One Year of Breaking The Chain With Independent Liverpool

As I have just come to the end of my first year having an Independent Liverpool membership I thought now would be a great time to reflect on what yummy goodness it has brought into my life over the past year.

Independent Liverpool is a website along with an app that gives 100 independent businesses a platform for the public to view. It includes a blog with stories on these businesses, where they came from and any other news from them.

As part of this website you can purchase an Independent Liverpool Card which gives you discounts and offers for these businesses for one year.

I purchased this card to break my chain habits and explore what my city had to offer while also being able to give back to the community to help it grow.

That’s enough talking, lets get down to the businesses and let the pictures do that talking.

Rookwood Bar and ‘Cue, Back Colquitt Street.

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This is the first place that I went to with my Independent Liverpool Card and it’s safe to say I was impressed!

At the time I had the ‘Chefs Bird’ Which was a marinated chicken breast with broccoli and at the time sweet potato chips which has now been changed to sweet potato mash (Just as good in my opinion). The dish was so filling, delicious and perfectly cooked!

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Some more yummy meals off the menu!

My food was that good I went again soon after ordering the very highly recommended ‘Sticky Board’… I now understand what all the fuss was about, it was amazing! The flavours were just sensational and it was perfect as a shared starter.

The Atmosphere was very calm, the staff were very helpful and friendly from the moment we stepped foot in the door and the decoration of the place is pretty cool as well.

As for price, with the Independent Liverpool Card I got 10% off the bill which helped. But even without the card for the portion sizes and what the food tastes like it is definitely great value for money!

Arts Club, Seel Street

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Arts Club is a place that hasn’t worn off on me yet, no matter how many time I go I will always want to go back for more! I have been here multiple times as it is mine and my boyfriend’s favourite place to go and grab some food, a couple of drinks and play pool.

The food menu here has something for everybody whether you’re a big meat lover, veggie or even vegan! I have tried the cheese burger, the Arts Club lasagne and also the dessert donuts… they are all to die for!

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Lasagne and steak date!

The atmosphere is again very chilled in Arts Club, I noticed that they have their own Spotify playlist on repeat with a mix of different genres. One cool feature of Arts Club is their games wall, They have shelves of different board that you can play and also a free pool table!

The Arts Club Kitchen is very good value for money, they used to have an offer on a Sunday and Monday where you could get 50% off the food menu and this was even without the card! On other days with the card the food was 20% off.

(While writing this blog post I realised that the kitchen has now been closed which is such a shame! Even without the food Arts Club would still be a fantastic place to go.)

Leaf, Bold Street.

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Leaf was the first Independent Coffee shop I tried on the card and I was very impressed! My original blog post on Leaf will be here for you too read but since then I thought I would tell you about my most recent visit.

Last time I went to Leaf I only had a cup of tea, this time I thought I would carry on the tradition but with the addition of cake!

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Lemon Drizzle Cake in all it’s spongy glory

The Lemon Drizzle Cake from Leaf was possibly the nicest I have ever had! It wasn’t too bitter, was lovely and soft and best of all had some icing on the top. This cake along with the tea and the atmosphere made a very lovely afternoon on Bold Street.

Rococo, Lord Street.

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Rococo is very different to the other independents I have mentioned, this one is surrounded by chain shops. As you walk on by BHS and EE you see a door with many, many stairs and once you walk up them you come to possibly the most beautiful coffee shop you have ever seen.

I sadly don’t have any pictures to show but Rococo is full of many different rooms with a mix and match of different sofas, chairs and tables making it really quirky.

When I came to Rococo I got a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and a Victoria Sponge Cake. It was nice to have a huge choice of syrups and the Cake was very nice but a little heavy for me.

The price of Rococo is just about the same as any other coffee shop that you would go to but I would say it has a lot more heart.

Lucha Libre, Wood Street

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Lucha Libre is a Mexican restaurant just off Bold Street and trust me when I say you will know when you’re walking past… the smell is amazing!

My favourite thing about Lucha Libre is that there is not just a set menu but also great value sharing platters made for two. When I went I shared the ‘Street Food Tray’ which was full of Mexican goodness.

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Street Food Tray

The vibe when inside is exciting, I think this is because of the music and also the staff as they were very energetic.

Utility

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There are a few places featured on the card that are not food related, one of these is Utility which sells quirky bits and bobs from cards and books too furniture.

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Utility Selfies

Whenever I need to get a present or card Utility is my first point of call. They have any type of card you could want along with gifts to many different tastes.

I would say the prices in Utility are very reasonable the cards are anywhere from £1-£3.50 depending on the type and size. I would say over all Utility is a great place to start if you have no idea what to get somebody as a present because it has so many types different items.

The Brink, Parr Street

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I had been wanting to visit The Brink for a while as I was intrigued by the fact it’s a Dry Bar.

Sadly I didn’t taste any of the Mocktails when I went but I did taste some of the food. I had the Chef’s special of the day, Chicken Jambalaya which was so tasty and great value for money!

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The atmosphere is again very calm in The Brink, I think it would be great to come here in the evenings when they have an event on.

The food was very good value for money with two of us getting food and a drink and spending around £12 in total.

Overall I feel that the Independent Liverpool Card has helped me open my eyes to what Liverpool has to offer, it’s stopped me from sticking to my ‘usual’ food choices and made me find some of my favourite places to eat and spend time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where there’s tea there’s hope

Recently I’ve found a new love for Independent Businesses and finding new hidden gems in Liverpool to eat, drink and socialise. Not only does it help keep money within the local economy but also lets you see what amazing things Liverpool has to offer that other places wouldn’t.

With this I’ve decided to share a few places me and my friends have rather enjoyed spending time in.

Today our college class ventured down Bold Street in Liverpool and came across Leaf Tea Shop where our tutor had recommended to us for the vast amount of tea (and their breakfasts… and wifi!)

So we all sat and ordered from English Breakfast Tea and Chai to Turkish Apple and Passion Fruit and Orange Tea. The choice of tea’s were endless with something for everybody!

Assam Breakfast Tea - £2.00
Assam Breakfast Tea – £2.00

When the tea’s arrived they were served in beautiful glass teapots with the quote ‘Where there’s tea there’s hope’ these can be bought for £12.00 along with all the teas they sell. These teapots hold up to 400ml of your chosen tea room for about two mugs full.

The atmosphere in Leaf itself is extremely calm and friendly, perfect for meeting up with friends or even getting on with some work.

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Enjoying Leaf

Leaf also have regular events in the shop such as ‘Spotify Wednesday’, Jelly Liverpool and many other events. For listings please see here.

Out of all the tea and coffee shops that I’ve visited in Liverpool I must admit Leaf has been my favourite by far. This I’d say is down to the warm atmosphere and friendly vibes given off. I’ll be sure to visit again next time with the addition of more tea and cake!

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L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Foundation Review

DIGITAL CAMERADIGITAL CAMERAA couple of days ago I bought the new L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Foundation as I’ve been looking for a new foundation to try other than the Rimmel Match Perfection or Wake Me Up. I’ve seen some amazing reviews of this foundation so thought I’d give it a go.

This foundation is said to be a high coverage, long wearing foundation that hides imperfections such as spots and redness while also feeling fresh and comfortable.

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The foundation straight from the pump is extremely thick, you can definitely tell it’s a high coverage foundation and at this point I was wondering how well it would blend.

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This is my skin before applying my make-up to my face.. at this point I’ve only applied my Avon Moisturiser, The Body Shop Elderflower Eye Cream and my Nivia Sensitive Skin Primer.

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I applied the foundation to my face with the Real Techniques ‘Buffing Brush’ and with using this the Foundation applied really well! Even though it’s full coverage it doesn’t feel like a full coverage foundation because it’s so soft on the skin.

The finish is definitely more matte than anything else but this doesn’t bother me as I wear powder normally.

As for it lasting 24-Hours? well… I don’t wear my foundation for 24-Hours so I personally wouldn’t know but after wearing it almost all day it’s doing extremely well!

Overall I would recommend this foundation to somebody who would like a little extra coverage, somebody who likes the feel of lightweight foundations, who want’s a matte finish and finally who wants an overall amazing foundation for an affordable price.

Price : £9.99

ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge

I’m sure most people are aware of the endless Ice Bucket Challenges being seen over the past week or so on social networking sites but if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few days.. the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is where people get nominated to chuck a bucket, box or bowl of ice cold water over themselves or somebody else to promote awareness of the charities ALS (US) and MND (UK).

Once you’ve done the challenge and donated you nominate others to participate and you either record yourself doing the same thing or donate money to ALS/MND.

But one much larger charity (Lets call it M) that I will not even give the promotion to I believe have been extremely naughty by ‘Jumping on the bandwagon’ 

The Idea behind the Ice Bucket Challenge is that it’s supposed to almost give you the feeling of what it’s like suffering with the disease.. and M have passed off this fundraising event as their own and have begun to almost take money away from MND and ALS that are both charities who really need the awareness.

I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge last Thursday and when looking to donate I came across my friends video and she had done it for ALS/MND yet when I messaged the number she posted I had a reply from M saying I had donated to them and not ALS/MND. I was actually mortified at this happening and it made me realise how easy it was to donate to the wrong charity.

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I obviously don’t mind giving money to charities.. this is not the point I’m trying to put across. My point is that ALS/MND need all the help, money and awareness that they can get right now and passing off a charity fundraising event as your own when it in fact isn’t is just completely wrong. 

M are a huge charity that do many amazing things for people I can’t deny that but this time they have been extremely naughty causing another charity to suffer because of their actions.

If wanting to spread awareness for ALS/MND make sure you text ICED55 £5 to 70070 (the £5 amount can be anything from 1-10)

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder V Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder

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When it comes to drugstore Powder Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder is the constant Hype and product to recommend.. but stop for a second, ever heard of the Miracle Matte from Seventeen? 

The Rimmel Stay Matte Powder does what it says on the packaging and keeps your shine at bay for most of the day. The powder itself I find gets extremely powdery and cakey on the face, breaks easily leaving the product as a loose powder and this is not what you paid for.

I find that the packaging is extremely cheap and breaks easily, I know to expect this as you’re only paying £3.99 for the product but comeonnnnnnnn it gets far too annoying!

The powder on my skin does last for most of the day with a top up around lunch time but the packaging lets it down completely.

 

 

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I bought this product when there was none of Rimmel’s translucent powder left as it was the same price of £3.99 and I was highly impressed!

The powder is not too cakey for the skin and holds quite well in it’s packaging not becoming too powdery or loose and as for the packaging it is a vast improvement from the Rimmel Stay Matte as it has a mirror and packaging that closes properly, is secure and won’t break!

The staying power on my skin is fantastic! I can go through my 9/10 hour day without topping it up.

Overall I think people are missing a trick not trying the Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder, The exact same price with better packaging meaning you get the best out of the product and does exactly what it says on the tin. 

Bright Hair Dye’s

For the past year and two months I’ve had bright hair and went through my fair share of colours and dyes from Crazy Colour, Directions, Live Colours, Quif and Bleach London so I thought i’d do a comparison of how I feel the dyes were.

Please be aware that colours may have worked on my hair but everybody’s hair is in different conditions so may react differently 🙂

Live Colour XXL – Ultra Violet

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The first bright colour I tried to go was in around 2011 when I tried the Live XXL. At the time my hair was a reddy brown colour and as the box dye states that you can have brown hair and have bright colour I was expecting a lot from the dye.

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I sadly don’t have a picture of what happened in close up but my natural undyed roots went bright pink (along with my scalp) and the rest of my hair just stayed brown, safe to say the next day I was in the hairdressers having it covered with a lovely purple colour! 

I would guess The box dye would work fantasticly on virgin or lighter hair but don’t expect bright colour from this box dye with dyed brown or dark hair.

Quiff Colour Blast – Cadillac Pink / Tickled Pink

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I used Quiff Colour Blast in 2013 when I first had my hair dyed pink. Before my hair was dyed the ends were bleached to create a dip dye effect and then my whole hair was bleach bathed to lighten it… the hair was in ‘amazing’ condition according to my hairdresser.

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This was the colour of my hair after I’d left the hairdressers, It was very vibrant and sat lovely on my hair. this hair colour lasted around 2/3 weeks on my hair before fading and this is the normal amount of time a crazy colour will last on your hair.

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The colour faded to quite a nice pastel pinky colour unlike some other dyes that fade to more of an orange.

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This is the colour my hair went after re-dying all over with Cadillac Pink. The colour wasn’t as vibrant as when I went to the hairdressers but I blame this on my hairdresser I had at the time as she told me to use a tiny bit of dye when I needed far more.

I would recommend this dye to people but it is quite expensive at £9.95 a bottle and doesn’t do anything magical for the extra money.

Crazy Colour’s – Pinkissimo, Orange, Vermillion Red.

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Pinkissimo is a dye from Crazy Colour that is supposed to be a bright pink colour and can be bought online for anything from £2.50 per bottle to £5.

The only downside to Crazy Colour dyes are that they’re extremely watery so beware to get your colour everywhere! The colour itself I find to be not as bright as Directions but it does last longer than directions being that it lasts just over two weeks before getting to an extremely faded colour.

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This Is pinkissimo. I put this colour over ‘Magenta Red’ by L’oreal and this was the resulting colour.

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This colour is a mixture of ‘Vermillion Red’ and ‘Orange’. This faded to a pink colour after around three washes.

Bleach London – Out Of The Blue

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I was gifted Bleach London’s Out Of The Blue, Awkward Peach and Dream Tangerine by my Mum and Dad for Christmas and after using out of the Blue I can safely say the other two went in the bin. 

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This is the colour my hair went when I applied Out Of The Blue over my pink hair and this was a very pretty purple colour that didn’t really fade much over two weeks which in the beginning I thought was absolutely fantastic! 

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This is the colour my hair went after a re colour, almost all the pink tones had disappeared from my hair leaving a bright blue. This was when I realised the colour just wasn’t leaving my hair.

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I tried Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, the Bleach London Washing Out Liquid and just about everything apart from bleach and this was the most I could get out of the colour so in the end I had to result to bleach.

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This is what Bleach London did to my hair, it stained it. These blue colours refused to budge out of my hair even with bleach and this is why I wouldn’t recommend Bleach London’s Bright colour’s if you’re wanting to keep your light hair afterwards.

Over all the consistency and smell of the dye is great, it makes your hair feel soft but for £5 is it really worth wrecking your hair?

Directions – Flamingo Pink, Rose Red, Pillarbox Red 

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Directions was my goto hair dye when I was bright as it was easy to use, cheap (£2.50 to £5 a bottle) and amazingly bright. The dye also makes your hair feel soft as it’s a ‘conditioning dye’. The colour lasts around two weeks before having to re-dye it.

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This is the colour ‘Flamingo Pink’ this is the second brightest pink colour from Directions but don’t get me wrong the colour is incredible. If you want something that isn’t neon bright but you’re not looking for a pastel colour this dye is for you.

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This is the colour Pillarbox Red, I was expecting a vibrant red from this dye but it disappointed me extremely.. it came out basically the same colour as the pink I already had.

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Finally this colour is ‘Rose Red’ This again was basically the same colour as Flamingo Pink but It lasted quite a while in my hair.

Overall each dye has different positives and negatives and you can switch between most of them with not too much of a difference.. happy hair dying! 🙂

No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick – 10 Tranquil Rose

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the colour

 

The No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick is a brand sold by Boots that’s said to ‘last up to eight hours, while leaving your lips feeling comfortable and hydrated’ and I agree with this. 

The lipstick is extremely hydrating, creamy and easy to apply but I wouldn’t say the colour lasts 8 hours, I would normally top mine up after around four hours as when the colour does fade it isn’t very pretty as it looks more like a lip liner.

The lipstick colour Tranquil Rose is perfect for somebody who just wants a noticeable touch of colour added to their lips. It’s more of a pinky red colour that for my lips is ‘your lips but better’ colour.

The lipstick is £9.75 and for this you get a lot of product, easy application and an amazing colour.. the perfect every day lipstick!

Escape to the Lakes

A couple of months ago me and my family decided to go away for a couple of days to The Quiet Site in Ullswater, The Lake District.

The Quiet site is a lovely, Camping (own or pre built), Caravan, Cottage and Glamping site set in the hills of Cumbria. Our trip was to try out ‘Glamping’ as it was given to my mum and dad as a present.

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the hut

Above are pictures of the glamping pod we stayed in.. the Pod is a timber built, insulated hut designed to be used just like a tent but unlike a tent it is already set up on the site which some say may defeat the object but trust me it’s a weight off your shoulders when you have no tent to erect or pack away in the rain!

The pod is around 7 square metres with plenty of headroom and also comes with a lamp, radiator and a spare plug socket that you can use for charging phones, laptops ect. Our family used one double blow up bed and one single and this left a tiny bit of room spare their would possibly be enough for two double’s.

After settling in, getting water and setting up the cooker we decided to go on one of the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ as the weather was beautiful.

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The Boat Journey lasted for two hours from start to finish (Glenridding Pier) where you got to see the beauty of The Lakes from a different point of view. The boat also allows pets and has commentary while moving that you can’t here very well while you’re outside but indoors you can hear perfectly.

After stopping off at a supermarket on the way back to the pod we had our tea and went down to The Quiet Sites Bar. The bar is pet friendly and opens at 7PM.

The downstairs is for everybody including children as theirs a children’s game room but upstairs is not for children and has a free pool table.

The atmosphere was very friendly, warm and was quite homely.. the place also had WiFi so you couldn’t go wrong!!

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After a pretty good nights sleep in the pod (much better than a windy, cold tent!) we woke up to a pretty horrible rainy day.

The Toilet Facilities were pretty good for a camp site. There were around 6 shower cubical’s (no cost but a button you have to press every 10 seconds), the same amount of toilets and also a room with a bath if you fancy treating yourself.

One thing we didn’t think about before going to the lakes was the fact that it would most probably rain.. and we didn’t have any ideas of what we could do in these weather conditions so I started the morning with a bacon butty (thank you mummy :-)) and read ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ an absolutely amazing read from John Green that I finished over the two days we were away!

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We finally left the pod and decided to have a look around and found a Booths so we stopped for a snack in the Cafe which was delicious. After this we took a stop in Aldi as my mum and dad’s double bed collapsed in the night (extremely funny) so they went to collect some self inflating mattresses.

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After staying in the pod for the rest of the day wishing we had taken monopoly with us we were that bored we deided we would get some Pub Grub for Tea.

We decided to goto The Shepherds Inn in Langwathby, the staff were fantastic and friendly and the food was pretty good too! would definitely recommend.

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Over all the two days away was a lovely escape from Merseyside and The Quiet Site was a lovely place to stay but i would recommend two to a pod 🙂

Joico K-PAK Range

Recently I’ve been having many problems with my hair due to some of the decisions my past hairdressers had made so I got recommended to ‘Deborah Alfa‘ by my mum. I really enjoyed getting my hair done here as they explain everything they’re doing, give you options and help you understand more about your hair.

While being with Deborah she recommended the Joico K-PAK range to me, at the time I’d never heard about this brand before as they don’t advertise and their products are mostly word of mouth.

The Idea behind the K-PAK range is that it’s a ‘PH balancing and repair range’ that actually help restore the hair’s original condition, increases strength and helps the hair control damage in the future.

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Travel Sized Bottles

I’ve been using this Shampoo, Conditioner and RevitaLuxe Treatment for just over a week now and I’ve seen such a difference in my hair already! especially after it being cut it’s in absolutely fantastic condition.

My hair doesn’t just feel a lot stronger but it’s also shinier and hair dye’s have taken much better to my hair.

I truly believe that these products from Joico work to repair the hair and are worth every penny as you only need a small amount of each one so they will last.

I’ve found the products full sized here for an amazing price so make sure you check them out if your hair is damaged by heat styling or colouring. 

Avon Hits And Misses

Avon is an online or door to door service mostly known for their makeup and skin care but also cover categories such as perfume, home and even clothing! Since we got a new representative in our area a couple of months ago I decided to buy a few products, test them out and write about them. 

The first purchase I made was the Avon Care Rich Moisture Nourishing Face Cream this is for normal to oily skin and contains moisturising and softening soybean and vitamin E. It contains 100ml’s of product and I’ve used mine every morning and night for around two months and I still have over half of the tub left!

I personally have problems with my skin being sensitive and I’ve never had any problems with this product on my face. I’m super happy with the results this moisturiser gives as it leaves my skin unbelievably soft.

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Next I bought the Avon Kohl Eyeliner in true black it’s described as being ‘long wearing, defining and bendable’ this Formula includes shea butter for a smooth application with no dragging.

personally I only use this eyeliner in my waterline but agree that it’s smooth and long wearing. The pigmentation is fantastic and it does stay for most of the day. The only problem that I’ve had with this is that it’s been running a tiny bit into the inner corners of my eye but other than that.. a fantastic value for money.

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One product I found disappointing was the Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation described as ‘A full-coverage foundation creating a virtually undetectable veil of natural-looking, flawless perfection. making skin feel moisturised and look 100% natural. including SPF 15,

This foundation I found very cakey and also impossible to blend creating a horrible sheen on my face. The colour was slightly too light on my face anyway but the way it looked on my face has put me off completely and I wouldn’t buy it again. 

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Finally I invested in the new Mega Effects Mascara as I was interested in trying the long brush. The brush creates amazing volume and corner to corner coverage. and is completely flake-proof and sweat-proof. 

The Brush does take a little getting used to but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s fantastic and easy to use and gives so much more volume than any mascara I’ve used before. I’ve never had any problems with mascara on the top of my eyelids and would recommend to anybody!

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I’m pretty happy with these Avon purchases and would recommend the brands product’s as you can find some amazing high quality gems!