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Reviews Written by
Roman Clodia (London)
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A Book for Her
A Book for Her
Price: £6.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Christie's a brilliant comedian - but better on stage than on the page, 3 July 2015
This review is from: A Book for Her (Kindle Edition)
Look, I love Bridget Christie; I loved her brilliantly astringent 'A Bic For Her' show; I agree with everything she's got to say about feminism, about comedy, about gender politics - I just found this book a bit of a struggle.

Firstly, it's not quite sure what kind of a book it is: is it a biography of a comedian's working life? A politicised personal feminist tract? A record of how life in the real world gets transformed into comedy material? Well, it's all of this and feels jumbled: one minute we're rehearsing (again) the statistics on FGM (female genital mutilation), the next we're with Christie on the comedy circuit when a man gets his willy out (accidentally? no-one's sure). Christie herself seems to question what her book is, and is self-conscious of its positioning against Caitlin Moran, for example.

There are some brilliantly funny moments as Christie is sharp and committed and has a nice turn in acidic humour ('Jay Z, Beyoncé's husband, has also been hailed as a feminist. This is because he dropped the word 'bitch' from his stage songs after his daughter was born. So that's nice.') Her 'set' on the anti-rape pants is hysterical (in all its meanings), and she points up all the absurdities of sexism (and racism and all the other isms) with some freshness.

The problem, though, is that this kind of book is pretty much preaching to the converted and while we can laugh at many of her observations (on why surely feminism is over: 'women can vote and vajazzle and vomit at weekends now, can't they?') there's also something a bit depressing that all this *still* needs to be said.

I suspect that a lot of this material would work really well in stand-up to a direct and invested audience - I'm just not sure that it translates into a book.

So I'm sorry to offer an on-the-fence review when I share Christie's own convictions and sense of humour: if you get the chance, go and see her, she's far, far better on stage than on the page.

(I received a review copy via Netgalley)


The Girls
The Girls
Price: £6.02

5.0 out of 5 stars The secret lives of adolescent girls, 3 July 2015
This review is from: The Girls (Kindle Edition)
I've never read Lisa Jewell before and was half expecting something formulaic and a bit chick-lit meets domestic thriller - but I'm glad to say I was completely wrong. This is a mature and well thought out book that is built on excellent and subtle characterisation, an astute understanding of personal and teenage dynamics, and the ability to unsettle without being melodramatic or lurid.

The story opens with a 13 year old girl being found attacked in the supposedly safe space of a communal garden in Hampstead, and the two main sections of the book are 'before' that event and then 'after'. It's not so much the plotting, though, that makes the book - tight as that is - but the way in which the lives of the various families who live around this green space is scrutinised. From 'new age', alternative Adele to out-of-her-depth Clare we come to know these women intimately, and share in their anxieties, suspicions and tensions.

Jewell also captures beautifully the edgy, dangerous phase in girls' lives when they are 12-13: no longer children but certainly not adults however grown-up they might consider themselves, and some of the most potent moments are when we are taken into the secret lives of these adolescent girls.

Overall, then, a brilliantly gripping read with a satisfying ending.

(Thanks to Random House for a review copy via Netgalley)


Nanshy MARVEL 4 in 1 Mint Green Beauty Blender Makeup Blending Sponge
Nanshy MARVEL 4 in 1 Mint Green Beauty Blender Makeup Blending Sponge
Offered by BeautyStore4U
Price: £5.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft, blends well, nicely shaped to fit your face, 3 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice make-up sponge/blender that feels robust enough not to fall apart after a few washes as cheaper product do. It's very soft so blends well, and the shape has been thoughtfully designed to offer various surfaces to get into the angles of your face.

It's worth noting that this swells a lot when you dampen it so you need to squeeze out the water well before using it - but its ability to hold water is also what makes it so effective especially if you like an unmade-up look.

A nice product that does what it claims.


Cetaphil 236 ml Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil 236 ml Gentle Skin Cleanser
Price: £7.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well as a hand-wash and foot soak, 3 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't have clinically dry skin but do find that my hands suffer from hand-washing during the day. Using this to replace my usual hand wash has definitely made a difference leaving my hands less tight even without handcream. This also works well as a foot soak as part of a pedicure (a drop of essential oil in the water glams it up) - and the moisturiser from the same range is a brilliant foot cream, both of them leaving heels and soles soft and smooth.

So this works fine on my body but I have to admit that the clinical bottle and unglamorous product look and feel very utilitarian and I prefer something a little more luxe for my face.


Dream Dots Overnight Acne Patch for Spots - Pack of 24
Dream Dots Overnight Acne Patch for Spots - Pack of 24
Offered by Dream Dots
Price: £11.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overnight treatment to get rid of occasional spots, 3 July 2015
I don't have acne but, like everyone, get the occasional spot. This product worked well to subdue an incipient blemish before it had the chance to get worse - after one night all the redness had gone and by the second the spot had disappeared.

I've tried a similar cheaper product before but the patches didn't stick and would drop off overnight - not the case with these. In fact, the patch is so tight to the skin that it took a few seconds to peel it off in the morning.

As the product name makes clear, these are overnight patches and are not suitable for day use as they're little transparent dots that are certainly not invisible on the skin.

Everyone's skin reacts differently to products: this worked brilliantly and effortlessly for me to nip a spot in the bud - a bathroom essential.

(I received a free product sample for an honest review)


SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel 30ml - Beautiful and Vibrant Skin + Pineapple and Papaya Enzymes + Peptides + Glycolic Acid And Lactic Acid + Vitamin C - Professional Grade Peeling Gel
SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel 30ml - Beautiful and Vibrant Skin + Pineapple and Papaya Enzymes + Peptides + Glycolic Acid And Lactic Acid + Vitamin C - Professional Grade Peeling Gel
Offered by 123Hairandbeauty
Price: £44.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A luxurious and effective peel, 2 July 2015
This is a fabulous use-at-home peel that makes my skin look like it's had a professional facial.

If you're used to using an exfoliator or microdermabrasion then this feels a little odd at first: it's a gel and though you rub it over just-damp skin there's no grainy texture or anything to tell you that it's working. Leave it a minute or two and then rinse off and you can see the difference immediately: skin is left soft, radiant, smooth and with invisible pores.

This is expensive but you only use a drop or two to do your face so it will last for ages. I have a couple of sun spots that have just appeared at the top of my cheekbones and am hoping that this will fade them over time.

(I received a free sample for an honest review)


OZ Naturals - The BEST Body Butter - This Natural and Organic Body Moisturizer Contains Sweet Almond & Macadamia Nut - A Rich & Luxurious Skin Moisturizer Will Provide Your Body With That Healthy Vibrant Glow!
OZ Naturals - The BEST Body Butter - This Natural and Organic Body Moisturizer Contains Sweet Almond & Macadamia Nut - A Rich & Luxurious Skin Moisturizer Will Provide Your Body With That Healthy Vibrant Glow!
Offered by OZ Naturals EU
Price: £18.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A rich body butter for silky smooth skin, 2 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a lovely rich body butter which comes in a huge 8 fl.oz/237 ml tube. It is 60% organic and contains lots of delicious sounding ingredients (jojoba, avocado, shea butter, sweet almond and macadamia nut oil) and certainly leaves skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated. I was a tad disappointed that with so many luscious ingredients packed into this tube the cream itself has no smell: I wanted it to have a luxurious, exotic fragrance!

That aside, this performs well and leaves my skin feeling conditioned and slightly sheeny, especially after epilating. Another great product from OZ Naturals who can always be relied upon to deliver.

(I received a free sample it return for an honest review)


TECEVO S220 Bluetooth Mini Sound Bar Speaker Compact Portable Mutimedia Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Speaker HiFi Powerful Crystal Sound With Balacne Audio Deep Bass Surround Sound AUX Connection For Outdoor Sports Play , Wireless Music Streaming
TECEVO S220 Bluetooth Mini Sound Bar Speaker Compact Portable Mutimedia Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Speaker HiFi Powerful Crystal Sound With Balacne Audio Deep Bass Surround Sound AUX Connection For Outdoor Sports Play , Wireless Music Streaming
Offered by DigiDirect
Price: £39.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek, chic and excellent sound for a portable speaker, 2 July 2015
I've tried various portable Bluetooth speakers and think this is the chicest and the best for clarity and richness of sound, both excellent at this price point (currently twenty pounds).

The speaker looks lovely, sleek and black with a simple multi-function controller on the side - and I love the retro way you turn this to adjust the volume.

Soundwise this is very good at the price - I've tried it with various genres and it stands up well with no hissiness even to classical and opera (as long as you expect it to perform as a portable mini speaker), and is also excellent for audiobooks.

Bluetooth pairs instantly and there's an NFC chip on the top. This also has a micro SD slot (good for outside use) and a cable to connect non-Bluetooth devices.

Altogether this is an excellent mini sound-bar speaker - it looks sleek on a desk and is perfect for a bedside table.

(I received a free product in return for an honest review)


ChoiceMMed Auto Digital Upper Arm Type Blood Pressure Monitor with Color Code Indicator
ChoiceMMed Auto Digital Upper Arm Type Blood Pressure Monitor with Color Code Indicator
Offered by Choice Electronic
Price: £23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to set up, works well, 2 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My parents find this quick and easy to use and far better than their old blood pressure monitor. The display is large, and the device stores counts in the memory, giving an average based on the last three readings as well as the individual current reading. It also allows readings to be held in memory for each of them separately. The traffic light colour-coded side-bar is handy and reassuring so that you can see at a glance if there are any problems, and the monitor has an irregular heart-beat flash indicator.

The device is very easy to set up with a clear manual included, and the whole thing slips into a neat case - if you need to monitor your blood pressure regularly, this is a quick and easy way to do it.

(I received a free device for review purposes)


Ecosusi Womens Nylon Beach Oversize Tote Bag (Black)
Ecosusi Womens Nylon Beach Oversize Tote Bag (Black)
Offered by ECOSUSI INC
Price: £30.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but practical, 2 July 2015
This is a nicely made tote which works well as an everyday spillover bag for work. The nylon is good quality and fairly heavy, and the zip is smooth and feels robust. I especially like the vertical zip pocket on the front which is perfect for things you need easy access to: pens, mp3 player, lip salve.

The clip-on long strap makes the bag very versatile to carry: by the handles, over the shoulder, even across the body. In terms of size, this is pretty capacious: it easily fits my bento-style lunch box, water bottle, Kindle, books, papers, umbrella. Slim A4 binders will slip in too.

Overall, a simple but practical bag perfect for all the paraphernalia I take to work.

(I received a free product for review)


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