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Happy 2016!

Reviews written

since 03/01/2011


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 ...

Lush Shangri La Moisturiser 08/12/2015

Shangri La for your skin

Lush Shangri La Moisturiser I’ve been working my way through Lush’s facial moisturisers, and one of the most recent ones I’ve tried is Shangri La, also known as Skin’s Shangri La. It’s one of the last moisturisers I’ve tried, probably because of the cost – a small tub is £29.50. Luckily, a small amount of this product goes a long way. The description on the Lush site suggests that it is particularly good in the cold weather or as a night cream. I’ve tried both – using it as a night cream for a while, then during the day as the weather’s been getting colder. The moisturiser is rich and feels incredibly luxurious. It goes on really easily and sinks in well. The ingredients sound very unusual and luxurious: one is Queen of Hungary Water, which I’ve never heard of before: apparently it is rosewater steeped in vodka (!). Several different oils are included: almond, jojoba, cocoa butter, evening primrose and coconut – to help moisturise skin. Other ingredients include seaweed, wheatgrass juice, aloe vera and beeswax. The moisturiser has a gorgeous scent thanks to the lovely ingredients and violet leaf absolute. It is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans, as it contains beeswax. This is a really effective moisturiser and keeps my skin soft, smooth and supple. It’s a bit heavy for everyday use except on the coldest days, but on the plus side, it offers good protection against the elements. It doesn’t cause any skin irritation at all. I do recommend this moisturiser, even though it is pricey. To be ...

Valentino Valentina Eau de Parfum 04/12/2015

Gorgeous perfume

Valentino Valentina Eau de Parfum I’ve had this perfume for a while and it’s one of my favourites, so I thought it was about time to review it. Valentino Valentina is a gorgeous feminine scent, created by Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morillas. ***Bottle*** I love the packaging for this: it is a gorgeous round bottle with roses on it. I have to admit that the bottle is a big part of the perfume I like – even if I loved a scent I would be unsure about buying it if it had an ugly bottle. This one is gorgeous, though, and I would happily display it on my dressing table. ***The Fragrance*** The scent is made up of various elements, it is described as “an irreverent Italian floral oriental”. It contains Calabrian bergamot and white Alba truffles, with middle notes of jasmine, Amalfi orange blossom and tuberose, and base notes of cedar and amber. ***My Experience*** As the description states, this is a “modern classic” scent. It is absolutely gorgeous and it doesn’t remind me of any other perfumes I own or, indeed, have ever tried. At the same time there is definitely something classic about it: it isn’t particularly avant garde or “out there”. I find it hard to describe scents in detail, but “floral oriental” seems pretty accurate to me. It is a lovely feminine refreshing scent. I feel it is more appropriate to summer, but really could be worn all year round. I feel it is more of a special occasion scent, rather than one to be worn every day. At first the scent is fresh and floral, but as time goes on it broadens ...

Lush Happy Blooming Shower Jelly 02/12/2015

Happy with this shower jelly!

Lush Happy Blooming Shower Jelly This was a limited edition shower jelly from Lush that I bought online a while ago. It cost me £8.75 for a large pot which is comparable to other Lush shower jellies I’ve used. The jelly was made to celebrate Lush Online’s 10th birthday and was made to smell like the cherry-scented Happy Blooming Bath Melt. The jelly contains cherry infusion and coconut water, coconut cream and ylang ylang oil. It is suitable for vegans. Like other shower jellies it can be used at room temperature, or can be stored in the fridge or even the freezer to be used cold. Personally, I haven’t done this as I live in a four-storey house, with the bathroom on the top floor and the kitchen in the basement, and I don’t fancy climbing down four flights of stairs and struggling back up again every time I want to have a shower! To use, you scoop a small amount of jelly and squish it onto a shower scrunchie. Only a small amount is needed and it lathers up really well. I absolutely adore the smell of this jelly, it smells exactly like a Bakewell tart – really cherry-like and almondy. It smells a bit like the original Happy Blooming Bath Melt except that was slightly artificial in flavour – this is much nicer and not artificial at all. The jelly seems to be good for my skin – it doesn’t exactly moisturise it, but it is gentle and doesn’t dry it out. Also, I can smell the gorgeous scent on my skin for a good couple of hours afterwards. This really should be a permanent product. I would definitely buy it ...

Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic 01/12/2015

For Concealaholics everywhere!

Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic The USA cosmetics brand Benefit make a few special edition little kits containing a number of miniature products. I purchased the Confessions of a Concealoholic kit for myself for no particular reason other than that I liked the look of it! ***The Brand*** Benefit was founded in San Francisco in 1976 by Jean and Jane Ford. Over thirty years later, it is a famous global brand and mixes quality makeup with whimsical retro branding. Benefit cosmetics can be bought in the UK from Boots, Debenhams, ASOS, individual boutiques and the website, They are quite pricey, with a mascara priced at around £15 and the well-known product Benetint priced at £24.50, but most of their products are great quality and last ages, or so I’ve found. ***The Product*** The product costs £28.50 and is packaged like a little beauty case with a mirror. It is well-packaged and neat with a plastic sheet to protect the contents. It also has a mirror inside the cover which comes in really handy especially when you are on the go. The description states: “Embrace your inner concealaholic! Why deny it when you can hide it, conceal it, camouflage & cover it? This concealing & brightening kit has EVERYTHING you need to satisfy all your concealing cravings!” The packaging is very handy to transport during the day or when you go away for the weekend. ***Contents*** *That Gal – Brightening face primer – Original price £22.50* That Gal is a primer that you can use to brighten up your ...
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