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Loopyluce
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Member since: 24.06.2011

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    • More +
      07.08.2011 20:57
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      Great balm that smells lovely and works,

      As you may have seen from other reviews, I was lucky enough to receive a Burt's Bee's gift pack for Christmas. Part of this included the pomegranate oil lip balm. I'm always on the lookout for a good lip balm as I do tend to suffer from dry lips.

      This lip balm is one of three that Burt's Bee's does - pomegranate, bee's wax and honey. It comes in a 0.15 oz tube with the Burt's Bee's labelling and a pomegranate seed coloured lid. Indeed the balm itself is pomegranate coloured and though it's not a coloured gloss, this balm does provide a slight almost unnoticeable pinkish tinge to your lips which makes them look natural and healthy.

      Smell

      All Burt's Bee's products pride themselves on their natural ingredients. This means they do smell rather medicinal or herbal sometimes. I love this feature as I'm not fond of fruity or synthetic flowery smells. This does smell a bit pomegranatey but the underlying smell is the beeswax. It's a nice clean smell and very pleasant.

      Product

      The balm goes on smoothly and easily creating a nice slick of product that isn't sticky but is soothing. It works well on dry lips and lasts a good while creating a nice sheen and makes lips look healthier. This is especially good if your lips are prone to be pale like mine but you don't want to resort to applying actual gloss or lipstick all day. I used this all through the cold snap at the beginning of the year and it also protected my lips from chapping on my half hour walk to and from work everyday. Its slightly thicker than Vaseline but gives that same sort of feeling.

      Price

      The price varies depending on where you buy this, it ranges from £2 to £3.50 for the tube as far as I can see. I got this in a set as a gift and I think this is a good way to try out Burt's Bee's products to see if you like them as they can be pricey in their bigger individual forms.

      Verdict

      I really like this product. The tube is always at the bottom of my handbag and is hard wearing. I do use this less in the summer than the winter, I still have the same tube I started in January so you definitely get your money's worth with this, it's very long lasting. All in all I recommend this.

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      06.08.2011 21:44
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      Good quality lipstick in a nice range of shades.

      I'm not a great lipstick wearer and when I do indulge I am inclined to veer from the sublime to the ridiculous - bright red to barely there. Well on this occasion I had run out of my previous neutral shade and I was perusing the No.7 counter in boots clutching my £5 voucher to see what I could replace it with.

      I noticed a stand of limited edition lippies and lip glosses by Poppy King in lovely retro polka dot boxes. The lipstick itself is in a silver tube.

      This limited edition range comes in 7 shades each in a lipstick and a lip gloss:

      History
      Power
      Seduction
      Glamour
      Confidence
      Intrigue
      Allure

      I went for Intrigue as it's a nice nude/pinkish colour. I chose the lipstick as I'm not a fan of lip glosses. I have very long hair which likes to glue itself to glossed lips if there is any hint of a breeze. Even though I chose the lipstick it's moisture rich and goes on easily. It's a lovely shade that just enhances your normal lip colour making you look healthily natural. I'm quite fair skinned and a brunette and its suits a paler complexion and the hint of colour stops me looking half dead like normal.

      I find it last very well and only needs reapplying once or twice a day. As the shade is so natural it's even easy to apply without a mirror.

      The silver tube is smaller than normal lipsticks but only by a small amount. This doesn't bother me too much as lipstick lasts me for ages though it loses a star for that. There's a nice touch with the Poppy King signature on the tube under the lid.

      This lipstick roams freely in the bottom of my hand bag, the lid stays on and hasn't cracked and the lipstick is perfectly protected so it's certainly sturdy.

      It sells for £12 a tube which is a tad expensive for the size - however if you wait until you have a No.7 £5 voucher then it's definitely worth getting.

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      06.08.2011 18:17
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      A lovely product though best bought on sale and tried out first before forking out for a large pot.

      I suffer from dry skin on my hands and like to carry hand cream with me for emergency purposes. I was lucky enough to get a Burt's Bee's gift set for Christmas and amongst the goodies was a small 0.3 oz tin of hand salve. Perfect to slip into your handbag. It did languish in the cupboard for a bit until I ran out of my old cream and I've now been using it for just under two months.

      Packaging

      The tin is perfect handbag size in this 0.3 oz version. It has the distinctive Burt's Bee's labelling and is easy to open and close. The lid has never come off in my bag so it's pretty sturdy too. One difficulty here is that it's a little small if you have long nails to be able to access the salve easily.

      Product

      The salve is in hard form that needs rubbing to soften it and get enough on your fingers to use. You need very little though so this isn't really a hardship and it's a process I enjoy, though it is a bit too much work if you're on the move. I tend to use it on the train or at my desk. It leaves your hands lovely and smooth and does sooth dry skin. It also leaves a slight sheen behind which I quite like. I find it absorbs very quickly into my skin with no residue.

      Scent

      It has a lovely medicinal smell. I know this isn't for everyone but I dislike cloying floral scents. This does smell natural. The box says its 98% natural and the ingredients include Almond oil, rosemary and lavender. You can really pick up on these scents with the Rosemary being the strongest, the only time this is an issue is if I'm hungry as it does make you think of lovely roast lamb - maybe not what you want in a hand salve but I quite like this!

      Price

      As this was a gift price wasn't an issue for me. However I do believe the bigger pots of this are around £9 which is a bit expensive. I'd look at picking up a gift set in the sale's before you commit to paying for the bigger individual pot.

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        16.07.2011 13:16
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        Reliable and useful, does what you need it to.

        I've had my Sony NWZ-E436FB 4GB for about 3 years. It's a very handy little machine and it's very sturdy indeed. This I can prove by the fact I dropped it in my parent's pond and had to fish it out by the headphones which luckily got tangled in my hair. Completely my fault as it fell out of my pocket when I was bending down having a conversation with one of the fish... (I know, I know). It was completely under water and sediment. Initially there was no joy when I tried to turn it on again but after a week drying out on a sunny windowsill I tried it again and low and behold it worked! There seems to be no ill effects even two years on and if that's not a recommendation for a long lasting and sturdy device I don't know what is!

        I must admit I'm not a great user of portable music devices; it tends to be holidays and gardening that I use it for and I'm not that technologically minded. I wanted a long lasting device that I didn't need to change for years that was reliable and had a FM tuner on it. This fits the bill! I've carried it in my handbag for years without a case and it doesn't scratch and is very small and light.

        Sound

        This is excellent and has really good deep bass. The sound is rich and clear. It's much better than the music player on my phone which is less than a year old and is pretty good itself. The radio tuner works extremely well and I can pick up FM well and clearly from almost anywhere.

        Ease of use.

        The screen is quite big - about 4cm by 3cm and very clear. It's easy to navigate for music and video. The software it comes with was very simple to install on my PC and it's really easy to load music onto via the drag and drop system. You literally just click on the track you want and drag it to the list for the device and that's it.

        Video.
        It's a bit small for comfortably viewing video files however this wasn't really what I bought it for so I don't mind. However I did load Dr Horrible's sing along blog onto it for a holiday last year and this played well without any problems and was nice to have.

        Charging

        It comes with a USB charger which is fine for me as I charge it in work. My Mum bought herself one on the strength of seeing mine and she invested in a small travel plug which works well for her as she doesn't use a PC much. The battery lasts for ages and I didn't need to recharge it for over a week whilst on holiday.

        Overall it's a great little machine. I paid £45 in 2008 and I reckon you'd pick one up for cheaper than that now. It may be worthwhile looking at the newer models, however I'm very happy with this model and it doesn't look like I'll need to buy a new one any time soon! It works perfectly.

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        06.07.2011 14:24
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        A very handy pot to have on my work desk with a good product for moisturising hands.

        It's been a body butter bonanza at the Body Shop the last few weeks with pots being half price and lately buy one sale item get another half price in the summer sale. This means I've been stocking up. The latest purchase for me has been a small pot of the wild cherry body butter for my desk in work.

        I find I get dry hands in work due to the harshness of the soap we have. Usually I have a tube of hand and nail cream but when I ran out of my last lot I decided on some body butter. Body shop is my favourite for this and I usually prefer the stronger less fruity ranges like Almond or Shea butter, However as I'd bought these I decided to give a small pot of wild cherry a go as it was only £1.50 with a purchase in the sale.

        Scent

        The pot describes it as "creamy moisturisation with a tantalising hint of Cherry Oil" it is a little more than a hint in my opinion as it has quite a strong fruity cherry smell. I quite like this and it's nice for summer. The smell lasts for a few hours and is pleasant.

        Texture

        This body butter is a lot more liquid in texture than the usual body shop types I buy. However as I'm using it for my hands on my desk in work this suits me fine as it absorbs really quickly and easily allowing me to carry on typing within seconds without leaving a residue on my keyboard.

        Moisturising?

        This moisturises well and you only need a small dab - I think it will last a long time. Unlike some of the other ones it doesn't leave a sheen as such on the skin, but for hands I find this preferable. It leaves skin feeling smooth but not sticky or tacky.

        Packaging

        The small pot is very easy to open and fits well on my desk. It's also small enough to slip into a handbag easily, though with it being quite liquid I would recommend caution after opening if it has been jiggled about a bit. The butter can end up on the lid so it can be messy to open. If it's stable - on a desktop or dressing table - no problem.

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      • AKG K 24 P / Headphones / 20 Readings / 19 Ratings
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        05.07.2011 22:10
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        Very handy fold up headphones that are comfortable for everday usage.

        I love my AKG headphones.

        In my line of work I have to use headphones everyday and these AKG headphones are one of my prized possessions. Not only are they comfortable to wear for long periods of time they have a great sound and bass too. As I'm monitoring calls in a busy office they also drown out the noise of what going on around me so that I can concentrate on the task in hand.

        I have to admit I didn't buy these; they were bequeathed to me by a colleague who was moving on to pastures new and knew how much I coveted these headphones. They have been on the market a while though and I think you can pick them up relatively cheaply for under £10.

        They have an adjustable stainless steel looking band, black ear sponges and a grey wheel covering on each ear which has a cut out bright yellow wheel spoke inset into it. They aren't the most bland headphones in the world but this is an advantage if you work in an office like mine where headphones are like gold dust sometimes - they don't go walkies as they are so noticeable as mine. The yellow also helps people know I'm call monitoring from a distance so they don't interrupt me.

        The headphones fold up with hinges just above the earphones which make them really handy to store in a desk drawer or move about with. There is a knack to opening them and adjusting them, simple with practise but when I lend them to someone they can have difficulties. Occasionally I use them to listen to my MP3 player and the sound and bass is brilliant - much better than the in-ear headphones my MP3 player comes with.

        If you need a pair of reliable headphones you can use everyday comfortably in an office environment I would recommend these, the only think wrong is one of the small black sponge cushions on the headband has fallen off. Its lost them a star but not a great loss as you can't feel any difference and not bad wear and tear after 3 years of solid use!

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        05.07.2011 21:24
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        Lovely soft skin with a nice sheen and a lovely smell.

        Body Shop Almond body butter is a real treat. I love body shop body butters as I find they are thicker and last longer than most moisturisers. I also like the fact that they feel as they are made form more natural materials than other moisturisers. My favourite has to be the Almond one though and these are the reasons why.

        Smell

        Lovely and almondy. In fact you smell a bit like marzipan. This may not be a smell for everyone but I certainly like it. I'm not one for floral scents so this suits me fine.

        Texture

        The almond body butter has a lovely texture. It seems different in texture to some of the other body shop butters as it's thicker. It is indeed more of a butter than a cream and it melts onto your skin as you rub it on.

        Feel

        It's lovely and smooth. I find it leaves your skin with a lovely golden sheen which isn't sticky but lasts all day. It's especially good for sun kissed skin and seems to enrich any tan. I suffer with legs that will spring up in a rash even if they only glimpse a razor but slapping on my trusty almond body butter and my legs and soothes and smoothed with a lovely sheen.

        Availability

        This is a tricky one as the Almond body butter doesn't seem as readily available as some of the other types. I tend to stock up when I see it just in case, it always seems to be available in the January sales but not in the spring?

        Price

        £12 for a 200 gram pot, though I've never actually bought it full price. I've just bought a few pots last week as its in the sale at the moment at £6, that should keep me going for a bit!

        Long Lasting?

        Yes on skin, adequate from the pot. The 200g pot lasts me a few months though I tend to go through more in the summer than in cooler weather. I usually try and get a new pot for holidays and I have been known to finish one on a three week holiday - but this is rare. If you get it in the sale I think it's good value for the quality.

        So all in all I love the almond body butter and wouldn't be without it especially in the summer.

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        • Rowan Big Wool / Art / Craft / 12 Readings / 12 Ratings
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          03.07.2011 13:28
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          Good for scarves not so great for larger pieces.

          RRP £8:50 per 100g
          Needle size :10 or 15 mm
          Tension / Gauge :7.5 sts to 9 rows
          Stitches per 10 cm :7.5
          Meterage / Yardage :80 m / 87 yds
          Yarn Specification :100% merino wool

          Rowan Big Wool is beautifully soft and chunky. It comes in a wide range of colours and knits up really quickly. It certainly is premium wool at the price it is but is it worth it? Well usually you can shop around and get it cheaper or on sale - admittedly you can be limited in colour if you do this as the offers tend to be on discontinued colours - so make sure you have enough to finish whatever project you are doing!

          Pattern Support

          This is pretty good, Rowan have a number of dedicated books for Big Wool as well as patterns in their magazines too. If you are looking for slightly cheaper patterns, as Rowan can be pricey, try Sirdar Bigga - I found this knits up the same.

          Wear and Tear

          Hmm, not great - it does tend to shed and bobble. I have a cream scarf that I love that I knitted in this but woe betides me if it gets near any velcro or I'm wearing something dark....

          Pros

          You can knit up a scarf in a weekend. It's lovely and cosy and warm. It's great for beginners to learn with and they can really see their knitting grow, which is handy as beginners like to see immediate results. I've actually put my own beginners kits together as gifts with a couple of balls, needles, a "how to knit" leaflet and a simple scarf pattern. These are great personalised Christmas gifts that always get a good response. It's also a great wool to try chunky cabling. The stitch definition is lovely and it looks good.

          Cons

          Price, full price isn't cheap! Weight - good for scarves, not so great for bigger garments. I have a large cardigan that I knitted in it that doesn't leave the house. Its stretched below my knee's with the weight of the wool, something you can't really tell will happen with a tension square. However it is the warmest piece of clothing I own and was a godsend last Christmas in the cold snap! The bobbling and shedding is never good though it calms downs with careful washing.

          On the whole a nice wool if you can get it on sale for a quick winter scarf but I wouldn't fork out full price for enough balls for a larger garment. You may end up with the world's most expensive slanket.....

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          02.07.2011 11:30
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          Great product that can be used daily and performs 24/7

          Estee Lauder Double Wear - SPF 10 - Fresco.

          I've been wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear Fresco for around 3 years. Before that I tried many others usually in the lower price bracket, I was using Maybelline right before the Estee Lauder. Why did I graduate to something a bit more pricey? Well I have to admit it was the free gift at the time which sold it for me as I was after the eyeshadow compact included in that. I had to buy two Estee Lauder purchases, one was a nail varnish and needing new foundation the other was the Double Wear. After testing a few shades I settled on Fresco, which matched my quite pale skin and I set off home with my purchases.

          I have combination skin that's quite sensitive. Its dry on the lower face and oily on the forehead, chin and nose. This means that it can be difficult to find a foundation that gives even long lasting coverage over all my face. I also have dark circles under my eyes which are always hard to hide. I also don't wear much make up and need something that can be used everyday that gives me a natural look with excellent coverage. Here's my verdict after I got my Double Wear out of its shiny blue box and opened the square glass bottle.
          Packaging.

          The bottle is reassuringly clunky meaning you can pack it with no fear of it smashing. However it is just a glass bottle with quite a small neck which means it can be difficult to reach the remaining foundation in the corners when you get to the end of the bottle. I tend to shake the bottle with the lid on then use a dab of the foundation that's gathered at the bottle top. The gold lid is easy to open though mine does tend to get a bit of foundation on it due to my method of applying (fingers - I know but I don't have time to use sponges to apply in the mornings...) when it gets right to the end you may find you need to stand the bottle on its head overnight and use a cotton bud in the corners.

          Coverage

          Great! Its covers my dark circles and evens out any blemishes and skin tone. It leaves my skin with a silky, matt finish and doesn't irritate. It also lasts all day and doesn't come off when I touch my face. The SPF is great as well. It's the best foundation I've ever had and is always reliable. The only downside is it can feel a bit too heavy if you're on holiday and in a very hot country, if the temp passes thirty I tend to use tinted moisturiser with a higher SPF factor. As I live in Manchester and very rarely get holidays in a place where the temp does reach those giddy heights that's not too much of a problem....

          Long Lasting?

          Yes, both in wearing it and in the amount in the bottle. I'm coming to the end of my second bottle. That's two bottles in 3 years which shows how little you need to use daily for good coverage. I haven't seen any dip in the performance the older it gets either. Which brings me onto..

          Value for Money

          Excellent! Though it is pricey to buy at around £26 a bottle if you think of cost per wear and how long it lasts it's a bargain! It works out as less than a penny a day. Also when you're coming to the end of the bottle you can look out for the best gifts available with Estee Lauder purchases at the time and come out with great freebies too!

          Verdict
          For me it's still working on a daily basis 3 years on from my initial buy. I couldn't do without it. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you want solid, reliable foundation you can wear daily that suits sensitive but combination skin tone AND hide dark circles and blemishes, it's the one to pick!

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          01.07.2011 12:28
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          A funny, moving, engrossing and ultimately uplifting series. A must see and own!

          What can you say about the West Wing series 1? It's the beginning of one of the best series ever to be on television and I envy anyone coming to this series for the first time, what a treat awaits you.

          The West Wing is about the daily trials and tribulations of the White House senior staff who work in the West Wing of the White House. Whilst President Bartlett is a main character he isn't THE main character, the show focuses on the ensemble group around him. His Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry and Deputy Chief of staff, Josh Lyman, Communications Director, Toby Ziegler and Deputy Sam Seaborn and his Press Secretary, CJ Cregg form the core group but there is a huge ensemble cast around these who you get to know and identify and become like old friends. The actors playing these roles are at the top of their game, notably Martin Sheen as Bartlett, Bradley Whitford as Josh and Allison Janney as CJ but everyone fits so well in their roles.

          These are all vividly written characters. Writer and creator Aaron Sorkin has put together believable characters who are well rounded and speak with eloquent language. Yes the show is talky but the language itself if amazing. The first series shows this with the "walk and talks" scenes where two characters will discuss an issue whilst walking the halls of the west wing. These are long tracking shots and its one of the hallmarks of the series and great device that makes you feel as if you are really there.

          The stories are gripping and do deal with American politics, some issues are not immediately understandable to those unfamiliar with the American political system but this is never a barrier and by the end of an episode you'll know exactly what's been going on. It does deal with real world serious issues but it can also be full of humour! In fact there are brilliantly timed laugh out loud moments.

          This first season deals with a staff finding their feet in the halls of power. They have to deal with personal crisis such as alcoholism and drug abuse or accidently sleeping with a high class escort along with issues such as capital punishment and "proportional response" in regards to a terrorist attack. As they find their feet you're taken along with them. By the end of the series you won't want to leave them.

          Be warned - make sure you buy series 2 along with series 1. This series has a humdinger of a cliff-hanger that you will need to see the resolution to as soon as possible!

          All in all highly recommended. A funny, moving, engrossing and ultimately uplifting series. A must see and own!

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          • Samsung i9000 Galaxy S / Smartphone / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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            26.06.2011 12:48
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            A smartphone for people who didn't think they wanted one. Easy to use and stylish in design.

            Before we start I would like to say that I'm not hugely technologically minded. This review will concentrate on how I use my phone and what I find useful. It won't be a list of technological specs as you can look that up if you're interested. I admit I'm not sure what some of them are, though I will mention the ones I know about. I am sure of what I want my phone to do and how it fulfils this.

            When the time came to renew my phone in September 2010 I had one thing in mind when I went to the phone shop - I didn't want a touch screen only phone. I wanted buttons and not one of these fancy shmansy smartphones. So how did I end up with the Galaxy S which is not just touchscreen only but was one of the most powerful smartphones on the market at the time?

            Well it was partly due to the Phones for U salesman who insisted on showing me the phone (commission?) but mostly due to the phone itself. If felt comfortable in my hand and I managed to get the hang of the touchscreen whilst in the store. The salesman showed me the main features and whilst I fretted about replicating what he did when I was home I found it easy to use still.
            I have unlimited internet use, 800 mins and unlimited texts in my package so I'm not sure how data package prices relate to my usage as I don't worry about it.

            Touchscreen

            The screen is really bright and large, the touch screen is intuitive and sensitive - but not too sensitive. It is Samsungs Super AMOLED design. I should say here that I have very dry hands and my fingers slips effortlessly across the screen, a friend with shall we say more "clammy" hands didn't find it so easy... Having had the phone for nearly 10 months there isn't a scratch on the screen and I don't have a screen protector just a half silicon case and a little material padded pouch for carrying. The screen when compared to an i phone seems a lot brighter and clearer not to mention bigger.

            Weight

            The phone is very light indeed - the lightest phone I've had, in fact the extra weight added by the silicon skin was welcome as it made it feel a bit more durable.

            Typing

            This was a worry when I left the shop with mu touchscreen only phone. However Samsung uses a system called Swype. This means dragging your finger over a touchscreen qwerty keyboard without lifting your finger to type individual letters. Sounds complicated but it really isn't. The phone comes with a tutorial to let you practice and I got the hang of it in around a day. Now I wouldn't look back it's so quick and easy! I'm stuck when I have to use someone else's phone to text now. Its even easy to type longer documents like e-mails, which brings me to...

            E-Mail

            This is an Android phone so uses Googlemail as its default email. This was another selling point for me as I rely on my googlemail account. Once you have synced your phone to your google account you can access it with one tap of an icon on the front screen. Emails will push thorough automatically and will notify you with a tone should you wish, though if you turn off your background data you can stop this. Good for battery saving or if you want your phone tones on at night in case of an emergency message but don't want to be woken by an e-mail alert from Sainsbury's at 03:00am

            Memory.

            I have around 16 albums on my phone - though I don't tend to use it as a music player much (I'm a fan of hearing what's going on around me on my 30min walk to work) I also have all my text messages, photo's and videos on it since I got it, I'm a bit of a hoarder. I have a huge amount of space left though. I don't tend to download anything onto it though and I only use a handful of apps which brings me to..

            Apps and Android

            I'm not a great app downloader or user therefore Android so far has met all my needs. I've never bought an app only downloaded the free ones. The ones I do use seem to work fine but as these consist of the weather and Valued Opinions etc I can't give you a huge review of this aspect. The barcode scanner app is quite useful.

            Internet

            Very quick and very handy. There is a Google search box on the front page. This has vice search too though I haven't really used that. It's quicker that my laptop sometimes and you can pinch the screen to make it larger/smaller just like an i phone. You can flip the phone over from portrait to landscape if you want a wider view. I tend to use BBC, full website rather than the mobile one though you have the option of both. Full websites are easy to read on this. There is a You Tube app preinstalled which is easy to use - video's load quickly and play well. There is a facebook app too which I find useful, though I know others prefer the normal site (which you can access should you wish). I've bought things on Amazon with no problems and its great being able to look up what you want when you want, especially reviews of restaurants and directions etc.

            Music

            Playback is good though as I said I don't use this much. The radio is excellent though you have to plug headphones in for this to work.

            Camera/Video

            Both are excellent. Lots of features and after you take a picture you can upload it straight away to whatever medium you like such as facebook, Twitter or email. The picture quality is as good as my digital camera, the only drawback is no flash, which makes night time pics not great though gig's and concerts come out ok.

            Customisation

            You can customise the screens how you wish moving things around to suit you. I haven't done too much of this but I'm sure others have made good use of this aspect.

            Battery life

            For my needs very good. Lasts all day with no problems and is quick to charge. I tend to charge it overnight as this suits me, I know you are not supposed to but it hasn't harmed my phones performance as far as I can see. I make a LOT of voice calls and this uses up the battery quite quickly as most of the battery is taken up by the display which is on when you call. You can turn your screen brightness down to save battery but I've never felt the need. When I don't call so much the battery can last two days.

            Verdict

            I love my phone, it suits my needs. It's pretty addictive and I feel lost without it. I tend to only use my laptop to write long articles these days or do surveys' I use my phone for everything else - one thing the phone won't do is run some of the more complicated surveys. I'm still discovering new things it can do every day so this review is not exhaustive. From what I've seen so far I really recommend it - it exceeded my expectations!

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            • More +
              25.06.2011 18:44
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              A great strapless bra that really does the job, supreme confidence!

              Strapless bra's are the bane of elegant strapless or halter neck dresses and tops. As soon as you dance your worried about them disappearing with your modesty along with them. Heading for a cruise where formal wear is a necessity I trawled the high street for a new strapless bra hoping to find a miracle.
              Wandering through Debenhams something made me stop at the Wonderbra section, something I don't normally do since a black velour monstrosity I had in the 1990's. I looked over and saw a strapless bra - but one that looked quite sturdy!

              These bra's aren't underwired but rely on a moulded shape with "uplifting hand" technology. There is about and inch and a half of band below so it isn't the smallest of bra's but this gives it a sleek retro 1950's look. I'd suggest trying it on. I'm a size 14, 34C though I went for a 36 here as it is snug round the middle. It's made from a soft satiny material. The low plunge is great for strapless dresses and there is a hint of cleavage which doesn't usually occur with strapless bra's.

              It wasn't cheap but inexpensive at £20 with £10 off the rrp in Debenhams. I've worn it a few times both for dancing and a sit down formal dinner - it lets you eat! It hasn't let me down yet and I'm thinking of investing in different colours, I have the plain black at the moment.

              It's not super comfy as its tight in order to stay up but its comfy enough not to really notice it for a whole night out. It more than makes up for this with a great shape and a feeling of supreme confidence!

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              • SFX / Magazine / Newspaper / 7 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                25.06.2011 18:04
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                If you like sci-fi and fantasy you shouldn't be without it.

                I've been getting SFX since my teenage years and its teenage issues. My first issue featured Xena Warrior Princess on the cover with the bottom of the F covered and the title Phwoarria Princess. Not your average reading material for a 15 year old girl but I didn't care. I still don't, even though I'm now in my 30's. The cover stars have changed and sometimes the F isn't as obscured but it's still a great, great magazine.

                Features have come and gone over the years but favourites such as Couch Potato remain. It has in depth articles on programmes and films and a very honest British take on things. Some of the staff have been with it since the beginning and are like old friends as are featured columnist like Dave Langford and Jayne Nelson.
                Many titles have come and gone over the years like Starburst, Cult TV and Dreamscape but SFX remains. Why? Well it's informative and gets great exclusives and on set access. Not only does it look at genre TV and films but it looks at books, comics, manga and anime and Conventions too. Its recent redesign hasn't altered it too much but makes it clearer to read and focuses more on reader events and input giving it a community feel.

                The websites pretty good too but doesn't spoil the magazine, it complements it. Sure, these days you can get information on your genre programmes straight away on the net but SFX always presents an informative different view that's not afraid of long articles or features. A fantastical read from front to back. Subscribers get good offers and special covers with no writing -just the title and the cover picture (great for getting signed at cons)

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                • Grazia Magazine / Magazine / Newspaper / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                  25.06.2011 10:24
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                  Monthly glossy content on a weekly basis

                  There comes a time in a girls life when Heat magazine or Closer just don't appeal so much anymore. It's at this point that Grazia steps in to fill the void. Grazia is a weekly glossy magazine that covers fashion, showbiz news and real life features. It's lay out is classy and clear and the articles are interesting and current. For a weekly magazine it feels more like a monthly like Marie Clare or Red. It focuses more on fashion than magazines like Heat or Closer which tend to thrive on Z list celebs. The celeb news it does cover tends to be slightly classier that those types of mags. So instead of Jordan, Kerry Katona or the latest X factor reject you get Jennifer Anniston or SJP.

                  Its closest rival on the magazine rack would be Look magazine the whereas Look focuses on the lower end of high street buys like Peacocks or Primark, Grazia looks at mid range to top end such as Top Shop and Whistles.

                  Each issue starts off with the Fashion Charts which is a rundown of pieces in the shops which have caught the mags eye (though be warned if you fancy purchasing something in these charts they sell out almost immediately) This is followed by the top 10 current news stories which can cover anything from Pippa Middleton's relationship status to the troubles in Syria. This is then followed up by longer articles, fashion photospreads and usual magazine features like Horoscopes and Letters. The back page is always taken up by the bag giveaway where you can win a designer handbag full of goodies like phones and sunglasses. The money for this goes to charity and Grazia readers have raised a huge amount during the magazines life time.

                  Pros
                  Current fashion and news stories presented in a classy and stylish way.
                  Cons
                  It's aimed at mid to high end consumers so you won't find Z list gossip or the cheapest clothes/cosmetics.

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                  • More +
                    24.06.2011 17:45
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                    Brilliant magazine that will form a great knitters reference library.

                    As a knitting addict I buy a lot of knitting magazines. Knitting is my favourite. It's pitched at a readership that knows what its doing and whilst beginners can enjoy competent knitters can get more out of it.
                    It's recently changed to a larger format which means pictures are clear and you can easily see charts clearly. It has a wide range of patterns to suit all, always classy. The feel and look of the magazine is sophisticated and it doesn't talk down to its readers.

                    Unlike some other knitting titles available on the market its articles and feature are in depth and interesting, featuring thinks like a review of knitting in London Fashion Week or the new graduates that have done hand knit shows. It also looks at things like the history of knitting techniques such as Gansey knitting or Fair Isle. It also isn't afraid to tackle tricky techniques in depth like cutting steeks which fills all novice knitters with dread. I t also has the usual lists of stockists and a good question and answer column for knitting problems.
                    Laura "Purl Princess" Parkinson writes a brilliant column in the back about her knitting life that's always a good read as well.

                    Pros
                    Lovely pictures and style. Excellent patterns range with some commissioned by designers such as Debbie Bliss. Great Free pattern magazines from companies like Rowan. Interesting articles. The "Purl about Town" column.
                    Cons
                    None for me really though it may be a bit confusing for absolute beginners.

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