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I recently bought some of these Boots Essentials Refreshing Cucumber Cleansing Wipes as part of a three for two offer. I had never tried them before but I wanted a cheap everyday wipe and they seemed to fit the bill.
Each pack contains 25 wipes and has a resealable sticker over the opening. It is easy enough to pull out one wipe without ending up with a whole load of them and the sticker works well and doesn't let the remaining wipes dry out at all. I really like the cool, refreshing cucumber scent. It's pleasant without being at all overbearing.
These wipes are intended to clean your skin from both oils and make-up however I only tend to use these to clean my face and not as a make-up remover. They are perfectly fine as facial cleanser as they smell nice and have a decent amount of dampness to feel good without leaving your face all wet. To remove make up you have to rub them harder against your skin and I find this feels quite rough especially around the delicate eye area if you are trying to remove eye make up. I hardly ever wear make up so these wipes are fine for me most of the time but if I was a make-up wearer I would be looking at getting a more expensive product that is softer against my skin.
One pack of these wipes currently costs £1.50 from Boots and they are usually not the 3 for 2 offer making them even better value. I would buy them again the future but I wouldn't go out of my way and if I saw something similar of a similar price in a different shop I wouldn't just as easily pick that up instead rather then these.
In summary, these cheap wipes are fine as a basic everyday cleanser but something a little less basic is needed for make-up removal.
Skin cleansers and products designed to reduce spots can be really expense and I'm not that convinced any of them are that effective so I was on the look out for something towards the cheaper end to try out. I bought a £2.99 bottle of this Johnson and Johnson Deep Cleansing Lotion for sensitive skin from their Clean and Clear range as it also has a good reputation. I don't particularly have sensitive skin but I hoped that it might just be less harsh than non-sensitive alternatives.
I'm not sure why this product is called a lotion to be honest as that suggests a thicker, cream-like consistency to me but it is actually the same viscosity as water. This means that it comes out of the bottle very quickly when it is tipped up and just soaks straight though a cotton pad. It's a bit annoying, so tip it carefully. The cap can also be a bit stiff to open too.
The scent is quite a strong minty smell but it is perfectly fine and smells much better than a lot of clearsil products. It's easy to apply to your face using a cotton pad and it does leave a slight cool tingling sensation on your skin especially where you have sore areas or spots. I quite like as it shows that it is actually doing something! You can also see the results on the cotton pad too. The product doesn't need to be washed off afterwards unlike soaps and masks which is a good time-saver. It's also cheaper and leaves my skin less wet afterwards than pre-impregnated pads. Seeing as I get a tingling sensation when using this and my skin isn't that sensitive, people with really sensitive skin might not get along with it.
I like the fact that you can use this product as often as you feel necessary as often with these sorts of products you can only use it maximum once day. Having said that it is very rare for me to use this more than once a day, but it's still nice to have the option!
As with any cleansing product, it is so hard to say whether it has prevented you getting spots. Remember that if there was a universal cure for spots, we wouldn't even know what they are so don't have unrealistic expectations. However I feel that this product does indeed cleanse my skin preventing oil and grease buildup as the packing claims and is indeed more effective than just washing with soap and water. (It makes no claim on the bottle about removing make up so it's not a product intended for that purpose). I also like the fact it is much quicker and easier to apply than a soap, a mask or a gel which encourages me to use it more regularly and I think it is good value for money so I would be happy to buy it again in the future.
This Mud Therapy face mask is a Superdrug product which I picked up when whilst originally searching for a single use sachet mud mask. I noticed that a 75ml tube of this Raspberry Exfoliating mask was around the £2.50 so it was much better value for me to get this product instead.
The product comes in an attractive deep-pink coloured tube with a flip-cap at the bottom. The mask isn't too thick so it squeezes out of the tube easily. I have had mine for quite a few months now as I only tend to use it occasionally but the opening hasn't got gummed up or dried out at all.
The mud is a slightly off-white grey colour with little black specks in it. These speck are natural raspberry seeds and apricot kernels and provide the exfoliating action. I feels so nice to rub this on your face! The mud is nice and cool and the seed sort of pop against your skin. It's nice and relaxing. I really like it that they are natural seeds rather than synthetically created particles as well. The raspberry scent is really nice too without being overpowering.
After application, you should leave the mask for 10 to 15 mins to set. Sometimes I wash it off sooner if I'm not in the mood to wait, happy with just the exploiting aspect of the product, and other times I leave it on for the full time to set. As it dries, it gets stiffer and tightens on your skin which feels nice. Washing it off can be a bit more difficult to do without making a mess around the sink. It will take ages to get it off by just splashing water on your face - I usually rub it off with a wet flannel which works fine. By far the best way to do it is to just wash it off in the shower.
My skin feels really nice and fresh after using this product and I will happily repurchase it when my current one runs out which might not be for a little while as one bottle lasts really well. I am quite liberal with the amount I use and it is still lasting me ages so this product is excellent value for money. It gets 5 out of 5 from me.
I picked up a pack of these Tesco cotton wool pads on a weekly shop as I needed something to use to apply facial cleanser. You get 100 cotton pads in a pack which will cost you £1. Each pad is round and is 5.5cm in diameter. They are made out of 100% pure cotton. I decided to buy these pads as they were a good price but weren't the absolute cheapest ones (Tesco everyday value cotton pads are just 49p).
When using these with a liquid cleanser to cleanse my face I have been very impressed with how well they hold together. At first I was worried they might disintegrate but this hasn't been the case at all. I can rub my face with them quite vigorously even when they are soaked through and they hold up perfectly which is great. I haven't used them to removed nail polish or makeup so I can't comment on their suitability for those purposes.
According to the packaging, these cotton pads are 'hydroentagled' which stops them fluffing up. I have had no issues with this with this when using mine so this obviously works. The softness of the pads is fine for me and I haven't found them to be coarse or irritating at all.
I would be more than happy to buy these pads again in the future so I recommend them. I might even be tempted to try the cheaper Tesco essential pads next time to see if they are just as good.
I have a bottle of this Carex Aloe Vera antibacterial hand wash in both my kitchen and bathroom at the moment. They are often on offer in the supermarkets for just £1 which is really good value. There are other fragrances available in the range but this one is my favourite.
The soap is a nice see-through pale green colour and comes in a clear 250ml bottle with a dispenser pump. It looks a bit more interesting than boring white or magnolia coloured liquid soaps. It recommends that you use two squirts of soap each time but seeing as it foams up really well, I often just use the one. It obviously last longer this way too. The pump is really effective and dispenses a decent amount of soap each time. In fact, if you push it down too hard, the soap can overshoot your hand so be gentle!
This soap is antibacterial and claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria. The antibacterial claims are reassuring especially in the kitchen where food gets prepared. I'm not sure how effective it is against viruses as this is not mentioned on the packaging.
The aloe vera scent of this soap is fresh, clean and quite subtle. I really like the fact that it isn't very strongly scented as I don't like the smell of a strongly fragranced soap on my hands when I am cooking.
I think this a decent product which provides good value and I will continue to buy it in the future so I rate it 5 stars.
I bought this Maybelline Colour Show Street Artist top coat as an impulse buy when I was in the supermarket. It caught my eye as it's quite unusual. The colour I have is called Alley Attitude and it is a clear top coat varnish containing different sized and shaped specks of light blue and black pieces. It comes in a 7ml bottle and costs around£3.99.
I found the application of this top coat to be a bit tricky as, due to the different sized specks, it's hard to get it looking even. Some nails would end up with big black pieces and others with mainly clear varnish and not many pieces at all. For this reason it's better to apply it in quite thick layer or give it a couple of coats. I like that you can use different base colours underneath this to get a totally different look. Up close, the effect looks like a paint splatter effect which is the only nail varnish I have come across that looks like this and it's quite cool. From a distance though, I don't think it really looks that great. It looks a bit messy and like you might just have dirt on your nails or something!
The thing that I really didn't like about this product was how difficult it was to remove! it took me ages to get it off again. Nail varnish remover didn't seem to have much effect on the specks in it and the cotton wool just kept catching on them ann getting shredded apart. In the end I had to just try and pick it off. This was a complete hassle and really does put me off trying to use it again. I think this will be relegated to the back of the bathroom cabinet. It's not for me.
I bought four of these Barry M Glitter nail polishes in the summer as part of a 4 for £10 Superdrug offer. There is lots of choice from this range when it comes to colours and I chose red, blue, purple and silver. All of the ones I have consist of a 10ml bottle of clear nail polish containing coloured glitter particles. The glitter pieces in the red, blue and purple ones are very small in size whereas the silver one contains a mixture of small and large glitter which makes this one a bit different. The glitter in the silver one also shines all different colours when it catches the light. I like the fact the glitter pieces are quite small as polishes containing larger pieces can look a bit garish.
The application of these nail varnishes is very easy as, unlike with a solid colour, it doesn't show up if you are a bit uneven or slow with your technique. The brushes are soft and the bristles don't splay out to wide when applying so the varnish just glides on. They are quick to dry and I haven't encountered any mushiness when applying more than one coat. And you really do need more than one coat if just applying these on their own. I would say a minimum of three or four is needed to get a decent glitter effect. You are also recommended to add a base coat first so this is a bit of effort that is required. I find it works much better to add a base coat of colour first and then use a glitter coat or two on top as this looks really effective and just as good. You can mix and match glitters too - at the moment on my toes I used solid red colour, a red glitter layer on top and then a silver glitter layer and they look fab and festive.
I usually only paint my toe nails and don't do my finger nails very often. On toes, these glitter polishes are great and last ages. I haves used the silver one on my fingers and it lasted about 1 day, max two days, before looking a bit shabby but this is pretty standard for nail varnish in general.
As with all glitter polish, it is a bit annoying to try and remove it. You have to give your nails quite a good scrub and the cotton wool sometimes catches in the glitter. Obviously the more coats you have on, the harder it is to get off again (another reason why a I like to add a base coat of colour and then only one or two glitter layers). I'm not bothered about this issue on my toes but it might bother people who like to paint their finger nails quite often.
In summary, I think these glitter polishes are a nice range of products for adding a little bit of sparkle - perfect for the festive/new year period.
I absolutely love Bomb Cosmetic Soaps. I got my first one a couple of years ago as part of an offer by trading in some Andrex coupons and ever since then, whenever I see them in a shop I can't help myself - i just have to buy one!
Bomb Cosmetics produce loads of different scented soaps. I have probably tried about 8 or so different ones but this Berry the Hatchet soap (awesome name) probably ranks up there as my favourite one. As the name and gorgeous colour suggests- it smells like berries, mainly blackberries. The company describes the scent as: 'A perfect blend of fruit notes, with a blackberry heart and hints of strawberry and raspberry.' It really does smell very berrylicious and I love using it. The scent lingers on your hands afterward as well which is nice.
You get a nice decent chunk of soap for you money which is great. In fact, when it is new it's quick bulky and angular which is the only slight potential downside but after a few uses it gets more ergonomic and is easier to use. It foams up nicely and it stays solid and doesn't disintegrate to mush on the side of the sink.
Like all Bomb Cosmetics soaps, it's so pretty! The colours are bright and vibrant and it has funky patterns in it which I really love. Gone are the days of boring, hard lumps of plain white soap like my Mum always used to buy, thank goodness!
You will often find these soaps for sale in independent gift shops, in garden centres and at craft fairs but they also have a nice website (bomb cosmetics.co.uk) where you can pick this up for £2.49. There are lots of other nice scented soaps available on there too. I award 5 stars to this Berry the Hatchet soap. I would recommend it.
This Sure Crystal Invisible Aqua anti-perspirant is a spray which comes in a 125ml can. It is compressed which means it should last just as long as Sure's older style 250ml packaging. I find this a bit confusing - are you supposed to spray for the same duration or does it mean it comes out twice as quickly so you should spray less?
The scent is really nice, it smells as if it should be called something like 'cotton fresh'. To me, it smells like freshly washed clothes which is nice. The product claims to be anti-white marks, anti yellow stains and provide 48 hour protection. I haven't noticed any white or yellow marks although I haven't worn anything black or white and sleeveless lately so I can't say too much about that. I do not believe that any deodorant at all lasts 48 hours. Nobody uses it every second day so I don't know why they even bother putting that on the packaging to be honest.
It is really, really important to shake the can well before use. I once made the mistake of not bothering and covered myself with big lumps of flaky white power which fluttered down all over my trousers and I had to go and wash and get changed into different clothes before leaving the house - what a mess!
The can directs you to use in short bursts in a well ventilated area. This isn't surprising as, in my experience, it gives off an absolute tonne of fine white powdery mist even when you have given it a good shake. Sometimes I find it catches me in the back of the throat which isn't very nice. My boyfriend is asthmatic and actually has to leave the room before I spray it which isn't the case for other products so this one seems particularly bad. The mist also seems to linger in the air for a few minutes too. There is no way an asthmatic could use this product which is poor.
The product works fine (for 1 day and not for 48 hrs mind you) and smells good but I haven't particularly noticed anything about it that makes it better than cheaper alternatives. It is widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies and the price is around £2.50 to £3.00 depending on the shop.
All in all, it's a decent product in terms of scent and performance, but the level of dust it gives off is not acceptable and I will avoid buying this in the future for the sake of my boyfriend's health!
Prior to buying this, I had never tried any Soap and Glory products before but had always read good reviews online so I decided to try something from the range. I decided to get this Clean Girls Body Wash.
It comes in a nice big bottle (500ml) with a pink push-down dispenser which is a nice change for a shower gel. The dispenser is easy to work although sometimes the top of mine twists around a bit when I'm trying to operate it with wet hands which is a bit annoying. The product itself is white with a slight pink pearlescent sheen when held up to the light which looks quite pretty. I have found that the bottle dispenses a decent amount and a couple of squirts are enough, especially when using a sponge or exfoliating gloves as it foams up nicely.
I would describe the scent as a nice subtle flowery smell. The label on the bottle informs me more precisely that it is in fact: beautiful notes of bergamot, blackcurrant, magnolia, freesia, vanilla and musk.
The label on the bottle is decorated with little quirky, faintly amusing comments and descriptions which is a nice bit of branding I'm sure someone is very proud of. This body wash apparently has a built in "moisturising matrix". I'm sure this means absolutely nothing whatsoever but it does feel creamier when lathering up than non-moisturising shower gels so I guess I will let them off!
Loads of Soap and Glory products are available at Boots, which is where I picked this up for free as part of a 3 for 2 offer. Normally it retails there for £6.50 which seems a bit expensive but seeing as you get 500ml it's not so bad really. So, in conclusion, I like this product and would recommend it. I like to always use a different shower gel so I might not get this exact one again but I'm sure I will now try other products from the range in the future.
I recently bought a 250ml bottle of this raspberry shower gel from the Body Shop website for £4. I had never tried it before but with an average customer review rating of 5* on their website, I decided to give it a go.
The gel itself is a lovely deep pink colour and has a good consistency which is more on the runny side rather than the gloopy side. This is good as it is easy to squeeze it out of the bottle. I have found that it lathers up really nicely too so you don't need to use too much of it so it lasts reasonably well. The only thing that I have an issue with is that, to me, it looks and smells exactly like the filling of a jam doughnut! It definitely has a raspberry scent but it is extremely sweet and sugary. I'm sure some people will really like this but I found it a bit off-putting to be showering with something that could be jam! I will still use the rest of my bottle but it's not something I would repurchase in the future. I have also tried the satsuma version of this shower gel and preferred the scent much more so the moral of the story is: smell the testers in the shop first before purchasing off the website.
As with most things from the Body Shop, I consider this to be overpriced as, although it is a decent product, it's not really anything to get excited over. The good thing is that there are frequent attractive Body Shop offers on (to the extent that it's silly to ever buy anything from there full price) and you can get nice cash back rates through sites like quidco which also helps reduce your spend. However, this is a bit of effort to go to just to pick up some shower gel...
Overall, I rate the Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel 3 stars; It's an alright product but a bit overpriced and sweet-smelling for my tastes.
~~~Why did I buy it?~~~
A few years ago I was given some Argos vouchers as a leaving gift from a job. With some of them I was sensible and bought a duvet cover (something I needed) and with the rest I bought this Lava Aquarium Fish Lamp (something I wanted!) I bought it as I thought it would be nice to look at and I wanted to make the most of my vouchers and get something I would never actually spend my own money on.
To clear up any initial confusion, there is in fact no lava involved in this lamp. It is just named that as it shares the same iconic shape as an original lava lamp (and is presumably from the same brand).
The body of the lamp is glass and the top and base are metal. The whole thing stands at a height of 41cm tall. It comes with a variety of variously coloured plastic fish and little balls which get caught up in the bubbles which float up out of the base of the lamp. They float to the top, and sink to the bottom as they get knocked around by the bubbles.
The lamp requires distilled water and it does not come supplied with it. This is really not an issue though, as engine water for cars is distilled so most people will already have some of this lying around in the garage. If not, you can do as I did and pick up a bottle of it in Halfords for a few pounds. The top metal part of the lamp lifts off and underneath there is a black rubber plug which is removed so you can pour the water in and it's as simple as that.
What really makes this lamp pretty to look at is the coloured light that shines up from the base, illuminating the bubble column. There is a single silver button on the base which operates the different light settings and you just press it repeatedly to flick through the different colours which are: red, green, dark blue, light blue, yellowy orange and purple. The final setting automatically changes colour though all of them and repeats. I never tend to select that one as it changes very rapidly like some kind of crazy disco light and is quite distracting. The static colours, however, are very pleasant. If you wish, you can also run the lamp with the bubbles on and the light turned off which is a nice touch.
My lamp has 6 plastic fish in it which are all different shapes and colours, although most of them are yellow. Each fish also has a hinged tail which can move separately from the body to add to the movement they undergo in the stream of bubbles. The lamp also contains 5 different coloured see-through plastic balls. Of course, you can add and remove these as you wish. For a classier look you can take all that stuff and just have the coloured bubbles to look at.
I feel I should mention this as, although not an issue for me, I know that some people may be bothered by the noise. To create the bubbles, the lamp obviously has a pump in it which makes a humming noise much the same as an aquarium does. It also vibrates a bit if which you can feel if you put your hand on it. So it is not suitable as a bedside lamp or as a nightlight for example because it would be too distracting in a silent room. When I lived with my parents and had it on upstairs in my bedroom, my Dad used to say that it was like a helicopter hovering above the house! I think this is a monumentally huge eye-roll-worthy exaggeration but he genuinely felt that he could hear it on upstairs when in the room below because it vibrated through the desk that I had it on. At the time I put this down to my Dad having supersonic hearing but I have read other reviews where people have been bothered by the noise. So if some background humming would bother you, this is definitely not the lamp for you. Plenty of stuff hums in my house (fridge, boiler, water pipes, 2 fish tanks) so this really doesn't offend me being in the corner of the lounge!
This lamp costs £29.99 from Argos and although it may seem a bit expensive, the quality of the lamp does reflect the price so I feel that it was good value for money. I really like to watch it as it is quite mesmerising. I tend not to leave it on for too long as with all the bubbles and lights and movement going on in there it probably leaches a fair bit of electricity, although I have no information on its energy usage so I can't say for sure.
This is a really fun novelty lamp which looks funky and is also a quality product. If you want something more silent and peaceful, get a proper lava lamp but if you want something more fun and lively, this is a good choice of novelty lamp. I'll give it 4 stars overall as I really like it but it does feel like a bit of a decadent use of electricity and the humming noise means it's not perfect for everyone.
I was given a nice cookbook for Christmas and I realised that my normal method of trying to guess the weight of ingredients (inaccurate) or trying to convert everything to number of table spoons (even worse) wasn't good enough. I wanted some accurate, but simple digital kitchen scales and I bought some of these from Argos for the very reasonable price of £9.99.
As part of the Argos ColourMatch range, these digital kitchen scales are available in a variety of colours: jelly bean blue (pastel blue) bubblegum pink (pastel pink), tutti frutti green (pale green), apple green (the one shown in the picture above), poppy red and jet black. My first preference was jelly bean blue but unfortunately this colour was out of stock in the store I went to so I ended up with tutti frutti green instead. (However, you can check product availability on the Argos website and also reserve items if you are particular about what you want).
These scales have a maximum capacity of 5kg (11lb) which means that you can place a mixing bowl on them, zero them and add ingredients directly which I like. There's no need to weigh ingredients in smaller bowls and transfer them afterwards. They are quite small (H23cm, W16.5cm) and are therefore easy to store when not in use. I usually put mine back in the box they came in, which is quite compact, to make sure they don't get damaged in amongst my pots and pans. They look quite smart and sleek so I would leave them out on the kitchen side if I had a bigger kitchen.
They measure in both imperial and metric so you can select your preference. I use both depending on what recipe I am using and how old it is. It measures in graduations of 1g which is more than good enough for kitchen scales.
The scales have a glass surface which covers the whole surface and is very easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. The buttons are not really buttons at all, you just press on the surface of the glass and somehow it registers your touch. I'm not sure how it works but it's quite cool. It removes the problem of stray sugar and flour clogging up the buttons. It is also very simple to use - there are only 2 buttons, one to turn it on and zero it and the other switches from imperial to metric. The LCD display is easy to read and positioned well so you can still see it even when you have a bowl on the scales.
There is no off button, they turn off by themselves so you don't have to worry about forgetting and the battery running low. Incidentally, they come supplied with a button battery which is replaceable if necessary. There is also a 10 year manufacturer's guarantee.
I am very pleased with these scales as they are accurate enough for my needs, are easy to clean and they look much more expensive than they actually were which is always nice! I have no complaints at all so it's 5 stars from me.
Product: Hotpoint Iced Diamond RFAA52 Fridge-freezer
Last summer my old fridge, which was part of a fridge-freezer combo, decided that the standard 4'C optimum temperature which it had happily maintained for years was no longer good enough. Interestingly, instead of it being too warm, I was treated to a chilly but constant -2'C. After a thorough defrosting and plenty of messing about with the temperature settings, the monstrous icy glacier reformed at the back, crystallizing my butter, turning my drinks slushy and freezing my milk solid. Inconvenient, to say the least. We parted ways and a new fridge-freezer was welcomed into my kitchen.
My shiny new fridge-freezer is a white Hotpoint Iced Diamond RFAA52. The fridge compartment is on the top and the freezer is at the bottom. Total dimensions of the whole combo are: 1740 x 454 x 580mm (H x W x D). The fridge is slightly larger than the freezer part with capacities of 150 litres and 75 litres respectively.
A few of the most relevant specifications:
- Energy rating: A+
- Freezer star rating: ****
- Annual energy consumption: 258 kWh
- Power failure safe storage time: 9 hours
- Door can be hinged on the other side
- CFC free
- Not suitable for outbuildings (only for heated environments)
The fridge has 3 removable safety-glass shelves that can be repositioned at different heights, and two plastic salad crisper boxes which sit at the bottom. The door has three shelves built in and are positioned at different heights. Large bottles of milk and fizzy drinks fit at the bottom well, the middle shelf I used for things like sauces and ketchup and I put jams and pickles at the top. I am yet to encounter anything that won't fit anywhere. The fridge also comes with a plastic egg-holder which fits 6 eggs - slightly archaic as I have never bought loose eggs in my life. The on/off switch is clearly visible inside the fridge and there is a single, simple temperature dial from 1 to 5. which is all very straight forward.
The freezer has 4 clear plastic drawers, all of which can be pulled out completely and removed. This makes it easy to see what's in there and to clean out the drawers. The bottom drawer is half the width of the others as is common with most freezers and you pretty much have to take it out in able to get anything out of it. There is no silly hinged door at the top which flips down which is a good thing as they always get snapped off eventually and fall out. Two of the freezer drawers also come with detachable ice cube tray things which clip back on the front of the drawer without taking up any extra storage space. This is a really nice idea but I have found that the only way to get the ice out is to give it a few hard whacks on the kitchen work-top. For some reason, this doesn't seem to be appreciated by other members of the household and it just results in randomly shaped shards of ice rather than cubes, so I would recommend giving that a miss.
This fridge-freezer was purchased from Currys and it is currently listed on their website at £219.00. You can also pay and extra £20.98 for a silver one if you are so inclined. There are also jet black ones for sale if you are willing to part with £245.00. This fridge is also available from other retailers but the decision to purchase from here was due to the home delivery service and the fact that they deliver to 1st floor flats, which would otherwise have been a deal-breaker. It is worth noting that not all shops will do this and unless you want to wrestle all 56kg of it up the stairs yourself, this is definitely worth checking before purchasing. We also took advantage of their old fridge removal service, so they took my broken one away at the same time as delivering the new one which was great.
I am very happy with the storage space and compartment sizes in this fridge-freezer. The magnetic strips around the doors work very well and the fridge-light is effective. The whole thing is crisp and white and looks nice. I have a fridge thermometer and the temperature is always static and exactly what it should be. I have had it for 6 months and there has been no ice build-up at all in either the fridge or freezer. It is not at all noisy (44db apparently) which is perfect for me as I have an open plan kitchen-living room and my sofa is actually about 2m from the it and it would drive me crazy if it started whirring and humming when I'm trying to watch TV. No such troubles encountered, thankfully. In conclusion, this is a very decent fridge-freezer and I would happily recommend it. 5 stars from me.
I recently upgraded to a larger fish tank as my goldfish are getting bigger and this is the gravel I had in my old tank. I thought the upgrade would be a good opportunity to get a different type or colour of gravel to make a change but in the end I found my interest returning to this product, and I bought another bag of this blue aquarium gravel from Pets at Home. After looking at the other varieties of gravel in both Pets at Home and a couple of independent aquatics centres this was still the most attractive of all the different varieties I came across.
I actually bought the Blue Mix Gravel which contains two different shades of blue, one of which is the same as pictured and the second is a slightly lighter shade. This slight contrast makes it more interesting to look at and the colours are quite vibrant so it looks really good when the aquarium lights are on. In addition to being attractive, gravel also provides a good substrate for beneficial bacteria which provide biological filtration for the tank.
This gravel is made of silicate aggregates and is coated in a colourfast resin coating to stop the dye leaking into the tank water. This makes the individual stones slightly shiny upon close inspection which makes them look nice. I have been using this gravel for 6 months and the colour has not faded at all, is it still as vibrant as ever. It will not affect the pH of the tank water either. This gravel can also be used as a substrate for aquatic plants although I have not tried this yet as I only have ornamental plants in my tank so far. It is suitable for all types of aquarium whether it be coldwater like mine, tropical or marine. It can be dusty when new so it needs to be thoroughly rinsed a few times before it is used.
The size of the stones in this gravel is quite fine. The size and shape is slightly variable but I would say they are all roughly between 2mm and 5mm. My goldfish really seem to like foraging around in this gravel and they will suck a few stones into their mouth at a time and then spit them out somewhere else after they are sure there is no more food stuck on them. They would not be able to do this with larger gravel which would be a shame so this is perfect for them. In fact, when I come to clean the ornamental plants in the tank, I always turn them upside down in the tank first and give them a shake to get rid of the gravel that has landed in there before running them under the tap to clean them. This saves gravel from being lost down the sink.
It is sold in 2kg bags which are £4.50 and also in 8kg bags which are £14. There are also a variety of other colours available including white, black, brown, red, a blue/green mix, and a black/white mix. One and a half inches of gravel seems to be the general consensus on how much to have in a tank (variable depending on the fish). I have found that 2 x 2kg bags covered the base of my 65L tank where the dimensions of the base are 50cm x 35cm so this can serve as a guideline as to how much may be needed for your tank.
In summary, this is a great aquarium substrate with a lovely vibrant blue colour that my fish seem to like as much as I do. On that basis, it's 5 stars!