The Verdict

vívosmart 4 from Garmin

vívosmart 4 from Garmin

Each month the Woman’s Way team try out something new and give their verdict

Michelle - vívosmart 4 from Garmin

“I’ve been trying to up my activity game 
lately, mainly to feel healthier and
 have more energy, so I liked the idea
 of using a product which I could check 
in with, or which would check in with
 me more like. I tried out the vívosmart
 4 by Garmin and was honestly really 
impressed. Firstly I liked the design, it’s
a very light and compact and it didn’t
feel bulky on my wrist or get in the
way. In order to use the vívosmart 4 you
 have to download the Garmin Connect
 app which then syncs to your smart
 phone. Set-up takes about ten minutes or so and was fuss-free. I liked how you can completely tailor the product to your specific needs and wants, for example if you would like to complete an activity like going for a walk or a run within a certain time then you can do so. I found that I was moving more and wanting to reach, if not beat, my steps target for each day so it definitely helped me to be more active. It also gave me little nudges throughout the day if I had been sedentary for too long. There are also lots of beneficial features including sleep monitoring, a wrist-based heart rate monitor and notifications when I had an incoming call or got a text message. My favourite feature was the all-day stress tracking; if I was getting a little stressed, the vívosmart 4 reminded me to take a breath and breathe, which I did and it worked! I think this product would be fantastic for someone who responds well to accountability and enjoys working towards a goal.” €143 (from) vívosmart 4 from Garmin

Rose quartz facial roller

Rose quartz facial roller

Amy - Rose quartz facial roller

“I am a huge fan of crystals and have been known, on occasion, to carry crystals in my bra to gain the utmost benefit from them. So when I saw that facial rolling was coming back into vogue I was intrigued, mostly because of the crystals. Facial rolling (normally conducted using a roller made from jade) is a centuries old beauty practice designed to eliminate puffiness, improve the absorption of skincare products, minimise fine lines, detoxify the skin and boost your natural radiance. 
But does it work? I decided to investigate
 and opted to use a rose quartz roller. Rose
 quartz is traditionally associated with the energy of love and beauty, so I figured it would add a little ‘oomph’ to my routine,
 as opposed to simply using a standard jade roller. Readers, I absolutely loved this. To use, you cleanse and moisturise your skin, apply any serums, leave them to dry for a few minutes then, essentially, roll over your face, neck and eyes with the roller a few times. From the first go my skin took on a lovely rosy glow. As I continued with the practice, I noticed a subtle improvement in my skin. People told me my skin looked great. I’m still rolling every evening and it’s become a relaxing self-care ritual. It’s ideal for helping you wind down before bedtime. I highly recommend this and will definitely be keeping it up.” Rose quartz facial roller, €34 from www.thetemplewolf.com

Insight Timer app

Insight Timer app

Amy - Insight Timer app

“The Insight Timer app is offering a free
 seven-day ‘Learn How to Meditate Course’ 
and if meditation is something you’ve 
always wanted to try, here’s a great way 
to dip your toes in. The course consists 
of seven ten-minute guided meditation
 sessions. You complete one each day at your 
own pace, the idea being that through this
 course you learn the basics so you can then
 go on and start up your own practice if you 
should feel so inclined. I’ve been meditating 
solidly for over a year now, but, in the spirit of beginner’s mind, 
I decided to try out the course and I found it invaluable. Sarah’s voice is so relaxing and she teaches in a way that makes meditation accessible to everyone – even those of us who find it a bit hard to sit still. She covers different types of meditation ranging from the basic practice of focusing on the breath, to the art of mantra meditation. 
I found each session to be incredibly enjoyable and deeply relaxing. Given that the app itself is free to download, there’s no excuse not to give this a whirl. I can’t recommend it enough.” €Free Insight Timer app (Learn how to meditate course)

Lumie Sunrise Alarm

Lumie Sunrise Alarm

Louise - Lumie Sunrise Alarm

“It’s hard getting up during the winter, and because I commute 
for around an hour and half each morning I’m up when it’s dark
and home when it’s dark. The 
Lumie helps to restore a little bit
 of body clock normality to your
 day using light. It starts waking
 you up gradually a half hour before alarm time. The light starts dim and gets brighter and brighter, essentially mimicking the rising of the sun and gently waking you up. I was
sceptical, I even set a back up alarm.
 But, it really works. I find that I usually wake just before I’m due up, and because you’re not jolted awake it feels like less of a pain too. This model also allows you to set a noise alarm (it has natural sounds and classic alarm beeps), just in case. Plus, it has a sunset feature which you can put on going to bed that works in reverse getting dimmer and dimmer. One I would absolutely recommend.” €44 Lumie Sunrise Alarm

InStyler Max

InStyler Max

Michelle - InStyler Max

“Sadly I wasn’t blessed with gorgeous Kate Middleton-esque hair and getting that perfectly bouncy, curly blow dry look is something I’ve tried (and failed) to achieve on more than one occasion. I’ve paid to have this done professionally as well, but
 to no avail. I’m not the biggest 
fan of wearing my hair super straight either, I prefer a more natural look, so finding a product that could do both was fantastic.
I was excited to try the InStyler Max as some of my friends are fans of the brand and I had always heard positive reviews. In terms of appearance the product is very sleek looking and is surprisingly light which makes it a lot easier to actually style the hair. It only
 takes about 30 seconds to heat 
up and there are four heat settings to choose from, depending on your personal preference and your hair type of course. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it but once I did, it was really easy to use. e curls are achieved through wrapping the hair around the heated tourmaline ceramic barrel, which is held in place with the bristles on the other side. The barrel rotates two ways which is fantastic for curling both sides of your hair. I liked that I could take big or small sections of hair to achieve a slightly more defined curl in certain areas. I also really liked the pay-off when I used it to straighten my hair; the bristles claim to reduce frizz and give hair a lovely shine and I feel like they did both. I think the InStyler Max is ideal for someone who is looking for a versatile product to achieve a natural, yet groomed, look.” €99 InStyler Max from www.instyler.ie

Ayvo: Rejuvenating Electronic Facial Cleansing Brush from JML

Ayvo: Rejuvenating Electronic Facial Cleansing Brush from JML

Áine - Ayvo: Rejuvenating Electronic Facial Cleansing Brush

“Facial brushes are all the rage and I’ve tried a few, but this
one is really rather brilliant. Simple to use, simply apply to
wet skin with cleanser on it (I use a gel cleanser) and rotate in circles
 for one minute. The brush feels pleasing on the skin but not painful,
 and it helps release all the oil and dirt embedded in your skin, which isn’t very pleasant sounding. I’ve been using it for a few weeks once a day – though you could use it twice, I just prefer to use it at night – and I’ve noticed that my skin feels smoother to the touch. I exfoliate anyway but I feel the Ayvo is doing quite a bit of soft exfoliation too. What’s more: I’ve discovered that product I apply after cleansing, like serum and moisturiser, absorbs much quicker. A lot of time those products will sit on my face whereas after using the Ayvo brush, they did seem to penetrate skin, which meant I felt the benefit of them too. Bonus.
 The Ayvo works for all skin types too which is brilliant and comes with a sensitive brush head if you are worried
about the effect it could
have on skin. I’m a convert.” Ayvo: Rejuvenating Electronic Facial Cleansing Brush, €47.99 from JML

Michelle Newman