THE MANKIND GROOMING BOX – EXPLORER EDIT

THE MANKIND GROOMING BOX – EXPLORER EDIT

In the run up to Father’s Day, the ultimate destination for male grooming, Mankind, sent me their latest grooming box to check out.

The Mankind Grooming Box – Explorer Edit is a male grooming box featuring 6 of the best grooming products carefully curated to form the basis of the ultimate grooming routine. The box contains everything from a toothpaste to a face mask and is a great introduction to the brands featured.

So, what’s in the box?

  • Elemis Deep Cleanse Facial Wash (150ml) – I’ve used this product before (see here). A gel cleanser that feels thick, luxurious and smells great. Most importantly it leaves your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated.
  • Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher (100ml) – If you don’t know, Omorovicza are fast becoming one of my favourite brands. I’ve tried numerous products by the brand and have NEVER been disappointed. The brand is definitely a luxury purchase but the products always live up to the hype and the facial polisher is no different. A exfoliating treatment, the Facial Polisher leaves your face feeling healthy and bright.
  • Regenerate Enamel Science Toothpaste (75ml) – Unfortunately I don’t use toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate as these give me painful ulcers so I can’t comment on the product but I’m sure it’s great!
  • Men-Ü D-Tox Clay Face Mask (100ml) – If your skin is on the oily side this mask is for you. Designed to minimise excess oil and unwanted shine this clay mask is easy to apply and fast drying, drawing out your skins impurities whilst it does so. Once rinsed your face feels healthy, calm and firmer.
  • Anthony Skincare Shave Cream (90ml) – Anthony is another brand that never disappoints. Whilst I don’t wet shave, this shave cream is perfect for tidying up and shaping my stubble. It leaves your skin soft and irritation free. The peppermint oil and eucalyptus also gives off a pleasant natural scent whilst leaving your skin feeling cool and refreshed.
  • Korres Santorini Vine Shower Gel (250ml) – The first thing you notice about this product is how good it smells. A fresh, fruity scent that leaves your skin feeling hydrated and clean – what more could you want from a shower gel?

At just £40, the Mankind Grooming box is a steal, especially when you consider the Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher retails at £65 alone and the amount of quality products in the box.

Have you tried any of products in the latest grooming box?

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The Mankind Grooming Box – Explorer Edit was gifted by Mankind.


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OUAI HAIRCARE

OUAI HAIRCARE

“I created OUAI to bring a breath of fresh air to the haircare market”.

If you’ve never heard of Ouai before let me give you a brief introduction to the brand. Ouai Haircare is the brain child of celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin, the woman responsible for taming the locks of numerous celebrities including Gwen Stefani, Gigi Hadid and most notably the Kardashians, appearing alongside the family in numerous episodes of the show.

The range consists of numerous products from the standard shampoo and conditions to styling products and hair treatments, but what makes them stand out from the rest? Ouai Haircare combines accessibility and luxury with nourishing ingredients and a fine fragrance…not to mention the Instagram worthy packaging and branding.

I recently picked up the Pomade and Wave Spray from the brand and thought I would see for myself what the fuss was about.

Matte Pomade – “A matte pomade that gives both long and short hair picky texture for the effortlessly cool look”

Hmm, matte? Really? I found this product to be quite greasy. I understand pomades are supposed to achieve a more slick look so I wondered how a matte pomade would work. I have quite dry hair so I don’t mind products that are a bit more on the slick side but I wouldn’t say this was a matte product at all. After I worked it into my hair I found that it did achieve the style I was going for but I wouldn’t say it was ‘effortless’. The hold is also what you would expect from a pomade but I’m not convinced how much texture this product could give you. The smell for me is overpowering. It’s not a bad smell, but after a while it did become a bit much. It’s not a bad product but I don’t think I will be switching from my everyday pomade just yet.

Wave Spray – “A weightless texture mist for effortlessly chic, undone hair.”

I’ve tried this a few times now – on wet hair, on dry hair, on clean hair and on unwashed hair but have had little results. As someone who has naturally wavy hair I expected it would form the curls and give a slight hold, however I have found little difference using this to if you leave wet hair to dry naturally. I’m quite disappointed as I have been looking for a good wave spray for a while, however this isn’t the one. Luckily I only bought the travel-sized spray. It’s not all bad news, it does smell nice and doesn’t leave your hair feeling greasy, sticky or dry. Has anyone had a different experience using this product? Let me know your tips for use in the comments below.

Whilst Ouai might be fast becoming a cult favourite, for me, the products failed to live up to the hype which is always disappointing. Sure, it looks nice, but that’s about it for me. Hopefully some of the other products in the range have better results and could change my mind!? Let me know your favourites below.

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HOTEL SP34, COPENHAGEN

HOTEL SP34, COPENHAGEN

Hotel SP34
Sankt Peders Stræde 34
1453 Copenhagen C
T: +45 3313 3000

We stayed at SP34, a 4+ boutique hotel located on Sankt Peders Stræde in Copenhagen’s old Latin Quarter. The 118 room hotel is a twenty-five minute journey form the airport at a cost of 275DKK (£27), but is about a ten minute walk from Nørreport Station if you decide to get the train.

Check-in time for the hotel is at 3pm but we arrived at around 11am expecting to drop our bags off and they had a room ready for us, which was ideal. On arrival, the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming, answering any questions we had and inviting us to join them between 5pm and 6pm for the hotels daily wine hour for complimentary wine. The lounge and lobby area has a really relaxed positive vibe, which is perfect for enjoying a glass or two after a day of exploring. The hotel itself is very chic, blending Scandinavian style with influences of art and modern comforts.

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Our room was on the 5th floor and was clean and comfortable and spacious enough for two. Once again the decor is similar, you can’t really go wrong with grey walls, white linen and wood accents can you? The bathroom however featured a waterfall shower and was stocked with Ren toiletries, adding to the luxurious feel.

In terms of amenities, the hotel offers a gym, high speed internet access, a private cinema and three a la carte Restaurants with an adjoining roof terrace on the first floor. The location makes it ideal, with quick transportation links and many attractions such as Trivoli and the Rundetaarn within walking distance. I would stay here again without a doubt and recommend it to anyone looking to stay somewhere a little different!

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Checked in: 20/07/15

Have you visited Copenhagen before?

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THE ORDINARY SKINCARE

THE ORDINARY SKINCARE

Clinical Formulations with Integrity

The Ordinary, the Canadian-born skincare brand was one of the success stories of 2017.  Whether it’s because of their sell-out products and crazy wait times or the instagram-worthy no-frills packaging, chances are you will have come across The Ordinary skincare before.

The products are named simply enough after their key ingredients and features a whole range of products for all your skincare needs. Whilst it might seem daunting at first, you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand what’s inside – taking the time to research what products are suitable for yourself can deliver big results.

Here I am putting four products to the test:

  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (30ml)
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30ml)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (30ml)
  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (30ml)

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AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (30ml)

This blood-red exfoliating peel, might look like something out of a horror movie on first application but is designed to fight visible blemishes for a brighter, clearer complexion.


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Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30ml)

Niacinamide has be shown to have multiple benefits for the skin. Combined with Zinc this potent mix of ingredients is designed to visibly calm yet boost the skins appearance. Niacinamide improves the appearance of skin blemishes, enlarged pores, fine lines and improves moisture retention by strengthening the epidermal barrier whilst the Zinc heals damaged skin and encourages collagen production for healthy looking skin.


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Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (30ml)

Like the Peeling Solution the Alpha Lipoic Acid Serum is designed for use a couple of times a week. The concentrated serum actively targets signs of ageing and lacklustre skin, working to improve the skins tone and texture leaving you with a softer, smoother skin with a overall more radiant appearance.


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Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (30ml)

Unlike the other solutions, I have used Hyaluronic Acid before so know how good it can be. However compared to its £85 predecessor, will The Ordinary’s £6 counterpart live up to the hype.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a lightweight serum which works to rehydrate the skin. It contains 3 types of hyaluronic acid with vitamin b5 to retain moisture and heal dry and damaged skin.

Once you have matched the products to your skins needs, the next step is working them into your daily routine. It might seem overwhelming at first but Deciem are on hand with this handy regimen guide to help you build a routine. Here is how I have introduced  The Ordinary into my everyday life:

After cleansing –

AM

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% followed by a daily moisturiser

PM

Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (2-3 times per week), AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (1-2 times per week), followed by Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and a daily moisturiser.

Over the past couple of weeks I have definitely seen an improvement in my skin. My skin feels smoother and tighter and in general just a lot more healthier. Before I started using The Ordinary my skin was going through a particularly bad stage; I had ingrowing hairs, pimples and redness which I have suffered with over the years. You would have thought at 30 my skin would have calmed down by now but nope, every so often it likes to wreak havoc. My favourite product would have to be the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. which I feel just keeps my skin under control after applying it every morning – it visibly helps to reduce irritation and redness! Overall I’m fairly impressed, especially for the price tag and hope to try some of the other offerings in the near future! The Ordinary have definitely filled the gap in the market for premium affordable skincare.

Have you used any products from The Ordinary? What are your favourites?

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MY DAILY ROUTINE WITH HERBALIFE

When I was first contacted by Herbalife to try their range of products I was interested to see if they would fit into my daily routine and what benefits I would see or feel from testing out the products.

I had already used the shakes and some of the protein bars a couple of years ago so I was already familiar with a few of their products but never really committed to it.

I’ve never considered myself to be unfit or unhealthy but over the past year or so (maybe with age!) Ive found it harder to keep weight off certain areas and probably haven’t been the healthiest I could have been. The time felt right to make a change so I was put in contact with Phil, a Herbalife member who asked me what I wanted to achieve and then recommended the products which would help me get there. He gave me a lot of useful tips about diet and talked through the benefits of each of the products.

My aim was to lose a stone but gain lean muscle, I don’t want to be skinny, just toned. I go to the gym twice a week and have a PT session once a week too so matching the products to my lifestyle was important.

So what were the products that we decided on?

  • Formula 1 Healthy Meal
  • Protein Drink Mix
  • Formula 2 Vitamin & Mineral Complex
  • Fibre & Herb Tablets
  • Thermo Instant Tea
  • Protein Bars

and from the Herbalife 24 range:

  • CR7 Drive
  • Rebuild Strength
  • Hydrate Electrolyte Drink

I eat fairly well on a daily basis so I didn’t have to make too much adjustments to my diet. My biggest downfalls are not eating regularly and snacking. Ive made much more of an effort to eat at regular times – Phil recommended eating 5 times a day – 3 meals and 2 snacks and gave me some pointers as to what I could eat at each meal time.

So how do they fit into my everyday routine?

I start everyday with a Formula 1 shake, If I’m going to the gym I mix it with the Protein Drink Mix to help me with my workout. If I’m just having the Formula 1 mix for breakfast I will mix it with 250ml of semi-skimmed milk. I have tried a number of the different flavour formulas over the last couple of years and my favourite changes all the time; at the moment my favourite is vanilla and the good news is that they really do keep you full! If I’m adding the Protein Drink Mix I will just mix it with 250ml of water. Every morning I also have 2 Fibre and Herb tablets and a Multivitamin to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need for the day.

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On the days I’m going to the gym, I use a sachet of the Hydrate Electrolyte drink to keep me hydrated during my workout, which always goes down well! After the gym I have another ‘protein’ shake using the Rebuild Strength Recovery Drink powder. Like the Protein Drink Mix, you also just mix this with water.

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The other two meals of the day I have a mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins. I eat fairly well so haven’t had to make too many changes. I’m a lot more aware of portion sizes and making sure I make the time to eat lunch – I never really ate lunch before! I try and prepare it the day before so I always have something to eat at work so I’m not tempted to snack!

Talking of snacks, if I do feel hungry throughout the day I always make sure I keep a Protein Bar in my bag – these things are SO good! It definitely helps when your having a sweet craving. I also keep the Thermo Instant Tea with me too, which gives me that extra boost of energy when I need it. I currently have the Lemon one but I’ve heard the Peach one is the best so I’m looking forward to trying that next!

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I’ve been using the Herbalife products for around a month now and can already feel the difference. My initial goal of losing a stone is almost in sight, I have lost almost 10lbs without having to try that hard and can definitely see the difference around my waist area – my work trousers fit so much better!

Herbalife really does help you manage your weight safely. I have found that the products fit into my everyday routine nicely and has really helped keep me focused alongside the gym to help me achieve my goals and feel better about my body. After a month I’m still feeling really motivated and committed to both healthy eating and exercise; I know getting to where I want to be isn’t going to happen over night but I’m willing to put in the work!

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