30 November 2012

NOTD: Essie 'Leading Lady'

Bottom row: Left - one coat; Right - two coats.


Apologies for the iPhone pictures but I was SO excited by this nail polish that I couldn't wait to share it with you!

Whilst doing my Christmas shopping earlier I found myself, as I often do, aimlessly wandering around the cosmetics section when I spotted the Essie stand. I always take a look but I own so many nail polishes (seriously, I have issues) that most of the time I'm looking for something different to catch my eye or something to really jump out at me. I don't want to jump onto a trend colour just because everyone else is when I've got at least three similar shades at home!

I do not own any nail polish like this, it's a deep red base, not black, with red glitter and it is beaaaaautiful. It's perfectly opaque after one coat and applied like a dream. I've applied it over fake nails so I won't be able to update with an accurate idea on how it withstands chipping but just from the application I get the feeling it is quite a good polish.

Leading Lady is delightfully festive and the perfect party colour. I think I'm now an Essie convert! 

What are your favourite Essie shades; any must haves I should know about? 

Vicky x
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Bake of the Week: Oreo Cupcakes


Earlier this week I decided to make Oreo cupcakes for the first time and I loved them so much I thought I'd share the recipe with you all.

When I was looking for a recipe for these cupcakes every recipe I found included a chocolate cake however I knew it was possible to make an Oreo cake so I decided to have a little play with ingredients and I loved the result.

The following recipe makes 12 cupcakes. I opted for six Oreo cakes and six chocolate cakes.

Oreo Cupcake Recipe 

You will need
  • 12 cupcake cases
  • Two six hole or one 12 hole muffin tray
  • Piping bag
Ingredients - for the cakes
  • 125g plain flour
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 1 egg (mine was medium)
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 5 crushed Oreo's // 20g high quality cocoa powder
Ingredients - for the icing
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • Splash of whole milk
  • 6 crushed Oreo's 

Instructions 

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter into a large bowl and using an electric whisk, whisk until you create a sand like texture. You may find the butter doesn't break down as fine but that's not a problem. 

3. Place the milk, vanilla extract and the egg into a jug and slowly whisk by hand until well blended. 

4. Add half of the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Slowly add the remaining half of the milk mixture and whisk again until everything is well blended.

5. If you're making some Oreo cakes and some chocolate cakes, now is the time to split the mixture into two separate bowls.

6. Crush your Oreo biscuits - after viciously attacking a bag of Oreo's with a rolling pin on my kitchen floor I can confirm that this is not the best way to do it! Place your Oreo biscuits into a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. 

7. Place your crushed Oreo biscuits into one half of the cake mixture and stir until well combined. Place your cocoa powder into the remaining half of the mixture and stir to combine. 

8. Spoon your cake mixture into your cupcake cases and bake for 15-25 minutes. The chocolate cupcakes take 15 minutes whilst the Oreo cupcakes take 25 minutes so it's best to have two separate pans of six hole tins. Your cakes should be firm on the top but soft in the centre - do not over cook or they'll go hard.

9. Place your icing sugar, butter and a dash of milk into a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk to create your butter cream icing. My whisk decided to explode prior to this so I had to make the butter cream by hand which I don't recommend doing! 

10. Whizz your 6 Oreo biscuits in the food processor until finely ground and add them to your butter cream icing. Stir briskly to combine the two.

11. Fill a piping bag full of the icing and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

12. Top with mini, halved or crushed Oreo biscuits if you wish.

I hope that was easy to follow and I hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as I did. I made mine to take to work and they were very well received. The Oreo cakes are my personal favourites as they have a bit of crunch to them.

If you make these I'd love to see pictures or hear your baking experience.

Vicky x
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28 November 2012

Review: Ojon Damage Reverse Shampoo and Conditioner


Earlier this month I saw a code flying about on Twitter that entitled you to a full size Ojon shampoo and conditioner with the purchase of any product. I'm not normally one to jump on anything like this but I've wanted to try Ojon for quite some time so I raced to the website, winced as I paid £18 for dry shampoo and waited patiently for my new goodies to arrive.

I'd never really invested much into my hair because it's never really been in a horrific condition but after having six inches cut off of it earlier this year where I'd not paid it any TLC I was determined to grow my hair back and have it healthy and strong. Fortunately I spent some time earlier this year working in a high end salon and spa where I had my eyes opened to hair care and some amazing products.

It was love at first use. As I said, I've never been too into my hair care so as long as my hair was clean after washing I was happy but this shampoo and conditioner are honestly amazing. My hair has never felt so clean and it's been years since it's looked so healthy and shiny.

I normally wash my hair every other day however I can go three days without washing it when I've used the Ojon shampoo and conditioner which may sound slightly gross but I'm told it's good for your hair to not wash it as often.

I can't say whether or it's restored any damage, certainly not in the short space I've time I've been using it, but my hair looks and feels stronger. I'm at the hairdressers on Monday so I'll ask her what she thinks and I'll update this post then.

Ojon Damage Reverse Shampoo and Conditioner - £20 each for 250ml

Do you have any Ojon favourites to recommend?


Vicky x
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22 November 2012

How To: Festive Gingerbread House


I wasn't sure if this would be the best place to post this but I had such a great reaction to this little gingerbread house I made yesterday on Twitter and Facebook as well as requests to write how I made it that I thought I would.

Yesterday was more of a practice run for me for Christmas so my focus was less on decoration and more on the gingerbread house and assembly. I did make a few little decorations, a marshmallow snowman family and a chocolate reindeer but I ate them before the house had set... If you're interested I'll post some instructions on how I made them when I do my 'proper' gingerbread house for Christmas.


Let me first share with you my secret weapon: this fairy tale cottage mould from Lakeland. The mould itself isn't overly festive so it can be used on other occasions; for example it would make a great chocolate house for a children's party or a haunted house on Halloween - the possibilities are endless.

Gingerbread Recipe

You will need 
  • Lakeland Fairy Tale House mould or a gingerbread house template 
  • A baking tray

Ingredients
  • 180g of butter (I used unsalted)
  • 125g brown sugar 
  • 300g golden syrup or treacle 
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Extra flour for rolling

Instructions 

1. Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large pan over a low heat - make sure you do use a large pan, it's not wasteful as you will see later. When the butter has melted stir in the sugar and the golden syrup, remove from the heat and continue to stir.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the large pan and mix until everything is blended into a thick golden dough.
4.Lightly flour your work surface, tip the dough out and knead until well combined. If you are using the mould, tear off pieces of dough and press into the mould carefully. If you are using a template roll out to the desired thickness and cut your shapes.

5. Bake the gingerbread for 25-35 minutes, until it is firm to the touch - it will become crispy as it cools down so you want it firm, not rock hard.

6. If you're using the mould allow the gingerbread to fully cool before removing. If you're using a template, re-size the gingerbread before it cools if needed.

Once your gingerbread has cooled it is time to make the Royal Icing which will act as your glue and then assemble the gingerbread house.


This is what your gingerbread house should look like when removed from the mould. I'll admit that panic did set in at this point - making things has never been my strong point! 


Royal Icing Recipe

You will need
  • Piping bag

Ingredients
  • 500g of icing sugar, sifted 
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 3 egg whites

Instructions
1. Sift/sieve (whichever word you prefer!) the icing sugar into a bowl and add the cream of tartar.

2. Separate three egg whites - I found the easiest way to do this was to crack the egg and tip the yellow between the two shells. I have a bit of a thing where I HATE the feel of egg shells and the smell and texture of raw egg makes me feel sick so if I can manage to do this - anyone can!

3. Using an electric whisk, slowly beat the egg whites into the icing sugar/cream of tartar mix until thick, glossy icing is formed. Your icing should be so stiff the whisk should be able to stand alone (once removed from the electric part of course - no icing is THAT strong!!)

4. Add more icing sugar if needed to stiffen the mixture.

5. Spoon into a piping bag and twist the top closed.

Assembling Your Gingerbread House

You will need

  • A cake board (10 or 12 inches depending on how many decorations you wish to add - mine was 12 inches)
  • Some mugs or glasses
  • Large amounts of patience

Instructions

1. Begin with the front of your house - pipe icing along the base of the house and position on the board. Use kitchen mugs or glasses to hold the panel in place.

2. Add one side of the house - pipe icing along the short side that will connect with the front of the house and along the base of the panel. Position on the board and secure with a mug. Repeat for the other side.

3. For the back of the house pipe icing along the bottom of the panel and along the edge of the flat sides that will connect with the other walls. Secure with a mug and leave to set for 20-30 minutes.

This is what it should look like - at this point you have to ask the Christmas Elves to make sure nobody wants tea or coffee - or hide the kettle! 

Adding the roof

The roof looks like the trickiest part and with good reason, you can't use mugs as you did for the walls and if you apply too much pressure then your whole house might collapse, too little and the roof won't stick.

4. Place the roof on one panel at a time. Pipe icing down the slated sides of the front and back of the house and along the top of the wall. Place the roof panel and press into place - holding gentle for 30-60 seconds.
Repeat for the other side.

5. If there is a gap in your roof at the top (there was in mine) - fill this with piped icing. I also used this as a chance to add some decoration.
Your gingerbread house is now assembled! Next up is the decoration at that's really up to the individual.


I opted to cut up some candy canes to use as a fence and to decorate the sides and roof of my house. I also made a gingerbread tree which I covered in green ready-to-roll icing and silver balls. I added a handmade Christmas wreath to the front door and dusted the whole thing with icing sugar. 

The whole thing is far easier than I had expected and I'm just sorry that I put off making it for so long for fear it would fail!

If you have any questions please ask, I'm only to happy to answer them! Also, if you make a gingerbread house, or have made one already, leave me a picture as I'd love to see it!


Vicky x
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20 November 2012

Revealed: Inside my Selfridges Lucky Bag



When I heard about the concept of the Selfridges Beauty Workshop Lucky Bag I instantly loved it. I find the whole 'beauty box' thing and the subscription element too restricting so a Lucky Bag with a one off payment really appealed to me. Also, the fact it was from Selfridges caught my eye, a brand that for me is synonymous with luxury and quality would surely nail this, wouldn't they?!

I was reasonably pleased with my Lucky Bag and judging by what some received I do think I was quite lucky!

So, what was in my Lucky Bag?


Tweezerman Matchbox 'Itty Bitty' Nail Files, Violent Eyes 'Bronze Glitterati', OCC Lip Tar, Beauty Junky strawberry face mask, St Tropez Gradual Tan sample and a Creme Brulee duck lip balm.

Tweezerman Matchbox 'Itty Bitty' Nail Files


You never know when you're going to need a nail file (or several - impromptu manicures anyone?) so this handy little packet is great for throwing into your handbag.

OCC Lip Tar 'Demure'


I adore the OCC Lip Tars and have several in my kit. They seem to be quite difficult to get hold of here in the UK so I was so pleased to find this in my Lucky Bag and the shade is absolutely gorgeous (swatch to follow).

Beauty Junky Strawberry Face Mask


I haven't tried this yet so I cannot comment on the quality of the product itself but on appearance alone this is the one item that left me deflated - it just looks tacky. Now I could be wrong in judging a book by its cover or rather a face mask by its packaging but this didn't jump out to me. 

Violent Eyes 'Bronze Glitterati' 


I've wanted to try these eye shadow transfers for some time now but the makeup artist in me is very sceptical and cynical about them however that doesn't deter my curiosity but until now the price tag did so I was really pleased to find this in my Lucky Bag and I can't wait to try them out and review them.

St Tropez Everyday Body Moisturiser Gradual Tan


I picked up a few of these with ELLE magazine earlier in the year as I find them really handy for keeping my (fake) tan topped up between applications. 

Creme Brulee Duck Lip Balm


The novelty item of the Lucky Bag, it's a glittery duck that contains a lip balm. Most people would probably find this a bit naff but I happen to like it. 


All in all I don't think my Lucky Bag was too bad and I think the concept was great if not particularly well executed. With only 1000 bags available there was an opportunity to take this to another level and really make it something you'd expect from Selfridges - this to me could really have been a Lucky Dip from Boots or Superdrug. 

Did anyone else purchase one of the Lucky Bags? If so, leave me your link below, I'd love to see what you received.

Vicky x
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15 November 2012

BeautyMart at Harvey Nichols


When I first heard about the BeautyMART concession launching in Harvey Nichols I was on a train to Manchester listening in to someone else's conversation and I could not have been more excited by the concept - of the BeautyMART that is and not eavesdropping on public transport!

If you're not already familiar with the BeautyMART (and it's regional counterparts) let me fill you in: it's a selection of carefully edited beauty products from around the world selected by Millie Kendall (of Ruby and Millie fame) and former beauty director Anna-Marie Solowijj. Together they've used their wealth of industry knowledge, experience and insight to bring together some of the biggest names and cult brands. As it is a selective edit the BeautyMART does not stock the entire range of any brand, rather a product or a small selection of products.

Yesterday I finally made my way to the Third Floor of Harvey Nics and after much meandering, what can I say; I'm a Harrods girl at heart and my previous visits to Harvey Nics have never extended past Wagamama on the lower ground floor... Anyway, I finally found the directional stickers on the floor and lo-and-behold, the BeautyMART itself.

At this point I'd like to say that upon my discovery of the BeatyMART I felt a moment of enlightenment but I didn't; my first impression wasn't 'wow, I've found my beauty shopping heaven' but 'wow, isn't it tiny?!' - I've seen shops afford more floor space to their jewellery stands which was a disappointment as the beauty hall on the ground floor was wonderfully designed and very spacious - on the third floor I nearly ended up in a rack of jumpers looking at cleanser!

Anyway, on to what I bought!


Bioderma Crealine H20

I'm pretty sure you've all seen and heard about Bioderma before so I'll not bore you with the same declaration of love you've no doubt heard or made yourself. 


I picked up this handy little 100ml bottle so that I don't have to carry around my big bottle if I go away for the night or weekend. It's super handy to have, it's within the restrictions for flying and I can always decant from my bigger bottle.

As a makeup artist, Bioderma is a Godsend. It is absolute perfection when you've got a long shoot, particularly with a lot of different eye looks as it is so gentle and effective. 

Side Note: I keep reading that Bioderma was previously unavailable to buy in the UK but as my fellow makeup artists will know, this is not the case. Guru Makeup Emporium in Fulham stock a variety of products from both Bioderma and Embryolisse.

Bioderma Crealine H2o - £6.50 for 100ml

EOS Lip Balm Sphere

I bought this product on hype and hype alone, I've heard such good things about it and I love the novelty of the spherical shape and just how different it is.


I decided on Sweet Mint although 'summer fruit', 'lemon drop (with SPF 15)' and 'honeysuckle honeydew' were also available and were heavenly. 

The EOS products are 100% natural and 95% organic and are packed with a range of antioxidants, oils and other goodies to keep your lips soft and moisturised. 

EOS Lip Balm Sphere - £6

BeautyMART is also packed full of products from high street brands including Bourjois, Batiste and Revlon (including limited edition and previously unavailable nail polish colours) as well as many others.

As useful as it is to have your high street and higher end products in the same place, I'd have much more preferred they utilised what little space they have to showcase cult and niche products like Bioderma, Embryolisse and EOS rather than slotting it in around brands you can find on every high street in the country.

With that being said I think the BeautyMART is an excellent concept and I will no doubt visit again when I will hopefully be purchasing some DHC products amongst others. I think I was just expecting something that would really blow me away.

Have you visited the BeautyMART in Harvey Nichols or elsewhere in the UK?

Vicky x

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8 November 2012

Review: Nazila Nail Glitz in 'Ladies Club'

Please excuse the late night iPhone photography - I was too excited to try them out to wait and take 'proper' pictures.

When I saw these false nails by Nazila in my local Superdrug last Friday I could not believe my eyes:  stilettoval (a hybrid of stiletto and oval) nails are BIG news right now, especially those of the blinged-up 3D nail art variety favoured by the likes of Rihanna and Jessie J.

There were many designs and shapes to choose from, some stilettoval, some oval and some square; all beautifully decorated and ready to go for prices starting at £9.99. The most expensive set I saw in Superdrug were £14.99 though they go up to £39.99 on the Nazila website.

I opted for Ladies Club, aware that I would be working at the weekend and as I much as I would love to be rocking glitzy Union Jacks and bold nail hardwear, I went for the slightly more sensible and subtle option, though really how subtle can nails like this be?!

Each pack contains a set of 24 nails in varying sizes and little adhesive tabs to stick the nails to your nail, you may remember them from press-on nails sets you had as a child and they're about as sticky now as they were then. I opted to use my own nail glue but if you just want something to stay in place for the night by all means use the tabs. If you use the tabs you can reuse the nails up to four times however I used glue and after removing the nails on Monday I can safely say they can also be reused after gluing as long as you're careful.

Surprisingly they caused me very few issues at work the next day though typing wasn't the easiest of tasks and as for using my iPhone! Well it's probably the only time I've been grateful for autocorrect! With that being said they're clearly not designed to be worn to work or for everyday tasks - they are a fashion accessory first and foremost.

I can say I will 100% be buying a few different sets to try out however I'll mainly be keeping them for a night out or special occasion.

Have you been inspired by the 3D nail art trend? Would you try the Nazila Nail Glitz?

Nazila Nail Glitz 'Ladies Club' - £9.99 from Superdrug or the Nazila website *link*

Vicky x



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6 November 2012

Review: Purity Organic Skincare

A few months ago the lovely people at Purity Organic Skincare tweeted to ask if anybody would like to try some of their products. Like many others I jumped at the chance and about a week later a package arrived for me - I had been expecting a few sample sized products so you can imagine my surprise when I received not one but six full sized products to try!

The Purity Organic skincare products are EcoCert certified, over 80% of the ingredients come from organic farming and none of the products or ingredients are tested on animals. If you'd like to know more about the ingredients used in all of the products, I'll leave a link to the Purity website below.

I have sensitive skin and as such can react quite badly to new products, particularly if they're heavily scented (Bourjois, I'm looking at you!) but Purity have taken this all into account and the products are fragrance free to avoid aggravating sensitive skin.

I always think it's best to use new skincare products for a few weeks before making a judgement (unless of course you have an allergic reaction) so after using them for quite some time, here are my thoughts.

Facial Wash 


The least aesthetically appealing of the products, the facial wash didn't exactly scream: I'll clean your skin. I've got to be honest, I like the things I use on my skin to look clean and fresh so I was hesitant to actually try this. Purity do say that given the natural ingredients in the products, they may change colour over time. 

The product itself is reasonably nice and does the job, my skin felt clean after using the facial wash though it did also make my skin feel dry - similar to if you were to wash your face with soap. The product washed off easily and left no residue behind and the dryness was soon fixed when I applied my moisturiser.

The scent is something that I'll probably repeat for every product: I do not like it at all, to the point where I didn't want it on my face. As the products are fragrance free for sensitive skin they have a natural aroma that is hard to describe but I really didn't like it - it was quite strong but thankfully didn't linger.

The facial wash was my least favourite product but is by no means a bad product, it works and it's worked well on my skin I just didn't love it.

Facial Wash - £4.99 for 150ml


Conditioning Cleansing Lotion/Makeup Remover 



I loved this cleaning lotion, everything from the texture to the way my skin felt after was exactly what I look for in a cleanser.

I started using this when my skin was having a bit of a bad patch thanks to a reaction to a foundation (the things we do for beauty!) so it had a pretty tough job and a difficult person to please but it exceeded all of my expectations and left my skin feeling cleansed, soft and refreshed.

You can remove this cleansing lotion with cotton pads or you can wash it off with warm water which is what I do. If you're using it solely as a makeup remover then I'm sure taking it off with cotton pads would be fine. Sometimes I use the cleanser to take my makeup off (not as a remover as such) and other times I apply it to my face after I've washed it - either way I find it leaves my skin very clean.

Due to the fact this product can just be wiped off I've already purchased one for my professional makeup kit to go alongside my other skincare.

As with the facial wash, I really didn't like the smell but it bothered me a lot less with the cleanser.

Conditioning Cleansing Lotion/Makeup Remover - £4.99 for 150ml



Facial Exfoliator 



Without a doubt my favourite product of the six I tried. I love a good exfoliator and I've tried several, never finding one that I like as much as my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant however I think this may be on par with  the cult Dermalogica product for me!

This exfoliator contains ground coconut shells which give it a fantastic texture. I love exfoliators that actually feel like they're doing something, I'm not saying I was something abrasive enough to take off several layers of my face but I want something a bit gritty that feels like it's really cleaning my face and sloughing off dead skin (now isn't that an attractive image? Did you not know I'm part python?!) and I've found that most facial exfoliators are far too 'soft'.

My skin feels clean, soft and refreshed after using this exfoliator which basically ticks every box for me. You only need a small amount as a little goes a long way and I use it about twice a week.

I didn't notice the scent with the exfoliator which is a definite bonus.

Facial Exfoliator - £5.99 for 100ml


Anti-Aging Moisturiser


The first of two moisturisers I was sent, the anti-aging moisturiser is the product I've used the least, not due to the anti-aging tag (though at 22 I'd rather not think too long and hard about ageing!) but just because I didn't like how the product felt on my skin.


As you can see, the product is very thick - almost balm like in texture, yet it doesn't feel soft. I associate thick creams with a feeling of softness that I didn't really get from this - I think this may be more down to my skin type though as I recently passed this onto my Mum and she loves it!

Anti-Aging Moisturiser - £7.99 for 50ml

Anti-Aging Serum and Mask


I love this product. It's multi-purpose and can be used as a face mask or as a serum for an intensive boost to the skin.


You can see my the pot that is product is very well loved - it's jelly like in consistency which initially made me cringe slightly but once I got used to it I loved it. I apply a layer of this to my face before bed and it dries almost instantly and you can feel the serum tightening the skin. My skin feels soft and regenerated the next day and looks brighter too.

I use this as a serum about once every 10-14 days and again, a little goes a long way.

Anti-Aging Serum and Mask - £8.99 for 50ml

Regenerating Overnight Moisturiser 


Another product that I really like, this overnight moisturiser has been the main thing I've been reaching for as we make the transition into winter.


The texture and consistency are the same as the anti-aging moisturiser and similar to that of Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser though not as soft. As with the anti-aging moisturiser I don't particularly like how this feels on the skin, after massaging in I find it feels a little dry? However, with that being said I absolutely love the results! Despite not feeling particularly moisturising, my skin always feels softer and well looked after the morning after using this.


The Purity website says to apply liberally and massage in but I've found the above amount to be more than sufficient to work into my whole face.

Regenerating Overnight Moisturiser - £7.99 for 50ml

Huge thanks to the lovely people at Purity for sending me so many goodies to try out. It's been an enjoyable adventure into organic skincare for me and one I've enjoyed!!

You can find out more about Purity on the website *here* where you can also purchase all of the products mentioned. 

Purity Organic Skincare is also available from Superdrug and Holland & Barrett stores nationwide.

Have you tried organic skincare products? What are your must haves?

Vicky x
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4 November 2012

Sunday Shopping Share: Lush


From left to right: 'Father Christmas' Bath Bomb; 'Snow Fairy' Shower Gel; 'Catastrophe Cosmetic' Fresh Face Mask; 'Helping Hands' Hand Cream.


Like many people I love the Lush Christmas collections and eagerly anticipate their release every year, mainly because by August/September I am running drastically low on Snow Fairy and need to re-stock the second the collection hits the shelves. 

I was late to the Lush Christmas party this year, only venturing back in on Friday where I picked up the following items.


Father Christmas Bath Bomb

I was absolutely obsessed with the 'Satsumo Santa' bath bomb that was sadly discontinued. I'm not ashamed to admit I stockpiled those sweet little Santa's to the extent where I was still using them in March. Three months after the big day. What can I say, I want it to be Christmas All.Year.Round. 

Father Christmas is from the same family as 'Satsumo Santa' and yes, I felt the same guilt dropping him into a scalding bath and watching his little Santa self melt away. However my guilt melted away almost as fast as poor Santa as the bath water turned into pink sparkles and then slowly transitioned into red and green, filling the bathroom with the scent of oranges.

He may not be 'Satsumo Santa' but this little fella is a definite winner for me and I will certainly be repurchasing.

Father Christmas Bath Bomb - £3.25

Snow Fairy Shower Gel

Snow Fairy is the #1 Christmas bestseller for Lush and I'm sure almost everybody who has ever bought even the smallest bottle of this pink, glittery perfection can tell you why. Not only is it obnoxiously and unashamedly pink, it smells like a candy wonderland and the new label is both attention grabbing and a perfect representation of this wonder. 

Doubling up as a shower gel and shampoo (I've never used it for the latter), Snow Fairy is top of my Christmas shopping list every single year, yes, it even comes before presents. Impossibly sweet and sitting somewhere between bubblegum and candy floss, Snow Fairy is the sort of scent that should make your teeth ache yet somehow it manages to appeal to me. Strongly scented yet nowhere near overpowering the scent of Snow Fairy lingers on the skin for hours.

I picked up the 100g bottle as a starting point however I will be picking up the 500ml bottle too, as well as hoping Santa doesn't hold any grudges over me melting his 'Satsumo' counterparts and puts a few bottles under the tree for me.

Snow Fairy Shower Gel - £3.50 for 100g

Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask


Okay, so in the pot this face mask looks more like cement than anything else. You could be forgiven for thinking that the blue-grey concoction in the iconic black Lush pot was intended to hold a wall up, not be slathered all over your face. 

Lush Fresh Face Masks are created from a blend of fresh ingredients and a combination of natural oils that form a natural preservative - none of these masks contain any synthetic preservatives and as such they are best used fresh when the ingredients are at their most potent. It also means that these babies need to be kept in the fridge and whilst they smell good enough to eat, Catastrophe Cosmetic smells like blueberry yoghurt, double check when you're having a midnight raid of the fridge as sadly, they're not edible! 

I had intended to purchase Cosmetic Warrior (partly for the name but shhh, don't tell anyone!) however a discussion with the lovely sales associate steered me in the direction of Catastrophe Cosmetic. One whiff of it's beautiful blueberry-ness and I was sold! Catastrophe Cosmetic is a deep cleansing mask designed to calm, smooth and soothe skin and contains a unique blend of ingredients including Irish moss, almond oil, chamomile, blueberries, talc and calamine. The ingredients have been picked and expertly blended to create a multi-purpose product which does exactly what it says on the pot; skin is left feeling cleansed, refreshed, soft and smooth. 

Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask - £5.95 for 75g

Helping Hands Hand Cream



I am obsessed with hand cream, particularly in the winter when even my obsessively moisturised mitts feel like they could double as sand paper. I blame this on the changing temperatures, my obsession with hand sanitiser, indoor heating and my inability to keep a pair of gloves - side note, I'm considering mittens on strings, it may be the only way I can avoid losing my gloves!

As such I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect hand cream. I love Soap and Glory Hand Food and I did love L'Occitane for a while however I've been searching for a really rich, thick hand cream that sinks into the skin effortlessly yet keeps my hands moisturised for hours - is that too much to ask for? Not from Lush it isn't! 

Helping Hands is a loose emulsion formula containing a blend of butters and oils which sinks in easily and provides hours of moisture for the hands. My hands already feel softer and ready to take on the winter weather once more. I can already tell that a little goes a very long way with this hand cream and that is definitely reflected in the price, I've spent just under half on an allegedly nourishing hand cream before that I had to apply several times a day and ran out of in record time.

Helping Hands Hand Cream - £7.15 for 100g


Despite falling in love with most products in Lush I always tend to stick to what I know, what are your must have products that I should try?

Vicky x

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