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mjc121

mjc121
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Member since: 20.02.2009

  • sometimes I write on Amazon under my real name of M. J. Collins so some reviews may appear there as well

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    • More +
      29.05.2015 19:13
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • softens
      • cooling

      Disadvantages

      • "a tad expencive"

      minty feet

      As someone who is on my feet for most of the day they do need a slight bit of help from time to time especially during the summer. I first bought this product last year and was impressed with it. The price of £8 for 250 ml is perhaps a little over the top but you don't need to use much of it for it to be effective.

      The fact that the body shop products are not tested on animals and this product does not contain any parabens which I know is a bonus for some. According to the label the product is good for 12 months after you first open it. Well a bottle of it doesn’t last that long with me so that isn’t an issue.

      The cap is easy to open and it snaps closed securely so there is no risk of it popping open and going anywhere it you are taking it with you on your travels. The lotion is quite thick so it does not run everywhere but not quite as thick as hand cream. It is a very pale turquoise almost white in colour. There is a smell that is reminiscent of peppermint but it is not overpowering a bit like a half full bag of mint imperials. There is also a subtle sweetness to the scent as well. As you apply it to your feet there is a cooling sensation which lasts for a minute or two after applying and rubbing it in. I find that it is quite light and is quickly absorbed leaving no greasiness on your skin. With the first application there was not much of a noticeable difference in the softness of the skin of my feet but after a few days there was a noticeable reduction in the amount of hard skin that forms on my heels and a smaller amount of sweat rash as well so it must be doing something good.

      The scent of the lotion does linger for a while on my feet which is nice but as someone who does not tend to sniff my feet too often I couldn’t give a time for it.

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    • Dymo LetraTAG / Printer Consumable / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      29.05.2015 13:48
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "sticks well"
      • clear
      • "easy to use"

      Disadvantages

      • "may not survive dishwasher cycle"

      label things clearly

      I also have this review on ciao

      I have had a letra tag printer/label maker for a while now and this is the tape I use for labelling things inside my flat. The tape cartridge is a bit fiddly to insert into the machine at first but after a few goes it becomes second nature. I buy mine from WH Smiths for £4.99 each.
      The label is a bright white and it gives a good contrast to the black printing the machine applies to it. It is wide enough to make nice clear labels and can easily take the two lines setting the machine has without losing too much clarity. The backing strip is in two pieces so a simple bend along the length of the label makes these easy to remove and then apply the label to the object. With the surface of the label has a slightly waxy feel to it and it is one of the ‘heat printed’ types of label.
      The label sticks well onto glass, plastic and paper/card. I have not as yet tried sticking them onto any metal object so I can’t comment on the sticking power here. They do not easily come off so you need to be sure they are properly aligned before sticking down fully. With the label being made of paper it may not survive that many times on jars washed by hand and I very much doubt it would survive even a single dishwasher cycle. Then again the tape is 4 meters long and most labels on my jars are a few cm so it doesn’t cost that much simply to replace them.
      The labels I have on the objects inside my flat have stayed nice and white but the ones outside have yellowed slightly. However, I doubt direct sunlight would cause the yellowing as it occurred during winter so I doubt it would be hot enough and the label is in a covered porch like area which provides almost total shade all day. I put the yellowing down to simply being exposed to the elements and the pollution – as I do live on a main road but I can’t be certain.
      The label cartridge can be used with the following models in the dynamo letra tag range: TAG QX50, LetraTag LT-100H, LetraTag LT-100T, LetraTAG XR

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    • More +
      29.05.2015 11:53
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "carpet not left soaking wet"
      • "easy to use"
      • "cleans fairly well"

      Disadvantages

      • "static brush"

      a quick fresen up for carpets

      I bought this machine a few years ago when I moved to our flat. The carpets are that fairly hard wearing office type carpet as the previous owner had used it as a to let property. It cost me around £75 (as I recall) as it was on sale at a store that was closing down at the time

      It came with a small bottle of vax cleaning solution which you mix with warm water in the clean water tank. The tank holds plenty of this mixture and I find it easily does both my living room / sitting room and the hall. The clean water tank is easy to take out of the machine, fill and put back in. Replacement cleaning solution is available in many stores but should be a 'low foam' formula.

      To use there are two foot switches one is the on/off and the other to release the handle. There is a trigger in the handle to spray the solution onto the carpet. As you push it forward whilst squeezing the trigger the static brush helps to work it into the carpet. Release the trigger pull back and the water is sucked into the dirty water tank leaving the carpet damp but not soaking wet. The dirty water tank is easy to lift out and the carry handle means you can get it to the sink without spilling it.

      I tend to use this about twice a year mainly in May and September. OK I know that leaves a long time where I haven't used it but with the carpets being left damp they need drying time. In winter this takes a bit too long. I find the machine easy to use and it does a good job of picking up a lot of the muck that builds up in the carpet which a vacuum misses. The machine is quite loud in use and not something I can use for long periods. It is rather heavy to use and to carry about especially when full as water is deceptively heavy. The brush also puts up some extra friction against the carpet so adds to the effort needed to push/pull it around.

      It does amaze me at just how dirty the water is in the dirty water tank when I pout it away. My carpets are left noticeably cleaner and also a bit softer after use.

      The static brush is ok but I feel that a agitating brush would improve this and help to do a better job.

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    • Nutmeg / Plant / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
      More +
      28.05.2015 19:03
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "different flavour"

      Disadvantages

      • "not for everyone"

      warming and woody

      I also have this review also on ciao
      Nutmeg is one of the spices I tend to have in my kitchen cupboard which at times I use it quite often then I may go weeks if not months without touching it. Whole nutmeg is the best way to buy it as when ground it loses its flavour and aroma very quickly as the whole ‘nut’ it keeps for a very long time – way past the ‘best before’ date. When using it I use the finest grate side of my grater to make it nice and fine. With whole nutmeg the taste is quite strong so you only need a little for it to give a nice flavour to whatever you are adding it to.
      I find that whole nutmeg does not vary very much no matter which brand you buy and Bart's was my most recent purchase. Each jar contains 7-9 whole nutmegs – around 28g in total. Now £1.99 may sound like a lot for a jar but it is good value as they last a very long time as you don’t need a lot of it when you use it. My current jar has a BBD of March 2017. The jar differs from the pic on ciao as they were updated a while ago. However, it is a standard Bart jar which has a double flip top opening. The top ‘flipper’ reveals a shaker like top whilst the lower one is the jar fully opened. Naturally the shaker is of little use here but a single jar format does keep costs down.
      When it is harvested the ‘nutmeg’ is actually two spices grown in the same space. The spices are found in the seed of the fruit of the ‘nutmeg tree’. The red brown outer covering is removed and is known a mace and the actual nutmeg is the seed inside this. Each one is about 7g in weight and about the size of a quale egg.
      The taste quite complex and it is hard to describe to those who have never tasted it before. It is quite sweet with a slight undercurrent of bitterness but with a woodiness to it and a slight warmth in the after taste is as close as I can get to a description. The aroma has a slight warmth to it with again a slight nutty woodiness coming through. It is perhaps , for me one of those instantly recognisable smells. It is easier to recognise than to describe. It works well in both sweet and savoury dishes but you only need a little as the taste is quite strong and it could overpower more delicate flavours.
      I find that the taste is very individual and perhaps a bit of an acquired taste it can help to give a different spin on some popular dishes and to flavour some quite bland foods.

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    • Tiger Beer / Beer / Cider / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
      More +
      28.05.2015 18:22
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "good taste"

      Disadvantages

      • price

      it's grrrrrreat

      I also have this review on ciao

      I’m not a big beer drinker and I tend to stick to wine as my ‘alcohol of choice’. For me, most lagers are too sweet and kind of remind me a bit too much of some of my student days I’d rather forget. However, this is one of the few I do drink having been introduced to it at an Indian restaurant in Stanmore a few years ago. Now one of the pubs in the town centre where I live has it on tap – even better.
      I tend to buy it in the 640 ml bottles which are around £2 each when not on offer. However a 330ml bottle is also available these tend to be sold as a 4 pack for around £5. It has an ABV of 4.8% so a full 640ml bottle has 3.1 UK units. Now I am not a big drinker so one of the larger bottles or at most two pints is enough for me.
      The 640ml bottle is fairly standard in shape but it does have the word ‘tiger’ in raised lettering around the neck of the bottle. The blue label is very distinctive and stands out on the supermarket shelf.
      The lager, when poured, does not have much of a head to it – as long as your pour it correctly with the glass at an angle. There is not much of a smell to it perhaps some slightly malty notes with a slightly citrusy edge to it.
      The initial taste is quite strong as cheap larger drinkers would be expecting the sweet taste they are used to but this is more of a sharp taste to it. The flavour is much more complex than most lagers due to the use of hops and malted barley in the recipe. These flavours come through fairly strongly and it makes a nice change form wine. There is a slightly bitter after taste which I do like about this larger and this after taste does linger for a while. There is not a massive amount of fizz with this lager but I find this to be a good point as it doesn’t make me feel too bloated after drinking it.
      I find that this is easy to drink and it is thirst quenching. The lack of the sweet taste makes this, in my opinion, a much better compliment to spicy foods so it is ideal with a curry. However, the rather complex taste will mask the taste of more delicate foods so may not be the best option here.
      This lager, like others, is best served well chilled but not ice cold. Serving it too cold affects the taste and makes it taste a little flat as much of the complexity is lost. Serving it at room temperature, to me, makes it taste very cheap – which it isn’t.

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    • More +
      28.05.2015 17:18
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "well written"

      Disadvantages

      • "black and white"

      history lesson for the Doctor

      Due to the 500 word limit this is a film only review

      I have a more detailed review on ciao

      Brief plot:

      The Doctor and his grand-daughter Susan along with Ian and Barbra arrive on earth. The Doctor thinks it is 1960s England returning Ian and Barbara home. However, the TARDIS has got it slightly wrong, not only are they in Paris but about 200 years early – slap bang in the middle of the reign of terror during the French revolution.

      Can the Doctor keep to the laws of the time lords and not change the course of history and still make sure everyone survives..?

      What I thought of it:

      The writing of the overall story is good but I dare say historians will be able to hind historical inaccuracies in it but I think we can allow a bit of artistic licence. However, this was a six part story and I have to say I felt it was rather long and some of it could have been cut and would not have affected the story very much at all and also this would have helped with the pace some of the scenes move at.

      Although the story is in black and white, I feel does help give the feeling of the damp and dankness of the prison which is one of the main sets in the story. The lighting used in these scenes also adds to the squalor of the conditions even if the stone walls do look more like a painted pantomime sets than actual stone. The jailer (Jack Cunningham) is a good piece of casting the part is portrayed as someone who isn’t all that intelligent but doesn’t miss a trick if there's money to be made.

      The acting is generally of a high standard although James Caincross as Lemairtre does rather over egg his part and his rather ‘superior’ accent which appears part way through and his cutting over other actors’ lines is a little irritating. William Hartnell does seem to be enjoying the part of the doctor in this story as by this point the series had settled down and was gaining viewers.

      As with many of these older Dr Who stories there are some missing episodes in this story. Thanks to audio recordings from fans of the original broadcast this story has two animated episodes to replace the missing ones. Whilst these are not going to be as good as the actual episodes would have been they do complete the story and they have been well drawn. The sound quality is a bit up and down in these episodes but that is to be expected but it does show Keith Anderson as Robespierre off as a an excellent voice artist – particularly as Robespierre himself was reputed to be a highly skilled orator.

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    • Sainsbury's A1962 Hand Mixer / Mixer / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
      More +
      23.05.2015 08:57
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • works

      Disadvantages

      • "struggles with heavier mixes"

      In a fix - have a mix

      I have had this hand held mixer for a number of years and before I bought my large Kenwood it got very regular use to make my cakes and to start my bread mixes. When I bought it it was around the £20 mark from my local Sainsbury's but this was a few years ago now.

      The first time I used this there was a slight hot plastic smell but this is normal for new appliances and it soon disappeared and after a couple of uses it stopped all together. It has to be said that if used for more than a few minutes at a time it does become slightly warm. Whilst I wouldn't advise using it for long continuous periods most day to day uses shouldn't cause it many, if any, problems.

      The machine is fairly light and comes with two 'beater' type attachments along with dough hooks. The 200 w power is high enough to cope with many day to day uses although I did find that it struggled slightly with heavier cake batters. The five speed mechanism is good and I would advise that you start with it on the lowest setting them increase it as you go to ensure a good mix and to prevent sending clouds of flour everywhere. There is a boost button which allows you to increase the speed of the beaters for a short burst without adjusting the main speed setting. I find this useful for getting rid of any lumps in my mixtures.

      The beaters/dough hooks are easy to fit and pressing the speed control releases them easily. The machine does not feel flimsy as some hand mixers can despite the outer body being made of plastic and it is not overly heave and the handle is a good size. The flat back make it easy to stand up without the beaters touching the worktop which is also good. The flex is also a good length so this makes it easier to use as well.

      Since buying my big Kenwood this hand held mixer has become my go to for things like making butter cream or mixing smaller quantities of things where using my main mixer is a bit of an over kill. The beaters and dough hooks are stainless steel and are easily cleaned in hot soapy water and the body is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.

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    • Nationwide / Bank / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
      More +
      20.05.2015 22:33
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "not a bank"
      • "branches all over the country"

      Disadvantages

      • "perhaps not the best rates"

      not a bank - good

      I have been a member of Nationwide now for many years and for most of them I have been happy with their service.

      The first savings account I opened with them was a savings account which, ok, may not have been the best interest but it was instant access. This was moved to an account which was run by post (sending cheques into the main office etc) which at the time had a good interest rate (4.5% I think it was) then after a while I opened an ISA and put the capital from the old savings account into a 5 year garented equity bond. I now have my 'rolling' cash ISA and mortgage with them and I have continued to enjoy good service throughout. I also like the email you can sign up to so you are notified about new deals and accounts and if there is anything better on offer than you already have.

      My local branch is fairly large and when I visit there are a good number of 'tills' open to deal with customers and at times an extra person who if you are just paying in you can 'jump the queue' and go with him/her to a different desk to do it so that they can get things moving quicker. More importantly to me the staff are friendly and polite which gets them bonus points. Getting appointments for other things like discussing investments and mortgages is quick and easy and whilst sometimes you do need to wait a few days for them they give you enough time for the appointment to discuss everything you need to. The branch is large enough to have a number of private rooms in order for these meetings to be done in private.

      When sorting out my initial mortgage, I made the mistake of letting a broker sort out my initial deal and they made a right royal mess of it. Getting hold of my broker was next to impossible but a few minutes on the phone to nationwide and I managed to get it all sorted out to what I wanted it to be. When I went in to rearrange my mortgage it was a very smooth process and the mortgage person talked me through the ones they had on offer which they could offer me and the new deal was quick and easy and more importantly correct.

      The on line banking is perhaps not quite as easy to use as other banks but I only use it to keep track of my mortgage as my ISA is done with a passbook so it is not a massive inconvenience.

      Naturally much of this is my own experiance with Nationwide and my own local branch in Watford - other branches may differ.

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    • Vaseline Lip Therapy / Make Up / 2 Readings / 2 Ratings
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      19.05.2015 17:50
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • works

      Disadvantages

      • greasy

      treats your lips

      I also have this review on ciao

      My lips do get a bit dry at times and if I’m not careful can get chapped during winter. I’ve never really been a fan of those stick ones so after seeing this being used by others at work decided to buy a tin and give it a go. It comes in a small tin containing 20g of the product which may not sound like a lot but you only need a very small amount each use so it will last a long time. Whilst for me the lid of the tin is easy to open the size it may pose a difficulty to those with dexterity problems. The small tin is ideal for me to keep in my jacket pocket so it is on hand when at work. It would also fit well into a handbag (I don’t carry one myself – well it wouldn’t go with my shoes).

      I remember the pots of Vaseline we used to have in the house when I was at school as my brother used to use it to keep the slides etc moveable on the tuba he played. The stuff in the tin seems to be slightly thicker and harder than this and a bit less sticky. However, it is a little heat sensitive and in hot weather it gets a little softer and stickier so over the summer it was in my rucksack side pocket rather than my jacket pocket.
      Using the product is quite simple I just wipe my finger over the surface of the product them wipe it onto my lips. This means I’m not over loading my lips with the product but I’m still using enough to make a difference. I don’t use it when I am suffering from a cold sore outbreak but that is, fortunately, not very often.

      It does feel a bit greasy but then again it is petroleum jelly so what do you expect. Whilst it does not exactly sink into my lips it does take that dryness away and helps to make them feel as if they are protected. The fact it sits on the surface of the lips makes this protection last quite a while. The length of time each application lasts will naturally vary from person to person depending on how much you use and things like if you eat and drink quite often or lick your lips etc. I like the fact that this is not scented or flavoured in any way so this taste is not transferred to what I may eat or drink during the day.
      My tin cost me £2 form Sainsbury’s but it can be bought in many shops at various prices. Now £2 may sound like a lot but the tin lasts for ages so it is better value than it first seems

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    • More +
      07.05.2015 18:10
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "well written"

      Disadvantages

      • "ending could be better"

      the vansihing man

      I have a more detailed version of this review on ciao

      Brief plot:

      Two women have received a letter from a train company telling them the man in their lives have been killed in a rail disaster. Minty Knox lost her fiancé and believed the letter as why would they lie to her? Zillah Lech ‘lost’ her husband but thinks that the letter is as about as genuine as a politician’s smile?

      Minty begins to see her dead fiancé’s ghost and hear the voice of her dead aunt and decides she has to get rid of them. Zillah decides to take up an offer of marriage to an old friend after all it will only be a marriage of convenience and as her husband had vanished supposedly killed what harm can it do?
      What I thought of it.

      Whilst this was an easier read than most of her books it was not the most enthralling, Despite it being generally well written one of the major plot points was obvious pretty much from the end of the fourth chapter (for some obvious from reading the blurb of the book) and although this was fully unveiled about half way through the book it did sort of, in a way, spoil things. The fact that the reader is able to work this bit out pretty quickly must have been Rendell’s plan all along as if not then it is (as the kids I teach put it) a major fail. When actual crimes are committed it is more of a Columbo style rather than Miss Marple so the reader knows who has done it but again this does fit with the way this novel has been written.

      Rendell’s writing style is usually more complex than it is here and there are not that many twists to the plot but all the sort of mini plots do combine well together in order to produce the main plot. The lives of the characters are interwoven in a way which does produce the feeling that the novel is one which could be a documentary rather than a fiction novel.
      Her characterisation is well done and even some of the more minor characters are believable and there are very few throw away. One thing which some may find a bit irritating is that even within chapters the novel does jump around between the character’s lives. Whilst this is mainly between Zillah and Minty other slightly more minor characters do pop up at regular intervals.

      There is not so much of a climax to the novel as simply an ending to it which make the book peter out rather than end with a bang which less face it most real life crime end with a bit of a fizzle rather than a dramatic ending.

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    • Olbas Inhaler / Coughs, Colds & Flus / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
      More +
      04.05.2015 12:26
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "clears my nose"

      Disadvantages

      • "not as good as brand leader"

      breathing easy

      I also have this review on ciao

      I have used olbas oil products in the past and have found them to be reasonably effective and the price of £1.50 wasn’t going to break the bank. The inhaler is about the same size as a tube of lip stick so fits easily into your jacket pocket or bag and the twist off cap stays in place well.

      Although the pack says that it is a pure plant remedy there is no indication on the pack that I could see to say if this is suitable for vegetarians or if has been tested on animals or not, however, after contacting the manufacturer via their website they have said that this item is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

      For use simply take the cap off hold one nostril closed and place the end of the stick in the open nostril and inhale deeply, making sure you don’t block the vent holes at the base. I would advise you inhale gently at first as inhaling too deeply does have a sort of ‘brain freeze’ or ‘head rush’ effect but as you get used to using the product and moderate how deeply you inhale this effect does go away. Whilst the usage instructions say you shouldn’t use it more than 4 times an hour I find that a couple of times an hour is all that I need – if that.

      The product is easy to use and it doesn’t have that slight ‘burning’ sensation I get with the brand leader. It does help to clear my sinuses for a while and the smell is the same as any other olbas oil product. The scent is a sort of tea tree, menthol and eucalyptus style scent but with a slight undertone of mothballs (can you still get these?) However, just smelling it by wafting it under my nose I can only get the peppermint scent from it.After using the product my sinuses do feel clearer and there is a slight cooling effect for a while when I breathe through my nose. My sinuses tend to stay fairly clear for quite a while after using this and my breathing does become easier also some of the pain of block sinuses is also relieved.

      I bought my inhaler at the beginning of February and it has, going by the expiry date, a two year usage to it so this does make it cost effective as well. Naturally the length of time the product will last for up to the expiry date depends on how often you use it and this will be different for different people.

      It is not recommended for children under 6 years old

      The product contains Cajuput, eucalyptus, peppermint and levomenthol oils so should not be used by someone who has an allergy to these.

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    • More +
      30.11.2014 17:34
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "works well"

      Disadvantages

      • "contains Aluminium"

      not that icy

      I don’t tend to remain brand loyal when it comes to anti-perspirants and this was one I grabbed when I was in a bit of a hurry when shopping. They are now in a compressed form in order to reduce packaging etc. The can I bought is 75ml for £1.30 the tin claims that this is the equivalent to the older 130ml non-compressed size can.

      The can comes with a twist lock thing below the spray mechanism which can be used to lock the can so if traveling it can’t be sprayed by accident. To start with even with this in the unlocked position it was hard to get it to spray as the button seal was a little hard to break but this is now much easier to depress.

      The writing on the back is quite small and black on grey is not the easiest thing to read. If this had been printed along the length of the can rather than the width (if that makes sense) then this could have been a bit larger and the lack of any curvature along each line would have made it easier to read.

      The jet does cover a reasonable area of my arm pit and a quick squirt is all that is needed. There is a slight cooling effect as it goes on but it isn’t too uncomfortable although those with sensitive skin my notice it more. I find it to be quick drying which is a major plus if I am in a hurry.

      The scent isn’t too bad and it not overpowering. It is more of a clean soap like smell rather than overly scented. I find that the scent does not linger too long which can be a drawback for some. As for its performance well it does cope well with preventing underarm sweat and prevents odour during the time I am at work. As for the 48 hour claim I am dubious about this but as I don’t tend to go 48 hrs without washing or showering I can’t confirm or deny this. Unlike some anti-perspirants there is no sticky feeling under my arms when I have used it. The product has not left any white or yellow marks on my clothes which is a big plus.

      In the ingredients there are no parabens which is a major bonus but it does contain Aluminium compounds which I know will be a major disadvantage to some.

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    • More +
      25.11.2014 18:31
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

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      Disadvantages

      medicine time - grandma (evil laugh)

      I have a more detailed review of this on ciao

      My version of the book is, unfortunately, in paperback but it does have the wonderful illustrations by Quentin Blake.

      The book can be bought in paperback for about £6.99

      Plot:

      George has been left to look after his grandmother while his mum is out shopping. Now George’s grandmother is not like most people’s. This woman is so foul that she makes Lucrezia Borgia look like the fairy godmother

      Her medicine does not seem to do her much good so George decides to make her a new one. Well grandma is in for a surprise, or shock depending on how you look at it…..

      What I thought of it.

      This is the type of book that anyone with young children can read to them or as my mum and I used to do when I was growing up read a page each in turn. Done as a way for my mum to teach me to read. Although we sat across a table from each other and as she read her page I followed the words. Naturally, for me the book was upside down for this hence I also learnt to read a book whilst holding it upside down. Now that really does get some odd looks on trains when I do it now.

      Being a children’s book the style of writing makes it highly accessible for them. Dhal’s imagination in his writing shines through and his books were never patronising to the reader and they were always fun and enjoyable to read. His somewhat dark humour is still enjoyable to me at the age of 35. Would the plot line upset children of delicate sensibilities? I personally don’t think so.

      Dhal never used overly complicated words in his books but did, at times, use the odd made up word. However, the use of these is convincing enough and sounds just right that really they should be real words.

      The use of a beastly grandma as the ‘baddy’ is perhaps still rather an unusual notion. However, Dhal has also used beastly aunts (James and the giant peach) and other children (Charlie and the chocolate factory) in his books with the moral that those kind of unpleasant nasty people always get their comeuppance in the end.

      Is the plot a big complicated one with lots of twists in it with highly complex and developed characters – no, but who cares?

      In this copy of the book there is a warning about not making the medicine yourself. Now I’m not sure if this was in the version I read years ago, but still good advice.

      I also have this review on ciao

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    • More +
      23.11.2014 13:28
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "no tightness"
      • works
      • "not tested on animals"

      Disadvantages

      • "tad expencive"

      tone with seaweed

      This is the toner along with the cleanser from the same range I use on the days I don’t use the tea tree one (aslo reviewed on here). It is designed for combination to oily skin which due to my oily T-zone is ideal for me. Toners are designed to remove any residue from your skin and this includes traces of cleanser etc which may be left behind and prepare you skin for a moisturiser.

      This toner cost me £8.50 for a 200ml bottle from my local body shop. Whilst that may sound expensive you don’t need much of the product so it will last a long time.

      As with all body shop products it is not tested on animals but I cannot see on the bottle if it is suitable for vegetarians. It contains no parabens which I know is a benefit to many. The product is also alcohol free and as such is less drying for your skin.

      The writing on the back of the bottle is not the easiest to read as it is in very small type and also the colours used dark turquoise on light turquoise is not the easiest.

      In use:

      The flip top cap is not the easiest thing to open but at least it shuts tightly enough so that it is unlikely to pop open if you are traveling anywhere and have this in your bag.

      The toner its self is colourless and like most toners it has the consistency of water and contains extract of bladderwrack seaweed. The scent is reminiscent of the seaside with a bit of wind and salt spray in the air but also perhaps slightly soapy as well it is more of a fresh smell rather than an artificial skin care type smell. The scent isn’t too strong and does not linger on the skin which is a bonus for me.

      Applying a small amount to a cotton wool ball then wiping it over my face there is no tingling sensation which I get from harsher toners but a look at the cotton wool ball after use does show how much it has removed. After use there is no noticeable tightening of my skin but is has been left feeling fresh and clean. More importantly, despite being a fairly mild cleanser, it does help to control my oily T zone.

      My skin is not dried out by this product due to the lack of alcohol but those with sensitive skin may need something milder than this.

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    • More +
      21.11.2014 20:35
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "not tested on animals"
      • "nice smell"

      Disadvantages

      a wake up time

      This is my regular shower gel and I have been using it for a few years now. I bought three 6 packs from my local cash and carry a while back for around £12 per pack. Whilst it is a bit expensive if it isn’t on offer, when it is or I am at my local cash and carry I tend to stock up on it.
      The bottle stands up on its cap and under this there is a sort of valve so none is wasted. In use the bright green colour is perhaps a little off putting when you first use it but the gel does lather up well and a little does go a long way. The gel is also quite thick and so it does not just run off your hand before you have chance to use it. The smell is the main reason I like this product whilst there is a mint undertone it is more a sort of menthol and eucalyptus sort of smell. Similar to, but not as powerful as a vapour rub. Tea tree is antibacterial but I’m not sure that the amount in the product would have any real noticeable effect in this area it is mainly added, I feel, to add to the scent of the final product. I find that this smell is good at waking me up in the morning especially when I have those ‘do I have to go to work’ days and if I am feeling a bit bunged up the smell along with the steam from the shower helps to clear this up for a while. However, the smell is not so good if I use it before bed as it isn’t exactly a relaxing smell. The gel does leave me feeling clean and refreshed and the scent of the gel does not linger too long on my skin which is good for me. There is a cooling effect from it especially on a certain part of the male anatomy which on first use is a bit strange but you do get used to it. It rinses off well and doesn’t leave any residue on my skin. The results are that I always feel clean after using this gel and even though my skin does not exactly feel moisturised it isn’t dried out either as other products can do.
      Perhaps some of the other reasons I tend buy this is that it is not tested on animals nor does it contain any animal ingredients and carries a suitable for vegans mark . Also there are no parabens in the product which I know is a big plus to many.
      It does contain essential oils and thus it may not be suitable for those with very sensitive skin.

      I also have a slightly longer version of this review of this on ciao.

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