We Need To Talk About The Gilmore Girls Revival

If you’re out on the road, feeling lonely and so cold,
All you have to do is call my name and I’ll be there on the next train.
Where you lead, I will follow anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow, when you lead”

Be STILL my beating heart, it’s back.

Gilmore Girls has always had a really special place in my heart. It’s something that I used to watch with my aunt at a young age and, since the beauty of Netflix has graced my life, I’ve watched on and off ever since. I’d recently finished a particularly long binge when I heard stirrings of a revival, but I was skeptical.

Revivals, much like second novels, are never as good as the first. This is just a fact of life. As I say, Gilmore Girls gets me right here *points at heart*, and if anybody DARED try to ruin it I’d have their guts for garters.

Gilmore Girls: A Day In The Life premiered on Netflix on Friday and fans consumed it in their troves. I practically had to go on social media lock-down for 24 hours as I didn’t have access to it until Sunday, but you better believe I ate that sh*t up at my earliest convenience.

A lot’s went on since then. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gasped at my screen in sheer HORROR, and I’ve come out of the other end not really knowing how to feel. We need to talk about it.

Obviously this blog post contains ALL OF THE SPOILERS so please only read ahead if you’ve completed AYITL. If not, go away, watch ’em all, come back and TALK TO ME ABOUT IT!

 

RORY GILMORE 

I just got hit by a deer” 

Rory Gilmore was my idol.
She was studious, street-smart, funny and seemed to have every half decent boy in town after her (without even having to ‘put out’). Sure, she got to be a bit of a whiny, overachieving pain in the arse near the end but, you know, she had her redeeming features. Seeing Rory as the high-flying, power-hungry journalist brought me so much joy in the opening scene.

Seeing the prodigal daughter return to Stars Hollow was exhilarating and I really felt like this whole revival was going to be a great thing. Then the cracks started appearing.

Paul. Poor, quaint Paul that seemed to have no major flaws that made him completely forgettable, and obviously doted on Rory and her family. It was a really shitty thing that Rory kept forgetting that she had a boyfriend, never mind forgetting to end things with him. I get that this was meant to be a funny skit but it seemed a little bit mean and woke me up to who this older Rory was and how she treat people.

Which of course leads me to my next point – Logan Fucking Huntzberger. Yes, that prick. It’s great to see he hasn’t matured or altered his gaze on women AT ALL since the last time we seen him fuck-boying about. This is NOT a likeable storyline. It’s not ‘aww Rory’s back with her one true love, who cares if some poor girl we never meet is being bitch slapped my the lack of girl code and simultaneously having her heart ripped to pieces by someone she thought wanted to marry her, because it’s our Rory and she’s the only one that deserves happiness’.

NO, okay? Just no.

Rory’s relationships however, were the only things that really turned me against her during this. As someone growing up with very similar aspirations to Rory (okay, I’m more of a Cosmo girl that The New Yorker but still), I totally felt and was able to relate to the struggle. Sure, you think after 20odd years in the biz she might have built up SOME contacts to prevent her work drying up and being homeless but nobody’s perfect.

On another note, I personally thought teaching would have been a good career detour for Rory, since she seemed so unconnected to journalism compared to her younger self, but who am I to judge?

Also, Alexis Bedel has not aged at all over the years. What’s with that?

LORELAI GILMORE 

“Oy with the poodles already” 



Lorelai’s life seems to have been ticking along just fine while we’ve been gone. She’s still loving her quirky life in Stars Hollow, still with Luke and still building her own hotel empire. However, she doesn’t seem to have progressed much in the last nine years. No more children, no marriage and no expansions to The Dragonfly.

Of course, this is okay. Not every woman is unfulfilled unless they’re married and sharing a brood of screaming brats darling children, but we know from the past that Lorelai DOES want these things – and cracks start to appear pretty quickly.

She still has that Special Snowflake thing going on for her, which depending on your mood is either endearing or annoying. In AYITL, it was a bit of both.

When you’re in a serious long-term relationship, it’s neither the fair nor adult thing to do to just run away from your problems to ‘discover yourself’. You’re nearly 50 L, talk it out.

However all is right in the world once again as they both work it out and are lawfully wed. True love conquers and all that jazz ❤️.

It’s interesting to see which aspects of Loreli and Rory’s relationship have changed or stayed the same over the years. They’re certainly still the best of friends but, with Rory being a bonifide adult now, they’re on more equal footing.

When Rory approaches Lorelai about her /Jess’ book idea, you get that Rory’s finally got her spark back and is excited about it, but you also get that this is the first thing that Lorelai is denying her daughter, and she’s given up everything to provide and be a great mum to her. It was hard to decide whose side I was on, but I’ll admit I would buy the shit out of that book.


EMILY GILMORE


“I was going to wait until you called me but my life isn’t as long as yours” 

Ah Emily, still as sassy as ever.

AYITL for Emily is all about finding herself and learning how to live independently, and not as an add on of her husband *sob*. The shell of Emily has always been painted as a kind of rich-bitch with an underlying resentment for her daughter but, as any real fan will know, deep down is an intelligent, caring woman that wants nothing but the best for her family.

She’s no longer going through maids faster than clean underwear, but instead is sticking with her latest that doesn’t speak a lick of English and has taken on the role as host-slash-grandmother to her maid’s family. It’s weird and I loved it.

It’s so endearing to see her trying to pick herself up after Richard’s death and continuing to be the woman everybody expects her to be, but you really just want to give her a hug and tell her everything’s going to be okay.

Of course, her and Lorelai are still fighting like cat and dog but it wouldn’t be Gilmore Girls if they weren’t.

She really was the star if the show for me.
RICHARD GILMORE


“Only prostitutes have two glasses of wine at lunch” 

Oh, the pain.

Every time there was even a mention of Richard or a scene involving him I was welling up beyond control. He was never a favorite of mine during the original series, but there was no denying that he was a great, hardworking man and a doting father and grandad. His death hit all fans hard, and it was really a struggle to adjust to a GG world without Richard Gilmore.
SOOKIE ST.JAMES


“I’m so hot I may hit on myself tonight” 

I really doubted whether Melissa McCarthy would want to come back for the revival but I’m so glad she did, even if it wasn’t for very long.

Sookie was such a huge character in the original series, so it was a blow to hear she’d left The Dragonfly to pursue other things but, that’s life. You could always kind of tell Lorelai was more into the whole hotel thing than she was.

She’s still married, still sprouting out kids, still our over-excitable Sookie. I love her.


MICHELE GERRARD


Producers have finally confirmed what we’ve known since season one, Michele is gay. Not only this, he’s married and ADOPTING A CHILD!!!

Still as bitchy and quick witted as ever, he damn near breaks our hearts when he reveals he’s been looking for concierge jobs elsewhere.

It’s all left a bit up in the air with Michele, you don’t find out whether him and husband are successful in their plans to adopt or whether he actually leaves. Maybe in the revival’s revival, am I right?

 

LANE KIM


“Eternal damnation is what I’m risking for my rock and roll” 

I don’t know why everyone was so disappointed with the way Lane’s story ended in season seven. It’s okay to chose domestic bliss over being a rocker if it makes you happy, which in her case it clearly does. She’s still doing her thing with Hep Alien and that’s so cool. She also seems like the coolest mum ever.

Oh and how adorable is her dad? Can’t you just imagine who wears the pants in his and Mrs Kim’s relationship?
PARIS GELLER


“Have I ever been mistaken for a patient person?”

We always knew Paris would be destined for great things. Well, when we say great things we mean she was destined to run her own empire and tear people down with so much as a glance.

Leading Lady in the world of surrogacy, Paris seems to have it all figured out. However everything’s not how it seems, her and Doyle are going through a divorce and her nanny seems to have more of a connection with her children than she does.

As with Michele, everything was left a bit open-ended for Paris, and I was disappointed to see how she went to pieces after visiting Chilton. Still losing her shit over seeing Tristan and allowing her nemesis Francie to completely transport her back to her insecure childhood self. Paris, you have done so much. Own it.
CHRISTOPHER HAYDEN


“One bag of coffee per cup of water, right?”

Still a prick, next please.

KIRK GLEASON


“One day it occured to me… cows never wrinkle”

Of course Kirk and Lulu adopted a pig named Petal. What else should I have expected?

He’s also a business tycoon, creating this totally new idea called Uber. Oh, sorry, I mean Ooober. It seems that, emotionally anyway, Kirk hasn’t changed at all but we love him for it.

His screening of his latest short film is everything I’ve ever wanted in life, and his comic-releif provided a nice distraction for when things were getting tough around Stars Hollow.

Sadly, he seems to have distanced himself from Taylor as of late.

TAYLOR DOOSE


“There is no use for a lava lamp unless you’re on drugs”

Still somewhat of a town dictator, Taylor’s latest improvement of Stars hollow involves replacing the piping with sewage systems. Really hard hitting stuff, Tay Tay.

I was at least hoping he’d have found someone to take his mind of his obsessive compulsive behavior, maybe in he shape of a woman, but hey ho, you can’t win em all.
JESS MARIANO

“Think of how dull your life would be without me”

Let me get one thing straight, I’ve waited nine years to see Jess back in action. What amounts to about four minutes of screen time does NOT satisfy my desires, okay Palladino?

He seems to have ironed out his attitude problem over the years, but he’s quite obviously still hung up on Rory which is a little bit sad considering it’s obvious she hasn’t spent this whole time moping about him. Get over it Jess, plenty more fish in the sea. Like myself, to use an example. 

He’s getting along with Luke a lot better lately, and it’s great to see them getting together as friends rather than two people who are being forced to spend time together because it’s the right thing to do.

Also, I call myself a fan but I had no idea Milo and Alexis dated IRL until a few days ago. That completely blows my mind.

DEAN FORESTER


“We could go to a bookstore. I’ll watch you browse for six or seven hours”

I found Dean quite the wet flannel after series one (and seen him as a massive cheating nob-end from season four) but I loved present day Dean.

He really seems to have his act together, has many children causing havoc and seems to be loving every second for it. Good for him.

Also he doesn’t take one look at his childhood sweetheart and decide that he’s still madly in love with her -cough Jess-.

 

So, that’s all of my feelings from the Gilmore Girls revival. What did you think? And what about those four last words? Work of genius or lazy, open-ended writing? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

My Month In Books : September

 

In September, I ate books for breakfast. I was a reading machine. I was Lauren, Conquerer of the Literature – rising up from her paperback throne and slaying any plotline that dared cross me.

The truth is that, nowadays, I really struggle to find time to read. It tends to be a case of fitting it in on my half hour commute to work or wolfing down ‘just one more chapter’ before I collapse into bed of a night. My holiday to Mexico was exactly what I needed to binge on all of the books I’d been depriving myself of.

Take a look below and hopefully let yourself be inspired for your next read (or at least know what to avoid).

 

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

the-stepmother

Newlyweds Jeanie and Matthew embark on their new life together with rose-tinted specks.

With two children from a previous marriage and an ex-wife that won’t stay away, Matthew already holds a lot of baggage. But when strange things start to happen, Jeanie may be right to be a little bit suspicious about what she’s gotten herself in to.
I’d saved this book especially for my holiday as it has been recommended by three people whose taste I trust. It flowed well and kept you guessing throughout. I found Jeanie a bit plain and 2D to begin with, but as the story goes on you discover she’s not as black and white as she seems.

★★★☆☆

 

After You by Jojo Moyes 

ay

It takes a lot for me to praise a chick-lit. I’d downloaded Me Before You begrudgingly as I couldn’t wait at a bus stop or open a magazine without having it shoved down my neck and I’m too nosey not to be part of something that was obviously going to blow up.

I ate my words after chapter one when I was so engrossed in it that it may as well have been glued to my hand.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Me Before You is based around the relationship between quirky, care-free Lou and broody Will Trainor, a recently wheelchair-bound ex-banker that misses his old life. Now, if you haven’t read the first installment I must insist that you skip this next paragraph completely as it’s spoilers galore.

Okay? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
After You picks up a few months after the end of MBY where Louisa isn’t living the YOLO lifestyle Will had envisioned for her before his assisted suicide. She’s bored and missing home.
I won’t mince my words, this book is not as good as it’s predecessor. But, it never really is, is it? On it’s own merits and completely taking MBY out of the equation it can absolutely stand alone as a feel-good (sometimes feel-not-so-good) read. The thriller-Queen enjoyed it, and that deserves praise in itself.

★★★★☆

 

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter 

blonde-hair

A beautiful 19-year-old girl goes missing. She has blonde hair and blue eyes.

And according to our protagonist Julia, this is just too much of a freaky coincidence because *gasp* she is beautiful, has blonde hair and blue eyes!!!!!!!!!!

I just found this novella a bit annoying. This is a no spoiler zone, but the ending was super anti-climatic and I just felt that it was more the inner monologue of a self-centered teenager than something to make me scared to walk home alone. That’s all I’ll say.

★☆☆☆☆

 

While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green

eyes-closed

Working mum Lisa shuts her eyes and counts to 100. She’s playing a game of hide-and-seek with her little girl. When she opens her eyes, Ella is gone without a trace. Everyone has their theories on who took her, but what if it’s not as predictable as that?

God, I loved this book. First off, I love a thriller where the story doesn’t revolve around the detectives and actually gives you a full insight on how this is effecting the victims (or perpetrator). The flashback-scenes, which can sometimes be tedious in other things I’ve read, are so compelling and really paint a vivid picture of what’s going on in the characters’ minds.

It’s all a very ambitious premise, but Green pulls it off seamlessly.

★★★★☆

Seeing Other People by Mike Gayle

seeing-other

Bit of a bizzare story line but stay with me; family-man Joe Clarke wakes up one morning and is 99.9% sure he’s just  cheated on his wife. The problem is, he can’t remember either way, despite the absence of a hang-over or any other reason for short-term memory loss. But all the signs are there, so surely he did it? Overcome with guilt he tells his wife what he thinks he’s done, and his whole world falls apart. Alongside this, he begins to get vivid hallucinations of his dead ex-girlfriend who seems to have become a type of life-coach/psychotic-nightmare.

Well, I did say it was bizzare. This book was okay – I resent trying to understand or like a protagonist that, whether a cheat or not, got himself into a situation where it was possible then spent months feeling like the victim about it.

The other characters, for example Joe’s wife or the guys from the Divorced Dad’s Club, were much more likeable and provided me with some comic releif.

★★☆☆☆

The World Of Karl Pilkington 

karl-p

Some way or another I’ve always found myself reading one of Karl’s books while on holiday. I relate to this guy; I’m bald, miserable and don’t see the point in most things. I’ve also got some great ideas and inventions stored away in my big round head that other people think are stupid (e.g. egg-yolk sauce, in a bottle like ketchup. That’s trademarked – if you try and use it I’ll sue you).

This is a basically pointless book, and my process was to dip into it in intervals when I was getting bored of whatever other book I was reading, and when I did so I’d often chuckle to myself and share tit-bits with whoever was in the sunlounger next to me.

He’s daft and I love him.

★★★☆☆

The Widow by Fiona Barton 

the-widow

Jean Taylor’s husband was just hit by a bus and killed on impact.

After years of living for Glen (for better or for worse) she finds herself free. But there are secrets in their marriage that are threatening to come to light, and now she’s the one holding the cards.

There’s not a lot I can say about this book without totally spoiling it for potential readers but, while it was slow at some parts, it kept my interest. I wasn’t bowled over with the ending, as I felt it was leading up to something a lot more ‘twisty’.

It’s definitely worth a read.

★★★☆☆

Get Even by Martina Cole

get-even

Sharon and Lenny were childhood sweethearts, and the only thing that could make their white-picket-fence picture complete is their latest addition, a baby boy.
Sharon knows better than to question Lenny’s business dealings and reputation, especially since it pays for her lavish lifestyle so well.
However, when Lenny’s found brutally murdered Sharon might well wish she’s had more of an insight to what her husband was getting up to behind closed doors…

I’d been meaning to read something by Cole for a few years now, and I actually didn’t notice this was her book before downloading it. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t the twisty-turny murder-mystery I assumed it would be, but it was unlike anything I’ve read before. Cole really manages to paint a picture in your mind of a life you had no idea about. There were a few times I’d be surprised to find myself in the present, and not following around gangsters and counting my £100 notes.

By the looks of the snippets from her other books at the end of Get Even, I’d guess that everything she writes follows this type of style and I’ll definitely be downloading more. Well, there’s another 21 to get through so I’ll be busy.

★★★★☆

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

follow-me

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ has claimed his first victim. Posting chilling tweets, they’re steadily gaining a large following as his audience looks on in horror. Everyone’s following him, but if HE following YOU?

I abandoned this book halfway through. I know, I know, how can I judge a book that I’ve never even finished? Easily actually, because I was bored stiff and I had other things I wanted to read. Although the plot line was genuinely interesting, I just don’t think the delivery was all that great. Maybe the book’s aimed at an older, more clueless audience but I couldn’t cope with how the author described Twitter as complicated as diffusing a nuclear bomb. The chapter titles (BTW – By The Way, FWP – First World Problems etc.) felt patronizing and felt as if they were trying too hard. I also felt that a lot of the description passages were rambly and didn’t add much to the story line.

★★☆☆☆

What have been your best holiday-reads this year? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

 

 

 

 

FOREVER LIVING: An Unbiased Review

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’ve heard the buzz surrounding Forever Living products. It’s hard to scroll down your newsfeed without seeing the reps singing their praises. Unfortunately for the average Joe like you and I, they’re paid to say so.

I’ll admit, I figuratively rolled my eyes whenever I seen a post about FL; just the next hyped-up money making pyramid scheme from a big corporation, tricking unwitting members of the public into toting their crap for them. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that I might be wrong (shock, right?). Really, I didn’t know the first thing about Forever Living, from their products to their values. So I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and try them out for myself. I’m offering you a fully unbiased review of FL.

So what’s the premise behind the company anyway? A quick Google will fill you in on their background: They go way back to 1978 and offer, in their words, “better health, more wealth, and a secure future”. Big claims. It’s a multi-million dollar company that specialises in products created with aloe vera, which is proven to have beneficial wellness properties. There are over 9.5 million people toting their products (yes, MILLION), who got involved by firstly trying out their products for themselves. This gives sellers the opportunity to decide whether or not it’s for them, and if they truly believe in the companys message.

While scoping through their website for information, they literally claimed that joining their company is THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY ON EARTH. That’s what it actually says. I’m not sure I agree, mind you. I think there are probably better opportunities out there. Headlining at Glasto, travelling the world, making sweet, sweet love to Chris Pratt, to name a few.

Anyway, it works much like Avon or Ann Summers. As a seller, you pay for a bunch of products at a reduced price, and then sell them on to others to make a profit.

A technique of a lot of FL sellers is to give a box of products to a potential customer to try out for 48 hours. I must say, this got me interested. Surely if you can see results in the space of two days, the products must be worth the hype. So why not try it out?

I obtained a box full to the brim with FL, and below I’ve reviewed each product included, with the exception of the MSM gel and the propolis creme, as they’re specifically aimed at certain conditions:

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FOREVER ALOE SCRUB

scrubI actually thought that I’d got this product mixed up with something else, as when I went to apply it, it seemed to be a body wash. It wasn’t until I rubbed my hands together that I noticed the exfoliating beads within, and I immediately liked it. With beads this small, there was very little chance of it being harsh on your skin or buffing away the new skin. The one complaint I had with this though, is that it just didn’t feel particularly luxurious. I like to have a good exfoliate around once a fortnight, and I like it to feel like a treat for my skin. Distinctly lacking a lather effect or a yummy smell (which I find V important), it just left me a bit underwhelmed.

ALOE HAND & FACE SOAP

faceAfter my disappointment at the overall feel of the exfoliator, I was pleasantly surprised with the hand and face soap. I’d had a pretty heavy face of makeup that day, so I was hoping that it’d do a good job of removing it as well as not leaving my skin feeling like it had been through the mill. I gave myself a good hearty two squirts, and it immediately foamed up. On application, it felt gorgeously cleansing and left me with a very clean feeling.  It’s also worth mentioning that my face didn’t feel dried out afterwards, which is quite hard to find from a face wash.

ALOE-JOJOBA SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

Picture-1As some of you may know, I have alopecia. I did wonder whether it was worth trying out this product, but FL boasts that their lotions and potions can be used on all of the family, so I decided to try it out on what baby-hair I did have.
Again, this product was extremely luxe and only needed a small amount for coverage. Weirdly, the conditioner had a distinctly different smell from the shampoo though. Don’t know what that’s about. Neither of the smells were bad, but I couldn’t identify the aloe or the jojoba. Once I let what I had left of my hair air-dry, my hair felt silky smooth to the touch, as well as hydrated.

ALOE MOISTURISING LOTION

MOISThis was the first of the lotions that I came across which could be used on the face, so I gathered a pea-sized amount and worked it in. It was quite thick, so I wouldn’t recommend using it every day if you have combination to oily skin. It seemed to lock the moisture in, which is fantastic for that pamper-day feel.

When I showered the next morning, I noticed that I was able to wipe off excess lotion. This might sound gross, but it’s really a good thing, as it means that my face was protected overnight!

ALOE VERA GELLY

aloe_vera_gelly_bigNow, this is the product that I’ve heard the most praise about.
I don’t consider myself to have any skin issues per say – the only thing that seemed appropriate to use it on was my scalp. I wear a wig whenever I’m not behind closed doors, and this can really take its toll on my hairline. It’s become quite dried out, which makes every day life a bit uncomfortable at times. I gently massaged the gel into the area and left it to dry. Once it was all absorbed, it appeared to leave a protective layer, which was exactly what I was looking for. As with any skin irritation, you want to remove it from further damage, and this definitely does the job.

ALOE HEAT LOTION

aloe_heat_lotion_bigWHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE?! I AM BLIND.

Seriously, I’m freaking out about this. The Aloe Heat Lotion describes itself as the perfect tool to give yourself a soothing massage after a long day. What do people complain about most after a long day at work? Sore feet. Now, my feet weren’t particularly pained since I’ve sat on my arse at work all day, but I still wanted to have a go. The first thing that sprung to mind with this product was the distinct smell of those Deep Heat things. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was strong. So strong in fact that after about a minute, I was completely blind. My eyes were streaming, but I didn’t know what to do since my hands were covered in the product, ruling out rubbing them, as were my feet, which ruled out getting up to wash my hands. Quite the predicament. I’m perched on the end of my bed, tears running down my face (surely undoing the effects of the Aloe Lotion I’d applied earlier) and that’s when the burning starts. Literal burning, as if my feet had been plunged into the depths of hell. Fanning them only exacerbated the situation. I’m a mess. Should I wash it off? I DON’T KNOW, BECAUSE THERE’S NO APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS. Send help. The weird thing is that my hands aren’t burning, and they had the same amount of cream if not more. Witchcraft?

I do, however, think that this product would be ideal for someone who’s on their feet all day or suffering from sore back muscles. When you’re prepared for the heat engulfment, you might actually enjoy it. Just keep a wet towel near for emergencies.

THE VERDICT: 

Honestly, I’m slightly underwhelmed by Forever Living products. As someone who doesn’t particularly suffer from skin problems, I don’t think that I should be considered their target audience. However, I stand by my point that advertising by the reps haven’t particularly pushed that that’s who it’s there for. They definitely gave me the impression that FL was for everyone, and everyone would reap the benefits. Life changing? Not so much.

It’s always nice to have a bit of a pamper, and I enjoyed giving myself some TLC, but compared with my usual pamper session (filled with Soap & Glory, usually) it just didn’t withstand.

I definitely think that the products have the opportunity to be extremely good for people that need that bit extra in their skincare routine, as a lot of the products are specifically designed for problem areas. For me though, I’ll stick with my usual.

Have you tried Forever Living products? Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

LAUREN RECOMMENDS: Aveeno Moistuiser

I’ve always really struggled to find a body moisturiser that works for me. I’ve tried everything from the thick to the thin, the pricey to the knock-off’s, and the au naturel to the… erm, clogged with chemicals. But alas, I’ve always found a problem that I just can’t look past, and discarded them once I’d finished the bottle (I’m neither an animal or a millionaire, after all).

I’ll be honest and admit that the main reason I first tried out Aveeno, it was because Jennifer Aniston was the face of it. Anything that’s good enough for Jen An’s good enough for me. Though I doubt she’s really using high-street beauty products but that’s another post all together.

maxresdefault (1)Credit: Aveeno Doesn’t she look just so beautiful and moisturised? 

I picked up my first bottle of Moisturising Creamy Oil with Colloidal Oatmeal in Boots for £7.65, which really isn’t bad for 300ml. The bottle promises to moisturise like an oil and absorb like a cream.

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After a quick exfoliation, I was ready to test out my new product.

Formulated with oatmeal and almond oil, both known for their moisturising properties, it aims to maintain the skins natural moisture level, as well as prevent dry skin. I was particularly interested in their statement that there would be no greasy after-feel, because I frickin’ hate that.

The first thing I noticed about Aveeno oil was the texture: it had the white colouring of your average moisturiser, but when you rub it in it has the distinct texture of oil. Despite the bottles reassurance, this worried me. Although I was after a good moisturisation, I didn’t want to end up greasy or have it block my pores and make me sweaty.

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The cream melts into an oil once activated

The cream had a distinct almond scent (due to the almond oil, obv), which wasn’t too overpowering and actually quite pleasant.

I used the product all over my body from the neck down, giving a bit extra to dry patches on my knees and elbows, and gave it a while to dry.

Turns out you only need a matter of minutes before the cream is completely absorbed into your skin, leaving it feeling smooth and supple. This is particularly handy for those of us who prefer to moisturise on a morning and get on with their day.

Another great plus of this was that, once absorbed, you couldn’t smell it at all. It’s not that the almond oil had a particularly bad or overpowering smell, but I worried that it would start smelling rather sickly after a while. I understand that one of the biggest appeals of moisturisers is the lingering scent, but personally I like to get my smell from my perfume.

I must say that I really noticed a difference in my skin within a week or so, and since that first purchase I’ve re-filled my stocks several times (with daily use, the product lasts me around two weeks).

OTHER PRODUCTS:

Feeling particularly hassled one evening (I hate shopping, sue me), I stormed into Boots with the intentions of buying my moisturiser and getting the hell outta’ there. All went smoothly, but once I got home I realised that I’d picked up the wrong bottle. Instead, I was left with Aveeno’s Daily Moisturising Lotion, which in my defense, sounds exactly the same as the Moisturising Cream if you’re not paying attention. The bottles are basically identical, spare for the top of the latter’s bottle being green. As I said, I hate shopping, so instead of going back out into the big bad world and exchanging it, I decided to try it out – maybe it was a sign from the Beauty God’s?

11868632_10206807255155563_1573407880_n
Very sneaky, Aveeno. Very sneaky indeed.

Although a lot of the products in the two moisturisers are the same, they couldn’t be more different when it comes to application. Gone is the smooth, silky application of the creamy oil, replaced by a much thicker substance that feels like a mix between a rich moisturiser and Vasseline. Doesn’t exactly sound appealing, but stay with me. 

11910825_10206807255875581_231222535_n 11911631_10206807255755578_1566552566_n
Notice the difference between the lotion (left) and the cream (right).

Also gone is the sweet almond smell. Actually, gone is any smell at all. Depending on how you look at it, this could be seen as a positive or negative. For me, it was a great thing.

Application is a bit less luxurious, as the thicker texure makes for a more difficult time. It also takes a lot longer to absorb, so I’d recommend this for people with some time to spare, perhaps on a night time before bed.

This isn’t exactly the best sales pitch you’ll hear, but I stand by Aveeno 100%. Once applied and properly absorbed, your skin feels amazing, and any dry skin problems you have will more than likely be eradicated.

I now use both of these products in my daily beauty routine, using the moisturizing cream from the neck down, and using the thicker lotion on problem areas, like elbows, knees and feet. I’ve been through three bottles of my regular moisturiser, and I only seem to be about half-way down the more intensive bottle.

Plus, when I’m having a particularly ‘dry’ day, I apply a pea-sized amount of the lotion to my face and leave to absorb, and afterwards you can’t even see the dry patches!

Have you used Aveeno products? Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead.

What I’d Tell My Fresher-Self

Happy results day, everyone!

Here’s to hoping you’ve all got the results you were hoping for, and with any luck you’ll be finally piecing together your plans for university. I’m way at the other end of the spectrum now; diploma in hand, desperately searching for a job and generally watching a lot of Netflix. It got me to wondering, if I could go back to where you are now, what advice would I give to myself? What advice would everyone else give to THEMselves?

I reached out to all of the graduates I knew to accumulate the top things they wish they knew.

“Actually work. While uni’s supposed to be an absolute riot, the whole reason you’re there is to learn. Just think, you’ve got this amazing opportunity to learn all about your dream job, so embrace it. It might be the last thing you feel like doing at a 9.A.M lecture after a heavy night out, but you’ll regret it if you don’t”.
– Lauren Dimmick, Magazine journalism

“Organise your schedule! Taking some time to sit down and work out where you’re going to be and when will always be helpful. Not only does it give you time to get your assignments done well but it means you can also plan your crazy nights out and allow time for hangover days”
Poppy Johnson, Journalism

“Never be afraid to ask for advice! I should have followed my own advice more often”
Olivia Dixon, Primary teaching

“I would say have fun and make sure you take the opportunities when you can! Jump in with both feet and love every second. Oh and get into the habit of creating your own opportunities, I learned that early on, your lecturers wont be there for ever so treat uni almost like you’re on your own and know that your moves influence your future”
Kayleigh Falcus, Textiles & surface design

“Enjoy your first two years (especially first), because third year is no fun and games!”
Libby Bateman, News journalism

“Take each and every opportunity available, whether it be additional courses or learning another language. These extra skills can make your CV shine and open so many additional doors which otherwise may have been closed”
– Lynsey Kimmit, English

“Attend lectures, whatever is discussed will give you a clearer mind on how to do the best possible job at assignments, thus leading to better grades. Trust your tutors as well, as that’s what they are there for”
Michael Bowers, Sports journalism

“Consider studying abroad, even just for a semester. It made me much more confident, showed how my field works in a different country and I made some incredible memories. My writing definitely benefited from being exposed to a new audience and that was something I took into my final year. I had the opportunity to work for Time Out Melbourne which was a fantastic CV booster, and I also got to explore the wonderful country of Australia during my time away from University which was AMAZING!”
Adele Johnson, Journalism

DON’T DROP OUT! As stressful as it may be and as much as you may hate life, it’s so worth it in the end. Never forget why you started.
I’d also suggest getting a part time job while
you study. The extra money helps massively and you’re getting work experience which is always a plus. Also, if you’re working somewhere you really hate, it’s motivation to work hard and pass so you can get out of there!”
Jade Patterson, Teaching/English

“Have a vague idea of a specific job you want, and what skills might help you to get it. Not to mention it’s motivation to carry on and achieve the best. Also, save up! I thought I was loaded in first year but it doesn’t last long”
Jenny Hewitt, Magazine journalism

“Get involved with extra curricular stuff as well. Try something new or something you’ve always fancied doing. It can be a really good way to take a break when you need one from uni work and to make even more friends!”
Sophie Heward, Magazine journalism


“The library is your friend and not just for ‘geeks’. Also being a geek is NOT a bad thing. Work and stick in or else it will come back to bite you in the arse and you will regret it. Spend your summer working and finding experience so that during academic time you have more time to dedicate to your studies. Being skint is normal. Absolutely normal. Cuppa soups and £1 shots are your friends. The Only person your classification matters to you is you. As long as you put 100% in be proud because university is stressful and hard. Don’t think that everyone copes with it cause realistically everyone is just keeping their head above water, they’re just acting very well” 
Stephanie Arnott, English

“Don’t let anything hold you back! And stick in from the beginning, you may think you have all the time in the world, but it’s over in a blink of an eye”
Becca Leighton-Cox, Journalism

“You don’t have to read the 4 books a week you are assigned”
Robyn Appleby, English literature

“It’s okay to be sad and miss home. After freshers week is over and you realise you ACTUALLY have to do work, that’s when you start to miss your mumma. It passes, they’re only a phone call away!”
Jay Wait,

All in all, just make sure you make the most out of every moment, because before you know it, it’s done with. We hope our pieces of wisdom will be of use to you, and keep checking back as I’ll be adding more as they come!

What’s your advice for freshers? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

What Should You Watch Next?

We’re all familiar with the feeling of finishing a great TV program on Netflix. The credits start rolling, and you think to yourself: “Well, that’s it. What the hell am I supposed to do with my life now?!”.

Thanks to the rise of instant streaming, it’s more easy than ever to binge-watch an entire series in one night, meaning that although you get the instant gratification of finding out ‘what’s next?’, you power through a great show without giving yourself time to take in and process what you’re watching.

So, what can you do about it? Not a damn thing. This is the world we live in now; a world of great TV at the push of a button, and it’s a great time to be alive. If you’ve found yourself at the end of your latest venture and you’re unsure of what to watch next, read on.

When you want… easy viewing

The Office (U.S)
OFFICE
Obviously, anything staring Steve Carell is bound to be class A comedy, and The Office is no different. Set in an office (surprisingly), it works in a mockumentary format, following the daily grind of the workers. There’s romance, there’s fallout and… there’s Dwight Schrute.

Him & Her
HIMNHER
Following the lives of Steve and Becky, Him & Her is set solely in the young couples flat (bar one episode). They’re unbelievably lazy, messy and sarcastic so, y’know, it’s relatable *shrugs*. Although these two crazy kids provide enough entertainment, their regular visitors will have you in bits.

Pramface
PRAMFACE
Once you get over the fact that this is about a barely legal tween getting his life absolutely f*cked over by an unplanned pregnancy, this is a really enjoyable, easy series. What with our heroes wacky life and our heroine’s strict family, being young parents has never been more confusing or hilarious.

When you want… something funny

Miranda
MIRANDA
I genuinely believe that Miranda Hart is one of the best comedians of our time, so when I heard that she was getting her own show, I was thrilled. Playing on Miranda’s characters general dopy-ness, the series follows her everyday life, with a focus on her friends and family too.

The Royle Family
FAM
Whoever knew that watching people watch TV could be so entertaining?Unless you live under a rock, you’ll know about The Royle Family. However, the older you get, the better it gets. It’s really one of those shows that never gets old, and you love the cast as if they were your own, unbalanced family unit.

Little Britain
LITBRIT
Piss-taking at its finest, Little Britain is a throwback to back when comedy sketch shows were good. Matt Lucas and David Walliams are the ultimate comedy duo, and between laughing until you cry, you’ll be unsettled to know that you recognize some of these characters from your own life.

When you want… a walk down memory lane

Pokemon: Indigo League
POKEMON
I want to watch the very best, like no series ever was. To watch them is my real test, to reminisce is my cause. Go back to the back to where it all began, starting with Ash Ketchum’s birthday when his Pokemon journey begins. Warning: doing so will likely result in you blowing the dust off your Game Boy and searching for the games on eBay.

SpongeBob Squarepants
SPONGE
To be fair, with all the innuendos in this show, it’s hard to believe it’s even considered a kids show. Relive your Saturday mornings as a youngin’ as you rejoin the sea-life of Bikini Bottom for their aquatic adventures.

Dexter’s Laboratory
DEXTERS
Ah, Cartoon Network. The youth of today will never understand the joy of hammering your parents out of bed on their day off so you could tune in to their prime shows. Dexter’s Laboratory was one of the best, so go back to a simpler time where it was totes believable that a ten year old could hide a lab in his bedroom and not rise suspicion from the electricity bill.

When you want… total dramz

Pretty Little Liars
PLL
Drama upon drama, upon drama with a dash of drama for added measure. Unlike most teen-dramas though, this actually has a malevolent story-line. Murder, guys. This show’s filled with twists and turns, so you really have to keep up with the story otherwise you’ll find yourself drowning.

Gossip Girl
GOSSIP
The first few series of this are great. You relish the ups and downs of the Upper East Side, and really root for the characters. Depending on your disposition though, you may find yourself getting a bit pissed off with these #RichKidProbs, and after a while the story line gets a bit repetitive. Try it out for a while though, you may love it. XOXO. 

90210
90210
Rebooted from the popular late 90’s show that your mum probably raves about, this is also filled to the brim with #RichKidProbs. However, this is a lot less repetitive than Gossip Girl, so it keeps you gripped all the way through.

When you want… something scary

American Horror Story
AHS
I’m going to save you some time straight off the bat and tell you to skip series three (Coven), because it’s sucks a bag of balls. Other than that though, this is hands down one of the best shows on Netflix. Each series concentrates on a new creepy story line, from a haunted house to a lunatic asylum, but they often recycle the amazingly talented cast.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
BUFFY
As well as being a total blast from the past, Buffy is one of the best things that have ever happened to the horror/fantasy genre. Go back to Sunnydale and get re-acquainted with the Scoobies, and put aside some time to drool over Spike (or Angel, whatever floats your boat).

Bates Motel
BATES
Although I wasn’t initially sold on an extension of Psycho, it’s actually a really interesting, well put together series. Concentrating on the relationship between the infamous Norman Bates and his mother, who open up a hotel and are followed by a series of incidents.

When you want… a fantasy 

Once Upon A Time
OUAT
It’s Disney, but more acceptable on an adult level. Featuring all of your favorite Disney princesses and Villains, Once Upon A Time is based in a small town that’s under the curse because of the Evil Queen. It’s a roller coaster of emotions as they try to return to their own world.

Grimm
GRIMM
Even more fantasy to come here; Grimm takes on the original fairy tales and manipulates them into more sinister tales. Nick must keep a balance between reality and fantasy, while juggling his ‘normal’ job and life too.

Firefly
FIREFLY
I’ll never stop being surprised at how few people know about Firefly. Set mainly on board Serenity, between various planets and moons, the show is essentially a space-western. That’s putting it very simply though, as Firefly makes it its business to challenge the typical sci-fi genre, pulling in stories of love, family and survival.

When you want… something everyone’s talking about

Breaking Bad
BRBA
Cult favorite Breaking Bad follows Walter White, a critically ill cancer patient and his unexpected sidekick Jesse Pinkman, as they, well… make meth. Turning away from his typical suburban life, Walter becomes a major player in the drug market in order to pay for his treatment.

Orange Is The New Black
OITNB
OITNB is the show on everyone’s lips at the mo’, especially since they’ve debuted their third season. The Netflix original series is set in a women’s-only prison, and the inmates that inhabit it. It’s based on the true story of protagonist Piper Chapman, who was sent to prison for drug smuggling in her past.

Dexter
DEXT
This may be a bit of an oldie with all things considered, but Dexter is interesting and complex in equal measures. Dexter’s a forensic expert that moonlights as a serial killer (well, they say rent in Miami is high), bringing his own personal brand of justice to people he thinks escaped the law.

When you want… a bit of reality 

RuPaul’s Drag Race
RUPAUL
If you’re looking for sass, you’ve come to the right place. On the hunt to find the next star in drag, RuPaul provides the role of presenter, mentor and inspiration for the show in a drag-racing theme.

Educating Yorkshire
EDYORK
Be a fly on the wall at Thornhill Community Academy, a secondary school in Yorkshire, as the teachers and staff deal with every day education problems, from schoolyard bullies to overworked staff. This is an especially great series as it gives you a real insight into the education system and the strain put on professionals.

Made In Chelsea
MIC
Oh, to see how the other half lives. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or you’ve only caught the odd episode, you can now re-live it all from the very beginning. While you’re drowning in a sea of Cartier and Gucci, you’ll find yourself with favorites, and thinking of others as your own personal frenemies.

What are your top Netflix recommendations? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!