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Gemko85

Gemko85
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Member since: 25.11.2012

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      02.12.2012 20:03
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      This is not just a beauty product but a multipurpose, medicinal marvel!

      I first started using Eight Hour Cream as a teenager when I went through a silly phase of wasting all my Saturday-job cash on expensive cosmetics, thinking myself to be very sophisticated indeed. I can honestly say that of all the products I tried back then, this is the only one that I've continued to buy ten years on. More than that, I can't really live without it now and there are many reasons why I just love it....

      PACKAGING
      Eight Hour Cream comes in a nice little box with an informative leaflet about the product. The tube itself is elegant: long, slim and white with a nice chrome-effect band around its white lid. The lettering is small and rounded, typical of Elizabeth Arden products, and the front of the bottle features a red door, the brand's classic logo. The back of the tube gives information on using and applying the product in both English and French.
      My one small gripe about the packaging is the lack of a decent seal between the lid and tube. Once you've opened it, a very tiny amount of the cream seems to leak out around the nozzle but this results in lots of little bits of fluff and dirt from your handbag sticking to the lid and nozzle. You'll find that you have to wipe it clean with a tissue regularly but as issues go, this is a minor one.

      PRODUCT
      When I first bought Eight Hour Cream, I was surprised to find that it is not a conventional cream, but is an ochre-coloured sheer petroleum balm which seems on first impressions more like a lip balm than a moisturising cream. The cream smells wonderful; its scent always reminds me of Mediterranean oranges and smells really natural rather than being loaded with overpowering perfume, as many beauty products are. Although it does contain fragrance, it also contains mineral oils and salicylic acid which both really help to soothe and soften your skin.

      USAGE & APPLICATION
      The most amazing thing about this skin protectant is its incredible versatility. The most obvious usage is as a lip balm, but you can apply it to dry skin anywhere on your face or body. It's also very soothing on all kinds of skin problems, such as sunburn, rashes, cuts and grazes, also softening up the dry calloused skin on elbows and feet in a trice. Another great use is as a highlighter on your arms and legs on a night out (this is especially effective with a tan!). The cream can even be used on certain animals apparently - Elizabeth Arden herself used it to soothe the legs of her horses!

      WEARABILITY & DURABILITY
      Eight Hour Cream looks great on and is very durable - wherever and however you apply it, the moisture lasts and your skin just glows. Its staying power is particularly helpful if you're using it on some kind of skin irritation as it will provide long-lasting relief. A good tip is to use it sparingly, as it can be quite difficult to rinse off. I'd also advise that you only use it on where you need it, as if you apply it to areas of your skin that are already oily, it will make it worse!

      INGREDIENTS
      Petrolatum, Lanolin, Mineral Oil, Tocopherol, BHT, Salicylic Acid, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Castor), Vegetable Oil, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Fragrance, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Propylparaben and Iron Oxides.

      PRICE & RANGE
      I usually pick up a 50ml tube of the cream from various online beauty stores for around £20. However, it is also widely available in department stores and the price can range depending on the size of the bottle and where you choose to buy it. Although it's quite pricey, it offers great value for money as even with daily usage, a 50ml tube usually keeps me going for several months. There are some other fab products in the Eight Hour Cream range which are also worth considering - these include a lip balm, hand cream and body moisturiser. A gift set of these products would make a great Christmas present too!

      OVERALL
      A must-have beauty and medicine-cabinet essential - a timeless classic. Try it once and you'll be hooked for life, I can assure you!

      Thank you for reading and I hope you found this helpful :)

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      26.11.2012 22:29
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      An all-American favourite - a great alternative to English or French mustard

      Whatever your politics or personal views, you've got to admit that our friends in America give us many great things - from cars to fizzy drinks and TV shows- and French's yellow mustard is no exception to this fine tradition. There are many reasons why I love it, as I will now attempt to explain...

      **PACKAGING**
      The French's bottle stands out on the shelves in a pleasing shade of sunshine yellow, matching the colour of its delicious contents. Its ergonomic and curvaceous shape fits easily into your hand, allowing for a satisfying squeeze. The nozzle on top is well-designed and always proffers a nice dollop of the yellow stuff when squeezed.

      **TASTE**
      French's has a really distinctive taste, which is bold and flavoursome without being spicy - it's a great alternative for those who find English mustard a little too fierce. It works well on many things, including sides like chips and salad, but it really proves its worth when squeezed onto meat. French's is great on BBQ favourites like burgers and sausages, I've also found that it's really tasty with other meats, such as pork and roast or fried chicken.

      **DURABILITY**
      The mustard keeps really well - I store mine in the fridge and it lasts for weeks. The bottle doesn't state how long you should keep it once opened, but it seems to stay nice and fresh for a really long time.

      One word of warning - ALWAYS shake the bottle well before using. If you don't, you may well find your food gets covered in a watery mustardy residue instead of lovely mustard, as the bulk of the product seems to settle at the bottom of the jar when stored.

      **NUTRITION**
      I follow a low-carb eating plan and one of the best things about French's is that it's one of the lowest-carb mustards I've come across at only 1% net carbs. This is extremely low and is far better than other varieties like English or wholegrain, and also when compared to own-brand American mustards.

      **OVERALL VALUE**
      French's tends to retail at a slightly higher price than own-brand versions of yellow American mustard, but it's worth every penny. It's full in flavour but mild enough for all tastes, and is a welcome, versatile addition to a variety of meats, sides and savoury dishes.

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      • More +
        26.11.2012 21:34
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        Good quality nail polish in a fabulous contemporary shade

        Models Own nail polishes are generally great, and Lilac Dream is one of my favourites for a number of reasons as I shall explain henceforth....

        **PRICE**
        These polishes generally retail in Boots for £5 per bottle - good value, considering the excellent quality and generous size. Even better, you can often pick them up on a "3 for the price of 2" offer, which brings the price down to an extremely thrifty £3.33.

        **BOTTLE & BRUSH**
        The Models Own brand has distinctive white packaging and I like the modern, barrel-like design of the bottle. The lid of the bottle is fairly large and can be quite cumbersome to hold when applying the polish, although the brush is a good length and width, allowing for accurate brush-strokes.

        **APPLICATION**
        I've found that all Models Own nail polishes I've used have been of really excellent quality. The polish adheres beautifully to the brush, which enables you to apply an even coat to each nail. Drying time is good, although I find that applying only a thin layer for the first couple of coats helps it to dry more quickly and evenly. You will need about 3 or 4 coats of this polish (depending on your preference of course), and once you've carefully painted on a few coats, you will find that the polish will appear evenly-coloured on your nails and it offers superbly shiny finish, which can be difficult to achieve outside of a nail salon.

        **COLOUR**
        I love this colour - a light bright pastel lilac which is bang on trend, and it gives a contemporary finishing touch to any daytime or evening look. It also looks really striking on toenails - great in summer or for holidays. The only downside is that with it being such a distinctive colour, it can clash with some other colours - personally, I found it looked a bit odd if I wore colours like red or orange, although it works really well with neutrals, yellows and blues.

        WEARABILITY & DURABILITY
        As mentioned above, you'll probably need to apply 3 to 4 coats for an even, glossy look but once you've applied it, Lilac Dream will stay put for at least 4 days. Unless you're doing vigorous housework or other manual chores, it generally won't chip until it's been on for 5 or 6 days - at which point, you'd probably want to refresh or change your nail polish anyway. For the price, it's one of the longest-lasting polishes I've used.

        In summary, I'd give this nail polish a really good rating - the colour might not be for everyone, and it doesn't quite have the staying power of some of the manicure-standard brands, but it offers excellent value for money with a salon-style finish. Recommended!

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        26.11.2012 20:29
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        My absolutely essential, can't-live-without, desert-island make up product.

        What can I say, except that I am a huge fan of this product and have used it non-stop since it came out a few years ago, so I think I'm pretty well-qualified to write this review! Just to advise you, I use the brown/black shade, as I find it looks more natural than jet black, but also gives a noticeable effect. The mascara is also available in black or navy blue though.

        APPEARANCE & FEEL
        The packaging is fairly simple, but the classic combination of black and gold give it a timeless, sophisticated appearance - I particularly like the gold-tipped lid. The wand itself is fairly short and perhaps looks unremarkable compared to some of the wackier Rimmel/Maybelline 'Cat Eyes' types of mascara out there, but the magic is in the simplicity my friend! This small but mighty brush features very fine bristles which offer up a beautifully even coating of mascara to your lashes. Because of its small, cylindrical shape, the wand is also easy to hold and allows excellent control and precision when applying the mascara.

        PRODUCT & APPLICATION
        From the first coat, Masterpiece Max slides on like a dream and immediately separates, lifts and colours your lashes and one coat is probably enough for those who prefer a more natural look. I tend to use 2 or 3 coats as I like to wear a fair amount of eye make-up most of the time, but this is ultimately down to personal preference. When applying this mascara, I tend to allow a little drying time between each coat, as this really helps to avoid clumping. Once I've applied a a couple of coats, the end result is always eyelashes that look longer, thicker but in no way clumpy or flaky. You can even apply further coats if you want a really dramatic look for a night out, and it your lashes will still look defined and flake-free.
        Another brilliant feature is how well it holds a curl in your eyelashes - I find that most other mascaras, apart from really expensive ones, are extremely frustrating as your lashes will drop flat a second after using the eyelash curler. There is no such problem with Masterpiece Max - I apply the curler after the first coat of mascara dries, and this is enough to set my lashes in a curl which holds after applying subsequent coats and lasts for the rest of the day.

        WEARABILITY & DURABILITY
        Masterpiece Max is definitely one for the long haul - it lasts, pretty much perfectly, all day and night. I wear it everyday, but it's been especially good when I've had to get up for early morning flights in the past - I applied it the night before and it lasts right through to the end of next day, even after hours of travelling through time zones!
        My only comment/suggestion for MaxFactor would be to please bring out a waterproof version of Masterpiece Max! Although it is very very durable, it doesn't hold up if you are swimming or caught in heavy rain and will smudge in such situations. It may be useful to know that there is a waterproof version of the original Masterpiece product, but it's not a patch on this mascara.

        CONCLUSION
        In summary, I've tried so many different mascaras over the years and I can wholeheartedly say that this is genuinely the only one I ever buy and would consider buying. It is far, far superior to any other brands within its price-range, and I really think it's much better than most high end luxury mascaras too.
        In a day and age when we're bombarded by a raft of ridiculous make-up adverts offering totally unrealistic results from mascaras, this little beauty will really live up to your expectations.

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        • Blackberry 9360 / Mobile Phone / 26 Readings / 22 Ratings
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          25.11.2012 21:36
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          One to avoid, if you want a proper smartphone.

          I recently stopped using this BlackBerry and switched to a Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, and although it had some OK features, I was only too happy to be rid of it.

          When I first got the BlackBerry, it was contemporary and offered a range of features and apps comparable to the other smartphone giants, Android and Apple. However, it rapidly fell behind the times in terms of the operating system and its capabilities.

          In terms of positives - the BlackBerry is simple to use and navigate once you get used to the basics. The menus are logical and you can organise the phone's apps and features as you wish. If you're not a fan of touch screens, you will probably like the full QWERTY keyboard which is a customary feature of BlackBerries - although this does make it easy to input text, the keys are very tiny so it's easy to make lots of typos and this can be frustrating.

          However, I found that using data and the internet when not connected to WiFi painfully slow, and the phone would often freeze or crash if you try to run several functions or apps at the same times. The basic features of the phone, such as calling and texting are straightforward enough, but the camera quality is appalling. BlackBerry Messenger (an instant chat app) was novel and enjoyable when I first got the phone, but soon most of my friends switched from BlackBerry to iphone or Android anyway, and many sleeker, more impressive chat apps are available on these systems. My honest opinion would be to avoid BlackBerry - opt for Android instead if you are looking for a true smartphone.

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          • Samsung UE32EH4000 / LCD TV / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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            25.11.2012 21:21

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            A good all-round TV with many positive features - recommended.

            We bought this TV a few weeks ago - a friend recommended it specifically, and we'd been happy with a previous Samsung set we owned. I will try to provide an all-round review to summarise this TV and its main features.

            APPEARANCE
            The Samsung is fairly standard in its appearance as TVs go, but is sleek and slim in design and I'd imagine it would fit in nicely with pretty much any type of home decor. As with a previous Samsung TV I had, it does feel a little bit cheaply made and plastic-y compared to other brands, although you wouldn't really know this just from looking at it. Overall, the TV is pleasing to the eye and I have no complaints in terms of its appearance.

            SETUP
            The TV can either be wall-mounted or left on its little stand, and helpfully includes pre-drilled holes for wall mounting. We have opted to keep ours on its stand as we rent our property and don't want to make holes in the wall.

            In terms of connections, the TV is well served with one SCART socket, 2 HDMI ports (really handy to have more than one of these), USB plug and an antennae socket, but it does lack a DVI connection for a computer, which may be a disadvantage for some although it's not a problem for me really.

            On first installing the TV, I found it very easy to set up and navigate the menu systems - it was fully installed within minutes, including the inbuilt freeview. The remote control is simple enough for people of all ages and abilities to use, with buttons clearly labelled.

            DISPLAY
            This is where the TV really comes into its own. The LED-backlit display is crystal clear with bright, vivid colours - HD channels, PS3 games and blu-rays look absolutely stunning, and the SD display also appears very crisp. The 'wide colour enhancer plus' technology used in this TV clearly pays off and I would say that the quality of display is definitely its best feature

            SOUND
            The sound has good quality at a normal level, but does tend to become a little tinny when adjusted to a loud volume. Although we generally keep our TV at the same fairly low volume, this may be a concern for those who are hearing impaired or like to play music through their TV, as the difference in quality is noticeable when the volume is high.

            We did experience some crackling about a week after we got it, but Samsung sent us a replacement power cable within days, which did the trick - so I would stress that the problem was not with the TV but a faulty cable. Also to note that I found Samsung's customer service team very pleasant and easy to deal with, which is a bonus.

            OVERALL
            I would definitely recommend this as a reasonably-priced, quality TV from ever-reliable Samsung that's ideal for watching HD television and gaming.

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          • Samsung GALAXY Ace II / Smartphone / 12 Readings / 11 Ratings
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            25.11.2012 21:10
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            A compact, easy to use smartphone with most mod cons

            I decided to go for a Samsung phone after my partner got the Galaxy S3 a couple of months ago as I was so impressed with his phone - the operating system and features. When the time came for me to upgrade my phone a couple of weeks ago, I chose the Galaxy Ace 2 because I could upgrade to it for free. I upgraded online so couldn't really see what the phone was like, and I was a bit concerned that it would be really basic, a poor man's smartphone.

            However, I was wrong - I was really impressed with this phone from the outset. It has a sturdy feel and sleek design, slotting easily into your hand. The touch screen is sensitive and accurate, although scrolling can be a little fast - you soon get used to it though. The display is bright and I found the phone very easy to initially set up and adjust the settings to my preferences. Syncing the phone to my email inbox and facebook contacts was easy and painless.

            Although it features an older Android operating system when compared to the higher-grade Samsung models, this phone performs well when operating on WiFi or 3G - downloads are fast and pages load up quickly. The screen is a good size for reading text, and it's easy to navigate the web and adjust pages so that you can view them. It also comes with all the features of an Android phone, such as Maps and Play Store which is great for browsing and downloading a huge range of interesting apps.

            In terms of criticisms - the camera is good but could be sharper, and it's really annoying that you can't zoom when taking a photo or video (you can zoom in on pictures once you've taken them). The memory is also quite small - when I downloaded a couple of playlists on Spotify, it took up nearly the whole memory! However, extra memory can be purchased at a small cost and all in all, this is a great little economical smartphone which is simple to use whilst offering all the features of a very modern smartphone.

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          • Sanctuary Salt Scrub / Bath & Shower / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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            25.11.2012 20:34

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            Highly recommended!

            I have been a big fan of Sanctuary products for several years now, as I love the luxurious quality and distinctive fragrance of the products. This salt scrub is definitely up there with my favourite products from the Sanctuary and I've used it many times.

            PACKAGING
            This is great - the scrub comes in a heavy, high-quality glass container that feels expensive and looks great in your bathroom. I always reuse the jar once I've finished the scrub - it's great for storing dried foods or other cosmetic products!

            FRAGRANCE
            The scrub has a sweet but not sickly scent, which will be familiar to those who have used Sanctuary products before. It might seem like a very feminine product, but I think it's be suitable for men and women alike as Sanctuary products have a really lovely deep musk scent which suits both genders.

            PRODUCT
            This scrub is extremely effective in exfoliating dry, tired skin. Although the salt has a fairly coarse texture, this is tempered by the luxuriously soft spa oil. It might not be suitable for those with fragrance allergies or very sensitive skin, but I have quite sensitive skin myself and have had no problems with it. In terms of endurance, the scrub leaves my skin really soft and smelling lovely, and this lasts for at least 24 hours afterwards.

            My only criticism is I've found that there is quite a lot of oil left at the bottom of the jar after I've used the salt up. However, this isn't too much of a problem as if you have rock salt in the kitchen, you can add a bit of this to make the oil last longer. Or you can just use it as bath oil for a bonus treat!

            Using the scrub really does feel like a spa treat, and it leaves your skin very soft and supple for at least 24 hours after using it. This would make a great Christmas present - a real winter treat for your skin!

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          • More +
            25.11.2012 20:28

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            A great buy

            I would definitely highly recommend this shower gel from Soap & Glory - it has a lovely, feminine fragrance that stays on your skin for a long time. It also lathers up very nicely under the running shower (or poured into the bath) and you don't need to use a lot, making it good value for a high-quality product such as this. I've used a lot of different shower and bath gels, and this is definitely up there with my other favourite brands. Although it probably would not appeal as much to male consumers, I would definitely recommend this product to women of all ages and backgrounds - I believe its lovely scent and long-lasting clean feeling would appeal to anyone. Although it is fairly highly priced compared to own-brand products, it definitely provides very good value for money as a little goes a long, long way! All in all, a fantastic shower gel which makes a great present too.

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