24 Jan 2010

Hands First Barrier Cream

Hands First Invisible Gloves Barrier Cream

Provides natural protection, is non greasy, locks-in moisture and is fragrance free.
The nature of certain tasks requires specialist products to protect against dry and sore hands.
The special Invisible Gloves formula of Hands First creates a protective shield.

I was pleasantly surprised by Hands First Invisible Gloves Barrier Cream. Barrier creams that I have used in the past have always been greasy and almost sticky on application, I have normally wiped off (or washed off) most of the protection as I couldn't stand the tacky feeling.

This cream is different. For a start you only seem to put on what you need as its a tube applicator (and not a tub like other products). On application it feels cooling on the skin and sinks in instantly - when stroking your hands after application they feel silky soft like a layer of invisible talcum powder has been put onto the skin.

I used it when helping my husband work on the car (I get to pass the oily tools) and also when washing up as washing-up liquid irritates my skin. Both jobs passed the invisible hands test and my hands were well protected.

Directions of use are simple - wash your hands and dry them, then rub in a 2p sized blob of Hands First Invisible Gloves Barrier Cream.

I did find that if I had any cuts or scratches on my hands they stung a little when I applied the cream, but the cooling sensation soon soothed the area. However whatever moisturising products placed onto small grazes or cuts will also make them sting - so its not a negative problem with the product.

The packaging is a little dated, I can see that they are trying to make the design uni-sex and for all ages, but it isn't the first product packaging that would catch my eye in a shop. The colouring of the green logo seems professional and industrial, I wouldn't particularly buy this for 'home-use' which is a shame as it can be used for everyday use no matter where you are.

All-in-all the barrier cream does work! Its feels nice on the skin and reaches all of the outcomes stated on the tube. Its a great product and highly recommended.

RRP: Around £7.99 Available from various online pharmacy's and Superdrug.

For more information please visit www.handsfirst.co.uk

My rating: 9/10

Voltarol - The Joy Of Movement

Voltarol - the Joy of Movement

Voltarol - The Joy Of Movement

I like many of the population have a bad back, sometimes I know when I have tweaked it and so I start to look after my back by changing my posture etc... other times it suddenly goes and I am in agony for days.

Voltarol - The Joy Of Movement is a free downloadable guide to managing body pain. The guide is free and consumers can download it from http://www.emdp.info/

The guide contains different sections to educate people about their bodies, muscles, injuries, prevention and different types of pain. The guide is not a 'buy this product and it will make it all better' at which I was very surprised ... its written in conjunction with a panel of experts from emdp: Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership.

I learnt quite a lot, I now know what pain is and how your brain interprets the 'pain signals'. I have brushed upon understanding how to prevent body pain by changing my posture while sitting (I am sitting correctly while typing this) and my general fitness (at which Andy my husband laughed at me!).

The guide also contains 9 simple exercises to keep injuries at bay. Some are for everyone to do regardless of your physical ability, they are a little like the exercises Mr Motivator gets you to do on an aeroplane (have you ever seen that little film to prevent thrombosis?). Others are a bit more tricky where you have to be on all fours on the floor ... obviously not 'everyone' would be able to achieve these positions.

Basically the whole guide is sponsored by Voltarol Pain Relief.
You can buy Pain-eze Emugel which is a gel that you can apply directly to the painful area. Do not apply to broken skin, just to sprains, muscle aches, joints etc.... it is a non-greasy gel which is easy to rub into the skin. The gel is also odorless unlike similar muscle rub products.

Also available is Voltarol Pain-eze Tablets, each tablet contains 12.5mg of diclofenic potassium which is an alternative to ibuprofen and paracetamol. Always read the label regarding dosage.

Voltarol is available from all pharmacy's.
The guide is available free from http://www.emdp.info/

19 Jan 2010

Monster Puffs Bars

Monster Puffs - Sugar Puff Bars

On a diet? Eaten too much over the Christmas Break?
I suppose you are snacking on fruit and those 'Only 99 Calories' bars that different snack companies produce.

Tell you what - I'll treat you .... if you are hungry and craving something sweet. gooey, chewy 'and' filling then have a Monster Puffs bar made from Sugar Puffs!

Monster Puffs are only 86 Kcals for the cereal and chocolate bars, 84 Kcals for the cereal and milk bars. That is LESS than the leading 'diet' brands snack bars!!

They are not sickly, the kids love them, hubby doesn't look like a big pansy for eating 'faddy food' and you can pop one in your handbag as a treat for your break.

The best bit is that as they are stuck together with honey that do not get smashed to pieces in your bag or lunchbox .. they stay in one (if a little squashed) piece.

I prefer the milk chocolate drizzled ones to the plain milk variety. The chocolate takes away the 'sugar puffiness' and makes it more like a traditional cereal bar.
So when I get the "I don't fancy breakfast!" whine or if we are running late, I now don't feel guilty about letting Emma eat a cereal bar instead, plus they are a lot easier to eat in the car than a big bowl of Sugar Puffs!!

Available in packs of 4 from all good supermarkets.
Our rating: 10/10 for the chocolate ones, and 9/10 for the plain milk ones.

Lulu's Time Bomb

Lulu's Time Bomb Skincare Products

Lulu has developed a range of skincare products to suit the older woman's skin types.
Each product is carefully blended with the best oils and nourishment to suit older skin, she has worked with top skincare specialists to target skin that she knows the most about - her own generation.

Oh course you don't have to be over 40 to use Lulu's brand, I have been using her products (I am 32) and my daughter loves the polishing pads (she is 9) ... I have found them very good quality and kind to my skin.

Yes the range is a little pricey, however each product lasts a long time as a little goes a long way. The Time Bomb range is well made and safe for all skin types.

The Take-Off Time Cleansing Cream has a beautiful lavender fragrance, it is a light cream and spreads onto the skin very smoothly. Once on your face you get a slight cooling sensation which is very soothing on tired skin. The cleanser removes make up, dead skin and dirt from your face and neck area; whilst renewing skin cells to give you a glowing complexion.

Removed easily with Lulu's Time Bomb Take-Off Time Polishing Pads, which are pretty tough little pads.

Each side is different, one textured side for exfoliating and the other smooth to remove dead skin cells and dirt, quickly and softly. These are good tough pads which can be rinsed and used to completely clean your face and neck.
They do not fall apart while in use and so you need only use 1 pad per skincare session.

After removing the cleanser, while your skin is still damp ... pop on a coin sized amount of Lulu's Time Bomb Blast To The Past Dermabration.

A gorgeous spherical pot of deep cleansing cream which contains a professional grade of micro-crystals ... its not like an exfoliator, you can't actually feel the crystals they are so fine .. all you see is a slight shimmer which if you look closely you can see are tiny flecks of crystal.

The cream is quite greasy and you can only get a small slither out of the pot at a time to apply to your face, this isn't a negative point as you only need a small amount! A little does go along way and the greasiness helps to spread the cream over your skin.

After a few minutes gently wash away the Dermabration cream to leave your skin radiant, clean and moisturised.

Lulu's Time Bomb range is well researched and of a high quality. I am really impressed and have had no skin irritation at all using all of the above products during my skincare regime.

Available from http://www.lulusplace.co.uk/ along with a wide range of other skincare, body, haircare and fragrances.

Cleansing Cream: 60ml £7.50, 125ml £12.00
Polishing Pads: 10 for £5.00
Dermabration: 12ml £9.50, 45ml £30.00

My rating: 9/10

12 Jan 2010

SIGG Bottles

SIGG Bottles

Emma likes to take a bottle of water to school with her, sometimes she drinks it all, sometimes she hardly touches it - but at least she has a drink with her in case she is thirsty.
I was buying packs of mineral water from the supermarket and keeping them in the fridge, I even made her a water bottle carrier from some fabric (it is very posh, even has beads on it!). My problem was the cost of the water bottles.

I didn't mind buying them -if she drank them, but sometimes she would take a sip from the bottle and the rest would be tipped down the sink when she got home. I then started re-filling the old bottles, but found that they went manky inside and the water tasted like fish-tank water even after being washed thoroughly and even sterilised overnight.

Did you know that you think that you are helping the environment by refilling plastic PET water bottles. But are you actually harming yourself?
Disposable PET bottles are designed for one time use, according to Simran Sethi of The Discovery Channel. Refilling them can release harmful toxins from the packaging – especially when it gets heated. If you’re tasting plastic, you’re ingesting plastic.
As we were tasting fish-tank water I dread to think what toxins were being given out by the plastic bottles ... so I soon put a stop to refilling disposable bottles.

Then we discovered SIGG bottles. After purchasing different refillable bottles over the years I was surprised to discover that the SIGG bottle do not leak!
Yes you read that right - I have filled them, overfilled them, shook them, held them upside down, left them in a lunchbox inside a bag which had been kicked across the playground (OK I didn't actually kick it but I swung it around a bit) .... and they didn't leak.

Each bottle is made from metal so are pretty hardy, they have a baked-on crack resistant bottle liner which makes sure that you drink what you want to drink – and not unwanted chemicals. The SIGG bottle liner is leach-proof and resistant even to energy drinks, fruit acids and carbonation.

The Bottle body is extruded from a single piece of pure aluminium, which mean no seams. They are really lightweight but super strong. The bottles are 100% recyclable when you are finally finished with the product but as they are so strong I expect them to last quite a few years.

SIGG bottles come in hundreds of designs, you can even design your own from companies such as CafePress and have your own company logo on them.
SIGG introduce over 100 new SIGG designs every year, from teddy bears… to floral prints… to SIGGadelic bottles – there’s something for everyone! Even top fashion designers in the world - such as Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan & Kenneth Cole – have designed custom SIGG bottles.

Each top is a screw on top, there are 3 different styles to choose from. The neck of each bottle is the same size so that they are interchangeable. All of them leak-proof, even with carbonated drinks.

Sportbottle top :
The three-stage technology, just one turn, pull twice, put it to your mouth – ready to drink. Leak-proof in two positions. Perfect for sport activities.

Screw top:
Unscrew the top, remove it and drink. Leak-proof even in the most extreme situations thanks to an integrated seal. For outdoor enthusiasts.

Bottle top :
The screw top with a dirt-proof cap is absolutely leak-proof. One turn and it's ready to use. Ideal for both adults and children.

But what about the price? Surly a product this colourful, strong and leak proof comes with a hefty price tag? Actually no they don't!
Each bottle are between £9.99 to £12.99, some styles are a little more but these are normally the limited edition designs.

Available from http://www.sigg.com/ you can customise your bottle with choices of tops etc...

They are a great addition for the kids lunchboxes, the gym, picnics, use in the car etc....

My rating: 10/10

8 Jan 2010

Cherizena Christmas Coffee

Cherizena Christmas Coffee

I know I know ... Christmas has gone! But its only 11 months and a few days till next Christmas
so why not start now!!

I was supposed to review this coffee before Christmas, I am really sorry but I tried it then forgot to share my opinion until now.

From http://www.cherizena.co.uk/ the coffee specialists you can drink Christmas Spirit all year round with their Christmas Coffee. They say that a welcoming warm aroma to a home is coffee brewing (my mum used to walk round stirring a bowlful of coffee before viewings when I was selling one of my first houses) and I believe it to be correct.

So imagine the aroma of fresh Colombian Coffee with hints of rum, nuts, orange and Christmas spices "mmmmmmmmmm!" warming your home this January. Bring back the lovable family Christmas feelings in an instant just by boiling the kettle and dusting off the cafetiere.

Available in both regular and decaffeinated versions, and as beans or ground coffee, the Christmas Coffee is on sale at http://www.cherizena.co.uk/ priced £5 for a 200g Kraft bag.

Cherizena has also put together a gift pack containing a Christmas Coffee and a Pure Colombian Medium Roast, also available from the web shop priced £4.50.

SALE This January you can purchase A perfect little treat for the coffee lover. Two 60g packs containing Limited Edition Christmas Coffee and Pure Colombian Excelsior coffee, ground for filters and cafetieres, packaged ready for slipping into someones Christmas Stocking!
Available in regular and decaff versions.
Price: £2.75
while stocks last !!

So come in from the snow, pyjamas on and cafetiere brewing, sink into the warm aroma and relax ... just what you need after all that sale shopping.
My rating: 9/10

Carte Dor Cheesecake

Carte Dor Cheesecake

Give me a choice of desserts and I will choose cheesecake every time. I find that eating cheesecake after a big meal to be the perfect 'sweet yet oddly savory' end to a meal.

Carte Dor have produced some very tempting, posh yet very affordable cheesecakes. Found in the freezers in most Asda's and Sainsbury's they look amazing, really delicious and only cost £3.99

The new range consist of the following flavours:

Madagascan vanilla and chocolate cheesecake – chocolate biscuit base with Madagascan vanilla cheesecake, finished with chocolate sauce and swirls.

Chocolate and raspberry torte –chocolate truffle with whole raspberries on a chocolate brownie base finished with white chocolate swirls.

Vanilla and raspberry cheesecake –vanilla cheesecake with whole raspberries on a crunchy biscuit base finished with raspberry sauce swirls.

All satisfyingly indulgent but at only 260 calories per serving, not 'too' bad *ahem* for the waistline.

After New Years Day dinner we tried the Vanilla and Raspberry Cheesecake. I as usual forgot to take it out of the freezer, we left it to defrost in my mother-in-laws front room, making sure my dog couldn't reach it!

Its a shame really that we didn't have a square plate to present it on as being square it did look a little odd on a round dinner plate. However when we came to cut it into slices (about 2 hours later) not only was it fully defrosted it was really really simple to cut into 6 portions.

The biscuit base it thick and buttery, it doesn't smash into smithereens with you try to cut it, it stays together making each portion easy to serve. We found the cheesecake top to be smooth yet cream cheesy, like a traditional style cheesecake. It wasn't too sweet or fake tasting.

We all really liked the dessert: it didn't need pouring cream .. a few did add cream but I personally didn't need it, looked very professional on the plate .. even if it was round, and all-in-all ticked every ones after dinner boxes.

Our family rating: 10/10