Let's face it, after Lockdowns 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0, we're getting pretty well versed at them, aren't we? (Doesn't make them any less crap each and every time though!) 

While I can't let myself get too hopeful that we really are coming to the end of this pandemic in the not-too-distant future, now that we're about to be allowed to at least sit in someone's garden (hooray!), I'm feeling a bit reflective about the past year and what this whole experience has taught me. So, here's 10 lessons I've learned over lockdown.

1. Slow the F down!

For a very long time, I've lived at a hundred miles an hour. I worked 10 hours a day, followed by putting every spare moment into my blog, and when I wasn't doing that I was trying to keep up with all of my other responsibilities or running around making plans, without actually taking time to rest. 

When I found myself on furlough a year ago, I was forced to slow down. I still had my blog and content to give me some sense of purpose and focus, but without spending 8am-6pm in the office, I had no choice but to rest more. Even when I went back to work, without being able to go out at the weekend, those two days per week became mine to actually chill out and reset.

This is something I definitely want to carry through even when lockdown is over. I have a habit of saying yes to everything, even when I'm exhausted because I feel I should. But now that I've realised that cosy days at home are, in fact, one of my favourite things ever, I'm going to be trying to make sure I'm spending time actually resting at home and continuing to slow down a bit. 

2. You don't need to be physically close to your friends to feel like you're closer than ever.

One of the biggest things that I am grateful for at the moment are how this whole pandemic has strengthened my friendships, especially the long-distance ones. I used to see my best friends from uni three times a year, and occasionally speak in-between. Now, we FaceTime once every couple of weeks, check in on each other regularly and I feel like our friendship is stronger than it has been since we graduated. It just goes to show that distance doesn't have to mean all that much! (Although I still can't wait to see their faces again!)

3. To be grateful for the small things.

Small things like driving to the supermarket on a sunny day with the window down. Or spending a cosy afternoon with a blanket and a book. Or like opening a drawing from a friend's little one with a note saying that they miss you. 

And small things that are actually really big things like the fact that my family and friends are all healthy. Or that I have a job when many don't. 

4. That you're very lucky to have great work colleagues - even if they do drive you crazy.

I've been working as normal through lockdowns 2 & 3, and while that's had its own worries and uncertainties, it has meant that I've been able to see people every day and not had to worry about the loneliness that might come with working from home.

My colleagues are like having 6 or 7 siblings that do your head in but you do like them deep down. And on the whole, they have really helped to keep me sane, made me laugh when I've been having a wobbly day and I'm pretty lucky to have that.

5. Zoom quizzes were definitely just a novelty - and that novelty wore off quick.

Don't get me wrong, the first few were fun! But I've definitely had enough now.

6. Being neighbourly is still a thing - and it's lovely.

We started getting to know our neighbours during the Clap for Carers on a Thursday, after we clapped and listened to one of the neighbours playing Somewhere Over The Rainbow on his trombone (which never stopped being cute, by the way), we'd stand on our doorsteps and have a chat. Since then we've started chatting regularly, putting each others bins out, we sent one of our neighbours some brownies when they were having a bit of a rough time. And we love that, who knew being friends with your neighbours was still a thing these days! We keep talking about having a party when lockdown is over, which I can't wait for! 

7. You still need to make an effort with your other half - even when you're in the same house all the time.

It's SO EASY to get stuck in a rut when you can't go out for tea or meet friends or go to the cinema. And it's easy to think that because you're in the same room, you're spending quality time together but that isn't always the case. Making time for each other is still really important - mine and Dan's favourites have been having a picnic on the living room floor with blankets, party food and a Marvel film, or spending an evening playing silly card games! 

8. I miss hugs. A lot.

I can't wait to hug every. Single. Person. I know.

9. Sunshine and exercise are the most underrated mood-lifters.

I didn't do much in the way of exercising in lockdown 1.0, mostly because I just couldn't bring myself to. I felt like I didn't have the mental space for it. But recently, exercise has really helped me through. I've become one of those people who gets up early to exercise! (I know, who am I?!) but I just feel like it sets up my day really well, gets the endorphins going and it's then really difficult for me to go into the office in a bad mood.

And there is no better feeling than the sunshine on your face. The BEST.

10. Bloody hell, I'm much stronger than I thought I was.

What has lockdown taught you?

Sian xo

I think I've found one of my new favourite blog post topics; testing out the products that constantly show up on your Instagram ads, and reporting back on whether or not they are actually worth the pennies (because let's face it, these products are rarely purse-friendly), or whether their marketing is just really good.

So here it is, I'm about to spill the tea on Function of Beauty haircare. Yep, the customisable hair care brand that is all over your social media, with influencers and celebs alike singing its praises, claiming that they've 'broken up with drugstore shampoo' and using words like 'revolutionised' and 'life-changing'. 

I've had a couple of instances where I went onto the site with the intent of giving it a go, my eyes started watering at the prices, closed the tab and went about my day. 

So when my boyfriend found a code online for 50% off your first order, I decided now was the time to try it, and settle whether or not it was worth the bold claims once and for all.

So, how does it work?

Function of Beauty is fully customisable hair care, which is formulated especially with your hair type and hair goals in mind. You fill in the Hair Quiz on the website, where you're asked about your hair type, and are asked to select up to five hair goals. You can choose a silicone-free formula, and pick from a range of colours and scents (so obvs I went for pink). Et voila, you have haircare which is made just for you, and promises to help you achieve your dream hair!

Function of Beauty works on a subscription, and you can choose whether or not you get your top ups monthly, every other month, or just as and when you need it. But you can cancel at any time. I'd say the only thing to bear in mind is that the products ship from the US, so it takes a few weeks to get to you.

I went for a 250ml shampoo and conditioner, and full-price, it costs £29.95. I know, I know. Hella expensive for haircare. Even at 50% off, circa £15 for a small shampoo and conditioner is a far cry from your standard. I just had to close my eyes, enter my card details and hope it was worth the pennies.

Okay Sian, cut to the chase... what did you think?

You have no idea how much I wanted to tell you that the products were only okay. That they weren't worth the price tag, don't worry my loves, save your pennies and stick with your Herbal Essences or Garnier Hair Food because that's what I'm going to do.

I really wanted to tell you that, but I can't. 

My little Function of Beauty parcel arrived, with personalised pump-bottles, and cute little stickers. The pink products fit my aesthetic perfectly, and I chose a peach scent which was lovely and not overpowering.

For reference, the hair goals I chose were deep condition, fix split ends, colour protection, anti-frizz and shine. My hair is colour-treated, super-thick, subjected to heat styling on the daily and prone to frizz. 

I've been testing my haircare for a good six months or so now, and I'll be honest, I'm way more impressed than I thought I would be. I'd be lying if I said that I saw an instant, dramatic difference from the first use, but I did notice a difference in how soft my hair felt straight away. 

I started to see the biggest difference after about three weeks of use. My hair usually gets really frizzy at the roots, especially in the summer, and I really struggle to get shine into my hair and stop it from looking a bit dull. But I've never had shine like since I've been using Function of Beauty, and the frizz has been non-existent. 

The real test came when I'd run out of one bottle and I was waiting for my next. I temporarily reverted back to my previous shampoo and conditioner and my hair just did not feel the same. No matter how much I tried, it didn't feel properly clean, the frizz was back and my hair generally just seemed pretty unhappy. It was like my hair and scalp has all of a sudden gone boujie and refused to go back! 

So, there you have it. As much as I didn't want it to happen, I am now a Function of Beauty convert, and I ain't going back. I love it! I won't deny that it is expensive, but if you have the pennies to spare and you're curious, definitely give it a go.

Have you ever tried Function of Beauty?

Sian xo 


They say it's never to early to start incorporating anti-ageing products into your routine, and to be honest, I wish I'd started sooner. BUT here we are!

Now I've reached the grand old age of 27, I am starting to notice the occasional fine line around the eye area, and they're just starting to form on my forehead too. 

I wish I could say 'It's all A-OKAY, I'm owning my fine lines and I'm going to grow old gracefully like Helen Mirren or Meryl Streep', but I'll be honest, I just can't and I'm determined to hold off any further signs of ageing for as long as possible. 

Anti-ageing skincare is a bit of a minefield, and while I'm trying to hold off using anything too potent whilst I'm still in my twenties, I have discovered a few absolute gems that will help to fight off those pesky first lines for a bit longer.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Serum

I picked up this cult Elemis product on a whim, when I felt a bit like I was at my wits end with the creases under my eyes. It was really getting me down, and when someone on Insta recommended the Elemis Eye Serum to me, I just went for it despite the fact that it was a little heavy on the purse-strings. 

But it was worth it! It's a lovely lightweight serum, absorbs quickly and sits really well under make up. And I've definitely seen a difference since using it, my under-eye creases seem just a tiny bit less prominent and my make-up seems to last a little bit longer with it on, which is a big deal for me when I'm in the office 9-10 hours a day.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate

I have a lot of love for this product! I've been using it every single day for about a year, I think I'm on my third bottle now. It's packed with natural ingredients and a little bit of salicylic acid. It's a really gorgeous texture, doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and as soon as I apply I can see that my face looks more fresh and bright. 

[PR PRODUCT] Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

I recently had a virtual skin consultation with Dermalogica, and the lovely expert recommended the Stress Positive Eye Lift to me when I told her that my under-eye area was one of my biggest concerns. I've been using it every night for the last couple of months and I don't think I could be without it now!

The Eye Lift is designed to brighten, firm and reduce signs of tiredness and ageing. You can use it as a 5-minute mask, but I love putting it on before bed and letting it absorb overnight so that I wake up with fresh eyes in the morning. It has a metal applicator, which feels so lovely and cooling on tired eyes after a long day! 

I put it down for a night and used one of my other night-time creams, and oh my goodness I could see a change straight away. I woke up and my eyes were puffier, my dark circles were more prominent... so I'm sticking with my Dermalogica for now!

Pixi Vit-C Tonic

Vitamin C is a great ingredient for anti-ageing, as well as making your skin look brighter. I've been trying to incorporate a bit more Vitamin C into my morning routine. This toner is absolutely lovely, it smells fabulous, and really helps to boost the brightness in my skin and I know it's helping to keep the pesky lines at bay behind the scenes.

[PR SAMPLE] Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil

I think this is the most powerful anti-ageing formula I use. There's a lot of mixed opinion on when you should start incorporating retinol into your routine - spanning from mid-twenties to your thirties. I've been using this just once a week for the last year or so, and I'll probably up that to twice a week once I start approaching 30. 

The Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil is so innovative, because it combines retinol and salicylic acid - targeting breakouts at the same time as fighting the signs of ageing. I just use 5-6 drops, pat into the skin, and allow it to absorb for about 30 minutes before applying moisturiser. I love that it targets two skin concerns in one fell swoop, and it's definitely helped to keep any more wrinkles at bay! The ONLY complaint that I have is that I can't stand the smell, I don't know what it is but I just don't like it. But I can cope because the product is good!

What are your favourite products for anti-ageing benefits?

Sian xo


I've always suffered with dry skin, but the recent cold snap, stress and sitting in a heated office for 10 hours a day seems to have made the problem worse. 

I'll soon be switching up my routines ready for the spring and summer months, but I thought I'd share the products that have really helped my dry skin through the winter, for anyone else who is also struggling!

[PR PRODUCT] Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser

This is a recent one to my collection, but it's SO GOOD. It's the only cleanser I've been reaching for for the last few weeks, because I instantly saw and felt a difference in my skin from the very first use. The texture is creamy and feels lovely on the skin, but it's still fairly lightweight so I feel like I can use it morning and evening. After having real issues with my make up clinging to dry patches on my skin over the course of the day, since adding this cleanser into my routine, that problem has pretty much cleared up. Loveeeeee!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner

This toner is bloody gorgeous, it feels like a huge drink for when my skin is dehydrated. My skin can be a bit sensitive but this is really gentle and doesn't irritate at all. It's a little thicker than the toners that I've used previously, but absorbs fairly quickly and just leaves the skin super-soft.

[PR PRODUCT] Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll definitely have seen me race about the Daily Microfoliant a lot. It's an absolute staple in my skincare routine and I can't see that changing any time soon! It leaves my skin feeling brand-new every time I use it, getting rid of all of the dead skin cells every time makes it feel so lovely and soft!

Glossier Moon Mask

I am honestly obsessed with this mask. I picked it up on a whim on the Glossier website, and I'm so glad I did! I wouldn't be without it now. I just pop it on for 20 minutes when my skin is feeling dry and dehydrated and the difference is amazing. My skin just drinks in alllllllll the moisture, and always feels so much better for it!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Intensive Moisturiser

This is without a doubt my favourite night cream EVER. It's really lovely and rich, and sinks into the skin so well, and I'm guaranteed to wake up with softer skin in the morning.

[PR PRODUCT] Lily & Loaf Bedtime Cream

The Lily & Loaf night cream is another new product to my routine, but ever since it landed on my doorstep I've been reaching for it every night since. While it's a light, almost mousse-like texture, it adds so much moisture to my skin. I love popping on a generous layer before bed and letting it absorb over night and letting it do its thing, waking up with super-hydrated skin in the morning. And it smells like a spa which is just dreamy!

What are your favourite skincare products?

Sian xo