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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ECO COSMETICS FOR TATTOO LOVERS

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Over the past couple of years we have seen an increase in products available aimed at people with tattoos. Whilst tattoos may have once held a negative stigma, the way they are perceived has completely changed over the past decade – the chances are everybody will know someone who has a tattoo. This shift in attitudes has opened up the market to cosmetic companies making products aimed at those with tattoos.

As one of those who do have tattoos, I have tried and tested numerous products over the past couple of years with Eco Cosmetics being the latest to put to the test.

Before the brand contacted me I wasn’t aware too aware of them. However after looking further I was surprised to see how many products the brand has to offer – from the usual skin and body care to dental products and baby products – they really have thought of everything. Over the past couple of weeks I have been testing out both a shower gel and body lotion from the tattoo care range, so if you want to see what I thought, carry on scrolling!

‘For Tattoo Lovers’ is a range of products designed to care for and protect tattooed skin. Containing carefully selected ingredients, the range consists of a Sun Protection Lotion, Shower Gel and Body Lotion. Although there are a number of similar products on the market, the key here is the brands approach to natural skincare with 100% of the total ingredients from natural origin. The key ingredient here is Noni-extract which is renowned for it’s healing and rejuvenating properties.

As well as containing natural ingredients the brand is also vegan and cruelty free and boasts green credentials for deriving ingredients from organic farming and funding reforestation.

The first product I tried was the Shower gel. My first impressions was that like most other shower products, it does what its meant to do. Although the formula is very watery, you still get a decent lather and your skin is left feeling cleansed and fresh – just be careful when your squeezing it out! The shower gel contains similar ingredients to the body lotion so after drying myself off I applied the lotion to not only my tattooed areas  but the rest of my body too. At this time of year I usually go for a rich moisturiser as my skin gets quite dry. I was pleasantly surprised with the Eco Cosmetics Tattoo Body lotion. My skin feels soft, hydrated and moisturised. Most importantly it lasted the day which is exactly what I’m looking for at this time of year. As the lotion contains SPF there is always that slight ‘sun cream’ feeling but at least you know your tattoos are being protected no matter what the season is.

Overall I found that the products made my tattoos look brighter when applied. The colours and lines looked more defined and in general my tattoos just looked a lot healthier! I wouldn’t say theres a lasting effect, but if you’re looking for immediate results, these are the products for you. As you’re tattoos become older they start to fade so looking after them as early as possible is a sure way to keep them looking there best for years to come and that’s where products like these come in handy. I can definitely see myself using these again!

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Have you tried any of the Eco Cosmetics range? What would you recommend?
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This post contains press samples.


CHRISTMAS 2017

CHRISTMAS 2017

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No doubt by the time you get around to reading this Christmas will seem like a distant memory, but I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays nonetheless!?

Christmas was a bit different for me this year, I woke up in my own house! Not to do things by halves, we moved into our new house on 18th December so to try and get settled in before Christmas whilst working full time jobs was… fun! But worth it.

I usually spend Christmas at home so not to do the usual family traditions on Christmas morning was a bit of a change but I’m all for making new traditions and hopefully next year everything won’t be so rushed. We woke up really early on Christmas morning admitting defeat around 6.30 and finally getting out of bed. As usual I received some amazing gifts, I’m definitely feeling pretty lucky right now to have such a good group of people around me.

So what did I get? first up I got some Hunter wellies. I’ve been saying I wanted to get a pair for some time now – I ruin so many shoes walking the dogs, so these are going to come in handy! To go with the wellies I received matching Hunter socks and a The North Face puffer jacket to keep me extra toasty when its cold! Speaking of the dogs, they received the Aesop Animal Body Wash, perfect for after a muddy walk – It smells so good and I’m sure they will love it too.

Next up was a bunch of Nespresso goodies – a Citiz + Milk machine, a 200 capsule box set and a pair of cappuccino cups. I don’t know how I survived without a Nespresso machine before, I’m even more addicted to coffee now, there’s so many options to choose from! I’m looking forward to making a drink and getting stuck into Decembers box from The Chocolate Society. I’d never heard of the brand before but the chocolates look so good.

Staying on the coffee theme, I received some Lush products from my Secret Santa at work – I love the coffee mask, you can read about it here! I wonder how they knew?!

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Other grooming products came in the form of the GlamGlow Power Rangers Rita Repulsa Mask and some sleep sprays from This Works. I haven’t slept well lately so these couldn’t come at a better time and they work like a dream!

Other items included tickets to Fall Out Boy, a new Diptyque candle, Ciroc Vodka and the latest Cereal City Guide for Los Angeles to complete my collection.

I also treated myself to a pair of crisp black and white Nike Air Force 1s in the sales, I’ve never had a pair of them before and i’m not 100% convinced I can pull them off but i’m going to try!

After exchanging gifts we went to my parents for lunch and had a pretty chilled afternoon and evening as we were both working boxing day.  Overall it was a great first Christmas, hopefully next year we will be a lot more settled and able to host ourselves –  I’d love to cook the Christmas dinner for my parents one year so they don’t have too!

Working in the hospitality industry means Christmas is usually short and sweet but its what you make of it. I hope you all had a great festive period?

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Oh I also forgot to mention, a fifth member of the family was added on Christmas day. Everyone meet Luna – she’s settled in so well and definitely rules the house already!

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SEASONAL SKIN FAVOURITES

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If you’re anything like me, then your skin is probably crying out for a bit of TLC right about now. The recent drop in temperature, along with the snow and general cold conditions causes havoc for my skin. Cold weather can strip skin of its natural moisture causing redness and irritation so its important to take steps to winter proof our skin during these times.

Over the years I have come to rely on number of products during the winter months to keep it hydrated and healthy. The areas that are exposed are most prone to being damaged by the elements so for the reason I make sure I use products that have been tried and tested to keep my skin moisturised.

First up, I use the Tom Ford Daily Moisturiser on my face. Despite being ‘oil-free’ I find it never completely absorbs into my skin. When I look in the mirror I can definitely see that I’m wearing it so, for this reason I tend to avoid it during the warmer months. However in the winter it keeps my skin supple and stops it from drying out and apply it morning and night. Did I mention this stuff also smells incredible?

Next, because I spend a lot of time outdoors with my job, my hands get so dry. For a long time I never really used hand creams and my hands would become so sore to the point where they would crack and bleed in places. I’ve tried a few different hand creams but my favourite has to be the Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream, its really thick and super hydrating! You can see and feel the difference straight away and it absorbs completely in to the skin so you can carry on with what you were doing without the risk of leaving greasy hand marks everywhere. The orange infused scent is refreshing but not over powering and makes a great unisex option.   

When it comes to shower gels or soaps I tend to go for anything that contains hydrating oils such as the Lush The Olive Branch Shower Gel. After showering its important to lock in as much moisture as possible so I go for a thick body moisturiser such as Aesop’s Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm. Quite similar in consistency and fragrance as the Grown Alchemist hand cream it’s been a firm favourite in my routine for years!

As well as skincare products, I also tend to switch what fragrance I wear in the winter.  The Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne is honestly the perfect scent for this time of year and it definitely gets me in the festive spirit. It has just the right balance between spicy tones and fruity layers. Refreshing, woody and spicy – perfect!

What are your go to products during the winter months?

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