London-based lifestyle blog covering life, style, travel, music, and events from the desk of editor Skirmantas Petraitis. With a unique style and voice, Mr. Salt and Pepper is more than just black and white, it's a place of daily discovery and inspiration.
This blog post was sponsored by The Personal Barber. However, all views expressed here are my own and not those of the sponsor.
Experience to look forward to!
Right, so… I really enjoy shaving. From trimming to shaping, I find beard care the most fun part of the skincare routine. It’s like you never know how your facial hair will turn out in the end and that really excites me. *wheyyy*
However, it wasn’t like this all the time. Right up until the launch of Mr. Salt and Pepper blog, I struggled to find a beard care brand that would consistently give me a different but enjoyable shaving experience.
We live in an age where there are so many options available and it can be quite tricky for some to find products that would suit their own personal needs. But fear not, there’s a brand I’d like you to meet… *scrolls down*
The finest shaving products, delivered.
Recently, I’ve been introduced to The Personal Barber. They are a wet shaving subscription service based right here in the UK. Unlike any other shaving subscription service, TPB offers a completely different shaving experience each time. Their aim is to deliver better products, a closer shave and a more enjoyable service.
As someone, who always likes to try different shaving products, The Personal Barber is a great service as they provide new products to try with each new box (every 6 weeks). Therefore, you have the opportunity to explore a wide range of products and see what works best for you.
With every first box comes… A classic safety razor*, shaving brush, replacement blades, shaving soap and a few mystery products.
I personally think that a safety razor is better than most cartridge-based razors because you can get maximum control and smoother shave by using just 1 blade. Also, safety razors stood the test of time and they proved to work really well throughout the years.
The first box…
In my first box, I received all of the product mentioned previously, including a face scrub from The Bear Family and facial moisturiser from Raw Supremo. The Personal Barber box contains all the products you need to start your wet shaving routine.
For those of you who are not familiar with wet shaving…
Here’s my quick guide to make most of it using all the products found in The Personal Barber box:
Prepare your brush – get a cup (or bowl) of warm water and let the shaving brush sit in it while you’re taking a shower. The shaving brush is cruelty-free as its made from synthetic brushes. Therefore, it definitely absorbs more heat and moisture from warm water than brushes made from real hair. It also has a lot of bristles which feel nice on the skin.
Take a shower – use Face Scrub provided in your TPB box and apply on your face. Scrubbing the area you want to shave will reduce ingrown hairs and bumps. Also, it will raise your facial hairs as high above the skin as possible, making it easier to shave and avoid razor cuts. Mr Bear Family Face Scrub smells nice and exfoliates the skin (especially around the beard area) nicely – making it ready for the shave.
Build a lather – after you’ve taken a shower, pour a little bit of warm water on top of the shaving soap. Wait for a second or two, so it warms up. Then take your shaving brush and lightly swirl it on top of the soap for a few moments. When you see the brush collect some of the soap, transfer the soapy brush to a shaving bowl and keep swirling to create a lather. Folk Sandalwood and Vanilla Shaving Soap lathers up nicely and provides a refreshing scent.
Perform the shaving routine – the most important and exciting part! *yaaas* The shaver provided in my box is ‘non-aggressive’. Meaning, they’re perfect for those who are using safety razors for the first time. But note that each blade provides 3-6 close shaves. So, if you start feeling blade tugging or pulling your whiskers – change it. TPB provides two packs of blades in each box which should be enough for more than 6 weeks. *yay* Apply foamy brush on areas you’d like to shave and shave them using the safety razor. I’m absolutely living for that first shave using fresh blades. Honestly, I could do it every day! *word* The premium safety razor has a really nice grip to it, which I really like. Shave then rinse with warm water.
Moisturise – last but not least, apply the moisturiser onto your freshly shaved areas to avoid any skin irritation. As someone who has very oily skin, I use very little of the Raw Supremo Supreme Smoother Moisturiser to hydrate my skin and get it ready for the day ahead. *werk*
The Personal Barber is a great wet shaving subscription service because you get everything you need for that close shave experience. I think every man should at least try shaving using a brush and a safety razor. It’s like the ultimate rite of passage for guys. Do you agree?!
*Use code PREMIUMRAZOR when signing up to the Personal Barber subscription to get a premium safety razor for just £10!
Have you tried The Personal Barber yet? Let me know about your own experience in the comments section below!
This blog post was done in collaboration with Bella Vou. However, all views expressed here are my own.
Let’s start from the beginning…
It was the beginning of March. I was on my way to Valencia to spend a few days by the beach and celebrate the infamous Fallas Festival. *party mode onnn* The whole city of Valencia was celebrating for days and it couldn’t be a better time for me to visit this wonderful Spanish city. The weather was warm enough to wear short shorts and revealing tees. However, I wasn’t confident to show that much of my skin because it’s been rather an on-going issue of mine… I’m not happy with my body and it’s been like this since my early teens! *wait, what?!*
I’ve been trying to achieve a toned/lean body for years by consistently exercising and eating well. There were times where my body was at its best, with muscles showing on my arms and chest. Yet, still… The fat in my lower abdominal area was there like its ingrown inside my body and not intending to leave or change no matter what I do. *sad face*
Also, this may come as a little surprise for some of you but… *takes a deep breath* I have a mild case of Pectus Excavatum! *googles to find out what the heck that is* SO, Pectus Excavatum is a structural deformity of the anterior thoracic wall, which (in my case), is lightly visible but does not affect my internal organs. Meaning, my chest bones have grown slightly inwards but I didn’t need the surgery to fix it. This was a deformity that my parents noticed during my puberty.
Even though I exercise regularly and my chest muscles grow… The results are often underwhelming because of the shape of my chest!
At first, I wasn’t sure about that sort of procedure because it is a full-blown surgery! *yikes* As someone who has never had a surgery of any kind, it was definitely something I didn’t want to get myself into. However, after doing a little bit of research, I quickly realised that Vaser Liposuction is THE procedure I need!
So, I asked Ed to pass on my details to Bella Vou and take it from there. A few email exchanges and I was on my way to the Royal Tunbridge Wells to have my first consultation with Amir Nakhdjevani!
MY VASER LIPOSUCTION EXPERIENCE | BELLA VOU - YouTube
A little bit about Vaser Liposculpting procedure…
Vaser Liposculpting (or Vaser Liposuction) is an advanced body sculpting procedure that eliminates fat by using targeted ultrasound technology to liquefy and then very precisely remove fat from the body.
This treatment only targets fat cells, causing significantly less damage to other tissues. In other words: less pain, bruising and recovery time! It can also sculpt and shape multiple areas in a single procedure, including those ‘hard to reach’ areas of the body.
The thing I was most drawn to Vaser Liposculpting was the precise body sculpting procedure. There was an opportunity for me to have my chest sculptured to create the shape I was always dreaming of.
When I had my consultation with Dr. Amir, he briefly explained the surgery, the technology used and things I should do to fully prepare myself for it. Amir performs most of his procedures under local anaesthetic. He told me that he’ll be performing this surgery under twilight sedation as well… Meaning that I’ll be awake during the surgery. Ermmm, what?! *shook* I would lie if I say that I wasn’t taken back by it.
However, after a while, I got into terms with it and thought to myself that it will be quite an interesting journey. *haha, literally* I am a very curious individual, so doing that one thing a day that scares me also gives me strength to move forward. So, let’s do this!
The day before my surgery, Bella Vou were kind enough to offer me a 3-night stay at One Warwick Park Hotel which is just a few minutes walk from the clinic. The hotel offers partner rates for those who are having treatment at Bella Vou. Therefore, make sure to ask them for more details. *wink wink*
I was asked to arrive at the clinic at 10 am and have no food 6 hours prior to this. As you would imagine, I didn’t set my alarm at 4 am to have a meal to feed my old body. *gurl, bye*
When I arrived at Bella Vou, my mind was going through waves of emotions. I didn’t know whether I should be excited or nervous about this whole thing.
At the theatre (where the surgery was happening), the anaesthetist hooked me up to a drip which was inserting local anaesthetic into my bloodstream. Within seconds I was completely out of it. *no joke*
There were 6 small incisions made around my abdomen area to perform the procedure. At one point during the liposuction, I was more awake than usual. I could feel things going inside my body. *omg* But fear not, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The twilight sedation was really great as it made me feel very relaxed at moments like this.
The surgery took about 4 hours, which in my head played out as barely an hour. Honestly, one minute I was freaking out over a needle and next thing you know, I’m stuffing my face with an avo toast post-surgery. *hashtag wild times*
When the surgery was over, I was hooked up to 3 drainage tubes for the next 24 hours. It was to ensure that all the excess liquid has left my body and I could achieve the best possible results.
Also, I had to wear a compression foam and garment for at least 4-6 weeks following the surgery. It’s definitely not the most flattering outfit in the world but it made me feel cosy at night. As a blogger, I had to give my edgy outfits a little break and focus on other kinds of campaigns.
The thing I like the most about Bella Vou is that they provide the best post-surgery therapy treatments, which are included in their aftercare, by the way! I was required to attend daily 60-minute Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MDL) messages for the whole week. These are very important as they help reduce swelling, as well as release any remaining fluid from the body. MDL therapist Nikki performed my massages. She has made my recovery feel smooth and quite enjoyable. All of this is included in the price.
Final words, for now.
So, it’s been about 8 weeks since my surgery and I can confidently say that it was all worth it. Was it scary? Yes! Was it painful? A little bit BUT my body has never looked this good!
This whole experience gave me motivation to be kind to myself and my body. I’m currently changing my diet by going mostly plant-based. I also exercise more and drink on very rare occasions. Everything just keeps getting better! *yaaas*
Pssst… Watch this space as I’ll be updating you on my Vaser Liposculpting journey, including diet and fitness. Until next time. xoxo
This blog post was sponsored by Azuro Republic. However, all views expressed here are my own.
A part of my identity…
We are almost halfway through the spring…. Where does the time go?! *sigh* It feels like it was just yesterday when I was wearing thick coats and trying to find any excuse to curl up in bed instead. *cancels all the plans in winter*
However, this past Easter bank holiday weekend, we’ve been treated to the most amazing weather in agesss. As we all know, this rarely happens here in London. So, I took this opportunity to showcase my summer looks by wearing my favourite revere collar shirt, camel trousers and shoes with no socks on! *yay* This was a complete throwback to spring 2017.
On this particular day, I was browsing through my local stores on Chiltern Road. I stopped by an independent coffee shop to pick up my favourite magazine and, of course, oat milk latte! *that afternoon pick-me-up moment*
A gem that represents intelligence and integrity!
Alongside mag, coffee and myself, I also brought a new accessory from Azuro Republic. For those who are not familiar with the brand, Azuro Republic is a luxury men’s jewellery brand that emphasises on quality, integration and innovation. Their aim is to redefine the taste of men who wish to transform.
As someone who dresses for the weekend every day, I always look for accessories that would compliment me on every occasion. Whether it’s a day out with friends or a wedding – a good quality bracelet can be my best companion at every event.
So, I picked up the Gold Enamel Black Tiger Eye bracelet. It is said that tiger eye brings positive energy to people around you. Therefore, I couldn’t resist getting something that would symbolise just that. The bracelet feels very firm on my skin which is definitely something I look for in a good quality accessory.
To be quite honest, it was quite a challenge for me picking up just one bracelet because there are so many to choose from and most of them go really well with most style. The detail that goes behind in making these 24k Gold Plated Beads is remarkable. I often have to use my magnifying glass to really appreciate its exceptional design.
Azuro Republic bracelets are one of their kind as they put so much work in making each item (see video below for a proof). It’s an accessory that will last you a lifetime so it’s a valuable investment.
There are many other bracelets available on Azuro Republic. Whether it’s a silver, gold, enamel or mixed. You’ll always find something that will complete your favourite outfit.
This blog post was sponsored by USANA. However, all views expressed here are my own.
Go Beyond What You See!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I’m a skincare freak. I’m always trying out new skincare products. So, by now, I have a good idea of what works best for my skin type.
Most skincare products found in supermarkets are not suitable for me because of my oily skin. They often make my skin produce more sebum which lead to clogged pores, blemishes and even acne. *yikes!* Anyone else can relate?!
A few weeks ago, I discovered USANA Health Sciences. They are a global nutrition company that provides the highest quality, science-based health products. Think nutritional foods, dietary supplements and skincare products!
I was keen to try their Celavive skincare range because it claims to support your skin’s natural ability to reduce the visible signs of ageing. *Ermmm… Hell yeah!* As someone who constantly hunts for anti-ageing products, this is a great opportunity for me to test these products out.
So, without further ado… Scroll down to read my step-by-step skincare routine using USANA’s Celavive skincare for combination/oily skin!
USANA Celavive Skincare Routine
Cleanse: Don’t let grime dull your glow! For my skin type, I use Creamy Foam Cleanser twice a day. The product is not as foamy as you would expect, which is great. So, I use it…
In the morning, to remove any sweat, excess oil and dead skin cells that may have accumulated overnight.
At night, to cleanse away dirt, pollutants and oily residue.
Tone: Not everyone needs to use a toner. I use it because it restores moisture balance and helps me get the most out of the other products. In this step, I’m applying the Perfecting Toner. It makes the skin look clear and bright.
Enhance: Serums, masks, and eye treatment products deliver more effective results than you can get from a moisturiser.
Most nights I use face masks to clear, hydrate, lift and firm my skin. The Hydrating + Lifting Sheet Mask is amazing because it significantly reduces the appearance of tired-looking skin.
I use the Vitalizing Serum every day before applying my moisturiser as it smoothens up the surface of my skin. *yaaas*
A good eye serum is a staple in any skincare routine. The Hydrating Eye Essence is a lightweight yet very hydrating product that reduces dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.
Hydrate: The most important part of the routine!
In the morning, I use Protective Day Lotion with SPF 30 to hydrate and protect my skin for the day ahead. It easily absorbs into my skin, perfectly locking in the moisture. *sweet*
At night, I use Replenishing Night Gel to rejuvenate and repair my skin after a long day. The texture of this gel is very light, leaving a smooth matte finish. Love it!
Overall, USANA’s Celavive Skincare range is brilliant. Every single product is of high quality and works really well for oily/combination skin. All together, everything costs just over £200. Therefore, it may be a bit pricy for some of you but it’s a good investment for those looking to add a few new items to their skincare routine. I’d strongly recommend Creamy Foam Cleanser and Protective Day Lotion because of their texture and effectiveness!
It’s officially the end of the first quarter of 2019. *damnnn* These past 3 months, I’ve been able to make a living out of blogging and experiment with other forms of media.
On Friday, I’ve published my first vlog in over 11 years and you can (finally) see it here. In this video, I’m showcasing a day in the life of a men’s lifestyle blogger (a.k.a. me, the legendary Mr Salt and Pepper, hehe). We went to the preview screening of Disney’s Dumbo, experienced Tony’s Cholcolonely creations and ate our body weight in Shake Shack burgers. *oops* I had an absolute blast making this vlog because it brought all the joy I used to have back in the day. But this time, I’m more experienced and comfortable enough to show a funny side of me. So, expect more videos very soon! *pinky promise*
This month’s “Spice and Shuffle” cover star is Billie Eilish. Her latest album is an absolute banger! Every single song has been on repeat all day. What are your thoughts on it? BUT most importantly… When we all fall asleep, where do we go? *insert a worried face emoji here*
Also, there are some songs added from the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest (track 17, 21, 28, 29 and 32). All 5 songs flow really well with the rest of the playlist, so I really hope these are going to become your favourites too.
Without further distractions… Here’s the 13th edition of “Spice and Shuffle” Spotify playlists. I hope you like it!
Don’t forget to follow Mr. Salt and Pepper’s Spotify profile to stay up-to-date with the latest music. I’m always up for hearing new music. So, please feel free to your suggestions!
This blog post was sponsored by ASUS. All views expressed here are my own.
Colours That Match Your Vibe…
We live in an age where everything is ready at our fingertips. From browsing the internet, double-tapping on Instagram to answering emails and booking your favourite holidays. Mobile devices have become a huge part of our daily lives. However, I’m still one of those people who enjoys working on a laptop because nothing beats that passionate tapping on the keyboard and streaming my favourite Netflix series on a 15-inch screen. *insert the nail polish emoji here*
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet guys at ASUS and snag their latest ASUS VivoBook S15 laptop. With the four-sided frameless Nano Edge display and powerful Intel Core CPU, this laptop is made for millennials like me. As someone who edits his content on the go and does those daily admin bits, VivoBook S15 delivers speed and all-day battery life throughout the day. *yaaas* Therefore, I’ll no longer be desperately seeking for those power sockets in a café!
It comes in five colours: Icicle Gold, Firmament Green, Star Grey, Silver Blue and Gun Metal. Joe and I opt in for a Firmament Green because it really matches our edgy personalities. *self-proclaimed hipster here* I personally see this laptop as part of an accessory… So, who really needs a newspaper when you have a stylish computer? *wink*
During our visit at Shoreditch Treehouse, ASUS treated us to a two-course lunch, followed by a photoshoot with our new laptops. Honestly, I’d love to spend my life in that quirky little bedroom!
So, without further distraction, here’s the official ASUS VivoBook promo:
#BeYourTrueColour – Introducing the new VivoBook Series | ASUS - YouTube
What do you think of ASUS VivoBook S15? Do you consider buying one? Let me know in the comments section below.
London is a wonderful place. *makes a random statement* The other day, I was having a stroll down my new neighbourhood to catch some rays before the sunset. It was around 6 PM and the sun was still up, meaning the (actual) spring is just around the corner. So, I’ve decided to (randomly) stop by the newsagent on Chiltern Road and have a peek at the latest news. Erm… Long story short, the world is in chaos and confusion. *puts down a newspaper* Let me go back to my own little bubble and never come out. *lol*
Whilst walking around Marylebone, I was thinking about my life and asking myself… Am I going in the right direction? *looks both ways*
It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve been blogging full-time. I am sooo lucky to be able to make a living out of it, you have no idea! Last year, I realised that a comfortable 9-to-5 office job is just not for me at this moment in life. So, I had to take risks in order to find my happiness and fulfilment.
Also… These past 2-3 months, I was going through some big changes. I moved to Marylebone, ended all toxic relationships and invested my time in people who really care about my wellbeing. It’s not worth staying somewhere you don’t feel happy or sticking around people who drain you.
So, what is missing? To be quite honest… It would be nice to finally meet someone new.
This blog post was sponsored by Zalando. All views expressed here are my own.
… it pours!
A few days ago, I came back to London from sunny Valencia. It was around +25°C there, so it was a great opportunity for me to pull out my favourite pair of shorts and explore the city without carrying too many layers. *enjoyes a little preview to summer 2019*
Sadly, all good things come to an end and I had to force myself back to rainy London. *queue any song by Billie Eilish* I mean, I probably over exaggerated here because wherever I go in the world, I always miss being in London. It is the best city in the world (to me). Sometimes, I do feel a little bit tired of it but once I go abroad, I notice all the great things that London has to offer which I couldn’t find anywhere else. *sips Margaritas in Miami Beach but dreams about breakfast tea and crumpets*
As you probably know, it tips down in Britain 29% of the time. So, in order to prepare yourself for such rubbish weather, getting durable clothing is a must!
The other day, I was browsing the Zalando e-commerce site and found this lovely waterproof jacket from RAINS. It’s currently my favourite piece in my springtime wardrobe because it handles any kind of weather condition. Also, the pastel blue colour goes really well with both light and dark clothing. I complimented it with a pair of black high-top trainers from Diesel and a creamy crew neck sweatshirt from French Connection. What do you think of this look? Also, what are your go-to items on a rainy day? *forgets brolly at home, oops*
This blog post was sponsored by Canali. All views expressed here are my own.
London Fashion Week is just around the corner and I can’t help it but get myself in the full swing of all the latest SS19 collections. Recently, I’ve been glueing my eyes on Canali and their upcoming SS19 collection, called LUI (HE).
Pastel colours, earthy tones and contrasting patterns are leading their way throughout this entire collection… I mean, could this get any better?! *plans to spend every penny on his summer wardrobe* I’ve been a huge fan of Italian fashions since the dawn of time. Therefore, Canali has always been under my radar when it comes to sophisticated, good quality clothing.
Sartorial tradition used as an instrument to translate contemporary trends into garments and accessories that enclose the life of LUI, the modern Canali man. LUI (HE) is an eclectic- Intense and authentic with an open mind for trends, inspiration, and experimentation. Added to a great admiration for well-made curated pieces that are full of heritage.
– Canali, 2019
Mr. Salt and Pepper picks!
So, without further ado, here are my top pics from LUI (HE) collection. I’m not going to lie, it was quite a challenge narrowing it down to just a few looks. *scrolls down to feast his eyes on some looks*
This wool-silk-linen bomber really stands out in this collection because of its denim-like effect and solid shirt collar. Looks really nice when complimented with a cotton shirt, flat-front trousers and derby shoes. I’ve been a fan of technical fabric raincoat for quite some time. This one looks really good layered up with an earthy-toned blazer and a white t-shirt or a jumper. Formal trousers and sneakers are a plus! Pastel cotton crewneck sweater, wool flat-front formal trousers and cotton-linen-wool slip-on shoes – perfect for a day out in the summer! *yaaas* This single-breasted unlined blazer is one of my favourites this season because it can work really well on many occasions. Whether it’s paired with denim jeans or formal trousers, it would elevate the whole look regardless. So, great investment for seasons to come! Last but not least, a good quality wool-silk-linen suit with a hint of casual will go a long way. As someone who dresses for the weekend every day, wearing an earthy-toned suit with casual pieces like a white t-shirt and trainers, will make you feel trendy yet smart.
Be sure to check out the full Canali’s LUI (HE) collection here. Let me know your favourites in the comments section below!
This blog post was sponsored by Zalando. All views expressed here are my own.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Oh, you guys, can I just say… Thank the lord January is finally over! *bye bye January blues* I spent these past 4 weeks house hunting all over London and it has never been so stressful!
Most places I was viewing were not great. From tiny rooms, rough neighbourhoods to strange landlords and their out-of-this-world house rules. At one point, I thought I’d pack my suitcase and fly across the world for a few months because I was not having it. However, in the end, I found a nice double room in Marylebone with lovely new housemates. BUT most importantly, I’m still a Zone 1 queen! *proudly retains his Central London status*
Now that this is out of the way, I can finally focus on my blog and all those exciting projects coming in 2019. Are you ready?
When moving to a new flat, I’ve found a new lease of life in my wardrobe. I have discovered old favourites that are ready to be paired with some new gems. So, I picked up a few items from Zalando e-commerce site. It’s my new favourite shopping destination because it sells great quality clothes at very affordable prices. It’s like a glass of fashion-Berocca, ready to upgrade your wardrobe.
From this post, you can tell that I’m all about earthy tones this season. Heritage barn jacket complemented with a colour block jumper, formal navy trousers and white high top trainers. I personally love my new white trainers from Calvin Klein Jeans. They’re so going to be featured in most of my SS19 looks! What do you think?