Superdrug B. Ready Day Cream

Mentioned yesterday about buying some of the B. range from Superdrug. Did a short review of the B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser, which I was impressed with. Also brought the B. Ready Day Cream, which I used this morning.

(Sorry, no pictures!)

Cream itself comes in a frosted glass tub. On unscrewing the lid, there’s no immediate scent that jumps out at you. Personally, I like that, since heavily scented products aren’t really my thing.

Onto the actual product. The cream is fairly rich, but light. Absorbs into my skin fairly quickly. Quicker, in fact, than the lotions I’ve tried. There’s no powdery residue left once it’s worked into my skin.

Effect…humm. Not sure really. Yes, it does leave my skin feeling moisturised, but that’s about it. Haven’t noticed any noticeable increase in radiance, though I have only been using it for one day. Or evening of skin tone, for that matter. Again, it’s only the first day. I do have to reapply it once through the day, which is something I didn’t have to do when using the Simple moisturiser. Probably because it’s a much lighter formula than I’m used to.

Will keep on using it, since it cost £9.99, and I don’t want to waste it, but at the minute, not completely sure if I’ll buy another tub after this one has been used up.

Adventures in skin care…

Or not, as it might be! Sorry, no pictures, I’m afraid. All I have is my phone right now, and the camera is rubbish.

I have fairly normal skin, apart from a few dry patches on my cheeks and under my chin. Never had much of a problem with spots, although a few pop up every now and then. However, I’ve only really recently woken up to how important it is to clean your face every day.

So, I started looking for products to help with that. First I tried Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant range. Think I brought the day cream, serum and something else that now eludes me. Out of the three, I preferred the serum the most. It almost instantly absorbed into my skin, and just made it look so healthy. The day cream was nice, but a little too heavy and greasy for me.

Moved onto Simple. Mainly used the Moisturising facial wash and the Replenishing rich moisturiser. They worked well, and my skin seemed happy with them. I just recently replaced the last two tubes of both, since I’d run out, and also brought the Perfecting BB cream. Oh dear. Firstly the colour. It’s slightly too dark for my skin tone. All right, it didn’t look too bad on, but the illuminating particles didn’t really work for me. Plus it just felt a little greasy/ settled into my pores/fine lines.

Was all set to stay with Simple, but discovered that Unilever (parent company) tests their products on animals. Humm. Not too sure I liked that. But what to do. Use the Simple stuff up and then look for something else? Or try something else now, and leave the Simple for an emergency?

Decided on the second option. Wasn’t going to use the BB cream anyway, so could throw that away. And the wash and moisturiser could be saved for when I really needed them.

But what to use in the meantime?

Back to Superdrug I went. (For those of you overseas: Superdrug is a retail chain in Britain. Mainly sell cosmetics, shower + bath stuff and hair dyes, amongst other things).

My eyes got drawn to their “B” range. One of the things that attracted me was the packaging. No bright colours or designs, just simple white tubes. Also, the fact that they had different products for different skin phases. According to them:

Skin phase 1: Products for women in their 20s and 30s. Designed to help protect against the first signs of ageing, and retain the youthful appearance of the skin.

Skin phase 2: Late 30s – 40s. Reduces visible signs of ageing.

Skin phase 3: Late 40s – 50s. Combats signs of advanced ageing, and helps to protect and fortify skin.

Skin phase 4: 55+.

Decided to try a few things. I’m in the Skin Phase 1 range, so got the B. Ready Day Cream. Also picked up the B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser, and the B. Confident C.C cream.

Haven’t tried the day cream yet, but looks good. The packaging is really, really lovely. Looks twice as expensive as it really was!

Melting Gel Cleanser: Tried it out when I got home, and I’m impressed! Comes out of the tube as a fairly thick gel. However, when applied to the face, it melts into an oil. Needs a bit of massaging, but does clean effectively. Left my skin feeling soft and really clean. There honestly isn’t much of a strong scent. Not that I noticed much, anyway.

C.C cream: I have redness in my cheeks and nose which is fairly noticeable. Also a scar from a stubborn spot that I accidentally kept picking. This cream was lighter than others I’ve tried, with a pleasant, light scent. Can be built up to provide the level of coverage you want. Only used one layer or so, but was happy with how it turned out on my face. Redness on nose + cheeks is reduced, and it does a really good job of keeping my skin moisturised. Probably won’t wear it all that often, only when I really need a boost or hate the way my face looks, but think I will find a use for it from time to time!

Oh, all products in the “B” range are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and are also paraben free.

Considering how impressed I am with the two products I’ve tried, I think this might be my go to from now on.

PSA from a guinea pig

Radish

Hello. I’m Radish, one of Suffieldr’s guinea pigs. I share the cage with Chutney, who is fatter than me.

Overall, neither Chutney nor I can complain about the care we get. Lots of yummy things to eat, time out of the cage to run around and explore, and cuddles (I enjoy these more than Chutney).

However, we occasionally experience something deeply upsetting. It is something that Suffieldr calls “baff time”.

Baff time is something no self respecting guinea pig should have to go through. Alright, so we don’t go through it very often, but when we do, it is horrible! And to top it off, I have to go through it more than Chutney, since I have an overactive grease gland, or so she says, anyway. *Humph*

Not today, though. No, today it was a full bath. Can you imange it? I tried to climb out of the sink, but I couldn’t get a foothold! Oh, it was awful. She just kept getting water on me. Over and over and over again. I thought it would never end! I let the metal thing the water came out of know my displeasure, however. Gave it such a nibbling!

After a horrible minute or so, it did. I then got wrapped up in a big fluffy thing, which wasn’t too bad, and then rubbed this way and that. That was nice, in a way. At least she was helping me to get dry, anyway.

Still at least the cage is nice and clean now, and she’s put loads of hay and kale tips in for us, so can’t complain! And Chutney had a bath before me, so I can laugh at him for being all fluffy now.

[Suffieldr here. I wouldn’t recommend giving your guinea pigs a bath unless they really need it. Guinea pigs hate water, and it’s not worth the stress it causes them, most of the time. Mine only get a full bath once a year (if that), but since Radish does have an overactive grease gland, he gets a bum bath every few months.

Pigfarts!

Or that’s what I think Color Rewind from Superdrug smells like, anyway. Tried it out, as I was saying in my last post. Got a few photos, but they’ll be uploaded tomorrow, most likely, once my hair is properly dry, and I can see the colour.

Anyway, slathered the stuff onto my head, following the directions to a T. Covered my hair with a shower cap, just to make sure it didn’t drip everywhere. Every so often, I’d get a whiff of the solution drift past my nose, which wasn’t very pleasant! Although, to be honest, it wasn’t that noticeable once the stuff was actually in my hair.

Left it on for an hour. I have short hair, so possibly could have gotten away with a shorter period of time. But then I didn’t really want to end up with mutant hair, so just stuck the whole hour out.

Got in the shower, rinsed it off for five minutes. Ow, my arms. Applied the buffer for the first time, left for one minute, rinsed for five minutes, applied the other half of the buffer, left for another minute and rinsed for the last five minutes. I felt like a fruit that’s been left for too long and gone all wrinkly when I stepped out the shower.

Towelled my hair off. Don’t have a working hair dryer at the moment, so have just let it air dry. Looks as though it’s gone a sandy-ish blonde. Not quite strawberry blonde, but not quite proper blonde either. There’s a slight coppery tone there, which I was expecting. Will see if it darkens slightly overnight. Might rest it tomorrow, then dye it Thursday. Or Friday.

Photos to follow!

Forgot to mention, it hasn’t dried my hair out at all. Or doesn’t seemed to have done, anyway.

Misadventures in red hair

I’ll be frank, I don’t dye my hair very often. Apart from one disaster back in my late school years (dyed it blue-black. Did NOT suit me at all), I’ve tended to go red. The darker shades, since for some reason my hair doesn’t take the lighter shades all that well.

Anyway, I’d normally dye my hair, let it fade/grow out, then dye it again. Yes, I know that’s a tad bit lazy, but since I was in college at the time (last year), I didn’t have the time, or money, needed to keep the red looking good. Besides, I quite liked how the faded colour looked on me. Add to that the fact that I only coloured my hair two or so times a year, and I got complacent about the upkeep.

So, yesterday. My previous colour had pretty much faded, and there were a couple of inches of root showing, so I took myself off to town, and went into Superdrug. Ended up buying their Colour Vibrance hair dye in Fire Red (8:45).

Slathered it on my hair last night. Waited for it to develop, washed it off and towel dried it. Even when damp, my fringe was noticeably red. Didn’t look too bad when fully dried, but I did notice I’d missed bits behind my ears. Fast forward to this morning.

Well…if you don’t look too closely, it doesn’t look that bad. However, depending on the light, I can see it’s a little bit patchy in some places where the dye didn’t quite take, and the missed behind the ears bits are fairly obvious. Plus, some of the faded parts are still showing through, and it just looks a bit of a mess.

I like the colour on me, but not how it looks right now. So, since I had to pop into town again, I dropped back into Superdrug. Picked up their Colour Rewind hair colour remover, a comb, shower caps and a bottle of Nice ‘n’ Easy in Ash Brown, should I need it afterwards.

Will use the Colour Rewind tonight, and see how it goes. Got loads of conditioner to slather on if my hair goes a little dry. Honestly not sure if I’ll need the Nice ‘n’ Easy, but it’s there if I do!

Will give my hair a bit of a rest afterwards though. Getting it cut on Saturday, so will lavish attention on it for the next few weeks.

Sorry, no photos for now! Only have my phone to take pictures with at the moment, and it doesn’t really have the greatest camera in the world. Might be some during/after pics if I remember to take some!

Writing meme part two

6. Have you read any writing-advice books?

Nope. Probably would if I were seriously considering writing a multi-chaptered work, but as of now, I haven’t.

7. Have you ever been part of a critique group?

Nope.

8. What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?

Best piece of feedback, huh? Had someone review a piece of mine on DA once. It was well thought out, detailing what they liked, and what worked/didn’t work in the story. I like feedback along those lines, since it shows that the reader thought about their responses before giving the feedback.

9. What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?

Back when I regularly wrote fanfiction, I’d often get reviews that consisted of nothing more than “GuD wrk!” or “WRitE MORE!” Strangely enough, that type of feedback actually turned me off writing anything for a while.

10. What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?

In myself or others?

For myself – probably my inability to write anything longer than a one-shot. I can plan all I like, as soon as I sit down to actually write the damn thing – nada. Not one jot of anything else comes after the first chapter.

Others – Purple prose is overrated. Also annoys me when writers spend paragraphs describing what characters look like and what they’re wearing.

Stormy Skies (unfinished)

This was something I started, but never got round to continuing. It went through several phases and re-writes, starting off as an allegory of sorts, and then veering more into a fantasy-type story with talking animals.

The carcass of the sheep was several days old. Although the ravens had had their fill of the choicest parts, there was still enough meat on the bones to satisfy the two scavenging Golden eagles. Their hooked beaks made short work of the rotting flesh as Scarpe and Gorm fed. Wanderers both, the two had been quartering the field in search of prey when Scarpe had spotted the dead sheep.

Neither of them spotted the female perched quietly nearby.

“Might I partake of your feast?”

Scarpe glanced round before fixing the intruder with a challenging glare. Besides him, Gorm mantled aggressively. The new arrival was hunched and old, and the gloss had gone from her feathers, which were frayed and sticking out in odd directions. Her eyes were still sharp though.

“Might I partake of your feast?” She asked again. “I am just a wanderer, and have not eaten for several days.”

“Find your own food, old one. This is ours.”

She hopped down from the rock she’d been perching on and shuffled forward a few steps. Old as she was, she was still larger than the two sub-adult males, and her talons still wickedly curved.

“That’s no way to speak to your elders. Did your parents teach you nothing while you were still in the nest? Had I hatched you, I’d have pecked some manners into you.”

“My brother is somewhat rash, but he is right. We found this sheep first, therefore it is ours.” Scarpe was somewhat more polite than his brother, but even he was unwilling to make way for the female.

Her head bobbed on her scrawny neck. “Were my mate here, I wager you’d stand aside and let us feed.”

“I see no mate.” Gorm muttered, clacking his beak in disdain.

“No,” she agreed. “His bones have long since returned to the earth. I was merely stating what would have happened if he were still alive.”

“You have a strange accent, old one. Where do you hail from?” Scarpe asked. Despite himself, he found that his interest in this old, scruffy female was rising.

“Tell me where you were raised first. Then mayhap I’ll tell you.”

“Callanish. That was our birthplace.”

“Callanish, was it? It’s said that many a wise eagle came from there.” A note of admiration had crept into the old female’s voice. “Although I myself have never visited.”

Scarpe preened a while before answering. “You seem to know something of the eagles of Callanish for never having visited it yourself.”

“News travels faster than you might think. Besides, I’d met many a eagle from there in my time.” She’d hopped onto the head of the sheep, and tore off a strip of meat. “Ah, tis good to feed! You asked about where I hailed from, I believe. My mate and I were travelers for a long while, but we finally settled in Uibhist a Tuath.”

“Uibhist a Tuath?” Gorm echoed, puzzled by the unfamiliar words.

“My pardon. North Uist, I meant.”

“You do not sound Scottish. Not completely, anyway.”

She tore off another strip of meat before replying. “I was not originally from Scotland, if that’s what you mean. Nor was my mate.”

“Where were you from, then?” Gorm was the older and less patient of the two brothers, and he was beginning to become bored of the game the female seemed to be playing with them.

“The south.” Was the old female’s answer.”I can’t tell you where, for that I’ve forgotten, but I hail from the south.”

“There are no eagles in the south. Not anymore.”

“Not wild ones, no.”

Scarpe ruffled his feathers irritably. “Are you being deliberately cryptic with us, old one? What do you mean by “not wild ones”? Do you mean to say that you came from a collection of some kind?”

“My name, youngster, is Skaforn, not old one. And yes, I suppose you could say that I came from a collection.”

“Skaforn? That’s not a name I know. Sounds like something from the far north.”

“Prehaps it is.” Was Skaforn’s answer. “I was born a captive, and never knew my parents, so maybe they did come from the far north. I don’t know.”

The two males were silent a long time. Scarpe watched the old female a while. Her eyes, fierce and clear, gazed off into the distance. She seemed to be lost in her own memories.

“Tell us.” He said at last.

Skaforn blinked, and transferred her gaze to him. “Tell you what?”

“Your story. It seems you have much to tell. And I was ever interested in the history of others of our kind.”

“My story? It is a long one, and one I don’t care to revisit these days.”

“My brother is curious.” Gorm muttered. “And I fear that you’ve caught my interest as well, Skaforn.”

“My story is a long one.” She repeated. “I fear you’d get bored long before the conclusion.”

Scarpe grew aggravated. “Begone then, if you will not share your story with us! Begone and leave my brother and I in peace.”

“I do not remember saying that I wouldn’t tell you, only that it’s one that I don’t care to revisit these days.” She clacked her beak tiredly. “Very well. If you insist, then I suppose I must.”

Writing meme

Found this over on Tumblr, though it’s probably done the rounds by now, and thought it looked interesting, so will be giving it a go! Will space it out over several posts.

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing about ten or so years ago. Mostly just fanfiction of various series at first, but soon got bored of that and branched off into original fiction.

2. What was your favourite book growing up?

A.A.Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. My parent’s used to read the books to my sister and I, and we’d both be spellbound. Always hated the Disney cartoon, though.

There was also a series of picture books by Graham Oakley. The first book was called “The Church Mouse”, and then the other books all started with “The Church Mice…” Fantastic books, they really are. The drawings are so detailed, and some of the expressions on the character’s faces had me howling at times. To be honest, think my favourite character was Sampson, the long suffering church cat. He’d listened to one too many sermons, and had basically sworn that he’d never hurt a living creature again.

3. Are you an avid reader?

Do fish swim? Do ducks like water? The answer to the above question is a resounding yes. Reading’s pretty much like breathing to me. If I could just read my life away, then I would.

4. Have you ever thrown a book across the room?

Nope, though there have been times when I’ve been sorely tempted to. I tend to read the blurb on the back/glance at the first couple of pages before I even buy a book, just so I don’t waste my time on something I won’t enjoy later.

5. Did you take writing courses in school/college?

No.

(Almost) Summer in a glass!

So, weather over here in my part of the UK has been hot. Almost a little too hot for my liking! Have been a few violent, stormy showers, but they never lasted all that long. As a rule, I’m not a fan of warm weather. If there’s a breeze, then I’m perfectly happy, but if not, then I tend to wilt and stay indoors, where it’s cooler.

Have found a nice summer drink though. It was in a foodie supplement in one of the papers. Most of the recipes were for cocktails, but in the middle was a non-alcoholic drink. Have tried making it myself, and have to say, it’s pretty nice on a warm summer day! There’s a very slight almost sherbet-y quality to it, and the juice from the strawberries turns it an attractive pink colour.

Lemonade with strawberries and mint

You will need:

3 strawberries

A small handful fresh mint (wash after picking)

Lemonade (Fentimans is a good one. If you can’t get that, use another good cloudy lemonade)

Method:

Place the three strawberries in a glass (or bowl) and muddle/bash with a wooden spoon. Add the mint and muddle again. Top glass up with lemonade, stir to combine and add ice.

Spiced white hot chocolate

Been pretty warm today, and set to get warmer during the rest of the week. However, have just polished off a hot chocolate. Why? Mainly because it’s been a trying day, and I needed something comforting to drink. Something that reminds me of cold winter nights and wrapping my hands round a steaming mug of richness.

Used white chocolate this time, though you can adapt this recipe to milk or dark chocolate as well.

Spiced white hot chocolate

One cup/mug milk (use whatever you like)

1 teaspoon ground ginger (or fresh, if preferred)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

White chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Green&Blacks)

Whipped cream (optional)

Method

1. Pour the cup/mug of milk into a pan.

2. Add spices to milk and let steep while the milk warms. Stir milk from time to time.

3. Break chocolate into pieces and add to the warmed milk. If using white chocolate, stir to ensure it doesn’t burn.

4. Turn stove off, and pour the hot chocolate into your cup/mug. Add any toppings you’d like, then sit back and enjoy!