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I am a fan of L’Oreal hair care products having tried many in the range! Boots recently had a half price offer on L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner and so I took the opportunity to stock up! One of the shampoos I bought was the full restore 5 repairing shampoo and its promises sounded good and relevant to my locks!
Full restore 5 comes in a predominately white bottle with red accents on the flip top lid. The shampoo is designed for use on weak, limp, damaged hair. My hair is quite dry and prone to be frizzy. I often find that a hair care product that performs well as far as my hair is concerned can suddenly stop giving good results. With this in mind I like to have a range of different products so I can ring the changes. I do have a few products that I have been using for ages though! However, back to this shampoo.
L’Oreal states that this shampoo contains Pro-Keratin to help reinforce hair by resisting daily wear and tear. It also contains ceramide to re surface hair leaving it feeling soft, smooth and with a healthy shine. All sounds good to me! I have now used this shampoo and its matching conditioner on several occasions so feel able to offer my opinion as to have good it really is.
The *5* in the name is for the 5 things this shampoo promises to deliver.
Strengthens hair- My hair is prone to break at the ends so this is relevant to me. However after washing I really can’t say I have noticed any difference.
Gives density- My hair is quite fine and after using this shampoo it was still fine! So no increase in its volume. This comes as no surprise as I am yet to find a shampoo that can increase density!
Gives vitality- I believe that your hair gets vitality more from lifestyle and health than any hair care product used. No my hair didn’t look like it had had a shot of vitality after use!
Gives shine – similar to the above really although shine is something that is easier to define. After use my hair did have a shine near the crown but no more than after using other shampoos in the L’Oreal range. The ends felt really dry and brittle and certainly didn’t have a shine!
Leaves hair looking silky- Not only did my hair feel and look dry but it was horribly tangled and difficult to comb through even using my favourite John Frieda Frizz ease products.
On the positive side this shampoo did lather well and I really like the scent. It appeared easy to rinse out but as I have outlined the overall results were awful! In short this is one of the worst shampoos I have used and will never buy it again!
I am a fan of the L’Oreal hair care range and so when I decided to buy my first ever tin of hairspray it was the L’Oreal brand that I opted for! I have dry hair that is prone to frizz and keeping any kind of style is virtually impossible! However I have recently been straightening my hair to make a change from its naturally wavy look and decided using hair spray may help keep the look for longer.
I was amazed at how many variants there actually were in the hair spray range- extra strength, supreme hold, so sleek extra hold and normal to name a few! I decided I would opt for the *normal* spray to keep things simple! The normal strength hair spray comes in an attractive gold cylindrical tin. I paid £6.60 for the 400ml size that I hoped would last for ages! L’Oreal promises that this hair spray will give me lasting hold and a brilliant shine too! The hair spray is something called a micro diffused spray and is apparently so ultra fine it will disappear when I brush my hair.
It is recommended that you shake the can well before giving your hair a few short sprays from about 30 cm away. I really like the subtle scent of this spray; nothing too overpowering but very pleasant .The mist it produces is very fine and a few sprays are all that is needed. I am pleasantly surprised at how light this spray feels with no sticky feeling as with sprays I have been subjected to at hair salons! So far so good,but does it hold my style?
Well in a word yes! Not only does it help keep my unruly locks in place but it does so for several hours. I am really pleased with the results as not only does the spray help keep my hair in place but it feels light and really does brush out!
I usually buy L'Oreal shampoo and conditioner and occasionally treat myself to upmarket brands such as Redken. However I also like to try budget options . Shopping in Tesco recently I spotted a bottle of Alberto balsam mandarin and papaya conditioner priced at just £1 for a large 400ml bottle. I decided to try it,as if it didn't suit me I knew my children could use it.
The conditioner comes in a tall,clear plastic bottle allowing the lovely mandarin colour to show through. The bottle has a plastic push down dispenser type lid.The conditioner is manufactured by the muti national Unilever company. They claim that this conditioner will strengthen hair, add shine, detangle and restore shine and vitality. All this for just £!! Sounded good to me! The conditioner contains pro vitamin B5 and is recommended for normal to dry hair.
I have dry hair that is prove to be frizzy and can be difficult to comb through after washing. The conditioner is thick and smells lovely! It is really fruity and the scent seems to linger after I have dried my hair. Unfortunately that is the only positive for me! I followed the instructions and used a small amount of conditioner ,massaging it through my hair after shampooing. I left the conditioner on for about 2 minutes before rinsing off. My hair was left feeling heavy and dull. The conditioner did nothing to help the tangles either and in fact made things worse!
Fortunately my children are happy to use this and don't mind the fruity scent.I am really disappointed in this product and will not be buying it again!
I have recently been suffering from a cold and have tried several remedies to alleviate the worst of the symptoms. I do like to try and use natural remedies when ever possible and so was happy to try Obas oil sugar free blackcurrant pastilles as they are made from plant oils.
The pastilles come in a small cardboard box containing 12 pastilles. It is recommended that a maximum of 8 pastilles can be taken in any 24 hour period. They are not recommended for children under 7. The pastilles are recommended for the relief of symptoms associated with colds and flu such as sore throat, blocked nose and catarrh.
The pastilles contain a range of plant oils including eucalyptus, peppermint, menthol, juniper berry and cloves. They claim to be sugar free but do contain sugar in other forms such as glucose and sucrose; a bit sneaky in my book as these are also sugar by a different name!
The pastilles are soft and chewy and not unpleasant to suck. They do have quite a strong menthol flavour mixed with blackcurrant and as I’m sucking one it does help to clear my nose. However this is only temporary as is the relief for my sore throat.
Overall these pastilles are good at offering a little relief from some of the symptoms suffered with colds and flu. They do contain sugar even if it’s in another form! I paid £2.00 for a pack from a local independent chemist. I would buy them again as they do help a little!
My oldest son loves listening to music and like many teenagers seems to always have earphone in! This Christmas he asked for very little but the one thing he really wanted was a new pair of ear phones. His old pair of Sennheiser had lasted for several years and he really rated them and so wanted the same make. As I had Amazon vouchers I decided to start my search there are came across a pair of Sennheiser CX 300 11 precision noise isolating earphones for just £21.84. The same earphones are now selling for £29.95. Having read the mostly positive reviews I decided to buy a pair.
What you get for your money.
The earphones come packaged on cardboard with strong, clear plastic cover showing the earphones inside. The earphones come fitted with medium size rubber ear pieces and there are also two extra pairs one small and one large so these earphones should fit everyone.
The manufactures promise that these earphones will deliver powerful bass and give good clarity of sound.
The earphones are black with silver band around the ear piece making them look stylish (or should that be cool!). There is a gold plated jack that is designed to fit ipods, phones and mp3 players. The wire is quite long but is designed so not to tangle. I was impressed that the wire is quite thick at the junction where it splits into two. This is normally the weakest point and where is tends to break.
There is a soft snap closure black case supplied with the earphone for storing when not in use. It remains to be seen whether my son actually does store them in the case!
The sound quality.
This is obviously very important. My son I really impressed with these and says that sound quality is superb. Well that’s my interpretation of his response of * yeah good*, Having tried them out for myself I can confirm that they give excellent sound quality with powerful bass as promised. They are really comfortable to use and don’t slip out of my ears.
My son often ignores me when I call him and blames his earphones for his lack of response. However having tried these earphones I can understand why he can’t hear anything much from the outside world. They really do block out most outside noise leaving me to become totally immersed in the music filling my ears.
Overall I really can’t think of anything bad to say about these earphones and think that they are amazing value for the price.
When I planned our recent trip to New Zealand I knew there were several places I really wanted to visit including Kaikoura. Kaikoura is located in the district of Canterbury on the South Island about 2 ½ hours from Christchurch. The main reason for visiting as far as I was concerned was the opportunity to view a range of Marine life including Whales.
The booking office also has a small shop with souvenirs and snacks on offer; all at inflated prices!
Kaikoura Whale watch is situated a short walk from the town centre and is well signposted. I was surprised at how busy it was when we arrived to check in. The weather was stormy when we travelled and we were advised to take sea sickness medication as a precaution. The trip was not cheap at around £75 for an adult and £30 for a child. Before boarding our boat we were required to watch a brief safety video and given information about the Whales than frequent the area.
The boat was quite large with plenty of comfortable, inside seating. There was a nature guide on hand to give information about the Whales and other Marine and sea birds that we were likely to see on the trip.
I was disappointed that we were made to stay inside the boat (unlike Dolphin Encounter) for the 50 minute journey. We did see 2 sperm whales and managed to take lots of decent photos of these huge creatures. The trip was professionally run, although it would have been better with fewer people on board.
Overall I loved seeing the sperm whales and was amazed at their huge size!
If you don’t fancy risking the rough seas then it is possible to see whales from the sky.
I have medium length hair that is prone to be dry and frizzy. I like to highlight my hair and visit my salon every few months. On my last visit I noticed that several of the Redken products used by the salon were heavily reduces and so decided to treat myself to a few. One product that caught my eye was the color extend total recharge. I paid just £5 for a 150 ml bottle; less than half its usual selling price!
Colour extend comes in a red plastic bottle with pump action dispenser. The side of the bottle has useful ridges to help you grip the water with wet hands. The information on the front of the bottle proclaims that this product will give your hair *inner fuel*.It is especially designed for us on colour treated hair to help prolong the colour and strength thye hair from within. The product contains cranberry oil and ceramide.
The directions for use on the back of the bottle suggest that this product can be either rinsed out or left in. I have tried both ways of using and noticed little difference in the results. After shampooing apply a few squirts of the conditioner to your hair, leave for a few minutes and then rinse out. I found this conditioner very light and easy to rinse away. It left my hair feeling soft and with a good shine. I already have several conditioners that I like and so was more interested in using this as a leave in conditioner. After washing and conditioning I give my damp hair a few squirts of the product and massage it through my locks. Again it leaves my hair feeling soft and
The conditioner has a subtle smell that reminds me o vaguely Nivea face cream. It is not one of my favourite scents but very acceptable. Although it does leave my hair in good condition I have not noticed that my colour lasts any longer than before I started using the product. I would probably not buy this again ( its now been discontinued anyway!)
I have recently been suffering with a horrible cold that I just could not seem to shift. I usually buy cheap brand pain relief tablets including paracetamol and ibuprofen. However in desperation I decided to buy a well known brand of pain relief- Nurofen Ibuprofen tablets. I paid £1.99 in Boots for a pack of 16 200 mg tablets.So are they any better than the cheaper alternatives?
Nurofen Ibuprofen tablets come packaged in a small cardboard box . Inside the tablets are individually enclosed in a bubble pack. The information leaflet enclosed recommends these tablets for all kinds of mild to moderate pain including headache, migraine, back pain, dental pain, period pain, muscle pain and for the relief of colds and flu symptoms. They are not recommended for children under 12 and it is advisable to read the contra indications before you take these .
The recommended dose is 1 to 2 tablets every 4 hours with a maximum dose of 6 tablets in a 24 hour period. The tablets are small and round with a sugar coating. I find these tablets really easy to swallow with little water.Like the cheaper brands these tablets do give good relief.
Overall apart from the attractive packaging and the fact these tablets are easier to swallow than some of the non coated ,cheaper alternatives; I do not think they deliver any better pain relief.For that reason I will stick with the cheaper brands from now on!
I have recently returned from a 5 week trip to New Zealand. Before setting off I spent many months planning the itinerary. I decided that we would stay in a mixture of accommodation types including self catering, motels and hotels. Our international flight from was to Auckland. I knew that after such a long flight we would be exhausted and jet lagged. I was not too keen to spend much time in Auckland as I am not really a city person, so opted for just 1 night. I did want to visit the quayside and museum and so decided to look for a hotel in the city centre. I finally opted to stay in the President hotel on Victoria Street. The president hotel is part of the Best Western chain where I have always been happy with the service provided.
I booked the hotel via the hotels web site as this was the cheapest option. The booking process was simple although I was required to pay for the room in full at the time of booking. I paid about £80 for 1 night at the beginning of November for 2 people sharing a double room. I received a confirmation email complete with booking reference number.
The president hotel is located on Victoria street opposite the famous sky tower. We took a taxi from the airport and it took about 40 minutes and cost about £40. The hotel is not much to look at from the outside and our taxi driver had difficulty in locating it.
The hotel has a small lobby with tour desk. The hotel has 120 rooms available, small dining room and bar, laundry and gym. We did not use any of the facilities on offer as our visit was so short.
We were warmly welcomed by the member of staff on duty and given our room key and wi-fi code for use in the lobby area. However we were not offered any help with our luggage. There is a lift to the upper floors. I was a bit irritated that the wi-fi would only work in the lobby area.
My first impression was how dated the room was. It looked like it had not been decorated since the 1970’s! It was also quite small and dark. Overall it made me feel slightly depressed although being so tired probably didn’t help!
The room consisted of a small kitchenette with microwave, toaster, kettle, fridge and sink. Cutlery and crockery was also provided. I was happy to find complimentary tea, coffee and hot chocolate plus fresh milk! Tea always improves my mood!
The queen sized bed was very comfortable with cotton sheets and duvet. I am very fussy when it comes to bedding and always buy 100% cotton at home so expect to find the same in hotels. The room was warm without being too hot and stuffy. There was also air conditioning if needed- we didn’t!
The room also had a 32inch TV with numerous channels. My son was happy to watch film whist I had a shower.
I really needed a good nights sleep after the flight and was not disappointed. The room was surprisingly quiet although we could hear some noise from the bungee jumping that was taking place next to the sky tower.
The bathroom was of a decent size and consisted of a bath with a shower over the bath. We were given a range of complimentary toiletries and plenty of large white fluffy towels. The bathroom was clean although the grouting had areas of black mould and the room also needed a lick of fresh paint.
As I have already indicated I choose this hotel mainly for its central location and reasonable price. The location was perfect for us although the street does have a slightly seedy feel especially at night. We arrived at around 4pm on our first day and walked to the quayside area where there are several good bars and restaurants.
Although the hotel offers breakfast it was ridiculously expensive. There is a countdown supermarket just a few doors away and so I bought fruit and cereal to save on cost.
On the morning of our departure we checked out and were able to store our luggage at no extra cost whilst we took the tourist bus to the Auckland museum (well worth a visit!). The staff even offered to keep our food in the staff fridge for us. The bus stop is just a few minutes from the hotel and very reasonably priced.
We needed to return to the airport to collect our pre booked hire car and the hotel staff suggested they book transport for us as this was a much cheaper option than taking a taxi.
The final verdict.
On the positive side the hotel does enjoy a very convenient location in Auckland .It is close to a range of bars and cafes and also close to the tourist bus stop and famous quay side area. The hotel is nothing special and looks a bit dated and is certainly in need of redecoration. However hotels in Auckland are expensive and for the price we paid I was not unhappy.
I always have a tubs of arnica in my bag as I really think it helps to ease the pain caused by bruising. I recently took my children on a trip to New Zealand and knowing how expensive medicines are there, I ensured that I packed comprehensive medicine bag to take with me. AS time was short I headed to my local Boots with a list of all I needed. Arnica was high on the list. I usually buy Boots own brand of Arnica but unfortunately it was out of stock. As an alternative I opted for a tube of more expensive bumps and bruises cream made by Weleda.
Arnica is known as an alternative medicinal product and is made from the Arnica plant. The plant is a perennial ,flowering plant that grows in Europe,India and North America. It grows up to 2 feet in height and has attractive yellow daisy like flowers. In the past it was reported that mountain sheet and goats used to eat the plant if they were injured. Shepherds seeing that the animal was healed also used the plant for any injuries they sustained with positive results.
Weleda bumps and bruises ointment is another name for Arnica. The tube has a metal seal that you need to pierce with the lid before use. The cream is suitable for use on all ages although it is not recommended for use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can be used to relieve the pain caused by bruising, muscular aches, stiffness after exercise,sprains and swelling. It is not suitable for use where the skin has been broken.
To apply simply massage a little of the ointment very gently into the affected area repeating up to four times a day.
I have been using Arnica since my children were small and it is still known as * magic cream* in our family. I find it really helps to ease the pain of bruising and can also reduce swelling. Luckily I only needed to use the cream once in New Zealand when my son trapped his fingers in a door. He said the cream really helped to ease the horrible pain. Although he still suffered bruising as a result of the injury I would hope it was ;less than it would have been had he not used the Arnica immediately.
Overall this is a very useful cream to keep in any medicine kit. However at £6.99 for a small 25 gram tube I think it is an expensive alternative to the own brand that I usually buy. I really don't see any difference in its performance so in future will be buying my usual Boots own brand.
My son is a huge Lego fan and so it was no surprise that he was given several Lego sets from friends and family for Christmas. One of the sets was the star destroyer (set number 75033).The set is from the Star was micro fighter range and is basically a scaled down version of the full sized imperial star destroyer.
The set was bought in America by a friend so I have no idea how much was paid. However it is widely available in this country and I can see it is available from Amazon for £7.19. The set comes in a cardboard box and the recommended age range is from 6- 12 years. I think most 6 year olds would need help to build this model.
The set contains exactly 100 pieces and there are full, very clear building instructions included. The set includes a mini figure of an imperial crew pilot complete with blaster pistol. The figure is very detailed and is designed to sit in the cockpit of the fighter. There are small holes on the back of the pilot’s legs that enable him to be securely fixed into place on the bricks forming the cockpit seat. This is quite a small model measuring 5cm in height x 9 cm in length and 2 cm in width.
My son completed the model quite quickly, finding it very easy to make. The model looks impressive with engine detail at the back of the model and weapons that actually fire when the level is flicked. Unlike his larger star wars models this one is quite robust when played with.
Overall this is a well detailed set that doesn't take too long to build. It is fun to play with and I think its well worth the money.
A few months before Christmas I decided to buy an electric carving knife. I knew I would be having a houseful to feed over the Christmas holiday period and would be cooking several roast meat based meals. I am truly rubbish at carving meat and so thought an electric knife would help. I also have a bread maker and love its results. However I can never cut the bread thinly enough and end up with doorstep sized slices that are far from ideal!
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a knife but did want something that would last and do a decent job. I finally decided to buy one from the Argos cookworks range paying just under £10. The knife is a very basic model but for the price it promised to deliver all I needed.
The knife has a robust plastic handle that houses the motor. There are two stainless steel blades supplied plus a plastic storage sleeve to keep them safe when not in use. The knife has a 120 watt motor and a decent (115 cm) length flex. To operate you first need to fit the blades into the slot at the base of the unit. I find they fit easily and click into place firmly ensuring they will not come loose in operation. The motor is operated via a small button on the top of the handle. It is quite stiff to push down and needs to be help down to keep the motor running. The unit is very noisy in operation but as I only use the knife for a very short time this is not an issue for me. There is an eject button on the top of the handle that releases the blades after use. The blades are very sharp as you would expect so care is needed when handling them. The blades are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to wash them by hand ensuring they are safely stored back into the supplied plastic sleeve after use.
I have used this knife to carve meat and it does a good job. The slices are even and I find that using this knife helps the meat to go further as the slices are a lot thinner than I could manage using an ordinary knife. The knife is great for slicing cold meats and again produces even slices that don’t look *hacked*. I can now slice bread to perfection! So no more doorsteps! The knife is not suitable for cutting frozen foods.
The knife is quite small and weighs just 800 grams. I find it comfortable to hold although it does vibrate when in use. The operation button is quite difficult to hold down as pressure is needed to keep it in position. This might make the knife unsuitable for anyone with arthritis. The unit is small enough to store in my drawer when not in use.
Overall I would recommend this electric knife if like me you are rubbish at carving meat or slicing bread. It is not too expensive and does exactly what it promises.
I am a keen cook and own a large selection of cookware.Pyrex is one of my preferred brands as it inexpensive and very durable. Pyrex have been trading since 1915 and their products are widely available. One of my most useful items in my Pyrex fluted flan dish. The dish was bought from Tesco and although I can't remember how much I paid it is still available for around £6 from retailers such as Argos, Amazon and John Lewis to name a few.
The dish is made from Borosilicate glass making it very tough and able to withstand temperatures of up to 300 degrees c. It is also microwave,freezer and dishwasher safe. I have had this dish for several years now and it looks like new with no chips or scratches.
I use this dish to make quiches,flans and tarts. I like the fluted edge shape it gives ,making food look more attractive. During the summer months I have a lot of apples from my garden and this dish is excellent for making an apple tart.
I use ready made puff pastry to line the flan dish.
2 tbs stewed apple.
6 apples- peeled and cored.
2 tbs castor sugar.
40 grams of butter.
1 free range egg.
1. pre heat the oven to 200 degrees c .
2. Roll out the pastry and line the flan dish. cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
3. spread the apple puree over the pastry and then cut the apples into rounds .
4. Place the appples onto the apple puree,fanning them out from the inside out.
5. Sprinkle with the castor sugar and glaze with the beaten egg.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with cream or ice cream.
This is a delicious apple flan and one my family all love!
Overall I really recommend Pyrex cookware , its inexpensive,durable and very useful!
I have long been a fan of the L’Oreal range of hair care although also love some of the Redken and John Frieda products too. During a recent trip to my local Boots I bought a 400ml bottle of L’Oreal Elvive triple resist reinforcing shampoo. The main reason for my purchase was the half price offer, making it just £1.99 for a large 400ml bottle.
L’Oreal triple resist shampoo is designed for use on fragile hair that has a tendency to break and split. My hair is fine and frizzy and can be very dry. I like to highlight my hair and this does little to help its condition. I suffer with split ends that break easily and so I thought this shampoo would be perfect. This shampoo apparently contains Arginine oil, an essential amino acid and a vital constituent of the hairs fibre. Although I had never heard of this oil before I was looking forward to its results!
The shampoo comes in an attractive black bottle with pink accents. It has a flip up lid that is easy to open. I usually wash and condition my hair in the shower. The instructions give the usual advice to massage a small amount of shampoo through your hair rinsing well. I found this shampoo lathered well and like other L’Oreal shampoo I have used, had a lovely fresh scent. After washing I like to use my Redken conditioner as this really seems to suit my hair.
I really like this shampoo and find it leaves my hair looking shiny with good bounce. It also leaves my hair with a subtle hint of its lovely scent. However I am not sure I have noticed any difference re my split ends or the tendency for the ends to break if I’m not careful. I still prefer the L’Oreal colour shampoo in the red bottle although this one does give good results and I would buy it again when its on offer.
I love the way my hair looks after a visit to my local salon and although I try I can never get my hair to look as good myself. My hairdresser uses Redken products that seem to really suit my hair. During a recent visit I noticed that the salon was selling off some of their surplice stock of Redken products and so I treated myself to a bottle of all soft conditioner. The conditioner usually retails for around £10 for a 250ml bottle and so at £5 I felt I had a bargain!
The condition comes in a gold coloured plastic bottle with black flip up lid. The bottle has useful grooves that help you to grip it with wet hands. Redken claim that this condition contains their I.P.N system that will help to rebuild surface protection, provide progressive conditioning and strengthen the hairs core. The condition contains keratin enriched complex and argan oil, an excellent moisturiser. The conditioner is especially suitable for dry, brittle hair and the manufactures promise shining, moisturised locks with no tangles.
I have dry hair that is prone to frizz and my love of highlights does little to help my hairs condition. I usually wash my hair in the shower and always use a conditioner. Although Redken make a matching shampoo I use a different product to wash my hair. After washing I find I only need to use a small amount of this conditioner to produce good results. The conditioner feels thick and slightly silky on my fingers with a lovely fresh scent that lingers. The condition rinses away with ease and leaves my hair feeling better immediately. After use my hair is easy to comb with no unpleasant tangles. I usually leave my hair to dry naturally and was really pleased with the results. My hair looked and felt soft with a lovely healthy shine. The conditioner also helped to tame the dreaded frizz!
Overall I can highly recommend this conditioner. It smells lovely and gives great results. It is not widely available but can be purchased via the internet or from selected salons.