Wednesday, 29 May 2013

giffgaff Mobile Network

Hello lovely! Today I'd like to fill you in on the mobile network giffgaff.

giffgaff runs on the O2 network. So firstly, if you don't get signal coverage of O2 where you live for whatever reason, then giffgaff isn't the network for you. 

The network is online only. So no shops, no call centres and low overheads. They're also a SIM only network, so they only give away SIM cards and don't get involved in the mobile phone handsets themselves. Considering that according to The Recycling Factory, there are over 90 million unused mobile phone handsets lying around in drawers across the UK, that can only be a good thing. 

GiffGaff offer pay as you go deals, as surmised below:
You'll notice straight away that their prices are ridiculously keen compared to their competitiors and it's a very 'no nonsense' strategy. It's also impossible to run up a massive phone bill. If you run out of minutes then no more calls for you! (If this is a problem, you can just add additional minutes, which is easy to do.)

giffgaff members benefit from free giffgaff to giffgaff calls, so if everyone you know signs up to the network - you can call your whole phone book for free! The other benefit of this is that you only have to add a goodybag once ever three months to continue to get free calls to giffgaff users.

You can cancel at any time, so all the above are 'goodybags' which you can add once, or set to roll month by month. But if you decide that it's not for you, then you can just stop renewing. No notice period and no messy contracts to 'get out of.'

So how do you join? Just click on the image below and order yourself a SIM card. By ordering a SIM card through this link, you'll get £5 worth of credit and the member who provides the link (me, in this case) will get reward points. (I've not written the blog post for reward points, but feel free to sign up via directly if you'd like to)

Get a free giffgaff Sim

If you have any problems during your time on giffgaff, you can use the 'ask an agent' feature on their website and they will get back to you fairly quickly on most standard questions. You can also take to their huge online forums, where fellow members of the giffgaff community will help out in answering your questions.

I have no signal problems with O2 in my area. The network coverage is 99% of the UK population with a 2G connection and 80% with 3G. It's always worth checking out your coverage here, just to be on the safe side.

Another nice little bonus with giffgaff is that calls to 0800 numbers are free, which is quite a rarity on mobile networks. 

The real area where giffgaff packs a punch though is with the unlimited text and internet packages. Most people with data intensive smartphones will appreciate this. Do note however, you cannot tether your connection. So no using it as a personal hotspot I'm afraid...

The lack of tethering is probably the only bone of contention, but otherwise it's a fantastic mobile network that I've been very happy with for the last year. 

I'll leave you with a geeky fact because I loved it. The name giffgaff comes from the ancient Scottish word that means "mutual giving" - so there you go. Enjoy!
Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Sunday, 26 May 2013

App Review: Temple Run 2

Hello lovely! Today I'd like to tell you about my latest app obsession; Temple Run 2.

Did you guys play the original Temple Run? If not, where have you been? Since mid 2011, Temple Run has been downloaded more than a whopping 170 million times. Wowza! 

In January 2013, Imangi Studios released the sequel to the endless runner game. It features the same action-packed experience found in the original game including new zip lines, power ups, a mine cart (pesky thing) and an even bigger monkey; which genuinely scares me. It's also set in a new place and it has enhanced graphics.

Alright I get it, what's temple run? Well, it's a game whereby you have taken an 'idol' and you are running away from a monkey with it in your backpack. Using a combination of finger swipes and tilts, you get past obstacles, go round corners and collect coins.

The levels never end and the only real goal is to last as long as possible and achieve the highest score you can. It's all rather simple, but I think that's what makes it so good. (Or frustrating, depending on what mood you're in.)

As for target audience, I'd say this is for anyone from keen gamers, to kids, to your Dad, to Wayne Rooney. (No really... He has even tweeted about it.) 

If you do start playing this, I defy you to not shout at the screen and you'll probably start hearing the sound effects in your sleep - so don't say I didn't warn you.

But as one of the most anticipated game released on iOS and Android this year, you'd be missing out if you didn't at least give it a go. 

If you've taken the plunge, post your highest score below!
Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

citysocializer; getting together offline

Hello lovely! Today I'd like to talk about a website,

OK, so I'll start by setting the scene... Perhaps you've just moved to a new town or city, you've started a new job and you don't have many colleagues, maybe all your friends have settled down & had children, or you'd just like to meet new people and expand your social circle; you can never have too many friends, right? 

Well you'd not be the only one. Citysocializer provides an online library of people who are just like you. People who want to seize the day (carpe diem, if you're really posh...) and it gives you a platform in order to get in touch with those people. 

You can sign up initially with a 7 day free trial so you can have a nose around and see what you think. Following that, citysocializer has 2 different membership options. Premium starting from £9.99 a month and Standard starting at £7.99 a month. 

I have to admit, I was probably like you; recoiling away from the screen at the fact I'd have to pay for membership. But I have to say it's all a pretty slick operation run by a big group of people and for me, it beats the alternative of sites that aren't monitored and don't have a 'community' with real people to contact if you have a problem. But subscription sites won't win over everyone... I hear ya.

Once you get started, all you have to do is create a profile containing a few bits of information, such as who you are and what you like. Then upload a picture of yourself and away you go.

Above is a little word cloud from my profile - allowing potential new drinking buddies (ha!) to see the kind of things I like. Giving people a fairly decent idea if we might have something in common, or if we might be on a similar wavelength. 

Then you can either start browsing other people's profiles on the site, or by having a look at the 'socials' that are being hosted. You can see socials in your area and all across the country. So if you fancy popping for a day trip to a city you've never been to, then why not have a look at what socials are being hosted and pop along! 

If you know what date in your calendar is empty, then you can browse by date and start to fill your free nights up. You can also search for socials based on particular interests. 

You'll see socials like the new member's night and pub quiz events above. All you have to do is click to say you'll attend and you can see and chat with all the people that will be there. It's as easy as that really. 

Socials are hosted by someone who will be sure to greet you and introduce you to people when you arrive at one of the events. You can see a picture of the host, so you should be able to recognise them on the way in. You'll never have to worry about awkwardness or sitting alone in the corner - everyone is in the same boat as you.

The socials are also hosted in conjunction with the venue. So the staff will be aware that there's a meet going on and will know where to direct you. A lot of venues will also put on a special offer for those attending the citysocializer meets. 

And if you don't see a social that you fancy, why not host your own! 

The only real negative is that my city is sparsely populated on the site. So I'm hoping by getting a bit of publicity out there, I can entice a few more members and see if we get get Derby rocking.

If you feel like getting out there and finding some cool new things to do and people to meet, then head on over to Hopefully see you at the next social!
Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sony DRBT21GB Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Hello lovely! Today I'm excited to bring a technology review your way. So get ready to be 'pelted in the face' (love you Philly D...) with my review on the Sony DRBT21GB Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.

First things first, let's do a quick run down: 
  • On ear stereo headphones.
  • Bluetooth 2.0.
  • Mobile phone headsert functionality with in-build microphone.
  • Volume control and skip tracks (FF/RW) on the headset.
  • Charging time approx 2 hours.
  • 11 hour battery life from fully charged.
  • Foldable neck strap.

So far, so good, right? Definitely. And they have the Sony quality to boot. 

When I first received these as a birthday present, I was super excited to find a headset that fits really comfortably on the ears. No in-ear nightmare. No clip that is so loose that it constantly feels like it's going to fall off. Just a sturdy, going nowhere, fit. Yes, SONY!

These are also really lightweight at 65 grams. So they're utterly portable and suitable for exercising with. I know... Steady on. I've not done that much exercising with these on, but I have gone for a few runs and they've not budged. (Honest Guv'nor.)

The sound quality on these headphones is excellent and you can get a really decent level of volume. They connect to your device by bluetooth and that process is really straight forward - just switch them on and use your device to 'pair' them up. Simples.

The purple light that you can see on the above picture will flash and you'll get a little noise to inform you that you're connected. It also supports multiple devices well, so fear not about pairing them with your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

I also use these regularly to make and receive phone calls. I've had no quibbles with the quality and volume on calls - even when walking in the wind. I wouldn't suggest buying these if your sole purpose is for phone calls - you really need a specific device for this.

But if you're using them for music and want to be able to take a call when it comes in too - then these are perfect. 

As you can see above, there is an FF and REW scroller button in order to skip tracks. This is so easy to use and where it's positioned has clearly been thought about by SONY. It's on the right ear and in the easiest place to reach. Navigating through your favourite playlist while your music device is in your pocket is really easy. 

The distance on the bluetooth with these headphones is impressive. If I pop these on my living room coffee table, I can easily roam the house & garden and maintain connectivity. The charge seems to last an absolute age, so I've also no complaints there. 

The sound quality is very good, considering the size and portability of this device. It doesn't match the best full-size audiophile headphones but that's not a fair comparison. It has a full sound, which is not weak or tinny with a decent level of bass that's not overpowering.

Gone are the days of massive wireless headphones (remember those?) and here you have spot on, portable, foldable, headphones that are a really nice 'in-between' size.

Overall, if you're looking for wire-free headphones that are compact, with a good battery life and sound quality; these fit the bill perfectly. I highly recommend...

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Olay Regenerist Complexion Correction Cream

Hello lovely! Today I'm really excited to bring you an exclusive product launch review. It's the Olay Regenerist Complexion Correction Cream.

I'm going to try and reign in said excitement about this product so that I can relay some of the facts for you. 

This brand new product from Olay is branded as a 3-in-1 product, but I'd actually say it's a 4-in-1. It's a serum, moisturiser, sheer foundation and it also contains SPF 15. 

It all sounds a bit too good to be true doesn't it? My other worry when reading through the product release notes was that it only comes in 3 shades; lightest, medium and darkest skin tones. This seemed like a brave move by Olay, but nonetheless, I was intrigued...

When the product arrived, I was instantly reminded of the Stila One Step Correct. It's a similar packaging - but one massive point to note from the offset is the absolutely massive 50ml of product. I'm super impressed with this as it will last the average user absolutely ages.

The tube is plastic and has a decent pump top - so it's easy to control the amount of product and it makes it very easy to travel with. Happy Days!

When you pump out some product onto your hands you can see the serum, moisturiser and foundation clearly. When then applying this to the face it's absolutely seemless in terms of blending. It feels exactly like a moisturiser and it absorbs so beautifully into the face. 

You can use this alone or under make up. I'd go so far as to say that if you are someone who rarely uses foundation, or indeed doesn't at all - then this could be an everyday standalone staple for you. For me, I like (need...) a heavier coverage. So I use this underneath my foundation to prep & prime my skin and to even my skin tone.

I think this product blows every BB cream I have ever tried out of the water. So if you're a big fan of BB creams, you simply have to give this a go and let me know what you think.

When I realised that I had fallen head over heels in love with this product, I gathered 2 good friends of mine who don't use a daily moisturiser or foundation at all - and urged them to let me try this product on their skin. One of them has subsequently purchased this product and uses it daily - woo hoo!
So here's the lowdown, Geek to Chic style...
  • The product contains serum, moisturiser, a sheer foundation and SPF 15.
  • The bottle has a whopping 50ml of product.
  • It retails at £24.99. (Don't forget to see if you have Boots points to use!)
  • It's billed to perfect complexion, hydrate, reduce wrinkles and minimise dark spots.
  • It comes in 3 shades, lightest, medium and darkest skin tones.
  • It blends & matches your skin tone - opt for your nearest shade & don't worry if it's not 'spot on'.
  • It's perfect for use under make up - or completely on it's own.
And finally, it has the biggest 'Geek to Chic Stamp of Approval' of any product I have ever reviewed. I absolutely adore this product and can't wait for it to be properly released. 

If you have chance to get your hands on this product - snap it up! And let me know how you get on.

You can buy this online at or in your local store. 

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Sunday, 12 May 2013

FaceB4 Cleansing Foam & Serum

Hello lovely! Today I'd like to talk about the new FaceB4 Cleansing Foam & Serum...

Billed as a 'revolutionary new skincare regime to help maintain clear skin' I was suitably unimpressed by my first impression. The packaging, please excuse me FaceB4, but I will be honest here; makes the product look like some kind of shoe cleaner. 

To say I hate the product packaging would actually be an understatement. It's clumsy, bulky and I feel as though it's been designed by a room of people who have never seen, let alone used, a cleanser or serum before.

Right, moving on. #rantover... The daily cleansing foam claims to be a combined cleanser and toner. Which makes me a little suspicious as my personal opinion is that to get the best out of a cleanser and a toner, you use one after the other. So this product still has me reaching for my toner afterwards.

The cleansing foam contains Salicyllic acid, an ingredient that you also see in the Proactive skincare range. (See my review on that range, here...) Although not in the same concentration. Salicyllic acid is supposed to be instrumental in removing impurities like spots and blemishes. 

The cleansing foam bottle has a pump at the top. So you wet your face, pump some foam into your hands and massage it into your skin. The instructions ask you to leave the product on for a minute or so before rinsing. There is a smell you do need to 'tolerate' when performing this however. It's quite medical, like a mix between a tea-tree oil and a strong cleanser. But it's not awful.

Once I rinse this product off, my skin does tend to feel quite dry and like the texture of the red coating on a babybell - you know what I mean, right? If not, this sounds incredibly weird.

When I leave the shower after using the Cleansing Foam, I am desperate to put some moisture back into my skin. As instructed, I've been using the FaceB4 Cleansing Serum afterwards. This serum is quite thick, with a similar texture to a very rich moisturiser. It does smell nice and you only need a few small pumps to cover your face.

As for the effectiveness of the serum itself, I see nothing in this that makes me prefer it to any moisturiser I currently own. And I liken it to a moisturiser because I don't feel like this is a 'serum' in the traditional sense of the word.

So let's talk price points... The Cleansing foam is £14.95 and the Serum is also £14.95. A considerably priced duo I'd say. Boots are however currently running an offer where you can buy them both and benefit from a £5.00 saving. Good if you're looking to try these.

What do I think? Well, I'd be lying if I said these weren't going anywhere but the very back of my cupboard. Sorry FaceB4, this product is not for me... I feel utterly underwhelmed by the whole experience.

If you feel like trying these yourself, you can buy the range online at or in your local store. 
Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lee Stafford: BiG FAT Healthy HAiR

Hello lovely! Today it's all about hair. Lee Stafford's BiG FAT Healthy HAiR shampoo and conditioner, to be precise... (Apparently you have to type like a teenager on myspace...)

This week it was that glorious but equally dreaded time - when my shampoo and conditioner ran out. OH NO! Why is it both glorious and dreaded? Well, I like to change up my shampoo and conditioner often so when I run out it means I have to go and choose some more which is an exciting but nearly always very expensive exercise...

I've seen quite a lot of online love for Lee Stafford and I do notice him on Twitter speaking to customers about his products and how best to use them, which is great. When looking at his range in Boots, I wanted to pick up something that would give me a bit more body - as especially in winter I feel that my hair tends to be a bit limp, which is another reason I'm wearing it curly a lot more recently. 

So I plumped for the Big Fat Healthy Hair pairing. (I'm not typing it like I'm on Myspace now Lee, sorry.) The first thing I will say is that for just 250ml of product, they have a hefty price tag at £5.99 a pop. Wowza... Luckily, Boots had 3 for 2 on all hair products otherwise I'd have been walking away.

I also picked up some Lee Stafford Sea Salt Spray which I'll also do a review on in the upcoming weeks.

So once I was over the initial price tag shock, I was excited to get these home and give them a try. I'm also keen to try the hair growth products from Lee Stafford - let me know if any of you have tried these!

The shampoo consistency is very thick and gel like compared to most shampoos, so be prepared to give it a good massage in order to get a decent amount of lather. I've also been informed that massaging your scalp will promote hair growth - so I'm sure the extra effort will be worth it. 

The conditioner is also a slightly thicker texture, just as easy to use - sparingly on the mid section to the tips, leave for a few minutes and you're done!

I have to say that I did immediately notice that my hair felt different when I got out of the shower and started to comb through with my trusty tangle teaser. It felt very soft indeed. My hair always reacts well to a change in shampoo and conditioner but this was a step above the norm. 

My hair also dried very nicely and it was easy to see once dry how noticeably soft and smooth my hair was - with some fairly decent body to the root area to boot. Woohoo! 

The most impressive thing about this shampoo and conditioner, however, is that when I came downstairs and sat next to my other half he immediately commented on how amazing I smelt - then got closer and said, oh it's your hair, it smells gorgeous. 

Now, I'm not saying that he doesn't notice things, but I could probably lop a couple of inches off my hair, get a piercing or have an illegitimate child without him so much as batting an eyelash - so this was a quite impressive turn of events! 

I highly recommend the Lee Stafford Big Fat Healthy Hair shampoo and conditioner, so do let me know if you take the plunge and give it a go!

You can buy the range online at or in your local store. 

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Sunday, 5 May 2013

May: Gadget Wishlist for Under £30.

Hello lovely! Today it's time for a round-up of the latest tech that I think should be on your 'May Gadget Wishlist' - all for under £30.
This first item has one of my favourite product names... It's the BAR10DER.

This one of those items that you won't know how you coped without. Complete with a muddler, stirrer, knife, zester, reamer, jigger, bottle opener, corkscrew and strainer - what's not to love about this swiss army knife for booze. A must have.

Available at various online retailers for £29.99.
My next essential wishlist item at present is the Sonic Alert Super Shaker Alarm Clock.

This alarm clock has a vibrating unit which is placed under your pillow or mattress. The powerful vibrations are guaranteed to wake your spouse and stop their snoring. (Result!) Perfect for heavy sleepers, or people who need a little encouragement to get up in the morning.

Available at various online retailers for £15.99.

Sticking to the sleep theme the next item that should be on your wishlist is something that I use every night and absolutely love. It's a Sound Asleep Pillow. 

On the surface a very ordinary pillow but it has built in speakers and a headphone jack which plugs into your music device and allows you to enjoy comfortable in ear music while you fall asleep. It really is a gadget that you'll never know what you did before you had it in your life. 
Sound Asleep iMusic Pillow
Available at various online retailers for £14.95.

Next on the FromGeektoChic May under £30 Wishlist is the Tjiller

The ultimate little gadget to keep you cold ones cold. Perfect for a picnic, a festival, a BBQ - anywhere. It's a portable chiller that will keep your drink icy cool for up to 5 hours.
Available at various online retailers for £10.00.
Simply follow these steps to keep your booze cool for hours: Put Tjiller in the freezer, take it out, put beer or wine in it and it will keep your drink cold all day long. Ace!   

Finally, my favourite item on this month's wishlist for under £30.00 is the iDuck Wireless Speaker.
iDuck Wireless Speaker
Available at various online retailers for £21.95.
This awesome little gadget means that you can listen to your favourite tunes in the bath without worrying about getting your phone wet. It has a range of 10m so it will cater for even the most fancy of bathrooms. 

If your phone has a dodgy shuffle (mine is known for this...) you'll be pleased to know that the iDuck has buttons on it to enable you to skip tracks. Genius... 

Check back in June and see what's on next months Gadget Wishlist for under £30.00.

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Hello Lovely! Today is my review of the Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, specifically the version with Vitamin E and Peppermint. 

To those who use a lot of lip balm you'll understand the importance of having a good trusty faithful in your purse. In fact, as I write this and look down into my handbag I can clearly see not 1, not 2 but 3 lip balms poking out of the cosmetic pocket. 

Burt's Bees was founded in the states, you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise because of the amount of French on the packaging, but alas. 

This lip balm retails at £3.95 which is at the top of the high street pricing spectrum for such a product. You'll find a tin of Vaseline lip therapy is £1.99 and a Carmex lip balm £2.69. 

The main USP of this product is that it's billed as 100% natural - so if that's something that's especially important to you, then rest assured it's a responsible product and the packaging is recyclable. The product is also cruelty free and BUAV approved - woohoo!

So onto the product itself... You can most definitely smell the peppermint when you remove the lid and this little addition is even more prominent when you put the balm on your lips. It causes a tingle sensation which will stay with you for a good few minutes before wearing off - if this is something that you're not used to, you might not like it. 

This product does feel moisturising and it does make my lips feel like they've had a bit of nourishment. It can be a little 'waxy' compared to most lip balms, which naturally you'd expect and whether that's a good thing or not is purely down to personal preference. 

My Conclusion...?

I like this product, I don't love it...

I am put off by both the consistency and the price tag. I think there are more moisturising lip balms on the market that are also slightly cheaper. 

However I know that this brand is a beauty staple lip balm for a lot of people - so I'd say if you're looking for a new lip balm, why not give it a go. 

You can buy this product online at or purchase in your local store.

As always, if you pick this up - let me know your thoughts!

Always Geek, Forever Chic.
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