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Profile for Chris Hoare > Reviews

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Content by Chris Hoare
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Reviews Written by
Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex 30 ml
Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex 30 ml
Price: £79.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me: overnight moisture, smoother feeling skin and slightly less redness, 6 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you are happy spending money on expensive skin care creams the short review is the Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex left my skin feeling great after application and still great in the morning so its main job is done. It works far better than the hypoallergenic moisturizers I normally use; and despite its varied ingredients it hasn't caused a reaction in my skin.

The reaction in my skin is always my biggest concern; I have very sensitive skin to a (weird) range of chemicals, so trying a skin cream something enriched with fruit juices and vitamins left me anxious at first. To be safe i tested it at night on a patch behind an ear for about a week; as that didn't result in disaster. I moved up to using it twice a week on my face; and now 3 weeks in i have used it nightly. For the first day I used it definitely felt the tingle after application but it hasn;t erupted into eczema mess. The better news is my skin feels immediately moisturized on application and after a night in dry winter air it still feels moisturized in the morning - far better than my normal hypoallergenic moisturizers like Diprobase. There are detailed instructions in the box; but i'm not sure how much you are supposed to use on application; there is a small spatula which i can almost use 4 heaps from the spatula per application - though the 30ml in the pot wouldn't last me much beyond 2-3 weeks of sparing daily use. Which makes it cost roughly the same per day as a daily costa coffee.

The Essential C Moisturizer is at the upper end of what I would pay for my skin; it definitely makes it feel better (more moist and smooth) and redness on my skin has been diminished during use. If you are looking at this you are likely happy paying for the benefits on offer; if that is you Murad Essential C based on my face Murad Essential C will likely make your face feel and look healthier.


Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Philips FC6232/62 Dust Mite Anti-Allergen Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with EPA Filter and UV Light
Price: £159.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A little; often, 28 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Philips Dust Mite Hand Held Vacuum is a touch one to gauge. Its goal is to remove dust mites and trap them inside the vacuum. To help it achieve that its mains powered; it has vibrating feet and a uv light to help it in its quest. Out of the box it looks special with its gold finish; and has two buttons to help you turn on the features; the vacuum, the vibrating feet and a uv light. It does come with a LONG cord (it will reach comfortably over 3m which is impressive for something you use on your settee or bed. I am not sure why this isn't a battery powered device especially given the handheld design (and tiny dust capacity.) Its frustrating there isn't a way to store the cord at the end of using it; and the wedge shape means it takes up an unnecessarily amount of closet space.

The UV light as far as i can research is pointless; the time to kill a dust mite by uv light would require you to spend hours cleaning a king size bed; leaving it in place for upto 60 seconds at a time. The vibrating feet are there to justle up the contents of whatever your are cleaning and get more dust out. Finally there is the vacuum itself; which is a bit weedy because of the design. The feet and vacuum though do work nicely together and after a vacuum with my AEG the Philips 6232 had a small amount of visible dust in the container at the end. On an un-vacuumed surface though the design and feet don't contribute anything for other clingy surface debris (it works fine for lose debris.) As a touch up or anti dust vacuum it does work; but it may mean you need to do a dual clean. The wedge design does also mean its difficult to get into cushions if they don't detach and the lack of nozzles means the are areas where the edges of the 6232 can't get into.

The vacuum is small and the handle makes it feel a little awkward to use - the weight, whilst not heave, isn't well balanced. Its small size does makes it convenient to use repeatedly which if you are combatting allergens is frequently the best solution.


Murad Redness Therapy Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum 30 ml
Murad Redness Therapy Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum 30 ml
Price: £47.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Light moisturizer, 28 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The mural redness sensitive skin soothing serum comes in a glass bottle!

Its quite expensive even compared to the normal moisturizers i use on my super sensitive skin;. The pump dispenses a small amount and the skin smooth serum does go a long way - one pump covers the top of my hand comfortably. Some cremes do a great job with sensitive skin; almost making dry patches look normal. The serum seemed to emphasize the redness at first; after a few days of use my sensitive skin did look less red; but no better than using a normal moisturizer like Diprobase. As a moisturizer a little does go a long way and leaves your skin feeling better; and it didn't antagonize inflamed skin further. The one thing it didn't do though was stop the itch-scratch cycle which is i would want a skin soothing serum to do.


Kind Caramel Almond and Sea Salt Bar 40 g (Pack of 12)
Kind Caramel Almond and Sea Salt Bar 40 g (Pack of 12)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Kind Bar, for me its not a great kind bar., 20 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Kind Caramel Almon and Sea salt bars are the third variety I have tried; and the first that didn't bowl me over. Kind bars are generally quite good for your; their sales pitch is ingredients you can see. In this case the bar is mostly almonds held together by caramel. As a result The 40g bar is 7.3g of Fibre, ~6g of protein and ~5g of sugar so the energy from the bar lasts. Between the caramel and almonds you are accounting for 81% of the weight of the bar. I don't want to comment if this is healthy for you or not its 203cal in 40g. The nuts high protein do make you feel fuller for longer.

The taste is excellent with the caramel and almonds really working nicely together. Unlike the Kind Bar, Dark Chocolate / Nuts & Sea Salt the salt was much more subtle; adding to the overall experience rather than being a significant flavor.

The flavor is nice (the apple one was nicest to my tastebuds but has most sugar) and compared to my previous kind bars this is the healthiest; I just don't enjoy the texture of a bar that is basically pure almond with some flavor. Its very crunchy and its not quite right for me.


Hippih Digital LCD Snooze Bedside Alarm Clock Electronic Desk Clock with Weather Station LED Backlight Colour Icon Indoor Temperature Humidity Day Date Time Display (White)
Hippih Digital LCD Snooze Bedside Alarm Clock Electronic Desk Clock with Weather Station LED Backlight Colour Icon Indoor Temperature Humidity Day Date Time Display (White)
Offered by HIPPIH TECHNOLOGY
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice desk clock, 20 Mar. 2016
The Hippih weather station, desk alarm clock is super light; and has a sort of iPod look to it; white plastic with a black plastic screen. There are two uses for it; bedroom alarm clock or home/ office desk clock. Having tried both; desk clock would be my preference. The box came with some generic instructions which don't match the markings on the back of the device; that said the buttons on the back are fairly self explanatory. If you have ever set a digital clock you will likely be able to figure out what you are doing. Batteries are not included.

In bedroom at night this is a great alarm clock; especially if you don't like alarm clocks that taunt you with their laser bright LED's screaming 02:32 at you just when you need sleep most; though that could just be me. The Hippih weather station screen is dark most of the time; opowered by 3aa batteries; and no mains connector, this is to save power. Touch it the alarm; or if the surface it is on moves and the screen lights up for a few seconds.

The time on the screen is clear; and the numbers are big enough that without my glasses i can still read the time. When used in the bedroom as an alarm clock the light weight becomes a minor issue; pressing the large off button on the top of the alarm can send it scuttling across the room or crashing into my bedside table; as there aren't any rubber feet to keep it up. The alarm was loud enough to wake me up.

Besides the time It also shows the temperature and humidity; in the office to settle arguments over air conditioning... Its small size also doesn't rob you of too much desk space. Though in the office having the screen power down; at which point the display is pretty much illegible doesn't help. There is also a max / min button which gives you a daily high / low temperature readout which may be useful.


iHealth BG1 Smart Gluco-Monitoring system
iHealth BG1 Smart Gluco-Monitoring system
Offered by the manufacturer
Price: £16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supremely Portable, 12 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a diabetic for over 30years, I have use many glucose monitors over this time. This is the smallest I have seen or used. I also tested the DG5 bluetooth reader at the same time. Both readers use the same app running on your smartphone. Whilst the DG5 uses bluetooth to connect the DF1 plugs into the headset jack on your phone. If you keep up with the Jonses with your phones and the rumours of future iPhones losing the headphones socket are† true; it may be beneficial to look at the DG5.

On opening the box, you get the monitor, 10 sharps, a spring loaded lancet holder, sanitary phone covers (!), 2 batteries, full instructions and a pouch, and a couple of silicon rubber covers to let you personalise it for your preference for the monitor (White, Blue, Red, Orange), I also received 10 test strips. One thing missing; which ought to come with at least a sample is control solution for checking the device, iHealth do supply this with the BG5 so as I was testing both I was lucky to have some.

Unlike the DG5 there isn't any charging to do; you need to plug a battery into the reader unit. Once this done go to your phones app store and download the free iHealth Glucosmart app. After installing the app, and as with similar apps, you need to provide a few details, gender, weight, height and register the device which helps it give advice. When you first install the app it reads in ml/Dl, so to match readings I was used to I changed it in the app settings to mmol/L.

On first attaching the reader to the iPhone, and if using a new container of test strips, you scan the QRcode on the top of the strips tub. This allows the reader to correctly calibrate itself to the strips and usefully the app keeps a count of how should be left in the tub. In Measure mode in the app you insert the test strip into the reader, and then using the provided lancet get a drop of blood from a finger, and touch the end of the strip, in around 5 seconds you get a reading. Unlike the BG5 i didn't need to catch the strip as it was ejected.

The app stores all your readings so you no longer need to keep a paper log. You can update the reading with extra details, ie, meds/insulin taken, before/after meal (it does make a good guess at this) carbs and excise logs. There are some nice graphs on the stats pages to allow you to see information over week/2weeks/month and 3months.

The app allows you to also set alarms, for when to take readings, insulin and meds.

In general, this supremely portable is small, it easily fits in any pocket. Its so much easier to carry around, even with the lancet holder and test strips than any reader I have tried before. iHealth Test strips are available from the NHS, and high street chemists. The only downside is that is so small I fear I loose it or accidentally put it though the wash only time will tell.

The supreme portability make this 5* compared to the BG5; if you are an iPhone user just consider if the headphone jack has a future.
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i-Health Labs Europe Sarl BG5 Wireless Glucose Monitor Kit
i-Health Labs Europe Sarl BG5 Wireless Glucose Monitor Kit
Price: £45.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Glucose reader with a great app, 12 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a diabetic for over 30years, I have use many glucose monitors over this time. This is the smallest I have used.

On opening the box, you get the monitor, 10 sharps, a spring loaded lancet holder, full instructions and a handy travel case, 10 test strips, control solution, charging cable (micro usb). The reader is chargeable via micro usb, it was totally out of change when received so I left it overnight to charge.

In the morning when it was charged up to begin using iHealth BG5 you need an app on your phone. You also need to pair the reader with your smartphone, this is done as per any other bluetooth device.

One last thing you need to do before taking your first reading is head to the appropriate app store for your phone and download the free iHealth Glucosmart app. I used the BG5 on an iPhone 6, launching the app as with other health apps you are asked for a few personal details, gender, weight, height and register the device. Initially the app was set to return readings in ml/Dl, so I to compare the results to my existing system I changed this in the apps options to mmol/L.

When you start using a new container of test strips, you scan the QRcode on the top of the tub in the Glucosmart app. This allows the reader to correctly calibrate itself to the strips and keep a count of how many left in the tub. Once that is done the app switches to Measure mode, at which point you attach insert the test strip into the reader, using the lancet get a drop of blood from a finger, and touch the end of the strip, in around 5 seconds you get a reading. Once you are done the base of the reader has a strip release button; use care here as the release can launch the test strip quite a distance if you not ready for it.

The app stores all your readings so you no longer need to keep a paper log. You can update the reading with extra details, i.e., meds/insulin taken, before/after meal (it does make a good guess at this) carbs and exercise logs. There are some nice graphs on the stats pages to allow you to see information over week/2weeks/month and 3months. It keeps a track of the number of strips you have and lets you know when there are less than 10.

The app allows you to also set alarms, for when to take readings, insulin and meds.

In general, this device is small, smaller then most others I have used, easy to use. So why the 4*, well I also tested the Dg4 which makes the comparably small DG5 look massive.


Asustor AS1002T Diskless 2 Bay Network Attached Storage
Asustor AS1002T Diskless 2 Bay Network Attached Storage
Price: £151.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Looking, compact NAS for backup and media, 6 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
ASUSTOR AS1002T is 2-bay NAS. I never have any devices from Asustor, and didn’t know the company, you might guess that Asustor is a part of Asus and you would be right. Asus has a good history in computers and their components so it should bode well for the nas. After unboxing, the NAS has a nice modern and good looking design, so you don’t need to hide it under the desk or in a cupboard. When its powered up it doesn't have disco lights; like my drobo; which makes it more compatible with working with it on a desk (there is a photo of it with lights on below.)

The installation process is very easy. Asustor doesn’t include disks; you need to purchase (or reuse) 3.5” SATA drives with this unit. Adding the disks is simple; you slide the HDD into one of the two slots (there is a picture of the drive tray below. Once your disks are installed; close the cover back up and connect the system to your to the network. The Asustor NAS supports 1 Gigabit LAN port and Wi-Fi, however it needs Wi-Fi dongle, which is unfortunately not included. After installing the ASUSTOR Control Center onto a PC, the final NAS configuration process is quick and easy. From opening the box to running it took about 15 minutes to have fully worked device.

ASUSTOR AS1002T is not only a backup or storage device, it has a cpu and operating system and can be configured to do some useful networking tasks;
-††††††††† Web server (PHP with MySQL),
-††††††††† Own cloud server with access through the Internet from any place,
-††††††††† Media server
-††††††††† Security server (access to IP cameras)
-††††††††† Virtual host (e.g. supports vmware)

There are more than this but these are highlights for me. Once configured to access the asustor you only need a web browser. As with other similar devices the first port of call for a device like this is as a media server; though the cloud features are useful too. Asustor has a quite long list of ad-ons, which can be installed. 
I choose Plex server and cloud server as my TV has a Plex app too (but UPnP is also supported). In few moments I had a access to my videos, pictures and music from my TV. Once Plex was enabled my Sony TV very quickly spotted the new device on the network, and it was similar with smartphones.

Using the system for backing up and restoring files were backed up at around 55mb/s and i could restore files at 75MB/s which is fast enough for me. (I had two 7200rpm disks installed raid 1.) The Asus one won’t suit you if you want to render 4k video as fast as possible; but its more than enough to play them back.

The device itself is quiet, and I didn’t notice when it works, although it has a big fun. Thanks to save energy options, user can setup LED brightness and HDD hibernation time. Device has 2 USB 3.0 ports and it is possible to connect further storage via a portable HDD. As a home user, I am pleased with ASUSTOR AS1002T. It is a good value for money device with a large number of additional applications.†
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AmazonBasics 400-Thread-Count Cotton Sateen Fitted Sheet, King - White
AmazonBasics 400-Thread-Count Cotton Sateen Fitted Sheet, King - White
Price: £18.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay in place, Super Soft, Great Value, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a man looking for new bedsheets all I really knew I wanted was all cotton with a high thread count. Turning to Amazon I was faced with a dazzling choice; clicking the prime option reduced that massively. I read a number of reviews on products; and added an all around elastic strap to my fitted sheet requirement which further reduced the options. I have a number of amazon basics cables at home; and they have all far exceeded the performance their name suggests we should expect. When i found amazon basics sheets and they ticked my requirements i gave them a go.

I gave them a wash and they felt suitably soft; fitting them to my deep mattress was made all the easier by the all around elastic. A week in they had stayed in place something my older one corner elasticated sheets failed to do; often one corner coming unsprung. Sleeping on them is great; the sheets feel nice and soft as their high thread count suggests they should be. 5*


3M 4218P Double Sided Acrylic Foam Mounting Tape grey 10mm x 3m
3M 4218P Double Sided Acrylic Foam Mounting Tape grey 10mm x 3m
Offered by TeeDeeGroup
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the 3m Double Sided Acrylic Foam to attach a multi socket extension mains socket to a natural wooden desk. I needed the foam double sided tape deal with the undulations in the wood. I used 2 strips on my extension socket; and pressed it into the wood. Missing my target the first time i put it in place; the 3m adhesive allowed me to remove and then reposition the adaptor whilst still sticking firm. 3 weeks later its still in place; despite repeatedly plugging and unplugging things from the sockets.


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