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Profile for Dr. Paul Ell > Reviews

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Dr. Paul Ell (NI, UK)
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Command Medium Picture Hanging Strips (9 Packs of 3 Pairs)
Command Medium Picture Hanging Strips (9 Packs of 3 Pairs)
Offered by THE UK STORES
Price: £22.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Fit for certain situations, 18 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used a variety of these Command products with mixed success. To be fair two picture hangings failed due to weak plaster in one case - so a chunk of plaster came off the wall with the picture which had been hanging for two months - and once where the back of the frame had masking tape holding the picture in place. In that instance the hanging strips remained attached to the masking tape. Unfortunately the picture was not longer attached to it!

I tend to use the strips on solid walls when a drill is needed. For plasterboard I think it's easier - and cheaper - to use a small nail. And of course, neither of the experiences above would have happened if I'd used a nail or drilled a hole in the wall.I would not trust the strips with anything that was precious and I didn't want it to break. I suspect these are best suited to rented properties where avoiding wall damage is imperative.

So overall three stars


Baylis & Harding Freesia Blossom and Pear Anti Bacterial  Hand Wash 500 ml
Baylis & Harding Freesia Blossom and Pear Anti Bacterial Hand Wash 500 ml
Offered by Billybaby
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Value, 18 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At time of writing the product is insanely cheap. Significantly it claims to kill 99.9 per cent of all bacteria. It has a Molton Brown look to the bottle - although here you get 500ml compared to 300ml. The smell is subtle and inoffensive although I still prefer MB products. But something that is so effective at killing bacteria, at this price point, really can't fail to be worth five stars!


Father's Day Gift , 6 in1 Multi Tool Handy Tech-Tool Pen, Ballpoint Pen/ Touch Screen Stylus/ Screwdriver/ Ruler/ Spirit Level/ Metal Pen Gift Case, Black
Father's Day Gift , 6 in1 Multi Tool Handy Tech-Tool Pen, Ballpoint Pen/ Touch Screen Stylus/ Screwdriver/ Ruler/ Spirit Level/ Metal Pen Gift Case, Black
Offered by westonetek
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Jun. 2016
As a pen remarkably versatile and effective. It really does work!


STV International ZER738 Zero In Night time Insect Killer
STV International ZER738 Zero In Night time Insect Killer
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Competent, 15 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is a little different to others on the market. Insects are not electrocuted but encouraged to the lamp and then glued to a replaceable sticky surface. This works but there are some problems. The device plugs directly into a socket which might not be well positioned. It's also a bit unpleasant getting rid of the pads covered with insects. But overall not bad so 4 stars


Oral-B Smart Series 4000 Cross Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Smart Series 4000 Cross Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £59.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, especially if you like to use apps, 12 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Oral-B seem to have a pattern of producing 3000, 4000 and 6000 series toothbrushes every two years and it's time for the new 4000 cross-action version. What this toothbrush gains over the previous model, most significantly, is bluetooth connectivity. This means that an app freely downloadable for an Android or iOS smartphone is designed to be used with your toothbrush. The toothbrush functions in a non-smart way as with the older toothbrush. Notionally your mouth is divided into four quadrants and the brush is designed to notify you by an interruption in brushing when one quadrant is finished, or rather 30 seconds have passed. If you apply too much pressure when brushing a red light on the toothbrush is unmissable. Used in this way the 4000 is pretty indistinguishable from the older version - the same size and weight more or less, a charger and very basic stand, no travel case BUT you only get two brush heads with the new model and only three cleaning modes - whitening has gone on this version of the 4000.

So Oral-B is putting some faith in bluetooth as an additional feature in place of some other minor downgrading. And the app, as long as you have a smartphone, and it runs the appropriate operating system, is not bad. It shows you graphically the four quadrants of your mouth to clean in turn with a count down timer from two minutes - or a count up timer if you like. It also shows you which cleaning mode you are using - daily clean, gum care and sensitive - together with an ability to change the time you want to clean each sector of your mouth, chose particular programmes to deal with bad breath or improve gum health, record when you replace a toothbrush head (the app will remind you), and record the last 30 cleaning sessions. To keep you entertained while all this is going on the app will display local weather conditions, the latest news and photos. You can also watch your own videos or photos if you want to.

The app is not perfect though. For example it doesn't start automatically when you turn on your toothbrush. You have to start the app and link the toothbrush each time you use the app with the toothbrush which can take around five seconds. The app encourages you to clean your tongue for 10 seconds but does not monitor that so you have to click a button on the screen to say you've done it, or not done it. It's the same with flossing and mouthwash. Water doesn't mix well with mobile phones though, and nor do tiled floors. In more expensive versions of the toothbrush you get a bathroom accessory to hold your phone safely. I think this is pretty much essential when mixing phones and bathrooms.

If you're convinced of the benefits of electric toothbrushes you'll be happy with this model. That said if you are not going to use the app there's no point in going for the bluetooth version - and note you've lost some features - whitening and an extra brush head - compared to the old version.

There are other key improvements that I'd like to have seen. I think a travel case is fairly essential. You really don't want your toothbrush on in your suitcase, and of course the battery being flat on arrival - or your case delayed while the strange buzzing sound is investigated by security. Nor has the battery life improved. It's seven days based on twice daily two-minute use. Phillips brushes have a better battery life and having reviewed one of those a couple of years ago (and saying I preferred Oral-B) I now like the Phillips brushes better. So if you do go on holiday with this brush for more than a week you'll need to take a charger with you as well.

Pricing of electric toothbrushes seem to be rather insane. They have list prices that are typically halved. It would be good to see reasonable prices posted from the start. At time of writing, pre-public release, the 4000 is already at a 50% discount. Shouldn't it, as a new product, be at full price as eager consumers wait to buy it?

The fact is that the basics of electric toothbrushes haven't changed. People tend to use the everyday mode and all the brushes do pretty much do the same things. This brush comes with some bells and whistles - and the bluetooth feature is a big plus if you're going to use it - but it also lacks a travel case and better battery life.

So overall four stars. But make sure you don't pay the list price!


SureFlap SureFeed Sealed Pet Bowl, White
SureFlap SureFeed Sealed Pet Bowl, White
Offered by SureFlap
Price: £49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and effective product, 9 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a battery operated covered pet dish primarily designed for cats but also suitable for small dogs. The concept is that as cats tend to eat their food over a period of hours, particularly in hot weather, it drys out and is wasted - together with the fact that it creates unpleasant smells and might attract flies.

The product comes without the four C size batteries needed to operate it, which is a bit of an inconvenience as they are not AA batteries which you might have a supply of at home, and the product won't operate without them. It does come with a removable food dish, the base unit and the plastic food cover. It's worth noting that in particular neither the cover or foot bowl are suitable for dishwashers so need to be washed by hand.

In normal operation as the cat approaches the food bowl the movement sensors pick this up and the clear plastic cover pretty quietly opens. Once the cat moves away after about 15 seconds the cover moves back into place. Both the cover and the top of the food bowl have rubber seals in an effort to keep the food as fresh as possible. The batteries which do all this should last for around six months the manufacturer suggests and there's a warning light which indicates that the batteries are running low. I suspect that if the batteries were not changed the bowl would stop operating with the cover in place over the food preventing a cat accessing it.

There's a fairly long-winded training process designed to get your cat used to the cover opening and closing as they approach it. Others have pointed out that in training mode an orange light flashes which can upset more nervous cats. For my 9 month old semi-kittens I simply put their normal food into the bowl and within about 10 minutes one was using the bowl without any problems. The second, slightly slower one, was using it within an hour. So I didn't bother with the training system. My cats are technology-friendly though. They already cope with an electric self-cleaning litter tray and two robotic vacuum cleaners - in fact one sits on top of the vacuum cleaner and rides around on it. Training may well be necessary for other cats. The movement of the cover is quiet though, and as it's made of clear plastic any movement is less noticeable and the cat can see the food through the plastic so has an incentive to use the feeder.

The only additional buttons are an on/off switch and a manual open/close button to help you get access to the bowl to fill it with food or for cleaning. On cleaning both the cover and the bowl can be removed and hand washed. To wipe food from around the base unit you need to really use kitchen roll and it's a little fiddly.

To a degree this is an over-engineered device to resolve a twenty-first century problem. Unlike the other model in the SureFeed range the feeder does not allow access to just one cat - by reading its microchip - so you can't stop a dominant cat from eating all the food. Nonetheless the feeder is robustly designed and works as promised. Food does stay fresh for longer, cleaning off non-dried-on food from the dish is easier, smells emanating from the food are minimal, and it seems easy for cats to use it.

Overall I think it's a pretty useful product well worth four stars. Not five because additional bowls in different colours or divided into two sections are fairly expensive, key parts can't be put in the dishwasher and batteries aren't included.


Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum 30 ml
Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum 30 ml
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to apply and may be effective, 7 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one of the more expensive products in the Manuka Doctor honey and bee venom based range.You also get a relatively small amount of the product - 30 ml - and the advice is to use this both morning and night.

That said the claims of the product are pretty impressive, assuming they work as other reviews suggest they do. Manuka says that the product acts as a moisturiser, reduces blemishes, helps balance skin, results in a younger looking and toned skin and is skin perfecting! It is based on the same principals of most Manuka products though, that the honey is anti-bacterial and the venom (which is not as dramatic as it sounds) helps tighten the skin.

On application I haven't felt any skin reactions - such as tingling - although Manuka suggest this may happen. It's a slightly viscous clear gel-like product, not watery like some serums, and is easy to apply and absorbs quickly. It's too early to judge whether I find the product as effective as others suggest so I'll return to this review after further testing. For the moment a cautious four stars.


PetSafe Funkitty Doorway Dangli Cat Toy
PetSafe Funkitty Doorway Dangli Cat Toy
Price: £5.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Lasted a day, 7 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea that you attach this doorway cat toy to a door frame didn't work in my house - and I think my door frames are fairly standard.The two 10 month old cats simply pulled it off the frame. I've now attached it to a stairway banister doing away with the frame attachment completely. Adjusted so it's just within reach for the cats is effective and they have been moderately interested in it. As others have noted the addition of suitable cat treats is problematic. The treats tend to be too large to easily pass through the two spaces in the toy which means the two halves can only loosely screwed together and it has a habit of unscrewing itself completely.

So not a great product as a treat dispenser but the cats, maybe because they are young and enthusiastic, like the toy itself so three stars from me. It's a bit expensive though.

UPDATE: And after one day the cats pulled the white furry attachment of the toy and no longer show any interest in it at all. So one star. AVOID.


Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones II for Apple Devices - Navy Blue
Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones II for Apple Devices - Navy Blue
Price: £119.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality and sound, 6 Jun. 2016
While not noise cancelling headphones the around-ear design effectively cuts out a lot of background noise. The headphones are made of a light-weigh material which still seems pretty robust. The ear pads themselves are not leather but, according to Bose, a material that looks like leather but is better than leather. You also get a second cable with the headphones. From my perspective the sound quality is outstanding.

For the price point for Bose the sound quality is excellent. Just one star dropped as I'd have preferred noise-cancelling technology which you have to pay a fair bit more for in this sort of design with Bose.


Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Blemish Cream 25 ml
Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Blemish Cream 25 ml
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Promising and worth a try, 4 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Within the Amazon Vine programme with reviews expected within a limited time period it can be difficult to assess skin products which can take weeks or months to show results. This product is a little different though. It promises to resolve skin blemishes - spots mostly I guess - quickly. What you get is a very small tube - 25ml of product - with advice for blemish-specific application three times a day. I managed to locate a suitable skin blemish - but actually on my 16 year old son! He somewhat unwillingly agreed to the experiment and within a day the blemish reduced pretty dramatically.

So overall, although I have my doubles about Manuka Honey - an incredient a whole range of this company's products include - I'm fairly convinced in this instance it works. The honey does seem to have antibacterial properties so I guess this makes sense.

So a cautious four stars for this product. It's certainly worth a try for blemished skin!


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