2019 has been (so far) the most life-changing year for me. I started the year by moving out of busy Fitzrovia and moving into lovely Marylebone. By moving home, I also made a conscious decision to let go of all the negativity that was surrounding me at the time and start things fresh. *yeah boy* This is by far the best decision I made since moving to London back in 2011!
In April, I had Vaser Liposculting surgery and started my journey towards plant-based living (a.k.a. vegan newbie, holla 🌱 ). So, it’s been almost 4 months and I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt. Both my body and mind are clear, which allow me to take on new challenges in life.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Virgin Sport. They were asking me to take part in ASICS London 10k run. As someone who has never run long distance, I was a bit hesitant at first but after a split second, my adventurous spirit was telling me to just go for it… and I did! *werk*
Prior to the run, I didn’t practise any running. However, I’m an avid cyclist, so I was relying a lot on my cycling abilities when it comes to stamina. *ermmm, okayyy*
When I was at my starting position, I honestly didn’t know what to expect but once we took off, everything seemed possible. Thanks to cheering spectators (and water showers, and water stations… and epic DJ sets haha). The time went by so fast that I honestly could have done an extra 5k. I finished at exactly 57 minutes but it would’ve been less if I didn’t need that toilet break!
After the ASICS London 10k run, I collected my medal and met my mate Ed Lemont for some poké and goss.
Just a few days after my ASICS London 10k run, Virgin Sport got in touch once again. They were wondering if I’ll be up for doing half-marathon in Oxford this October. It didn’t take me long to respond. So, I’m super stoked to tell you that I’ll be doing my first half-marathon!!! *yaaas* I better start getting ready for this one because it’s like more than 21 kilometres this time. Jokes aside, this is getting real y’all!
If you’ve told me this time last year that I’ll be doing all these things in 2019, I would’ve said that you’re crazy. *haha* Therefore, I cannot wait to see what the future brings to Mr. Salt and Pepper. #WatchThisSpace
This blog post was sponsored by The Personal Barber. However, all views expressed here are my own and not those of the sponsor.
Experience to look forward to!
Right, so… I really enjoy shaving. From trimming to shaping, I find beard care the most fun part of the skincare routine. It’s like you never know how your facial hair will turn out in the end and that really excites me. *wheyyy*
However, it wasn’t like this all the time. Right up until the launch of Mr. Salt and Pepper blog, I struggled to find a beard care brand that would consistently give me a different but enjoyable shaving experience.
We live in an age where there are so many options available and it can be quite tricky for some to find products that would suit their own personal needs. But fear not, there’s a brand I’d like you to meet… *scrolls down*
The finest shaving products, delivered.
Recently, I’ve been introduced to The Personal Barber. They are a wet shaving subscription service based right here in the UK. Unlike any other shaving subscription service, TPB offers a completely different shaving experience each time. Their aim is to deliver better products, a closer shave and a more enjoyable service.
As someone, who always likes to try different shaving products, The Personal Barber is a great service as they provide new products to try with each new box (every 6 weeks). Therefore, you have the opportunity to explore a wide range of products and see what works best for you.
With every first box comes… A classic safety razor*, shaving brush, replacement blades, shaving soap and a few mystery products.
I personally think that a safety razor is better than most cartridge-based razors because you can get maximum control and smoother shave by using just 1 blade. Also, safety razors stood the test of time and they proved to work really well throughout the years.
The first box…
In my first box, I received all of the product mentioned previously, including a face scrub from The Bear Family and facial moisturiser from Raw Supremo. The Personal Barber box contains all the products you need to start your wet shaving routine.
For those of you who are not familiar with wet shaving…
Here’s my quick guide to make most of it using all the products found in The Personal Barber box:
Prepare your brush – get a cup (or bowl) of warm water and let the shaving brush sit in it while you’re taking a shower. The shaving brush is cruelty-free as its made from synthetic brushes. Therefore, it definitely absorbs more heat and moisture from warm water than brushes made from real hair. It also has a lot of bristles which feel nice on the skin.
Take a shower – use Face Scrub provided in your TPB box and apply on your face. Scrubbing the area you want to shave will reduce ingrown hairs and bumps. Also, it will raise your facial hairs as high above the skin as possible, making it easier to shave and avoid razor cuts. Mr Bear Family Face Scrub smells nice and exfoliates the skin (especially around the beard area) nicely – making it ready for the shave.
Build a lather – after you’ve taken a shower, pour a little bit of warm water on top of the shaving soap. Wait for a second or two, so it warms up. Then take your shaving brush and lightly swirl it on top of the soap for a few moments. When you see the brush collect some of the soap, transfer the soapy brush to a shaving bowl and keep swirling to create a lather. Folk Sandalwood and Vanilla Shaving Soap lathers up nicely and provides a refreshing scent.
Perform the shaving routine – the most important and exciting part! *yaaas* The shaver provided in my box is ‘non-aggressive’. Meaning, they’re perfect for those who are using safety razors for the first time. But note that each blade provides 3-6 close shaves. So, if you start feeling blade tugging or pulling your whiskers – change it. TPB provides two packs of blades in each box which should be enough for more than 6 weeks. *yay* Apply foamy brush on areas you’d like to shave and shave them using the safety razor. I’m absolutely living for that first shave using fresh blades. Honestly, I could do it every day! *word* The premium safety razor has a really nice grip to it, which I really like. Shave then rinse with warm water.
Moisturise – last but not least, apply the moisturiser onto your freshly shaved areas to avoid any skin irritation. As someone who has very oily skin, I use very little of the Raw Supremo Supreme Smoother Moisturiser to hydrate my skin and get it ready for the day ahead. *werk*
The Personal Barber is a great wet shaving subscription service because you get everything you need for that close shave experience. I think every man should at least try shaving using a brush and a safety razor. It’s like the ultimate rite of passage for guys. Do you agree?!
*Use code PREMIUMRAZOR when signing up to the Personal Barber subscription to get a premium safety razor for just £10!
Have you tried The Personal Barber yet? Let me know about your own experience in the comments section below!
This blog post was done in collaboration with Bella Vou. However, all views expressed here are my own.
Let’s start from the beginning…
It was the beginning of March. I was on my way to Valencia to spend a few days by the beach and celebrate the infamous Fallas Festival. *party mode onnn* The whole city of Valencia was celebrating for days and it couldn’t be a better time for me to visit this wonderful Spanish city. The weather was warm enough to wear short shorts and revealing tees. However, I wasn’t confident to show that much of my skin because it’s been rather an on-going issue of mine… I’m not happy with my body and it’s been like this since my early teens! *wait, what?!*
I’ve been trying to achieve a toned/lean body for years by consistently exercising and eating well. There were times where my body was at its best, with muscles showing on my arms and chest. Yet, still… The fat in my lower abdominal area was there like its ingrown inside my body and not intending to leave or change no matter what I do. *sad face*
Also, this may come as a little surprise for some of you but… *takes a deep breath* I have a mild case of Pectus Excavatum! *googles to find out what the heck that is* SO, Pectus Excavatum is a structural deformity of the anterior thoracic wall, which (in my case), is lightly visible but does not affect my internal organs. Meaning, my chest bones have grown slightly inwards but I didn’t need the surgery to fix it. This was a deformity that my parents noticed during my puberty.
Even though I exercise regularly and my chest muscles grow… The results are often underwhelming because of the shape of my chest!
At first, I wasn’t sure about that sort of procedure because it is a full-blown surgery! *yikes* As someone who has never had a surgery of any kind, it was definitely something I didn’t want to get myself into. However, after doing a little bit of research, I quickly realised that Vaser Liposuction is THE procedure I need!
So, I asked Ed to pass on my details to Bella Vou and take it from there. A few email exchanges and I was on my way to the Royal Tunbridge Wells to have my first consultation with Amir Nakhdjevani!
A little bit about Vaser Liposculpting procedure…
Vaser Liposculpting (or Vaser Liposuction) is an advanced body sculpting procedure that eliminates fat by using targeted ultrasound technology to liquefy and then very precisely remove fat from the body.
This treatment only targets fat cells, causing significantly less damage to other tissues. In other words: less pain, bruising and recovery time! It can also sculpt and shape multiple areas in a single procedure, including those ‘hard to reach’ areas of the body.
The thing I was most drawn to Vaser Liposculpting was the precise body sculpting procedure. There was an opportunity for me to have my chest sculptured to create the shape I was always dreaming of.
When I had my consultation with Dr. Amir, he briefly explained the surgery, the technology used and things I should do to fully prepare myself for it. Amir performs most of his procedures under local anaesthetic. He told me that he’ll be performing this surgery under twilight sedation as well… Meaning that I’ll be awake during the surgery. Ermmm, what?! *shook* I would lie if I say that I wasn’t taken back by it.
However, after a while, I got into terms with it and thought to myself that it will be quite an interesting journey. *haha, literally* I am a very curious individual, so doing that one thing a day that scares me also gives me strength to move forward. So, let’s do this!
The day before my surgery, Bella Vou were kind enough to offer me a 3-night stay at One Warwick Park Hotel which is just a few minutes walk from the clinic. The hotel offers partner rates for those who are having treatment at Bella Vou. Therefore, make sure to ask them for more details. *winkwink*
I was asked to arrive at the clinic at 10 am and have no food 6 hours prior to this. As you would imagine, I didn’t set my alarm at 4 am to have a meal to feed my old body. *gurl, bye*
When I arrived at Bella Vou, my mind was going through waves of emotions. I didn’t know whether I should be excited or nervous about this whole thing.
At the theatre (where the surgery was happening), the anaesthetist hooked me up to a drip which was inserting local anaesthetic into my bloodstream. Within seconds I was completely out of it. *no joke*
There were 6 small incisions made around my abdomen area to perform the procedure. At one point during the liposuction, I was more awake than usual. I could feel things going inside my body. *omg* But fear not, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The twilight sedation was really great as it made me feel very relaxed at moments like this.
The surgery took about 4 hours, which in my head played out as barely an hour. Honestly, one minute I was freaking out over a needle and next thing you know, I’m stuffing my face with an avo toast post-surgery. *hashtag wild times*
When the surgery was over, I was hooked up to 3 drainage tubes for the next 24 hours. It was to ensure that all the excess liquid has left my body and I could achieve the best possible results.
Also, I had to wear a compression foam and garment for at least 4-6 weeks following the surgery. It’s definitely not the most flattering outfit in the world but it made me feel cosy at night. As a blogger, I had to give my edgy outfits a little break and focus on other kinds of campaigns.
The thing I like the most about Bella Vou is that they provide the best post-surgery therapy treatments, which are included in their aftercare, by the way! I was required to attend daily 60-minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MDL) messages for the whole week. These are very important as they help reduce swelling, as well as release any remaining fluid from the body. MDL therapist Nikki performed my massages. She has made my recovery feel smooth and quite enjoyable. All of this is included in the price.
Final words, for now.
So, it’s been about 8 weeks since my surgery and I can confidently say that it was all worth it. Was it scary? Yes! Was it painful? A little bit BUT my body has never looked this good!
This whole experience gave me motivation to be kind to myself and my body. I’m currently changing my diet by going mostly plant-based. I also exercise more and drink on very rare occasions. Everything just keeps getting better! *yaaas*
Pssst… Watch this space as I’ll be updating you on my Vaser Liposculpting journey, including diet and fitness. Until next time. xoxo
This blog post was sponsored by Azuro Republic. However, all views expressed here are my own.
A part of my identity…
We are almost halfway through the spring…. Where does the time go?! *sigh* It feels like it was just yesterday when I was wearing thick coats and trying to find any excuse to curl up in bed instead. *cancels all the plans in winter*
However, this past Easter bank holiday weekend, we’ve been treated to the most amazing weather in agesss. As we all know, this rarely happens here in London. So, I took this opportunity to showcase my summer looks by wearing my favourite revere collar shirt, camel trousers and shoes with no socks on! *yay* This was a complete throwback to spring 2017.
On this particular day, I was browsing through my local stores on Chiltern Road. I stopped by an independent coffee shop to pick up my favourite magazine and, of course, oat milk latte! *that afternoon pick-me-up moment*
A gem that represents intelligence and integrity!
Alongside mag, coffee and myself, I also brought a new accessory from Azuro Republic. For those who are not familiar with the brand, Azuro Republic is a luxury men’s jewellery brand that emphasises on quality, integration and innovation. Their aim is to redefine the taste of men who wish to transform.
As someone who dresses for the weekend every day, I always look for accessories that would compliment me on every occasion. Whether it’s a day out with friends or a wedding – a good quality bracelet can be my best companion at every event.
So, I picked up the Gold Enamel Black Tiger Eye bracelet. It is said that tiger eye brings positive energy to people around you. Therefore, I couldn’t resist getting something that would symbolise just that. The bracelet feels very firm on my skin which is definitely something I look for in a good quality accessory.
To be quite honest, it was quite a challenge for me picking up just one bracelet because there are so many to choose from and most of them go really well with most style. The detail that goes behind in making these 24k Gold Plated Beads is remarkable. I often have to use my magnifying glass to really appreciate its exceptional design.
Azuro Republic bracelets are one of their kind as they put so much work in making each item (see video below for a proof). It’s an accessory that will last you a lifetime so it’s a valuable investment.
There are many other bracelets available on Azuro Republic. Whether it’s a silver, gold, enamel or mixed. You’ll always find something that will complete your favourite outfit.
Oh, and… Check out this video showcasing craftsmanship of Azuro Republic:
This blog post was sponsored by USANA. However, all views expressed here are my own.
Go Beyond What You See!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I’m a skincare freak. I’m always trying out new skincare products. So, by now, I have a good idea of what works best for my skin type.
Most skincare products found in supermarkets are not suitable for me because of my oily skin. They often make my skin produce more sebum which lead to clogged pores, blemishes and even acne. *yikes!* Anyone else can relate?!
A few weeks ago, I discovered USANA Health Sciences. They are a global nutrition company that provides the highest quality, science-based health products. Think nutritional foods, dietary supplements and skincare products!
I was keen to try their Celavive skincare range because it claims to support your skin’s natural ability to reduce the visible signs of ageing. *Ermmm… Hell yeah!* As someone who constantly hunts for anti-ageing products, this is a great opportunity for me to test these products out.
So, without further ado… Scroll down to read my step-by-step skincare routine using USANA’s Celavive skincare for combination/oily skin!
USANA Celavive Skincare Routine
Cleanse: Don’t let grime dull your glow! For my skin type, I use Creamy Foam Cleanser twice a day. The product is not as foamy as you would expect, which is great. So, I use it…
In the morning, to remove any sweat, excess oil and dead skin cells that may have accumulated overnight.
At night, to cleanse away dirt, pollutants and oily residue.
Tone: Not everyone needs to use a toner. I use it because it restores moisture balance and helps me get the most out of the other products. In this step, I’m applying the Perfecting Toner. It makes the skin look clear and bright.
Enhance: Serums, masks, and eye treatment products deliver more effective results than you can get from a moisturiser.
Most nights I use face masks to clear, hydrate, lift and firm my skin. The Hydrating + Lifting Sheet Mask is amazing because it significantly reduces the appearance of tired-looking skin.
I use the Vitalizing Serum every day before applying my moisturiser as it smoothens up the surface of my skin. *yaaas*
A good eye serum is a staple in any skincare routine. The Hydrating Eye Essence is a lightweight yet very hydrating product that reduces dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.
Hydrate: The most important part of the routine!
In the morning, I use Protective Day Lotion with SPF 30 to hydrate and protect my skin for the day ahead. It easily absorbs into my skin, perfectly locking in the moisture. *sweet*
Atnight, I use Replenishing Night Gel to rejuvenate and repair my skin after a long day. The texture of this gel is very light, leaving a smooth matte finish. Love it!
Overall, USANA’s Celavive Skincare range is brilliant. Every single product is of high quality and works really well for oily/combination skin. All together, everything costs just over £200. Therefore, it may be a bit pricy for some of you but it’s a good investment for those looking to add a few new items to their skincare routine. I’d strongly recommend Creamy Foam Cleanser and Protective Day Lotion because of their texture and effectiveness!