Thursday, 30 May 2013

Travel Essential? 7" Android Allwinner Tablet

MoneySupermarket are running a project called Inspect A Gadget to discover the best cheap gadgets for taking away on holiday with you.  They selected the top 5 items which were: a portable DVD player, MP3 player, Kobo Mini eReader, Android Tablet and an HD camcorder.  I chose the tablet to try out as I either have or wouldn't use any of the other things.

The tablet is a 7" Allwinner A13 with touch screen, and is available in various different colours but I chose the white one.  The operating system is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (love the name!) and has a 512 MB RAM and 4 GB hard drive.  It also comes with a charger and a USB cable for connecting it to the computer.  I haven't tried this yet, I'm not entirely sure what I would use it for!  Maybe for transferring files or documents onto it, in the manual it says that it supports office applications like Word and Excel.

It only seems to be available from Amazon here.  The RRP is £60 but it is now down to £36!  I am not used to reviewing techy items to I am just going to make a list of pros and cons!


  • Price - so cheap, even full price at £60 is great!
  • Size - nice and neat, not too big or too small.
  • Wifi
  • Range of Apps - Google Play store, similar to The Apple App Store.
  • Comes with a pen - good for typing and when I get sore fingers from too much touch screen! 
  • Accessories - earphone jack, HDMI output interface (DC-5V), TF card slot (microSD card), mini USB, DC adapter for charging.
  • Built-in Flash Player.
  • Easy to use but comes with small instruction booklet.


  • Battery life - 3 hours
  • Speed - I found it slower than what I'm used to, but this could be internet or the tablet itself, or a mixture of both!
  • Poor quality front facing camera
  • Sometimes the touch screen doesn't respond immediately, particularly around the edges and I have to use the pen instead.
  • Never used this operating system before (although will be very straightforward for those with an Android phone!)
  • Hard to read in direct sunlight/bright light

I have downloaded quite a few free apps so far:

  • Kindle - great for travelling, I already have a Kindle so very handy.
  • YouTube
  • Daily Yoga
  • Instagram - just for browsing, I probably won't be taking any photos with the tablet!
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Candy Crush - so much easier than playing it on my iPhone!
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Babbel - an app for learning French!

Overall I am really pleased with this little tablet!  I do generally prefer Apple operating systems as I am so used to them but for such a tiny price I am willing to make that sacrifice!  MoneySupermarket supplied me with the money to pay for this tablet but I would have happily paid for it with my own money.  I am away 3 times this year, ahhh so excited, so it will definitely be coming with me on at least one of my holidays!


EDIT 7/6/13: I took it to Spain with me and it discharged and wouldn't charge up.  When I got home I managed to get it back on via the USB connection to my computer but it isn't holding charge at all.  As soon as it gets unplugged it dies.  I have contacted the company who make it and will update here how I get on!  I'm very sad!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Paperbacks & Beauty Facts: Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Yes I am in my jammies... Don't judge me!  This is the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt tag which was started by TheLibraryOfSarah and you can find the original video here.  It was really fun to do and I recommend it if you make videos and enjoy reading!


Monday, 27 May 2013

Nail Varnish Challenge #12

This one I definitely got from Diet Coke haha!  It is called London and it's a creamy taupe colour.  It's one of the few nude shades own, I'm not a huge fan of nudes on my nails cos I find them a bit boring!  I actually quite like this colour although it is slightly too dark for my skin tone.  I think this is quite similar to Barry M Mushroom although I don't own that shade to compare.  I am going to keep this as I have so few nudes, it might come in useful one day!

I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding Color Club Covered in Diamonds which also counts as #13 too!  I was so hopeful about this nail varnish but it's not the best... The flakies are so chunky and really stick out on the nail so you need to work quite hard to get a smooth, even coverage, and then top with a good top coat.  Overall I do quite like the effect this gives but it would probably be too much effort to do it on each nail!  I will keep this nail varnish too.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Beauty UK Matte FX Foundation & Blush

We had a bit of a kerfuffle dealing with Beauty UK to be honest...  When Paperbacks & Beauty Facts announced our launch, Beauty UK got in touch and offered to send us all some products to try.  We were all really excited about this as we were so new and it was amazing to be recognised at such an early stage.  HOWEVER, it all went downhill after that!  Basically we (I actually had nothing to do with it but thankfully a couple of the girls took charge of it!) ended up pretty much fighting with them in order to actually get the items, it seemed like they had changed their mind and didn't want to give us them anymore...  Finally we got them and although I did love the pink jiffy bag, it did seem a bit 'flung together'.  I think we were supposed to get a foundation, blush and nail varnish each but Charlotte got two nail varnishes and Hayley and I got none haha!

Anyway, rant over!  Firstly, the foundation is called Matte FX and I got the lightest shade, no. 1 Ivory, but it's too dark for me.  I am cool toned (i.e. pink based) and most high street foundations are warm (yellow) for some reason!  I can't wear this alone so obviously I can't give a very thorough review.  My Illamasqua foundation is too pale for me so I can mix it with this until I get a better colour.  In the photo I used a primer underneath, and as you can see the colour is definitely not right even though I did add a bit of the lighter one in.  I set it with an ELF powder which I don't really like but I'm trying to use it up...  It definitely does have a matte finish to it and it doesn't look too cakey - helps if you don't wear a crappy powder over it!  This foundation is only £2.99 and comes in 4 shades so if you can find a shade which matches your skintone then it's probably worth giving it a go, it is a bit of a bargain!

Fortunately the blusher from Beauty UK is a happier story.  I really like the colour, it's not something I would normally wear so it's always good to try those!  The one I got is called Rustic Peach and it's a peachy/coral colour with gold shimmer through it.  In the packaging it looks like really chunky gold glitter but fortunately it translates to just a nice gold glow on the skin.  This is also £2.99.

One issue I have with this brand is that I can't find the ingredients on the website and they are in tiny writing on the back of the packages.  As much as I would love to type them out for you, I nearly burst a blood vessel doing it last time (Buddha Beauty Night Cream) so I'm afraid I won't be doing that again in a hurry!  What I will say is that they contain what looks like a lot of synthetic chemicals, including parabens but what can you expect for £2.99?  Most of the high end brands still use those sort of things, but I felt I should give you that piece of info anyway.

I will probably use up the foundation and not repurchase, but I am looking forward to using the blusher.


Monday, 20 May 2013

Paperbacks & Beauty Facts: Favourite Shoes

I'm a bit behind as Blogger was playing up but I've finally managed to sort it out by embedding the html coding from the 'share' tab on Youtube which was suggested by the super smart Sarah from Sugarpuffish!  So here are my favourite pair of shoes!


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Nail Varnish Challenge #11

Most of the ones I have left to use are very autumny colours, wahh!  However this one stood out to me so I chose it to use this time.  This is Victoria & Albert by Nails Inc and I think that I may have got it from a magazine, or free with Diet Coke, I'm not 100% sure!  For some reason I rarely wear red nail varnish and I have no idea why, it is stunning!  It was almost opaque in one coat, but as always, I gave it two and it was quite shiny without topcoat - but again, I applied it anyway!

Red nail varnish has a very glamourous feel to it.  It may have just been the warm weather we had on Friday but I actually felt more confident wearing this on my nails!  I am definitely going to keep this one, I need to wear this more often!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Buddha Beauty Company Facial Night Cream

I had been following The Buddha Beauty Company on twitter for quite a while because they are BUAV approved, but I hadn't actually tried any of their products.  A few months ago they offered to send products out for bloggers to try and I put myself forward.  I'm not sure what the others got but I was sent The Chamomile & Jasmine Facial Night Cream.  I was really pleased to receive this as the last night cream I bought (No7) burned my face a little bit...  Not the best.

I have had this since about February but obviously, as with all skincare items, I wanted to try it out for a while first to get an idea of how it works with my skin before reviewing it.

As well as being cruelty free, Buddha Beauty are also vegan and contain organic essential oils which is great!  They don't use SLS or parabens in their products, which I prefer to avoid when I can!  The night cream is £12 for 50ml and is available on a few different sites including their own here.  Unfortunately I can't seem to find the ingredients on their website so I've listed them for you below:
Aqua, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Borago officinalis Seed Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Anthemis nobilis Flower Extract, Lavandula angustifolia Flower Extract, Panax ginseng Root Extract, Symphytum officinale Root Extract, Sodium PCA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alcohol Denat, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylisothiazolinone.  
So firstly, this smells so good!  I was worried that the jasmine and camomile scent would be overwhelming but in fact it is lovely, and perfect for bedtime as it's so soothing and relaxing.  The cream itself feels nice on the skin, you don't need to use much and it doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy.  I also noticed that in the morning when I wash my face, I can't feel it sort of 'washing off' like I have done with other moisturisers - I have no idea what this means but it makes me think that it soaks in well and isn't just sitting on my face haha!

Personally I haven't noticed any big changes in my skin while using this but I have fairly normal skin with combination tendencies!  What I can say is that I have had a couple of small dry patches and they would clear up within 2 days, however I can't say definitively that the night cream alone cleared it up as I use a moisturiser in the morning, and my cleanser is hydrating too.

Overall I am really pleased I had the chance to try this, I think £12 is a great price and would definitely buy it myself.  Also I think it'll last ages as the photo above is quite recent and as you can see I've only just started to make a dent in it!  I'll be looking to The Buddha Beauty Company the next time I need some new skincare - which admittedly probably won't be for a rather long time!!  I had a snoop on their website and they also sell candles and bath bombs along side the usual skincare items.  Click here for The Buddha Beauty Company website - they have free UK delivery, yass!

Have you tried anything from Buddha Beauty?
If you have a review, feel free to leave the link below for me to read :)


Monday, 6 May 2013

Collection: Cleansers

I haven't done one of these posts in a while and seeing as I seem to built up a big collection of cleansers reecently, I thought I'd share it with you!

Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm
I've mentioned this product before in my night time skincare routine post and current beauty favourites video.  I was lucky enough to get this in my goody bag from a Neal's Yard Remedies event I attended last year.  The balm is so smoothing and lovely to use, I apply it to dry skin and wipe it off with a muslin cloth soaked in hot water.  It can also be used as a mask and as a intensive moisturiser.  I love this and I will definitely buy it again at some point, probably not immediately though as it's rather pricey!  Neal's Yard Remedies are cruelty free.
[£37/50g - Neal's Yard Remedies]

No7 Cleansing Lotion
I was sort of coerced into buying this when I bought the No7 Facial Brush!  I went to the till and she told me it was 3 for 2 and pretty much convinced me to go back and have another look, so I went to go and get a cleanser to use with the brush.  I was going to get some face wipes too but the No7 lady wouldn't let me (seriously! She said it was too much temptation...) and recommended this as a 'lazy option' for taking make up off.  I'm still not 100% sure how it you're meant to use it...  I think you just squirt some onto a cotton pad and wipe any make up off, but I feel weird not using water so I always rinse my face after just to get off any residue.  No7 are no longer cruelty free.
[£9/200ml - Boots

Avon Pure Porefection Self-foaming Cleanser
I only bought this because it was something like £1 in the sale section of the Avon catalogue a few years ago (yes, years... oops!).  I've been trying to use it up but I really don't like it, I think it dries out my skin, and according to Caroline Hirons foaming cleansers are evil anyway!  I will probably just chuck this out before I do my skin any more damage with it.

No7 Melting Gel Cleanser
I bought this to use with my facial brush and so far I do quite like it.  It comes out in a gel which you apply to damp skin, wet the brush and use it, then rinse it off.  When rinsed off it becomes more of a milk which makes it really easy to remove.  I don't like the packaging of this though, I find it really hard to get the gel out for some reason!  No7 are no longer cruelty free.
[£9/150ml - Boots]

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish
I love Liz Earle, they are so generous with their samples!  I got this free when I bought my eyebrow pencil.  I also got a Skin Tonic sample when I bought the Skin Repair Moisturiser so I look forward to using these together.  I've not used this in a long time so I can't comment on it at the moment.  Liz Earle are cruelty free.
[£13.25/100ml - Liz Earle]

No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser

I've actually had this for ages, it's ridiculous!  I bought it when it first came out but it's just been sitting in my cupboard ever since, so bad!  Hopefully I will get round to using it soon after kick-starting my skincare routine this year.  No7 are no longer cruelty free.
[£9.95/200ml - Boots]

Wishy Washy Lemon & Lime Scented Nettle Complexion Soap
I was sent this in my lovely package of goodies from Alex at Wishy Washy!  It is a solid cleansing bar so I think this will last for ages!  I've been planning on using it in the morning as I only rinse my face, but I've been far too lazy and only used it a couple of times...  It has a citrusy scent and lathers up nicely even though all of Alex's products are SLS free!  I can't give a full review yet but I do find that it leaves a bit of residue on the skin so I need to use a flannel to remove it fully, I think it would be better if it was more water soluble.  Wishy Washy are cruelty free, and all products are vegan.
[£2.50/100g - Wishy Washy]


Friday, 3 May 2013

Paperbacks & Beauty Facts: Favourite Author

This week we are talking about our favourite authors.  Mine is Jodi Picoult and in the video I'm explaining why she's my fave and going through the books I've read by her telling you a little bit about them!

Please rate the video and subscribe if you enjoy - we appreciate any feedback!!

Who is your favourite author?


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Nail Varnish Challenge #10

This is the lime green colour from my Clubworks nail varnish set, unfortunately it doesn't have a name but I think they were limited edition anyway!  I love this colour in the bottle but it's so sheer and has more of a jelly finish on the nail.  I don't like seeing my nail line, eurgh!  I might try it over a white next time to see if I can get a more opaque effect.

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