Early bird or Night Owl – Finding a productive routine.

6am. The Summer Sun is shining and you have a solid 3 hours to yourself before you even have to consider getting ready for work. Beautiful right? 2019 summer was my most productive lifestyle regime ever and I am eager to get back to that!

I have gone through a lot of different routines since then, furiously trying to find something that fits. From working late nights, to being unmotivated through winter to my current 12 hour shift pattern and have to say my most fulfilling work/life balance is my current one, but my personal regime fitting around these shifts AND being consistent is the issue. Starting work at 6am with a half hour drive leaves little time for me to achieve anything in the morning if I value a good nights sleep and night-time is out of the window if I want to be consistent as I see friends or do things on my day off.

So if I can’t settle then why do I need a routine?

The ‘college triangle’ adapted for my 28 year old self. But can you really only have two?

I set myself a lot of goals. When I see them coming to fruition I have such a sense of satisfaction, when I don’t I tend to beat myself up about it. Goal setting and personal development is important to me and achieving these only tends to come with a routine where I can separate personal goals, professional goals and time to relax.

My routine varies seasonally and it has to be said that summer is by and far my favourite season. It’s easy to wake up, it’s great to exercise and I generally need less sleep as I tend to wake with the sunrise, therefore everything I want to achieve for personal development can be done, I then go to work and still have time to socialise in the evenings.

Winter on the other hand… I sleep around 2am, but can’t focus on anything productive after a long day so end up playing games and watching Netflix. It’s way too cold to exercise outside and as much as (I must be the only person to think this) I hate a lay-in, I hate the cold more, and my flat is cold!

So why can’t I have the best of both worlds?

My August goal is to figure out my schedule. Something that works with my work/life balance and allows me to still feel satisfied that I have time for personal development. I need something that gives me motivation to do these after 12 hour workday, or miraculously be able to fit them in before work. Am I overstretching myself? Or just not prioritising the right things?

How do I achieve these?

Law of Attraction Planner layout.

I love planning, but I need a way to make sure I see these through. I will be trialling the Law of Attraction planner dubbed the most effective way to manifest positivity and change your life. Think £30 is too much for a diary? I’ll be reviewing it right here so you can decide for yourself and see if it truly can help.

I will also be spending time on Sunday evenings planning out my week, reinstating my 3 little things and separating the different aspects of my life so I can dedicate time to everything that will help me achieve my goals!

I have given myself a month to figure this out, and it truly needs to be something that I can work with both seasons as we will be moving into autumn and I am determined to not fall off track this winter.

So lets see how we get on…

Are you an early bird or night owl?

Do you have a set routine throughout the year or change it up?

Most importantly, do you have any tips for me?

Let me know below (by doing so you’ll be entered into my August Giveaway!) and be sure to check back and see how i’m getting on.

AUGUST GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT! Cruelty free and vegan beauty.

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet! For those of you who don’t know, i’m Viki! A videographer from England who has a passion for beauty and adventure. I started my blog to document my 101 in 1001 journey and since lockdown have really started to enjoy beauty and skincare reviewing – especially cruelty-free and vegan. Nowadays I’m posting Sundays for personal or lifestyle posts and Wednesdays for beauty and reviews, which leads me to this post…

This month I am giving away 8 full-sized products from my favourite July discoveries (post coming later this week!) These are all brand new and full sized.

So what’s included?

MAKEUP OBSESSION (from my latest Revolution haul)

  • In the Neon Jungle 16 pan eyeshadow palette
  • Moon Glow setting Spray
  • Baking Primer Oil

NIP & FAB (featuring in an upcoming nip & fab Black Diamond haul)

  • U OK Hun Highlighter palette
  • Aura Fix Stick Glow

KARL LARGERFELD & MODEL CO (featuring in my upcoming ballin’ on a budget post)

  • Eiffel Tower lipgloss

BODY SHOP (featuring in my upcoming ultimate skincare regime)

  • Vitamin E Cleanser

THE ORDINARY (also featuring in my ultimate skincare regime)

  • Supersized Buffet serum

How to get involved?

Simple! July I set myself 500 blog views and fell just short. So this month I really want to promote engagement on my posts! Simply comment on any of my August posts to enter! You can comment on as many posts as you like as one comment = one entry (only one comment per post though, no one needs that spam!)

So please get involved, share this about and discover some of my up and coming favourites!

Why not start now! Let me know what you’d be most excited to win in this giveaway now.

Be the Revolution – Revolution beauty haul and review

Make-up. Skincare. Beauty. Revolution is fastly branching out to become a monopoly on UK drugstore makeup! Compromised of 5 lines including Makeup obsession, Revolution Pro, I heart Revolution and their brand new XX Revolution they seem to have a brand for every demographic.

I’ve been a long time fan of Revolution Beauty. Their £4 shadow dupes are a staple in my everyday routine but lately i’ve been branching out to new and exciting products. The great thing with this brand is that you can try out new styles, products and colour palettes without worry as their choices are carefully selected to work with each other and they don’t break the bank!

Last month Revolution were running an offer where you got their monster 45 shade palette for free on a £35+ spend. Now did I need more beauty products? No. Did I want more? Of course! A haul was in order, so I swang by my Twitter @ohsoviki to ask which palette I should get. With Mars being something I would use everyday and Earth being tones I don’t frequently use but would love to experiment with.

Earth won.

Then it was time to select some products from the site. This was definitely not hard. I found some sale products that didn’t qualify for the offer but honestly couldn’t pass them up, and it was easy enough to get some general products I wanted regardless.

So let’s see what products made my bank balance hate me….

Let’s start with the travel-sized palettes that IMMEDIATELY drew my attention. These 9-pan palettes from makeup obsession were an immediate win! Each one is a unique colour theme but has every shade you need to create a stunning multi-dimensional look. I wanted bright and bold pinks so of course opted for pretty in pink. I wear pinks often but don’t have many different shades. Then I chose Ocean Blues to try to diversify my look a bit. Blues often are a highlight colour for me, a stroke under the eye for a pop of colour perhaps, but I want to try and branch out a bit, which leads perfectly into my final mini palette – Keep it Fresh. For this one I wanted something I wouldn’t ever think about for my look. Green eyes can be beautiful but are hard for me to get right, but they say practice makes perfect so I took a plunge.

The verdict – For £5 these palettes are adorable. They feel sturdy and are a great size for travel or keeping in your handbag. Don’t let the photo fool you though, these things are tiny and I have to admit I expected them to be bigger, you can get bigger pans for £4 in revolution generally, but these are way more pigmented and I don’t mind them being smaller as I’ll mix up my looks a lot that they would probably go past their use by before I get to use them if they’re any bigger. I definitely recommend these! The fact they have a little mirror too is super handy and another plus for their portability.

The next eyeshadow palette I bought was Daydream, its a 16 colour pan and clocked in around £10. This was giving me Juvias place vibes and the colours are so bold and carnivale inspired. Again, something I’d never usually be bold enough to try and that was it’s draw for me. Makeup obsessions longevity in palettes is really good, better than some of the sub brands of revolution, so again, a big recommendation from me for their eyeshadows.

The final products I got for eyes (which honestly is a great way to express yourself these days seeing as we are wearing masks which hide half of our faces) was a beautiful turquoise pomade and lengthening mascara. I’m on a mission to find a mascara that doesn’t budge and also makes my lashes look fuller. I have such a problem with mascara seeping below my eyes and making me look tired so let’s see how this one works out. Revolution pro pomades are to die for! I use their eyebrow pomade and when I do I get so many compliments, it’s long lasting and really easy to taper. I’m going to use this to create a fun pop of eyeliner.

Some exciting sale items I got was this beautiful renaissance highlighter palette in radiant in rose. It was £4 down from £8. The packaging is so high end and even comes in a beautiful cloth carry case with Revolution etched on it. The mirror is big and the colours can be used all together or separately. I am concerned with if this will easily break or leak if you carry it daily (maybe that’s why they give you the little pouch?) but that will have to be something myself and my makeup bag have to find out.

The unicorn dream holographic lip kit comes with a purple liner and holographic top coat. The top coat will become a staple for me not jsut to be used in conjunction with the pencil but will work well with a lot of my lipsticks.

WHAT IS BEAUTY WITHOUT SKINCARE

I of course needed to purchase these two holographic beauties purely for their cute colours I cannot lie. Lets face it a sparkly setting spray isn’t going to replace my everyday setting spray but is going to be amazing for nights out (when they happen again!) The peel off face mask is made with plastic free glitter so you can have a girly at-home spa night with a clean conciounce. It contains hylauronic acid, a staple in my skincare aswell as antioxidant jasmine flower.

I needed a new cleanser and this soothing gel with cannabis sativa seems like it will do the trick. My skin is really irritated at the moment with these face masks and as much as I understand and respect they are compulsory in our day-to-day life for now, I need to work on keeping my skin on balance when I am home. I have to admit (and I don’t know why) I was surprised it came in a glass bottle. It makes it seem more high end, it’s recyclable too. I love cleansing gels with pumps as it dispenses the correct amount so you won’t overdo it.

I’ve never had a pink clay mask before and needed one more product to top up my cart for the palette. This detoxifying mask comes in at £8. It looks and feels luxurious, is vegan and cruelty free (as is everything I purchased) and smells great. I trialled this and it made my skin feel great, the only thing I need to figure out is how to take it off non-abrasively as it really did stick well.

And there we have it, some treats, some essentials, majority exciting new purchases to expand my makeup collection and all for a 45 pan Earth palette. Follow my instagram to see what looks I create with this! I am in love with the way they make some of the palettes look like stones or cores, I know that effect will be ruined when I start using it but i’m excited to see what effect the two tone has when applying to my lids, does it create a dimensional look or is it just for show on the packaging?

Do you buy from Revolution?

What is your favourite brand from them?

Let me know your thoughts below and if you want to see more beauty posts check out my Vegan Mystery bag review here!

Life After Lockdown – 5 tips to get you back on track

18 weeks. 125 day. 2994 hours. No matter the unit, it’s been a long time since Britain was put on Lockdown and the whole country changed before our eyes, and my life in particular changed in many unexpected ways.

This year has been unpredictable for all of us, but it’s seemed to divide the population into those who have thrived and those who have suffered even though many people have done both. Whilst some of us have finally gotten around to that pet project we’ve wanted to do, strenuously exercised from our own living rooms or excitedly taken part in at-home lockdown trends. Others have struggled to work, socialise or motivate themselves for almost anything. I’ve been through both, and there are 5 big changes I have realised in lockdown that I will carry through after.

Here are my top 5 tips to keep your life on track post-lockdown.

Emails

I had thousands upon thousands of emails before lockdown. Mailing lists of places I don’t visit, important changes that should be filed away, juicy discounts I should have taken advantage of. Lockdown has given me a bit of time to not only sort through this intimidating list and get rid of that annoying red dot above my email app but it has allowed me to plan forward with important folders and get useful information straight away.

Stop Procrastinating

Just. Do. It.

It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, it just matters that it’s real. When lockdown first happened I was struggling to write as I was so dependant on ‘experience‘ posts and what is an experience post without an experience? I beat myself up about not writing but didn’t want to put out anything I didn’t think was perfect. I had a jar filled to the brim with ideas for posts going nowhere. I had products and clothing mounting that I wanted to review but didn’t think I was good enough to.

If something isn’t perfect, it’s ok. You learn from doing, and I am finally doing what I want and not hiding it away.

I’ve been combing through years worth of Netflix on my list, i’ve been playing games that have been sat on my shelf for years, sure when lockdown ends I will have less time to do this, but I’ve enjoyed not putting so much on the backburner, after all, life is for living and things are for using.

Take care of things that take care of you

If I don’t like something I will quickly dismiss it, not look after it to the point it breaks and i’m forced to get a new one, problem solved, right? Wrong!

I am fortunate enough to have a car, and through no fault of my own it’s tainted, tainted with bad memories, physical dents, rage worthy qualities. I hated it, I wanted to trade it in so I didn’t clean it, I didn’t care if it broke down and frankly, until recently I wasn’t going to need it after September anyway. Now I have accepted a full time position at my new job I will be averaging a 60 mile motorway round trip to work, and that’s when I finally started listening to people. Frankly there’s not a whole lot wrong with my car. Sure the colour isn’t perfect, and it has wear and tear, but the majority of what I see wrong with it is personal, so I have booked it in for a service, am getting the broken wheel replaced (stupid DANGEROUS of me to drive on it anyway) I’ll be replacing the hubcaps, I’ve FINALLY (after 8 years) learnt how to work the radio so that won’t bug me every time it falls out of sync and I spend 10 minutes trying to find Radio One. I don’t know a nuclear cleaner who can blitz the inside but i’ll try my best. My car has seen me almost to 100,000 miles now, and I should be thankful for that. If the time comes when I want to upgrade then I will, but it looks after me daily and I should pay that back, plus it’ll get me a bit more money when I do decide to trade it in and i’ll have enjoyable journeys.

Make time for friends and family (zoom calls don’t have to stop)

One of the best things to come out of lockdown is weekly skype parties with friends and family across the nation. It’s allowed people to really make time for their close ones. I’m lucky enough to have a core group of friends who have been with me since the beginning, we all live across the country but text regularly and are always there for each other. We will meet up when we can but usually it’s never the whole group at once and when it is it’s usually Christmas holidays.

Since lockdown we’ve been having regular skype chats alongside our daily texting, we’ve played games together, drank together, been there for each other throughout this all, and i’m so lucky to have them. I will be seeing them all again in 2 weeks when I visit home and I don’t see us stopping this tradition when life goes back to normal, it may be less frequently but it’s a staple now.

Budgeting

Lockdown happens and my bank balance goes up. Theres nothing to do, nowhere to go. I am finally able to sort through old items I don’t want and sell them. Lately I’ve bought a whole new wardrobe and some treats i’ve wanted for ages, and I don’t think you should deprive yourselves of these. But lockdown has made me analyze where I was needlessly spending money, and frankly, would I rather skip a meal out once or twice a week and go for a cute weekend getaway? I sure would! I’ve recently gotten Monzo and created a few pots for things I want to do, i’ve tried to allocate money to things in life I need and then look at excess, I will of course be going back out and doing things again when they reopen, after all I have to finish my LIST right? But I’ll definitely be skipping the weekly trips to primark for things i’ll wear once and never again, opting for homecooked instead of restaurants and putting more into different savings so I can go out on more trips and holidays.

So there we have it. My top 5 tips for ease of life post-lockdown. You may say these are sensible things any adult should already be doing, but I’ve never quite been the sensible one, and if it’s taken me Lockdown to realise these then maybe every cloud does have a silver lining?

What have you learnt during lockdown? Will any habits you’ve made stick once the world is free to roam again? Let me know in the comments!

OPHIUCHUS WHO? Thoughts from a Gemini

With all the resurfaced buzz about a thirteenth horoscope I still strongly identify as a Gemini, but can the seasons really dictate pivotal character traits?

Gemini’s have a dual outlook towards life, just like their sign of duality.

For anyone who didn’t know an article is making the rounds again claiming NASA discovered a 13th astrological sign, Ophiucus, meaning the majority of peoples star signs would change. Nasa explained that the zodiac – which people based their astrological sign on – are simply constellations that are in line with the Earth and the Sun as the planet follows its orbit. Ophiucus was always present but the Babylonians decided to leave it out so the zodiac better fit their 12 month cycle.

Ophiuchus constellation

Lets first clear up a difference here, astrological signs are dictated by which month you are born and correlate to the dominant stars in the sky. Horoscopes are predictions based upon your star sign.

Overall Astrological signs are pretty generic and for this reason I think anyone can find relatable traits but these are supposed to be my dominant characteristics that feed my personality. I find myself quite interchangeable dependant on mood, season, company and even how I feel in which clothes I decide to put on for the day. Astrological signs are believed by some to dictate your traits and characteristics whilst others believe horoscopes create a placebo effect within you, this could be seen as similar to Law of Attraction where you believe something is going to happen or want it to so you actively find yourself in the situation where it occurs.

Now traits for star signs can vary dependant on source so I simply googled Gemini traits and tried to find the first reliable resource rather than someones personal opinion. I’ll bee scoring each section out of 10 on how accurate I think the section is to develop an overall score.

10. Superficial – 4

Quick to judge others & wrong impressions of people – I can be known to make snap judgements from small interactions but am happy to be proved wrong and often am! This is based on personality and interactions though and never looks or material possessions which I think steers it away from the superficial category

Likes to show other people that they are happy and doing well even when they are not. They have an attitude of showing off. – I’m a pretty honest person, I wont bring my troubles to anyone but wont actively put out there only the best parts of my life like todays ‘Instagram society’ programmes us to do. I definitely take pride in my work and enjoy treating myself but am pretty confident I am not a show off.

9. Adaptable – 8

Adaptable to every situation and every person. – I believe i’m flexible to many a situation and person, frankly the toughest person I am hard on is myself

They are not bossy but are rather very compliant with what others tell them to do. – When I’m right i’m right, but will always help or seek out tasks to help. I love listening to different people approaches as I think that’s the strongest way to develop.

Pretty easy going and very accommodating of what others have to say or do. – As long as I don’t disagree morally this is true, and like I said previously is a great way to discover and develop.

8. Impulsive – 7

A Gemini reacts right away to situations, and as a result, they have a very panicky temperament. – I do think about things before they occur and try to think of all possible outcomes and any solutions that may be needed, that to me doesn’t ring impulsive though as I am pre-meditating that. I can definitely have panicky temperament in situations I care about.

Gemini’s are wound up spring absorbing everything they can about their surroundings at once and quickly let go of their response to the situation. But if there is no situation to be wound up about, a Gemini misses the feeling and wants to experience excitement and variety. – This is quite a big one to digest. I definitely carry some of these traits such as being bored on my day off and visiting Belgium just for some variety.

Personally I feel i’m impulsive with things I want to do but if plans change I cant deal with that even if I react quickly or am good at navigating situations I feel uneasy.

7. Energetic/Restless – 8


A Gemini has too much energy and can get a little fickle minded due to this huge amount of energy flowing through his veins.

A Gemini would start working on one exciting project but soon may find another one more exciting and start working on that one, they leave a path of incomplete ventures in their wake. – 1000% true, but focusing on blog and my 101 in 1001 list has been a game changer for me changing this habit. I may take time but get there eventually

Due to too much energy coursing through their body, a Gemini tends to be extremely restless. They are an impatient lot. They get fidgety and irritated when they have nothing to do – I can’t sit still for long periods of time and always have to be doing a thousand things at once. I can’t just sit and watch a movie without being on my laptop of phone multitasking. This isn’t the worst trait though as it’s led me to some exciting new hobbies like bouldering.

6. Clever – 7

A Gemini is quick to understand, learn and apply ideas – Humble brag here that I was told I was the quickest to transition from training to live directing solo in my new job. There are elements of things I just can’t grasp but overall I do think I’m very quick at learning new things, especially in topics that excite me as there is already a driving passion there.

If they were to focus their energy in one place, their ingenuity and brainpower would allow them to complete their project with success and creativity. – This is so me! It goes hand in hand with the energy and creative ones in the way that I have too many ideas to focus on they all get diluted, that and the fact I have a habit of either wanting it to be perfect or not doing it at all.

Quick tongued due to their inborn cleverness and always have a good comeback to anything a person says. – I’ll often think of the absolute perfect response hours later, but I’m fairly quick witted.

5. Devious – 5

Ability of being good with words, they can be manipulative. They can persuade a person to do almost anything. In a business or even in friendships, they can get people to take their side. – I don’t want to admit this but I have a high percentage rate of getting what I want, it’s all pretty trivial though, I think important things in life you have to work hard for.

They can also say the perfect things to a person to achieve their goal. They can effortlessly validate any move they make and clarify any deed. They can basically convince the people around them of anything they want. – I’m not sure how many situations i’ve been in to really test this, as I said before it’s mainly trivial things, and with my earlier admittance that i’m an overthinker and planner I don’t think I could exactly effortlessly validate, rather meticulously plan.

4. Imaginative – 7

A Gemini is a very creative person and artistically inclined. – Speaks for itself when I work in media and have a tonne of artistic hobbies.

They have an ingenious mind and are innovative. Their imagination knows no bounds. – As a kid my imagination was out of this world, literally. I don’t think I’ve lost this but I think as an adult i’m stumped in practicalities and what’s achieveable.

Their ideas are mostly original as they do not think like the mainstream people. They are good pioneers. – I feel like I get lots of inspiration from others, I have a distinct style but am not sure how ‘original’ it is.

3. Indecisive – 9

Due to duality in their nature, a Gemini is indecisive.He/ she is hesitant to reach a conclusion and is wavering from his/ her decisions. I would much rather have decisions made for me and it takes me all day to even decide what I want for lunch never mind bigger life choices.

Unable to put a finger on what they want or make up their minds – I often think ‘what could’ when making decisions, If I choose to live a year in London rather than a year in Scotland for example, what opportunities am I missing out on it Scotland instead, sure London could be fun, but you never know the other side and if a decision is made for me I can be happy with the ‘what is’ rather than ‘what could’

2. Independent – 3

A Gemini is tremendously independent. He/ she cannot be stubbed by anyone or any rules. – I had never been independent until 2019 and had to come to terms with admitting it’s ok to ask for and accept help. Now though I am making my own path (whilst still taking advice and help where needed) It’s a journey, but an exciting one.

He/ she must experience the world on his/ her own. -Well that’s exactly what I was trying to do before Co-vid. I’d planned to do a short city break every month this year, I even wrote about my day trip to Belgium. But these things happen and i’ll get my backpack out again soon – hopefully!

Change and liberty are extremely important to a Gemini. – I hate change! Admittedly I’m usually wrong about situations that change but the initial switch is daunting to me.

1. Good Communication Skills / Social Butterfly – 4

A Gemini is the master of communication! They can help you get what you need by helping you with their arguments and fervor. – I can struggle to concisely explain but, my brain works faster than my mouth.

They also give good advice. – Well, I don’t know about this, I think i’m a good listener but ill often give my truth rather than what someone would want to hear, so I guess it’s a coin-flip on this with who is on the receiving end of it.

They also LOVE to talk! Talk about themselves, new topics and have a good knowledge of things too. – Get me going and I can talk all day, and the sound of silence is deafening to me, but I often just need background noise and time to myself. I think if i’m comfortable I will be quite talkative but I don’t think i’m above average in that department, and unless it’s professional I don’t talk too much about myself, it took my years to even tell my friends I wrote blogs!

A social butterfly is someone who is social or sociable with everyone usually fluttering from person to person, the way a butterfly flutters from flower to flower. – I grew up incredibly shy, even back last year I struggled to speak to strangers or socialise at parties. I think developing my professional skills as well as a ‘don’t give a f**k’ attitude I’ve started to conquer this and found out the world is not as scary as I thought, and if it is it’s not worth my time.

Extreme extrovert but sometimes he/ she just needs some time for one’s own self too. – I am no extrovert, but damn I can fool people into thinking I am, I spend a lot of time doing my own thing but that doesn’t mean I want to be on my own. Sometimes someone just chilling next to you whilst you both do your own thing is a good time.

So there is is. My in-depth, star filled, character study of me as a Gemini. And I scored 62/100, over half-way but not by a mile. And let’s not forget this was completely self-analytical.

Do you believe in Astrological signs?

What star-sign are you?

Has your sign changed if you follow the 13 zodiacs rather than 12?

Let me know in the comments below and follow for more!

A Vegan Mystery – MUA beauty bag review

Make Up Academy recently promoted their ethics by releasing a vegan mystery bag with all purchases over a mere £12 at Superdrug! MUA products are all cruelty free and always one of the lowest price points in drugstore make-up, but don’t let the price deceive you.

I needed some essentials such as foundation and mascara and only had a few pound left to reach the threshold so obviously opted for a couple of different types of staple nude lips.

I’m not sure if there are different bag types as I’ve seen other bloggers get different items but they may just be seasonal as it was a fresh announcement when I got mine.

Let’s see what we got shall we?

I was so excited to open this and absolutely nothing disappointed! First impressions are nothing but LOVE! It seemed like they really put together a bag that you can use to create a whole look without many more products as well as using them separately with some of your other favourites.

The main focus of the bag is eyes which frankly works great to express yourself visually now it’s going to be compulsory to wear face masks. The colours work well together in the bag, theres a great variety and it is an eclectic mix of everyday musts and exciting products more liberal makeup users may be too nervous to buy usually.

The value for money is also astonishing. On the front of the bag in small writing is the contents and everything but the glitter was listed so i’m not sure if that was an added treat, if it was it’s a great bonus and definitely gets me ready for summer!

Eye Define Nourish & Curl Mascara
Shadow liner – Ocean Blue

The ocean blue liner follows along the colour theme but has some added features that makes it work well with the collection! It is dual ended so one end provides the sleek pencil for precise lines and the reverse end allows you to buff it into a shadow! It’s pretty stubborn to budge too which makes it’s longevity great.

Infused with Avocado Oil the Eye Define Nourish and Care mascara gives voluptuous lashes whilst nourishing them for added protection. Mascara is a must for me to look fresh and awake!

The absolute stand out from this bag though is the real surprise – the glitter!

It is a dual pot of complimentary colours with the blue being fine small parts and the silver larger eye-catching pieces and this proves that MUA do care about animal rights as they not only provided a cruelty free and vegan bag but think about the aftermath as this product is biodegradable and safe to sealife!

The eyeshadow palette is flawless! With a selection of neutural base tones it’s stand out pinks, teals and blues can be used to create a variety of looks with just one portable palette.

Eyeshadow primer is an absolute game changer! I remember a time before eyeshadow primer, it was a long time ago and I’ve never looked back since. It may not be exciting but it’s a necessity in my makeup routine and i’ll never turn down a spare!

Finally the super satin lipstick has to be one of the sleekest package designs I’ve seen. The lipstick glides on and leaves a truly nice texture. You can leave it it’s shimmery satin state or gloss it up. I bought a nude version of this to qualify for the bag and using the products in the bag i’d probably opt for the nude version to go with bold eyes. This colour would be great for winter though. My mum always chooses this colour for her lips and it works beautifully with her hair so maybe I will gift it to her to share the MUA love

What’s your favourite product from the mystery bag? Have you tried any of these before?

Want more Vegan beauty? Check out my LIB Vegan Edit review!

The Lockdown Tag – How I’ve spent my time.

I was doing some Sunday morning blog spotting (as you do) and came across this tag created by LuxuryBlush and just had to take part! When I do my long weeks at work I struggle to find time to really get stuck into blog writing which is a shame so going forward i’m going to write more on my short weeks (my long and short weeks alternate so it isn’t too bad!) and schedule them so i’m not missing out. But I think tags are a great way to get to know someone!

So lets jump right into it…

1 . Come On, Own up… Did You Stock Pile Anything?

I don’t even go shopping regularly outside of quarantine so no, I didn’t have the foresight to prepare even a week in advance nevermind for quarantine. I managed to save a lot during lockdown but these past few weeks I have splurged on a few clothing and beauty treats.

2. Have You Discovered a New Hobby?

I have rediscovered a hobby of gaming! I’ve always loved gaming but over the past year when it has taken up so much of my work life it was the last thing I wanted to do when I went home but now I have that seperation I have gone back to it and am finally playing some games I’ve had sitting on my shelf for years! I started with Animal Crossing and I’m currently addicted to The Last of Us and have been playing GTA5 with friends.

3. Where is the First Place You Will Go Once the Restrictions are 100% Lifted? 

To see all of my family and friends back home! I don’t live close to them at all and cannot wait to see them. It sucks that I started my 101 in 1001 list late last year because I really started to push myself out there and discover new places, people and activities and then this happened. So I will probably pick something random off of that and do that as soon as I can.

4. Loungewear or Normal Clothes For A Day of Isolating?

Leggings and a tee. I have found though that if i’m in pyjama type clothes or don’t do my hair and makeup for a while I start to feel worse mentally so I try to have just one or two fully relaxed days a week.

5. Have You Been Wearing Makeup Whilst Staying at Home?

Luckily I’ve been working throughout June so have been doing makeup for work. When I’ve been at home I’ve been polar opposite of either keeping it off completely or trying out hidden gems i’ve had stuck on my makeup desk for a while and not gotten around to.

6. How Many Zoom Quizzes Have You Done? And Importantly, Did You Enjoy Them?

No Zoom quizzes for me! Me and my friends did try houseparty but quickly moved to Skype and did online Cards against Humanity. We also managed to hook up JackBox and played everyones favourite Quiplash (CAH but you make your own answers up basically)

7. Did You Give into the Hype and Bake Your Own Banana Bread?

Due to my lack of general supplies no, I wanted to do a post on trying all of the Lockdown trends in one day but I moved jobs then and that took priority and I think I’ve missed the boat on that one now?

8. Were You Still Ordering Takeaways? If You Did, What Was Your First One?

Yes! I actually did this out of support for local businesses and got a few takeaways from GoEatClean who do healthy but delicious food! I also had a curry for my birthday meal.

9. Has Your Blog/ Instagram Content Had to Change Since Lockdown?

Yes, My instagram was a lot more travel/experience related before and rather than adapting I kind of neglected it which is a shame but I think i’m still trying to find my unique style for it.

10. Are You Waiting Until the Hairdressers Re-Open or Have you Cut/ Dyed your Own Hair?

Literally the first day I was sent home from work I dyed my hair teal to test out Shrine After that I bleached the ends again and frankly did an awful job for someone who regularly dyes their hair. My next is either candyfloss pink or peach ends. I also caved and cut my hair along with a friends in my “bubble” but I usually cut my fringe myself so I don’t think it was too bad.

11. Who Have You Missed Seeing The Most?

Easily my mum! She works in the NHS and has had a tough time, she’s alone and has also had to work with covid positive patients and it’s been a scary time for her. She is amazing and I cannot wait to see her and surprise her with a spa day to say thank you.

So there we go! Lockdown tag is complete! How did you cope throughout lockdown? Let me know the one thing you missed and the first thing you’ll be doing in the comments below!

Becoming an A-Lister – Latest in Beauty

Latest in beauty are for sure one of my favourite collection boxes to keep an eye on. I don’t subscribe to their monthly boxes but do keep an eye on their collections. I have reviewed The Vegan edit box before so check that out if you haven’t already! Their value for money is incredible and it’s a great way to discover new products. The only thing that stops me buying literally every box that comes out from them is that amongst the amazing products there are also ones that are not cruelty free which is a big no from me!

Their latest box I found myself able to get was their collaboration with Hello magazine which was The A-List Edit. Featuring 11 products for only £30 plus £3 p&p. Coming out at less than £3 a product with a lot of full sized products! I just couldn’t pass it up.

So let’s have a look shall we….

Their signature seller of this box is the Perricone MD foundation. I was left to just one shade as the rest had sold out. There are 5 shades listed on the leaflet which aren’t the most diverse. I got beige which is probably a couple of shades too dark for me, usually as I like to start with a lighter base and then build it up, but as it’s coming to summer I can probably get away with this or even just add a few lightening drops into it. It is branded as a ‘no makeup foundation’ so instantly I’m thinking light and weightless formula, it claims to create a dewy look which honestly isn’t a look I personally enjoy for foundation but it does have SPF20 which is so important in this heatwave.

The bottle doesn’t have a lid which I find bizarre and unhygenic for travel so this will firmly be staying on my makeup shelf. It does have a removable cap that stops it pressing and leaking in your bag but that doesn’t stop things going in the nozzle. This foundation retails for £45 generally but can be found in sales from £25-£35 dependant on how hard you look. Perricone MD are strong believers in cruelty free beauty and even state they will never test on animals.

Overall I think the foundation is a really nice lightweight foundation and lasts throughout the day but it is definitely not full coverage and really tough to build on. I tried to add highlighter onto it but it stuck in place rather than being blend-able. You can see from the yellow cheeks above… I’ll be using this throughout summer days where I’m going for a lightweight foundation and brows only look, but I don’t think I’ll be reaching for it for the more extravagant make-up looks

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow gel was one of my most looked forward to products as I’ve never had anything from ABH before despite it being so popular! Plus during lockdown I haven’t been able to get my usual brow pomade and my brows have severely suffered with this. Using a wand to apply brows is something i’m going to have to get used to! I ended up smearing it pretty badly and couldn’t taper them towards the ends as much as I usually do but with a bit of practice I think this is going to become a staple for me!

Time to cleanse

Time for the end of the day! So lets use the Balance Me micellar water to cleanse my face and remove all of this! I usually use a deep cleanser as most micellar water just seems to rinse your face but this uses natural peptides to plump and hylauronic acid to plump, more than your usual cleanser! The results are impressive too! The REN clean skincare Dark Spot Sleeping Cream, it has high promises of reducing the appearance of dark spots in just 7 days! The texture is thick and immediately feels super hydrating, if its bold claims of results in 7 days are to be believed then the size may be enough for a true test and then repurchase, but we shall see.

The Hask hair conditioner has 2 variants for the boxes, I received charcoal. It boasts strengthening, smoothing and boosting shine. I am a major frizzhead in humidity! So will take anything to smooth my hair. The product is huge! It will definitely last more than 1 use so I’ll probably end up decanting it and getting a few uses out of it.

Now onto the battle of booster oils.

BYBI Strawberry Booster Oil

The trilogy booster oil boosts skin recovery and radiance using an organic blend of super seeds. The bottle may be tiny but you need only 2-3 drops for a use. The Bybi strawberry booster is absolutely what I need for this weather! Its cold pressed strawberry seed oil isn’t boosted with false scent, it’s packaging is cute, the product is real. It’s scent is not incredible, not what you expect from strawberries, but you can tell from that it is authentic, it is also a slightly off-putting green colour and feels quite oily, but oil is not a bad thing! People tend to get worried about using oil but it actually helps our skin.

The tan maximiser aftersun will be super useful during this massive heatwave, I can’t yet comment on if it does prolong your tan, I assume it is just super hydrating to the point your skin doesn’t peel as quickly which in turn prolongs your tan. Either way anytime I’m in the sun or even if it’s overcast I always use an SPF to protect my skin and usually forget about a super hydrating after sun! I feel like i’m always neglecting this part of the process so to get this product is super exciting.

Two of the products I was *a little* disappointed in were the 2 samples by GlamGlow and Bumble & Bumble. Emphasis on the little as the products actually work really well but there was just a bit of confusion here so I may be being a little unfair. I think my disappointment simply stems from my last @LIB box containing full sized products so I didn’t pay much attention in sizes here, it’s probably unreasonable given the size for me to expect a full size thirsty mud pack from GlamGlow.

I am disappointed in myself for not realising their parent company is Estée Lauder meaning they are not a cruelty free brand. This was an honest mistake though and really lets future purchasing of the product down as I’d probably have this as a staple if it wasn’t for that. I found this out after the box came so will make use of it so it doesn’t go to waste but won’t be purchasing another box if it comes with this brand which is a shame as they’re featured in a fair few LIB boxes and would probably be a brand I’d purchase regularly otherwise.

Finally the Bumble and bumble dry shampoo came to me as another sample size, you can see results immediately with dry shampoo which makes me feel like a smaller size of this would be ok in this box, if it wasn’t for the ‘not for sale’ plastered on the front which ruins the illusion of this being handpicked for the box and, just being honest here, seems like LIB managed to get their hands on a lot of samples and picked this just for filler. It’s good, it works, but the thought that went into this going in here just lets it down personally.

Overall thoughts on the box

Love these products! There’s a nice range, I’m usually pretty set on my skincare but being forced to try new things is good because I may find something that works even better! This box has saved me in quarantine as I’ve ran out of eyebrow, aftersun and foundation and it’s not like I can just nip out to get these things as I’m still thankfully working. I’m super excited that this box finally gave me the opportunity to try brands I’ve wanted to for a while.

I genuinely didn’t dislike even one of the products! Even the two I was a little disappointed by were down to me expecting something it was not rather than judging it blind and I get that. I’d be wanting more full coverage and buildability from the foundation for the hefty price tag but I think their demographic could be for slightly older women who want something lightweight and invisible. 5 shades isn’t the most diverse either but i’m lucky enough to be able to use this. Frankly it’s another fantastic box from LIB and i’m excited for them to release more cruelty free ones for me to try!

Too Hot to Handle? Summer Heatwave Edition.

This week has definitely been one for the books. The heatwave we’re currently in is frankly unbearable for the majority of us British people who are used to brisk winds and constant rain. Although it’s welcome for me I forsee lobster season for my skin! Factor 50 come at me!

For those of you who don’t follow my instagram @ohsoviki I started a new job at the beginning of the month. I am absolutely loving the variety of it and it’s definitely playing to my strengths. It’s great to meet new people, especially as I don’t know too many people down south yet, it’s also fun to hear lots of stories from people in my industry and get to learn from them.

This week I was asked to work on a remote broadcast for a some garden equipment promotion and guess what day they picked? Of course, the hottest day of the year! It made us incredibly busy testing out all of the equipment alongside dismantling a studio, but I guess it’s more productive than sitting in said studio watching ancient aliens at 6am which was how we spent the previous day.

It was a sweltering 36 degrees and we had 3 hours of solid shooting (with an hour off for myself personally directing from the gallery which I was so happy for as it’s constantly cool in there). The crew were hiding under umbrellas and we had to set some equipment up next to a fan and if still overheated! Overall it was really fun to work on though and I can’t wait to do more!

My nights are usually spent relaxing now. I’ve been decluttering my flat (it no longer looks like the tip from my first picture on this post! Promise!) and also got back into gaming. I am addicted to The Last of Us! It has been on my shelf for years and I just never got around to it despite how good everyone says it is. It’s not what I expected at all but has not failed to disappoint, and with the second one finally releasing recently I felt like it was time to finally get my ass into gear and play it.

This weekend is my weekend off so today I ventured out to prepare for a bbq I am having. As well as my first time in a shopping centre in months! I weirdly found my favourite purchase in lidl which was this adorable cactus llama. The weekend will be filled with testing out all of my new products that I have received so keep an eye out here for more reviews!

How are you all coping with this heat? Especially during lockdown? Let me know in the comments!

Lockdown Adventures – An unexpected journey.

An 11 duckling rescue mission.

Despite being in lockdown the weather last weekend was too good to pass up, I grabbed a book and decided to sit out in the garden with a glass of pink gin and lemonade. I live in a house with 4 flats, 1 of which is currently unoccupied, so we have a front and back communal garden that we can take advantage of and still be socially distant.

I was beckoned over by my neighbours to the corner of the garden where they hold a small vegetable patch. As I was walking over I noticed some scurrying within the patch then all of a sudden a small duckling fell 10ft from the laylandii above. My neighbour told me she had been in the garden when all of a sudden the mother duck fell from the tree and the other 11 babies followed. One even fell on her head! This wasn’t the first time this happened either, she informed me this had happened every summer for the past 3 years! I have a feeling that a neighbour owns a pond and the mother leaves the nearby park to nest then gets lost finding her way home!

THE RESCUE MISSION BEGINS!

We were very cautious trying to round up the ducklings, they escaped the patch twice but found their way back in and then we blocked them into there whilst we prepared transport. Due to my neighbours being very vunerable to the current co-vid situation I offered to take the ducklings to the park and was lucky they had experience with this situation.

They prepared their dog cage and a bucket as in previous years putting the ducklings in the cage allowed them to squeeze through the gaps and escape whilst in the car. The plan was simple, wear gloves so we do not scent them so they are not disowned, put the mother in the dog cage then the ducklings in the bucket so they cannot escape, then put them in the cage with the mother duck, drive them to the pond and release them. Simple. Right?

Simple in thought. As soon as we’d got the mother into the cage the babies had no one to follow, they all started running everywhere and managed to get out of the patch. Good thing I thought to count them before as I had to run across the garden to get to the one behind the shed! Four of us managed to wrangle them all and reunite them with their mother.

Then came the transfer to the pond. I was so worried the bucket would tip over in the car so was driving as gently as I possibly could, especially as I had multiple speedbumps to manouveur.

Releasing them had to be quick so that none were left behind. The pond they now live in is very populated and it did cross my mind that it may cause some issues. One male duck tried to fight the mother as soon as we released them but she fought back, defended her ducklings and they all swam away to their forever home.

It certainly wasn’t how I was expecting to spend the majority of my day but it was a welcome change in lockdown. How are you coping with lockdown? Let me know your bizarre encounters in the comments!