Sunday, 1 May 2016

Lush of the Week: The Good Hour Spa Treatment & Each Peach (And Two's A Pair) Massage Bar

Hi everyone! This morning I took myself to the spa at Lush Bath for my third ever treatment. I thought I should write up the post while the experience is still fresh in my mind.

Lush The Good Hour Spa Treatment Review

This time I went for The Good Hour. I received a gift voucher for this treatment for Christmas and I've finally had time to use it! The previous two treatments I have received are Synaesthesia and The Comforter? so click those links if you want to read more.

My treatment was given by the lovely Jolene. First, she talked me through what it would involve. I had the choice between 4 massage bars: Hottie (ginger, vanilla and black pepper; originally designed for Lush's deep tissue treatments), Wiccy Magic Muscles (cinnamon and peppermint; like Deep Heat in massage bar form), Therapy (orange, lavender and neroli; designed to soothe the mind) and Each Peach (And Two's A Pair) (lime, orange, mandarin and grapefruit; designed to uplift). Of course, I opted for the fruitiest and went for Each Peach!

Jolene also showed me the other items she'd be using in the treatment: a Big Blue bath bomb, which she asked me to place in a jug of hot water so it started to fizz, and what looked like a green eucalyptus scented shower jelly. She explained she'd use a combination of the warm massage bar and the cool jelly (which she'd put on ice) to soothe the muscles. The Good Hour is a deep tissue massage, so they use firmer pressure to work out knots. She also explained the massage has a nautical theme, so the soundtrack would involve sea shanties with the hope that my muscles would feel like the ropes on a ship being stretched!

Finally, she asked me if I had any areas I wanted her to pay particular attention to, and I said my lower back.

Lush The Good Hour Spa Treatment

Before leaving me to get undressed, she poured the jug of now-dissolved Big Blue into a bowl of dry ice under the bed which created amazing smoke and scent. After she left the room, I got undressed down to just my pants and lay on my back under the towel, then rang the bell to let her know I was ready.

The massage itself was definitely more intense pressure wise than the previous two treatments. She started by cleansing my feet with hot towels, and then began massaging my neck, shoulders and chest, then moved onto my arms and legs. After asking me to turn over, she did the backs of my legs and then spent an extended period of time on my back. She found some really stubborn knots in my shoulders that I didn't know I had, but skilfully managed to ease them. Some of the pressure was very slightly uncomfortable due to the knots but it felt amazing afterwards. The Lush spa therapists are trained incredibly well; at certain points it felt like she was pouring warm soothing water over me due to how well she flowed each movement of her hands together. I also loved the combination of the cold jelly and the warm massage bar. I also felt very secure as she only ever uncovered the part of my body she was massaging at one time.

I was a bit worried about the soundtrack but it actually worked really well with the movements of the massage and the general theme they were going for. I think you have to accept it's all a bit naff and just go with it! The 70 minutes went by in no time at all and she left me to get dressed.

Lush The Good Hour Spa Treatment

Jolene greeted me outside with a cup of tea that I could add ship's rum to if I wanted, some shortbread biscuits and a complimentary Each Peach massage bar. I love the drinks you receive at the end of each treatment. Jolene talked to me briefly about the knots in my shoulders because they were quite something!

I have mentioned this briefly before in my other treatment reviews but as someone with a large amount of scars on my body, it can be nerve-wracking to do something like this. I have always felt extremely respected by the Lush spa therapists even when they work on the areas that are most scarred and it's actually quite a powerful thing to do something that's so strongly rooted in self care and loving your body, scars and all. If you have insecurities about your body, I would highly recommend getting a massage as you may find it really helpful mentally.

Lush Each Peach (And Two's A Pair) Massage Bar

I also wanted to cover the massage bar I received more thoroughly. Each Peach (And Two's A Pair) has a floral design imprinted and a gorgeous citrus scent. Fair Trade organic cocoa and shea butter, avocado butter and mango kernel butters form the moisturising base and lime, sweet wild orange, mandarin and grapefruit oils give the bar its zesty scent. It costs £5.95. Lush's massage bars melt easily with the heat of the skin and leave a moisturising layer behind. I find them a bit too intense to use daily, but for massage purposes they're perfect!

The Good Hour costs £90 and is worth every penny in my opinion. The Comforter? is still my favourite treatment so far but I want to try more. It's my birthday soon so maybe I'll get another voucher!

Thanks again to Jolene for helping me after a really stressful few weeks. Have you tried any of the Lush spa treatments?

Saturday, 30 April 2016

April 2016 Favourites

It's official - the days are getting longer and ever so slightly warmer. I'm sure April showers will continue well into May and June (this is England, after all) but I know I feel happier as we come into these middle months of the year. To mark the end of April, I have my monthly favourites to share with you :)

Mint Vintage Red Velvet Hair Bow

I bought this hair bow when I went to a vintage fair with my friend Kirsty at the start of the year. I've worn it pretty much non stop since! The red colour goes perfectly with my hair.

I don't make time to paint my nails much anymore (must do better) but I recently popped this new indie polish on and it was love at first swipe! Leo is part of the Glam Polish Zodiac collection and is a store exclusive to Hypnotic Polish. It has a bright yellow green shimmer base with various holographic microglitters. It really is stunning - I'll be sharing swatches along with some other new indie polishes soon!

I know I included a shower jelly in my last favourites post but I just can't get enough of them. I'm working through my Lush stash and now I'm onto the limited edition Christmas stuff I have leftover - this apple scented red glittery festive jelly is so much fun! It leaves my skin soft and scented and the novelty formula still makes me happy, even though I used Lush stuff every day - it never gets old. I also recently finished Nightwing and loved that too!

On a work day I usually just throw on some mascara before heading out (I am not a morning person) but I recently decided to try a bit harder. It seems silly to have an amazing makeup collection and not be using it! To that end, I've been adding in eyeliner pencils to my daily routine to add a bit more interest to my eyes and this little number from Stargazer is surprisingly good. It's not too scratchy because of the glitter, the deep green colour is pretty and it wears really well too. I've been getting compliments on my eyes since using this!

I also wanted to give you guys a little life update while I'm here. You may recall that this year I finally applied for and got an interview for the clinical psychology doctorate, which is something I've been working towards for years now. Unfortunately, I didn't get a place so this isn't my year but I always knew it was going to be a long shot due to how awfully competitive it is and I'm proud of myself for how far I got - I'm pretty young still and don't have as much experience as most so I'm feeling okay about it, plus my feedback was really positive. I'm unsure if I want to reapply for a variety of different reasons, but that's okay too... I'm just taking things as they come!

I don't often share many personal things on here as I'm quite a private person but I would like to try and talk more about what's going on for me. I hope you don't mind me rambling about things like this. Did you all have a wonderful April?

Friday, 29 April 2016

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks in Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron: Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!

The Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks and Melted Metal Liquified Metallic Lipsticks are two of my favourite product formulas. I've already reviewed Peony and Metallic Peony but I recently got my hands on some mini sizes of a few more shades and I thought I'd share them with you.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks in Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron Review

Let's talk about Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron!

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks in Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron

Much like the original full size lipsticks, these mini sizes come in plastic colour coded tubes with golden lids. The original Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick shades have a matte golden lid, whereas the Melted Metal Liquified Metallic Lipstick has a shiny golden lid. These minis contain 5ml of product as opposed to the 12ml of the full size. They came in a set that costs £19, and considering one single full size costs £16 you get a lot more ml for your money! 

As an aside, the set did include a mini Metallic Peony but I've reviewed that before as I own it in full size. You can read that review here and I'll also share swatches of that shade at the end of the post.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks in Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron applicators

These have the same fuzzy slanted applicators as the full size tubes. You squeeze the tube to dispense the product through small holes in the applicator. I like the soft fuzzy material and I find you can be fairly precise with the slanted tip, although a lip brush is better for getting a really crisp line with the darker shades. I have found these applicators can get a bit blocked if you don't use the lipstick in a while and the product on the tip dries up, but wiping them with a makeup wipe each time you use it easily solves this problem.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks in Chihuahua, Berry and Metallic Macaron swatches on arm

Here I've swatched the three shades. Chihuahua is in the original formula so it has a creamy satin finish. I would describe this shade as a browny nude. Berry also has the original satin formula and is a gorgeous deep reddish berry shade as the name suggests - to my eye it looks quite similar to MAC's famous shade Rebel but I don't own them both so I can't compare. Finally, Metallic Macaron has the metallic formula so it's shimmery and slightly sheerer. The shade is a really vibrant hot pink with a hint of coral. I don't notice any particular scent or taste from these lipsticks.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chihuahua swatch

Here I'm wearing Chihuahua. I was not expecting to like this shade but I actually love it - I find darker, browner nudes look quite grown up and sophisticated. I believe this is one of those nineties shades that are all the rage at the moment? The formula is creamy and comfortable and wears well, although it doesn't really set so it can transfer and you'll need to reapply after eating or drinking. If you're careful, it still looks good after 4-5 hours!

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Berry swatch

Here we have Berry - isn't this a gorgeous shade?! The deep berry colour is stunning and very pigmented too. I think the depth of this shade means a lip brush and/or lip liner would be best for getting a really crisp line. I love this colour! It also wears a little longer than the other shades because it's so pigmented.

Too Faced Melted Metal Liquified Metallic Lipstick in Metallic Macaron swatch

Finally, we have Metallic Macaron. Unfortunately, I'm not so keen on this shade. The hot pink is really loud which means it will be harder for me to wear it confidently, especially with my usual green eye makeup. The metallic finish also means it's a little streaky, doesn't wear as long and settles into lip lines somewhat. However, all is not lost - it looks gorgeous patted onto the centre of the lips over a slightly less bright lipstick to add a pop of shimmer :)

Too Faced Melted Lipsticks in Peony and Metallic Peony swatches

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Peony swatch

Too Faced Melted Metal Liquified Metallic Lipstick in Metallic Peony swatch

Finally, I thought I'd stick up some swatches of Peony and Metallic Peony from my other reviews for thoroughness.

I love this formula so I'm glad I've been able to add more shades to my collection. If you're on the fence about the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, they're definitely worth a go! The brand ethos and quirky packaging is a lot of fun which always helps. They are quite expensive, but buying gift sets with minis in like these make your money go further plus it means you can try more colours.

Have you tried these Too Faced Melted Lipsticks? What are your favourite shades?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Karma Se7en Body Jewellery - Nose & Helix Jewellery

Hi everyone! I always get excited when I see an email from Karma Se7en as I know I'm going to be sent some wonderful things. Karma Se7en are an online body jewellery retailer with a huge range of products for great prices. 

Karma Se7en Nose and Helix Jewellery Review

This time, I was sent some nose studs and helix earrings!

Karma Se7en package each product both beautifully and securely. Each jewellery item is secured to a plastic disc, placed inside a screw top plastic tube and then put inside a purple cardboard box. I really don't have anything negative to say about the packaging - if I was really nit picking I'd maybe say it was a little excessive to have a box for each item, but it makes a perfect gift.

Karma Se7en Nose and Helix Jewellery

I opted for 2 Rainforest Topaz Bioflex Nose Studs, a Red Jewelled Double Band Clicker Segment Ring and a Rainbow Cartilage Piercing Clicker Ring.

Karma Se7en Rainforest Topaz Bioflex Nose Studs

Of course I had to get something green! These nose studs are made of bioflex, which is a hypoallergenic flexible plastic sort of material that's perfect for sensitive piercings. Each 1mm bioflex stem has a 9ct gold setting pushed into it, and each setting houses a 2.1mm rainforest topaz Swarovski crystal. Talk about fancy!

I love how these studs look. I do wish they were slightly higher gauge as I usually wear 1.2mm jewellery in my nose but nose studs are tricky to find in higher gauges as most people wear them quite dainty. I also find the bioflex stems are too long so they tickle the inside of my nose unless I position them correctly, but that's a personal anatomy issue - my nose is very small!

Karma Se7en Red Jewellery Double Band Clicker Segment Ring

Clicker segment rings are far easier to fit than any other type of ring I've come across. They feature a simple hinge design that clicks the bar into place. No fiddling with tiny segments or balls! Even better, I find Karma Se7en clicker rings have the perfect amount of flex - they're not so stiff you can't open them, but not so flexible they're flimsy.

This ring has a double band of surgical steel with a pretty red crystal in the centre. It almost sits like a cuff in my piercing. It comes with a 1.2mm gauge and 10mm diameter, which fits perfectly in my helix piercing!

Karma Se7en Rainbow Cartilage Piercing Clicker Ring

Much like the other clicker ring, this also features a hinge closure that makes it far easier to insert and secure. The outer side of the ring has a row of crystals in a rainbow of colours that's so pretty! The metal is surgical steel which is an ideal material for piercings.

This clicker ring also sits beautifully in my helix piercing and looks striking with the colourful gems. What's great about clicker rings is that they can be worn in almost any piercing - I could happily stick this in any of my other ear piercings, or even my lip, septum or nose.

Karma Se7en Rainforest Topaz Bioflex Nose Studs

Finally, here's a photo of my full face so you can see how the nose studs look from slightly further away :)

Once again, I've received incredible quality products from Karma Se7en. Even though these items were sent for review, I'm not waxing lyrical because of that - I've purchased items from there myself previously and think their prices are really reasonable, the quality is excellent and they also post things quickly. If you have piercings, they're definitely worth checking out!

Do you wear any body jewellery? What do you like the look of from the website?

*Item provided for review

Monday, 25 April 2016

Lush Oxford Street: Little Dragon Reusable Bubble Bar

Hi everyone! Apologies that this Lush review is being posted a bit late but things aren't getting any less hectic. Let's get right to it...

Lush Little Dragon Reusable Bubble Bar Review

Today I'll be talking about an Oxford Street exclusive bubble bar. I never actually saw this bubble bar in the store both times I visited it, but I managed to snap this up from Lush Kitchen when they were selling a lot of Oxford Street products a little while ago.

Lush Little Dragon Reusable Bubble Bar

Little Dragon is a reusable bubble bar that's made of stiffer bubble mix. You swish it back and forth in the bath to create bubbles and then set it on the side to use again for up to 6 baths. As the name suggests, Little Dragon is shaped like the head and tail of a beautiful golden orange Chinese dragon. The head and tail are connected by an accordion of patterned paper and each half is attached to a wooden stick. This is definitely one of the more complicated bubble bars they've released!

Lush Little Dragon Reusable Bubble Bar in bath

In the water the paper accordion very quickly disintegrated as you might expect, leaving the head and tail separate. The beautiful orange colour tinted the water very quickly and a reasonable amount of bubbles were created. In terms of scent, ginger, clove bud and cinnamon leaf oils combine to give Little Dragon a sweet and warm scent. It wasn't particularly strong once I got into the bath but it did lightly scent my skin.

I found Little Dragon lasted for ages, meaning I definitely got my £5.95 worth! I really liked it although I wish the scent had been a little stronger. It's definitely one to try if you like warm scents and the dragon design is really cool, if somewhat impractical.

What are your favourite Oxford Street Lush products so far?

P.S.  I want to take the time credit the wonderful Jen of All Things Lush UK.  She's an absolute superstar when it comes to Lush reviews and her posts have helped me fill in any gaps in terms of ingredients for my reviews - the fact that these exclusives aren't on the website can make it hard to know what's in everything!  Do check out her blog and give her a follow because she's great.