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This Kiss Me mascara form tubes around the eyelashes, so it comes off with water, and does not smudge or clog or run.
Now come on - nearly every mascara you buy will say that it doesnt clog, or smudge, or run but this one realld doesnt. As someone who has very watery eyes that always leaves even waterproof formulations halfway down my cheek, I am very very impressed by Kiss Me's lasting power.
On the down side, it is quite an expensive mascara considering the cheap packaging, and small amount (around £20). It also adds a nice gloss and some definition but it lacks 'oomph' of other mascaras - it neither lengthens much, or thickens.
A good alternative (if you can find it) is Kanebo's 38 Degree Mascara which also forms rings around the eyelashes, but in my opinion, gives more length and definition.
Miss Groovy is ok looking website selling kitch, funky beauty products; brands like Japonesque, Eyeko, Pupa which are hard to find on the high street.
As a beauty junkie, I am regularly on the lookout for new innovational products. On this occasion, I was trying out some new heated eyelash curlers from the website - I recieved them in two days and alas - they did not work on my straight, straight eyelashes. I sent a email immdiately asking for a exchange - no response.
So I called Miss Groovy, explained that I wanted to exchange it for another more traditional set of eyelash curlers (for they do not offer refunds! Non consumable items can only be exchanged, so please take note!)she told to send the item back and someone call me to take the additional cost from my credit card.
I sent a informative letter, my old invoice and guaranteed the postage. I waited for a good five days, then called the head office. "Have you received the item back?" "Yes" said a nice young man, "but I need to check again. I will call you in fifteen minutes."
So I waited...and waited...three hours later (just before office closing time) I called back. A woman told me they had recieved the item (they had received it about a week ago, I know because it was guaranteed next day delivery) and it would be swapped. "Don't you need to take some extra payment from me?" I asked. "Oh yeah" She replied.
My point is this. There are many, many website based in the UK that offer these kitch beauty products at a similar price. www.hqhair.com is a good example of a website that I think has a better look and ease of use, that responds much quicker to enquiries. The products offered are almost idential. Surely in this competitive market, the customer service need to be top notch to secure returning customers? Promising to call a customer back, then not is possibly of the most irritating things a person can do - and this has definately ensured that I will not be returning to Miss Groovy to buy more products. After all, other people are offering the same thing just one click away.
It's been two long months since I bought a Tiny laptop, 3700+ AMD 64 model, top of the range, costing £1,100. I'll be honest - I was forewarned about Tiny's abysmal customer service, but because of the powerful specification I went for it anyway "What could go wrong?!"...
Well, just about everything.
When I received the laptop I noticed how certain essential functions simply would not work, such as the internet, the wifi, the printer. Being pretty computer literate, I went through all the basic checks before realising it was a deeper problem. XP had a problem remembering any functions I added, and there was a list of growing problems. Didn't matter I thought, because I had the £14.99 per month Gold Warranty. They would fix it for me on the spot right?
Utterly wrong. I called the Gold service in the first week about six times. It became clear to me that the problem could not be fixed over the phone, but instead I was directed to Microsoft (very friendly but no help) Canon (makes of my printer, identified that it was a system fault) and Linksys (suppliers of my WIFI, also telling me it was a system fault). At this early stage I did ask about a possible refund as I needed to use the printer immediately (I'm a freelance photographer) but was told I was not entitled to one. I found out two months later that I had 14 days for a refund, and their staff had deliberately lied to me.
Eventually Gold service told me I had to wait for a Re-load disc - the holy saviour that would rescue my system. I was supposed to have it with the Laptop but surprise surprise, they didn't pack one. "Don't worry, it will be with you in 5 days". So I waited. And called back. And waited. And called back.
Four weeks later, I receive the disc. Hurrah I think, I can finally use my top of the range laptop to its fullest potential.
Except it didn't work. The re-load process is fairly long taking around 45 mins of my life. I did the sensible thing and tried it a few times, but it had infact made my system worse. Now I couldnt access the "systems" menu, which is essential for starting and stopping services on the computer.
What followed was the most frustrating and worst customer service I have ever experienced. On the first chance I could, I got on the phone to Gold warranty. Since they had PROMISED me that the Re-load disc would fix my problem, I presumed that because it had made matters worse, they would send me a million apologies (well ok, one would do) and take the machine back to repair ASAP.
Instead, that morning I made 12 frustrating calls to Gold warranty (I was sat by the phone from 9am - 4pm). Each time I was fobbed off to a different member - something tells me that they are marked down each time they arrange a return to the warehouse, because each advisor was DETERMINED to get me off the phone. I was told to use the reload disc over 6 times, each time taking nearly an hour, which left me furious. The advisors were consistently patronising, "I can assure you this time it will work". I was also told to update Windows XP by going to the website and downloading the driver...except the laptop modem didn't work. "Unfortunately, we cannot process a return unless you download the driver as you must go through our checklist before we can permit it." Additionally, "Call the software line, they can help you better" The software assistance line costs £1.50 a minute, and the point of Gold warranty is that you use a national rate number!
Best of all was them telling me that because it was a software error and not a hardware one, even if they did take it back, I would have to pay for the repair because it wasn't covered by the guarantee. How can you charge someone for repairing something that was faulty from the day you sold it to them? Or, the gentleman that told me that I didn't have any real need for accessing the services menu, because that was a "professional" area so therefore it did not need repairing.
I was now close to losing my mind. I had only one trick left up my sleeve, and after that I would have to admit defeat and take to a private engineer to fix, costing me another £100. I went back to the computer shop I bought it from, and luckily the man who served me willingly called up the customer services (saw my 12 calls from the morning, all logged surprisingly) and managed to (after some debate) arrange a return.
One week later I got the laptop back, with two scratches and a small dent on the side, but hallelujah, the engineer report does state that there was a virus on my system, and the entire disc needed to be wiped and reinstalled. No, this couldnt be done over the phone to an incompetent phone advisor.
Two months on I am so grateful that the laptop works - but actually why should I be? I paid a large amount of money for something which didnt work to the most basic of levels.
I have, to date, written four letters to Tiny, and I have not yet got a single reply - oh but I did get a call to ask why I had cancelled the direct debit for the Gold warranty service! How prompt they are when taking your money!
Do yourself a huge huge favour, and avoid Tiny and Time at all costs. Take it from a seasoned and accomplished complainer who nearly checked into a mental ward because of this company - buy from another company. Research them well, and believe your friends advice!
I travelled last month with MYTRAVEL airline to Jamaica with my family,consiting of another adult, a OAP, a child and a toddler. The problems began early on when collecting the tickets, an eagle eyed currency exchange girl asked us why we hadn't booked any meals for a 11 hour flight. Because, nobody had told us we had to, and this extra cost us £75 after paying for the tickets, and annoyingly, this was to cause more hassle because Mytravel didn't provide us with any type of proof or confirmation, so we had ask before checking in, and both times, the desk assitants were clueless. Then the icing on the cake was reading their holiday guide book, which said that on a long haul flight, the extra for a meal is £10, not the £15 each we were charged, and when I phoned up to inquire about this, the woman on the phone was....well, clueless. On the day of the flight, we were told after checking in that the flight was delayed for a tremendous 8 hours! Then to add insult to injury, we were given a princley sum of £3 each as an apology for our "meals". Has anyone EVER bought a airport meal, or even a biscuit, for £3? On the flights, we were dealt with probably the most unproffessional staff I have ever encountered. On the return journey, the toddler in our group was very ill, so we asked for Calpol. The flight attendant returned with some strange yellow mass, and rushed off without saying a single word, and of course, no concerned parent would feed a mystery substance to their 3 year old. So, we pressed the attention light and waited...and waited...40 minutes later, the same hostess came round with the duty free trolley. "Excuse me, Is this calpol?" "No, its cough medicine" "But I asked for Calpol" "Oh right!" and with that, she was down the isle selling her Chanel. No apology, no rushing to get the correct medicine for the crying child, she just carried on nonchalantly. I had to physically
block a member of staff before we were finally attended to. Another incident on the return flight was that some bright spark forgot to pack blankets. Bear in mind we had just returned from a very hot country and most people were dressed in T-shirts, so the majority of passengers were freezing. Were the blankets handed out logically, to children first? No, they were given out out randomly, so the first two rows got blankets, and those at the back of the plane didn't get any. I could carry on, but I want to avoid RSI. I know there will be people who will say that My travel is essentially a budget airline, so why should I expect anything spectacular. Well, the thing is, I didn't expect very much, just basic good manners, a thankyou or a please, and someone actually fulfilling their job description to a very basic level. My Travel may be bearable for short haul journeys but for long haul, forget it. Fork out the extra few hundred pounds and get a comfortable, pleasant and warmer service.
As a black and white photography student, I tend to use Ilford films and Ilford papers for most of my processing and they normally give very good results. (There are already two very good reviews on dooyoo about Ilford film and papers). This is a review of the processing service, the 'mailer' where you pay for the envelope and send your film off. The presentation is excellent, the pictures come in a sturdy cardboard box with a little compartment at the bottom for your negatives. However, the photographs I have received have come out in multiple shades of grey. These included four rolls of film (I trused them four times because as I far as I knew Ilford are the king of black and white!). 1) Delta 100 - came out a shade or orangey grey, no defiante blacks or white and only 20 pictures were included. 2) Ilford pan F 50 - only 8 pictures included, all pitch black. 3) SFX - a infra red film, but no special effects here despite following the rules, using a red filter etc. Distincly grey again. 4) Ilford HP4 125 - slightly better but nevertheless, the pictures lacked any dynamics, the prints I received from Jessops was better than this. When I used the negatives from these films and processed them in the darkroom, the results were much better, but hey, I don't always have the time or the patience, or the money to hand print every photograph myself! I certainly will not be using Ilford processing again, might buy my own darkroom instead.
I am a keen photographer so have tried lots of different processors, all the major high street stores and decided to try out the mail order services. I have tried a few others before, like Klick, who were so-so, so sent my holiday pics to Truprint. And what a huge dissapointment they are! First and formost, the paper has been roughtly cut, so the edges look tatty, and all my portraits have a funny yellowish-green hue. The pictures that have been taken is sunlight have a grey cast - I had been using good Fuji Superia film, normally brilliant for capturing colours, but the were no existent! Luckily I had sent another holiday roll taken under the same conditions and camera etc. to Jessops, and for £1.50 more I got a truer print, the colours were brighter, and skin colours were closer to natural skin tones (plus I got a snazzy white border!). And I only had to wait a day, not a week. Finally to add insult to injury, I looked through the negatives Truprint had thrown in the envelope to discover about three prints that were perfectly exposed, but were not printed! I don't know what possesed me to check the negatives, but I'm glad I did as I am now demanding that truprint reprint those photographs for me. I really don't think the narrowly cheaper prices (add on the 70p delivery, 45p for faster service, 35p for matte - it all adds up) warrant this kind of quality and service. Truprint? Never again!
I was recommended this website from my photography friend who said that I could get film, camera equipment, batteries etc. much cheaper on the website than on the high street. Indeed, when I first used this site, it was like being in a candy store, as the prices were much lower (for photography items) for example, a pack of 3 black and white Ilford films, normally costing £4 in Jessops, cost £4 but for three rolls! It is these prices that has made me shop with 7dayshop several times. However, I am getting rather tired of the poor customer service. The delivery is cheap at 95p, but it does take a long time, and it has varied from 4days to nearly two weeks. The corrospondence is extremly poor, many of the times that I emailed I didn't even get a reply! When I tried to call the lines were busy. One of the more irritating experiences was being sent a email to tell me that a out of stock item I had ordered and paid for was in stock - then the next day I was told it was out of stock! That is another problem with this website, items are FREQUENTLY unavailble, but what really irritates me is that instead of stating this at the point of order, they keep the item on the website so the back log keeps building and building! I have never had a order that has not had at least one item out of stock. Infact I have a order for silecea gel that is still on back order from January! But the website is still offering it to customers, as a instock item! These problems aside, I probably would order from them again, since it has what I want at a fairly low price, but in future I will plan ahead and order enough of what I need so I don't have to deal with them too soon! Also, order way way in advance!
I was estatic when I found this creation from Bravissimo..it is basically a halterneck with a built in bra. May sound dull, but when your a 34F, it is something to be very excited about, since most of these "intergral bra" tops never go past a D cup. Also, if you have big breasts, its impossible to wear halternecks with style, because you have to either wear a extremely uncomfortable strapless bra (which most of the time does not remain hidden with a low back ot front) or go braless (not a good look). So does it work? Yes and no. The support bra is well padded, and pushes the clevage into a nice rounded shape-however, the is no doubting that after a hours of wear, it begins to strain on the neck. After all, something has to be holding the breasts up, and that weight is transferred onto the tiny straps wrapped around your neck. The bra itself is adjustable round the back, like a normal bra, but this makes little diference in terms of support. This top is fine for going out, or occasional wear, but wear it for a whole day and your neck will ache. The fabric however, is stretchy and comfortable, although I have noticed after one wash, it has become baggy. At the moment Bravissimo offer it in Black and Red, and it costs £30, pricey because it looks rather plain, and the comfort factor is not high enough for this price.
It's been two months since my favourite womens magazine ever, Looks, finished printing. Despite withdrawl symptoms, Glamour has filled that little empty hole that Looks has left. I like this magazine- I'm not sure exactely why, since I read so many womens magazine, but rarely stay faithful to one, but theres something about its random-ness and snippet-y style I like. Probably because it's the way I think. First of all, it's small. Half the size of your ususal read, not that this has any real relevance, sure it was a cute gimmick at first, but anyone who actually buys it for the size is a fool. It is also Britians top selling womans magazine, which is no mean feat, since Cosmpolitan held reign for years and years. Anyway on the the content, the magazine is split into usual magazine like sections, the "Features", "Entertainment", "Fashion and Beauty", "Lifestyle" and "You you you". Quite ironic because ALL of the magazine is actually about "Me me me", the way I look, the way I shop, my realtionships, my sex life..and hey, I don't care. Back to that in a bit. Glamour focuses on the whole celebrity/fashion thing, nearly all the pages are about what so and so was wearing at a this premiere, what this celebrity uses on her face- and theres the odd interview with a actress or two in the magazine. One thing I like about glamour is that they choose fairly decent people to be on the cover (bar Victoria Beckham and the Appleton sisters) for example, Natalie Portman, Halle Berry, Kirsten Dunst, James King. Alternative beauties, shall we say. Now all I'm really interested in is the fashion and beauty. For fashion tips, Glamour is OK, not brilliant, they fall into the "lets-promote-clashing-patterns-and-colour-to-show-how-whacky-we-are" trap, although you can spot the odd good piece. For beauty Glamour is good, they always seem to have the new product
s from the major brands in and some interesting creations. However, why the beauty editor always seems to get her face in the magazine surpasses me, however, I think they are trying to make the readers feel like they are part of the Glamour family. Look, Beauty Editor Becci is going to tell you which Nars multiple she prefers. Well of course she has all of them, she gets them all for free! To be honest there isn't much to say in terms of Glamours content, in that, it's like nearly every other womens magazine you could pick up. Most of the time, the same picture of Jennifer Lopez appears in all of them, one magazine rates her "Style queen!" others call her a disaster. Ok, so if Glamour is like every other magazine what is the point of reviewing it? And why do I like it so? Well I revel in it's shallowness, its superficialness, and as a result, I really enjoy every monthly dose. Sure theres a lot of advertising, but there is in every womans magazine-annoying yes, but if you don't like it, ignore it. Glamour has the perfect mix of rubbish to make it entertaining. For example theres a bit of sex, not too much, if you look at Cosmopolitan and More!, you will know what real smut is. Also, unlike Marie Claire, it does not try to be educational, or the "thinking womans" magazine. It dosen't present you with an article of the repressed and starving, juxtaposed with Gucci advert. Rather than being totally hypocritcal, it completely embrases the selfish, capitalist side of western culture. Well your part, of it, so why pretend you don't enjoy it? So that is what I do like, the fact that the magazine wholly embraces its not very important part of society as a whole, but nurtures the little market it's aiming for. I must make it clear that I do not agree with everything it says, far from it, when I read what it takes to be a "Glamour girl", I maybe agree with four or five of the p
oints. Anyone who can tick off every box, and thinks this magazine covers every aspect of their life perfectly, is either kidding themselves, or is very sad. It can be a bad influence at times, I mean one has to wonder about the men they interview! If you believed everything, you would think, for example, that all men cheat on regular basis. If its the magazines job to make women feel more secure, it certainly isn't doing a very good job-but like I said, if you think for yourself, than what is the problem. Sometimes it's good to disagree. So overall? This magazine has weak points, like all womens magazines, but one in the genre, I think its pretty good. All the magazines have their own pretensions, (Elle are really good friends with Tara P-T, doncha know?!) and if you can't stand it, don't read it! I prefer to read this magazine, away from my Shakespere time you understand, when I need some none brain straining entertainment. I need to laugh at someones lame excuse for journalism, and how excited the beauty editor gets at a lip gloss. Then I put the magazine down and do somethinbg important with my day. I'm not saying you can't be glamourous and intelligent, just that it takes more than a magazine to give you both. Get your Glamour here, you intellect from living.
Hydramax is a mini range of moisturisers in the Chanel range which caters for the younger customers, its a kind of "prevention" series. (The anti-wrinkle range is available later!) There are three types, the balancing gel, the oil free gel and the cream. I have tried two of there, the balancing gel and the cream. The consultant recommended the balancing gel to me, as this mattifies the T-zone area (the oily forehead, nose and chin) and moisturises the cheek area. I found the gel did work well, particuraly for warmer days as it is light and refresing. However, I used this with the Gel cleanser and Gel Tendre toner, which meant by the end I felt rather over-gelled. It did feel a little sticky at times around the nose, and I can't say I had less spots around that area. Then on to the cream, as I was sure (against the consultants advice) that my cheeks deserved full on moisture, I bought the Hydramax cream too. This is a light pink cream, which smells like heaven; that kind of subtle, blossomy scent that stays all day. This comes in a stylish tub (superficial, moi?) and this cream was extremely moisturisng, but I don't think it was too greasy, even on my forehead and chin. I felt that my skin was brighter and softer after only a few days, and I suppose the cream texture was sooting on my skin, something that I do prefer over gel-textures. Also I think the price is extremely acceptable at £24, it is cheaper or the same as other leading brands such as Clinique and Dior, and lets face it, Chanel has the superior brand image! So remember, just because the consultant tells you something, they can be wrong! (well not all the time, but a little self diagnosis is acceptable!)
At the ender age of 20, I've been told this is the time to start protecting the delicate skin around my eyes. A good eye cream should be light, allergy tested, firm and brighten the eye area. As a Chanel addictee, I was offered three choices from the range, there is the "Prevention" option for the young wrinkle-less, the "Cure" which is a anti-wrinkle cream and this, the "eye lift", spcifically for puffiness and dark circles. This is a very light, to the point of runny lotion, which is to be applied only at night. As nice as it is, I have not noticed drastic results. Slight darkness around my eyes have been lifted, and the skin is lightly firmer. However I don't think this cream is a good enough all rounder, prevention is better than cure, and at the end of the day, sleep is the best way to get rid of dark circles! Also the consitency is too runny, and the pump dispenser gives to much each time. The Chanel consultant has let me know that there is a new cream coming out this September (2002) which is a anti ageing and protecting cream, which deals with early wrinkles and puffiness. This may be a better option, because it's dealing with the skin condition rather than the more superficial problems you can have around the eye area. After all, you can always life dark circles with a bit of Touche Eclat (YSL) or Ohh la lift (Benefit) after moisterising with protective cream with SPF!
I am a beauty junkie of the purest kind, and although I have tons glosses, lippies, eyeshdows I've never been keen on beauty books, because most of them are dated. If you look at the Mary Quant book for Dorling Kindersely, it is full of acid green with fushia lipsticks and heavy bases. Cindy Crawfords book is good for basics, but somehow lacks any artistic flair or creativity. (well she is a supermodel) and Bobbi Browns books, I think are fairly boring guides to how you should look. For example, Bobbi thinks people with blue eyes should never wear blue eyeshadow and brown will suit everyone (not so). Kevin Aucoin's face forward however, I think stands out from the rest. He believes anyone can wear anything, and make up is all about fun and choices, because after all, you can wipe it off. Face Forward is his most recent publication, after "The Art Of make up" and "Making Faces". He has a huge celebrity following and you can see why. His work is dramatic but subtle at the same time; he works with each individuals face and some of the transformations are breathtaking. He dosent do the "lets do our best to be subtle and let blemishes show through", no he gives everyone the full whack, and they look amazing. And why not? Face Forward is split into two halves, the first is dealing with some basics, such as shading and contouring, basic make up brushes and cosmetics which are handy. He does not name specific brands, there is no plugging in this book, he tells you that cheap can be and often is as good as expensive. The first section he shows women and one man (his partner!)with what make up suits them, and like I said some of these transformations are amazing. He chooses women he meets on the street, they are not all young and model like, they are a mix of black, white, asian, old, young etc. The looks he creates are not done with trendy colours only, they are the kind of looks you can imagine doing on yo
urself. I dowubt these looks will date much, because he has taliored them to suit the individual, not just plonked a "look" on a unsuspecting model. The second half consists of dramatic make overs on celebrity friends such as Tina Turner, Calista Flockhart, Winona Ryder and so on. They are transformed into other superstars, Audrey Hepburn, Cleopatra and so on. These pictures are fab for inspiration, if your going to a party, yes you could try and replicate them fully, but personally, I can imagine plucking the lips from one image, the eyes from another. Thats one of the best things about this book; it is not a step by step guide, because they never work perfectly; rather it inspires you to create your own looks. Also on the plus side is the beautiful photography; Sharon Stone as a angel in particular, but you can see the thought and work that has gone into creating this book. it isn't over burdened with text, which I think is a no no, after all if your writing a make up book, it should be full of images! Also Aucoin really adds the personal touch by placing photographs of his travels and adventures. He mentions a lot of his own personal thoughts into the book, mainly about the superficialness of the beauty and fashion industry and prejudices plcaed on himself and others. He recognises the irony of him working in the beauty industry, and by using models of different ages and races, he is trying to open new outlets for minorities. Sadly, Kevin Aucoin in May this year at the age of 40, which is a shame because I think he would've written many more brilliant books and probably created a spanking range of cosmetics too. He does have another two books out however, so I suggest other beauty addicties purchase them now! (He does have some cosmetics and brushes, they can be bought on his website)
All girls (and some boys)love nice make-up and I was very pleased to find Island-trading.co.uk, because it offers brands like Estee Lauder, Clinique, Christian Dior, Chanel and so on for hugely reduced prices. At first glance, I didn't like the look of the website-it look rather, shall we say brash and cheap, but I was in heaven when looking the the "Winter Clearance" section, where items are reduced even further, and there is little over £10. The majority of items are £5-£8. However, I was soon in trouble because this site takes forever to load up, (and my computer isn't slow) because all the 100 or so items that are presented on one page together, so each time you start up the page it reloads. The back button isn't a choice here, as it tends to need refreshing if you do go back, so either way, the page needs to be reloaded everytime you put something into your shopping basket. This is a hellish experience, and you should try and browse and figure out what you want before adding to the basket, because once you get to that page, it takes forever to get back. The redemption for the poor navigation and presentation is some really good bargains, such as a four Christian Dior eyeshadows for £10. However, you have to be careful to check what kind of item it is, since the site sells four types for products, those marked "U" are unboxed, marked "T" are testers, "*" are orignal and packaged, "R" means the item simply has a few imperfections. Don't discover after you have ordered that something you wanted it actually a measly little tester when you wanted the full size product! Plus you can't return a single item, it has to be the whole caboodle, and that service costs £3.95. Otherwise delivery is free to places in the UK and Ireland. The other query it the fact that you have to sepnd £20 to order certain products, most notable the ones in the Clearance sale, which is the
majority of the products. The majority of the products are under this category, which tends to force you to buy a little more than you should, I mean at those prices......! Plus there is a extra cheap section where things are mainly £1, and those items can only be bought after you have spent £20. It's fine if you see lots of things you want, but it is annoying if you really want something but aren't willing to spend so much. Plus the site is being updated constantly, so it is annoying if you check it a few hours later and an item you would've liked to have had is put on. Finally, I recieved a parcel from Island.trading.co.uk today, and it was fifty fifty. About two of the items were perfect, boxed, sealed. Two were ok, came in crushed boxes (thank god it wasn't a gift!) and another two were abysmal! The top third of a lipliner had snapped, and a lipstick was stuck to the inside lid and when I removed it, it was pretty well crushed. But I can't be bothered returning all the items for £3.95 and re-ordering, and my items aren't even available anymore. What scares me is that I have another parcel coming, so goodness knows how that will turn up! So although there are some bargains, remember to read check the catch, and make sure you really really want it or it's a unecessary pain returning it! *UPDATE* I recieved my second parcel of goods today. It has to be said the quality is better, the boxed items came in presentable boxes, nothing ws damaged. However there was still the colour problem, as three of the things I bought didn't look anything like what I expected, and an item which was supposed to be a boxed orginal clearly had a tester sticker on it! Also one item that was out of stock, and a little note was written on the recipt, but it says on the webpage that customers would be emailed immediately if anything was unavailable. Oh and one more thing; someone left a nice piece of chewed gum in my parcel
amongst the padding. That I did not order.
I've been meaning to write an opinion on this company for a while now, because I've had so many difficulties with it. The first time I saw the catalogue I thought it looked great - fashion "straight from France" - everything looks fantastic on the models (don't they always?!) with reasonable prices. The catalogue stocks different styles - for example in the ladies section, there’s the "mini prices" which sells rather bland looking sweaters and jackets, "soft grey" which specializes in comfortable looking knitwear, "vie privee" which makes pretty, sparkly looking underwear. This divides that catalogue up nicely, and there always seems to be something you want from each section of it. The quality is seriously lacking though, and it's been rare that I've received an item I've wanted to keep. I've ordered black trousers which were about £30, and were badly fitting, and made of that awful stretchy lycra-esque material that looked cheap and felt cheap. If they were cheap, I wouldn't have a problem! I also ordered a silk vest designed by Ungaro who did a small range for Le Redoute, and for £40 (now there was very little material that made up this top) it arrived scrunched up in a plastic bag, and the label wasn't even stitched on correctly! £40 on the high street could buy a very beautiful and very well made top. Another thing I have noticed that the colour is rarely true to the one printed in the catalogue. Fair enough, I don't expect pixel accuracy, but I received a blue vest that looked grey, a peach catalogue that was supposed to be pink. And if you think I'm being fussy, when I exchanged the cardigan, (they sent me the wrong size) it was pink, not peach! My biggest gripe with Redoute started four months ago when I ordered some items off the spring/summer catalogue, and I tried to return two tops that were too big. Over the duration of
three months, I phoned, I wrote, I emailed them to beg (and really was begging eventually) to come and pick up the items I was returning. Each time they would tell me a courier was definitely coming - and no one did turn up, and I never got a formal apology. Eventually someone told me over the phone to just return it myself by taking it to the post office. Now why didn't tell me that sooner, so I wouldn't have got a bill charging me for two sets of what I ordered? More to the point though, they clearly state in all their advertising that their door to door courier service is paramount, and efficient etc. etc. Not quite. That brings me to my most recent aggravation with Redoute - I decided to give them a little faith and order some items from the new catalogue. I ordered about six items, and they were all ill fitting or just looked bizarre. (The sizing is strange, top wise they tend to be big, I had to get a cardigan size 8/10 and in the real world, that just isn't happening!) I exchanged a few, and they couldn't connect me to the customer care department, so what happens is the person you are talking to write down on pen and paper what you want. Big mistake. When I got the exchanged items, let’s say I got two cardigans in totally the wrong size, trousers in the wrong size, even pjamas in the wrong colour. I cannot emphasize how many times I went over the order details just to make sure she would get it right, but to no avail. I am in the process of returning goods again, it seems to me everytime I order something from Redoute it turns out to be a big three-month job. Is it really worth it? No. There is some terrible organization in this company, no doubt, and their constant emphasis on it's French roots is just a way to make u subconsciously think it's better quality and will suddenly become a chic and bounce around town drinking espresso's. This catalogue is no better than your Littlewoods and Argos in
terms of quality and service, the only thing it does offer is clothes that are slightly edgier, but even then, you'll be lucky to have it in the right colour and size before it's out of season. **UPDATE** For some reason, Le Redoute sent me a letter a while ago, saying that if I wanted a new catalogue for Spring/summer season,(no thanks) then I would have to contact them and tell me why I had a "large number" of returns, because this costs them a lot of money. Catalogue shopping is hazardous at the best of times, so surely a CATALOGUE shopping company should be understanding about returns? After all, if the returning system with a certain company is a big strain, than I am sure most people wouldn't bother. Also if they can't afford it, they shouldn't offer free returns. This as annoyed me quite a lot, because the letter implies I am a problem customer, and that I should be more lenient with their mistakes. The fact that I have to justify why I deserve to have another catalogue is laughable - I am by no means desperate for cheap, unflattering clothes! Why should I bother writing to them in length about the problems I encountered, when I have already done so months before? I actually have a few "mistakes" in my wardrobe that I cannot be bothered returning, but a lot of the products I bought from Le redoute were just wholly unacceptable. They do say in the letter that they would like to help me if theres a problem with "sizing" - well theres a huge problem there, because the sizes are so unpredictable (I have had garments at size 8, as I stated before and a pair of trousers at 16!) thus it is totally unpredictable! At times I have had no choice but to order two sizes of the same garment. Maybe they think they are offering good customer service by sending this letter, or more likely they are trying to save precious catalogues. I was hoping the company would be more gener
ous in it's attitude, especially following all the problems I had with its delivery service. By refusing to send me a catalogue without validating my previous returns, I have decided to completely and utterly abandon Le redoute, and to inform my friends to do the same. Its a shame because previously, I may have given them a second chance.
I only saw Memento a week ago because my beloved had declared that it was the most “amazing, twisted and bizarre” film he had seem for a long time. Twisted? Bizarre? I sniffed and told him that I had seen all the twists the cinema had to offer, and being the film connoisseur that I thought I was, could tell him the ending of the film within the first fifteen minutes, or that’s a tenner…well, I didn’t know what was coming up, did I?! Guy Pearce of Neighbours “fame” plays Leonard Shelby, an insurance investigator who has lost the ability create new memories since an attack on his wife and himself. His missus is murdered and he spends the rest of his days trying to find the killer, overcoming his new disability by tattooing important details over his body, taking Polaroid’s of people and places, and making so-called scrupulous notes. The distinctive feature of this film is that the story is told backwards, that is the first thing we see doesn’t make any sense without the ending, which is the beginning – where the actual narrative begins. By telling the story backwards, we stay in tune with Leonard’s disability – the difficulty of keeping up with what is happening is the same as Leonard not having long term memory instead having to piece fragments together and trust himself. It also gets easier to follow as you get used to the format. I found myself getting smarter as the film got on too – that is finding unanswered questions – such as, why does Leonard drive a Jaguar with a broken window? Well, I’m your about to find out! Other great scenes include the one where Leonard is sat on the toilet holding a bottle of something alcoholic, saying to himself “I don’t feel drunk…” (how often have you thought that?!) and all of sudden, he has to figure out where he is and what he is doing all over again. A bit like restarting the day 100 time
s in 24 hours. It is difficult to decide who to trust, as there are a few other main characters – Teddy, who claims to be a friend of Leonard’s and seems to be quite a clear cut character in terms of motives. Natalie, a stranger who seems to have romantic links to Leonard, and wants to help him…or does she? When the truth is unveiled, which it does take some time, it really makes you realize that for someone in Leonard’s position, the best is to trust no one, apart from yourself. Actually it would be better not to trust anyone, not even yourself….. The film grows increasingly ambiguous towards the end – sudden outbursts by the characters who can remember (but can they be trusted?) and distorted memories by Leonard himself mislead the audience. The memories of his wife for example – does he only choose to remember what he wants to, picking the good from the bad? (I can’t go into too much detail without ruining some of the story!) The audience, I think have bonded with Leonard by the end of the film, and it is extremely sad and frustrating to think that someone could suffer with this disability. To me the conclusion is so clever because it’s almost impossible to guess, because it seems out of character yet is believable to a character who is suffering so much. It is also actually quite simple and suddenly everything becomes a lot clearer. Had the story of been told chronologically, there would have been very little mystery, and Leonard’s pursuits may have seem less significant in a way. Still, I admit I didn’t guess the conclusion immediately, but I did get some of the key events, but Memento just isn’t your average film, and therefore doesn’t use your average narrative techniques. It can be devilishly complicated in parts, but no more than other, more “challenging” films, such as “The Usual Suspects”(along the same lines of Me
mento, I think). Just a few things – if Leonard can’t remember anything after his accident how does he realize every morning that he realize he has a problem? He doesn’t have a tattoo that tells him that either. But as my bloke said when I pointed this out to him, “Shut up” and “Nothing can be perfect and wasn’t good enough anyway?” and he was absolutely right, Memento is one of those rare cinematic events that don’t happen so often anymore. We spent many hours after (sad, I know) trying to figure the narrative out the way it was supposed to be, but it's tricky because there are so many twists and turns. So with his winning bet, he’s going to get the video as soon as it comes out, just so I can figure out what really happened with the wife…