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LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain)

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Laura Geller Beauty Fifty Kisses Liquid Lip Color, Makeout Merlot
Laura Geller Beauty Fifty Kisses Liquid Lip Color, Makeout Merlot
Price: £17.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satin soft, long lasting, liquid lipstick, 23 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was excited to try this latest trend for the first time: liquid lipstick. Firstly, this is definitely a liquid lipstick, not a gloss, or a stain. I have many of those, and this is totally different to anything I have had before.

It comes in a white box which immediately looks good quality. You get 3ml. There is white writing on the clear plastic bottle and a black screw off lid.

My colour was Makeout Merlot, a very deep, wine/burgundy colour - definitely a blue based, warm shade, and not for the faint hearted! However, a shade I readily wear when out in town at night.

There is a doe foot applicator, but with a divet. It looks like a tiny chair, with the tip being a rounded point for applying a thin lip line, and the dip holding more product for filling in the lips. This does require some skill to apply, and a steady hand. Having said that, I managed a smooth lip line, making sure I moved slowly, especially around the cupids bow. This lipstick just glides on, satiny smooth, and feels soft. It didn't go patchy but applied evenly, and dried quickly. It wasn't sticky, tacky or gloopy. It dried to a satin finish. It also had no scent or perfume.

This had such a lovely formulation, it didn't feel drying at all on me. Once the colour had dried down, it would not budge! It didn't smudge, transfer or crack on my lips. But I would say that it dried darker than when first applied. I used my oil based make up remover to take it off. I tested a make up wipe first, and it didn't really do much! The remover took it off without too much difficulty - but that for me is a pro and not a con - I want my lipstick to stay on!

My top tips are:

Wipe off excess product - one dip is actually too much.
Line lips slowly first, with the point.
No need to press lips together.
Let it dry.
Remove mistakes immediately - or they'll be stuck!
Take off with oil based remover (one for waterproof mascara).
Use on bare lips.
Don't put anything on top of it - it will break down the colour and smudge.

I really loved this product, I just wish my shade was wearable for daytime. I'll definitely get this in a couple of other shades though - the Love Blush looks beautiful.

Penguin Modern Poets 3: Your Family, Your Body
Penguin Modern Poets 3: Your Family, Your Body
by Malika Booker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Provocative poetry on a theme, 1 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Much like using a poetry anthology to discover new poets the Modern Poets series from Penguin offers the chance to get familiar with 3 contemporary writers looking at work on a specific theme. Also, much like with any anthology there are going to be some poets whose work makes an instant and lasting impression and sends you off to buy individual collections, and there are some poets whose work won’t resonate, for whatever reason.

I read a great deal of poetry, probably split 50/50 between poets who are long gone from this world and those who are living. I admit I found this a challenging collection; not because of how explicit the writing is, nor the poetic forms, but because there is a relentlessness to the way that women’s bodies are taken, abused and violated throughout this volume that makes for very difficult reading at times. It is this element of the poetry that lingers with me since reading – and I am not sure I would venture back into this book for that reason. Still, poetry should unsettle us, shouldn’t it?

Are the poets in speaking out about women’s bodies reclaiming them? Does this writing transcend suffering and connect with the reader? Might it have been interesting to include a male poet? A few questions I am still asking.

This is probably not a volume of poetry I would recommend to the occasional reader, but it does offer a provocative and unashamed look at the themes of family and body from three distinct contemporary perspectives that regular poetry lovers should find challenging. It is Sharon Olds’ The Language of the Brag that serves best here:

… I have done this thing,
I and the other women this exceptional
act with the exceptional heroic body,
this giving birth, this glistening verb …

One thing is for sure, many wonderful poets have been introduced to a wider readership through the Modern Poets series and it’s great that Penguin have breathed new life into it yet again.

SKIN&CO Roma Rosemary and Verbena Hand Cream 30 ml
SKIN&CO Roma Rosemary and Verbena Hand Cream 30 ml
Price: £15.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance ..., 18 Jan. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
£15 for a 30ml tube of hand cream is certainly more than I would usually pay, and is considerably more expensive than the 100% certified natural and organic UK brand BalmBalm (I am not affiliated to them in any way!) which I like to use. So what are we paying for?

A "sulfate, paraben, mineral oil and phthalate free" formulation. So far so good, but it still contains synthetic ingredients such as dimethicone. On the tube it says ‘organic rosemary and verbena’ so presumably these ingredients are organic – I don’t see any EU or UK organic certification on the tube, nor did I find any on a cursory inspection of the website. Producers have the right to charge consumers a premium for organic ingredients and certification bodies exist to verify that the ingredients are organic and therefore worth the extra price. Perhaps, additionally, we are paying for the fact the product is ‘handcrafted in Umbria’? Skin & Co Roma products have made appearances recently in Vogue and Marie Claire, and it seems the formulations of truffle combined with essential oils were popular with beauty icons in the 1950s so the brand also has a certain historical panache.

Onto the product: I like the simple aesthetics of the foil tube packaging and would happily receive it as a gift from this perspective. The scent is delicious, and it’s definitely the floral verbena that comes through. The cream feels good when applied and is immediately absorbed without a trace of stickiness or residue remaining. A small amount, roughly pea-sized, is adequate for both hands in my case. After application my hands feel very smooth – whether or not they are being effectively moisturised is more difficult to tell – it feels almost as though my hands are drier.

I wouldn’t buy this product as I am not convinced by the credentials of its ingredients, or its effectiveness at moisturising my hands. I also feel that for the price there are other organic brands out there that do a better job.

Weleda Organic Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash 200ml
Weleda Organic Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash 200ml
Price: £7.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely body wash, odd fragrance, 12 Jan. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Always happy to try a new Weleda product as they are a company that care a little more about what ingredients are used in their range and how and where these are sourced. This appeals to me a lot. Also, the body wash is 100% biodegradable, so no harmful residues (or microplastics!) once it has left the bottle and been flushed down the drain to enter our water courses. Hopefully, all this also means that the product is kinder to our bodies when it is absorbed through our skin.

I really like the formulation of the body wash which means that it is creamy as opposed to the more gel-like consistency of many other brands; the creaminess makes it feel slightly more luxurious. Rubbing it on my skin creates a gentle lather – even in this hard water area – and my skin feels lovely and soft after I have used it.

Unfortunately, I don’t really like the pomegranate fragrance, and it does linger after use, so I wouldn’t buy this exact product again for that reason. I will however, be checking out others in their creamy body wash range and would highly recommend this brand to others who care about the environmental impacts of the products that they use.

The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry
The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry
by Wendell Berry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incendiary ..., 21 Dec. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If (from my very personal point of view) there was any justice in, or for, this world, then people like Wendell Berry would not be marginal voices from the wilderness largely unheard and unread – they would be our policy makers, our literary heroes and our go to thinkers and philosophers whose careful considerations of technology and our relationship to it, of the land and our connection with it, and of community and compassion were equal to, if not more important than, economics, in our decision making, development and understanding of the world.

I have known the name of Wendell Berry for some time, but not managed to read any of his work. I have gobbled up his writing, sacrilegiously folding over countless pages to return to and re-read, such is the power and importance of the thinking contained here. For anyone who thinks that there might be something amiss with the world today, Berry offers some interesting thoughts on why that might be so, why we have so far failed to do anything about it, and how we might think about making positive changes in the future.

Berry is not an idealist. He doesn’t hanker for some imagined idyllic pastoral existence. He knows exactly, personally, how much effort and energy is required to maintain the land properly and with care. What he questions is why we have stigmatised and denigrated physical labour, replaced it with machinery, technology, chemicals. He questions whether doing something more quickly than before means that it is done better. He questions how much labour-saving is really about labour-replacement and human displacement. All important questions that reach far beyond agrarian concerns – about quality of work, about how meaning and satisfaction is achieved and measured – as we continue to outsource to the highest bidder every single aspect of our lives.

Berry understands about the land, about the fragility of nature and ecosystems, about the irreplaceable resource of topsoil; that his critique of the fundamental systems that govern all human life on earth comes from watching the way we continue – with open eyes and with all science and technology behind us and guiding us – to decimate the very planet upon which we depend for life makes him a prophet of our times. He would hate being labelled as such, or at least he would fully accept the meaninglessness of that statement.

I may not agree entirely with everything he says, but the clarity of his thinking, the urgency of his writing, and the diverse subject matter it is applied to, make for fascinating and thought-provoking reading.

Lights4u 5W GU10 LED Light Bulbs Extra Warm White 2700K 50W Equivalent - 5 Pack
Lights4u 5W GU10 LED Light Bulbs Extra Warm White 2700K 50W Equivalent - 5 Pack
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to install, good light distribution AND money saving, 11 Dec. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These 5W LED (68W equivalent) light bulbs are pretty good value. They come in a sturdy box and you get 5 of them. Handy that, as I have 4 strip light fittings in my house that all take GU10 bulbs. I have 14 in total.

These bulbs feel quality made, and they certainly look a lot smarter than the usual halogen bulbs I had installed already; though, I have had no problems with those so far.

The GU10 bulbs are easy to install, just pop them into the grooves and twist to secure. They are completely white on the body, and have the usual two silver pegs sticking out to push into the fitting. The flat surface area is actually smaller on these than my halogen bulbs, and they also dip down in the middle.

I put these into a light fitting which hadn't been turned on ... halogen bulbs and their casings get red hot in seconds and I didn't want to get burnt. I then switched the light on (I tested them in the kitchen, probably my darkest room). Wow! The difference was massive, from 50W halogen bulbs to 5W LEDs, the LEDs were significantly brighter!

The shade is labelled as Cosy White, I find these are very bright, but cosy? I'm not sure if that is how I would describe it, maybe a grey white.

These are energy saving too, and while I don't leave lights switched on for hours on end, I'm glad to be saving "93% energy" (and some pennies) when they are on.

Kit Heath Sterling Silver and London Blue Topaz Round Simmer Necklace of Length 40.6-45.7cm
Kit Heath Sterling Silver and London Blue Topaz Round Simmer Necklace of Length 40.6-45.7cm
Price: £50.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty & understated, 21 Nov. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The necklace arrives packaged in a simple white box, edged with turquoise ribbon inside and hinged at the back. I might not designate it as luxurious, but it is nice enough.

The stone is a prettily-hued blue topaz set into a circle of sterling silver and is about 0.7cm in diameter – in other words, it’s very small and delicate. The silver chain is also delicate and narrow and I think it’s fair to say that it really needs to be worn on bare skin as it would be totally lost if there was any but the most gossamer of clothing beneath it. A lobster claw fastener and an extender of about 5.5cm complete the chain.

The necklace is tiny and filigree and the chain is a little fiddly to fasten; it will suit narrower necks as the chain is not especially long, and would look nice complementing a low-key evening outfit. It is jewellery of the simple, elegant, understated kind, perhaps best enjoyed by those who prefer these characteristics over glitz and glamour.

Rapesco Display Book - Hardback, A4. 50 Clear Pockets
Rapesco Display Book - Hardback, A4. 50 Clear Pockets
Price: £16.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality - but has frosted pockets ..., 18 Nov. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes with a letter from the company offering help and advice – and their contact details - if there are any problems with the product which is a nice touch. It also arrived well packaged with foam padding to protect the wallets at the front and the back.

The product is a black hard-backed plastic coated book with 50 plastic wallets sealed into the spine, fused to the binding, so they can’t be removed, or added to. It is essentially a sturdy display book. There is a clear plastic window on the front of the book for the purpose of adding a label.

The plastic pockets can hold more than 2 sheets, although the size of the book would buckle if too many sheets are inserted. The book itself is slightly larger than the pockets meaning that they are protected between the hard covers.

This is a really good quality product and would be excellent for displaying projects for work, or for certificates, or as a recipe book. I have removed one star for the fact that the pockets are frosted and not clear as advertised – not sure whose error this is, but obviously the type of pocket does affect what can and can't be best displayed.

skinChemists Advanced Pro-5 Collagen Ultra Rich Cream 50 ml
skinChemists Advanced Pro-5 Collagen Ultra Rich Cream 50 ml
Price: £94.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Dispenser problems & odd scent, 12 Nov. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The product arrives well packaged and looks elegant in its tall yellow dispenser; however, when I depressed the top to release the cream, nothing happened. I tried this for quite some time before removing the top of the container, turning it upside down and getting the tube containing the cream out. It turns out the top wasn’t fully screwed in place. OK, so I screwed it up, replaced everything in the dispenser and it worked fine for a while.

After about 2 weeks of use, same problem, today, in fact. Thought it might be the same reason, but no, top and tube still firmly connected. Decided to push the bottom of the tube a little as perhaps air space between top of pump and cream? Hmmm, managed to squirt a considerable amount from the tube onto the kitchen floor. I recommend using extreme caution if attempting this procedure! Afterwards, still no sign of the mechanism actually working, so I now have to scoop cream out from the top of the tube - this is fiddly, inconvenient and renders the entire dispenser useless.

The cream has an odd scent that I cannot describe, not entirely pleasant. It has a reasonable consistency and a small amount seems to go a long way. Tiny flecks of gold in the cream are noticeable on my skin after I’ve used it, and as I don’t tend to wear foundation, these little glittery sparkles remain; they’re not especially annoying but it’s something to be noted about the finish on your skin after application. My skin feels nice after using the cream.

Presumably the company will replace faulty products for those who have actually paid for it, but it is disappointing that an expensive high-end item such as this has this issue and it’s clear from other reviews that this is not an isolated problem.

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Eyeshadow Quad, Moody Browns and Gold 5 g
Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Eyeshadow Quad, Moody Browns and Gold 5 g
Price: £25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four lovely blendable shadows, 22 Oct. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never been a wearer of brown eyeshadow, nor gold for that matter. However this little compact has four VERY wearable shades, two warm toned browns, a cool toned one and a glittery gold. The colours seem to blend smoothly, and have good staying power. I wore them for 8 hours and they didn't crease, or fade.

They are subtle colours; however, I imagine using them with a wet brush would intensify the colours. They also mix well, particularly the darkest colour mixed with the palest which makes a beautiful latte shade that looks great with the gold in the corners of the eye as a highlight.

The compact itself is gold and black with the added detail of having a magnetic closure, which is a nice touch.

This is a really good quality eyeshadow quad, and yes, you do pay for the name. Is it worth it? The jury is still out on that.

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