Review time

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Ok, I admit it, I am consciously Keeping Busy in order to get over the strangeness of a house without Child One needing conversation and an endless supply of bananas. TL did say in the run-up to uni that we should let all the supermarkets near us know that Child One was leaving and that bananas would no longer be required. I think it was a joke, but I swear I did see a container lorry of bananas heading up North just as I was wending my way back South.

Part of the Keeping Busy is getting on with my reviews, so here they are:

Cadbury’s Chips Ahoy chocolate

This is a devilishly good new chocolate bar. At first, I was a little concerned about the name. In the States, Chips Ahoy is a huge biscuit brand (chocolate chip cookies, and very good they are too) so there is no ambiguity. But here in the UK, chips are, well, chips. That is, chunks of potato, which have been fried and with any luck are dunked in tomato ketchup or mayonnaise, and liberally dusted with salt. Not an obvious partner for Dairy Milk.

Review Ahoy!


But I do love the word ‘Ahoy’ (almost impossible to say with a straight face) and chocolate chips are always a good thing. The brand name apparently comes from the 1942 musical ‘Ship Ahoy’ (the biccies themselves came out in 1963) and is undeniably jaunty.

There is no need to over-think this, though. Once you have tried the chocolate, the name becomes completely irrelevant, because it’s utterly delicious. It would sell effortlessly even if it were called Old Boots Ahoy. It’s a dreamy blend of Dairy Milk with the subtle, slightly malty morishness of uncooked biscuit dough, which is cut through with the controversial chips. Yum yum yum. Definitely more than the sum of its parts. I could eat it all day. Lucky it’s got hardly any calories.*

* this bit may not be true.


Makeup Revolution

This new brand is an absolute boon for cash-strapped, cosmetic-hungry teenagers. Child Two has the Iconic 3 palette (£4) which is a shameless rip-off of the much-covetted Urban Decay Naked 3 palette (£37). Yes, that’s right, it’s a whole £33 cheaper, which is about £10,000 in teenage terms. At first I was a bit suspicious, thinking if it was that cheap it was probably made of sawdust and might rot her dainty eyelids, but no, it seems to be perfectly good quality and lasts well.

amazing care lipstick Love Nude
Love Nude: love it

Having tested the products on my own daughter, I was then happy to dip my toe in these waters myself, and bought the Amazing Care lipstick in nude. This was a bit of an investment buy in Makeup Revolution terms, coming in at a hefty £3 (most of the lipsticks are a staggering £1 each), but my goodness, it is worth every penny. I am a lipbalmaholic, with permanently dry, flaking lips (very attractive) so I am constantly sloshing on some kind of gloop to keep the cracks at bay. This is my current favourite, which is saying something considering it’s fighting for a place against the might of Bare Minerals, Lanolips, Juicy Tubes, Lancome and the rest, all of which are three times the price, if not way more. It’s got a pleasantly quirky, space-age appearance, with the lipstick colour embedded within a clear carapace of lip balm, and it goes on very softly and smoothly but still delivers a pleasing slick of colour. I have it in Love Nude. Highly recommended.

Elizabeth Arden

You may think it’s a cop-out to be reviewing a Lizzie A product. We all know she’s wonderful, and yes, we love the Eight Hour range. But have you ever tried the Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream? No? Well, rush online and get some. It’s a fantastic product. I admit, I’d never heard of it, until Mr X bought some for Child One and Child Two for Christmas last year. I interpreted this (rightly) as a Sign of Feminine Involvement and was a bit sniffy – but then the rave reviews started coming in from the girls. They absolutely loved it. All right, at their ages, they hardly need a heavy-duty body moisturiser, but they have inherited my dry skin and they couldn’t sing the praises of this Green Tea stuff highly enough. So I tried it myself.

It's in the honey, Mummy
It’s a honey, Mummy

It’s good stuff. First, the scent. It’s a bit like old teabags. Not an attractive idea, maybe, but quite pleasing in real life. It’s not overpowering, and it’s pleasingly astringent. The golden drops in the cream are the honey, which you might imagine would be horrifically sticky and would make you a walking wasp-magnet. But they have done something clever to process it, meaning it melts into the skin and leaves absolutely no residue. It’s the least tacky body cream I’ve used, and yet you are miraculously left with lovely silky skin. A winner.

Pepper spray

I was sent this by a dear friend who is concerned about the welfare of  Child One and his own lovely daughter, both now embarked on the choppy waters of university life:


As you can see, this is pretty much a no-nonsense riposte to the type of young fresher who may well enjoy harassing girls who are away from home for the first time and don’t have much experience with annoyingly persistent males.

In fact, a great friend told me yesterday that her daughter was confronted with a drunken male fresher flatmate, whom she had met for the first time the day before, who snuggled down on her bed in a stupor and was refusing to budge. It’s seriously quite tricky for a ‘nice’ girl in that position to insist that the boy leave, not to mention physically impossible to drag him out of her room. No one wants to appear a killjoy or spoilsport, but insisting on your right to privacy and respect is probably going to make you look like a bit of a pain to the rest of your new flatmates. How unfair is that?

While I wouldn’t for a minute suggest using a pepper spray on a recent acquaintance that you have to carry on living with for a year (and it’s probably illegal here anyway), maybe leaving the packaging from this US model lying around might deter annoying boys from trying it on:

photo 2-2

Mind you, I haven’t told my friend yet about the copious quantities of condoms festooned around Child One’s college. He’ll be sending me a AK-47 assault rifle next.

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