Beauty Bay Skincare – Review

Once in a while a new company that you’ve been buying from religiously decides to come out with their own range of skincare. Whether they market a New usp, trusted expertise or ethical sourcing it seems everyone is trying their hand at it now, and I’m totally here for it!

Beauty Bay have been a consistent supplier of my beauty shelf for many years now, I originally found them as they were an exclusive supplier of some of my favourite brands only sold in the US. They started bringing out their own ranges of 24 pan eyeshadows that rivalled Morphe for both price, quality pigmentation and inspired colour palettes. Their skincare range released last year with a good base, there’s a large variety of products for different skin types and the only initial downfall for me is the options in moisturiser.

This week I’m delving deeper into skincare with a look at some of the products I trialled in todays sum up post as well as some further detail on some beauty musts that help you understand the reason these should be in every skincare enthusiasts beauty cupboard!

The Skincare by Beauty Bay packaging is simple yet chic, it gives all the relevant information in an easily digestible format and the website breaks down all of the products so you can easily find out which products are right for your skin, you can also use the handy online skincare builder to find a regime that suits you!

Without a doubt their serums are the stand-out. Named SkinHit as each have a unique target which you can use alone or with other products. They even say you can combine a few drops in a moisturiser however I always put lighter products on first so they seep in further. It can be quite daunting looking through so many products to see which is right for you, so check out the main points of each below!

Since the announcement that The Ordinary is being sold to parent company Estée Lauder (a non cruelty free brand) I need a new place for skincare, My Main focus is Niacinimide, Retinol and their bible product Buffet. Beauty Bays Niacinamide serum is a relatively new release so missed out on this haul. My concern is whether it’s an active ingredient for me to warrant it it being a comparable replacement however in my next Beauty Bay Haul I will try it because you can’t really go wrong for the price.

In the few months since launch the skincare range has already seen an expanse into masks, applicators and more. You can opt for one of their sets or build your own. Beyond a doubt their biggest range is their serums now totalling 9 unique serums targeting a wide range of skin issues. The most exciting new update is the protecting serum with anti-pollution and blue light actives which is something I’ve genuinely not seen anywhere else. Is it a gimmick? Who knows, but it sure got my attention!

For now though we will look at the products I did purchase. Like I said their range is laden in serums so I chose two – the clarifying and correcting. And then I chose the day one moisturiser which boasts protective and hydrating properties. The only mask they do is a clay one which I find very drying to skin and I didn’t need a cleanser as I have too many to go through so I felt this was a good start.


£6.50 Bakuchiol and Oatmeal tackling breakouts whilst moisturising skin.

Bakuchiol is something a lot of beauty buffs have been raving about lately! Albeit research for this post was my first encounter with it. It claims to be a natural alternative to retinol, providing all of the benefits with minimal side effects such as redness. This means it supports blemish control whilst tackling pigmentation.

Colloidal oatmeal is the second active ingredient that is used to moisturise and restore the skin. Often dry skin overcompensates with oils which leads to breakouts so whilst it’s good to use ingredients that help control breakouts it’s important to remember to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised or your products will work against your skin instead of alongside it.

Overall I really like this serum! I don’t personally have issues with Retinol based products so I’ll be looking for another Retinol but if you suffer from side effects of Retinol definitely try this!


£5.95 AHA & PHA actives to tackle congestion and texture concerns.

Texture concerns can often be caused by product build up so this serum uses glycolic acid as a key ingredient which delivers a gentle exfoliation and speeds up skin cell turnover. This evens out skin texture and reduces pigmentation. My main issue with this is that it markets itself as a concentrated exfoliating serum – would you wash off after? Surely if it boasts a gentle exfoliation it needs a cleanser after? There’s no information about this on the site so I’m not really sure if i’m overthinking this or it’s clever marketing to people who wouldn’t think too much into it.

This product glides seamlessly into your skin and definitely feels great after prolonged use, I think it’s quite overwhelming the amount of serums they have and I do feel I have issues with product build up despite cleansing thoroughly, my skin does feel fresher after using this for a few weeks!


£6.50 Ginseng and Squalene for protecting and hydrating skin

Moisturising is so important in your skincare routine! If your skin is dry it will produce excess oils to compensate which leads to breakouts. Beauty Bay unfortunately only offers two moisturisers. This one is incredibly lightweight and I suffer from dehydrated skin so for me this is something I’d need to apply consistently. It would be great as a starter moisturiser or for anyone who doesn’t suffer dehydrated skin.

Squalene hydrates whilst strengthening skin to stop hydration escaping whilst Indian Ginseng helps protect and shield the skin from damaging effects of screen emitted light (not something I can personally vouch for as I’m not a scientist but it’s quite a unique marketing point)

The second moisturiser they offer is definitely the one I should have gone for but unfortunately it was out of stock when I purchased! It is a thirst quenching rich moisturiser with oatmeal and oat lipids – something we also found in the clarifying serum.


Despite picking some products that aren’t personally right for me I can tell if you choose correctly these products will help where needed! They’re cost-effective without compromising on ingredients and I’m genuinely impressed at the range of serums they have bought out. I would like to see them branch out more into different products and not rely too much on serums as the moisturisers/masks and more seem like an afterthought or something they’re releasing just for sales whereas the serums genuinely seem like they’ve been thought out with due care and attention in genuinely tackling skin concerns.

I will definitely be purchasing some more of the serums to find my ultimate, I’m excited at trying the niacinamide and hopefully it can live up to The Ordinary version.

Have you purchased any Beauty Bay Skincare?

Which serums would you try out?

Let me know in the comments below!

My Veganuary Journey – it isn’t ending here

Veganuary may be over but it is the start of a new chapter in my life. Being Vegetarian for the past 12 years and eating 80% vegan for the past 3-4 years I decided it was time to fully make the commitment. Vegan diets are becoming more and more popular than ever with many more options on the market making it convinient for everyone, supermarkets and takeaways are all jumping on the bandwagon this year more than ever with a growing number of options which will hopefully stick around past January. If you thought about taking on Veganuary it’s not too late to try this lifestyle and I’m here to walk you through my experiences this past month.

The first big shop

A £50 bonus voucher from work for christmas was the perfect start to veganuary. That way I could get a variety of food, try lots of new things and it was more of a taster month of what I’d enjoy going forward. I headed to tesco and after spending £10 on cat supplies I had the other £40 to play with, I tried to get a variety of foods and some accompaniments to give a bit of variety to my meals.

Staples – Frozen veg, chicken, mince and frozen berries. I chose a variety of own brands and the more expensive brands for the fake meats and have to say they all tasted great, sure you can tell brands like oumph! and Naked glory have a premium taste but own brands are definitely good enough for day to day meals.

New Trials – Variety of sauces to spice up meals, vegan pulled pork bao buns, halloumi and feta. I also got a block of tofu, I love tofu in premade meals or at restaurants but have never cooked it before.

Treats – Vegan pizza and wine, mint choc chip ice cream (£2 from wicked kitchen, much cheaper than other brands that add a premium to vegan icecream)

Day to Day swaps

Starbucks surprised us all with their Vegan whipped cream!

I’ve despised milk for so long that it has not been an issue for me at all to swap that out! There’s so many different alternative milks now, Soya is a free replacement in most coffee shops, almond milk is my personal favourite but Costa Coffee’s new caramel oat latte+ is my daily fix now!

I don’t know why but i was shocked when I found vegan butter in my shop! I’ve had vegan margerine for years but butter is something new to me! It tastes really nice and seasoned.

Vegan cheeses taste a thousand times better than they used to when I first tried them 6 or 7 years ago! I got slices for burgers, Feta and Halloumi for salads and the vegan cheese alternatives delivered by dominos and pizza hut are so creamy and delicious!

Fancy Night In

With the current lockdown limiting us from going out for a nice dinner I decided I wanted a nice night in with a restaurant vibe. The one thing I knew I’d miss despite hating pasta generally was spinach and ricotta tortellini. I found Wicked kitchens Spinach and Wild garlic ravioli for £3 in Tesco and got that with a vegan garlic bread, vegan rose wine and Salted caramel Gü pots.

The ravioli was amazing, I was shocked at how soft it stayed as the usual tortellini I get goes cold 30 seconds after you plate it up and stiffens up pretty quickly. I didn’t use any sauce just a little bit of vegan butter and pepper and that was more than enough as the inside was so creamy! It really tasted as good as a restaurant and I was very impressed.

The salted caramel Gü pot was quite overwhelming at first, i didnt know what to make of it but halfway through i liked it, the biscuit base is noway near thick enough to counter the sweetness of the cream on top though which i think is why it was overwhelming.

Best Veganuary treats

  • Dominos Chick-Ain’t pizza
  • Starbucks Beyont meat breakfast burger – made with scrambled tofu, coconut cheese and delish own brand relish.
  • Fruit pastilles – Since their inception they were always made with gelatine but their latest batch isn’t and is suitable for vegans! Beware though, it’s only the new sharebags labelled vegan that are, a lot of old packets especially the small single rolls arent although going forth they should be. I had my friend try both of these and he said there was no difference!

Overall Thoughts

Entering Veganuary I knew this wouldn’t just be a month long commitment for me, but I’m surprised at how easy it was for me, on long 12 hour shifts the staple wicked kitchen stir fried tofu kept me going with some fruit as snacks. The options in supermarkets are ever growing and I can’t wait to see what they do next! I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything anymore as animal by-products are slowly being phased out of some products and there are great alternatives for the others. I’m proud of finally reaching this transition and frankly this month was a lot of exploring pre-made food, I’m actually excited to start learning how to cook my own foods.


So I asked all of you on my instagram @ohsoviki for your questions about my experience.

  1. I’ve wanted to transition from vegetarian to vegan but is it more expensive?
    I can relate to this! It’s one of the reasons I haven’t done it sooner because it would have just been me eating a plate of vegetables – plain! For years Quorn had the smallest percentage of milk or egg in it and then when they bought out their vegan range it was double the price! Luckily now theres so much more variety, lots of own brands are vegan, Aldi has some absolute steals! They have vegan pizza for £1.50! There’s also lots of ‘accidentally vegan’ food choices, it takes some time but with the right research you’ll realise you have so many options fit for all budgets!
  2. What do you miss most?
    Ooh thats tough because theres so many more options now! I’d say cheese but I didn’t *love* cheese before, theres lots of vegan cheese options now but you have to know how to cook it right, that’s probably what most vegans miss. As much as I don’t have a massive sweet tooth i’d say a good vegan cookie, there are so many out on the market now but none in any of my local stores as I live in a small village, they’re definitely out there though, co-op, tesco, aldi, marks and spencer, they all have their own vegan cookies now. I’ll just need to stock up when I get there!
  3. Is it healthier?
    Day to day I’d say yes because I have to think more about what I’m eating and planning food for work I make sure i’m eating healthier but there are so many more junk food vegan takeawy options than there was even a year or two ago! I ate so much vegan pizza last month and other junk food just because I wanted to try vegan options whilst it was veganuary and shops had it in.

Did you take part in Veganuary?
What’s your favourite vegan treat?
Let me know in the comments below!

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Beauty that flawlessly doesn’t break the bank! – Body Collection England

There are some places that I would never expect to visit to get a new fix of cruelty-free, vegan beauty that doesn’t break the bank, Wilko’s is definitely one of them, but last summer at the peak of lockdown I discovered a brand called Body Collection England, a homegrown vegan and cruelty free makeup brand that averages £2-4 for everyday makeup essentials (currently on 3 for 2 as well!)

Stepping in I was worried that it would only be certain branches that have this, Wilko’s beauty section is always right at the front of store and something I never even stop to browse at as it’s so limited and I’ve only ever seen the generic big brands that retail in China under the same parent company and test their products on animals. I walked in and was immediately surprised at the sheer amount of goodies lit up in front of me! There wasn’t just a wide range of different products but multiple types of each!

All of my haul clockwise : Eyeshadow Palette – Red Carpet Glam £2.50 | Poreless Primer £3 | Illuminating Liquid Foundation £4 | Baked Illuminator Pink Sand £2.50 |Liquid Illuminator Bronze £3 | Under-eye concealer £2.50 | Long Wear Eyeliner £1.50 | Lip Plumping Clear Gloss £1.50 | Lengthening Mascara £2.50 | Liquid Lipstick £2.50

I picked up all of my staples – primer, foundation, mascara, liquid lipstick and eyeshadow and then grabbed some treats to make sure I gave the whole range a good try, liquid and baked illumination, concealer, eyeliner and lip plumping gloss (something I recently got addicted to before the need to wear masks everyday and something I can’t wait to get back to) Cashing in at £26 which I think is incredible for 10 products, especially when I bought some just to try out meaning you could easily get a face full of essentials for around £15.


I love the packaging of all of the products, the touches of rose gold and geometric shapes add a touch of class to these products, the foundation, primer and illuminator feel a lot more expensive than they are.
The eyeshadow range is incredibly well thought out in terms of colour combos, I obviously went for a classic look in the shade ‘red carpet glam’ and the range of matte, sparkle and glitter work well together, they even give you a guide on the back of which order you use them in for optimum performance. It’s a handy travel size but does feel like the kind of product that would break fairly quickly in my makeup bag, and the brush you get with it isn’t one I’d ever use.
The lip colour ranges are incredibly basic (maybe this is just in the store i was in) but saying that, they’re safe bets and my everyday colours, don’t expect any NYX or Jeffree dupes here though.
They had different types of primers for different skin, and the same goes for mascara including lengthening, waterproof and volumising. I love that they’re giving options here as everyone is different, in fact that’s the reason I bought both a baked and liquid illuminator as it’s never something I’ve found my personal favourite with so I felt it best to trial both for a fair shot.
Finally I love that the eyeliner is a twist one, honestly who keeps around eyeliner sharpeners I ALWAYS loose mine and even though this will blunt quicker for a dull edge I will only use a pencil liner and blend it anyway, I will leave sharp cat eyes to liquid eyeliner.

The only thing missing from this range is a good eyeshadow product. I can’t remember seeing anything other than a powder or pencil and I only use pomades myself so I glossed over that quick, but the option is there if that’s your preference!


Primer – This seems like a basic primer, at £3 it’s worth the price but not going to help fill in deep lines to smoothen out your foundation (as I unfortunately found out on my forehead), it did do great with pores though.
Foundation – A really blendable foundation in a range of shades, it’s light-medium coverage so doesn’t help me with my current ‘mascne’ situation I have going on but I think on a day to day basis it would be good, I didn’t get any sort of setting powder so used my daily one for this. The range also carries an ‘airbrushed skin tint’ but nothing for full coverage.
Concealer – I don’t love concealer that comes in twist pens that have a brush built in, I think its quite unhygienic as when you try to clean it it gets into the product. The concealer itself seems to do a great job though. The range do a £1.50 general concealer and I was only drawn to this for the ‘under-eye’ element but I’d be interested to try the other one out to see if there’s any difference or they’re just upping the price for the thought of fixing an area most people are conscious of.

Eyeshadow – One thing I didn’t pick up was an eyeshadow primer so used my day to day revolution one as an eye primer is a must, I thought the palette was missing the base colour but when applied the bottom right it worked wonders. The colours don’t hold a tonne of saturation but they are really buildable so work eventually. The glitter shade is incredibly faint so I opted for the mid-right instead for a glittery finish as the one directly next to it didn’t apply as well. I chose a smaller travel-sized palette as I honestly have too many already but they do bigger palettes, for the price though I’d probably choose Revolution over this just because it’s a bit more saturated and has more of a colour range.

Mascara – I was very impressed with this mascara, it isn’t heavy or gloopy and does a great job of separating the lashes that really helps with the lengthening look, it’s also really easy to get off! This one was a shock to me as the brush is so thin but it really does work and I got a lot of compliments.
Liner – I skipped over this one, I tried to apply it but it wouldn’t apply over my eyeshadow and I felt like it would ruin the look. I think the eye look would be better with false lashes and in that instant I’d be all over the liner but wasn’t feeling it for today.
Illuminator – The liquid one is so incredibly easy to blend and has a nice, even colour, for this whole look I chose the baked one purely as I’m going to work after and feel this is a more subtle choice but for a night out the liquid one would be my first choice, they’re both great and well worth the money!
Lips – The liquid lip was so buttery soft whilst applying, it dries down to a really nice matte lip without feeling too drying on the lips. The colour is a staple for me so I couldn’t say anything bad even if I wanted to! The lip plumping gloss is also great, it has a really nice scent to it and isn’t an instant lift but over time so it’s not a shock to you like some lip plumper you put on that are quite stingy, its a pleasant experience. I don’t think anything will top two faced lip plumper but this is a great cheap daily alternative.


After a 12 hour night shift I’ve got to say my eyes look just as fresh as the moment after I first did them! The addition of the primer definitely helped with that, the foundation was well worn though but with constantly wearing a mask it’s what I expected.

Overall I love this brand! Some products will definitely stay as daily staples for me and I’m excited to see where else they go, it’s great that we are getting more vegan and cruelty free brands. This brand is definitely geared towards nude/neutral looks but that’s my daily style anyway so I’m loving it. The mascara, baked illuminator and both lip products will be sticking with me. The eyeshadow is good, I recieved so many compliments when I got to work about my eye look! I have so many eye palettes though and it’s my favourite thing to experiment with so I don’t think I will ever exclusively use one brand. The primer, foundation and concealer do a good job on smooth skin but at the moment that’s not me, I think they’ll work wonders for me in Summer but in the current climate my skin needs a bit more investment. I’d love to see a full coverage foundation from this brand, I think that’s really what is missing from ‘drugstore’ cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands right now!

Have you heard of Body Collection England?
Will you be purchasing from them in the future?
Let me know in the comments below!

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.