausal women and it definitely makes the hot flushes go away fast. I’m HUGELY against HRT for all sorts of decent personal health reasons (no, don’t ask!!) so this is a wonderful alternative. They’re not cheap at £20.85 for 56 tablets, but worth their weight in gold. I’ve already restocked, naturally.

Also this week, I’ve been to the dentist to get a cracked filling sorted – yes, I managed to grind my teeth SO HARD that I cracked my own tooth and the filling fell out, making the whole thing hurt like hell. Yuk – and ouch! Just call me Jaws Brooke, eh …!! Anyway, the dentist was wonderful and the filling is now sorted out, and so the pain has gone, hurrah! I got told off for not wearing my mouthguard every night (I’ve been lax about this lately, as it’s a bit of a bore …) and I am now newly converted to having to wear it. Honestly, and a word to the wise – you really DON’T care about beauty issues when you have toothache – so make sure regular dental visits are part of your beauty regime today! Plus always do what the dentist tells you – and your mouth will remain as beautiful as you are!

Anne Brooke Books

Lori Olding Children’s Fiction

Neutrogena Surprise and the Pointless Panda

Products I’ve Enjoyed This Week:


The Imperial Leather Blissful Escape Body Wash (with Jojoba milk and Jasmine) is fine – a very soothing smell and great for my sensitive skin. The only issue with it is that the bottle is so large (500ml) that I did get a bit bored at the end. Yes, I could easily mix and match but I’m trying to be good and finish things up so I can have more space on the bathroom windowsill! I’m a real hoarder when it comes to body washes. I don’t think I’ll rebuy this one though, as I’ve got loads of others!

The Eucerin DermoPurifyer Active Night Care is brilliant – I love this and have already restocked it. It’s oil free, great for spots and says it reduces blemishes in 3 weeks – which it does, so a great product all round.

I’ve been loving the A Passion for Natural Aloe Vera Gel (black bottle on the right) – it’s great as a body moisturiser and just so easy to get out, even to the last bit – and yes this is important to me as I’m always in a rush in the mornings, and can’t be bothered squeezing and struggling with products. I will probably get this one again but I currently have another aloe vera gel product on the go so am waiting to see how I feel about the two of them.

Finally in the Products I Like category is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser – I only had a sample as you can see, but it was fantastic – very comforting and moisturising which I need at my age! I shall be buying this one for sure – which is a surprise to me as I’ve only ever bothered with their hand cream before.

Products Which Have Disappointed Me This Week:


I have to say it’s been a bit of a tricky beauty week for me anyway – I paid a visit to the inaugural Wellbeing Day in our village last Sunday (also our wedding anniversary, which was lovely!) but came away mainly feeling very depressed. I think that lately my skin has been a lot better and one or two people at work have said how good I’m looking (thank you, both!) but at the Wellbeing Day, two separate stallholders mentioned how spotty I was and I felt hugely upset by that – and angry too, as surely it was supposed to be a Wellbeing Day, not a Make The Visitor Cry Day, and I think there are definitely better ways of approaching customers! Hey ho …

Anyway, starting with the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion sample, this was distinctly average and hasn’t inspired me to buy any more Aveeno products. Still, that said, it’s not as totally horrible as the Elizabeth Grant Collagen Body Cream in the middle – honestly, it smells DISGUSTING – like rubbing sewage on your skin (no, REALLY – and other people have said similar things in reviews!) – and no matter how bouncy the collagen might make me, it’s absolutely NOT worth it – so that’s going …

The Heyland & Whittle Wild Lemongrass hand cream on the right is something I started off quite liking but it quickly lost its appeal and I soon got bored with it. I also think it might make my skin feel a bit sore sometimes? I’ve had it for well over a year now and it’s not even halfway down the bottle so that’s going in the rubbish tonight!

In the front of the picture, the Dr Schrammek Derma Cosmetics Optimum Protection Cream sample is actually not too bad – and certainly better than the Golden Tan sample (not shown here) – but this was one given to me by one of the ‘spotty stallholders’ at the Wellbeing Day, and a woman has her pride! Until they sort out their customer service approach, Dr Schrammek can whistle for my cash, my dears …

Finally I come to the last two samples which came with a recent face mask order on the internet. The TonyMoly Pore Gel Cream (green sachet) left me baffled as there was so little in the sachet it was hard to tell anything definite about it at all. And the TonyMoly Panda’s Dream White Magic Cream sounds distinctly suspicious anyway and took AGES to rub in when I bravely tried it this morning. If I wake up tomorrow and look like a panda, I shall NOT be happy, LOL!

Anyway, I hope you’ve had a fun beauty week, and have a relaxing weekend!

Anne Brooke