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 🙂

Scrub Love Mint Temptation Review

Scrub Love Mint Temptation Review

 

 

The lovely Scrub Love UK team sent me one of their products to review. If you’ve read some of my other beauty posts you’ll know I’m a massive fan of scrubs (face or body) so I snapped up the chance to try out this one. I’ve never tried a coffee scrub before, or a dry scrub, so it was a new experience for me.

 

The Products

Scrub Love comes in 3 different flavours; Original Lovin’, Coconut Affair and Mint Temptation. My sample was Mint Temptation which I was really happy about as mint is always super refreshing and it has tea tree in it, which is again one of my favourite products as it’s a natural soother. So, their website describes the scrubs as; “Body scrubs made from 100% natural ingredients that will banish blemishes then target acne, stretch marks, cellulite and anything else you throw at them – to give you a gorgeous glow.” The Mint Temptation one contains peppermint oil, tea tree oil, dead sea salt (awesome for scrubs!), argon oil and aloe vera as well. So yes, I was a happy girlie after reading these (they’re described on the back of the pack so you know exactly what you’re getting) and couldn’t wait to try it.

 

scrub2   scrub2b

 

 

Smell & Texture

I’ll be honest; I was a little bit nervous about trying it because as I said, this was something new to me. As I was in the middle of my resit exams and assignment I decided to do a wee skin test first so I could see what it looked like and also make sure I didn’t react to it. This was more my own paranoia than anything, I don’t react to most things but then again I’ve never smothered coffee all over my body either! I’m also very short sighted so I wanted to get a look at it before I took my glasses off, had my shower and freaked out at what came out the packet because I couldn’t see it properly 😉

 

scrub3 scrub4

 

It reminded me more of dirt than coffee (apart from the smell, there’s definitely no hiding that!). It is a bit weird putting it all over your body when you’re supposed to be making yourself look cleaner. However, it’s a bit like charcoal if you’ve seen/used that before. You make yourself look kind of muddy and then wash it off, ta da!

 

Despite looking like it would irritate your skin, or make you itchy (I get very itchy at the slightest thing on my skin), it doesn’t feel that bad. It is a very fine texture, not at all lumpy and doesn’t really stick until you add a bit of water to the mix in a shower/bath. It smells very strongly of coffee in this form, however, afterwards all I could smell was peppermint and tea tree. I suffer from rhinitus and was having terrible sinus pressure at the time, and this really did clear that up! So not only are you doing something great for your skin, you’re also helping your body with the aromatherapy aspect of all those wonderful oils.

 

Results

The feeling of the soft glowy skin that they promise was pretty much instantaneous. After I washed off the scrub I felt so so clean and fresh. I did use a shower gel afterwards just to help clean off any lingering bits of the scrub lurking, but I probably didn’t need to. I felt as fresh as a daisy, and the vapours from the scrub are really energising too! The website suggests using it several times a week, so it doesn’t surprise me that after about 24 hours my skin felt less moisturised. However, a few days later it still felt pretty damn good. I suffer from Dermatillomania, compulsive skin picking, and acne and my skin looks much better than it did on my arms. The scrub has helped clean out some of the icky stuff and refreshed the skin, with the aloe vera and tea tree helping to soothe it. It will be interesting to see how it goes with more frequent use.

 

Would I use it again?

Yes! I am already drooling over the thought of the Coconut Affair flavour! There was nothing about this product that didn’t do what it claimed to do, and as I said, the effect was pretty quick to see. Before I’d even stepped out the shower I felt so much better. I wasn’t sure it I could use it on my face, so I didn’t, yet my face felt great too. The steam and vapours did their magic, so I’m really curious to see how it works on my face.

 

A few extra notes

I do want to mention a few downsides to this product, which are relatively small in my opinion. Firstly, it is messy! I’m very messy and clumsy anyway, and have a habit of throwing things every where in a shower 😛 It’s a dry scrub, and if you’re familar with those you probably knew this already. I know from my experience with wet scrubs that they can be a tad messy, so again, not really a shocker. As long as you’re prepared to clean your shower/bath out, it’s not an issue. If you share the bathroom with other people it might be a problem, which brings me on to number 2…

It smells very very strongly. I have quite a sensitive nose, and the combination of peppermint, tea tree and coffee was strong but bearable. I know people who would have had to avoid the bathroom because their nose is so sensitive. So again, if you share the bathroom with other people be aware of this because it could cause some issues.

From a disabled point of view the pouch looks difficult to open; I have problems with my fingers and hands, and sometimes resealable pouches, like grated cheese, are a monster to open. I was very pleased to find that I didn’t have to struggle at all and it came open easily. One thing I will suggest though if you’re clumsy or have mobility issues with your hands is watch out for where you place it. The pouch is great to getting in there and scooping it out with your fingers, and controlling how much you use – the downside is that it isn’t always that sturdy. I had mine flop over a few times and had to desperately dash for it to save it from the incoming water. It might very well be worth investing in a seal-able air tight container if you have a lot of trouble with issues like this.

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