Last Minute Dash

Hey all!

Have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? I am a fiend for the last minute dash, because I always say I have time, and then suddenly the day is upon us! It’s just insane, how the days fly by. Honestly, it’s a miracle I manage to turn up to family lunch with a gift for everyone that doesn’t look like I grabbed it off the shelf on Christmas Eve. I am tempted to call it an art, but I desperately don’t want to get too comfortable with the idea of doing this for the rest of my life! I want to be one of those people who starts collecting gifts from the start of the year, so when it gets to December all I have to do is wrap them. That makes sense, right? Right! But alas, any time I try I end up using it all up for birthdays, and there’s nothing left for Christmas and the cycle repeats itself. This is especially true for my mother, who’s birthday is already in December. How am I supposed to come up with two great ideas in such a short space of time? If you have tips for gifting to Mums, please let me know!

Used stuff is the next big trend in Christmas shopping - Lifestyle - The  Jakarta Post

The thing I’ve tried to do this year is make a conscious effort not to perpetuate gendered stereotypes in my gifting. This may seem quite political or intense, but it’s actually due to something that happened to me last year. I was living with my partner, and I was gifted several kitchen related items; themed measuring spoons, tea towels, that kind of thing. I was appreciative, don’t get me wrong, but I ended up over the course of the year being the one who used them the least. My partner, on the other hand, didn’t get any functional gifts, only hobby-related things, like books. I thought back to some of the gifts I’ve given my mother in the past, and things other people have given her, and I realised how domesticated they could be. No one has ever bought my dad placemats, despite him using them just as much as my mother. Aprons, too. I bought dad a chopping board last year in the hopes it would encourage him to do more cooking, and to his credit, he has spent more time on the barbecue. But mum still does all the veggies and sides. It’s an improvement, I guess.

Easy Christmas lunch ideas for the festive season - Rouse Hill Town Centre

So what to get her? Hobbies are out of the question, she’s a hoarder to the extreme when it comes to her knitting and cross stitch. I’d just be adding to the junk. Usually, I tend to err on the side of consumables, fancy chutney’s or gluten free cookies. But this year she’s gone diet crazy! So I don’t want to give her something that’s just going to sit in the cupboard until it expires, or following suit with my above problem, only brought out for others to enjoy. And then the idea hit me, skincare! She hasn’t got a set skincare routine, and does mention more and more often these days about how she’s looking older. So I’ve bought her Christmas skincare gifts to be themed of course, in the hopes this can be our new gift agreement. If all else fails, I can get her something new to try on her skin. My fingers are crossed!

Saving Cents

Ever since moving out, as you would expect, I’ve been a lot more conscious of unnecessary costs. Well, you might, seeing as you didn’t know me as a teenager. My friends witnessed me happy to splurge on any and every occasion, should for anyone who couldn’t afford to keep up. Spending upwards of $150 on a night our was a common occurrence. Now, if a café charges extra for oat milk in my coffee, I simply won’t have one, and my friends have to wait for me to decide if the largest item on the menu will be better value for money if I only eat half, and have the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.

When it comes to skin, hair, and body care, it’s more than just a case of ‘what’s the cheapest option on the shelf?’ The perfect balance must be struck between cost, value, and efficacy. You wouldn’t buy a cleanser which only does half the job, or a conditioner that left your hair dry and brittle. Or maybe you would, bur that’s where I draw the line. If I’m honest, I’m not quite dedicated enough to do all the research and calculations myself. For that, I usually watch YouTube tutorials, or read women’s magazines. Once you’ve spent enough time in online skincare and haircare circles, it becomes very clear which vloggers and journalists are trustworthy, and which ones are just chasing money. I mean we’re all trying to make a living, but some people are genuinely interested in their world, and it’s those people I look to for guidance.

A key buzzword I’ve started to look out for is ‘dupe’. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more focus is being put on budget buys, where you don’t have to sacrifice on quality. I’ve seen a lot of celebrities sign brand deals and become official ambassadors of their favourite brands. A good example is Reece Witherspoon. We’ve watched as influencer and celebrities tried to counteract the ‘everything is inauthentic online’ sentiment in recent years, so it’s no surprise that these individuals are turning to brands they can undoubtedly promote with real passion for the products. That being said, most of these people are rich, and use the high end products that the masses don’t necessarily have access to. So it falls to the journalists and vloggers to find affordable alternatives. The ingredient endorsement stands, so it’s not complete blind faith that is required of the consumer. I read one such article about squalane oil UK recently, and thankfully their dupe/budget buy looked fantastic because it sounds like the ingredient could really revolutionise my routine without breaking the bank.

There’s also probably something to be said for personal recommendations from friends and family, especially those in the same or a similar financial situation. I look having a good debrief with my siblings, because if anyone is going to understand my specific skin and hair needs and concerns, it’s going to be the people I share so much DNA with.

Do you have any dupe brands or recommendations? Budgeting hacks? Let me know in the comments!

Wow, another change of heart

You’d think this government would have gotten a grip on the situation by now! But no, another last minute change to ruin our moods and throw Christmas into turmoil. Have your plans been affected? I’m not too thrown about, but I am mad that I spent so much on food that the indented recipients aren’t going to be able to eat… Alas. Leftovers for days.

Christmas Mayhem

Is anyone else really feeling the stress of Christmas this year? Like way more than other years? Well, I sure am. I don’t think lockdown helped. I usually have all my presents bought and a fair amount of them wrapped by the time December comes around… But it’s now mid-way through the month and I’m hectically trying to round up a list of gifts I still need to buy and preparing myself to tackle the hell that is city centre shopping.


Well with Christmas around the corner, I thought I’d share with you my favourite pick of the festive season….

This luxury christmas cracker has been my saving grace this year. And when I say luxury, I mean luxury product without the luxury price point! I’m not usually a fan of online shopping, but with the shops being shut as a result of the lockdown I didn’t really have another option. I stumbled across this little gift whilst looking through an online guide and was shocked to see its purse-friendly price tag. The pink packaging makes it the perfect gift for all your female friends and family. AND you get to choose 1 of 8 vegan-friendly skincare goodies to go inside it! I got my hands on 10 of these to give to my sisters, in-laws and work colleagues. I obviously picked one up for myself too!

I do feel a bit guilty for shopping online this Christmas though. I mean, like I said, I didn’t really have another option, but I can’t help but think of part I’m playing in the death of the high street. I’ve always been a fan of in-store shopping and it’s taken me far too long to come round to the idea of ordering online. I have a few friends who own their own shops in town, and I just feel awful knowing how much the two lockdowns have affected them this year. I have shopped locally where possible though… Even the lovely cracker I mentioned earlier is from a small business based in Norfolk – isn’t that amazing!

Sorry, I got a bit side-tracked there! Anyway, enjoy your cracker shopping and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas ?

Organic and Sustainable Skincare

For anyone who hasn’t yet accepted it, let me reiterate that global warming is real, and the negative effects on our earth are getting worse with each year. From sea levels rising, to bushfires followed by cold fronts, dying bees and ozone depletion, people are starting to really look towards how they as individuals can make a positive change. Now, I’ve worked with large corporations in my time, and the entire marketed guilt where you personally are supposed to feel like your actions directly affect this disaster is completely fabricated. Even a chum like me in the finance office knew what they were up to. Because the reality is, it is companies with huge mounds of cash and a personal-gain agenda are causing the bulk of the issues… From coal power, to oil in the ocean, unregulated cruise industry and air pollution, it is the choices big political powers make which choose the course we are on. Many companies don’t want to make positive change, because it is expensive, and this is true in the cosmetics industry. Packaging made in the UK, for example, over China is much more costly, even if the shipping across the two countries adds to their carbon footprint. Plastic is cheap. Some synthetic and poorly sourced ingredients are very cheap.

So when we think about what changes the consumer environment, it is a combination of what customers buy, and what companies sell. If there were only four moisturiser companies in the UK, and they all had equally unsatisfactory sustainability goals, then people might complain about the industry as a whole but they would certainly keep buying regardless. When a more ethical brand enters the scene, and consumers are present with choice, then that becomes a different story. Ethical trends, and then suddenly the other companies are incentivised to follow suit. Admittedly, sometimes only in performative actions, but progress is progress.


So we’ve seen in the last few years a real push towards organic and sustainable skincare. According to the Soil Association, there is a 23% growth year on year for certified organic and natural beauty and wellbeing products, with a total of £106.4 million in 2019 in sales. 64% of consumers are also looking for recyclable packaging, like this eye serum, and 79% look for organic products to buy.

It’s a global trend we’ve seen building for yea

rs, and I have to say I’m glad to see it as public as it is now. Keep cups are becoming standard tools for a coffee out, if we ignore the current pandemic, and paper and metal straws have finally trumped plastic. Small changes, whilst not that impactful on a global scale, can snowball into large change. That’s what’s important.

Do you think about sustainability when you shop for skincare? I hope so, because now it’s as important for the environment as it is trendy!

Specialty Products Within The Market

There are a lot of things about the men’s grooming industry that have intrigued me and I have to say there’s a lot of things about this industry that keep surprising me. When they said this was an industry for a targeted audience they weren’t kidding. That is by no means a negative about the industry however seeing as they produce specialty products and that’s just how things tend to go when you provide products and services for upscale clients. However there are a few misconceptions about the industry that I think people should be more aware of.

A lot of people seem to have this misconception that the products that get produced in this industry are simply regular items with a fancy label attached in order to bump up the price. Although I obviously cannot speak for all of the companies and businesses out there but for the most part this statement is false. Let’s have an example to illustrate this fact. A lot of people are under the impression that beard combs are just like regular combs and are simply marketed as being specialized for beards. The reality of the situation is actually that they are not only functional because of the materials used in production but are also necessary for the proper maintenance of a beard as it grows. The product itself is not a regular comb that you can buy at a convenience store but in most cases is a product of artisanal crafting and that factors into the pricing of these products. I’m not here to tell you to go out and buy the most expensive beard combs either because at some point it does start to sound a bit ridiculous but a good quality comb is certainly worth investing in if you’re growing a beard why not give this beard comb a try. As to why you would need this when growing a beard the explanation is much simpler than you’d think. Combing a beard allows you to not necessarily dictate but more on encourage your beard to grow in a specific direction. And the difference between a beard comb and a beard brush is that a beard brush is useful for when your beard is dry and the comb is used for when your beard is wet. It’s all rather simple but at the end of the day quality cost and that shouldn’t surprise anybody.

Thanks for Waiting!

The last article may have taken a little bit longer to release but I’m glad some of you seemed to really enjoy it thought! I’ll try my best to get things out a little faster next time but no promises as to when. Just know that I’m gonna try my best!

Why the men’s grooming industry is still growing.

According to Euromonitor the male grooming industry is projected to reach over 60 billion US dollars by the year 2020. It’s quite the substantial bit of growth even if it is just projections seeing as the global male grooming market was valued at 47 billion dollars back in 2015. There are a multitude of reasons for that growth but the large factor for the dramatic increase would be the rapid and somewhat surprising growth in sales for men’s toiletries. Men’s toiletries are expected to become the leading products in men’s grooming in terms of sales as of 2020 the one to receive the most substantial of the industry’s growth.

Another reason that might explain the massive growth in men’s grooming would probably be the same factors that explain the increase in the makeup industry as a whole. The trend of the growing international market of course affects men’s grooming. The proliferation of online shopping very clearly affects the market seeing as a larger audience is available for your products. And of course to keep up with growing demands the industry needs to grow on the production side as well which is why there are more brands of skincare, beard care, and moustache related products than you’d probably care to remember. You’re pretty much spoiled for choice as the years go by. For example you’ve got companies with different products such as Percy Nobleman’s Beard Balm and such springing up all over the place. The understanding that men’s products are becoming prolific makes perfect sense to us in the modern age as the concept of male grooming is pretty common place for a majority of the world.

There’s nothing wrong with being concerned with your appearance and that includes men too of course. The modern era of social media that we live in has created a different approach to caring about your looks. And that growing obsession with a person’s personal appearance means there’s a demand. And that in turn is creating a market that should be even greater over the years to come.

Please Be Patient!

I am super busy this week, and there are some things that keep playing on my mind these past few days.

For this reason, I’ve barely found the time to write something to post here.

This site is special to me, that is why I am giving it my best shot!

Hopefully, there are still some of you that are enjoying the reads and are waiting for more.

Keep coming back – There’ll be more soon.

A Birthday Gift For A Beard Lover

In my latest post I discussed a popular cosmetic product for women – the Setting Spray. So, now I have been thinking maybe I should also write something about a men’s grooming product –  just to be fair and even it out a bit.

Actually, I spent days just deciding on what grooming product it would be nice to talk about in my next post. There is a multitude of different products that anyone can buy over the internet or on the high street, but unfortunately I am only familiar with some of them like hair clay, beard balm, beard oil and mustache wax.

I did my research on the internet and I found out about an amazing set of products, something called a Beard Grooming Kit. From the name you can tell that it’s obviously something you would use on your beard.

I became particularly interested in it not because I was thinking about the next topic for my blog, but also, because I suddenly remembered my brother is a complete and utter beard lover.

Last time I saw him he reminded me that I need to get him a gift for his birthday next month. For me, taking the time and doing my research is like killing two birds with one stone –  I get a nice topic to talk about on the blog, and I also get an idea as to what I will give my brother for his birthday.

Once I realized that the product is in fact a set of miniature beard products, I become so excited to know what specifically the products were inside the box. Based on my research, a good kit that is worthy of buying should have a beard wash for cleansing your beard, a conditioner (or anything that can be used as alternatives) for nourishment and making your beard shine and healthy looking, and a brush or comb for styling your beard.

There are many companies selling this kit with different items inside each box. You should take your time when It comes to choosing one – you’ll want to  make sure you are not overpaying as a lot of them are expensive. However, it’s worth remembering that you’ll be, more often than not, saving money by buying the complete set compared to buying the items individually.

This really is a perfect present for any man who loves their beard, just like my brother loves his. Unboxing this kit will definitely excite him and I am so excited to see his reaction when he does!