REVIEW: FAST Shampoo & Conditioner

Throughout my life I’ve been through my fair share of hair cuts.

Luckily, I’m comfortable enough with both super short and fairly long hair so deciding on what style to go for never usually is an issue.

At its shortest...

At its shortest…

At its longest...

At its longest…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But every girl always wants what they don’t have (admit it), so whenever I have all my hair chopped off, it is inevitable I want to glue it straight back on as soon as I have to style it myself because it “never looks as good as in the salon”.

I’m sure many of us have been duped into trying/buying some “miracle growth” product, be it shampoo, vitamin supplement or hair treatment, without the desired results.

Myself, well I’d just love to be just like the Brush n Grown My Little Pony I had when I was younger that only needed a quick shake of her head and her tail grew straight back  (remember? This one  (pretty sure mine was Curly Locks) – thanks for throwing out/donating my entire collection mother!)

So when the FAST Shampoo and Conditioner landed on my desk I thought, hey, why not give it a go? I’d recently had my hair cut into a fairly short bob and with a family wedding coming up a month or two later, my tresses could have done with a little help in growing long enough for an up do.

FAST shampoo and conditioner

FAST shampoo and conditioner

 

The bumph accompanying the two bottles said: “Made by Nisim International, Canada, FAST is a unique shampoo and conditioner that accelerates hair growth. As of May 2013 FAST has been permanently listed in 300 Flagship Boots Stores. The range is perfect for someone with slow-growing hair or for those who want to outgrow a bad haircut as quickly as possible. FAST is NOT for hairloss but can make hair grow up to 99% faster. Use FAST daily for 30 days to give you maximum length in minimum time.”

So use it for 30 days I did – washing my hair every other, or every two days, at least.

My hair grows relatively fast so I couldn’t really tell if the product helped or not but what it did do was thicken and improve the condition of my barnet which was a welcome improvement as I’m often told by my hairdresser that I have a lot of hair but it is quite thin so all I can guess is that the shampoo and conditioner thickened each strand – great!

All in all I liked this product, I didn’t love it though. One thing I did find was that unless I stood under the shower for about half an hour to rinse the conditioner out it left my hair quite greasy and with the feeling that I hadn’t properly washed the product out. This was a tad annoying but all in all I would recommend this product if you’re looking to add a little oomph to your hair.

Here’s the before and after pics, I’ll let you make your own mind up (sorry for the face! And the quality of the pics)

Before (scuse the paleness!)

Before (scuse the paleness!)

After....not much difference?

After….not much difference?

 

 

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The Coronation Street Tour

They are the most famous cobbles in the world, and I got a sneak peek at the new Coronation Street Tour that opened, for six months only, on April 5.

It is said that you should never meet your heroes.

I’m not quite sure how a street that has been on UK television for 53 years has become a hero of mine but it has. Perhaps it’s the spirit of its fictional inhabitants, perhaps it’s because I’d sit and watch Corrie with my Grandma when I was little or perhaps it’s because it is, quite simply, a British institution.

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Yes, that is serial killer Richard Hillman sneaking up on me in the Platt’s living room!

Filming at Granada Studios in Manchester ceased before Christmas when the cast and crew moved over to Salford’s Media City to a news, high-tech, high res set and most of the old sets moved or dismantled.

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Always knew I’d get behind this bar one day!

But the Street has remained in place, for now, as has the Rovers, the Platt’s, the Dobbs’ and Carla’s old flat and relics past such a Hilda Ogden’s hair net, Deirdre’s glasses, the ornament Tracy Barlow used to murder Charlie Stubbs and Becky McDonald’s wedding dress, have been rescued from storage to see the light of day once more.

And now 35 new cast members have taken centre stage.

What these tour guides, who have been recruited from in and around the Greater Manchester area, don’t know about good ‘ole Corrie, isn’t worth knowing.

Showing me around were Martin and Dora who explained that they had spent four weeks of intensive training.
Dora, said: “We have been learning a brilliant script written by Coronation Street scriptwriter, Tim Randall, and we spent time with acting teachers from Salford University to learn all about voice projection and storytelling – it’s been brilliant.

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Becky’s wedding shoes – River Island FYI

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Roy’s lovely beige uniform, Jack Duckworths outfit and the infamous Bett’s overcoat

“Now we’re armed with all kinds of facts and gossip to pass on to the visitors when they get here, I can’t wait.”

Walking into the iconic Stage One studio, having already visited the “Corridor of Stars” where long serving cast members had their dressing rooms and the wardrobe and make-up department, there is such a sense of history that it seems sad that in just six short months, most of it will no longer exist.  The short film beforehand reminding me of old friends and new favourites, storylines past, births, weddings, deaths and the oh so brilliant disasters, made it all the more poignant.

Admittedly, my professionalism may have slipped slightly as I took in the in sets of Carla’s former flat, the Platt’s home and the instantly recognisable Rovers Return. (Well, I couldn’t NOT have my picture taken behind the bar could I?!)

But the piece-de-resistance appears through the doors of Nick’s Bistro.IMAG0129

 

Behind those doors lied hallowed turf, well, cobbles, and once I was in I didn’t want to leave, in fact. I contemplated hiding down the infamous ginnel so that I didn’t have to!

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Too early for a G&T?

One of my favourite touches was the use of sensors down there that set off Vera and Jack Duckworth, Sally Webster and Hilda Ogden shouting down the backs as you walked by their houses, making you feel like you could bump into one of them at any given moment.

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Roy? You in there?

Tour guests spend 45 minutes taking in the exhibits on stage one but the real fun comes when they get onto the street itself because your time is your own to peek through windows, take a snap outside the Rovers or call on Roy for one of his rolls.

I did all three and then some!

 

Get your tickets here

 

 

REVIEW: Rocks Drinks Frusion range

Throughout January, I, along with most of the nation, decided to cut back on the amount of alcohol I was consuming. 

Having thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas and New Year festivities, now was the time to give the body a little bit of a chance of rebuilding itself, time to cut out the sugar and fat and try to garner some sort of self control. 

I was never going to embark upon a ‘dryathon’ – tell me I can’t have something and I want it even more (right girls) so I just decided that rather than go straight for a G&T or a bottle of wine I would try and stock the chiller with something a little more exciting that cordial (lots of hidden sugar) or water (no one likes to sit down and watch a film with a water). 

So it was that I came across these little beauts, very kindly offered to me but my friends at Rocks drinks who have been making  delicious squashes and cordials for over 30 years.

FIrst off, they come in bottles that, let’s face it, are the same as wine bottles so that’s the first step to tricking my brain into thinking we’re having a nice glass of vino (I’m beginning to sound like I have a problem, no?) and have rather attractive labels that wouldn’t be amiss in a countryside deli.

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I was gifted four flavours; Tomato and Cherry Frusion, Apple and Ginger Frusion, Beetroot and Blackcurrant Frusion and Carrot and Orange Frusion.

All of the drinks are best served chilled and need a bit of a shake to make sure there’s no sediment at the bottom of the bottle after storage which can occur with these as they’re made with organic fruit and veg.

All four flavours were particularly tasty. Admittedly when I heard the combinations I was a little dubious – especially the tomato and cherry version – as they were not tastes I would normally associate with each other as, apart from in juice cleanses, I hadn’t heard them put together in a soft drink form before. 

But I was pleasantly surprised. Image

They were all refreshing, full of flavour and not as watery as I was expecting them to be. The Ginger and Apple had a great kick to it, the Tomato and Cherry was full bodied, the Beetroot and Blackcurrant was deliciously sweet and the Orange and Carrot (my favourite) was akin to having a cocktail without the alcohol. 

Overall I’d certainly recommend stocking up on these juice drinks if you’re looking for something different. They’re a little pricey at £3.49 each but if you go here, there’s currently 30% off them – in fact I’m off to get some more now!

 

REVIEW: B Precise Gel Eyeliner

Afternoon all –  nice and full from over-indulgence from the festive period?

Now, as we all try and squeeze ourselves into our party frocks for the biggest night of the year tomorrow night, I’d like to draw (scuse the pun) your attention to this little beauty….the B. Precise Gel Eyeliner from Superdrug.

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For a long time now I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing a gel eyeliner and have been given lots of recommendations by friends. However the decision was made for me when this little baby landed on my desk thanks to my wonderful friends at Superdrug.

I was sent the black colour and in the box is a little pot of gel with its very own brush. 

Usually I have used a liquid eyeliner to draw on my little cat-eye flicks but had grown tired of the constant smudging in my usual brand but on first use of the gel eyeliner I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use as opposed to the liquid one that takes a few attempt to get right – a wonderful thing when you’re in a rush to get ready!

 

A little goes a long way with this particular brand and the pigment is strong so there is no reason to go over the liner unless you you like some really thick lines that is!

I would also recommend wiping down the brush after each use as it does clog a little if you don’t and though it is perfectly fine to use for the time being, I’m looking at buying a more finer brush to get a less thicker line that this brush provides. 

REVIEW: The Watch Hut, Casio Watch

Having signed up to blogger’s network, etail PR some time ago I have been waiting for a campaign to come up that I would qualify for, and recently it happened!
I was sent a Casio watch from The Watch Hut via a campaign the network was running and though I had no idea what kind of watch was going to be delivered I was excited enough because Mr Mc RAVES about his – he was so distraught about his last one going missing that it took a few years until he could come to terms with replacing it!

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Super-speedy delivery later and within a week I had my hands on this little number which came in it’s own little plastic display box.
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Being somewhat of a traditionalist I have only ever bought or been given analogue watches so when I tried to set up the digital watch I was a little baffled.
A quick glance in the instruction booklet that came with the timepiece and I was away, setting the date, time, alarms and using the stopwatch.
Casio are known for their watches and this one didn’t disappoint.
The display is clear, the red colour around the face makes it stand out a little more than a bog standard, all-silver piece and as it is so light you hardly feel like you’re wearing it at all. As a journalist my days at work are spent typing and some larger watches can bang on the desk or generally get in the way but not this baby 🙂
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It also helps that the the steel  strap is adjustable however I did have to enlist the help of Mr Mc to show me how to adjust it (FYI  – pop the clip open and slide it down until you are happy, who knew??)
This Casio is available online at The Watch Hut for £24.75

REVIEW: Chocolate Wine

As we get older, special occasions can lose their magic.

You come to realise how your presents actually get there on Christmas morning, Birthdays are less about laser quest, bowling or other activities and more about nursing the hangover acquired from one too many to blot out the glare of candlelight from the ever-increasing amount on your birthday cake (carrot cake these days, must mind t

he calories – even if it is your special day) and you get more excited about the four day weekend at Easter than the amount of eggs that you can get your grubby little mitts on.

Chocolate Shop Bottle & Glass

But no more. Easter time is now for grown ups.

I had been sent a small bottle of the UK’s first chocolate infused wine, Chocolate Shop ‘The Chocolate Lover’s Wine’ .

Say no more, wine? Check. Chocolate? Check. Perfect.

The chocolate-infused ruby red wine, blended with rich, velvety chocolate, boasting aromas of black cherry and dark cocoa and complemented by a soft vanilla and creamy mocha finish is more luxurious and indulgent than any Easter egg.

But alas, should you have any more than a small bottle, you will be feeling as sickly as if you had scoffed those eggs!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this wine as a one-off treat and as a novelty, it is fabulous but     I would recommend replacing a rich dessert with this instead of having it alongside.

However, I was sent a recipe along with the wine which should utilise it to its best.

I would certainly recommend trying it;

‘CHOCOLATE SHOP’ BROWNIES

  • ‎10 oz self raising flour
  • 10 oz caster sugar
  • 10 oz unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 200 grams dark chocolate
  • 80 grams cocoa powder sifted with the flour
  • 3 fluid ounces of chocolate shop wine
  • Zest of orange (optional)

Method:

Cream the sugar and butter together till soft. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder then add all the eggs. Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water on the cooker until soft. Once all the ingredients are mixed in thoroughly add the chocolate wine then lastly add the meltedchocolate. Bake in a square or oblong greased tin lined with greaseproof paper; pour the mixture in then before you put it in the oven sprinkle on some peanut sized chunks ofchocolate over the cake, on gas mark 5 for about 25 minutes. They should be springy around the edges but gooey inside. Leave to cool, then lift out and cut into bite size pieces. Serve with double cream with an added 4 or 5 drops of vanilla extract.

(Recipe created by Carol Vli, a Chocolate Shop fan)

xx