Men's Floral Shirt best SandroFlorals for spring, and all that jazz, groundbreaking, etc. but it really gets old. This season, it is less colourful and, dare I say, minimal.

The flowers are graphically bold and play into a more clean sensibility.

Splashy Sandro has gone more stylised with this strongly contrasting daisy type flower, while Cash Zara has gone more natural with a painterly Magnolia type flower. They’ve obviously been looking at lockdown Instagram…

Left - Sandro - Flowing Printed Shirt - £143.20

Below - Zara - Floral Print Shirt - £27.99

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Men's Floral Shirt best Zara

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 15:13

Tried & Tested Proverb Refillable Deodorant

Proverb Refillable Deodorant Grooming MoisturiserProverb Refillable Deodorant harnesses natural, plant powered ingredients to keep your underarms dry, fresh and sweetly scented without any aluminium.

Founders, Kirstie and Luke, combined their passion of a skincare expert and an ex-professional athlete, both obsessed with creating products that deliver better health & performance. This is no eco bandwagon, it’s their life’s work - the refill comes in 100% compostable paper.

Left - Proverb - Refillable Deodorant Starter Pack with Two Refills - £29, Refillable Starter Pack - £17

There are five scent options: Wild Mint & Eucalyptus, Wild Mint & Eucalyptus – Active, Coconut & Tonka, Coconut & Tonka – Active and Sensitive & Unfragranced.

Choose your Refillable Case colour. You get this outer case free of charge. You only need this once and then ongoing you just buy refills to save single-use plastic. Available in white, grey and yellow.

Ingredients include candelilla and carnauba wax, plant-based waxes to create the deodorant stick and also helps soften the skin. Milk of magnesium is used it to balance the skin’s natural pH while killing odour causing bacteria.

TheChicGeek says, “Sales of deodorants and antiperspirants are down during the pandemic. According to the consumer giant, Unilever, who makes Lynx, Sure and Dove, consumers appeared to abandon personal hygiene while stuck at home. The company said in its last financial statement, ‘Deodorants declined high-single digit as the deodorants market was also impacted by lower consumer usage.’

But, return we will and you couldn’t wrong with picking up this from Proverb. While the environmental credentials are fantastic, what really matters is how you feel and smell. This makes you feel confident and the smell is great.

It is expensive, but it feels quality and they explain their pricing on the website which is a nice touch. I tried Wild Mint & Eucalyptus, I’m not sure if it was ‘Active’ or not, and I’m not really clear on the difference, you just want the one that works the best, but it smelt delicious even geranium like, which I love. Very green and clean. And the smell lasts. This is definitely going on TheChicGeek Recommends list.”

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The Other Saint SPF Grooming MoisturiserPaying particular attention to the daily effect of the elements (e.g. UV rays) on premature ageing, The Other Saint is a new grooming brand taking a simple two-pronged approach to face care; repair your skin and prevent further damage. They, firstly, help to repair damage already done to your skin, then secondly, help to protect your skin from further damage, all by us- ing a variety of natural derived actives & antioxidants.

Left - The Other Saint - SPF 30 Protective Moisturiser 50ml - £22.50

TheChicGeek says, “I have to admit I had a false start with The Other Saint. They approached me last year and asked if I wanted to try and review their products. Looking at SPF being a central message, which I’ve never understood why more brands don’t as I’ve been banging on about this for years, I was looking forward to them arriving.

Four products arrived with not a single one containing an SPF. A little perplexed I tried the did try the products - if you like coffee, the Caffeine High Exfoliator is basically the scrapings from a barista’s busy day.

New PR, new approach, and I asked for something with an SPF and the SPF 30 Protective Moisturiser arrived.

With most moisturisers containing SPF you are aware of it. It often feels less silky and drier. If I did a blind testing you would never guess with this one. Which I rate highly. It is light and at SPF 30 it is giving you significant protection. A product that makes you want to apply it more is a winner.

The tub packaging doesn’t do the product justice, while being compostable pot, it doesn’t feel as premium as I would like. I’m not sure what ‘Vegan friendly’ means either, it’s vegan or it’s not?”

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Review tried tested mont blanc explorer ultra blueBlue is the colour of the sky and the seas; the colour of ice-covered mountain peaks and expansive lakes and the inspiration for Montblanc’s fragrance Explorer Ultra Blue.

Three noses, Givaudan’s Jordi Fernandez, Olivier Pescheux, and Antoine Maisondieu have come together. The top notes are a zesty fusion of Italian bergamot and citrus of the finest quality, with the addition of a touch of pink peppercorn to deliver a fresh spicy note with woody facets.

A marine accord is the beating heart of the fragrance. The blue aquatic depth that comes from fusing citrus with the marine and airy notes evokes the freshness of Alpine landscapes, with the subtle hint of a sea breeze. The fresh, iodine, salty and airy notes contrast with grey amber notes. One final stop on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia delivers the base notes of patchouli that defines the structure of Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue.

Left - Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue - EDP 100ml - £72

TheChicGeek says, “This is a fresh woody fragrance. It’s easy on and easy off. It’s a burst mountain forests, but it’s not a stayer. and quickly disappears. It’s cohesive without a single note dominating and also nothing jarring. It feels mature but not old fashioned. The idea was for it to be glacial, without being cold, like breathing the air of the mountain forests. The patchouli here is said to be original to the fragrance, being distilled to remove the dark and earth facets,

The bottle is the same iteration as the original EXPLORER but in a rich blue colour way.”

Launches nationwide May 2021

See TheChicGeek’s Tried & Tested of the first Montblanc EXPLORER here

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Montblanc for review

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Monday, 15 February 2021 16:00

Tried & Tested Aguulp Gut Test

Review tried tested aguulp gut test healthAguulp is a new health and wellness brand offering liquid supplements to improve gut, brain, immune health and recovery after a hangover. They have also developed an at-home gut health test. Everything is new to the market.

Aguulp is created by a team of scientists, is clinically developed and trialled, and includes co-founder and musician Stephen Manderson aka Professor Green, who spent a lifetime battling gut and mental health problems, which led to him creating Aguulp.

The Gut Test is an at-home to lab gut health test. It measures short-chain fatty acids – a more precise indicator of gut health than DNA-based tests. You send your sample to Aguulp’s lab and receive a comprehensive health report with advice on how to improve your gut health.

Left - Aguulp - Gut Test - £80

TheChicGeek says, “Firstly, this was very fast, I received my Gut Test results back within the same week. The results are from a mixture of a questionnaire and a stool sample posted to their lab. It’s really simple to collect and the instructions were simple and straightforward. The questionnaire asks you about your diet and habits etc.

Your gut score is how successful your gut is at producing key biomarkers, called short-chain fatty acids, based on your current gut microbial diversity and abundance, genetics, sex, age, diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, diet is the main factor shaping our gut microbial communities. I was 6.5/10. Over 8 is ‘Ideal’, under 4 is ‘Low’.

I had a few further questions about my test which Aguulp kindly answered:

CG : How individual is the test?

A: The same laboratory extraction and analysis is carried out for everyone, but the results and dietary and lifestyle recommendations are personalised because each of our gut microbiome’s are unique. Gut testing is a snapshot in time, so we have made the test as powerful as possible, whilst remaining affordable with rapid results, this means you can retest yourself periodically to see if the changes you have made work for you.

CG: My result was ‘Borderline’, is this something to be worried about?

A: Borderline or ‘Average’ is not cause for concern, but you do have room for improvement. To put this in to perspective the UK average is 5/10 and the healthy average or ideal score is 8/10 so with your score of 6.5/10 you are half way in between. You have an increased risk of developing, or developing further, gut-related health issues. If you already have gut-related health issues, you have found the solution: by improving your gut health you will improve the underlying issue and remove or lessen your discomfort in time. For your information we have revised our reports and now Borderline is categorised as Average as to lessen people’s concerns.

CG: What percentage of people are Borderline?

A: Approximately 50% of people are borderline, 30% low and 20% ideal, so 80% of people have plenty of room for improvement to improve their gut health and reduce their risk of developing gut related issues.

CG: If I can do one thing to help, what is that?

A: Eat more prebiotic fibre and/or consider a prebiotic supplement such as aguulp for gut. Approximately 90% of people in the UK do not eat the required 30g of fibre per day, which is a major contributory factor in the rise in modern illnesses in western culture, such as digestive inflammation leading to IBS, Crohn’s, asthma and allergies, mental health leading to stress, anxiety and depression and other risks leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity and a weaker immune system. Food sources include whole grains (oats, bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta), fruits (apples with skin, pears with skin, bananas, strawberries), vegetables (carrots, beetroots, broccoli), legumes (kidney beans, lentils, peanuts) and nuts and seeds (chia seeds, almonds).

CG: I eat a lot of sugar, what does this do to me and why should I cut it out?

A: There are many reasons and healthy benefits as to why you should limit your sugar intake from reducing blood sugar spikes, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and heart disease, the list is long. From a gut microbiome perspective, regular intake of refined carbohydrates or sugar feeds the pathogenic opportunistic or ‘bad’ bacteria and reduces the number and diversity of probiotic or ‘good’ bacteria. Again, this is not good news from a gut health perspective, which is a central hub interconnected to the other organs of the body and so has knock on effects.

CG: I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the survey I didn’t drink coffee?

A: If you did drink coffee in moderation, this has been shown to actually help to improve the bacterial diversity in your gut and contributes to a healthy microbiota, therefore your score was Borderline as there is potential room for improvement. However, excess consumption will increase caffeine levels, which may affect other aspects such as restful sleep or de-stressing. Additionally, if you have digestive issues such as IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease, it is recommended to avoid coffee. For your information we have revised our reports and now the section on coffee has been removed as to concentrate people’s attention to areas which are more important and can make a bigger difference to gut health.

CG: Can consumers ask questions about their test results?

A: Of course, we are trying to break to taboo with poo and fully encourage any and all questions. We have designed the customer journey so that you are not forced to speak to anyone about your stools or digestive health if you don’t want to. We have also carefully designed the technical content on the website and report so that the information is nice and easy to understand so that you can ‘digest’ the information yourself, you do not need a medical degree to understand or a doctor to interpret it for you.

CG: Is there any information on your supplement products and tests before and after using them?

A: Yes we carried out a clinical trial, the summary in on the website here

"It’s good to see Aguulp are standing behind their product because they offer a package of two tests - one before and one after - with a combination of their ‘Brain’ and ‘Gut’ supplements in-between. They say the 'health shots' use liposomal technology to protect nutrients from being destroyed as they’re making their way through the body, delivering 98% nutrient absorption, compared to 20% from some traditional pill-form vitamins."

Takeaway - Everything is about ‘gut health’ at the moment, and I am a firm believer - *gulps apple cider vinegar*. You get out what you put in. It also feels central to everything in our bodies. This test is affordable yet expensive enough to be scientific and offers a nice breakdown with different elements. To be cynical, there’s always going to be room for improvement, especially from a brand that wants to sell you months' worth of supplements.

I was low on fuel for bad bacteria, and I know I eat too much sugar. (I’m trying dark chocolate to control my chocolate addiction while trying to cut down the sugar). I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the questionnaire that I didn’t drink coffee, but they answered that above. I also need to fast more and avoid food or drink (water is ok) for at least 12 hours a day.

I'm yet to try their supplements but these results certainly make me curious. Pass me the oats!"

Review tried tested aguulp gut test health

 

www.aguulp.com

Disclosure - The Gut Test was complimentary from Aguulp

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Left - Aguulp clinical trial results

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