To scrub or not to scrub?

Its the time of year when we either have a fabulous tan and are doing everything we can to keep it or we are about to get our fabulous tan in which case we are doing everything in our power to make sure it’s a good one. Which ever of these applies to you then ARK invigorating body scrub is an essential tool in the fight against flaky skin with a hint of cellulite.

It comes in a very smart looking 200ml tube in light cream with brown text – this makes it sounds as inspiring as a beige sock left in the bottom of the washing basket. Its not, its stylish, proud and a definite product to be left on display in the bathroom. One you wont mind any of your girl friends knowing you use!

I’d not been aware of ARK products before, but now I’m telling all my favorite girl friends about it. Available from House of Fraser stores and I’m sure a few more exclusive stores in and around our capital, ARK is one of my new best friends for delivering something that little bit special. It’s also the kind of product you would safely buy as a gift or receive if you were lucky enough.

It smells faintly of mint with a warm smell I cant quite put my finger on. I do know it contains Loofah – one of the world’s oldest and most natural exfoliating products known to man. When applied it gives a creamy texture not often found in exfoliating scrubs – they tend to be packed full of hard grit like particles that once they have ripped all your skin cells away leave a layer of gravel in the bottom of your shower that doubles as a foot scrapper for anyone who follows you in – unless of course you remember to rinse and scrub before creeping out of the bathroom! After the initial creamy texture, you start to feel the Loofah particles gently but forceful removing the dead skin cells, leaving a polished, fresh, smooth and energised arm or leg or whatever! You feel great and your skin does too. No stripping off your natural tan you slaved over for 2 weeks and a great preparation if the tan of 2011 is still to be taken. 

There’s a whole range of products available from ARK. I’m certain although have not tried it, that if you followed the scrub with their nourishing body lotion the results would be amazing. I do have the Skin Response Serum to try, but you’ll have to wait for that review – I’m still thoroughly enjoying the testing phase!

For now, if like me you have not every really been a BIG fan of body scrubs, but used them because you know they are good for the skin, then go and buy yourself the ARK invigorating body scrub. Take it gently and watch as your skin takes on a healthier glow. This is well worth the £25.00 you’ll pay for it. But lets keep it a little bit of a secret – we only want our best girl friends learning about this little gem.



Get a tan with out looking like you Gran!

Only tanatomicals would dare to call a body tanning lotion by this name – but I love it. I’ve tried a few things now by the anatomical guys and girls – some have been more successful than others granted, but they never fail to amuse me.

This time I’m sent a bright orange box that tells me my gran would have said moderation was the order of the day and she’d have had 18 children! My gran never believed in moderation and one child was more than enough for her! Inside the colour theme is followed through to the bright copper coloured 125ml tube with more wish words about your gran and the effects of the sun.

This is not a build up lightly fake tan, this is a - I look like gravy browning and I give you a good honest colour that lasts all day and night and doesn’t rub off on your clothes or even the bed sheets” fake tan.

It has a holiday smell so when your applying it you can imagine relaxing on a golden beach turning over every 30 minutes to get that ever so even rich colour. Warning – you need to be in striking distance of a sink with the tap already turned on and ideally someone waiting to drop a blob of soap in the palm of your hands. When I say its like gravy browning I mean the thick treacle variety of gravy browning. When I was a little girl we had a white dog – I wanted a brown one, so one day after his bath I took a packed of gravy powder and shook it all over him and then cried because he didn’t look like Sammy any more! I was 4, but when I first looked at this tanatomicals on my hands I was transported back 1972 and the horror on my mothers face when she realized what I’d done!

What I really like about this tan in a bottle is that it’s so easy to apply and you really don’t need hours of preparation that involves sanding machines and body scrubs. You just need to make sure you have nice smooth skin and apply it in 2 thin layers. 1 works, but I think a second application about 5 minutes after the first just gives you a really even good colour.  It also moisturises your skin and leaves a very fait fruity smell rather than a chemically one I often find with other fake tans.

I’ve used it mostly on my legs and arms. I have tried it on my chest and tummy – both worked but for me it’s about the bits that are on show to the world. The rest I’m happy to be a last year’s faint hint of a tan colour, knowing I still have my holiday of 2011 to come.

There is a definite trend with the anatomical range – their products offer great value for money, they do as they say they will and they never over promises but always deliver. I’ve found my fake tan sole mate.




Is it a case of now you see it now you don’t?

I like the idea of Fade Out Nourishing Night Cream. I’ve used the eye version now for a few months and if you read my articles you’ll know that I liked it and it worked for me. So I was excited when I was asked to try the night cream version.

It works in a similar way, by reducing the transfer of melanin into the upper layers of your skin. Us girls can be prone to developing small darker patches on our skin, especially our faces, its just another one of those things we have to put up with – a bit like stray eye brows and big pants! Well Fade Out have decided those days are over and released their night wonder cream.

Packaged with the typical clinical feeling that seems to be popular at the moment. The white and shades of blue deliver the message that this is a no nonsense product that demands to be taken seriously.

As some of you will know I have freckles. As I’ve got older they have faded, but somehow grown. I should clarify they are all as they should be and the sun I do expose them to has not caused any nasty effects. It’s just the way my freckles have changed as my skin and age have progressed through life.

I should also add that I have a bit of a phobia about really thick, sticky creams on my face. I don’t care if it promises the earth and I’ll look like Kyle in the morning – if its thick and gooey it’s not going on my face. So imagine how horrified I was when I open the 50ml pot to reveal the purest of white, odorless, thick looking cream. I braced myself and stuck my finger in. It was ok, it felt as light as a feather, it absorbed into the back of my hand as thought I’d added water, but left behind a clear smooth feeling that wasn’t sticky or heavy or well anything. It had gone, disappeared into my skin. So feeling brave I applied a generous amount to my face and neck – remember girls it’s our neck after the backs of our hands gives our ages away! It went on well, smoothly covering the skin and feeling as though it was being absorbed as I massaged it in. So far so good – or not. That’s when it started to have a heavy almost cloggy feeling. I felt as though I’d but a tone of old fashioned cold cream on my face. But then all of a sudden that seemed to pass and I was left with smooth skin and freshly made bed to jump into. Strange, but fleeting so manageable.

The following morning my skin felt lovely. All soft and hydrated. My eyes felt a little puffy so I think I may have applied the cream slightly too close to my eye contour area, but apart from that I was impressed. No over night eruptions of spots, no sticky, hot skin and no signs of faded freckles or other small imperfections being reduced. It was the first night maybe I’d expected a little too much?!

So for about 3 weeks now I’ve applied as instructed and the results are pretty good. The freckles seem to be standing the test of time, but all the other little skin discolorations I have are fading and I do think my skin looks fresher and brighter.

The clever bit is all about the active natural ingredients such as mulberry and liquorice and how the cream penetrates into the deep layers of your skin repairing, correcting and defending for the future or is that defending against the future? Either way this one works. I’m not getting bogged down in why, just take it from me its good and Boots I’m sure will tell you its selling like hot cakes and for £8.00 I’m not surprised.

I never knew the French for leg was La Jambe

I also never knew I liked sushi or the solution to dry skin on my legs - That is until NIP + FAB wowed me again. Last time it was with their Frown Fix and this time with their Dry Leg Fix. 

Lets start with the negative (the only negative) – Big box hides medium sized tube! I’m not sure the green message is quite being heard at N+P HQ. Look inside and the 100ml tube sits comfortably in half the box, they even add an extra piece of cardboard running down the length of the box so that the tube doesn’t rattle around! Anyway that aside I truly can’t find a single fault with the actual product.

Housed in a trendy white and line green tube this intensive formula gives you 24-hour hydration and a slight shine to your legs that I think enhances your natural/out of a bottle tan. It has a smell of summer, mixed with a hint of gooseberry fool! – Or is that my imagination? It’s quickly absorbed leaving a silky smooth finish that lasts all day. The addition of Shea Butter makes it really easy to apply – it doesn’t have that thickness about it that means it takes an age to work in. Also the added glycerin helps to build renewed skin cells that are intensely hydrated in turn helping to reduce small lines and imperfections.

To buy it’s a few pence over £10.00 from Boots the Chemists, so about middle pricing for a high street body moisturiser. It should be £100.00 a tube it really is that good. I recommended buying two of their Frown Fix, this time buy three of their Dry Leg Fix. No legs should venture outside with out this tender loving care being applied. 

You wont be disappointed girls – I promise.



The purest of the pure?

This product is all about the natural balance of your skin and enhancing the inner and outer beauty. Produced by The Purest Company from Australia it is designed to be pure, safe and highly effective with the use of holistic products to mimic the way the skin behaves naturally to bring you optimum results.

In a nutshell The Purest Company is one of the good guys – all ingredients are suitable for vegans and 100% natural botanical aromatherapy. The range is also formulated without parabens, sulfates, ethoxylated and petrochemical cleansers, propylene glycol, silicones, phthalates, mineral oils, DEA and artificial colours, animal ingredients and animal testing free. See told you they are one of the good guys.

A'kin Sandalwood & Sweet Orange Invigorating Body Scrub with Panama Bark & Vitamin B5 is a gel based body scrub that just happens to smell good. I’m being careful not to get too flowery about all its great properties. Lets not forget just because they tell us it’s the best, most natural and environmentally friendly product, doesn’t mean its nice or even good to use.

I’m not a great lover of exfoliating body scrubs. In my experience they are like taking sandpaper to your skin, they rub off your tan and leave the bath looking like you’ve emptied the toaster into it. This one however is a little bit different.

To start with it smells good – a light orange smell that wont over power any other smells you add to your shower routine. The ultra-fine beads of diatomaceous earth – look that up if you dare and see if you get a reference to pet food, pest control and naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock – interesting! Anyway they are designed to very gently scrub away dead skin cells, absorb toxic impurities and excess oils from your skin. They do make your skin feel smooth and soft and your everyday body moisturiser just absorbs so much more easily. I even found that any small dark patches I had on my knees from my fake tan have disappeared.

It does still leave a definite gravelly effect in the bottom of the bath. But this washes away easily and doesn’t require harsh cleaning fluids and a scrubbing brush!

I like this product, it leaves my skin fresh and silky smooth with a feeling of gentleness that has a faint smell of oranges and sandalwood. A good buy for £15.00 for a 200ml tube as I think it’s a product that used once a week would really benefit your skin and you only need a small amount of the gel formula for it to work its magic. 

The A’Kin range is available from Holland & Barrett, Bentalls, John Bell & Croydon, Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, and 

Goodies from Candy

Eye Candy has very kindly sent me their new false nails to try. I should at this point confess that I didn’t actually test the nails. A friend of mine kindly did the honors - so Natasha this is your moment!

Loved the packaging, it’s cool, trendy and eye catching. Almost has a High School prom look about it, very Glee or for the slightly more mature ladies – I think she means me – Greece!

Inside you get a collection of nails in a variety of different sizes, a small tube of pink glue and easy to follow instructions. Once you’ve sorted out the right sizes and done a little bit of prep on your own nails (not in the instructions but I thought a sensible thing to do) removing old polish, pushing my cuticles back and generally giving them a quick file and buff, its time to pop them on. So glue in one hand with the nails spread out in front of me, I start to work my way from little finger to my thumb.  With the first hand complete and all nails stuck on the ends of my fingers and not to the table or each other I begin the second hand. This second hand went on well, a little slow at first as I think I was frightened of knocking the other hand off, but eventually I got there in a total of around 20 minutes. I conclude they looked great, are a really nice colour, shape and fit. 

I should tell you I have a small child at this point and do spend a lot of time picking up toys, washing up and generally pottering all day long. The first one popped off after 2 days - I think I might have been hovering. I went and got the box, another blob of glue and the replacement was intact. The next day whilst trying to get ice out of the tray I pinged another one off – replacement quickly added and life carried on. All then went great for another 5 days and then in the shower and I managed to loose two more. If I’m honest this was the point that I decided to remove the others. I still had spare ones so I could easily have stuff more back on but after 5/6 days I was beginning to get a little bored of having to carry the glue around with me.

In a nutshell they looked fantastic, felt great, are easy to put on and easy to pop off. For a night out or weekend away they are perfect. For being a full time mummy I would need a bigger tube of glue!



Rich, faithful and smooth

You know when something just does what its supposed to do? And you get that satisfied feeling, almost quite smug. Well that’s what I felt when I started using Skin Doctors supermoist spf30+ accelerator cream. As is my experience with all their products it has a prescriptive feeling about it. Like its never not going to do what it says! Skin doctors use the word “Cosmeceuticals” when I looked this up Wikapedia said, “Cosmeceuticals refers to the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with biologically active ingredients purporting to have medical or drug-like benefits”. I then looked up purporting (just in case!) - Appear or claim to be or do something. English Language lesson over I can concentrate on telling you just how lovely this product really is to use.

Over the years I’ve tried many super rich, super moisturising, super anti aging creams and most have been heavy, greasy, brought me out in spots and all have had a strange oily smell disguised with an over powering floral perfume. This one is definitely different. Its very rich to touch, almost silky in look and feel, it glides on your skin as if its part of you, absorbs quickly and leaves no residual at all. Oh and it smells of nothing, not a waft of floral or oil or green grass cuttings with a hint of meadow chamomile! Nothing. 

The packaging is not the girliest and it’s certainly more Swedish clinical bathroom than French boudoir dressing table, but that aside it’s functional and delivers the small 50ml glass jar to you in one piece.

Inside the jar contains the supermoist cream I’ve just raved about. It works great as a base for your foundation and with light reflecting particles it just gives your skin a healthy glowing look and dare I say a younger look too! On a serious note it has an SP factor of 30+, so it’s essential for helping you to protect your skin against harmful UV rays and the ageing effects of the sun. 

SKIN Doctors is getting a cult following – Demi Moore is said to use nothing else and it’s even reported that Tom Jones is a fan! – Praise indeed 

John Lewis, Debenhams and Boots are the high street stores were you could pick up your own jar or visit to see the full range of SKIN DOCTORS products. Oh I forgot; it costs £24.95 a small price to pay for something so lovely.



Who knew washing your hands could be such a treat?

I picked my first strawberry this morning from the garden, the sun is shining and Wimbledon has started. What better time to tell you about Molton Browns new fine liquid hand wash and soothing hand lotion. 

Inspired by the English summer, Molton Brown has launched a true English classic with their pettigree dew collection. With the smell of a summer meadow it graces any bathroom or kitchen and leaves your hands smelling adorable and feeling soft and nourished.

Presented in classic pump bottles with images of pretty orange, cornflower blue and very pale green wild flowers with the iconic silver neckband, embossed with Molton Brown, it denotes a hand wash and lotion of style and elegance. Both are priced at £15.00 per bottle. Some would argue this puts them out of every day use, but when you smell the sweet smell and feel it luxurious texture it soon becomes apparent it offers so much more. Some times we all just need to buy ourselves a little something, maybe to cheer ourselves up, or finish off a look we have spent the morning creating when we decided to remerchandise the bathroom or maybe we just feel like a little treat. Well if any of these apply to you then girls go to your nearest Molton Brown store and spend £30. Always buy both, that’s my motto!

At this point you could well be asking the same question I was - What is Pettigree? Well its English Butchers Broom – an evergreen shrub with stiff prickle tipped flat green stems that used to be used to make brooms – hence its name. Both the hand wash and lotion also contain rosemary and lentisque twigs. All designed to capture the essence of an English dew-scented garden on an early summer morning. I’m not entirely sure this would be my first thought when I smelt it, but either way it smells wonderful and does conjure images of an English summer meadow 

The hand wash is kind and soft on your skin, helping to cleanse and give anti-oxidant protection, while the hand lotion sooths and comforts over worked hands, both leaving your skin feeling and smelling of summer. 

I think Molton Brown have captured a moment in time, a dream of the English countryside that we all have tucked in our memory banks. A big thank you goes to the MB team for making such an everyday items into bottles of loveliness.


SPF 35 on a stick

Clinique have launched their latest SPF 35 Targeted Protection Stick. It’s a stick of sunshine, packed in a bright yellow oversized lip balm stick that’s perfectly sized for your handbag and perfectly coloured for finding it at those required moments.

Lets put this into perspective – we all know that the sun makes us feel alive and excited about the day ahead, but it also has some pretty horrible effects if we’re not careful. I don’t want to do the whole doom and gloom speech but we all have to be prepared. The British summer can be spontaneous – raining one minute and glorious sunshine the next. What better to have to hand than a high protection stick that can be used on all those delicate areas exposed to the sun that we can easily forget to put sun cream on? I once burnt my forehead - I’d just got my first convertible and decided the hazy sunshine was the perfect time to drop the roof and travel from London back home to Cheltenham along the M4. It was beautiful, the sun was shining and I looked cool! Unfortunately my forehead looked like a red traffic light stuck on stop – and wow did it hurt. 

Lets be honest we’ve all done something similar – I could recount numerous times I’ve not been prepared for the sun that appears out of the blue (or grey). This protection stick is ideal for dropping in your handbag and using on those delicate areas around your face that we often burn with out realising until it’s too late. The eyes are a particular favorite, along with the tops of ears, nose and even you lips. 

It's for sale on all Clinique counters across the UK and cost £15.50 – well worth the small investment that can always be to hand and just help protect us from the sun we all love but all know isn’t as good for us as we like to think. Thank you Clinique for sending me this to test and adding another thing I have added to my must have list to carry around with me all day!


Recommended by Lady GaGa and the Sequel to Angel

I have to start by saying that the bottle of Womanity is one of the most interesting bottles of perfume I’ve had on my dressing table to date. Its tall, slender and graceful bottle with the subtle pink coloured perfume, topped with a strong and symbolic top making this perfume stand out from the crowd.  With the addition of a chain that attaches the top/cuff to the neck of the bottle it offers a mix of subservience and dominance reflecting the tones of Womanity: the playfulness of spontaneous youth meets the experience of the wise past. 

It looks amazing; unfortunately for me the smell doesn’t mirror its style or intention. As with all Thiery Mugler perfumes it’s about making a statement and the Womanity statement is based on a harmony of paradoxes. This fragrance is as ambitious as his previous creations, with the idea of a perfume as a link between all women, as "a positive energy flowing through all types of femininity."

With 3 distinctive tones of sweet ripe fig, the savory tone of black caviar and fig tree wood to create a smooth base. All build to offer a distinct sweet-savory composition that creates two distinctive camps – those that love Womanity and those that don’t.

It has a masculine smell that overpowers, in my opinion, all of it's femininity.  Firstly you get over powering sweetness that I could almost taste in the back of my throat, followed by a slightly earthy smell that thankfully passes quickly to leave a musty fig smell, that keeps creeping up and wafting under my nose at the most unexpected moments.

I asked a friend of mine to try it, as her favorite smell is fig. Her reaction was to acknowledge how it does satisfy her desire to smell tones of fig in her perfume, but not to be slapped around the face with it every time she moves her head!

For those of you who have tried it and love it I’m sorry. For those of you that have bought it, especially the full 80ml refillable spray for £61.27, I’m also sorry (especially if your verdict is the same as mine) and for those of you that are thinking about buying it – ask for a sample!

She's How Old?

My grandmother used to say there was one thing a lady can’t hide about her age –  her hands. 

Perhaps this is why I’m verging on the obsessive about using hand cream at every possible moment throughout the day. Two of my most frequently asked questions are “does anyone have any hand cream?” and “do we have any chocolate between us?” Don’t ask me to choose if I could only have one!

Most hand creams are designed to make our hands feel soft with a quickly absorbed, nice smelling moisturising lotion. Great, ticks all the boxes or does it? The Australian company SKIN DOCTORS has created a hand cream that obviously does all of the above; but will also help your hands look 10 years younger in 6 weeks. Now that’s a hell of a claim to make. So I’m happy to report that I’ve taken the challenge and am going to use this every day for 6 weeks or as long as the 75ml tube lasts me.

It’s packaging is quite clinical, with a white and grey box with black writing. It gives it an air of authority - a feeling that you should instantly believe what it’s telling you. I for one will be disappointed if for £29.95 its not telling me the truth about dramatically reducing age spots, freckles, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving my hands plumper, smoother, super soft and hydrated.

So lets have a look at what’s in this hand cream that gives them the confidence to make these bold statements. 

1)    Line Factor 10 – this is the bit that increases the skin density and firmness, improves the texture and generally smoothes and plumps the skin

2)    Uniprosyn PS 18 – makes the wrinkles on our hands appear less deep. Its also a bioactive ingredient that reduces the roughness of our skin and stimulates protein synthesis

3)    Phyllanthus Emblica or to you and I Indian Gooseberry! – this lightens the skin giving a brighter more even colour. Also as an antioxidant it eliminates free radical damage

4)    Lactic Acid (Isn’t this what you add to milk to make yoghurt?) – in this cream it exfoliates by loosening or breaking up the thick outer layer of the skin, which in turn smoothes the skins texture and stimulates natural skin regeneration. It also acts to hold more water in your skin therefore further reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

5)    And finally it has SPF15 to provide UVA/UVB protection against UV rays and free radical damage

So lets recap – this cream will make my hands feel and look younger, with the help of some pretty impressive ingredients and 15 years worth of experience that Skin Doctors have within the specialist skincare business to provide “clinical strength skincare without a prescription”.

Its been 12 days now and my hands still say I’m 43 …………… ! however I can defiantly feel they are smoother and generally have a healthy moisturised feeling.

Manatomicals – just for men

I’ve reviewed a few of anatomicals products now from their headache cure to their strange combination of hand cream and lip slave in one. This time they sent me the manatomicals – do they not realise I’m a girl! Quickly passing it on to Stuart with explicit instructions he was to tell me all. 

His first reaction was it does indeed tingle and in places he wasn’t sure it should tingle – well not when he’s minding his own business in the shower! Let me paint an accurate picture, the product he is kindly testing for me is the manatomicals Young, Free and Tingle Wake up Hair and Body Wash.

As with all the other products the kind people at anatomicals have sent me, it instantly stands out from anything else we have in the bathroom. Its bold packaging reveals a manly dark brown/black square bottle, topped with a bright yellow dispenser. Inside it hides a bright pink, slightly too runny strong peppermint smelling liquid. From a woman’s point of view I think it smells too strong and chemically. I’m told it smells ok and is actually quite nice in the shower as it wakes you up and clears that “I’ve just jumped out of bed, but would rather be asleep than having to get ready for another day at work!” feeling. I guess this means it ticks the box on the wake up body wash front. The smell does get better once out of the shower. In fact it leaves his skin smelling really nice and fresh with warm peppermint tones and something else that I can’t quiet put my finger on. At this point I should issue the warning – this will make your eyes water, sting and tingle in a way that eyes really shouldn’t if you use it to wash your face. I think its safe to say this is a body wash and not a face wash. In its defense it does call its self a body wash, but I’m certain it should also say and NOT a face wash in brackets!

As a hair wash it leaves the same lovely clean smell and I’m told with one wash gives a squeaky clean feel. From my point of view it’s not something I’d wash my hair with even it if was meant for girls -  I’m certain it would wash out the newly dyed warm golden brown I spent 30 minutes waiting for it to take on the grey last night 

In conclusion – as a body wash and not a face wash its great, as a hair wash it could strip out anything that’s not your natural colour and leave not a trace of natural oils and as a bottle for the bathroom it looks cool and has a funny message on the side of the bottle. To find out what this is nip along to Boots and for around £4.00 get your own bottle of 300ml Young, Free and Tingle Wake up Hair and Body Wash.



The Clean Summer of 2011

There is something about the smell of a baby – a clean baby! It somehow brings out the maternal instinct in even the most unmaternal of us. There is also something about using something for yourself that was designed for a baby’s very soft delicate skin. It’s like an inbuilt satisfaction that you are being ever so kind to your own skin 

Earth Friendly Baby have given us this all in one, well 72 to be precise, wipes, design to clean and care for the most delicate parts of any baby. However we can use them for cleaning sticky fingers after eating our lunch on the move, mopping up small spills of coffee off our suit and even removing our makeup. They have a wonderful smell of chamomile and calendula that’s not too wet but at the same time moist enough to be useful with out having to use half a pack for one job. Leaving your skin feeling soft, smooth and delicately cleaned 

So far they have been to France with me and proved a great hit on a picnic with my God children and are currently residing in the glove box of my car, (the wipes not my God children) ready for those moments when you just need something to wipe your hands with. I also love the fact that they are good for the environment as well. So many things are advertised as good for us, but when you look at what they are made of it’s another story. With these wipes they are made for a material derived from wood pulp and starch and are 100% biodegradable. This just means you can use with confidence that they are good for your baby, your skin and the world 

One thing I must also tell you is that they are fantastic for cleaning the inside of your car while you sit in a traffic jam! And half the price of interior car cleaning wipes at £ 3.05 a pack.

Oh and they do keep their sticky re-sealable bit as well.

Somethings are just meant to be together

Tea and biscuits, fish and chips and roast beef and gravy. Can we say the same about hand cream and lip balm?

I’m not that convinced however anatomicals are out to prove me wrong. They have combined an aloe vera based hand and lip balm into one 30ml tube.

Don’t misunderstand me I’m not adverse to unusual combinations - pickled onion monster munch, salad cream sandwiches and jam on Yorkshire pudding are some of the odd combinations I quite like, but a hand cream and lip balm in one?

anatomicals have stayed true to their bold packaging this time bright lime green and witty slogans/comments. They say the combination is handier than sitting next to someone who can fly a plane when the pilot has just died and something about a tranquiliser gun and a rhino. Inside the lime green box is a grass green tube with a clear top with what looks like a roller ball in the end. All very conventional so far and a little underwhelming.

I was on my way out the other afternoon and just wanted something to moisturise my lips and give them a smooth feel. I picked up the tube, removed the clear top and squeezed the tube whilst rolling the end over my lips. Nothing happened. I removed the lid to make sure there wasn’t a seal that I had to remove and tried again. It was only after a few minutes that I realised the ball on the end was actually the lip balm!

Functionally it does work, as obviously you do only have to carry one tube in preference to two in your handbag. On the down side you look like you have a really BIG lip problem when you fish out of your bag not a sleek, discreet lip balm, but a bright grass green tube and proceed to spread it around your lips 

From a lip balm point of view it dried mine out as quick as I could apply it. From a hand cream point of view its fantastic, leaving a really nice soft, protective none greasy layer on your hands that actually feels as though it’s feeding your skin with all things lovely.

For £4.00 I’d buy it for the hand cream and maybe remove the lip balm like you would a spot on a teenagers face!

Lets agree to disagree anatomicals. I think you’ve added another great hand cream to the market place and in turn slightly lost your way on the inventive front.

I wish you better luck with your next attempt at combination therapy.


Would you put Cantaloupe Melon on your skin?

Clarins always seem to find the most amazing natural products that not only have out of this world skin enhancing properties but also smell divine.

This product is designed for those of us that don’t want to wear foundation everyday or a sun-tan lotion that we reserve for our holidays but do still want to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.  It can obviously also be worn under your daily moisturiser and or foundation as well as on its own - It reminds me a little of their Beauty Flash Balm but with added SPF40.

One of the things I do find confusing about beauty products in general but in particular with Clarins is the amount of products that seem to do the same if not very similar things. I do understand (before you all start shouting at me) that they have to cater for different skin types, but even so if I look at just a small selection of the products available most do seem to either do similar things or have similar properties. If I take this Ecran Multi-Protection SPF40 Day Screen High Protection – to give it it’s full name, I could put it under or over my moisturizer or instead of, under my foundation or just wear it on its own. I’m also guessing I could wear it with the Beauty Flash Balm I mentioned earlier! I just find I have to really read what the product is and then work out where it goes in the “I’m putting my face on” process!

That said this is lovely to wear. At first I think it washes me out slightly, but as it settles onto my skin I find my natural colour and freckles come through. If I put it under my Clarins Skin Illusions Foundation it provides a really smooth surface to apply it to and does seem to settle the foundation onto my skin with a slightly more even tone. Its oil free too so your not left with a shinny film or heavy feeling on your skin.

So were does the Cantaloupe Melon come in? Well it provides the super oxide dismutase (SOD), which is an enzyme that neautralises the toxic oxidants that ages our skin prematurely. By encapsulating this in microcapsules Clarins can make sure this is only released when its applied to the skin which gives us maximum potency (can I make a childish joke about us all liking maximum potency?) in turn this means its one of the most effective products in the Clarins range for anyone that’s out and about this summer and who’s favorite day cream doesn’t give them SPF protection. It also looks after those with ultra sensitive skin to UV light and pregnant women who are quite prone to UV-induced hyper-pigmentation.

On top of all this it also gives your skin its very own environmental shield! In addition to the Cantaloupe Melon it has extracts of white tea, succory dock-cress (nipplewart), rhodiola (a herb known for its anti-aging properties) venuceane (a natural antioxidant peptide) and glycofilm (anionic polysaccharide) all of these help protect our skin from the pollution that occurs in our air today. (You start of with simple Cantaloupe Melon and end up with a chemistry lesson – sorry)

So lets summerise. If your looking for a small 30ml bottle costing £29.50 that can make your skin look smooth and fantastic, that you can wear on its own or under your favorite daily moisturiser and or foundation, that has a SPF of 40, help minimize aging and smells of melon this is the product for you …. I think!


anatomicals - the company that only want you for your body

The colour of the tin and the word headache written across it should have been enough to tell me this was going to smell of Lavender and potentially quite strongly - mixed with Peppermint and a very pungent smell that made my eyes water slightly. Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to anatomicals headache relief balm – a balm designed to be rubbed on your temples at the first sign of a headache from a company that’s tag line is “we only want you for your body”.

The pocket sized box and tin are smart and have an originality about them - a product that actually says what it does on the tin. It almost has an 'Innocent Smoothie' or 'Original Source' look and feel about it. Clean, modern and simple, however, I wish I could say the same thing for the website. The word strange and out of context spring to mind, maybe this is the image they are looking for? Take a look at

I have a theory that we all too easily reach for painkillers when we have even the slightest dull ache of a potential headache. Not in itself a bad thing, apart from asking ourselves the question “could we find an alternative that might be a little more natural?” I must point out at this stage I’m not saying this product is natural, at no point have I been able to find anything that tells me it is, however there is a strong implication that it may be when you read the list of ingredients that are at least recognisable, such as Extra Virgin Oil, Garden Yellow Beeswax, Rosehip Extract, Oil of Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Mandarin and Sandalwood and Calendula Extract. Then we have CI9140 and 15985 (any ideas?)

I love natural remedies for every day ailments such as headaches and with an odd satisfaction I woke on Sunday morning with that oh so recognizable dull pain (for those that have read my review on GOSH Light’N Shine Lip Glaze this will make sense!). Quickly I applied the balm to my temples with small circular movements that in it’s self seemed to help. After the initial eye watering and overcoming of the intense smell I felt a warm sensation that seemed to permeate through my temples and defiantly eased the ache. Once the initial intense smell had eased slightly it did leave a soothing almost comforting smell that continued to help me feel better. I can’t say it made my headache go away completely but what it did do was make it manageable and allowed me to continue with my day of Easter egg eating and generally enjoying the long weekend.

What I will conclude is that this is something that I think makes a difference to me having or more importantly not having a headache. I'll use again and it's defiantly one of those items that will be dropped in my bag         (a handy 20g tin for £3.49 you could have one for each handbag!) and taken with me just incase.

 Oi! You Throbhead Headache Relief Balm is available now from John Lewis, Heal’s and

Vetroxx Hand Sanitiser

One of my pet hates (along with net curtains, green loo paper and the word Carrot) is dirty, sticky hands with no water in sight to wash them. The answer up until now has been the many hand gels on the market that leave you with a nasty chemical smell, but fit easily in the glove box of your car.

Now Molar Ltd has made available a product that was previously only available from vet practices. Vetroxx Hand Sanitiser is available in a handy 75ml pump action biodegradable gel, perfect for dropping in your glove box for those dirty moments!

Made from an extract of Orange – the pith, it is safe to use on a regular basis for the whole family and because of its low alcohol formula it wont dry or irritate the skin. It will however quickly kill the flu virus and having been evaluated by one of Europe’s leading independent laboratories it was affirmed its efficacy in rapidly killing flu viruses by 99.9998%. Applying that to every day life means it will help us in the fight against swine flu in the UK.

Having tested it over a particularly hot weekend for April, I must admit I couldn’t initially smell a single glimmer of Orange. An invitation to a BBQ on Saturday was the perfect time for me to try Vetroxx Hand Sanitiser and after playing with my nieces on the trampoline and Lou Lou the dog I decided now was a good time. Its initial smell is pure chemical – a cross between that well-known hospital and dentist aroma. However it doesn’t linger. Once its absorbed into your skin it does give you a faint hint of Orange (or is that because I know it should?) that quickly goes to leave no smell at all. I’m also very pleased to say it didn’t taint the piece of chicken, steak or sausage I ate either!

Available from Molar it retails at £3.40 for the 75ml hand sanitiser and also available on the product range is a Surface Spray at £6.00 for 500ml. Both can be purchased via the web site or by calling 0845 226 0660

In my opinion it’s a spring/summer essential for the glove box of your car or to drop in the bottom of your picnic hamper.

Apple iPad

So I have had my iPad for about a month or so now, and I have to say I love it.  After the devastation of my MacBook not working without having the charger plugged in, the iPad has been my saviour, not to mention the Pages app, which I am happy to admit I am using to write this review. (Could do with a word count though - hence the 800+ words).

So why is the 'giant iPod' so great? Because it isn't that at all, and to compare it with the mp3 market is just misinformed. It's not just an e-reader either, although great at being one of those too.  I like to think that everyone who owns one has a different agenda toward how they will use their iPad. Personally I see it as a replacement mobile word processor and PDA device with plenty of added extras, it syncs with not only my computer, but it seems my life too.

First impressions of the iPad are totally true to any apple purchase. A nice clean white box with the product inside. No silly 'how to' books and other literature you will never read, no unnecessary packaging, just the iPad displayed in all it's glory and a charger to get you going. Design is beautiful as always and the unit itself was surprisingly more weighted than I expected, making the high price tag feel more worth it.

Next comes the registration and setup process. Simply connect it to your computer and iTunes account, and then you're done!  If you don't have an iTunes account you can use your friend's, simply christen your new purchase with a name and you can use it as a sole unit. (Although I'd recommend setting an account up at a later date maybe, as updates and purchases from the app store do require one.)

Once your set up, you can begin to enjoy all the great apps and benefits of your iPad. For me it was adding all contacts and syncing my calendar. I did this through iTunes also, however I have an online contact list that I used to add other contacts on. This was great as all I needed to do was tap the information, be it a number or email, and iPad would ask if I wanted to add to an existing contact or create a new contact to host the information in the contacts app. Already, my new tablet was becoming personalised.

Other great features on the device are iTunes itself, so you can listen to your favourite songs while your out and about, the picture frame mode, for when your not using it but want to display your latest pictures (I tend to do this while it's charging) and the ability to change your background image when locked or while your using it.  An update that only arrived when iPhone 4 was released.

Regardless of all this though, apps are probably going to be the defining feature of your iPad's individuality. I am retentive when it comes to sorting, so I have divided three screens between professional apps used for work, news and information and finally gaming, as I am of course a sucker for zynga poker and the clipper wheel of tea (it solves a lot of arguments in the office). Speaking of which is an iPhone app, so to be able to download it on the iPad is another bonus - this means although the app store for dedicated iPad apps is still growing, you can have fun playing around with over 200,000 apps that iPhone benefits from. That said, they could have included the multi-tasking tool.


Accessories was my next task and it quickly became apparent that there are a few key items you'll probably want to consider buying. First it's a case or a protective cover of sorts, this can then stop scratches on that beautiful matte chrome finish, and will stop you worrying about it bashing about in your bag. Next item will be a protective screen cover, there's a lot of speculation as to weather they work or whether you need one, but as I mentioned before, I'm retentive and surely something covering the screen is going to stop it being scratched is it not?  Lastly, a stand. It's all well and good sat on your lap tapping away, and at times I find it more comfortable, however for pure display purpose, if not used on a desktop to type on, it's worth looking into.

All in all I love my iPad and would recommend one to anyone. I'm not so Apple obsessed to pay monthly for internet access anywhere I am, as I have the benefit of using work stations and hotel WIFI for my web needs, but I understand the need.  Tablet computers are starting to evolve now, and I can only imagine that Apple have something up their sleeve for iPad generation 2 already. I'd like to think that iPad is the modern equivalent to the old Palm PDA solution back in the 90's, it definitely has made my life a bit more organised.

 Images Courtesy of Apple