Aésop Sun Care Review

With summer well underway, Aésop are back with two new products for all those sun worshippers out there. During the hotter months, our skin can really suffer if we don’t take the correct precautions to protect ourselves whilst we enjoy the sun.

The recently released Protective Body Lotion is Aésop’s first SPF50 lotion designed to let you enjoy the sun without the fear of getting burnt. If you do end up overdoing it by the pool after a few drinks, Aésop are also on hand with their new Petitgrain Reviving Gel – a soothing aftersun gel designed to rehydrate and help repair damaged skin after exposure to the sun.

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Protective Body Lotion SPF50 150ml (£27)

The Protective Body Lotion is a moisturising sunscreen that provides SPF50 protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays with up to eighty minutes of water resistance.

The lightweight lotion is packed full of natural ingredients and skin nourishing benefits such as Vitamin E to help maintain healthy skin and to save us from worrying about burning whilst we are exposed to the suns rays. With notes of spearmint, lemon and lavender the body lotion will not only leave your skin feeling protected but also refreshed.

Being in a pump bottle the Aésop Protective Body Lotion already gets a thumbs up. Whilst the lotion is more like a liquid, the pump dispenser allows you to control what you need and  also saves the mess of a regular bottled sunscreen.

On application, the product is just as impressive. Aésops lightweight formula means the lotion is absorbed into the skin in no time. It doesn’t completely absorb and disappear though, you can feel it slightly, but it’s not sticky or greasy but I guess it’s good to know it’s there, protecting you. Whilst some sunscreens can leave you feeling sticky and greasy, the Protective Body Lotion leaves your skin feeling healthy and moisturised. With a scent reminiscent of the Mediterranean, Aésop have a winner here. A real must have if you’re heading away in the near future.

Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel 150ml (£25)

With extract of Aloe Vera, Petitgrain, Grapefruit and Lemon, the Reviving Body Gel is ideal for use after sun exposure, in hot and humid climates. While the Aloe Vera and Panthenol will soften and soothe the skin, the Petitgrain, Grapefruit and Lemon will help cool damaged skin.

Like the Protective Body Lotion, on application the Reviving Body Gel quickly absorbs into the skin, returning much-needed moisture to help strengthen and repair the skin to prevent peeling. The lightweight formula is really easy to apply leaving your skin feeling instantly refreshed while the subtle citrus fragrance is uplifting. The gel is also ideal to keep chilled in the refrigerator for a stronger cooling sensation for particularly irritated skin.

In true Aésop fashion, both products are aesthetically pleasing, packaged and labelled in the signature brown and cream colour scheme. However, unlike most products from the brand, the products are carefully packaged in plastic containers rather than glass which is ideal for taking to the pool or on beach.

With fresh citrus notes, both products carry unisex appeal and should be at the top of everyone’s holiday packing list this Summer.

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Aésop is available to purchase at Mankind.


To receive discount on your first order, follow this link, alternatively quote my unique reference code : NATHAN-RD


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Top 10 Travel Planning Tips

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I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my New York trip already. Looking back at my post I realised the lack of travel-related posts recently, despite travel being a passion of mine.

Although at present I only have one trip in the pipeline; Thailand at the end of Summer, it doesn’t mean that in the meantime I can’t get myself prepared.

The planning stage of any trip can help determine how successful it will be and is an enjoyable part of the experience itself. There is a world of options and plenty to consider when planning. Building on an older post, I have given you an updated list of my top travel tips when planning a trip:


Prior to Booking:


1. Check your Passport. 

Probably the most important thing to consider when considering a trip overseas is whether your passport is still valid or not. It’s important to check the expiry date on your passport as some country’s require a certain period of time left on your passport to enter the country. Obtaining a new passport can also be a lengthy process so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better.

2. Use Social Media

More and more companies are using social media platforms to announce deals and updates, and respond to customer questions.
If you’re looking for the best last minute deals or special offers sign up to various airline and hotel mailing lists..  Not only may you bag a bargain but when an airline announces its summer or winter timetable, the quicker you book, the cheaper the seats tend to be.

 

3. Set yourself a budget. 

This next tip falls hand in hand with finding the best deal. If you are on a tight budget, make sure you stick too it. Set yourself clear, realistic expectations of what your budget will be able to get you. Budget holidays and package deals are great if your on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a tailor-made trip, expect to pay more.

4. Time your trip right.

When choosing a destination make sure you have researched when the peak and off peak times are and when the weather is best suited for you. Other things to consider are public holidays and celebrations which may delay or restrict your plans.

5. Choosing the right Hotel & Airline.

When choosing a hotel there are a number of variables to consider. The first is quality. The more ‘star’gradings a hotel has the better the features are. If a hotel doesn’t have a certain amount of stars, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad, or not up to standard. Star gradings include location and hotel amenities such as the pool, gym and restaurants.

Another point to note is when searching using a comparison site, be careful of the ‘top picks’ or ‘user verified’ hotels as these are not always the better hotels and can be paid advertisements.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you could always book accommodation through AirBnB, and ‘live like a local’. (It tends to be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel too).

Just like hotels, the price of airline tickets can vary site to site. Most times cutting out the middle man and booking directly with the vendor, will help keep costs down. Other things to consider when booking a flight is what the price includes? Budget airlines tend to charge extra for services such as meals and baggage so make sure your price includes everything you want.


After Booking


6. Check Visa Restrictions / Vaccinations

Now you’ve booked your hotel and flight, it’s time to start the holiday prep. A good place to start is to check what vaccinations you may need to enter/protect yourself in particular countries. The more remote the destination, the more chances you will need some sort of vaccination.

For my trip to Thailand I am booked in for 8 weeks before so it’s good to check.

7. Research. 

It’s important to do your research before you arrive. Tailor your trip to suit you. Create a inspiration board over on Pinterest, like my one below, to pin all the things you want to see and do, and for places to eat or stay. Use it as your personal travel guide!

If you prefer a travel guide in book form, I would recommend the Cereal Travel Guides or the Wallpaper City Guides by Phaidon. They are full of useful information, are beautifully presented and are a great reference for discovering new places.

8. Get your documents together.

– Whenever you travel you should always do so with insurance. Not only will it be there if any health issues were to occur but if anything was to happen to make you miss a flight, or your baggage gets lost, it’s one less thing to have to worry about knowing you are covered. Having a printed copy is always handy if you need quick access to those emergency numbers.

It’s also recommended to take photocopies of your tickets, ID and passport incase they were to be misplaced.

– When changing currency don’t order on a whim, wait until you can find the best rate. The exchange rate changes daily and it also varies on where you purchase it from. Or if you don’t like the idea of carrying a lot of money I would recommend speaking to your bank about the cheapest and safest way to use a credit or debit card abroad. I bank with Halifax who offer the fixed rate ‘Clarity Card’ which will not incur fees on any international transactions. Also make sure your bank is aware that you will be leaving the country as they tend to put a hold on your card for any suspicious transactions.

Investing in a travel wallet will help keep all your documents safe and in one place. My Mulberry Passport Cover Wallet has been used on many trips to secure all my information I need to hand.

9. Packing

Packing; some people love it and some people hate it. I personally quite like it as it feels like the start of the trip. When packing it’s quite easy to overpack. Wherever you’re going make sure you pack appropriately and be realistic. A good starting point is to find an online packing checklist to get you started, which will cover all the essentials.

and finally…

10. Make the most of your trip.

Be safe, have fun and make loads of memories.

Travel can be stressful, the key is organisation. What are your key travel tips?

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Iceland | Reykjavik & more!

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If you’re following me on Instagram you may have noticed my recent trip to Iceland. It’s always been one of those places I have wanted to go, but because I hate the cold, I have always put it on the ‘one day’ list.. until now.

We actually booked the trip back in April, whilst having a few drinks and picked January as a suitable time for us all. We booked our flights with easyjet and they were super cheap. Before we went we also booked our Northern Lights and Golden Circle Tour excursions through Reykjavik Excursions so we could plan our days as we were only there for the 4 days. If you’re planning a trip I would highly recommend doing this. These guys have it nailed. They pick you up from where you are staying and take you to the bus depot to catch your bus and drop you off on the way back, and takes the hassle out of sorting out transportation whilst there.

Talking about transport, taxis are really expensive so I would suggest shopping around a bit. When we landed at Keflavik International Airport we ended up booking the Gray Line bus for our transfers to and from the airport as this was the best option, and once again they pick you up and drop you off from your accommodation.

For this trip we decided to book another Airbnb to keep costs to a minimum. As this was the second time using Airbnb I was a lot more confident in the whole process and it turned out to be just as good!

Airbnb
Entire Home (sleeps 4)
50 Grettisgata
Reykjavìk
Capital Region
Iceland

Checked in: 05/01/16

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We went as a group of 4 so we decide to find an entire apartment to rent rather than just individual rooms. We stayed here for the 3 nights at a cost of £90pp, which is nothing really is it. The location was perfect, with the main high street and Old Harbour within a 5 minute walk.

Although Reykjavik is a relatively small city, theres still a lot to see and do whilst you’re there.

The Old Harbour

The old harbour is one of the upcoming areas of Iceland thanks to the recent addition of the award-winning Harpa concert and conference centre and plays host to a handful of bars and restaurants.

The area is also home to Sólfar – ‘The Sun Voyager’ statue, not to mention the scenery.

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Hallgrímskirkja

Located in the middle of Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja is the largest Church in Iceland. For around £3 you get access the viewing platform which looks over the city and is something I wouldn’t miss. The views are breathtaking.

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Food & Drink – The Laundromat Cafe

I first discovered The Laundromat Cafe on Pinterest. I find Pinterest such a great way of finding out where to go and what to see whilst you’re away. Although the food was pretty standard (I had a club sandwich and a green juice) the atmosphere is great. Filled with old books and an Americana vibe, it’s a good spot to to stop at and grab a coffee and warm up. As the name suggests, the cafe also has a full working Laundromat downstairs!

Other cool places we visited and I would recommened are Lebowski Bar which does the best White Russians and Vegamòt and Solon Bistro for evening meals and drinks.

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The Northern Lights & Golden Circle Tours

Powered by Reykjavik Excursions, these tours take you to a number of tourist hotspots. Although the Northern Lights were only just visible during our trip, it was a good experience, and gives me a reason to return in the future. The Golden Circle tour takes you to Pinvellir National Park, the Geysirs and to the Gullfoss Waterfall and was amazing. we added on the Fontana Wellness hot springs on to the end of our tour as The Blue Lagoon was sadly closed for renovations. (another reason to return!)

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Have you ever been to Iceland?

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Visiting N. California | CEREAL 10

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The latest Cereal arrived this morning. The biannual magazine has become one of my favourites over the last couple of years due to its careful design and content. Issue 10 in the series is as usual split into six different subjects, with the focus this month being; I. N. California, II. Antwerp, III. Panama City, IV. Agnes Martin, V. Vitsoe & VI. Timepieces. Having visited California a few times over the last couple of years I was eager to see what the focus of the section would be. The section is broken down in to a few different subject areas, including San Francisco, Yosemite and Big Sur. Having visited Big Sur I was keen to see what it would say.

I first visited California a couple of years ago as part of a road trip with the Big Sur coastline being one of the greatest things I have ever experienced.

After spending a few days in San Francisco we decided to take the ‘scenic route’ via route 1 along the coast with a final destination of Santa Monica. We started our journey early in San Francisco. We set off before sunrise, the early morning clouds and mist were still hugging the coastline; the sun finally breaking through a couple of hours in to the drive. We had given ourselves two days to drive down the coast to give us enough time to stop at some other places along the way.

In summary our journey went something like this..

Our first stop was the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. From there we headed down to Monterey, where we had booked a motel for the night. The following morning we did the 17-Mile Drive before setting off again. The next stop was San Jose, followed by Santa Cruz, and finally arriving in Santa Monica in the late evening.

There’s so many other places to stop off along the way, or to spend more time exploring but just the drive itself is worth doing. I can’t recommend Big Sur highly enough to anyone looking for an escape from the everyday.

CEREAL have summarised Big Sur perfectly in the latest issue:

Big Sur doesn’t exist in the way other places exist; no one knows precisely where it begins or ends. It’s 145km or so of coastline… There is no centre of town. No Main Street. Every minute one spends within its expanses has a soft, dreamlike quality… Big Sur is a reverie.

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Issue 10 of CEREAL is out now. Shop

Have you experienced Big Sur?

48hrs in Copenhagen | Things to Do

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Forgetting about all the great places to eat, Copenhagen has many attractions to offer. Considering we were only there for a short time, we managed to cram in quite a bit. Here are a few of my favourites.

Nyhavn

Nyhavn is one of the most iconic ares in Copenhagen. Once a bust port, today the canal is lined with colourful houses, many which have been renovated into vibrant restaurants and bars. The area is often busy, and is the perfect place to grab a beer and take in the views and history. No. 9, is the oldest house in the area dating back to 1681; the design of the house has not changed in that time retaining its traditional features. The famous writer Hans Christian Andersen also used to live in various houses along the canal where he wrote many of his fairy-tales, such as The Little Mermaid.

Talking of The Little Mermaid, the surrounding area is home to The Little Mermaid statue. Hated by the locals and often vandalised, the bronze and granite statue was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City. Based on the tale about a mermaid who longs to be reunited with her Prince on land, The Little Mermaid is perched on her rock in the water, staring towards the shore.

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Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is located in the centre of the City. Covering an area of 10 hectares, the gardens is home to more than 13,000 species and 27 glasshouses. The gardens are open daily to the public and is a nice place to get away from the city for an hour or two.

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Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens is said to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Disneyland and it’s easy to see why. Located just outside the city centre in Vesterbrogade, the park is the second oldest amusement park in the world and to this date is still the fourth most visited in the world. Featuring many attractions such as it’s wooden rollercoaster, Rutschebanen, the Dæmonen coaster and The Star Flyer, as well as its buildings and stages (which host the Tivoli Festival every summer) the park caters for all ages.

As soon as you walk into the park, you are transported to a different place. Full of charm and character, it’s clear to see why this park is so popular. The park opens at around 11am, but be prepared for the long queues. Tip: We went around 7pm and walked straight in.

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We also visited The Round Tower and The Blue Planet aquarium during our time, just missing out on the Carlsberg Brewery. But thats a reason to go back, right?

What are your favourite things to do in Copenhagen?