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since 12/03/2013


Indesit IDC 85 24/06/2014

Drying with Indesit!

Indesit IDC 85 ~My Indesit IDC85!~ Having had a series of problems with my previous tumble dryer that eventually led me to having to scrap it due to the front drum seal no longer being a part that Hotpoint kept in stock (shame on you Hotpoint!) I looked around to see what I could replace it with. Having always had a vented dryer in the past I really wanted to try out the concept of the condenser dryer which is in the main why I eventually picked out the Indesit IDC85 as my replacement appliance. From the very outset I had a clear idea of what I wanted from a tumble dryer product in terms of its features and ease of use, as well as a price range that I felt I was prepared to look at and I feel that I found what I was looking for with this particular product. As I had opted for a condenser dryer I really wanted to make sure that the model I picked out was one that could be plumbed in if wanted (more on that later), as this meant that rather than having to empty the water container all the time, I could choose to let it drain away on its own, in the same way that a washing machine can be plumbed in and allowed to drain off during use. Having checked out a number of other condenser dryers and compared them with this one, I felt that the Indesit IDC85 model offered me best value for money bearing in mind my list of requirements. I have owned the dryer for some time now and am pleased to say that what initially appeared to be a neat and well laid out appliance that would deal with my day to ...

Philips Streamium 24/06/2014

A great little music system!

Philips Streamium ~A music system that works!~ When looking for a good quality sound system at a fair price some time ago, I came across so many nice looking products that failed to deliver on the sound front, that I eventually turned towards a tried and trusted brand that I had experience of due to past purchases. Having bought music systems from Phillips before, I decided to look in to the Phillips Streamium range, as the products in the range seemed to have a number of useful features that would be of benefit to me. With a few CDs in hand I paid a visit to a large electrical retail store and put a number of music centres through their paces before eventuallly deciding to purchase a Philips Streamium Wireless Music Station at the best price I could find. At the time of purchase the unit was priced towards the higher end of the price range of the many products in store, at around £380 yet was still considerably cheaper than similar yet (at the time) slightly less hi tech Bose products that sold for much much more. Having been offered a choice of in store 'lift muzac' style CDs to use (kept for customers to use when testing music systems in store etc) I found that even this run of the mill kind of music sounded rather good (shock horror!) when slipped in to the disc holder and played on the Streamium. Once I was able to try out a selection of my own CDs and set the system to my own liking, I found that it was able to deal with the highs and lows of almost each and every music track/ style I ...

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Love Eau de Toilette 24/06/2014

A fruity floral Harajuku Girls will Love!

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Love Eau de Toilette ~' Love ' those wicked floral fruity fragrances!~ Having worn and liked a good number of the Harajuku Lovers fragrances from the range promoted by singer Gwen Stefani and experienced the ever changing looks of the little Harajuku dolls on the tops of the bottles (which seem to change more often than a set of traffic lights) I was not at all surprised when I came across another seasons variation on the same tried and tested theme. As with previous incarnations of the Harajuku Lovers range, these updated fragrances have a cute Harjuku girl sat proudly atop the fragrance bottle as per usual. Wicked Style 'Love' has an interesting new look, which in my opinion has been totally updated as an encouragement to collectors of these cutsey bottles to rush out and buy her. The design of the dolly shaped bottle top is not the only thing that has been updated though as there is also a new fragrance within the bottle, giving a whole new feel to the Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Love EDT. After having sampled all of the fragrances from the Wicked Style range I feel it is worth sharing my thoughts about the Wicked Style Love EDT, as I feel it offers an interesting take on a fresh and fruity fragrance style that may not be something previously considered by many fragrance buyers due to the youthful product presentation. For many younger fragrance buyers I feel that the true appeal of the fragrance is perhaps rather firmly based around the pretty Harajuku dolly that adorns what must be the ...

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex 12/06/2014

The Tv repair man could have done a better job!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex ~Nightmare or Night Repair?~ Having used a good number of the Estee Lauder range of skin care, make up and fragrance products over the years I feel I am more than able to give a well balanced opinion about the products I have experience of, which include the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Skin Serums. The serums have been updated and are now available in a number of forms, however the product that I will be reviewing here is the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Concentrate. The idea of using a product such as this concentrate is that by applying the serum to your skin it will help skin to recover from the stresses and strains that you have put it through during the course of the day. I hoped the serum would provide my skin with great night repair as that is what it appeared to promise and although it wasn't the skin nightmare product it could have been I feel it really didn't do what it was meant to do. ~Why I tried the concentrate~ When I began using the concentrate I was rather hoping that my use of the serum would give my skin a little boost and so I put my faith in what it could do, trusted in the blurb about it and used it every night for a number of weeks to see whether my skin was any softer, lighter, less stressed etc. Estee Lauder say that the serum 'frees your skin from the visible accumulation of excessive damage' whilst helping to 'dramatically boost skin's natural ability to renew the visible effects of this accumulation, helping ...

Bullet For My Valentine Scream Aim Fire Metal Bullet 1GB 12/06/2014

Bullet For Your Valentine!

Bullet For My Valentine Scream Aim Fire  Metal Bullet 1GB ~ A Limited edition silver Bullet For Your Valentine!~ This little Bullet For My Valentine USB Stick which (came as part of a BFMV limited edition gift set), was something that I came across online by chance and as soon as I saw it I and felt it was a well priced and useful item on which to store up to 1 GB of data which I just had to have. It also had the added bonus of being a limited edition item that is linked to the welsh metal band (yes there is such as thing as a welsh metal band!) Bullet For My Valentine, with a number of pre loaded features that come in an easy to access format including the whole of B For MVs Scream Aim Fire album released in 2008. Having found that the majority of USB sticks that I have come across are more functional than anything else, I felt that this little USB stick might be something that would appeal to many Bullet For My Valentine fans or to anyone thinking of buying a gift for a fan of the band, making this item worth reviewing here on Ciao. After a product suggestion was made for the gift tin ( which includes the USB stick with built in tracks from Scream Aim Fire plus a band t shirt), I am now able to share my thoughts about the whole set of items that came with my own limited edition set . The IGB storage bullet and git tin can still be found on sale at some online sites right now and comes well presented making it a quirky yet useful gift for any B For MV music fan. ~The limited edition B For MV gift tin~ The set that I have ...

Estee Lauder Azuree for Women Eau de Parfum 12/06/2014

Cool, Classic Azuree!

Estee Lauder Azuree for Women Eau de Parfum ~Fresh, green, citrusy, woody and much much more!~ The classic green and citrusy, woody chypre style fragrance that is Estee Lauder's Azuree EDT has been around for a long time (since 1969 in fact) and whilst in many ways the fragrance gives off a slightly dated feel to many modern fragrance buyers, my feeling is that it is still the classic blend it always was. If like me you like to vary your fragrance choices and mix things up then the leathery, woodsy depths of the Azuree fragrance might be something to try out on your next visit to the fragrance counter. Of course when compared with many of todays modern fragrance blends, Azuree can seem a little out of touch with many of the lighter flufflier fruity floral scents that have been popular with fragrance buyers in recent years, as it isn't a pink and candy toned girly feeling fragrance by any means. yet I feel this fragrance still manages to retain a certain charm when worn with confidence on the skin from time to time. For those of you who enjoy such fragrances as Chanel 19, Alliage, Miss Dior, Diorella, etc my feeling is that this fragrance would probably sit well in your fragrance collection, for use as a slightly different alternative. I find that this fragrance has a good deal about it that feels classic and retro, with a strong base and a pleasing if rather strong opening feel that hits the the back of the nostrils and keeps on going once on the skin for a good number of hours. There is a fresh green bitterness ...

Homebase Standard Bark Chips 12/06/2014

Barking Mad!

Homebase Standard Bark Chips ~A useful mulch from Homebase~ Over the years I have bought and used a number of types of bark chips from Homebase and found them to be mostly of a reliable quality. I have found that there can be a degree of variation in quality between types and even packs of the same type at times, so care should be taken when choosing your bark chips so as to ensure that you purchase the right product from the outset. It is my experience that the general Homebase bark products are fine for use as an all round mulch, top dressing or weed reducing layer around some if not all plants and trees, although not all types of this rougher bark are suited for other uses. If wanting to use Homebase bark chips around childrens play areas I would recommend choosing Homebase play bark instead as it is more suited to such areas. Over all it is my opinion that the range of Homebase bark chips I have experience of have been reasonably priced and have worked well to provide a useful garden mulch around planted areas in the garden. ~Choosing the right bark chips~ If wanting to use bark as a general covering to be layered around childrens play areas etc, (which in my experience require a specific type of bark product from the Homebase range) the rougher cheaper bulk buy bark chips from the range are not the best option in my experience. This is due to the fact that the larger sized bark chips seem to also include rough wood shavings that can and do have sharp edges and larger splinters sticking out ...

Gucci GG Sunglasses 2983 S 807LF 09/06/2014

Gorgeous Gucci Sunglasses

Gucci GG Sunglasses 2983 S 807LF ~Get that Gucci rush this summer!~ As a sunglasses fan I feel that my easy to wear Gucci GG Sunglasses (model number 2983) are a nice addition to my collection of sunglasses for all occasions. With Gucci being known as a high end product range that also often carries a hefty price tag to match, I know that if I were considering a future sunglasses purchase it would be good to be able to read a product review or two. Which is why I suggested these sunglasses as a potential review subject for Ciao. Whilst many may feel that the Gucci name alone should be more than enough to turn a few heads and make for a good reason to buy, I feel that name alone isn't always enough to justify a purchase unless the quality is also good. Having owned and worn these sunglasses for around 2 years now I like to think that in this case the designer brand name is backed up by a degree of quality, meaning that when I am out and about on a warm summers day my Gucci 2983 sunglasses won't let me down. ~Durability~ As far as durability goes I feel these sunglasses are well made, being strong and hard wearing in use, which I feel is just as important as them being stylish. I have had no serious issues with either the lenses or the frames since I have had these sunglasses in use, although I do recall that one of the frame arms had to be tightened slightly just after I bought these. Happily all that was required was a quick turn of the small screw in fixings at one side with a super tiny screwdriver in ...

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base - Spf 15 17/05/2014

Create calm looking skin with Clinique!

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base - Spf 15 ~Instant calm from Clinique~ Clinique Redness Solutions Protective Base is a primer type skin pre make up/ redness calming preparation product, that I have used at times with mixed yet most often fair results. Having sometimes needed a little help with facial redness during certain times of the year, such as during winter time when the colder weather can dry and crack skin causing it to take on a slightly weathered and unwanted rosy hue, I recall paying a visit to the Clinique counter to see what they could offer to help a little. The resulting skin consultation lead to me going away with a nice selection of skin care products to try which included a range of skin care samples including the Clinique Redness Solutions Protective Base product in a handy plastic squeezy tube. What I liked about the sound of the product was the fact that it could be used either as a stand alone skin primer which you could choose to use before applying your usual foundation product, or you could give the Protective Base an extra helping hand by using some of the other anti redness Clinique skin care products in tandem with it, to help ease the redness of the skin and not just try to mask it. As I already had some products from the same range I thought it would be good to try some of them together and see what results this gave me. Having used this product in both ways (as a stand alone item and along with other Clinique products) my feeling is that you do get slightly better results when ...

Yankee Candle Simply Home Fruity Melon 17/05/2014

A wax tart that fills the room with juicy, fruity, melon

Yankee Candle Simply Home Fruity Melon ~ A fruity Melon Yankee Candle wax tart~ My collection of wax tarts seems to be growing at an alarming rate. I blame reading all the Yankee Candle reviews I have read here on Ciao for that, as much as I do Yankee Candles themselves. Most of the wax tarts I have bought and used so far, including the Fruity Melon tart I am reviewing here have been lovely, although some have been better than others. I still feel that much of the Yankee Candle range can be expensive to buy, as there are so many cheaper options around. However as these wax tarts from Yankee have provided my home with plenty of enjoyable fragrance I would say that I am slowly but surely becoming a fan of this particular product range. Having bought and used one of these compact sized melon scented wax tarts, split into 6 pieces, over the course of the last week I would say that this is a wax tart that can fill a large room with the scent of fresh and fruity melon in just a few minutes. I set up my wax tart burner before writing this review, placed 1/6th of this wax tart on the top section and lit a tea light underneath. It hasn't taken long at all for me to be able to enjoy the scent of the wax tart, as my home is now filled with the aroma of fragrant, ripe and juicy melon, which really is very appealing in a fresh yet still cozy way. I wouldn't say that this wax tart is the strongest or most fragrant wax tart you can buy, as scent wise it does fade to nothing after just a few hours. There is quite a lot of ...

Moschino Archivio Black and Gold Silk Square Scarf 17/05/2014

A classic silk scarf from Moschino

Moschino Archivio Black and Gold Silk Square Scarf ~A super silk scarf from Moschino~ Anyone here in love, love, love with Moschino? I know I am, which why I am reviewing my super silk designer scarf here on Ciao. I must admit that I was very lucky to have been able to source this gorgeous Moschino branded silk scarf at a knock down price after having spotted it in a well known store a few months ago, as it ought to have cost so much more than it did. Since I bought this scarf I have found that it is so easy to wear, as it is really versatile and can be worn with so many different outfits, adding a touch of luxury along the way. I love the feeling of being able to pick up designer accessories like this one at a fraction of their original cost and as soon as I saw this Moschino Archivivo scarf with an amazing price reduction, I thought it was a bargain priced designer accessory that I just had to have. As soon as I saw the design of this scarf I knew immediately that I would love wearing it, as the design used on it is classic and chic, yet still feels modern and fresh at the same time. As you can still buy this design online at various sites both in £'s and $'s, I feel this is as good a time as any to review this item, which is why I suggested the scarf as a review subject here on Ciao. A classic look from the Moschino archive collection~ The intricate pattern used on this silk scarf really is beautiful in my opinion, it looks timeless and classic yet doesn't feel in any way like it couldn't be worn by someone in their ...

King of Shaves Azor Hybrid Synergy Razor 17/05/2014

Jack of all trades yet master of none!

King of Shaves Azor Hybrid Synergy Razor ~Razor or Azor which works best~? Having purchased a good number of the Azor range of razors made by King Of Shaves when they were on a special deal in a large retail store, I ended up with some of these odd looking hybrid synergy razors from the range. My hybrid synergy razors or Azors as King of Shaves would like us to call them have not been one of the better hair removal products that I have experience of having used sadly. In fact even though it has been quite some time since I bought some of these awkward little razors, I still have not managed to use them all up, as they really are too fiddly and awkward to use in my experience. I would say that these razors are probably as bad, if not worse than many of the super cheap one use disposable razors I have used over the years and they are most certainly amongst the worst in terms of causing nicks and cuts to the skin, of any other razor I have purchased. These quirky looking razors may look interesting when compared to most other disposable razor systems I have tried, but in my experience they fail on all levels when it comes to actually using them. I would say that if I was offered the chance to use this product again in the future without having to pay for it, I still wouldn't be keen to do so and would opt for a standard disposable razor over this design any day of the week. ~Why buy them? Buy again?~ At the time of buying my selection of Azor razors each pack was on sale at a cost far less than their normal rrp, ...

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra Mild 17/05/2014

Super soft soothed and smoothed clean skin

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra Mild ~A mild and gentle cleansing product that works well!~ A short time ago I was lucky enough to have been offered the chance to trial some of the range of Clinique skin care products that form part of Clinique's 3 step skin care range of facial care products. The Clinique Liquid Facial Soap was one of the 3 complimentary products I received as part of the '3 Step Challenge' pack that arrived for me to try and I was keen to see what kind of results each of the products would produce once in use on my skin. The mild nature of this easy to use liquid facial soap should and does mean that it is suitable for a wide variety of skin types in my opinion. Having used this product a good number of times I am able to say that I have found it to be very mild and light. In spite of the mild formula and light feel this product has it still left my skin feeling smooth and soft, as well as very fresh and clean when I used it, which I was more than pleased with. I used my liquid soap along with the rest of the 3 step skin care products from Clinique and whilst it performed rather well when used in that way I suspect it would be just as good when used alongside other facial skin care products that would compliment it. As such I feel that this particular liquid soap is something most deserving of a review here on Ciao. ~Clinique's directions for use~ Using fresh clean tepid water, lightly lather up the Liquid Facial Soap between the palms of your hands. I found it very easy to follow ...

Nestle Orange Smartie Calculator 17/05/2014

A clever little Orange Smartie

Nestle Orange Smartie Calculator Hey there Smartie pants~ My super duper orange Smartie calculator is a fun yet helpful item to own and use that I actually received as a quirky easter gift, along with a yummy Smartie easter egg. What a great gift! I have always liked the orange flavoured chocolate Smarties you get in Smartie tubes, so owning one of these super little Nestle calculators in my favorite Smartie flavour really was an added bonus. My Smartie calculator looks bright and cheery and in my experience it functions just as well as most other non scientific calculators I have bought or used over the years. The shape of the calculator makes it easy to handle when I am using it and as it is made with a durable plastic case it hasn't cracked or broken, even though I have accidently dropped it on the floor from time to time, oops! As easter is on its way once again, I feel that now is a good time to review this item, as it is something that is very likely to be available as a gift with purchase in a number of supermarkets and can also still be bought from a number of online sites as a stand alone item. I can't remember how my own Smartie calculator was presented when I first got it, as I have had this item for some time now, but I can say I was very happy with it when I received it as a gift, along with a tasty Smartie Easter Egg. As my calculator has given me hours of trusty service, with no issues or problems at all I have continued to be very pleased with it and I would go as far as to say that due to ...

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Guitar Strings 17/05/2014

Are your guitar strings as Slinky as Ernie Balls?

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Guitar Strings ~Air on an E string!~ As every guitarist knows finding yourself a set of good quality reasonably priced guitar strings that balance ease of use, good tone and longevity with that magic price that won't break your heart every time your top E string goes ping, can sometimes be a question of trying many types/ brands and gauges of string until you come up with a few options that suit your needs. When choosing a new set of strings I find that its best to think about the type of guitar that you are going to fit them on, the kinds of music you like to play and your own unique playing style. After all its not everyone that wants to play every single piece in drop D. Not all guitar players are heavy handed and in need a set of super thick/ extra durable strings and many people prefer a lighter touch and want to opt for a lighter thinner set of strings to produce the kinds of sounds they like to hear. All in all there are many guitarists who like the middle ground for a general set of well priced and reliable practice strings, which is what I find these Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Guitar Strings are rather good for. As such I would recommend these strings as a suitable solution when a full set of new strings is required at a fair price. Not only are these strings easy to source on the high street, as almost every music and guitar shop seem to stock them, they are equally as easy to source and buy online, often for slightly less than one might pay in a hight street store. These ...
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