Student Survival Kit Review

Amphora Aromatics Student Survival Kit Review

For those that don’t already know I’m currently finishing off a Masters in Information and Library Studies. The appearance and subsequent diagnosis of my ME (you can read all about that over here) threw some of my plans into chaos but thanks to a supportive department and understanding supervisor I was allowed to go on medical leave. But before all that I’d also graduated with two undergraduate degrees; one in Art History from the University of Leeds and one in English Literature from the University of Glasgow. So when an opportunity came about to the check out Amphora Aromatics’ Student Survival Kit I signed up straight away, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my studies it’s that it’s super important to remember to look after yourself. And that is exactly what Amphora Aromatics had in mind when they created this survival kit.

 

Student Survival Kit Introduction

The Kit

The kit features some great products that utilise aromatherapy to provide relief and comfort for students in all walks of life. Whether you’re a Fresher just starting out, a student in the middle of their course or a Masters/PhD student there is something for everyone. The products also cover a range of needs; there’s some great beauty items from AA Skincare for skin, lips and hair care, face marks by Ooh-arr, a foot lotion by Amphora Aromatics and their specially developed focus Aromatherapy Blend.

What attracted me to this kit was that Amphora Aromatics  have covered all the bases and put together an assemble of products that I would have picked myself. I’m a big fan of aromatherapy products as I’ve mentioned before and I really appreciate that they combined their knowledge of aromatherapy with the realities of student life when creating their student survival kit. While it’s great to have some excellent face care products to pamper yourself with for a self-care session, it’s even better when you’re getting the healing and soothing effects of aromatherapy to boost you too! I’ll be talking more about this in my review of AA Skincare’s Lavender & Tea Tree Moisturising Face Lotion below.

As every student knows it’s not always easy to splash out on products to pamper yourself, especially when you’ve got x amount of expensive textbooks to buy. All the prices in the student survival kit are reasonable and the slightly more pricey items, such as AA Skincare’s Natural Shampoo Bars and the FOCUS aromatherapy blend is something that will last for a long period of time. Prices start at £1.20 for the Ooh-arr facemasks, with most products ranging between £3.40 – £.5.60.

 

Amphora Aromatics - My Student Survival Kit

My Student Survival Kit

I was given the chance to choose three products to create my own student survival kit and then provide an honest review of them. So before I get into the review of each product I wanted to explain why these three products beat off the other contenders to make it into my personal survival kit!

First up is Amphora Aromatics’ Fresh Feet Lotion which made it onto this list because sore feet is a part of any students life. I’ve not met a campus yet that hasn’t been huge, and I know from experience how often students have to trek from one side of the campus to the other – usually in a tiny 5 minute window! Throw in the cold weather as we head into winter and it’s a horrible combination for our bodies, especially our poor feet. I’m a big fan of foot lotions especially those that are made from peppermint so this was a must for my own kit.

Next up is AA Skincare’s Lavender & Tea Tree Moisturising Lotion because as I said it’s important to remember to take time out to give yourself some self-care. This lotion can be used as a cleanser as part of your daily routine so if you’re super busy and don’t have time for a full on pamper session you can still actively be looking after yourself and your skin. It was the two key ingredients, lavender and tea tree, that drew me to this product and ultimately got it a spot in my kit. Lavender isn’t just great for your skin; it’s great for your well being. It’s great for stress – which lets be honest is something ALL students will suffer from at some point during their studies – due to it’s calming and sedative products. So you’re not just helping to soothe your skin, you’re also giving yourself a calming boost at the same time! I talk more about how I noticed this while using the product in my review below. Tea Tree is fabulous in skin care due to it’s natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities, so popping that in a moisturiser alongside lavender was a win-win for me.

The final product in my kit Amphora Aromatics’ FOCUS Aromatherapy Blend, and if you’ve been keeping up with my blog you’ll know I suffer from ME. Since hearing about Focus blends I’ve been wanting to try one to see if it could help me focus when struggling with fatigue and brain fog. However, this is something that can benefit all students. If you’re having a long day with back to back lectures, or you’re stuck in a room that is too hot and stuffy, it’s really easy to start to lose focus. Early morning lectures, especially if you’ve been out the night before, can be a nightmare too. Blends like this are great for popping in your bag or spotting on a tissue to keep in a pocket. It’s also designed to be used in a oil diffuser or burner so after a long day of classes you can get back home, pop it in and feel able to focus on that mountain load of coursework waiting for you.

Now that you know why I picked these three items, it’s time to find out how they shaped up!

The Products

Amphora Aromatics - Fresh Feet Lotion

Fresh Feet Lotion

Due to my hypermobility I’ve always suffered from sore feet and being a student didn’t help with this at all. Hurrying across campus, often struggling through crowded hallways and in wet and cold weather; yep student get definitely need some TLC! And lets be honest; until it gets to the summer and we whip out the sandals we won’t really give them much love. Peppermint and Tea Tree are an ideal combination for a foot lotion because not only do they help keep your feet feeling and smelly fresh, but tea tree has lots of natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities too.

After a long day the idea of giving your feet a thorough pamper or a pedicure is not at the top of any student’s list. A lotion like Amphora Aromatics’ Fresh Feet Lotion is something that you can rub into your feet within minutes, or use as part of a longer massage to really work out those aches and pains. The fact that it’s so easy to use, and not messy means that you can use it on the go too. If you know you’re going to have a long day at Uni, followed by a shift at work or a night out then pop this beauty in your bag. No one’s going to know if you whip it out in the toilets and rub some on your feet!

The light weight lotion spreads really easily and absorbs quickly not leaving a sticky residue behind like some foot lotions, and also not leaving you with excess cream to spread. It does smell strongly of peppermint but no more so than any other peppermint product out there – pocket mints smell stronger as an example. It is a foot lotion after all so you don’t want something with a weak scent. I found that it doesn’t take much to use as it spreads so well so the 100ml bottle will keep you going for ages! And finally; does it work? Yep! I recommend putting it on overnight (and wear socks to lock in the goodness) and you’ll wake up with feet that feel nurtured, soft and refreshed.

 

AA Skincare Lavender & Tea Tree Moisturising Lotion

Lavender & Tea Tree Moisturising Lotion

I have been eyeing up the AA Skincare range for a while, and have heard great things about so many of their products so I wasn’t surprised to find that I liked this product. I was surprised, however, to find just how much I needed it. I thought I had most of my skin care routine sorted out and this product came along and proved just how wrong I was!

It’s described as being “perfect for balancing acne prone skin” in the Student Survival Kit and while I don’t have terrible acne I would definitely describe my skin as acne prone. I’m now in my 30s and I still have trouble with it. I’ve made great progress in recent years after discovering Garnier’s PureActive and SkinActive ranges, but it’s still not perfectly under control. Well, after a month of using this lovely product I can say for certain that it definitely does balance your skin.My skin felt more hydrated and refreshed, and generally it felt like a balance in my skins levels had been reached. It really did feel like I’d found the missing piece of the puzzle for my skin routine. It kept my skin free from blemishes, and any that did pop up due to hormones were soothed away thanks to the wonderful combination of tea tree and lavender.

The added bonus with this product is that it smells very strongly of lavender – and before you think, oh no, give me a moment to elaborate. Strong smells, especially lavender, can be a big turn off and I hear you on that one. When I first got a whiff of this moisturiser I did think it was pretty strong and wondered whether it was going to be too strong. What I found was that it disperses as you use it and ends up becoming a pleasant lingering scent instead. My fiancé normally notices when a product has a strong smell and when questioned he had absolutely no clue what I was talking about. So don’t worry you won’t be walking around smelling like you’ve dunked yourself in lavender! 😉 You will, however, be benefiting from the therapeutic qualities of lavender. I like to use this product before bed so that the lavender helps to calm and soothe my skin and my mind, preparing me for a nights rest.

 

Amphora Aromatics - FOCUS Aromatherapy Blend

FOCUS Aromatherapy Blend

You might be wondering what exactly is an aromatherapy blend, and why is it worth investing £7.50 in a tiny bottle of 10ml? That’s a pretty steep price, or so it seems, especially for a student. Aromatherapy blends like the FOCUS blend by Amphora Aromatics isn’t just a bunch of oils thrown into a pot. Made from pure essential oils, Amphora Aromatics’ blends are specially formulated to produce a mix of oils that work in harmony to help boost your mood or well-being. They have a whole range, but this one is specifically designed to help stimulate and clear your mind, enabling you to feel refreshed and be able to focus more.

The instructions on the product itself says for use in a diffuser or oil burner; I did not test the product in either of these for two reasons. As I am asthmatic I have to be careful when burning oils, especially those with a strong scent and that is why I didn’t try this in my diffuser either. While I was very happy with this product and it’s effects (read on) it does have a very strong smell due to the main ingredient; cloves. I have a pretty sensitive nose; I can visit candle shops and Lush without any problems, where as my mum who has an incredible sense of smell cannot even walk past them. So hopefully that can give you an idea of scale for strength of smell.

I did still use the blend though and found other ways to use it that worked for me! For example, I found it useful to spot some on a tissue and smell that, and I also used it during steaming sessions to clear my sinuses and found that it worked fantastically for that. After steaming I felt much more refreshed and focused than I would have done using a vapour rub, while also benefiting from clearing my sinuses as the blend also contains Eucalyptus (one of the main ingredients in vapour rubs!).

After using the oil I definitely felt a difference in how I felt. It helped to clear my head, almost feeling like someone had run through my mind and giving it a shower. The cobwebs were gone, the fuzziness and the fatigue that coated my thoughts had been brushed away and I could focus again! I really do recommend trying this blend if you find you are having trouble concentrating in classes, or exams. If you have ME like me, or another condition that causes fatigue or brain fog then this may also benefit you. As with all aromatherapy oils be aware of the ingredients and check that they’re safe for you to use. As this blend is made of pure essential oils it isn’t safe to use directly on skin, but you can easily dilute it with a base cream or base oil. You can out the full range of base products available at Amphora Aromatics right here.

Conclusion

Everything I tested in this review would be a fantastic part of any Student Survival Kit. They are just the right mixture of practicality and pampering mixed with all the goodness that aromatherapy has to offer. What I particularly liked about these three products was that none of them meant taking extra time out of my day to add some self care and aromatherapy into my routine. They are all items that are quick and easy to use, and also so easily portable; you can pop them in your bag and use them on campus if you need to. The whole kit listed by Amphora Aromatics fits that bill actually, and is also a great starting place for anyone who has never tried aromatherapy products.

Over to You

Although this review was aimed at students, I think that most of this was applicable to anyone and I hope that even if you’re not a student that you got something from it! For the students among you don’t forget to also check out my student advice section. It’s my way of passing on my knowledge and experience to the next generation of students. If you have any questions about student life then feel free to get in touch 🙂

Do you have a student survival kit? Or if you were a student what would be in your kit?

Personally I think everyone could do with a survival kit for those long days; how do you cope with long/bad days?

Have you tried aromatherapy before? Do you use oils and blends or do you prefer to use products like AA skincare which contain aromatherapy oils?

Let me know in the comments! And if you have any questions about anything in this review please do not hesitate to ask 🙂

Review: CareCo Exercise Band

Review - Exercise Band by CareCo: the discount mobility experts

RewviI was diagnosed with hypermobility at the age of 14 after multiple ankle injuries which culminated in the tearing of all the ligaments in one ankle. Not pretty right? So when the opportunity came around to review some products from CareCo the discount mobility experts I grabbed the chance to review their exercise band. Exercise bands like this were a core part of the many years of intense physio I had that focused on stabilising my ankles. Although I used them primarily for working with my ankles back then,  exercise bands have a variety of uses for such a simple and inexpensive product.

 

Careco Exercise Band in Pouch

First Impressions

I was really impressed with the neat little pouch that the band came in. It’s exactly as advertised on the site, however, anyone who’s ever done physio will know that you don’t get handed one so neatly packaged. In the past if I’ve been given one by a physiotherapist they have quite literally gone to a massive role that they have and cut a length off of it. So just having that little bit of extra effort made in the presentation and also having somewhere to put the band between exercises makes a big difference to me.

CareCo 4 Week exercise resistance plan booklet

 

The band also comes with a 4 week resistance exercise plan booklet which is fantastic! The contents include the four weeks plan as well as exercise tips, dieting tips, mental fitness and further advice. I really appreciate that Careco have included mental fitness in the booklet and it has some great – and more importantly useful – advice in that respect. The diet page is brief and useful, not at all lecturing or guilt tripping.

 

CareCo Exercise Resistance Plan Week One

 

In regards to the exercises each week tackles a separate area of the body; week one is upper body, week two is legs, week three is abdominal (chest and back) and week four is legs and triceps. You have the option of doing the plan as it is set out or using the booklet as a guide for what area of your body you need to focus on. For someone with a condition like mine, hypermobility/hypermobile EDS, it could be wrists one day and legs the next so I can quite easily flip through the guide and select an exercise that pertains for that area of the body. And there are several options to choose from as well.

 

Careco Exercise Band for Resistance Exercises

Exercise Band

The band itself is pretty much a standard exercise band made of the same stretchy rubber material as all the bands I have previously encountered. Exercise bands can come in different strengths depending on the needs of the patient, and the CareCo band does not seem to come with any strength details. The specification segment of the product page is empty so no luck there. When testing the strength for myself I found that it had quite a high resistance strength so this may not be the best product for someone with weak joints or muscles.

 

Numbers on the CareCo Exercise Band for hand positions

What I did like about the exercise band is that it is numbered; each number pertains hand places for the exercises outlined in the guide book. This is a really useful feature that helps the users become accustomed to using the band and grow comfortable and confident in doing so. It also ensures that they use the band correctly reducing the risk of injuring by over stretching their muscles.

 

The CareCo exercise band fits easily back into the pouch with plenty of room to spare!

 

One last thing I wanted to check was whether the handy pouch was actually as useful as it seemed – and yes it is! Sometimes when you get an accompanying bag for an item, especially one that can be messy to put back in like a rubber exercise band, the bag isn’t as up to the job as it first appears. But as you can see I had absolutely no problem popping it back into the pouch. The band folded up easily and there was plenty of room left in the pouch for a time if I wasn’t able to fold it neatly (which is an issue if my fingers are sore) and I needed to just jam it in.

 

Resistance Strength Rating of the CareCo Exercise Band

Conclusion

Overall it’s a good product for £11.99 (inc. VAT) and CareCo have put a lot of time and effort into the supporting material to ensure that users have the information they need to get started straight away. This makes the product a great all rounder for a variety of customers; whether you’re just starting out with fitness, have been recommended resistance exercises by a physiotherapist or you’re a fitness fanatic this exercise band has something for everyone.

My only reservation about the product is that it does not come with a resistance strength rating and I do feel that this is an oversight by CareCo. I gave it a few strong tugs to test the resistance for the purpose of this review, and the day after my wrist was still tender. It would be remiss of me not to mention that this band might be too strong for, or at least requires careful use for those with weak joints/muscles and who run the risk of hyper-extension or dislocation. It can still be used provided you are aware of the strength and take that into consideration when using this product for exercises.

 

Over to You

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful! Don’t forget to check out CareCo’s website they have a great range of mobility products at good prices compared to other places. They also offer a price comparison service so if you find it cheaper else where they will match it!

Have you used an exercise band before?

Are you familiar with CareCo?

What are some of your favourite mobility or health aids?

Let me know in the comments! If you have any questions about this product please do not hesitate to ask 🙂

Skincare Samples

Sample Shoutout - June: Skincare Edition

Welcome to the first Sample Shoutout a new series here at Just Geeking By where I share a couple of samples I’ve been trying out each month. They will usually be beauty samples, however, from time to time they may be something else such as food or stationery! It really depends on what I can get my mitts on 🙂 These are all free samples gathered with the help of freebie sites or following companies on social media networks. If you’d like me to go into more detail about how I obtain samples let me know in the comments! ((Texture used in the banner is by Lady Asmodina and the Sakura Frame is by katydeviantart.))

This month it’s a skincare special as I review L’oreal Paris Smooth Sugar Scrubs, Clarins SOS Hydra and Glam Glow’s SuperMud Clearing Treatment!

 

Please Note - This post contains Affiliate Links. Click for more information!

 

L’oreal Paris: Smooth Sugar Scrubs

Cocoa Nourish

 

L'oreal Paris: Smooth Sugar Scrubs Cocoa Nourish

As soon as I saw these advertised I knew I had to get my hands on them so when I saw the chance to grab a sample I did and crossed my fingers! I was really excited when I got it through the post, and then held onto it for a few weeks because I didn’t want to use it up.

I tested the cocoa Nourish scrub, and there’s also kiwi Clear and grapeseed Glow.

 

L'oreal Paris: Smooth Sugar Scrubs Cocoa Nourish

Eventually I did and I absolutely loved it! It did everything I expected and more. I’ve had these pesky blackheads around my lips that I’ve tried literally everything to get rid of them and nothing has worked – until now! The smooth sugar scrub got rid of them in one use. Wham bam, thank you L’Oreal Paris! It’s been probably about a month since I used it and they’re still so much better than they were. It really did nip the most stubborn ones in the bud.

As you can (sort of) see from this photo it’s a very clear mixture when it goes on. You put it on, add water to activate and leave it on for however long you’re instructed. You can also put it directly onto your lips so it’s a face and lip scrub.

My Vote: 10/10


Clarins SOS Hydra Face Mask

 

Clarins: SOS Hydra Face Mask

Face masks are no longer just the sort that you put on and wash off, and there are now a bunch of moisturiser based ones which you just wipe off when you’re done. The Clarins SOS Hydra Face Mask is one of these and is designed to be what it’s name states; a dose of hydration to save your skin. Well, it does that. My skin was certainly more moisturised afterwards… the problem was getting the blasted thing OFF.

The instructions say something like ‘just wipe it off’. Hah! I wiped, I rubbed, I washed and I even grabbed my micellar water and used that, and even an hour after I still could feel the remnants of it clinging to my skin. I was not impressed.

My Vote: 4/10


GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment

 

 GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment

I am a big Glamglow fan girl after receiving their THIRSTYMUD™ Hydrating Treatment Glam To Go in a prize pack, so I was eager to try more of their range. So when the chance came to try two of their new products I applied and got sent this clearing treatment along with another one (check out next month’s Sample Shoutout!). I kind of had mixed feelings about this one and I think it was mostly because it was only a one use application. I think this is the sort of product you would need to try over a period of time to really see the benefit.

 

 GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment

As you can see from the picture it has a bubbly type of texture which then dries more like a mud/clay mask. It felt a bit odd while drying, otherwise I had no other comments on it. My skin came out feeling fresh and clean – but that is pretty much what I expect from any face mask. It that doesn’t happen then to me a face mask isn’t doing it’s job. So like I said I’d definetly want to try this for a longer period of time to see how it went before being able to give a proper opinion on it.

 

Vote: 6/10 * ((An approximate vote due to the circumstances noted in the review.))


Over to You

Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you 🙂