Monthly Archives: June 2013

Winter Reads

I am a massive devourer of books – if it weren’t for my wonderful library, I’d be destitute and having to hide my compulsion from my husband (he of the newspaper and golf magazines). So since the chilly fingers of winter are starting to grab the back of my neck, it’s the right time of year so start thinking cozy, which to me means what will complement my cup of tea and bed socks? I have a reading list which includes some old favorites and some new experiences. My reading style is to give a book the fall asleep test – if I fall asleep three nights in a row without caring where I’m up to, I stop reading, but if it holds me awake or if I remember exactly where I am in the story, I keep going. Here’s hoping!

Hot on the heels of his first in the series (Wool), Hugh Howey’s new book promises to re-insert me in to the amazing underground world of the future and prequel the gripping and all encompassing first book. I like a series that shifts backwards because you are already familiar with the characters, so it’s the story that takes front seat. I’m also fascinated to know how this all began – was it a cataclysmic event that put people under the ground? Why hasn’t there been an uprising for all the silos?
This book tracks the journey of Paul Farmer as he brings medical help to those who need them most in Haiti. I came across this book from a TeD talk and am looking forward to being inspired. I also have a lot of family in the medical business, my father may be taking on a post in East Timor in the new year, so I want to get a feel for the altruism and sacrifice involved.
I love a book that tries to give a version of an answer to a big question – what if we could do it all over again? And again? This book follows the lives of Ursula Todd through the 20th century and how she deals with being born over and over in to different lives. Will she use her powers for good or self interest?
Anne Tyler is always a lock for an indulgent read, her prose is spot on and her stories, while sometimes a bit singular, are full of rich predictable narrative so easy to follow and a joy to come home to. The story begins with the main character Dorothy coming back to life after her death in an accident, written from the point of view of Aaron, the grieving husband. Only it seems nobody else has noticed anything strange – is it just him or is this a miracle?
The prodigal son returns! And so does Jodi Piccoult! Always a page turner and a heart squeezer, Jodi’s latest is going to be another in depth look at a family in crisis, this time with the absent father on life support, the estranged son returning home to say goodbye and the daughter who isn’t ready to let it all go.
I’m a huge fan and user of kiva.org so am looking forward to a story behind the loans – the people who are on the receiving end of my (and others) microfinance $25 loans. Told through the eyes of Bob, I’m hoping it’s as funny and heartfelt as his other work.
So that’s what I’m looking forward to curling up with – how about you? Any suggestions?
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Garnier – Olia Hair Colour

I was also lucky enough to be on the Olia trial team and received the PR box for this product which was a huge glossy package which deconstructed what it would be like on a shelf. Right off the bat, it was impressive! (See video for more on that)

The colouring system itself is very similar to any other home colour – add the colour to the developer creme, shake and apply. The little twists that I liked was the hole in the box to hold the bottle to stop spilling and the applicator bottle itself has a really long nozzle so you can get right in to the roots.

No ammonia removes the horrid normal colouring smell with a lot of the others. It’s ultra nourishing and there is no tingling or itching while it’s being applied and it sticks without drips, so I could keep doing things while it was colouring.

I may have chosen the wrong colour (Golden Brown) as it didn’t seem to change as the bottle suggested. No-one has noticed the colour of my hair, although I have had a lot of comments on the condition of my hair so in that way it’s a win. I think that I’ll chose two or three shades lighter next time and hope to see a real difference.

In the end, I have had more vibrant colour, but I’ve never had such a conditioning result from a home hair colouring system. It’s easy to use, beautifully packaged and very clean to apply. Choose the right colour and you’ll be glad you did!

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Neutrogena Naturals – Purifying Facial Cleanser

I’ve been using the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser for about 10 days now (morning and night) but it’s been so drying to my skin that I’ll have to stop. It’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of positives about this product.

The packaging is gorgeous – I was excited to get the Naturals range for it’s pure beauty in the shower – the pump is a little stiff, but eases up after a while.

The smell is heavenly – I think it must be the willow bark (although I’m not sure what willow bark smells like so it could just be the fragrance ingredient) that is so refreshing.

The number of ingredients – often cleansers have up to 20 ingredients, a lot of which are unpronounceable, but this has only 12, of which 10 are naturally derived (and one is water) and all are pronounceable in easy english – a big plus to know what’s going on my face.

The gel formulation was easy to use and it spread to cover what it needed to cover using only a small amount of product. It wasn’t too “chunky” so didn’t need extra water to lather.

However, with all of these good points, the one point that matters to me over all others is how it’s made my skin feel and for that, this product has unfortunately failed. I don’t have problem skin at all, I’m pretty middle-of-the-road, but I think this may work better for very oily skin or perhaps used in hotter weather where the moisture of the air can compensate.

Thanks beautyheaven for the trial, but it’s too drying to buy for myself.