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I have always been a big believer in getting what you pay for. I have tried to be cheap with my makeup brushed in the past but it really doesn't work. With a few exceptions, always buy the most expensive brushes you can afford. And, if you have to make a choice between expensive brushes or expensive makeup, chose expensive brushes every time!
The mac 217 brush is a staple in makeup eye brushes. It can apply a wash of colour all over the eyelid, apply colour to the crease and blend out hard edges. It is made of white goat hair, which is quite a porous hair, which is means it picks up a lot of colour. The bristles are tightly packed and arranged into a dome shape. The hairs feel soft, which is very important on the delicate eye area.
Mac does a lot of blending and contouring brushes, but I feel the Mac 217 is the most versatile. At £14.50, is is quite expensive but it is one of the cheapest brushed Mac carry. If you are on a a budget, it will be one of the few brushes you will need.
The Wii controller, when first announced, had everyone mesmerised. The fact that gaming no longer had to be exclusively for couch potatoes was a revolution and could change the face of gaming forever.
Without the Wii controller, the Wii would have been just another console. But the Wii's inferior graphics has became insignificant due to how fun the Wii Controller has made playing games. What makes it so amazing is the acceleromator built into the the remote- which means actions performed with the remote are reflected in what happens on screen.
The Wii Remote is generally white in colour, the same as the Wii Console. They can come in black and red, however, depending in what colour console you have. They are smaller and thinner than traditional remotes and are ergonomically designed so thay it fits perfectly in the hand. It takes 2xAA batteries and I must admit I was surprised at how long the battery life was. There are several buttons on the remote which are cleverly placed so that they are easy to press without having to stretch too much! At the bottom of the remote is a port to plug in the nunchuch, and, more importantly, at hole to loop in the wriststrap. Don't overlook or forget the importance of the wriststrap, some Wii games require some very elaborate arm/ hand gesutres and forgetting to make sure you have the wriststrap secured could mean letting go of the remote and having a broken TV or smashed window!
There is a speaker in the remote, which I also think is a great idea. It makes you more immersed in the game as the sound is very close to you and makes games feel more interactive. Also, there is a dual shock vibration inbuilt which makes in-game collision more realistic.
Overall, I love the intuitiveness of the Wii remote. It gives a new dimension to gaming by giving the player more control. It also opens up a whole new genre of games by utilising the Wii remote in all sorts of fun ways. More people can get involved too- from very young children to the older generations. It also encourages you to get off your backside- which is no bad thing!
Opium has been around for decades. It was a fragrance staple in the eighties but the fact it is so synonymous with a specific period of time means it could fall into the category of "old fashioned". I have seen Yves Saint Laurent try to reinvent the image of this perfume with swanky adverts and even using Kate Moss as a model for it in their poster campaigns, but I don't think the young generation will ever fall in love with this dated fragrance not matter how hard YSL try.
It is certainly a signature scent. If someone is within a 6 foot radius of you, they will smell this fragrance. I have stepped in and out of a room and people have said the scent lingers for a long while. It also lasts a long time, you will probably not have to reapply Opium more than once a day. And, although expensive, just a quick spritz and you're good to go. Some people may not like the fact that a fragrance can be so distinctive, but I love that people can smell my perfume from far away. It's just a pity that I don't like the perfume....
I am young, and when I have tried this perfume it makes me feel like an old lady. It had scents of vanilla, jasmine and mandarin and, although I love oriental frangrances normally, I find Opium migrane inducing.
This perfume separates opinion so much that I would highly recommend not buying it as a gift unless someone has specifically said that they like it. It is certainly not for wallflowers but it is even too much for someone like me who loves strong perfumes. It's not for me at this moment in time, although I am open to the fact that in a couple of decades my opinion may change!
I fell in love with these perfumes when they first came out. I am a big Gwen Stefani fan, and I love her Japanese influenced fashion.
What initially drew me in was the super cute cartoon character doll that is the lid of the perfume. The "G" doll is a little blonde girl with a black headband with a white top and blue skirt. These perfumes come in a tiny, adorable 15ml version or the 30ml. I went for the bigger size, although either will stand out well on your dressing table!
I did not care whether these perfumes smelled good or not, but I can say they smell gorgeous. "G" is only an Eau de Toilette but the smell does linger a long time so I find myself not having to reapply too regularly throughout the day. It is a powerful scent as well which I love.
It is an ideal summer scent, it reminds me of being on holiday. The initial and most powerful scent is coconut but there are also undertones of mandarin and citrus scents. Quite often I find that coconut scents tend to smell quite cheap, but "G" does smell like a good quality perfume.
I would definitely buy "G" again. It looks good and smells even better. I wouldn't wear it in the winter though, I feel this is strictly a scent for holidays!
Back in the day, when the MP3 player and the iPod was in its infancy, it was the gadget everyone wanted. The problem with this, however, was that the ipod in particular was near impossible to obtain. This left me with a decision to make: wait for the ipod to become available or buy something else.
I decided for the Philips Go Gear, a similar yet cheaper alternative at around £100. It was only 2GB compared to the ipod mini's 4gb, but I was around 15 at the time so my music collection was hardly vast! The go gear had a built in radio which the ipod did not offer- another bonus I felt.
I liked the look of the mp3 player- white all over with chrome trim. It was quite heavy but felt substantial and sturdy. There was 4 buttons in the centre forming an octagon, and there was a power button in the top right hand corner. In the box with the player were coloured stickers which you could stick to the sides of device to customise it- a bit naff but a thoughtful touch nonetheless.
Comparing the Go Gear to the ipod, the sound quality was definitely inferior. The clarity was poor, the volume was too low and it did crackle slightly. This could have been part fault of the headphones as I never checked this seperately. Music match, the software used to sync the device, I felt was over complicated and slow.
I also never stopped having problems with the device. I felt like I was constantly phoning the helpline of going back to the shop I bought it from. Problems ranged from being able to play music and not being able to sync, being able to switch on but not being able to play music, or not switching on at all. The customer service was also appalling.
I eventually got so frustrated with the device I bought an ipod mini instead and I must admit I never looked back. The Philips Go Gear was truly dreadful and I was never finished having problems with it. It truly has put me off buying anything from Philips again, let alone buy one of their MP3 players.
I had the iPod touch 1st generation and I loved it. While there was nothing wrong with it, I felt like treating myself.
Before going into the software, there are some physical difference between 1g and 2g iPods. The chrome finish back to the Touch is still there, but is more curved in shape. There is also a chrome edge around the front of the iPod, much like the iPhone counterpart. There is also a volume rocker key along the side.
My iPod touch is 8gb, which is around 2000 songs is plenty for me. It is amazing, however, how large the file sizes are of films and TV shows. Watching films is very comfortable with the iPod touch's 3 1/2 inch screen, so if you are planning on doing a lot of this, I suggest getting an iPod with a bigger capacity.
I have previously raved about the ipod touch's versatilty. I cannot believe that a music player can do so much. So much in fact, that I sometimes forget that this is supposed to be, first and foremost, an MP3 player. And, although I feel that despite the extra features, the quality of the music through the headphones does not suffer, I feel Apple should have taken a bit of effort making sure the hardware was decent. I am mainly talking about the soft, easy to scratch metal back of this ipod and also the built in speaker- which is tinny and crackly.
At the same time as the release of the 2g ipod touch was the invention of the renowned "app". These downloadable applications, some free, some paid for, have been what sets ipod touches above all other MP3 players of the same ilk. It makes the ipod completely customisable and unique to the needs of each individual user.
Already the ipod touch is fantastic music player with a fantastic touch screen with scrollable album covers, well organised playlists and great sound. Then throw in calendar/organiser/note function, email server, youtube viewing, inernet browsing, movie watching and photo album. Now, because of apps, it is a portable games console, a place to do shopping, to watch television, get the latest football scores and much more.
I love the fact that most of my other gadgets, except my phone, are unneccessary now and I have everything in the one device. I can see the arguement, however, that a music player should be a music player and that all the extra features takes away from the true purpose.
The Nintendo Wii nunchuck- not only does it have a more amusing name than any computer gaming periphal ever made- but it is an integral part of the Wii gaming experience.
I got one with my Wii console, but if you buy any other Wii wireless controller, you will have to buy a nunchuck seperately, for around fifteen pounds. To be honest, I think it is overpriced for what it is. Mine is white, although they are available in black and red to be inkeeping with their respective console colours. It is light to hold in your hand and is made entirely of plastic. The nunchuck is connected to the Wii contoller by a cable that is approximately two feet long. As the wireless controller that the nunchuck is plugged into is powered by 2xAA batteries, the nunchuck does not require any.
Most Wii games require both the wireless controller and nunchuck to operate- the nunchuck usually being used to control game character's movements. Not only does it have a joystick for your thumb, but it has a "C" and "Z" button on the top for the index and middle finger to use. I was, at first, unsure about the "contoller in each hand" configuration as I am used to the single controller in both hands. The nunchuck is very ergonomically designed, however, and it is very easy to use.
I think that the Wii Nunchuck is very well designed. It works great along side the Wii wireless controller very well and I am glad Nintendo can acknowlwdge that the motion sensor wiimote isn't solely appropriate for every game.
The Wii balance board could have been mistaken as just another in a long line of hardware gimmicks that Nintendo have released for their casual gaming console. But when they started talking about how this board could be used as a means to keep fit- people took notice.
All Wii Balance Boards come with the Wii Fit/ Wii Fit Plus game (depending when you bought it). I am aware of other games that use the Balance Board, but i haven't used them. It is great to help those who want to keep a degree of fitness but cannot or do not feel comfortable exercising in public.
The price is pretty reasonable. Considering it comes with a game included, I find £70 quite good value. I am pretty sure, however, you could get it for cheaper nowadays, since I bought it over a year ago. You are not paying for rubbish either, the board is pretty heavy and it does feel sturdy. The balance board is white all over which is very in keeping with all other Wii hardware. And although the Wii now comes in red and black, I am not aware of the balance board coming in any different colours.
The balance board can be used in a variety of different ways. It is very user friendly and can be used by anyone of any age. It can take weights of up to 150kg and can be used as scales, not only to weigh people but pets or even luggage. The footprint of the balance board is relatively small- about the size of a doormat. Although to play balance board games it is recommended to clear as large a space as possible in the room you are using the balance board as you do have to step off of it in order to play most of the Wii Fit games.
It is the sensors inside the Wii balance board that makes it great for fitness games. They must be very sensitive as the Wii Fit software can judge how good your posture is by the weight distrubution of your feet. There are lots of games in which you are required to shift your weight around the board and even the slightest change in whether you are leaning left or right has a big effect on what happens on screen.
The balance board requires 4xAA batteries in order to work. It does come with batteries included and I did find that they do last quite a long time. I would recommend that you buy batteries designed for heavy consumption as cheaper batteries will only last a couple of uses witht he balance board.
I do find the Wii balance board a novelty. However, it has an advantage over a fitness video as there is an element of feedback with the balance board- if your weight distribution is wrong, it will let you know. It is good for a bit of fun, and it at least gets you on your feet!
Everyone went crazy over the portable MP3 player when it was first released. It is hard to believe that only five years ago, no-one could believe you could hold thousand songs on a device not much bigger than a cigarette packet.
The iPod mini meant being able to take your hundreds of Cd's gathering dust on a shelf and taking them with you wherever you go. It came in a huge range of colours and was good value- which is why the world went crazy for them.
When I first purchased the iPod mini (in pink) I immediately downloaded itunes, ripped my cd's and synced up the ipod. It took quite a while but I had absolutely no problems with it.
The playback quality was great and although the quality of the earphones was not great, I found them to be satisfactory given that they were free!
Although the ipod mini's interface was simple, it did have a few good features. The ability to make playlists, for example, was great because you could separate your music into different moods, genres etc. I also used the "on the go" playlist frequently, which meant you could make playlists even when away from the computer. There was also games on the ipod, my favourite being where you were played a brief clip of a song and were given points based on how long it took you to come up with the right answer.
The battery life of the iPod mini was fine, but nothing compared to today's standards. I found myself having to charge it every other day. The poorer battery life also meant the screen wasn't very bright but as the screen was monochrome, it was not hugely relevant.
The iPod mini revolutionised music. I will always have fond memories of it and, although basic, it did exactly what it set out to do- give you thousands of songs at your fingertips wherever you are.
I have had a slight obsession with iPod touches since they came out many years ago. I love the interface and look of an iphone, but I am too in love with my Blackberry to get rid of it, so the iPod touch means I get the best of both worlds.
Let's just start off by saying if it is just an MP3 player you are after that plays songs and nothing more, then you are probably wasting your money by buying an ipod touch. What I love about it is that it is so much more than an ipod. I use it to watch films, which is easy due to the 3 1/2 inch screen- it is in fact bigger than the portable DVD player I used to have!The screen size also means I really enjoy viewing photos and sharing them with friends.
With the itunes updates, you can download the updates to access the app store to play games, but I cannot comment on this with this ipod since I never used it for this.
With regards to music, this ipod plays them very well. I like the album art scroller which makes all music easy to navigate and find and you can sort your songs into album, artist of by your playlists with the click of a button.
If there is a wi-fi connection nearby, this ipod can be used as an internet browser and there is also separate youtube function. It is fine for light use, but does get frustrating over a long period of time. I also do not understand why there is no flash funcationality with any of apple's internet devices.
There is an abilty to use the touch as a calendar and organiser. I tend not to do this as I have this functionality on my mobile phone, but is a useful feauture nonetheless.
The ipod touch looks great when you buy it, my only grievance is the fact that the aluminium backing scratches far too easily and the front shows finger marks/ prints too easily.
l love the ipod touch, it is an ideal MP3 player for me, but if you don't like all the bells and whistles, maybe give it a miss.
I got this for Christmas a few years back. Although I now have a new iPod, I still use the nano as a very reliable backup.
The nano was the next generation of the iPod mini, which I also had. It has a flash drive instead of a hard drive, which makes the ipod unit itself far smaller and the battery life far longer. When I first saw it I could not believe how thin it was- it could hold up to a thousand songs and only weighs a few grams. Despite its size, it is far more robust than the mini due to the plastic coating on the front. I am not so keen on the aluminium on the back as it scratches very easily and now has lost all of its reflective shine it once had.
I cannot complain about the battery life though. Now it will only last a couple of hours before recharging but when I first bought it it lasted about 20 hours.
The interface of the ipod software is very easy to use. Simply a scroll down list which worked well with the ipod's classic clickwheel trackpad with the command key in the centre. I also liked the screen brightness and although this ipod nano cannot play video, it does have a coloured screen which can show the album artwork.
I also like using itunes with my ipod. Although there isn't much choice in the matter, I do find itunes very easy to use and makes syncing all my ipods very easy and quick.
The playback quality of the ipod nano is also very good, but I don't generally use the earphones that come with the ipod. Overall I still really enjoy using the ipod nano. Although I have fancier music devices now, it's good if there a situations where you could risk losing a more expensive device. I also keep it updated so that I have a backup of all my songs.
This version of the ipod could probably be picked up pretty cheap. If you are looking for something to simple to listen to your songs on the move, I'd defintely give this ipod a go.
I've been a huge Sonic fan since I played Sonic the Hedgehog on the Game Gear over fifteen years ago. I've loyally bought almost every Sonic game ever released and, perhaps controversially, I loved his first two 3D games, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, more than any of the 2D games. So of course, when I bought my Xbox 360, the first game I got was Sonic the Hedgehog.
It was Sonic Team's first foray into the "next-gen" world. Celebrating his 15th anniversary, it felt like a rebirth for the entire franchise. It didn't need a fancy name or cover art: just a picture of Sonic himself with the title "Sonic the Hedgehog". The advert also lead people to believe this game would be a masterpiece in terms of graphics with such beautifully rendered architecture and people who looked human. Sonic as well looked like we have never seen him- would this be next generation gaming at its best?
When I first starting playing, I immediately thought that this did not feel like a "Sonic Game". What was not apparent to me at first was that Sonic is not only the playable character. There is also Shadow, who most Sonic fans will be familiar with, and Silver, a telekinetic hedgehog from the furture. I felt a bit of a grievance that for a game called "Sonic the Hedgehog", he is probably the character you spend the least time playing.
The first character I played was Sonic. The first CGI cutscene, which although looked spectacular, set the scene for a very overly complicated story. What also became apparent as the game went on was that this first cutscene set a tone and standard that, for the rest of the game, would never be lived up to.
Sonic's story starts off with a young girl named Elise, the Princess of Soleanna, celebrating a festival with her people, only to be kidnapped by the evil Dr. Eggman, surrounded by hundreds of his robotic henchmen. Who steps in at this point but the blue streak himself, who attacks the robots and saves Elise from Eggman's clutches.
Sonic's story is essentially a cycle of- sweet moment between Elise and Sonic, Eggman capturing Elise, Sonic saving said Princess and so on. Many people have a problem with this as not only does Sonic's story not have much to do with the overall story fo the game, there is certain romantic connotations between Sonic and Elise, which some find disturbing (although in the end its only a video game). Shadow's and Silver's stories are so long and convoluted it's just not worth going in to.
The gameplay, however, is what is worst about the game. It astounds me that this game was ever released as it is so unfinished. Sonic and Shadow's gameplay is pretty similar, which is really just running to the end of a level. The camera is dreadful and sometimes you cannot even see where you are going, which makes the game unplayable to the point where you get countless game overs. The homing attack is also unnsuccessful a lot of the time, as is the light speed dash, which means that you are constantly falling into the abyss for no real reason. Shadow's gameplay does have vehicles which are dreadful to control and do not add anything to the game. Silver's gameplay is also poor in respect to the camera, but because he is a not a fast paced character, there is more chance to correct it. The problem with his gameplay is that there is no homing feature with his telekenetic missile ability. Therefore killing enemies is rather difficult.
Another sticking point is the loading times. Many games do have quite long loading times but Sonic the Hedgehog is something else. You can be over a minute before some levels and even the death animation following a boss fight has a lengthy loading time. I would make my peace with the loading times if the game is worth playing- but this really is not a game in which they are worth enduring.
This game has the potential to be good- but it is evidently unfinished. It would take at least another year to make this game in any way bearable, and I think Sonic Team were under great pressure to release this game. The fact is that they have a core audience that will buy their games no matter how bad they are and that's all that matters to them. It is a true shame that profits have became more important than reputation and making a good game. I think it is safe to say that Sonic Team have dug the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise into such a large hole that they will struggle to ever get it out again.
I have been on the lookout for a new neutral palette for a while now. I have been using Too Faced Natural Eye Palette but I'm always looking to try new things. I've heard rave reviews about the Urban Decay Naked palette and decided to give that a go. Unfortunately for me, the rest of the world must also have heard rave reviews about it so, therefore, it was near impossible to find!
I have previously been put off of Urban Decay palettes because they seem far to frivolous with pop-up flowers and the likes. I was reluctant to pay so much money for pretty packaging. The Naked palette is totally different- it is sleek rectangular with a magnetic shut closure. It is covered in a bown flock material with gold foil lettering on the front... will certainly stand out on your dressing table!
The product itself contains 12 colours- ranging from matte to satin to shimmer to fine glitter. All colours are highly pigmented with excellent blendabilty. The palette also includes a double ended 24/7 eye pencil in both black and brown. I have already done a review on this liner and I am very impressed by it. Also included it a vial of Primer Potion which is a base to put under your shadows to stop them creasing or fading throughout the day. If you haven't tried this before, this would be a great place to try it as it is absolutely fantastic!
The range of eyeshadows here give a great range of flexability and create any type of look which you would like. You can use this palette for a day-to-night look, the portability means you can put it in your handbag and touch up or transform look during the day. The large mirror in the lid also makes the palette great for on-the-go eye shadow application.
I love the fact this product is so versatile. It offers such a wide range of neutral colours in various finishes and is also great value. If anyone is looking to start a neutral eye makeup collection, this is a great place to start. As I said earlier, the product is in such huge demand that it will be hard to get your hands on, but I guess that just goes to show what a great palette this actually is.
Bourjois has been around for a very long time, offering French glamour at a reasonable price. It is also owned by Chanel, so one would assume that both brands are simply the same cosmetics in different packaging. The biggest difference being, of course, that Chanel is exponentially more expensive.
I have always thought that Bourjois have a funny way of marketing their products. They have a few staples like their Pastel Lumiere eyeshadows and their "little round pot blush", but it also feels that they are constantly renewing other parts of the brand. The release new products so often it almost puts me off trying them.
The products I have used have been pretty hit and miss. Some Bourjois cosmetics, like their eyeliners, are amongst my favourite all time products. Some of their other items, like their eyeshadows and blushes, I am a little less pleased about.
I think Bourjois is a great middle of the range brand. It is very good value with some fantastic products. Not everything about it is perfect but, in reality, nothing is. What you are getting is high-end glamour at a low-end price and that is no bad thing.
I was always in need of a kabuki brush but could never afford one. I felt they were too expensive and could never justify it to myself. Then one day, I was in boots and saw the Bourjois powder brush. It was only £5 but didn't look or feel like other kabukis in that price range. It was full and soft. I suspected all the bristles would probably fall out after a one wash but I thought, that at the price, it was woth the gamble.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I washed the brush and all the bristles stayed well and truly in tact. It retained its shape very well and did feel soft against the skin. Admittedly it is not the softest brush I have ever used, (although I wouldn't go as far as to say it felt rough on my skin) but at such a cheap price I am more than willing to put up with it.
The brush does do its job well. I like it to apply pressed/ loose powder. It picks up colour easily without the brush overloading. I can also use the brush with no product on it in order to blend out harsh lines in my contouring/ blush.
I'm sure the kabuki's costing £30/40 are better quality but if you are on a budget, it's a great place to start.