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Amazon Customer "The Dunelmian" (Surrey)

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Rimmel London Exaggerate Smoke-n-Shine Eye Definer, Little Black Smokey
Rimmel London Exaggerate Smoke-n-Shine Eye Definer, Little Black Smokey
Offered by Gracious Online
Price: £2.48

2.0 out of 5 stars Give this a miss, 18 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Too dry for a gel pencil. Not shiny - really more a matt finish.

Didn't glide on, drags across eyelids (not a good thing in many respects given this is a sensitive skin area) and it doesn't make a clean line.

Just about passable for smoky eyes effect, but isn't a very pure black so not ideal.

Overall, really not something to recommend and definitely not something to repurchase.

Philips S5600/41 Series 5000 Aqua Touch Electric Shaver with Smart Click Beard Trimmer
Philips S5600/41 Series 5000 Aqua Touch Electric Shaver with Smart Click Beard Trimmer
Price: £99.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight and flexible - lovely shave., 11 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using electric shavers for about 35 years now, with only the odd foray into wet shaving when on holidays etc. As a result I've tried foils and Philishaves, and I have to say I am always happiest with a Philips.

So far I've had the chunkier mid range units. It was a real surprise to find how incredibly light this one is by comparison. It doesn't feel like they've compromised on build quality, although the advertised battery life seems a little less than my other one.

Where I really noticed the difference is in the extent of movement around my face. The trio of blades are set in a head which flexes so easily that it hugs the contours of my face and I haven't experienced any of the little nicks in my skin which I have with the other shaver.

The bit behind the heads which catches the stubble as it is cut off is a bit shallower, but there is a light on the front of the shaver - a tap shape - which reminds you to rinse the shaver head after each use.

There is no plastic cap so it has to be stored in the semi-hard case supplied. The beard trimmer is a separate attachment and if you want to use it you have to clip off the shaver head first. That is a slight niggle when I am used to that functionality being a flip up integral part of my older philishave.

The battery charges in about an hour (standard philishave cable), and there are warning stickers that you must not use the shaver which it is plugged in to charge! No idea why, but it is clearly not recommended. The three indicators on the front of the shaver show remaining battery life.

Apparently you can get a face brush attachment which may appeal to some people.

In summary - I'd thoroughly recommend this S5600 if you don't mind paying the extra cash for a lighter unit which really does flex to fit your face and give you a clean comfortable shave.

mophie powerstation plus 2x with micro USB connector (3,000mAh)
mophie powerstation plus 2x with micro USB connector (3,000mAh)
Price: Click here to see our price

4.0 out of 5 stars Good accessory for a professional, 11 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used a few portable power banks (although the kids tend to pinch them) and this one looked a bit different - perhaps better for me to keep in my briefcase as a "business accessory".

The build quality really is a step up from the cheaper alternatives. The brushed aluminium cover hinges back like the cover on an upmarket laptop, there are three LEDs to show you progress in either charging the unit or transferring it's battery charge into whichever device's battery you are boosting.

Under that cover are two folded down flat cables which you have to prise out of their channels carefully. At this point I have to mention that strong nails will be an advantage and it may not be the best for preserving a manicure!

One is a standard USB, and the other is either a micro usb or lightning connection. NOTE: you need to make sure you select the right option for your device. You get one or the other but not both. I had to buy a tiddly little adaptor to charge my iPhone, and although I tried really hard there was no way I could tuck it into the cable channels under the cover.

There are several alternatives which have simply a USB port so that you keep a short cable (or collection of cables depending on what device(s) you carry) then the back up battery is one size fits all.

This is not a criticism of the Mophie Powerstation.

I really like the smart design and sense that this is a premium product. It recharges in about an hour, and took my iPhone from 50% to 100% in about 25 minutes. It is a bit bulkier and heavier than those my kids have, but if I was in a client meeting and had to boost a mobile device's battery, then putting this on the desk would look suitably professional.

I just have to knock off one star for the bulk and weight which mean it isn't something I'd readily stick in a pocket.

Seagate Personal Cloud 3TB Home Media Storage - NAS
Seagate Personal Cloud 3TB Home Media Storage - NAS
Price: £119.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sleek and Adaptable - Just Slightly Tricky Setup, 22 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a Western Digital NAS ("N"etwork "A"ttached "S"torage) device and as Seagate is arguably an equally reliable and premier brand in this type of storage media it was worth comparing the two.

What is remarkably apparent is how the subtle styling differences indicate how the manufacturers perceives the device.

WD is definitely a chunky black box that looks and feels like extra computer storage. This Seagate alternative is a sleeker form factor that looks more at home beside the rest of the boxes that feed a modern TV.

Interesting then that, as other reviewers have remarked, the set up takes some doing, and downloading the manual is essential before you start any set up. On boot it will also check for firmware updates and push those through, which means you could be waiting 10-20 minutes for the inside of the box to make itself known to you.

This is cloud storage, so the next step is to download either the Seagate Media app for mobile devices, or the Sdrive desktop app for home computers.

Now we're cooking. 3Tb takes a huge amount of personal media, and you're not restricted to access via the Seagate apps. Content can be streamed to smart TVs and mobile devices - pretty much anything that can connect to your home network. That is the beauty of this bit of kit. It may look like part of your home entertainment system, but your IT sees it simply as part of your home computer network. You've got traditional cloud storage for pretty much any file format you like.

There's a sense that this Seagate NAS is giving you the best of both worlds with tidy design and flexible interface. I've knocked off one star for the set up process, but I'm being a tad picky in doing so. It's a good bit of kit for a decent price, so we'll see how durable it is in further use.

NAILS INC Gel Effect Collection
NAILS INC Gel Effect Collection
Price: £34.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for a change, reasonable finish, but care needed in application, 19 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Nails Inc are without doubt one of the best choices in nail varnish and care. This selection showcases some of their best mainstay colours but in this unusual "gel" formulation.

The application is just as easy and consistent as their varnishes, but they lose two stars for durability. "Gel" should not chip and pare aware quite so easily. To make this range work at all, a serious effort is required to properly prepare the nails before application. A deep clean is necessary - you can risk no residue of any sort, and even a simple top coat seemed to affect the staying power of the "gel".

Having said that, once we realised what the problem was, we were reasonably happy with the product. It comes off quite easily - just like traditional nail varnish - without the risk of damage that comes with real gel sets but not always coming off when you want it to. For example, it is easy to find half a nail has peeled away in one "chip"..

The 8ml bottles are a good size. Sufficient for several sets of nails, but probably not so much that it will go stale in the bottle.

The bottles are an unusual shape, more oval than round, and this adds to the sense of "this is something new and different", which is great if you're thinking of this for a gift.

Colour wise, there is something for everyone. The blue, red and lilac are vibrant, true colours and look equally good on toes and fingers, while the more muted tones look classy and understated.

Our set came with the bottles in pairs in bubble wrap, which you'd need to plan for if they're a gift for someone.

If you don't like the "issues" with traditional gel and the faff that comes with it, this is an alternative which you may enjoy if the chipping and paring doesn't try your patience.

Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for HP 300 - Tri-colour
Ink Jet Remanufactured Ink Cartridge Replacement for HP 300 - Tri-colour
Price: £14.78

4.0 out of 5 stars OK Alternative but Not a Cheap Option, 14 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm never sure about non-OEM kit, but this one seems fine. I say "fine" and give it 4 stars as it has a decent amount of ink, does the job with no apparent (yet) loss of quality, but is not actually a huge saving over original HP ink.

My worry is that past experience with non HP cartridges has been they eventually suffer degrading quality - maybe this is something to do with the refilling process.

We do use our Photosmart printer several times a week (two kids at school, one of which does A level art) so at times we do chunk through consumables, and so far this one "Ink" cartridge has performed well. It was accepted by the printer, was calibrated in the usual way via the scanner function, and has good recents with both plain paper and glossy photo paper.

Maybe if I buy another when this one runs out I can revise this review and let you know how the tail end of the cartridge life affects average performance. As yet I just don't have enough confidence and trust built up to give this more than four stars.

Philips GC4520/30 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 190g Steam Boost, 2600 Watt
Philips GC4520/30 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 190g Steam Boost, 2600 Watt
Price: £62.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Good results from a neat update to an old faithful, 9 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've had a couple of Philips steam irons - only a couple because they've been so incredibly durable. I use them mainly for shirts, bedding and other cotton clothing, but also for linen etc when necessary.

The feel of this iron is a bit different to its older cousin, in that the end is pointier (easier to fit in and around buttons) and I think it is a touch lighter. The steam doesn't hiss and spit and there's some sort of automatic adjuster to manage the steam flow.

So far I'm impressed. The water spray button is still there, and the dial to adjust the heat and steam by material type is easy to read and use (although I'd like a clear pointer for where the setting is on the dial). I do miss the fact that the old one lights up the water tank when switched on. With this one it is so quiet that you could easily think it was off. For those two niggles I've taken off a star, as the latter is arguably a bit of a safety issue.

That said, the ironing results have been excellent and after all that is what it's for. Is it worth the extra over the cheaper models in the range? I'm not so sure. Philips tend to have such easy to use, reliable products that unless you really want the extra whistles and bells, the upgrade cost may not be worthwhile.

Dew Sterling Silver and Lavender Zirconia Flower Stud Earrings 3026LZ
Dew Sterling Silver and Lavender Zirconia Flower Stud Earrings 3026LZ
Price: £14.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Pretty and Well Made, 15 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
They are quite dainty, but not tiny. Really well made and my wife says they are very comfortable to wear. They haven't skimped on the silver content which is reassuring, and so far no nasty reactions from the posts. It looks like the settings have been properly finished.

Colour is definitely a pinky purply lavender, but the sparkle is fab-u-lous! They really catch the light well, and of course look stunning under halogens, but sunlight and candlelight equally well show them off. You could buy them with confidence for kids and adults alike as the design is pretty without being twee.

Now we've tried this set, we'll be checking out others in the range.

WD My Cloud EX2100, 8 TB (2 x 4 TB) 2-Bay Pre-configured 8 TB NAS with WD Red drives
WD My Cloud EX2100, 8 TB (2 x 4 TB) 2-Bay Pre-configured 8 TB NAS with WD Red drives
Price: £428.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal cloud = peace of mind, 27 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With photos, videos, emails and essential documents increasingly data-hungry, I have been worrying about how my old click-free backup would cope. Also, I am quite concerned about how often the news has stories about big name cloud storage being hacked.

We use a number of WD (Western Digital) external hard drives at the office, and I have always found them incredibly easy to use and reliable. When this came up on the vine, I thought I'd give it a go.

The set up is actually not too difficult using a home router and an ipad or tablet. Once the WD is plugged into power and the router, launch the web browser on the tablet and it picks up the WD. The first part of the set up is creating users - really easy and they all get an email so they can set up their own password.

From the relevant app store you download one app for photos and videos, and another app for complete myCloud access. Both are easy to install and set up.

Within about 15 mins we had three of us all set up and had saved photos and videos to the WD, with each of us able to access them all from our phone or tablet.

Remote desktop or laptop (including mac's) is handled with a download from the WD web site which can easily be accessed and has helpful guides for everything from initial set up to more complex tasks.

As yet I haven't got into the more sophisticated file transfers and back ups but it says you can even back up your entire pc to the WD.

This series 2100 has twin disks which give 1.9Tb of storage - loads of capacity for the average home pc and a family's worth of photos from phones and tablets.

Probably this will come into its own when we're out and about or when my daughter starts at uni and needs to access all of her resources, documents etc from wherever she is working. From what I can see this could save an awful lot of frantic phone calls, emails and general stress.

I think it will be necessary to take more time over the tutorials on the high end functions, and yes it is a considered purchase, but I'd happily recommend it for a small business and may well invest in one for my own.

If you don't have any other external back up for your photos or your pc, and you like the flexibility which a personal cloud may offer, then this is almost certainly worth the peace of mind.

Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (White)
Price: £287.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiddly initial set up but worth the effort., 26 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As other reviewers have commented, the instructions are not the clearest, and so the set-up can be fiddly. (I had to - finally- upgrade my router as the All8 only works with WPA2 security protocols - not WEP or WPA).

My home set-up was with a windows 8 pc and an ipad. By using the ipad and following the warnings in other reviews to watch for the pop-up on the tablet, I actually found it quite easy to connect the speaker to my home wifi network.

The app that runs the speaker is quite easy to find on the app store, and it has some usual "help" pop up screens which you can leave on or switch off once you have the hang of it. The advanced help also launches the web site and that was actually much easier to follow (if you can, have a look before you start set up).

Then the fiddly bit started. I don't keep all my music on an ipad or ipod. It is all on my pc. To check the speaker was working, I used one of the free tracks that Apple had dumped on my last ios upgrade, and realised the volume setting had begun at zero.

There are manual volume buttons on the speaker (touch sensitive), and there is a volume slider on the app. I'm not convinced the bass and treble controls on the app are that great.

Once I shared my pc across the network, the app on the tablet too a while to find all my music, but it was worth the wait.

Get the fiddly set up out of the way, and the speaker jumps to life in a b-i-g way. Clarity of sound is stunning (I bet it compares well to top end brands). It can pump ourt 80 watts of sound (not that I have tried that), and you can set up a queue of your music in the app to play for say a party or just a relaxing afternoon.

There is a radio app which I haven't put through much stress testing yet, but it looks comprehensive.

Clearly this unit will come into its own if you have a streaming service, and there is a free trial of one in the box.

You can link multiple controllers/sources to the speaker, and multiple speakers to each controller. All run over the wifi network. It therefore has a very flexible interface and usage. My only gripe is the lack of a "search" function in the app - you have to scroll through the music on each source.

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