Cleaning up with Beauty Hygiene Plus!

Products gifted for blog consideration

Hands up who else is guilty of neglecting their makeup brushes despite being meticulous about keeping everything else in their life super clean and disinfected….I’m pretty sure it can’t just be me!
I’ve always found cleaning my makeup brushes and tools to be a chore, and one that always seems to fall to the bottom of my list. However, I’m trying to get more organised with my life and this is one place that is finally getting priority thanks to these new wonder products from Beauty Hygiene Plus.

“The new beauty hygiene range from Beauty Hygiene Plus is set to be a ‘game-changer’ as it includes everything you need to keep your makeup products and beauty tools as safe and germ and virus free as possible. The products are quick and easy to use with no fuss and eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses* within two minutes of application. Makeup and makeup tools are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus that could be harbouring ‘nasties’ from E-coli to ringworm along with viruses such as herpes and conjunctivitis caused from cross-contamination and unhygienic use and storage.

The range consists of four antibacterial and antiviral products, Quick Dry Brush Cleaning Spray, Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist, Quick Dry Beauty Tools Sanitising Spray and Deep Cleanse Sponge & Brush Wash.
Each product has its own unique individual formulation, for specific use on makeup, makeup brushes, beauty tools such as tweezers and eyelash curlers and makeup sponges and powder puffs. Together, the
distinctly different products, create a simple and effective user-friendly system for taking care of daily makeup and beauty hygiene. Beauty Hygiene Plus is on a mission to drive awareness as to why makeup hygiene is so important, and wants to help beauty consumers to create new, more healthy daily beauty hygiene habits.”

I was sent the Beauty Hygiene Essentials Kit + which contains 50ml of each product in the range, plus four travel sized makeup brushes all contained in a handy clear pouch. This makes the set perfect for travel and a great way to try out the entire range to see which products best suit your needs. The RRP for this set is £20 although it is currently on sale for £15.
I’ve popped a quick run-down of my thoughts on each product for you below…

Quick Dry Brush Cleaning Spray (100ml, £12.00): this was my favourite product from the range. It’s so useful for cleaning brushes during makeup application, say if you want to switch eyeshadow colours but only have one brush to hand. It really is quick drying and I will definitely be purchasing the full size version of this soon.

Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist (100ml, £12.00): This is the product I have the least use for, although it’s handy to have around and I’m definitely glad of it. I can see how valuable this would be for anyone who works with makeup, or who tends to share their lipstick around!

Quick Dry Beauty Tools Sanitising Spray (100ml, £12.00): I’ve taken to giving my tweezers a spritz with this after using them (who even am I?) as well as the surfaces I use for makeup application. It’s the product I never knew I needed and probably a new travel essential for me, especially as we’re going camping soon and things tend to fall out of my bag and on to the ground!

Deep Cleanse Sponge & Brush Wash (100ml, £12.00): I desperately needed a new brush shampoo so this was a well timed arrival (I mean, I ran out like six months ago but ssh!)
This not only cleans but also disinfects, making it one up on what I had been using. Another full sized purchase pending!

The range is also now live on Feel Unique where it is also on offer.

What are you current hygiene essentials?

Degustabox January 2021*

Jan 2021 Degustabox contents
Box gifted by Degustabox
This is a PR box, this means there will sometimes be additional flavours or products than you’d get as a subscriber, I will highlight this within my post.

The January Degustabox certainly set the standard high for the rest of 2021. With a theme of “breakfast and on the go” (very relevant to my interests), this was one of my favourite boxes in a long time; something I feel I say most months now!

Grey Poupon vegan mustard mayo and sun-pat peanut butter

Lets get the one product I wasn’t such a fan of out of the way first- the Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard Mayo. And that’s not to say it was bad, I just don’t really like mayonnaise so it was a bit wasted on me. It does so happen to be a vegan mustard mayo though, and whilst I wouldn’t buy it again, it did make a nice addition to a sandwich with a good mustard-y flavour.

Peanut butter also makes for wonderful sandwiches, and toast, and- well, peanut butter makes an awful lot of things wonderful. Sun-Pat will forever be my go to brand for peanut butter, especially for baking with. I used this jar on crumpets, and to make a batch of my Grandad’s favour peanut butter cookies which I left on his doorstep.

The mustard may costs £2.50 from Tesco, the peanut butter is £1.50 from all major supermarkets and also comes in crunchy.

Nat bears breakfast cereal

How cute are these breakfast cereal bears? Bob and I both fell in love with the packing and design of these! They are such a good idea too, you can either give the bear a bath in a bowl of milk and eat it that way, or dunk and munch. These are definitely something we will purchase again, especially for Summer camping trips. The honey flavour was really good but we are desperate to try the chocolate flavour too, which I am yet to find anywhere.
These cost £2.90 for 6 from Tesco and Sainsburys (pricey, but often on special offer to keep your eyes peeled!)

Baker Street Rye Bread

I love bread, all kinds of bread and rye bread is up there near the top of my list of favourites. Whilst I do prefer a super dark rye, this rye & wheat bread is REALLY good! Dense enough to feel like rye, but a bit lighter in texture too. It’s great toasted to go with soup, or as a base for an open topped sandwich. This comes pre-sliced which is a major win for me, and once opened will keep fresh for 7-10 days if properly sealed. This is £1.69 per loaf from Ocado and selected convenience stores.

I’ve been a fan of these Whitworth’s shots since they first landed on the shelves. Perfect for on the go snacking, this mix of sultanas, cranberries and white chocolate coated biscuits is my favourite from the range, ideal for a mid-afternoon sugar boost. These are around £1.60 for a pack of 4 from Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Poundland, Savers and Wilko.

This was a very curious product. Barley Cup is described as a cereal drink but looks more like a fine powder instant coffee. It’s caffeine free and has an appealling smell and the taste is kind of like coffee. It’s never going to become my hot drink of choice, but it’s nice to have on hand for a bit of variety. £2.50 from Holland and Barrett, Amazon and a variety of online and offline health food stores.

Who doesn’t love a fruit pastille? Now vegans don’t need to miss out on the joy either, which is great news for vegans and less great news for non-vegans who now have to share! £1.29 from major supermarket chains.

These Mister Free’d avocado tortilla chips are curiously green and curiously tasty. Described as the perfect on the go snack for those who love chips ‘n dip – without the need for dip. I liked these well enough, but nothing is going to beat tortilla chips with guac, salsa or humus for dipping! £1.59 from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.

Muesli has never really been my thing, but Bob loves it and was suitably impressed with Lizi’s super muesli. This comes in two varities- “focus” and “boost”. Bob loved the mix of textures in this and the flavours of hazelnut and pecan. As with all Lizi’s products this really delivers on taste and quality! £0.75 for a 50g pouch, £3.50 for a 400g pack from Waitrose, Ocado and the Lizi’s website.

Another couple of products that got a big thumbs up from Bob were these vibrantly packaged breakfast goods from St Pierre. Both the Brioche waffle and the Millionaires waffle were met with lots of “yum” and “so good” type noises and would make a great on the go treat or special weekend breakfast. I didn’t get a look in!
£1 each from Sainsbury’s, Tesco and WH Smiths.

I’ve tried the Gregory’s Tree fruit twists in another flavour before and really enjoyed them so I was pleased to get the chance to try the Strawberry variety too. These are a fabulous portable snack providing a good hit of sweetness whilst being good for you. I really love these and wish they were more readily available! £0.89 per bar from Amazon, Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic and selected other retailers.

I love marshmallow so I was all over the salted caramel mallow puffs; a vegan salted caramel flavour mallow coated in dark chocolate. It’s a shame these are so expensive as I could eat these all day long. They cost £1.59 each, check for stockists.

I also really rated one of the latest offerings from Trek- the POWER millionaire shortbread. This brand can do no wrong, and again I wish these weren’t so expensive as I’d love to eat them more often. The flavour here is a real winner and the 15g of vegan protein means they fill you up too. £1.75 per bar from Sainsbury’s, Tesco and on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round up. Let me know which products caught your eye the most and what some of your favourite festive snacks are.

If you’re new to Degustabox, it’s a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.

If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim £3.00 off of your first box (making it just £9.99!) by entering the code XOQGC at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

The Shacket*
Shacket c/o Femme Luxe

I’m not very up on current trends these days, I spend the majority of my days in office appropriate clothing and the majority of my evenings in PJs- more so than ever thanks for lockdown.
There is, however, one trend that I’m very much aware of, and very much in love with, and that is “the shacket”.

After spending a few weeks eyeing them up, I was then kindly allowed to pick an item or two from Femme Luxe and immediately picked out this shacket from their wide range of coats and jackets.

Having worked with Femme Luxe before, covering their loungewear range, I knew I’d be getting an item that had great quality and was a great price (currently this shacket is on offer for just £18.69!

And what is a shacket? Well, I suppose I should have explained that at the start of my post, but basically it’s a shirt that is thick and warm enough to be worn as a jacket. This particular version is made from brushed flannel with a super-soft lining and is perfect for wearing on those days where it’s not quite cold enough for a coat, but you definitely need an extra layer.

The rest of my outfit consists of a Primark jumper, a pair of Scotch and Soda black skinny jeans that I picked up in a local charity shop for £5.99 (my second designer denim bargain!) and my current favourite ankle boots from Zara.

I’m aware my blogging has become even more sporadic of late, there has been a heck of a lot going on in my world, Covid-19 and work madness aside. I’ll try and do some kind of update soon, but in the meantime, what trends are we all loving right now?

The last Degustabox of 2019*

Box gifted by Degustabox
This is a PR box, this means there will sometimes be additional flavours or products than you’d get as a subscriber, I will highlight this within my post.

The last Degustabox of 2019 was definitely a case of saving the best to last for me. With it’s theme of “Gourmet and Fiesta” there was genuine excitement over a lot of these products and I wasted absolutely no time in getting stuck in (and then wasted a lot of time before getting this post up, oops!)

These jumbo wrapped cashews from Gloriously Grown (£3 from Sainsburys) are delicious. I’ve never had skin-on cashews before but I 100% would again.
I was hesitant to try this Vermouth & Tonic spritz from Pedrino (£1.95 from Ocado/Waitrose/Amazon) as I’m not a massive Vermouth fan, however, I followed a suggestion on the bottle to serve with gin and ice and whilst I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it, I would certainly drink it if offered.
I’m not a beer fan personally but Lagunitas Daytime Session IPA (£1.80 from Asda/Morrisons/Pub & Bars) was a hit with my brother when he popped round over Christmas.
Both of these products are exclusive to the Alcohol version of the box.
Very Lazy chopped garlic is a long-term staple in our kitchen (£1.50 from major supermarkets) and we are never without a jar. We slather it over roast potatoes with some rosemary. Yum!
We haven’t actually used these Blue Dragon products yet, but can’t wait to do so! The Thai Holy Basil stir-fry sounds delicious (£1.50 from Tesco/Waitrose/Sainsburys/Ocado) and will be the perfect way to use up some leftover chicken in the freezer.
The Teriyaki skewers (£2.70 from Asda/Morrisons/Tesco/Waitrose/Ocado) have been ear-marked for Bob’s lunch box, we bought the Satay version of this kit earlier in December and found it brilliant and delicious so we’re excited to use this one- so good for work lunches with a little steam pot of rice.
I’m already a fan of Indie Bay pretzels and these dark or milk chocolate covered ones are a delicious addition to the range (£1.25 from online store/Amazon/Whole Foods Market/Planet Organic). At fewer than 150 calories per pack these are packed with ancient grains and are a good source of fibre so are a naughty but nice New Year treat.
Yay sweets! My brother and his girlfriend are huge candy kittens fans and had been looking everywhere for this flavour so I kindly gave them this bag to share. It looks like this flavour is currently exclusive to Morrisons so grab it if you can, it got rave reviews from my bro, and I can vouch for every other flavour this brand makes- you’d never know they were vegan.
Smith and Sinclair alcoholic cocktail gummies have featured in Degustabox a few times now. Each gummy contains half a shot of alcohol and are suitable for vegans. I did enjoy the Pineapple Bellini flavour, and whilst at £15 for 8 they are an indulgence for sure, you can get 15% off the full range at with the code DEGUSTA.
These chocolate treats from King Monty are exclusive to the non-alcohol Degustabox this month. I don’t have much information on them, but they are plant based and gluten free so suitable for just about everyone. My favourite was the pop rice flavour as I loved the combination of textures, but the orange flavour is lovely as well.
This is a lovely fruity tea from Oteas (£3.39 from Oteas website/Amazon/Ocado). All the goodness of green tea, with sweet and sour notes from the cherries, cranberries and strawberries. I’d love to try more from this brand.
Bob and I made short work of these Gruyère and Spinach Twists from Ardens. They are so light and airy but pack a seriously strong punch of flavour. I mostly enjoyed them dipped in to soup, whereas Bob ate them mostly straight from the pack (£1.75 from Waitrose). We’ll definitely be getting these again!
I love these granola bars from Made Good (£2.90 from Asda). Subscribers will get one of the three flavours in their box. My favourite was the chocolate banana, but I’ve happily eaten all of these. They are allergy friendly, under 100 calories and make the perfect handbag snack for on the go.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought in the comments.

If you’re new to Degustabox, it’s a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.

If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) by entering the code XOQGC at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.

How Smart Technology Could Change Your Home For The Better*

The world is evolving into a technology minefield, with people continually finding ways to make their lives more comfortable with the help of various bits of machinery and equipment. If you don’t jump on board and get technical you may risk being left behind in a sea of new upgrades. The most significant modern and upcoming trend is smart home technology, but what is it, and why should you be jumping on board?

What is smart home technology?

Smart home technology (also known as home automation) is an umbrella term for using internet-powered devices to provide security, comfort and convenience in the home. The tools are endless; with new ways to control aspects of your home being released every day, with a large proportion of being able to be controlled via your smartphone, it’s a quicker and easier way to control things in your home such as:




TV and music


Although the first smart home firm was founded in 2005 it’s still a relatively new concept especially in domestic homes. Large brands including Amazon, Google and Apple have all since followed the trend and invented products that are commonly used in 2019 and in to 2020.

Why should you be investing in smart home technology?

There’s a lot of speculation about how efficient and overall beneficial smart home technology is, so we’ve compiled a list of the benefits and facts that will make your choice clear. 

You can save money on your heating bills

One of the most substantial bills you have every year is your heating bill, with the average household power/gas bill being £1,254. Your heating bills shouldn’t be that high, and the reason they are could be down to efficiency and usage. Smart thermostats are a recent piece of kit that connects your heating system to the internet. Depending on which device you opt for it can change your temperature, what room you are heating and boiler safety- from anywhere you like as long as you have WIFI. Smart thermostats don’t have any correlation with your energy supplier either, so you can install whenever you want. It could save you £££ on your energy bills each year, but it is a substantial investment- with the average smart thermostat costing £250. Make sure you get a qualified gas engineer if you are making any big changes.

Your home safety

Smart home technology can make your home a safer environment- when you’re there and when you’re not. The most popular way to improve your home safety is via smart doorbell. They’ve taken off fast, with an easy way to watch who’s coming by your house. They include built-in camera’s, microphones and speakers that notify your phone when someone rings your doorbell- and you can even answer them via phone rather than answering your door. Although it’s a hefty investment at an average of £100, it’s an excellent device to put your mind at rest- especially if you are away from home often.

Improved Appliance Functionality

If you decide to go all out with smart devices, you can buy kits that connect to your appliances such as lights, ovens and washing machines. Using these not only makes it easier for you to control from the sofa but can help make your activity more accurate too!

What device?

Now you know just how great having smart home technology can be, it’s time to decide what is most important to invest in- and which brand is best. Here are our top 3 smart home devices of 2019, which will make an excellent investment in 2020: 

Swan wire-free smart video doorbell

At an appealing price of £49.99, this smart doorbell is one of the cheapest on the market- yet it provides an excellent service bound to help you feel safe. It’s features include:

Wireless connect

Day and night vision

Two-way talk

Heat sensor

30 days of free recording

Overall, it’s a handy device to start your smart home adventure and worth every penny!

Google Nest learning thermostat

Possibly one of the popular devices for new homes, this thermostat connects up to your boiler (it is compatible with most boiler types, and comes free with selected boiler purchases at BOXT.) It’s a bit more of a hassle to set up, as you need to have a professional come and fit it, but the result is worth it. You can control everything to do with your heating through Nest, and it programmes itself after only a week to adjust during the day depending on your schedule. It well and truly is smart and in our eyes worth the £219 price tag. 

Amazon Alexa

Over 100 million Alexa devices have already been sold, which is why it’s made our top list. The Alexa is essentially a premium speaker with voice controls, so you don’t have to use a remote. However, it can connect up to other smart home devices to control them too. Look at it as a hub for all your devices to work together! You can buy them off Amazon for £89.99. 

Smart home technology is continuously evolving and confusing. But with the help of this guide, you’ve now got your headstart to begin saving money and increasing home convenience!