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Third Time Lucky (London)

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HealGel Intensive Skin Care Gel 30 ml
HealGel Intensive Skin Care Gel 30 ml
Offered by Online Beauty Buys
Price: £33.75

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Healing moisturiser and fantastic mineral make-up base, 7 May 2014
I've used Heal Gel as a facial moisturiser on and off for years now. I say "off" because it's not always been easy to justify the extravagance, particularly once blemishes have healed. I'm now beginning to realise that NOT using it as I get older and more creased may be a false economy. Here's hoping consistent use saves me a fortune in botox, fillers and divorces for a younger model.

The Heal Gel formula, probably because of its salicylic acid and various silicones, is indeed very healing. It's wonderful stuff, reducing and smoothing the red chapping from eczema outbreaks, and helping to fade the marks from old spots faster. However, I'm reluctant to hand out the full five stars because, in lean times, I've found regular aspirin face masks (Google is your friend) just as effective for treating blemish-prone skin. Combined with a follow-up dab of Aquaphor from Boots, anyone with a bit of patience can achieve a healthier complexion.

So why pay nearly £40 for this stuff?

Because (unlike the aspirin mask and Aquaphor regime) Heal Gel is really lovely to use. It's got a clean, sage-and-cucumber fragrance, it's not greasy, it isn't sticky once it dries, and it's brilliant under make-up.

To avoid aggravating my eczema, I use mineral powder foundation, bronzer and blusher. Finding a face cream to go under these has always been tricky - they're oil and wax free, and need a moisturising base in order to adhere to the skin. Except eczema makes you allergic to most moisturisers. I have tried everything, from 99p Vaseline to £90 Lancome, and Heal Gel seems to provide the smoothest, most matt base for my mineral make-up, crucially without re-igniting the eczema or giving me spots.

Originally the product was packaged in tubs identical to those that the Body Shop sells their teenage gloop in; not practical and not hygienic. I'm so glad they've updated to this dosage-controlled tube. Given the expense, squeeze it right onto your cheek - don't blob onto the back of your hand first - so you don't waste a drop. I find four drops on each cheek sufficient, with enough for the under-eyes and eye socket too. The tingling sensation as it dries is nothing to worry about, fading as soon as the application is dry. Use Heal Gel only where the skin is dry, sore or chapped, as it causes blocked pores if you slap it on over a greasy T-zone. It may therefore be too comedogenic for acne-prone skin.

I have never tried Heal Gel on cuts and scars, and haven't tried other silicone gels such as Kelo-Cote by way of comparison. I did, however, experiment with using Heal Gel on only one side of my face for several weeks to be sure I wasn't being swizzed. It really did make a positive difference, which is why I'm now using it all the time. On that note, if you're buying regular supplies, Amazon may not always be the cheapest place to shop. Heal Gel is stocked by many internet beauty retailers, and discount and loyalty codes can reduce the price considerably. Just as well really, or I'd be bankrupt by now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2016 1:08 PM GMT


Rexel Ecodesk Desk Sorter, Black
Rexel Ecodesk Desk Sorter, Black
Price: £13.49

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unstable, ugly and expensive, 13 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This used to be my approach to paperwork: if I couldn't see it, I wouldn't do it. As a result, all the table and floorspace in my office was taken up with multiple piles of letters and files, and there was no room to actually do any work.

So one day, inspired by Mary Anne Bennie's Paper Flow: Your Ultimate Guide to Making Paperwork Easy, I decided to invest in an incline sorter. I wanted all my current papers on my desk, stored vertically to take up less space, whilst still remaining visible in their individual files.

Oh incline sorter, you had ONE job. A very low-tech and undemanding job. But you're just not working out in this office.

You're so flimsy that you rock from side to side and are easily knocked over, especially when all your slots are full with landscape files. I know I can be a brutal boss, but I need more reliability and stability from you.

Your presentation also leaves a lot to be desired. Feel free to sue me, but you're kinda ugly. You're a strange shape and it's neither practical nor pleasing. I spend a lot of time at my desk and I really wanted something a little prettier to look at.

Then there's the money: you cost far more than you should. Your cheap Chinese plastic would fit right in amongst the tupperware at Poundland, but I'd hoped for so much more, because you're priced as if you hailed from Alessi's atelier.

In short, you're the office equivalent of Christine Bleakley. I will have to keep using you because you're too expensive to fire. But you're a disappointment, and you know it.


The Hypnotist (feat. Paul McKenna)
The Hypnotist (feat. Paul McKenna)
Price: £0.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Embarrassing but effective example of euphoric trance (ideal for exercise and housework), 13 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm twenty years too old to be writing about euphoric trance dance music, but I'm surprised that mine is the first review. This track deserves a much wider audience.

Just to emphasise its middle-aged appeal, I didn't come across it in NME but in a profile on Paul McKenna in 'Style', the Sunday Times magazine. As one of life's natural sceptics, I would normally have dismissed the piece as PR puff, but I've been a fan of Paul McKenna's work ever since the hypnosis CD of his book Change Your Life In Seven Days (Book & CD & DVD) literally, er, changed my life.

So I was intrigued by this track, listened to the excerpt on Amazon, liked what I heard, and downloaded it.

This is not a classic hypnosis track. It's not even a classic Paul McKenna track. The thumping electronic beats are not everyone's idea of tuneful, and the truly ridiculous lyrics ("Words are drugs, you are your own pharmacist"; "Let euphoria be your narcotic") will make you laugh out loud at their sheer silliness. Except that's the point. It's incredibly uplifting and energising, even though my grubby suburb is a very long way from Ibiza, and I'm definitely old enough to know better.

Listening to the track on top volume gets me through gloomy winter mornings, the dread of exercise, and the crushing boredom of laundry. I've yet to feel the "sweet, soft rush of euphoria", but at 69p the track cost less than a bar of chocolate, and its cheering effects have been considerably longer lasting. I'm loving it, and if you can cope with the shame of being caught out listening to it, so will you.


Royal 7 Step Nail Buffer
Royal 7 Step Nail Buffer
Offered by Beauty7uk

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and nasty, 12 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Royal 7 Step Nail Buffer (Misc.)
It's tedious keeping your nails nice and neat if you often work with your hands, and I was hoping the design of these - which incorporates both files and buffers of varying coarseness - would make them indispensable. I bought one for my desk, one for the car, and one for my bag.

They all (all three of them!) fell apart within a fortnight, and in the time that they'd been used, I'd never managed to get a decent shine with the buffer or managed to file anything more substantial than snags. The papers are not properly glued onto the foam, and none of the six 'steps' seem to be fit for purpose.

These were cheap so they were worth a try, but sometimes in life you do get what you pay for. I'm off to buy a crystal nail file and a better buffer.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, but doesn't fit if using a UV filter, 27 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This came badly wrapped in just torn polythene, which makes me think it is, at best, a grey market product. It isn't branded Canon product but at this price, you probably knew that already.

It is nonetheless a useful piece of kit, though the manufacture lacks finesse and the overall finish isn't as polished as it could be around the external outer rim. No matter, you're buying it because you know it's going to be bashed instead of your £500 lens.

Now for the bad news. It doesn't fit if you take the belt-and-braces approach with your lens. You can use this hood, or you can use a lens filter, but you can't use both at the same time. The shallow thread around the inner rim doesn't allow it.

I use a Hoya UV filter on top of my lens, partly for the shooting benefits and mostly for the protective benefits, so you may not be affected if you have another brand of filter.

But I don't know anyone with expensive speciality lenses who doesn't use filters as a matter of course. So, cheap as it is, it was money wasted for me, and the search for the right lens hood continues.


Harbour Housewares Microfibre Cloths - Pack of 10 - Large 40 x 40cm - Blue
Harbour Housewares Microfibre Cloths - Pack of 10 - Large 40 x 40cm - Blue
Offered by Rinkit Ltd
Price: £13.99

24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bigger and cheaper than E-cloth branded products, and ideal for OCM, 6 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We have been E-cloth users since the product first came on the market, when generic microfible cloths did not exist. They were overpriced for small pieces of synthetic fabric, but made cleaning and grease-elimination without chemicals so easy they became an essential item in our kitchen kit. Our original E-cloths are still going strong nearly a decade later (and not because we never clean our kitchen, cheeky).

These unbranded cloths have a much looser weave texture than the branded E-cloth product, and when they arrived they were fluffy, like dusters. Chucking them in the washing machine removed the fluff, and giving them a tumble dry tightened up the weave. Since then, we've used them for every household task you can imagine:

*Damp dusting.

*Cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces - scrub with soapy water, wipe up with microfibre cloths, job done in a jiffy with no harsh chemicals or toxic stink.

*Car cleaning and polishing - one to scrub, one to wipe, one to dry, one to polish.

*Hot-cloths for OCM (the 'oil cleansing method' to remove make-up and suncreen - look it up on Makeupalley or Google). So much more effective than flannels, as they have a very gentle exfoliating effect.

*Brushing fluff and dog hair off clothing and sofas.

*Soaking up spills. Kinder to the environment than kitchen roll, and much less skanky than mops.

We boilwash in the machine after each use, and whilst there has been shrinkage, the reduced size is actually more useful than the original, slightly unwieldy, 40cm square.

The only task where the branded E-cloth product definitely has the edge is in polishing fine surfaces such as drinking glasses, windows, silver, and spectacles. The texture of this product is too loose to deliver an entirely smear-free finish. Otherwise, an excellent way to save some money whilst cleaning very efficiently.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2014 10:46 PM GMT


Glove and Cake Heat Proof Oven Mitt by Stuart Gardiner
Glove and Cake Heat Proof Oven Mitt by Stuart Gardiner

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stupidly expensive and totally unfit for purpose. I'm delighted with it, 6 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This comes as a single glove.

If your one-handed hot casserole dish removal technique isn't quite what it should be, you'll need a pair. So you'll end up spending nearly £30 for oven gloves that you will not want to use because they're not sufficiently well padded, and nor are they neatly shaped.

But we have one of these, and one of the hairy-wristed male version, and we have them up on the wall. I love them. Art, innit. They make me laugh and laugh. They're made in Britain. They're so much more fun than a twee set of wooden letters saying 'EAT'. Get some.


Colop 04000 Date Stamp in Blister 12 years Imprint 26x4mm Ref 42004200
Colop 04000 Date Stamp in Blister 12 years Imprint 26x4mm Ref 42004200
Price: £4.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's tat but it does the job, 6 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You don't need an Amazon review to tell you that this is a date stamp. It helps you be more organised with your paperwork, especially if you've read Mary Anne Bennie's 'Paper Flow' first.

You dial the rings to change the date. The actual stamping material seems to be made of plastic rather than the more traditional rubber. This is a royal pain because it often smudges, especially if your correspondents - the show-offs - use 200gsm silk finish paper.

The date runs to 2023, although you will probably lose it long before then.

It's slightly messy to use, but not as messy as a ready-inked stamper. It's half the price. You don't need a more expensive one if you're trying to make a living in this economy.


Fellowes 00810-FF Bankers Box System Storage Box, Standard - Grey, Pack of 10
Fellowes 00810-FF Bankers Box System Storage Box, Standard - Grey, Pack of 10
Price: £24.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the premium price, but you'll need to tape up the lids, 11 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought these to manage the moving of books and office files. They coped admirably with the weight, and were the perfect size to carry easily. They don't come apart at the handles or the base, which is what invariably happens with cheaper brown cardboard versions, and we managed to stack them six high in storage with no compression at all.

Both lids and boxes come flat-packed and are quick and easy - if somewhat tedious - to fold together.

Equally important is the ease of dismantling and packing away for the next move, and again these coped well. The lids are the only exception, as their corner tabs tend to tear. A little bit of judicious sellotaping solves that problem, though it does mean they can't be folded completely flat again. To keep the unfolded cartons together and clean in storage after use, wrap some Clingfilm around them.

Oh, and another tip we learnt only when it was too late: archive boxes regularly appear on Freecycle!


Dymo S0722400 LabelWriter Large Address Labels, Self-Adhesive, 36 x 89 mm, 2 Rolls of 260 - Black Print on White
Dymo S0722400 LabelWriter Large Address Labels, Self-Adhesive, 36 x 89 mm, 2 Rolls of 260 - Black Print on White
Price: £11.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine product, fast delivery, much cheaper on Amazon, 11 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There's not much to say about these, other than the product is the real deal, not a cheaper generic imitation. Yet on Amazon it's priced the same as a generic retailer-brand product, especially if you buy the duo pack. Ridiculously overpriced overall, of course, given they're just sticky pieces of paper, but if you're as devoted as I am to the Dymo Labelwriter, you're a captive audience.

Do be aware that these labels yellow over time. Over the years, I've realised only Avery labels don't. However, Avery labels are in an altogether different league of overpriced, so I'm happy with this product, and will continue buying it from Amazon rather than that well-known high street stationer whose so-called "trade account" features an inflated RRP and "next day postage" which inevitably takes a week.


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