We went to Chernobyl…because of course we did

Couple standing in front of the abandoned ferris wheel in the town of Pripyat

Back in February, Will and I headed to Ukraine to visit Chernobyl.

This was 100% not a surprise to our close friends, as it’s just the type of place we’d go. However, we had so many shocked reactions from people who know us less well, wondering why we’d ever go to a place like that.

Well, this is why. It’s different, it’s interesting, it’s an experience and crucially – it’s IMPORTANT.

A major historic event took place in Chernobyl on 26th April 1986, and it needs to be remembered.

31 people died as a direct result of the Chernobyl disaster. Most of these were firemen who gave their lives to contain the radiation. In addition, untold numbers were affected following the settling of radioactive dust afterwards, its effects still undefined.

I won’t go into the finer details, but you should watch ‘Surviving Disaster‘ on YouTube – it explains everything well without losing the human element. It also stars Ade Edmondson and you can’t go wrong there, really.

We filmed a fair amount of content whilst we were there, but not everything. Chernobyl and the ghost town Pripyat is a place that needs to be fully appreciated for what it is, rather than filmed non-stop. I’m glad we got some footage, but I’m even more glad we experienced it.

We’ve another video coming up, which includes our time staying in Ukraine and some questionable local spirits…stay tuned!

 

*SensatioNail Strip Gel Kit & Luxe Studio Cosmetic Tools Review

SensationNail nail kit
I’m absolutely obsessed with my nails. I paint and repaint them an average of three or four times a week in an attempt to use the hundreds of colours I have. Safe to say, my nails aren’t obsessed with ME after all the trauma of harsh chems and filing! I take supplements to keep them growing and condition them to keep them healthy but sadly, they are naturally quite thin.

When we got engaged, I started getting professional Shellac nails. This was a fab idea as it maintained my colour and my natural nails grew well underneath, meaning that in just a couple of weeks, I had a beautiful, long set of nails.

Natural, bare nails and and has an engagement ring
Never had lovely nails like this in my life!

But it’s so EXPENSIVE. Living in London, you’re looking at £25 for a full set with a manicure, or around £15 with just colour (no filing or anything, just the colour plonked on and zapped in the UV light). Then it’s £5-8 to take off and start again. I can’t bear the gap between the colour and nail bed so I was doing this every couple of weeks. I just began to accept I’d either have to pay the premium, or just make good on what I was given and try my best.

A new method

Thankfully, SensatioNail came to my rescue. One of the biggest buggers about gel nails is the removal. You either need to soak them off in acetone, or file them off. I’ve used both of these methods at home – the chemicals make my hands all dry, and although my electric file is good, I’m not a professional and I often catch my skin.

LUCKILY, SensatioNail has introduced a Peel Off Strip Gel Base Coat. I was really intrigued by this – it’s pitched as the perfect base for nail addicts who love to change their polish colour on a regular basis as you can peel it off any time from 48 hours after application. It claims not to change the wear time so you can still wear the gels for up to 2 weeks if preferred.

How did it go?

I first used the Luxe Studio tools to prep. These were really weighty and felt expensive, as well as looking lovely in a rose-gold hue. They did the job perfectly.

Luxe Studio tools including tweezers, scissors and nail clippers

The whole process was pretty easy. You add the base coat, let it air-dry, then add two coats of colour (curing for 30 seconds under the UV lamp each time) and then add a final glossy gel top coat which cures the whole lot.

I was worried that the colours weren’t curing, but when you add the top coat, the entire thing seals dry. As for longevity…hmm I’m not 100% sure about a two-week wear. Don’t get me wrong, they looked great and lasted better than normal varnish, but at day four, my thumb nail began to peel and I can’t bear that, so I got rid of it all and redid them. Alternatively, you can just redo one nail if the rest are fine.

I was worried about damage but it feels incredibly gentle, with no pulling of the natural nail layers. Always make sure to use a cuticle oil or conditioner afterwards, though.

Honestly, this is a great product for someone like me who changes their look all the time, but if you need the guarantee that your gels are going to stick around, I’d either go professional OR just use this kit with a normal gel base coat, it’s really versatile.

You can take a look at the rest of the SensatioNail range here.

*Skinny Tan’s Pro-Tan Moisture Mousse Review

Pair of legs on a pink background wearing pink socks
I absolutely love having a tan. It makes me feel healthier, more in shape and gives me an overall glow. Sods Law then that I’ve been cursed with skin that goes slightly pink, before returning to its milky-white standard. Pretty unfair, I love the sun and would LOVE to rock a natural tan. Unfortunately though, without burning myself to a crisp and risking skin cancer on regular sunbeds, or
actually injecting myself with drugs, there’s not much I can do about it.

For me, my sun comes in a bottle. I’ve tried huuuunndreds over the years. From the classic Rimmel Shimmer Tan using the ‘rub it in everywhere with bare hands and hope for the best’ method in sixth-form to professional spray-tans, I’ve used every brand, consistency and been every shade you can imagine. You can check out my reviews of Madame LA LA and the St Moriz 2018 Collection here.

Currently, I’m using Tanologist Tanning Water in Dark and am still getting to grips with its development time, although I love the formula – lightweight, non-greasy, doesn’t smell. However, I was recently sent Skinny Tan’s brand new Pro-Tan Moisture Mousse to review. Never one to shy away from a new product, I gave it a crack – here’s what I thought.

Exfoliating Mitt

Gotta say, I absolutely love this mitt (£5.99). I generally use a coarse scrub in the shower ahead of tanning but sometimes don’t feel like I do the job properly. This mitt has two sides – orange for exfoliating in the shower, and brown for rubbing off excess tan. It also has an elasticated cuff which I LOVE as it prevents the mitt slipping off under the water. It actually works – I used it to get some old tan off before starting with Skinny Tan and it didn’t hurt or take a lot of effort. Definitely a winner.

Dual-sided Tanning Mitt

I was a little sceptical when I saw and felt this mitt. It’s practically FLUFFY (£5.99). Made of true velvet, it’s dual-sided and glides the product onto the skin. Because it’s so fluffy, I’m not sure how much of the product was lost to the mitt, but it didn’t come out patchy and that’s all the matters in the world of tan.

Pro-Tan Moisturising Mousse

Here is how the new tan (£27.99) is described:

“Pro-Tan luxury whipped moisture mousse glides on fast and develops to a tanned glow in up to 60 minutes. Prefer a darker shade? Simply leave Pro-Tan on for up to 3 hours to achieve a medium tan. Leave on for up to 6 hours for a deeper bronze or leave it overnight to achieve your deepest, natural looking SkinnyTan™ ever. No orange, no streaking, no nasty smell and achieves all the SkinnyTan™ professional results at any shade!”

Like the Tanologist Tanning-Water, I get a little confused by the tan development times, as it involves timing and working out when to shower. If you’re working 9-5 or don’t have much free time, you might be a little bit screwed.

In all fairness, I didn’t time it as I wanted to see how dark it would go. I applied the tan and slept in it overnight. The consistency is a mousse and you can see exactly where it’s going on your body. It doesn’t dry instantly so you have a little bit of playtime before you need to worry about streaks or lines – the mitt helps with this.

The smell isn’t too overpowering, a little like chocolate and not as biscuity as some on the market. I washed it off in the morning and had a lovely golden tan, which was actually quite dark. The shade perfect for the night out I was planning that night, but maybe a bit much for day-to-day.

The tan does cling for days which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you’re going for – all you need is the exfoliation mitt though, and you can go back to your base colour!

Overall, a really nice tanning product – the tanning tools also really help to create a smooth, long-lasting tan.

The new products are available from the Superdrug website, along with the rest of the range.

*Join the Revolution – Intimina Ziggy Cup Review

Sanitary pad on pink background with red sequins
Way, waaaay back in 2016 (feels like a million years ago to me, HOW much my life has changed OMD), I
wrote about menstrual cups for the first time. The blog blew UP and I got so much feedback, good and bad. Ranging from admiration that I’d written about my period online, to complete horror and disgust that I’d written about my period online. Two types of people pals, two types of people.

Lads, it’s 2019 now and I can’t explain how PROUD I am of the progress everyone has made over the last few years, in terms of talking about the important stuff – men’s mental health, suicide, admitting our anxieties, adverts no longer using blue liquid to euphemise a period – just so much stuff that was often taboo that just needs to be talked about.

The Eco-Revolution

I’m still an advocate for the menstrual cup. Environmentally-friendly, they’re made of silicone and you can wear them for up to 12 hours – a dream when you’ve got a busy day and don’t want to be counting on your fingers the amount of tampons you’ll need to stuff in your bag. They’re fabulous for women in developing countries and also for homeless women, who often have to resort to unhygienic practices during their period.

There’s loads of menstrual cups to buy nowadays, in different shapes and colours and for every phase of your life – whether you’ve just started your periods, whether you’ve given birth and much more.

What’s Next?

Not TOO much has changed on the blog since 2016, you probably all know that I’m still no stranger to talking about my fanny on the internet.

Let’s go one step further and talk about…period sex.

I was approached by Intimina to review its new Ziggy Cup, which offers all of the protection of a normal menstrual cup but with a flat-fit design so you can, er, do the dirty with no mess. I was really intrigued by the design and whether it would truly work.

It arrives in a bright pink, but very subtle in size rubber box. The rim is thick and bounces back when you squeeze, so I was fairly confident it would hold. The actual ‘cup’ is fairly thin and very moveable but I suppose it needs to be, to make room for…other things.

Ziggy Cup and packaging from Intimina

Using the Intimina Ziggy Cup

I wore it for a few hours before doing the deed. Without going into too much detail, for I fear my poor fiancé will die of embarrassment…it was absolutely fine. No mess, or no more than usual (soz mums) swift removal and then business as usual. Despite it looking nothing like a regular menstrual cup, it worked exactly like one!

Honestly, no one absolutely NEEDS to be having period sex, but if you fancy it, a totally useful product is now on the market.

I asked this is 2016 and I’ll ask it again in 2019…what do you think? Intriguing or still totally gross? Thinking of investing in a cup or sticking to what you know? Any questions – let me know!

Check out the rest of the Intimina range here. They’ve also got a fab campaign on at the moment which started on International Women’s Day this year which details periods through the ages and excellent achievements by women over time. Definitely worth a read: #whilebleeding.

Prague – The Best Bits

We went to Prague back in October for a short weekend away. We’d both been before, but had never had the experience of visiting the city as a couple, so decided to crack on.

It’s really easy to get there from London, with flight times of two hours and for as little as £50 return, you’d be silly not to.

We had a great time – here are our best bits.

Local restaurants

We love trying out the local cuisine when we visit a new place, and Prague is no different. Right in the centre you can get a fair amount of over-priced European food and some Czech, but it’s definitely worth going further out to enjoy something a little more authentic (and cheaper!). We really enjoyed U Dvou koček, which is a little further out in Old Town. Will had Wild Boar Goulash for lunch and dinner! I think they brew their own beer as well and it’s really cheap – seems like lots of locals drink there too.

The Torture Museum

This one is a bit silly, but we had fun nonetheless. Right in the centre of Prague, they’ve reconstructed some deep, dark cellars and have all manner of disgusting torture implements on display. There are loads of wax mannequins being tortured to death and a vile witch on a stake who doesn’t stop screaming as you walk around. Most of the signage is in Czech, or translated into terrible English, so you can turn it into a game of ‘what implement goes in what body part’. Equally hilarious and disturbing fun. The museum takes about 30 minutes to get around, and it’s a bit of fun to break up your day, wandering the city. It cost about £12 for both of us.

The Torture Museum Prague

Nightlife

Prague is one of the most popular destinations for stag parties, and you can guarantee you’ll see a fair few fancy-dress costumes and men trying to drain the country of beer. We don’t go in much for clubbing, but there’s hundred of amazing places, including cool, dingy Absinthe bars to try out. Alcoholic drinks cost about 150czk (£5), or around 100czk (£3.20) for a beer.

People-watching

It may be a little more expensive, but set yourself up in a bar that faces out onto the Old Town Square. You’ll be able to see the Astronomical Clock and the amount of different people that walk by. Fascinating. From locals selling balloons, to hoards of Chinese tourists, to a poor Stag with his willy hanging out, to the actual Hare Krishna chanting and dancing on by…it’s SO fun, especially when you’re a bit pissed. Try Staromestska Restaurant – they have heaters and blankets outside when it’s a little cold.

Old Town Square

Trdlo – or Trdelník

These little places are everywhere in Prague! It’s sweet dough, wrapped around a stick, grilled, topped with sugar and then filled with whatever you want. The favourites seemed to be Nutella and ice cream, strawberries and cream and apple pie filling. They’re super sweet but worth having at least once. I can’t remember the exact price but they aren’t too cheap – around £3-5 depending on where you get one.

Have you been to Prague? What was your favourite part?