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I am a hair styling addict and cannot live without straightening the frizzball that is my hair!! So in order to 'dress up' on nights out I usually curl my hair instead. I bought these hair curlers as a treat for myself about a year ago after reading a lot of reviews on the various different types you can buy. The main reason I chose them was because they had a high temperature settings and they did not have a clamp, which I've found in the past leaves a noticeable kink at the end of your hair. The hair curler is red and black in colour with a silver barrel. The design is quite sleek and the colour makes it different from others on the market! The barrel itself is cone shaped so when you curl your hair the ringlets gradually get smaller. It is not too heavy, so you can afford to keep your arms up whilst your curling your hair!! It has four heat settings ranging from 155 to 200 degrees. You can pick which one via the use of the plus or minus buttons, which take you through the selections. A flashing red light indicates that the hair curler is on, and once it has reached the selected temperature a solid light comes on. Initially, I found this really confusing since my hair straighteners work the other way round! I have quite thick hair and usually use the highest setting and the curls hold well without the use of hair spray but obviously results will depend on your hair type. I found the curler quite difficult to get used to, because I'd been so used to having a clamp!! Initially my hair just slid off the end of the barrel when I was not paying attention!! The curlers come with a heat resistant glove, which helps you hold the hair on the barrel without burning yourself! The end of the curler is also plastic so if you are not using the glove you can hold the hair to this part without causing injury. Having said that, I have burnt myself on numerous occasions because of the sheer heat of this curler and maybe because I lost the glove!! The lead for the wand is quite long, which is great if, like me, your mirror is nowhere near a plug socket!! It also twists and turns when your curling your hair so you don't knot up the lead. You can create big bouncy curls or smaller tight ones with the use of this wand, depending on how much hair you use. For best results you should try and get the hair flat on the surface of the wand, avoiding twisting it. This is quite tricky and takes a bit of practice!! It is also advisable to not curl up to the root, leaving about an inch or two from the top. I usually curl my hair for around eight to ten seconds on the barrel. The curls are easy to 'remove' from the wand because the barrel is silky smooth and there is no clamp to get the hair caught in. This was a major selling point for me!! It takes me slightly longer to curl my hair in comparison to straightening (around half an hour). I have medium length hair and quite a lot of it!! When the curler is not in use it can free stand on a flat surface without the wand burning into anything! I would advise getting a heat mat just in case mind you! The curler comes in a handy sized box (I've kept mine to store them in when they're not in use!) and stores away nicely. The curlers are SO CHEAP. On Amazon at the moment they are £17.50 (£6.99 delivery) which is a fraction of other brands. I actually bought mine in Robert Dyas for about £29, but that was a while ago now! In my opinion they're worth every penny, and I won't hesitate in buying the same model if they break one day! I would say they are a bit difficult to get used to, but people who have never curled their hair before shouldn't be put off. They take a bit of practice, which is why they lose a star, but produce good results. Remember your heat protector!! [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
Those of you that have read my reviews before will know I prefer waxing to shaving. However, I have not bought myself to wax my underarms yet... it looks pretty painful to say the least... therefore I choose to shave instead. My normal Bic razors were unavailable the last time I needed to buy more, therefore I chose Tesco's Gentle Glide razors. === Packaging === The razors come in a simple pink packet. On the front it tells you there are five long-handle razors with swivel heads and there is a picture demonstrating this. There is also the suggestion of a lubricating strip with vitamin E and that these are suitable for sensitive skin. On the back, it pretty much reiterates what they have already told you, and there is also a list of ingredients, a warning and contact information. The razors are white in colour with a detachable green lid. The handle measures roughly 10cm and the blade is around 5cm. The handle is also grooved to make it easier to grip in the bath/shower. The green lid also has a raised pattern to make it easier to slide off... although I can never do so with one finger, and I end up losing it anyway. Above the actual blades, there is the vitamin E strip... also a green colour. === Performance === I tend to use soap or shower gel to create a lather in the area I wish to shave and then wet the razor before making downward strokes to remove the hair. I have never used a shaving foam or gel, and have never had a problem with this method! I like the long handle because it does offer greater control. Yes, the razor removes the hair but I tend to have to go over the area a few times to get a smooth result. As with many razors I have used, I can never get as close to the follicle as I would like and you can often see the growth of the hair coming through very soon after a shave! The packet suggests there is a swivel head, but to be quite honest, I had not noticed. The movement is only very slight... I'm not sure it makes much difference to the results either. The shave is painless but sometimes the blade can cause small cuts, which cause redness to the skin. The lubricating strip does help because it appears to create extra lather, but there is so little of it, I'm not sure how effective it would be without it. The lubricating strip goes a lighter colour when it is running low, which is good because it reminds me when to change razors. But it can also become quite bobbly and small parts fall off when your shaving which is quite irritating. I would agree with the statement that they are suitable for sensitive skin though, because I have never experienced any discomfort and my skin can sometimes become irritated with other products. There is also the suggestion that there is an 'easy wash system to prevent razor clogging'. I do not have a clue what they mean by this. On other razors I have used there has been a small tab at the top that helps separate the blades slightly when you press down on it, and hence it cleans out the hair... These razors appear to clog up very quickly, and no amount of running under water or banging on the sink shifts it. This reduces the razors life cycle quite considerably in my opinion. I often use the razors four or five times before I throw them away, but I would imagine this would decrease depending on the size of the area you wish to shave! I put these razors into a bin when they start to go blunt, which would probably put those off who care for the environment. As far as i know, these can't be easily recycled. === Price === These razors can't be faulted on price. A packet costs £1 meaning each razor is a mere 20p. They are found in the toiletries isle of bigger Tesco stores. === Overall === It was nice to have a change from my usual brand, but I will not be purchasing these again. I do not feel they quite live up to the claims they advertise on the packaging. You can hardly call it a Vitamin E strip if it starts to fade after one use... the swivel head is hardly noticeable... and where is the easy wash system?! These razors are worth using if, like me, you do not use them very often, but I would never use these razors on my legs or intimate areas! I give these razors 2/5 because they are suitable for sensitive skin and do not cost the earth. I'll stick to Bic. [May appear on Ciao under the username: Strawberry_123]
I rarely wear make up... I just do not see the point in spending all that time in the morning putting it on if you're only going to the shops. Plus, I can't STAND taking it off. However, when I'm going out, my usual make up routine starts with moisturising, then applying foundation and then my pressed powder. I admit, I was initially drawn to Collection 2000's 'Shine Away Compact Powder because of the price. I consider Collection 2000 to be one of the brands that offer good value for money. Their products aren't the best but in my experience they always give good results. Currently in Boots, it is £4.19, which is a lot less than paying £14 for the L'oreal version and £23 for Benefit! I adore the packaging for this powder. The 10g powder is a standard size and comes in a black compact device, decorated with white swirls and pink flowers. It is really girly and fits in perfectly with the pink hues of my make up bag! On the front it has the product name and on the back, information regarding how it works and ingredients. The powder is really easy to open because there is a groove at the front to place your fingers, and it is quite easy to grip so you don't open it and powder goes everywhere! Inside there is a really handy compact mirror and a sponge resting on the pressed powder. Initially, paper is placed over the powder to prevent the sponge becoming 'dirty'. The powder comes in three colours: light, medium and deep. I use the medium because the light is just too pale for my skin tone. However, even the medium is a little too tanned. I wish there were more choices; because three colours do not cover the varied number of skin tones in the country! As you might expect, it is very easy to use the product. Simply, apply the powder on the sponge and brush across your face. The powder is designed to mattify skin and control shine for up to ten hours. I find that after using a liquid foundation, my skin feels super shiny, which does not look pretty in photos!! Therefore I use this over the top. It instantly rectifies this problem, and my skin tone looks almost porcelain. I think it is important to apply moisturiser first, if like me, you are prone to dry skin. The powder can show up areas of flaky skin you didn't know existed! I never need to re apply this powder on a night out so I agree that it could last as long as ten hours. The powder is also meant to contain a 'skin correct' complex to minimize breakouts. I am not someone prone to spots. I obviously get them every now and again, but I can't comment on whether this claim is realistic. The powder says it helps even out skin tone with a soft, blendable texture. I would agree with this statement. You can certainly see which areas you have mattified after you have started using the product. It is very easy to blend into your skin tone by using the sponge. I have never had to replace the sponge, because I clean it with hot soapy water every now and again. This clears the dead skin cells and also helps prevent breakouts. The design and writing on the front tends to fade after excess use, but the compact packaging still prevents the powder from breaking up. I have bought two of these powders in the past, each lasting around a year because of how little I use it. I'm not sure replacing the powder after six months like I do with my other make up would be worth it. I definitely consider Collection 2000's powder to be one of the best 'cheap' make up products on the market. Every time I apply foundation, this goes on over the top. I suggest giving it a go if you can find a colour tone to suit you. I give this product 4* [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
I don't know about you but I can guarantee either myself or one of my friends will have a tin of Vaseline on them when we are out and about. A couple of Christmas's ago I received a gift set featuring four of these small tins, and I have only recently ran out and replaced my favourite of the set... cocoa butter. == Packaging == Unlike many lip balms, the cocoa butter Vaseline comes in a small aluminium tin rather than a stick, which has its advantages and disadvantages... I like the fact you get a lot more for your money and the balm doesn't get lodged in the lid. However, I am not keen on the fact you have to use your fingers to apply the Vaseline. It is not so much the fact it leaves a greasy substance on your fingertips after use... more of a case of getting specks of dirt in the balm, particularly if more than one person uses the tin. The tin looks exactly like the photo Dooyoo provides... half of it white and the other half brown, and featuring the product details. Each tin contains 20g of Vaseline. The lid can be difficult to remove initially but the more you use it the easier it gets. It certainly keeps the contents "fresh". == Scent == The thing that makes this Vaseline better than the other varieties is its gorgeous scent. As you might expect, it has a traditional cocoa butter smell... quite sweet and creamy. I definitely makes a change from plain petroleum jelly!! Unfortunately for me, it does not taste as sweet as it smells. Probably a good thing... it prevents people like me from eating the tin!! == General Comments == As I have pointed out, you apply the Vaseline to the affected area with your fingertips. I normally apply the left over residue to the skin on my arm to get rid of the grease! Its main use is a lip balm, but you can use this Vaseline on other areas of dry skin such as the feet and elbows. I would not recommend using this on the face... it is far too greasy! I have used this Vaseline on very dry lips. It takes a while for them to feel moisturised again... around half and hour... but this product definitely works! It lasts for a number of hours before you should re-apply, but obviously this depends on the person. I tend to apply a small amount after brushing my teeth twice a day and carry a tin around with me if I need a top up. The Vaseline is quite solid when kept at room temperature. A little goes a long way so you should only apply a small amount of product at a time. You should keep this tin away from direct sunlight to prevent it from going soft and runny... which is pretty unpleasant to use! == Price and Availability == The average price for this product is around £1.99 but it can range from a mere £1 to a rather expensive £2.99. It is best to buy it when it is on offer because the tin will last you a very long time, so you essentially get a little more for your money that way! This Vaseline is widely available and you can buy this from all good supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies. There are other varieties to look out for (in their unique colours) including: Original - Blue Rose tinted - Pink Aloe Vera - Green SPF 15 - Yellow Crème Brulee - Light brown (Limited edition) == Conclusion == I adore this version of Vaseline - it is by far my favourite of the bunch and the one I replace more often than the rest. It is a great product for the winter months in particular when your skin is at its driest, but it will always be a staple product in my make up case too. I can't recommend this enough... 5* [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
For me, Christmas is about spending time with family as well as eating and drinking lots! We normally like to play a game around Christmas and usually opt for the classic board games such as Pictionary or Taboo. However, this year we decided to do things a bit differently and buy the xbox version of Trivial Pursuit. == The Game == Trivial Pursuit is an old favourite I am sure most of you would have already heard of and played. However, for those that are not familiar with it, Trivial Pursuit is a general knowledge based game where up to six individual players, or teams, move around the board answering questions in the following categories: Arts and Literature Entertainment
Science and Nature Sport and Leisure After starting in the middle of the board, you must land on the appropriate squares to play for a wedge that fits into your playing piece. You need to collect one from each category in order to win. To claim your victory you must move back into the center and answer one final question in a category of your choice. For the purpose of this review I'll be discussing the multi-player classic game, but there are other modes to try (see other options). == Controls == I am not a regular on the xbox but found the game very easy to play. We thought you might be able to control the board with the Buzz controllers, but we were wrong. Instead you play with the standard xbox controllers. You really only need to use the A and B buttons to confirm or go back and the analogue stick to select what answer you want or where you want your playing piece to move. The instructions come up on screen telling you exactly what to press, which is really helpful for those that do not use the xbox that often! == My Opinions == I thought buying the digital version of the game would lose its appeal. I don't know about you, but I like handling the playing pieces and reading out the questions to my opponents. However, I had just as much fun with this version because of the variety in question styles. All questions are multiple choice and come in many different forms, for instance, word answers, picture answers or choosing a location on a map. It would be nice to see video clips for the entertainment section, but sadly this is unavailable. The graphics are very good. The board is very colourful and when the questions appear they are very clear to read from a distance. The only thing I would say is sometimes it is difficult to see what places the world map is referring to in the geography questions, particularly if the places are very close together. Furthermore, the picture questions can be quite ambiguous as to what they represent, so it becomes quite the guessing game! The playing pieces are animated which was quite amusing in the beginning, but does it really need to grow wings and fly across the board if it is just moving one space?! The music is not as annoying as I had anticipated. Without it, it would lose its appeal, so I certainly would not play on mute. The commentator also makes remarks such as 'why did you take so long to answer?' or 'you look proud of yourself' which can get quite repetitive and sometimes do not make much sense! You get to earn achievements throughout the game and they come up at the bottom of the screen rather frequently for those of you who collect xbox points. Excuse me if I am wrong here, I am not aware of the system. I have played this game many a times now and have not had the same question come up twice, which shows you how many questions this game must include. == Difficulty and Longevity == The questions vary quite a lot... some of the time they are really easy and the answer will practically be given away in the wording of the question, and others are extremely difficult or confusing. I guess this obviously depends on the level of your general knowledge! In my opinion, the questions would probably be suitable for ages 16 plus. We found the entertainment questions the easiest of the bunch and often opted for these given the choice. The first game we played, the questions were overly difficult for player 1 and player 2 were racing ahead. Even the commentator commented on it! It did not feel very fair in the level of difficulty each player got. An average game lasted around 45 minutes in my family, but obviously this varies quite a lot. However, each question is timed so the player can't take too long discussing and thus deciding on their answer. == Cost and Availability == We bought this game from the xbox online store on our console instead of in a shop, so we did not receive the disk or the packaging, hence saving time and the environment! I was surprised by the cost of the game because we were buying this way... Having never bought a full game from the store before, I expected them to be around £5-7! Instead, we paid £19.99. I have not seen the game in the shops before, so I'm not sure how this compares to buying it in the high street, but gameseek.co.uk has it for £29.97, which I think is FAR too pricey! The game took quite a while to download (around an hour) but I would imagine this depends on your internet connections, so bare that in mind. You can also buy extra packages featuring more questions from the online store. == Other Options == As well as the multi-player classic game, there are other options to choose from. We tend not to play these modes as much as the classic version, but I thought it would be useful. You can choose to play as a single player in 'clear the board', where you navigate the board and answer questions for points. The purpose of this game is to beat your own score (and obviously revise for future games!) 'Facts, Family and Friends' mode where you bet whether your opponents will get the answers right, wrong or whether you yourself can answer it. If you win the bet, you also win a quarter of the wedge and half the wedge if you can answer the question. This means you may not have to land on the square to gain that wedge space. == Overall Opinion == I am very pleased with the xbox version of this game. It is a good game to play with family and friends around this time of year. I think it is a fun alternative to other classic board games. The only thing I feel lets it down is the price of the online store version. If you saw it for around £5 then it is worth the money, but otherwise, you may as well buy the physical board game that you can keep beyond the xbox breaking down! Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123
== Mario Kart Game for Nintendo DS == Mario Kart is possibly one of those timeless games that everyone is familiar with, and continues to enjoy whatever their age. I first played this at a family get-together on the wii and enjoyed it so much I had to buy it on DS, so here is my review: == Packaging == The game card comes in the standard size DS box with the Nintendo DS logo down the left-hand side. The front features Mario and his kart, on a white background with the title of the game on top. In my opinion, the design is quite boring; they could have incorporated one of the colourful backdrops featured in the game. However, I don't think it would stop children locating it on the shop shelf because Mario is such a well-known character. Inside the box there is an instruction manual clipped into the left, and the game is on the right. The game-card is easy to take in and out because one side is clear of plastic. There is also another slot above the game... but in all honesty, I have no idea what it is for and have never found a use for it! The small box is easy to store away because of its size (roughly 25 x 18 x 2 cm) and it protects the contents from damage. Overall, pretty standard game packaging! == Game Play === On the welcome screen you have the option of Single Player, Multiplayer, Nintendo WFC (wi-fi connections), Records and Options. For the purpose of this review I will be reviewing the Single Player mode, because I am guessing the other options are self-explanatory. On the next screen, there are the following options: Grand Prix - featuring 8 different cups of 4 different tracks. Each race gives you a number of points depending on your position in the race and your total at the end of the four races gives you your final position. Time Trials - this is a single player mode where the goal is to get the best time on each track. VS - in single player mode you race against the computer and in multiplayer mode you race against your friends Battle - features Balloon Battle (you have five balloons that you need to inflate then protect, whilst trying to pop your opponents) and Shine Runners (collecting 'shines' from a map by driving into them or stealing them off your opponents). Missions - featuring six groups of levels where your performance is rated based in terms of stars or letters. Once you have picked what type of game you wish to play, you select which character you want and the type of kart to race in. Fans of the Mario series will recognise their favourite characters, which is a great advantage! You can unlock more characters and karts the more you play. On the next screen you can choose to race in 50cc (the easiest), 100cc or 150cc (the hardest) karts. Obviously, the purpose of the game is to win a race, and you can do this by keeping on the track, manoeuvring around your opponents and picking up boxes. The boxes give you a helping hand. You might receive traps that you use to distract your opponents from the race or boosts to make yourself even faster. The game is very easy to play... you generally only need to use the accelerator and direction buttons. I do not tend to use the brake, although there is one if you are used to using one! You also have to press another button to plant traps in the paths of your opponents, but you can generally do this without taking your finger off the accelerator! I think it would be very easy for children and adults alike to pick up. The graphics are quite simplified but very colourful, which is very appealing. The characters are very clear, even when they are racing past you. Obviously they are not the most amazing graphics in the videogame business, but I do not think they need to be! The music on the option screens can get repetitive and annoying. I much prefer the game play sounds where you can hear the other characters shouting 'yippee' as they go past you, or subtly cursing you if you trip them up! I do tend to play the game without sound, and game play is just as good. == Price and Availability == This game has been out for quite some time now, and newer versions (including one for the 3DS) of the game have since been released. However, this means that you can pick up Mario Kart quite cheaply now. You can get the game in all good game retailers, but I would suggest looking at eBay, Amazon sellers and play.com. You can expect to pay around £15-20 for this game, which is a bargain! == Overall Opinion === I only have three games on my DS... I'm not an avid videogame player as you can tell! However, this remains, by far, my favourite of the bunch. Anyone who remembers and loved playing Crash Team Racing on Playstation 1 will love this game. Or if you are a fan of Mario in general, you will not be disappointed. You can never 'complete' the game, which means you can constantly go back to it and try to beat your lap records! Needless to say, I will not be getting rid of my copy any time soon. Thoroughly recommended! Also published on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123
Before leaving university at the end of term, my flatmates and I decided to have a huge clean up of our student house. In preparation, we bought a LOT of cleaning equipment... including Dettol surface wipes. I usually opt for supermarket own brands, but these were the only wipes in our local shop, so they had to do! The Dettol wipes came in quite a plain packet... predominately white and green. I guess you could say that the white choice of colour is meant to represent cleanliness, but I think it makes the brighter coloured wipe packaging more appealing on the shelf. The logo is fairly large, so it gives the consumer piece of mind that the product is of a consistent high quality. As you may imagine, the packaging is easy to open by peeling back a tab to reveal a small window to take the wipes one by one. And yes, it is easy to take out one at a time, unlike some brands where you remove the whole lot! Of course, you can reseal the packaging to keep in the freshness and moisture. Each individual wipe is quite big and thicker than I expected, which I imagine helps lock in the moisture. They feel quite pleasant to handle too, due to the smooth texture. The wipes claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The packaging draws attention to the number of harmful bacteria it can kill, including E-coli, Salmonella, MRSA and the flu virus. It also claims to remove 90% allergens. To be honest, I just wanted to freshen the place up and make it a bit clean, so I can't say I bought the product based on the claims. However, I think it is important to mention because it would appeal more to those with young children. Of course, you might expect the wipes to be very easy to use and you'd be right! Simply take one out of the packet and 'scrub' at the surface you wish to clean. The wipes are single use and you should just dispose of it in a bin. As far as I know they can't be recycled, which is a major disadvantage to the environment. The wipes do not particularly smell of anything except that clean and fresh smell you associate with cleaning materials! I usually opt for lemon-scented wipes so I'm not wild about the smell! When I used them for the first time, I expected they would dry out or irritate my skin. They are bleach-free wipes though so I'm pleased to say I didn't experience any irritation from using them. Fortunately, the scent does not stick on your skin either so there is no need to wear gloves. I mainly used these wipes to clean across the countertops in the kitchen and they worked a treat. The wipes are not overly wet which means the area you're cleaning does not need to dry for ages after. The whole area smells and looks a lot fresher and cleaner. I also used the wipes used on the taps and oven, after some gentle scrubbing from the scourer!! You could use them on the bathtub and sinks too if you wish. You can buy these wipes from all good retailers including supermarkets, convenience stores and places such as Wilkinson's. I bought mine from the local corner shop for £2.99 for 15 wipes. This seems to be the average RRP which was surprising, although I imagine you can find good deals when you buy multiple packets elsewhere. Overall, the wipes are very easy and convenient to use and I would have no problems using them again (although I'll try and find a cheaper deal somewhere else!) I give them 4 out of 5 based on the fact they are great anti-bacterial wipes and have lots of bold claims, but they should be recyclable and a tad cheaper!
So I've recently switched orange juice brands... Not down a brand but up instead. I recently switched to Tesco standard orange juice from their value range, and to be quite honest with you, I was unimpressed and immediately changed back! I've come to love Tesco's uber cheap food since I've been on a strict budget at university (as they say, every little helps!) and their orange juice is by far my favourite 'find'. The packaging is quite ugly... and certainly does not stand out next to the brightly coloured cartons next to it! The one litre value orange juice comes in the traditional white, blue and red colours. To open the carton you should lift up one of the tabs at the top and cut a slit with a pair of scissors. Obviously this has its advantages and disadvantages. It saves on the packaging and makes it easier to recycle in the end, but the juice remains open to the elements and it needs to be finished quicker than the screw top cartons. Nevertheless, it is very easy to pour into the glass as soon as you open it. Just be careful not to squeeze the bottle too much to avoid spillage. The cardboard carton is quite sturdy, I have certainly not had a problem with one exploding on me! But at the same time it is easy to squeeze the carton to improve the juice flow. I like to store my orange juice in the fridge. Of course, you do not have to considering it is not kept in a chilled supermarket isle... its just the way I prefer to drink it. I half expected the juice to be very watered down the first time I tried it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The juice smells quite strong as soon as you open the carton, and the orange flavour definitely comes through! It is a good wake-me-up in the morning because it smells very fresh. It is a dark yellow/light orange in colour, as you might expect and the consistency is the same as any other brand I have tried... not watery thin or milkshake thick! The taste is very fruity and refreshing. I find that I go through a carton of this within twenty-four hours because I keep getting top ups! It is probably a tad more sugary than the more expensive brands. When I switched to the standard Tesco orange juice the taste was quite bland in comparison, which I'm sure is due to the sugar content! Whilst I'm on the topic... the nutritional content is below (per 250ml): Cal ... 105 kCal Fat ... N/A Sat Fat ... 0g Sugar ... 23.5g Salt ... N/A Clearly I was right about the sugar content. It certainly makes it taste good, but it would be so much nicer to know it was kinder on my teeth! As I mentioned previously, this orange juice is not in the chilled isles as you might expect. You should find it next to the carbonated drinks instead. It costs 56p a carton, which is great value for money in my opinion. If you compare it to brands like Tropicana and Innocent you will see how incredibly low the price is! To conclude, this is a great tasting orange juice if you are looking to save a few pennies each week. The disadvantages being the awful packaging and the high sugar content... but it will not stop me buying it every week! I suggest you give this refreshing drink a try before you mock the fact it is value! I give it 4* [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
There was a huge promotion for the Snow Fairy products in Lush over the weekend, so I thought it would be rude not to buy something! Hence why I came home with some Snow Fairy shower gel! Fans of Lush will know that the Snow Fairy range is seasonal and comes out for the Christmas period. I think this could be perceived as annoying for some (especially if you run out of your favourite shower product!) but for me, it makes the range seem a bit special - plus it reminds me that the holidays are just around the corner! The shower gel comes in the traditional Lush packaging. Lush try to be ethical by using as little packaging as possible. The shower gel comes in a transparent plastic bottle, so you can see the product in all its glory, with a black lid and label. The bottle has a flip-top lid, which makes the product easy to open, close and pour. However, I do find it hard to squeeze the liquid out of the bottle because the plastic is quite solid. I've used Lush shower gels before and find when I'm near the end I have to place it on its top over the week so the liquid is nearer the exit! That said, I absolutely adore the packaging... It certainly stands out on the shelf in my bathroom! The shower gel itself is very girly. The liquid is bright pink and contains glitter. Thankfully, not enough to stick on your skin after you have showered, but enough to make it look amazing in the light! Of course, the scent to match is absolutely divine too! When I first opened the bottle, I was struck by how sweet is smelt. Lush say on their website that 'it's not your classic hippy dippy Lush herbal offering' which I have to agree with. I can smell the sugar immediately, and the infusion of fruit. It reminds me a lot of candyfloss. When you use this shower gel, the aroma fills the whole room, and if like me you live in a small flat, you will soon find it filling the whole place! I have sensitive skin and found no problems using this shower gel. I find a little goes a long way when you use a shower puff, which is great considering the price! Snow Fairy shower gel comes in three different sizes. It costs £3.25 for 100ml, £5.95 for 250ml and £9.95 for 500ml. Yes, I do think this is an excessive amount to pay for a shower gel, when others on the market cost an average of £1, but this is a product that comes out once a year so you deserve to treat yourself! This shower gel... and the other Snow Fairy products are available to buy now from Lush stores nationwide, and various places online. As with all Lush products, there is absolutely NO testing on animals. If shower gels aren't your thing, you can also try various other products with the same scent. For instance, there are Snow Fairy lip tints and scrubs, as well as the Snow Fairy Wand... a solid bath bomb shaped like a star at the end of a cane to make it easy to run under water. Of course, there is also a Snow Fairy gift set with a selection from the range. I think the shower gel would make a great stocking filler for any girl this Christmas. I say girl... even though Lush say it is used by women AND men, I can't see my brother being too impressed if I gave him some this Christmas! However, it is totally OK to buy some for yourself... I know I did! [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
I have NEVER shaved my legs... a fact that i'm quite proud of and a fact that others seem to find very strange! Since i was about 15 i have opted to wax my legs instead because it has been proven that the hair grows back slower and finer each time. The hair on my legs has never been dark because i have naturally quite fair hair anyway, so obviously i did not want black, course hair growing on me pins!! I have ALWAYS paid to have it done because usually i can go about eight to ten weeks without the hair growing back... but since i've been at university i have had to cut down on my spending! Also, i think i would feel like i was cheating on the beautician that normally waxes my legs back at home if i went anywhere else... So anyway, i bought some Veet Wax strips to try out in between visits! I decided to buy the Debut edition strips because the box specified that they would be good for beginners - (and they were the cheapest on the shelf!!). The box is purple and decorated in flowers. Overall, the design is very feminine... i guess it is meant to distract you from the pain inside the box!! On the side there are a set of five instructions with simple diagrams to help you use the wax strips to their full potential. On the other side there is a list of ingredients and a contents list - which proved very useful because for a while i was convinced they had only given me half the amount of strips, until i realised each one splits into two! On the back there is a LOT of information regarding precautions, how to get the best results and why you should choose the brand. However, i did notice contradictory information on the packaging... on the front it says there are two Perfect Finish wipes and on the side it says there are four. I definitely only received two! You can purchase this product in beauty retailers such as Superdrug and Boots... or large supermarkets. I paid £3 (normal cost £3.99) for 12 wax strips which i think is good value considering i would normally pay £16 for half a leg wax. These are easygrip strips that are 'ready to use' and come enriched with vitamin E and almond for sensitive skin. The box states that they are effective on short hair and the effects last for up to four weeks. These strips are suitable for use on your legs, arms, underarms and bikini line ONLY. If this is your first time too, it suggests using it on your legs to begin with! When i first opened the box, the first thing that struck me was how beautiful they smelt! The almond oil really makes the product more appealing... it made a change from the scent of wax i get in my beauty salon! My friends also commented on it, so the scent is quite powerful, but not overbearing! The wax strips are really easy to use! First you should do a patch test 24 hours before using the product. In all honesty, i was too lazy to do this and risked it! You should also make sure the hair is between 2 and 5mm in length. Any longer and you should trim it, to avoid discomfort later on. Next, you should rub the wax strip between your hands to warm the wax. It doesn't state how long... i tended to do this until my hands were warm (about 20 seconds) and concluded that was long enough. Next you should peel the strips apart using the easygrip tab. This was simple enough because the tabs are long enough to grip and it didn't require too much effort to separate the two. You should then apply the strip with the easygrip tab towards the ankle and rub repeatedly in the direction of the hair growth. Holding the tab, pull the strip back very quickly in one motion. OUCH!! Actually... the pain wasn't that bad!! I think either i'm so used to the pain or i told myself it was going to be worse than it was!! The box suggests you keep the strip close to the skin as possible and hold the skin taut to avoid discomfort, both of which i ignored and still got good results. Finally, after waxing you should remove excess wax with the perfect finish wipes. I expected these to be wet, but actually, its just felt like a napkin caked in grease! So... the results. The easygrip system works well. I did not have problems pulling the strips apart, or off my legs, which was great. Only once did i lose the grip at the end of the 'swift motion' but the wax (and hair) came off when i 'reattached' the strip! Yes i noticed immediately after my first strip that the product worked. You can sometimes see your skin in paler in that area because the wax takes the dead skin cells with it! There was no hair left in its place and if i looked closely at the wax strip i could see the evidence. Veet say that you can use the same wax strip several times, until it loses the stickiness. I managed to get two go's out of one strip, until it became less waxy! I must admit, i expected a few more... but that was wishful thinking! You effectively get six strips for each leg, which i found doesn't cover your whole leg... luckily for me, i only wax the bottom half of my leg and the backs don't tend to have as much hair as the front, so this wasn't a problem... but for others, you may need to buy more strips! My friends who have used this product in the past have said it was much easier to wax the finer hairs than the thicker ones (which may seem obvious, but shouldn't the wax pick up any hair... regardless of its texture?!) I found that the strips left a few patches of hair in places, which i tried to get rid of by using the same strip several times, but to no success. In the end i opted to plucking the hairs the wax didn't pick up! I do have sensitive skin, and found that my legs came out quite red very quickly, but this is something i am used to seeing in the salon, so i wasn't concerned. They did not become irritated during or after the process, so i would agree with the statement that these are suitable for sensitive skin! The wax strips may leave some stickiness in places which can be removed easily with the wipes. I found them to be really effective at this... but they feel horrid and make your legs (and hands!) look super greasy!! I had to shower my legs in the end because i hated the feeling!! This is definitely one area that this product could need improving!! Overall, i was very pleased with the initial results. My legs were smooth for around six weeks... which is more than Veet suggested... but something i put down to having always opted to wax, not the quality of the product! I don't agree with Veet's slogan 'better grip, perfect results' because although i agree there was good grip, there was definitely still some hair clinging on. I would not be prepared to pay for this quality in a beauty salon... but for casual use, the results were very good. I will award this product 4 out of 5 and it is definitely something i would use again!
1. What is the wallpaper on your computer screen? Why did you choose it? I bought my computer a year ago and my wallpaper is still the default... its pink and purple in some type of galaxy style design. I still like it, hence why it has never been changed! 2. Mexican food, Chinese food, Italian food, French food or American food? I LOVE italian... totally craving pizza right now! 3. Do you have any tattoos and piercings? I have no tattoos... although i would definitely consider getting one done! I currently have my ears and belly button pierced... i REALLY want my nose done. 4. Do you have any siblings? Yes, one brother. 5. Have you ever broken a bone? Nope nothing obvious... although i swear i broke my nose at some point because it definitely wasn't this shape a few years back! 6. Do you believe in superstitious things such as breaking mirrors? No not really, i can't think why you would want to give yourself more to worry about! 7. Do you like those 'end of the world' movies? Not particularly... 8. Do you eat more fruits or vegetables? What's your favourite fruit and veggie? I eat more vegetables. My favourites are roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and parsnip. I also love strawberries and peaches! 9. Who were you most likely to play during school nativities? An angel :) 10. What's your opinion of the dentist? I don't particularly enjoy going but I think it is necessary that you go every 6 months at least. I'm paranoid about my teeth! 11. Have you ever had a speech impediment? No. 12. If you had to choose, what is the worst movie you've ever seen? Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging... need i say more?! 13. Do you like meeting new people? Yes! I've joined loads of societies at university this year so i can do just that! 14. If you could, which celebrity would you date? Ha, Ed Westwick :) 15. Who would you take with you on a deserted island? My boyfriend Jordan... it may be a cliche we don't see enough of each other because we're at different ends of the country whilst we're at university (i'm in Reading, he's in Newcastle) so it would be great to spend the time together! 16. Do you know how wide your hips are in exact inches? No idea! 17. What would you say is the worst part of high school? Possibly the exams! 18. How old will you be on your Mother's 68th birthday? Is that 'old' to you? 39 maybe?! I'm really not sure... but no i don't think that is old. 19. Ever thought you were dying of something you were not even close to having? No. 20. Have you ever wanted to be a doctor? I've wanted to be a nurse at one point. 21. If you were dying who would you say goodbye to first? My mumma! 22. Do you like to babysit children? God, no! I need babysitting myself... 23. Do you often forget where you put things? No can't say i do! 24. Do you go on a lot of holidays? No... maybe once every other year. 25. Have you ever met someone with the same 'biggest fear' as you? Giant spiders?! Yes, quite a lot of people are terrified of them! 26. Would you rather write with a pen or pencil? Why? A pen... pencils need sharpening every ten minutes and the writing always seems to fade over time! 25. What is your favourite number and why? 7... Just because its my birthday date. 26. Are you afraid of being kidnapped when you go outside at night time? No, i'm more worried about being attacked or mugged! 27. Where was the best school trip you ever went on? France for the weekend... even the worst places seem so much better when you're with your mates though! 28. Are you a controversial person? Some might say i pick arguments! Ha! 29. What would you say your average word per minute count is on a keyboard? God knows! Depends if i'm thinking about what i need to write or not! 30. What was your favourite and least favourite subject in school? Favourite: Design and Technology. Least favourite: Maths. 31. Do you bite your finger nails? Yes... and i wish i could stop! 32. When is the next time you'll go to the library? Tomorrow :( don't remind me! 33. Do you like fiction or non-fiction books more? Fiction. 34. Do you treat other's as you'd like to be treated? Honestly, no. I judge people before i get to know them, i won't lie. 35. What type of child were you? Very shy! 36. Are you someone who likes to get into arguments and fights a lot? I like a good argument... i'm not a physical-fighting sort of person though! 37. Do you swear a lot? More than i need to... 38. If you had to get a tattoo, what would it be of and where would you have it? I have no idea! But i would make sure it was designed by me and meant something to me. I'd probably have it done on my wrist or ankle. 39. What's your favourite TV show? Gossip Girl!! 40. Does personality weigh out the sense of 'good looks'? It depends. Of course, everyone would like to say personality is most important but i think we all judge others by how they look too. I think personality and appearance are equally important. 41. What is your favourite thing in your bedroom? My furry throw :) 42. If you could change 1 thing about you, what would it be? I'd be more confident in social situations. 43. Do you have any regrets? If so, what are they? No not really... i wouldn't be the same person i am today if i did regret things and i'm pretty happy right now. But if i had to say, I regret not taking Geography for A-Level, haha! 44. What colour hair do you have? Its sort of dark copper now... the red is fading :( 45. What colour eyes do you have? Green. 46. Favourite Sound? The sound of the oven telling me my dinner is ready! 47. Favourite Quote? 'Never leave the one you love for the one you like... because the one you like may leave you for the one they love' I don't know why... i think it's rather depressingly cute!
I actually only started playing 'Tiny Tower' after I read another review on here. So nearly two months since discovering it, I thought I'd give you a review from another perspective. Tiny Tower is a FREE app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPads, requiring iOS 3.0 or later to play it on (I am currently playing on iOS 5.0). It is made by NimbleBit LLC and the current version is 1.4.1 (last updated on 14 September 2011), which takes up 14.0MB of space on your device. === Game Play === This game is much like a simulation. The object of the game is to build the tallest tower out of you and your friends. To make your tower grow you need to earn money, and you do this by opening up apartments for people to live in, and amenities such shops and leisure facilities, where you can sell products. There is a short tutorial in the beginning to help you understand how the game works and how to use the different controls. I found it quite confusing initially because like most simulation games, it seemed like quite a bit to take in. However, you quickly get to grips with everything just by playing a few times. The tutorial shows you how to build an apartment, which can house up to five 'Bitizens' - or people to you and me! Each Bitizen is different from the next and they each have a profile, which tells you their name, birthday and what their dream job is. There is also a set of criteria, which tells you what their strengths and weaknesses are, which may help you determine what type of job would be most beneficial. The profile page also tells you what floor they live on, their current job and their happiness level. The apartments are normally themed to give your tower a bit of variety and colour! For instance, I currently have safari and 70s themed apartments. You can't choose what style you end up with but I think this adds to the fun because it is a little surprise each time a new one is built. Each Bitizen living in the apartment generates 1000 coins in rent, so the more people you have living in your tower, the more money you will generate. You move people into the building by using the elevator on the ground floor. Once someone appears in the elevator, there is a little speech bubble what floor they wish to visit and you use the controls to go up and down until they reach their desired floor. I used to press on the arrows that appear at the bottom of the screen, until I discovered that by pressing anywhere on the left hand side moves the elevator up, and anywhere on the right moves it down! Occasionally you'll get a VIP, which gives you things to boost gameplay, which is really handy because this game is in real time. If your apartments are going to take 13 hours to build, it is going to take 13 hours in our time too! VIPs can help by taking time off restocking or building work... In which case, YOU decide what floor they should visit to get this bonus! When your tower starts to get taller, you can choose to speed it up (believe me, you will need to do this!) for which you will need to spend some tower bux - which I'll discuss later on! Once you have apartments (and coins from their rent!), the next step is to open some facilities where Bitizens can work and buy products. You are able to specify what type of amenity goes into your tower by specifying one of the following categories: Food - i.e. a sushi bar, pizza place Service - i.e. pharmacy, dentist Recreation - i.e. comedy club, museum Retail - i.e. furniture store, fabric shop Creative - i.e. graphic design studio, pottery studio Again, you are not allowed to specify what facility goes into your building. However, you can alter the colour scheme by using paint buckets. You can purchase 100 buckets for 1 tower bux, and then you can change the colour of any level up to 100 times before you need to purchase more buckets! You are able to do this for the residential blocks as well. It does get pretty annoying if you do not like ANY of the options they give you, and you have spent up to 40 buckets coming to this conclusion! Each block can give work to up to three Bitizens and similarly each block can sell up to three items. However, if for instance you only have two Bitizens working at the time, you are only allowed to sell two items. To make coins, you have to restock your items on a regular basis and each item has to be restocked separately, you can't restock all three items at the same time! Again this happens in real time! Once stock has been replenished, sales of that item generate coins. You can generate even more stock by placing a Bitizen in their dream job. If you have two Bitizens in a single facility who have landed their dream, you get twice as much stock, similarly if you have three Bitizens in their dream jobs, you get three times as much! You can level up your blocks but I am yet to see the difference this makes... I can't see any change physically or how much stock they can generate etc. This should be made more clear during gameplay. So back to Tower Bux... These are different to coins because they let you purchase special things such as a quicker elevator or quicken up your game by restocking and finishing building instantly. They come about occasionally, for instance you get hold of them when Bitizens tip you in the elevator, or when you place a Bitizen in their dream job. I used to spend them instantly, because I get bored of waiting for things to finish, but now I save them for the speedy elevators!! I have around 40 floors now, and it would be impractical to still be using the default elevator! On the main Menu screen the main items I use are the stats, elevator and 'Bitbook'. The stats generate charts to show you what type of block is most preferred in your tower, how much stock you are selling at the time, and how many blocks belong to which category (e.g. creative, retail). The elevator item is where you upgrade your elevator speed and then you have access to the Bitbook... a social networking site for the people in your tower! This section doesn't really do a lot but you can see what your Bitizens think. Most of the time, they complain that their workplace is closed and they're worried they're not going to be paid! Groups of Bitizens also tend to say the same thing... weird! There is a Bitbuilder, where you can design your own Bitizen. I have tried to use this, but it accesses the internet and I get bored of it pretty easily, so I'm not in the best place to comment. The other options relate to sharing your tower with your friends, purchasing coins/bux and settings. === Word of Warning === I should add that you shouldn't need to buy more coins and bux, I think it is a waste! I have never spent real money on virtual money... and I never intend to either. You can still play the game well without having to buy extra, and as far as I know, you do not get anything special as a result of buying into the game. Also... I have recently upgraded to iOS 5 which caused problems on my iPhone (i.e. it deleted all the apps I downloaded). When I re-downloaded the app, some of my floors were missing, which was obviously really annoying because it set me back! They say they've updated the app to prevent bugs like this from occurring and I haven't had problems since. === Graphics and Sound === This app would win no awards for the quality of its graphics... There is lots of flat colour and the whole appeal is very pixelated. I'm positive it is meant to be this way because the word 'bit' reminds me of a single pixel. I normally like simplistic design but I think I would prefer it if it wasn't in this style. I never have the sound on during gameplay... it is far too repetitive for my liking and gets extremely annoying. There is an option to turn it off thank God! There are also sound effects such as money dropping every time you make a sale, which is good when you see your money increasing. === Final Words === Yes this game is pretty good... I've played it almost every day for two months (sad I know). Its one of those addictive games that you can play when there is nothing else to do! I love the fact that you do not have to put your own money into this game to make it better and I like the surprise element of what type of floor you will receive after the construction finishes. However, I'm not keen on the style of graphics. It is not like we live in the age of Pacman and Tetris where pixelated images are the norm! I recommend downloading this game if you like simulation-style apps. The thousands of people that reviewed this app on iTunes can't be wrong! I will award this game 4 * [Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
I tend not to review sweets that often, which might amaze my friends because I do like to treat myself to a bag of sweets every now and again! I tend to pick up something made of jelly, like Haribo gummy bears, or something made of chocolate like Maltesers. However, I discovered Sainsbury's own 'Fizzy Fangs' in the summer and now I have to buy a pack (or three!) every time I venture near the shop! I'm sure they made their way into many trick or treat bags last Monday! Fizzy Fangs are part of Sainsbury's own sweet collection and other varieties include Strawberry Laces, Cola Bottles and Dolly Mixtures. Each bag holds 100g and costs 40p each. However, they are always on promotion where you can buy three bags for £1 (mix and match), which I normally opt for. Therefore, they are not cheap enough to belong to the basic variety... but they are not far off, which makes them an inexpensive treat. They tend not to be something you give as a gift, in case you are wondering! A single bag can easily be shared because even though there is only 100g you still get a good amount of sweets in them. On the packaging it states you have four servings, which you do... if you have like three sweets each! I am a sucker for these sweets though and tend to scoff the lot! You can find them along the confectionary isle, and they are not difficult to spot because of the simple but brightly coloured packaging. Fizzy Fangs have changed their packaging since Dooyoo posted the image above. They now come in a bright yellow bag with red lettering and a window so you can see the appearance of the sweets. The Sainsbury's logo is on the front (albeit, in white so it is not very visible) as well as the traffic light wheel so you can see the nutritional content of an individual sweet. When you open the bag there is no obvious scent, just a hint of strawberry when you get REALLY close. An individual Fang is fairly large in my opinion, and not something you can easily eat in one go, I definitely think a small child would struggle! They are shaped like Fangs, as you might expect, and measure about 4cm at the longest point. They are mainly pink in colour across the top and the fangs themselves are white, so yes, I think if you put one in your mouth as a fang it would give the desired effect! They are also coated in sugar... Fizzy Fangs are described as a 'fizzy strawberry flavour gum', which I tend to agree with, although I think it missed out the key word: SOUR. These sweets have a tangy taste to them and can be quite sharp. I am not the greatest fan of sour sweets... if I have to many I get a horrible taste in my mouth I can't get rid of! If I was that way inclined, I guess I would feel cheated that they did not warn me on the packaging! That said, the sour taste is not overpowering and the strawberry flavour tends to cancel it out. I actually really enjoy the taste of these sweets. They are by far better than Haribo's tangfastics, which I guess would be the best comparison for this type of sweet. The gum part is also very different to other sweets on the market. You do not have to bite and pull on these sweets like you do with other jelly-like sweets. Your teeth tend to cut through the jelly in one motion with no effort required. I think this is one of its major advantages! Without going into EVERY ingredients, I should state that these sweets contain only natural colours and flavours. The traffic light wheel is predominately green which makes me feel slightly less guilty for eating a bag, until I see the sugar content! Each sweet contains: Cal - 26 Sugars - 5.3g (eeeek!) Fat - Trace Sat fat - Trace Salt - Trace So yes, you may need to spend extra time brushing your teeth after eating these sweets! I would recommend these sweets to people who like sour varieties such as Tangfastics, or those that want to try something new because I think they are really different to other confectionary brands. They make a good treat or just an afternoon snack and won't break the bank either! I give them 4 out of 5 based on the good taste but awful sugar content! Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123
When it comes to shaping my eyebrows, I am pretty lazy! I will happily pay for someone to wax or thread them so I do not have to go through the process of doing it myself! However, in between visits I normally have a pair of tweezers on hand so I can pluck the odd stray hair out when they start growing back! I have used my Boots slanted tweezers for years now, and they still remain a staple part of my make up kit, so it is about time I reviewed them! I bought my current tweezers when I started university last year; stupidly I left my other ones at home! Boots was the first place I came to in the town, so I bought these for £1.80. I thought the price was quite reasonable considering the other branded tweezers like the Tweezerman range, cost anything from £7 to £20!! Of course, I could have bought a small manicure set from the pound shop and saved myself a bit, but from previous experiences the material they use are never as good quality and I never tend to use the nail files they include anyway! The tweezers come in a plain grey, see through packet so you can see the product in all its glory. The Boots logo is clearly visible, along with the product name. Nothing too fancy, which I guess is how they keep their costs down! You can find them near the personal hygiene isle alongside other make up products such as eyelash curlers and nail scissors, and they are usually tucked out of the way on the bottom shelf! The tweezers themselves are made of a strong metal and come in the traditional 'V' shape. They sit nicely in your hand because of the long frame, which gives the user better direction, and ensures they are not lost as easily as other styles. They are silver in colour and have horizontal grooves in the metal to give the user better grip. The tweezers are easy to close and grip onto single hairs and once pulled (ouch!) they are easy to open and dispose of the hair. Nothing too out of the ordinary here! I have found that these tweezers are great at picking up even the smallest, fine hairs which is a bonus, because many a times I have been left waiting for them to grow longer because my awful tweezers would not pick it up! I am no beauty expert but the fact that these tweezers are slanted makes them much easier to use than the straight or pointed varieties because you can see what you are doing more clearly. The angular tip also helps to pull them in direction of the hair growth, so not to encourage curly eyebrow hairs! They can be used again and again because the material is super durable. The tweezers are obviously sharp when you first get them and can get blunt depending on how often you use them. However I did read somewhere that if you have an old pair of tweezers and run the tip along sandpaper it makes them grip better... whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but it always makes me think that I've improved them! Of course, hair plucking is not the only use for these tweezers! They are great for getting out splinters and I have used them a lot for arts and crafts too, such as placing delicate decorations into position. They are very easy to clean... normally just with a damp cloth, but could be run under water and scrubbed, say for instance there was hardened glue on the end. I have had no problems with these tweezers and should I lose or forget them ever again, I would have no worries about buying another pair. Although I can't guarantee your hair plucking experience will be pain-free, it will certainly be made easier by using the slanted tip tweezers. I thoroughly recommend adding a pair to your make up kit, if for whatever reason they are not already present! It is certainly a cheap, hassle-free way of eyebrow shaping, compared to paying a beauty salon! Plus you'll pick up Boots Advantage points too! I give them 5* Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123
I had always walked past the Prezzo in Maidstone or simply not walked down Earl Street far enough to discover their gorgeous food. Hence why I thought this needed reviewing, in case others have done the same! I found Prezzo after I received some unwanted Tesco clubcard vouchers from a friend. I actually had to look up where the nearest one was via their website, only to discover there was one in my hometown. Here's my review: Firstly, there is no free parking close by. There is a multi-storey car park opposite and an outside parking area around the corner, but both require you to pay for your stay, and it can be a little frustrating thinking about the time throughout your dinner. From the outside the restaurant looks like an old house with dark beams. There is a hanging Prezzo sign above the door to let you know it's there, and normally an A-board letting you know what is on offer. There are a couple of large steps to enter the restaurant, which I can't imagine is very wheelchair friendly! I'm not entirely sure where the disabled entrance is, so it is not very clear. When you enter the building there is a waiting area that looks really cosy, for instance there is an open fire with sofas and stalls around it. Usually, a member of staff takes us through to the main restaurant as soon as we get in the door. However, on busier nights we are told a waiting time and given menus to look at in the waiting area until a table becomes available. There is a small bar behind the till where the drinks are made... I'm not actually sure if you can order there yourself, we tend to wait until we are seated. All in all, the staff are very quick to attend to your needs and always polite and helpful. The main restaurant is separated into three areas. There are around six small tables in the first part, then around ten larger tables in the next area and finally a few tables outside for use in the summer! The restaurant is decorated in a sophisticated manner, with plain furniture, wooden flooring and neutral colours. There are many paintings by David Hockney decorating the walls, it would be nice to see a variety of artists, but I guess that is their theme! There is music playing in the background, but not so much to interrupt your conversation. The toilets are located upstairs, which makes it a bit of an effort to get to, especially manoeuvring through all the tables. Again, I'm not sure where the disabled ones are located! There are only about three or four toilets, but I've never had to queue, despite going on busy weeknights! The rooms themselves are huge and nicely decorated. There has never been a problem with cleanliness or low supplies either. The menu has a wide variety of Italian food to accommodate even the fussiest of eaters (me included!). The range of dishes includes pasta, pizza and calzone, grilled food, risottos and salads. Obviously there is also a wide range of starters, sides and desserts, and a long wine list too! I have been to Prezzo quite a few times in the past year and found the menu appears to change quite a bit... both the dishes and appearance of the menus. For instance, I went there a couple of weeks ago and there was no longer my favourite Ciabatta Milanese! Firstly, we ordered our soft drinks (two Diet Cokes), which came in traditional glass bottles with a separate frosted cold glass. I really appreciate it when restaurants do this because it makes the drinks so much more refreshing! For starters, my partner and I had our usual Pane Con Cipolla (or garlic bread with mozzarella and caramelised onions). Those that read my Wildwood review will see a theme occurring here! However, Prezzo serve theirs on a large plate with the slices cut already. We were also given two plates (great, considering we were sharing!) and knives and forks - although I never used mine! There was a good amount of caramelised onions, although some parts hardly had any and others were covered, so it could have been more evenly spread! For our mains, I tried one of Prezzo's new dishes 'Pollo Mariano' which was described as 'Seasoned chicken, spicy Italian sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce.' It came out as you would expect, much like a great looking pasta bake. It was full of colour and flavor... very tasty! The portion size was rather on the large size for me, but I tend to eat small dinners anyway, so I reckon it would be just right for anyone else! My partner had the carbonara which I can't comment on but it down well with him! We did not talk much throughout the meal... always a sign that the food is good! We did not have enough room for dessert because the menu looked delicious... The prices are fairly reasonable for a high street restaurant, averaging about £5 for each one. I loved the sound of the Honeycomb Smash cheesecake or the Lemon Torte, so next time I'd love to try them! The prices are average for a high street restaurant. Our garlic bread was £4.95, the mains were £9.95 and drinks were £2.25. All in all, we paid less than ten pounds because we took advantage of Tesco clubcard vouchers so we felt very smug! I do not spot many offers associated with Prezzo, for instance 2-4-1, so it does put me off going but it would be nice as a special treat! I would recommend going to Prezzo if you love Italian food because there are a lot of dishes to choose from and each and every one comes out looking and smelling delicious. The restaurant itself is really inviting and comfortable to eat in, so I instantly feel chilled out and relaxed! I give this restaurant 4* - marked down due to the parking and disabled access. 45 Earl Street
Kent ME14 1PD 01622 677 499 www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 12pm -11.30pm