Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of the skincare cult classic, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant. It's Elizabeth Arden's best known product, and with many companies, they have now realised that if they stick '8 Hour' in front of their other products, it'll sell. They have an 8 Hour Moisturising Face Cream, 8 Hour Lip Protectant, 8 Hour Night Cream and 8 Hour Hand Cream, among other products. It's like Estee Lauder and their 'Double Wear' products. Anyway, let's get to the review!
productinfo 
Brand: Elizabeth Arden
Name: 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant
Price: £26
Where to buy: BootsElizabeth ArdenAmazon (only £12), DebenhamsFeel Unique (£22.10)

This cream is a skincare classic and apparently no one should leave home without it or go without it. It promises to soothe roughness, redness and calms minor skin irritations. It can be used as a moisturiser, a body moisturiser for knees, elbows, rough patches etc, can be used for lips, cuticles and to keep eyebrows in place. It doesn't claim to have any miraculous benefits like age-prevention or evening of skin tone, it just promises to moisturise and soothe.
packaging
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I got a small promotional size from a friend, I'm not sure if it's a deluxe sample or perhaps part of a free gift. However, this is the packaging and is pretty consistent with the full sized packaging too. It's white with a very light grey pattern of '8's and the red Elizabeth Arden logo and screw-top lid. It doesn't scream cute, or even classy. It kind of has an old fashioned grandmother feel to it, but I think that's Elizabeth Arden's target market and/or brand feel.
application
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The cream is a light orange colour and is very thick. Like, I've heard people say some face creams are thick and I've thought 'What are you on about, it feels like normal face cream?' But this is by far the thickest face cream I've felt before. It's more like a balm or ointment, and has the consistency of thick lipgloss to me. No joke. It also feels like lipgloss when I spread it on my face...it is very thick and kind of sticky, but it does a great job of sealing in moisture. I apply it at night and the stickiness doesn't bother me too much. I'd say the sticky feeling goes after an hour or so but if I go to bed straight after applying it, I don't notice the stickiness disappear until I wake up the next morning.
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Some people may not like the very thick and sticky feel, especially combination or oilier skin types, but it really does a great job of locking in moisture. It's almost like a sleeping mask, I couldn't actually imagine applying it in the morning and trying to put make-up on over the top, even if I left it  a while. I don't notice any brightening, wrinkle prevention or any other benefits but I didn't expect to. It's a very basic moisturising cream.
scent
The scent of this cream...oh God, the scent...it's horrific. Really. I had no idea of the smell of the cream until I tried it, and the packaging says 'Fragrance free' so it's just the natural smell of the cream but it frigging stinks. I heard Elizabeth Arden made this cream for her horses' hooves, to prevent them cracking, then she noticed her stableboy had really soft hands, because he was using the cream, so she marketed it for people too...when I heard it was horse cream originally, then smelled the cream, I fucking believe it, without a doubt. Horses don't give a crap about the smell of the product! I can't even really describe the smell...it's kind of sweet but very sickly, and there's something a bit off about it. I actually have to hold my breath as I apply this. I've never had a problem with the smell of skincare products before, I'm not one of these people with a sensitive nose or dislike of fragrances. However, when I check reviews of this product, no one says they dislike the smell, and one woman said she liked the 'slightly sweet, almost herbal smell' so I don't know if it's just me?! But seriously...to me, this product reeks. I don't actually know if I would actually buy this product, just because of the awful smell.
mythoughts
This cream is a cult classic and very well-known. It's a no-frills, basic moisturising cream for face and body. It does the job well enough but for me, it's too greasy to be used in the morning. It's a great night cream that I use after all my other products, so that it locks all the products and moisture in. However, the smell is really something I dislike about this product. It makes me feel sick and I have to hold my breath as I apply the cream. I'm finishing the small tube I was given but I wouldn't repurchase a full sized product, mostly because of the smell. I give it 4 out of 5 stars, with one star taken off for the smell, though I could seriously deduct more haha.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Best Free Cute Calculator Apps for iPhone

Every time I tried to write "Apps" on my phone, I kept spelling "Appa" haha X'D


Even though I don't believe in New Years Resolutions (I believe you can change it start good habits any time), I have recently started trying to organise my life a bit more. Not particularly for my social life, but now that new events and conventions are starting throughout the year that I can trade at (with my store, 8th Sin), I decided I need to keep track of when the events are, when I need to contact them about exhibiting and even when to order supplies to ensure they arrive in time for the event and with enough time to make the items. Recently I have been kicking myself (both in 2014 and 2015) because I leave it too late to order supplies, then they don't arrive in time for a particular event, or they arrive very close to the event date and I have to rush around like a headless chicken making jewellery and accessories. Other times, particularly in this new year, I forget to email events to enquire about trading there, and they are all booked up by the time they receive my email. Unfortunately this has meant I have missed out in some events this year, meaning I can't trade at them and make money. However, I remembered to contact my biggest events so thankfully I haven't suffered too much. The reason for this rambling is that I'm trying to organise my life more, and one simple way is by using apps and my iPhone. However, I don't want to organise my life using the boring, default apps Apple provides me for calendars, clocks/alarms,calculators, etc! I want cute apps! So here are the cutest calculator apps for iPhone (some of them may be available for Android, you can try searching for them), what I think of them and my favourites! This is a long, in depth post! If you really don't care about cute calculator app reviews, please feel free to skip this post haha. Or just flick through the images and see which one you like and download it. All these apps are free to download! Some can be upgraded to remove ads, or have extra themes/designs you can buy but they're all free to use.

Note: By 'cute', I mean 'kawaii', pretty, girly or sweet/yummy style. There are a few calculator apps I've included at the bottom of the post that I personally don't find cute, they're more cartoonish and garish to me but others may find them cute. The apps I've showcased are ones that fans of Japanese and cute fashions will appreciate.

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DecoDentaku

First I'll review my favourite cute calculator app I have used for around 5 years now! It's the first cute calculator app I found on my iPod Touch and I downloaded it again when I upgraded to iPhone a year or so ago. I found it when searching 'Deco' in the app store, it doesn't come up if you search 'Cute calculator' so it's hard to find. 'Dentaku' means 'calculator', especially an electronic one so it's a pun on the phrase 'decoden' and 'dentaku'.

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The look of the calculator app is a deco-ed calculator, with rhinestones, pearls, roses, bows and hearts, in the Bling Decoden style - it's soooooooo cute, blingy and glamorous, I love it *0* If you click the heart button on the top right, you can change to two other colours of the design, blue or yellow. The app makes a sparkling noise whenever you click a button, such a cute feature! In the settings you can change whether you heard the sounds and visit the deco shop, which I show below. Even the 'shelf' for each theme is quilted and has a gorgeous look, with pearl strands and rhinestones. *0*

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The blue and yellow versions of the default design.

The calculator is basic, it has addition, subtraction, multiply and divide. It has two buttons, one for cancelling the last input you made after you pressed add, subtract, divide or times, and one for cancelling the entire sequence.

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If you click 'Deco shop' in the settings, it brings you here. These are three different theme sets for the calculator app that are available for purchase. You get 6 new themes in each set. There's 'Full of Sweets!', 'Classical Design' and 'Fantastic Design'.

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'Full of Sweets!' set. '6 type designs with cakes, cookies and chocolate.' This theme is 'Sweet decoden' themed and for 79p (£0.79), you get 6 new sweets deco designs for the calculator.

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The 6 different designs in the set, they're so cute! I love them all but the red one is my least favourite.

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'Classical Design' set. '6 type designs with flowers and lace'. This is very classical and pretty, with more of a vintage or shabby chic deco feel. Classic Lolita suits this style well. Again, for 79p you get 6 designs.

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The 6 different designs in the set, they're very pretty. I like the pink and gold ones at the top the best but the darker red/pink is very classy and the rest are nice too.

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'Fantastic Design' set. '6 type designs with fantastic motif'. I'm unsure as to what 'fantastic' means haha, it is another Bling Deco theme set to me. It compliments the default themes nicely but is good if you get bored of them.

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The 6 different designs in the set. They're all cute but the orange, light blue & yellow and bright blue ones are my least favourite. The lilac one is very pretty and classical, and the dark red and blue ones are very fashionable and elegant. I love the plaid buttons on the dark red and blue ones.

Each theme set and design is so well thought out, it's inspiring. Each element is tailored to the theme, including re-making the buttons and changing fonts to suit each theme. It's not just one theme with 6 different colours for each set. If I could justify in-app purchases, I would buy each theme. Maybe one day I will, just to show my support to the app maker.

Pros:
- Absolutely gorgeous design for all themes, it's my favourite decorated calculator app ever.
- Simple calculator if that's all you need.
- Different themes are available to purchase. Normally this wouldn't be a pro, since you have to pay money but each theme is beautifully made and thought out.
- The app has a sparkling sound whenever you press a button, which really adds to the cute and glamorous theme. You can also change whether or not to have the sparkling sound when each button is pressed, which is considerate too.
- The app isn't just well made and coded, it is such a great quality app and very well thought out. A lot of love and care was put into it, I can tell.
- No ads! For an app of this quality, it's great that it has no intrusive or distracting ads to take away from the beautiful designs.

Cons:
- No tax, tip or conversion benefits. Such a shame since it'd be literally the most perfect calculator app ever if it had those features built in. However, it's not hard to calculate tax or tip - simply times your number by 1.tax or 1.tip. So if you want to calculate 8% tax, you times a number by 1.08. 100 x 1.08 = 108 --For 15% tip, you'd times a number by 1.15.
- I don't know if it's just me but sometimes I miss the number buttons when I press them. I don't know if the space for each button code is too small or if it's just my clumsy hands and long nails.

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Cute Free Calculator

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The calculator at first, then I set the third and fourth button to convert inches to centimetres and metres to feet.

This calculator app has a glamorous pink, black and white design. As well as a regular calculator layout/buttons, it also has four buttons that you can use to calculate tip percentages, tax and more. The third and fourth button is customisable and can be used to calculate celsius to fahrenheit (and vice versa), miles to kilometres (and vice versa), currency multiply (you have to manually type in an exchange rate and it will convert it for you.), currency divide (I guess the same but reversed? '-'), gallon to liters (and vice versa), kilograms to pounds (and vice versa), inches to centimetres (and vice versa) and feet to metres (and vice versa).

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Calculating tips (15% tip, American rate)

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Converting 25 inches to centimetres

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Converting 1 metre to feet

Pros:
- It has a cute design, each 'button' is a diamond and the black, pink and white design is very glamorous.
- The conversion and calculation buttons are very useful, you don't have to switch apps to convert centimetres to inches, celsius to fahrenheit, etc.
- No ads.
- Each button has the sign next to it, in case you can't read the button sign
- The option to erase the last number you clicked, rather than erasing the whole number/sequence and having to start all over again.

Cons:
- The currency multiply and divide buttons are kind of useless. You have to find the conversion rate yourself, which changes all the time, then input it manually. There are much better stand-alone currency conversion apps out there.
- The app is very well made/built, everything is lined up perfectly excepttttttt the equals sign at the bottom right D: It would've been perfectly lined up otherwise :'( Of course this is a very small, OCD con, it doesn't affect the app whatsoever haha.

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Pretty Calculator

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The app has a few different designs you can swipe to change, this is the first design shown.

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Two other designs you can use. They had another design but it's literally just the pink jewel one without a glittery background. The pink glittery jewel one is my favourite design.

The button on the top left directs you to the app maker's website, and the button on the top right directs you to a game they make, Pretty Pet Salon. The calculator is a basic layout with a few more scientific buttons above, but I can't remember what they mean/do. XD

Pros:
- Simple yet pretty layout.
- Different themes to choose from, though the pink jewel one is my favourite.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.
- A couple of scientific calculator buttons if you need them.
- No ads.
- The option to erase the last number you clicked, rather than erasing the whole number/sequence and having to start all over again.

Cons:
- No tip/tax/other conversions or calculations available.

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iPink Calculator

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The calculator app. It has a pretty pink and red floral design with a cherry blossom tree on the top left.

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It has a conversion feature, letting you convert celsius to fahrenheit, kilograms to pounds, pounds to ounces and lots more.

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It has a tax calculator feature. You can choose the percentage of tax from 2%, going up by 0.05% up to 14%. It's useful for America or Japan, but tax in the UK is 20%. It is included in every price except wholesale, so if you wanted to use this calculator to calculate wholesale VAT (value added tax), you'd be kind of stuck unless you set it to 10% then double it.

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It also has a very in-depth tip calculation feature. You can set the percentage of tip, how many people are eating and the total bill amount, and it will give you the total amount of the bill each person has to pay (if splitting the bill equally) and the total amount of tip each person has to give. Very useful for restaurants and other places. It's built around the American way of tipping and I guess you can use it in the UK if you're that way inclined but we don't really tip, and if we do, we just round it to the nearest pound, five or ten pounds (if something cost £1.20, you could round it to £2 or £3, if something cost £4.30, you could round it to £5 or if something cost £18, you could round it to £20, for example.)

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App 'About' page

Pros:
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.
- Pretty yet subtle design, it's not too girly or OTT.
- Very in-depth tip, tax and conversion features.

Cons:
- Ads.

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BiscuitCalc

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This is a very basic calculator app with no tip, tax or conversion features but the design is sooooo cute and yummy. *0* It actually said something about a Biscuit Diary made by the same app creator but then the ad covered it up >_> Depending on if you

Pros:
- Super cute design.
- Simple calculator app, a pro if that's all you're wanting.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.

Cons:
- No tip, tax or conversion features.
- Ads.

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Gal Calc. (Kawaii Calculator)

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The look of the calculator. It has a pretty purple and ivory lacy/floral design with stylised numbers. It's not too girly or OTT. The calculator app is very basic, no tip, tax or conversion benefits. When you press a number or the equals sign, the number on the 'screen' (top part of the calculator) sort of 'bounces' onto the screen, which I thought was a cute addition.

Pros:
- Pretty yet subtle design.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.
- No ads.
- Nice features, like the number 'popping' onto the screen when you press it.
- Simple calculator app, if that is all you need.

Cons:
- No tip, tax or conversion benefits.

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Mori Calculator

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I was very surprised to see a Mori Girl-themed calculator, since I still consider Mori to be a relatively unknown fashion style and one of the lesser known Japanese fashion styles, unlike Lolita or maybe even Gyaru. The calculator is very simple, with no tip, tax or conversion features. The calculator has a 'handmade' theme, with floral embroidery round the 'screen', buttons with the sign stitched onto them (+, - etc.) and each button is embroidered/cross stitched. The app title even looks like a handmade clothing tag at the top of the screen. Very cute! The only thing I dislike is the background is a little dark for my liking. It feels inbetween Mori and Dark Mori - for normal Mori Girl I'd have made it a littttttle lighter, and for Dark Mori I would've made everything a little darker and maybe more jewel coloured, like blacks, reds, browns, etc.

Pros:
- Very cute design.
- Great for girls into Mori fashion, as opposed to the ultra girly or OTT designs of Lolita or Gyaru inspired calculator apps.
- Simple calculator, if that is all you need.
- No ads.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.

Cons:
- No tip, tax or conversion features.
- The background is a bit dark for my idea of regular Mori Girl, and the whole theme is a bit light for my idea of Dark Mori Girl, so it's inbetween for me.

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Kitten Calculator

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On the left is the loading page, and on the right is the calculator page. It has a built-in mini game which I'll show you underneath. I forgot to screenshot the calculator but it's underneath the text box in the second photo. Each number is shaped like a pink cat with a black outline, each button is a pink ball of yarn and the equals sign is a bigger kitty. It has a baby blue background.

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The mini game is motion-driven. You tilt your phone left and right and try to catch balls of yarn in the basket. You can bounce the yarn off the sides of the basket to double your points but if the ball of yarns goes off-screen, the game is over. I played it for a minute or so. The mini game is called 'Knitten Kitten'.

Pros:
- Cute design if you like cats, but I'm not personally into it. It's a bit sweet for my tastes.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background. They even built a mini game into it, which is very considerate.
- A simple calculator app, if that's all you need.
- No ads.

Cons:
- No tip, tax or conversion features.

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Cute Cat Calculator

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Next is another cat themed calculator but the design is much more subtle, mature and pretty/classical, as opposed to sweet or childish. It has a lovely brown, black and white theme with white flowers and pawprints, pictures of cats in the buttons and a larger cat as the equals sign. I couldn't help but notice it's made by a Japanese app creator, and I think Japanese creators usually make the best cute or kawaii apps. XD

Pros:
- Very pretty design that can be used for all ages, it's very subtle and classy.
- Simple calculator app, if that's all you need.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.

Cons;
- Ads.
- No tip, tax or conversion features.

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Chocolate Calculator

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The look of the calculator. It's very cute and sweet looking. If you like basic yet sweet designs, it does the job excellently. It shows your sequence on the top left corner of the screen, which I think is very useful. The middle button on the bottom of the screen is a full history of your entered sequences. The settings just asks whether you want to save the calculation history and offers to upgrade the app to get rid of ads.

Pros:
- Very sweet and yummy design.
- Shows you your current sequences at the top left of the screen.
- Shows your full calculation history if you need it.
- The design is cute but not too pink or girly. Many women could use it.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background.
- Relatively simple calculator, if you don't need tax, tip or conversions.

Cons:
- No tip, tax or conversion features.
- Ads.

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FDIV - Cute Calculator

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This is far from the cutest calculator in the world but it's the most scientific one on this list. If you need a scientific calculator app but crave pastel colours, this is the one for you. I don't know what half of these buttons do. XD I forgot as soon as I left secondary school.

Pros:
- Very scientific calculator for all your...science-y needs?
- No ads.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background, although I'd be kind of worried if a scientific calculator app skimped on the coding.

Cons:
- Not the cutest app in the world.
- No tip, tax or conversion features but if you're mathy enough to need this calculator, you probably don't need a button to automatically calculate taxes and tips.

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Halloween Calculator

I'll admit, I squealed when I saw there was a Halloween themed calculator. I fucking love Halloween and anything Halloween themed. But this calculator is pretty terrible, which makes me sad beyond belief.

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The look of the calculator. You click 'Calculate' to bring up the numbers and buttons. The background is okay in terms of 'cuteness' but they could have made it 10000% cuter. It's very basic. The colour of the text is garish and doesn't match the theme. The font is very basic Times New Roman. You could've had such fun with a Halloween themed calculator and played around with the fonts and made the colour match the theme. The lollipop buttons were a nice idea but they're just images on top of the background and aren't lined up well. The 'Delete' button is hard to see due to the text colour and placement. The colour of the numbers make them a bit hard to see anyway, they could've been made clearer or the text colour changed. It also has a tiny button on the top right of the screen that says 'More' with a little arrow. I legitimately don't think the button could've been smaller without being impossible to see. They should've made it way bigger.

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When I first input numbers, I saw that you get two sets of numbers. I had no clue what this was. It seemed that if I did a simple calculation (12+10), the top number had the right answer (22) but I had no idea what the bottom number was or why it was there. Then I clicked the 'More' button, which is pretty much the 'Settings' button.

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The 'More' button brings you to a very vague menu with a white pumpkin, an orange pumpkin and a little letter icon, which didn't actually do anything when clicked. The orange pumpkin took you back to the calculator page and the white pumpkin took you to the page I screenshot on the right. The first kanji says 'Tax excluded' and the second kanji says 'Tax included', so I deduced that the top number is the number you originally input, then the second number is with 8% Japanese tax added on top. This is also true of the original calculator page; from what I can gather, this white page is just a basic version of the calculator with no decorations or anything. I input '100' just to be sure, and sure enough the bottom number was '108', 8% tax added on top. However, unless you know Japanese (I drew the kanji in Google Translate to translate it) you'd still have no idea what the second number is.

Pros:
- It calculates...which is what it's supposed to do, I guess.
- It calculates 8% Japanese tax automatically but it's hard to figure out that's what it is.
- No ads.

Cons:
- A pretty garish and horrible design, with a boring font, clashing text colour, numbers not lined up, buttons that are just images and confusing design.
- No tip or conversion features.
- It is poorly made and seems like no consideration was taken into it at all, which is kind of sad, since someone did actually spend time coding this. Sort of.

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Tax8Calc

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The calculator app is blue at first but you can change the colour by clicking the 'i' button. I chose pink, of course~

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It's a basic calculator app with a very simple yet colourful design. You can use the calculator app to add, subtract, times and divide calculations but you can also use it to calculate 8% Japanese tax, which I find handy.

Pros:
- Simple calculator app, if it's all you need.
- Calculates 8% Japanese tax with one tap.
- Can change the colour of the app to suit your own tastes.
- The app is well made, everything is lined up correctly and the buttons are coded, not just images on a background, although I'd be kind of worried if a scientific calculator app skimped on the coding.

Cons:
- It's not particularly cute but it has a colourful and simple design.
- Ads.

My verdict: To tell you the truth, I hadn't actually tried other calculator apps other than DecoDentaku until I made this blog post. I didn't realise other apps came with tax, tip and conversion features so now I wish DecoDentaku did too. However, it's still my favourite cute calculator app because it's hands-down the cutest and prettiest design, in my opinion. My next favourite is the iPink calculator app for it's in-depth tax, tip and conversion features with a pretty design, BiscuitCalc because of the super cute design and Pretty Calculator for the pretty jewel design, though it's kind of like a very basic DecoDentaku theme. XD

Below are some other 'cute' calculator apps that came up when I searched for them. I didn't include or review them because to me, they're too cartoony, garish and childish for my tastes. They are more 'mainstream cute' as opposed to appealing to Japanese fashion tastes. However, some people may find them cute, so feel free to try them if they appeal to you!

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Catculator HD and Kitten Calculator
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Usako Calc and Owl Calculator. 'Usako' is a combination of 'usagi' (rabbit) and 'inoko' (boar/pig), so the character is a bunny-pig hybrid. Japan loves their animal hybrids, like Baby The Stars Shine Bright's Usakuma (bear dressed as a rabbit).

I hope this post helped you find your perfect cute calculator app to compliment your personal style and help make your iPod or iPhone cuter! Which is your favourite calculator app? Next I'll do calendar apps, memo/alarm apps and any other cute apps I can find!