Posts By Juan Bennett

Christmas Shopping

Hello everyone! Wow it’s been a hot minute since we last chatted, but no worry, I’ve got some interesting content for you today. Let’s talk about Christmas shopping, and the effect the internet, and our terminally online behaviours, have had on how we select gifts for those we love, those we like, and those we tolerate. Sure, hopefully most of us aren’t required to give presents to those we tolerate, but sometimes the office secret Santa doesn’t work out in our favour!

The psychology of Christmas shopping: how marketers nudge you to buy | SBS  Life

I don’t know about you, but back in the old days, maybe ten to fifteen years ago, I had a very specific ritual for my Christmas shopping. I would wake up very early, fuel up with coffee, and head to the largest shopping centre in my town. I spent the entire day trawling every shop, and every stall, and every pop-up, no corner passed by or item disregarded, until I had fulfilled every single present I needed to buy. The back of my car boot would be brimming with shopping bags, and the backseat, and my wallet (because back then cash was still far more accepted than card) was light as a feather. My shoulders also ached, so I would end the day with a massage appointment. It was a one and done kind of situation, and it worked perfectly. Just to ensure I wasn’t stressed up until the day of, I spent the next day doing all the wrapping. And then it was just done! Yes, it was a whole day of dealing with throngs and hoards of people, shoving shoulders and waiting for a sales assistants to be free, and many, many coffee breaks.

Now, it goes a little differently. You start getting harassed with ads online from the start of November, and the ideas start running. It’s all online now. You have to plan your orders early so they arrive in time, it’s almost a failure if you end up in the shopping centre mid-December, because you had every tool and opportunity to get on this sooner. I don’t like going out to shop physically because it feels like subpar options everywhere. And gosh, the effort to trawl. I want to just search for Christmas cracker UK and find it immediately, rather than wondering which store might have exactly what they have. But I suppose, on the flipside, sometimes you just don’t know. I know we all have friends and family members that for the life of you, you just cannot brainstorm a good gift.

197,978 Christmas Shopping Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

I guess this blog wasn’t supposed to be so much an in-depth comparison and the opening for a discussion. How have you found the transition from in-store to online? Do you prefer it, or do you pine after times gone by? I know my parents still uphold the tradition, but my siblings went digital as soon as they possibly could. It’s an interesting discourse, especially if your age doesn’t match up to your habits! Leave a comment below and let’s get chatting.

Something different

I know this isn’t related to technology, but it is technical and I didn’t specify on the blog title. Also, it’s my blog! -What am I doing trying to justify it to you? I think all this time spent indoors is driving me crazy, not to mention sharing a house with five other people. It’s loud, all the time. And we never seem to have any milk.

As a result, I’ve started drinking any coffees black. It’s been an adjustment, for sure, but I think I’m slowly starting to get used to it. I’m not sure if consuming it before I’ve even woken up helps, or just makes getting into a good, positive, and most importantly, productive, mindset for working (from home). I think my crows feet were deepening by the day with the cringe I did with every sip, gulp or mouth full. time not making it sound like I’m coping with it, am I? No.

It’s not all bad, thy tummy appreciates not having to digest the milk (I’m not lactose intolerant but I do think I’ve got some slight aversion to dairy), but I also spoon less coffee granules into my 99c mug every morning. I like the caffeine hit, but I don’t notice the difference. Usually my energy starts to fall around lunchtime anyway, and I just go eat a meal to recover.

Right, onto the actual topic… Caffeine. When I noticed my crows feet deepening, I decided to get serious with fixing the problem. Don’t want to leave it too long and wait for it to get worse. I found this Caffeine Eye Cream to fix my issues. But what I had to marvel at, was the fact I was using caffeine to fix an issue I had which was also caused by caffeine. A bit crazy, isn’t it? The world is mad.

So I’m looking further into caffeine uses, its benefits, because the product I’m using works so damn well. I found out that it’s a vasoconstriction, which means that it makes your blood vessels constrict and your blood doesn’t pool under your eyes. It just gets moved ri­ght along! Which is what I need when I wake up really, especially in her inter when it’s minus two degrees outside and my bed is toasty and warm. Another this about caffeine is it’s antioxidant powers. for those of you who don’t know much about antioxidants, I’ll spell it out for you. UV rays are harmful, we all know that. But what they do is cause oxidisation, where free radicals roams your skin cells. they have one less electron than is safe, so try and steal electrons from other places, thatching whore and more free radicals. They can ruin your collagen, and elastin, leading to premature signs of ageing and uneven skin texture. Soo no, a little sun is not good for you!

Antioxidants are the heroes, donating that needed electron without sacrificing its own stability. They don’t have to be reactive either, but stay and wait for those pesky free radicals to knock on the door. And of course, UV isn’t the only way oxidisation occurs. Pollution in the air can cause it, exercise can cause it, so there’s no point trying to avoid it happening- just use caffeine!

Honestly, my eyes look so much better even after only a week. Awake! Alive! And I feel a little bit smarter knowing all of this technical information.

A Short Update

Hey,

Two posts in one week! Go me. I just thought I’d fill you in, I’ve been very busy recently as I briefly touched on in my last post. I’ve taken an interesting path in my career that has kept me occupied, meaning I haven’t been able to focus on my blog so much. I’m spending some time at the moment researching my next blog post though, so expect an exciting read to come soon!

Drinking Wine and Feeling Fine(-Line Free)

Hey guys,

I caught up with a life-long friend recently, it was so lovely to see her. After giving each other a life update (I haven’t seen her since February due to Covid!), Louise questioned if I was still using my blog. I have to admit I have neglected it somewhat as I’ve just been so busy. However, her query must have sparked some motivation within me as I’ve decided to make a comeback!

First, dinner. Oh my gosh, it was divine. We went to an Italian in the town where I live, I’ve been to this restaurant a few times before, but this was by far the best meal I’d had there. I had the yummiest spicy chicken pizza whilst Louise tucked into a bowl of seafood pasta heaven. And of course, the wine was flowing! A bottle (or two) of Sauvignon Blanc was our choice of tipple as always.

Louise’s Pasta

Of course, we got onto our favourite topic of skincare brands. I saw this article a while back now and mentally added a few things to my wish list, including the Q+A 5-HTP Face & Neck Cream. You guys have seen me talk about Q+A on here before – it’s one of my favourite brands at the moment, I’m obsessed with so much of their range! 5-HTP isn’t something I had heard much about before, but it turns out it is an extremely interesting ingredient. The Q+A 5-HTP Face & Neck Cream is made from Griffonia Simplicifolia, a shrub native to West and Central Africa, which I find really cool. This cream has transformed my skin, its lightweight texture has worked perfectly with my skin type, not to mention the effect it’s had on my wrinkles and fine lines!

Griffonia Simplicifolia

Anyway, after pronouncing my love for this product to Louise, I decided it was about time to write a blog post about it. So yeah, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. Sorry about the (minor) side-track about food, I just couldn’t help myself! Anyway, that’s it from me, let’s try to keep this blogging up!

New Ingredient in Town!!

Hey gals and guys!

I’ve been doing some research recently, because I’ve decided to finally get on top of my acne. It’s not bad, per say, but it is consistent, and unwavering. On my chin, especially, because of the mask I’m wearing to and from work on the bus, and in all stores. I don’t mind the mask itself, but the SWEAT. The CONDENSATION. It’s a real doozy, and my skin is surely not happy right now! I think one is about to pop up above my lip, which has actually never happened before. God, I hate them. I need help!

Some masks I thought about buying, so cute!

So I decided to take an ingredient approach, rather than a product approach. Cause, you know, brands like to hype up their own products and I’ve found nothing that is quite as amazing as you expect… Well, except for one, but we’ll get to that later.

My research was relatively short, I think I somehow managed to stumble across the perfect thing first go. A little ingredient known as Nicotamide, which is part of Vitamin B3.

Oh my, where to begin? This ingredient does it all! Basically, it is anti-inflammatory, and reduces sebum production, which is really all I needed to hear. But the list of powers goes on… It increases the production of ceramides and keratin in the skin which strengthens the skin barrier, and tightens wrinkles and fine lines. Nice and plump! It also inhibits melanin production, so you won’t see so much hyper pigmentation, or apparently even freckles! And something about repairing UV ray damage? Seriously ?? Amazing!

So I had to find the perfect product with Nicotinamide, or Niacinamide as its known in cosmetic applications. There were a few serums about, but they seemed very strong and I’m wary about my skin being a bit too sensitive for them. I don’t really want to slather a chemical all over my face! So I thought maybe some other product, a moisturiser? Face wash?

A shining light came to me on a little perusal of SkinStore! This Niacinamide Toner, straight from the UK brand Q+A. A toner basically goes on after your cleanser to help remove the rest of the grime from your face, as well as balance oil levels and make sure your skin didn’t lose too much moisture in the cleansing process! Pretty neat, huh? I’d never tried this before, but I’m very excited to now! I’ll be checking back in hopefully soon with some results… wish me and my skin luck!

Roaring Twenties Party

Hello all!

It was my birthday this month, and I wanted to do something truly special to enjoy it with my mates. Marco is moving to Spain in a few weeks, and Ned’s wife Lola is pregnant, so it was pretty obvious our little group was moving towards some changes.

It was time for a weekend away.

We’d been making jokes all last year about reviving the Roaring Twenties, and even celebrated the New Year with a viewing of The Great Gatsby, one of my favourite films. So I thought we should make a proper event of it, and host a two-day 20’s party (if only I was also turning 20!). Authenticity was a top priority, so I found a heritage house out in the country which was still furnished as it was when a new family moved in sometime in 1926, and booked a 1923 Ford Model T to pick the boys up in.

The house was gorgeous, champagne upon arrival. And the weather was perfect for walks around the estate grounds, garden games and the final night’s grand party. Themed, of course, I invited everyone I could think of to join us for a true 20’s gala. I brought a second suitcase just filled with beads and feather boas! I knew TJ had an appropriate suit, but the rest of us would be floundering. So I hired a local tailor to come in on the first day, fit us all, and deliver our wares for the party. I handpicked the fabrics out first, a different one for each of us.

We looked dashing, if I do say so myself. But we couldn’t just dress well… We had to completely look the part. And by that I mean hair. Hair, part, get it? But this thought only occurred to me a few days prior! I was so overwhelmed with sourcing decorations I had to find a quick, relatively inexpensive fix. I’d already gone well over my budget at this point!! I use Percy Nobleman shampoo and body wash and I know their whole branding follows a nostalgic yet modern vibe, so I hopped onto the website and found this great traditional shaving kit. There was a huge multi-sink bathroom in the house, so I bought a few and we had a great time shaving together the day of, and playing with hairstyles. The smell was to die for, honestly. Filled the room, and all of our ladies were impressed when they arrived for the party.

I felt like we had jumped straight into the film. The music was amazing, a real fusion of songs that were popular then, and modern reinterpretations. It was an incredible time, I don’t know how better to put it. I was absolutely hammered and can’t remember dancing, but there is video evidence of it! Lola, who obviously wasn’t drinking, took us out for a late night drive to star gaze once most people had left and we were starting to sober up. I’ll have to hunt down the photos we took, you know my phone camera is absolutely rubbish so I don’t know which mate was taking them! You have to consider it for your next party, there’s no space for regret except for the hangover!

I still have some decorations to sort and box so I’ll sign off, but hope you all had an amazing week!

What Technology Is To Me

Technologically speaking we’ve come farther in the last century than at any other point in history. To elaborate I don’t simply mean we’ve been doing things that have never been done before that much should be obvious. I mean that the speed at which technology has been progressing took an astronomical leap forward. Groundbreaking technology coming so often that you could probably find a new technological breakthrough from every year and some years would probably contain more than just one.

With all that staggering progress we’ve been making what are those that stand out the most? Again there should be no way to justifiably list off such monumental achievements since some of them are as far apart from each other as apples and oranges or maybe I should say androids in this case. But of course this is the internet and more specifically my space on the internet so seeing as I can make as many claims as I want I’d like to list off some creature comforts technology has given me that I can quite literally not imagine life without.

First would be the concept of modern data storage. I’m old enough to remember floppy disks and for those of you who aren’t those things could barely hold any data on them which is why I cannot imagine life without my portable hard drive. Imagine a world where you had to limit the number of songs on your phone. I know a lot of you don’t even have to save music onto your phones but I may be a bit slow on that front but what can you do? Deliveries. Oh my goodness getting food delivered to my doorstep via the internet is something that I wouldn’t be able to survive most weekends. Not to mention I almost never need to go shopping at the mall these days, the best amazon prime products are one click away so there’s not much need for me to venture out. I still like the mall though because sitting in my apartment all day can get a bit depressing.

A little bit of a broken record

I know I might keep saying it but there are just so many amazing and cool things to write about that I can’t possibly run out of them anytime soon!

As always you’ve all been extremely nice about the articles that I’ve been posting so I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to everybody that reads them and hopefully they really do help you learn a little something new each time.

How cosmetics technology has changed in the last century

Makeup is an interesting topic to go over when trying to figure out how things have changed over the years and although cosmetics changing so much that there’s nothing weird about seeing Percy Nobleman’s moustache wax next to your usual girl’s products is nothing new; the last century of change has been the most drastic when it comes to both the speed of change and the variety of styles for women. Let’s take a general look at the makeups which you might not be all that familiar with.

1920

In the 20’s the first idea of the “artificial face” sprang up. The idea was pale skin, bright red lips, and of course startling eyes to complete the look. Women started carrying around a lot of the essential products you might find in a girl’s purse nowadays. Special mentions go the push up tube of lipstick and cake mascara. The presence of these in every bag probably comes from the fact that they started getting mass produced.

1930

Hollywood popularized the more feminine look around this time. The most notable product of the decade would probably be the eyeliner pencil that came out which led to the contouring of the eye we’re fairly more familiar with nowadays. The idea of extending out the shape of the eye with a triangle outward from the tear ducts gave a more feminine effect on your whole look.

1940

Up-do hairstyles, the reddest lipstick ever seen and nails made to match, and that arched eyebrow style which I personally don’t get but hey everybody (any decade in this case) has got their own style. The idea back then was simplicity since around this time women started going off to work and help the war effort.

1950

The 50’s were very much the pink years. Pink shadow and reddish pink lipstick became more popular around this time. Another breakthrough which might be worth mentioning were the cream foundations and shadows which overtook the more popular powders from the previous decades.

1960

Two words. False eyelashes. They were insanely popular for the first time which could be brought up for discussion. Honestly the 60’s also jumped back a lot to the 20’s so it would be the first discussed example of a look being “retro” focused.

New Exciting Topics Are Coming!

The rate of growth in technology is something that is impossible to measure. It’s almost inconceivable to think of a world which is even more technologically advanced than this one – yet at the same time we have to accept that the world will likely be very different even in as little as 5-10 years.

Well, we cannot stop it, all we can do is embrace it – just like what I said in my previous post.
Have you enjoyed reading it by the way? I really hope you have!

More are on the way so don’t worry.