MANKIND MARCH GROOMING BOX | REVIEW

I’ve had a Mankind Grooming Box before and loved every single item! I was excited to get my hands on the Limited Edition March Grooming Box and was just as excited to try out all the products inside! It’s only available for March, so head over and get hold of one while you can!

I have naturally curly and coarse hair so I’m always very specific with the kinds of products I use. When I noticed 3 of the 6 products were hair related, I was intrigued to know how I was going to find them! I’ve tried them all out and I’ll break down my thoughts.


MONU for Men Fresh Wash

First and foremost, I love the smell! I could definitely smell the Ginseng and it made my face feel lovely and fresh. I also really enjoy products with papaya enzymes in as it naturally works to exfoliate the skin without the abrasiveness of a scrub. One thing I wasn’t so keen on is that this product appeared to have glitter in! It was only a really tiny amount and I understand it’s probably there to make your skin glow, but still, I wasn’t keen on that. If it weren’t for the glitter, I would have repurchased this product again.


Men-U LIQUIFFLEX

I didn’t know what to make of this product. I was expecting a gel, but then it’s a cream that when worked into the hands, liquefies! Strange, right? This product aims to add volume and body to your hair without leaving your hair feeling sticky. It definitely does what it says on the tin. With my hair being naturally curly, it has enough volume naturally. I tend to go for products to tame my hair, not to give it that added ‘oompf’. If you wanted a product to give you a bit of lift, this would be the one for you. Personally, it made my hair bigger than I’d usually go for, but if that’s the look you’re going for, go buy this product!


Redken Cerafill Defy Shampoo

The main goal of this product is to improve the appearance of thinning hair. Shampoos tend to do this by strengthening the fibre of you hair and energising your hair follicles. This product has a nice cooling feeling on the scalp and smells lovely! It didn’t make my hair look visibly thicker, but it’s naturally thick enough so that doesn’t surprise me. It does work to really cleanse the hair, which for someone who uses hair product each day, is definitely a benefit!


Redken Cerfill Defy Conditioner

This works hand-in-hand with the shampoo. It helps to thicken your hair and adds shine. It’s a nice conditioner and left my hair feeling soft. As mentioned previously, my hairs thick enough so I don’t tend to see a massive difference. However I’m sure if you had thinning hair, this would be great.


Scaramouche & Fandango Men’s Body Wash

I’ve used a face scrub from this brand that I got in my January Grooming Box, so I was definitely excited to use this wash. It’s got vitamin E in, which is known for its skincare benefits. As well as papaya extract which gives you a gentle exfoliation. This product lathers up really well and did leave a nice smell on my skin afterwards. It’s also really reasonably priced individually! All in all, winner!


Kent Brushes A20T Men’s Folding Comb

Not gonna lie, I always tend to go for the cheapest comb I can find. All I end up doing is melting it with a hair dryer anyway. It was refreshing to have a comb that is actually sturdy! It folds in half, which means I’ll definitely be taking it travelling with me. I wont end up with bent or broken comb teeth, which is great! You can’t actually buy this individually though, unless you head over to Amazon.


Mankind March Grooming BoxThere you have it, my thoughts on the March Mankind Grooming Box! All in all, it’s a decent box and really good value for money! As I always love at least 50% of what I get, I’d still buy the box as the other half work really well as gifts! As mentioned, it’s only available while stocks last, if you want this you’ll need to buy it soon.

Until next time,

S.

Did you miss the previous Grooming Box Review? Check it out!

 

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MENAGE SKINCARE | REVIEW

MENAGE SKINCARE | REVIEW

I’m a skincare junkie. I can’t help but try new things because I’m always curious to know whether it’s better for my skin than what I currently use.

Menage is a new skincare brand that focuses on protecting the skin. Living in a city, my skin is constantly exposed to air pollution and UV rays. All of these speed up the aging process so it’s good to have a skincare routine that helps to protect and prevent the signs of ageing.


Deep Pore Cleansing Face Scrub

We all use exfoliators, right? The Menage Deep Pore Cleansing Scrub is one to give a go!

It left my skin feeling fresh and clean. Usually exfoliators strip my skin too much. I know their purpose is to remove excess oil and dead skin cells, but sometimes it goes too far, I end up with dry skin. This didn’t happen with this scrub, so I’m a happy chap!

I always use exfoliators before I shave because I find that it helps the hairs to stand up, which helps to prevent ingrown hairs and gives me a closer shave. This product is so gentle that I can use it morning and night. That’s rare in a scrub, especially for my ridiculously dry skin.

The product doesn’t have a strong smell, which I love. I always tend to stay away from heavily fragranced products because it normally means the perfume levels are high, which isn’t good for your face!


Hydrating Age Defence Gel

I know you’re probably wondering, why would someone of my age be using products to help prevent ageing? Well, aging of the skin actually starts at my age! It’s better to prevent it than to try and cure it later on.

The Menage Hydrating Age Defence Gel helps to get moisture deep into the skin in order to restore a younger-looking complexion. It feels super lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. You only need about 2 pumps and it covers your whole face!

It left my skin feeling really matte, which I know will be incredible in the summer! This product wouldn’t be good for me on a daily basis; it hydrated my skin but not as much as I’m normally used to. I don’t think I’d actually use this product in replacement of what I use at the minute. If your skin is on the oily side, this product could be good for you. 


Anti-Ageing Moisturiser SPF15

Please tell me you use an SPF daily? You need an SPF!

I know you’ll normally associate SPF with the sun, however it actually protects your skin from the sun rays that cause ageing. Having an SPF in your daily moisturiser is a good way to get the protection without having too many products on your skin.

I actually really like this product! It’s not greasy and actually leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I used this in the morning on top of the Hydrating Age Defence Gel and I found my skin was sufficiently moisturised but not shiny at all!


There you have it, my thoughts on the new products from Menage. As a range, I definitely rate these products! They all have very subtle scents and a little goes a long way. I would definitely advise layering the moisturisers. It will help to reduce the signs of aging whilst helping to prevent any further damage being done. It’s a win-win situation!

You can get all the products from www.mankind.co.uk. You’ll be amazed with how affordable they all are. Definitely check them out.

Until next time,

S.

 

 

*Products listed above were sent to me for review. All views and opinions are 100% my own.*
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TRAVEL SERIES | HONG KONG

After Moscow, we flew to Hong Kong! I was looking forward to this the most, but I wasn’t looking forward to the 8-hour flight. Needless to say, I landed in Hong Kong tired, cranky and ready to sleep. If you know me, you’ll know I don’t handle heat too well. I kind of hate the feeling of sweat on my face and I get visibly irritated. It was hard to not take in the beauty of Hong Kong, however at this point I was counting down the seconds until I could get a shower!

We stayed in an area of Hong Kong called Tsim Sha Tsui, which is just across the river from mainland. I didn’t have the best first impressions; it felt dirty and busy. The humidity and my tiredness probably didn’t help and eventually I learned to deal with it. I also learnt the importance of having good accommodation. In an attempt to save money on the first part of our journey, we booked a hostel. Never again! I found that nothing is worse than coming home after a busy day to a small compact room, that quite frankly, wasn’t great. I had to shower over the toilet, can you imagine?

Travel Series Hong Kong
Clockwise: Bank Of China Tower, View from The Peak, Man Mo Temple, View of Hong Kong

You could spend all your time in Hong Kong wandering around and looking at the buildings. It’s a bustling city with small pockets of ancient buildings and beautifully green parks. Naturally the first thing we did was to go to the highest point on the island and visit The Peak. From here you get the best 360 views I’ve ever seen in my life. You can see every building in the island and it gives you a good understanding of how far things are from each other. We were approached by a group of toddlers to practice their English; I was amazed at their ability to speak multiple languages at such a young age. I can just about speak English.

The first temple we visited was the Man Mo Temple. It’s nestled in between huge skyscrapers and definitely feels out of place. You can clearly see how much the Hong Kongers respect their history. I checked and that is the correct term! The more you know, huh?

The Hong Kong Park is another point of interest that seems out of place. It’s right in the centre of the island and is one of the most serene places I’ve ever been! Here you can wander around and feel like you’re far from a city, yet you can still see the huge metal structures of the buildings through the trees. While you’re here, go to the aviary and see some of the birds that are native to Hong Kong.

Travel Series Hong Kong
Clockwise: 360 Cable Car, Hong Kong Park, Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery

One thing you must do if you visit Hong Kong is to head to Lantau Island. You can see the Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and take a ride in the cable cars that gives you a 360 view that will take your breath away. It’s definitely a day out worth having because you get to experience so many incredible buildings, statues and views. Unless it’s overcast, which means the Big Buddha literally disappears into the clouds.

Take a ride in a Sampan around the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter. You get to see a completely different side of Hong Kong. You move away from the well-built city to an area that lives and breathes tradition. A lot of people in the area choose to live away form modern society. They literally live next to the river, catch their own food and sell it, right at their doorstep!

Travel Series Hong Kong
Clockwise: Nan Lian Gardens, Sampan, Chi Lin Nunnery, Nan Lian Gardens

If you enjoy wandering around and taking in sights, you must definitely head over to Nan Lian Garden. Whilst you’re here you also get a chance to see the Chi Lin Nunnery, which is beautiful. We stayed here for hours, just strolling around and looking at everything. You can also head over to the Wong Tai Sin Temple, which is located nearby. It’s a temple that has been built with feng shui elements in mind. Everything is placed where it is for a specific reason and it’s honestly stunning. We spent our last night back at The Peak; we got to see the city in the dark with everything lit up and it was definitely a great goodbye.

One thing I haven’t mentioned is shopping! Hong Kong in general is packed to the brim with shopping centres, markets and designer stores. Not spending the whole of my travel budget was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do.

Travel Series Hong Kong
Clockwise: Wong Tai Sin Temple, Temple Street Night Market, The Peak at Night

There you have it, a break down of my visit to Hong Kong. It is genuinely one of the most impressive places I’ve ever been and I would recommend anyone to visit here. If you have any questions, please comment below or tweet me. I’ve tried to keep this blog as short as possible, there is so much more to tell! Next stop, Bangkok!

Until next time,

S.

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TRAVEL SERIES | MOSCOW

I love travelling! When I graduated from university, I made a deal with myself that I would see more places. This started with a couple of city breaks here and there to experience as much culture as possible. However, in 2015 I was lucky enough to have the chance to travel around the world!

This is going to be the first part of a series of blogs relating to my travelling last year! I went hopping and skipping across the globe for a 2-month period and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. First stop, Moscow!

I’m sure you’re all having the same thought process as me when I found out I was going to Moscow. Why would I want to go there? Due to the recent news I wasn’t keen at all. It was always meant to be a short stop over before my next city. This turned out to be the biggest surprise of my trip – I left Moscow wishing I had longer there!

I went in June and the weather was lovely. I didn’t expect this at all. Probably shows how stereotypical I was being, but I was expecting snow! The first day there we headed over to the Red Square. We got there whilst the sun was setting and it was honestly beautiful! Especially with Saint Basil’s Cathedral right there, it’s a clear example of some of the incredible architecture Moscow has to offer.

moscow-travel-series
Clockwise: State History Museum, Lenin’s Tomb, Change of the Guards, Alexander Gardens

The Red Square is probably the first place I’d recommend going if you visit Moscow. Even though it seems like a small space, you get a let to see in the form of the Kremlin, GUM store, Lenin’s Tomb and the State Historical Museum.

GUM is basically the central shopping location; it almost has a 50’s vibe and is packed to the brim with designer stores. I could have spent hours here! I had no idea what to expect when I went into Lenin’s Tomb, but the last thing I expected was the preserved body of a Russian politician! Looking back, I realise that we spent so much time just wandering around the Red Square and taking it all in.

The Kremlin is a fortified complex surrounded by a big red wall! It’s a lot bigger than expected and the walk around it in the heat wasn’t the most fun, but it was definitely worth it when we got to Alexander Gardens and watched the changing of the guards before heading inside the walls to view the cathedrals.

moscow-travel-series-1
Clockwise: Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Cathedral Square, The Assumption Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Cathedral Square is in the heart of the Kremlin and this is where you get the best view of the cathedrals located here. I was in complete awe at the beauty of the cathedrals, I’m a sucker for some ancient architecture and I was definitely in my element here. We spent most of the day wandering around the gardens and exploring the cathedrals!

A little bit further down the river is another cathedral, Cathedral of Christ The Saviour. I found it a little bit strange that this one was all on it’s own, especially since the complex at the Kremlin housed about 5! It’s definitely in a league of it’s own, it has a bridge you walk over to get there which makes the whole experience a lot more exciting!

As a way of relaxing we spent a whole day in Gorky Park. It’s a huge oasis in the middle of Moscow that is packed with things to do! Whether that be roller-blading, lazing on the grass or watching dancers practice their new moves, there is something there for everyone! This was the last thing we done in Moscow before braving the bustling metro to head to our next stop.

moscow-travel-series-3
Clockwise: Red Square, The Kremlin, Gorky Park, Saint Basil’s Cathedral

All in all, Moscow was incredible. I had ridiculously low expectations and left learning a valuable lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover. I also learnt that it’s stupid to buy new shoes before travelling. Due to the amount of walking, my feet were in shreds! It would definitely recommend visiting here. I was there for 5 days and I probably needed a couple more days to be able to take everything in.

 

There you have it, the first in my travel series! Next stop, Hong Kong!

Until next time,

S.

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WHY I QUIT GYMNASTICS

Why I Quit Gymnastics


From a young age, I was a competitive trampolinist. You might not have known this as I haven’t even stepped foot in a gym for a couple of years now. This is a different blog than what I’d normally write, but hopefully you’ll find it interesting.

I started Trampolining when I was around 10 years old. I’d competed around England and Europe at various levels and spent the majority of time in a gym.

If you’ve ever done a competitive sport before, you’ll know that injuries are part of the package. Everyone gets injured and everyone just gets on with it. I think I got my first serious injury when I was about 12 and I tore a ligament in my ankle; that wasn’t great! I let it heal, brushed it off and got back on with it.

I’d say I competed for the next year injury-free. Then one day I was messing around, being a bit of a show-off and somersaulted off a trampoline. I ended up damaging all the muscles in the right side of my back. For between 4-6 weeks, I couldn’t walk straight. I didn’t have the support in my muscles to hold my body up straight. As a 13 year-old, I was terrified! Genuinely thought I’d not walk properly again. Thankfully it all healed fine.

Another year went by and this is where all the excitement begins. I was scouted to join a club in another city! It was incredible. Although at first, I wasn’t keen on the idea at all! I had a group of friends in my club and I didn’t want to leave them. However once the thought set in, I went down to trial and got a spot on the team! I was quickly learning moves I didn’t ever expect to be doing. My social life quickly disappeared and the sport became everything! I’d be there 4 times a week, whilst still studying for my exams and competing most weekends. Cut a long story short, I was presented with an ultimatum when I was 17: Sports or Academics?

It wasn’t easy! How can a 17 year old make that kind of decision? I was studying A-Levels and still spending most of my life training in another city. I weighed everything up: all the injuries, the lack of a social life, the constant sacrifices. I’d made my decision to quit the sport.

This didn’t go down too well with my family. I’d been training most of my life and had dreams of going to the Olympics. My thought process took me down the path of thinking “What would I do if an injury wiped me out and I had no qualifications to fall back on?” I chose academics and went to university to study Law.

When I was at university, I decided to train again! I went back and quickly picked up where I left off. It was a bit of a whirlwind: I was training new moves and getting ready to compete again. Then the inevitable happened; my hands slipped in the middle of a double somersault and I landed funny. I ended up damaging the soft tissue in my knee and couldn’t put any pressure on my leg. This solidified my thinking: I couldn’t take the risk when I didn’t have a degree. I quit competitive gymnastics for good.

Every now and again I go back, I still love the sport. I know that looking back on everything I’ve made the right decision. A lot of my injuries still play up today: I can’t run for a long period of time without my knee or ankle hurting and I can’t lay down in a certain way without my back aching. The joys of being an ex-gymnast, eh?

There you have it, the reasons why I quit gymnastics! I know this was a lengthy blog so thank you if you’ve read it all! Hopefully you enjoyed it.

Until next time,

S.

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