Prepare your skin for Autumn with Lush Cosmetics

I admit that I haven’t been into a Lush store for a while as I mainly just associated them with their famous bath bomb products. However I visited the Brighton branch recently and I have to say that I have completely fallen in love with them!

As soon as you walk in the door of any Lush store the beautiful fragrances hit you straight away and this has become one of their signature traits. As I was walking around the store, I was really impressed with the huge variety of products from hair care, to skin care to body products and had such fun testing all of the samples. I hadn’t appreciated how many products that they offer.

    

I could have walked out of the store with bags of gorgeous items, but I picked out 2 products which particularly caught my eye that I was so excited to use and they certainly did not disappoint! I chose a pot of bubblegum flavoured lip scrub and a very unusual body scrub.

Lip scrub

You really have to smell this yourself to believe it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s absolutely divine and just like the real thing! This little pot was only £6.50 and part of a collection of other flavours including Mint, Chocolate and honey so if you have a sweet tooth like I do, then I can guarantee you will enjoy these. I seem to be reaching for body products at the moment that are all sweet themed but at least it’s saving me on overindulging in real calories!

As we are transitioning into the Autumn season, I felt that it was a good time to get a lip scrub as when the weather changes I know that I will start to get chapped lips. This is also going to help to combat the dryness that you can get from wearing matt lipsticks or being in air conditioning during the day like I am.

This lip scrub is a great way to prep the lips by gently buffing and polishing away any dead skin cells and will keep them looking plump and healthy, as well as creating the perfect base for lipsticks. There are only 6 ingredients that are used to make this product. 2 natural (caster sugar and organic jojoba oil) and 4 others which make up the colour and flavouring but these are all safe synthetic ingredients.

Scrub Scrub Scrub

This body scrub is a brand new product on the market and it’s so unusual I just had to try it out! This body scrub is made up of black exfoliating crystals and I have never seen anything quite like this before. You don’t normally associate bath products that look like this but don’t let that put you off as it’s absolutely incredible. The lady in the store joked that it looks like it will clean the depths of your soul which made me laugh as it is definitely different.

As soon as I opened the lid the smell was beautiful and a rich mixture between blackberries and a kind of almost menthol scent. The crystals are actually infused with toning rosemary, grounding pine and refreshing buchu oils so that explains the aromatherapy type fragrance that this product has.

Powdered charcoal is also one of the key ingredients (hence the colour) and this is perfect for deeply cleaning the skin, leaving it with a great glow as well as having antibacterial properties.

The texture of charcoal is soft and dry which helps to exfoliate and cleanse so you will find this often in toothpaste products. There are a few jet black charcoal toothpastes that are available on the market at the moment and I have been seeing these in the stores and on Instagram.

An interesting fact about Lush is that they don’t use imported charcoal for their products. They use a UK based supplier as they are campaigners of encouraging and supporting local industries. Another key ingredient to mention in this scrub is sea salt. This is fantastic for softening and hydrating the skin, removing dead skin sells without stripping away too much natural oils.

I love the way my skin felt after using this and the deep, rich scent stayed on my skin for quite a long time which was really lovely. I feel that this is a great Autumn/Winter bath product and is going to help to keep my skin in excellent condition as the colder weather sets in. Also, if you are a fake tan fan like I am, this is also a great product to prep the skin before tan is applied.

Final thoughts about Lush

I love how this brand is all about ethical products and that everything is animal cruelty free and 100% vegetarian. Their packaging is all the same uniformed look which can be slightly confusing when trying to browse in the store. However, if you take your time and look into each product, the information is all there printed on the outside. If you have any questions though the staff are really knowledgeable and happy to talk about the products. Another cute detail is that every pot has a picture of who made the product. Everything is handmade and I think that’s a lovely little touch.

The last thing I have to mention is the fabulous pre-wrapped gifts that you can buy in Lush. I hadn’t realised this and will definitely be considering this in the future. I am a complete stationary addict and to see all of the beautiful gift wrap and selections that have been put together was really exciting. I am a sucker for good packaging!

I had such a great experience visiting Lush and will definitely be returning! Do you have any favourite Lush products? Leave me a comment below with any recommendations!

LullaBellz clip in hair pieces that I am loving right now

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I have never been that girl that can do amazing things with her hair. I can do basic plaits, buns or curling but I would really love to be able to French plait or braid my hair properly. If there was a workshop on how to do this I would definitely be the first to sign up! To add to this, my hair is really fine and it’s is not the easiest to style. As soon as I step out the front door it becomes a bit of a wild mess so I’m always on the look out for easy tricks to make my hair more interesting.

With the options of what I am able to achieve myself being pretty limited, I was really excited to try out the clip in hair pieces from LullaBellz and to see the difference that they would make to my hair. I was really impressed with these products and I had to write a blog post to share these with you.

Clip in hair – the styles

There are a few options of clip in hair pieces on their website to choose from – from long lengths, shorter lengths and pre-styled/curled hair. I wanted to try a natural looking style but something that would give my hair a bit of a boost in terms of volume and length. So I decided to go for the Super thick 22″ 5 piece clip in sets in both the crimped wavy and the straight options to test them both out.

You can view the Super Thick 250g 5 Piece Straight Hair Extensions that I chose here and the Super Thick 22″ 5 Piece Crimped Wavy Clip In Hair Extensions here

These kits include 5 pieces of premium synthetic hair that clip into your hair. 3 wider pieces clip in at the back of your hair and 2 narrow pieces clip in at the side to frame your face and give all over length and volume. They’re pre-styled so you can literally clip them in and you’re good to go.

Image: LullaBellz

Choosing the colour

I have dark brown hair and this is exactly the shade that I chose from the colour chart, but there are 25 shades in total to choose from. I hoped for the best with the colour I had selected as it is not always easy to tell when ordering online, but luckily the colour was perfect for me. If you are really stuck and unsure which one to go for though, LullaBellz offer a free colour match service. All you need to do is send them a photograph and they will help you to choose the shade they think would be the closest match to your natural hair colour.

Quality and overall look

I have tried clip in hair pieces in the past and not been impressed with the quality. As soon as I took these out of the packet I was instantly impressed with the feel and quality of the hair. Considering these are synthetic pieces, they don’t feel plastic, overly shiny or artificial which is great. If you do find them on the shiny side though, you can add a bit of dry shampoo to them which will reduce this easily. I brushed each piece as soon as I took them out of the packaging as they can get tangled up. There was some slight fall out but this was expected and nothing to be worried about.

Here is the before picture of my natural hair:

Here is the transformation with both the straight and wavy pieces added to my hair:

Care instructions

These clip in hair pieces can be washed with hair extensions shampoo and conditioner and then left to dry naturally. It is also recommended that you store these on a hair extensions hanger to avoid tangling. LullaBellz sell hair wardrobe hanging bags on their website for this reason which I think is such a fab idea. You can brush them by using a soft bristle brush when brushing/detangling. I used a Tangle teaser brush which worked fine. These hair pieces are also heat resistant up to 180 degrees but there are a good range of styles available, so you can buy exactly what you want without the need to re-style the hair.

Hair storage – image LullaBellz

Worth the money?

The 5 piece clip in extensions sets are £28 which is a good price for the quality. I was lucky to get these discounted during a promotion so keep an eye out for their promotions. As I have such fine hair, I do find that wearing all 5 pieces a little bit heavy. I would mainly wear these for a night out or an event rather than every day use. However, if you have thicker hair you will find these easy to wear.

LullaBellz also sell a range of other hair pieces such as buns, pre made plaits and wigs. I really want to try out the wig selection and that’s next on my list of things to do. Look out for future blog posts on those!

I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on the LullaBellz clip in hair pieces. Have you tried them before? I would love to hear what you tried and how you got on with them!

The latest lip foil product I am loving by Lottie London

Lottie London is a new brand that I have recently discovered. I was browsing around the make up counters in Superdrug (I know, I have an addiction!) and this particular stand really caught my attention as I walked past. I decided to try out two shades of the iridescent lip foil toppers and I am excited to share my thoughts on them!

How to wear them

These are perfect to use as part of your every day make up, but I think they would be amazing for creating a super glam look, especially for an event like a festival. It is not easy to find a lip shade that works with a festival eye as at the moment, the festival make up trend for 2018 is a super sparkly style using stick on jewels around the eyes and forehead, chunky glitter, full feathery lashes – the works! These lip foils were exactly what I was looking for to wear to Made festival at the weekend and it completed the look I was after. These lip foils would also be so nice to use on holiday – I’m picturing a nice tan combined with the shimmer of these shades which would be gorgeous.

The lip foil tube is transparent so you can see the colour of the product inside which is really handy and although they come unboxed, I really love the holographic silver stars on the side of the tubes which are a pretty addition to the packaging and these look great in your makeup bag or on your dressing table.

Shade Range

I hadn’t actually heard of lip foils before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but when I first swatched these I was impressed at the bright pigmented colours and was so excited to test these out.

There are four shades to choose from and I am loving the sassy names which are ‘U Wish’, ‘Drop Out’, ‘Sinner’ and ‘Over it’. I think my favourite shade is ‘U Wish’ which looks like a glittery white shade at first until it interacts with your skin when it turns into a shimmery holographic pink sheen. I would say that each of the colour options available would suit a variety of skin shades also which is great.

Wearing the shade ‘Sinner’

wearing the shade ‘U Wish’

image: Lottie London

Formula and finish

Formula wise this glided onto the lips like a dream and I was surprised at how pigmented they are as the consistency is shimmery and semi-sheer. I also like the fact that they feel smooth and silky, with no thick stickiness which I really don’t like with lip products and try to avoid. It took seconds to dry down and after one coat and you’re good to go! When the light catches on these lip toppers they look so pretty and add such a nice finishing touch.

Worth the money?

At £5.95 for a tube, you really cannot go wrong. Drug store make up is really having a moment and I am finding that you don’t always need to spend a fortune on top end designer make up brands. You can equally get a fabulous product for more than half the price and often just as good! I would say that for this price, these lip toppers are a good deal. They probably are not something that you would choose to wear every day, but they would be a great addition to your lip product collection.

You can purchase the Lottie London lip foil range here or you will find the brand is stocked in most Superdrug stores.

I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on the Lottie London lip foils. As you can probably tell I’m so impressed.. if you love shimmery lip glosses that are not sticky as much as I do, then I definitely recommend giving these a try. Let me know if you’ve tried anything from Lottie London before and what you think about their products.

The latest Urban Decay eye pallet – ‘Born to Run’

The ‘Born to Run’ collection is probably one of the biggest launches of the year for Urban Decay and after the huge hype around this I cannot tell you how excited I was to get my hands on one of these eye pallets myself!

Urban Decay already have a great track record of bringing us fabulous eye shadow combinations such as the best selling neutrals from the Naked pallet range but they have really stepped up their game with this latest collection and this is a guaranteed sell out product this Summer. The Born to Run eye shadow pallet is a gorgeous mix of neutrals, rich metallics and sultry deep jewel tones. There are 21 shades to play with in this kit and you can easily create a natural day time look right through to a dramatic evening eye and I am obsessed with the selection of colours available in this range.

Packaging and overall feel

My first impression of this pallet was that the packaging not only looks great but it instantly felt a like a really high end quality product as soon as I picked it up. The box is strong and sturdy and includes a really good full length mirror inside the lid. The theme behind this collection is all to do with adventure, exploring, travel and being on the go, and the case is decorated in a selection a Instagram style photograph snaps of holiday destinations such as Las Vegas, Santorini and London.

The individual shades are not the largest, but you will definitely get a lot of use out of them as a little goes a long way due to how pigmented these shades are. This kit is priced at £39.50 which is towards a higher end price point but this is fair once you get to see and feel the quality of it.

Pigment and texture

The pigment is extremely rich, particularly the metallics and I feel these colours would work well on all skin tones beautifully. The thing I love the most abut Urban Decay eye shadows is how good they are for blending with minimal fall out. The texture of these is velvety and there is no crumbling or creasing with these eye shadows, allowing you to build up a fabulous rich colour quickly and easily.

Colour Range

I love a metallic eyeshadow for day or night and was instantly drawn to the pale rose gold shade ‘stranded’ which I have been blending with the rich brown shade ‘punk’ and this has been a gorgeous mix. However, since using this pallet I have found myself experimenting with colour combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of doing before. My surprise favourite has been using a metallic rose golden tone ‘ignite’ with a dark jewel green metallic ‘wanderlust’ and the result of these blended together is so chic and perfect for a dark smoky eye that is a bit different.

All of the shadows in this kit can be used wet or dry and you could even use them as an eyeliner or the use lighter shimmery shades as a face highlighter.

 

This kit truly is a beauty addict’s pick and mix heaven. Here is a list of the full range of colours:

BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
STILL SHOT (bright peach)
RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
GOOD AS GONE (deep brown with iridescent micro-shimmer)
HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
BAJA (burnt orange matte)
ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)

IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
WILDHEART (bright fuchsia)
PUNK (red-brown matte)
DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
JET (black with deep shimmering purple shift)
DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
RADIO (deep emerald satin)
BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)

Additional items available

This eye pallet is part of the Born to Run collection which also includes an all night setting spray, eye pencils in 44 different shades and 3 lipstick colours.

You can view the whole range here at the Urban Decay website.

Image: Urban Decay

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Urban Decay Born to Run eye pallet. Have you used this yet? Let me know your thoughts on it and what your favourite colours are!

The latest gel nail polish range from Nails Inc

A lady once told me that your hands and nails are one of the first things that people notice when they meet you and that has stuck in my head ever since. If you follow me on Instagram (and if you are not already, then why not? haha!) then you will know that I always make sure that I look after my hands and keep my nail extensions in tiptop condition.

I have acrylic nail extensions and have infills every 2 weeks with either regular polish or gels and although I have my usual favourite go to brands, I always like to try new products that become available on the market.

Nails Inc have always been a big name in the nail product industry. They continue to evolve and move forward with the latest trends and are always at the forefront of new innovating ideas, so when I discovered their new gel polish range, which is exclusive to Marks & Spencer stores at the moment, I just had to try this out for myself.

Usually with gel polish you need a couple of coats and the use of a UV lamp to set the formula onto your nails. You also need to have this soaked off professionally if the polish has been applied directly onto the natural nail. This new range from Nails Inc, claims that you only need the one coat and it will dry without the use of a UV lamp and that no soak off is necessary! Sounds good right?! This grabbed my attention immediately as the thought of being able to produce a salon quality finish at home myself was too good an opportunity to miss!

Shade Range

Considering this is new to the market, I was impressed by the selection of colours that are available. There are 64 options to choose from and I think they all look gorgeous, particularly the iridescent shimmery shades. They are all named after places in London as per the usual Nails Inc range which I really like. For this blog post, I have been trying out two of the shades: Cambridge Passage and Portobello Mews which are both so pretty for the Spring/Summer months.

Portobello Mews is the darker pink shade of the two that I tried and when its applied to the nails it has a slight lilac tint to it and looks so gorgeous with a tan. I have this on my toes at the moment and have been receiving compliments on the colour. It’s been so hot here in the UK lately so its been nice to finally be able to wear sandals for once!

Cambridge Passage is the lighter shade and is a really more of a subtle colour with a gorgeous shimmer undertone. I personally wouldn’t wear this on my toes as I prefer to have a darker colour on them, but it looks really chic on the hands, so if you are looking for a shade that will go with any outfit and add a classy touch, then this would be a good one to go with.

Portobello Mews

Cambridge Passage

Formula and Finish

Nails Inc say the following about this range:

Promotes a natural, barely there, flawless nail look. Enriched with Goji Berry extract known for nail protection, this range also has complementary light reflecting Blur Pearls means nails will look luminous and glossy.

This is important and I feel that more nail product brands need to pay attention to the ingredients that they use in their polishes and that they also help to keep the quality of your nails strong and nourished after using them. Some of the cheaper, drug store polishes available can be really drying on the nails and can cause them to weaken and chip easily, so it is better to invest in a higher quality product to try and avoid this if you can.

I have used Nail Inc products a lot over the years and I have to say this is probably one of my favourite ranges they have brought out. I was dubious about the claim that you would only need one coat, but was really impressed to find that this was true – one coat gave me a gorgeous glossy finish with a deep colour that was true to the bottle. There is nothing worse than choosing a nail colour and it looking nothing like what you had expected once it’s been applied! So overall, the pigment of these is rich and they have an excellent consistency and quality.

As well as the finish, I found these were really easy to apply onto the nails with a one stroke glide application also. I didn’t apply a top coat to these as was happy with the overall outcome without feeling like I needed to add this, plus I wanted to test how long lasting these would be without a topcoat being included.

Are they long lasting?

Both shades lasted me really well without chipping for around 8-10 days which would be perfect for going on holiday which I think was really impressive. Considering there was no need to use a UV lamp and how quick they naturally dried, I wasn’t expecting these to last as long as they did so I would definitely recommend this range for home use.

Worth the money?

The polishes retail at £11 for a 10ml bottle and I feel this is at a great price point for the quality and considering how little you need to use to do a full set of nails. These really are true to the ‘one coat’ statement and so the bottle will last you a long time.

You can purchase this range from the majority of Marks & Spencer stores or online here

View the rest of the Nails Inc collection via their website here

I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts on the one coat gel nail polish range by Nails Inc. I think this is a great collection with a nice assortment of colours. Let me know if you have tried any products from Nails Inc and what your thoughts were.

 

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