Thursday, 6 August 2020

Staycation

At the beginning of the year we planned a number of trips in the caravan however we only actually managed one of these, a very wet few days in Grange over Sands back in February. We had planned to go to Scarborough at the end of July but due to the corona virus pandemic we ended up having a staycation. Having both worked non stop throughout the pandemic we were more than ready for a break and it was actually really nice exploring our local area. We did lots of walks, even managing a 14 mile walk one day and also did a few rides on the tandem.

The weather was mixed, we had a couple of nice days but then got soaked on a couple of walks too.  

This picture is from a 40 mile bike ride we did, it was the longest ride we have done for a while and it's surprising how quickly you get out of shape. At the beginning of lockdown we did a 60 mile bike ride but once Mark started working Saturdays again we stopped riding and have only just started again and 40 miles was far enough last week.


This is the cycle track between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, it was really quiet on the day we went but that was proabably because it was pouring down when we started. At one point we had to shelter under a tree as the rain was so bad but luckily the weather improved and we even got to see the sun on the way back.
These are the railings on an old train track near where we live. The line was closed in 1957 and we were quite surprised that the railings were still standing and in reasonable condition after all this time. We were even lucky enough to see a couple of deer in the field.


This picture is from a walk we did around Stocks Reservoir. It is a nice gentle walk around the reservoir and there is a handy cafe part way round where we stopped for a drink.
This is a new bridge over the river Ribble on the Ribble Way, the original suspension bridge was washed away a few years ago and this is the replacement. The river is quite a way beneath the bridge and it is was quite a shock when we heard the original bridge had been washed away. It was quite a wet day when we went but again the sunshine came out towards the end of the walk.

One day we walked from Grassington to Kettlewell, this was 14 miles and quite a walk but the scenery was lovely. The weather was a little changeable but we had our waterproofs so it didn't really matter too much.
We have a lot of public footpaths near where we live and tend to do the same walks so we decided to try a few different ones, we discovered some lovely walks and will definitely be doing them again.
The highest walk we did was Pen y Ghent in Yorkshire, this is one of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. We set off early to make sure we got a parking space and had a really nice day out.

We managed to persuade Luke to come on a bike ride with us and promised him an ice cream. We were just riding up the hill to the ice cream shop when he spotted the "closed" sign. He wasn't happy until we realised that the were had arrived just are they opened and hadn't changed the sign! It's a good job we arrived then as people were already queuing for ice creams and by the time we left the queues were really long!





Saturday, 18 July 2020

Beauty Roundup July 2020


Beauty Round up July 2020



I love trying out new beauty products but with the current pandemic restrictions I haven't been out shopping for anything other than food so was very excited when I was asked by Whats Good to Do to review a selection of beauty products. I received a wide variety of different products from a number of different brands and was able to have a couple of pampering nights trying them all out. There are some amazing products and hopefully you will be inspired to try some of them too!

Seams Silk Touch Hand & Nail Oil RRP £22



The Seams Silk Touch hand and nail oil is a fast absorbing oil rich in essential fatty acids and natural actives helping to soften, nourish and restore dry skin and nails. My hands are generally quite dry and with increased hand washing they had become quite chapped and sore. This is the first time I had used an oil on my hands and I have to say I was really impressed with it. The 28ml bottle has a pipette to dispense the oil, meaning you don’t waste any and you only need a few drops to moisturise both hands, meaning the bottle will last a long time.  The oil feels silky on your hands and seemed to just melt into my skin. Surprisingly my hands didn’t feel greasy at all after application and after 2 days I could see a huge improvement in the chapped skin between my fingers. I have been using this oil morning and night and can highly recommend it.


Alteya sent a couple of different products to try.



Alteya Pure Facial Cleanser & Wash – Rose & Jasmine RRP £7.20

This is the first time I have come across Alteya Organics and they are definitely a brand I will be purchasing from again. I had a look at their website and they are a family firm who grow a lot of their ingredients and employ local people when harvesting.

Made from organically grown and ethically harvested plants the Alteya Pure rose and jasmine facial cleanser & wash is lovely face wash. Enriched with pure essential oils to gently cleanse, rejuvenate and improve your skins natural glow it felt like a real treat using it. The 150ml bottle has a flip lip and is really easy to dispense and the handy sized bottle is perfect for travelling. The cleanser is a nice consistency and the instructions were easy to follow; just apply a small amount to wet hands and massage gently over face and neck before rinsing. I used a muslin cloth to remove the facial cleanser but you can just rinse it away too. I thought the cleanser was gentle on my skin but also very effective at removing make up and daily impurities. It left my skin feeling lovely and soft and I can highly recommend the product. There are a few different fragrances in the Pure range and I already have my eye on the grapefruit & zdravetz facial cleanser & wash.


I am a huge fan of rose scented products and the Bio Damascena Rose Otto face wash smells simply amazing. It is the perfect way to awaken my senses in the morning and left my face feeling cleansed and soft afterwards. This certified organic face wash is the perfect product to gently remove all traces of make up and every day impurities from your face. The face wash is the perfect consistency, lathering well in my hands and doesn’t slip through my fingers in the shower. The 250ml bottle is a good size and the pump dispenser makes it easy to dispense just the right amount. The organic Bulgarian rose oil helps improve complexion, rejuvenates and balances skin and is suitable for daily use for all skin types. Alteya Organics grow their own roses so you can guarantee that they are only using the best ingredients for their skincare products.
  

I am a keen hiker and cyclist and spend a huge amount of time outdoors throughout the year, regardless of the weather. Because of this I do suffer badly from chapped lips so a good lip balm is an essential product for me. I have found that using lip balm every night before I go to sleep helps keep my lips moisturised and keeps my lips in tip top condition. Alteya Organics Lavender & Mint lipbalm comes nicely packaged in a carboard box with plenty of information about the product, the company and a list of ingredients. The lipbalm is in a traditional “twist up” tube and is the perfect size to fit in a handbag or pocket, making it perfect to take out when cycling or walking. I can smell the lavender slightly more than the mint and it feels pleasant on the lips, not too sticky and a little tingly which is quite pleasant. On the Alteya website it says that the lipbalm moisturises the lips and protects from harsh weather, I haven’t had chance to test in the winter yet but judging by how my lips feel I am convinced it will become a staple part of my winter walking and cycling kit.

Shea Moisture African Water Mint & Ginger Detox Body Wash RRP £10.99



I have used Shea Moisture hair products before but this is the first time I had tried any of their body products so I was keen to see if they are as good as the hair products are. The African Water Mint & Ginger Detox body wash comes in a 384ml flip top bottle which is easy to use. The body wash is quite runny so I found it easier to put it on a flannel first rather than in my hand so that I didn’t waste any. The minty fragrance hits you as soon as the body wash is out of the bottle, it is fresh and minty and a great way to wake you up in a morning. The body wash lathered well and left my skin feeling cleansed and refreshed, sometimes shower gels can leave my skin a little dry but this wasn’t the case with this one. My skin felt lovely and soft and I found I didn’t need to use quite as much body lotion which was an added bonus! I especially liked using it as a bubble bath, it created plenty of bubbles and the invigorating scent was perfect for clearing my head after a particularly stressful day at work. It is available to buy from the Look Fantastic website here




If you are a keen traveller then Moxi are the brand for you. The Moxi Bare Faced Cleanser Infused make up removal pads are cotton squares infused with a gentle cleansing formula. To activate the cleanser you just add water and use a circular motion to wipe the cleansing pad over your face. The cleansing pads are suitable for all types of skin, even sensitive skin and a pack contains 30 pads. When travelling abroad with only hand luggage they are the perfect option as they weigh next to nothing and don’t contain any liquid so don’t eat into your precious liquid allowance. The pads were very effective at removing make up, I wear a full face of make up for work, foundation, eye shadow, mascara etc and one pad was sufficient to remove it all. My face felt lovely and fresh afterwards and I will certainly be buying these again as they are a great product and perfect for when we start travelling again.


Moxi have certainly put a lot of thought into their cleansing products and come up with liquid free products that are perfect for travelling. The powder pod cleansers are tiny hexagonal pods filled with a powder cleanser that you simply add water to. They are perfect to put in your washbag and take up very little space and again don’t eat into your liquid allowance or weight allowance when taking hand luggage on a plane. The pods are not much more than 1cm square and contain enough powder to effectively cleanse your face. They have a foil lid that is easy to remove and you pour the powder into your hand and add a little water and work the powder into a lather. Once you have the desired consistency you simply massage over your face and then rinse. By adding varying amounts of water, you can adjust the exfoliation so it is perfect for everyone. I found it was easier to use a muslin cloth to make sure all traces of the product were removed. It was very efficient at removing all traces of make up and left my skin feeling fresh and clean.

Batiste Love is Love Dry Shampoo RRP £2.99



If you are in a rush and don’t have the time to wash and dry your hair then dry shampoo can be a lifesaver, making greasy dull hair fresh and bouncy again in a matter of minutes. It is also the perfect piece of beauty kit to take to a festival to keep your hair looking good without needing to wash it. Batiste have been around for over 40 years, using their expertise to help women (and men) achieve fabulous hair in an instant, they have been the UK’s number 1 dry shampoo brand for over 30 years so they really know their stuff when it comes to haircare. Batiste dry shampoo is a starch based product that comes in an aerosol can. You hold it 12cm away from your head and spray it directly on to your roots and then massage it in.  The new Batiste Love is Love dry shampoo is a limited edition with a fruity and bright fragrance and left my hair smelling fantastic. I love this new fragrance and it was great at perking up my hair between washes.




Tropic Skincare was founded by Susie Ma, she grew up in Cairns, Australia surrounded by an abundance of natural ingredients and this upbringing has had a huge effect on the products that Tropic create. The Tropic Great Barrier sun lotion is beautifully packaged in a brightly coloured paper sleeve. Typically since I received the sun cream it has done nothing but rain but luckily today the sun has finally made an appearance and I have been able to try it out. I spend a lot of time outdoors, walking and cycling and always wear a sun cream to protect my skin. The Tropic Great Barrier sun lotion has a lovely fragrance with a hint of coconut and is really easy to apply. It absorbs easily and doesn’t leave my skin greasy or sticky. It is water resistant so perfect for beach holidays. I tried a small amount on my son and he liked the fragrance, normally he complains that they smell too girly so that is a bonus point from me! It isn’t the cheapest sun cream around but as I do spend a lot of time outdoors and use it over the summer months when I am walking and cycling I do think it is worth it as I prefer to use
sun cream with natural ingredients rather than one that is full of chemicals and Tropic skincare products are derived from 100% pure plant extracts.



We all know the dangers of the sun on our skin and whilst most people religiously apply suncream whilst on holiday they don’t tend to apply it as much when at home. The sun releases UV rays which are harmful to our skin so it is very important to always wear a moisturiser with SPF or a facial sun cream under your moisturiser daily. Sun cream not only protects your skin from the UV rays but it also helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles. The Tropic Sun Day SPF50 is a facial sun cream which is designed to be worn under make up, priming the skin for a flawless make up application. I found it easy to apply, the cream has a silky feel and melted into my skin. It didn’t feel greasy and my make up sat nicely on it. I do a lot of cycling and find some sun creams irritate my face once they mix with sweat however, I was really impressed with it as it feels really light and protects my face as well as smelling lovely. The tube is the perfect size to fit in my pocket so I can reapply it throughout the day. Again, it isn’t cheap but as you only need a pea sized amount then a tube should last a good few months.







Even though I have dark hair my skin is very pale so I tend to use a tinted moisturiser to give me a little colour. The Dr Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint is a great product, you just add a small amount to your normal moisturiser to give you a radiant, sun kissed complexion. With tinted mineral pigments, olive oil and extracts of medicinal plants such as Anthyllis and witch hazel, the formula does not cover the skin but blends with your skin tone to create a natural sun kissed and fresh complexion. It looks quite dark in the bottle so I was quite wary about using too much and looking too fake so I started with a tiny amount and over a couple of days worked out the right amount to use. The bottle has a pump dispenser so it was quite easy to dispense a small amount and gradually build up the colour. It is really light and it was easy to blend it with my moisturiser. I can see myself using this a lot, especially over the winter months, as it gave me a lovely natural colour.








The skin on my arms and legs does tend to be quite dry so I do like a nice body oil as they lock moisture into your skin for hours, soaking deeply into your skin leaving it moisturised for longer. The non greasy oil is rich in fatty acids and can be used on your face, body and hair. The pump action bottle makes it easy to dispense the oil and once the oil is your skin the fragrance really hits your senses giving a spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home. The zingy fragrance was the perfect way to wake up in the morning and lasted surprisingly well, I kept getting bursts of it all day and it really did brighten my day. Once applied to my skin it left it beautifully moisturised and it didn’t feel in the slightest bit sticky. I really love this oil and think it would make a lovely gift for any friends who are in need of a little pampering.  






Many years ago I used to wax my legs but I gave up as it was always very messy and at 6’ tall have a lot of leg to wax and I invariably used to run out! I was very interested to see if waxing kits had improved over the years as with the current restrictions on beauty salons I can see that home waxing kits will be quite popular. The Sugar Coated company started in a port town in Tanzania, they are experts in ethical, easy and effective hair removal in the comfort of your own home. Sugar Coated is a 100% natural vegan sugar wax and does not contain citric acid, resins or additives which means that you get a smooth application and gentle results. I would never have called waxing gentle but was prepared to have another go. The kit was simple to use, I removed the lid and popped it in the microwave for 40 seconds, so far so good. The wax was surprisingly easy to apply, I started with my lower leg and applied a thin layer before using the washable strips to remove the wax. The strips can be used a couple of times and it wasn’t as painful as I remembered. The residue was easily removed with warm water and a flannel. I wasn’t brave enough to try it on my underarms but it was a great way of removing hair from my legs and at £12.99 a much cheaper option than the salon.




The Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate moisturiser is a very reasonably priced facial moisturiser for all skin types. A favourite among dermatologists for decades and lauded by beauty professionals and make up artists to the stars, this all round product is their secret to beautiful skin. Personally, I haven’t come across this brand before so was keen to see what it was like. The Lait Crème Concentrate is a rich creamy lotion that is a real multi purpose product. It can be used as a primer, moisturiser, makeup remover as well as a product to reduce irritation after shaving. Another great product to put in your washbag when travelling. The cream is a nice consistency, not too runny and is really easy to apply. It has a gentle fragrance and you don’t need to use a lot. It gives a good base for make up and keeps my skin hydrated all day. I have also been using it on the eczema on the top of my feet which was looking quite red and unsightly, it has made a huge difference and reduced the redness in only a couple of days. A great reasonably priced product and one I would certainly recommend.






Funderm Was Bad is a 4 in 1 invisible treatment for the gentle care of pimple prone skin. The delicate oil free gel combines clinically proven active ingredients to unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells and control oil. The packaging is bright and funky and certainly appealed to my teenage son. Like a lot of teenagers, he struggles with spots and we have tried lots of different products with varying results. His spots are particularly bad at the minute so I was quite pleased to receive the Funderm Was Bad gel. The 30ml tube has a pump action dispenser making it easy to use, the gel is applied to clean, dry skin and is easily applied with your finger. It absorbs quickly and didn’t leave his skin sticky or greasy. It has a very light fragrance so perfect for teenage boys. He has been using it for 2 weeks and I can see an improvement in his skin already. The only downside side is the cost, at £29 I do think it is quite pricey but I will see how long the tube lasts and then decide whether to purchase it again.





Rubis scissors are made in Switzerland and the Duck scissors come in a little plastic zip top pouch which is perfect for keeping them clean and separate from the rest of your wash kit. I have to confess I was a little unsure as to what the Rubis scissors were specifically for when they arrived, they have a tiny head so obviously weren’t for fingernails so a quick look on their website was needed to find out more.  They are actually scissors for nose and ear hair and as I don’t have a problem with either of those I had to rope in a willing volunteer to try them out for me. The scissors are very well made and open and close very smoothly. Cutting your own ear and nose hair isn’t the easiest thing to do so they have rounded ends to protect your nose and ears from being cut when you are using them. My friend said they were really easy to use and snipped unwanted hairs easily.



Finishing Touch Flawless Brows RRP £19.99

I am lucky because I have nice dark eyebrows that have a lovely shape. Other than plucking a few stray hairs to keep their shape I don’t really need to do a lot with them which has saved me a huge amount of money over the years. The Finishing Touch Flawless Brows is a precision engineered tool to help you achieve the perfect brows and would be perfect for helping you keep your brows in check, especially at the moment whilst current restrictions mean beauty parlours can’t do any procedures on your face. The pen style gadget has a precision tip to remove hair around your eyebrows and help maintain the desired shape. To help you see even the tiniest hairs there is a build in light. You do need a AAA battery which isn’t included in the box but luckily we always keep a stock of batteries so was able to try it out straight away. It took a couple of goes to get the hang of it but the tool is quite easy to use and will be invaluable for people who aren’t able to have their brows done professionally.

I received all these products free for the purpose of this review and all words, opinions and images are my own.



Sunday, 12 July 2020

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scandal fragrance gift set


I have been a reviewer for What's Good To Do for a number of years. We mainly review theatre shows but do review a number of other products too. I recently received this Jean Paul Gaultier perfume to review which I loved. Here is what I thought about it.

I have always loved fragrance; I remember as a child sneaking into my Mum’s bedroom to smell her perfumes that were kept on her dressing table. Whilst she only had a couple of bottles there was always a story attached to each one, usually the occasion it was bought for or memories of a holiday that was associated with it. Each bottle was treasured, and I loved hearing about them.




Nowadays there are such a lot of perfumes to choose from and I love browsing in perfume shops, trying out different perfumes. I think it is really important to try perfume on your skin before you buy it as each person’s skin is unique and a perfume that smells lovely on a friend can smell awful on you.



Whenever I think of Jean Paul Gaultier perfumes I always think of the iconic torso bottles that come in a tin can. Scandal however is in a completely different style of bottle, encased in a simple clear glass bottle with Scandal on the front. In true Jean Paul Gaultier style the bottle top is a little wacky, topped with a pair of legs pointing upwards and wearing heels! This image fits so well with the Scandal name. I am glad to see they have kept the tin as the gift set comes in a nicely sized square red tin with pink lid that can easily be reused, helping us do our bit for the environment. The gift set contains a 50ml bottle of perfume and a 75ml perfumed body lotion which are nicely presented in the tin.

Launched in 2017 Scandal by Jean Paul Gaultier is a sexy, floral-oriental fragrance. The top notes are blood orange and mandarin orange followed by middle notes of honey, gardenia, jasmine, orange blossom and peach. The base notes are patchouli, beeswax, caramel and licorice.
I love floral and fruity fragrances so Scandal is a real winner for me. From the very first spray you are treated to a fruity explosion followed by the more subtle floral fragrances. The base notes add a heavier musk helping the perfume last all day. I found the fragrance lasted really well and could still smell it on my wrists at bedtime. I love having a matching body lotion as I find it helps the fragrance last longer. The body lotion was smooth and silky and absorbed into my skin easily.

You can always tell if a perfume works well on your skin by the number of people asking what perfume you are wearing and the day I wore the Jean Paul Gaultier perfume at work I lost count of the number of people asking me what the perfume was. Overall, it is a real winner and one I will be adding to my list of favourite perfumes.

Disclaimer - I was gifted this perfume set in return for a review, all words and images are my own