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Paul B "-pb-" (UK)
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Wahl Pet Grooming Brush and Comb Set, 21 cm
Wahl Pet Grooming Brush and Comb Set, 21 cm
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely bamboo grooming set, 20 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Wahl set contains a brush with 2 heads and a comb, both made with bamboo handles, feeling light and giving a sense of quality to the tools.

The brush has a stainless steel head on one side which worked through my Shih Tzu's hair well without too much effort, I was impressed with the build quality and the way that the teeth work without being too hard on the dog's skin. The other side is a soft feeling brush which has stiff but soft bristles that feel like they are massaging the dog (she seemed to enjoy this, too). I can't see this working too well for really long hair on bigger dogs, but it works for her medium to short hair.

The comb is much better than the current one we use. though shorter at the same time. Again, it may not be so suitable for larger dogs due to its size and this should really be stated on the description, but I'd happily recommended it for smaller breeds. It does the job without feeling too spiky at the tips and therefore doesn't have as much chance of hurting the dog.

The bamboo handles are very smooth and feel great to hold. They're also lighter than the plastic brushes we've used in the past. The complete set makes a great pack for anyone who regularly grooms a small dog.


Wahl KM2 and Mini Arco Dog Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit
Wahl KM2 and Mini Arco Dog Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit
Price: £129.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed with this set, 18 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a double set which combines a top quality mains powered dog clipper and a smaller rechargeable trimmer for doing smaller areas.

As with other Wahl sets, these come in a black plastic case which is handy for storing all the items and has room for more, useful when you buy some combs for the main unit (more on that in a bit). The set comes with the clippers and trimmer, a large bottle of oil to keep the blade going, a charger for the small device and some combs that fit the small trimmer, as well as a 1.8mm metal blade for the KM2. There are also instruction booklets, though you'd be hard pressed to get more than the basics from these.

The smaller Mini Arco is a great device in itself, with low noise and low vibration. We found that it has plenty of charge straight out of the box and dealt with our Shih Tzu's feet with ease, a task we'd saved deliberately to test this device. She was unfazed by the trimmer, too, which is a good sign. The plasic combs easily fit on the end of the blade and are quick to change, each allowing for a different length cut. It's actually possible to cut the hair on a small dog using just these.

The KM2 is louder, unsurprisingly, but not that much more and for a large device it doesn't have that much of a vibration either. It does, however, cut really well. Now the issue we had is that our dog still needs a certain length of hair, so we couldn't test these over the whole body as they don't come with combs, only the short blade. It's a shame, but we intend to purchase the set of Wahl combs to go with this as this has certainly been our best clipper set so far.

I'm pretty impressed with this set. Yes, it costs more than the average clipper set but you get 2 very good top quality devices in the pack that allow you to be more versatile with cutting. It's just a pity you have to buy combs separately for the KM2.


How to Write Your Best Story Ever!
How to Write Your Best Story Ever!
by Christopher Edge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well presented book of ideas., 18 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is my 10 year old daughter's third book on writing stories, she's an avid story writer and so relishes every chance to improve her writing. While the other 2 books included sections for writing story ideas in the book, this one just sticks to the advice and, in my opinion, is all the better for it.

The book is bright and colourful and looks like one of the DK Information books with eye catching pictures and text displayed in interesting ways. Each section (horror, school story, fantasy etc) is given 4 pages to explain how to best prepare for a story in that genre, plus you have how to start, end and build characters.

She's found it useful already, making changes to her current story based on the advice and seeing how the books she's reading at the moment work based on the things that she has learned here. So for any young budding story writers out there, this book is a great idea.


Wahl Rex 1230 Multi Cut Pro Pet Clipper
Wahl Rex 1230 Multi Cut Pro Pet Clipper
Price: £61.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good mid-range clippers, 18 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Rex 1230 is one of Wahl's mid range clippers, as the price point suggests. It comes with 2 different combs to alter the length of cutting and oil for the blade plus a brush to clean it, all included in a plastic case.

First things first, the case is nice in that it keeps all the parts in one place with more space for further combs. However, it doesn't have sections, it's just one big space so everything jiggles around inside there. I'm sure it would be easy to create some sort of border so that the clipper could be stored safely, separate from the rest of the stuff, but all the Wahl clippers seem to be the same here,

The clippers themselves are easy to use and don't vibrate too much, certainly less than the paw print ones I used last. The sound level isn't too bad either. They're by no means silent, but they don't make a huge noise and my Shih Tzu wasn't phased by them. With or without the combs, they did catch a few times on the hair compared to the KM2 model, but they cut well with an even trim (tested after our dog was washed and dried).


HP Spectrum Case for Notebook Up To 39.6 cm (15.6 Inch) Snow - White
HP Spectrum Case for Notebook Up To 39.6 cm (15.6 Inch) Snow - White
Price: £27.41

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice, simple but stylish sleeve for 15.6" laptops., 12 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you like to carry your laptop around but don't want to have to lug a backpack around with you then it's worth checking out the sleeve style cases on offer.

HP have created a set of these to go with their own laptops (though they will obviously fit most 15.6" laptops as well) complete with the HP logo branding on the side. There are different sizes for the different size notebooks and laptops that they sell but I'm reviewing the white 15.6" 'Spectrum' model.

The Spectrum series is so-called because it comes in a range of bright colours. The white one is an acquired taste and one that I can see will get dirty the quickest, but if you have a taste for white or want it to match your laptop then it's nice to have the choice. The sleeve arrived in a sealed plastic bag and had an HP card surround around the middle and a plastic/polystyrene style piece of material inside to keep the shape. Be aware that there are several packs of Silica gel inside and those of us that have pets will know how important it is to throw these away straight away.

The case itself has a single zip along the top edge that gives you access to the whole length of the top, a perfect fit for my HP Envy 15 j105ea as you can see from the picture. There is only a very small amount of room to move on each side, allowing the laptop to stay in place, though there is about a fingers-width space at the top.

Unlike some other sleeves I've had, this HP case is well padded on each side, meaning that your laptop will be more protected. It looks professional and the material feels premium quality, too, so I have no problem awarding this five stars. If I could make an improvement, I'd suggest they add a zip pocket on one side for storing things like headphones or thin cables.
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Wahl Rex Mini Pro Corded Pet Trimmer
Wahl Rex Mini Pro Corded Pet Trimmer
Price: £27.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget trimmer for basic grooming only., 11 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Wahl Rex Mini is part of Wahl's budget range of trimmers for pets. Even so, it comes in the same sort of plastic carry case as the more expensive models, which seems reassuring.

This set comes with a plastic coated trimmer decorated with little paws, a set of scissors, comb for additional length adjustments and oil for the blade. The stainless steel blade is 25mm wide, designed to be the ideal size to trim around the ears, paws and face. This can be used with the included comb for additional cutting lengths of 3 mm to 5 mm. Although it allows for some range, most people who really want to trim and groom their dogs at home will want to purchase additional comb lengths.

While the noise levels are advertised as quiet, I found the device still fairly noisy and my dog dig flinch at the sound when it was first turned on. I find that it's best to turn these on away from the dog and slowly bring it nearer. The scissors are basic but functional, we have better pairs for grooming but they'd be ok for an odd trim.

This set is really designed for those who want to give their dog or cat an odd trim between grooming sessions. It's best to go for the more expensive models if you're thinking of doing all the grooming at home. As such, it's not bad for the money, just so long as you don't overestimate its abilities.


Crayola-Colour Alive Colour Alive Barbie
Crayola-Colour Alive Colour Alive Barbie
Offered by Fun Collectables
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to make colouring more fun, though crashes can be annoying,, 10 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Colouring books are all well and good but they lack a certain something. Colour Alive is different, it uses an app (free on iOS and Google Play) to bring the colouring pages to life in '4D'

The set comes with 6 normal colour felt tips and 1 special colour which creates effects in the app. There are 16 pictures of Barbie in different poses to colour.

The app works by first choosing from the themes (this one being Barbie) then it can work out the picture by looking at the dark lines, so it's important not to colour over them or use dark colours too near them. It works pretty well with the 4D button and the character appears in front of whatever you're pointing the camera at, we used this with the iPad and it worked well, taking photos of my daughter with Barbie. The only issue we've come across is that the app tends to crash a fair bit in 4D mode, which can get annoying, hence only 4 stars.

It's worth noting that the pictures can be coloured with any pencils or felt pens and it still works with the app, you can also download and print pictures from other sets (Dragons, fairies, minions, Monster High and Skylanders) at a cost, though if you search the Internet you can find some of the pages available to download for free.


GILDA Aha Lotion
GILDA Aha Lotion
Price: £39.83

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough but long term effects are doubtful., 7 May 2015
This review is from: GILDA Aha Lotion (Personal Care)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This product is one of the many Hyaluronic Acid (AHA) sprays and treatments that have populated the skincare market recently and are all the rage. They claim to provide anti-aging and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but the scientific facts are that the molecules are just too large to pass through the epidermis of the skin so any effect is simply on top of the skin and temporary.

An LA Times article describes the actual effects pretty well; "When you apply it topically, the molecule is too big to get hyaluronic acid through the skin. So when we inject it to fill a wrinkle or line it works well. [But] when you put it on topically it's a misconception that it's all going into the skin. It forms a barrier on the skin and gives a soft moisturizing effect that makes skin smoother … but it doesn't eliminate wrinkles.

That's not to say that this product doesn't work. The Amazon description says that the "facial water which gently refines skin texture, binds moisture and rejuvenates your skin..minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, whilst skin identical Natural Moisturising Factors provide your skin with optimal hydration." Most of this is true, the effect is similar to sprinkling water on your face and the added ingredients do provide a temporary shine and could well hide wrinkles, but aside from this, there is no lasting effect or anything magical hiding under the skin. As long as you know this then you know what you're paying for.

In regards to Chemical exfoliation, the spray seems far to subtle to provide any form of exfoliation of dead skin around the face. You'd usually feels a tingling sensation if this was the case.

Like other reviewers here, I received a very different looking bottle of clear liquid that had a trace of scent but that's all. You'd be hard pressed to smell it when it is applied to the skin, especially over perfume and deodorant. It was easy to spray on and produced a fine mist that covered the face in one spray, meaning that the bottle should last quite a while. My wife and I both tried this and both agreed that it made our faces look shinier and more healthy, but we found that this effect only lasted until the spray had dried off, so will depend on the conditions and how dry the area around you is. Does it remove signs of wrinkles? To some extent, but the bottle also recommends that you use your normal facial creme after applying this.

Overall, it's a pleasant enough lotion/spray but the science shows that it won't do much in the long term.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2015 1:53 PM BST


TONI&GUY  Casual Radiating Tropical Elixir 50 ml
TONI&GUY Casual Radiating Tropical Elixir 50 ml
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the biz on frizz, 6 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've not really used Toni and Guy products before, so this was a first for us. The product is mostly used by my wife and daughter, with my daughter having long hair that sometimes gets quite frizzy.

The product comes in a small bottle with a pump style nozzle and plastic cover. It would be easy to carry around in a small bag. The actual Elixir is fairly oily but doesn't feel too bad once it's on the hair. It's not overly thick, either. Both my wife and daughter liked the effect of the Elixir, it made their hair shiny and did take some of my daughter's frizz away. They found that it didn't take a lot of pumps to get the desired effect either (2-3) as the liquid seems to work quite well in small amounts.

There were no instructions on how best to massage this in to the hair, so they used fingers. It did leave some smell on the fingers afterwards, though the scent is not unpleasant with a mild sweet tropical smell. Aside from being a little oily, it seems to do exactly what it promises and also has a UV filter which my wife likes as she has coloured hair.

Overall, then, pretty impressed with this product.


Worse Things Happen at Sea!
Worse Things Happen at Sea!
by Alan Snow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great yarn., 6 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This sequel to 'Here Be Monsters', the inspiration for the recent Boxtrolls movie, continues the story of the odd bunch of characters from the first book and finds them in trouble right from the start.

A good children's author is able to create strange and wonderful characters. A great children's author makes them believable, and that's what Alan Snow has managed to do here, mixing laundry with pirate rats, Boxtrolls and strange (and often hilarious) monsters, along with a quest which is put into gear by the arrest of the crew for flaunting the underwear of customers on the masts of the ship (to dry it, obviously).

My kids, a recently 9 year old and 10 year old) both enjoyed this book and they loved the adventures and, in particular, the characters. They'd watched Boxtrolls but hadn't read the previous book, so some of the characters were unfamiliar. It didn't spoil the story but it's obvious that some background is missed unless you pick up Here Be Monsters first.


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