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techpuppy "woof." (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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Diadermine No. 110 Crème De Nuit High Performing Anti-Age Night Cream 50ml
Diadermine No. 110 Crème De Nuit High Performing Anti-Age Night Cream 50ml
Price: £12.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Doing something right..., 5 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Diadermine night cream arrives from France at a similar price point to many high street names and in such a competitive market will have to offer something different to stand out. The cream itself is something a bit different as it’s thicker and slightly waxy in texture and although not greasy it’s got a firmer and more solid texture than most creams have these days. Once you apply it does seem to soften and melt into the skin nicely although like most night creams it does leave a slight residue on the skin. Even though I have slightly sensitive skin I’ve had no signs of any breakout or irritation, even when applied quite liberally. Usually my skin doesn’t usually respond very well to richer creams but this has been a pleasure to use. Over-strong fragrances are another issue for me, but although there’s a definite sweet perfume here it’s subtle and fades quite soon.

I’ve been using it every night for about a fortnight now and have had no issues at all and it’s been a pleasure to use, feeling rich and hydrating. However I’m not sure I’ve had any really striking improvements either although it does keep my skin soft and smooth and as a daily maintenance cream you do see and feel some benefit. I think this No.110 range is primarily about anti-ageing and although I’m in the age range that worries about such things (just!) I find some anti-ageing skincare just doesn't suit my skin and I get minor irritations from it, but this works well and if anything has a calming effect. It is very pleasant to use and I like the thicker texture, although I wouldn't have expected to, and if you offered me another night cream at a similar price point (like L'Oreal I've tried previously) or this, I'd choose this - so they must have done something right...


GreeGear Funkey Bubble Ball without Pump
GreeGear Funkey Bubble Ball without Pump

5.0 out of 5 stars Call it Rover..., 4 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first thing to point out is that the title on this listing is currently wrong when it says that this Wubble Bubble Ball comes without a pump - it does come with the pump and the pack you get is the same as shown in the photo’s. I’ve checked with the supplier and the title is just a typo to be fixed later.

Inside the box along with a deflated Wubble Bubble Ball you also get the pump (needs 4 x 'D' batteries but they’re not included), a nozzle to inflate the ball with, a plastic measuring tape to show you how big the fully-inflated ball should be and a device like a pair of tweezers that’s meant to hold open the hole in the ball to allow the nozzle to be inserted. The ball itself is formed from a single piece of silicone and there’s no mechanical valve to keep the air inside, it’s just the elasticity of the material itself that closes up the nipple (best word for it!) when you’ve finished pumping. It’s made from a similar material to the stuff they make those silicone smartphone cases from, except softer and even more pliable. Unfortunately it’s just as much of a lint magnet as many smartphone cases and it does tend to pick up fluff and crumbs as it bounces around your home, but you can rinse those off later quite easily.

Stupidly, because I didn’t have a set of suitable batteries handy, I decided to inflate the Wubble Bubble by hand using a hand pump I happen to have. It wasn’t hard to get the pump’s own nozzle into the ball but pumping it up took FOREVER and involved far more effort than at first thought. This thing gets big, about a metre across at full size and too big to pass through doorways without being squeezed, and it takes a lot of pumping to get it up to that size. The battery pump takes about 3 minutes to do it but it took me a lot longer than that with a hand pump, so be warned. You’ll also want to get it up to full size because it does bounce higher and move around better at full size, if you leave it half-inflated it’s a bit sad and flumpy. Deflating it is also really tricky because the little nipple that creates the valve is so naturally tight that you need to insert the tweezer tool and/or the nozzle to hold it open long enough to let the air out.

Inevitable with something this big it really needs to be used outdoors and preferably away from sharp objects that could puncture it - according to the instructions those include dog’s claws and teeth, sharp branches and possibly gravel. However, it is remarkably tough and stretchy so most things make no impact on it, it just bounces off them again, but it would only take one accident to ruin it. It bounces really well, almost back up to the same height you drop it from, so it’s great fun to send it flying through the air. If you sit on it, even a full-grown adult, it just balloons around you and doesn’t burst or show any signs of it - but beware that as you lean over it has a tendency to propel you off again and smaller kids could be sent flying by it - although they’ll probably love that. Despite the size it’s very lightweight so even small kids can make it bounce high or send it shooting across the lawn.

The only issue I had with ours is that the skin of the ball isn’t that evenly formed and ours is thicker (and therefore heavier) on one side than the other and this makes it roll in a sort of drunken stagger, although that actually adds to the fun and gives it a bit of character. With a little care it will survive a lot of use although inevitably you need a good amount of open space to really enjoy it and it would be a fantastic ball for the beach - but remember to take the pump to inflate it and the nozzle/tweezers to get it deflated again.

One last thing - ever seen the 60’s TV series The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan being chased along the beach by a huge flubbery white ball apparently called Rover? That’s really what this reminds me of - it’s your own pet Rover, except a bit more fun than the original (which tended to kill people).

Disclosure: item was received free for independent review


PowerLead Plig G012 LED Panel Table Lamp Flexible Touch Dimmer Sleek and Modern Innovative Design Table Lamp with Eye-protection
PowerLead Plig G012 LED Panel Table Lamp Flexible Touch Dimmer Sleek and Modern Innovative Design Table Lamp with Eye-protection
Offered by KEEDA-UK

4.0 out of 5 stars Light a white swan..., 3 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was on the lookout for an adjustable desk-light that was dimmable but kept a pure white light colour. I know some people like a warmer incandescent colour of light for reading but I’m often looking at photography or illustrations so I prefer to see the truest colours possible - so this Plig G012 Desk Lamp really works for me. The swan-neck style looks great on the desk, it’s nicely proportioned and feels well made with a base that’s heavy enough to keep it stable, even when making adjustments to the light position, but without being clumsy. The middle section is encased in a soft matte silicone so that it twists and bends as you move the light around and the light is really good at holding its position, within the limitations of the goose-neck mechanism inside, and you don’t usually have to ‘persuade’ it to stay in place. The bottom of the light is completely covered with a soft foam rubber so it doesn’t slip around or mark your desktop.

The light is a sealed unit containing an array of small LED’s just visible through the diffuser when lit - you can’t easily change the LED’s but they should last for many years before failing. There’s very little heat generated at the light end, even at full brightness it just gets lukewarm and so it should be safe around kids too. Running up the side of the base is a shallow groove containing the power button and 7 brightness settings with each one represented by a blue LED. The power button LED stays lit at all times so in a dark room you can see exactly where to tap to turn the light on - then by sliding your finger up and down in the groove you can select the level of brightness you want. The lamp remembers the brightness level you selected when you last switched off and comes back on at that brightness, so you can avoid a blinding shock in the middle of the night. The pool of light it casts is quite contained, perfect for a desk or a bedside table but not really designed to illuminate a whole room, and is a cool pure white colour, much like daylight but without being as harsh or cold as some LED lights can be.

My only complaint would be that the light arrived with a two-pin mains transformer and a UK adaptor - and the UK adaptor doesn’t look that safe to me and does not have shuttered holes making it possible for sharp objects (or small fingers) to get inside while the power's on. I’m not even convinced this type of adaptor is within UK safety regulations, but I’m no expert. Even if it is legal it still looks clumsy and ugly and a UK transformer would have been much better. I'm docking a star for the ugly transformer but apart from that (admittedly hide-able) issue it's a very elegant and contemporary-looking desk lamp and I'm delighted with it.

Disclosure: item was received free for independent review
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Bodybuilding Warehouse Premium Protein Muscle Mousse Powder Banana Caramel 500 g
Bodybuilding Warehouse Premium Protein Muscle Mousse Powder Banana Caramel 500 g
Price: £11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars For sweet-toothed bodybuilders..., 2 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’ve tried quite a range of protein supplements over the years but this was the first time I’d tried taking it in mousse form - it might be the last too. It’s not an unpleasant product in any way, it’s just a bit too sweet and sickly for me, but for bodybuilders with a sweet tooth who would normally skip dessert this might work. I tried the Banana Caramel flavour but I really couldn’t discern much flavour of either banana or caramel, it was just non-specifically sweet (very sweet!) and if it didn’t say Banana Caramel on the label I’d never have guessed. It’s simple enough to prepare, just shake it up in your normal protein shaker utensil and then pour it into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes till it sets. You can vary the consistency by varying the amount of water but for me it usually sets quite firm like the topping on a supermarket cheesecake. I was very tempted to make a base for it from smashed up chocolate digestives and melted butter but I resisted, figuring that probably wouldn’t be all that helpful in building lean muscle…

It contains a time-release protein blend, including milk and egg concentrates, so it’s reckoned to be especially useful as a late-night snack to give your body a good source of protein (32g of it in a standard serving) to repair and improve muscle tissue overnight. I just found the standard serving a bit too generous for me and eating that much sickly sweet mousse was more of a chore than a pleasure. To be fair the sweetener used is Stevia (plus Sucralose) which doesn’t actually raise your blood sugar levels but did they need to use so much of it? In smaller servings as a snack it would be more palatable, at least to me, but is it any better than having a standard protein shake? From a nutritional point of view I don’t see any benefit to it but if you’re in training and really missing sweets and deserts then it might work as a treat that’s actually good for you - but personally I think I’ll stick with shakes and bars for the time being.


Warrior Reds Blackcurrant Shake
Warrior Reds Blackcurrant Shake
Price: £15.58

3.0 out of 5 stars Contents may settle..., 29 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Call me cynical but the term ‘superfoods’ says more about marketing than about nutrition to me, so something like Warrior Reds that claims to distill 16 superfoods down into a once-a-day supplement is to be approached with caution. In the event I think it does give you a bit of a boost in energy and the antioxidants it contains should only be beneficial in the longer term - however the taste is less beneficial. This definitely falls into the ‘tastes awful = must be good for you’ category and it’s a real chore to swallow it down - not least because it repeats on you and you get blackcurrant-flavoured burps for an hour afterwards (or until you eat something else). The thing I really don’t understand is why a supplement that’s supposedly made with nothing but natural extracts of fruit and veg has such a chemical and artificial flavour? Reading the list of ingredients, which include Blueberry, Watermelon and Pomegranate powders, this stuff should be delicious but instead it tastes like blackcurrant toilet cleaner. To be fair, it isn’t completely unpalatable it’s just not a pleasure to drink and given the ingredients it really should be.

What you’re actually getting is a cocktail of red, orange and purple fruits and vegetables and that’s no bad thing as they contain significant levels of lycopene and anthocyanins which have been associated with good health and maybe even cancer-prevention. Those long term benefits would take longer to demonstrate and I haven’t been taking Warrior Reds long enough to judge but I can say I feel a little bit brighter on the days I take it. It could be a placebo effect of course but I think it does give a slight boost in energy much like having some fruit with your breakfast does. It could just be a sugar rush but the added sweetener in Warrior Reds is Stevia, which does not raise blood sugar levels. However, I think you’d take it for the overall boost to your well-being rather than as an instant tonic - and you certainly wouldn’t take it for the flavour, at least I wouldn’t.

Another minor issue is how big the tub is considering how little is actually in here. I don’t doubt there are the same number of servings in there that Warrior claim on the label but they could have fitted them into a tub less than half this size. I took a photo’ of my newly-opened tub (before my first drink!) to prove the point and I’ll upload it with this review. I’ve heard of contents settling in transit but these contents seem to have suffered some kind of catastrophic landslide...


Bodybuilding Warehouse 1000mg Pure Creatine Monohydrate 60 Tablets
Bodybuilding Warehouse 1000mg Pure Creatine Monohydrate 60 Tablets
Offered by Bodybuilding Warehouse
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Convenient Creatine..., 27 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I’m a recent convert to Creatine supplements and had been using the PURE Creatine Monohydrate Powder up to this point and I’ve been seeing and feeling some benefits from it. The first thing I noticed was my muscles becoming harder and denser-feeling a couple of days after starting, but whether this is due to increased muscle tissue or just water hydration (Creatine works by hydrating your muscle tissue which supposedly improves protein metabolism) I’m not sure but there was a noticeable difference. It’s supposedly of most advantage to middle-aged men who can start to lose muscle mass (though Creatine is apparently ineffective after the age of 60-ish) and also to vegetarians who are likely to have less Creatine in their diet naturally, because it’s most commonly sourced from meat. As a middle-aged semi-vegetarian I’m in both of those groups so maybe it’s no surprise it had a beneficial effect?

These tablets seem like a very convenient way to take the supplement, the tablets are quite large but completely tasteless and you take 5 of them a day and it shouldn’t matter too much if that’s 5 all at the same time or spread throughout the day. I’ve read it’s best to take Creatine (like amino acid supplements) on an empty stomach with a small amount of fruit juice (avoid taking them with anything containing protein) as this improves absorption. I usually take mine first thing in the morning and haven’t suffered any stomach upsets or side-effects so it seems to be benign and well tolerated. To be honest I think I much prefer the powdered version as it’s just easier to take and you only need one 5g scoop once a day and you’re done. It’s also quite a lot cheaper per dose than these tablets are and unless you need the convenience of the tablets, so you can take them at work or on your way to the gym, then I’d suggest the powder is a better deal. However both versions seem to have a noticeable benefit and I’m really glad I finally got around to trying it!


Surenow low-rise sexy underwear non-trace modal Absorb sweat keep the Body Shape
Surenow low-rise sexy underwear non-trace modal Absorb sweat keep the Body Shape

4.0 out of 5 stars Pop-up pants..., 26 Jan. 2016
With these briefs Surenow are straying into underwear-as-outerwear territory, usually occupied by brands like Andrew Christian, at least I think they are - that’s the best explanation I can find for the little surprise these briefs are packing - a hidden foam pad in the front pouch that’s presumably there to enhance your manly profile. Personally I don’t feel the need for 3D underwear so it’s good to discover the pad is easily removable through a slit on the inside. I’m not sure it would do much for you underneath clothes, a bit of extra insulation for the Winter perhaps, but it does smooth things over nicely. If you want to look like the models you see in underwear advert’s or on the boxes of designer briefs then it sort-of works and your package is delivered to the world in a plain black/blue/grey/red/white (delete where applicable) wrapper with none of the details showing. So if you’re someone often seen out in their underwear (hey, I’m not judging) then these may be just what you’re looking for - although I’m not certain what the message on the waistband might say about you.

The quality is good, there’s a lot of detailing and finishing on these briefs and it’s all done quite well. The fabric feels good, soft and lightweight and the waistband is substantial and has a great satin sheen to it. Overall they do have a great style and they’re comfy to wear - when you pull out the foam shoulder-pad you get a perfectly good pair of briefs that still fit well and look great. They launder easily, surviving a machine wash with no problems, and seem well-enough made to last. Sizing isn’t too far from European norms, I normally take a 32/34” waist and got a Large in these and the fit is fine, as figure-hugging as the photo's but still comfy. I’m not sure about the price which puts them in the same league as the better known brandnames, but the quality is good and if you like to stand out (in more ways than one) from the underwear-wearing crowd you hang around with then these are your briefs!

Disclosure: item was received free for independent review


Surenow Men's Sexy Boxer Briefs Underwear Bulge Pouch soft Underpants Trunks
Surenow Men's Sexy Boxer Briefs Underwear Bulge Pouch soft Underpants Trunks
Offered by ConquerNow
Price: £9.99 - £10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very brief boxers..., 26 Jan. 2016
I’m not sure Surenow have chosen the best name for these as 'Boxer Briefs' usually means something more substantial and with more coverage - these are much more brief than boxers - but they’re well enough made and the fabric feels very soft and silky. The Modal, which is a reconstituted fabric usually made from Beech trees, is very lightweight and very stretchy which is helpful because these briefs look tiny when you first unpack them. The pack being labelled ‘Boy Short’ doesn’t inspire confidence (I’m assuming that’s a style name) but they do have enough give to accommodate a grown man. You do have to make some allowance for the Asian sizes being different to European - I take a 32/34” waist fitting and got the XL size (whereas in Europe I’m a Medium) and that’s about right. The fit is certainly figure-hugging and looks much like the photo’s, so if you want some room to breath go up another size. They’re cut quite high on the leg, especially at the back, and there’s a pouch front on them so you can wear them close fitting without feeling like you just loaded the boys into a catapult.

Modal is known to keep its colour but it’s prone to pilling so I’m not sure of the long-term life of these yet but they do machine-wash perfectly well with minimal shrinkage. The seams lie pretty flat when they’re on so if you wanted something to wear under tight-fitting clothing without showing these might work for you. For me personally they are skimpier than I’d normally wear but they're reasonably comfortable and the fabric does feel good and moves well with you. The quality of manufacture is good but nothing special and they seem a little bit over-priced to me (£9.99 per pair at the time of writing) when brandname alternatives would be available at the same price - but if you like a lightweight, briefly-cut brief you could do a lot worse.

Disclosure: item was received free for independent review


Anneks® Premium Invisible Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPad Mini / iPad Mini 2 / iPad Mini 3 with Crystal Clear Transparency 9H Hardness and Ultra Slim Design - The Best Scratch Protection Ever, Knives Glide Across Leaving No Marks
Anneks® Premium Invisible Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPad Mini / iPad Mini 2 / iPad Mini 3 with Crystal Clear Transparency 9H Hardness and Ultra Slim Design - The Best Scratch Protection Ever, Knives Glide Across Leaving No Marks
Offered by AnneksDirect
Price: £24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear improvement..., 24 Jan. 2016
I have to admit this is the first tempered glass screen protector I’ve tried on our iPad mini and so far I’m a fan. The protector arrives with a mini installation kit comprising an alcohol-infused wipe to remove any grease from the screen, an anti-dust sticker and a tiny microfibre wipe to remove any last speck that dares to land on your screen ahead of installation. Preparation is everything with screen protectors so it’s nice to get the things you’ll need included in the kit. Once you prepare the screen it’s reasonably easy to apply the protector, at least compared to most soft protectors, because glass being more rigid is much less tolerant of tiny air bubbles and they tend to get naturally squeezed out as you smooth the protector into place, especially if you apply some gentle pressure from the centre out as you work. However you still have to be very careful to get it lined up with the edges of your iPad and that’s tricky because manoeuvring the larger size of protector into position (compared to a smartphone) is quite a challenge. If you can lay hands on a little suction cup (like a toy dart from a kid's dart gun) that can be a helpful handle to hold the protector while you line up the edges - most of all you want to putting your fingers anywhere near the sticky side of the protector because it always leaves marks and reduces adhesion along the edges. However the real enemy here is dust because it can still get trapped beneath the surface and spoil the effect and it’s worth applying your protector in the most dust and fluff-free room you can find, which is probably the bathroom or kitchen because damp air is less likely to carry dust.

Of course the glass is thicker than most soft protectors would be and my biggest concern was whether the edges would be finished well enough to avoid feeling sharp - I needn’t have worried as they’re very softly bevelled and feel absolutely fine in use. You can feel the raised surface but it’s not a big issue and actually makes the Home button that little bit easier to find without looking. Some iPad cases might struggle with the protector in place, but we haven’t had a problem with our keyboard case. So far it’s been great and it looks and feels much like the original screen instead of a sheet of plastic, so you retain the expensive look of your iPad. The touchscreen works the same as before and although you can see that the glass protector has a very slight darkness to it (if you hold it up to the light) it doesn’t affect the quality of your screen at all - much better than most soft plastic protectors. The other advantage is the oleophobic coating which repels greasy fingermarks so much better than plastic protectors do and like the original display surface you just need a gentle wipe with a microfibre cloth to restore a perfect clear finish again. We haven’t had any accident with our iPad yet to test the impact resistance - and I’m hoping we never do - but the surface certainly feels like it will last longer than most protectors. It’s not a cheap option but it really does maintain the look and feel of your original device while hopefully keeping it safe. Excellent.

Disclosure: item was received free for independent review


PowerLead Pqad D009 Quadcopter Drone 6 Axis Gyro Explorer UFO with 2MP LCD Remote Control With HD Camera. Spy Explorers 4 Channel 2.4GHz Quadcopter
PowerLead Pqad D009 Quadcopter Drone 6 Axis Gyro Explorer UFO with 2MP LCD Remote Control With HD Camera. Spy Explorers 4 Channel 2.4GHz Quadcopter

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stealth copter..., 23 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’ve got a couple of quadcopters already (warning: they’re addictive) but they’ve got the standard while livery and so this matte black Pqad D009 certainly makes a change and it does look the part - especially when you switch on and the blue LED lights up - it’s got the look of a stealth aircraft. The other surprising thing is how small the prop’s are, relative to the size of the copter, although it doesn’t seem to hold it back and it flies well enough. However be warned they do suffer from Brittle Prop Syndrome and don’t like coming into rapid contact with table legs or similar hard objects - definitely best to fly this one outside I discovered, but you do get a spare set of prop’s in the box. Like most quad-copters at this level (that I’ve tried) it flies fast and high but it’s not that great at intricate manoeuvres - or maybe that’s the pilot’s fault? There’s definitely a knack to flying them and you need to get the feel for your particular model but it’s also worth spending a few minutes (and a battery charge) tweaking the ‘trim’ controls on the remote to see if you can stop any sideways drift and get a more stable flight - you probably won’t get it perfectly stable but it’s worth trying. It’s also worth keeping the overall speed low to begin with - this copter has two speed modes - until you get the knack.

The remote control does look and feel a bit lightweight and cheap but it works fine and is actually quite well equipped with all the usual trim, speed, and direction controls plus an LCD display that shows your current settings. You also get a button to do a 360° flip manoeuvre guaranteed to impress your friends - or give them a brief haircut if they stand in the wrong place while you do it. There’s a button to start and stop the video recording and it’s important to press it again at the end of filming to stop filming and save the file - otherwise you lose the video you just shot. The video camera claims to be 2 megapixel and although that’s technically true the quality is nothing special - however an aerial view of your neighbourhood taken from a quadcopter you piloted is still a fun thing to have! You also get a 4GB microSD card with the copter, which is a thoughtful inclusion, and a (cheap but effective) USB adaptor so you can pop it into your laptop to review your videos.

The main body of the copter seems sturdy enough and the prop guards are more resilient than some I’ve tried too, so it should stand up to a bit of use if you’re careful - the most fragile part is definitely the prop’s so perhaps budget for occasional replacements. I noticed this Yacool Crash Pack which looks to be the same model as this copter, but I can’t totally confirm that. I’d also suggest budgeting for spare batteries too because you don’t get long flying times with each charge and the battery with this copter is slightly unusual with double the usual voltage - this Yacool 7.4V 2S LiPo Battery would appear to be the same model.

I think this is the cheapest copter I’ve had yet, at under £40, but it isn’t the smallest or the most difficult to fly - so it’s seems like a pretty good buy to me, especially if it’s your first. Be warned once you get the copter bug, it probably won’t be your last...


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