Friday, 12 February 2016

Valentine's Day | Refresh Your Bedroom!

With Valentine's Day just a couple of days away, now is a good time to think about refreshing your bedroom décor a little! Okay, so it's probably a bit late for a full-scale redecoration project, and you maybe won't be repainting the whole room or replacing all your furniture - but there are simple changes that can really make a big difference to the "feel" of your bedroom.
Easy Ways To Refresh Your Bedroom Decor for Valentine's Day
Bedding is an obvious place to start when refreshing your bedroom décor; it can make a huge difference to the look of the room, and won't break the bank! Habitat have a lovely range of bed linens; a personal favourite for me is the simple white stonewashed duvet cover 'Washed', which starts at £40 for a double. I really like the look of white bedding, I think it's a lovely way to brighten up a room and of course, it's easy to accessorize and switch the look up as white goes with everything! For something a little brighter, the 'Strips' multi-coloured duvet cover is perfect as we come into Spring, and starts at just £20 for a double - now that's a bargain, and that price it's easily affordable to switch up your bedlinen for the seasons.
Washed Duvet Cover Habitat
336099
Of course, when replacing your duvet covers, you can't forget the sheets! There are few things nicer than sliding into a fresh bed at the end of a long day - Yorkshire Linen have a gorgeous range of sheets at pocket-friendly prices, so there should be something for everyone. I'm all about fitted sheets (ain't nobody got time for hospital corners in real life!) and I love the look of a bright sheet with white bedding - a secret pop of colour! Of course, for Valentine's Day, what could be more perfect than red? This Percale fitted sheet starts at just £12.99 for a double.
For a luxurious boudoir feel, adding extra-cosy throws and cushions can take your décor from standard to hotel-worthy - I don't think I've ever seen anything that looks cosier than this Gray & Willow ribbed throw, £60 from House of Fraser. Doesn't it just make you want to snuggle up with a loved one?!
Gray & Willow Throw
Meanwhile, the gorgeous bright colours of the Authentic Weave Cushion, a bargain at just £12, and the Peruvian Birds Cushion, £19.50, both from M&S, would really pop against white bedding and add a beautiful touch to a room.
HT_05_T47_7599_ZZ_X_EC_0HT_05_T47_7682_A4_X_EC_0
And of course, what's the good of all this lovely bedding without some mood lighting? Not only is low lighting supposedly more flattering (if you're bothered about such things!), but it really adds to the general atmosphere of a room. This bronze mosaic lamp, just £20 from George, is really striking and would add a little drama, in my opinion. Candles are also a lovely touch, although of course you do need to be careful with lit candles and never leave them unattended! This Yankee Candle Valentine's Gift set, £29.99, includes a large jar candle in the Red Raspberry scent, and a metal hearts illumalid.|
George Lamp
Will you be making any changes to your bedroom décor for Valentine's Day? What are your favourite styles or looks for bedlinen and soft furnishings? Don't forget to check out my suggestions for unusual Valentine's Day gifts here, and some unique date ideas here!

xo
[*Collaborative post. Post contains affiliate links.]

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review | Born Pretty Waterproof Eyeshadow Pen*

Ever a lover of cream eyeshadow sticks (seriously, how can you not love a shadow you can just swipe on and go!?), I was thrilled to be sent this budget-friendly Waterproof Eyeshadow Pen* from Born Pretty. I went for Shade 4 which is a pretty pale green pearl; there are twelve shades available in total, ranging from a pretty silvery-white, through neutral champagnes and browns, to brighter shades including blues and purples - there should be something for everyone, and you can check out the full range of shades here.
Born pretty Waterproof Eyeshadow Pen
The packaging is pretty basic (although the outer packaging was really pretty - a lovely floral box with holographic accents), which is fair for a product of this price bracket; a sleek black crayon-style product with a click-on cap, you twist up the product to use. I'm a fan of this format as it's quick and easy to use, with no messy, wasteful sharpening of pencils. The band of colour around the base of the crayon is a nice touch and would certainly be handy if you had a few of these crayons, to help you pick out the shade you're after without uncapping them all.
Born Pretty Cream Eyeshadow Stick
Born Pretty Waterproof Eyeshadow Pen Shade 4 Swatches
I've found the formula to be pretty nice - it's smooth and creamy, transferring easily onto the lids without any tugging or dragging. The pigmentation is really nice, with a good colour pay-off from one swipe, and the option to build up a little more intensity with a second swipe, for a deeper colour. I really like greens on my eyes and would wear this alone as a liner shade (first photo below); my favourite way to wear it, however, is as a base for a gold powder shadow (shown here is Stila's 'Champagne'), whereby it gives a lovely olive-y, antiqued-gold effect which I think is really pretty and super wearable! Excuse my tired early-morning eyes here...
Born pretty green cream eyeshadow
Born Pretty Cream Eyeshadow EOTD
In terms of lasting power, I've not had any problems with fading or transferring on my oily lids; even after a busy shift at work, this is still going strong after a good ten hours of wear, which is always nice for those days when you just don't have time to be checking your eye make-up and neatening up smudges. Born Pretty's Waterproof Eyeshadow Pens are available in twelve shades, priced at an affordable £3.23 each - you can check out the available shades here! Don't forget you can also get 10% off site-wide when you enter my discount code 'JESSMK31' at checkout. Are you a fan of cream eyeshadows? Would you try these out?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration. Prices correct at time of writing but subject to change with fluctuations in the exchange rates.]

Monday, 8 February 2016

Valentine's Day | Lingerie Picks

With Valentine's Day now less than a week away, it seemed like as good a time as any to share my picks of all the pretty lingerie that's floating around the shops at the moment; you can't beat a set of gorgeous underwear to brighten you up on even the greyest of days. Is it just me that feels like I'm adulting ten times better when my underwear matches?!
Valentine's Day Lingerie
Bluebella Ella Bra, £34, & Briefs, £16, House of Fraser
Entice Floral Balcony Bra, £8, & Briefs, £4, George at Asda
Loren Lace Bralet, £18, & Thong, £10, Figleaves
Rosie for Autograph Silk & Lace Bra, £26, & Knickers, £12.50, Marks & Spencer
Pink Hearts Mesh Bra, £18, & Briefs, £8, BHS
Lace Body, £27.50, Marks & Spencer
Calvin Klein Intimate Plunge Bra, £30, & Briefs, £, House of Fraser
Ann Summers Luella Waspie, £20, House of Fraser

If lingerie isn't your thing, you can check out my suggestions for more unusual Valentine's gifts here - or maybe you're after some unique Valentine's date ideas?! Do you like to receive underwear as a gift, or do you prefer to choose it yourself? Which is your favourite of these sets?

xo
[Post contains affiliate links.]

Saturday, 6 February 2016

First Impressions | TurBliss Bioactive Face Mask for Problem Skin*

Adding fuel to the fire of my slightly excessive skincare addition, I was recently sent a jar of Bioactive Face Mask for Problem Skin* from Estonian brand TurBliss, which I've been using for a couple of weeks; I'll have a full review up in a few weeks but I wanted to share my first impressions of the product as so far, I'm really liking it!
First Impressions TurBliss Mask
First up, can we just talk about the packaging?! Seriously, how pretty is the jar? I admit, jar-style packaging is not a favourite for me for hygiene reasons, but I feel like in this case I can almost let them off, given just how beautiful it is! On the plus side, the screw-cap closes nice and tightly so there's no fear of the mask drying out before you get chance to use it all. The use-by date is hand-written on the outer packaging so you'd need to hang onto that or make a note of it.
TurBliss Bioactive Face Mask For Problem Skin First Impressions
The mask is thick and dark brown, as you might expect for a natural peat mask; the texture is quite smooth but with a slightly grainy feel to it, such that you can get a little bit of exfoliation by gently massaging into the skin. The instructions state to "wet the mask slightly to avoid drying"; I've found the easiest way to do this was by spritzing my face every minute or so with a facial spray, although it did still dry out a little in places by the time my ten minutes were up.
TurBliss Peat Face Mask Problem Skin
I found the mask quite messy to remove, which I was anticipating, and a shower is probably the way to go; after removal, I did find that my skin was a little reddened (you could see the pale rings around my eye and lip area!), but that only lasted around an hour, and is said to be due to increased micro-circulation. Containing Humic & Fulvic Acids from the natural peat, the mask aims to penetrate deep into the skin in order to improve its functioning, causing it to produce more collagen and hyaluronic acid to maintain the skin's elasticity and plumpness.
TurBliss Bioactive Peat Face Mask
My skin felt quite tight after use, but that was eased with my regular moisturiser, after which my skin felt soft and smooth. The mask also claims to regulate sebum production, clean clogged pores, and alleviate a number of skin concerns from rosacea to eczema, so I'm looking forward to seeing what prolonged use can do for me!
TurBliss Bioactive Peat Face Mask First Impressions
TurBliss Bioactive Face Mask for Problem Skin is available from LoveLula, priced at £18 for 60ml of product; you can also buy a larger 180ml jar which is priced at £32, so that obviously works out at better value. If you like the sound of it, do keep an eye out for my full review early next month! Have you heard of TurBliss? Would you try a peat mask?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration.]

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Five Guys You Should Be Prepared To Meet On Tinder

I'm kicking off February by introducing something a bit different here on The Indigo Hours; I wanted to add more of a lifestyle slant and discuss something new. Dating isn't something I've ever really talked about on my blog, mainly because I've been in long-term relationships for most of the time I've been blogging. However, since breaking up with my last "serious" boyfriend last August, I've been experimenting with the world of Tinder, and thought this would be quite a fun way to share my experiences!
Five Guys You Should Be Prepared To Meet On Tinder
For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Tinder is a dating app; you set up a profile, add some photos, and off you go. You're presented with a series of men (or ladies, or both - whatever floats your boat!) and can either "swipe" left or right on them. The left swipes go in the bin, the right swipes are the ones you like the look of. If you swipe right on someone who also swiped right on you, you get a "Match" and can start chatting. So, here are five types of fella who seem to pop up quite often in my stream of Tinder Matches!
The build-up-to-creepy creep | This guy seems nice at first. He can hold a decent conversation; he asks questions, tells you about himself, and after chatting for a while, asks if you'd like to meet up. You exchange numbers. The date goes well. You agree to see him again, and do so. And then it begins - sometime between the second and third dates, he becomes a bit - keen. He texts, and if you don't respond pronto, you receive the same message eleven minutes later via WhatsApp and then, six minutes after that, by Facebook message. Then another text, "You okay?" followed by a sad face Snapchat and another WhatsApp, "You ignoring me?" and another text, "Have I annoyed you?". And then you get out of the shower or go on your break at work, and look at your phone, and think, "What the-?" and are forced to tell him he's not really what you're looking for, by which you mean you like having space to breathe without him assuming you've died / left the country on a permanent basis without telling him / run off with some other guy.
The explicit-messages guy | This is probably the man every woman dreads when signing up to dating sites and apps; you match with this guy and are immediately bombarded with personal questions about your sexual history and preferences, and messages about what he'd like to do to you / have you do to him. On the bright side, Tinder have removed their 'Moments' feature (which was a bit like Snapchat whereby you could share images with your matches for 24 hours), so no more unsolicited dick pics... I'm not sure if this ever works for any guy (I feel like it must because they keep trying it?) but it sure ain't gonna work for me. Unmatch!
The scarily-intense | This is another guy who seems nice at first. Maybe you swap numbers. He becomes very intense, pointing out how much you have in common (like, say, a football team and the last movie you saw at the cinema) and telling you really in-depth things about his life, exes, work... Everything. No filter. Before you've ever even met. If this isn't enough of a warning for you (please, learn from my mistakes!), and you do happen to meet this guy, he will treat the date like a job interview, and text you again before you're out of sight.
The disappearing act | This one, too, seems nice. He's funny, you message back and forth, things seem to be going well... And then he vanishes. No explanation. Maybe he died? Maybe he met someone? Maybe he had a girlfriend all along and got caught out? Who knows!
The actually quite nice, reasonably normal one | This one will probably take you by surprise - you might be becoming a bit jaded, wondering, "When will you turn out to be a weirdo, too?", just waiting for a slightly obsessive text or a revelation about a wife. And all of a sudden you'll find you've been on half a dozen dates, have swiped neither left nor right in days, and actually really like this one. Who knew - there are actually some nice, reasonably normal Tinder guys! Spoiler alert: I'm still seeing this one and have actually deleted Tinder; things could get serious! I even drunkenly told my brother about him on a sibling night out.

So - have you ever used Tinder, or another dating site or app? I'd love to hear about your experiences! Would you try something like this, or have you heard too many horror stories?

xo

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Hello February!

One month of 2016 down already - can you believe it!? It seems like this is going to be another year which just flies by. I'm carrying on my goal-setting and sharing this year, you can have a peek at the goals I set for January here. Today, I'm sharing how I got on with those goals, as well as setting some new ones for the month ahead.
Hello February!
• Read four books: Well we're not off to a good start, I didn't even manage to finish one book! Poor effort Jess. I have been trying to read on my breaks at work rather than mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, but as I'm working less shifts at the moment (due to my second job elsewhere), this hasn't translated to as much reading time as I'd hoped. Ah well.
Clear out desk: Well, sort of. I did throw some things away and had a good sort out of what was left so things are a bit more organised and less precariously-heaped. I think I need to have another go at this at some point but it'll do for now.
See friends at least twice: I did a pub lunch in Keswick with two friends, a couple of pub quiz / pub board game nights with another group of friends (I promise not all my social interactions occur in pubs!), a night-time walk with a different friend, and a pre-work walk with a friend from work. I feel like I did good on this one!
Work on my fitness: I'm quite pleased with how I got on with this; I wanted to continue to swim three times a week, hopefully upping from 30 to 40 minutes per swim, and include a run per week as well. I started by coming up with an actual swim "program" (using the term very loosely!) rather than just getting in and swimming, and then increasing it until I was swimming for 40 minutes - so I'm pleased with that. I've also been using the weights in the gym and have been really enjoying that - I'd forgotten how much I used to love leg day! It's not as  much fun on my own but still. My gym has had reduced opening hours for maintenance over the last couple of weeks which has been annoying, but they're due to be done by the end of this week so I should be able to pick things up a little more. As for the running - I'm asthmatic and my lungs really struggle with cold air, so I didn't manage one run per week as I'd hoped, but I did get out a couple of times which is a good start. I'll be building on this one for sure!
February Goals Sheep at Hincaster
So three out of four goals achieved for January - I think that's a good start! As we head into February, the shortest month of the year (although it's a Leap Year so we do get an extra day!), I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks off work at the end of the month and the beginning of next month - I had a lot of annual leave left to use up before the end of March, so I've basically ended up with three weeks booked off! I'm hoping to fit in a few fun things while I'm not working, although I think I'll still be doing my new job and also volunteering, which will eat up two days a week. Anyhow, some goals for February:
Bake something. I like baking. I don't bake enough anymore, mainly due to living with my parents and just not having the space. So while I'm not working stupid amounts of hours, I'd like to do a bit of baking - maybe try something new, maybe just go with an old favourite like chocolate brownies. Because you can't go wrong with brownies, can you!?
Walk somewhere new. I have a car. I can go pretty much anywhere I choose. And yet I always seem to go for the same couple of walks, both within five miles of where I live. I'm within half an hour of the gorgeous Lake District so I really want to get out and explore a little more, and discover a walk somewhere new. (The photos in this post are actually from a new walk a friend introduced me to, but that doesn't count as it was in January!)
See friends at least twice. I'll really have no excuse for not achieving this, with all my time off! It's always nice to spend some time with the people I love, so I'm aiming to meet up at least twice with friends, whether it's for a full-on pub night or just a cup of tea.
Neaten up my blog. This will include working on my About page so it's a bit more interesting and up-to-date, thanks to a really helpful worksheet from the lovely Hayley. (Seriously, if you haven't signed up to her newsletter, do it! It's full of useful tips & exclusive bloggy worksheets, I'm finding it so interesting and informative.) If you have any suggestions for improvements and tweaks I could do to make, please let me know!!

Are you setting any goals for February? How did you get on with any goals you set in January? I'd love to hear what you're hoping to achieve in the coming weeks!

xo

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Empties | January 2016

Well, here we are, at the end of January - already! I have no idea where this month has gone to be honest, it's been a busy one for me what with starting a new job one day per week and trying to fit that round my existing job and other commitments... All good fun, though! I've also finished off a good handful of beauty products so, as per tradition, let's have a sort through my recycling for the month:
January Empties
January Beauty Empties
Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover | There's nothing particularly exciting here... This did the job perfectly acceptably for me, I only really use it on my toenails as I can't wear nail polish for work. I'm not loyal in the slightest to nail polish remover, I just pick it up when I remember I need it.
Repurchase? Maybe, but I wouldn't seek it out.
ELF High Definition Powder | I still haven't really made up my mind whether I loved this or hated it, although I have now used it all either way. In theory it's great but in practice I felt it was somewhat lacking - it seemed to leave a white cast to my skin which I wasn't loving. I did think it made my skin look smoother in photos, but sadly not in real life. Also it had a weird silicon-y texture to it which I'm kind of undecided on, too.
Repurchase? Who knows?! (Probably not.)
Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles & Radiance Day Cream* | I really, really liked this day cream; everything from the texture to the subtle fragrance was just lovely! It sank into my skin really quickly, left me feeling hydrated but not greasy or sticky, and I actually did think it helped a little with the beginnings of fine lines that I have on my forehead and around my mouth. Two minor bugbears for me were the jar-style packaging (hygiene issues!) and the lack of SPF (memory issues!)
Repurchase? Maybe. I did really like it but I have a few day creams to use up, and somehow Yves Rocher isn't a brand I ever think to order from.
Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner | This is my second bottle of this super-budget-friendly toner and I do still really like it; I do feel like it leaves my skin brighter and more even in tone when I use it regularly. That said, I think I may stray from it to try pastures new (read: something with a higher concentration of Glycolic Acid).
Repurchase? Maybe, at some point down the line.
Yardley Polaire Eau de Toilette | I won this ages ago in a giveaway and whilst it's not a scent I'd have chosen for myself and hasn't been one I've reached for daily, I have enjoyed wearing something a little different to my normal tastes. With notes including pear, freesia, rose, ginger, pink pepper, patchouli and amber, this is very much a floral fragrance to my nose.
Repurchase? Probably not.
January Empties Beauty Blog
Kind Natured Volumising Rosemary & Mint Shampoo | I enjoyed my first foray into Kind Natured products; I've been using this shampoo after I've been to the gym and have found that it works well to clean and refresh my hair, with a lovely scent and a nice formula. I usually go for volumising shampoos as they seem to work best with my oily roots, and I have to say this was one of the better shampoos I've tried in terms of keeping my hair looking fresh for longer.
Repurchase? Maybe; it's a nice range, and reasonably priced.
Boots Botanics Shine Away Invigorating Face Scrub | This is a lovely budget-friendly exfoliator which I tend to use in the shower after I've been to the gym; a gel base with exfoliating particles that aren't too harsh on the skin, I'd say I've been using this two or three times per week. It works well to smooth out any dry or rough areas of skin without causing irritation or soreness, and although I can't say I've noticed any mattifying effect from using it, I wasn't really expecting to and don't really mind!
Repurchase? Already have.
Rimmel Match Perfection Silky Loose Face Powder | Yeah that's right, I've finished off two powders this month! I quite liked this Rimmel number actually, it didn't oxidise on my skin and seemed to work pretty well at setting my foundation, although I'd prefer something that kept me a little more matte. Still, you can't have everything in life!
Repurchase? Maybe.
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter | This may have been picked up as a "one for me" purchase whilst Christmas shopping... Well, with 3 for 2 on Boots gift sets, it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it!? I love the Sugar Crush fragrance - sweet and citrussy, it's exactly my cup of tea, and this mini body butter didn't last me long at all as I used it basically daily after going to the gym.
Repurchase? Probably.
Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer | Oh boy, am I glad to see the back of this one! I've been trying to use it up for months and it's seemed never-ending. Maybe because the pump broke? Anyway, I hated it. It smelt like rubbing vodka on my face (oh, hello, Alcohol Denat. in the ingredients list), made my foundation go on funny, and didn't even have the good grace to keep my skin matte after all that. A crashing disappointment here!
Repurchase? Not in a month of Sundays.
COLAB Rio Dry Shampoo | Ah COLAB; my new dry shampoo love! This has well and truly replaced Batiste as my go-to dry shampoo choice, although unfortunately it's not quite as widely available, so I do end up picking up Batiste in the supermarket in desperate times. I love Rio's tropical scent and find that it works well for me to absorb excess oil at my roots on second-day hair, without the horrible white cast that some dry shampoos leave.
Repurchase? Already have.

So January hasn't been a bad month in terms of clearing out my mountain of beauty products!! Have you tried any of these?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration.]

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Five Unusual Valentine's Date Ideas

Valentine's Day is now only a couple of weeks away, so it's maybe time to start planning what you'll be doing if you're celebrating with someone special this year. You can have a peek at my ideas for unusual Valentine's gifts, and today I've got a few suggestions for unique dates - because let's face it, going out for a fancy meal isn't everyone's cup of tea, and sometimes it's nice to broaden our horizons and do something a bit outside the box!
Five Unusual Valentine's Date Ideas
Visit a museum: Have a look round your local area and see what museums there are - there's something to suit most interests, so you should be able to find something that you'd both enjoy! I love a good museum; personal favourites include the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick (sadly currently closed after the floods, but should be re-opening in March), and the Maritime Museum in Lancaster (also closed at present following the floods). Hat Works in Stockport is definitely on my to-visit list (a museum full of hats?! What could be better?!), and The Rum Story in Whitehaven.
Try something new: Always wanted to learn how to ski? Fancy trying your hand at pottery? Why not search for classes or taster sessions in your area and have fun together trying something neither of you have done before - you never know, you might find a new favourite hobby that you can enjoy together for a long time to come!
Cook together: This probably isn't that unusual for a lot of people, but I think it's a nice alternative to going out on Valentine's Day - and will save the hassle of trying to book somewhere! Find yourselves a fun new recipe to try, or an old favourite, get in some decent ingredients and maybe a bottle of something nice to go with it, and spend an evening cooking up something delicious.
Get active: Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about indulgences! Get out and about doing something active, whether it's going for a walk, a little bike ride, or something a bit more extreme like Go Ape - if it's not your usual date of choice, you could just be onto a winner! We all know how exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good, so what could be better than feeling good with a special someone!?
Volunteer: There's nothing quite like making yourself useful! This one might take a bit of planning and looking around for something you want to give your time too, but everything from local sporting events, to charities, can make for a fun volunteering experience. I volunteer a fair bit and really enjoy giving something back to the community. You might try local nature reserves, hospitals, or schools - get creative!

What's the most unusual date you've ever been on? Do you have any suggestions to add to my list? What will you be doing this Valentine's Day?

xo

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review | Vichy Dercos Dermo-Soothing Shampoo

I popped a bottle of Vichy's Dercos Dermo-Soothing Shampoo into my virtual basket whilst doing my Christmas shopping at LookFantastic, as always keen to try an SLS-free shampoo that hopefully wouldn't irritate my eczema. I was surprised to learn that this is Vichy's first SLS-free shampoo (their other shampoos do contain SLS, which disappointed me); Vichy claims that this shampoo, "acts on the main signs of a sensitive scalp to provide immediate and lasting comfort. Hair is left looking shiny, soft, light, and easy to style. The scalp feels soothed of discomfort."
Vichy Dercos Shampoo Review
Vichy Dercos Dermo Soothing Shampoo
The outer packaging gave plenty of information about the product; the bottle within the carton is quite nice, with the blue plastic and the white flip-cap which clicks closed quite securely. The shampoo itself is colourless and quite runny in texture, making it easy to work through my hair. It has a subtle, pleasant scent which I can't place - it smells nice and clean though and it certainly isn't offensive.
Vichy Dercos Shampoo
Now I have to be honest; my scalp isn't particularly sensitive, and is not the reason I avoid SLS in my shampoos. My scalp is, in fact, very oily, and I don't suffer from dandruff or itchiness, so I was uncertain how well this shampoo would suit me. In terms of irritation - I've not had any, it hasn't triggered any outbreaks of eczema - so I'm happy with that, and imagine it would suit sensitive scalps well. Unfortunately, my hair didn't stay clean for very long and within 24 hours it was looking lank and greasy - I don't think that's a fault of the shampoo for one minute, it just doesn't suit my hairtype very well, which is a shame as it's otherwise a lovely product.
Vichy Dercos Dermo-Soothing Shampoo
Vichy Dercos Dermo-Soothing Shampoo is priced at £8.50 for 200ml of product; I think that's quite a reasonable price for a nice, basic, SLS-free shampoo. If your scalp is oily like mine then this probably isn't for you, but if you do suffer from a sensitive scalp then I do think this would be worth a try! Unfortunately it's back to the drawing board for me, in my search for an SLS-free shampoo that works for oily hair... Have you tried any Vichy shampoos? What's your favourite haircare range?

xo

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Gym Bag Essentials

Since re-joining the gym a few months ago, I've found myself showering there more often than I do at home - which is fine, but does mean that I need to have a reasonable selection of face & body products in my gym bag to keep myself soft, clean and fresh!
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Pre-Gym Cleanse
I usually go to the gym first thing in the morning and have plenty of time to come home before I have to go out to work, but occasionally I'll go in the evening if I've been working during the day, so on those days I like to remove my make-up before I start working up a sweat! At the moment this involves Merumaya's lovely Melting Cleansing Balm, followed by Botanics All Bright Cleansing Foam Wash.
Gym Shower Products
Once I'm done either swimming or in the gym (or both, on days when I'm feeling particularly energetic!), I tend to spend about fifteen minutes in the shower having a good ol' clean up - washing my hair and body, having a little scrub of any dry areas on my limbs, washing my face and using an exfoliator - the usual shower routine! Products shown include: Sweet Cecily's Citrus & Walnut Body Scrub, Clinique For Men Face Scrub, Naked Volume Shampoo, Kind Natured Nourishing Ylang Ylang & Sage Conditioner, Organic Surge Spiced Lily Body Wash.
Post Shower Gym Body Products
Afterwards I like to moisturise my face and my body (particularly if I've been swimming as the chlorine really dries my skin out - if I've just been in the gym I sometimes skip moisturising my face until I get home) and apply the standard deodorant/fragrance things. [Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Body Lotion, Malin & Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer, Sure Maximum Protection Sport Strength Anti-Perspirant, FCUK Cool Down Body Spray]. I also have this Cuticura Talcum Powder* in there which I just dust on if I'm in a hurry, to absorb any leftover moisture. It's also really hot in the changing rooms so sometimes I need to use this if I want to actually put clothes on, or I just end up getting sweaty and sticky almost as soon as I'm out of the shower...

What products do you keep in your gym bag? Have you tried any of these?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration.]