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Reviews Written by
Four Violets (Hertford UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil - 0.25 oz (Raspberry)
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil - 0.25 oz (Raspberry)
Offered by JP Pharmacy
Price: £21.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gloopy and high shine, 17 Feb. 2016
I bought this because I read a good review of it elsewhere and because my lips are extremely dry in winter to the point of looking shrivelled so that fine lines radiate out from them. I wanted something that would moisturise. plump up the lips and stay put.
This comes with a soft white applicator. When you remove it from the container the "oil" is very gloopy and drippy, I have dropped and dripped quite a lot of it onto various items.
Once smeared onto the lips it is far more sticky, thick and shiny than I expected. I had the impression it was sitting on my lips like a fake layer of silicone rather than sinking in.
Every time I use it I immediately experience an unpleasant rubbery taste in my mouth. Although the ingredients are "100% plant based" this makes me a bit nervous about what I am ingesting.
I have to say it does last on the lips even through eating and drinking. I would use it now for evenings, as it makes my lips slightly itchy and the high shine gloss is extreme, too much for me for day times.
I am rather disappointed as I had high hopes, and this is way more than I usually pay for a lip product. Would I buy it again? No, I'm still searching for a perfect lip moisturiser, something less scarily shiny.


L'Oreal Paris Color Riche 875 Kimono Empire Nail Polish 5ml
L'Oreal Paris Color Riche 875 Kimono Empire Nail Polish 5ml
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to apply and an amazing colour, 17 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My eighteen-year old niece raves about this. It's easy to apply and an amazing colour. It needs three coats to get the colour really deep but that's quite usual. A very good product.


Lifelong Dog Food, Turkey and Salmon for Puppy, 15 kg
Lifelong Dog Food, Turkey and Salmon for Puppy, 15 kg
Price: £34.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Puppies were unconvinced, 17 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My sister Val's puppies were surprisingly disinterested in this. There are tiny rings which are easy to eat and smell fine - to a human. The puppies had been started on small bite biscuits so maybe they are reluctant to change. Val would definitely try it again on another, younger puppy. (Val no! not another dog!) However the old almost toothless terrier absolutely loved it.


Revlon Love Is On Fragrance 50 ml
Revlon Love Is On Fragrance 50 ml
Price: £14.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised., 14 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Reading the description of such a long list of ingredients in this perfume, I had no idea what to expect or whether the result would be an unpleasant clash of scents. But I was very pleasantly surprised. I would describe the fragrance as quite high notes of citrus and floral, without any heavy or cloying musky tones like Obsession for example. I thought it quite a sophisticated fragrance which works well both in the office and for an evening out. The bottle itself to be frank looks more like a duck's bill than lips, but it's original and eye catching. I'm certainly happy to wear this regularly.


Try Not to Breathe
Try Not to Breathe
by Holly Seddon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful, 14 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Try Not to Breathe (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Amy is in a vegetative state in hospital, permanently frozen at the age of 15, the year she was attacked by an unknown assailant. Then she is visited by Alex who is a similar age to Amy, an alcoholic with a tragic past and uncertain future. Alex is determined to find out what happens to Amy and her searching enquiries lead her, and the reader, to three or four different suspects. The suspense is well built up and maintained and towards the end I was certain who the guilty party was – but I was wrong. I enjoyed the book, to be honest I didn’t think parts of it were brilliantly written, but the feeling of suspense kept me reading and I thought it was a good device to have the story told from the viewpoint of several different characters.


Shame [DVD]
Shame [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Fassbender
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £4.65

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Call it what it is. A porn film, 31 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shame [DVD] (DVD)
The blurb on my DVD says:

“Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a 30-something man living comfortably in New York balancing a busy job and active social life.”

Active social life? He pays for hookers, compulsively watches porn, sexualises every woman he encounters, and the longest relationship he has ever had is four months. They guy is obviously screwed up to the point where the porn on his WORK computer causes it to crash.

The blurb continues:

“When the wayward Sissy (Carey Mulligan) turns up at his apartment unannounced, Brandon’s carefully managed lifestyle spirals out of control.

Carefully managed lifestyle? Of hookers, drugs and incessant porn? It took me a while to realise Sissy is actually his sister. There are moments when I thought they too would end up having sex, so hot were they for each other, catching each other naked, she getting into bed with him etc.

If it were a film about two damaged siblings with an unpleasant background finding a resolution for their disastrous lives, he hooked on meaningless sex and she needy, clinging and promiscuous, fine. But in fact this boring film even succeeds in making erotica tedious. The long drawn out scenes of her singing and him jogging had me putting the kettle on and looking at my watch.

There is a chance for a development when Brandon chats up a girl at work, that too ends in almost immediate sex, and a puzzling scene with an intrusive, annoying waiter. Even this attempt at getting to know someone fails, with basically no communication, just the usual mutual grabbing at clothes.

Perhaps the damaged ones deserved sympathy, but by the end when I was anticipating a corpse, I would not have been surprised if Brandon had practiced a bit of necrophilia, as it was just about the only thing he hadn’t tried in the course of the film.

Pointlessly overlong, voyeuristic (and yawn inducing) sex rather than character and plot development – yes, my instincts were correct on this one, should have turned off after the first twenty minutes.

What this is, is basically a porn film. But one devoid of any eroticism. If the director was attempting to show how cold and empty sex can be, he succeeded, but he has placed himself in the ranks of porn makers, rather than promoting a warm and meaningful exchange between human beings.

It does have one good point. It’s quite short.


Jeff Banks 6-Piece Egyptian Cotton Supersoft Contemporary Towels - Grey
Jeff Banks 6-Piece Egyptian Cotton Supersoft Contemporary Towels - Grey
Price: £27.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Soft but absorbent, 24 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Crucially, the towels stay quite soft when washed, and I don't have a tumble dryer which I find is the only way to really keep them plumped up. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't leave fluff everywhere, which is a really annoying aspect of some new towels. I really like the size of the bath towel, not too big so it hogs the washing machine. Yes, there are thicker, fluffier towels out there, but these are perfect for normal use, thick enough to be effective, soft and nicely absorbent.
My old towels have almost all come from M&S and John Lewis sales, and the Jeff Banks set does seem a little thicker than those.
The towels that I received were grey, which is not the colour I would have chosen, a bit masculine, and while I do actually think if it comes to choosing new towels I would go for these - as the bundle is actually all in all good value - I would go for teal.


Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite
Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite
by Suki Kim
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A place George Orwell would recognise, 20 Jan. 2016
In 2011 Suki Kim travelled to North Korea to teach English to 270 male students at Pyongyang University. Korean by ethnicity, she had been raised in the USA, and describes herself as a writer disguised as a missionary disguised as a teacher, as she entered the country with a group of thirty covert missionaries.

The similarities of the way of life in North Korea, and the book1984, are truly startling. There are said to be speakers in every home through which government propaganda is broadcast, and more than 35,000 statues of the Great Leader exist. Naturally the internet, TV, and books, other than those carefully screened, are generally banned.

There are only so many ways that “the students were ignorant of the outside world” can be stated, and gradually I found the book quite boring. As the teachers were not allowed to hold discussions, leave the premises, or generally learn about the country, not much was discovered other than that the people are generally repressed and some seem to be starving, which is already documented.

It may not even be a good idea that the book was written, as the students themselves could have faced horrific reprisals, as well as putting into question any future visits by foreign teachers. She was betraying everyone, the teachers, missionaries and students.

Interesting questions are raised by the insistence of the missionary teachers that a film of Harry Potter should not be shown to the students, as they see it as the work of the devil. Just who is being indoctrinated here? The difference being that American missionaries have all the world of information at their disposal while the unfortunate North Koreans only have a narrow frame of reference.

Ultimately one can only hope that, like East Germany and Albania, one day the walls will fall.

Generally the most interesting part of the book is the first few chapters, with facts about the Arduous March (the 1990’s famine), the Great Leaders, forced labour, and the author’s own family history. Then follow many descriptions of the monotony of the days and the hypervigilance, and the ultimate failure of the teachers to break through to the students - in spite of the author’s professed love for them. Somehow one feels as though the exercise was ultimately pointless, other than as a deliberately planned subject for a book.


Gardman A01158 Universal Squirrel Baffle with Hook
Gardman A01158 Universal Squirrel Baffle with Hook
Offered by 9to5 Supplies (VAT receipt supplied)
Price: £12.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Baffle is the word, 18 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The squirrel was not at all happy. It tried several times to jump up and dislodge the perspex, and was obviously furious that it could not succeed. We positioned the bird feeder too far from any branches so it couldn't jump across either. Absolute success. Squirrel last seen on Neighbour's bird table...


Opus Deluxe Wild Bird Feeding Station with Two Bird Feeders
Opus Deluxe Wild Bird Feeding Station with Two Bird Feeders
Price: £17.45

5.0 out of 5 stars It's up, and the birds are happy...not the squirrels, 13 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My first thought was wow, this is massive! It's over five foot, once sunk in the ground, and extremely well made. It's now up in the garden, along with a squirrel baffler threaded through the lower part of the pole, and the birds are loving it. It has easily withstood a gale which knocked pots and the bird bath over. My previous bird feeding station was far flimsier and smaller so this one looks amazing in comparison. I find cleaning bird feeders a real pain, and I know they are supposed to be kept hygienic for the health of the birds, so at this price I'm happy to use if for a couple of years and then replace if necessary.


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