We test alternatives to caffeine and beauty boxes ahead of Mother’s Day – The Sun

MARCH is Caffeine Awareness Month. Adults should have no more than four cups of coffee, or two “energy shot” drinks, a day, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Here, we run the rule over alternative pick-me-ups. And with Mother’s Day on the way, our beauty expert trials three monthly beauty boxes.

Health with Jane Akinson

THE GO2 Inhaler Focus Stick (£3.99, Amazon) is a pocket-sized pick-me-up that uses essential oils to boost concentration.

Combining rosemary, peppermint and lime, it is said to stimulate the brain to boost clarity.

I love the fact there are no pills involved and after staring at a computer all day, a few deep inhalations did have me feeling perkier.

GUT health and its impact on overall wellbeing is increasingly on the radar.

Bio-Kult Mind (£20 for 60 Capsules, boots.com) is said to support brain power via the digestive system.

Live bacteria, grape, wild blueberry and zinc tablets target the “gut-brain axis”, which basically means good bacteria help to keep your mind sharp.

After taking two tablets a day for two weeks, I noticed my attention span was better. A whole new meaning to “gut reaction”.

VEGAN superfood shot Bumblezest Mind & Mood (£2.11, ocado.com) includes dragon fruit, rosemary and thyme.

It has a medicinal taste but is effective.

Mine stirred me up from my post-lunch sluggishness. A potential alternative to your morning espresso.

Beauty with Gabriella Stein

BUDGET – Birchbox, from £12.95, birchbox.co.uk: Marketed as a “monthly box of me time”, five deluxe travel-sized items – such as Rituals beauty and Philip Kingsley hair products – are delivered to your door for stay-at-home pampering.

Deliveries are tailored to you and you never receive the same product twice.

Boxes are slightly cheaper when opting for three or six-month subscriptions.

A good way to trial products that might not be on your radar otherwise.

MID – Look Fantastic beauty box subscription, £15, lookfantastic.com: A monthly box of gorgeous beauty products, with March’s six items worth more than £75.

Included this month are a Rodial bee venom cleansing balm (£13) and Rituals shower oil (£4.90).

Available in one, three, six and 12-month plans, they are sent out on the first working day of each month.

Subscription prices reduce according to the length of contract, with a 12-month box costing £13 a month.


LUXURY – The Champneys Edit, £35, champneys.com: This contains a selection of hand-picked products – worth more than £100 – from Champneys and other boutique brands, including Aromatherapy Associates and Sea Magik.

The products have a luxe feel and are great quality.

The priciest, yes, but my favourite of the three.

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