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Member since: 28.11.2011

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      27.07.2013 19:05
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      Effective water flosser

      My dentist recommended I use what he described as a water pick as an alternative to traditional flossing.
      I had no idea what a water pick was, so I had a look on Amazon and after looking at the reviews I decided to go with this Panasonic model.

      The Product
      It is about the size of an electric toothbrush . The bottom part contains a small water tank and the top a white thin plastic nozzle where the water comes out which you attach to the main body of the water pick.
      The water tank slides over the main body when not in use.
      It came boxed with batteries and is really simple and easy to put together. There are full instructions, but you simply insert batteries and attach the water nozzle to the motor.
      This is described as an ultra compact water flosser but I don't think it is that compact. Never having used one before though I don't have a comparison point.
      It comes with a 2 year guarantee.

      To use
      First extend the water pick so the water tank is fully visible and fill with warm ( not hot ) water.
      Place the nozzle inside your mouth and switch on. Run the jet over your teeth and gums , between the gaps and the front and back of your teeth. Try to keep the unit upright when using it as the water will stop pumping through.
      Switch off before removing from your mouth
      Pump out any remaining water left in the unit.

      My Experience
      This takes a little getting used to so here are my tips.
      1. Make sure the water is warm and brace yourself as the first jet always feels cold.
      2. Prepare to get wet and have cloths ready to mop up and clean the floor and mirror as I always manage to spray water everywhere
      3. Bend over the sink and keep your mouth slightly open but not too wide ( see 2) as you will spray water everywhere
      4. Always switch it on when it is in your mouth and switch off before removing. It sounds easy and sensible but I sometimes forget ( see 2)
      5. Make sure the nozzle is pointing at your teeth and gums ( see 2)


      Basically what this does is spray water out but I think the term jet is slightly misleading as it does not come out with real force ( thankfully) . We are not talking power hose more a garden hose, they quote 1600 pulses a minute. It is powerful enough for me as it does is really good job of getting all the bits of food and debris out of your teeth and you can actually see bits fall in the sink as you are doing this.
      I do this twice a day , usually after brushing my teeth and it leaves my teeth and gums feeling really clean. I find it much easier and quicker than traditional flossing albeit it is messier
      I find that I refill the tank a couple of times which takes a matter of seconds to do.

      What Do I Think
      I haven't used other models but I do find this a little unwieldy to use and it feels quite awkward at first as it is about ( inches long when extenbded. Plus it feels heavy with the water. I am used to it now ,but I still manage to spray water everywhere. I find it sprays when you move it across your teeth and so I try to keep my mouth closed when I do that but that makes me gag.
      I am very sensitive to hot and cold so I always find the first contact cold even though the water is warm and that makes me jump, but it is fine after that initial contact. The instructions say this may make your gums bleed, but I haven't had any issues. I would ask your dentist before using this though,
      I have been using mine for about 6 weeks now and haven't changed the batteries , but I do have a supply ready. A small issue is that it doesn't seem to have a warning that the batteries need replacing, but I guess that will be fairly obvious.
      I chose this model as there were quite a few comments about problems with rechargeable models not recharging and so far I am happy with my choice.
      It is quite noisy in operation, something I notice more if I do this late might or very early morning as does my husband.
      You can buy replacement heads, so I guess more than one person could use this.


      Would I Recommend
      Yes as it does the job and is much better than flossing in my opinion.
      As a novice in this field I dare say there are bigger and better versions which no doubt will be more expensive.
      I am very happy with my purchase and find it very effective. I have a bridge and want to keep it as long as I can, so this makes cleaning around that area more straightforward.

      The big drawback is that it is messy and no matter how hard I try I manage to wet my face hair and the surrounding area, so make this a job you do before getting dressed. That being said it is only water!
      Hopefully this will help keep my teeth and gums cleaner and healthier and less prone to infection.
      I am a bit obsessive about flossing as I have just had an infection that was VERY PAINFUL so I am using twice a day and probably doing it for longer than is necessary - so I would estimate I have done about 3 months flossing in 6 weeks and the batteries haven't needed changing.

      I bought mine from Amazon for around £45

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        12.07.2013 21:32
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        Sweet smelling hair

        Label M is a brand of hair care developed by Toni and Guy hairdressers and is used in their salons.
        I have my hair cut at a Toni and Guy salon and they have a loyalty scheme where you receive free treatments or products after so many visits, one of which is a shampoo so I chose their Honey and Oat Shampoo.

        The Product
        It comes in a black plastic bottle, which is very masculine in appearance, but there is nothing masculine about the fragrance, which is lovely.
        It contains honey, oat extracts, sea algae and sea cabbage and is aimed at dry, dehydrated hair. It also contains ingredients that protect against heat styling and the sun.
        Use it like you would any shampoo, simply wet your hair, apply some shampoo and massage through your hair and rinse thoroughly. It lathers really nicely and it will last me for ages, as even though I have short hair, I don't seem to use much.

        What do I think?
        I really like this shampoo and so does my husband who keeps pinching it. I normally use Kerastase shampoo for coloured hair as my colour lasts longer, but I find that after prolonged use the shampoo isn't as effective as I would like so I usually have a few shampoos on the go and rotate them. As Kerastase is a excellent shampoo this had a lot to live up to, but I find it a really effective shampoo that leaves my hair feeling soft and nourished and healthy looking. It is also very soothing and kind to my scalp, which is very dry flaky and irritated most of the time.
        My hair is fine and in the dry/normal range and I wash it so often, I only apply use one application as my hair it isn't very dirty. The combination of ingredients is very skin friendly and although I wouldn't normally choose a shampoo with honey, as I don't care for the smell, this actually smells more like toffee to me. I think it is a unique fragrance and one you wouldn't expect for a shampoo.
        It was recommended to me because of my scalp condition and although it hasn't healed it - I need steroids or stinky coal tar for that- it does make my scalp feel less itchy and tight. But most importantly it makes my hair feel so soft, shiny and easy to manage.


        Would I Recommend
        Yes this is a lovely fragrant shampoo that leaves my hair feeling and looking good and it feels nourishing on my itchy scalp.
        I like Label M products and use quite a few of their styling products, but this is the first shampoo I have tried in the range and I haven't been disappointed. My hair never gets greasy so I am not sure whether this would suit all hair types but it works on my dry fine colour treated hair.
        A real pleasure to use and my husband agrees as he actually commented on how nice it was. I think I will let him buy the next one

        Mine was free but RRP for a 300ml size is £11.95 but if you love this you can buy a supersize 1000ml for £23.95 and a travel size 60ml for £3 online from Label M. Also available from Toni and Guy who have salons nationwide.

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        • Clarks Bombay Lights / Shoes / 89 Readings / 86 Ratings
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          05.07.2013 20:04
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          Classic Smart Black Court

          I have to dress smartly for work and although I am not a shoe addict , I am always on the lookout for smart comfortable black shoes. I can usually find something in Clarks and so I usually head there when I am looking for work shoes.

          I bought the Bombay shoes in black but I think I have seen them in other colours.

          They are a black leather court shoe with feature white stitching and a bow on the front. Heel height is about 2.75" and they have a part leather but mainly rubber sole and are leather lined.

          They look and feel well made and are a substantial sturdy shoe. When I tried them on they fit perfectly and felt really comfortable.

          They come in size 3 to 9 with half sizes to size 8.

          What Do I Think?
          I really like these shoes as they are very comfortable and easy to wear. I am not standing all day but I do a lot of walking during the day and these remain comfortable after a full day of wear.
          They have got the balance of the shoe right and although they have a heel , they are very easy to walk in.
          The heel is substantial and chunky, so no catching your heel in the cracks of the pavement, something I do regularly.
          I feel they are a really stable shoe especially in wet weather or on shiny floors as the rubber sole grips the surface.
          I think the bow lifts the look and makes them really elegant and feminine and I also like the stitching around the shoe , it makes them a little different from a plain court.
          I also like the rounded shape and that they cover my toes so no toe cleavage.
          A pet hate of mine is different coloured heels on black shoes as I don't think they look right so another bonus is that the heel matches the shoe.
          They are quite a wide and large fitting shoe with plenty of room at the toe, so I bought a half size down from my normal size.
          I think they look good with skirts or trousers and the round toe and bow give them a slightly retro look which I really like.
          I am really hard on my shoes, I always seem to scuff the front catch the heel or do something to them usually the first time I wear them. I always use a leather protector to protect the shoe and hopefully my feet from wet weather.I found these really hardwearing and being black leather I could easily cover any scuffs I made primarily on the toe.
          I don't wear the same pair of shoes every days as I like to rotate them so they can air and breathe in between wears so I can't say exactly how long I had these but it was years rather than months.

          I think these were a great buy and testament to that is I bought the same pair again when I had to retire them.

          Available from Clarks for £64.99

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            02.07.2013 12:11
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            One of the best concealers I have tried

            I must have tried every brand concealer over the years at all price levels. My criteria being that they stay put, don't dry out my skin, make my face look like patchy where I have applied it and actually cover red thread veins.
            With the advances in technology you would think this would be possible but they all seem to fail on at least one of my criteria.

            I saw the Amazing Cosmetics concealer on QVC and it looked like it would fit the bill.

            The Product
            This comes in a very small 6ml tube. I bought mine from QVC, which seems to be the only UK stockist and they sell it in a kit with 2 concealers a brush, a small pot and a make up bag for £29.04 plus postage and packing. I didn't pay that much when I purchased , but I bought mine several years ago.

            You can buy this in several colours fair to light, light to medium and medium /dark so the kit contains 2 different colours so you can blend them together to create a custom colour.

            It is quite thick and dense in consistency and is highly pigmented.

            Based on my experience it doesn't deteriorate or go off once opened as I think I have been using this for at least 3 years.

            Application
            I can remember watching QVC and the presenter said that when you first use this you will squeeze out far too much and she was right. You only need a tiny amount as it will cover once blended most discolouration and if you put too much on it will look cakey and sit in pores. So start with a small amount and apply more if needed.

            They recommend applying pin dots with the brush to the areas you want to cover.
            I do that with a brush and then blend with my fingers on my cheeks to cover the red spider veins, under my eyes to cover light shadows, in the corners of one eye, which is always red, and sometimes I use on my eye lid. I use the brush to lightly touch any small areas of discolouration and then lightly pat.

            I find I can cover a large area with a really tiny amount which I dispense onto the back of my hand and then apply with the brush but even with a tiny amount I always seem to have product left over. You could out that in the pot that comes with this kit , but I think the product dries out when it is exposed to air and becomes too dry to apply.

            The Results
            After several bodged attempts I now have the knack with this concealer. I apply a tiny dot on my cheek and then spread as you would a foundation, then pat with my fingertips. I apply 2 or 3 even smaller dots under my eyes and gently pat and smooth to cover and do the same at my eye corner and on the lid.

            You need to work quickly as this is quite a dry formulation and I look into a magnifying mirror to check that it is evenly applied, to try and avoid having obvious patches of concealer. I apply foundation on top but I wait a few minutes before doing that, and that way the concealer stays put and I don't redistribute it to areas of my face where it isn't needed.

            You need to take your time applying this, as it looks awful and patchy if you rush.

            It provides great coverage, which stays put but it is quite dry, and a matt finish, so it doesn't always work for me when my skin is really dry and I end up with flaky patches. It always works best around my eyes where the skin isn't as dry and I tend to use this as a base for my eye makeup and to cover the pesky red corner on one of my eyes.
            If my skin is very dry I apply straight after moisturising and add a small amount of moisturiser to the product. The coverage isn't as good but I avoid creating flaky patches.

            It does feel and look quite heavy when you first apply, but if blended properly will not be visible when you apply foundation on top. Having 2 shades is really useful as I use the lighter on my eyes and to the darker on the thread veins and you can mix to get a mid shade if you need to.

            Make sure you remove any excess product on your hand as I once managed to ruin a jacket as I caught some of the product and the stain would not come out.

            Would I recommend?
            This isn't perfect as it is quite dry, but it is a heavy weight in the concealer market and will cover anything and it stays put. I would imagine that it would be perfect for oily skins, as at times it doesn't suit my very dry skin.

            I tend to use this when I am going out and have more time to apply my make up as if you rush this, you will end up having to take it off and start again as it will look a mess if you apply it badly or put too much on.

            I find concealers are either too dry and look patchy as you cant blend them easily, or are too wet and the concealer slips off, so although this is on the dry side I can use this successfully most of the time, but when my skin is very dry I have to add moisturiser so the result isn't as good.

            I don't have dark circles under my eyes but I do have shadows and it covers those very well.

            I am fair skinned and my skin is very sensitive but this hasn't irritated.

            Although it seemed expensive you only need several pinpricks for each application and I have been using mine for years so it lasts for ages.

            I don't use it every day as I don't have the time to spend, but it is one of the best I have tried and if they just added a tad more moisture it would be perfect.

            I wish I could get away without wearing makeup, as I tend to wear it mostly to cover up discolouration on my skin. As I need to cover up I think concealer is essential and what I like most about this one is it does stay put underneath foundation

            I am going to give it 5 stars as it is a 4.5 star product and 4 stars feels too mean. Plus it is the best of a very long list of concealers I have tried even though it isn't perfect.

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              30.06.2013 21:19
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              Perfect for sensitive skins

              I am very fair skinned and burn easily in the sun, so I have to be very careful when I am outdoors. Sun burn is not only painful and unsightly but it is also very damaging to the skin and will not only age you faster but can lead to skin cancer.

              I can burn on cloudy days and once while sitting in the shade, so I try to wear skincare and makeup products with sun protection in them, but if I am going to be outdoors a lot I will apply a sun cream as well.

              I find it quite difficult to find sun creams for my face as some brands use ingredients that irritate my skin or eyes or make my pale skin even paler as they leave a white residue. I feel like i have bought and tried every brand on the market at all price ranges . So I was pleased to find that Decleor do a range of sun care as I use their skin care and don't find it irritates my skin.

              The Product
              Decleor are a premium French skincare brand and I bought this product while I was on holiday as I could not find my usual Dermalogica sun cream where I was staying.

              It comes in a bright pink tube and you can buy this in 30 and 50 sun protection factor (SPF) but the only one I could find was a 15 SPF version. I would normally go for a higher SPF, but as this was the only one they had I bought it as I felt confident I wouldn't have the usual adverse reactions I experience with other brands. Plus I was attracted by the fact that this is an anti wrinkle cream as well as a sun cream.

              I use a lot of Decleor products as they use mainly natural ingredients , their products are kind on the skin nd they don't test on animals.

              The 50ml tube is small and easy to carry around.

              Ingredients include damask rose, chamomile and geranium oils, melon extract, UVA and UVB filters and DNA protection complex.

              The consistency is quite rich and it feels more like a skin care product than sun cream. It has a really nice light floral scent, which is slightly exotic, which makes it a pleasure to use.

              Like most sun protection, this loses its effectiveness after 12 months once it has been opened.

              Application

              Apply before going out in the sun and reapply every 2 hours.
              I apply a generous amount to my face and neck. I never know whether to apply sun cream on top or under skin care, so I put on after using moisturiser. It is really easy to apply and blends into my skin nicely. I always make sure I cover my entire face neck and décolleté, plus ears and back of neck if my hair is short.

              I have dry skin and this product says it suits all skin types, but I feel it is quite rich and feels tacky on first application, so it may be a little much for those with oily skin.

              The Results
              I really like this cream as it feels like I am applying a moisturiser rather than sun cream. Although it feels tacky at first it soon absorbs and I have experienced no sensitivity or irritation to my eyes that I normally get with other brands.
              It is easy to apply and reapply, as you do need to reapply every 2 hours to be protected. It is also easy to apply on the go and does not feel as sticky or greasy as other creams I have used, nor does it leave greasy marks or stains on my clothing.
              I find it really difficult to keep protected from the sun and have to make sure I do reapply often or I burn. For that reason as this was SPF15 it did not offer me complete protection, which I feel, is a combination of not applying regularly enough and the low SPF. I didn't burn, but my skin caught the sun.
              I would normally go for a higher SPF as I burn easily and higher SPF creams screen out a higher percentage off UVB rays which cause you to burn and UVA rays which age the skin, so I now have the SPF50 version of this cream.
              I find it makes my skin look and feel hydrated and soft to the touch, but as I wear this with anti ageing products I can't say that the cream alone will deliver on that front.

              I don't swim so I can't offer an opinion on whether this is waterproof, although I probably wouldn't trust any cream to be waterproof and run the risk of burning my skin.

              Difficult to say how long this lasts, but I used this several times a day on a two week holiday and there was still a fair amount left at the end.


              Would I Recommend
              I would recommend to people who burn easily, have sensitive skin and need to reapply often as this does not sting or cause me any irritation. I have lost count of the creams I have tried that make my skin feel raw and cause my eyes to water for days on end , even though I avoid the eye area when applying they still irritate.
              I would also recommend using daily sun protection as most dermatologists recommend using one daily as ultra violet rays from the sun penetrate the skin which causes premature ageing and liver spots.

              I really like the consistency and that once absorbed it doesn't feel or look sticky and shiny on my face. I don't wear make-up during the day when I am on holiday, but I sometimes put a tinted moisturiser on or some bronzer and that goes easily on top of this cream.

              I feel comfortable when I am wearing this as it improves the look of my skin and doesn't make my look really shiny like other creams or cause my skin to become even more sensitive.

              I used to get burnt more in this country, as the weather is so unpredictable, so now I don't worry if the sun comes out, as I know my skin is protected.

              I buy this mainly because most brands irritate my skin and eyes and it offers protection from the sun and makes my skin look better. I like using this as it is effortless to apply and I don't feel like I am wearing a sunscreen. I also like Dermalogica sun protection, but this tops it slightly because it improves the look of my skin as well as protecting from the sun.

              Finally and probably the most important reason is that I am fair skinned and members of my family have skin cancer, so I am trying my best to be vigilant and apply sunscreen daily, as I know I have to protect my skin even on days when the sun isn't shining.

              The only negative is the price which RRP is £28.50 for 50ml, which is expensive. Available for department stores , beauty salons and online retailers . Currently £22.49 at Salon Skincare . I usually buy online when on offer or with a discount.

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              • More +
                25.06.2013 21:19
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                Foolproof gradual tan

                I am absolutely rubbish at applying fake tan, but every year I give it a go , follow the instructions to the letter and then spend the next week or so covering up or trying to disguise patchy brown streaks.
                So although I was tempted by a fake tan review on here I thought it might be better investing in a gradual self tan this year, rather than add to my fake tan graveyard.

                There are lots of options on the market but I chose St Tropez Gradual Tan because they specialise in tanning products and this has received lots of positive reviews.

                I bought mine from Boots and it cost around £12 for 200ml.

                The Product
                I chose the light/medium version as I have very pale skin that never tans but they do a darker version as well.
                The product comes in a flip top plastic tube. It is described as an everyday moisturiser which if used daily will not only smooth your skin but deliver a subtle natural looking tan.
                It looks like a normal moisturiser - a rich white and has a pleasant clean slightly floral smell, not something I would choose normally but there it does a good job of hiding the fake tan smell.
                It contains lots of unrecognisable ingredients and will last 12 moths once opened.
                They recommend doing a patch test before using and not to apply to broken or irritated skin.

                Application
                St Tropez recommend that you exfoliate using their body polish before applying using a circular motion on your skin. Wait until it dries before dressing.

                The results
                My mistake was that the first time I used this I simply slapped it on my arms legs neck and chest slightly haphazardly after taking a bath. I did not exfoliate or wash my hands afterwards and I missed some bits . So as you might expect the results were not perfect and I had the usual tell tale signs of badly applied fake tan. First the deeper colour between my fingers as I failed to wash my hands and darker patchy colour on the very dry patches on the tops of my feet and some patches I missed around the ankles.
                On the plus side I did have a very lovely subtle tan everywhere else where I had done a better job and I was quite impressed with the results after just one application.

                The second time I applied this more carefully around the areas that grab product more than others, so knees elbows tops of feet , I applied sparingly. Plus I made sure I applied everywhere without missing bits and voila a lovely even light tan with no streaks.

                It is quite a nice moisturiser as well and feels really cooling when you apply and apart from the first bodged application it is pretty foolproof . It contains aloe vera which feels really soothing.

                As I have pale skin , this looks best on the parts of my body that do catch colour from the sun and the colour doesn't look fake or orange , just a healthy light tan.
                I don't apply this everyday as I find I can apply two or three times a week and maintain a light tan as anything darker would not suit my pale skin tone.
                It sinks in well and my skin feels and looks better after applying. I usually apply before bed and the colour develops overnight so I am not sure how long it takes before the colour appears.

                Like most tanning products this does come off on clothing, but not as much as normal fake tan and mostly in the places that get attract dirt normally like necklines collars and cuffs.
                I advise applying this a while before you dress especially in light coloured clothing.

                I find I don't need to apply much to develop colour so I think this will last me quite a while. This is aimed at the body but they do one for the face which I haven't tried.

                Would I Recommend
                I think this is the best gradual tanner I have used for quite a few reasons. I like the colour which doesn't shout fake tan . It develops a nice colour after just one application , doesn't smell horrendous and is quick and easy to apply. It is virtually streak proof if you follow the instructions properly and doesn't seem to grab onto knees elbows and dry patches as much as other brands. I only need to use a small amount every other day to maintain a light healthy natural looking tan, which makes me feel and look so much better than my normal pasty look. It also makes my skin feel soft and nourished, although I do use other moisturisers as well. I have very sensitive skin with dry irritated patches and have suffered no reaction to this product.
                It is much easier to apply than a fake tan and much more forgiving if you bodge the application, I have wasted loads of money on fake tans over the years and have never been happy with the results as I think it is really difficult to apply to very white skin. I also find I don't have to worry too much about where I apply the tan as when your skin is very pale, there is an obvious demarcation line where you stop the application which looks really bad , if you wear something that exposes those bits. As you may have gathered I don't apply this all over , just the bits that show
                I have very pale skin so can't comment on how good this is if you fall into the medium category. Plus I favour a more natural look so if your preference is for a dark tan I can't say whether this will develop into this. Basically I am just grateful for some colour as it makes such a difference to the way I feel .

                It is more expensive than other gradual tanners but I think it is worth it.

                Price and Availability
                I bought mine from Boots but you can get this online from various retailers like Feel Unique and Gorgeous Shop Full price is around £14 but there are usually offers to be had.

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                  22.06.2013 20:45
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                  £30 down the drain

                  I came across the Judith Williams brand on QVC and this product was in a skin care collection I bought.

                  The Brand
                  Judith Williams is American and produces an extensive skincare range to suit all ages. I chose the Luxury Diamond range as it is aimed at the mature market and targets lines, wrinkles and dry skin.

                  The Packaging
                  This comes in a plastic container which looks and feels quite cheap.

                  The Product
                  This is a fluid serum like product that claims to boost the look and feel of the skin, add moisture and contains anti ageing ingredients.
                  It is a cloudy colour and has a slighty watery consistency It contains a unique active ingredient called Diamagen which they claim supports the skin's natural collagen balance.

                  Application
                  Apply morning and evening after cleansing your skin and apply over your face and to the neck and décolleté. Smooth upwards onto the skin and then apply your moisturiser on top.

                  What Do I Think?
                  Not a lot to be honest. It smooths onto the skin quite well and sinks in very quickly, but I need to use quite a lot of product to cover my face and neck. As i have very dry skin i sometimes find i have to use more product if it contains ingredients that tighten the skin, so I wasn't too concerned initially.

                  With other serums I normally wait several minutes until fully absorbed and then apply moisturiser on top , but I don't feel I have to wait at all with this as it simply doesn't really feel like I have put anything on at all.

                  When I apply skincare products to my skin , I expect my skin to look better after I apply and that they improve my skin over time. So it is s very disappointing that this product does not make any difference to the look and feel of my skin either immediately or in the longer term after using it for several weeks.
                  The other issue is that the product comes out in fits and starts and very unevenly so quite a lot ends up on the floor or mirror. The dispenser comes away every now and then and I seem to spend a lot of time putting it back together and clearing up the fluid that has dribbled down the side of the container or landed elsewhere.

                  Would I Recommend?
                  NO
                  I bought this because the Judith Williams range received a lot of good reviews on QVC, but I think I am wasting my time and money with this particular product as it has made no improvement to my skin at all. Coverage is poor as it sinks in so fast and the dispenser is rubbish.
                  My skin does not feel moisturised at all after using this, I might as well put water on my face, so I don't feel it is suited to dry skin.
                  It isn't cheap at £30 for 30ml so I would have expected some results, but my skin looks the same with or without this product. This range is the most expensive by Judith Williams and is supposed to smooth away lines and make my skin look radiant, which it has failed to do.

                  I bought mine from QVC in a kit with several other products, so luckily I did not pay full price for this. Normally I would send it back but I was well out of the 30 day money back period , which is very annoying.

                  Having looked at the reviews they are mixed, so it obviously works on some people, but it just isn't for me.

                  Summary
                  A disappointing product that does not live up to its claims and is a complete waste of money. Mine has gone in the bin!

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                  • More +
                    17.06.2013 23:20
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                    A super fast brightening mask

                    I have been under the weather recently and as a result my skin isn't looking it's best. So on a visit to Boots I picked up a few things one of which was the Liz Earle Skin Brightening mask.

                    The Product
                    It comes in a plastic pump action dispenser and cost £14 for 50ml.
                    This mask is a quick fix for dull lack lustre skin. It contains a range of ingredients designed to stimulate tone and deliver soft radiant skin.

                    Ingredients include camphor oil, witch hazel, sweet almond oil, aloe vera, white clay, pro vitamin B5 and minerals.
                    This is not recommended for sensitive skin and they warn that you may feel a slight tingle.
                    To be honest if I had looked at the ingredients I wouldn't have chosen this, as clay, witch hazel and camphor would generally be too harsh on my dry sensitive skin. However I haven't had a problem and my skin is very sensitive , so I suspect they are playing it safe with the warning.

                    Liz Earle use quality ingredients sourced responsibly, don't test on animals, don't use animal ingredients except honey and beeswax.

                    Application
                    You can either apply this after cleansing or if you use Liz Earle cleanse and polish or a similar cleanser then you can mix this in with your cleanser.
                    Either way simply apply one or two pumps of the product on your face and neck avoiding the area around your eyes.
                    Leave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then remove with a hot muslin cloth or a flannel making sure you remove all the product.

                    The Results
                    I really rate this product as it takes no time to apply and it is easy to remove.
                    I use a Liz Earle muslin cloth that comes with her cleanser, but if I can't find a clean one a flannel will take it off. I use hot water and simply wipe off the product which comes off easily. I do that twice and then finish off with a cloth soaked in cooler or cold water to close the pores.
                    My skin does look noticeably better after using this and it definitely gives it a real boost. I think I look healthier as my skin is brighter and it feels soft to the touch.
                    Although it contains clay it doesn't set like a clay mask and I find the blend of ingredients gentle enough to use on my skin. It has a thick smooth slightly slippery consistency and a fresh herbal smell.

                    I tend to leave it on for 30 seconds as I am usually in a rush and I find that is long enough to improve the overall look and feel of my skin. I haven't experienced any tingle or any sensitivity perhaps because I don't leave it on for longer than 30 seconds.

                    Would I recommend?
                    Definitely , primarily because this takes so little time to put on and remove and it makes my skin come alive. It isn't messy and I am really impressed with the difference this makes after just 30 seconds.
                    I have neglected my skin recently, have had some really rough nights sleep, been unwell and when I look in the mirror first thing all those things combined show in my face. I look pale and unhealthy, so this is a great pick me up that revives my skin and makes me look much better than I feel . So in less than a minute this product performs a minor miracle.

                    I think it would suit most skin types and ages. I have mature dry sensitive skin and have suffered no reaction, but you may want to test this before purchasing if you have really sensitive skin.

                    Price and Availability
                    Larger Boots stores and Liz Earle shops on the high street . Or QVC online . Cost £14 for 50ml and £14.50 with a muslin cloth. Or a travel size is £5.50 for 15ml

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                    • Lush Dream Cream / Skin Care / 90 Readings / 89 Ratings
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                      10.06.2013 19:49
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                      Not my dream cream

                      I never really considered buying anything from Lush as I found the strong smell outside the stores really off putting, but after reading so many positive reviews on Dooyoo, I decided to give it a try.

                      I must admit I still struggle with the overpowering scent, so I didn't spend long in the shop. Disappointingly the product I wanted was discontinued but the very helpful assistant pointed me in the direction of products that would help my psoriasis and I chose the Dream Cream.

                      The product
                      This comes in a black pot with 240g of product and is described as a body lotion. It costs £10.95 from Lush. I would say that it is part way between a rich body lotion and a body butter. It is their best selling product and is very highly rated.

                      Aimed at those with sensitive and easily upset skin, Lush claim it will suit all skin types.

                      The reason I bought this was the assistant said that this had delivered results for people with skin complaints and the majority of the user reviews confirm this.

                      Ingredients include - oat milk, rose water, extra virgin olive oil, glycerine, tea tree oil, chamomile oil and lavender oil. All of which combined have soothing, nourishing and moisturising properties.

                      It smells and looks slightly medicinal and I am not keen on the fragrance as the strongest scent I pick up is tea tree oil, which is not one I would choose to use on my hands and body. The other scent I detect is lavender.

                      The results
                      This is a very rich cream that I feel would only suit those with dry skin. Lush recommend applying a generous amount, so I did and managed to create an oil slick on my skin. I could not get the cream to absorb into my skin and had to tissue off the residue so I could dress. Next time I used substantially less but this cream still left a greasy residue on my skin.
                      When you apply it is very slippery and on application feels quite runny.
                      It does absorb eventually and is hydrating and after a couple of hours my skin still feels moist without a hint of dryness, so it scores well on the moisturising front.
                      The cream doesn't irritate my skin, which is very dry, sensitive, and sometimes sore but it takes too long to absorb and leaves my skin feeling greasy and tacky which I find unpleasant. If I use it on my hands I have to tissue off the residue, as it simply does not sink into my skin fast enough and feels slippery and oily.

                      Would I Recommend
                      It's not for me, as I don't like the scent as I think it smells like an antiseptic ointment. The scent isn't strong but it isn't one I like using on my body but added to that is that it just doesn't absorb well and leaves a greasy residue on my skin. There are quite a lot of oils in the product and I have to wait ages before dressing and if I use before bed, I stick to the bedding.
                      I will continue using this as the reviews indicate good results on skin complaints. I have decided to use it on my legs and so I don't pick up the scent as much and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will work if I persevere. After 3 weeks it hasn't worked a miracle on my legs, but for some reason the skin there is the most difficult to treat. It is definitely a passion killer as my husband complains every time I use this, but payback for when he puts half a jar of Vick on at any sign of a sniffle.
                      I feel that this is probably best used on patches of irritated skin, as you would apply a balm or ointment. Or simply apply to really rough skin like knees and elbows rather than using it as an all over body lotion primarily because it leaves a residue like a balm on top of the skin.
                      It is very rich and leaves skin feeling and looking hydrated for a long time after application, so if you can cope with the tacky feeling then this might be for you.
                      I am disappointed with the cream, but from experience I know that what suits one person doesn't always suit me.
                      So although I personally won't be buying this again, read the other reviews as it has worked magic for other people who have used this on eczema and rashes.

                      I will give it 2 stars for the hydrating properties but the scent and greasiness are a let down and it doesn't live up to it's name of Dream Cream

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                      • More +
                        09.06.2013 11:07
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                        Great value painkiller

                        I don't tend to take ibuprofen very often as it doesn't seem to agree with me but it is what I turn to if I have dental pain. Ibuprofen are anti inflammatory drugs used for pain fever and swelling.
                        In my experience there is nothing quite like dental pain, especially if it is caused by an infection.
                        It simply cannot be ignored and I have had a couple of bad experiences where nothing I use touches the pain which is unbearable.
                        So a couple of weeks ago when a few twinges turned into a dental nightmare, I sent my husband out to buy Ibuprofen . Having watched a programme about painkillers and comparing branded and express versions which said there was no difference except price, I told him to buy the cheapest unbranded ones.

                        He came back with Nurofen Express - probably the most expensive and a pack of 16 Galpharm 200mg coated tablets which cost just 38p for 16 tablets.

                        His rationale was now wasn't the time to use cheap inferior tablets, so I used the Nurofen first and then started to use these when I finished the Nurofen.

                        I was having difficulty swallowing and suffering from sensitivity , so as I find swallowing tablets difficult, I was pleased that these are sugar coated . I find the coating makes them easier to swallow and if they do get stuck then you don't get the taste of the ibuprofen in your mouth, which is really unpleasant.

                        They are round and come in a foil pack - 2 packs of 8 and are a standard size tablet . The box they come in has dosage instructions and warnings and I think there was an instruction leaflet with more detailed information in the pack. I didn't read that as I know I can take Ibuprofen and the dosage instructions were on the box.

                        It is important to read the instructions especially if you are taking other medication or have other medical complaints particularly if you have problems with your stomach. You also need to make sure you only take the recommended dose in 24 hours.

                        Ibuprofen should be taken with food or after eating . The maximum dose of these for an adult are 6 in a day taken 3 or 6 times a day.

                        Are they Effective
                        My dental pain was so bad nothing would really touch it so all I could hope for was a dulling of the pain to make it more bearable. These did dull the pain but did not act as fast as the Nurofen Express which are formulated to break down quickly - so well done hubby for ignoring my instructions. But for 38p I eventually got the same results as Nurofen which cost £3.49 they just take longer to work. They kept dulling the pain for the same length of time but I think if you have severe pain you will be counting down until you can take your next dose so it is probably best to get a faster acting ibuprofen.

                        I needed antibiotics and as they started to take effect the pain abated, but I did continue taking these especially at night as dental pain is always worse when you lie down.

                        I take paracetamol in addition to ibuprofen when I have really bad dental pain and was advised that you can take them at the same time for severe pain, but you need to run this past your dentist or pharmacist . My other tip for dental pain is to hold room temperature water in your mouth as it does dull the pain momentarily. Most important go to the dentist as soon as you can.

                        Would I Recommend
                        Yes these do the job as well as the more well known brands, but are not as fast acting as the branded express ibuprofen. They also target headaches muscular and period pains - I haven't tried them for those complaints so can't comment on how effective they are.
                        I don't really like taking ibuprofen as they dull my senses and make me feel generally unwell, however that is preferable to severe dental pain so a necessary evil sometimes.

                        Make sure you read the instructions very carefully before you take them as they may not be suitable for you and always make sure you take these with food as they will play havoc with your stomach if you don't.

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                        • More +
                          07.06.2013 11:05
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                          Award winning bath milk

                          Luxury milk bath is part of the Elemis Spa homebody soothing range.
                          Elemis are a premium beauty brand that produces a range of skin and body products that are used in spas around the world.
                          I have used this before many years ago but was reintroduced to it when I was lucky enough to receive a goody bag full of large sample size Elemis products.

                          I really like Elemis products particularly their bath and body care products as I feel really pampered after using them. This is one of their award winners and is really highly rated by people who use it.

                          The Product
                          My sample came in a plastic bottle with 60ml of product, which looks like a miniature version of the full size.
                          The product is a creamy white colour with the consistency of single cream. They recommend you use 5 capfuls in a bath - I use more as I have a large bath.
                          This turns the water cloudy but there are no bubbles.
                          The product is aimed at very dry skin and if you suffer from severe dryness they recommend daily use for 12 days. Rather unusually you can also use this as a body cream.
                          It contains milk protein, natural plant collagen, and oat extract and camellia oil. All designed to nourish and soften without irritating skin.
                          It has a very subtle scent of exotic flowers, which is very natural, and not over powering.

                          The Results
                          I really like this as the water felt really soothing and the subtle scent made me feel very relaxed. I used more product than they recommended as I have very dry irritated skin and we have quite a large bath but less than a normal bath product.

                          My skin felt lovely and soft and smelt gorgeous and it eased the itchiness I experience from psoriasis particularly on my legs, which can become really tight and itchy after a bath.

                          It feels very gentle and I really enjoyed soaking in the softly scented water. I love having a bath but sometimes my skin starts to itch in the water and it isn't very relaxing. I use prescribed creams and oils in the bath designed to ease and sooth my skin but they don't help so I was impressed with this.

                          I used this as a moisturiser after my bath, which is a little tricky as it is quite runny. I didn't need to use a lot as I applied to damp skin and it made my skin feel super soft and satiny.


                          Would I Recommend
                          This is a wonderful bath product that really soothed and nourished my skin and I found the scent and cloudy soft water were perfect for my sore irritated skin.
                          My skin felt nourished and really soft.

                          I found it a little runny to use as a moisturiser although it does give good results.
                          What I have done is apply this on the really irritated skin on my legs, as nothing I use seems to clear the psoriasis, but this does help with the itchiness and the tight feeling.

                          A very gentle product, which made for a very relaxing bath, my skin definitely felt better for using this.

                          Would I Recommend
                          I hesitate a little on whether to wholeheartedly recommend but only because of the price, which is £42 full price for 400ml. I managed 2 baths out of 60ml and I applied to my legs so I think I will get 12-13 baths out of the full size so around £3 a bath.

                          There are probably other products out there that deliver similar results that I haven't come across yet, but I decided to continue with this more as it has made my skin feel more comfortable and I haven't felt the urge to scratch my skin as much.
                          I don't think this will heal the psoriasis but I think that the gentle formula has improved and made a difference to my skin condition which makes any moisturiser and prescription cream much more effective. I plan to use this for 12 days as Elemis recommend as although expensive it feels worth it if it helps the overall condition of my skin.

                          I think the fact that this can be used neat as a moisturiser demonstrates how gentle this is

                          Price
                          Available from John Lewis and lots of online retailors - Gorgeous Shop have this for £33.60, various sellers on Ebay for around £20 and QVC have a kit with the full size matching shower cream and body lotion for £45. Time to Spa the Elemis official online shop has a 60ml travel size for £7.25 if you want to try this.
                          I find that you get better value by buying a kit as you get several products for the price you pay for one.

                          A considered purchase but a 5 star product in my opinion.

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                          • More +
                            04.06.2013 22:05
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                            Luxury body oil

                            Elemis produce a range of skin and body care products that are used in luxury spas around the world.
                            I bought a travel size kit to try out their products and discovered the Frangipani Monoi Body Oil and it is one of my all time favourite body products.

                            The Product
                            This comes in a high quality deep red glass bottle with a silver lid . The lid reveals a very small opening which means you can control how much you dispense which is important as I find oils are difficult to control.
                            Unusually the product is solid inside the bottle and you need to heat the oil . Apparently it solidifies below a certain temperature. I normally place the bottle in hot water in the bathroom sink so it liquefies while I am having my bath or shower.
                            The oil can be used as a hair and scalp treatment, a body moisturiser and a nourishing nail treatment.
                            It contains coconut oil and frangipani flower which gives it a sweet exotic fragrance. The flowers are soaked in oil to infuse the fragrance.

                            Application
                            A little goes a long way with this product for example I use about a 10p size on my arm. I normally apply straight after a shower when my skin is still damp and I simply smooth over my skin. I haven't used this as a hair treatment as I am not keen on using oil treatments as I find them hard to rinse out.

                            The Results
                            This is a gorgeous oil, it has an exotic smell which is heady spicy and floral , but not in an overpowering way. The oil glides easily onto the skin leaving it feeling soft and hydrated with a slight sheen. It doesn't feel greasy or leave any oily residue and I find it sinks in fast on my very dry skin. I find it really quick and easy to apply and my skin feels soft and fragrant for a long time after applying.
                            It makes my skin look healthy with a soft glow and so much better.

                            Would I Recommend
                            Yes this is a wonderful oil that is a treat for your skin. It is expensive but I almost feel like I have been to a luxury spa after using it. I tend to use it in Summer as I think it is the perfect body product to use on those rare hot days. I have very dry sensitive problem skin and this does not irritate in any way. I find it works best if applied to damp skin like most moisturisers.
                            I think this would work on all skin types , just use less if you have normal or oily skin.
                            I have had mine for ages mainly because I forget to melt it first ( the only downside) and it hasn't gone off. It doesn't take long to melt , but I am usually in a rush most mornings, so I tend to use this when I have a good long soak in the bath which is less often than I would like.
                            Full price this is £31.50 for 100ml and available from Harvey Nichols or John Lewis. I usually wait for an offer to buy this as it makes a wonderful gift if I can bear to part with it.

                            No hesitation a 5 star product and one I put on my Christmas list every year.

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                            • More +
                              30.05.2013 21:57
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                              Quality ink but at a price

                              When I bought my Canon printer many years ago, I should have spent more time working out how much it would cost to replace the ink cartridges . The model I have the IP4500 has 5 cartridges a large and small black and 3 colours, so when I do replace I will factor ink replenishment cost that into my decision as depending on where I buy the ink it can cost me £50+ to replace them all.

                              I have over the years dabbled with using much cheaper compatible cartridges as the Canon inks are much more expensive. However I have not had great experiences with them and so I now stick to using the originals. I found the compatibles fiddly , messy and not great quality, so as I use my printer primarily for photographs I stick to Canon originals.

                              I bought this particular model because I wanted a printer that would print good quality photographs and it does produce great results. I feel that is a combination of the printer, the ink and the paper you use. The original Canon ink cartridges produce crystal clear excellent quality prints . They do not fade , the ink comes out evenly and although they are expensive I feel you get what you pay for.
                              This particular pack has the 3 colour cartridges you need for my Canon Pixma which includes the Cyan Magenta and Yellow. The cartridges are boxed and individually wrapped.

                              They are extremely easy to install in the printer and once you remove the tab click into place with no problems. A clean and simple operation with no ink escaping on me or in the printer.
                              I can't say how long these last as it very much depends on what you are printing. I tend to print everything in draft quality and black and white , so I use the ink sparingly for day to day printing.
                              Even in draft quality the printing is good quality, crisp and clear and not a splodge or smear of ink in sight.

                              My printer indicates when the ink is low or has run out. Unless I am printing photographs I find you can print for quite a while on low ink, but rather annoyingly if one cartridge runs out completely it won't print anything.

                              I have all my recent photographs stored digitally and like most people I don't always print copies out. Recently though I spent the afternoon looking at our old family photographs at my parents and realised that it is much more enjoyable holding and passing round photographs , so I have decided to print my favourites and store them the old fashioned way.

                              I shopped around and bought my ink from Hunt Office . The pack cost around £28 for 3 cartridges . RRP is £38 .
                              Also available from Amazon and Argos stock some colours.

                              My only gripe about the ink is the price and I really can't fathom why they charge so much. I would recommend genuine Canon ink as it is much cleaner , easy to install and better quality than compatible ink cartridges. But if you don't mind getting ink everywhere and don't need a quality print then I wouldn't bother with Canon ink as it is too expensive.

                              5 stars for the quality but I wish it was cheaper.

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                            • More +
                              29.05.2013 20:40
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                              An affordable neck cream that works

                              Over the years I feel like I have tried almost all the neck creams on the market. My guess is there isn't one that can address the thing that bothers me most which is my 'turkey neck' . Most brands claim they can but I have only ever bought one cream more than once and while that did make an improvement the big downside is the price as it costs £85 ( Revive Fermetif Neck Cream). So I have been looking out for a less expensive one and came across the Judith Williams brand on QVC.

                              The Brand
                              Judith Williams is American and produces an extensive skincare range to suit all ages. I chose the Luxury Diamond range as it is aimed at the mature market.

                              The Packaging
                              This comes in a plastic pot with a silver lid and from a distance looks quite swanky, but it feels quite cheap and the silver comes off in your hands after a couple of uses.

                              The product
                              This is a rich moisturiser that targets mature skin and contains anti ageing and skin enhancing ingredients . The claim is it plumps up skin on the neck and decoletee and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
                              It contains collage activators , real diamond powder and peptides that help reduce free radicals. It has a unique active ingredient called Diamagen which supports the skin's natural collagen balance. More recognisable ingredients are shea butter and apricot oil , both of which are effective moisturisers.

                              Application
                              Apply morning and evening to the neck and décolleté. Smooth upwards onto the skin.

                              What Do I Think?
                              Well bearing in mind that this cost me £21 for 50ml and replaced a cream that cost £85 for 75ml , I am pretty impressed. My other cream was very good and this is delivering similar results for a third of the price.
                              The cream is very slightly waxy in texture which I think helps blur lines , but it does a great job at moisturising my skin. It sinks in easily and the product stays on my skin and once applied my skin looks hydrated and the fine lines on my chest disappear. It doesn't completely address the crepeyness just under my chin but it certainly improves the appearance.
                              I am not keen on the scent as it has a rather unnatural flowery aroma, but it isn't overpowering and it hasn't irritated my skin in any way.

                              Would I Recommend?
                              I bought this because the Judith Williams range received quite a number of 5 star reviews on QVC and I haven't been disappointed. I am not sure it is 5 stars but it isn't far off.
                              The skin on my neck is very sensitive and easily irritated , plus I have problems with creams as some roll off and create little balls of product on the surface of my skin. This doesn't do that and it also does what it says it will do which is improve my skins appearance and blur fine lines. It is easy to apply and works well on my dry mature skin.
                              It performs better than most of the more expensive premium brands on the market, which I think is impressive as it is much more affordable.
                              You don't need this if you are under 45 or have great skin. If you buy from QVC you can return it within 30 days and get a full refund( not the postage) even if you have used most of the cream so I usually buy from them so that I can get a refund if I am not happy with the product.

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                              • Azatom UFO Docking Station / Speaker / 76 Readings / 72 Ratings
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                                06.04.2013 20:03
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                                Quality speaker at a great price

                                I am not able to play my Ipod in my car as it doesn't have a connection point.
                                I have tried a receiver you tune into the radio , but it was rubbish. So I decided to look for a portable speaker and give that a try.

                                The Product
                                The AZATOM UFO is a speaker and Ipod / Iphone dock that has an inbuilt rechargeable battery so it is also portable.
                                It came boxed together with a mains adaptor , 3.5mm auxiliary cable, remote control and user manual and was really well packaged.

                                Set up
                                It is very simple, just plug in the mains adaptor and put your Ipod or Iphone in the dock and play as normal. Like most docks it charges as it plays.
                                I have an Iphone 4 and Ipod Classic and both fit the dock perfectly, but I have seen reviews where some models don't fit so check before you buy.

                                These are the compatible models:
                                - Compatible with ipod nano 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Generations, iPhone, 2G, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4s iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generations and all Classics. Also, fully compatible with iPhone 5, Nano 7G, Touch 5G, using the Official Apple Lightning to 30-pin adaptor.

                                The dock is covered when not in use and the cover provides support for your Ipod when it is docked.
                                It is quite small and fits perfectly in the well on the top of my dashboard. Around 8" by 6".
                                It is a curved round design in black and silver which I think is sleek, modern and looks good. It looks like it should cost a lot more that £30 and it is well made and feels solid.

                                Just 3 buttons on the top of the speaker to control volume up and down and the on off button. The on off button a is where you can change between the auxiliary or ipod. The buttons are a bit fiddly as there are different combinations of lights to indicate it is switching on or off, similarly switching between auxiliary. A minor point as there aren't many options , but I always seem to forget and have to grab the leaflet that came with it.

                                I haven't used the remote as I use it in my car and just set my Ipod playing whichever playlist I fancy which I select before I start driving. It is quite small about the size if a credit card and comes supplied with a battery and allows you to select menu volume, mute and navigate through songs. You can also switch on and off.

                                Power output is 16 watts and it has advanced sound technology for tweeter and mid-range plus a bassport.

                                When you connect to the mains the unit automatically charges and the on off light will flash while it is charging. Fully charged and the light is on constantly.

                                My opinion
                                This is a cracking little speaker that produces a great sound in my car. It has a stereo sound that is very bassy, which I really like. I am not an expert on sound systems, but the one thing I always do is turn the bass up as I don't like what I describe as a tinny sound.
                                I am not sure whether you can change the treble and bass on this unit as I like the sound it produces out of the box. The sound is crisp clean and clear and it doesn't sound like one speaker.
                                The unit just fits in the well on my dashboard and initially I was worried that the IPod or my Iphone would fly out of the dock as I drive, but it sits very securely and hasn't budged yet. There are rubber pads around the edges on the bottom of the unit to stop it moving around.
                                My problem is I forget to charge it and I really need to find a plug that fits the cigarette lighter so I can charge as I drive. I don't find the charge lasts the promised 8 hours , I would say 4 or 5 hours at most.
                                I have used this in a small room at home and the sound quality is excellent for such a small and reasonably priced speaker. I bought mine from Amazon and paid £29.99.

                                Would I Recommend
                                I have no hesitation in recommending this speaker and dock. The sound quality is excellent and the big bonus is this is portable so I can use this in my car. I plan to change my car soon so don't want to pay to have a connection run through the radio as it is not a job I could do and is quite costly.
                                I love listening to music on my way to work as it lifts my spirits, but I can't bear the radio any more as they seem to talk more than they play music or play ads.
                                I plan to buy another one of these so I have a dock upstairs .
                                for charging and using as a speaker. It is small and perfectly formed and I think is great value for money.
                                Amazon sell this, but it is £36.99 currently. You can buy from Azatom who have it at £28.99 + postage

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