Do we really need activity trackers / fitbits? 

product review

With life moving at an increasingly fast pace, as we are heavily consumed by a rapid online world and on demand services. Activity trackers are a great, convenient way to set fitness and health goals on the go. 

I think though, if we scratch beneath the surface there is something solemn about the fact that we now rely on technology in order to set goals. We pay, and download apps to remind ourselves to do basic things like drink water or walk. But technology is also innovative at making our lives easier, and as earlier mentioned with life beginning to move at such a rapid pace. This is the reality of our future. 

I was recently bought a Micheal Kors’ activity tracker (as pictured), it is a stunningly pretty bracelet with a neatly inserted battery (barely visible). It works via Bluetooth and an access app that you have to download. 


So what does it actually do? 

Because it’s on your wrist it tracks your steps, meaning you can set personal goals. (My personal best for the moment is 2,890 steps in one day which I’m told is despicable, most people aim to walk 10k steps a day??? #needtogetactive) 

It tells you how many miles you’ve walked per day, and how many calories you’ve burnt. No, that does not mean you can have an extra dessert per week. 

You can also set other health related goals, such as how many glasses of water you aim to drink per day – and how many hours of sleep you want to get at night. 

But I found myself asking, doesn’t our iPhone already do these things for us? Personally I don’t get the necessity to have 3 or 4 different apps which all have the same purpose. I guess though, because people have financially invested and be wearing it on their wrist; perhaps they are more likely to stick to their set goals? 

With the access app you can also control your phone, you can set it up through the control settings so that you can answer your phone with the tracker etc. Rather cool I must say, albeit just another function I couldn’t work out how to use as I’m tech thick. 

Overall review of Micheal Kors’ activity tracker; 

I found setting the tracker up rather user friendly, and relatively easy. Even for a techy no brainier useless blonde like myself. (I’m not going to admit that my mum had to insert the battery for me, that didn’t happen). 

All you really need to get started is the app, and your Bluetooth switched on. Yes those last 4 words burnt me too. That burnt bad, for anyone with an iPhone this is sacrilege. My battery life is probably about 2 hours so with Bluetooth switched on permanently, make that 20 minutes. However, the tracker still tracks your activity even with your Bluetooth off. You just need to switch it on to view your results via the app. Thank goodness. 

At the moment I am still finding my way on the app, I’m certain there are even more uses for the tracker which I am totally unaware of. Moreover, overall I would say that the tracker is a good investment. In particular the Micheal Kors’ / or fashion ones alike – they double up as a pretty bracelet / fashion accessesory. So it’s damn cool that they are also activity trackers. 

I think even if you only bought this item purely to wear as a bracelet it’s worth the money, the fact you are also able to control your phone and set personal goals is amazing. And it isn’t too expensive either. 

I’m sure every 20 something Londoner will be sporting one in the near future. 

Overall score – 8/10 

Glow-getter 

product review

After last nights excessive Halloween make up you caked onto your face, what could be more refreshing than the perfect glow tonic? 

Pixis’ glow tonic with active ginseng and fructose ingredients has always received glowing (excuse the pun) reviews; by beauty bloggers and celebrities alike. 

Verdict? 

I have sensitive, acne prone rubbish skin. So when I find products which actually brighten my complexion, and give me the illusion of having great skin. I get hooked and I have to share. 

This glow tonic does just that. The smell is light, (some are very strong and astringent) and the effects are light too. A lot of toners and tonics can be abrasive to skin. The glow tonic is kind to skin, and works by removing dead skin cells, and has aloe-Vera for a calming after-effect. 

It leaves skin fully refreshed, it’s great for either a skin pick me up. Or to rejuvenate skin after a heavy night out. 

Glow get em girls! 

Fallin’ around: four beauty must-haves for Autumn

top tips

The transition from Summer to Autumn can be somewhat awkward, especially in England. You can easily get caught off guard travelling without an umbrella, (rookie error), fooled by the warm-ish sun you observed throughout the day and ending the day looking like a drowned rat. Let’s face it, we never know what are we going to encounter with the weather in this country. But don’t let your make-up be as inconsistent as the weather.

autumn-cosmeticsHere are my 4 beauty essentials to help you through the colder season, amazingly all under £25:

  1. Mac matte lipstick in Russian Red, £15.50

This deep red shade is perfect for the winter months, it allows you to channel your inner Russian goddess. Frosty, matte, with plenty of colour. Best suited with natural eyebrows, lined eyes, and a natural base on your face.

2. Urban Decay make-up setting spray in Oil Control, £22

Although I must admit before fully committing myself to buying the full size version, I purchased the travel size bottle which is £9. I am far from disappointed. This spray will help your make-up fight the elements, and by the end of the day you’ll still look like the same person, instead of a melting greasy mess that resembles a kebab shop worker. Can be used everyday, and especially handy for nights out.

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex waterproof mascara, £19

I will start by shamelessly bursting everyone’s bubble, and stating that this mascara does not live up to it’s name. However, this waterproof version of the beauty industries favourite mascara is brilliant for showery, wet weather. This mascara is one that you need to build up, it’s quite thin and light – but looks great on your dressing table, and is worth buying purely to see your boyfriends reaction when he clocks the name on the mascara tube. (Would be perfect with the Russian Red lipstick, for natural lashes and a bold lip for Autumn).

4. Urban Decay moondust eyeshadow in Space Cowboy, £14

This picture does not do justice for this amazing eye-shadow. It is more pigmented than a Mac lipstick, and believe me they are like paint. The moon dust eye shadows literally look like moon dust; they are sparkly and make you feel like a princess. Gone are the days of trying to use eyelash glue to stick glitter to your eyes. No No Hun, this is pigmented as ever and so so easy to apply. Glide gently over eyes for a natural day look, or compliment with darker shades to create a beautiful smoky eye.

Secluded: how to beauty shop on rural holidays 

top tips

Because no matter where you holiday this summer 2016, you will find a source to purchase cosmetics or perfume. Or even hair products. Any type of item which epitomises vanity? 

Even if you are in the middle of a jaw-droppingly beautiful Sardinian village, where the locals twist up their necks to stare at you as they must have never seen a platinum blonde girl before – and absolutely no one speaks English.  Yep, there is hidden treasures even in the most remote of places.

Here’s my top tips for rural beauty buys; 

1. Locality 

If it isn’t already blindingly obvious – find out which local produce is popular wherever you are staying. For example, last year in Crete I found olive oil products were available in almost every store – as they are locally grown and produced. Natural products are often better for the skin and hair, you are helping independant business’ and you end up with unique, quaint, raw products. 

Triple threat right there. 

2. Hidden treasure 

As well as local produce, you can also try products unique to the area you are staying. For example, I have just come back from Sardinia and I found a perfume, (infact the holy grail of all perfumes) produced and sold only in Sardinia – which I fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Chanel girl at heart – but this perfume is a strong contender in winning my affection. 

Aqua di sardegna – smeralda (Incase anyone wants to smell heaven on earth – an absolute orgasm for your nose) 

It’s well worth paying attention to brands you’ve never heard of – sometimes you find some real bargains which can grow to become some of your favourite products. 


3. Marketplace 

Any rural area will always have a flea market. The original hipster place to be seen. 

But honestly, you can find some real bargains here – again, local produce will be rife. Also hand made jewellery, handbags, purses etc will be available. 

Unique pieces aplenty. 

4. Deep

Any dedicated shopper/ shopping addict will know, sometimes the best products are in the most unlikely of shops. 

When beauty shopping on holiday, try supermarkets and pharmacies for unique products. For example in Sardinia I found a Loreal shampoo which is only sold in salons in the uk – specifically for colour damaged hair. It was great to see that top quality product in a tiny supermarket in a province of Sardinia. 

They may also sell their own branded make up which could be well worth trying. 

The local pharmacy was also a victim of my spending. They had, again, unique perfumes from the region; amazing amounts of skin care by well known and lesser known brands. A make up stand, containing cosmetics by two brands I had never heard of (but they looked top quality). 

If you look hard enough you will find something you either need – or don’t so much need, but want – because you can never have too much make up. Perfume. Hair products. Clothes. Shoes. Handbags… 

Happy hunting. 

The skin issue: miracle of hyaluronic acid

opinion piece

I always get a certain buzz from using products with specially added ingredients that are used in cosmetic procedures; maybe I’m a secret fiend for surgical enhancement.

So perhaps assuming skincare products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid (used in fillers) claiming to help reverse the anti-ageing process is purely psychological? Do they really work at fighting the wrinkles?

Hyaluronic acid is known scientifically for it’s ability to increase viscosity, and it is naturally found in our bodies. Often used in modern times for lip fillers and such, it is an amazing ingredient which is now expanding into the beauty industry. It has a unique ability to retain moisture, which is claimed to be a perfect anti-ageing treatment. I know I’m only 24, but better to start young I say!

Body Clique is an innovative new skincare company who fully utilise hyaluronic acid, they also use bee venom in their products. In their blog they state how it is beneficial to skin, and particularly anti-ageing: ”Bee venom is used cosmetically to trick the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung with the toxin melittin, causing the body to direct blood towards the area and therefore stimulating the production of the naturally-occurring chemicals collagen and elastin. Collagen strengthens body tissue while elastin is the protein that helps the skin to remain taut and bounce back into shape after being pressed or pinched. Moreover, the venom also has the effect of relaxing the muscles.”

They use amazingly unique ingredients, ranging from snake venom to caffeine. But do these exotic ingredients really work wonders on your face?

I was fortunate enough to receive some full size products from Body Clique, and I have to say they don’t disappoint. I was impressed at how well packaged they are, considering the company is a recent start-up. The products appear a lot more expensive than they are.

The facial oil sat on the skin a little more than desired (other facial oils tend to absorb nicely), but they did make my skin very soft. The collagen eye serum is great for under eye lines – it is rather thick so apply sparingly.

I feel like the products worked successfully, I must say my skin was very soft and supple after three days of using the facial oil with dragons fruit.It almost felt as if I had a facial in a salon, or a spa treatment. Over time this effect should progressively increase, and the appearance of fine lines should visually improve. Overall skin elasticity should improve also.

It is rare for me to scout good skincare products as I have very sensitive skin, which is usually too dry or too greasy – or worse a combination of both. Pizza face syndrome.

Unlike traditional skincare products there wasn’t an overbearing smell either, I found the products rather odourless – which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It made me feel as though the products were more natural, not enhanced with chemicals that just aren’t needed. (It also increased the surgical effect, as if I need an eye lift in my early twenties? but still).

Admittedly I have had lip fillers in the past, which also use hyaluronic acid. And I was very pleased with the natural results, because the chemical naturally occurs in our body.. Technically you aren’t injecting foreign chemicals, which could potentially be harmful.

Hyaluronic Acid you rock!

 

A new classic? Chanel No 5 L’eau: a review 

product review

The original Chanel No 5 has never been a favourite of mine. Infact, to put it rather bluntly – it reminds me of an old school m’am. A haggered bitter old woman, whose nose was always held up high as if where she existed there was better air to breathe.

It’s safe to say, the classic Chanel scents are not my cup of tea. I find them rather old fashioned (and not in a good way), and way too flowery. 

It’s uncanny because just last year I criticised Chanel for being complacent in product design, and suggested they reinvent some of their classic products, adding in a modern twist.  

So as soon as I saw that they had relaunched a new version of No 5; I could not wait to try it for myself. 

It is ridiculously hard to judge this perfume. The notes of the classic No 5 are so over powering as you first spray, and when the perfume dries you get a lighter fresher smell. Which, by the way, is divine. The after smell is great. 

I found myself sniffing at myself all day whilst wearing it. And this is usually a good sign. This usually means my nostrils are partial to whatever perfume I am wearing. So on that front it was a winner. 

I just can’t quite get over the initial smell, and how it repulsed me. And then shortly after I fell in love? Perhaps the strangest relationship with a perfume ever. 

I predict this perfume will be one of the new classics. It’s light, refreshing & who doesn’t love a reinvented classic? It’s what Chanel does best, after all. 

Overall rating: 

7.5/10