It’s been a good while since I’ve written one of these posts but I regularly discover little gems and think it’s only fair to share some of these with you lovely lot.
I’m pretty certain that I won’t be the only one who bought very little during lockdown. Firstly, the understandable delay on deliveries made it frustrating and secondly, my heart just wasn’t in it. With that in mind, some of the things I’m going to share in this post were purchased (or discovered) prior to lockdown, but became a firm favourite during that period. In fact some became an absolute lifesaver – it won’t take a genius to guess which ;).
1. I Am So Many Things
I already had a couple of mugs from this range but during lockdown, I bought some of their cards to send to people in my world.
I just love the simplicity of both the message and the design. Did I mention that the mugs are made from fine bone china, so great for drinking tea out of too?
They have 20% off most things at the moment so do go and support this creative organisation – they make perfect gifts.
2. Shark Anti-Hair Wrap Vacuum Cleaner
This was far and away my most impulsive/expensive purchase during lockdown. We’ve had a Dyson for many years but our latest one was really disappointing from day one and was continually breaking down. I did some research (aka posted a poll on Twitter) and decided to take the plunge.
The one we went for in the end was the cordless, anti-hair wrap, pet model. One of the brilliant things about it, is that the charge lasts for 80 minutes; nothing more frustrating than a vacuum cleaner that runs out of steam halfway round the house.
Another great thing is that it’s lightweight and incredibly compact, making it easy to store in a cupboard out of sight (assuming you have a plug socket handy). The genius addition of headlamps on the front means that there’s no excuse for leaving any debris behind. It’s great on hard wood as well as carpet and also did a brilliant job on my car (aka ‘the skip’).
Although an extravagant purchase, I’m confident it will become a household favourite – I even got my teenage daughter to clean her car out so it’s definitely a winner!
3. A Personalised Skin Consultation
I’m currently hurtling towards 50 at an alarming pace and quite frankly, I’m getting tired of the quest to find ‘The One’ in terms of skincare products. With that in mind, four months ago I decided to treat myself to a skin consultation with my local facialist (no, I didn’t know that was a profession either), Melissa at Neverland Skincare.
The hour-long analysis, at a cost of £60, was incredibly thorough. Mel’s skin scanner cleverly searched for areas with UV damage as well as oil deficiencies and it even tested my skin’s elasticity levels*. Melissa then sent me a detailed report of her findings along with all the recommendations for my skin’s specific needs.
I didn’t purchase everything on the list straight away because it felt like a rather hefty investment as we were about to enter lockdown, but Mel suggested that I start with the Omega 3 oil capsules along with her recommended cleanser and moisturisers. After using them consistently for five months, my skin feels much less dry and tight (the concern I specifically highlighted to Mel). I also feel more confident going out in the sun knowing that my face is covered in SPF 50 with good UV protection.
As we age, I think investing in a personalised skin analysis is definitely worthwhile. I have already re-purchased from Mel and will go back for further treatments/facials as and when I need to, or budget allows.
Hopefully, here endeth my quest for the perfect skincare products.
*Apparently I can thank my mum for good elasticity – consider yourself thanked, mother!
4. Two New Paint Brands
For obvious reasons, home improvements was one of the many cliches during lockdown. I’ve already admitted in a previous post that sadly most of my improvements all remained firmly in my head, but since lockdown has eased and my motivation has returned, I’ve started on a couple of projects. I’ve discovered two amazing paint brands during this process that I wanted to share with you.
The first one is Frenchic paint which appears to work on any kind of surface – even fabric! I joined a Facebook group which I later had to mute as I became slightly obsessed with watching all of the incredible upcycling projects going on. Who knew that you could transform lampshades, old leather sofas or kitchen cupboards with a tin of paint?!
I decided to start small by painting my front door in Frenchic’s wise old sage. I purchased the paint from our local stockist, Antique Barn in Wokingham, and took the plunge. One of the best things about this paint, is that it’s really low maintenance. All you need to do to prepare your surface is clean it with sugar soap, give it a light sanding, brush off and go! Three coats on my old wooden door and I absolutely love the result.
Second up is Lick paint which I am busily painting my downstairs loo with right now. Again, it’s a paint that goes on beautifully and leaves a very chalky, clean finish. It has two genius plus points that I’ve not seen before: £1.00 peel on/peel off colour samples that you can move around the room easily; plus an ingenious plastic stopper meaning that once used, the paint tin will be kept air-tight for years to come.
It’s not the cheapest paint in the world (neither of these are) but I’m hoping it’s worth the investment and I’ve decided to paint our hall, stairs and landing in the Lick Paint too.
Watch. This. Space.
5. L’Oreal’s Hair Retouch
Quite honestly, this was a total life saver in lockdown. I bought a few brands but by far the best was the L’Oreal one and I went through 3 cans of the stuff!
It does make your hair feel slightly sticky at the root but it covers the grey well and doesn’t really need touching up until the next time you wash it. Highly recommend if like me your roots are largely grey these days.
6. Blissy Silk Pillow Case
Years ago, I remember a (slightly older) work colleague telling me that she would never rest her head on anything other than silk. I asked her to elaborate a bit, only to decide that I was too young to make the investment but kept that little gem up my sleeve for a later date.
Five years later and I’ve had enough of the face folds; the ones that take longer to un-crease the older you get. So yes, I’ve finally invested in a silk pillowcase of my very own and haven’t looked back.
Apparently, resting your head on silk at night is also a great way to preserve your hair and keep it from becoming frizzy or overly tangled. This isn’t something I’ve ever suffered from so can’t comment on that but I don’t think I’ve had a ‘folded face’ since using my Blissy pillowcase.
Admittedly, this isn’t a cheap investment but based on the number of years I’ll use it for, I figured that £34.00 wasn’t so bad.
7. Fiit TV
Anyone else frozen their gym membership and wondering whether to reinstate it? I will admit to not doing as much exercise as I would have like during lockdown but I discovered this app fairly early on and have continued to use it.
Full membersip to Fiit is £20 per month, with a free 14-day trial. There’s a huge range of classes available, ranging from 10 to 40 minutes, as well as instructors to choose from – Chessie King and Fearne Cotton to name but a few. I bought a special cable (not a technical term!) that allows me to plug my phone into the TV and away I go!
I think the thing I like most about it is the flexibility that it provides. I have realised that I need to actually put the classes in my diary or I won’t do them, but that’s also easily done from the app.
And that, my friends, wraps up this somewhat epic post. I started crafting it about two weeks ago and it’s taken me this long to finish! If you’ve reached the end, then congratulations to you. What’s been your favourite find during this strange season?