Summer Body Skincare

Before you can finish asking the question, “Who’s ready for Pimms?”, it’s already June and here we are in Summer. This Spring was the hottest season in the UK on record, which left me reaching for my favourite pair of denim shorts in lockdown, rather than on a beach somewhere far, far away. There are so many reasons why I love the warmer weather, but there is also a lot of maintenance that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for it. Whether you consider some of the below as an already essential step to your skincare, or you are just looking for some tips between us friends, below I’m sharing with you 5 new habits you can add to your body skincare routine for Summer.

1. Body brushing

The Body Shop, Body Brush

Said to help increase bloodflow, circulation and reducing the appearance of cellulite alongside exercise, I’ve been dry brushing my body twice a week before I shower, followed by moisturizing. Holding firmly, gently brush your skin upwards in small strokes, towards your heart. I then use the brush in circular motions for those stubborn areas. Similar brush linked here on Amazon.

2. Exfoliating

Baxter of California’s Exfoliating Body Bar

Whether you want to prepare for your next round of fake tan application or avoid those pesky ingrown hairs, exfoliating your body will leave you with silky soft skin. This means you can use in the shower meaning it can also easily become a habitual practice, whilst being more eco-friendly. With so many products on the market my favourite are soaps. I’ve tried the natural deodorants from Baxter of California so took a chance on this product too and it did not disappoint!

3. Hair removal

Phillips Lumea Prestige

With our Summer travel plans looking to be drastically different this year and salons currently closed for the visit to the waxing lady, all is not lost. I’ve been using the Phillips Lumea Prestige to help slow down hair growth in between salon visits. (Stay tuned for a full review soon…)

4. Dark spot corrector

Revolution Dark Spot Corrector

Whether it’s freckles, dark spots or discoloration from acne etc, I give you this the miracle serum. After 3 uses in a week I could already see a difference. Tell everyone about this! On offer now (ends today) at Boots for £6.67 rather than it’s normal price of £10!

5. SPF

Mimitika Face Suncream

The skin on our face is much more delicate than the rest of our body, so I’ve been ensuring I apply a face suncream particularly during the U.K. heatwave! I am conscious to protect my skin from premature aging, prevent burning and importantly protect my face (& body) from skin cancer. With so many brands to choose from, this is a vital step that should not be missed. I’ve been using Mimitika which I discovered through my Birchbox prescription a while ago. This suncream sits on the face lightly without any oily residue and is on offer now for £14 rather than it’s usual £20!

What steps have you been adding to your Summer body skincare routine? Let me know below!

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Kardashian Hair? |Andrew Fitzsimon X Primark

6 Week America Road Trip in 3 Minutes!

30 Lessons I Learned As a Brit in America

Kardashian Hair? |Andrew Fitzsimon X Primark

Earlier this year Andrew Fitzsimon, hair stylist to the most debated interesting Kardashian to look at, released his very own collaboration with Primark. That’s right, Andrew may have Kourtney K, one of the world’s most famous celebrities as a client and a pal, but he was thinking of the everygirl when he released this range with Primarni, A.K.A., Primark! With killer prices, a hair accessory and essential to cover your every beauty need, how does the AF range actually stack up?

Let’s start with the basics:

Where?
Available in Primark in the U.K. you can buy his hair accessories online, but most of the products can only be bought in store. Luckily, I purchased mine back in March (pre-lockdown) in the Primark flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, London.

Products
There is an abundance to choose from, but Andrew has released a large selection of the following, complete with his iconic AF branding:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Hair Mask
  • Hair Oil
  • Glam Styling Spray (Heat protector)
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Texture Spray
  • Bounce Spray (Hairspray)
  • Silk Hair Ties & Scrunchies
  • Flat (No mark) Clips and Hair Claws
  • Flat Paddle Brush
  • Blowdry Brush
  • Rail Comb
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair Curler
  • Make-Up Bag
  • Eye Mask

Range

  • Shine
  • Volume
  • Nourish

Price

  • Hair accessories = £2-3
  • Sprays = £2.50
  • Shampoos = £3.50
  • Hair oil = £3.50

100684991_1133728900312465_3871328279021486080_nFirst things first, I love how aesthetically pleasing each product in the range is! If I had it my way, I would have bought them all to try. Alas, I am confined to a mere drawer of hair accessories and tools, so I decided to sample only a few. As pictured above, I bought the Shine range, Luxe Hair Oil, 3 of the sprays, satin scrunchies and blowdry brush.

Since purchasing the AF range, I’ve now used the Shine range a handful of times. First and foremost, I just adore how the shampoo, conditioner and mask each make my hair smell incredible and in turn, how it makes me feel a million bucks! And importantly, as you can see in this first impressions video, there actually is some noticeable shine to my hair; a result that is usually only obtained at hair salons.

However, I do feel the products slightly disappointed me on hair softness. If I compare this range to my typical go-to affordable hair brand TRESemmé, or to my favourite splurge buy, Kerastasé, my hair was noticeably less soft. Usually, I don’t need to use hair oil after I wash my hair, but I feel it’s more of a necessity with this range. I’d recommend to generously apply the Luxe Hair Oil on your hair when both wet and dry, to get that super soft feeling. On the flip side, you could also use a lot more conditioner or leave the hair mask on your hair for longer, to try and obtain your desired softness.

A big plus for me, is that so far none of the products have contributed to any colour build up – a common issue for blonde/dyed hair. In addition to this, the Luxe Hair Oil hasn’t tinted my hair with brassy tones either, an unwanted result I have noticed with other common drugstore brands. So, how do I rate the products I tried overall?

98884451_291939498487568_4991257395343654912_n

Shampoo, Conditioner & Mask = 3.5/5
Although my hair lasted 3 days before it needed washing again with workouts in between, other brands that are on par with price, have left my hair feeling softer.

Hair Oil = 4/5
I’d recommend using at least 2-3 pumps of this oil on both wet and dry hair. If you massage it into your hair as suggested you will reap the benefits!

Hair Ties =3/5
These are really cute and I wear them on a daily basis even when I exercise, and I can confirm that my hair did not slip/fall out… even on those jump lunges! I also haven’t had any battles trying to detangle my hair from the bands. However, I was disappointed with the finished quality on the larger hair scrunchies which had loose threads.

Blowdry brush = 4.5/5
No complaints here! This brush is really sturdy and comfortable to hold whilst I style my hair, and the bristles didn’t pull or frizz my hair whilst drying.

Smell & Appearance = 5/5
Again I cannot emphasize just how much I love the sweet, fruity scent of these products!

Price = 4.5/5
This range is so affordable that I almost gave it a 5/5, however I certainly wouldn’t begrudge paying a tiny bit more if it meant the products were finished to a slightly higher standard.

What would I buy again?
I have found it difficult to find a Texture spray that my hair likes, but this one does the trick. The Glam Styling spray gave me movie star vibes and I actually really like the hair oil and think it’s good value for money!

Overall rating = 4*!
Although the quality could be better for certain products, considering how affordable the whole range is, I think it’s a bargain. If you’re on a budget but fancy a small splurge, I recommend you give the AF range a go.

Have you tried any of the AF X Primark products? What did you think?

If you want me to review any other products, let me know in the comments below!

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Blog Posts
Lockdown | A Day In My Life In 10 photos
One Month In Lockdown
Touching the Surface of Amsterdam

Videos
AF X Primark | First Impressions Video
AF X Primark (Part 2) | How I Curl My Hair Video
Travel Vlog | Dublin

6 Week America Road Trip in 3 Minutes!

The world of travel may be different as we know it, but to satisfy those blues check out my America road trip recap on my YouTube channel!

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Make sure you read the below posts too:

The California Travel Diaries | Welcome to San Francisco

30 Lessons I Learned As a Brit in America

A New York Minute | Day 38 – 44

30 Lessons I Learned As a Brit in America

Being a Brit in the USA can have it’s perks. It’s easy to strike up conversation, as people seem to instantly like you for your “cute” accent. However, it can also be quite interesting to be a Brit in the USA for other reasons. Here is a list of things that I wish someone had told me before I visited America for the first time, as well as some of the downright obvious differences between the two!

Everyday Life

  • Everything is back to front. The doors lock on the opposite way to the U.K. This is a good reminder if you’re fumbling at the door with your keys at 2am whilst slightly inebriated…
  • Washing machines are not in the kitchen, but are in a separate room
  • Only the minority of people hang their washing outside (at least in California). This was very surprising considering California is one of the hottest states, yet everyone uses tumble dryers – even in the Summer. In comparison, there are us Brits who run outside when it’s raining to collect the washing from the line, come Winter or Summer!
  • All cash looks deceivingly similar. Just use your Monzo or Starling card to save the hassle for larger purchases, and save your dollar bills for tipping
  • TV adverts come on (what feels like) every 5 minutes in America
  • Farmer’s Markets are a great way to support local businesses, save money and have an enjoyable evening out
  • Kettles just aren’t a thing in the USA
  • Plug outlets don’t have on and off switches, unlike the U.K.
  • Marijuana is legal in some states
  • Even me (a very positive and optimistic person), fairs slightly cynical in comparison to my American counterparts
  • Despite the same language, the lingo is quite different. My brother’s wife (an American herself), sent me this message me before we travelled and I’m glad she did!
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Driving

  • To rent a car you typically need to be at least 25. If you are younger than this, expect to pay heftier prices!
  • In the U.K. you drive on the left hand side of the road, vs in the States you drive on the right hand side. I did have one scary but short incident, where we accidentally drove on the wrong side of the road. Luckily (or not as it may be) it was dark and there were no other cars around
  • You can turn right on a red light
  • Everyone pretty much drives an automatic car in America vs. “stick” (manual) which Brits learn to drive on!
  • When filling up petrol, prepay first with your card or go into the petrol station and say how many dollars worth, you want to fill up your tank. Proceed to fill up your car’s tank, clicking the button to hold up the pump. If you filled up less than you paid for, go back into the store and collect the change
  • Some streets have cleaning days; remember to read the signs and move your car if necessary to not get fined
  • Read the parking signs everywhere and double check with passers by so your car doesn’t get towed…! (3 guesses what happened to me)
  • You don’t pay for parking in shopping malls unlike the U.K.

Tipping

  • In the U.K. a standard tip is 10% for your meal. Although, I was aware that tipping is a big part of hospitality culture, I learned that (roughly) you should tip 15%= good service, 18% = great service and 20% = excellent service
  • Tip a dollar per beer, but more if you’re ordering (a complex to make) cocktail, like a Mojito
  • What I didn’t know is how to tip. For anyone who hasn’t been to America I’ll state what seems obvious to Americans. If paying by card, when the waiter comes out to collect payment, don’t input your card pin straight away. The restaurant/bar will scan your card first, The waiter will return with a receipt for you to write down how much you are paying plus the tip. The tip will be collected from your account at a later date. In the U.K. just add your tip at the end of the meal either by cash or card, and it will be taken at the same time!

Going Out

  • Baseball fans of opposing teams sit all mixed together in the stadium, rather than on separate sides like they do in the U.K for football matches
  • (As a tourist) if you wish to buy an alcoholic drink at any baseball game etc., take your passport with you. Without it you won’t be served even if you have another form of identification, such as your driving license
  • You need to ask for “ice water”, if you would like some water with ice
  • Expect to pay more at the end of your meal, as tax is added on afterwards
  • The National Parks are huge and amazing! Plan to spend extra time to really explore these beauty spots
  • Be safe and ask for recommendations from locals or hospitality staff, on which areas or streets to avoid on your travels
  • Buy travel insurance to cover any medical costs – unlike the wonderful NHS, health insurance is essential in America
  • There is and never will be an establishment that compares to a British pub!

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Insanity Workout & Smoothie – Vlog!

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