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Reviews Written by
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Nivea Sun Kids Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray Very High SPF 50+, 200ml
Nivea Sun Kids Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray Very High SPF 50+, 200ml
Price: £4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A very high factor sun spray for sensitive skin (and it's waterproof!)..., 23 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Nivea Sun Kids Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray (SPF 50+) is a very high factor sun tan lotion that’s designed mostly with kids in mind.

The lotion goes on well – not excessively thick like other very high factor lotions can be. Rubbing the lotion in its absorbed within about 20 seconds worth of light rubbing. Once applied the skin doesn’t feel particularly sticky or overly greasy. Its also fine for use with (most) sensitive skin. Our daughter has quite sensitive skin which can react to sun tan lotions etc – but she’s been absolutely fine with this one.

The lotion claims to be “extra water resistant” and to be fair it does seem to be. On holiday our kids had the lotion on all day every day, and even with them going in and out of the pool, it seemed to not be a problem.

All in all we’re very happy with the product.


[MFI] Yellowknife iphone mfi certified lightning cable charge cable for iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c / 6 / 6 Plus, iPod 7, iPad Mini / mini 2/ mini 3, iPad 4 / iPad Air / iPad Air 2 - YKMB(Gold)
[MFI] Yellowknife iphone mfi certified lightning cable charge cable for iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c / 6 / 6 Plus, iPod 7, iPad Mini / mini 2/ mini 3, iPad 4 / iPad Air / iPad Air 2 - YKMB(Gold)
Offered by Deyi UK
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good quality and good lengthed Lightning cable for use with your iPhone etc..., 22 July 2016
Length:: 1:14 Mins

The Yelllowknife iPhone Certified Charger Cable is a non-Apple branded Lightning cable that can be used with newer models of iPhones etc for charging and/or linking it to your PC/Laptop.

WHAT YOU GET:
Inside the usual Amazon cardboard packaging you get a thin resealable foil packet that contains the Yellowknife cable.

THE PRODUCT:
At 1m in length the cable is a good length which does make life just that little bit easier - reaching to plug sockets from a good metre away or having the length to be able to snake around other small appliances that are in the way. Furthermore, the quality of the cable seems to be absolutely top-notch, with the joining ends (where the cable meets the USB or 'lightening' connector bits) feeling tough, and very unlikely to get damaged when accidentally knocked or yanked.

IN USE:
In use the cable seems to work just as well as the Apple branded one that came with my iPhone 6. The connection / charge-time seems just as quick, and I haven't experienced a single problem with the connection at all.

SUMMARY:
All in all I've been incredibly impressed with the quality of the Yellowknife cable. It's very handy to have a couple of these types of cables around (I have one at home and one left in work). At 1m the length of the cable is also excellent, giving you the flexibility of a good reach. To be honest I can't really fault the Yellowknife cable at all!

DISCLAIMER:
The product was provided to me free of charge for a 100% unbiased review.


OUTXPRO 10 Mosquito Insect Repellent Bracelets - Family Pack - Without DEET Natural Pest Control Bug Repelling Wristbands Multi Colored Single Pack Super Effective 250 Hours Protection Each Band
OUTXPRO 10 Mosquito Insect Repellent Bracelets - Family Pack - Without DEET Natural Pest Control Bug Repelling Wristbands Multi Colored Single Pack Super Effective 250 Hours Protection Each Band
Offered by RDE Products
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Ten waterproof spiral mosquito repellent bracelets that actually work..., 22 July 2016
Length:: 1:30 Mins

The OUTXPRO Mosquito Repellent Bracelets (Pack of 10) are a set of different coloured spiral bracelets that have had a mosquito repellent applied to them.

WHAT YOU GET:
The OUTXPRO bracelets come in individual packs containing one spiral insect repellent bracelet in each sealed-up and resealable blister pack. Once opened the mosquito repellent lasts for approximately 10 days (i.e. 250 hours).

THE PRODUCT:
The mosquito repellent used on the bracelets is made from purely naturally ingredients. The packaging states the following ingredients are used to make the mosquito repellent:

14% Geraniol Oil
3% Citronella Oil
5% Lemongrass Oil
78% Other Ingredients

THE SCENT:
Obviously with the bracelets incorporating a mosquito repellent they give off a noticeable scent. This is a rather pleasant lemongrass type of scent which is initially quite strong, but over the course of the first day or so it gradually calms down.

THE EFFECTIVENESS:
Generally, if there’s any mosquito around, they’ll go straight for my wife. For some reason she’s like they’re favourite snack. As such, to test the effectiveness of the bracelets, she would be a great person to try them out on (to be honest she’s the reason why we ordered the bracelets in the first place).

On a walk through the nearby fields which are generally rife with mosquitos this time of year my wife noticed that there were absolutely none buzzing around her like there so often can be. Again, when we took the kids out to the woodland that’s not too far away, she again noticed that absolutely no bugs or flying insects came anywhere near her. Okay, so it’s not exactly the most scientific of experiments, but in comparison to the amount of bites she usually comes back complaining about I’d say it’s a rip-roaring success.

DISCLAIMER:
The product was provided to me free of charge for a 100% unbiased review.


OUTXPRO 10 Mosquito Bug Insect Repellent Leather Bracelets - Family Pack - DEET Free Wristbands Pest Control Repeller No Spray Best All Natural Plant Oils Repelling Product - 5 x 2 Color Packs
OUTXPRO 10 Mosquito Bug Insect Repellent Leather Bracelets - Family Pack - DEET Free Wristbands Pest Control Repeller No Spray Best All Natural Plant Oils Repelling Product - 5 x 2 Color Packs
Offered by RDE Products
Price: £29.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 twin packs of mosquito repellent bracelets that actually work..., 22 July 2016
Length:: 1:31 Mins

The OUTXPRO Mosquito Repellent Leather Bracelets (5 x twin packs) are a set of different colour leather style friendship bracelets that have had a mosquito repellent applied to them.

WHAT YOU GET:
The OUTXPRO bracelets come in twin packs containing two of the leather bracelets in each sealed up and resealable blister packs. Once opened the mosquito repellent lasts for approximately 15 days.

THE PRODUCT:
The mosquito repellent used on the bracelets is made from purely naturally ingredients. The packaging states the following ingredients are used to make the mosquito repellent:

14% Geraniol Oil
3% Citronella Oil
5% Lemongrass Oil
78% Other Ingredients

THE SCENT:
Obviously with the bracelets incorporating a mosquito repellent they give off a noticeable scent. This is a rather pleasant lemongrass type of scent which is initially quite strong, but over the course of the first day or so it gradually calms down.

THE EFFECTIVENESS:
Generally, if there’s any mosquito around, they’ll go straight for my wife. For some reason she’s like they’re favourite snack. As such, to test the effectiveness of the bracelets, she would be a great person to try them out on (to be honest she’s the reason why we ordered the bracelets in the first place).

On a walk through the nearby fields which are generally rife with mosquitos this time of year my wife noticed that there were absolutely none buzzing around her like there so often can be. Again, when we took the kids out to the woodland that’s not too far away, she again noticed that absolutely no bugs or flying insects came anywhere near her. Okay, so it’s not exactly the most scientific of experiments, but in comparison to the amount of bites she usually comes back complaining about I’d say it’s a rip-roaring success.

DISCLAIMER:
The product was provided to me free of charge for a 100% unbiased review.


OPI Chip Skip Manicure Prep Coat 15 ml
OPI Chip Skip Manicure Prep Coat 15 ml
Price: £14.50

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent long-lasting nail varnish primer for your nails to prevent them chipping..., 21 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:41 Mins

The OPI Chip Skip Manicure Prep Coat is a de-hydrator for the nails which preps the nail ready for applying nail varnish.

In essence what the ‘Chip Skip’ does is primes your nail surface and then helps the polish to adhere to the nail by removing the excess oils on the nail. Furthermore, the ‘Chip Skip’ also contains wheat protein and calcium which are supposedly absorbed into the nail to help strengthen it.

The chip skip comes in the usual OPI style of bottle, with an easy-to-grip lid and an appropriately small sized brush so that you don’t apply too much of the chip skip to the nail.

Application is just the same as if you were applying nail varnish. Simply apply the chip skip to clean dry nails before you apply your base coat of varnish.

The results are pretty darn impressive. Your nails certainly seem to retain nail varnish a heck of a lot better when initially primed with the chip skip. I can’t say that they feel any stronger or anything of that nature – but they definitely do seem a lot less prone to chipping.


Oral-B Smart Series 6500 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Two Handle Pack
Oral-B Smart Series 6500 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun - Two Handle Pack
Offered by HPCStore
Price: £121.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top-of-the-range electric toothbrush that performs to a very high standard..., 18 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Braun Oral-B SmartSeries 6500 Electric Toothbrush is a top-of-the range electric toothbrush that's designed to ensure that the user gets the full performance out of the device whilst providing a powerful brushing action to ensure that the user's teeth are cleaned to a very high standard.

To achieve this Oral-B have firstly designed an electric toothbrush that really works overtime to get the bristles cleaning off as much plaque and 'lodged in' food as possible.

To help ensure that the user gets the full use out of the toothbrush, a separate wireless monitor is included that times the use of the brush, separating the mouth into quarters with a recommended 30 seconds spent on each quarter. The monitor can also be set for a Deep Clean, Sensitive, Whitening or Massage, or indeed manually customised for specific user requirements.

The brush and monitor also inform the user when too much pressure is applied to the teeth, with a glowing red light illuminating the reverse side of the brush and a warning icon simultaneously appearing on the monitor screen. To be honest, this turned out to be a bit of a godsend for me, and has already resulted in me adjusting the pressure I apply to the toothbrush after just over one week of daily use.

The rechargeable battery life seems to be pretty impressive. The manual states that you can use the toothbrush for up to 10 days without recharging. I can't say that I have any idea if this claim is true or not, but it does seem to hold its charge very well.

As far as the product's actual performance goes, for the week or so that I've been using it, I have to say that I've found the toothbrush to achieve excellent results; really getting into those awkward nooks and crannies, between the teeth and around the gum line. After brushing I always floss between my teeth and since using this particular electric toothbrush I have already noticed a slight but nevertheless noticeable decline in the amount of 'substance' collected during flossing. I presume that this is because the 3-way brushing action of the toothbrush has managed to reach in between my teeth to a greater extent and removed an increased proportion of the plaque that was lodged there already.

The various gadgetry such as the Bluetooth functionality and the illuminating displays are all pretty swish (if you ask me) with the battery power indicator showing the user exactly how much juice is left in the toothbrush at any one given time. The toothbrush, although slightly larger than previous Braun Oral-B models, however it does still feel comfortable and its ergonomic design fits snuggly in the user's hand.

The electric toothbrush set also includes an extra handset (i.e. a whole extra toothbrush), a handy stand with a brush-head storage section as well as a hard plastic travel case for the toothbrush.

All in all it's a pretty impressive electric toothbrush with plenty of nifty gadgetry going on to ensure a darn good clean. It's unmistakably top-of-the-range and has a price tag to show it. All that's left to decide is whether or not all this extra fancy pancy malarkey is really worth it?


Rapesco 835 2-Hole Metal Punch, 40 sheet Capacity - Black
Rapesco 835 2-Hole Metal Punch, 40 sheet Capacity - Black
Price: £9.05

4.0 out of 5 stars A well-built and heavy duty hole punch that's clearly designed to last for many years worth of use..., 17 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:56 Mins

The Rapesco 835 Hole Punch is a hard-working and well-made metal hole punch for use at home or in an office etc.

When the hole punch arrives, the first thing you notice about it is its weight and study ‘heavy duty’ build. This is a solid metal hole punch which is designed to last for many, many years’ worth of use.

The key features on the hole punch are as follows:

HANDLE LOCK-DOWN SWITCH:
On the very front of handle you’ll notice that there’s a small sliding switch. This allows you to push the handle down and then lock it into place for easy storage.

SLIDING PAPER GUIDE:
On the bottom left-hand-side of the hole punch there’s a small plastic paper measuring guide that can be pulled out so that you can measure perfectly where the holes need to be on a number of standard-sized sheets of paper (A4, B5, A5, B6 and 888 – which is to assist with punching four holes into A4 paper).

The paper guide clicks out at all of the different sizes apart from A4 (the most commonly used) which you have to line-up yourself (i.e. it doesn’t ‘click’ into place for this particular size).

FLIP-DOWN CONFETTI TRAY:
This is quite a nice little feature. Rather than the usual ‘slide tray’ or ‘bottom compartment opening’ style of confetti tray, this model has a smaller flip-down opening which means it’s easier to empty out the confetti bits without making a mess.

SUMMARY:
All in all I’m very pleased with the hole punch. It’s heavy duty and clearly designed to last for many years of regular use. The only slight negative point is that the Paper Guide doesn’t ‘click’ into place on the A4 setting like it does with all the other settings. But this is just one very small niggle.


The Hatching
The Hatching
by Ezekiel Boone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense creepy-crawly horror taken to near-apocalyptic proportions..., 9 July 2016
This review is from: The Hatching (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First published in July of 2016, US author Ezekiel Boone’s debut novel ‘The Hatching’ (2016) offered up an intense arachnid horror threat taken to near-apocalyptic proportions.

DLS Synopsis:
In the jungles of Peru, billionaire Bill Henderson of Henderson Tech - along with his guide, bodyguard and model girlfriends – are taking a short break from their tourist trek through the jungle when a stream of skittering black shapes pour out around them. Within seconds the black mass has overwhelmed the entire party - other than Henderson who manages to get away with nothing but one small nick to his flesh.

At the National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering in Kanpur, India, Dr Basu noticed that they’d been receiving some strange seismic recordings. It appeared that something was shaking New Delhi with a worrying consistency that was puzzling the lab researchers. Whatever it was, it wasn’t an earthquake. And it was getting bigger.

All of a sudden, reports comes in that a nuclear exposition has taken place in a desolate region of China. The Chinese government instantly declare it to be one of their own nuclear bombs that was accidentally detonated on their soil. Nevertheless, the US President - forty-two-year-old Stephanie Pilgrim together with the rest of the US government - are put on high alert.

Meanwhile, whilst performing an archaeological dig around the vast image of the spider at the Nazca Line’s in Peru, the archaeologists unearth an ancient wooden box containing what appears to be a spider’s egg sac. Based on the box and its location – the archaeologists date the egg sac to be around ten thousand years old.

The egg sac is sent to world-class researcher – Professor Melanie Guyer and her student team at the American University in Washington DC for analysis. When it arrives the sac is placed under recorded observation. However its temperature is steadily increasing by the hour. And then all of a sudden it explodes – a mass of ferocious black spiders pouring out in all directions within the secure insectarium.

Professor Guyer has never seen anything like these spiders. Putting aside the question of how the egg sac was able to hatch after some ten thousand years – Guyer is equally perplexed by the mass of arachnoids before her. The spiders that emerged are far more aggressive than any other species she has ever seen. They’re vicious and unrelenting in their hunger. And they’re able to devour the live lab rats placed in their tank within a matter of seconds.

And then a private plane crashes in Minneapolis. Upon arriving at the scene, Agent Mike Rich witnesses one of the ferocious black spiders clambering out of the face of the dead billionaire Bill Henderson.

Something very worrying is taking place around the world. Something that had lain dormant for ten thousand years. And whatever the hell it is, it spooked the Chinese enough to drop a thirty-megaton nuke on their own soil…

DLS Review:
The publishers are calling this “the most terrifying thriller you’ll read this year”. Fair do’s – the novel’s one hell of a nail-biting and downright unnerving read. But let’s call a spade a spade here. This is a horror novel. In fact – it’s not a million miles away from all those wonderfully over-the-top pulp horrors from the 70’s and 80’s – only here we have the arachnoid threat on a worldwide / near apocalyptic scale.

Indeed what instantly stands out in the novel is the scale of the evolving epidemic. Author Ezekiel Boone has interwoven a multitude of different perspectives from across all corners of the globe – gradually bringing them together to form a greater picture of the snowballing events that start unravelling from the very first page.

At first the sheer volume of different characters and different threads to the story seems somewhat daunting. But gradually, chapter-by-chapter, their stories converge into one truly terrifying picture. And it’s when these pieces start falling in place that Boone really starts cranking up the treat level.

Indeed, the spider threat that Boone has created is nothing short of chilling. If you’re arachnophobic then you’re going to struggle like hell with this novel. Most people will agree that there’s something inherently creepy about spiders. It’s possibly due to their eight legs, the way they skitter about the place with surprising and unpredictable speed. They often hide in dark, dank places and seem to creep out with their many eyes always watching.

However what Boone’s done is take these skin-crawling arachnids and made them into something that’s pretty much plucked out of one hellstorm of a nightmare. The spiders appear to work in a eusocial way – like ants do – working as a single-minded colony. They’re like a plague – incredibly ferocious and able to overwhelm and devour their prey in seconds.

However there’s so much more to this skin-crawling threat than just spiders chomping at your ankles. These carnivorous spiders have other, even more terrifying traits. Indeed, just when you think you’ve got the book sussed – Boone throws in a handful of even more blood-chilling curve balls which even now bring about involuntary shudders in me at the mere thought of them. I’m not going to ruin any of these delightful little arachnoid’s talents for you here – but trust me – this novel just doesn’t stop dishing out the horror until the very last page is turned.

One aspect of the novel that Boone has kept an impressively tight rein on is with zeroing in on the horrific action as it happens, then backing off in the next chapter to see how the whole epidemic is unfolding on a more global basis. In this way ‘The Hatching’ feels somewhat akin to Max Brooks’ zombie epidemic novel ‘World War Z’ (2006). It’s constructed from many different jigsaw pieces - all from different character perspectives - which when brought together make for one unbelievably terrifying and global picture.

Furthermore each perspective is told through the eyes of a key character – whether it’s Agent Mike Rich, US President Stephanie Pilgrim, Professor Melanie Guyer, survivalist prepper Gordon Lightfoot, or on-the-ground military officer Lance Corporal Kim Bock. And with each and every one of these characters we’re given a personal, well-fleshed-out back story, along with carefully crafted character arcs and believable ‘human’ stories. Even with the US President the character is fleshed-out to feel like a real human, rather than just a name and position of supreme authority.

There are so many aspects to the novel that make it such a rip-roaring, blood-chilling success. The characterisation is absolutely spot on. With so many different perspectives within this magnificently roving storyline it would have been easy to just let some characters simply tell their side of the story and leave it at that. But Boone’s not taken his eye off the ball for one second – giving them all their own voice and letting the characters play out their roles in a wonderfully convincing way.

Admittedly what was a bit of a shock – and ultimately a bit of a disappointment if I’m 100% honest – is with the book’s open-ended conclusion. The way the novel finishes in the midst of all the unravelling horror obviously suggests a follow-on novel. It’s certainly got plenty of potential for this. But it would have been a far more satisfying to have had the book conclude with some degree of initial wrapping up – even if it was to keep its options open for a sequel.

However with the open-ended conclusion put to the side, the rest of the novel is nothing short of a masterclass in escalating terror that’s designed to mess with your inherent and core fears. It’s brutal, methodical, mesmerising and the work of true nightmares. There’s absolutely no way I’m going near a large black spider ever again!

The novel runs for a total of303 pages.


Nivea Sun In-Shower After Sun Refresh Refreshing Soothing Lotion, 250ml
Nivea Sun In-Shower After Sun Refresh Refreshing Soothing Lotion, 250ml
Price: £4.54

5.0 out of 5 stars An after sun lotion you apply whilst in the shower - and it actually works!!!, 9 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Nivea Sun In-Shower After Sun Lotion is a refreshing and soothing lotion for applying to your skin after exposure to the sun.

The lotion is designed to be applied whilst you’re in the shower – being absorbed in the skin whilst your skin is wet. To be honest I was somewhat apprehensive about how well this would work in practice but fair do’s – it does actually seem to be absorbed well and is definitely very refreshing on partially sunburnt skin.

After showering my skin did feel softer and more refreshed with less irritable burning. From initially doubting the effectiveness of an in-shower after sun lotion I’m now a converted man.

A well-deserved five stars from me.


Star Wars Workbooks: Reading Skills - Ages 6-7
Star Wars Workbooks: Reading Skills - Ages 6-7
by Scholastic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good outside-of-school workbook that actually manages to make learning fun..., 9 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 1:53 Mins

The Star Wars Reading Skills Learning Workbook is a Schooltastic publication designed to encourage children to have fun whilst learning. This particular book is aimed at children between 6 and 7 years old at ‘Key Stage 1’ of the UK National Curriculum. In fact, as stated on the back of the cover, the book is specifically designed to support the learning of the National Curriculum. Schooltastic have brought out a whole range of different books aimed at supporting children’s learning whilst keeping it fun. Most have a popular theme interwoven – such as Marvel Superheroes or Disney characters. This book uses the popular Star Wars franchise.

In this particular book helps your child practice and build upon their reading and writing skills.

In this book most of the sections consist of having fun with reading stories, practicing reading tricky words, checking vocabulary, learning about storytelling and then writing all of these areas. All of the assignments are done in a fun way, making it a thoroughly enjoyable learning activity for your child to embrace.

My 6 year old son really enjoys working through this book. He’s already worked through the first fifteen or so pages and really enjoyed doing each one. He’s needed a very small amount of parental assistance to go over the instructions at the beginning of each page – but after that he’s always been more than happy just to get on with each section on his own.


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