Recommendation: Review Sites

Whenever you want to buy something – a house, a gadget or a Secret Santa gift – it’s always good to come into the process with full knowledge. If what you’re looking for hasn’t been reviewed here, the following websites offer the best and niche opinion from insiders and experts in their respective fields. Check them out!



Looking to move to a suburb you’re unfamiliar with? Homely is one of the sites you should check out before signing a contract. Apart from property listings, the site also offers reviews of suburbs from local residents. Just type in the suburb’s name and you’ll find out all the details, from public transport and restaurants to safety and traffic.


The Strategist

As Vox’s Eliza Brooke puts it, the Strategist “offers a level of taste, not omniscience or product specs”. While other sites might recommend awfully random items based on commission, the Strategist provides tasteful, well-curated items based on certain categories (for example, “What’s the Best Work Bag for Women?”). The site also features exclusive celebrities’ recommendations on the regular (“What Rebel Wilson Can’t Live Without”). It’s like window shopping with a cool friend.

Review: Tosowoong SOS Repair Cica Clinic Acne Patch

As you may have read, acne patch is my favourite solution for whiteheads. In my previous review I talked about how amazing CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch is, but I decided to try other companies to see how different patches at different price points work.

I picked up Tosowoong SOS Repair Cica Clinic Acne Patch at Yesstyle – you can also get it from other Korea-based online shops. Sold at $18-19, each pack contains 60 one-size hydrocolloid patches that claim to absorb excess sebum, protect pimples from secondary infections and promote rapid healing. It’s slightly more expensive than CosRX acne patch (around $5-6 for 24 patches), but not by much.

From the get-go, the packaging is much more user-friendly than CosRX. With the latter, you need to use your fingernails to get the patches off the plastic, which often led to wrinkled patch with less coverage area. However, with Tosowoong, there is a cutting line in the middle that allows you to pick up each patch in a convenient and hygienic way. The size is perfect, too – while CosRX patches came in three sizes that are either too big or too small, Tosowoong’s patches are just the right diameter.

Upon use, Tosowoong patches are quite transparent but still visible. As advertised, it is indeed highly adhesive and waterproof – it doesn’t fall off or move around easily, even in awkward spots like the edge of your nose. It’s actually a bit difficult to remove by the end of the day, but it’s not to the point where I would rip off my skin, so it’s just a mild inconvenience at best.

How effective is it?

I find that Tosowoong patches are quite effective in keeping the skin underneath moist and helping all the whiteheads come out. They don’t work as fast as CosRX, but the convenience of the packaging and the strong adhesion make up for it.

Would I repurchase this? Yes, but I’m not stopping my CosRX haul either.


  • Relatively affordable
  • Effective
  • Convenient use


  • Not as easy to find as CosRX
  • Takes longer to work

Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

Scented Candles vs Diffusers: Which One Should You Go for?

candle room diffuser

There are so many ways of scenting your place today, but which is better than the other? Below we outline the pros and cons of scented candles and room diffusers.

Scented Candles

A reliable gift for all occasions, candles aren’t just pretty and fragrant. The scent emanating from the melting wax is generally stronger than diffused oil and can fill larger space at your home. Moreover, lit candles can truly set the ambience and tie the room together as a centrepiece.

However, scented candles come with a glaring risk: flammability. An open fire needs to be place in a safe, stable place and might not be suitable in a home with pets or children. Some candles might also contain harmful substances like lead, which has been associated to poisoning and respiratory problems. The scents of candles might be stronger, but they aren’t as long-lasting as they disappear once the candle is blown off.

Room Diffusers

A room diffuser is safer in general, as it requires no fire or electricity to operate. Diffusers can also be more cost-efficient, as they last longer than candles and can maintain its waft through the air continuously.

The downsides? Room diffusers might look a bit clunkier than candles, thanks to its protruding reed sticks. They also tend to have weaker sillage than candles, but this can be improved by flipping over the reeds more frequently.


Scented candles and room diffusers are both great options to keep your space sweet-smelling. Whatever your choice is, make sure to do your due diligence for the safest products.

Kris Kringle Gift Ideas for Every Co-Worker

Left your Kris Kringle shopping to the last minute? We’ve curated a list of present ideas for every type of co-worker. So drop your gift-exchanging worries and thank us later…

For the Co-Worker Who Can’t Get Through Mornings Without Caffeine

Self Stirring Mug

Keep their cuppa hot and stirred.


For the Co-Worker with the Most Enviable Jewelleries

Aussie Treats necklace

An Australiana statement necklace to complete their accessories’ collection.


For the Co-Worker Who Loves Wine O’Clock


Help them carry their wine safely in style.


For the Tech Aficionados of the Workplace

An extra charger for their many gadgets would be handy – make it an impressive one for your present.


For the Office’s Resident Make-Up Enthusiast


Get them a bit of everything with this kit of bestselling makeup products.


For the Eco-Friendly Co-Worker

Lunch Box Bamboo Double Dust

They can kiss plastic goodbye with this natural bamboo fibre lunch box.


For the Co-Worker Who Can’t Stop Talking About Their Cats

This automatic laser pointer will keep their feline friends happy and occupied.


For the Co-Worker Who Spends Their Weekend in the Mountains

10-in-1 Gentlemen's Credit Card Multitool

With this convenient card-sized tool, they can tackle any challenges under the sun.


For the Co-Worker You Barely Know

Fresh Sage & Cedar Large Candle 350g

Custom candles with their names will be a safe yet thoughtful choice.

What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, November 2018

Holiday seasons can’t come quickly enough! Here are a few flicks to help you get through the last couple weeks of November.

Bohemian Rhapsody

“As it turns out, “Bohemian Rhapsody” the song is a sonic masterpiece and “Bohemian Rhapsody” the movie is just a conventional rock flick, one all too ordinary for a man and a band that exemplified the extraordinary.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today

Bohemian Rhapsody is another lame music biopic, and its failures ultimately lie in the poor creative choices, the gutless approaches to potentially explosive events in the life of this band.” – Blake Goble, Consequence of Sound


Boy Erased

“Well acted and thoughtfully directed, Boy Erased is a compassionate memoir that nevertheless struggles to leave much of an emotional impact.” – Sandy Schaefer, Screen Rant

“There’s been a wealth of coming-out stories on film in the last couple of years, from Beach Rats to Love Simon to Moonlight, and Boy Erased feels neutered in comparison… As a PSA it is surely needed and it’s undoubtedly well-intentioned but as a film with its heart in the right place, I just wish its heart was beating a bit louder.” – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a film that’s difficult to recommend even to die-hard Harry Potter fans… as a story that takes place within the Wizarding World, Crimes of Grindelwald is a total mess, packed with too many storylines that go almost nowhere, and new characters that fail to earn our interest at the expense of old characters we wanted to know better.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider

“It is a rambling, shiftless middle-chapter of a five-part saga where absolutely nothing of consequence happens or is revealed until the final reel, turning this franchise into the cinematic equivalent of a “paced for the binge” Netflix series.” – Scott Mendelson, Forbes


The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Imagine if someone took Frozen, threw in a bit more Cinderella and added six more spoonfuls of sugar on top. It won’t be for everyone, but for those with a cinematic sweet tooth it’s going to be a favourite.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire

“I can sense the film Nutcracker thinks it is: a throwback to the practical-effects-driven kids’ fantasies like Labyrinth or the traumatizing Return to Oz … But there’s nothing grounding enough here; everything — the sets, the costumes, the performances — seems to drift off in a CGI haze. As a contender for cherished childhood mythology, its methods are cheap. And as a mere child distractor, it seems awfully expensive.” – Emily Yoshida, Vulture



Widows is as much a brooding meditation on gender as it is a heart-thumping, tension ridden action-suspense thriller. While there are certainly moments purposefully designed to elicit gasps and applause from the audience, I’d hardly call it a mindless romp.” – Carmen Phillips, Autostraddle

“It proves how smarts and style can elevate even the pulpiest material into something shrewd, socially attuned and bracingly observant. Rarely has a movie been so illuminated by a single character simply breaking into a smile, and rarely has a smile been so unequivocally earned.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

Our Christmas Wish List

Here are a few things that we think will brighten our Christmas holiday – maybe you’ll snag one for yourself, too.

Alpacas Melamine Plate, $12, Monsterthreads

Cute alpaca, Christmas colours… this one’s perfect for your December picnic.


Music Boxes, Price Upon Request, Wooderful Life

For the sentimental at heart.


Christmas Present, $49, Lush

Make your Christmas bright, fizzy and lathery with some shower goodness.


Clinique 3-Step Intro Kit, $45, David Jones

Pricey skincare to keep you feeling luxurious.


Cadbury Sharing Selection Gift Box, $15, Target

Keeping your holidays sweet with chocolate goodness.


Monopoly – Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition, $59.95, Dadshop

Combine your two passions: endless capitalistic game and the Iron Throne.


Games Room Party Compendium, $29.95, Myer

Make your game nights even more heated.

What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, October 2018

Having a flick night? Check out the reviews of these recent releases – better be safe than sorry!

A Star Is Born

“[W] hile it’s not a perfect film — though the first hour just may be — A Star Is Born boasts more than enough passion to make up for some of its narrative hiccups. It swings from intimate drama to concert film and back again with a limpid pace and fluidity. And when it deviates from its predecessors on certain plot points, those choices feel both modern and perfectly natural. It’s hard to imagine watching the film and not being moved.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

The main issue that prevents A Star is Born from being a full-blown grand slam is that it works better as a romantic drama than a cautionary tale about the fleeting cycle of fame and success in show business… In other words: A Star is Born is an excellent romantic drama that’s held back by the fact that it eventually has to be, well, A Star is Born remake.” – Sandy Schaefer, Screen Rant


Bad Times at the El Royale

“When all is said and done, there’s nothing to hold onto in this tale of paranoia and dark doings. It’s great to look at, nearly giddy with pop-culture love, and its particulars are intriguing. But those pieces — by turns weird, soulful and exhilarating — merely accumulate, when they should be generating magic.” – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“A beautifully staged film with everything is in its place, this is both an affectionate homage and a timely commentary, falling only slightly short of its own ambition. Classy pulp fiction.” – Alex Godfrey, Empire



“It’s a train wreck of a movie, mixing and matching wildly dissonant tones, bizarre plot contrivances, and a truly unique lead performance. It’s full of odd slapstick moments and computer-generated effects that look like they were pulled straight from the 1990s. Hardcore fans may just be pleased that the titular character has his own movie. But for everyone else, Venom is a mess.” – Bryan Bishop, The Verge

“Overall, just like a a lycra Spider-Man outfit on a 35-year-old man at a Halloween party, Venom is an awkward fit.” – Screen Queen, ABC


First Man

“Some films — La La Land, for example — feel light on their feet, effortless. First Man is laborious. That’s the point. Every knob, every hinge, every personality quirk of every astronaut or technician or overseer was liable to have shattering consequences. The moon was hard-earned and so was this movie. It’s a stupendous feat.” – David Edelstein, Vulture

“For an industry that’s been obsessed with showing the ingenuity, ambition and perseverance it takes to send man into space since Georges Melies’ Trip to the Moon 116 years ago, it’s marvellous that Chazelle has managed to make an epic story feel so intimate.” – Wenlei Ma,

Review: CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

cosrx acne pimple master patch

Most of us have that day when a pimple just randomly pops on our face, big and ripe and daring to be picked on. There are some popular last-minute solutions, most of which I find less than satisfactory: rapid treatment creams (ineffective and don’t work as fast as they advertise), popping (often resulting in scars, making the blemish more obvious), corticosteroid injection (never tried, too expensive) and make-up (doesn’t always cover pimples well, especially ones with raised bumps).

That was why the idea of spot patches sounded promising to me – something that both covers up the unsightly acne and heals blemishes? Sign me up!

CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch is perhaps the most popular acne patch / hydrocolloid dressing in the market today. Hailing from a well-known Korean beauty and skincare brand, the patch claims to protect “wounded or troubled area from getting worse and [maintain] humidity of skin to prevent further breakouts”. Each pack contains 24 patches in three sizes (7mm, 10mm and 12mm diameters). The retail price varies depending on where you buy it, but generally in Australia you can get it for under $10 in Asian beauty stores or online shops.

So how effective is it?

The patch covers blemishes well – it doesn’t come off as invisible, nor does it go well under makeup, but it’s good enough to conceal exposed pimples. The patches also help prevent picking. After a full day out – or around eight hours – the patch turns white from absorbing excess sebum. Sometimes when I pull the patch out, the pus from the whitehead is absorbed out as well – which is disgusting, but also satisfying.

That being said, the patch doesn’t do much for closed comedones, blackheads, blind pimples and cystic acne, apart from preventing you from touching the problematic spots. If your pimples have come to a head, the patch will be a great help – but its use is pretty much limited to this (familiar) situation.

Personally, I also find the biggest patch size (the 12mm) is way too big, considering my average size of whiteheads.

Would I buy this again? Yes – CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch is a great last-minute spot solution that does what it says in the package with an affordable price.


  • Affordable
  • Value for money
  • Effective


  • Not very versatile
  • Slight sizing issue

Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

Before you write that scathing online review, beware of defamation

Michael Douglas, University of Western Australia

Having suffered some terrible product or service, there is something darkly satisfying about publishing a scathing online review. This may not be virtuous or kind, but it can be cathartic. However, if your online review is disparaging of a person’s reputation, that person could sue you for defamation.

The rise of the keyboard warriors

Keyboard warriors like me have benefited from an explosion in the number of review websites and apps in recent years. These cover everything from food, to travel, to medical professionals.

Platforms like Facebook and Google make it very easy to leave a scathing online review. Mobile technology enables customers to vent, or compliment, even while they are still in the store.

Review websites keep consumers informed while letting the market know what works and what does not. In extreme cases, consumer reviews can even move corporate giants to change their policies.

For those on the other side of the equation, online reviews can be terrifying. I know from experience – anonymous student evaluations are part and parcel of being a university lecturer.

Bad reviews can be disastrous for small businesses. Understandably, some reviewees will be motivated to silence negative reviewers. In extreme cases, they may even go to court.

You can be sued for a scathing review

In Australia, freedom of speech is not as free as some might think – even when “spoken” on the internet. Although we have an implied freedom of political communication in our constitution, we do not have a US-style right to free speech. Defamation law places significant limitations on our freedom of speech.

Courts have the power to force a person to remove content from the internet, or pay damages to the plaintiff for harm done to their reputation. Failure to comply could mean prosecution for contempt.

Professional reputation is highly valued by defamation law. Damages can be significant if defamation causes an actual loss of business, or even a loss of opportunity. In the absence of proven economic loss, substantial “general” damages may still be awarded as a consolation for hurt and distress.

Read more:
Social media and defamation law pose threats to free speech, and it’s time for reform

When defamation occurs online, damages awards may increase to account for the “grapevine effect”: the way salacious content tends to be shared and repeated on the internet.

However, there are a couple of barriers that could make it harder to sue.

Firstly, some “persons” cannot sue. Under Australia’s uniform defamation laws, certain corporate bodies – that is, companies – do not have a cause of action in defamation. Unlike overseas, large companies like McDonald’s can’t sue under Australian defamation law, but this does not apply to not-for-profits, or small businesses with 10 employees or less. Hotheads should proceed with caution before slagging off their corner café.

Secondly, a review must identify a person directly or indirectly in order for someone to be able to sue for defamation. A generic Facebook rant about “how bad restaurants are in blah suburb” will not meet the requirements of “identification”.

These barriers are not insurmountable. In 2014, a group of restaurateurs were awarded more than A$600,000 in damages for a defamatory review in The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax stood by the critic who made the harsh review, which remained online for years. While the average rant on Zomato won’t cause a restaurant to close down, this case illustrates that an expression of opinion about a business can have very serious consequences.

What to do if you’re sued

Take it seriously. See a lawyer.

In 2017, Sydney surgeon Munjed Al Muderis was awarded A$480,000 damages for a defamatory online campaign of abusive reviews by a former patient and the patient’s brother. There was no evidence of any medical negligence or wrongdoing, and the size of the damages award was partly attributable to the poor conduct of the defendants – they failed to participate in the proceedings.

Having been served with a defamation claim, a lawyer may advise that you’re protected by defences to defamation. For example, a defence is available if your review is substantially true; or if you have expressed an honest opinion on a matter of public interest, and your opinion is based on proper material.

These defences might allow you to defend a trial, but they will not necessarily prevent you from being sued. They also come with practical challenges: for example, the reviewer, rather than reviewee, must prove the substantial truth of the publication. While your lawyer is dealing with those challenges, you will be dealing with your lawyer’s bills. Defending defamation is expensive, even if you win.

What if your review was anonymous?

Not all review platforms require you to disclose your identity. A recent example is Rate My Boss, a website created by union United Voice, which allows workers to review their employers anonymously. Anonymity makes sense from the workers’ perspective.

From the employers’ perspective, the anonymity problem may be avoided by pursuing the publishers of the website rather than the reviewer. This is the standard model for a lot of defamation litigation; media organisations will often defend defamation on behalf of their writers.

A disgruntled reviewee may go one step further and go after the internet giants that link people to defamatory content. These intermediaries have much deeper pockets and the practical ability to prevent something from being accessed. Whether Google should be responsible as “publisher” of its search engine content is about to be tested in the High Court.

Read more:
Australian court holds Google is responsible for linking to defamatory websites

As for you, the reviewer: if you have been particularly nasty in an anonymous review, the reviewee may litigate to find out who you are. It may be tricky, but a would-be plaintiff has options: a couple of years ago, movie pirates were threatened with the prospect of a court order compelling iiNet to reveal their identities in a copyright dispute. The context is different, but the anxiety felt by those Matthew McConaughey fans demonstrates that online naughtiness is not as anonymous as we might think.

Play nice and none of this matters

If you play the ball, not the man; if you focus on what you actually experience, rather than making grandiose claims; and if you focus on the truthful aspects of a product or service in a harsh but fair review, you are less likely to fall afoul of defamation law.The Conversation

Michael Douglas, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Western Australia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

What to Watch? Reviews of New Films, September 2018

Wondering what to watch this month? Take a look at some of the reviews of the most recent releases – a flick might just be something up your alley!

A Simple Favor

“Whether you work it all out early or not, A Simple Favour‘s biggest strength lies in its two winning lead performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. They spark off each other instantly and know exactly the tone that Feig is going for – a quirky and heightened thriller, shot through with pitch-black humour.” – Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy

“…a late-season entry into the race of summer’s biggest “guilty pleasure,” a film that is both very entertaining and exceedingly stupid. No surprise here: The final moments all but scream, “Greenlight the sequel!”

And perhaps they should, because for all its bonkers plotting and knee-slapping line delivery, “A Simple Favor” is compulsively watchable, a downmarket spin on “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train” that is enthralling mostly because it’s never clear what the hell is going to happen next.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire



““BlacKkKlansman” presents racism as a dichotomy between the absurd and the dangerous; the film’s intentional laughs often get caught in one’s throat… This is not only one of the year’s best films but one of Lee’s best as well. Juggling the somber and the hilarious, the sacred and the profane, the tragedy and the triumph, the director is firing on all cylinders here. “BlacKkKlansman” is a true conversation starter, and probably a conversation ender as well.” – Odie Henderson,

“[Director Spike] Lee keeps the film’s tone seesawing between knockabout adventure and deathly serious political polemic, which won’t be to everyone’s taste. But for the most part, the moments of levity serve to keep the bleakness at bay. Evil is among us, hidden — or not so hidden — in the hearts of ordinary-looking people. As the film’s final moments make clear, we need a new fight back against it.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire


Christopher Robin

There’s a scene in “Shadowlands,” the 1993 portrait of novelist C.S. Lewis, in which a young boy is excited to discover the giant wooden wardrobe that inspired “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” He throws open the door and reaches through the coats hoping to find Narnia … only to feel cold, hard wood at the back of the armoire. Disney wouldn’t dare undermine one of its franchises with such a scene, and yet, with “Christopher Robin,” it’s made a movie that feels similarly disenchanting — the latest and least of the studio’s live-action reboots of a widely adored cartoon.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the corollary must be that abundance creates antipathy — which is exactly what happens with the characters in Christopher Robin, Disney’s latest cash-in on characters that have served the company well for over half a century. Lushly made in a British tradition-of-quality way that’s the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, this is a honey-sweet but increasingly aggravating tale of how A.A. Milne’s storybook animals come to make the title character value his own neglected human family. Adults possessing even a small trace of the curmudgeon in them will risk a potentially serious Pooh overdose from excessive exposure.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter


The Nun

“A screenplay by Gary Dauberman (It) jerks awkwardly between terse thriller and campy comedy. While watching The Nun, it’s possible to envision multiple versions of this film—slow-burning gothic thriller; bloody gore-horror; action-comedy—layered atop one another, like transparencies stacked on an overhead projector. Like the demon Valak, we never actually get to see this movie’s true shape, just whatever form it chooses to take on in any given scene.” – Dana Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly

“…there’s nothing in this film that’s nearly as suspenseful as the horror sequences in The Conjuring, or even in its sequel. (It doesn’t help that The Nun herself, with her glowing yellow eyes, becomes sillier the longer you look at her, and we get some nice long looks.) If you lose your breath during this movie, it’ll probably be from laughter. But if you adjust your expectations and go in expecting something loud, lurid, and frequently utterly ridiculous, it’s good for an adrenaline rush all the same.” – Katie Rife, AV Club


Sierra Burgess is a Loser

Sierra Burgess is a reminder of all the work that teen movies and shows still have to do, but like The Kissing Booth before it, this movie thinks it’s accomplished something. In reality, it’s created more work for the next film that follows, which will have to earn the trust and respect of an audience – and, ideally, also contain some more convincing texting.” – Proma Khosla, Mashable

“…in addition to being a Loser, Sierra Burgess is also a drip and a creep, and a late-stage lashing out against Veronica feels like a pretty bad offense to come back from for a last-act redemption. It’s the kind of screenplay event that gets toned down over a few drafts, but — from the script to the music to the unfinished-feeling sound edit — nothing about Sierra Burgess feels like it got past a first draft.” – Emily Yoshida, Vulture