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K. Z. Sobol (Bristol, UK)
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Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Hair Straightener
Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Hair Straightener
Offered by The One Corp
Price: £28.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Worked wonders on my wavy mess!, 5 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely set of hair straighteners, which uses infra red light to help to avoid hot spots and therefore be kinder to hair whilst straightening, along with the now fairly standard tourmaline ceramic plates to ensure you get those lovely ions, which reduce the dreaded frizz which would ruin the time and care spent straightening.

There is an on and an off switch and the on switch is one quick click to start warming the plates and there is a red light which flashes whilst it is coming up to temperature, which is relatively quick, when the light will stop flashing and stay constantly on red. To switch off, you need to hold and press and the off button until the light is extinguished.

There is a handy dial to allow you to change the temperature of the straighteners, which is shown on the dial on the underside (if the on and off buttons are on the topside). The dial has numbers 1-7, which is set out in the brief instruction leaflet in a key. 1=170C, 2=175C, 3=180C, 4=185C, 5=190C, 6=195C and 7=200C. If you know the heat setting you would usually use for your hair from another machine, you might want to know the exact temp - but essentially the guide suggests that you start with the lowest heat setting and work your way up in temperature until you find the right setting for you. As I have fairly fine wavy hair, I don't need a very high temperature - for me setting 3 gives me excellent results and I don't feel the need to go any hotter.

I like the extra long cable - which is 2.5m long and the swivel where the cord meets the straighteners, which allows you to twist and turn, without getting caught up and tangled, which could be hazardous. The plates are nice and wide, which makes straightening quick and easy and I like the fact that they have a 60 min automatic shut-off.

I wish that the dial gave the setting on the top with the on and off buttons, rather than on the bottom, which isn't in view when you are switch on - other than that, these are very good straighteners and have worked wonders on my wavy mess!


Panasonic RPHXS400EW 1.2 m On Ear Street Headphones - White
Panasonic RPHXS400EW 1.2 m On Ear Street Headphones - White
Price: £31.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrong headband for a comfortable fit for me, but fine for my kids!, 5 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These on-ear headphones are stylish in terms of their shape and the combination of white and silver with flashes of orange, including the interestingly designed flat wire, which hangs down from one of the earphones, not both.

The headphones feel quite comfy to begin with, but after a little while I felt the need to try and adjust them as they felt tight on my ears. My daughters thought they looked amazing and wanted to try them out to listen to their music and neither complained at all, so these work well on the shortest headband size on children, but they weren't right for me.

In terms of sound quality, these are middle of the road - great for casual day to day listening, but not for music afficianados. My children are not yet in that category, so have insisted that they are the best headphones ever!!


CALMURID PRO Body Hydrolotion
CALMURID PRO Body Hydrolotion
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressively quick results and not irritating to my skin at all, 3 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This hydrolotion really sinks into my skin very quickly and gives an instant softness to my skin, without having to use much product. There is no hint of greasiness, even though it has an 11% lipid content. The key ingredient is urea, which I understand occurs naturally in our skin and it helps to keep our skin well moisturised and supple. The added urea clearly helps to boost this factor in areas of skin which are lacking somewhat - so it seems a very logical reason for this lotion to work so well on my skin. I sometimes get very dry skin and this instantly revives it and doesn't cause any stinging or reaction other than to make my skin feel better!

The smell reminds me somewhat of an aftersun lotion I have used in the past and it's a mild, but pleasant fragrance. The bottle is rather clinical (the product is made in Switzerland and so this seems rather in keeping), it looks more like a pharmacological product than a beauty product, but essentially by giving you happy and healthy looking and feeling skin - it crosses that divide.


Oral-B Pro Vitality Plus Cross Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral-B Pro Vitality Plus Cross Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Cross Action heads give a great clean - body is fine, but nothing amazing about it, 2 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Certainly the very best feature of this Oral B toothbrush is the different head, with it's Cross Action heads, which really do help to get into every nook and cranny, between teeth and gum-lines. My teeth really do feel very clean and it is such a simple additional feature (the bristles of the brush not all being lined up, but multi-directional), but seems to be very effective.

The shape of the brush handle is different from my previous Braun Oral B brush - it is a tall tapered shape with a ridged back for the purpose of improved grip. I'm not a massive fan of this brush shape, as previous models which I have purchased have had more stable bases, which is good if I want to stand it up in the bathroom (rather than keeping it on the charger, which is in my bedroom) - the shape makes it feel a bit top heavy and whilst it is not unstable, this doesn't improve its stability. I'm not a massive fan of the ridged grip and I prefer a simple rubberised section for grip, but it's not a bad design, just not my preference.

I like the usual features of the "stop-start-stop-start" indicator to let you know that you have brushed for 2 minutes and I like the fact that it comes complete with 2 brush heads in the back. I miss having the light on the front which shows you when you need to recharge your brush (before it stops working) and which shows you when it is charging, which is available on other models of Oral B toothbrush (and other makes) This ought to be a standard feature as far as I am concerned.

Overall, this is a Braun Oral-B electric toothbrush which is one of the best electric toothbrush brands in my opinion. The heads are brilliant, but the body is unremarkable - just a basic one and it seems to be an adult version of the Disney Avengers one we have for one of my children. I like it, but I don't love it - hence the 4 star rating.


Inside Out I Cry Candy Bing Bong
Inside Out I Cry Candy Bing Bong
Offered by Tullabeg Toys
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Bing-bong-tastic!, 1 July 2015
After seeing an early screening of the new Disney Pixar film, my 7 and 8 year-old girls love all of the characters from Inside-Out, but my 8 year-old loved Bing Bong and Joy the most (my other daughter preferred Sadness and Disgust) and each child will love a different character (or selection of characters) as they are all charming in their own way.

This I Cry Candy Bing Bong cuddly toy has plush body for the cotton candy part of his body - which I thought would have looked more like the film character if a fluffy fur had been used, as it has been for the tail, but very soft and cuddly plush material has been used, which is great and makes you want to stroke him. His jacket is probably made from a polyester or something similar , a silky spotty bow-tie and a cute felt hat and flower.
His eyes are a hard plastic (and need to be to safely contain the liquid, which holds his candy tears) and when you press his tummy for a phrase, the miniature sweet shapes swirl up into his eyes - with pink, green and orange sweets, some of which are iridescent in the light.

Bing Bong has more phrases than some of the other plush toys in this range, but it is slightly harder to get him to talk as you need to be able to press him well in the tummy. My 7 and 8 year-olds had no trouble, but a small 4 year-old might find it somewhat frustrating - the other toys in the range are activated by a simple press of a tiny button in their hands, but of course the reason for the big tummy press is to "whoosh" the water up for the tears. Bing Bongs phrases are, "I cry candy!" (followed by some sobbing noises, "I'm part cat, part elephant, part dolphin", "I look like a lot of people", "I go in here all the time, it's a short-cut, you see?" "Look at my hat, how am I supposed to wear this?", dolphin noises and the Bing Bong song. My children are constantly singing the Bing Bong song around the house and it is a fun song to hear them singing - with or without the toy!

His battery is unsurprisingly in the back and is concealed in the join with Velcro. When you find the battery pack, there are three settings - one is the standard on position for the phrases, there is the off position and there is also an "SFX" button, which switches Bing Bong to sound effect mode rather than speaking mode. The sound effects are a whoop, a string of "ow"s, "hachattachataaaoow" and the piano music of the Bing Bong song. This setting is nice as a change from the main phrases.

All in all, if your children love the Inside-Out movie (and it is clearly going to be a massive hit with children the world over), then you may find that your little one asks for one of these and I can whole-heartedly recommend it - my daughter has taken her to bed every night and she always wants to give him one last tummy squeeze before she goes to sleep.


DISNEY INSIDE OUT Sadness Soft Toy
DISNEY INSIDE OUT Sadness Soft Toy
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The sweetest Sadness around!, 1 July 2015
After seeing an early screening of the new Disney Pixar film, my 7 and 8 year-old girls love all of the characters from Inside-Out, but my 7 year-old loved Sadness and Disgust over and above all of the others (my 8 year-old loved Bing Bong and Joy the most!) and each child will love a different character (or selection of characters) as they are all charming in their own way.

This sadness cuddly toy has plush body as well as very soft plush hair and is teamed up with a cute ribbed jumper and some thick felt-like glasses - which just like the character in the film, are affixed only over her nose (and have no arms.) My daughter is particularly taken by the outfit as she actually has a matching light blue ribbed jumper, including the roll neck!

Sadness has a few phrases which she will speak when you press her hand - in an authentic sounding voice (it sounds just like the actress who played the role - if it isn't her, it sounds very like her!) Her phrases are, "I'm Sadness", "I don't think that will work", "That's sad", "We shouldn't go in there, it's a bad idea" and "Find the fun.....I don't know how to do that".

Her battery is unsurprisingly in the back and is relatively concealed as it is the join between her jumper and her trousers. When you find the battery pack, there are three settings - one is the standard on position for the phrases, there is the off position and there is also an "SFX" button, which switches Sadness to sound effect mode rather than speaking mode. There are essentially a couple of different Sadness sighs as her sound effects, but these are cute and make a change from the phrases.

All in all, if your children love the Inside-Out movie (and it is clearly going to be a massive hit with children the world over), then you may find that your little one asks for one of these and I can whole-heartedly recommend it - my daughter has taken her to bed every night and often tries to cheer her up!


Oral-B Stages Power Kids Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Featuring Disney Mickey Mouse for Kids
Oral-B Stages Power Kids Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Featuring Disney Mickey Mouse for Kids
Price: £22.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, but serious brushing!, 30 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have a Mickey Mouse toothbrush (well the head actually has a picture of Pluto, not Mickey on it, but close!) and we have an Avengers toothbrush, both are great, but there are a few important differences.

The Mickey Mouse version is slightly shorter and sturdier - the Avengers model just looks a little more grown up (even without the picture of the Hulk and Ironman on it!) and the Mickey version has better grip around the body of the brush - with a rubbery coating (vs the Avengers ridged body). The rubbery yellow part both allows younger children to hold it without it slipping out of their hands and it looks great - matching the yellow on/off button. The Mickey version also has the musical timer, which plays a different tune after each minute brushing. It's good that there is a different tune each time, as my daughter knows that there is one tune will play when she needs to move to brushing her upper teeth and there is another tune when she can finish brushing.

The charger is the standard charger which we have for our adult Oral B brushes, so we don't need to use all of them at once (we try and stagger the days we charge our brushes rather than charging them all at once!) The charge doesn't last quite as long as I would like, but you can get a week and a half out of the charge, which isn't too bad (although my daughter is brushing her teeth more and for longer - tonight for 5 minutes!), so the battery is going to need charging in a few days at this rate! One final difference between the models we have is that the Mickey Mouse brush has a light which flashes to show it is charging. Avengers toothbrush does not.


Cetaphil 473 ml Moisturising Lotion
Cetaphil 473 ml Moisturising Lotion
Price: £11.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's good enough for Jennifer Aniston is good enough for me!, 30 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had heard of this brand and this cream years ago when I read in some magazine articles about celebrity beauty regimes, like Jennifer Aniston's amongst others and the fact that they regularly used Cetaphil products. I remember trying to find them at the time with no joy and I assumed that they had decided not to try and bring the product to the UK - but now they have.

The bottle is really unassuming and it looks like a moisturising lotion that my grandmother would have used - old fashioned and practical. The surprise is on the inside - it's a really good moisturising lotion. It absorbs quickly and easily and it leaves my skin soft the touch immediately after use.

The most telling thing for me is that when my skin gets very dry, lots of moisturising lotions and creams sting and are unbearable to use - even those designed for sensitive skin or dry skin. This Cetaphil lotion gives a little tingle, but no pain whatsoever, which is brilliant as it helps to soften my skin and then my skin recovers and is no longer cracked or flaky, it is smooth and hydrated.

This has also worked wonders on my dry skin on my knees and elbows, which were as rough as sandpaper and looked really red. Now they are soft and supple and the same colour as the rest of my skin! Yeah!


Yoga Full Toe Socks, 2 Pairs Value Pack Set, For Yoga, Pilates, Non Slip Skid Socks
Yoga Full Toe Socks, 2 Pairs Value Pack Set, For Yoga, Pilates, Non Slip Skid Socks
Offered by YogaAddict [UK]
Price: £24.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable toed socks for yoga, pilates or doing the washing up!, 28 Jun. 2015
I received these socks from YogaAddict free of charge in exchange for my full and honest review. No attempt was made to influence me and this review is my opinion of the product I have tested.

I am a woman with size 8 feet and opted for the larger size as I often find socks which go up to size 8 are too snug - I would rather have a bit more room and flexibility.

I am new to yoga and also do a bit of pilates - but tend to do these on a carpeted floor at home - so the non-stick element isn't all that important for me in that respect. Having said that, I am thinking of taking a yoga class in a local community hall and the idea of bare feet on the floor there doesn't really appeal and these may well prove essential there!

I have been wearing these around the house for non-yoga-like activities, such as doing the washing up on the stone kitchen floor (which was a bit too cold for bare feet, but the ambient temp was a bit too warm for full on slippers. These were lovely and comfortable and I can see them coming in very handy as a lightweight slipper alternative. I like being barefoot where possible, but quite frankly it's not always possible, but this still gives you good contact with the feel of the ground without actually touching it.

It is a bit of a shame that these are hand-wash only, it would be nice to be able to wash them as I wash my ordinary socks, but if I think of them like my usual slippers, then this wouldn't be unusual - most of my conventional slippers are hand wash only and I bet these are much easier to wash than they are.


H2D Black Magicurl Grand Gloss Hair Curling Wand
H2D Black Magicurl Grand Gloss Hair Curling Wand
Price: £59.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Super sleek curls - hairdresser recommended!, 28 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My hairdresser has been using H2D products for years in preference to the GHDs she used before and has always told me that she thinks that they are superior.

The curling iron comes in an impressive large matt black box, with lovely silver writing and gloss black swirling embellishment. The box opens to reveal the magicurl simply in a flocked velvety plastic base with the bullet points of all of the features on the inside of the lid. Underneath the magicurl, hidden out of sight, is the cable, the thermal protective glove and the instruction leaflet.

The curling iron heats up quickly and is easy to use, with a good length cable and the standard swivel at the base which allows you to twist the curling iron as much as you want without getting caught up in the cable as you might have in days gone by.

Using this curling iron, I dry my hair straight before curling and wrap my hair from top, closer to my head to ends, using the glove to hold my hair in place few a few seconds. I can definitely feel the heat from the curling iron through the glove, but not in a painful way - although it does make me appreciate how hot it would feel if I touched it without the glove (there is also a huge warning label on the cable to highlight that it is a burn risk!) but rather sleek looking curls (provided my hair was looking sleek before curling!)

The magicurl produces really defined curls and they don't feel like they dry my hair out, indeed they seem to make my hair less frizzy and more structured. I tend to loosen the curls out after I have curled my hair for a softer look, but the curls stay in well in my hair - lasting for the day or an evening do without falling out.

I don't claim to understand the science behind these hair styling implements, but with a Tourmaline barrel for smooth curls, ceramic technology giving out negative ions to seal cuticles and prevent frizz; far infrared technology to heat the hair from the inside out; ion field technology to seal in natural oils and microporous technology to lock in moisture and prevent split ends - it seems it has it all in spades!

If it is good enough for professionals, it's definitely good enough for me!


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