My Intro to Biossance

Hello Loves!

My skin has been through it all, from pigmentation, to adult acne and more recently intense dryness… ew. I have tried a million different potions and lotions, getting lost on the pages of YouTube to find the perfect recipe for skin.

But after many trial and errors, I think I have found a formula which suits my needs. I was your own personal guinea pig (ironic because I’m allergic to the fluffy buggers). Anyway enough blabbering, let’s get to the point. I was introduced to the incredible Biossance brand this past February when they launched into the Canadian market. Normally I would poo poo another skincare brand promising me a miracle, but I gave Biossance a chance, and boy am I happy I did. Biossance has reinvented the way we do skincare. Not only does Biossance (available on Sephora.ca) offer a wide variety of incredible products, they are nontoxic and sustainable… amazing! They also include squalane… what is that? I hear you all asking, squalane is a 100% plant-derived moisturizing molecule made from sugarcane. Mmmm sugarcane.

Now there are a couple of miracle products in this line, that are a MUST…

Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel – SHOP HERE

This has to be my fav product and actually a Sephora bestseller… what can I say I’ve got great taste. I use it twice a day… I seriously can’t get enough. Once in the morning to reduce my puffy eyes… I am not that angelic when I wake up in the morning, shocking, and again in the evening. But basically the eye gel reduces the look of puffy eyes and dark circles and hydrates the skin.

Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil – SHOP HERE

This beautifully scented oil, is so light and not sticky. I use this… everywhere, face, neck and… décolletage (hehe). What I have found with this product is that my acne scarring has been greatly reduced, but it also brightens and firms.

Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer – SHOP HERE

I use this beauty morning and night and has been a massive contributing factor to my skin’s increased hydration. Again this is lightweight and super easy to apply… there seems to be a recurring factor here.

100% Squalane Oil – SHOP HERE

This guy is the newest member to my collection, but I love it just as much as the others. It is the finishing touch to my skincare routine, adding that extra bit of moisture and locking it all in. It also has reduced some of the redness that I am oh so prone to getting.

I am so incredibly happy with the improvements my skin has made since introducing Biossance into my life, I even feel confident to go makeupless!! Something I haven’t done since I was like 12 lol. But it doesn’t stop here, I plan to test more of the Biossance line and bring you along on my journey… we are seriously going to have some FLAWLESS skin by the end of this.

Eeek so excited!

Shop Biossance HERE

@filipajackson

 

 xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

Club Med Punta Cana

Hello Loves!

Did you know that Club Med is the originator of the all-inclusive!! For more than 68 years Club Med has been putting smiles on the faces of adults and children alike. You guys know I am a lover of the all-inclusive formula, it’s a great way to see and experience a country without the pressure of wondering where you’re going to lay your head or what you’re going to eat that day. It’s kind of crazy that I had never visited a Club Med location before. I remember when I was younger seeing commercials for their sprawling properties and wishing I was one of those crazy kids splashing in the ocean, so when I was given the opportunity to head to one of my fav countries (Dominican Republic) and stay at the critically acclaimed Club Med, my inner child screamed with delight!

Book your Club Med Punta Cana stay HERE

Location

Club Med Punta Cana is just a hop away from the Airport… literally I could hop there, it’s only a 10 min drive away! However, don’t let this freak you out it’s actually a good thing. You would not guess when you’re on the resort that you are so close… there is no noise and no planes hovering over head, also no sweating profusely in an over packed bus for hours on end to get to your location… bonus!

Rooms

Club Med Punta Cana‘s property has 631 rooms in a variety of styles, from deluxe rooms to family suites. We actually stayed in the adult only space called Zen Oasis. You probably saw from my Instastories that the rooms are gorgeous, so beautifully decorated, they are a bloggers dream! Our little Zen Oasis also included a private garden with a perfectly situated cabana, where Sameer and I spent many a nights watching the stars…. awww so romantic.

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Grounds

This place is humungous, like massive!! I think we only explored a teeny tiny part of it. Every single part of these huge grounds is immaculately groomed, even their 2,000 foot private beach gets a brush each morning. We spent our mornings walking and drone’ing on the calming shores and our afternoons cooling down in the zen pool. Ahhhh… please take me back!

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Amenties

Like I said before Club Med is the originator of the all-inclusive, so there are some things that they just do best… one of these things would be their amenities… the list is endless.

  • 4 Swimming pools
  • Club Med L’Occitane spa

The spa is a must, Sameer and I enjoyed a private beach side couples massage… it was perfection. From the moment you walk in you feel calmer and the massage… wow they know what their doing! We left happy and incredibly relaxed.

  • Kids club
  • L’Occitane Mens Barbershop

The guys from our group got an opportunity to visit the very first L’Occitane Spa for Men. Sameer had a blast, a little whisky and a hair cut, you can’t go wrong.

  • Water sport activities

From sailing to windsurfing and everything in between… Club Med offers it all. I was a little too nervous to sail (I suck at sports… all of them), but after some negotiating and bribing (I’m still waiting for those shoes) Sameer got me into a 2 person kayak. Although, I didn’t actually do any kind of paddling… I was sat behind and Sameer couldn’t see me… I had a blast being out in the open space of the Caribbean Sea. I was pushed out of my comfort zone and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Golf
  • Archery

Archery was a clear example of the meme, what you think you look like and what you really look like. I totally thought I was going to be like Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, taking names and helping my crew survive, well that is not what I looked like at all…. I was a complete and utter mess. I would not be saving anyone, in fact I was more likely to shoot them in the foot, yep the foot because I never got the arrow above ground. I told you, I’m no good at sports. Everyone else in our group was a total rockstar, Sameer was so good he actually started to grow a braid (get it, Katniss… ugh).

  • Nightly entertainment

Oh gosh these guys know how to put on a show, from professional stage acts to late night dance classes, you are destined to laugh (and maybe sweat) all night long.

  • CREACTIVE by Cirque Du Soleil

Club Med is known for their collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil, what you may not know is that they offer a totally free CREACTIVE space that allows you to be taught by the pros. Spin plates, juggle and jump on the trampoline or soar through the sky on their trapeze. Available daily you can go as many times as you want, heck by the time your trip is done you can join the circus. Our group tried out the trapeze, and although some better than others we all had such a blast.

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Food

Club Med Punta Cana has 3 restaurants. Hispaniola, their waterfront international buffet available all day, Indigo beach lounge one of their new oceanfront restaurants that offers a adult only dinner and Samana, a huge buffet offering foods from around the world… This ended up being our fav place to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner… their menu was constantly changing and the options were delicious and endless.

We are so happy to have been introduced to the Club Med brand and with over 60 locations worldwide, Club Med definitely has something for everyone. We can’t wait to explore more locations.

 

Book your Club Med Punta Cana Stay HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

 

My Credit Card Hacks/Tips and Tricks of 2018

Hello Heros!

As a self-proclaimed credit card GURU, I have had over 8 credit cards this past year (2017/2018). Yep 8, that is a hell of a lot!

I may not be the most credible GURU, since I did just start playing the hack game back in early 2017. But I do know a thing or two.

So you may ask, why the f**k do you have so many credit cards and why isn’t the credit bureau breathing down your neck and taking your house away. Well the great thing about all this, is that it is all perfectly legal.

Ok Sameer, so what exactly are you doing here? Well I use credit cards and their points for FREE trips!!!! Yep FREE!!!

So what’s the deal with these points and where do I start?

My favourite credit cards are by American Express. They have the best welcome bonuses and the easiest way to actually use and accumulate points.

The card I started with was the American Express Business Platinum, now there are both pros and cons to this card and it may not be for everyone. But, if you have some big purchases coming up and your merchant accepts Amex then start here. Now you don’t own a business? That is perfectly fine; Amex Personal Platinum is equally a great card.

For a lower spend and smaller but great benefits the Amex Gold card is also an option.

If you decided to go balls deep, and sign up for the Amex Platinum, then you will love the benefits, especially if you are an avid traveller. First off, you get access to most airport lounges, and this is now a must for Filipa and I. Why wait in a terminal for 2-3 hours, when you could recline in the airport lounge with free grub and booze.

You also get some amazing insurance options, you get it all; travel insurance, baggage insurance, flight delay insurance, and a cool one is product purchase insurance. Basically they’ve got you covered. No need to buy any additional insurance when travelling, unless maybe you’ve got some crazy ass disease that no one will cover (hopefully not).

The Amex Business Platinum has also teamed up with some other big brands in the hospitality realm. So when you sign up, you automatically get upgraded to Gold membership at both SPG and Marriott hotels. This is amazing because if you were just a mere civilian it would take you 25 nights a year to maintain a gold status, but with this card it’s included. The perks of having gold at these hotel chains are free upgrades, breakfast, free WI-Fi, 4pm late checkout and bonus points.

With the Amex Personal Platinum you get a $200 travel credit annually, so you book a hotel or flight through the Amex Travel Portal and within 2 business days you receive they credit on your statement.

Also, if you fly with Delta, you will also be eligible to upgrades and preferential boarding.

All in all, this card has it all and if you’re always travelling like us, then it makes sense.

Now like every pro there is a con. The Platinum Business just changed their annual fee to $499. Now you may be thinking, WTF!! I read all this and now you tell me it’s going to cost me $499. Hold up, yes it does have a steep annual fee but in addition to all the benefits I listed above, you also get 60,000 Amex points as a welcome bonus. Now these points at minimum would be worth $600, if you learned a few tricks and trips, they could be worth double if not triple. So at minimum $600-$499 = you’re still up nearly $100 just by signing up for this card. AMAZING!!!

If you go for the Personal Platinum then the annual fee is $699, but with the 60,000 points and the $200 travel credit, you’re still up $100. So win win!

Ok so how do you grow your point balance? If you’ve got some friends and family that want to get into the point game, then that would be your best place to start. Referral bonuses under the Amex Business Platinum are 15,000 points. So for every referral that signs up, you get enough points for a short-haul national flight. Crazy right! But true…

Now if I’ve convinced you, remember to sign up with this link to get your 60,000 points. Yes, I do get a referral bonus, but we’re all friends and some of you my family. If you don’t sign up with this link, you only get 40,000 points, now that is not nearly as fun nor does it cover your annual fee.

Plus, if you guys have any questions or concerns you can always contact me. I am more then happy to help.

Happy shopping, and safe travels!

CLICK HERE TO START TRAVELLING

Instahusband out,

Sameer @playingwithapparelmen

Travel Bloggers

Hello Loves!

You all know that I recently made the switch from the ‘fashion’ community to the travel. Sameer and I made the decision that we were going to invest more of our time and money into exploring the world. What you don’t know is just how important the travel community is to me, on my darkest days I have found happiness just by scrolling through my Instagram. Their feeds and encouragement (literally I have received so many amazing messages from some of the most incredible people) have given me so much hope. Their images are what keep me inspired to continue to create work that I love.

I am consistently stumbling across travel IG pages that leave me breathless and have shared most of my favs via my instastories (I will continue to share via Instastories as I find new pages on the daily). But I wanted to take a quick moment to give some recognition to some of the pages that have had the biggest impact on my life.

Mel (@mvandersluis)

I met Mel at the start of my travel blogging career while in Cuba. This was probably the best thing to happen to me, she was and is a big support to me. She encourages me to push myself and has taught me so much. Her page is outstanding and continues to grow with love and support from her readers. She also sells her presets which funny thing, I actually had purchased before meeting her… They helped shape my page into what it is now. You can purchase Mel’s presets HERE.

Jen (@jenkvieira)

I recently stumbled across Jen’s page and was blown away by the pure zest for life that she portrays. We have been able to chat a little bit since I slid into her DM’s (haha) and she is just as cute as she is in her pics. She is one to watch.

Tracy (@tracy_komlos)

This girl is all kinds of badass. Not only is she founder of Pangea Dreams which is legitimately genius (read more about it here), she is also the sweetest person. I recently got to hangout with her over lunch where we chatted about anything and everything. I left our meet feeling inspired and just happy… she really is a rare soul.

Merel (@andathousdandwords)

I have been a follower of Merel for years. She was the first travel blogger I ever followed and the only one for a long time. Her pictures had me in awe, in fact one of the reasons we went to Bali for our honeymoon was because of her page. She beautifully captures the culture of wherever she is and is always there to help me with any questions I may have. She’s a gem!

Jess (@thewonderingdreamer)

This English born (yasss BRITISH PRIDE), Bermuda living beauty has been a great introduction to the travel community. Before finding her, Bermuda had never even crossed my mind, but with her beautiful imagery of the country it has quickly reached the top of my 2018 travel wish list.

Anais (@mynextwanderlust)

I am so happy to be able to call this French cutie my friend. I was able to hangout with her on my recent trip to LA, and if I didn’t love her before I sure do now. Her stories of her world adventures and the fact that she fell in love with so many places that she ended up staying for months even years at a time left me in complete awe. She has quickly become a main source of my inspiration not only for her gorgeous page, but her kind heart and eagerness to see the world.

Be sure to take a look at these beauties pages, they are sure not disappoint and will leave you with as much joy as they do me.

The Man Behind the Lens: HAHAHA!

Hello Heros!

So some of you may have noticed that I am now being tagged as photographer on Filipa’s Insta posts. Woohoo I made it! Although, I don’t consider myself a photographer, there have been some tricks and tips that I have learnt on this journey… and oh boy what a journey it has been. I swear at one point I couldn’t pick up the camera without us getting in a fight… being an instahusband sure has its perks but it most definitely has its struggles too.

Anyway therapy session over, lets get to the point, what you’re all here for.

Equipment

You might be surprised by how much equipment we’ve gone through, I would like to say I graduated from each level but really it’s been a struggle to find the perfect match.

We began with the Nikon D6000. Oh boy, we were super excited, it was our first camera that wasn’t a point and shoot. But did we use it any other way, NOPE! I had no f**king clue what I was doing, I think we thought get a DSLR and everything will just change automatically. Yeah, we were wrong, after shooting in AUTO for so long, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. So after a few months, hundreds of fights, and knocking my head on the wall, the next obvious thing to do for a man is not blame himself but the equipment. So what did we do, yep you’re right, get another camera.

You would think I would’ve learnt my lesson but after a Canon and a Sony later I found my perfect match, the Canon 6D Mark II. Wow, was I blown away, everything just worked. Maybe it was the fact that I actually was interested in how to take pictures or the fact that I figured out what the “M” meant on the scroll wheel (thanks to @mvandersluis for some much needed coaching), it means MAN right!! Lol.

So once I learned what all the settings under the MAN function meant, it was a walk in the park. HAHAHA! I wish! Yes, things made more sense, but what I didn’t realize is that every location, every shot, every subject, had to be set up completely different. And for the guy who loves his favourite pair of jeans, and has his butt imprint on his couch. I know what I like! But back on my horse I went.

List of Equipment we use NOW:

Angles

Instahusband’s out there, this is key! The amount of shit I got for just pointing and shooting at eye level is definitely not worth it. I now enjoy being knee deep in sand, covered in ant bites to get the perfect shot. Did I mention my instahusband squat is on point?!? Now that is a workout on its own. Remember it’s worth playing around with angles; every angle has a different effect. For us, Filipa might kill me for saying this but, she likes to look taller, who doesn’t? So I usually end up on my knees or in a squatted position.

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Tripod Bob

Now most of us husbands out there know a thing or two about a machine involved in your relationship. HAHA, what do you think happens when you’re away at work or travelling?

Well this is a different kind of contraption. It actually helps me out, and gives me a break every now and then. My suggestion, get a good tripod, something that doesn’t blow over in the wind and is sturdy. We have the Vanguard Espod CX204AGH, it works great. We either have the camera set on timer or use the iPhone as a remote trigger. Check out these fun shots with Tripod Bob.

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You can find our tripod bob here.

Man vs. Auto

Ok I admit it, it’s not called Man it’s Manual. I know right, weird! Anyways, with camera tech these days Auto is a great setting for people who don’t want to learn anymore then pointing and shooting. It’s pretty fantastic. But if you want a bit more customization or personalization then the manual function is where you want to be. Learn how changing the ISO, shutter speed, or F point will alter the effect of your shot. Heck, I even turn my lens to manual so I can focus on what really matters, the beautiful woman I call my wife! Brownie points anyone!!!

Editing

Wait, what, all that info wasn’t enough and you want more. Phhh, well that’s enough for me. I leave the editing to Filipa, as far as I know she uses Lightroom. Now I refuse to learn that, I got to leave her with some work!

 

So I hope this was helpful, heck I feel like I’ve learnt a thing or two. And as always, feel free to DM me with any questions or comments you have.

 

Instahusband out,

Sameer W @playingwithapparelmen