Lockdown Luxuries: Little Things Getting Us Through
Lockdown 3.0 has been tough, to say the least. Christmas over with and dark, rainy days stretching out endlessly, we’re taking great comfort in small pleasures.
From trying out a new tea flavour to mastering at-home manicures, right now our focus is on staying at home and looking after ourselves. We’re super lucky here at Fashionbite to be sent new products to try out – so here’s our pick of the lovely little things offering some luxury in lockdown.
For some lunch time self-love
We don’t know about you, but bouts of freezing weather have seen us taking luxurious hot baths on our lunch breaks (and what of it?!). None were more satisfying than the half hour spent testing Faith In Nature‘s brand new Shea & Argan products, formulated to be as high-performance as they are ethical. You can guarantee sustainable packaging, vegan ingredients *and* zero cruelty to animals when buying from this brand – and they look lovely, too. We found the heady Body Wash to be super indulgent, smelling sweet (think vanilla, frangipane, pear and bergamot) without being too overpowering for a long bath. Shea butter in the shampoo and conditioner meant that our tester’s fine hair was a little weighed down after use, but they loved the product’s silkiness – this should guarantee smoothness for most hair types. The shampoo and conditioners will be available in planet-friendly bar form from March 2021!
£5.79 (body wash) & £5.97 (shampoo & conditioner), Faithinnature.co.uk
If you’re sick of sandwiches
Aside from having the prettiest packaging *ever*, Posh Cow butter offers some fun alternatives to salted Lurpak. We tried Blossom Honey & Cinnamon spread over hot scones from the bakery, and spread on a sweet bagel for a lunchtime treat. Butter whipped with seaweed would work well with a crusty hot roll and pasta, too!
£2.80, Marks & Spencer stores nationwide and Poshcowdairy.com
If you’re smashing the home workouts
Squeezing in a home workout has become an essential part of our day-to-day in the ‘new normal’, and with that has come irritated skin – owing to a combination of cranked up central heating, freezing cold 5Ks and sweaty gym gear. Eczema sufferers well know the pain of maintaining smooth skin in such conditions, so we’re really happy to report that The Beauty Of Eczema‘s bath salts and calming creams are truly soothing. We’ve loved throwing a hefty dose of salts into the tub after a long, rainy run, followed by lashings of body moisturiser (is this what they call ‘self care’?).
Products start at £12, Thebeautyofeczema.com
For anyone missing their manicures
Vegan, cruelty-free nail brand Peacci have developed a range of salon-professional custom nail kits, bringing together the essentials you need for an at-home pamper session. We tried the super handy Gel Removal Kit, which comes with Soak Away acetone and a cuticle pusher to keep nail beds healthy. Using the foils and acetone, we found it easy to buff away residue polish from a (months-old!) gel manicure, and the buffer left our nails looking shiny afterwards.
For help going plant-based
Dairy dodgers, rejoice! Fancy Plants‘ chocolate silky pots and red berry chia parfait are the perfect answer to 11am cravings. A great choice if you’ve recently gone vegan, or just fancy trying something new. We poured a chocolate pot over a stack of pancakes and don’t regret a thing.
Tesco, Whole Foods and Fancyplants.com/uk
For the Dry February gang (because, well, January)
Inching through the driest January known to man has been made that tiny bit easier thanks to Signature Brew. If you’re missing long chats over pints with your friends, Walthamstow’s trendiest brewery have pledged to help you out. Buy 12 cans of their delicious Lo-Fi alcohol-free Pale Ale, and they’ll send 12 cans to your friend for free. Plan a Zoom date and enjoy together!
£20 for 12 330ml cans, Signaturebrew.co.uk
For a different start to the day
Oh, we had grand plans for our at-home breakfasts this January. Long, lavish brunch-breaks! Espresso martinis on Fridays! But of course, the daily eggs-or-porridge debate soon resumed. The best brekkie we’ve come up with so far is a burnt piece of toast, scarfed down between Zoom calls. Asked to try out Lizi’s Super Muesli, we couldn’t wait – four different blends combining toasted coconut flakes, dried papaya, seeds, nuts and freeze-dried fruit promise skin-brightening and concentration-sharpening effects. While we can’t speak for our improved work output (anyone else feeling the burnout?) we can vouch for delicious flavours and much enjoyment of trying something new in the morning. ‘Boost’ is our favourite, supplemented with vitamin B2, mineral selenium, healing turmeric and sweet mango.
For instant calm
We’re absolutely loving this new collab by Tisserand and National Geographic. Three blends are designed to ground and calm us in a time of flux – we tried the Paradise Collection Travel Kit, arriving in a leather-look black pouch that’s super chic (and fully recyclable). Think uplifting notes like grapefruit, jasmine and mandarin that instantly give you a boost. We particularly loved keeping the roller ball and mood mist to hand for times of stress. We love that the products are sustainably sourced and designed, dedicated to giving back to those who work in conservation.
£20 for one travel kit, Boots stores nationwide and Tisserand.com
For (eighty) five minutes all to yourself
Zen mindfulness teacher Elizabeth Caroline has teamed up with Sensory Retreats to offer a deeply balancing guided meditation that focuses on self-love and compassion – while enjoying the benefits of a super soft self-heating eye mask.
Amour Eyes masks come with access to 85 minutes of crystal sound healing, allowing you to truly switch off by creating your own sound bath at home. Struggling with anxiety? Try listening to the included Crystal Singing Bowls recording to promote deep relaxation. These magical sounds neutralise stress, soothe the nervous system and promote well-being.
£5 with bespoke gifting box. Box of five for £15, Sensoryretreats.com
For last-minute gifts
Getting gifts to the people who matter has been surprisingly hard in lockdown. Find the perfect present online, and there aren’t too many options for pretty gift-wrapping. Wrap it up yourself, and face lengthy Post Office queues (and potentially unwanted crowding). Pre-pandemic, Moonpig has always been a good fallback for getting last-minute cards to far-flung locations – but did you know their offering stretches to beautiful flowers (plus plants, chocolates, booze, hampers, and even mini Christmas trees come December?). Pretty bunches come in an array of colours and arrangements, starting at £22.
£22, The Sunny Germini, Moonpig.com
If your skin needs help
Working from home in sub-zero temperatures has meant dragging our desks close to radiators and hugging hot water bottles. As a result, our skin’s become puffy and dry. Enter, 7th Heaven’s peel-off face masks, offering gentle and effective ways of removing dead skin cells. From Pink Guava enriched with Vitamin C to refining Dead Sea clay masks, there’s a ton of options to jazz up your weekly scrub routine.
If you can’t face putting the kettle on… again
Sick of punctuating the work day with tea, coffee, and more tea and coffee, we were pleased to try Gibson’s Goodology CBD-infused teas. Think earthy green tea with tropical passionfruit and notes of pineapple, strawberry and rose, promising ‘liquid hugs’ to all. Yum!