Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser

**Disclaimer – I’ve purchased these products for myself. All opinions are my own and 100% bluntly honest**

Surprise – a review that’s neither Graze nor LUSH! At the moment in Newcastle the wind is pretty fierce and seeing as I’m out the house a fair bit with the dogs, I’ve found it essential to moisturise my face regularly. I’ll admit that normally I only bother when my skin feels particularly dry, but after using this product every morning and most evenings for the past week, the results have been even better than expected.

Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser 75ml/£4.59 (Boots.com price)

Simple says: ‘Smile, it’s Simple. Get results from day 1 with our Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser. It’s a perfect blend of spot fighting ingredients and natural antibacterial goodness to maintain moisture levels throughout the day and giving long lasting shine control. Perfect for even sensitive skin.’

For ages Simple products were the only things I could use on my skin it was that sensitive. Even now that I’m gradually using other brands, I always fall back on Simple when looking for facial products. I’ll be honest though, I usually wait until they are on offer or use my bonus points when purchasing this brand, just to justify the additional expense when compared to own brands. Anyway I think I got this from Sainsbury’s when it was on offer before I came back to uni.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my skin only has occasional break outs, so I thought this moisturiser would be ideal to nip blemishes in the bud before they went horrendous. Like it says on the tube, I could see small results from day 1, which is always promising. I’d say it takes about three days for most blemishes to go down, which is pretty decent. My skin is left feeling smooth and relaxed after application and throughout the day. Any blemishes threatening to appear feel a little tingly at first, but I take that as reassurance that the product is doing what it advertises.

I only ever use about a garden pea amount, which I squeeze onto the back of one hand and apply it with my ring finger in a circular motion, massaging it into my face. The product does seem rather thick, but it isn’t runny, which I’d always rather have, especially in this drying weather. I even mixed some in with my foundation the other day to make a tinted moisturiser and it went on just as evenly. It absorbs quickly into the skin and the effects can be felt throughout the day.

Simple claim that it has no perfume in, but it does have a clean smell – I think it’s a slight whiff of the chamomile that’s in it – but it’s a pleasant smell. It adds to the refreshing feel of the moisturiser. I think this is my favourite facial moisturiser that I’ve tried so far (I know it’s my first review of one, but I have tried many in the past) and it truly has been a lifesaver in this biting wind. I’ll definitely repurchase or try another similar product from Simple in the future.

  • Moisturising strength: 5/5
  • Anti-blemish: 4/5 (it’s not an instant relief product)
  • Scent: 5/5 (Minimal though it is)
  • Value for money: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5
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Onwards and upwards!

Jumping on the bandwagon once again but why not it’s the last day of 2013. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone! Only seven months left until I hopefully graduate and that seems ridiculous. And a little bit frightful so lets not dwindle on those kind of thoughts. Instead I always find this time of year rather reflective – the merriment of Christmas followed by the dawning of a new year. I’m not one for ‘New Year, New Me’ because frankly that occurred half way through January 2012. Instead I try to improve little details as and when I feel like they’re needed. So here’s what I’d like to achieve in 2014:

  1. Be less wasteful – this covers a few things really. I’d like to saving up a lot more seeing as I’ve applied for postgraduate degrees and I would eventually like to own my own house. This means I will have to stick to my budget, but I’m hoping that this will in turn inspire new recipes etc which I can share on here.
  2. Be thankful – kind words can brighten everyone’s day and that is always a good thing.
  3. Knuckle down – I’m halfway through my final year at uni so I hope to continue my hard work and hopefully my efforts will be rewarded.
  4. Take a little me-time every day – when deadlines are looming and the stress just never seems to stop, I know that I need to take a couple of minutes out and do something purely because I enjoy it. Be it reading a chapter of a novel, going to the gym, or having a bit of a pamper, these little pauses will ultimately make me feel a whole lot more refreshed and positive.

That’s just a brief thought of what I’d like to achieve this year. Obviously I do have bigger goals that I’m constantly working towards, but I think New Year Resolutions should be little hearted and not to difficult to attempt, otherwise you’ll just feel dreadful for ‘failing’ and that’s not a good way to start the year!

I hope that 2013 treated you well, and that 2014 will be even kinder. I’d also like to thank everyone who has read, liked, commented and followed this blog. I still can’t believe the feedback I’ve had since I started this blog in February. I’m going to continue over the holiday mainly with reviews seeing as my daily activities will consist of dissertation research and dog-training, with the occasional family and friend outing.

All the best and let’s enjoy 2014!

LUSH Bombardino Bath Bomb

**Disclaimer – I’ve purchased these products for myself. All opinions are my own and 100% bluntly honest**

Another LUSH review and another bath product. This time its part of the Christmas range which is currently on sale here. I bought and used it before I left for Christmas, but didn’t have time to write the review until now.

LUSH Bombardino Bath Bomb £1.25 each (in the sale)

LUSH says: “Sit back and relax in a bath of creamy Alpine indulgence. With skin-softening cocoa butter and uplifting Sicilian lemon oil. This little fellow takes his inspiration from an apres ski drink traditionally made in the Italian Alps with eggnog, brandy and whipped cream. Our version of the Bombardino is just as rich and creamy, smelling like a lemon meringue pie. With added cocoa butter to soften your bath water, Bombardino will leave your skin feeling silky and soothed.”

This product made me smile before I’d even stepped into the bath. As I was running the water I threw it in and straight away it began to fizz. The smell it produced was lovely and fresh – more sweet than lemony I thought – but it wasn’t as sweet as the Rose Jam Bubbleroom.  The scent of the cocoa butter really came through. Afterwards the scent stayed on my skin for quite a while, and I felt rather indulged.

I was a bit disappointed with the bubbles produced by this product though. As it was fizzing away in the bath, I thought it would produce lots of bubbles like the bubble bar. Unfortunately the bubbles that are produced by the bomb last no longer than ten minutes, so I think in future I’ll stick to a bubble bar as I prefer bubbles to a change in water colour. That was another issue I had with the Bombardino – it changed the water to a bright yellow colour, which was not the most relaxing of colours. I should have expected it mind, given that the product was yellow.

Mind they were the only faults I found with the product as my skin was left feeling very moisturised, much like it was after the bubbleroom. Like the smell, this luxurious feeling lasted a long time, in fact my skin felt soft even into the next afternoon (I’d had my bath in the evening).

I’d definitely recommend trying either the bath bombs or bubble bars if you like lounging in the bath as the scents are vast and amazing. Also they are incredibly relaxing and I felt pampered well into the next day. However, do consider the colour of the product if you’d be put off by yellow water like I was.

  • Scent: 4/5
  • Lasting scent: 5/5
  • Bubbles: 2/5
  • Value for money: 4/5 (sale price would get 5/5 but I didn’t pay that)
  • Overall: 4/5

LUSH Karma Soap

**Disclaimer – I’ve purchased these products for myself. All opinions are my own and 100% bluntly honest**

And we’re back to LUSH. I promise I will review some other products not by LUSH, but all in due time as I do have quite a few things to review. This is the first item in the Karma scent collection that I’m going to review as I love the scent!

LUSH Karma Soap £4.10/100g

LUSH says: “It’s ALL about the fragrance. Breeze through the day with an air of good Karma surrounding you. Come on, don’t just keep it to yourself – you need to share the love. Buy a few extra chunks for friends and family. Even better, give one to a complete stranger for some good karma, man!”

For a start, the photo doesn’t show the whole block of (100g) soap that I bought as I’d already cut off a chunk to put in the bathroom before I remembered to take a pic. I also quite like the unintentional shape I’ve made when I’ve unwrapped it – I think it looks a bit like the angel we’ve got on top of the tree!

That chunk that I cut off has lasted me since I bought the soap back in the middle of November and I still haven’t finished it! It’s definitely good value for money as I think this will last me for months still. I even took the small chunk with me to Berlin as it saved space and weight, rather than taking a bottle of shower gel.

The smell is simply amazing. It’s predominantly patchouli, with undertones of orange, but it’s not overpowering. I’ve had several compliments on the scent as well, although I think that’s more because I’m also using the shampoo and perfume to keep the smell going (expect reviews for them soon). Personally, I don’t find the scent lasts too long on my body, but it does make my bath/shower smell lovely and refreshing.

I did feel really clean after using this soap, although I did have to do multiple scrubs on the flannel to get clean. I think in future I’ll use it more for my face after cleansing rather than as a full body wash as I prefer some bubbles from a body wash and this was bit lack lustre. I’d also be tempted to use a small chunk of it as hand wash when I get my own place as it is very gentle on the skin, smells lovely and actually makes me feel clean!

Overall, I do think this is a worthwhile buy as it does what a soap should do, isn’t offensive in its scent and will last for ages. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who likes the scent and I can see myself repurchasing this when I eventually run out. I’d give it:

 

  • Scent: 5/5
  • Lasting scent: 3/5
  • Ease of use: 4/5
  • Product life: 5/5
  • Value for money: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5

Jaffa and spice

Just before I returned home for Christmas break, I received my Graze delivery. It was predominantly spicy and all contained some form of nut, which I actually really liked. One punnet I’d already sampled – Jaffa Cake – but that appears to have been before I started this feature on the blog, so it’s featured here just to be sure.

Spicy Corn Taco – moved from ‘try’ to ‘love’. Graze description: spicy chilli peanuts, edamame beans and roasted corn. Remember how I said I wasn’t one hundred percent certain on peanuts? Well this selection of punnets confirmed that as I’ve loved both sets of spicy chilli peanuts. I’m also getting use to corn, which is useful seeing as they’ve featured strongly in the past few deliveries. Edamame beans are also becoming a firm favourite – they have an unusual texture, as they aren’t as brittle as the corn, but they don’t feel as firm as peanuts. Regardless, I think they taste really nice and add a bit of balance between the corn and peanuts.

Texan Corn Salsa – moved from ‘try’ to ‘love’. Graze description: corn chips, salsa almonds and roasted corn. The almonds really made this punnet. I loved the flavouring of them and as a nut they weren’t too strong, which was rather pleasant. The corn chips were a bit dry, but tasty nonetheless, and the roasted corn was the same as the other roasted corn I’ve sampled – a rather mild flavour, but enough to balance the almonds and chips.

El Picante – moved from ‘try’ to ‘love’. Graze description: jumbo salted corn, spicy chilli peanuts and mini paprika breadsticks. A different flavour on the breadsticks, and they were just as delicious as previous samples. The peanuts were the same as the ones in Spicy Corn Taco and they went really well with the breadsticks. The jumbo corn was a little too salty for me, but it was alright in with the rest of the punnet. I still really enjoyed this punnet though.

[inspired by] Jaffa Cake – stayed at ‘love’. Graze description: roasted hazels, orange infused raisins and dark chocolate buttons. I ate the hazelnuts first because they were my least favourite bit. I’m not that keen on the taste of hazelnuts, but when eaten with a raisin, especially an orange infused one, they taste alright. The chocolate buttons were the best bits of this mix. I really appreciated this punnet when I had them as my train snack!

Merriment all round

Christmas Day may be over, but the festivities don’t officially end until after the Epiphany so this is just going to be a little update of the past few days. I’m not going to take photos of everything I got because for a start it’s scattered through a couple of rooms as I’m still up in the loft. I know I was incredibly lucky this year, and I appreciate every gift I was given. My favourite bit about celebrating with my family is seeing their reactions to the gifts they receive. There were plenty of surprised faces and I find it makes Christmas more worthwhile when you work to a budget as I’ve found myself getting a bit more creative with my gift ideas. Another bonus of being a student I guess!

Over the past three days I’ve seen the majority of my family and we’ve all had a wonderful time. Alongside all the general merriment of Christmas, we’ve had the fantastic news of my cousin’s engagement! Secret Santa with my dad’s side of the family went very well – everyone seemed really chuffed with their gifts and it made Christmas a lot more affordable.

Of course the ones who were truly spoilt this Christmas were our two pooches. They got a new bed, Marvin has a coat to grow into and then between them they have plenty of toys and treats. We took them to the beach for the first time yesterday and they both loved it! They’re both coming on leaps and bounds, it’s amazing to see how much their confidence is increasing.

I’m going to be fairly busy over the holiday with my dissertation and dog training but I intend to continue with reviews and updates as I go. I hope everyone continues to have a wonderful festive season!

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Merry Christmas everyone!

It’s Christmas morning here in Newcastle and I’m currently on puppy watch before we can go see if Santa’s been. So I’d just like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas time! Be festive,  be merry and be safe – I hope you spend it with loved ones.