All being well, in just over 6 weeks, I’m going to be a Mum again.  To say that I’m feeling a little apprehensive about this is an understatement.  Five years is a long time for the mind to heal, forgetting about the sleepless nights and the frustrations at not being able to immediately comfort an unhappy little one.

I love being the Mum of a 5-yr old more than anything, but I’m acutely aware that I didn’t relish those first few months in my new role.  I’m not ashamed to admit that either, I much prefer the company of someone who can talk back to me.  That being said, I shall be patiently awaiting the flood of maternal love that will surely wash over me within minutes of meeting our new family member.  And then I’ll be demanding a belated Mother’s Day present, because… you know, how dare you schedule your entry to coincide with MISSING THE BIG DAY?!

Incase you’re listening little one… any, or you know… ALL of the below will suffice.

mothers-day-beauty-gift-guide-2014

1). It’s an oldie but a goodie.  Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish (£14.75) sales must hit the roof come Mother’s Day, I genuinely don’t know any women in my family who wouldn’t love to see this blue bottle pop out of a gift bag.  There’s also free delivery over on the website at the moment until the 25th March and a free sample with every order.

You could even build your own Liz Earle goody-bag for Mum by purchasing the mini 15ml tube and a muslin cloth for only £3.75 – now there’s thoughtful!

2). Each year, when Jo Malone release their bespoke Mother’s Day Floral Boxes (£120), I sit and drool at the thought of receiving something so mind-blowingly extravagant.  Complete with 100ml cologne of your choice (Vetyver for me please sproglet!), this beautiful floral display will melt the heart of anyone you’ve been privileged enough to call “Mum”.  Available from Monday 24th March, exclusively from the Jo Malone Sloane Street boutique.

3). Back down to earth with a beautifully-scented bump now, thanks to this perfectly-presented sweet little cone of bubbles and fizz!  The Mum’s Goodies (£13.50) offering from LUSH contains a limited edition Wonder Woohoo bubble bar, the Secret Garden bath bomb, and a Rockstar Soap.  The perfect way to show Mum that you care.  Just don’t steal the contents while her back is turned, ok?

4). For the ultimate glamour-Mum, look no further than this Paparazzi Compact (£27.65) from the new Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range.  The pretty duo features a classic lipstick/powder combination that makes “on the go” touch-ups a thing of true elegance!  The powder shade is a “neutral” tone to suit most complexions and depending on how bold your influential lady’s beauty tastes are, you can choose between a pink or burgundy lipstick!

5). When it comes to picking a perfume, you can’t go wrong with a delicate rose scent, the queen of all florals.  This Monotheme Apothéose de Rose (£18.00) from Marks & Spencer, offers a modern take on a much-loved theme.  Described as a soft, young and feminine scent – you won’t mistake this beauty for one of granny’s old perfumes.  The packaging is beautiful and will look a proper treat given pride of place at the dressing table.

6). If you haven’t yet heard of bathing brand Kneipp, trust me – you’re about to…

This German, mineral-rich brand offer a wide-range of bodycare products developed around the wonders of hydrotherapy.  The Kneipp Pure Bliss Bath & Body Gift Set (£12.95) will turn Mum’s bath water from boring to blissful in the blink of an eye.  With Red Poppy and Hemp as the workhorse naturals in this set, Mum will be sure to achieve complete serenity.  Even if its only until the water turns cold.

7). For the more traditional fragrant-fiend in your life, you won’t go wrong with a sneaky purchase of Floris’ Night Scented Jasmine Gift Set (£50) which includes a moisturising Bath & Shower Gel and an enriched Body Moisturiser.  This luxurious scent is inspired by the original Jasmine perfume introduced in 1806 by Mr. Floris.  It’s the kind of fragrant heritage that money just can’t buy… err, except luckily for us, it can!  The epitome of elegant gift-choices!

8). When spa-brand Elemis put together a special release that saves almost £30 on the full-price, you have to sit up and take notice.  Particularly when the items included are full-size products!  The Elemis Pro-Collagen Treats Collection (£49.00) comprises two beauty essentials from their iconic Pro-Collagen range: the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, and the Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment.

Both products are housed in a rather cute, silver presentation box that makes gifting just a little bit more glamourous!

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LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 11 - 2014

You didn’t know that I was psychic did you?  It’s ok, I didn’t expect you to… after all, I’m the one with the special powers, not you… and I know what you’re thinking right now…

“…there is never a time in my life that I don’t need my cleansing products to smell like hot-buttered popcorn.”

You’re right.

When it comes to the brand LUSH, I feel like I’m regressing. I’m sure that the proper rite of passage is to begin with a teenage addiction of all things LUSHY, then as you mature… you move onto the beauty halls and away from the “sniff me, sniff me!” LUSH stuff, keeping only a mild interest going (and a few furtive dips into the store for an occassional bubble bar topup).

Me?  I had no interest in LUSH stuff growing up.  I was a Body Shop girl through and through.  It didn’t help matters that we didn’t actually have a local store I could nip into… but still, I just wasn’t particularly tempted by the brand.  When I did develop more of an interest, mostly through seeing other people’s LUSH hauls and the like… I appreciated their ability to turn a boring bath into a far more interesting one.  But beyond that?  I still sidelined them somewhat.

It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve come to the realisation that I have a few LUSH staples in my bathroom that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d give them up.

I’ve just discovered a new one.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Let The Good Times Roll is a skin cleanser that delivers a damn good exfoliation while its at it.  On paper, with my prone-to-redness skin, I should probably run a mile from its manual exfoliation capabilities but my flaky skin would stage a mutiny if I dared to stop using this now.

To use it, you break a small amount away from the crumbly mass contained in the pot and rub it into your palms with a little water until it begins to emulsify and develop a creamier texture.  It’s packed with grains of maize flour and polenta to exfoliate the skin and I’m careful to use only a light hand as I massage it over my skin.  If you’re particularly sensitive, I’d recommend restricting its use to a couple of times a week but I’ve been using it every morning for over a fortnight now without any signs of irritation or over-exfoliation.

I use it when I’m in the shower, keeping the pot within easy reach… it’s a little messier than your average cleanser and I prefer to do my exfoliating immediately prior to my makeup application anyway.  Before I started using this, I was using Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant for exactly the same reasons and Let The Good Times Roll has completely replaced this high-end product, which will shave 10s of pounds off my yearly beauty budget, hoorah!

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser 2

The reason that I place this above the Dermalogica for my needs, is not only because of its price point but also because it leaves a moisturising residue behind that the Dermalogica daily exfoliator doesn’t.  This leaves my freshly-cleansed skin feeling more comfortable in the short-term, giving me half a chance to get my fringe dried before I have to get my daily moisturising skincare routine organised.  It may even be enough to replace some of my moisturising needs as the weather warms up, time will tell.

I’m a proper fan of this product, I was going to leave my usual full-month of skincare testing before writing my review but I just don’t need to… I don’t need to judge it on any anti-ageing or treatment capabilities, I just want to praise it for how it fits neatly into an already established routine, rids my skin of the daily flakies, and will leave me feeling less light in pocket than the product I was using before.  Job done.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser has now been made a permanent part of the LUSH skincare lineup, it’s priced from £6.35 for 100g available instore and online.

* press sample

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Why I’m gonna need Rehab if LUSH ever discontinue this shampoo…

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 14 - 2014

I don’t get excited about hair products.  They’re not my forte, my cup of tea… they‘re just not my bag (baby).  I view them in the same way that I do many bathroomy-type toiletries, something to be chucked in the trolley while doing my weekly shop.  The truth is, you’ll rarely find me scouring online beauty emporiums for styling products and high-end shampoos.  I’d rather spend my money on lipstick.

Which is why LUSH have surprised me with this bottle of shampoo.

LUSH Rehab Shampoo_01

LUSH Rehab shampoo describes itself as a “restorative and repairing” shampoo with extracts of pineapple, papaya, and olive oil to moisturise and “take your hair back to its healthiest, glossiest state”.  You wouldn’t know any of this without reading up on it because frankly, it doesn’t feel or smell like a traditional “SOS-type” shampoo.

My hair is dry but not brittle and to be fair, is in better condition since swapping my permanent hair colours for semi-permanent almost a year ago… but still, it could never be described as soft or silky.  Introduce my hair to a hairdryer and I’m finished within three-minutes, whereas on the rare occasion that I style Leila’s… I get killer arm ache long before her hair shows any signs of drying.

I also suffer from an itchy scalp.  It comes and it goes, focusing upon the change of seasons but it lurks nonetheless, waiting to flare up in great crusts of scalp-soreness.

LUSH Rehab Shampoo_02

I’ve been using the LUSH Rehab Shampoo for around two months now, washing my hair every other day and I’ve been impressed with the noticeable improvement in both scalp-sensitivity and the general condition of my hair which feels more balanced: less oily at the roots and more nourished at the ends.  The improvement has creeped up on me, I wouldn’t say that it was an overnight miracle but more a realisation that my hair and scalp simply hasn’t been this good for a long time.

My only caveat against this glowing review are those pesky pregnancy hormones that may well be skewing the results, but in all honesty, my skin is a hot mess at the moment, so I’d imagine my scalp to react in the same way.

The strong lavender-scent may be off-putting to some… it’s certainly not my favourite and wasn’t what I was expecting.  It can be a little too bracing in the mornings but I’ll happily take the aroma hit while it’s still working its magic on my locks.  The shampoo lathers really well with only a very small amount (the texture is thin and runny) so although it’s marked up at a price-point I can only just about stomach, I appreciate that a 250g bottle will actually last me a minimum of three-months before it needs replacing (I’ve got at least 1/3 left in the above bottle after two-months use).

LUSH Rehab Shampoo is priced from £5.25 for 100g and is available to buy in store and online at lush.co.uk

It’s National Kissing Day… C’mere gorgeous!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 20 - 2013

“I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss. I’ve always found time to teach them.” – Mae West

Whatever you forget to do this morning, don’t forget to brush your teeth.  Twice.

You see, today is National Kissing Day.  The one day of the year where I think it’s practically legal to demand kisses and if you don’t get enough?  Stand your ground, stamp your feet and demand some more!  Failing that, take a look at some of the lovely things below that practically guarantee to make your pout as irresistible as a sugar-coated crumb on National Doughnut Day.

There is a national doughnut day right?

national-kissing-day

01: BareMinerals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish (£18, bareminerals.co.uk)

Take your pick from a total of over 20 shades of lip-boosting gloss.  From the sheerest of pinks to the sparkliest of corals, the tingling formula of BareMinerals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish will ensure a knee-trembling rush of blood to the hea pout.

02: LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.35, lush.co.uk)

Smells and tastes so damn good you’ll be hard-pressed to divert your attention away from this little pot of lip-smoothing scrubbiness.  But divert you must!  You have 24-hours to secure a lip-smacking partner, don’t delay.

03: Carmex Strawberry Moisturising Lip Balm (£2.55, asos.com)

With Wimbledon just around the corner, how could you resist this strawberry-scented offering from Carmex?  If it’s a slightly less tremendous tingle you’re after, this cult classic balm with leave you feeling suitably nourished and prepped for a good ol’ smooching session.

04: L’Occitane Rose Aurore Radiant Lip Gloss (£8, uk.loccitane.com)

If subtlety is more your thing, L’Occitane have got your back with their Rose Aurore Radiant Lip Gloss.  Adorn your lips with a pink, delicate shimmer and let your natural radiance shine through while the moisturising formula ensures you’re well nourished enough to still be in a lips-locked position this time next year!

05: Lipstick Queen 3 Piece Lip Nouveau Collection (£30.96, qvcuk.com)

When is just one lipstick not enough?  Always!  Have your cake and eat it with this collection of colour from Lipstick Queen.  A classic high-voltage red, a shimmering pink and a sheer deep crimson, this trio will see your lips looked-after from dawn-to-dusk, prepped for every occasion with a variety of texture.

One final piece of advice from the lip queen herself, Poppy King: “Most importantly, smile!  It has been suggested that simply smiling increases endorphins which are the most flattering thing for natural glow ever.”

Have a great day lip-lovers, whoever you may be smooching!

Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s day, it’s an event that’s pretty much unmissable in terms of marketing and hype.  A walk down the high street from mid-January is all you need to be reminded of how much of a little shit Cupid actually is.  He’s not the most endearing figure from Roman mythology is he?  I mean… for one thing, what’s with the nappies?  Does falling in love make you incontinent?  I know it certainly makes some people sprout a load of crap… but that’s from their mouths.

When I was little, my Dad would send me a Valentine’s card each year… but I became pretty high-maintenance about the effort he had to put into deceiving me that my card had actually come from a secret admirer.  It’s no surprise he stopped sending me them when I reached my tween years and discovered that my solitary valentine’s card had been postmarked from his workplace for the last few years.  Having your card sent from a category B men’s lifer prison is enough to make you not want to take it into school to show your friends.

As for now, we don’t really do Valentine’s day.  That is to say… I tell my husband that I think it’s a load of old crap because he does lovely things for me throughout the year.  Then my husband doesn’t do anything for Valentine’s day and I don’t talk to him for the rest of February because he didn’t buy me anything.  It works for us.

Here are some bits and bobs that have been catching my eye in the run up to V-day.  I suggest printing them off and drawing a massive red circle around anything you want (preferably in your partner’s blood) before leaving it taped to the front door (both sides).  Taking such precaution may ensure that you at least end up with some flowers from the local Esso garage.

valentines-for-every-budget-and-taste

01: Ladyshape Intimate Shaping Tool, for err… shaping your “lady”.  The only reason I’d do this would be to see the look of confused WTFery from my husband.  We’ve been together for 12 years, he would not be expecting this.  He would point, I would laugh, we’d all have a nice cup of tea and I’d spend the next seven days scratching. (£12.99, stressnomore.co.uk)

02: Avon Perfect Kiss Lipstick*.  Currently on sale, this well-received range of full-cover lipsticks from Avon offers the full rainbow of Valentine’s appropriate lip shades.  From Berry Smooch to Lovey Dovey Pink, Naughty Nude to Red Embrace, even the shade names are getting in on the act!  (£4.99, avonshop.co.uk)

03: Be Mine Lip Balm Trio.  You don’t usually get much change from a fiver nowadays when picking up gifts but this little trio of lip-smoothing balms should get your pout ready for some kissing action.  (£3.00, asda.com)

04: Saving those pennies from my last selection will ensure that you have plenty left to pick up the ultimate Valentine’s gift.  You can’t beat the iconic Swizzel’s-Matlow Giant Love Hearts when it comes to romancing your beau… apart from maybe a sunrise jaunt in a hot air balloon over Paris, complete with Krug Grand Cuvée but who’s got time for that?!  Seriously though, nothing leaves behind a sweeter taste than saying I Love You with 30g of sugar per roll.  Yum.  (£0.35, everywhere!)

05: Fluttering lashes go hand-in-hand with hearts that are all of a flutter no?  What greater excuse do you need to customise your next purchase of YSL’s best-selling False Lash Effect mascara with a Swarovski crystal heart.  Still not convinced you need this extra sparkle in your life?  How about when I tell you that you can get this bespoke addition for no extra cost… available from February.  (£23.50, selected YSL counters at Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks, Brown Thomas and Fraser’s)

06: Ahh la rose.  The quintessential flower of love.  The problem with a dozen roses is that it’s not long before the flower’s fresh scent changes from ravishing to rancid once the petals begin to droop.  Prolong the good-feeling with this beautiful limited edition candle from Diptyque.  The Rose Duet, so-called because of its marriage of two wonderful fragrances in one candle (Rose and Baies) will ensure that the scent continues to linger perhaps even longer than the relationship (harsh!) (£42.00, instore and online at diptyqueparis.co.uk)

07: Looking a lot like a pencil tips/gold-dipped Madonna boob hybrids, these From Dusk Til Dawn massage bars* from LUSH offer a convenient excuse for a foot rub.  Or a back rub.  Or a bum rub.  Whatever floats your boat.  They smell delicious in a just-stepped-out-of-the-orange-grove kind of way and leave behind a subtle sheen on the skin.  They melt beautifully and I don’t mind admitting that I prefer to use these solo while I’m still warm from the shower, as Charlie from LadyoftheLane advised me, they’re brilliant for dry shins! (£4.95, lush.co.uk)

08: M&S have released a few makeup cuties just in time for Valentine’s Day.  The Limited Collection Multi Blush* features a variety of pink-hued blush hearts compressed into a single pan to deliver a rose-tinted flush to cheeks.  Sparkle, flush and glow get it (ho ho ho) from your nearest store.  (£6.00, marksandspencer.com)

 

Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day?  And how much of a diva-strop do you throw if you get nowt?

* press sample

Hark the Hairold Angels Sing! LUSH brings (happy happy) joy to my bathroom!

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 21 - 2012

Hair perfume. Hair what?! Hair perfume!

I’m sure you’re familliar with the idea of spraying your perfume onto your hair for a scent that follows you around like a haunting?

Well, this inventive conditioner from LUSH works on the same premise and uses your hair as the carrier for its wonderful scent.  And wonderful it is, a positively uplifting blend of neroli, rose, grapefruit, rosewood, orange flower absolute and benzoin that works really well now, but will work even better in Summer’s warmth.

LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy

It’s not cheap… priced at £18 for 250g (which is about the size of a standard bottle of conditioner) but I fear that once you try it, you might be as hooked as I am. Unfortunately, it will be a habit that is ultimately too expensive for me to maintain – for one reason, and one reason only.  I have to wash my hair daily/once every 2 days at the least, I literally dream of being one of those women who wash and straighten their hair only once a week.  DREAM.  If you’re one, please tell me your secrets!

So, you see… I would need to purchase this fairly often… and I just can’t justify it.

LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy

Conditioning properties? Well, it’s neither here nor there, it does the job – though not as well as some of my intensive conditioners… mind, this isn’t supposed to be an intensive conditioner – just an incredibly well-scented one.

I have found a cheeky solution though via the LUSH reviews on their website… the consistency of the conditioner is rather thin and after using my regular conditioner, I have been using just a little of the LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy as a leave-in conditioner on the ends (I KNOW I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T!)  but my hair doesn’t seem to have suffered as a result and I get to use far less product.  If you hair is very fine, you may find that it weighs your locks down too much to do this.

Try and get a sample instore and see how it works for you.

LUSH Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume is available to buy instore and online at lush.co.uk, priced from £9.00

* press sample

LUSH Blousey Shampoo leaves me feeling shirty…

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 29 - 2012

I don’t have the easiest scalp in the world to please. It’s dry, much like my hair and this time of year is when it’s at its worst.  When the central-heating kicks in and the temperature drops a few degrees further, I know that I’m gonna be scratching like a hooker on pay day.  You know I’m still talking about my scalp…. right?  Just so we’re clear.

LUSH have recently released some new products into their haircare range and one of them is this interesting pot o’ banana-scented goop, going by the name of Blousey.  It’s aimed at people with coloured hair, those with locks that are susceptible to damage, dryness, and fading from frequent exposure to the chemicals found in hair colouring products.  That would describe the needs of my hair pretty well and I was keen to see if it would improve the general condition of my hair whilst preventing the dreaded colour-fade.

LUSH Blousey Shampoo

I don’t like any products destined for the shower to be housed in pots, I find the packaging an irritation.  Locating the driest spot in the shower, twisting open the lid and scooping out the correct amount of product?  Fine, but then… you’ve got product in one hand, the pot in the other, the lid clamped between your chin and neck – how the hell do you get the lid back on?!  All of this while you’ve got Niagara falls thundering on your back and you’re trying to stop about 7 litres of water per second from contaminating your product.  Just put in a damn bottle already.

LUSH Blousey Shampoo

The shampoo itself is a joy to use.  It’s rich and creamy, both feeling and smelling far more luxurious than your standard supermarket-fare brand of shampoo.  I wasn’t sure whether to put it in my hair or head to the kitchen to make banana bread with it, it’s that authentic in terms of banana-iness.  Delightful, if you like bananas.

LUSH Blousey shampoo didn’t leave my hair feeling as dry as some of the other shampoos I’ve tried from LUSH in the past and I feel that it made my colour quite vibrant post-washing, but it didn’t deliver the level of moisture that I was expecting, considering that this is, after all, its selling point.

Added to which, my scalp got pretty itchy within a fortnight of using it – not that I’m blaming the product for the itch at all, as I’ve said – I’m really prone at this time of year… but for such a supposedly deeply-moisturising product, I was hoping that it might offer a little relief whilst making my hair resemble spun silk and Blousey doesn’t do either.  It’s back to the ketoconazole for me for a week to bring it under control, which is a shame – because that stuff completely slays any colour I have on my hair.

LUSH Blousey Shampoo

Ultimately, if you like your bananas and a super-creamy hair-washing experience, LUSH Blousey has your name written all over it but if your needs for a deeply-moisturising product run less superficially, you might need to look elsewhere, for both your hair and your scalp’s sake.  Particularly when you take into consideration, the price.

LUSH Blousey is available to buy online at lush.co.uk and instore, priced at £18 for 240g

Do you feel the itch from additional dryness this time of year?

* press sample

LUSH Fun… well is it? (part two)

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 15 - 2012

So, with the adult testing done and dusted… Lush’s new FUN bars had yet to inspire a huge amount of whooping, or any of the sort of revelry you’d expect from something billed as, well… so. much. FUN.

It was time to get serious and put these curious blobs to the ultimate test.

Leila is pretty hard to please: “But this is BORINGGGG!” being her most used expression this week.  I could practically see the little green bar sweating in its biodegradeable wrapper, readying itself for the ultimate small-child test.  We broke off about a quarter of the packet and Leila looked at it expectantly.

The wetter it gets, the squishier it gets… the squishier it gets, the more bubbles it releases… the more bubbles it releases, the greener the water gets… and so on…

Leila even washed her hair with it, but only after I’d reassured her that it wasn’t going to make her hair go green.  Much. (it didn’t really make her hair go green, the picture below is of me telling her that her hair is green – bad Mum!)

All in all, she had more fun with it than us adults but she’s a total Lushie anyway (favourites being: The Godmother soap, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment, Karma Bath Melt, and The Comforter).  I was surprised to see that there was still almost half of what we’d broken off remaining, despite Leila having given it a total pummeling – I’d describe these as longer-lasting bubble bars although the scents aren’t quite as full-on (possibly a good thing?!)

Not that this appeared to bother my little bathing belle.  Or, demonic-looking diva as the photo below TOTALLY proves.  Talking of divas…she has already lined up the remaining bars in the order that she’s planning on using them over the coming weeks.

LUSH Fun?  Well… she thought so!

LUSH FUN is available to buy instore and online at lush.co.uk, priced at £5.00 per bar (you should be able to get around 4/5 baths per bar) and 10p from each sale of FUN goes to help children affected by the Fukushima disaster.

* press sample

LUSH Fun… well, is it? (part one)

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 14 - 2012

When a company bodly declares their latest product as FUN.  Well, it had better be hadn’t it?

LUSH’s latest invention announces itself with the promise that this multi-tasking bar of playdough-esque sudsy stuff will bring a new dimension to bath-times, hand-washing times, and even washing-your-bike times.  You see, FUN is marketed as multi-tasking to the max – it’s basically the perfect present for bath-dodging sculptors everywhere.

I don’t have a bath-dodging sculptor in the house – it’s all I can do to keep both Mr. L and Leila out of the bathroom.  Infact, we have a self-administered timer system for baths and showers lest we prunify ourselves to death with the sheer amount of skin/water contact.

FUN comes in a range of FIVE colours, each offering a different scent to enhance the bathtime experience (descriptions below taken from the website):

Pink: Jam packed with the fruity, candy smells of childhood.
Red: Mandarin and orange essential oils will make you think of sunny orange groves and freshly squeezed juice. Brings a bit of summer sun to your bath and play time.
Blue: Relax and feel ready for sleep when you wash with this mix of lavender, Moroccan chamomile and chamomile blue essential oils. The perfect bedtime bath.
Green: A citrus burst of tangy lime and lemon essential oils will wake you up, keep you feeling fresh and focused and help you play for hours.
Yellow: Creamy vanilla tones evoke thoughts of seaside ice creams, granny’s baking and home comforts.

I set Mr. L the task of deciding whether Lush’s latest invention really was as fun as it ought to be…. let’s see how he did shall we?

“It keeps crumbling”, he grumbled as he tried to mould it into the Eiffel Tower.

“Baby steps.” I advised, “Try for something a little less ambitious…”

… to be honest, I think he could have tried a bit bloody harder.

We agreed that on the FUN scale, it scored a not overly impressive 6 but it did smell pretty delicious.  Ultimately, it was more fun than brushing your teeth but not as fun as eating a Boost bar (we had to eat a Boost bar just to check – we’re nothing if not scientific about these things).

We haven’t tried FUN wet yet… but we have a very willing (and slightly curious) test applicant at our disposal – but more on that tomorrow.

LUSH FUN is avaialable online and instore now, priced at £5.00 per bar – 10p from each sale of FUN goes to help children affected by the Fukushima disaster.

* press sample

Kicking dirt in the face of Urban Decay’s recent announcement that the brand are now allowing their (previously certified cruelty-free) products to be tested on animals (if required by law) comes a new initiative from LUSH.  The British brand – who have recently caused controversy after unveiling a ‘shock’ stunt at their Regent Street store – are taking a particularly pro-active stance against animal-testing by fronting a £250,000 annual fund (in partnership with Ethical Consumer) towards finding and implementing viable alternatives to the traditional methods of safety testing cosmetics.

A panel of ten independent judges will deliver the verdicts on the movers and shakers in the industry in a high-profile awards ceremony to be held in London each year.  The initiative will be known as The LUSH Prize and will be awarded to the most effective projects and individuals working towards the goal of replacing animal use in product safety testing.  The £250,000 fund will be divided into five prizes of £50,000 each and awarded across five distinct categories:

Science Prize –  the development of replacement non-animal tests

Training Prize –  training researchers in non-animal methods

Lobbying Prize –  policy interventions to promote the use of replacements

Public Awareness Prize –  raising public-awareness of ongoing testing

Young Researcher Awards –  to five post-graduates specialising in replacements research

In any year where there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the area which holds out most hope for a ‘Eureka’ moment where animal tests can be replaced wholesale, the entire £250,000 prize fund will be awarded to the individual or team respsonsible.

You can watch Mark Constantine, the managing director and co-founder of LUSH Cosmetics explain more about the new LUSH Prize below:

I’m applauding LUSH for taking a different direction in the fight against animal-testing, and this is coming from someone who is rarely a fan of their “hard-hitting” publicity stunts and campaigns.  I don’t get morally outraged, I just like to believe that I’m not so completely desensitized to the issues that I need something so brutal to remind me (or the younger fans of LUSH) of it.  I also felt that the window campaign fetishized the issue, I like to think… accidentally, but who knows.

What say you?

A little high-street shopping trip!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 22 - 2012

I don’t do many ‘haul’ posts, I don’t think they’re quite as popular in the blogosphere as they used to be?  Taken over by beauty box posts perhaps?

Anyway, I’ve been having a bit of a high-street love-in this past week and in the town where I’m currently staying, I’m limited to a Boots and a Superdrug – the Superdrug is a good ‘un, the Boots store massively blows but I did spot a good discounted section at the back that I didn’t have a chance to check out.  My LUSH purchases came from my local store in Southampton just before I drove up North. Um, that’s about it really – here’s what’s prompted me to open my purse this week!

When you’ve got a full fringe, dry shampoo is your friend and I thought I’d give Batiste Cherry a spin, I usually go for the original, dark, or tropical but I think this one is my new favourite.  I’m a massive fan of Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and surprised myself when I realised that I hadn’t given the Healthy Mix Serum version a go – again, this is a big hit with me (so far).  I think it suits my dryer skin even better and gives a slightly more translucent coverage.  The only gloss that I’ve ever repurchased is BarryM’s Lip Gloss in Toffee, it’s a wonderful colour with a pretty amount of shimmer and a non-sticky texture, I love it!

As for my LUSH dabble, I picked up another holy grail in the form of Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter, it’s the one I keep in my handbag and I generally alternate between this and CND’s Solar Oil which I use immediately after painting my nails.  I was sent a bottle of LUSH 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion a few weeks ago and whilst I’ve been enjoying using it, it hasn’t set my world alight you know?  I’m not really expecting LUSH Ultrabland to either, but I wanted to try another cleanser to discover the differences and to see which one I lean towards in terms of formula, as they’re both quite different.  Finally, I picked up a bath bomb for Leila – yes, it’s Space Girl.  Yes, it contains copious amounts of glitter.  No, I didn’t have a say in the selection and yes, I will be the one left cleaning the bath.

What was the last beauty product you snapped up?

Silky Skin? LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2012

I’m not a body lotion type person but I have about four bottles open, each at various stages of emptiness… I slather them on and wander aimlessly across the landing and back, waiting for the icky feeling to subside.  I have to use them because underneath my skin, I have scales.  After showering, the water seemingly dissolves the upper epidermis leaving me feeling more horny toad than supple and soft.

The worst bits are typically in those hard to reach areas, namely that horizontal line that connects both shoulder blades.  As the water evaporates, my skin tightens and I feel a familiar tingle that has me running for the body cremes.  When I say “me”, I actually mean Mr. L… I’ve already said that I can’t reach.  It’s a daily ritual… and one that I’m very grateful that I have a husband to help me with.  I’m so high maintenance.

Enter LUSH’s latest innovation, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner*.

Taking the hair conditioner theory and applying it to the skin, it’s basically a tub of sweet-smelling, oil-infused skin conditioner that you smear over your body after washing, then rinse off prior to stepping out of the shower.  Towel dry your skin gently and you’ll feel as if you’ve just smothered yourself in a rich body creme.  And unlike last year’s innovation, Toothy Tabs… I’m a massive fan.

A). It smells completely delicious, like a mixture of cocoa butter and roses… truly edible.

B).  It really works.

It feels odd on the skin whilst you’re still in the shower, like you’ve just waterproofed your skin with a slather of grease to be honest.  Deliciously-scented but lardy nonetheless.   As I patted my skin dry with the towel, it felt simply amazing and still does, sitting here 5 hours later. *strokes arms*

A little goes a very long way and the trick is to increase its ‘spreadability’, work with a small amount and don’t be afraid to really eke it out over the skin’s surface.  It’s generously rich in oils and although some parts may feel like you have more product on than others, have faith that you’ve done a good job in spreading the conditioner.  It’s not the cheapest outlay but it will easily last twice as long as my regular body moisturisers PLUS, I don’t have to stand around shivering as I wait for it to sink in!

LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is priced at £15.50 for 225g and I highly recommend it for post-shower lizard people.

* press sample

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