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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HOTEL GOTHAM, MANCHESTER

HOTEL GOTHAM, MANCHESTER

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The past couple of weeks have been weird. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the change in weather (again) or what, but I have felt SO drained and run down. No matter how much I try and pull myself out of this ‘slump’ nothing has really worked, I just haven’t had any motivation.

So, with a couple of days off and no plans I thought I would take advantage and book a night somewhere because sometimes you just need to get away!

I have wanted to check into Hotel Gotham for sometime now but it’s often very pricey so have always just left it on my ‘bucket list’ of places to go. With so many deals around at the moment, we got a great price and finally decided to book our stay.

For those who are not familiar with Hotel Gotham; Hotel Gotham is located at 100 King Street in Manchester City Centre in the old banking quarter. The hotel is home to 60 rooms from a standard Club room to the Bank Managers suite – complete with its own roll top bath.

The carefully themed interior of the hotel and rooms is reminiscent to the golden era of 1920s New York featuring leather, furs and velvet, with brass details.

Checked in: 1/08/17

We stayed in the Executive Club room which is  a larger version of the Club room. On arrival we were greeted by the friendly ‘bell boy’ who took our luggage and directed us to the elevators (the reception is located on the 6th floor). We were welcomed by the friendly staff and given a vodka infused drink on arrival. Our room was located on the first floor where we were met with our bags.

The room itself was huge. the first thing you notice is the black and grey statement carpet which is a nod to the art deco designs of the era. The king size bed was adorned with a luxurious faux fur throw and peacock print cushions and the crisp white linen contrasted with the dark interiors and black furniture.

The bathroom boasts a rainfall shower and just like the room is a decent size. It features luxury toiletries from The White Company, on top of a gold bullion which embraces the buildings history.

On the top floor of the hotel you will find Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s very own private members’ bar, which is also open to hotel residents. Unfortunately there was a private function being held in the main area of the bar so we were directed to a smaller area.

Regardless, we enjoyed our drinks and nibbles before heading out for the evening.

Overall, Hotel Gotham was the pick me up I needed. If you get the chance to visit or are looking for somewhere to stay for a special occasion,  I would definitely recommend it.

Check out the rest of my photos below and let me know what you think!

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Have you ever stayed at Hotel Gotham?

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FIVE REASONS WHY I LOVE SUMMER

FIVE REASONS WHY I LOVE SUMMER

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Hands down, summer is my favourite season. Sure, it’s nice to get wrapped up during the colder months but really, who actually likes the cold, dark days of winter? Not me.

In collaboration with Badger Ales I am here to share with you five reasons why summer is the best season!

Badger Ales have been brewed in the heart of the Dorset countryside since 1777 by independent brewers Hall and Woodhouse. They brew a range of quality beers and believe in making beer time as good as it can be. In fact, they are on a mission to show the public just how good it can be by transforming lucky Badger fans garden sheds into ultimate beer sheds!

The latest instalment is the Ultimate BBQ Shed. Costing £40,000 to create, the shed features a state of the art BBQ, tool rack, spice drawer, a fold down prep area and two beer fridges packed with Badger Ales. When it comes to sitting down to eat there is a pull out seating area with an automatic awning which all neatly folds back up when finished. Finally there is a hidden garden games box and dart board for those wanting to put their skills to the test. Check it out for yourself in the video below!

What more could you want from the Great British Summer?

01. Weather. I’m going to say it again. I hate winter.  The first of the five reasons I love summer has to be the weather. There’s nothing like a sunny day to put a smile on your face and make you feel energised. I feel so much more productive in the summer and want to make the most of my time. I love waking up early to see the sun has already risen allowing me to plan the rest of my day.

02. Food & Drink. Going back to BBQs, I don’t know what it is with British people but as soon as the sun comes out, so do the BBQs – everybody loves a BBQ! For me, whether I am abroad, dining in a restaurant or having a BBQ in the garden I love to eat outside when the weather is good – I’m sure food tastes 100% better in summer!

03. Holidays. Whilst I may not need any excuse to book a trip away, having a holiday booked during summer is a must. The weather in the UK is unpredictable at the best of times so heading somewhere you are guaranteed day long sun is my idea of heaven. Sun, beaches, day drinks. Bliss.

04. Days Out. If you haven’t booked to go away over summer, all is not lost. There are so many great places to visit in the UK; from tourist attractions to the great outdoors there is something for everyone. Go on a hike, take your dog for a walk, just go and explore – there’s literally so many options. You have to take advantage of the dry weather while it lasts! 

05. Summer Style. In the colder weather, layering up is a must. However during summer picking out an outfit couldn’t be easier. Summer is the only acceptable time to get your pale pins out in the hope of picking up a tan.  For daily wear you really can’t go wrong with a simple t-shirts and shorts combo, or if you are looking for something slightly smarter swap it for a tailored pair of shorts and crisp white shirt. Finish with a pair of sunglasses and you are summer-ready.

What’s your favourite things about summer? What do you think about the ultimate BBQ shed?


THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY BADGER ALE. FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE

TURNING 30 | BARCELONA PHOTO DIARY

TURNING 30 | BARCELONA PHOTO DIARY

The end of May saw my 30th Birthday. I decided rather than staying at home and crying into my Macbook, that I would go away instead to take the edge off! I had heard many good things about Barcelona before but had never been, so when it came to booking a sunny city break, Barcelona was at the top of my list. What better way to celebrate than with some sun and a few drinks? The big 3-0 didn’t seem so bad after all.

When I think back to my twenties I always thought I would have everything figured out by now. I thought I would be further along in my career, be a home owner and have this adult thing down to a T.

Things might not have happened as I thought, but that’s okay.

I don’t know why I had high expectations and needed to accomplish so much by 30. It really is just a number. So many unexpected, great things have happened over the last ten years that might not have happened if I had been completely focused on ‘life goals’ so this is a reminder to hold my plans much more loosely because there’s a whole lot of life still to come and who knows what twists and turns are up ahead.

I hope you enjoy my photos of my Birthday trip, I loved Barcelona! Have you ever been?

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Chök | Brunch & Cake | Margarita Blues | Vioko | Bar Lobo

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