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Profile for Chantal Lyons > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Chantal Lyons "C.S. Lyons" (England)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Garnier Ultimate Blends Marvellous Transformer Conditioner 200 ml - Pack of 6
Garnier Ultimate Blends Marvellous Transformer Conditioner 200 ml - Pack of 6
Price: £16.74

2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it, 27 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I recently tried another conditioner - Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultimate Blends Silky Conditioner 400 ml - and much preferred it to this one, for two reasons:

Bottle size - there's less in here, which means it's more expensive, and more plastic packaging is used

Price - would be more expensive even without the smaller bottle size

Smell - it's a real turn-off. Oddly heavy, almost like the smell of a grandmother's bathroom.

It's also less viscous than the other conditioner, and although this might be a flawed perception, I felt that I had to use a bigger dollop of it on my (incredibly fine and intractable) hair than I had been using of the other one.

Argan oil from Morocco is really in right now (and the reason why this product is so pricey), but I haven't noticed any change to my hair. I wasn't expecting to either - the whole hair product market is a sham in my view, and the only thing that does differ between products is how well they de-tangle hair - but there are better value conditioners around than this one.


Barbara the Slut and Other People
Barbara the Slut and Other People
by Lauren Holmes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great example of a short story collection, 21 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've only recently got into reading books of short stories, and hope that wasn't the reason I didn't connect with this all that much - although I wish several of the stories had been novels, or in the same novel, because I wanted to stick with the characters.

A few of the stories were pretty funny, but a lot of them were mediocre, flat. The main problem for me was that together, they were neither funny enough nor thoughtful enough. Sometimes they didn't ask to be taken seriously, and worked well for that - "Desert Hearts" for one. But others, like "Ernesta", felt utterly pointless. Another issue was that most of the characters seemed to have the same voice - something that probably sticks out more in collections of short stories.

I'd be interested to read a novel by the author, but couldn't get excited about this particular work.


Zookki® Cycling Gloves Mountain Bike Gloves Road Racing Bicycle Gloves Light Silicone Gel Pad Biking Gloves Half Finger Bicycling Gloves Anti-slip Work Gloves Short Bicyling Gloves Fingerless Sportswear Gloves Bicycle Riding Gloves Men/Women Tool Gloves Motor Cycle Gloves Outdoor (Red, L(3.6"-4.0"))
Zookki® Cycling Gloves Mountain Bike Gloves Road Racing Bicycle Gloves Light Silicone Gel Pad Biking Gloves Half Finger Bicycling Gloves Anti-slip Work Gloves Short Bicyling Gloves Fingerless Sportswear Gloves Bicycle Riding Gloves Men/Women Tool Gloves Motor Cycle Gloves Outdoor (Red, L(3.6"-4.0"))
Offered by ZookkiDirect-UK
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and good value for money, 20 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These cycling gloves are superb. They look great and the bright red colouring makes them easy to locate in a messy room or a pile of other cycling gear. They look snazzy, but the most important thing is that they've very comfortable with padding in all the right places. I tend to get nasty blisters on my thumbs when on long rides - but haven't since I started using these.

I got caught in a shower on one of my rides, and these dried slightly quicker than my leggings, so I'm happy in that regard too.

Recommended.


L'Oreal Garnier Intensive SOS Hand Cream - 100 ml
L'Oreal Garnier Intensive SOS Hand Cream - 100 ml
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works quicker than seven days, 18 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've previously tried Garnier's "Handrepair", but didn't find it particularly helpful. Happily, this product is more effective.

I used to get dry and cracked, even bleeding, skin in the winter, but the dryness affects my hands all through the year now. Even with manicure gloves on at night to help keep creams on, my skin was going back to dry within an hour of the gloves being off. This cream hasn't managed to do away with the dryness altogether, but it does better than anything else I've tried yet. Even if I'm not wearing my gloves (ie when they're in the wash/drying), the effect is still fairly long-lasting, and the cream itself isn't greasy so it's not a pain using your hands afterwards. It also has a very pleasant and non-overwhelming smell.

Recommended.


V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
by Kerstin Rodgers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.00

2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 10 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a flexitarian (the book provided the name - it means someone who's chosen to cut down on meat/other animal products), I'm keen to find nutritious, interesting and relatively economical dishes. However, as a previous reviewer has already said of "V is for Vegan", this cookbook hardly dispels the common perception that veganism is very difficult to pull off. I don't think there's a single recipe in this book that the average stocked-up kitchen could provide all the ingredients for. I decided to make two recipes (quinoa with roasted veg and hazelnut, and vegan brownies) on one night for myself and two friends, and getting everything from my big Sainsburys cost about £25. Those recipes weren't my first choices - all of those couldn't have been made at short notice because they required ingredients only obtainable from niche shops or online. If you don't live in London or another busy cosmopolitan area where you can obtain things like purple Peruvian potatoes or Bengali limes, I wouldn't bother buying this book.

To be fair, both recipes I've done so far were tasty (the quinoa dish grew on me as I ate, and the toasted hazelnuts make it an amazing combination), and the quinoa one is presumably very healthy. That can't be said for the vegan brownies - among other rich ingredients the recipe calls for 400g of sugar!!! I cut that down to 200g and it was still delicious.

Other things that would have improved the book would be a picture for every dish, and better editing - there's nothing on my copy that indicates it's an advanced reader copy, so I'm going to assume that it's the finished product. I suspect there's more than the two errors I found - the quinoa recipe I did has parsley in the title, but the recipe below only talks about basil (I opted for parsley, I'm pretty sure I chose the right one), while at the start of the black and green cheesecake recipe you're told to turn on the oven, even though a) the recipe doesn't mention anything needing to go in the oven after that, and b) IT'S A CHEESECAKE.

All in all, this isn't going to become one of my go-to-cookbooks.
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Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultimate Blends Silky Conditioner 400 ml - Pack of 6
Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultimate Blends Silky Conditioner 400 ml - Pack of 6
Price: £11.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazed!, 9 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have extremely thin hair, and as a result it tangles awfully. For a few years I've been using the pricey OGX brand of conditioner, because it seemed to be the only one that didn't mean every time I washed my hair I lost half of it from intractable knots. But I was amazed by this Garnier conditioner - it works better, allowing my tangle teezer to pretty much glide through my wet hair, and after the final rinse and a quick towel-dry, my hair's still more amenable than it was with my previous conditioner.

It's a little more viscous than I'm used to, so watch out that it doesn't slip out of your hand before you can put it on your hair. I'm used to using fairly large dollops but have been trying to use a little less of this each time. The smell is nothing spectacular but it isn't overpowering, and I find that the smell of shampoo/conditioner doesn't linger whatever brand.

I'm definitely going to be using this conditioner from now on.


Sony HX90 Compact Digital Camera with OLED Viewfinder (18 MP, 30x Optical Zoom and Wi-Fi)
Sony HX90 Compact Digital Camera with OLED Viewfinder (18 MP, 30x Optical Zoom and Wi-Fi)
Price: £299.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really great, 2 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Want professional-looking photos, but not the palaver of heavy camera gear and having to play around with settings all the time? This is a good choice for that, if you don’t mind paying a premium. There are actually a lot of settings, enough that I haven’t had time to experiment with them all, but the basic ones are really handy – there’s a Scene mode, like a lot of cameras have, although this one really knows its market. Pet and food modes, anyone?

The zoom is really fantastic, producing images of decent quality even at full magnification. Alternatively, you can use less zoom and crop the image later. I got a lovely photo of a little egret that way (see photo included). Blur is much less of a problem than I’ve experienced with other small digital cameras.

One thing I’ve always really struggled to get right is night shots. This camera is great for that, although if anything, there’s too many night-time modes! “Anti-motion blur” is best for night-time indoor shots, and “Night scene” for outdoor.

Other notable features of the camera:

1. The “Intelligent auto” mode – you often don’t need to bother with the Scene mode because in this mode, the camera chooses the most appropriate settings/modes
2. The movable screen – flip it up to take selfies, although for some really annoying reason I haven’t been able to take a selfie without the camera demanding that I use flash, which tends to be really unflattering.
3. Manual focus – especially useful for wildlife in foliage, and not that common in non-SLR and non-bridge cameras.

Things that could be improved on:
1. Battery – seems to take really long to charge compared to other cameras
2. Zoom function – you can use the dial on the top of the camera or the focus/zoom ring, but both of these are a little fussy, so getting the perfection magnification can sometimes be fiddly.

I feel like I’ve barely tapped this camera’s potential, and once I’ve had more time to play with it, I’ll update this review. In terms of the Wifi capability, I probably won’t try this – I’ve found that kind of thing fiddly in the past, and it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to slip the memory card into my laptop.
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Fire Colour One
Fire Colour One
by Jenny Valentine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Hmm, 2 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Fire Colour One (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an easy novel to read in one sitting; good for a longish train journey. I'd rather give it 3.5 rather than 4 stars, but giving 3 stars seems a bit mean.

Part of the story I loved, and part of it I hated. First, the good: the present strand of the story has Iris, the main character, experience a bitter-sweet rediscovery of her relationship with her father. The emotion is powerful, carried along by prose that's mostly sharp, smart and pleasingly literary for a YA novel; though every now and then it did get out of hand ("his emptied skin like a breeze on the surface of still water" - err, what?).

The bad: Hannah, Iris' mother, is beyond caricature. She's vile and vapid and somehow, social services didn't take Iris away. Because of her the story simply couldn't feel real. As far as I can tell, the author didn't mean to draw on Cinderella or Snow White. I would have enjoyed "Fire Colour One" far more if Hannah had been written with subtlety.

The ending made up for Hannah a little with its fun twist, but ultimately I don't think I'll remember this book for long.


SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
Price: £7.25

3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 2 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is more gimmicky than useful. I haven't yet found a bottle - wine or otherwise - that the light fits comfortably into, meaning that if the bottle wobbles slightly, the light falls out. It's also very bright and, although it would no doubt be useful as a mini torchlight, the light isn't distributed that well (particularly if the fit with the bottle neck is bad). I didn't use a timer but would say that the battery lasted roughly three hours. The USB port is nifty - hidden within the cork - but due to the device's shape, it can't be inserted into a laptop sitting flat on a table. Fortunately I have a fan stand that props the laptop up, but a lot of people may not.

Overall, I don't think I'll be using this too often in the future.


Carmex Cherry Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Carmex Cherry Tube and Pot - (Pack of 2)
Price: £5.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 15 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have yet to find a lip balm that actually does what it says on the packaging. This one keeps your lips feeling soothed and smooth for a few minutes, but that's it. The tingling is quite nice (courtesy of the menthol), and the smell is lovely. It's also helpful that the balm doubles up as sun protection (factor 15 - not much but something).

The pot's better for keeping by the bedside, while the tube's better for on the go, although I find I prefer a stick to a tube that you have to squeeze the balm out of - it's really easy to squeeze out too much.

All in all, there's probably nothing out there that's better, but that's not saying a huge amount.


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