Thursday, 30 April 2015

Alva Rhassoul Repair Spray from My Pure

I received a bottle of Alva Rhassoul Repair Spray free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experiences.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I suffer from pretty problematic skin and have done for some time. Over the years, my skin has become drier and prone to the odd outbreak of spots, something I thought I'd left behind in my teens! I've tried many products designed specifically for spots but find that although some of them seem to work a little, they dry out the surrounding skin which becomes uncomfortable and results in me having to stop using the product. I hoped that this would be different as it not only contains tea tree oil and manuka oils, but also has 90% aloe vera to help provide some much needed moisture.

The bottle comes with a pump action spray top making the oil easy to dispense and preventing any spillage. To use, simply spray a little onto a cotton pad and dab over problem areas. It can also be sprayed directly onto neck and decollete area.

The hardest part for me was getting past the smell! It's very pungent and, in my opinion, isn't particularly pleasant. I managed to squirt a small amount onto a cotton pad and apply it to the few spots which were visible on my face. I was unable to spray it directly onto my neck etc as the smell was quite overpowering. Putting the smell aside, I applied the oil each night before bed and after a couple of days, I saw a visible reduction in both the size of the offending spots and despite this being applied directly to the spots, the surrounding skin didn't suffer at all and remained moisturised. I continued using each night for 1 week and my spots had completely gone ...relief! My skin has been clear since but as soon as I see one appear, i won't hesitate to reach for this repair spray.Due to this being a spray rather than a cream or gel, a tiny amount stretches a long way so you really do get value for money.

Best of all, this product is a natural,certified, organic, vegan AND vegetarian product which is not tested on animals.

Alva Rhassoul Repair Spray costs £11.95 for a 75ml bottle and is available to buy from My Pure.

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes from my Pure

I received a pack of Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experiences.

My facial skin has suffered really badly during the long winter months and is in dire need of having some new life injected into it. Apart from suffering dryness, my skin looks dull, drawn and is currently boasting a few more wrinkles than I'd like to see. It was time to find something to help combat this and that's where Yes to Grapefruit came in very handy. Each pack contains 25 wipes which claim to 'cleanse, exfoliate and brighten' the skin.

There is a tough, plastic central lid on the pack which is very easy to pop open and helps keep the wipes from loosing any moisture once opened ....genius!

Simply open the lid, remove the small seal cover and pull through the facial wipe. I was quite impressed that I actually managed to pull out only one wipe, as past experience tells me that you usually manage to pull at least 2 through at a time! The wipes are a generous size and have a nice textured feel to them. They're thick enough to scream quality, but not too thick to manipulate. When wiping over the neck and face, you can feel the gentle exfoliation and the coolness of the wipe was really refreshing. On the odd couple of hot days we enjoyed recently, I placed the wipes in the fridge for an hour or so before use and they gave some much needed relief at the end of a sweaty day. The wipes are lightly fragranced with grapefruit giving a lovely fresh burst which lingers on the skin. I noticed immediately that my skin looked brighter and felt firmer. you are recommended to use these 2/3 times per week and I found that this was enough to make a visible difference as well as one you can feel. I also noticed a visible improvement in my spots which aren't major but are enough to give me a bit of a complex. These wipes worked wonders on clearing my skin and leaving it blemish free as well as refreshed and nourished.

Overall I would highly recommend these wipes and feel that they made a real difference for me!

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes cost £3.99 for a pack of 25 and are available to buy from My Pure.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tesco Finest* Pasta Range

The Lowdown ....

A traditional recipe

To Giuseppe Di Martino, grandson of the Di Martino company’s founder, pasta isn’t just food, it’s his passion and his way of life. Their pasta is made to a recipe that has barely changed in decades using 100 per cent Italian durum wheat semolina. It gives the pasta a very high (14g) protein content and keeps it al dente for longer during the cooking process.

A passion for flavour and taste

Many types of pasta are dried in 3 hours. But our finest* pasta is left to dry for 30 hours to bring out the wheat’s subtle flavor.

In pursuit of perfection

Pasta with a coarser finish helps the sauce cling to it when cooked. So, while modern pasta makers have changed their ‘die’ (the pasta shaper) to Teflon, the Di Martino family continues to use bronze ‘dies’ that scratch the pasta making it rough and perfect for cooking with.

As a member of The Orchard, I recently received vouchers to cover the cost of some Tesco Finest* Pasta free of charge, in return for an honest review.

My first choice was the Fusilli Lunghi Pasta ...mainly because I was fascinated by the length and style of the pasta. 

My second choice was the Conchiglioni Rigati Pasta which looks like extremely large pasta shells.
Each bag comes with easy to follow instructions on the back and takes between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the style of pasta to cook. It really is that simple!
Now I'm not the world's most adventurous eater and I'm not a huge fan of pasta whereas my oldest daughter absolutely loves it so she was to be my guinea pig (so to speak). 
There is a serving guide on the back of each pack so you know just how much 1 person should have - something I personally find very useful as I often make my portion sizes way too big for the average adult. When the required amount of lightly salted water is boiling, simply add the pasta, give it a quick stir then leave. I did keep checking and giving the pasta a stir with a fork just to make sure it wasn't sticking together as I often find I have this problem when cooking pasta. After the recommended time, I sampled a piece of pasta and I have to say that it was cooked to perfection! Unlike some pasta, this didn't leave an unpleasant 'film' coating my tongue and even had a pretty nice flavour on it's own. My daughter however prefers tuna and mayonnaise with pasta so that's exactly what she got. She tried both pastas and preferred the Fusilli Lunghi ...she found the other pieces a little too large! For some reason, this pasta also seemed to be a bit more filling than normal as she couldn't quite manage the full portion size which I was amazed at as normally she's still hungry for more. 
Overall I would definitely recommend Tesco Finest* Pasta Range as it's not only extremely versatile, but it tastes great and looks superb too! The packaging also helps it retain its freshness and as it comes in 500g bags, there's plenty enough to last.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Vidal Sassoon Salonist

I was recently chosen as one of the lucky Supersavvyme members to receive a free pack of Vidal Sassoon Salonist at home hair colourant in return for an honest review, so here it is!

I often get highlights in my hair which is why I opted for the 9/0 Light Neutral Blonde, hoping it was the right choice.

Inside my box I received:
1 Instruction/Tips leaflet
1 Tube of Colour Preserving Conditioner
1 Mixing bowl and brush
1 Pair of protective gloves
1 Tube of Rich Colour Cream
1 Bottle of Colour Activating Lotion
1 Sachet of VS Serum

I did complete the allergy test as per instructions but as I'm a wee bit impatient, I didn't bother to do the strand test and just ploughed straight in .......big mistake!!

Fortunately, the bottles are also numbered to make it that wee bit easier to know which to use. You simply take bottle 1 and tube 1 and mix them together in the bowl provided. This was slightly difficult as it resembled porridge and took quite a while to thoroughly mix in but I persisted as I didn't want to risk any clumps of block colour anywhere on my hair. You are advised to section your hair ready to apply the mixture which I managed without too much trouble. I didn't accept any help from my other half as I was curious to see how easy/hard it would be to colour my hair without help and I though it better for the purpose of this review.
Once the hair is sectioned, it's time to start applying the mixture beginning with the roots and hairline. Once you've used around 3/4 of the mixture, you're done and it's time to start the waiting game of around 20 minutes before moving onto the next stage. Unlike some hair colourants, this has a reasonably pleasant smell but it is a little overpowering so good ventilation is still essential.
After this time, take the serum labelled in tube 2 and add this to the 1/4 of the remaining mixture and mix in well. Now it's time to get stuck in there and apply all over the hair. Stick your gloved hand in the bowl and take a fair sized scoop of mixture then proceed to smooth this through the hair making sure you get it all. I personally found this part really difficult and rather fiddly as my hair was just sticking together making it very difficult to guarantee an even all over coverage. My hair is fairly long (mid-way down my back) and is extremely fine which is why I think I found this stage so hard. I did persevere until it was all covered and then started the waiting game again for next 10 minutes.
Within 2 minutes of me applying the first stage to my roots etc, I noticed the bright gingerness begin to appear and it really got me panicking! The longer I waited, the brighter the orangey colour became ....oh no!!

Now it was time for the moment of truth and to be perfectly honest, I was dreading taking the colour off and seeing what results I was left with. I saw the colour running down the plughole as I washed and as recommended, I used the Colour Preserving Conditioner which I have to say left my hair feeling gorgeous!
First impressions of wet hair were that it had definitely turned an awful ginger at my roots, but not as bad as I expected - then I dried it! The tears flowed and flowed as I wondered if I could ever show my face in public again and I had no way of fixing it as I can seldom afford to visit the hairdressers. I was left absolutely devastated to say the least.

My pics don't show the colour too well but I'm hoping you get a rough idea.

As a product, I really can't fault it as it delivered exactly what it said it would ...all over colour from root to tip and full grey coverage. The feel of my hair was absolutely gorgeous after using this product and it didn't feel harsh in the slightest. Would I recommend it? Yes! I can't blame the product for my impatience and as I passed samples onto friends, they were extremely happy with the results ...all used brown shades which they said left their hair feeling nourished and well looked after as well as a great colour!

Check out the Vidal Sassoon Salonist website for more info and insider tips!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Living Nature Bloom Lipstick with FREE Lip Hydrator

I received Living Nature Bloom Lipstick with Lip Hydrator from My Pure free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experience.

I've only recently began wearing lipstick again as my lips had suffered terribly during the winter months resulting in soreness, redness and a bit of chapping. I tended to opt for a clear coat of lip balm to help repair and protect my lips but now, they're in much better condition, so I thought it time to experiment with lip colour again. I noticed this duo on the My Pure site and it really appealed as you don't only get a gorgeous lippy, but it also comes with a free lip hydrator to my ears!

Both are packaged separately and it's clear to see from the boxes exactly which one is which.

It's a wee bit difficult to see in this pic, but the outer casing on both products have a lovely velvety feel to them which oozes sophistication and makes them very easy to hold. The black casing is also very sleek.

The lip hydrator can be worn either alone, or as a base coat for a coloured lippy and works very well either way. it glides over lips with ease and immediately moisturises and hydrates leaving them feeling soft and kissable. It's also non-sticky which is a massive bonus as I hate it when I apply something to my lips and find that afterwards, I have to pry the apart! When used alone, this seems to last on the lips for ages and those who know what I'm like for cuppas, would be surprised to know that this really did go the distance and didn't need reapplied after each one ...superb!

The lipstick itself is called Bloom and is an absolutely gorgeous deep reddy/pinkish shade ...very Springlike! I'm often a little sceptical about applying colour over the top of anything as it often dulls the colour down making it look alot paler than anticipated, however even after applying the lip hydrator, the colour of the lippy was still as strong and bold as it looked in the tube. Again, this glided on with ease and the shape of teh end was perfect for giving full, even coverage. I didn't suffer any 'bleeding' around the edges of my lips using this which is another problem I often encounter, and the colour remained strong throughout most of the day so no need to keep re-applying!

Overall I was thrilled with the results of both of these products and wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Made with only the finest natural ingredients to guarantee a pout to be proud of.

Living Nature Bloom Lipstick with FREE Lip Hydrator is available from My Pure at a cost of £19.50 (reduced from £34.50 at time of post). It may seem a  little pricey but I assure you that it's well worth it for the results it provides.

Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant from My Pure

I received some Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experience.

I tend to suffer alot of dry patches of skin on my face which often causes me a few problems. First is that when I choose to wear foundation, it always tends to stick to the dry patches and looks hideous. I sought a bit of advice about this problem and was told to use a gentle exfoliator on a daily basis to help get rid of the flaky skin. When I found this product on My Pure, I thought it would be perfect as it states that it's gentle and can be used daily. What's best about this product is that it can also be used as a detoxing mask treatment which simply requires leaving it on the skin for 5 minutes, then rinsing off.

When you remove the lid, don't forget to peel off the small bit of foil which covers the end of the tube or you'll be standing there all day wondering why it won't come out .....a bit like I did myself! This is designed to be used after cleansing and comes out looking a bit like wet sand. You can immediately feel the grittiness of this exfoliator, and I did worry a little as to whether it would feel a bit scratchy on my skin as i can be pretty sensitive. I needn't have worried however as it actually felt quite pleasant and invigorating. I used small circular motions to spread it around my face, paying particular attention to my problem areas where the skin is more flaky which included my cheeks, forehead and around my nose. The smell was a wee bit overpowering but this is something I could definitely overlook. As soon as I rinsed the exfoliator off my skin, I noticed a visible difference and at first sight, couldn't see any troublesome flaky bits! I patted my skin dry and expected redness but again, it was fine and actually felt quite moisturised.

I have been using this daily for a couple of weeks now and have to say that I'm really impressed with the results. My skin feels renewed and fresh as a daisy.

This is definitely one I'd recommend, especially if, like me, you suffer those terrible unsightly dry flaky patches, and what better time to start using it than now as hopefully summer is just round the corner!

Kosmea Daily Exfoliant is available to purchase from My Pure at a cost of £10 for a 20g travel size tube.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Cadbury Creme Egg Pots of Joy

We don't often get treats in our house but after scrimping and scraping for months, we decided to treat ourselves to a little something special. We really didn't realize there was so much choice available for cakes, biscuits etc and it took a long time deciding which was the best option for a family of 4. Fortunately, our decision was helped by the fact that these little pots were reduced to 99p for 2 ...fab!

Now, I'm not usually too keen on chocolate flavoured things, I prefer the real thing, but I am a massive fan (and always have been) of Cadbury Creme Eggs ....hence why Easter is my fave time of year ever!

I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I first opened my little 'pot of joy' but was met with a gorgeously creamy looking chocolate topping which looked extremely appealing. I slowly took a small scoop on my spoon and was amazed at how egg-like it looked. I know it sounds daft, but I didn't expect it to be so like my fave snack ...but it was! The smoothness of the chocolate and the gorgeous tasting yolk/egg white part were the perfcet combination ......the ultimate food porn!
If the pot had of been a wee bit bigger, i probably would have gotten sick half way through but as it happens, this pot was the perfect size for me. Not too much that I'd get sick, but definitely enough to give ultimate satisfaction and keep those hunger pangs at bay.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by how good these tasted and would't hesitate to buy them again. It's also another pudding which was loved by myself, my partner and my kids ...a rarity in our house!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Acorelle Complete Waxing Kit from My Pure

I received the above product free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experience.

The low-down of the Acorelle Complete Waxing Kit:

'The 1st complete kit of cold, hypoallergenic, 100% natural and organic certified wax strips

4 - IN - 1 FORMAT
This practical kit, is perfect for a complete wax of all your body areas. It includes 4 sizes of strips perfectly adapted to the size of each area to be waxed. Face x 4 Eyebrows x 8 Underarms & bikini x 10 Body x 10 PLUS a post hair removal care to remove the potential wax residues and soften the skin.'

I generally shave my legs/underarms etc but love trying new ways of getting rid of unwanted hair ...some of them unsuccessfully! I have used wax in various forms before so it wasn't exactly something new to me, even though it's been a while since I used anything other than a razor. 

The idea of wax strips really appeals to me as they give a long-lasting effect, are less messy than other wax forms, and are relatively quick and easy to use. 

I like to have a bath before using any kind of wax as I moisturise my legs regularly so like to make sure there's no left over residue which could prevent the wax working to its full potential. I also exfoliate to get rid of any dead skin. Once all that's out the way, it's time to start waxing. 

As you can see from the pic, this pack contains wax strips in various sizes to suit each area of the body and also contains a small bottle of post hair removal care. You get 10 large strips for body/legs, 10 smaller ones for underarms/bikini, 4 smaller again for the face (I assume above the lip) and 8 tiny strips for eyebrows.

In order to get the wax strips to work, either hold them between your palms for a couple of minutes, or stick them under your legs as this helps soften the wax making them much more usable. Once you feel it's softened enough (and is mildly warm), peel the 2 strips apart and apply one directly to the area needing waxed. Smooth with palm in a downward motion going with the hair growth. Once satisfied that it's stuck, grab the bottom and peel back in an upward motion going against the hair growth. This ensures that the hairs are pulled out from the deep within. 
I personally found that these strips could maybe do with a little more wax on them as they were slightly sparse once separated. They were extremely simply to use and left very little residue on my legs after use. I found these slightly less painful than some I've tried but I also noticed a few finer hairs which were left behind. I managed to use each strip twice but really could have done with more. Despite me being quite petite I found that the body strips provided weren't quite enough to do both of my legs from top to bottom and only managed the bottoms! 

Once I got rid of the few leftover stray hairs, my legs felt pretty smooth and not as red as they have been when using other brands was a blessing that the 'plucked chicken skin' didn't appear! The post hair removal care has a really nice smell and got rid of the small amount of stickiness that was left over, leaving my legs gorgeously smooth and ready for showing!

Acorelle Complete Waxing Kit is available from My Pure and as it's on special offer at the moment, only costs £8.54. (price correct at time of post. Usual price £9.49)

A'kin Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme from My Pure

I received the above product free of charge from My Pure, in return for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my own experiences.

I often find that my hands suffer more than anywhere else on my body due to everyday tasks such as washing dishes, clothes washing, polishing etc. They become very dry, especially during the winter months, and often crack making them pretty painful at times. A lot of creams to help combat this are available on the market, but I often find that they leave a greasy after-feel on my hands and are only really suitable for night time use. When I noticed the A'kin Lavender & Jojoba Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme available on the My Pure site, I decided to give it a try.

This product claims to give 'soft, supple hands & strong nails' whilst 'rapidly absorbing into the skin'.

Simply squeeze a generous amount into hands, and proceed to massage in. The first time I used this, I put way too much into my hand and had to dab a little off. A blob about the size of a 10p was the perfect amount for me to use ....not the huge dollop I applied the first time! The Lavender smell really comes through in this cream and I found it really relaxing massing it into my hands. I made sure I paid particular attention to my cuticles as they often become really hard and flaky, as does the area around my nails. It didn't take long before all the cream was absorbed which I really loved. My hands felt refreshed and perfectly moisturised but not too greasy to hold a cup, and had a slightly more youthful appearance to them.

When i first started using this hand cream, I found that I applied around 4 times a day, however after just 3 days of this, I was able to just apply twice a day, morning and night, to keep the skin moisturised and pain free.
If like me, you suffer from dry, cracked, sore skin, then I would highly recommend this cream as it has a rich, creamy texture and is full of beneficial ingredients which really work long term.

A'kin Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme is available to buy from My Pure, and at the moment is on special offer for just £10.80 for a 75ml tube. (prices correct at time of post)

Friday, 6 February 2015

GOSH Soft Shower Gel & Moisturizing Body Lotion

I was lucky enough to win both these products from the Christmas Advent competition which was ran on the GOSH Facebook page I wasn't asked to review these products but thought I'd share them with you anyway. All opinions are based upon my own experience.

First, I have to say that I personally love the design and size of these bottles, they really look stylish and make the product easy to dispense. As always, the first thing I did upon opening was to have a sniff and wow, they both smelled gorgeous!! Bath time followed soon after lol

The shower gel contains Aloe Vera which is known for its skin softening properties and was the perfect choice for my dry, winter skin. I squeezed a generous amount onto my scrunchie and began washing. The smell immediately filled my nostrils and was exceptionally pleasant. It slightly reminded me of the Matey bubble bath I used as a child. It's a nice, fresh, delicate smell which I also found very relaxing. The gel lathered up really well and gave me a great all over clean feeling. My skin already felt alot softer than when using my regular shower gel and even after rinsing, the smell lingered on my skin. For a change, I had no tightness and no itching after drying which impressed me no end.

The moisturizing body lotion contains Argan Oil & Vitamin B3 to give the ultimate in hydration. I poured a small amount in my hands and massaged it into my legs & body. Again, the smell was unbelievably pleasant .....I could have sniffed this all day! The lotion applied well and didn't leave any greasy residue. It softened my skin beautifully and even managed to target my driest areas ie knees and elbows. The first day I used it, 3 friends separately asked me what perfume I was wearing and were gob-smacked when I told them it was just my new moisturiser! My youngest daughter waited till the end of the day and asked what I'd been wearing as every time I wafted past her, she got a lovely whiff. As soon as I showed her what it was, she decided to have herself a bath just to borrow some!

Both of these products were absolutely amazing and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either of them, especially if you suffer from dry skin which is in need of a little TLC ....and of course, you'll smell absolutely gorgeous!