look fantastic beauty box

So I was totally aiming to get this post live a little earlier than the back-end of April, but it’s literally been the busiest month. But anyway, here we have it, the latest run down of the Look Fantastic Beauty Box for April – #LFBlooms.

With April being ‘Earth Month’, this months box focuses on natural, organic and eco friendly beauty products. Although the arrival of Spring is a great time to start introducing more natural ingredients into your skincare regime, it’s overall a much nicer way of ‘living’. I’ve recently been swotting up a lot regarding the nasties that are featured in a lot of today’s beauty brands, so I’m really enjoying giving my regime a healthier overhaul. It’s worth bearing in mind that as well as focusing on the healthier foods and nutrition we put inside our bodies, the products and ingredients we apply are just as important.

I eagerly opened up the bright, floral and cheery looking #LFBlooms box at the beginning of April, as was very happy – as usual- with it’s contents. Out fell a mini copy of the latest issue of Elle, which is themed around powerful women. Quite a nice combination: influential women and hero natural beauty products. So let’s get cracking and see what else is tucked away in this beauty of a box!

look fantastic beauty box
Briogeo Deep Conditioning Mask 
The one beauty treatment I never slip with is deep conditioning hair treatments. At least once a week I’ll treat my tresses to a go 20 minutes of pampering, usually applying a moisturising and repairing mask. This Briogeo version is infused with all things luscious and luxury, like Argan, avocado and almond oils, and features hair loving vitamins like A, B5, D and E. It is- of course-paraben free, silicone free, cruelty free and synthetic fragrance free too. If you suffer split ends or frizzy. dry hair, this is a must!

Rituals Miracle Hand Scrub
So this product is an interesting one for me because I’m pretty useless at caring for my hands. It’s packaging is beautiful – a shiny metallic silver tube, which would look perfect on my dressing table. It’s enriched with nourishing oils to soften, as well as exfoliating properties to remove rough skin. It also contains Ginseng and Gingko Biloba, which stands for life and strength, infusing revitalising properties. Another bonus is that it smells delicious – like an aromatherapy session. This might be the product that encourages me to start caring for my hands…

look fantastic beauty box

Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish
I’m already a huge Balance Me fan, so I knew this item would be a little gem, and one I would enjoy using. The polish uses anti-oxidant rich Juniper, Geranium, Lavender and Bergamot essential oils to stimulate circulation, which I certainly need. An increased circulation brings a glow to the skin, and it also reduces toxins which can build up and cause the dreaded cellulite. To help boost the skin’s collagen production, anti-oxidant rich Blackberry Leaf Extract features in the polish, providing a more toned and firm appearance for the skin. To exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, walnut spheres gently shed away the dullness, revealing a more clarified, super soft texture. A lovely item for those dry areas, like elbows, ankles and knees.

Myvitamins Effervescent Vitamin and Mineral Tablets
These lemon flavour dissolvable tablets are a great way to ensure you get an ideal vitamin boost, as they contain a cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals. I actually have a friend who takes dissolvable vitamin drink every morning and claims to never be poorly, and come to think about it, he never is. The lemon flavour makes these a little easier to consume daily, as you kind of need a bit of taste to make sure you continue taking them. These particular vitamins are in association with MyProtein, and I’ve been taking a little look at the other products available within this Myvitamins range. There are so many different types on offer, and I’m really keen to try the Complete Sleep capsules, which contains a vitamin combination to help encourage sleep (I suffer from lack of sleep regularly, hence the bags under my eyes in the majority of selfies on here!). Another one is the Essential Zinc vitamins, because I’m finding Zinc is really working to help clear up my skin at the moment…

look fantastic beauty box
Bloom and Blossom Bath and Shower Gel.
Next up is this foaming Bath and Shower Gel from Bloom and Blossom, a brand created by two Sister-in-laws with a passion for developing a natural skincare range, mainly for new and expecting mums. However, it’s luxury fragrance free formula is ideal for anyone to use, especially those with sensitive skin. It comes enriched with vitamin E and organic cucumber extracts, gently cleansing and hydrating skin to leave a silky smooth finish. I love the natural fresh scent from this as it forms a light lather during shower time!

Tanworx by Monu Tan Maintainer 
I was happy to see this product was a tan maintainer and not another false tan, as my collection of tanning products is excessively growing! My tan maintainers, on the other hand, are very low, so this was a lovely little surprise. Tanworx aims to maintain your tan for longer, simply by applying this in-between your false tan applications (or after a holiday when you have a real tan). It contains a natural mix of carrot oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil to moisturise the skin, plus hyaluronic acid (the most talked about beauty ingredient of the moment!) and seaweed. So far I’ve found this a pleasure to use, although my current tan isn’t so obvious at the moment. I’ll be ensuring I get as much use out of this as possible to maintain my golden glow this Summer…

my vitamins

And saving the best until last…

Elemis British Botanical Hand and Nail Butter.
Keeping in with a natural and botanical theme, Elemis have collaborated with British artist Amanda Ross, who is known for her botanical prints. Elemis is one of my favourite brands to date, and I swear by the Tri-Enzyme Cleanser for keeping breakouts at bay when it comes to facial skincare. Whenever I receive an Elemis product, I’m always overjoyed, so this was no exception. In a bid to keep my hands and nails healthy, strong and soft this Summer, this butter like formula harnesses the powerful ingredients grown in the countryside. Infused with a blend of lavender, geranium, chamomile and palmarosa to calm and soothe over-worked hands, it also packs in a dose of burdock extract, moabi butter and UK organic oat to replenish moisture and rejuvenate hands. The natural concoction helps to strengthen brittle nails too, along with conditioning the cuticles. Pretty hands are most definitely achieved with this little wonder! I love how it not only does the job, it also has the nicest of delicate fragrances, and looks super gorgeous with it’s packaging too.

Thank you once again to Look Fantastic for introducing me to some of April’s best beauty products. I’ll look forward to the May box and sharing more delights with you all (and I promise this time I’ll review it much quicker!)

homeoffice

Working from home is the dream of many – I know for one, it was always mine. Instead of wasting hours of your life commuting in the car/bus/train every morning or evening, you can roll out of bed, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and be in your office by 8am. Because you work from home, if the dog needs a walk or it’s a fine day for hanging out a load of washing, you can fit these tasks in with no problem. However, being ultra-productive on the work front is not so easy at all (trust me!) if you don’t have a suitable workspace set up. Here’s a couple of pointers to bear in mind before kitting out your home office….

 

Design a Suitable Office Space

To work from home successfully, you need both a designated and dedicated workspace. Some people are happy to set up shop at the kitchen table, but if you have piles of paperwork to deal with, this will not be convenient. A much better solution is to create a purpose-designed workspace. This can be in a spare room, in a small alcove in the bedroom or under the stairs, or perhaps in the attic if there is sufficient room. Even contemporary garden rooms, which you can find from companies like www.gardenspaces.co.uk, are a worthwhile space for a home office if you have a large garden and a reasonable budget.

homee

Office Storage

Storage is essential. You will need a filing system for accounts, invoices, and client records. A small filing cabinet should be sufficient for freelancers and home office workers, but if you are running a larger business from home, set up your office in a spare room and install a larger filing cabinet. Shelves and drawers are likely to be useful for lever arch files, books, stationery and other miscellaneous office supplies. The idea is to keep your desk free from clutter as much as possible. The more organised you are, the easier it will be to stay productive. I’m especially loving wired desk accessories for that clean, ‘Scandi’ style.

homeoffice

Lighting

Hopefully you won’t need to burn the midnight oil on work projects, but a desk lamp is likely to be useful when the days are short and it starts to get dark by 4pm. Choose an adjustable lamp that can be angled to suit your screen, as this will reduce annoying reflections.

A Comfortable Office Chair

It is difficult to be productive when your back aches. Invest in a good quality office chair, particularly if you spend a significant part of your working day sitting at a desk. Pick a chair that offers ergonomic support and is height adjustable. If money is tight, look for a seat or lumbar support cushion to improve the comfort of an existing office chair.

homeoffice b

Peace and Quiet

Minimise distractions as much as possible. Ask friends not to disturb you during work hours and unplug the house telephone if you are plagued by telesales or pest callers during the day. In the event you have to work at home when the kids are on their school holidays (if you have kids, that is), consider looking into childcare on certain days so you can work uninterrupted.

Working from home is a solution that works for many, but unless you create a comfortable workspace, it might not work well for you. So take a look at all the home office and working space inspiration out there, and get setting up!

jimbag
Introducing you all to my brand new companion – my JimBag holdall! If you’re anything like me, you’ll know that venturing around from work, to home, to the gym, to friends houses, to weekends away and to literally just about anywhere, a good roomy bag is needed. I’m terrible for carrying my life around with me on a daily basis. I mean, I just don’t know what I’m going to need or where I’ll end up popping to. I bring my make-up bag with me, my uber heavy diary (swear it’s the heaviest hardback diary out there), fragrance, and not forgetting my gym kit. You never know when you get that spare hour to hit the gym!

I wanted to invest in a large size hold all which is ideal enough for going to gym, but spacious enough for those nights away too. Sometimes I’ll head away for a night away from my home during the week, so it means having a practical hold-all with me during work. This is where my new grey on grey Jim Bag holdall has ticked all the boxes. How stylish and gym-friendly is this accessory?

jimbag
jimbag
jimbag
I think it’s a little bit more special to me too because the JimBag brand are actually Manchester based, which is my home city. I love the way they have incorporated a little Union Jack label on the bag too, giving it that British feel. Apparently, the holdall version of the Jim Bag is one of the most popular choices, and I can totally see why. It is made from 100% cotton canvas for a sturdy finish, yet is super lightweight and durable. It is the largest and most spacious in the JimBag range, with plenty of room for extra sports equipment, supplements or lots of toiletries (which I’m terrible for). I love it because I can pop my gym towel in the bag too and it all manages to squeeze in!

Whilst the holdall is the perfect gym bag, I make extra use of it as an overnight or weekend bag, as mentioned above. Its just really easy for me to transport around, with strong side handles for easy pickup and an adjustable detachable shoulder strap.

jimbag
jimbag
jimbag
jim bag
The bags come in a range of shades, so there is one to suit everyone’s personality and likes. Of course, I’m such a grey girl, so it was inevitable I was going to chose this one. They also have a fantastic selection of barrels, duffels and rucksacks too, in case you prefer a smaller option.

This holdall costs £49.95 and is available at the JimBag website here. I totally love the style and feel I have found a new daily companion …

fazenda manchester
Last week, a friend was leaving work and opted to have his leaving meal at Manchester’s Fazenda restaurant, situated in Spinningfields. At first, I was a little dubious because I’m not actually the biggest meat fan, and I had literally had both lamb and steak the two nights previous. Facing another feeding of meat was a little overwhelming, so I’m actually going to review this place in the eyes of someone watching everyone else eat the meat!

Don’t worry, I didn’t not have a meal here, but I opted for a smoked haddock and pea risotto from the vegetarian menu instead. They have around 6 dishes on the veggie menu, meaning that the vegetarians out there don’t miss out.

On first approach I was overly impressed with the appearance of this place – very grand and classy. The waiting on staff took us to our seats, and the decor and ambiance really does wow you as you walk through
the dining area. But the most impressive part of this restaurant is the salad and sides bar – let me just say. Oh. my. god.

fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
Fazenda works by different cuts of various meats being brought out to diners, so the salad and sides bar lets you pick whatever you wish to complement the meat. The selections are fantastic, with everything from sweet potato wedges, sushi, salads, fish, cured meats, beans, vegetables, cous cous, cheeses and pretty much all sorts! You could just fill up from the self service bar and have that as a main meal, there is that much choice.

From watching the rest of my dining party, I saw them took in to slices of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, steak, gammon and pineapple, selecting their own thickness and size. If you have a large appetite and enjoy meat, this place is an absolute must!

IMG_2722
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester
fazenda manchester

During the day, I think the prices come to just under £20, but for this you literally get as much meat, vegetables, salads and sides as you please. So it’s definitely worth heading out to for an all you can eat experience!

Next time, I’ll just make sure I haven’t filled up on meat during the week…

ladyzone altrincham
In an attempt to give myself some deserved ‘me’ time, I headed to Altrincham last week to experience Ladyzone. The concept behind Ladyzone is a fantastic one, because it is literally a place to go for fitness and pampering, just for women. Ever wanted to workout and not feel conscious because there’s a bulky man lifting weights next to you? Like to pop to a man-free zone for a bit of a workout followed by a facial? Welcome to Ladyzone, South Manchester’s answer to a dedicated ladies only gym, complete with classes, one to ones, yoga, aesthetics and beauty…

ladyzone altrincham

ladyzone altrincham
Altrincham in general is a lovely area, so I was very happy for the excuse to head to this part of Manchester to check out Ladyzone. As I hadn’t treated my skin to a facial in such a long time, I decided to book myself in for a skin rejuvenating facial to brighten up and refine my skin. From having a little research before hand, I heard that the therapist would use a selection of DermaQuest products for the facial, which have a fantastic reputation across the beauty industry. I hadn’t actually had a facial using this brand before, so I was keen to see how I found the results.

ladyzone altrincham
ladyzone altrincham
Firstly, I checked out the ladies only before my facial, checking out the equipment and workout space. It’s a lovely dedicated, kitted out with the usual apparatus designed for women’s fitness. Cross trainers, exercise bikes and an area for weights and floor exercises are laid out, and there’s a lovely lilac and pink theme across the gym. The complete male-free workout space!

ladyzone altrincham
ladyzone altrincham
ladyzone altrincham
As for my facial – I was overly happy with the treatment, the therapist and the results. She talked me through the routine she would use, and the products to use at each step. It included a thorough cleanse, an exfoliation, a mask and deep moisturisation, which resulted in glowing, fresh and super soft skin. The facial lasted around 40 minutes, and I left feeling all relaxed and refreshed.

If you are in the Manchester area and are looking for a combination of fitness and beauty in a female only zone, then I highly recommend checking out Ladyzone!