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I recently bought the Brita Fjord Cool jug from Amazon for around £22, after reading a rather disconcerting article about tap water. The jug is marketed as removing impurities from your tap water to make it taste better, which it certainly does as the water taste crisp and clear.
It has a capacity of 1.5 litres of filtered water, I think this is sufficient as it lasts quite a long time, however if you use a lot of water it might be better opting for a larger capacity jug. It also has a slim design which makes it easier to fit in the fridge door, where it slots in quite nicely. It is quite large however so depending on the size of your fridge you might have to move things around to make room for it.
The flip top makes it easy to fill, it's just like filling a kettle and there is also a spout cover to keep the filtered water clean. There is also a soft grip handle to make it easier to hold which is particularly useful as it can get a bit slippery especially if it's wet.
The filter is easy and quick to set up and there is an indicator to tell you when to change the filter.
The jug comes with one MAXTRA filter and the filters last a reasonable amount of time. You can get replacement filters for around £14 for a pack of 4 filters.
The aim of this product is to make water cleaner and taste better and I can definitely tell the difference. The filtered water tastes crisp and there is such a difference compared to tap water. I also noticed the difference in tea and especially coffee as it makes the flavour seem a lot stronger. It does a great job for the price.
I bought this lipstick as I wanted a good quality lipstick that didn't break the bank.
This Clinique lipstick is moisturising, long lasting and contains SPF 15 sun protection to protect your lips throughout the day.
The shade that I wear is toasted rose; I prefer pinker shades to reds and find that this shade suits my lips quite well. There is a wide range of shades available, though I would advise anyone buying online to check the shade in store first as they are a little bit darker than they appear online.
The lipstick goes on smooth and there is a nice creamy feel, it makes your lips feel moisturised without feeling greasy.
The big advantage with this lipstick is the fact that it lasts so long, I don't know if it quite makes the 8 hours advertised but it's great for a night out as it means you don't have to keep reapplying.
The price for a 3.8g tube is around £16, which is quite reasonable for the Clinique brand and the fact that it is so long lasting means that your tube tends to last that bit longer as well.
Overall it's a great lipstick and I look forward to trying out the other shades.
I bought this shredder last month as I was worried about putting my personal information in the normal bin. I bought it from Tesco and it cost me about £8.
The shredder cuts the pages into 7mm ribbons, shreds 5 A4 pages at a time and has a capacity of 7 litres.
It is from the Tesco Value range so it is designed for the budget end of the market. It is a basic shredder, it doesn't shred CDs or credit cards but I don't need it to so that's fine.
It is a neat little shredder it measures 25x30x10.5 cm so it can be easily stored when you are not using it.
In terms of performance, it works reasonably well. It's easy to use and shreds effectively as some shredders don't cut pages properly and they can still be attached in the bin. It shreds at quite a slow speed but I don't really mind this as I only shred occasionally so it doesn't matter if it takes a bit longer.
There are some negatives, I have had to clear a few paper jams so you have to be careful when feeding the paper into the shredder. The smaller capacity also means that you do have to empty it quite often. I tend to keep all my papers together to shred in one go so I usually have to empty it a couple of times when using it.
Overall it's a good shredder for the price and it's great for occasional home shredding
I received this tripod as a stocking filler at Christmas and I was a bit unsure as to when I would ever use it. I used to just take my photos and never really worry about wobble, but after using this tripod I realised the difference that it makes.
The tripod itself is very lightweight; it weighs in at just 115g
It has adjustable 3 level legs depending on your needs and will adjust to a maximum operational height of 150mm. When the tripod is folded it measures just 110mm, which is great as it makes it easy to carry as it fits easily in your bag.
I have to say I don't take the tripod everywhere that my camera goes as it would be rather cumbersome on a night out to stop and set up your tripod. However it's great for other occasions. I find it especially useful for taking short videos with your camera. It allows you to set up your camera and just leave it to record without worrying about keeping it stable.
It's also good for taking on holiday, especially if you don't want to have to stop and ask other people to take photos of you and your travel companions.
The tripod is also very cheap, you can get it online for less than £5 so even if you don't use it all the time, at that price it is definitely worth giving it a go.
I wanted to buy a small and relatively cheap cd player for my room so that I could listen to the radio/cds at night to help me get to sleep.
I bought this cd player in Asda for about £15 and it is reliable and works well.
It functions well as both an AM/FM radio and a CD player. It is powered by batteries or mains power, however as I keep it in the same place I haven't used it with batteries (except for when there was a power cut and it came in very handy).
It's quite a neat little CD player; it can sit comfortably on your shelf and can also be easily stored when you're not using it.
It is simple and easy to use, however it would be nice if it had a remote, as when listening to the radio in bed, it would be nice not to have to get up and turn it off (but maybe that's just me being lazy).
The sound quality is good and the radio works well and is easy to tune.
Overall it's reasonably priced and it keeps it simple and does what I need.
I tend to stick to earphones when listening to my iPod, however I wanted a change and thought I would give speakers a try. I chose the Alba IM8 speakers as I got them for less than £5 online from Amazon so I wouldn't worry too much if they didn't get used very much.
I got these speakers and can't believe how much I use them, they've been everywhere with me.
They are each to carry as they are light and quite compact when folded.
They are compatible with a wide range of devices, including iPods, MP3 and CD players. They connect to your device using a 3.5mm jack which plugs into the headphone outlet on your iPod. This means that the iPod doesn't sit as neatly in the stand but it's not a problem.
The sound quality is good, it could possibly be a bit louder but it is sufficient for what I need.
The power comes from 4AAA batteries or through a USB cable, whenever I have used it with batteries they tend to last a reasonable amount of time, however this will depend on how much you are using the speakers.
The speakers are easy to use and the biggest advantage is the price, they are great value for money and I wouldn't consider changing to any other speakers.
I have been using these Skullcandy earphones for several months now and haven't been disappointed.
They are in-ear headphones, with silicone gel ear pieces and a 1.2m cord.
I sometimes have trouble getting the earphones to stay in my ear, but they come with 3 different sizes of ear bud to make sure that you get the right fit. The earphones stay in your ears really well and they are very comfortable to wear. The ear bud is slightly longer than other in ear styles and so this helps to ensure that they sit comfortably in your ear, even when exercising.
The sound from the earphones is great, the bass quality is good and I find that they block out background noise.
The product also looks great, each bud has the skull branding and they are available in a wide range of colours.
The earphones are also very reasonably priced, they are widely available from the likes of Play.com and HMV and you can get them online for as little as £7. The earphones are great value for the price.
I wouldn't be a regular user of bronzer, however sometimes it's nice to add that extra bit of colour so off I went to look for a product that would give me that colour without looking like an oompa loompa.
In researching bronzers, one name kept coming up, Guerlain terracotta bronzing powder, voted Instyle's bronzer of the year, the last 6 years running. With so many positive reviews I thought I would give it a try and I wasn't disappointed.
The bronzer gives your skin that nice sunkissed look, however a word of warning, it can take a while to find the right shade for your skintone. It is also important not to be too heavy handed with this bronzer as it can tend to look orange if you're not careful.
The bronzer goes on smoothly and blends well; it doesn't feel heavy or clumpy on your skin. There is also no glitter, but just a faint sheen which means that it has a more natural look than other bronzers.
There are moisturising ingredients in the bronzer and it doesn't dry out your skin.
The smell is not overly strong and after you've been wearing it for a while you don't really notice it.
All Guerlain products tend to be in the higher price range however at around £30, its not overly expensive and if you aren't wearing it all the time, it lasts a long time.
I was not very familiar with the SkinCeuticals brand, but a friend recommended this mask to me after I was complaining about my skin.
It is a clay mask that combines natural high quality clays to cleanse your pores and remove impurities from your skin. There are also other ingredients designed to help soothe and calm your skin.
The mask is designed for weekly use, however I would tend to use it less often that this as I really only use it when I notice my skin breaking out, probably once or twice a month.
You put a thin layer of the mask on your skin and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes. The mask does not dry hard like other face masks. This is good as your face doesn't feel tight and dry when you're wearing it. However this can take a bit of getting used to as I tend not to time my masks and just take them off when they feel dry.
After using the mask my skin felt smooth and it looked very clear, the major plus with this mask is its long lasting effect, your skin feels great for days.
The mask costs about £25 for a 60ml pot but as you only need to use a thin layer each time, it will last for a long time.
I have used other Dermalogica products and was very happy with their moisturising effects so I thought that I would give this conditioning body wash a try.
The body wash has lots of natural extracts and oils including tee tree and eucalyptus, which together are designed to cleanse and purify the skin without removing its own natural moisture. I have to say that I really noticed a change in my skin from I have started to use this wash. My skin feels smooth and conditioned, so much so that I don't feel the need to use a separate body moisturiser after my shower/bath.
The product is gentle on your skin, while still leaving you with a feeling that your skin has been really cleansed. The range of essential oils means that this is a lovely smelling product that also leaves your skin smelling fresh.
The wash can be used both in the shower and as bath foam, so it doesn't matter how you're getting washed you can always use the same product.
It is quite expensive as it costs around £30 for a 473ml bottle but if you shop around online you can get a better deal. The fact that the wash lasts quite a long time means that it really is good value for money.
I was initially unsure as to whether to buy this cream as it is recommended for mature skin and is designed to help remove age spots. However I suffer from quite dry skin on my hands, especially in winter and read that this cream helps to keep your hands moisturised. I decided that I would give it a try and was very happy with the results.
This cream is designed to condition hands and also helps repair your nails. I'll begin with the moisturising aspect, which certainly delivers. There are lots of ingredients in this cream including vitamins A, C and E together with extracts of Algae and Ginkgo Biloba. The aim of all the ingredients is to hydrate and heal rough dry hands, while providing protection from environmental damage. I have to say that after just a few days of using this cream I noticed my hands felt smoother and more moisturised.
The cream also helps to strengthen your nails, reducing splitting and breakage and also helps to improve your cuticles. I would say that I didn't really have much of a problem with my nails but I have noticed that after using this cream my cuticles are looking healthy and I can't remember the last time that I had a broken nail.
The cream also works to improve age spots, but thankfully I don't have any the minute and hopefully with using this cream I never will.
I put the cream on before bed and it feels light and not at all greasy.
At £15 for a 75ml tube it is quite expensive but I would definitely recommend it to those suffering from dry hands.
The Dermalogica Clean Start Ready Set Scrub is a great product which is a 2 in 1 scrub/mask.
It is intended to leave skin feeling smoother, clearer and fresher, which it certainly does. You simply smooth over your skin and leave to set for 5-7 minutes (the mask part), then using your fingertips massage it over your skin before rinsing off (the scrub).
The scrub is great as the mask makes your face feel nourished and smooth, there is also menthol in the product which cools your skin and eases redness.
There are small beads in the scrub which help to exfoliate your skin, they feel great and it feels like your skin is getting a deep cleanse.
I tend to have combination skin and so the scrub is great for my skin, the mask hydrates my skin while the scrub cleanses my pores. I think that it would work on a range of different skin types as it is gentle enough for sensitive skin but the grainy texture exfoliates well.
The scrub is quite expensive but I think that you can get it for less than £10 online and as it is not intended for everyday use it lasts a reasonable length of time.
There is quite a strong fruity smell from the scrub, which can be quite overpowering but I've gotten used to it now and am actually starting to quite like it.
I bought this Guerlain mascara as I had bought Guerlain lip gloss and was very happy with it so I decided to try out other products from this brand.
The unique aspect of this mascara is the two brushes. The first is designed to lengthen, curl and separate your lashes and the second mini brush is designed for smaller lashes which are more difficult to reach. It's great for adding volume; the small brush is particularly useful for your lower lashes.
The mascara is great as it goes on easy and it doesn't clump or feel heavy on my lashes. It really gives a unique look as the two brushes allow you to get a great even coat on your lashes. It also means that you can layer your look to tailor it for day or night.
It's long lasting and it doesn't smudge or flake off during the day. It doesn't feel sticky and when you blink you don't feel like your lashes are sticking together.
The only downside is that it can be a bit difficult to remove, but it wouldn't put me off using it.
The mascara is quite expensive but I think that it's definitely worth it as it feels natural and light and looks great.
I bought Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss after a friend recommended it to me. I bought it in House of Fraser for £20 for 6ml. I prefer lighter shades and so I bought the Pink Pearl shade, which I found adds a nice subtle hint of colour to my lips.
The gloss is creamy and goes on easily, I prefer to use the gloss on its own although it can be layered over your lipstick. I also like the brush applicator as it means the gloss goes on smoothly without smudging.
The gloss itself lasts a long time and feels quite moisturising. My friend is not a fan of the smell but I quite like it, though I think that you get used to it over time.
The gloss gives your lip a nice shimmer without being over the top and is available in a wide range of shades.
I think that some glosses tend to be quite sticky but I think that the Guerlain gloss is quite smooth and doesn't feel heavy.
The gloss is quite pricey but I think that it is worth it.
We had a rather unfortunate run of luck in our house as both our tumble dryer and washing machine needed replaced within a short period of time. Having not spent the money on the dryer, we decided to spend a bit more and get a good quality washing machine. This indesit washer has proved reliable and durable and I am very satisfied with it.
The machine has a 7kg capacity which is great as it reduces the number of loads you have to do (always a plus). It is easy to use, there are a wide variety of programmes, I think there are about 16 though I have to say I haven't tested them all.
I like the Eco-Wash function which allows you reduce the cycle times which not only helps the environment but also saves you money.
There is an LED display which means that you can keep track of the cycle as it has a countdown timer which lets you know how long is left on the cycle.
It performs well as it's great with a range of clothes, from jeans to delicates with a programme to suit them all.
There is a crease reducing function, though I have to say that I haven't really noticed much of a difference but every little helps.
It's a bit nosier than other machines that I have had but it's not excessive.
Overall it's a great machine that's reliable and works well.