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Reviews Written by
S Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Heathcote & Ivory Blush Rose Hand Wash 300 ml
Heathcote & Ivory Blush Rose Hand Wash 300 ml
Price: £4.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Blush rose, but not lush rose (or something), 30 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This hand wash seems to fall somewhere between an ordinary everyday liquid soap, and really plush stuff on the Crabtree & Evelyn level.

It’s surprisingly thick, gloopy stuff. You don’t need a lot of it on your hands in one go, so 300ml should last quite a long time. It lathers up into a rich, almost opaque white foam that’s not especially bubbly and which takes some proper scrubbing, rather than just half-hearted waving of your hands under the tap, to take it off again.

The scent is a straightforward rose smell, very familiar from other soaps and cosmetics, neither too glorious nor too chemical. I wouldn’t say that the smell was particularly long-lasting once you’ve washed the lather off though- it does linger for a while but only to the extent that if you sniff your hands very close to your face you can still just about detect it, nobody else is going to think you’re wearing rose perfume if you’ve been using this.

A straightforward hand wash, surprisingly thick, but falling between two stools for me- not plush and luxurious enough (either the product or the packaging) to be really ‘premium’, but not quite convenient enough and frankly not cheap enough to be your everyday soap.


Pictek Fast Wireless Charger, Qi Wireless Charging Pad With Ultra Slim Anti Slip Rubber For Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6 ,S6 Edge, Edge Plus ,Note 5 4
Pictek Fast Wireless Charger, Qi Wireless Charging Pad With Ultra Slim Anti Slip Rubber For Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6 ,S6 Edge, Edge Plus ,Note 5 4
Offered by YongTop
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully simple, 30 Jun. 2016
I really like the minimal design of this charging pad. It’s a simple, thin, matt black circle with no frills, no brand logos, no ornamentation, just a basic circular pad that looks a lot like a placemat you could put a mug of tea on. (It’ll also work as a placemat as well, if you’re willing to take the risk!)

And it simply works too. So long as your phone is placed with the QI area reasonably well within the circle, charging starts, and continues- no frills, no fuss, and so far for me no unexpected dropouts or issues. There are no garish bright blue LED lights telling you it’s charging, or anything like that. I suppose some people might like some sort of charging indicator, but personally I’d be happy to trust the light in the corner of my phone to tell me the situation.

I received a sample of this product in return for an honest review, and while it’s not necessarily an exciting-looking gadget, I can’t commend it highly enough for the sheer simplicity of it. If only more other manufacturers were as happy to leave brand logos off their products for the sake of a much better overall look.


Zoweetek® ZW-PPT01 PowerPoint Clicker RF 2.4GHz Air Mouse PPT Remote Control Range 15 Meters with Red Laser Pointer
Zoweetek® ZW-PPT01 PowerPoint Clicker RF 2.4GHz Air Mouse PPT Remote Control Range 15 Meters with Red Laser Pointer
Offered by Zoweetek.,Ltd
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a laser pointer, far too inaccurate as a mouse, 30 Jun. 2016
As a laser pointer and a clicker, I’d give this little thing 4 or 5 stars. However as an air mouse, I’d give it 2 or 3 stars.

The 6-axis gyroscope is just not very responsive. If you’re expecting a tilting response a little bit like what you get when you play pinball-type games on your smartphone, this will be a let-down. Extremely subtle movements are often ignored, meaning that you then instinctively make larger gestures in order for them to be registered, and then you end up overshooting the mark. If you’ve got a room full of people watching you, you’ll look quite inept as you struggle to get the mouse pointer onto the button or cell you’re actually aiming for. It won’t be long before you’re wishing you had a wireless normal mouse that you could just use on a mouse mat.

Other aspects of the pointer are absolutely fine. The laser pointer is pretty good- it shines a strong, bright red light that is sharp and clear even over long distances and in daylight. So luckily you can turn the gyroscope option off using the appropriate button, and just use it as a pointer and a clicker rather than a fully-featured mouse (if you see what I mean- I’m aware that on one level that sounds daft.)

It runs off two AAA batteries, and while the batteries are supplied which is a plus, AAA batteries does seem a little bit last-century. In 2016 it really does feel like the battery pack should have been replaced with a small lithium-ion battery and a micro-USB charging socket.

I received a sample of this product in return for an honest review. If your presentations are mostly just based on clicking to go to the next slide, then this will do the job. If however you want to do a presentation that involves a lot of specific, accurate mouse-clicking, this simply isn’t accurate enough and it doesn’t rival using a normal wireless mouse.


Ubbi Tweat Snack Pot - Green
Ubbi Tweat Snack Pot - Green
Price: £9.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Neat sturdy design, but tricky for some little fingers, 29 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When our firstborn was tiny, another mum recommended a Nuby bendy-lidded snack pot, not too dissimilar to this, as “the best baby thing she’d bought” (her child then being a toddler). We bought one, but we never quite got the hang of it- the juice of fruits dripped out, and when reaching for bits of cereal or biscuit, our child’s hand would get stuck a bit. It didn’t make a massive difference when it came to preventing the back of the car from getting covered in crumbs, but at least it stopped the whole contents of the pot from dropping onto the car seat in one go, so it was better than nothing.

This Ubbi tweat snack pot is much the same experience. Our eldest is past that stage now, but our youngest is having the same kind of problems with this one as our eldest had with the Nuby. However there are some advantages. For example the flexible lid can be removed fully, leaving just a flip lid.

If it’s just for snacks on the sofa or around the house, or on a picnic (i.e. when adult hands are available) then this will help prevent the worst of the possible food accidents, but inexperienced little hands will still need assistance if they want to try using it self-service.

This is sturdy- it will definitely withstand some drops onto tiled floors. The rubberised base is also a good idea, meaning that it doesn’t slide across the table, or roll and fall if it gets bumped.

On top of that, the wobbly base and penguin design is good fun, but ultimately it has its limitations as a way for your toddler to feed themselves.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes - Pack of 18 (Total 1008 Wipes)
Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes - Pack of 18 (Total 1008 Wipes)
Price: £16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Thick, reliable, high quality, 29 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are good wipes- strong, and decent quality, as you’d expect from a well-known brand like Pampers. They’re quite quick, which is reassuring to use, though it does mean that a pack of 56 is quite chunky and heavier to carry around than some other packs.

They’re fragranced, which personally I don’t actually like, as if you’re using them for nappy changes as well as pre/post-snack face and hand washes, then the smell becomes associated with nappy changes and then pre-food hand-cleaning somehow seems less sanitary… a strange psychological effect I know, but there you go, personally I prefer unscented wipes. The scent isn’t overpowering or too chemically though.

It’s gentle on the skin- we’ve used them many times before and our two little ones have both been fine with them, and they’ve been perfectly gentle even when they’ve had sore bums due to teething etc.

A thousand wipes may seem excessive, but I’ve found that I end up using two or three wipes at a time anyway- firstly for the big mess, then further wipes for the smears, then another wipe to polish things off, and so on… so a thousand wipes isn’t actually a lifetime’s supply, even though it might feel like it when the massive box arrives!

These wipes are hugely useful, but at home we’ve found that washable, half-towelling half-fleecy cloths are brilliant, and also washable quartered yellow dish cloths make great reusable hand and face wipes. So we only use ‘proper’ baby wipes when we’re out and about, and when out and about, these are indispensible.


Essential oil Diffuser,Menry 400ml Cool Mist Aromatherapy Diffusers Electric Ultrasonic Humidifier with LED Clock and LED Night Lights,4 Timer Settings for Home,Yoga,Office,Spa,Bedroom,Baby Room
Essential oil Diffuser,Menry 400ml Cool Mist Aromatherapy Diffusers Electric Ultrasonic Humidifier with LED Clock and LED Night Lights,4 Timer Settings for Home,Yoga,Office,Spa,Bedroom,Baby Room

2.0 out of 5 stars Bulky, ugly diffuser with both major and minor problems, 29 Jun. 2016
This is a bulky, heavy-duty diffuser. In other diffusers I’ve seen, the mist outlet is a small hole and the mist is propelled upwards like a mini geyser- with this one, the mist outlet is a wide slot and mist pours out of it at quite a rate. It has a large water capacity and a substantial footprint. If you’re looking for a small or subtle diffuser, this is not it. If you’re looking for a diffuser that will pump out scented mist at quite a rate, perhaps to mask toilet smells or something like that, this might be a good choice.

My main concern with the package that arrived was the power supply. I’ve tried other diffusers before and they have shipped with proper UK 3-pin plug adaptors; this one, however, comes with a 2-pin plug and a 3-pin travel adaptor, the problem with which is, when it’s plugged in, the earth socket at the top is left completely and utterly exposed. That’s a major safety concern for me, and the primary reason why I’m only giving 2 stars. If it shipped with a proper UK plug, this would probably be a 4-star review.

I was able to find an adaptor from a different device and borrow it in order to review this item. The LED light has two modes, ‘high’ and ‘low’, and the ‘low’ mode is very flickery, so much so that it’s unpleasant. It’s possible this is because I’m using a different power supply to the one supplied, but either way, it’s not pretty. I don’t rate the LED element particularly highly- it’s a relatively mild diffused creamy-white light but I wouldn’t call it pretty.

The clock is a neat idea, but it’s not perfect either. Depending on the position of the diffuser, light can spill from the squares which are supposed to be illuminated onto the squares that aren’t, meaning that it can be quite difficult to read what time the clock is saying, especially at an acute viewing angle. Also it’s very primitive as a clock- no alarm, no date, no ability to get the diffuser to turn on at a specific time (which potentially could’ve been quite handy), and so on. So unfortunately the clock doesn’t have enough merit on its own.

I also have slight issues with the manual. The problem isn’t that it’s in auto-translated Chinglish (example: “press the ontology of time push button switch, LED clock can be set time”), the problem is that some elements- such as how to set the diffuser to switch off automatically after 30 minutes- are simply not included in the manual at all.

I was sent a sample of it in return for an honest review, but if I’d paid for it, it would’ve gone straight back to the seller for a refund because of the power supply issue. If it had shipped with a proper power supply, I’d be giving 4 stars and recommending it more for people who need their air scented on an industrial scale rather than in a subtle, gentle, homely way.


18 x HEGS - The Space Saving Clothes Peg with a hook - UV and Shatter Proof
18 x HEGS - The Space Saving Clothes Peg with a hook - UV and Shatter Proof
Offered by InternetukShop
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, handy, all good, 29 Jun. 2016
These are a pretty neat idea, all round. They’re made from one piece of plastic, plus a metal strip for a spring, so you don’t have any halves pinging off when they’re misaligned, and over time I think they should be more durable than the old-fashioned peg design.

The side clips for bras etc. is a great idea, and works well. They’re strong enough to hold a pair of jeans as well, so they are not the poor relation and aren’t solely useful for lightweight items. They’re smooth and rounded to the touch, making them pleasant to handle, and meaning that your fingertips don’t feel sore after putting a large load of washing up.

We have a young baby with massive amounts of teeny tiny clothes that often need washing, and these pegs are great for that as it means that baby socks and trainer socks, net wash bags and other small bits can be hung up with larger items on the same peg. So although these pegs are a little bit bigger than what I’d think of as standard size, they are really two pegs in one.

I received a sample of these pegs at a discount in return for an honest review. Whilst they haven’t been heavily tested in high winds yet- we live near the top of a hill so the washing line can sometimes get hit by some force- generally they fill me with confidence that they’re good quality, handy, easy-to-use, two-in-one pegs.


Glovion Eco Solar Powered Auto Spinning Rotary World Globes Self Rotating Globe Model (14CM Dark Blue)
Glovion Eco Solar Powered Auto Spinning Rotary World Globes Self Rotating Globe Model (14CM Dark Blue)
Offered by Novostore
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Quite neat, but too noisy, 28 Jun. 2016
This is a globe that’s interesting to peruse. Unlike one Chinglish globe I once saw, I haven’t (yet) spotted any mis-spelled countries or invisible countries, it looks pretty accurate. It does say “United Kingdom” on it though, which given the current political climate, might mean that this globe becomes out-of-date rather too fast.

The major problem for me is the fact it’s not silent. It’s not even nearly silent. When it’s running, there’s a near-constant mechanical scratching sound, which is genuinely irritating. I was expecting a slower, smoother motion, but the globe actually rotates rather fast (too fast to dwell on)- and much too loudly. The problem is in the base- even when you lift the globe off the base, the solar-powered base continues to squeak and grind its way around in a way that makes me wish I could oil it.

Another gripe for me is the massive gap around the equator. There’s no real reason for it to be there and it spoils the visual effect of the globe, making it look more like some kind of blue-and-green Deathstar. If it wasn’t for that massive equatorial divide, it would’ve looked fairly pretty.

I received a sample of this globe in return for an honest review. The way in which the globe was packaged, in a plain white cardboard box with masking tape holding together the two parts of the globe, made it look like it was second hand even when I first took it out of the box, so if you’re thinking of giving it to somebody as a gift, you might want to plan ahead and think about putting it in a different box before you hand it over.

It would’ve been nice if there were some way to temporarily turn it off. Obviously you don’t need to save battery power- it doesn’t need any batteries (though weirdly there’s a battery-like compartment underneath, which just exposes the inner electronics for no apparent reason)- it would’ve been good if I could’ve stopped the rotation, for example in order to talk to my children about which countries were which, that kind of thing.

So my 3 star rating is mainly because of the noisiness of the mechanism, but as I’ve mentioned above I do have a bunch of other niggles with it.


Post-it 630-6PK 76mm x 76mm Ruled Notes Pad - Canary Yellow (Pack of 6, 100 Sheets Per Pad)
Post-it 630-6PK 76mm x 76mm Ruled Notes Pad - Canary Yellow (Pack of 6, 100 Sheets Per Pad)
Price: £11.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Post-Its are great but do you really need the lines?, 28 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
3M’s registered trademark Post-Its are the original and best. There are some pretty decent equivalent makes out there that are more or less as effective, but there’s something about the canary yellow colour of these that somehow feels ‘premium’ whilst getting pale yellow “sticky notes” from a different manufacturer somehow feels cheapskate by comparison.

The only problem with these ones is that they’re ruled- and frankly I just don’t see the point of that. Post-It notes are so small anyway, how difficult is it to just write in lines? On a plain Post-It note you can have as many lines as you like. I write quite small, and can easily fit 12 lines onto one note. Here, eight blue lines limits me to eight items, excessively spaced out. The lines are, quite frankly, in the way.

If they were very feint-rule lines that you could easily just ignore and write over, then that would be fair enough, but they’re not. They’re thick, prominent blue lines. You can still write over them if necessary, but the clarity is definitely impaired.

One debatable advantage of these Post-Its is that they look a bit more like index cards- so there might be a case to be said for them looking a touch more professional and organised when they’re all over your desk, compared to having plain Post-Its all over your desk. That would probably have been more true in the Filofax era than now though.

If you’ve get very large handwriting and have a real problem with writing in a straight line, and that’s important to you, then you might want to use your company’s stationery budget to invest in these Post-Its-with-stabilisers-on, but I’m afraid that for me, these are less useful than plain Post-Its.


Brabantia Sort & Go Built-in Bin, Plastic, Grey/Mint, 16 Litre, Pack of 2
Brabantia Sort & Go Built-in Bin, Plastic, Grey/Mint, 16 Litre, Pack of 2
Offered by Ferretería Ortiz
Price: £50.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch, 28 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As you’d expect from Brabantia, this is a really nice pair of bins. The build quality is great, everything slots together comfortably together and they have ‘quality’ stamped all over them. The way in which they slide neatly off the door fixings when you want to empty them out is a simple but really practical bit of good design.

They’re such nice-looking bins that if you didn’t want to mount them inside your kitchen cupboard, you could use them as standalone mini bins and they wouldn’t look out of place.

For a cupboard bin, they’re quite large, larger than I expected certainly. Unless you know you’ve got a generously proportioned kitchen, you should definitely check some measurements first.

The handles are handy, and fold away easily. The lids don’t lift up automatically when you open the door, but they are fixed to a top border, so the bin bag can be fixed down and the lid won’t drop when the first heavy piece of rubbish is dropped in- it’s really helpful, and looks very tidy too.

I can’t fault these, they’re about as plush as a couple of bins could get!


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