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The boots royal jelly hand cream with honey is usually £2.09 for a 100ml tube but it can sometimes be gotten on offer. The packaging: The packaging is fairly simple and typical of what you'd expect of a reasonably price product - it's not fancy but it's clean, looks fairly elegant and doesn't look too cheap. It comes in a simple squirty tube as pictures which means very little waste, a flip cap it stands on so the product is always ready to come out and it's not messy. It has a simple label on the front stating Boots royal jelly, with extracts of pure honey. Protecting hand & nail cream. On the back are the claims, directions, ingredients, warnings, size, where it's made and recycling information. The claim: The back makes claims of easily absorbed, protecting, hydrating and soothing, smooth and soft - wrapped up in a nice few sentences. Is it true? I've been using this as my staple cream for months and have found the claims to be largely true. It does absorb very easily, it works well on my dry skin and has helped prevent chapping. It is protective and does make my skin feel lovely. It isn't always quite strong enough in winter when my hands chap, not an uncommon issue for me sadly, so I have looked around for better winter options. It smells lovely though and is really, really lovely to use. My only downside for this cream, and it is a problem for me when I need to use it during the daytime, is it leaves my palms greasy, no matter what I do - I usually wipe any excess creams off on other dry areas of my body that can just absorb it, yet even doing that, I find this cream sits on my palms for ages, which is obviously not ideal in day to day life. Due to this I've ended up only using it at night, and have now found a new cream for throughout the day. A heavier layer than normal at night can do wonders though. It's not stopped me buying a new bottle as it is a lovely handcream, but it does have that one issue that other creams manage to avoid. This may be an issue only for certain skin types, but is is a minor problem.
Boots do a lot of different things in their own ranges, the prices can vary between their cheap and cheerful own range, to their No.7 products which can be 10x the price. This review is for their hand and nail cream, which comes in at a bargain £1.32 for a 75ml tube and is often included in the 3 for 2 mix and match. They actually do 2 variations which I bought to try as part of the 3 for 2 (got a Burt's Bees lip balm as my 3rd, also got a new bottle of the royal jelly I've used before and is £2.09 for 100ml). One is for dry skin and is lightly fragranced with a peachy coloured bottle, the other is blue as pictured, for very dry skin and is non fragranced. Overall, both are extremely good moisturisers. I'll walk about the differences in a minute, but in most ways they're very similar. You only need a very tiny amount, which absorbs in very quickly. I drop a little on my palms, rub together and smooth all over my hands. The backs of my hands are the driest area, the knuckles can get dry enough to crack, so a strong moisturiser is important. It smooths in well, lives up to its claim of being "non greasy" which is extremely important to me, plus it stays in well. A standard wash doesn't remove all the moisture added, which I'm sure we've all experienced with creams that just sit in the top layer. Both are very very good moisturisers. Neither leave you feeling like your palms have tons of product left on, which is an issue I've found with most moisturisers strong enough to actually help my dry, eczema prone skin. The differences are that one is fragranced and is for dry skin, the non fragranced is for very dry skin. A somewhat hard to decide difference, hence I decided to test both. For dry skin: The fragrance is very very light which is always a relief to me, it's doing a good job of taking care of my skin in general, definitely a good all round cream. It states on the back it's for dry hands. For very dry skin: This is non-fragranced, but the tiny bit of smell it does have isn't unpleasant, or chemically, so this isn't an issue - and of course is better if your skin is sensitive. This has attacked the parts of my skin that get flakey/very dry a little better, but if I'm honest, it's not a huge difference in moisturisation, yet I have found this leaves a silky layer on my skin. Not a greasy or annoying layer, but if like me, your hands tend to feel rough from dryness even well well moistured, it's a bonus. It does state on the back it's for dry, chapped hands and I've found this to be accurate. If it's severe enough to get flaking or your skin is eczema prone, you'll probably want the very dry version, at least during the months that leave your hands worse off. If you just suffer with a more average dry skin, or have to wash your hands a lot and need to replace moisture, it probably matters less - either is going to leave you with lovely skin. The claims are that it's non greasy and protects against further dryness and that your hands will feel soft, smooth and supple - all very true of both for me, for this reason they get 5*. Far better than some pricey ones I've tried and they do exactly what it says on the bottle - what more can you ask for?
Well this is my nice list of 10 beauty products. I'm not doing a budget one (although if I find something cheap that works I tend to stick with it), it's just the products I can't live without. These are in no particular order! Oh and beauty can vary so all may not be makeup. 1) Palmer's Cocoa Butter, Fragrance Free Formula - £2.85, Tesco (where I get it and the normal price) I originally got the fragrance free version as my skin was being stupidly sensitive, I've stuck with it as I like the smell. There are other makes - Tesco do their own cocoa butter formulation, but Palmers is for me. It's relatively cheap, my skin doesn't react with it, and it's intensively moisturising - as somebody who suffers with excema prone dry skin, I need to be able to fight dryness, and this does the job. It also works as a super moisturising face mask (too heavy for everyday use), or even as a hair mask (I mix with a normal conditioner). Ultimately it's just a useful thing to keep around. 2) Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation - £12.49 This is still the best everyday foundation I've found - it's gentle on skin, has buildable coverage and once bought lasts a while, so it's not too bank-breaking. Comes in several colours for several skintones and undertones, so can always match perfectly. Also contains SPF15 - so this protects your face too! 3) Nail Polish - Stargazer/Rimmel, from around £3 up. Seche Vite, £7-8 I cannot go without nail polish for long, and these are my 2 staple brands. I need pretty nails. I have about 30 or so polishes - excluding top and base coats. My base coat of choice is Seche Vite - it's fast drying and gives a gel finish to any nail polish. 4) EZ combs EZ combs are a make, the wider product are african hair combs, double hair combs and butterfly combs, normally bought off of Ebay - they come in many styles, usually either wooden or metal with beads and other decorations. They can be used to put your hair in almost any style, from pulling it back, pony tails, basic up styles and can be used for fancy styles for special ocassions. Ultimately once you know how to use them, they can replace several types of hair styling tools - and they can be changed on the go easily for a different style. I started using them a few years ago and no wouldn't care to be without! 4) Mudd original face mask - £4.99 Mudd are a fairly basic face mask brand, I use the original which has around 10 application for a fiver in a tube. It smells a bit funny, it looks odd, but it does exactly what I'd hope a face mask would do. Sorts pores, cleans muck off your face, tightens pores, and just is a very useful beauty item. 5) Lip balm/moisturiser There are several products you can use for this - from the most basic end of a £1.50 tube or a pot of vaseline, right up to branded makes at £15, 20 or more for... well, a different lip balm. But ultimately, protecting your lips is a great idea - I am prone to chapped lips in winter so they really do help. Worth keeping in your bag. Most give a gloss to your lips too. 6) Face moisturiser - currently No.7 Essential Moisture My lovely cocoa butter is too thick and gooey for this - so a good moisturiser, it protects your face, it gives a makeup base and really should be an essential in everybody's skincare regime. I do have sensitive facial skin, and I love my No7 - but have got some cheaper boots stuff to try. Anything that suits your skin will do though, at the end of the day, they should all do the same job. 7) No.7 Extreme Length Waterproof Mascara in Black - £12 The best mascara I've found yet (although, I have around 8 bottles of free samples to use up) - it does lengthen, with a couple of coats really to the extreme, it doesn't clump, it doesn't volumise by sticking your lashes into 5 separate legs (but can be built up to volumise in a less weird looking way) and the waterproof side is amazing - I've not made it run in the couple of years I've been using it. 8) Earrings - now I know, these are pushing it on the beauty front, but as somebody who had, at last count, over 120 pairs of earrings (probably around 150 now), well, I do love them. I have everything from giant danglies to small, feminine studs. Earrings always look nice. Mine are nearly all sterling silver (at least, the hooks are) and have been gotten from various places over a lot of years. And I've never found an occasion they're inappropriate! Earrings are the best beauty product you can buy. Ever. 9) Lily Lolo Mineral Eyeshadow - £5.29 I have now got 9 different shades, including a shimmer green, a matte purple, a slightly shimmery white - and a few browns. They do them in shimmer or matte - the most versatile I'd say is the Soft Brown or similar shades that are Matte, but really, a nude/brown/neutral eyeshadow in the right shade is suitable for everybody and they're great for a day to day look. The white I use for inner corners mostly. They do a selection of neutrals and they really sit well and last. The other colours though can be used as a wash or strong colour. I love these so so much - you can't go wrong. 10) Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Black - £7.99 Slightly less essential, but still something I'll likely use forever - I use this very regularly, on my lash line as a thick or thin liner, but also for my tightline and waterline. It comes with a nice brush, is supposed to last up to 24 hours (it lasts all day, I've never tested it for 24 hours though) and is simply fantastic. So there's my top 10 - the products I've save if the rest of my makeup/beauty stuff was to be lost. The rest I love - but, I can live without.
Speed cameras and speeding - the largest argument since drink driving. So to jump straight in, here's my problem - speed by itself doesn't kill. Inappropriate speed for the road or conditions, does. If I'm going past a school at letting out time, even the 20MPH isn't always safe - because often children have very little road sense, plus they're excited just after school. Somebody could be legally doing 18 and still injure or even kill a child. Likewise on most of the country lanes in Cornwall, doing the theoretical 60MPH speed limit would really just be a dangerous suicide attempt. So that's where the point of speed limits being a limit, not a target, come in. Currently the way you're taught to drive is you should be going as fast as is reasonably able to be considered safe for the road - ie you should be able to stop in the distance you can see to be safe. If you go at 20 in a 60 when it's safe to be doing 60, you may well fail your test for impeding or annoying or whatever the phrase is, other road users - ie by going too slow you could cause an accident with somebody getting annoyed. Technically their fault, but you're expected to not impede the progress of other road users. For villages and such, I think the speed limits are fine. For country roads and other places that are a default NSL, I think that's where people really need to be taught the ability to understand a safe speed - and for a single track lane, remember if both you and the person the other way are working to stop in the space you see clear, you'll be crashing as you only have in theory half that space to stop. But then, we go to the other end - motorways, duel carriageways and some other A roads. Countries with higher speeds limits (admittedly not many) don't have any worse accident statistics. If you crash at 70 you're not going to be much better off than crashing at 90. The fact is, plenty of studies have shown that a lot of people do and still would drive at 80 on a motorway - the police don't want to stop it generally, some forces you have to be doing in excess of 90MPH for them to bother you (which, for the record, follows the 10% + 2 on 80MPH)... But, back to speed cameras instead of speeding. And at this point I apologise for my hap hazard presentation. There's now multiple previously safe places where speed cameras were installed, that have become accident hotspots. It doesn't take a genius to know why - we've all seen the people breaking down to the limit for the camera, then speeding happily back up. This is especially on non built up roads - the roads that are 50s for reasons nobody quite knows, or dual carriageways. There's also simply no evidence that speed cameras significantly improve the safety of blackspots. So what use are they in these areas, asides from a few nice £60s going to the local police station to be sorted between whoever it is? According to ROSPA, Britain now has some of the safest roads in Europe. 40% of road accidents are people "failing to look properly". There's no statistics on how many of those are because they were on phones/playing with sat navs/adjusting their CD player/reading a newspaper. Each year there's 430 deaths from excessive OR inappropriate speed - in my opinion only the latter is relevant. Sometimes 5MPH may be perfectly safe, other times 15MPH under is needed to be safe. It's just a number. Around the same number die due to careless or aggressive driving, 250 due to drunk driving and around 300 a year who would have survived accidents had they been wearing their seatbelt (I assume some of these overlap with others). Ultimately, nearly all accidents are the result of preventable driver error - and for me, this means rather than worry if somebody is 5MPH over a limit, we need to look at if they were driving safely. Speed cameras are just a way governments pretend to be doing something, when in reality, that money would be better spent on police officers who can see if some idiot thinks a game of monopoly is a good idea than a machine that can just give a number. I think that concludes my thoughts. I'm now wondering if Dave has argumental on because they're way better at arguing their cases than me, sometimes anyway. Have fun people and drive safely!
Tesco's Everyday Coconut Conditioner. This is to follow my shampoo review of the same range. ***Why I Bought*** So I went on holiday to relatives, packed everything, got there and realised I'd forgotten Shampoo or Conditioner, as you do... next day was a shopping trip to Tesco and I looked and saw this on the shelf. For a few uses they were cheap, around 80p each - currently the conditioner is 88p (but there's a 3for2 offer on, quick, go!) which for 750ml of conditioner is... super cheap. No arguments. ***The Packaging*** The packaging isn't bad - it's a very large, see through bottle with a clear label on the front and back - the brand, smell, everyday use etc on the front and all the ingredients and other info on the back. It's recyclable plastic which may be a bonus depending on your outlook on the 3 Rs. ***The Product*** The conditioner is a solid creamy white colour - it's thicker than the shampoo but is still a somewhat runny conditioner, this doesn't bother me too much. The smell is slightly heavier and a little less fresh than the shampoo I believe, although it's a subtle difference and for all I know could be imagined! It still smells of coconut though, which is a great start. I used plenty in my hair, partly as it's so thin, partly as it just feels like it needs a good slathering - not a problem, it's super cheap. ***The Claims*** On the bottle this says it's a shampoo for dry/damaged hair. On the back it says it's been formulated with natural extract to leave hair feeling soft, healthy and manageable. ***The results*** Well, a conditioner should leave hair feeling conditioned and as the final product in a basic routine, it needs to live up to its claims. Unfortunately... this just doesn't. My hair felt little different than it should have after just the shampoo that went first - my hair was tangly, still dry feeling and generally, not great. After the shampoo being so good, this was an incredible disappointment. My hair is dyed and quite dry so I wasn't expecting miracles from a cheap conditioner, but I really feel this is not up to the job. My advice - buy that cheap shampoo, but find a better conditioner, as for 88p, I'm pretty sure a cheap bottle of olive oil would be a better choice. This gets 2* - it didn't do any damage, but I needed to recondition my hair to get it manageable. I'm torn between 1* and 2* but as it's not the most useless product I've ever used, 2 seems fairer. I may change my mind at some point.
Tesco's Everyday Coconut Shampoo. I will also be reviewing the conditioner in a minute! ***Why I Bought*** So I went on holiday to relatives, packed everything, got there and realised I'd forgotten Shampoo or Conditioner, as you do... next day was a shopping trip to Tesco and I looked and saw this on the shelf. For a few uses they were cheap, around 80p each - currently the shampoo is 88p (but there's a 3for2 offer on, quick, go!) which for 750ml of shampoo is... super cheap. No arguments. ***The Packaging*** The packaging isn't bad - it's a very large, see through bottle with a clear label on the front and back - the brand, smell, everyday use etc on the front and all the ingredients and other info on the back. It's recyclable plastic which may be a bonus depending on your outlook on the 3 Rs. ***The Product*** The shampoo is quite thin but not badly so, it doesn't make it particularly difficult to use, just means you may want to be sure that you don't tip too much out. It is, as expected, a somewhat creamy white colour, not very "solid" colour but it looks fine - and my god it does smell of coconut! It has a good smell level and it smells as you'd hope a coconut product to. It lathers up quite nicely, no problems on that front at all and it also rinses easily - no standing there wondering if your hair will ever be shampoo free again! ***The Claims*** On the bottle this says it's a shampoo for dry/damaged hair. On the back it says it's been formulated with natural extract to leave hair feeling soft, healthy and manageable. ***The results*** Well, on the very basic all a shampoo has to really do to be a good shampoo is to leave hair clean. If it lives up to its claims, that's helpful. This shampoo does a great job of the first - my hair did feel clean afterwards, not like it had totally stripped my scalp of every oil ever, just a nice clean feeling. It is for dry hair so I expected it to feel around that. The claims I didn't feel it lived up to properly though, I can tell how my hair is feeling after shampoo and it was a little stressed and tangly. Nothing major, just not as smooth and manageable as I hoped. But I stil had conditioner to go so it wasn't a worry. This gets 4* - it's not perfect and sure, you may get better results elsewhere, but it's not a bad buy at 88p for 3x the amount in many shampoo bottles. For that you could easily wash it a 2nd time to remove any extra dirt traces. So there we go, and I go onto the conditioner review.
I started wearing bras at about 12 (and I did need one) - like many girls my Mum took me and I got a good bra, but over the years since have mostly bought cheaper makes that tend to come in for around £10 a bra, less sometimes. Now these do fine, but they do fall apart quite quickly, wires poke out, they misshape... Last december I read of a multibuy offer on Gossard's superboost satin range, that basically gives you 3 bras for the price of one - they have other items too, shorts and thongs, plus sets of bras + knickers. All are great savings. I got 3 of their plunge and 3 of their multiway bras, all in black (I didn't realise you could mix and match colours for the same price). Plunge bras: I've just ordered my 2nd set of 3 bras for £28 (plus £3.95 P&P) - they work out at under £11 per bra for a great make (RRP is £28), the downside is all my other bras are never really used. They are incredibly supportive and comfortable. The straps are detachable and after 8 months, 1 of mine broke - Gossard are now sorting a replacement for me! Fantastic customer service and the bras are really gorgeous. Multiway bras: I have 3 of these and won't be getting more - the bras are lovely i just wear a plunge style for comfort most of the time. These can be worn strapless, halterneck, crossover or as standard. But they're a great bra and having a multiway available is very useful. RRP is £30. Basically these are great bras and if you can get the offers (easiest way is to sign up for their newsletter, it's not too often and isn't spammy and has all their best deals) they cost the same amount as cheap underwear but with gossard quality. They feel true to size in the cup (I don't wear my "correct" size band as like many larger women, I find the correct doesn't fit properly - I assume this is as fat is somewhat pliable!) and are incredibly supportive. I'm tempted to buy yet more - they're hard to resist! They come in a range of colours - some colours end at size 38 band but others go up to 44 in a range of cup sizes. A great bra and well worth the money. At the time of writing they have the multibuy offers you can find the link to online, plus some ranges are on offer.
This is another Nivea shower gel/cream I grabbed from Tesco for £1 while they're on offer - I'm currently about 3/4 of the way through the bottle and I LOVE it! This on the bottle says it's a shower cream and I agree - it does have a much creamier texture than a typical shower gel, almost silky. It's a nice thickness and foams up very well, it also feels incredibly gentle on your skin and quite soothing in a way too. It leaves my skin very soft after use - unusually for me as I don't normally find any shower products to actually effect my skin so much! The cream is white and smells very refreshing - it's a light, pleasant smell that's just right and not too overpowering, but you know it's there. It doesn't stay on the skin forever but it does stay for a couple of hours after use assuming you don't use any other creams afterwards - most will overpower this one. The bottle isn't see-through but the plastic isn't quite solid, so hold it to the light and you can see how much you have left - the top is easy to work even with slippery hands. A little slightly odd note is I find this is great for using before you shave your legs - I think it's the cream texture, but it leaves your legs smooth and moisturised enough you can shave easily without dragging. Perhaps not a giant selling point, but a handy thing for when you're in the shower! I love this stuff and will definitely buy again.
Nivea do 2 powerfruit shower gels that I have seen - refresh (the pinkish/red colour as shown) and relax (a purple/blue) - I have both but have only tried the refresh so far, which is what I'm reviewing. The shower gel comes in a basic bottle, see through with an opaque label - nothing special or magical. Normally £1.90 in tescos currently they're one of many shower gels and washes down to £1 - I tend to stock up when they are just as I like a variety. Plus every 85p I save on a cheap wash is 85p towards a pointlessly extortionate one! This is a fairly runny gel shower gel - I use all my shower gels/body washes/similar with a body puff - one of those weird things with lots of layers coming out from the middle. I prefer it to a sponge or hands as I find you need less product as it foams things well and doesn't waste as much. Anyway with this I only need a small amount of the product. However, the runnyness wouldn't be as good I'd imagine on a flannel or with hands as I can imagine wasting more product. It does foam up very well and keeps the smell when doing so. The smell is noticeable but quite mild - I'd not mind it stronger but it's certainly not too weak, and of course overpowering is always worse. I do tend to choose the scent of my shower gels based on my mood, I love this one either for a morning shower as a wake up (though it's not so good as more citrusy smells for me), but I also find it nice and soothing in the evening. A great, lovely smelling shower gel. It gets 5* from me - it's niggles (weaker smell than I prefer/runniness) are very minor and really not a problem for a cheap product. And it feels lovely!
I use toner with cotton wool pads and change my nail polish regularly, so do go through a fair amount of cotton wool pads. I do have some preference for textured pads as I can find non textured can stick to the nails and be a pain when removing polish. I ordered these during an online tescos shop as I had run out - they were 75p for 50 pads, these are the round ones but they also do a larger size. I have used them before but not for a long time. The packaging is fairly plain - the current packaging is basically clear, with a large white panel on the back with product info, barcode etc and a translucent (semi-seethrough) panel on the front saying TESCO cotton wool pads, 50 round, ideal for make up removal, soft and absorbent. A in capitals but writing it in all capitals for a review seems unnecessary. It has the standard pull a circle out (which did not want to tear where it should) and little tags to tighten it. The pads themselves are actually somewhat textured - not a full on type but it's woven in such a way to give some texture. To use I have found them surprisingly good. They are a little thin, but don't fall apart during use and I've also not found them to do the annoying habit of leaving cotton wool on my nails. They are very soft on your face but have enough of a surface to remove dirt when used with a toner, likewise they grip nail polish sufficiently well. They work at least almost as well as the boots ones I was using (the double sided) so get a thumbs up - I cannot say definitely if they're quite as good without a direct comparison, but for 75p, they're great.
***The Product*** ELF do a lot of products, including this corrective concealer. This is a product from their studio range - on the same page is a second palette (called Corrective Concealer - Erase & Conceal) but this is a review for the original corrective palette as in the picture. These palettes retail at £3.75 currently, this is for 5.4g which is a fair bit of concealer for average people. In this palette are a lilac shade (which is quite pinkish to me), a green shade as well as beige and nude shades - I'm actually unsure which is the lighter shade, but I think that's "beige". The palettes themselves look nice - it has a window to see the concealers but is otherwise a basic black with white writing on. Nothing exciting but on the other hand it won't draw attention. It comes with a small brush - this should be good as the size is right for concealing, but truthfully it just cannot pick the product up well, what it does pick up it really doesn't hold onto - it's awful to blend with as it goes all on your face the minute you touch. It's not a bad little brush on its own though and is lovely for using with eyeshadows. ***The Colours*** I have a light skin tone, really just above porcelain so I didn't expect to make use of the darker shade - the lighter shade is ok for my skintone, not ideal but that's really the fault of my skin, not a product issue. The 2 skintone shades are to conceal problem areas, the green to conceal red/pink tones and the pink (sorry, lilac) to hide yellow hues. The usefulness of the colours isn't as versatile as I hoped - I don't really have yellow hues often so while I've tried the lilac on the odd thing, I cannot say how effective it it. The green I've used and didn't find it very effective - the colour looks similar to other green concealers I've tried, but only seems at all effective on pinky tones, not the full on redness of acne or spots. Those same pinks will be hidden with anything over a sheer coverage foundation anyway - I wanted something extra for redness, and it does state in the description it's for "redness like that of acne". The lighter skin tone is fine colour wise - a little dark for my skin still, but should in theory be fine once foundation is on. I'd assume the darker is the same - I've just done a few arm swatches and there's no nasty orangeness to either colour. ***The Coverage*** This is what concealer is all about, be it corrective colours or just good old concealer for blemishes. And this is where this product isn't great. I had quite good hopes for it - it was only about £3.50 when I bought it but ELF are generally good. But this coverage is mediocre. It works on the mildest of blemishes - but no better than most foundations would anyway. It doesn't stay on very well either - no matter what I tried I found putting foundation (liquids or powders) over the top moved it out of place. It's a creamy consistancy so should work well, but somehow it just doesn't. And it doesn't blend well either - the green becomes useless at this stage as if you use enough to cover the red, it will show through foundation and it looks very green. I've used several green correcters with differing results but this just isn't good. The rest of the colours aren't great for this - while by the nature of their colours less obvious, the lack of blending is always visible. I've tried applying with brushes (yes, multiple) a sponge (seemed a good idea as it's not so liquidy as to be all absorbed) and fingers - the best method, but still mostly miss. I have to say I was overall disappointed with this product. It gets 2 stars from me - it's cheap and may do the job very rarely for a few things so I can't quite bear to lower it to 1. But ultimately - I'd try one of their other concealers.
I'm writing what I know on the subject from research, doctors and personal experience. Many other reviews and an internet search will give you the more specifics of the condition for more detail - I didn't want to end up with a 100,000 word review! The basics of PCOS are a hormone imbalance, trouble conceiving, irregular or absent periods, weight gain, excess hair (hirsutism), acne - people seem unable to agree on cause. If you're overweight some doctors blame that, according to some sources the lack of ovulation causes the rest - ultimately the starting point/cause is unknown for most people. There is evidence that it may be at least somewhat hereditary. ***Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome and Polycystic Ovaries* To start with I will say you can have ovarian cysts and not have PCOS. Many women have polycystic ovaries without any of the symptoms of PCOS - the syndrome part being the important point. Even more women will have cysts with only 1 or 2 symptoms that are often written off as due to other causes or not even reported. It's not a set thing that you must have every symptom - many women only find out about the condition when they have trouble conceiving as they've had no other symptoms. A few women have PCOS with no cysts, just to make things more complicated. Ultimately symptoms are not always reliable. ***Doctors*** Doctors are not always entirely helpful with this condition - as a reasonable number of women with it are overweight or obese, this is often blamed for their symptoms, as obesity alone can cause some of these symptoms. It's also a condition that doctors will say you probably have and never follow up on properly - it took years for me to get a formal diagnosis and treatment, unfortunately this isn't uncommon. ***Pushing for diagnosis*** I shouldn't have to write this part, yet as stated it seems to be a major issue. Diagnosis can be done with either a full set of blood tests or with an ultrasound, procedure seems to vary as to which is used initially, in my area it's normal to do blood tests and if needed an ultrasound to confirm. If you're not getting these done push and if needed, don't hesitate to change doctors. I know women sometimes feel unsure of going to male doctors with gynecological issues, but they're just as qualified and based on the experience of many people I know who suffer, less likely to push patients off as complaining about what are actually normal periods or amount of hair and such. ***My Story*** I was initially told I "may" have PCOS at around 14-15 years old - I was put on a standard pill to "treat" the symptoms which was at best ineffective and at worst, made me feel ill. Unfortunately I was grieving after a parental loss and didn't realise the pill I was on wasn't actually even the slightest bit effective at treating PCOS. I had periodic changes in medication and blood tests (I later found out they weren't al the tests needed to diagnose) - earlier this year I changed doctors and finally got an official diagnosis and am now recieving treatment. The issue is, untreated PCOS gets worse. My weight has increased (partly PCOS, partly too-much-in,too-little-out due to other issues, but I would have been able to control it better with treatment), I've developed the acne associated with the condition, I look far more gorilla-like and am way behind in getting it sorted. This is why the earlier diagnosis the better - trying to correct hormones that are 10% out is easier than 50% out (random percentages). My symptoms are the period issues (heavy when a young teenager, then largely absent), severe pains, hirsutism (excess hair, on my face, chest and abdomen, generally thickened and darkened hair and fast growing), acne, weight gain, thin hair (head hair - the androgens simultaneously cause excess hair growth on the body and can cause thinning on the head) and oily skin. I certainly have fertility problems but as I've not tried to conceive these do not effect me at present. As a result of it being left untreated I'm also now at severe risk for type 2 diabetes - weight loss will hep this but ultimately it being left untreated builds up the likelihood - another reason it is especially important to get a correct diagnosis and treatment. The good news is for me, treatment is proving effective - it takes months to start truly changing your hormones and the symptoms (especially hair) can take a lot longer to show any improvement as your hormones need to be normalised and your body given chance to catch up, however my blood tests do show an improvement, I've also had far less of the ovary pain associated with the condition. I've been on it about 4 months and it's likely to be 6-12 before the symptoms are truly easing due to how far out my hormones were, but it can improve and is worth treating. ***Related Conditions*** These are some things that have been linked to PCOS: - Depression, Anxiety, Low self esteem, confidence problems - all may be related to the fact that many women feel bad about the excess hair and other external symptoms, although I have heard some people consider that depression may be hormone related. These things can be treated in their own right with appropriate self help, counseling or even medications if needed. - Diabetes - related due to the effect that PCOS has on insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes - it's not a definite thing, many people never develop diabetes but sufferers are high risk. - Obesity - while often classed as a symptom it's also a linked illness/disease/concern in it's own right. Insulin Resistance makes gaining weight easier and losing weight harder - how much is not agreed on, but it's definitely a factor. Obesity also makes PCOS symptoms worse (which can then cause weight gain - nice cycle, right?) - to break this you need to tackle one or preferably both to make the other less problematic. ***Managing Symptoms* My final word is some help with those pesky symptoms. Facial (and other) hair - facial hair can be removed by shaving, epilating, waxing, tweezing and a few other less common methods. I like epilating as it removes the hair for longer than shaving - although it is more painful. I, I think like most PCOS sufferers, use a mix. I epilate regularly, shave if needed to remove hair inbetween/if I'm in a rush/can't face the pain, and tweeze a fair bit for those annoying hairs or right on my chin (where epilating hurts worst and is least effective for me) - don't expect to be able to stick to 1 method if using root removal as the hairs can grow so fast sometimes you'll find you can't bear to leave it. Bear in mind though the fast growing hair symptom can make shaving awful - I'd often need to shave in the morning and then again a few hours later if I was relying on it alone, which isn't pleasant or good for your skin. Bleaching also works - I use jolens bleach on my upper lip hair (the "m" word makes it feel worse!), arm hair and chest - the latter 2 I don't need to do as often and unlike on the face tend to not be noticable if just bleached. Upper lip tends to be a mix of removal and bleaching - I prefer removal but it can be harsh on that area. Finally - it's less noticeable to those around you than it is you, so if you have a few chin hairs - don't panic! Acne - normal acne advice works, one thing I will say is moisturising helps, not hinders - dry skin produces more oils which can make acne worse. Also bear in mind you may find some hair removal techniques irritate acne, so you may want to tailor your choices around it. Mineral foundation eases mine a fair bit and covers it well for most days. Thin head hair - you're slightly limited to what you can do about this. It also killed the condition of my hair completely - a good cut can help, as can the right styling products. Anything volumising can be helpful, as can something for dryness. My hair is dyed (blonde) which doesn't help the condition of my hair - but the ends dry out stupidly anyway since the hair isn't as healthy and it makes me feel better, so it may still be worth doing if you're fed up of your natural colour! ***Summary*** Well I know this has ended up very long but I hope it helps somebody - even if to just feel less alone. My summary is it sucks, but get help even if you have to push for it - and don't let it rule your life!
The Product: Eyes Lips Face Mineral Blush - the shade is Joy (described as "mauve lilac" on the website), it's a very wearable somewhat off-pink colour. Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate. May Contain: Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI77499), Maganese Violet (CI77742), Ultramarines (CI77707). Usage: The easiest way to use this is as directed on the website. I tap a very small amount into the lid, swirl with a blush brush and apply to the apples of my cheeks. In small amounts on my skintone (fairly pale, cool undertones, "english rose" type complexion) it can also work as a brightening highlighter if carried across the cheekbones or can be swept across the face to give a small amount of natural looking colour - as it's not a bright pink this looks very natural. What's it like? The important part - is it a good blush? In a word, YES! The blush is very highly pigmented so you really only need a very tiny amount for a glowing look - like most mineral powders it's buildable if you find you desire a stronger look, so how strong it looks is really up to you. And as said they can work as a highlighter if you pick the right shade (although not a stated use) - I use what's left on my brush after doing the blush. You could also easily layer colours, ie sweep one colour across your cheekbones and use a 2nd just on the apples, they're very versatile. The finish is I would say dewy/natural - it's not matte but I'd not describe it as full on shimmery, it's a level nearly anybody could wear. Some shades are listed as shimmery so I would assume the finish to be slightly different on these. They really just give a very healthy natural glow. They last well on - mine stays on all day over a mineral powder foundation, with or without a finishing powder - I have also used it alone with great results. It's a 3.4g pot which isn't enormous but will last a long time as you only need a tiny bit. They now cost £5 each (I got mine back when it was £3.50 - that was over 2 years ago! I checked my email records just) which for a high quality mineral blush comes it quite cheap, this works better than the samples of non mineral blush I've tried from premium brands. Obviously with daily use it won't last as long but I'd say there's several months usage in a pot. Summary: This really is great stuff - there's a range of colours to suit your skintone, they're very cheap for a good amount of product that will last ages - oh and there's lots of other great goodies on the website too! I really cannot see a way this could be better.
I have to start with 2 statements... 1) I love eyeliner and 2) I hate liquid liners. This leaves me with 2 options - gels/creams, or pencils. I like both - pencils are great for a light or medium line, I sometimes use them without eyeshadow as they're not too harsh alone (and sometimes as an eyeshadow if I'm feeling lazy!), but you cannot get that strong line. So most of the time, I've been using maybelline's gel liner, which only comes in black - which while nice sometimes, isn't always what I want. So I went to my trusty ELF site and found their cream liners and got the lovely purple (plum purple). It comes with a brush which I did try - it's a perfectly good brush, I just happen to prefer my angled eyeliner brush, that said the brush that came with it has been kept as it's a great little brush. Perfectly usable. The liner itself is a nice creaminess - not too thick or thin. It's as easy to apply as my maybelline (at around twice the cost), very similar texture to the gel liners. The shade is very accurate to the website and exactly what I wanted - a fairly dark purple I could use with other colours or by itself. It goes on nicely over eyeshadows or on bare skin with a very smooth gliding feel about it. It dries fairly quickly (there's time for a quick tissue correction but if you eave it, you'll need something more) - which is perfect, the ridiculous drying times are one of the reasons I hate liquids! It stays on all day, long after most shadows are gone or pencils would be, and really doesn't smudge - I've inadvertently rubbed it several times and not had any movement. I use a waterproof mascara so I use wipes or remover that budges it relatively easily, I'd guess based on that you will need some sort of remover to get it off without a lot of scrubbing. It really is a great product, especially for the low (now £3.75) pricetag- most highstreet brands will start at nearer £7 and of course tend to only go upwards from that. Ultimately, a lovely easy product you just can't go wrong with.
The product: The product I'm reviewing is the mineral foundation from Lily Lolo - a mineral makeup company. They are BUAV approved and Cruelty Free (PETA's version), this means nothing at any point has been tested on animals, making it a vegan friendly foundation. It's also won awards for being natural/mineral based. Ultimately, very few people will have any reason to not use their products. Please note though some shades of some products do use carmine and beeswax which some people may choose to avoid. I currently use the shade Candy Cane - which is the lightest of the shades developed for cool undertones. My recent order is also for porcelain (to mix or when I need a lighter shade as Candy Cane is slighty too dark for me - but only slightly). You can mix shades if needed to get the perfect match. Ingredients: "All shades - Mica (CI77019), Zinc Oxide (CI77497) May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI77491, CI77492, CI77499)" What's noteworthy for me is they don't contain any talc or similar ingredients used by some mineral makeups to increase coverage, nor do they have a layer of oils - these can clog pores and ultimately reduce the breathable effect of having a mineral makeup to begin with. Use: These are very easy to use - there are instructional videos on the website, but the basics are to apply in a circular motion, preferably with a kabuki brush (they sell their own or you can use others, I sometimes also use a mineral foundation brush from a set of ecotools brushes I have). A light layer is easy to apply, a more covering layer can take a little longer to buff in but is very easy to achieve - and far less messy than liquids. You should cleanse and moisturise your skin prior to using mineral powders to reduce the risk of powdery looks and also to ensure proper coverage and lasting. Let your skin absorb the moisturiser fully, then apply your foundation. I have skipped these steps and for a light-mid covering I find no problems, but if I go too heavy without preparing my skin it can go powdery - this is a fault of skin, not the product. How well it works: For me - fantastically! I often wear a light layer if I need very little coverage, or am doing things where I just don't need makeup as I do find it protects my skin against sun or very cold weather. While not technically waterproof I've had it on for hours in the rain without it coming off. I also often get complemented on my skin when wearing it - even with a heavy covering it's not obvious to the naked eye (maybe unless somebody is staring to look at an uncomfortably close distance!), yet does cover any issues perfectly as a rule. If I want a real "full faced" effect I have used this with the concealers they sell or a mineral liquid over my real problem areas. It lasts all day for me, but if you're worried it'd be very easy to reapply on the go. My pot is the old style with a permanent sifter, but newer pots have a locking sifter so it can't leak. Ultimately - this is well worth every penny. Not that it costs many compared to many other brands of "mineral" powders, I'd still buy it if the price did go up (though am pleased it's still so good value!). It covers well, lasts well, isn't damaging to skin and does everything I could ever want. What could be better than that! Update 3rd September: I now use a mix of shades - Candy Cane (the lightest designed for cool undertones) and Porcelain (the lightest they do, very pale, for neutral undertones) - that's one of the advantages, if a shade doesn't quite match (as let's be honest, even the largest ranges cover maybe 30 shades for billions of people) so you don't have to put up with "close to". This was easy, I used my old pot and just mixed in that (downside is no lockable sifter on what I currently use but I've lived so far). The lockable sifters just to confirm are lovely and will be useful.