When the ‘Tonka Town Fire Station’* set arrived we had one Very excited little boy on our hands. Ethan’s a boy whose ears already perk up when he hears ‘meemaws’ and he was totally thrilled to be able to sit in a Fire engine a few months ago at a summer fete so a Fire Station set was the perfect thing for us to try out!

With that in mind I’m sure you can imagine quite how hard it was for him to wait until we got this out of the box! Thankfully he focused on the fire truck, first, and so we were able to get that out for him to play with whilst we tackled the rest of it.

I was quite pleased with the packaging as it didn’t have a lot of unnecessary waste involved and it was relatively easy to remove things. There was a few parts of it that were secured with plastic but they were things like the two figurines which wouldn’t, otherwise, have been totally secured and so it didn’t matter so much – The majority, though, was cardboard (which is already in the recycling) and rather than any annoying plastic ties everything was held in place with a strong string. This meant that it was easy to un-tie, without scissors but it was still nice and secure. The open front of the packaging definitely had the right impact on Ethan, though, being able to see everything made it incredibly exciting for him. 

Before I get on to what I think of this toy, in short, Ethan loves it. He’s played with it, without fail, every day since it arrived. In fact, other than his trains and train track, this is the only toy he’s played with – He’s definitely at the age where this sort of toy is just right; and considering the range is aimed at 3-5 year olds I think they definitely got something right! (He’s coming up for three and a half) 
Obviously Ethan is the important one but, of course, we parents are the ones who decide which toys we spend our money on so what we think matters too! Clearly I’m swayed by how much Ethan likes it, but I actually really like it too.

I like the quality of this set – It’s well held together and the plastic is strong but has some ‘give’ to it so it flexes when it’s played with rather than being brittle and more prone to snapping (definitely something necessary with this child of mine!) Some of the hand rails didn’t, initially, seem as strong as I’d have expected but now that I’ve seen Ethan playing with it I’ve seen that the whole thing has stood up really well to his rough and tumble three-year-old habits. All in all I’m expecting it to last really well even with Ethan’s less than gentle ways.

When it comes to fun little details there are plenty. My favourite has to be the fact that the fireman’s hands are rubbery so they can be moved to fit around a handle on the fire fighter’s pole meaning that he can slide down properly, just as a fire person would.

The toy also has two buttons which trigger the flashing blue lights (which you can see around the top console) and sounds; an alarm bell and a siren. 
There’s also the opportunity to slide the door section forward which creates a bigger internal space for the fire truck – This is a nice little feature as it helps keep it compact when it’s not extended. The little green ‘light’ above the doors is on a wheel which rotates to red when the truck isn’t ‘available for emergencies’ (or, if you’re Ethan, can be used as a traffic light for ‘stop’ and ‘go’) 
This level also has a slider mechanism in the back which lowers and raises a ‘flame’ which also lights up when it’s up. This is one of Ethan’s favourite features as he raises it, presses one of the buttons, sending the firemen off to battle the fire shouting ‘Fire! Fire! Emergency!!’ – He really, really loves getting totally involved with this toy and it’s fantastic to watch him enjoy something which inspires his imagination so much. 
The only change I’d make with this toy is that it’d be nice for there to be a couple more of the removable ladders which are included – They attach to various parts of the toy and it’s great that you can move them around but if there was one or two more it’d be a little easier to bridge some of the bigger gaps. That said Ethan’s not entirely bothered, imagination can do a lot!

This  play set retails at £39.99 which I think is great for something so well made and with so many different parts to it. The range of products ranges from this price all the way down to £3.99 for figure sets and it includes a Jail play set, a Dump truck, Fire Engine, Police Ranger, Fire Car and Police Bike as well as the aforementioned figure sets. I think another of these sets will definitely be added to Ethan’s Christmas list along with picking up one or two of the figure sets to go in to his stocking (there’s 12 in total).

Also, which I think is quite exciting, from the 15th October there’ll be a ‘Tonka Town Magazine’ which will include all of the obvious things like colouring pages and stories as well as a Tonka Town character on the cover. Ethan loves comics so I think we’ll definitely pick this up.
Really impressed with this new and exciting range from such a well known and established brand such as Tonka – I think that Ethan will definitely look forward to adding to his toy collection with some more items from this range.

*This product was sent to me for the purpose of review

I’m loving eyeshadow pencils at the moment so when I heard that Collection had some, and they had been on offer for £2.50 each, I was interested in what they’d be like (sorry it’s taken me so long to post this, they’re not £2.50 anymore but £3.19 is the rrp and that’s really not bad at all, plus I’m sure they’ll be on offer from time to time) 
I decided to pick up the shades ‘Hot chocolate’, ‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘Vintage Blush’ as they seemed like a nice range of colours. 

These shades are ‘Hot chocolate’ and ‘Vanilla Sky’
This one is in a separate photo because I bought it subsequently as it wasn’t available when I purchased the first two – This one is ‘Vintage Blush’.

I really like all three of these shades and they are the sort of formula that sets really quickly and lasts a long time – It means they’re not so easy to blend, if you wanted to, not impossible by any means but not easy either. I tend to use them as a single, block colour, blended at the edges and they work really nicely for that. 

‘Vanilla Sky’ is a shimmery off white which I don’t tend to use on its own but it makes a really nice base for powder shadows.

‘Hot Chocolate’ looks, originally, to be a deep flat brown but when you see it swatched you can see it has a nice depth to it and almost a taupe’y feel when you see it in the right light. 

I absolutely love this shade, a lot of pink shadows are the sort of tones that can make you look ill but the warmer, almost golish tones of ‘Vintage Blush’ is so, so gorgeous.

I’ve really enjoyed using the Fashionista eye shadows (HERE) that I got once the brand started being sold on the MUA site so I’m really pleased to have some more to add to my collection.
Every time I look at these I just smile, how gorgeous are these colours! On the top row on the left we have ‘Stylish’* and in the middle ‘Exclusive Collection’*. On the bottom row, L-R ‘Bewitched’*, ‘Trend-Setter’* and ‘Fashion House’*.

I was really pleased to get the top two shades as they were ones that I’d considered when buying my original set so they’re exactly the sorts of shades I tend to go for. The reason that there’s an empty spot is because I was also sent the shade ‘Bella’* but I already have it in my previous palette so I thought that it would make a lovely addition to my next giveaway (someone’s going to be very lucky to win that as it’s beautiful).
The bottom three shades aren’t ones I’d considered, as I’m so fixed on my neutrals most of the time, but with two of them being purple they’re very good choices for me (it’s my favourite colour) and the black shade is utterly stunning, looking almost like marble.
Now on to some swatches!

This is ‘Stylish’ – The swirl of shades become a beautiful champagne once merged together. I like a nice champagne shade, I have a lot of them, but they’re all slightly different and they’re so so lovely. This is an absolutely stunning example.

Another beautiful shade ‘Exclusive Collection’ is a really well pigmented copper shade with a lovely shimmer to it when it catches the light.
I love that the shimmer in this looks more like a dark champagne/gold than the original copper – The way the same shade looks so different yet equally beautiful depending upon how it catches the light.

‘Bewitched’ wasn’t the easiest shade ever to capture on camera; my camera seems to struggle with certain purple/blues. This shade is a much brighter purple than it seems in the photo, but you can definitely see the depth of the shade and the gorgeous sheen in this picture so it’s not a total loss.

Similarly ‘Trend Setter’ just didn’t want to be captured accurately by my camera. Although this shade is a Much more blue toned purple, as you’d expect from the colours in the pan, the purple isn’t showing through very much in this picture. You do get an idea of how it looks, though, and it’s a very beautiful shade.

I swatched more of this product for this photo because I wanted to be able to capture some of the beautiful shimmer which makes up this, mostly black, shadow. I have quite a few matte black shades so it makes a nice difference to have one with such a pretty shimmer in it. This shade is ‘Fashion House’
*These products were sent to me for the purpose of review

Ooh yes it’s Bigjigs time again! 
Hidden behind that veil of hair is a Very excited expression, if you look close enough you’ll see the smile and the hands up by his face were pure excitement.

We always have the same delivery man when it’s Bigjigs post so, when I’m not expecting a delivery and he appears at the door, I can always anticipate a very happy little boy and this time was no different. We were mid-breakfast when the post arrived and he couldn’t eat quick enough because he was itching to get the box open and find out what was inside!
And as you can see from the above picture, if you can read upside down of course, he got the ‘Electric Car Station’* which fits on to the wooden track that he already has (both Bigjigs track and other brands of wooden track – It all fits together really nicely)
Ordinarily the Bigjigs toys that we’ve had haven’t needed any construction but in order to fit this into as small a box as it came in (always trying to reduce packaging, which is something I love about the company) the windmill part of it wasn’t attached to the base.

I’m really impressed, though, as the screw which came to put it together with was much safer than any others I’ve had to attach Ethan’s other toys together with before. Rather than a standard sharp end it was dulled and so wouldn’t be as much of a hazzard which is a small detail but one that I appreciate. It did mean it was very very marginally harder to press into the pre-drilled hole in the base of the windmill column but, in all honesty, it made such little difference and I’d Much rather the safety aspect come first!

This is how the front side of the toy looks – A removable ramp slots in to allow the cars in and out of the garage with a wind turbine/windmill just to the side. When I was attaching the windmill I found it easier to have it pointing a little at an angle in case you want to have the roof on the garage, if it’s too forward facing the arms will clash with the edge of the roof/

I absolutely love the concept of this toy. The cars are electric so they come with a hole drilled in to the back and in the back of the garage there are little pegs which the cars slot onto – And, to further emphasise the environmental side of things, the company have added the details of the wind turbine and the solar panel which you’ll see on the top of the garage in a later photograph – What a fantastic way to begin conversation with little ones about the environment and renewable energy than with something that fits in to the things they already love to play with!

Initially I wasn’t sure how this would fit in with the train set but once we got it out of the box I saw this lovely extra detail.

So, behind the garage, we have a little ramp which leads the car up to a trailer which can be attached to the magnetic trains which are standard to wooden tracks. Such a lovely, lovely idea! The trailer has a really nice, strong magnet on it, as do the bottom of the cars so, even with a child like Ethan who likes to make his trains go flat out, it stays firmly attached to the trailer – And believe me, the railway service thanks you, Bigjigs, for this little detail because in Ethan town there are a Lot of accidents.

This is our photo captioned for Bigjigs – ‘ Smile?! No chance – I am a professional at putting fun to the test, don’t you know?! This is my concentrating face, renewable energy is serious business!’

He spent the whole time between breakfast and lunch playing with his new toy – We didn’t, really, have enough time to build a track as it was an early lunch day due to nursery in the afternoon but he didn’t mind, with a little imagination his trailer could hop off the track, attached to the train and ‘go go go!’.
Ethan was absolutely gutted to leave his new toy behind to go to nursery and asked if I would build him a track when we got home but being the loving Mummy that I am I decided to surprise him and build him a track before I went to pick him up so he would have plenty of playing time whilst I was cooking dinner and after dinner too.

It’s as though the new piece was perfect to go with what we already had as this was the absolute best track I’ve been able to make – No need for stopper pieces, no dead ends, everything connected perfectly and I even managed to leave some empty space around the car station so that he could have a ‘road’ for his cars!

And, Daddy Azii, in a rather wonderful moment of parenting psychic-ness, just happened to buy Ethan a new train that day (having No idea that Ethan was getting a new addition to his track already) so What a surprise for him to come back to a lovely track with his new toy included And ‘Hank’ from the Thomas collection of trains waiting in his shed.

I think this is, possibly, our favourite of the things we’ve tested for Bigjigs. Ethan has played with it so so much and I am so happy, as always, with the thought and detail which has clearly gone into building this toy. Add on to that the fact that there’s a possibility for introducing some pretty important life lessons and you’ve got another real winner from Bigjigs right here!

Don’t forget to check out their website because there’s such a fantastic range of toys for a wide range of ages and different interests – Everything we’ve ever had from them, bought ourselves, and from being a part of the Play Patrol has been some of the best quality toys Ethan’s had. Check them out here:

*As you know, via the PlayPatrol Bigjigs send me these products for the purpose of review

I was very intrigued when I saw the release of this product, I’ve become quite obsessed with concealers recently so this went straight to the top of my wishlist. 
The Make Up Academy ‘Pro Base Prime and Conceal’* cream concealer is a yellow toned product which is supposed to help combat redness and, so, create a better base for the rest of your make-up – Be it on the eyelids or on the rest of the face.
The product is more yellow, like the top picture shows, for some reason this one made it look a more cream toned shade (wish I’d noticed that before I used the product and made it all messy and not really photo friendly!)

I’ve had the product for well over a week, now, because it’s something I wanted to try out a bit before I gave any feedback to you lovely lot as it’s not just something you’re going to want to see a swatch of to begin with.
Throughout the various uses for this the one I’ve settled on as my most favourite is as a base to go underneath a normal concealer under the eyes. Obviously if you were going to apply this underneath your foundation then that would counteract the yellow hue that this leaves but if, like me, you use concealing products after your foundation then you can apply this with a normally toned concealer over the top. I find that this works really nicely to counteract both the redness and the blue in my undereye area.
The concealer I most like to use this with is the MUA ‘Cover and Conceal wand’ as I really like the creamy formula of this and it doesn’t crease under my eyes anywhere near as much as other products. I do find, though, that it’s sometimes not enough coverage for the horrible blue under my eyes so the added yellow from the other product works really well to give it that extra coverage that I need. Sorry, I don’t seem to have any photos of this and I’m intent on getting this post sorted now, but you can see it HERE.
I’ve also used it on the eyelid and it does take some of the redness away from the area (as well as some blue as I said above) – I did find, though, that if I wanted to use it with something like that ‘MUA Colour Blasts’ which need a primer underneath then I needed to still use that primer as well as this ‘Prime & Conceal’ as it doesn’t have the same staying power as something like MUA’s ‘Pro Base Primer’ for the eyes which definitely gives it a much better lasting time. For normal eye shadow, though, it should be ok, though I still tend to use a normal primer too as that’s what I do on a day-to-day basis anyway.
All in all this is an interesting little product. It might not work for everyone but I do think it’s worth giving a go as it can add extra coverage to products and it does definitely reduce some redness and blueness which I know is something plenty of us battle with. It’s exclusive to the MUA Website and it sells for £1.50 which is such a low price for something that can make such a difference if it does work for you.
*This product was sent to me for the purpose of review