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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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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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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2018 GOALS

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Happy New Year! It seems five minutes since I was thinking about the things I wanted to achieve during 2017, but here we are again!

Before I start, I would just like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to support my blog over the past 12 months, I can’t believe I’m celebrating 3 years already.

I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions so I never set myself any in 2017. Instead I set myself a number of things I wanted to focus on or achieve during the year which I found much more motivational. Looking back, some things I have succeeded in, others not so much, but thats okay. The goals I set myself were mainly to do with my blog and growing it. However this year has been BUSY and I haven’t been able to commit the time I had wanted to blogging, I even considered giving it up on more than one occasion but I’m still giving it my best.

In terms of traffic to my site, this year has been the best, and in particular the last quarter has been my best in terms of views and visitors since I started my blog, despite not really posting much! Theres still a few things on my to-do list from last year I’m going to bring forward to 2018, the rest are going to be more personal goals to keep me focused during the year.

01. Blog redesign. I know I have been saying this for sometime now so I really just need to get on with it. Along side this I want to focus more on improving my social media platforms. I feel that I lost interest in instagram this year, however I’m going to start posting a lot more and not concentrate about the images fitting a certain ‘theme’ – I want it to be a lot more personal and hope to see an improvement in terms of numbers and how regular I post.

02. Open myself up to more opportunities. Make an effort to network more and attend events to help support my blog. I went to my first blogger event and have worked with some great brands this year but need to find the time to put ‘myself out there’ a bit more.

03. Get healthy. I wouldn’t say I’m unhealthy but I do have a tendency to over indulge from time to time. Who doesn’t order pizza every week? When I focus on something I can usually achieve it, it’s just that initial motivation to get going again. Ive had 2 months away from the gym now so its time to kick myself back into gear now. Im going to also be more aware of what I’m eating and try to eat a lot better this year!

04. Plan a big holiday. Although I went to Paris, Barcelona and had a summer holiday to Gran Canaria in 2017, I put travelling on the back burner due to saving for the house. I hope we are able to do a big holiday this year and do a few city trips, I think we deserve it! I have a few places in mind so watch this space.

05. Make my house a home. Although we have only just moved in we have started to transform the house into our ideal space already. Theres a few bigger projects which we plan to do in time but house goals for this year would be to finish the downstairs. We are hoping to have a new kitchen at some point and I would love to have the fireplace replaced in the lounge. The areas we are going to concentrate on are the lounge, kitchen and garden. I hope to bring a load of house-related content to my blog through out the year too!

I think thats enough to be getting on with for now. I’m feeling really motivated at the moment so can’t wait to get started.

Have you set yourself any goals this year?

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