Phillips Sonicare Protective Clean | Review

Six months ago I made a decision which really has changed my daily life… I bought a new toothbrush! On the theme of wellness this month, I thought I’d take a different angle and drive your attention to those pearly whites. It’s rare I write posts about something so basic, but I have been so impressed with the results of my recent upgrade, so I thought I ought to write a review.

I have always tried to take great care of my teeth, and to this day *touch wood* I haven’t had any filings or dental work. I keep up with my two dentist and hygienist appointments a year but other than that, I stick to the basics of brushing and flossing twice a day. However I must admit, flossing has always been touch and go. Yet now that I’m not scrambling in the morning to get out of the door to catch my train to work, it’s definitely become more of a regular habit, as opposed to a white lie that my hygienist would hear. After spotting a discounted deal on the Phillips Sonicare Protective Clean brush in pastel pink I decided to invest. I mean, why shouldn’t your toothbrush be both functional and aesthetically pleasing?

Find on Amazon here

In addition to the toothbrush you also get a travel case, charger and one toothbrush head. At first, I was surprised just how ticklish the toothbrush was. I genuinely had to turn it off because there was a lot of frothy dribbling toothpaste everywhere, (there’s a reason why this is a blog post rather than a video!). But I stuck it out and am so glad that I did. I like the fact that the built in pressure sensor lets you know if you are brushing too hard, and the brush even reminds you when it’s time to replace the toothbrush head. Now that is smart! The brush claims to remove seven times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and whilst I may not be able to prove if this is true, I can say that I can really notice the difference of how clean my teeth feel. Since using this over the last few months, it has also definitely made my teeth whiter- and that’s without even changing my toothpaste. I recently paid a visit to the dentist, and even they commented on how great my teeth are looking! Plus I can confirm that the toothpaste froth is now down to a minimum.

Despite using an electric toothbrush for at least seven years, it’s fair to say that there absolutely is a difference between electric toothbrushes. I now actually look forward to brushing my teeth! You may be thinking, “But Natalia, it really isn’t that big of a deal.” Well I would argue this upgrade is up there on one of the best purchases I have made this year! Now there’s something I didn’t think I’d say, but hey that’s 2020 for you! Get ready to add to basket on Friday 27th November!

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8 Minute Total Body Workout

If you have followed me on my blog throughout 2020, you will know that living an active lifestyle has been a main focus of mine this year. I am pleased to say that I am now into my 11th month of consistent exercise and I am feeling better than ever. I personally love exercise routines which have a combination of both Pilates and high intensity interval training (HIIT). I find them fun, but also challenging enough to build up a sweat. Pilates is great for improving your posture and muscle tone, as well as improving your strength and flexibility. HIIT however focuses on quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by a short recovery period which will be sure to raise your heart rate, and burn fat in quickly! If you are looking for a new workout to try, here is my current favourite total body routine. Save the below workout for either your next warm-up, or use as a basis for a circuit. For a warm-up I would recommend that each exercise should be completed for 30 seconds and be repeated twice through. Let’s get that heart rate pumping!

1. Mountain climber variations
Mountain climbers or floor sprints as they may also be known, are sure to get your heart rate up!

Mountain Climbers | Illustrated Exercise Guide
  • Variation 1. Begin in the plank position, with arms directly under the shoulders and lift your right knee straight forward, as if to sprint towards your right elbow. Repeat with left knee.
  • Variation 2. Bring your right knee diagonally to your left elbow. Repeat on left handside.
  • Variation 3. Bring your leg to the outside of your elbow and repeat on both sides.

2. In and out’s
Not as evil as a regular burpee!

  • Position yourself in the plank, but jump forward to bring your knees directly under your chest.
  • Next jump back into the plank and repeat.

3. Forearm hip dips

This one targets your core, but specifically your obliques!

  • Position yourself in the plank but this time rest on your forearms.
  • Twist your core from side to side, trying to keep your back as straight as possible, without dipping into the floor. It’s harder than it looks!
70+ Core Excerises ideas | workout guide, abs and obliques workout, spotebi

4. The 100
Time for some Pilates! This classic Pilates move is sure to burn your abs!

Pilates Illustrated: Your Core-Strengthening Workout!
  • Sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front, bring your legs up into the tabletop position. Make sure to keep your head, neck and shoulders lifted off the mat.
  • Your lower back/spine area should be on the mat. Imagine there is a string going from your belly button, through your back to the mat to keep you centered.
  • Taking deep inhales and exhales, begin to bump your arms up and down for 100 reps (or however many you can do in 30 seconds).

5. Dish tuck
Another Pilates fave – remember to exhale for power!

Seated Knee Tucks | Illustrated Exercise Guide
  • For beginners, place your arms just beside you on the mat. If you are looking for a bit more of a challenge, extend your arms back and out.
  • Tuck your knees into your chest and repeat, exhaling as you bring them in, and repeat.

6. Oblique side plank
Wake up muscles you never knew you had!

Side Plank | Illustrated Exercise Guide | Workout guide, Abs and obliques  workout, Oblique workout
  • Stack your feet either on top of each other as above, or put the top foot just in front of the bottom leg for extra support.
  • Either hold for 30 seconds with your hand on hip or hand in the air, or do pulses towards the floor.
  • Repeat on the other side on the second set and feel the burn!

7. Tricep dips
Give a new meaning to couch potato

Tricep Dips | Illustrated Exercise Guide
  • Using either your sofa or a chair, place yourself just over the edge, extending your legs forward and elbows back.
  • Slowly lower your body into a 90 degree angle, keeping your elbows straight back and close to target the triceps, rather than pointed out wide.
  • Lift yourself back up and repeat.

8. Squat jumps
End on a high!

Squat Jacks | Illustrated Exercise Guide
  • Standing with feet hip width apart, lower yourself down into a squat, keeping your upper body as straight as possible.
  • Push back into your heels and jump up in an explosive movement, landing back into the starting position and repeat.

Let me know if you tried the workout and what you thought of it!

The above sporting images can be found on Spotebi, Style Blue Print and The Every Best of

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Day to Night Skincare Routine | SENSITIVE SKIN

Feeling confident in your own skin can be very hard, let alone doing it bare faced. After years of teenage acne, just when I thought my days of spots and blemishes were over, I suffered from a 6 month allergic reaction to a high end make-up brand. I’ve since been VERY careful on what products I use on my face. Fast forward 7 years later, and here I am!

In the video below I show you my exact DAY to NIGHT skincare routine which I adopted over lockdown. Over the last 6 months I’ve mostly been using Revolution Skincare products, which are vegan, fragrance-free, inexpensive and have left my skin glowing! Watch the video to see my exact skincare routine, with all products linked below.

Items used:

Other items mentioned:

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Lockdown | A Day In My Life In 10 photos

As we each learn to adapt to our “new normal”, I thought I’d share with you my newest day to day routine that I have adopted over the last 8 weeks. Although life has become a lot more remote, in many ways I am a lot more connected to my friends and family; something so important to keep us going and staying positive during lockdown. Today I am sharing with you just some of the things that I get up to in a “typical” day in just 10 photos.

1. Morning Routine

I am lucky that my job allows me to continue to work from home.  I still “begin” my work day at 8:00 AM, but take advantage of the extra sleep, waking up between 7:00 – 7:45 AM (typically the latter), rather than my usual 6:30 AM wake-up call. After this extra lie in, I often shower first thing in the morning to help get my day started.

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2. I always make sure I change into clothes that aren’t pyjamas, particularly as a lot of my day is spent on video calls. Some days I choose jeans so that I am more in “work mode” (or just sensor checking these still fit),  but I mostly like to keep it comfy with either a pair of joggers or some activewear.

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3. A staple in my morning routine is to keep my skin moisturized, even on make-up free days. Here are some of my most used products with those extra items that help give me a glow!

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4. Working Hours

Fortunately I have a desk in my room which looks out onto a window, meaning I get a lot of natural daylight helping keep the blues at bay.  This is where you would find me and my typical WFH set up!

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4. Next of course, tea – and lots of it!

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5.  Daily walks; I go for a walk every day for around 30 – 60 minutes either on my lunch break or after work. If I don’t have any company I love to walk around my local village listening to a podcast or video calling my boyfriend.

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6. Post Work

Exercise! I began a workout series in the new year and somehow have stuck to it. The first 4-6 weeks, I exercised 3 times a week. Today marks my 16th week and I’m so happy to say I’ve been managing exercising 5 days a week, on top of the walks. These exercises consists of a mixture of Pilates, HIIT, weights and the occasional run here and there.

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7. One thing that I always vowed to do more of when I was commuting to work, was making the conscious effort to be creative. Now that I have those 2 hours a day back in my life, I am utilizing them. Whether it’s editing videos or writing, I am really enjoying having the creative buzz back in my life! However some days, I use this allotted time to video call either my family, friends or boyfriend (as we don’t live together so are separately self-isolating). Oh and I keep a bottle of water to hand so I don’t forget to hydrate during these hours where time seems to disappear!

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8. Cleanse & Night Time Routine 

Just as we have our morning rituals, I make sure I stick to an evening routine to help me wind down. Removing my make-up properly and changing into pyjamas an hour or two before I go to bed, helps me mentally unwind from the day and prepare for sleep. Plus, it’s important to continue some of those good habits you formed pre-quarantine life!

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9. Herbal Teas – I also like to have a hot drink before bed to enjoy with my number 10…

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10. Watching one of my favourite series! Recently I finished watching This Is Us, which is available on Amazon Prime video. It will have you crying one minute and laughing the next!

TIU

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know what your working from home/ self-isolation routine looks like in 10 photos and make sure to tag me in it!

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My Skin Story

Let’s talk skincare. We all want perfect skin and there are so many factors to take into consideration to achieve it; diet, hormones, make-up, skin conditions, allergies… the list continues. Unfortunately we often have to learn the hard way what works for our skin, which products really get rid of our dark eye circles and what’s causing our skin to breakout or be oily in the first place. Now, age 23 I have the skin that I craved as a teen, with only occasional breakouts and no dry skin in sight. I’m a huge lover of Nivea and it works wonders for my skin, if you’re interested in my skincare routine it can be found here. However this wasn’t always the case so let me talk you through My Skin Story.

Teenage Years

As a teenager I had the typical spot prone skin that was oily and full of white heads. Beautiful right! I tried everything to clear up my skin from Clearasil to Simple, face scrubs and steaming my skin, I used only face wipes to take off my make up, I barely drank any water and still nothing. When I put it like that it’s obvious that I wasn’t really taking care of my skin and the face washes I was using only made my skin breakout more often. It wasn’t until I was about 16 years old where I began drinking more than 500ml of water a day and started taking my make-up off properly that I started to see some differences. I suppose a large part of it was standard hormonal teenage skin and I didn’t listen to my skin enough to see which ingredients in the face washes were irritating me. I was happy with any product that promised to combat acne prone skin and get rid of blackheads. I must stress this isn’t enough and it’s worth visiting a doctor when you notice significant changes or problematic skin. Problems with your skin also impacts your confidence significantly as that’s what’s everyone can see when they look at you. It’s also so difficult to cover spots well (particularly if you’re young and inexperienced with make-up!) More often than not, covering up the spots actually makes them even more noticeable. I really don’t miss those early teenage years looking back on the fun of acne!

18 Years Old

When I hit 18 years old my skin seemed to have settled a lot more as I listened to what my skin needed. I noticed that I would get spots more often if I ate junk food or if I hadn’t slept a lot. I stopped using face washes and made sure my make-up was taken off properly, ensuring that I cleansed and toned my skin daily. I also used Sudocrem on my spots as soon as they started to flare up, rather than just any old spot cream. These small habits seemed to really give my skin the TLC it needed. When it came towards nearing the end of my schooling days and completing January exams, my Mum treated me to some new and luxurious make-up as a treat. My beauty dreams came true as I was treated to some Chanel foundation, powder and lipstick. The make-up was applied by a professional Chanel make-up artist and I felt glamorous; I remember that she even complimented me on what lovely skin I had. All those teenage acne angst filled years were truly over… I thought!

The next day I noticed a small breakout on my skin. I thought nothing of it, attributing it to hormones or lack of water. The days following I noticed that I was getting more  and more spots. Realizing that this was now unusual for me, I mentioned it to my Mum who said we should go return the make-up as it’s clearly an allergy to the foundation. We spoke to the make-up artist who reluctantly returned my make-up insisting that she wasn’t the one who served us (as if that would even make a difference?) My Mum quite rightly said it’s not a treat to get luxurious make-up if it makes you break out and you can’t even use the product! In the end we got our money back and I bought some skin friendly Clinique foundation instead.

It was difficult to find some photos from this period, as I would have avoided cameras as much as I could. But I hope the below photos show you just how much an allergic reaction to make-up can have on your skin (P.S. Please excuse that Frodo ear in the second photo!)

As you can see here all of the spots were under the skin , so there wasn’t anything I could do (or what I knew to do about it). Naively I carried on using my Chanel powder over my Clinique foundation, thinking that it was just the foundation that I had an allergy to.  Over the next few weeks my skin got dramatically worse. It suddenly clicked that I should go see a doctor and she confirmed that I had an allergic reaction to the make-up, most likely caused by the perfume in the products. She informed me that it would take about 6 months for it to clear up and I should immediately stop using any perfumed make-up on my skin. It was about April/May at this point, I think. In the Summer before I began University I went on a trip with all of my friends to Ayia Napa, Cyprus in July and was certain that the Cypriot sun would clear up my skin. I was sadly wrong. Nonetheless lo and behold come October my skin was back to itself and I started University with a mostly fresh and clear face.

Now

Here is a little throwback of me over the Christmas 2017 (I’ve misplaced my camera’s HDMI cable so I couldn’t upload a more recent one that you haven’t seen before!)

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After having a skin allergic reaction for about 10 months I’m very careful about what make-up I use. I occasionally wear Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation but I notice that I do get a spot or two appear the day after, despite following my normal skincare routine. I only realized that the Double Wear Foundation was causing me to break out more, when I was on holiday last Summer and used Rimmel’s Tinted Moisturiser instead of a full blown foundation. Whilst using the tinted moisturizer I noticed that my skin was looking a lot better. I went from always having a couple spots to deal with, to barely any which is mostly caused by the factors previously mentioned i.e. hormones or junk food! That’s my skin story leading us up to until about now. If you’re interested what make-up products I currently use, that are super friendly to my sensitive skin check it out on my blog post What’s in My Make-up Bag.