24 days of Korean Skincare – Miin Beauty Advent Calendar

*Disclaimer* This product was gifted to me by a distributor but not directly by the brand. I have not been asked or paid to write this review and all opinions are my own.

Beauty advent calendars have taken us by storm over the past few years! They give you some additional treats than a little chocolate each day and are such an exciting way to lead up to Christmas! This year I knew I wanted one, I just wasn’t sure what to get! I have tonnes of make-up products and then when I saw the Miin advent calendar I knew I’d found the perfect thing to try! The only tough part is not opening it beforehand, but that’s where this review comes in…

Welcome to Seoul – This year Miin have curated some exclusive skincare products from one of the worlds most renowned countries for Skincare. Their cherry blossom pink box boasts 24 drawers filled with some of Korea’s best kept secrets in skincare.

“Every K-Beauty lover or Korean skincare enthusiast dreams of shopping in Seoul and finding the absolute perfect products. This year, your dream will finally come true! Thanks to our 2020 Advent Calendar, you’ll feel like you’re walking through the neon-lit streets of Seoul, finding amazing products that will make your skin glow every single day.” – Miin website

Now for those of you who want to keep their advent calendar a complete surprise I would stop reading now! Frankly I don’t think I can give this box an honest review with its £90 price tag without delving deeper into the products. I guess the short version is if you’re interested in discovering Korean Skincare, don’t mind a few tester products thrown in with full-size as well as products containing animal by-products then go for it, the packaging is beautiful, completely reusable and it’s a great way to discover some new brands, however if you’re flagged by any of the keywords above I’d continue reading for more information.

What’s in the box?

1 – orange sherbert cleanser 2– pirem moisture cleansing foam 3 – blithe patting splash mist 4 – the skin lounge face mask 5– benton fermentation essence 6 – urang yellow glow oil serum 7– village factory eye cream 8 – Rose mary scalp pack 9– urang cerimide cream 10 – hand mask 11– g9 skin milk whipping foam 12 – spf 13-rose toner 14-pirem 12 ingredient cream 15– mizon eye cream 16– urang natural cleansing oil 17 – body oil cream village factory 18– urang blue brightning oil 19– snail cream 20– benton cleansing foam 21– konjac sponge 22-benton snail serum 23-neck mask 24 – shangpree capsules

So where do I even start? Face & eye creams, body treatments and masks galore. Serums, toners, cleansers and even hair products thrown in, there really is everything you need to take your skincare game from zero to hero! There are multiple products from the same brands and the same products from different brands, all of them are some of Koreas most renowned Skincare brands so it really is a great way to discover things that work for you.

An absolute standout from my first impression is the Konjac sponge – I LOVE Konjac sponges and honestly was SO EXCITED to open a drawer and see this! It’s a great way to naturally cleanse regardless of whether you add a cleanser to it or not. It is made of all natural Konjac plant fibers and I have been using these for years after seeing a Korean beauty Youtuber rave about them in 2015. I know this works, and I know not many people know about them or have tried them and even though this may not seem like the most exciting gift in the box I know this works and it works well, so this gives me confidence in the products in this calendar.

  • Variety of products and a great way to discover new brands , multiple of some products allows you to discover ranges but theres not too many so you still feel like you’re getting variety
  • Ranges of products really give you chance to discover what brand works for you. This is purely a skincare box and marketed as that, so if you open your 4th cleanser and think ‘oh another cleanser’ don’t. Think theres 4 chances for you to see which works for you. The max of one product is 4 anyway and I do believe there is enough variety here.
  • So let’s get the first obvious thing out of the way, a lot of these products boast being vegan and cruelty free. There are 3 snail creams which – as much as I have heard about the miracles of this product – it is controversial for someone who only buys cruelty free products. As this was gifted to me without me knowing its contents I was unaware of this and won’t personally be using these three products, I am not a fan of waste though, I will be donating these to my mother and letting her use them and then showing her alternatives for future. I personally would rather not waste them and educate people in future than let it go to waste.
  • I don’t know any other advent calendars that do actual testers rather than mini sizes. I’m going to be honest there are about 4-5 products that are so small they’re disappointing in size. Maybe they’re expensive products where a little goes a long way, however the yellow Ulang glow serum I did test and a drop from the pipette did not spread very far. Frankly even if they are expensive products so they give you testers to reel you in I don’t think they’re playing to the right audience with this.

The price

Realistically this should be about £60 in my opinion, the retail value of the contents is advertised at £164 and being sold in the reusable box for £90. I buy A LOT of beauty boxes and even splurged on a second advent calendar this year and usually I will spend about £30-40 for contents of £150-£200+ So just in terms of cost I believe you should get double what you pay. Looking at the sample products (not even mini versions) is quite dissappointing but when you do get a full sized product it’s so exciting. I think some of this may be down to import fees and UK regulations of bringing in Skincare products to the UK from Korea so I do take that into consideration. I think if you’re a K-beauty fanatic, want to test out one of the best skincare counties hidden secrets and don’t want to dedicate to just one brand before you know then this is a good buy, I do just think it’s overpriced though.

The products

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, i’m impressed with the variety in this box, it markets itself as purely skincare and you get the authentic Korean vibe of skincare with delicate products that are not overpowering in acids, perfumes and more. I’ve mentioned that some of the sizes of the products are smaller than i’d prefer but overall I’m really excited to try some brand new products that I’ve not had chance to try before. Obviously the snail creams take 3 items out of this box for me which is a shame, but it’s easy to see why they’re included in the first place, hopefully with laws changing in Asia about animal testing on cosmetics they may look towards finding synthetic versions of these kinds of products for future however for now it’s hard to argue with their perception of it as it’s so widely accepted in their culture, even if it’s something I personally disagree with.

The packaging

I am honestly in love with this packaging, everything about it screams delicate, blossoming skincare. The simplicity in the illustrations is beautiful and the Korean accents feel incredibly authentic. It is completely reusable and not specifically ‘Christmassy’ so can be used at all times of the year. I will be using it as a makeup storage way after Christmas 2020. My other beauty advent calendar is a flipbook made of flimsy cardboard and filled with plastic. Sure you get the excitement of opening doors and peeling back the foil in that authentic advent tradition but it’s completely disposable. I really can’t say enough good things about how this box is curated and designed.

So there it is, my first impression of the Miin Welcome to Seoul Skincare advent calendar! Ill be opening my beauty advent calendars daily over on my instagram @ohsoviki so make sure you head over there for more in-depth openings of each product. In the meantime let me know in the comment section if you have a special advent calendar this year?

Spa day at home – Lockdown edition

The perfect Sunday? During Lockdown? You don’t think it exists?

Well i’m here to tell you different. You don’t need public spas, expensive treatments or professional beauticians to get that spa feeling at home. Relax, unwind and take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally all in the comfort of your own home.

Everything you could ever need!

After a long day of workouts, organising and prepping for the week I decided to make sure I had everything I was going to need for tonight. From skincare, to entertainment and even fresh bedding and pyjamas. The ultimate relaxing night. I set the tone with candles and salt lamps throughout I also sprayed Energising room mist throughout from my ‘Time to take 15’ kit and picked an ambient chilled cow playlist on Spotify.

Cleanse time

I’m really not a bath person. I don’t think anything can replace a Jacuzzi and sauna at home, but I thought i’d give it a go as I had a Lush Butterbear bathbomb so filled my bathroom with candles, music and bubbles.

I had two treatments scheduled first – hair and face.

Hask hair mask / #6 anti-ageing gold facemask / DermaV10 Sea Algae foot pack

HASK Hair Mask – Used after a normal wash, this hair mask stays on for 10 minutes. It’s a charcoal base but doesn’t seem drying, it’s incredibly thick, too heavy for ends so I tried to keep my ends up on my scalp as that’s the area I need to concentrate on most. I expected a normal conditioned feeling but it leaves hair surprisingly super soft and for something that doesn’t boast an overpowering fragrances it smells so fresh and clean, there’s definitely more than 1 use in packet which is a nice surprise as it recommends 1-2 times per week use.

#6 Gold Facemask – Now when the poundshop released their anti-ageing #6 range for just £1 per item everybody scoffed! Frankly I have no idea about the long term benefits of this range and won’t be replacing my everyday products with it but overall their products aren’t bad at all! I have used their eye-cream a lot and decided to branch out to a few other products and this mask has not disappointed at all! I have never had such a thick mask, in fact it starts setting as soon as its on, to the point where it’s tough to even spread as it is so thick. Vegan, cruelty free and just £1 it leaves your skin feeling super soft and you do get that luxurious ‘golden’ glow and a feel of using a high end product. ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover has NEVER been more correct’

Time to exfoliate! There’s nothing worse than getting out of a bath and feeling the residue on you! I opted to shower off after and use a set of exfoliating gloves and body polish. It’s a really good cleanse to get everything off and it’s the perfect precursor to optimal fake tan application!

UNWIND

Salt lamps, candles and fairylights galore!

Afterwards, I sprayed more room mist (I either got used to it or it dispersed too quickly) and used my aroma diffuser with tea-tree to subtly keep adding to the room. There’s something really relaxing about the soft glow of colour and mist.

After my deep exfoliation my skin felt clean and fresh. But I could tell it needed to replenish its nourishment. So I used the energise body moisturiser and focused on massaging it into my skin rather than just rubbing some in quickly. Massaging promotes blood circulation and pushes the cream deeper into the skin to get it to work better and have lasting effects. Admittedly something far more relaxing when someone else is giving you this treatment but works just as well yourself.

Foot masks have been gaining popularity recently. I have to admit I was a foot mask virgin before this and had no idea what to expect. This vegan and cruelty free mask by DermaV10 was a mere £1, perfect if I didn’t enjoy it or was on a budget. At first I will admit it was not easy to understand, they had some illustrations rather than text on directions and it was confusing but I got there eventually. I’m not a fan of them being single use but oh my god its a treat – I would love to see a more eco-friendly version of these and if you know any please let me know! I purposely didn’t pick a peeling one as my feet are soft and I am on them a lot so opted for a moisturising Aloe vera one. It was cold and felt like sticking your feet in jelly at first but I loved it once I got used to it! I didn’t want to take it off!

Manicure time!

My friend bobby managed to snag me a few beauty goodies from a shoot recently, we have a tradition of buying bubble tea everytime we have a night shift and I always pick his flavours and he says I know him so well, he picked this colour for me and said ‘I wonder how well I know you’ It’s a deep coral in the shade Birthday Babe Diamonds from Nails inc and he clearly knows me so well! This is totally my colour and I love that one layer is enough and lasts a long time. I would love to use this on long false nails with a glitter gradient of gold!

Facial

Eyes are one of the first places to show signs of ageing and in my opinion it’s never too early to start paying attention to that area! In fact there are times i’m too tired, drunk or lazy to fully do my skincare regime but no matter what circumstance I always make time to at least cleanse and put on an eye serum and moisturiser. I started out with Nip and Fab Dragon’s fix eye serum, You want to work serums in first before eye creams as creams are heavier and create a barrier so serums won’t absorb as well. Next I grabbed my current eye moisturiser and used Opatra’s dermi-eye to rub it in, the gentle vibrations make blood flow to the area, it works the moisturiser deeper into the skin and overall makes your product go further, a great handy device for only £24.99

I used The Ordinary Niacinamide which evens skin texture and helps with clogged pores followed by The Ordinary Retinol. I just found out that as The Ordinary Retinol uses a pipette and pipettes oxygenate Retinol giving it a lesser shelf-life and far less efficiency so if you have any recommendations for a Retinol I can move to let me know! Finally I used Revolutions ‘stressed’ night time moisturiser. My skin isn’t stressed at the moment but I wanted a lightweight moisturiser as I’d used a lot of products tonight and this one is perfect.

The add-ons

I didn’t want anything heavy to eat or drink, I was tempted for a nice glass of rosé but opted for water over wine and a pineapple and blueberry snackpack for a thorough detox. All accompanied by Holidate on Netflix and then His Dark Materials on BBC. Holidate is a feel-good comedy that’s a Christmas movie without being a Christmas movie, I thoroughly recommend! His Dark Materials kept me at bay for the entire first season as I remember wanting to walk out of the film version at the cinema, hands down one of the worst films I’ve ever seen but I finally decided to give the series a go and it’s amazing!

Time to drift off

Girl, wash your face – Rachel Hollis.

Turn off all electronics. Read a book and get a well rested night. You may struggle if you’re used to falling asleep staring at your phone, fall asleep with instrumentals or podcasts instead and no blue lights, your body will thank you in the morning! I have started reading ‘girl wash your face’ by Rachel Hollis. I find that in Summer I read fiction and in Winter I read motivational books, like last years staple was ‘The subtle art of not giving a f**k’.

I used my Happy Place sleep balm and pillow mist and was recommended sleepy moisturiser from Lush, with subtle Lavender scents all of the reviews say it’s genuinely tough to stay awake after it and is thoroughly relaxing. I grabbed my eye mask and dozed off listening to Potterless – A comical first reaction to Harry Potter from the view of a 25 year old podcaster.

And there you have it! My perfect way to have a lockdown spa night! I will definitely be making more time for this type of night in my life, don’t get me wrong I cannot wait for a relaxing spa day with my mum once this all blows over, but taking time for you, paying attention to your body and minds needs should be far more regular.

Do you have spa nights at home?

What is your favourite part of your routine?

Let me know in the comments below.

Time to take 15 – Cruelty free & vegan Christmas gift review

Fearne Cottons very recognisable ‘happy place’ brand is all about the ultimate relaxation at home and for your day-to-day life. Each year she releases a select line for some wonderful Christmas present ideas and also a nice treat for yourself.

This year she has released a ‘time to take 15’ gift set which features 2 key products from her three ranges and 2 ‘items’ all neatly packaged in a beautiful reusable tin with her signature artwork.

The first thing I noted when opening it is the overwhelming scent. For me it’s a bit too much and would give me a headache – like the way a brand new car air freshener does if you don’t let it breathe first – but I think that’s down to it being tightly packaged, at least it shows the products have a high concentration to them! It’s beautifully presented overall though and even though you know what you’re getting inside there’s still a childish element of surprise digging through the packaging to find your treats!

Time to take 15 initial impressions and Christmas giftability

Packaging Love this! It really stands out on the shelf and is incredibly brand conscious. You can tell what you’re buying into just by looking at the presentation and design.

There is an emphasis on eco-friendly packaging, a good percentage is made from recycled materials but it is not clear if they, in turn, can be recycled, glass bottles would be better and frankly for the £45 rrp you wouldn’t expect it to raise costs. Potentially the plastic packaging inside is to keep it safer in transit.

Contents and products Really varied and a great way to trial new things I wouldn’t usually have like pillow mist and a dry body oil. Products are definitely high quality and the silk eye mask feels so luxurious. I was personally worried the calm bar was bath salts as not everyone has a bath and as much as everyone thinks baths are calming they just aren’t for me. I think the bar is a lot more universally friendly.

The product descriptions are incredibly vague and don’t really showcase the power of the products, luckily I know how to get the best use of them but a little leaflet inside with a bit more of a description for anyone who would like it wouldn’t go amiss.

The Lifestyle This bundle’s best seller is that it really does try to make self care easy, it’s marketed on a 15 minute ‘take 15’ which puts you first. There’s so many products in here to round off your whole day in a relaxing way, so many people light candles and put on a moisturiser before bed and that’s a quick, daily relax, but there’s so much more to it than that, and your body deserves this time off.

All products from this brand are Cruelty free and Vegan so there’s no nasties and you know you can truly take 15 with no worries.

CALM SLEEP ENERGISE

The Ranges…

Calm – Jasmine and Vanilla scents in a body oil and cleansing bar. These are the least powerful fragrances in the set which truly allows you to relax and calm down without getting distracted. The cleansing bar is a great way to introduce a zero-waste cleanser into your routine and a dry body oil sounds like a juxtaposition so wouldn’t be something i’d ever pick up just off the shelf, one of the reasons I love these bundles as it lets you trial new products.

Sleep – Lavendar and Chamomile scents in a multi-balm and pillow mist. Lavendar is everyones go-to product to induce sleep. Personally it is not a favourite fragrance of mine but it undoubtably does make you drift off which is the entire purpose of this range. It is not an overpowering scent so lulls you to sleep and is a good inbetween for someone like me who doesn’t like Lavendar but wants the benefits of it. The pillow mist definitely needs to be used from a distance and a little goes a long way, personally I won’t be using it on the pillow I put my face on as I’m very picky with what touches my face but putting it on the pillow next to me may have the same benefits. The multi-balm is genious and everyone needs one of these in their handbag or bedside table.

Energise – Lemon and Bergamot scents in a body butter and room mist. These are some of my favourite scents, I love citrus and I know I pick up anything with bergamot listed for my mum! These however smell quite like Christmas spices. It’s definitely not what I expected from the range. I do love the scent but it really dates them and I would only use them this season rather than into summer. If I were to get this as a gift I’d use the body butter straight away and the room mist would last so long it would probably see me into next Christmas as I’d choose something more fresh over summer, the life on the product would allow this though so theres no worries there!

Overall I’m so impressed with this! I would love it for myself and could see it being incredibly giftable this season, I know my mum would love it!

Have you tried the Fearne Cotton Happy Place Range?

What would you pick up first from this kit?

Keep an eye out for more Christmas gift posts on their way including my most anticipated post of the year – my local gift guide to support independent creators!

THE FACTS – Fearne Cottons range is available online and in-store. I purchased this at Boots RRP is £45 currently on offer for £22. Boots also offer student discount which would bring this to £19.80. 6 beauty products, 2 useful products and a lovely packaging that you can reuse for under £20, that’s a steal in my book!

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!