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since 21/07/2003


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T3 14/02/2005

Sexy Sony T3

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T3 Ok, I'm a guy and a gadget freak, so you may think calling a camera 'sexy' is a step too far, but I have to disagree! Sony have once again made the latest technology fit into a super-slim body without compromising the functionality of this camera. This camera is perfect for taking clear pictures in the daytime, and good quality close-up pictures at night. It has a variety of settings, so if you want to do more than just point-and-shoot, you can get some really good, natural looking pictures. A brief lowdown of it's main features: * 5.1 megapixel * 3x optical zoom (6x digital) * 2.5 inch LCD screen (no seperate viewfinder) * Light weight - 175g approx. * 18mm thick, 90 x 60 mm face * Uses Sony's "Memory Stick Duo" storage card I've used this camera for 2 months now, in a variety of situations, and it's performance varies quite a lot. In the daytime you can get some superb quality pictures, you can customise the settings so that your pictures look as life-like as possible. It is very easy to do, and once you've practised it takes only a few clicks of the buttons, so realistically you can ensure every picture is taken with the optimum settings. Now, lets get the two problems out of the way. 1. At night time it's not so rosy. Whilst the general quality of close up pictures using the flash is great, the red-eye reduction mode is a little disappointing. It is effective to a point, but you still get a lot of red-eye when photographing people with ...

Trevor Sorbie Mg Wax Stick 01/10/2003

Meet the child of Push Pop and Pritt Stick.

Trevor Sorbie Mg Wax Stick Continuing to push boundaries in hair styling, Trevor ‘Guru of Grooming’ Sorbie gives us hair wax in stick form! I know many would prefer the moon on a stick, but this is a close second! The Mg (Male Grooming) range is becoming a bit of a behemoth. In a few years there will be no other choice for men, it is all encompassing, all powerful and all without David Beckham’s (paid for) approval – eat your heart out Brylcreem! ***So what is a wax stick?*** It’s wax in stick form – duh! Think Push-Pop. You unscrew the cap, stick your finger up its inch wide bottom and push to dispense. With the Mg range being pretty homogenous in certain ways, this is unsurprisingly a creamy colour and is quite solid. In terms of smell, it smells broadly like the rest of the Mg products, which is actually quite nice. ***What does it do?*** ’It’s a stick up’ so it claims on the tube – think a styled ‘just got out of bed’ look with sheen (NOT a greasy ‘I haven’t washed my hair in days and I really have just got out of bed’ look!) Being wax, you do get a slightly greasy look, although this is termed ‘sheen’ officially. ***How do you use it?*** The concept behind this is that it is easy to use and that through this stick system you shouldn’t end up wasting any as you only use as much as you need – unfortunately my experiences aren’t as clinical. If you’ve ever wondered what life would be like if Push Pop had a child with a Pritt Stick, this is it – the child of an unholy ...

Trevor Sorbie Mg Moulding Mud 19/09/2003

Mud in your hair? Add some flair!

Trevor Sorbie Mg Moulding Mud The title says it all, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not. I’d like to welcome you to the new styling revolution – mud. Trevor Sorbie, or The Guru of Grooming as I call him, has developed Moulding Mud as part of his Mg (Male Grooming range) to allow us guys to get the perfect hairstyle (at least for those of us who still have hair). ***So what is moulding mud?*** Officially it’s a ‘modernist pomade’. In reality it’s a thicker, ‘goopy-er’ version of Brylcreem. Think plasticine – fairly solid until warmed up. It’s a creamy colour and looks almost solid in the tin. In terms of smell, it smells broadly like the rest of the Mg products, which is actually quite nice. ***What does it do?*** This product is used to ‘rough it up’. It gives a medium hold. If you want to stick a bit of hair up here, and hold it down there then this gives you that kind of control. If you want to give your hair a rough texture (just got out of bed/trendy untidy) then this also allows you to do that too. It’s not as greasy as wax, although it contains a blend of waxes, and allows much more definition and hold than Brylcreem type products and gels. This is not a wet/slick look product, although it does give the hair a slight ‘sheen’. There are other products in the Mg range to get that slick look if you want it. As an added bonus, it also contains a UV filter which will help protect your hair and scalp, and also conditions your hair. ***How do you use it?*** Firstly, you need slightly damp ...

York Elliptical Trainer & Cycle 3100 14/08/2003

Get Fit, Go Elliptical!

York Elliptical Trainer & Cycle 3100 In a bid to lose a few pounds after uni (too much alcohol & too many takeaways) I was looking for a good all round exercise machine, and elliptical trainers were recommended by some friends. "Why?" I enquired. "The answer is simple" came the reply, "they are a great cardiovascular work out and the pedals mimic the body's natural movements when running, so essentially you are running, but there is no impact - saving your joints and bones!" "Genius!" I replied. And so my quest to buy a machine began. After looking at a variety of makes and models, I decided upon the York 3100 Elliptical Trainer & Cycle. It looked the sturdiest, could handle the most maximum weight (16 stone - not that I was this large, but obviously the larger the maximum weight, the stronger the machine), was from a brand that I had heard of and trusted, and was mid-priced between the cheaper basic elliptical machines, and the top end Reebok ones. Another important feature is that it is not just an Elliptical Trainer but an exercise bike as well - so you get two good quality machines for the price of two cheap machines, but in the space of one machine - "Genius!" I ordered the machine from Argos (£200 + free delivery) and waited patiently for it to arrive a few days later. This is a home assembly job, and some of the sections are quite heavy so you may need assistance, but it is straight forward to assemble. It isn't small (60cm by 145cm footprint) or light, however, so make sure you ...

Fujifilm ZOOM 1300 DATE 13/08/2003

Fantastic camera at a fantastic price.

Fujifilm ZOOM 1300 DATE Having become quickly disillusioned with the APS format (see my review of the Minolta Vectis 3000), I went on the hunt for a small 35mm camera with a good zoom. What I found with this Zoomdate 1300 is a small camera (will fit in the pocket of my jeans) with an unbelievable zoom! This camera is perfect for everyday use, and has enough features to ensure that you get the best picture from every situation. Zoom: It has a HUGE 4.6x zoom (28-130mm), gets you closer to the action than most other cameras on the market. Flash: 5 flash modes (auto, red-eye, fill-flash, no flash and night portrait). I like the option to select different flash modes to help me get the best picture. Even though I am no expert photographer, I was able to use the flash modes with confidence and without simlpy relying on the auto-flash (which you can do!). After you set each flash mode and take a picture the camera will revert back to auto flash which is good if you just want the one picture. Where this camera is better from others I have used is that you can select the flash mode and keep it in that flash mode by holding the select button for 2 seconds, which means you will have the same flash mode for as long as the camera is on - if you turn it off it will revert back to auto mode. So for taking action shots requiring specific flash modes - you have to be prepared! Focus: 3 focus modes - auto focus, landscape and macro for images at least 40cm away. Pretty much all the focus modes I need ...

SAGEM myX-6 13/08/2003

It'sa gem!

SAGEM myX-6 It's French - but don't let that put you off! It hasn't yet stopped working for no reason, unlike those pesky French farmers - so read on! I have recently upgraded to the Sagem MY X6 with Vodafone. N.B. My phone is specifically configured to work with Vodafone and to maximise utility of Vodafone's LIVE! service, so this phone may not be the same for every network. Sagem isn't the biggest or best known phone manufacturer in the UK, but the reason I went for this phone is that it is FREE ( Subject to a 12 month contract. £180 pay as you go). So is the phone any good? Simply, yes! Here are the main benefits: On board Camera: - 4x zoom level - 4 picture modes: normal; low light; outside; and backlight - large colour screen acts as viewfinder. Also a mirror next to lens (located on back of phone) if you want to take pics of yourself. Photo Editing (on the phone!): - Change the photo, make it gray-scale, sepia, blur it, sharpen it, change the contrast. - Frame the photo with a variety of frames, making the pictures much more fun. - Use pictures you take as the background for your screen. Pictures can be sent either to other phones, or emailed. Currently this costs £0.36p per message. The pictures can also be downloaded onto your computer via a cable link. I was amazed at the clarity of the pictures that this phone took, the four picture modes are a real benefit to help you get good quality photos. The screen is quite large and ...

Trevor Sorbie Mg Scalp Invigorator 13/08/2003


Trevor Sorbie Mg Scalp Invigorator As part of my crusade to tell all about my experiences of male grooming using Trevor Sorbie's Mg (Male Grooming) Range (, I now come to one of my favourite products, the Mg Scalp Invigorator. Packaged in a small metal bottle, in the Mg range's graphite and silver finish, it looks maculine and if someone should see it in your bathroom it doesn't look as though you are consumed by vanity! The whole range has a very under-stated appearance, which is good. Once again, as with the thickening shampoo, the picture that is at the top of this review is not the actual product, despite me providing links to the pictures. The product is a post-hairwash application which helps to moisturise the scalp and provides a pleasant tingling sensation. It contains a UV filter (useful for thinning hair in all the sunshine!), ginseng, and menthol which provides the tingling sensation. It isn't at all greasy, and is a liquid, rather than a lotion (such as Circ Scalp Moisturiser). I started using this because I found that my scalp was often left feeling dry after washing, and although I didn't have what I would call a dandruff problem, occasionally my scalp would flake, especially after washing out gels and waxes. This solved that problem, and I have not had to use any medicated shampoos. My scalp feels a lot healthier. You don't have to use this after every wash, but since I wash my hair everyday, I usually use it twice a week and find that this is enough to keep my ...

Trevor Sorbie Mg Thickening Shampoo 13/08/2003

Trevor Sorbie Male Grooming Thickening Shampoo.

Trevor Sorbie Mg Thickening Shampoo For those who don't know, Trevor Sorbie is a super star hair stylist to the stars, and following others of his ilk (think Nicky Clarke) he has bought out his own range of toiletries. Fortunately he has had the wisdom to bring out a complete range of male grooming (or 'Mg') products just for us men. His range covers everything to take care of your head - cleaning, moisturising and styling. If you don't want girlie toiletries cluttering up your bathroom, then this is the range for you (me/us!). The packaging is graphite and silver coloured, which looks very sleek and masculine in your bathroom (The picture with this review isn't the bottle of shampoo, I did provide links of where to get the pic from, but this is the picture that has been put here!(. I have looked at a variety of male grooming products in an effort to stem the loss of my once thick mane, and this is my preferred brand. This is also my preferred shampoo. The range has a choice of three - Thickening, Scrub & Run (which also conditions) or Detox (for removal of pollutants such as wax, gel, etc.). The Thickening Shampoo is my shampoo of choice. My hair is normal/greasy, and one wash leaves my hair feeling and looking thicker and very soft to touch (even when I've used gel/wax in my hair). You don't need to use a lot as it produces a creamy, rich lather, so you get the most out of the money you pay for it. I use it everyday, and find that is suitable for everyday use, causing no irritation to my ...

Armani Acqua Di Gio Eau de Toilette 31/07/2003

Acqua Di Gorgeous!

Armani Acqua Di Gio Eau de Toilette This is undoubtedly one of my favourite fragrances. Acqua Di Gio is the older brother of Armani's new daytime fragrance Mania, and as such is a much more responsible mature fragrance, but no less fun! It is light, fresh and very different from the usual musky aftershaves for men. Plus it smells expensive! It is a light citrussy fragrance with rounded musky/woody undertones which make it good for nights out, but essentially this is a day time fragrance. This is for the young (and young at heart) professional - suitable for business meetings, as well as a night out on the town. It's a fun but formal fragrance and is slightly flamboyant compared to other mens aftershaves, but no less masculine - it's an alternative to the norm - which is always welcome! It is very distinctive and you do not need to wear a lot of it - it lasts exceptionally well with just a tiny splash. As a result I use it as accent fragrance preferring to use Nivea after shave lotion as a, well, aftershave! Nivea prevents irritation, moisturises well and does not have a strong fragrance, so is perfect combined with this powerful fragrance. I love it, the ladies love it, and more importantly it is reasonably priced at around £32 for 100ml of aftershave, and £42 for 100ml of EDT. Highly recommended!

Armani Acqua di Gio Pour Homme - After Shave 31/07/2003

Acqua Di Gio After Shave Lotion

Armani Acqua di Gio Pour Homme - After Shave This is undoubtedly one of my favourite after shaves. It is light, fresh and very different from the usual musky aftershaves for men. Plus it smells expensive! It is a light citrussy fragrance with rounded musky/woody undertones which make it good for nights out, but essentially this is a day time fragrance, much like the new Armania Mania. Where this differs from Mania is that it is a slightly more mature fragrance, where as Mania is for the new batch of 18-25 year olds and is very informal, this is for the young (and young at heart) professional - suitable for business meetings, as well as a night out on the town. It is very distinctive and you do not need to wear a lot of it - it lasts exceptionally well with just a tiny splash. As a result I don't use it as an aftershave, but as an accent fragrance. Another reason I don't use it as an aftershave is that I find this, like most aftershaves, doesn't adequately moisturise my skin after shaving, so I prefer to use Nivea after shave lotion which does not have a strong fragrance, coulped with this. I love it, the ladies love it, and more importantly it is reasonably priced at around £32 for 100ml of aftershave (not EDT).

Armani Mania Men 30/07/2003


Armani Mania Men I am something of an Armani fan, clothes, fragrances you name it I have it (or want it!). This is the latest fragrance for men, and what a versatile fragrance it is! I'm no expert at describing fragrances, but it is a very light, fresh fragrance, with citrus notes (oooh! look at me with my 'notes'!), and an ever so slightly woody undertone. It is a powerful fragrance, so you don't need to use lots of it, and it lasts well throught the day, so once the initial citrussy notes have worn away the woodiness remains - nice! The bottle is made of smoked grey glass, with a graphite coloured lid and nozzle. It has a slightly strange shape - it is concave from the front )(, and convex from the side () - as my diagrams using brackets clearly demonstrate! For me it is a fun fragrance to wear during the day, or for a relaxed casual night out . This is not the type of thing to wear to a business meeting, on a romantic date*, or on the pull** - it's an informal fragrance. Armani Mania is not cheap, 100ml Eau de Toilette spray will set you back around £30-40 on the high street. For me smelling good is a priority - lord knows it makes up for me not always looking good, so it's a price worth paying! As much as I enjoy wearing this, my preference still lies with Acqua Di Gio. Acqua is instantly recognisable, and is slightly more serious, therefore more versatile. On the other hand, this is a less common fragrance, so is unlikely to remind ladies of ex-boyfriends - something ...

Minolta Vectis 3000 23/07/2003

Size isn't everything

Minolta Vectis 3000 As a guy, I was looking for a camera that was small enough to fit in the pocket of a pair of jeans, whilst having a powerful zoom. The Minolta Vectis 3000 offered this and much, much more. This camera offers everything you could technically need as an amateur photographer. It has an impressive 3x zoom, date and title imprinting (so you can add captions such as "Holiday" just in case you forget), several flash modes to help you get the best lighting, as well mid-roll changing, so if more than one person is using the camera for example, each person can use their own film and keep taking it out and putting it back in at will. And it is TINY! This camera sounded perfect so I went ahead and bought it from Jessops online for around £150 - the cheapest price I could find (early June 2003). After initially being impressed with the tiny-ness of it, the problems soon kicked in. I used the camera in a variety of situations - at home, out at night, at a rugby game (as a spectator!), and at the end of it all (about 2 weeks) it gave up. I wouldn't say I was rough with it - I used it as any average person would, but it simply wasn't robust enough. Alas, the automatic film chamber lock trapped my film in the camera after it finished rewinding. All credit to Jessops, I took it back to one of their stores, and they sent it away to be 'fixed' - to release the film they had to dismantle the camera! Unfortunately my pictures were ruined, and I politely declined the offer of a ...

Norwich Union (CGNU) 22/07/2003

Good Value, Excellent Cover

Norwich Union (CGNU) I recently purchased single trip travel insurance to the USA through Norwich Union, the service was fast, efficient and cheap. The web-site provides an online quote, which came to £28, and is very easy to use. Answer a few questions and hey presto job done. You can call for a quote if you prefer. The price NU quoted was far cheaper than other providers. I asked for quotes from several, including Tesco (£43) and Natwest (£41), and found that most of them are simply resellers of insurance that is provided by other insurers - which means they are selling on a commission basis - therefore dealing with NU directly is much cheaper, aswell as easy to do. I found online insurance cheaper at £25, but after reading the terms and conditions, I realised that the excess was £50 - NU charge £35 which is very competitive and one of the lowest around. My cover also included baggage upto the value of £1500, with a maximum of £250 for any one item. For me it was a very attractive policy which offered everything I needed at the cheapest price from a major insurer. Having not had to make a claim I can't speak about the claims process, but my initial interactions with NU have been nothing but positive. ...
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