Sunday, 23 August 2015

Lush Kitchen: Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel, Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly and 13 Rabbits Bath Melt

Hi everyone!  I wanted to take a break from my Oxford Street reviews to mention a few items I picked up from Lush Kitchen.  For those who aren't in the know, Lush Kitchen is a section of the website where small exclusive batches of products are made each day: you can read my post about it here.

To be honest, I've pretty much ignored the Kitchen since it started as I try to avoid ordering from Lush online due to the expensive postage.  However, I've been feeling spendy recently and with some of the Oxford Street products now available online a few items have sneaked into my basket.

Lush Kitchen Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel, Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly and 13 Rabbits Bath Melt Review

I have three Kitchen items to show you today - unfortunately they're no longer available at present, but the beauty of the Kitchen means that they will reappear again at some point.  You can even request them by tweeting @LushKitchen!  Hopefully my reviews will tide you over until they're online again.

Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel

Lush Kitchen Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel ingredients

This caught my eye due to the scent description!  Fresh strawberries infusion, honey water, almond, olibanum, bergamot, geranium and passionflower seed oils all combine to give this a sugary sweet strawberry scent.  It smells just like Strawberry Feels Forever or like the inside of a strawberry cream chocolate!  The name is similar to the Yummy Mummy Shower Gel brought out for Mother's Day this year and the scent is similar too, although I would say Yummy Yummy Yummy is fruitier.  I believe this was originally released in 2008.

Lush Kitchen products often only come in one available size, and in this case it was the medium 250g bottle.  It cost £10.50 when I bought it.

Lush Kitchen Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Gel Review

The gel itself is a pinky coral colour and has quite a thick and creamy texture.  It lathers well and leaves me smelling like sugary strawberries!

Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly

Lush Kitchen Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly ingredients

I love shower jellies so I almost got whiplash adding this to my online basket!  I'd never even heard of Strawberry Twin Tub but it was originally released in 2005 before I'd even tried Lush so I think I can be forgiven.  Containing glycerine, spring water, coconut and Fair Trade vanilla pod infusion, fresh strawberries, carageenan (seaweed) extract, benzoin resinoid, geranium oil and jasmine absolute, this shower jelly has a gorgeous floral strawberry scent.  It's quite a fresh and natural scent to my nose with the floral notes stopping it becoming too sickly sweet.  I got a 240g tub for £7.95.

Lush Kitchen Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly

The jelly itself is a bubbly red colour with quite a thick, jam-like consistency.  Shower jellies are really fun to use as they're such a novelty format.  My favourite way to use them is to pop some on each palm, slip on exfoliating gloves and lather up that way!  You can also crumble them under the tap or rub them straight onto your body/hair. This jelly leaves my skin scented and soft.

13 Rabbits Bath Melt

Lush Kitchen 13 Rabbits Bath Melt

I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure why I bought this as neither the look or the scent particularly appealed... I just found it intriguing for some reason!  13 Rabbits bath melt is designed to smell like Lush's previous 13 Rabbits Shower Gel which has a spicy chocolate scent.  The melt itself looks like a large square of milk chocolate with '13 Rabbit' stamped into the top.  I'm unsure when this was first created or when the original shower gel came out I'm afraid.

This melt contains a host of ingredients, including Fair Trade organic cocoa butter, walnut oil, peanut oil, cinnamon stick and clove infusion, cocoa powder, ginger oil and clove bud oil.  These all combine to create a rich and spicy chocolate scent.  The 30g melt cost £3.95.

Lush Kitchen 13 Rabbits Bath Melt in bath

With the colour of this melt, this was never going to end well...  it slowly broke down in the bath, releasing oils that ended up tinting the water a yucky brown colour.  There were small crumbs of cinnamon and clove in here that left bits in the water.  I also found the rich scent watered down quite significantly when in the bath, leaving just a faint hint of chocolate and spice.  The water was really soft, but that's the only benefit I got from this bath really!

Two hits and a miss from the recent Kitchen purchases I've made...  I believe Yummy Yummy Yummy and Strawberry Twin Tub were part of the same batch of releases and 13 Rabbits was more recent.  It's well worth keeping an eye on the Lush Kitchen to see if there's anything you fancy as the products change so often.  As I've been making orders of the new Oxford Street stuff, I haven't been able to resist popping a few items in my basket!

Have you ever ordered from the Kitchen?  Also, do you like it when I group my Lush reviews into one post, or do you prefer the one-by-one format?  I'm trying to figure out if I should group my new Oxford Street reviews in this way too.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Super Facialist by Una Brennan: Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and Glow Boost Serum - Review

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the ridiculously long post title but I couldn't have made it any shorter :P

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and Glow Boost Serum Review

This year I've been overhauling my skincare routine, and after hearing lots of good things about the Super Facialist range by Úna Brennan I picked up a couple of items to try.  I opted for the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil and the Glow Boost Serum, both from the Vitamin C+ range designed to brighten, smooth and anti-age the skin.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil ingredients

I'd never tried a cleansing oil before and to be honest the idea of using an oil on my skin creeped me out a little.  However, the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil is the perfect place to start as it's so light and easy to use.  You get 200ml for £10.99 which seems a little steep - however, this is actually very reasonable for a cleansing oil with decent ingredients and one bottle will last for up to 3 months with daily use.

The oil comes in a clear plastic bottle allowing you to see the orange colour of the oil inside, and also when it's running out.  The oil contains vitamins C and E plus olive, grapeseed, rosehip, rosemary and cucumber oils.  It's designed to gently remove makeup, unclog pores, and deep clean without stripping the skin of moisture.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil dispenser

The lid of the bottle contains a small hole which makes dispensing the oil less messy.  I do think this oil would still benefit from a pump dispenser as it is quite thin in texture and it can be difficult not to spill it.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil swatch

Once in the hands, the orange colour of the oil is less obvious.  It has a really light and silky texture which instantly emulsifies into a milky lather when mixed with water.  It has an amazing sweet orangey scent too!

I find this oil is excellent at removing makeup - I apply it to dry skin, massaging all over, and then add water to emulsify.  I use a flannel to ensure I get every last bit of oil off and then finish with my Amie Morning Clear Purifying Face Wash (you should always double cleanse when using an oil).  My skin is left feeling clean, soft and smooth.  I love it and am halfway through my second bottle with a third backup stowed away which speaks volumes!

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Glow Boost Serum ingredients

A serum is also something that was missing from my skincare routine, and I liked the sound of this one.  The Glow Boost Serum contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and skin lightening algae extracts which work to deeply replenish, boost collagen synthasis and enhance skin appearance.  I'm not too worried about anti-ageing yet, but I really liked the sound of my skin looking smoother and brighter as I do have some redness and uneven tone.  The orange packaging hints at the vitamin C inside, as it's something I associated with the colour orange due to the fruit well known to contain it!

You get 30ml for £15.99 which is far less than a lot of other serums out there - they're a very expensive skincare item and for good reason!  Serums are designed to go underneath moisturiser to deeply penetrate the skin and repair from the lower skin layers.  For this reason they tend to have luxurious ingredients and an even more luxurious price tag.  I feel the Glow Boost Serum has the best of both worlds as it has nice ingredients and a nice price tag too.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Glow Boost Serum dispenser

The tube it comes in is sleek and white with a squeezy nozzle that helps dispense a small and precise amount.  I really like the clean and sleek look of everything in Úna's range.

Super Facialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Glow Boost Serum swatch

The serum itself is a white, light cream with the trademark yummy orange scent I now associate with the Vitamin C+ Brighten range.  I find this absorbs almost instantly into the skin, smoothing and comforting.  It feels so light that I can apply my day or night cream and rosehip oil instantly afterwards.  The box does suggest applying an amount smaller than the size of a pea but as it absorbs so quickly I feel I have to use a bit more than this to cover my whole face.

My skin definitely feels smoother and brighter since using this, although I have overhauled my entire skincare routine so it's hard to narrow the effect down to one single product.  If you're new to serums like I was, this is a lovely one to start with.

The Super Facialist range by Úna Brennan is really lovely and available from Boots, where it's often on offer.  There's not just Vitamin C+ Brighten stuff available either - there's also Rose (Hydrate), Salicylic Acid (Anti-Blemish), Neroli (Firming) and Probiotic (Rejuvenate).  Everything is reasonably priced and contains decent ingredients - you can't ask for much more.

Have you tried anything from the Super Facialist range?  What would you recommend?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy - Review & Swatches

Hi everyone!  You may recall roughly 3 million years ago I reviewed the limited edition Trillion Dollar Look Palette from the MAC Simpsons collection.  I missed out on one of the blushers from this limited edition collection after being told the wrong information by a MAC staff member.  After venting about it on Twitter I was contacted by MAC customer services and offered a complimentary blush for the mistake.  I was really impressed with their efficient service as I wasn't expecting anything free, just sharing my makeup-related woes!

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy Review

I ended up choosing a Powder Blush in Full of Joy*.

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy Review

Like almost all MAC products, their Powder Blushes come in black and white cardboard packaging and a black plastic compact.  It's iconic, sleek and functional.

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy Review

Full of Joy has a Frost finish, which means the colour shimmers lightly and adds a sheen to the cheeks.  You get 6g of blush for £18.50, making this a definite high end product!

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy swatches

MAC describe Full of Joy simply as 'lavender' but I think it leans more pink than purple.  There are cool purple elements to it and a healthy dose of icy white shimmer but it still leans pink.  Here I've swatched it alone (bottom swatch), over primer (top swatch), and on my cheeks.  You can see the gorgeous sheen it gives to my cheekbones, meaning you can skip highlighter with this beauty on your face!

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy on face

And a full face photo :)

I love cool toned blushes, and Full of Joy really is as cool toned as they come.  The sheen adds a gorgeous glow without emphasising pores, although I don't have particularly large pores on my cheeks as it is.  I'm so grateful to MAC for sending this as a goodwill gesture as I really wasn't expecting a Twitter rant to end up like this!

Have you tried Full of Joy?  I hope I'm not the only one who rants on Twitter about makeup!

*Item provided for compensation

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Lush of the Week: Candy Floss Showder

Hi everyone!  A fair few of the once exclusive Oxford Street products are now available both instore and online nationwide.  For this reason I'm no longer titling these reviews as 'Lush Oxford Street' as you can get them more easily now!  Today I'll be talking about one of the Showders you can now get your hands on.  After loving Lemon Sherbet, I was keen to try more!

Lush Candy Floss Showder Review

Let's talk about Candy Floss Showder :)  I love that I can link back to these products now!

Lush Candy Floss Showder Review

Like all of the Showders, Candy Floss comes in a cardboard washing powder style box that's mostly pink.  I love the cute packaging but it's not the most practical - cardboard is never a good idea for something that needs to be used near water and I found a small amount of powder leaked out of the bottom of my box.

Lush Candy Floss Showder Review

The washing powder style box continues with an opening to pour the powder out of.  In terms of ingredients, sodium bicarbonate adds fizz, granulated sugar adds exfoliation, calamine powder calms, cornflour pads out the powder, plus Fair Trade vanilla absolute, ylang ylang and clove bud oils add a delicious sweet scent.  The sugar Lush uses comes from the UK and rarely travels over 30 miles to the factory - what a great carbon footprint!

Lush Candy Floss Showder Review

The showder is a really fine pinky white powder.  On contact with water, it fizzes up and creates a soft and foamy lather.  Candy Floss smells just as good as you expect - sweet and creamy.  It's the same scent as Creamy Candy and is similar to Snow Fairy, although it lacks the fruitiness of the latter.  It's a really indulgent treat for the bath!  I wouldn't say it's particularly exfoliating though.

This huge 400g box comes in at £12.50 - you do get a lot of product but I find you have to use a lot as it fizzes away quite quickly when damp and the lather doesn't spread particularly far.  I still love the novelty format and sweet creamy scent.  I do wish it came in a slightly smaller, more practical box!

Will you be trying a showder in your shower anytime soon?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

COLAB Sheer Invisible and Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo: Review & Comparison

Hi everyone!  I would say I'm in a pretty serious relationship with dry shampoo.  Having my hair such a bright colour means I wash it as little as possible to prevent fading, and dry shampoo helps me limp it between washes.  I was pleased when I saw one of my favourite bloggers, A Model Recommends, was releasing some dry shampoo. I picked up two variations to try.

COLAB Sheer Invisible and Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo Review

The COLAB dry shampoo range comes in two different types: Sheer Invisible, which has a weightless/invisible formula, and Extreme Volume, which has the more traditional powdery dry shampoo feel to add volume at the roots.  Each different type comes in a variety of fun scents that are relatively sophisticated for dry shampoo.

As you can see, the Sheer Invisible can is mostly silver and the different scents are colour coded to the accents and lid.  The Extreme Volume can is entirely colour coded to the scent.  The cans are easy to tell apart and have a fun look to them!  Here I have the Tokyo scent in my Sheer Invisible can and the Rio scent in my Extreme Volume can.  I'll talk more about the scents below.

COLAB Sheer Invisible and Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo Review

The formula differences between the two different cans is evidenced in the description by Ruth - Sheer Invisible promises a residue-free, lightweight finish that's ready-to-wear, whereas Extreme Volume gives volume and lift.

COLAB Sheer Invisible and Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo Review

You apply these like you do all dry shampoos - spray into the roots from a distance, massage in and then brush/style.  In terms of ingredients, the Extreme Volume can contains more stuff, including talc to give it a powdery finish and more oil-absorbing properties.

Sheer Invisible

COLAB Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo Review

I was not expecting this Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo to work.  Generally, you need powder to absorb excess oil at the roots and mask that greasy look.  However, this dry shampoo is light as air and goes on completely clear, yet as you can see my hair looks freshly washed!  I don't even need to brush my hair after spraying this in as I can just massage it in with my hands.  It's so fast and easy.  The one complaint I have it I find I have to use a little more than I would with a powdery dry shampoo to get a proper fresh feeling.

I have the scent Tokyo, which has accents of orchid, mandarin and a sandalwood base.  It's fruity and sophisticated and the fragrance lasts really well in my hair.  Colour me impressed!

Extreme Volume

COLAB Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo Review

The Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo has a formula I'm more than familiar with - it goes on quite white and powdery, but a quick massage and brush through reveals fresh roots.  I would say it's quite comparable to my much-loved Batiste, but is perhaps slightly easier to work into the hair.

I have the scent Rio which has notes of papaya, pineapple and cassis.  This scent is really lively and fruity and just delicious.  I recently repurchased the Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in New York which contains notes of apple, melon and amber.  The other options include London (bergamot, musk and magnolia), Paris (jasmine, rose and patchouli) and Monaco (neroli, amber and lemon).  To be honest, all of the scents are divine and more akin to proper perfumes than dry shampoo.  I think I'll buy Sheer Invisible in Monaco next!

COLAB Dry Shampoos are stocked in Superdrug, Feel Unique and Beauty Mart and range in price from under £2 - £4.99 depending on what size can and where you buy it from.  I do wish they ran slightly cheaper as I get through dry shampoo like it's going out of fashion, but I do appreciate this is a quality product that works really well.

If Batiste doesn't work for you, I think the COLAB Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo will be your new favourite.  If you like Batiste, you'll more than get on with the Extreme Volume version as it's similar but comes in some very exciting, sophisticated scents!