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Happy 2016!

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since 03/01/2011


Lush Gorilla Perfume Death and Decay Eau de Parfum 23/05/2016

Don't worry, it doesn't actually smell like decay!

Lush Gorilla Perfume Death and Decay Eau de Parfum Being a fan of Lush and their sister company Gorilla Perfume, I was interested to learn that they were bringing out a new range of perfumes. Volume 3 of the Gorilla Perfumes range contains many exciting scents, including the one I’m going to review today – Death and Decay. The name of the perfume sounds rather ominous, but actually, Lush are aiming for something different with this fragrance. They want people to contemplate “the fullness of beauty and its inevitable decay”, and the message implies optimism, acceptance and meditation. *Packaging* The fragrance comes in glass bottles, which I like as they remind me of apothecary bottles. The label has lilies on it and I really like it – I find it really pretty. *Price* Solid £8 (12g) Large Liquid £30 (30ml) *The Fragrance* The scent of this perfume is made up of lily and indole. The use of lily reminds me of the Victorians and their cult of death. I’m not familiar with indole, but the fragrance also contains tonka, rose and jasmine to add sweetness to the floral edge. *My Experience* This is an unusual perfume: it has a rich floral scent that won’t be for everyone, but which really appeals to me. It’s a “peaceful” scent that makes me think of contemplation. I believe it’s meant to evoke a calm acceptance of death rather than anything darker – it might sound morbid but I actually find it quite uplifting. *Conclusion* This is a highly unusual perfume with a bizarre name, but I really like it and would definitely repurchase.

Lush Pot O' Gold Shower Jelly 05/04/2016

At the end of the rainbow

Lush Pot O' Gold Shower Jelly I got this Pot O’Gold Shower Jelly when my favourite store, Lush, released it as part of their limited edition Easter range. I love Lush’s shower jellies, which are a bit like semi-solid shower gels. You can use them at room temperature, pop them in the fridge or freeze them. I’ve only ever used them at room temperature, not because I don’t like the idea of showering with a cold product on a hot day but because the kitchen’s in the basement and the bathroom’s on the second floor, and I don’t fancy running up flights of stairs every time I want to have a shower. The jelly costs £3.50, which is normal for similar Lush products, and is a lovely, slightly shimmery, gold colour. It has a gorgeous caramel-honey scent, similar to the Honey I Washed the Kids soap. It’s suitable for vegans and contains orange peel decoction, pineapple juice, fair trade vanilla absolute and sweet orange oil. It also contains glycerine to help soften the skin, and carrageenan seaweed to cleans and soften. I absolutely adore the scent of this shower jelly – the smell pervades the whole bathroom and lasts on my skin. I only need to use a small amount of the product at a time, and it lathers up really well on a shower puff. It doesn’t dry out my skin at all. The shimmer doesn’t go on to the skin, so no need to worry about turning glittery. This is an amazing shower jelly and I wish it wasn’t a limited edition product. I really hope it comes back in the future!

The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Body Butter 29/03/2016


The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Body Butter I have dry skin and I use body lotion at least once a day to keep it moisturised. One of my favourite products is body butter by The Body Shop, as it is thick and helps to keep my skin really moisturised. I always have some on the go for use after my evening bath or shower, so that I can apply some intensive moisturiser. I like ordering from The Body Shop when there is a discount code, as their products can be quite expensive. A 200ml tub of body butter usually costs over £10 but by using a discount code I can get a tub for half that. In one of my orders I obtained a number of products from the Dreams Unlimited range. I already had the perfume from this range and it was a lovely, light, floral fragrance ideal for the summer. I ordered the shower gel, body lotion and body butter, but while I would use the shower gel and body lotion in the morning, layering it up with the perfume, I would keep the body lotion for use in the evening after a bath or shower. The product comes in a pale blue tub with a white lid and the Dreams Unlimited logo on the top. Inside, the butter is very thick, white in colour, and with the distinctive scent of the range. It goes on to my skin well, though it takes a while to sink in. It doesn’t irritate my skin and the scent is discernible for several hours afterwards. I don’t need to use much at any one time, so it’s good value and lasts for ages. I do recommend this product and would consider buying it again. It’s ideal for the summer in particular, ...

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream 22/03/2016

Ok for the price

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream I got a small tube of this Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream in a beauty box. My tube was white with pink writing, a simple but attractive design. The full size cream costs £24 for 50ml and comes in a glass tub with a pink toned label. The cream is designed for ageing skin, and is meant to improve the appearance of wrinkles, dullness and uneven skin texture. It’s not something I would have picked up for myself as I don’t really have wrinkles yet. The cream contains Kombucha, which is a tea extract designed to increase skin radiance and smooth texture. It also contains Vichy Thermal Spa Water, and it is paraben free. The cream has a pleasant smooth texture and isn’t too thick. The scent is faint but pleasant and the cream goes on my skin easily with no irritation. I do need to use quite a bit of the cream as it isn’t that thick. It sinks in well and is a decent base for makeup. The cream is decent enough but doesn’t really do all that much for me. Perhaps it would suit someone older but for me it isn’t worth the money – there are cheaper creams that do just as good a job or better.

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter 01/02/2016

Lovely festive body butter

The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter Never one to resist a good sale, I got involved in the post-Christmas Body Shop sale action and ended up with a few ginger products. One of these was the Ginger Sparkle body butter. I love ginger – the taste, the smell, everything. It has often been associated with the festive season, but it is good all year round. This body butter comes in a brown slightly shimmery tub with a cute picture of a gingerbread man on the lid – very Christmassy. Inside, the body butter is a very pale brown in colour, and it is quite thick. It has a lovely sweet ginger smell. To use it, I scoop some out of the tub and apply it to my skin after a bath or shower. It sinks in well and, though it is thick, it doesn’t leave a greasy layer on my skin. Having said that, it is a bit thick to use in the morning before I head to work, so I tend to use it after my evening bath or post-exercise shower. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all. The body butter makes my skin smell really good, even up to the next day. It has a gorgeous ginger scent that reminds me a bit of Christmas, though it didn’t stop me using it in the summer! Despite the name, I didn’t notice that the body butter made my skin sparkle – this is probably a good thing though as shimmer isn’t always practical! If this comes back next Christmas, I would like to repurchase – it’s great.

L'Occitane Angelica Hydra Vital Cream 20/01/2016

Pleasant cream

L'Occitane Angelica Hydra Vital Cream A while ago I subscribed to several beauty boxes and ended up getting loads of different samples. Several of these were from L’Occitane, a French brand I’ve grown to like very much. One item I received was a mini tub of Angelica Hydra Vital Cream, normally £32 for 50ml (the brand is not cheap!). The cream comes in a pale green tub with a silver lid. It contains organic angelica water and essential oil. Angelica is a plant with impressive hydrating properties and its use in this moisturiser suggests that it will be a very moisturising one. The cream as a whole is designed to enhance the skin’s ability to hydrate itself, increasing smoothness and radiance. The cream goes onto my skin easily and doesn’t cause any irritation at all. It sinks in without looking or feeling greasy. It has a faint pleasant scent. I don’t have particularly dry skin on my face, in fact it tends to be slightly oily, so I stuck to using this product in the evening rather than the morning. Even so, I didn’t find it to be too heavy, just a pleasant moisturising cream that seemed to do my skin a lot of good. I really liked this cream but I thought it was not much better, really, than other creams that cost less. For this reason I probably wouldn’t buy this again, unless it was on a special offer.

Lush T for Toes Foot Powder 18/01/2016

Handy, effective foot powder

Lush T for Toes Foot Powder As I’ve mentioned plenty of times, I love Lush and I am trying to sample all of their products. As well as soaps and bath products, they also make some other kinds of products including deodorants and dusting powders (similar to talc). The T for Toes Foot Powder is one of these products. I've had mine for ages, so mine is still the old-style packaging which is a black cylinder with holes in the top – like a talc dispenser or a pepper dispenser for the kitchen! The newer design is a clear plastic bottle. The product is currently available in Lush stores and online, priced at £4.45 for 60g. This product is described as a deodorising powder that absorbs sweat or moisture and gets rid of the microbes that cause smells with antibacterial essential oils. It contains tea tree oil which is antibacterial as well as a bicarbonate and kaolin absorbent powder base. It is suitable for vegans and also contains powdered walnut leaf and lime oil. The powder has a pleasant, not overpowering fresh scent. I do, unfortunately, suffer from stinky feet every now and then especially in the summer. Therefore I hoped that this product would do a good job. I use it in two ways – I dust it lightly into my shoes before wearing them, and I apply it directly to my feet after a shower or bath. I have to be careful not to apply too much, or else I get a rather unpleasant “gritty” feeling on the soles of my feet. However, by applying only a small amount of product I avoid this problem; in addition, I ...

The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited Body Lotion 15/01/2016

Dreamy body lotion

The Body Shop Dreams Unlimited  Body Lotion I really love the Body Shop and I like making the most of discount codes and special offers to stock up on products. A while ago I made an online purchase containing a number of items including several from the Dreams Unlimited range, which I already owned a perfume from. The lotion came in a long narrow bottle, clear plastic, with a nice-looking pastel label. The lotion was white in colour and seemed fairly thin, ideal for the summer. I’ve been using it alongside the matching shower gel and perfume to layer the scent. I don’t need to use loads of product as it goes on easily and sinks in well. It doesn’t irritate my skin, despite the distinctive smell, which is sweet and floral, easy to detect. The bottle has a pump dispenser which means that it is really easy to get the product out. However, it means it will be tricky to get the very last bit of lotion out of the bottle at the end! The lotion is quite light, so while it keeps me hydrated throughout the day, my skin does start to get a bit dry again towards the evening, and I don’t think I would use this in the winter when my skin is even more prone to drying out. However, as a light summer lotion it is ideal. The body lotion smells lovely and works really well layered up with the shower gel and the perfume. I would certainly consider repurchasing if it comes back next year.

Lush Humbug Bubble Bar 12/01/2016

Bah, Humbug!

Lush Humbug Bubble Bar I originally wrote this review in November but have only just got around to posting it - oops! I was very excited when Lush brought out their new range of Christmas products this year. Although I love Christmas, I do find that the festivities have a tendency to start a little too early for me, so the first thing I bought from the Christmas range was the very appropriate “Bar Humbug”! Designed for those who dislike Christmas, I chose it because it seemed appropriate in the middle of November. The bubble bar resembles The Comforter and Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds, as it is in the form of a disc with candy-like swirls. It is made up of white and a beautiful dark rich purple, with a hint of lustre. It has a gorgeous scent that reminds me of sweets – like a blackcurrant liquorice. The bar is suitable for vegans and contains bergamot, fennel and tarragon oils, with illipe butter to soften skin. It does contain sodium laureth sulphate, which can cause skin irritation in some people (not me), but which is essential to create the lovely bubbles. I used half of the bar for my bath, crumbling it into the running water. Once it was ready, the bath water was a lovely purple colour and there were loads of bubbles. In the bath, the water felt really soft and the sweet scent was distinctly present. I had a really relaxing bath, and after I got out my skin felt very soft and I didn’t need to use much moisturiser. I could also smell the lovely scent on my skin. Bar Humbug costs ...

Yu-Be Moisturizing Cream 05/01/2016

Excellent moisturising cream

Yu-Be Moisturizing Cream A while ago, I went through a period of subscribing to a lot of beauty boxes and I am still using up the results! One item I got was a tube of this Yu-Be Moisturising Cream. The cream normally costs £19.50 for 70g so I was pretty impressed by this. The cream was invented by Japanese pharmacist Yoshikiyo Nowatari in 1957. It is glycerin-based to help moisturise skin and also contains Vitamin E (an antioxidant), Vitamin B2 (to help smooth rough skin) and camphor. The full list of ingredients is as follows: Glycerin, Water, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Camphor, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Hydrogenated coco-glycerides, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, EDTA, Methylparaben, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate The tube is white with an orange lid so the cream is very distinctive-looking. Inside, it is reasonably thick and is a pale yellow colour, not the most attractive but I didn’t mind. On initial application it has a strong camphor smell which is slightly medicinal. I have to admit I actually love the scent – I am probably in the minority on this! In any case, the smell does go away after a few minutes. A small amount of cream goes a long way, and I’ve used it on my hands, lips and elbows where I suffer from dry skin. It sinks in really quickly and isn’t at all greasy. On my lips, it makes them feel naturally soft without being covered in product, and does not cause any ...

Lush Hairy McClairy Solid Shampoo 21/12/2015

Fun shampoo for all the family

Lush Hairy McClairy Solid Shampoo I’ve recently been exploring the new Lush store on Oxford Street, which is absolutely huge – I love it but it’s lethal when I’m trying to save money! Unfortunately it is close enough to my work for me to be able to head down there at lunchtime, which is NOT good for my bank balance. Nevertheless, I was wandering around in there and noticed that there were several new kinds of solid shampoo that I’d never seen before. I was actually in need of some shampoo, so I went over to check them out. After some consideration, I chose a piece of Hairy McClairy shampoo, chiefly because of the name! Hairy McClairy is actually a children’s book character, so it is fitting that this shampoo, which is actually aimed at children, is named after it. The full disc of shampoo is very cute, with a little character peeping over a brick wall. When you buy the shampoo you pick up a piece of this disc or ask an assistant to cut it for you, just like when you buy a piece of soap. It is quite expensive at £6.95 for 100g, but I do find that Lush’s solid shampoo lasts much longer than traditional liquid shampoo. The shampoo contains star anise and moringa powder, as it’s designed for keeping scalps healthy. The scent contains lemon myrtle and lime oil, and it is a lovely fruity smell – ideal for kids. The shampoo does contain sodium laureth sulphate: this is the ingredient that makes it lather, and most shampoos do contain it, but some people with sensitive skin find it can make their scalps itch so ...

Lush Salt & Peppermint Bark Shower Scrub 18/12/2015

Effective scrub

Lush Salt & Peppermint Bark Shower Scrub I love Lush’s Christmas products and I was thrilled to purchase a few of them last time I was in the store. As well as the usual soaps and shower gels, I found that there was a limited edition shower scrub released, called Salt and Peppermint Bark. I love body scrubs, so I made sure to pick this up. The scrub is square-shaped, which makes it perfect to fit in one of Lush’s body butter tins, of which I have several lying about the house. It has a lovely sweet peppermint smell, which is just like sweets. The scrub is green in colour with dots of pink. It contains fine sea salt to exfoliate, as well as Fair Trade organic cocoa butter to soften, along with Cupuacu butter. The scent comes from peppermint oil. I use the scrub in the shower: I hold the square and gently rub it over my skin. I find it to be quite a gentle scrub, but also a very effective one – the cocoa butter probably helps! The scrub is quite sturdy and doesn’t break up in the shower, which is what I had worried about. I am able to rub it over my wet skin and it still stays solid. After use I put it back in the tin and let it dry out. After just one use, I saw that my skin was much softer and smoother. It wasn’t irritated at all and looked visibly brighter. I’ve been using this scrub on average twice a week and it’s really helped keep my skin smooth and soft. The scrub costs £3.95, which is pricey, but it does seem to be lasting absolutely ages. I definitely recommend the scrub – it’s extremely effective.

Lush Star Dust Bath Bomb 15/12/2015

Let's bathe in star dust

Lush Star Dust Bath Bomb I’m a huge fan of the store Lush, and I’ve been trying to sample a lot of their new limited edition Christmas products. One of these was a new bath bomb called Star Dust. This bath bomb is a relative bargain at £2.95, although it’s worth remembering that it can only really be used once. It is a pretty white star which shimmers: it contains snowflake lustre, which is fully biodegradable, unlike standard glitter. It is made up of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, which help it to dissolve and fizz, and also contains fair trade vanilla absolute, rosewood oil and bergamot water to help create the lovely sweet scent. I ran the bath, then dropped the bath bomb in and watched it fizz. It fizzed away, turning the water a relaxing white colour with a hint of lustre on the surface of the water. It had a lovely rejuvenating scent and the water felt really soft. After my bath, I felt relaxed and refreshed. My skin felt very soft and I didn’t need to use much moisturiser. I could smell the scent on my skin for a good while afterwards. This bath bomb is small and cute and definitely recommended. A little pricey, however it does do a good job.

Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar 14/12/2015

Adorable bubble bar

Lush Peeping Santa Bubble Bar I’m a huge fan of the store Lush, and am constantly trying new things from them. One of my favourite times of year is Christmas, when they release the new stuff, and I always try and sample all of the new bits. The Peeping Santa Bubble Bar is, I think, a version of the elf bubble bar that was around a couple of years ago. It is a red bubble bar with a white centre, complete with dairy-free chocolate drops, making it look as if Santa is peeping out at you from beneath his hat. I must say he is rather cute. Peeping Santa is suitable for vegans, and is made with fair trade organic cocoa butter and shea butter to help soften skin. Sodium bicarbonate and sodium laureth sulphate help him create lots of bubbles in the bath, although it’s worth being aware that sodium laureth sulphate can cause skin irritation in some people, so if you have sensitive skin you may wish to avoid. He costs £3.95 which is normal for Lush – he might sound a bit pricey, but by breaking him up into three pieces I got three baths out of him. The bubble bar has a lovely sweet smell, which is made up of, among other things, bergamot. To use, I crumble a piece into the running water. The bath water turns a lovely red colour and there are lots of bubbles. Once the bath is run, I get in and enjoy a bath in lovely sweet scented water with lots of bubbles and very soft water. Despite the festive-sounding name, I don’t think that this bubble bar sounds particularly Christmassy, but never mind! After my bath my ...

Lancome Poudre Majeur Excellence Compact Pressed Powder 11/12/2015

A powder of excellence

Lancome Poudre Majeur Excellence Compact Pressed Powder I bought this Lancome Poudre Majeure Excellence in the Oxford Street Debenhams store, as it was being sold off at half price: £15 instead of £30. £30 is way too expensive for a face powder, but half of that is a bit more reasonable! The powder comes in the traditional Lancome silver box, inside of which is a beautiful black jar with the Lancome rose. I love the packaging: it looks classy and sophisticated. I think the powder would be messy to apply when out and about, but in terms of carrying it around in your bag, I would have no issues: the lid fastens securely so there’s no risk of spillage. The powder is designed for normal to dry skin, and the shade I bought – Shade 01 – is extremely pale and perfect for me. I was happy with this as the palest shade in a lot of foundation products is still too dark for me. I tend to have oily skin rather than dry skin, but I do get dry patches occasionally and hoped the product would suit my skin because of this. A high quality powder puff is included in the box, but I tend to apply the powder with a brush. There is a mesh included in the packaging that you can lay over the powder, providing a kind of barrier between it and the brush so you don’t use too much product. I find the powder easy to apply: it is incredibly fine, with little discernible scent, and feels velvety-soft. The powder is ‘micro-aerated loose powder’ which offers comfort and softness to keep skin hydrated and supple. The powder felt lovely on my skin, in fact I ...
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