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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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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This post contains press samples.


MY FITNESS JOURNEY

When it comes to health and fitness I have always considered myself to be average. I wouldn’t say I have ever been overweight or underweight but just somewhere in the middle. I have always lived a reasonably healthy lifestyle, make the effort to eat well and have always considered myself to be fairly active.

I had never considered myself as unhealthy and had no real urge to ‘better’ myself because of this. I have never obsessed about weight and until recently never weighed myself – I still believe it’s more important about how you feel then what the scales say but in terms of stats and setting goals, having the data there in black and white is a real motivator.

Over the last couple of years I’ve found it harder to keep the weight off certain areas and have become far more aware of how my body looks- and it hasn’t made me feel that great!

When I hit 30 I knew it was now or never so I joined a gym for the first time in my life. I had a holiday booked so had something to work towards and enjoyed going. However once I returned I found it hard to get motivated to go back and would go every so often. Then I moved house. Then Christmas happened. There was always something stopping me from going or that I would use as an excuse not to go, to the point I cancelled my gym membership all together.

Early January I rejoined the gym and decided this year is the year. Since then I have been going 2-3 times a week and finally feel like I’m getting back into it. On top of the gym I also have a outdoor PT class once a week which really encourages me to push myself and keeps me focused.

As well as getting back into fitness, I have been trying to eat much healthier too. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to deny myself the odd treat but just be more conscious about what I put in my body. The two biggest downfalls for me is not planning meals and just grabbing something quick and portion control. Being on the go a lot means I don’t really make time to eat so I just grab something when I can (or not at all) so the plan is to eat more often and try sticking to set meal times so I have a bit more of a routine.

I was contacted by Herbalife to see if I had any fitness or nutrition posts planned for the New Year and thought this would fit perfectly with what I want to achieve in 2018 so over the next couple of months I will be putting there products to the test alongside my new found motivation.

I will be using products from both their core range and ‘H24’ range – a sports nutrition range to fit in with my everyday life to see if they help me get to where I want to be. The products range from meal replacement shakes to protein bars and electrolyte drinks to keep hydrated during workouts – I’ll do a full post on how I have fit these into my everyday routine soon so stay tuned!

So what do I want to achieve?

Ideally I’m looking to loose a stone of ‘fat’ but gain lean muscle and just generally tone up everywhere through exercise and healthy eating habits. I’m feeling really motivated at the moment and feel like the goals I have set myself are realistic and achievable so I’m excited to see how the next couple of months go and share this journey with you.

Have you set yourself any health and fitness goals this year?

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This post contains press samples.


 

Exante Diet Weight Management Review

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When Exante Diet first contacted me about testing some of their range a couple of weeks ago, I was slightly sceptical. I’m not really one for diets and wasn’t looking to drop a few pounds in time for the summer. After a further look into the product, I could see that not only can Exante Diet help you lose weight but also help you manage it. With so many fad diets around, it’s easy to become obsessed with your weight, and 9 times out of 10 whatever weight you lose you will gain back twice as fast once you stop.

Whilst I’m not necessarily looking to lose weight, Exante Diet can help manage your ideal weight through it’s range of different plans and selection of nutritionally balanced pre-prepared meals and snacks delivered to your door.

Exante Diet offer a huge range of meal-replacement products including prepared meals, soups, shakes, bars and more. Unlike typical low calorie diets, Exante Diet puts an emphasis on weight control and management offering a wide range of high-protein low-carb options to fit nicely alongside a healthy lifestyle. Having recently introduced a new wholesome range of pancakes, granola, crisps and even a chip shop chicken curry, your everyday favourites have just been given the Exante treatment allowing you to have a little bit of what you fancy without the associated guilt.

With a number of plans to choose from, there’s something for everyone. The Man Plan is designed especially for men or for those with a higher metabolism. The idea itself is really simple; once you have selected the correct plan, you simply login and choose which products you want online and they get delivered to your door.

With every product expertly portioned and packed with over 22 vitamins and minerals, I was eager to give them a try for myself to see if they are actually as good as they sound. So what did I think? :


Exante Diet Mushroom Pasta

Firstly, I love carbs, so anything pasta based is already a win. This microwavable pasta meal is made with wholewheat pasta, button mushrooms and chicken-style pieces for that extra boost of protein. The sauce is creamy and makes for a nice quick meal. Served with a side salad this makes a decent sized evening meal. [4/5]

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Exante Diet Protein Porridge

I’m already a huge fan of porridge so I was looking forward to swapping my usual oats for the Protein Porridge from Exante. Unfortunately it didn’t match my expectations. I found it quite watery, where as I prefer it to be more smooth and creamy. Maybe I made it wrong or maybe it’s a bit of trial and error on this one. Either way I added a handful of berries as per the serving suggestion on the back and ate it. [2/5]

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Exact Diet Chocolate Orange / Toffee Nut & Raisin Bar

Cereal bars are a great idea for when you don’t have enough time to prepare a meal. The Meal Replacement bars  from Exante come in a variety of flavours and are great for when you are on the go. With the right amount of sweetness and soy protein goodness these are just as good (or even better) then many shop bought alternatives. I could definitely see myself keeping a a few in the car with me, especially the Chocolate Orange ones! [5/5]

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Exante Diet Protein Chips Salt & Vinegar

A packet of chips/crisps that count as part of your plan? yes you heard right. These protein chips were one of my favourite items I sampled. The size of the bag is over generous and the seasoning is just right. They have a light, crispy texture to them and are perfect for an afternoon snack. [5/5]

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Exante Diet Strawberry Jam & Yoghurt Crunch Bar / Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

I was excited to try both of these as they sounded so good. Part of the Deliciously Different range, the Strawberry Jam & Yoghurt Crunch bar is another great alternative to the typical cereal bar. High in protein, fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, the bar has all the goodness you need to get your day off to a good start without all the sugar.  [4/5]

The Double Chocolate Chip Cookie on the other hand was a bit disappointing if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it’s because cookies are my downfall, but something just doesn’t work here. I found the cookie quite hard to eat as it’s so dense and packed full of protein. You can really tell that it is a ‘diet’ product. Furthermore I’d describe it as a savoury snack rather than sweet as I found it quite salty. If you’re after that sweet fix, Exante have much better alternatives to this. On the plus side, the cookie is a good size and it is very filling so I guess it’s doing it’s job. [2/5]

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These were only a selection of the samples I received. If you want my opinion on any of the other items I was sent, please leave me a comment down below.

Whether you’re looking to lose some weight or just have a better control and understanding over what you are eating Exante have your back. With no subscription required and free next day delivery you can start Exante Diet as soon as tomorrow.

Visit Exante Diet for more information here.

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