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Please remember we're not just writing for members but non-member consumers too. I actively avoid those with ratings given stats lower than ratings received; too many members here take more than they give!

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since 10/10/2002

675

Elemis Revitalise Me Shower Gel 02/06/2017

Elemis Revitalise Me - It Really Does Revitalise Me!

Elemis Revitalise Me Shower Gel I had first come across Elemis Revitalise Me hand wash and hand and body cream when attending a meeting in a London hotel a couple of years back and had been enchanted by the scent of the lotion which lingered for absolutely ages. I had forgotten the name of the product and only found out when attending another meeting there more recently by deliberately visiting the rest rooms to find out what the product name was. Having ordered the hand and body lotion online, I was very curious to try out the shower gel which was retailing at £21.00 for 200ml on the Elemis website. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that much on a shower gel, even though I knew I'd love the scent of it but I was quite happy when I saw it being sold for £13.95 on fragrancedirect.co.uk, a site which I use on and off to buy cosmetics and other body care products. I ordered the shower gel with no hesitation and waited none too patiently for it to arrive so I could get on with using it. Literally a couple of days later, I've got my greedy mitts on a tube of Elemis Revitalise Me Shower Gel. The tube is a lovely deep shade of blue/turquoise and contains 200ml of the shower gel. There was a tamper proof tab on the tube just so you know it's not been used by anyone else. When I opened the tube, the heavenly scent was evident straight away. I'm a HUGE fan of neroli as a scent and this works really well with the other essential oils of thyme, basil, mandarin and lime. This combination works wonders, well for me ...

Chanel No.5 Eau de Parfum Spray 13/05/2017

Chanel No 5 - In A Class of its Own

Chanel No.5 Eau de Parfum Spray Chanel No 5 is in a class of its own. But how does the Eau de Parfum and the Eau de Toilette match up to the reputation of Chanel? MY RELATIONSHIP WITH NO 5 My mum wore Chanel No 5 when I was growing up so I’ve always known this scent. Mum always used the perfume and I used to be fascinated watching her dab a little bit of this grown up scent behind her ears and on her wrists. As a grown-up I found my own favourite perfumes and never felt the urge to splash out on Chanel No 5. When I met my husband he kept nagging me to wear Chanel No 5. I had personally found that No.5 didn't suit me when I had tried it in the past, but I think it was in my late 30s that I tried it again and was pleasantly surprised at how much I now liked the scent. I went off and splurged on a 100ml bottle of Chanel No 5 Eau de Toilette and a 50ml bottle of the Eau de Parfum, I’m in love with this perfume and can’t understand why I wasted so many years not having this feminine and classic scent in my perfume collection! ~*~THE HISTORY BEHIND NO 5~*~ Chanel No 5 has been around since 1921. It was Gabrielle (aka Coco) Chanel’s first ever fragrance and it was also the first ever fragrance created which was given the designer’s name. Although it was her first perfume to be marketed you might wonder why it was called No 5 – this is rumoured to be because the first 4 and the 6th that were commissioned were not to her liking and the number five was also Chanel’s lucky number. At the time of creation ...

Zeher (Subtitled) (DVD) 02/04/2017

Zeher - Even Shilpa Shetty's Sis Can't Save This! (film only rev)

Zeher (Subtitled) (DVD) Zeher: A Love Story is a 2005 Bollywood film is set in Goa, India and Zeher itself means "poison". The lead, Siddharth, is a cop played by Emran Hashmi, his estranged wife, Sonia, also a cop but his senior, is played by Shamita Shetty (sister of Shilpa Shetty made famous by Celebrity Big Brother in early 2007) and his mistress, Anna, is played by Udita Goswami. A few other supporting actors were in the film who I've never seen before and who didn't make much of an impact on my memory; looks or acting-wise. The film is directed by Mohit Suri, the screenplay is by Mahesh Bhatt (who has some quite good films under his belt, so not sure what went wrong with this one), and it was produced by Mukesh Bhatt. Zeher was released in March 2005 and filmed entirely on location in India and the language for the film is Hindi. The film runs for 134 minutes. ~~~WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?~~~ The film kicks off with a party scene with money and drugs changing hands and the obligatory cop chase… Our hero, Siddharth, gets a special award for his bravery in catching the bad guy and a party is thrown in his honour, where everyone attends apart from his wife. On the way home from the party he comes across a woman sitting on a bench feeling unwell and is unable to drive herself home. Our chivalrous hero offers to drive her home, letting her know it's safe as he is a police inspector and she accepts, once home she collapses on her lawn and he carries her inside leaving his card with her. The next day ...

Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (Hindi Language) 22/01/2017

Why Did I Watch This Absurd Film?

Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (Hindi Language) (SMALL UPDATES January 2017) Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya means "Why did I fall in love?" but the biggest question on my mind after watching this film was "Why did I watch this absurd film?" I think you'll gather from that comment that I didn't really enjoy this particular offering from Bollywood. ~*~ WHY OH WHY AND WHO? ~*~ Oh dear, I seem to be spending way too much time watching BAD Bollywood films these days and then reviewing them for Ciao. I guess this is me doing my bit for society and saving others from wasting time sitting through ridiculous movies such as this one. And you can add about 2¼ hours of my life spent on this particular good deed for society. The film (released in July 2005) stars Salman Khan who is pretty (in)famous in Bollywood, currently he's going through a bad time of it due to "rumours" of him being linked to the underworld in India, erm enough said about that, Sushmita Sen (Miss World and Miss Universe 1994) and Katrina Kaif (a model brought up in London) and Sohail Khan (Salman's real life brother). Supporting actors include Arshad Warsi, Bina Kak, Rajpal Yadav and Isha Koppikar. The film is directed by David Dhawan, who is supposedly known for directing comedies! My thoughts on that later… The film is rated PG. ~*~ PLOT TEASER ~*~ Salman plays a doctor (!!!) called Samir who's a bit of a Casanova. Samir has dated a string of women over the years, breaking hearts all over the place and has a long suffering receptionist/nurse, Naina (Sushmita) ...

Kabhi Kabhie (Hindi Language) (DVD) 30/12/2016

"Sometimes Sometimes" The Music Is Better Than The Film

Kabhi Kabhie (Hindi Language) (DVD) Kabhi Kabhie was a hit Bollywood film released in 1976. The film's title literally translates as "Sometimes Sometimes" which in itself doesn't really make much sense. The film's title seems to have been spelt in various ways over the years including Kabhi Kabhi, Kabhie Kabhie and as I've spelt it: Kabhi Kabhie. I'm not entirely sure which is the right version but I guess I'm not going to lose any sleep over it and probably neither are you! '[''~*~PLOT~*~ Amit Malhotra is a well respected poet at university and can often be found reciting his poetry to student bodies much to their delight. Pooja is a fan of his work and he admires her too, so they fall in love. Pooja's father arranges her marriage to someone else, Vijay, and she asks Amit what he thinks she should do. Amit tells her not to cause a family rift and go ahead and marry the boy of her parents' choice. So Pooja marries Vijay, who is instantly besotted with her. They have a son, Vicky, who grows up and falls in love with Pinky, a girl he meets at college. Pinky is adored by her parents (her father just happens to be who had adopted her as a baby. Pinky's biological mother is Anjali, who was an unmarried mother, giving her child up for adoption and married Amit (remember him? No? Keep up with the story now), who had joined the family construction business and become very successful. Amit and Anjali have a daughter, Sweety, who Amit idolizes. Now let's add some more complications to this story, shall we? Pinky finds ...

An Inspector Calls (2015) (DVD) 09/11/2016

An Inspector Calls (Again) - a 2015 BBC Production

An Inspector Calls (2015) (DVD) My review of An Inspector Calls is about the 2015 TV film, a BBC production which was originally aired on BBC 1. The film is based on the play of the same name by J B Priestley. ~PLOT~ The Birling family (Arthur, his wife Sybil, their daughter Sheila and son Eric) are having an intimate dinner along with Gerald Croft, who has just proposed to Sheila Birling. The group are happy and relaxed and in a celebratory mood; although Sheila teases her brother Eric for being a bit too relaxed as he seems to be drinking more than normal. After dinner the family maid announces that an Inspector Goole has arrived and wants to see the family. The Inspector tells them a young woman has committed suicide and one by one he talks with all those present making them admit how they were connected to her. ~ANALYSIS~ An Inspector Calls is a famous play set in 1912. The Birlings are a well to do family who own a local mill with Arthur Birling, the head of the family being involved in politics and looking to progress further in this area. Initially the family comes across as a decent enough bunch enjoying an evening at home celebrating the good news of Sheila's engagement to Gerald. When the Inspector arrives Birling Senior assumes it's for something trivial and offers him a drink with the men which he declines as he's on duty. When the Inspector mentions the name of the young woman (Eva) who has committed suicide Arthur plays dumb saying he employs 100s of young women but once he is ...

Mac Liquid Eyeliner 07/11/2016

MAC Liquid Eyeliner - A Pretty Excellent Eyeliner

Mac Liquid Eyeliner Let me tell you this straight up. I am pretty useless at applying liquid eyeliner. I have made some pretty awful botch jobs over the years trying to apply liquid eyeliner and had pretty much given up being able to use this form of eye makeup. It really wasn't fun ending up looking like a panda (no offence to lovely pandas intended) and having to remove my eye make up and start again and again before giving up and going back to the old reliable kohl pencils I've used for years. ~WHY MAC?~ Having only recently (well I say recently, over 18 months ago) discovered MACs range of fabulous lipstick shades and invested in a lovely bronzer from the MAC range; I thought I'd try out their eyeliner which retails (at the time of writing) at £16. I decided I wasn't going to fork out that sum without trying it on in store first - I've made so many impulse liquid eyeliner purchases over the years that I could have started a little make up shop (but who would buy a used eyeliner? Not me, that's for sure). ~THE PURCHASING PROCESS~ Before purchasing (at House of Fraser) I checked out the tester for the shade Boot Black (which is basically just black) and found that it looked like it would be fairly easy to use. It wasn't a thin brush applicator like many liquid eyeliners out there but rather a unique applicator which looks rather like a sponge sharpened to a point (or in everyday terms - a felt tip applicator)... I tried out the tester there in store and found it quite easy to apply ...

HP L1740 17 in 28/10/2016

About My HP 1740

HP L1740 17 in I've been using a HP 1740 Monitor for around two years now. Actually, to be more honest, I've been using TWO of these monitors for around two years at work. That's pretty much five days a week for most of my working day as I'm office based and my work pretty much involves using databases, spreadsheets, email and the internet all day. I tend to have my emails open on one screen and work on data management on my other screen. Those lovely men from IT set it all up so I can move easily from my left screen to right and back again just with the click of my mouse on the required screen. The HP 1740 Monitor is a flat panel TFT whic has been around for over a decade now and has been superceded by newer models over the years, so I'm not going to make this a complex long review as it's unlikely that you'd want to buy this new when there are newer/better spec monitors out there. But in case you were thinking of a picking up a second hand model, let me tell you about my experience of the HP 1740. In 2 years of regular use, I've not experienced any issues whatsoever with my 2 monitors and they weren't new when I first started using them either. So this is a 17 inch monitor which, as you may be aware, means it measures 17 inches across the screen from the bottom left hand corner to the top right or top left to bottom right. The screen is anti glare (which means you won't experience difficulty in looking at your screen if you have a window behind you) and anti static. To date I haven't ...

La Marquise Luxury Resort Complex, Rhodes 19/10/2016

La Marquise Rhodes - A SUPER 5 Star Luxury Resort

La Marquise Luxury Resort Complex, Rhodes We booked a 7 night stay at the 5 star La Marquise Luxury Resort & Spa via Thomson. To book the hotel directly we had got quote of about £1,770 for 7 nights in a basic room but we got a superior room with a pool view and flights, luggage and transfers included for around £1,500 through Thomson. I won’t discuss my (negative) experience with Thomson here as the review is about the beautiful resort we stayed at. ARRIVAL, CHECK-IN & RECEPTION IN GENERAL As our coach pulled into La Marquise at around 10pm on a Saturday in September 2016 we were so chuffed to see how gorgeous it looked by night and also by the exclamations of “Wow!” from other passengers. We already felt we had made a good choice in choosing La Marquise for our 7 day holiday as the hotels we’d passed on the way to ours couldn’t touch La Marquise for first appearances. We were checked in quite swiftly which was a bonus as we wanted to get freshened up and get back down to the bar to have a drink after a long day travelling. The receptionist serving us may have been new as he didn’t seem to know what time the bar closed, and was a bit vague with checking us in and not especially warm or welcoming. We were given a registration card to fill in at our leisure and pop back to reception once completed (i.e. on the way to breakfast the next day) along with a pack detailing the hotel facilities and a couple of towel cards advising that we would be charged 25 Euro if we lost the cards. We were only given one room key ...

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips 06/10/2016

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine - Don't Believe the Hype

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips are a range of lip crayons by Barry M Cosmetics Ltd. ~*~Background~*~ I don’t tend to rush out and buy products just because I’ve seen them advertised on TV but recently I had seen an advert for Barry M Cosmetics Gelly nail polishes and lip crayons and the lip crayons seem to call out to me to buy them. They just looked so fabulous in the advert and I have a weak spot for lipsticks and lip crayons so off I went to my local Boots (who didn’t stock them as they are a small branch) and then to my local Superdrug (who did, even though they are also a fairly small branch). ~*~The Purchase~*~ So there I was in front of 5 shades of these lip crayons and their respective testers and 10 minutes later I was out of there clasping my two new lip crayons in shades called 1 Vega and 2 Alpha for £4.99 each. I was very eager to get home and test out my new goodies. ~*~Packaging~*~ Each lip crayon was wrapped tightly in a protective cellophane wrapper which took about 5 minutes each to remove. I found it really frustrating that the packaging was so awkward to remove. On top of that, it then took me absolutely ages to manage to get the lids off the crayons for first time use. They seemed to be wedged tight from having been packed so tightly. In both cases, when I eventually managed to prise the lids off, the lip crayon was damaged slightly on removal of the lid. I remember being quite annoyed with the whole process of having to spend so much time actually ...

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (DVD) 20/09/2016

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - the Best Film I've Seen in Ages

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (DVD) I was a latecomer to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was released in 2011. Many friends, relatives and colleagues had raved about it to me of varying ages from people in their 20s to friends of my parents in their 70s and 80s. I caught the film on TV recently and was so taken with it that I ordered the DVD straight away so I could watch it over again whenever I wanted to. The film is based on a book by Deborah Moggach called These Foolish Things (which I think I’ll add to my list of books I want to buy). ~PLOT~ A group of British retired people decide to go out to India for their retirement to a retirement hotel which is advertised as being luxurious and exotic for various reasons including the far cheaper cost of living, the idea of living in a luxurious retirement home at a fraction of what it would cost in the UK. When they arrive there at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel it’s very evident that the photos on the website have been heavily “Photoshopped” as the refurbishment is still a “work in progress”. Sonny, who runs the hotel is a very optimistic young man and is always cheerful telling his residents that things will improve by the end. How will this group of elderly and very different characters settle in at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Will they find what they’ve come looking for? How many of them, if any, will go running back to Blighty to their old lives? ~CHARACTER AND PLOT ANALYSIS~ When the place you’re retiring to advertises with “Come and ...

Phir Hera Pheri (DVD) 12/09/2016

Phir Hera Pheri - Another Con Job? Yes I Felt Conned!

Phir Hera Pheri (DVD) Phir Hera Pheri is a Bollywood (Hindi language) comedy film relased back in 2006 which was a sequel to the hit film Hera Pheri. Phir Hera Pheri means "Another Con Job". ''PLOT Raju, Shyam and Baburao are 3 friends living together in the lap of luxury but they're not as happy as they think they should be. One of the trio meets con artist Anuradha who promises to double their money with a scam she has got going on. Raju manages to raise 10 million rupees (equivalent to aound £100,000) between his other 2 pals and a percentage of the total from local small time gangster Pappu. Sadly, the guys have been conned and lose all of their money as well as their home and have to move to a run down area. They are now also in debt to Pappu who, in turn, had borrowed his share of the money from a not-so –small-time-gangster Tiwari, who wants his money back now and double the amount he had lent Pappu. Will the guys manage to get their hands on enough money to pay their debts and get their lives back on track? ANALYSIS I watched this film with my mum recently who had actually seen it before and persuaded me to watch it with her. Against my better judgement I sat down to watch it hoping for a fun few hours spent with mum. I’m generally not keen on watching Bollywood comedies as I rarely find them amusing. They’re just too slapstick for my taste and I’ve often been very disappointed at the end of most Bollywood comedies wishing I hadn’t wasted my time on the film. Akshay Kumar stars as ...

Last Vegas (DVD) 03/09/2016

Last Vegas - Fabulously Fun Film Set in Vegas

Last Vegas (DVD) Last Vegas in a comedy drama starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Gloria . It was released in 2013 and tells the story of 4 lifelong friends meeting up for a stag weekend (or as the Americans call it “Bachelor Party”. The film was distributed by CBS Films. ~PLOT~ Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam are "almost" septuagenarians that have been friends for 60 or so years. Billy is about to get married to a woman in her 30s and has invited his old pals to Vegas for a weekend to celebrate his final days as a bachelor. Paddy is pretty mad with Billy who didn’t attend Paddy’s wife’s funeral the previous year. Archie just wants a weekend of fun away from his over-protective son and has told him he’s at a church retreat. Sam’s long time wife has given him permission to have a fling as their marriage has become rather stale. Why didn’t Billy go to the funeral? Will Paddy forgive him and support his friend’s upcoming wedding? Can Archie get away without his son finding out where he is? Will Sam go through with having sex with someone else? ~ANALYSIS~ Last Vegas was directed by Jon Turteltaub who also directed films such as Cool Runnings, While You Were Sleeping, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and National Treasure. I don’t know much about this director to be honest aside from the fact that as the director of Last Vegas I think he did a pretty good job. I will admit straight up that I REALLY enjoyed Last Vegas. Not being a particular fan of ...

Watford Croxley Green Premier Inn, Watford 26/08/2016

Premier Inn Croxley Green - Disturbed By Housekeeping

Watford Croxley Green Premier Inn, Watford Having the need to stay over in Watford for a night in August 2016 we booked into the Premier Inn Watford Croxley Green for one night. The booking was made a couple of months in advance for a Sunday night for a double room and cost us £37.50 plus a £2 booking fee. ~BOOKING ~ Having received the booking confirmation at the time of booking and paying by credit card we then received a reminder email a few days in advance of our stay saying we could check in online. I’m not sure what this actually meant as all I did was go back in and look at the booking, I wasn’t able to pre-book the room we want or anything super clever like that but anyway I printed off the page to show I’d booked in online. ~CHECK-IN~ We arrived at the hotel around 4pm on the Sunday afternoon after the first part of the wedding we were attending. We had an hour or so in hand to get changed into our evening glad rags and head out by taxi back to the venue which was just under 4 miles away. I would add here that when we were doing a search for hotels closest to the wedding venue Premier Inn Croxley Green was showing as being just 2 miles away… As we arrived in the car park we saw lots of signs reminding people to use the pay and display machines. We were a bit worried as there had been nothing stated in the booking confirmation about whether parking was included in the price and we had assumed the car park would be free (as it had been in other Premier Inn hotels we’ve previously stayed at). We didn’t ...

Phool Aur Kaante (DVD) 18/08/2016

Phool Aur Kaante or Flowers and Thorns

Phool Aur Kaante (DVD) Phool Aur Kaante (meaning Flower and Thorn) is a Bollywood (Hindi language) film released back in 1991. The film stars Ajay Devgan in the lead role with Madho as his leading lady. ~PLOT~ Ajay is a college student who meets and falls in love with fellow student Pooja. Ajay has strong principles and this contributes towards his having issues with another student who is selling drugs. This student happens to be the spoilt son of a minister who gets Ajay kicked out of college. An underworld bigwig Don enters the scene and gets Ajay back into college although Ajay does not appreciate his involvement at all and their relationship is a mystery. Ajay and Pooja graduate from college, get married and have a child. When their child is kidnapped what lengths will Ajay go to in order to get his child safely home? ~ANAYSIS~ This was the film that propelled Ajay Devgan to stardom. It was actually his debut film that I personally didn't see till years after its release when I already knew him as a pretty decent actor. I watched the film again recently as I remembered it only vaguely from more than a dozen years ago and as a fan of Devgan I felt it was worth a second watch. Devgan has never been known particularly for his good looks but I've always found him to be a pretty good looking guy. I enjoy his acting on the whole and think he's very good at action scenes as well as showing emotion. He definitely showed his action hero prowess in Phool Aur Kaante as well as his emotional side. I ...
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