Panda blueberry liquorice

Morning everyone! It’s raining in July, typical Welsh weather. I have to go out today so I’m going to try scheduling a couple of posts throughout the day.

My first post is going to be quite short as I’m reviewing some panda liquorice, I’m not a fan of black liquorice but there’s something so earthy about the fruit varieties. I picked up a bar of the blueberry variety, although I really do like the raspberry variety.

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It’s a small, handy bar which doesn’t take up room in a handbag so I like to carry some with me to snack on if I want to. I found the blueberry flavour stronger than the flavour of the raspberry bar that I usually buy, but it was a lovely flavour which I enjoyed very much. These 32g bars are £0.65 at Holland & Barrett so they are fairly inexpensive.

Keep an eye out for more posts today, fingers crossed it works.

Hope you have a lovely, lazy Sunday,

Sophie

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Getting that summer glow

Morning!

I often find that in order to get that ‘summer glow’ with skin as pale as mine I have to take good care of it, I can’t get a tan in the sun and the fake stuff just makes me look ridiculous, especially with my red hair. So when I saw Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant range I was really excited, the thought of improving my skin and getting a natural glow sounded perfect. I purchased a few products from the range which I will review for you, I have also previously reviewed their hot cloth cleanser, and you can find that review here.

First is the Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel 30ml, after showering and cleansing my face I apply this product and leave it on until the morning, when I wash it off with cold water.

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The peel comes in the form of a thin gel which spreads easily and you only need to apply a small amount to cover the face. Once applied the gel will dry and can feel slightly tight, with a slight tingle. I have never found this sensation uncomfortable, and it doesn’t last for long. I find the smell of the product lovely, it is quite strong in the tube but leaves a delicate scent on the skin. Washing the product off is really easy, and removing the product leaves behind the softest skin I have ever felt. I find the product helps with my acne and blemishes and gives me an amazing glow.  Something to consider is that Superdrug recommends that you use an SPF day cream after washing off the product. I currently use my Gosh BB cream as this contains SPF, but in the future I will be buying a day cream.

Before applying my BB cream, or any other make-up, there are two more products from this range that I apply. One is the Naturally Radiant 2 in 1 Moisturiser & Serum, again you only need a small amount for full coverage and the feeling it gives to skin is gorgeous, adding to the smoothness left behind after the peel. I find this product really hydrates the skin and adds to the brightening effect.

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Finally I apply the Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye cream 15ml, I apply this under my eyes after I have used the moisturiser and serum.

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The cream is really refreshing and does not have much of a scent. Of all the products this is the least exciting, while it does brighten the area which is what it is advertised to do, I am still looking for products to help with my dark circles. However, the product description says that after 4 weeks dark circles should be minimised, so I will give it time.

All of the above products, and indeed every product from the Naturally Radiant range contains mulberry and kiwi extracts, so I did a little research into the benefits of these ingredients.

Kiwis contain vitamins and nutrients which help skin to maintain a healthy natural glow. They contain vitamin C which can aid in the production of collagen, resulting in firmer and younger looking skin. This vitamin can also prevent skin from drying out (1). Mulberries have also been said to be a skin lightener, leaving skin brighter, more even in tone and less discoloured (2).

Each of these three products is currently retailing at £5.99, but if you invest in these products now Superdrug has a buy one get one free offer which is fantastic! It is also worth noting that there are more products in the range including a micro polish scrub, a mask, day and night cream and a balm. Each product is around the same price and all are part of this BOGOF offer so if you are looking for a natural glow with minimal effort then I would recommend this range for great effects at a low price.

Hope your weekend is going well,

Sophie 🙂

References

(1) http://www.livestrong.com/article/469522-kiwi-fruit-for-skin-care/

(2) http://www.skinlight.co.uk/blog/the-benefits-of-mulberry-extract/

Fabulous French toast

Happy afternoon!

I’ve been experimenting a little in the kitchen, and was looking for ways to use the egg replacer which I bought for making pancakes. I came across a recipe for French toast and thought ‘why the hell not?’ I haven’t eaten French toast since I was little and thought it might be a nice change from pancakes. The recipe calls for thick bread, which I didn’t have at the time so I just used medium bread and it still came out okay. Like the OP my egg replacer is Orgran No Egg which is relatively cheap at Holland & Barrett and lasts for ages, so it’s a great buy. The batter is extremely easy to make and can be whipped up very quickly. I cut each slice of bread into quarters so I could dip in the batter easily (as I used a measuring jug). The recipe suggests to leave the bread to soak for 10 seconds each side but I just submerged several bits of bread at once, resulting in a couple of broken bits but nothing that wasn’t still edible. I also added a little maple syrup to the batter. Once cooked the toast has a golden exterior with a doughy centre and they were delicious! I finished the toast with a slathering of maple syrup and felt compelled to eat the entire thing in five minutes.

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I have made this several times since, and will continue to do so because it is just so tasty. I really need to remember to buy thick bread next time to make it properly.

Hope your day is going well,

Sophie 🙂

Superdrug dry shampoos

Morning everyone,

Summer is here and that means plenty of trips to festivals, campsites and beaches. When your hair needs a little refreshing in these situations you may be wondering, what’s a cheap way to keep my hair clean that is also cruelty free. I’m going to be reviewing some of Supedrug’s range of dry shampoo. I purchased the sinful moments and killer volume varieties, both 150ml. The bottles are small enough that you can fit them in your bag for freshness on the go, but they are also large enough that you have enough product to last for a while. The sinful moments variety is more of a normal effect, providing clean hair and leaving a nice scent, which smells almost of coconut in my opinion.

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The killer volume variety does what it says on the tin, I usually use this with my head upside down to increase the effect, and it boosts the hair whilst doing everything else a dry shampoo is made to do. I find it best to give the hair a brush through to make it feel a little less starchy but the product works well, especially considering the price and the fact it’s not tested on animals.

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Other people have complained about the whiteness of the product, or that it makes their hair look wet. I have never had this issue, spraying the suggested distance from the hair and rubbing it in after it has been applied can mediate any of these issues, in my experience. Both products are on sale in Superdrug for £1.99 and are part of their range of 10 dry shampoos so there is real variety on offer. This includes products specifically made for different hair colours, smaller travel sizes and even one with gold glitter in it.

Hope your day is everything you want it to be,

Sophie 🙂

Cover up with concealer

Afternoon all! I’ve been at an assessment day up until now, trying to get myself a job. It was a very anxious morning for me.

Today I’m going to review two concealers, the first is B. Flawless Long-lasting Concealer in the shade Light.

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I have been under the assumption that B.’s range is one of the best vegan and cruelty free lines available for a reasonable price, at least on the high street. However, this concealer has put my faith in their range under threat. The concealer doesn’t really cover very well, is difficult to blend as it is a little greasy, and the stick has glitter in it. Glitter, in a concealer!? That spot you wanted to hide? Well we’re going to make it sparkle, that will ensure no one knows it’s there, right? The idea is simply daft, and I don’t know who brainstormed it but hopefully they see sense and improve the product. The B. Flawless Long-lasting Concealer is currently retailing at its full price of £5.99 in three shades, and I suggest you do not buy it.

While we are on the subject of concealers, I recently put an order through on Naturisimo.com. I love this website, it was my first order and everything went smoothly. They have a sample section so I look a little look and there was plenty on offer, but they limit samples to five per order. I purchased a sample of Vapour illusionist concealer in the shade 010, for very light skin.

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This shade was great for my pale skin tone, and the lightest shade in the sample. However, there is an even lighter shade available at full price. In terms of the sample shades there are four to choose from so hopefully something for everyone, at least to try out. When you are paying full price there are seven shades to choose from, so you may find something a little better suited. The concealer itself is relatively thick, which I find great for coverage, the sample size allowed me get a few uses from it and really judge the results. The coverage is not too heavy, so darker blemishes may still show through, as well as dark circles but I cannot say that this will be the same for individuals with darker skin than my own. Plus, there’s no glitter in this one! Something which really made me like this brand was its philosophy, and the fact that they are a member of the leaping bunny program. The little sample pot was £1 on Naturisimo.com, the full price product comes in the form of a stick and costs £22 from the same website. The Vapour brand is based in America, so those in the US may be able to find the product for a cheaper price.

All in all I think I have found a decent concealer, even if I can’t afford it right now. I am still looking for a product which adequately covers my dark circles.

Hope your day is full on sunshine,

Sophie  🙂

P.S. Here’s some links to other B. products which have been a lot better than the concealer

B. eyeliner

B. primer

Note: I have just been informed that the Vapour concealer contains beeswax, so I won’t be saving my pennies for it. If anyone has suggestions for vegan concealer then drop me a comment.

Pulsin’ bars review

Hello again,

I’m going to review two Pulsin’ bars, I will warn you that I generally avoid eating bars with dried fruit as a base. I know that may be shocking to many of you, who may really enjoy bars such as those from the Nakd range, but I can still taste the fruit no matter what else is in the recipe. I just can’t stand dates. Nevertheless, I made a promise to try and be healthier and to always try something at least once so I bought two varieties to sample. The first bar I opened was Raspberry & Goji Raw Choc Brownie.

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I like what these bars are about, they really are good for you, but I just couldn’t eat this bar. I took a few bites and found it quite bitter, I could also taste the dates. The bar was firm and had little bits of fruit in it which got stuck in my teeth. I was expecting more of a chocolate brownie taste and I didn’t get that in my opinion. I also picked up Maca Bliss Raw Choc Brownie which I found to be far more edible, this one did taste of chocolate and was also a little nutty which I liked.

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Another thing to note is that Maca apparently increases your libido, something to watch out for if you plan to eat a few! The Maca Bliss bar was a lot softer than the Raspberry one, and felt much more like a brownie, I could still taste the dates but they weren’t as noticeable. All in all I felt like I might buy the Maca Bliss one again, and may even try out more of the range. The Raspberry bar was £1.64, and the Maca Bliss was £1.39, both from my local health food shop, although they are widely available and can be purchased online as single bars, or in bulk.

If you are looking for a healthy, portable snack and aren’t as fussy as I am then these Pulsin’ bars would probably be a great buy.

Have a wonderful evening, I may upload some more posts tonight, or save them for tomorrow before I head off for my assessment day.

Sophie

My Goodness salad

Hi everyone,

I’ve been preparing for a panic-inducing assessment day tomorrow, so my anxiety levels are quite high. Fingers crossed it all goes well and I get the job 🙂

My first review today is a little different as it is a prepared meal, or it could be served as a side dish. It’s a salad from Sainsbury’s My Goodness range, the edamame, cashew nut & quinoa grain salad.

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I usually make my own salads as I find that recipes tailor made to my personal tastes are always the most enjoyable. Still, I find a packaged salad a useful thing to have on hand for when you are a bit too busy to chop up vegetables. This salad is suitable for vegans and one of your five a day but is, in my opinion, high in salt, sugar and fat. These kind of levels are kind of expected in packaged food, even if it is a salad, which is why I tend to avoid them. At £2 the salad is not exactly a bargain, plus the salad itself was lacking seasoning. The positives were that there was a good mix of beans and crunch and the cashews were a nice, earthy addition to the flavour. However, I thought that the salad dressing was horrible. The dressing provided with the salad was lime and soy, which sounded perfect for my taste buds, but the lime was very strong and overpowered every other taste in the salad. It kind of even hurt my mouth eating it. I’m not sure if there was a mistake in the processing, if I was being too sensitive, or whether the flavour is genuinely supposed to be that strong. All I know is that this salad was too much for me, in terms of its dietary content and flavour, and I will not be buying it again.

Hope your day is going well, more reviews on the way,

Sophie

Coconut hot chocolate and marshmallows, yum!

Good evening, hope you have had a great day.

It seems like the British summer is over, at least for now, as rain is back on the forecast. I’m extremely upset about this as I graduate next week, and it’s my birthday the week after that. Where’s the sunshine gone? 😦

When I need a bit of cheering up I always go for something sweet, and I have been wanting to try these two products for a while so that’s a bonus. What’s even better is that they go so well together. I’m going to be reviewing Freedom mini pink & white vanilla mallows and Choc Shot coconut.

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I have no idea why I waited so long to get these marshmallows, and admittedly haven’t yet bought the larger variety, but I just think there’s something so lovely about these tiny little mallows. I bought them specifically to go in the hot chocolate but I ate about half the pack before the kettle boiled. I really am greedy! They are soft, sweet and taste just like regular marshmallows, you are missing nothing by eating them, except the gelatine! I have also been waiting to buy the Choc Shot in the coconut variety as I love coconut everything and this just seemed like the perfect product for me. So when I saw it in Holland & Barrett I snatched myself a bottle (they were sold out last time I was in store). The liquid gold is a fairly large bottle so I reckon I can get a good number of uses out of it, which is good because it is quite expensive. However, when you think about how much dairy hot chocolate is in places like Starbucks then the cost isn’t actually that steep. The chocolate is thick, rich and full of coconut goodness, it tastes like heaven. I didn’t give the Choc Shot the best treatment as I recently broke my microwave and was yet to do the dishes so I had no hot milk. Instead I used half hot water and half room temperature milk, and it came out okay. It wasn’t as thick as I was expecting, probably due to the addition of water, but it was still smooth and rich, and lovely to drink. There’s something about the coconut which tastes almost alcoholic, like a nice Malibu hot chocolate, which I like (even though I am teetotal). It’s very grown up but I imagine would still be a hit with kids who like the taste of coconut. Anyway, once the Choc Shot was completely stirred I just plopped a handful of mallows on top, they melted into a gooey mass and it was divine. The combination of these two products is enough for me to wish for the cold days to come back so I can drink it more often.

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The Freedom mallows are priced at £2.49, and the Choc Shot retails at £3.59, both at Holland & Barrett. I dare say you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere but H&B currently have an offer on of buy one get one half price, across the whole store.

Have a fantastic evening, I’m going to settle down with the husband and watch a horror movie.

See you tomorrow,

Sophie

Coco Caravan chocolate

Morning! Well, it’s nearly midday but I’ve only just managed to sit down, phew.

I’ve still got a busy day ahead of me so I’m just going to do a quick food review, I recently picked up a bar of Coco Caravan in the sweet orange caramel flavour.

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Coco Caravan have a good range, there are four other caramel bars, seven slabs of chocolate, two ‘coconut mylk’ bars, three varieties of hot chocolate and two types of chocolate fruit. Wow. The chocolate is raw, vegan and made with coconut blossom nectar, something which I admit I have never heard of. Other benefits are that the product is organic, some ingredients are Fairtrade and the chocolate is 100% handmade. Currently this brand is only available for UK shipping, and is sold in a selection of stores which you can find at the bottom of their website.

On to the bar I purchased, the chocolate was deep and rich and smelt amazing. I bit into half of a block so I could see the caramel, the chocolate was not too bitter (which is my main problem with darker chocolate), and the orange really complimented the flavour. While the chocolate was good, some of the best I have tried, the caramel inside, oh my wow. The caramel was creamy and lush, and the orange flavour was delightful. Honestly, this is some of the best vegan chocolate I have tasted, and for the price you’d kind of expect something a little special. So go out and give it a try, if orange caramel is not your thing then they have a great range of other products for you to choose from.

Have an amazing day, even if the weather seems to think summer is over,

Sophie 🙂

Pasties, sausages and tofu, oh my!

Hello again,

I’ve got another food review for you tonight, I haven’t got too much to say about each of these products so I thought I’d review them all at once.

The first product is VBites ham and cheezly pasties, which I bought from Holland & Barrett, I’m not sure how much I paid to be honest but VBites website is selling them at £3.29 for a pack of two.

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I’m not that fussed on these to be honest, they were just okay. The pasties are quite filling, the texture of the ham is good and the taste of the sauce is decent. I don’t know why but I was expecting more from the pasties, maybe my expectations were just a little high.

I also picked up a pack of chilli and coriander Secret Sausages as they were going out of date and were on sale, so for 80p they were a bit of bargain.

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The pack said they could be frozen so instead of eating them right away I stuck them in the freezer. I cooked them for the suggested time but I found that the skin was too tough to cut, and ripping it caused the filling to all come out so, disappointingly, I was left with sausage meat more than nice slices of sausages. I grilled them rather than frying so different cooking methods may change the end result. The flavour of the sausages was quite nice, spicier than expected. These sausages do have their benefits though, their websites states that eating 3 will provide you with 1 of your five a day. The sausages are approved by the Vegetarian Society but I am not sure if they are vegan.

The final product I bought was from a local health food store, Taifun tofu fillets with wild garlic.

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Not sure how much I paid for this as I lost the receipt but it was an okay buy. The tofu had a nice flavour and was crispy on the outside with a soft centre. I’m not sure I cooked it for long enough to be honest, but the texture felt good.

Overall, these products were okay, but nothing too special. For everyday convenience food they were good buys, but they were not the best value. I could have bought a good amount of vegetables instead and probably would have enjoyed the meal more. Whether I would buy them again is a hard question to answer, but I will keep looking for tasty and easy to prepare convenience food as I am determined to find something which I really like.

Hope you’ve had an amazing Monday,

Sophie