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Reviews Written by
A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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Wahl Ultima Plus Shaver
Wahl Ultima Plus Shaver
Price: £49.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality shaver from the pro"s brand of choice., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wahl make the retro-looking hairclippers you see in old-skool barbering establishments, and it's this uncompromising 1950s industrial aesthetic that give them some cachet among design fans.

Unfortunately, that aesthetic doesn't seem to stretch to their home-use products, and this is a fairly standard contemporary razor design, perhaps a little more solid and reassuring than the norm. Good points are the 45 minute charging time and a feature where it'll power up enough for a single shave in 5 minutes. Bad point is that it comes with a 2-pin plug, so you may need an adaptor.

I would contend that no electric shaver can give as close a shave as a wet razor, and the Wahl is no exception here, but it was pretty good. I'll be using it with the the adjustable stubble comb and the detail trimmer, though, and it worked really well in these areas.

Overall a good, unpretentious shaver at an appropriate price point. There's nothing on the surface to differentiate it from hundred of others, of course, but I imagine it will sell on Wahl's reputation for quality within the barbering world


Braun SE810 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Braun SE810 Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush
Price: £54.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Might be marketed the other way around.., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
a handbag- sized 2 in 1 device for both facial epilation and deep cleansing.

As usual with Braun products, it's beautifully designed both visually and technically: It can be used under the shower, takes a standard battery and will need the cleansing brush changed every 3 months or so,. However, these are only a few pounds each.

The epilator's quite a powerful device, and you need to control it carefully. It almost feels like something that was designed to be used by a professional beautician, and probably needs a bit of practice before you can do a quick job with confidence, though there is a two-way switch to reverse the direction of the tweezers. It does sting a little.

The cleansing brush attachment is excellent, and used with a deep cleaning gel gives your skin a really good glow. In fact, I can see me using this as a cleanser much more regularly than as an epilator. Recommended.


ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
ByteStor Pro 16GB 40Mbps Class 10 High Speed Micro SDHC UHS-1 Card with SDHC Card Adapter
Price: £8.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value storage., 18 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm using this card in my mini digital movie camera: There's no perceptible difference in it's performance from the name brand cards I have, so yep, go for it. Comes with one of those adapter doohickeys so you can use it in standard sized SD slots, such as those on laptops.


A Year in Suburbia
A Year in Suburbia
by Guy Bellamy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, even for Bellamy., 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: A Year in Suburbia (Paperback)
You always know what you're going to get with a Guy Bellamy novel. This is because the plots of his books are all completely identical: A middle class writer or aspiring poet, struggling with money and a failing marriage, becomes wealthy and enters into a more successful relationship . Meanwhile, his wealthy friend loses all his money but then makes it again.

This story is always told against one of two backgrounds: A dormitory village in the home counties filled with twee pubs, or a Spanish resort. Both will be coloured by Bellamy's oddly dated ideas about what constitutes an aspirational lifestyle: In this book, published in 2007, posh restaurants still serve sliced melon as a starter, and the homes of wealthy people are defined by their chandeliers and cocktail cabinets. Men wear cravats. However, scarcely anyone owns a mobile phone or computer, communicating via letter and payphone.

On the odd occasions when Bellamy does arise from this 1970s reverie and makes a token attempt to appear contemporary, he never gets the details right, obviously not bothering to research anything. Quite a lazy writer then, especially as well as the endlessly recycled plot, quite a few of the same jokes reappear time and again.

'A Year In Suburbia' however, is even for this writer, a supremely indolent piece of work. Written as a diary by the main protagonist, the elements of the Bellamy plot are pretty much wrapped up by May, and in the most banal way imaginable. The male characters are introduced as worried about money and unhappily married, then a couple of months later, by processes to dull to recount, they've become wealthy and happily married to someone else. There's no drama, hardly anything in the way of tension or conflict, and the last half of the book dribbles off into a sort of extended homage to Bellamy's idea of the good life: Roast beef for Sunday dinner, champagne in an ice bucket, cosy suburban pubs.


Philips Satin Soft Wet and Dry Epilator
Philips Satin Soft Wet and Dry Epilator
Price: £95.88

3.0 out of 5 stars Good epilator at an uncompetitive price point., 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A perfectly adequate wet/dry epilator it , coming with a shaving head and cap and lasts for thirty minutes on a charge, plus a USP of a 'skin stretcher' - a plastic doohickey that fits over the head and makes shaving underarms, etc, easier. There's nothing at all wrong with it apart from the price point of just under a hundred pounds, which after a little research appears to be between twice and three times the cost of equivalent products from other reputable manufacturers. Phillips, in fact, appear to offer almost identical epilators at half the cost of this one. In summary, a perfectly good product which doesn't justify the price.


Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras
Braun Silk Epil 9 9-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extras
Price: £94.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top rating epilating., 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A really well -designed product, the Epil 9 epilator and exfoliator has put an impressive amount of thought put into the practice of hair removal The main unit has a 45 minute charge time, a wide head and a little torch for checking your nooks and crannies have been done properly. The massaging effect does seem to make epilating less painful, and this was very bearable.It can be used in the bath or shower, too, which makes it even less so. Then there's a comprehensive range of attachments - shaver and epilator (with various caps), a microtweezer for brows, etc, a sonic exfoliating brush, .. all the bells and whistles. This does cost a handy chunk of change, but it really is a top quality item. Highly recommended.


Sennheiser PMX686G Earbud Neckband Headset - Galaxy
Sennheiser PMX686G Earbud Neckband Headset - Galaxy
Price: £79.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Premium headphones for running and cycling., 8 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Given my comical lack of physical coordination, I've always avoided listening to music whilst exercising, any attempt to simultaneously skip a track whilst piloting a bicycle having the inevitable result of me ending up in the nearest hedge. However, I've recently started using a running app on Android, so obtained these to use with my Galaxy Neo.

A beautifully designed and made product in lime green, black and silver, these are up to the expected Sennheiser standards in terms of sound quality and the specific features - the flat, single cable which avoids tangling , and the antibacterial finish and water resistance, are all well considered. the in ear phones stay in whilst running, though to be honest what I laughingly call 'exercise' is not going to test this very much. A doohickey on the cable lets you use the phone.

A couple of minor points though, which explain why I've taken off a star for this review:

* I have a pair of high-end Sennheisser headphones on my home music set up, which were actually slightly cheaper than these. Whilst there's no doubting the quality of the sports 'phones, using them to listen to MP3s on a phone seems like tech overkill. It's a high price point for their intended use.

*They're suitable for all Android devices, not just Galaxy phones, so the (promotonal tie-in?) branding seems misleading.

*The packaging is ridiculously elaborate and wasteful.

However, these are minor issues. highly recommended if your in the market for a top-end product.
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Igenix IG8650 2-Speed Hand Blender 200 W - White
Igenix IG8650 2-Speed Hand Blender 200 W - White
Price: £14.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bargain basement product at a high street price., 22 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A stick blender is a genuinely handy tool that every kitchen should have. Just not this particular one, which according to the leaflet can only be used for 60 seconds at a time before needing a ten minute cooldown, and can't cope with solid foods, and doesn't have a beaker attachment. I could understand if it was very cheap, but in fact it's at the same price point as other makes which don't have the aforesaid issues.


AmiGami Monkey Figure
AmiGami Monkey Figure
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Arty update of an old favourite., 22 Feb. 2015
This review is from: AmiGami Monkey Figure (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An arty update of the old Mr. Potato Head toy: A 3" plastic monkey figurine which one personalises with the included funky press-out paper accessories and stickers. It's absorbing and a lot of fun, and clearly aimed at 6-10 year old girls. There's an issue, I think, that the decorative odds and ends are 'reusable' in a pretty limited sense - essentially this is something you'd do once and then display on a shelf. So perhaps an hour or so's sustained enjoyment for the money.


Mighty Small
Mighty Small
by Timothy Knapman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated., 22 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Mighty Small (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Beautifully illustrated, an effective, chaotic mix-up of comic book stylings, more traditional gouache illustration and adventurous layout and typography. To an adult, the elements of the story might seem a little unoriginal - Viz's The Brown Bottle has been wearing his underpants outside his superhero duds since 1981, and you know, superhero mice..but the little lad doesn't know that, and he really enjoyed reading this, and the art is of such good quality I want to keep it. Recommended.


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