Goodbye 2020.

Instead of getting the things I wanted I was grateful for the things I got.

2020 was a peculiar year. January saw my first holiday in years when I took a trip to Oslo. Doing minimal research beforehand so I could live in the moment there saw me visit sculpture parks, cat museums and pinball arcades. It was amazing, and finding myself in a situation to travel only made my hunger for it grow. I was set to interview for a job in Japan starting in September, it would see me in one of my most sought after countries but would limit me there for at least a year whilst I worked. So I planned to travel to a different country each month each month this year, or each month till September if I was successful.

February I travelled to Belgium for literally a day, it was my only day off and all I had money for, but it didn’t stop me. I took in a brewery tour, visited Bruges and Ghent and realised that 24 hours is a long time, having one day off a week did not have to be limiting, the only limits were myself and my own restrictions. I planned a week holiday to Poland in March with my longest and closest friends, I opted to go a day earlier than everyone else, flying on my own, staying in a hostel for a night and doing things I wanted to do for that first day alone, it wouldn’t be easy, but I wanted to challenge myself. That’s when things started to change.

I woke up swimming in sweat but freezing cold, migraines and coughing for hours. people were getting ill in China, but that was a million miles away, I don’t know what I had, but i have never been that ill in my life. International travel was banned and trips were being cancelled, literally the week of our trip. Friends for 15-28 years and our first trip cancelled. Although I was grateful we weren’t trapped out there I was heartbroken. I visited my mum that week, it was the weekend of Mother’s Day so tied in perfectly, we had an amazing weekend but I couldn’t hide my disappointment.

Reluctantly I got back in my car and travelled south, I remember hearing Italy was in a two week lockdown. “A free two week holiday, sign me up!” Oh how we were naive. I headed to work and immediately was told I had to go home, I wasn’t allowed in the building but no one had informed me, I was to work from home, and that week was when the first lockdown was announced.

I tried to carry on, but things weren’t the same for anyone, I realised my life wasn’t headed in the direction I wanted it to be. I knew I needed some time to figure this out. I needed a clear separation between work and personal life, to figure out who I was and what I wanted. Throughout all of this I just wanted to make it through, I’d spent years scared to leave the house, trapped in my bedroom, and now, more than ever I felt comfortable enough to be outside and was being told I couldn’t be, it was a lot, but at least I found little comfort in knowing everyone was going through this.

Throughout this time I was reached out to by someone I’d barely worked with before but they were looking for staff to produce and edit videos for new products, I think myself and my current job had both reached a mutual ending so I took it up, in a time where millions were loosing work I was incredibly greatful to find a new one, something exciting, something I was good at and something people trusted me to do and do well.

After accepting my new job I found out I was actually successful at getting a job in Japan, I accepted the once in a lifetime opportunity but knew it wouldn’t be easy, I’d settled into a job I absolutely loved, something I studied for, and had to work hard to prove I could do well. Do I sacrifice a fully funded year somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, creating stories I would remember forever, for a job that yes, is in my dream industry, but are more common and easy to get into? I accepted, only later to be told it would be deferred by a year anyway due to the pandemic, I guess that’s a job for 2021.

The last few months of the year were simple, but what I needed, I felt so incredibly lucky to be safe, healthy and unencumbered by worries of money. I had a roof over my head, the ability to provide for myself both necessities and the occasional treat and I’d built good relationships with colleagues who I now wholly consider friends ( something which is incredibly hard to naturally achieve as an adult)

2021 may not start how I want, it may not even end how I want. 12 countries in 12 months? That clearly isn’t going to happen but who says it needs to be January to January? I’ve been lucky enough to get what I need to start new hobbies I’ve been interested in for a while, 2021 will be my year of self motivation, saving and learning. I think it’s important to concentrate on self-development and I think 2020 is the skeleton of my self-development, I’ve set myself up nicely for my future, I have equipped myself with the tools I need to learn new skills and to become the person I’ve been restricted of being for so long.

2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone, but there are silver linings in even the darkest clouds, don’t let it get you to a point where hope has cheated you, because there is so much more out there, and this is just a blip we all have to live through.

What was a surprisingly happy moment of your 2020?

What are your hopes and goals for 2021?

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings of this year, stay safe, and adventure when you can.

BOOHOO Beauty Advent Caledar – Review

For those of you who don’t know, this year I treat myself to Boohoo’s beauty advent calendar. One of two beauty calendars I received this year. This first was my 24 days of Korean skincare which I opened pre-December to give you a full review, this one however was a little treat to myself and I wanted the full experience, so I opened it daily over on my instagram @OhSoViki to get me through December.

Retailing at £40 (£32 at the time with discount code) with an advertised RRP of £149 worth of products inside I did little research before hitting the purchase button because frankly, what’s the point of a surprise if it isn’t a surprise at all!

Was it worth it? Will I be purchasing it next year? Let’s find out!

I ❤ Makeup Molten Lip, Skinny Tan Choc Instant Tan, Glamourise Eyelashes, Velvotan Mitt, Fluffy Bow headband, I heart Revolution Mini Palette, Mini Tanologist Tanning Drops, Soothing 2 pack Face Masks, Cuticle Set, Bubble T Grape Bath Pearls, I Heart Revolution Eyeliner, Rose Gold lash applicator, Carmel Lip Balm, Sleek Shattered Glass Lip Topper, Beauty Blender, Sunkissed Easy Brow, Sleek Highlighter Palette, Barry M Nail Varnish, Eyelure Enchanted Eyelashes, Jade Roller, Oh K! Face Mask, Eyelash Curlers.

The first couple of days yielded poor results, at first I got the I ❤ makeup Molten Lip, which wouldn’t work, followed by lashes that were really poor quality and had a lot of strays that gave you no shape and a frankly sample sized tan drops that you put into your own moisturiser. I knew there were better things to come though! Day 4 gave me the fluffy bow headband which honestly is so simple but adorable and it started picking up from there!

The calendar definitely gives you a massive variety of make-up, beauty, tools and a good mix of brands you’ve heard of, fan favourites, new brands to try and maybe fall in love with!

There was definitely a Chocolate theme with these, which probably goes hand in hand for most people, but I’m not a massive fan of chocolate fragranced beauty products. I eventually got the Molten Lip to work and it’s not a colour I expected at all, it’s very sickly pink that isn’t quite a gloss or lipstick it’s inbetween in one of those ways where it doesn’t quite adhere to your lip properly for a while, and if you have dry lips (who doesn’t in winter) it shows up everything that’s wrong! But when it does it leaves a fairly nice stained colour – I received a lot of compliments on the colour and think i’ll be using it again as long as I have the foresight of putting it on a couple of hours before I head out. I love The Chocolate Orange eye palette has my everyday colours in it and it’s a handy travel size and sturdy casing so I can see this becoming a staple. I have no idea what to expect of the tan, you do get a tanning mitt and the booster drops too so I think for a while I’ll be stepping away from my vampire chic aesthetic.

Some of my most exciting products were the eyelash applicator and Jade Roller! Even though I put a poll on my instagram story on whether they work and an overwhelming 82% said no I’m still excited to try these out, but all of the ‘tools’ that came in the calendar really were let down by poor packaging, The beauty blender is as basic as they come and really a pound shop present, throw it in a travel case or holder and you’d be onto a winner there for not a lot more cost to the retailer. The amount of plastic packaging too seems so wasteful although I guess they’re thinking about the fact they need to be ‘hygenically’ sent to us.

So the left hand side are the lashes that seem to have no structure to them with random strays, these were opened on day two so left me a little disappointed, the Eyelure ones were day 22 and I was so impressed, I think they’re one of the most high-end pieces of the entire calendar considering they also include a mini applicator in themselves, which you could say would make the others redundant but it never hurts to have a travel-sized pair for touch ups!

I’ve got to say this is definitely aimed to a more younger demographic, with multiple ‘I heart’ and sleek products, which don’t get me wrong can be great but I see them as drugstore, first time friendly products.

My stand-outs!

  • Sheet masks (although I don’t need 2 from one calendar)
  • Jade roller
  • Eyelure set and applicator
  • Bow headband – so soft and a cute design.

Happy to have – Wouldn’t purchase
The nail set is great, honestly the cuticle pen is a lifesaver but a wooden emery board? No thanks! Glass all the way, never use wooden as it causes more splints.
Tanning cream is always fun to play around with because i’ve never found one that works for me so rather than purchasing it to realise it doesn’t work i’m happy for it to come as an addition in this box.

Let downs

  • Pink unicorn eyeliner (one too many I heart products and this one seems like the opacity over eyeshadow won’t be great).
  • Spider-leg eyelashes.
  • The sample sized tanning drops
  • The two animal tested products that I won’t even name, it’s 2020, there’s no need for it.

Overall thoughts

There’s definitely more than £40 worth of products in here at standard retail price and the added thought of it being in a calendar will always come at a premium but I’ve purchased plenty of £30-40 beauty boxes that come with way more value in them. I think there was little thought in the contents, with 2 sets of polish, eyelashes, tan and face masks (which I could manage if they were on par with each other but in each case one is vastly superior to the other) but I do think there is really an astonishing amount of variety in this calendar and after the initial few days of let downs I was seriously excited daily to see what I was going to get.

I also think this is massively targeted to 16 year olds, there are so many ‘young’ brands in here but not even young in a 18-24 way, Considering the model on the photos selling this is literally in underwear I think the products barring the Eyelure and Jade Roller are really for first timers, like I said, it’s not that these brands are bad, but there’s a ‘cheap’ and ‘young’ demographic to them rather than seeing say a NYX Product (or something on par) thrown in a little bit more.

It was a fun experience, I really did enjoy opening up something new each day and I know I’ll get good use out of 99% of these products, I think it was fairly priced for the £32 I paid, but I think the products are not as expensive as they’re making out, Getting a Latest in Beauty box for example is going to give me genuinely higher market items for around £30-40. I think doing little research into it was fun so it was a genuine surprise but next year I need to find a fully cruelty free one without spoiling the contents, if it wasn’t for that sole fact I actually would consider this next year despite the few blips because with 24 products at the price I paid odds are you won’t like everything but it did good overall and gave me a good little treat each day of December!

Did you get a different type of advent calendar this year?

Will you be getting one next year?

Let me know your stories in the comments below!

Christmas Gift Guide – Shop Local Edition!

For many years now I have been opting for buying locally produced products, be that fashion, beauty and even beer! I’m incredibly proud of my Northern, coastal roots of Cleethorpes and Grimsby and what was once a genuine dive has had hundreds of pop-ups, boutiques and much more in the past few years. Growing up I can’t say I was incredibly loyal to this place, it was left to run into the ground, but I wasn’t alone. Many people from my schooldays are now really making a name for themselves in local business. People may have gone off to uni and realised we were more than a little behind times and bought back a passion for staying with the trends, it’s clear to see locals don’t want to see their town in ruin anymore and are adamant to showcase some of our beautiful heritage. I don’t live there anymore, but I couldn’t be more proud to tell people where I am from, and even better…show them.

Buying local supports your community, it supports small business owners who want their passion to fund their life rather than money going into the pockets of big corporations. And it’s not just the one retailer you’re buying from, ofter small business owners use other independent creators for artwork, marketing and more. I’ve genuinely seen my town thrive since smaller businesses opened up and my visits home now are always amazing and never frequent enough! Today i’m going to introduce you to some of my favourite local businesses from my town which I have purchased from many times for myself and this year for Christmas gifts! Hopefully you will see something you enjoy, and I hope it encourages you to also support local businesses and creators.

Docks Beers

Founded in 2018 docks beers is a brewery which takes inspiration from Grimsbys most known heritage trade of fishing. It branched out to ‘docks academy’ however events have been put on hold throughout covid. They managed to adapt throughout Lockdown and hosted a few ‘drive in’ cinema experiences which I was gutted I couldn’t attend!

They often pair up with independent eateries that cater to a variety of people. Their vegan jackfruit tacos and steins of homemade Docktoberbier was sincerely one of the highlights of this year. Sure their in-house experience is great but you’re probably wondering how a brewery is on a Christmas gift guide right? Well let me tell you…

Just a sample of my ever-growing Docks beanie collection.

A trip home is now not complete without a trip to docks, trying out a new beer and buying one of their signature beanies! (I currently have 4 and they just released an orange that I am dying to pick up along with their new hoodie!) They also sell pretty much all of their home brewed beers in cans and mini-kegs to take away, the perfect gift for any beer or cider lover! I purchased a set of 3 signature beers with ‘hard graft’ glasses for a friend for Christmas last year and will be picking some more up this year. 

One of my favourite things about Docks is their community involvement from live shows with local acts, teaming up with food wagons and my absolute favourite, their artwork done all commissioned by a local artist and heavily featuring parts of Grimsbys history. The staff are also incredibly passionate and everytime I go in I’ve always had a chat with a staff member about new beers, merch and more.


If you are from anywhere in the area it’ll be hard for you to have not heard of this well established brand! Starting out way back when I was in school i’m sure (2004 to be precise), they cater to the skate/bmx crowd which is so big in the area. I have fond memories of GYPO fest (a local skate festival) being sponsored by them. They were always the place you could go for alternative and on trend clothing, shoes and more that no other shop locally supplied. I love that they stuck to bringing this style to a relatively small community and now it’s grown so big and overtaken the area. I’ve taken friends home and they’ve remarked how its such an ‘alternative’ scene up there and not like what is portrayed in news etc and I think Forw4rd is one of the places to thank for that.

They have started to release their own branded merch and I am IN LOVE! Their latest range in Japanese water inspired. (A common theme for a seaside town but such an alternative take!) I’ve had two t-shirts from them in the past personally and bought more for friends. Even though the majority of their clothing is typically seen for males I wear what is comfortable, and stylish to me, so that doesn’t bother me at all.I think my next purchase is going to have to be a hoodie for these winter months

Oh also they’re one of the ONLY places to actually sell the Nike Nyjah range and if you know anything about me it’s my love for trainers! This is topping my Christmas list for myself this year so if they have a size 6 then i’m adding to my basket immediately!

Northerner on the Run

My oldest friend Sarah introduced me to her friends clay earring range and at first I thought ‘these are cute, you look amazing in them but I don’t really do “cute” – damn I was wrong! I ended up purchasing two pairs myself and love the different styles that she is starting to bring out. I felt like my style couldn’t quite pull them off at first but they really are so universal and also well made. You can tell so much when someone cares and has put the effort into making quality products. NOTR has started to branch out into Jesmonite homeware and I’m so excited to see what else is launched!

The tangerine drop earrings.
Confetti style drop earrings.

Made by Gee

Sarah is the queen of finding Cleethorpes crafters and she has gifted many Made by Gee scrunchies to myself and my friends this past year. They’re so bright and bold and make such a statement. I love that I can buy thing’s i’d never really think of buying as they’re so unique, you wouldn’t walk through a high street store and see these types of styles.

I just purchased 4 more, the orange velvet one is one i’ve had my eye on for a few months so I’ll be hiding that one away for myself. I’ll be wrapping a few up for my niece this Christmas and one for my friend down south!

Original Emporium

Original Emporium is home to many local designers. NOTR and Made by Gee above are featured there! As are some old college classmates and many more. I think it’s such a good idea to have a permanent shop open that is pretty much all local makers but not limited to a makers market as they’re usually specific days and frankly usually days I work! The have everything from Jewellery to Home decor, Plants to Paintings. Theres something for every style and you can rest easy in knowing you’re supporting local creators with unique ideas.

Riverhead Coffee

Mothers day afternoon tea was our final ‘outing’ before lockdown really hit. In fact we had to pack it up and have it at home but wow it was amazing! Sometimes it is tough to buy for people who have everything they need and ‘experiences’ are a great way to give something thoughtful and memorable. I take my mum to Riverhead for breakfast every time I’m home and usually grab a slice of cake for us for that evening. I’ll always choose a local cafe over a chain as their food is usually fresher and better quality ingredients. If we’re lucky enough to enjoy Christmas with the family this year i’ll be taking my mum there for another beautiful afternoon tea.

Well I hope that gave you some ideas for Christmas presents. I absolutely love all of the makers and businesses above and if you purchase anything from them let me know what it was! At the very least I hope this encourages you to look into more local businesses, now more than ever. Supporting smaller businesses feeds back into your local economy and I’ve seen first hand how that helps your area improve, and frankly with covid if you’re in a fortunate enough position to be able to spend, spend local!

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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!