Friday, March 26, 2010

Nail Varnish Stash

It's coming into summer... In fact, we officially enter summer time this weekend!! One of the things that is quintessentially summer to me is painting my toenails and as a result I have a pretty decent collection of nail varnishes - 32 in total! (Bet you're surprised to hear that!!)

(My collection of Nail polishes)

Most of my nail varnishes are Rimmel. The first Rimmel nail varnish I purchased was for my Debs in 2000 and I have to say I haven't found any that match their quality so far. I honestly can't think of any flaw with them. They have a great selection of colours which attract me back again and again and last for ages. They also have a new brush on the 'Pro' range which I have fallen in love with as it is a wider brush, making application so much easier. Other brands I have randomly accumulated and include in my current stash include H&M, 17, Natural Collection, Gosh and Avon.

Due to work I tend not to paint my finger nails too vivid a colour so my collection includes a number of clear nail varnishes and one or two slightly tinted ones. Out of these my Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish is my favourite as it is slightly irridescent and has a lovely shine to it without being too obvious. I know Sally Hansen nail polishes can be a bit hit and miss however so I'm counting myself lucky that this one has worked out for me!

Review: Full of Grace face serum (Lush)

Full of Grace face serum is one of the newest products to appear in Lush. (There is also a Saving Face bar which is for less sensitive skin.) The blurb on the website for this is:
"Calm sensitive skin with our concoction of soothing tropical butters and mushrooms. Our Full of Grace serum bar is made with a concentrated blend of moisturising murumuru and cupuacu butters to hydrate skin, and rose oil to relieve irritations. We've also used portobello mushrooms for their plentiful vitamins and antioxidant property. The serum is easily absorbed by the skin, creating a soothing treatment for the face. Massage into the skin before you use a fresh face mask, or whenever you feel your skin needs a little grace."

Now, I will be the first to admit that I was more than a little skeptical about putting mushrooms on my face! It just didn't seem very... Lushious! My delivery arrived on Monday and as soon as the bar was unpacked I looked at it and thought "Why did I waste my money on you?" and placed it on my beside table. The bar is small - smaller even than Soft Coeur - and has a rather unusual smell that I was more than slightly wary of, probably because I knew the bar contained mushroom rather than anything to actually do with the smell!

On Monday night I planned to do a facemask and whipped out the instructions on the different ways to use the serum that I had printed off from the International Forum. It suggested that you could leave the serum on for 20 minutes before doing a face mask so this is what I did before following it up with my BB Seaweed fresh facemask. Have to admit my skin felt pretty good afterwards but I wasn't quite sure if this was down to the serum or not.

On Tuesday I decided to be adventurous and try applying the serum before going to bed and just leaving it to sink in overnight. Unfortunately due to a Puppy related crisis I didn't get time to wash it off on Wednesday morning and it was only later in the day that I realised how amazing my skin felt. It felt moisturised, soft and not at all oily which was what I had feared.

On Thursday I decided to apply the serum early in the day and leave it to sink in as I was just going to be pottering around the house. I then had a shower and did a facemask later in the evening and followed my usual skincare routine of Angels on Bare Skin/Ocean Salt combo, facemask, Eau Roma toner water and Catch a Wrinkle moisturiser (Soap and Glory). As my moisturiser is a day moisturiser I have been on the lookout for something slightly heavier for night-time, I think Full of Grace may just be the answer to my prayers. So tonight, I am heading to bed with Full of Grace once again applied- nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I know three days is very little to use a new product before reviewing it and hopefully I will come back to the topic at some stage to give you an update. However, my initial reaction is that this is an amazing product! I have tried a number of the Lush moisturisers and have yet to find one that suits my skin. As I have said before I have very picky skin that knows what it likes so to even get to Day 3 with this product is a big deal for me and bodes well for the future use of this product! I am loving how soft my skin is, the fact that the serum appears to moisturise where needed without causing less dry patches to get oily, the fact that the serum doesn't actually look oily on my face when applied and the overall calming and balancing effect it seems to have on my face - so far it's 5/5 from me!!

My essentials

Due to Puppy having had an operation last week I have found myself down at my parents house for probably the longest time since I moved out almost ten years ago. It's a very strange experience to say the least! I don't visit here too often (and when I do it tends to just be for an overnight visit) so I don't have anything more than the very, very basics of deodourant, toothbrush and toothpaste stored here. Due to the fact that I was travelling in a Yaris with an ill dog, all her acessories (beds, blankets, food, treats, crate etc), a large amount of clothes and a boot that I hadn't managed to clear out for a number of reasons I had to be pretty selective in what toiletries I brought with me - bringing my entire stash was not an option! This forced me to examine what my essentials, rather than wants, were!

The items I deemed absolutely necessary for my 10 night stay were:
Lush Products:
  • Rehab shampoo
  • Coolaulin conditioner
  • American Cream conditioner
  • Flying Fox shower gel
  • Olive Branch shower gel
  • Ocean Salt
  • Lemony Flutter
  • Ultrabland cleanser
  • Eau Roma toner water
  • BB Seaweed & A Crashcourse in Skincare fresh facemasks (they would have gone off otherwise!)
  • A small tub of Angels on Bare Skin mixed with Ocean Salt
Soap & Glory products:
  • Catch A Wrinkle In Time Age Avoiding Day Moisturiser
  • Some Like It Hot Body Softening Thermal Scrub

I also had a Lush Mail Order delivery coming to my parents house which contained mainly bath stuff as gifts for others, but also my Full of Grace face serum bar which I had really been looking forward to trying and has far exceeded my expectations! A review will follow!!

Project 10 Pan

Project 10 Pan was apparently concieved by a beauty Guru called Lollipop26 (who can be found both on her blog and on youtube). The idea is that you put yourself on a spending ban in relation to beauty products until you have 'hit pan' on ten items. "Hitting pan" comes from the idea that when you use up an eyeshadow you expose the 'pan' (metal) at the bottom. Lollipop26 however considers that you have hit pan only when the item is fully used up.

As I have an excessive amount of beauty products I have started a semi-'Project 10 Pan' for myself. Some things I will continue to buy, but others I just want to see the end to. For example in my decluttering I have uncovered numerous duplicates of basics such as deodourant and toothpaste which mean that I will not need to replace these items as I use them up. I don't envisage however that I will completely stop buying beauty items (particularly Lush items) but I will be thinking twice before I buy things.

I will be using this blog to celebrate when I finally do hit pan on items and hopefully I will get to 10 before too long... Maybe then I can justify some of my excessive Lush hauls!

Items I have used up since starting:
Palmolive Soft & Gentle Aromatherapy deodourant (anti-stress)
Lush American Cream conditioner (100ml)
Biore Pore Perfect Strips (nose)
A Crash Course in Skincare (Lush Fresh facemask)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lush; Solid perfumes Stash

When I went to the 'Spring Fling' in my local Lush on March 6th I managed to complete my collection of Lush Solid Perfumes...

I now own all of the regular line, the Christmas edition from this year, and one extra special one!!

The regular line of solid perfumes contains:
  • American Cream
  • Honey I Washed The Kids
  • Karma
  • Sakura
  • The Comforter
  • The Olive Branch, and
  • Vanillary

The Christmas/Holiday limited edition solid perfume for 2009 was Snow Fairy. It's not my favourite scent but I think I got three of these in grab bags at different stages so have at least two of them left.

And finally, when I was ordering from I added a Potion Solid Perfume to my basket. This was ordered completely blind as the only Potion product available over here is the Potion lotion which is a retro item and only available online. I am loving this - and yes, being honest, part of it probably is that no one else will have it! I'm a big child that way!!

Lush facemask night

I was in Lush for the 'Spring Fling' and had been in the week previously too and bought a fresh facemask each time... The first week I bought A Crash Course in Skincare as they were out of my beloved BB Seaweed; so when that was in the next week I just had to buy it!!

A Crash Course in Skincare is described on the site as: "the kind of blend your mum would create if she could. It has rich, nutritious, organic avocado, freshly squeezed lemon juice to brighten and tone the skin and soothing natural yoghurt." It's a very smooth blend with no 'pieces' in it (BB Seaweed contains pieces of seaweed) and maybe because of this I have myself convinced that you get an extra use out of it. I've used it three times already and there is still some left in the pot.

BB Seaweed is described on the website as; "Relaxing and reviving, mineral-rich mask to cleanse, soften and beautify all skins. This blend, inspired by the sea, contains fresh and nutritious seaweed and seaweed absolute. Cleansing kaolin, antiseptic honey, calming aloe vera and rose absolute make this a great mask for everyone." It's the one facemask that I come back to again and again. It seems to calm my skin. I have very sensitive skin but I am very lucky in that I rarely suffer breakouts. I do however, like many females, get the occasional very painful spot on my jawline. (You know that one lone spot that has you in agony but 90% of the time no one else can see it?? That one!!) This mask is a godsend at those times as it seems to just clear it up in no time! A few times this mask has gone past it's best before date before I got to finish it. I won't use it on my face if this happens but have used it on other parts of my body to great effect so don't feel you have to throw it out immediately!

As the Crash Course in Skincare facemask was due to go out of date (expires 18th March) I decided to give my skin some TLC tonight. I cleansed with UltraBland, used my Angels on Bare Skin/Ocean Salt combo for an exfoliator, and then used my BB Seaweed mask. It is due to expire on 30th March and despite having bought it over a week ago I hadn't used it yet!! I then cleaned off the mask, used some of the Eau Roma Toner water to take off any residue off my skin and went on to apply A Crash Course in Skincare facemask. When that was done I again cleaned off the mask, used toner to take off the residue, used a Biore Pore Perfect strip on my nose (it was the last one left in the box and annoying me if I'm being honest!) and when that was done used toner again to remove residue before lathering my face with Skin Drink moisturiser. I got this sample in a grab bag the last day I was in Lush. It's definitely not a moisturiser that I could use during the day as it puts a really oily film on my skin but I have used it at night twice lately and found that it gave a good boost to my skin so I may as well use up the samples!!

So now, its time for me to head to bed, making sure I have enough time for a nice long shower in the morning (Flying Fox / Olive Branch here I come!) and time to cleanse, tone and moisturise. Really can't skip this tomorrow as the excess Skin Drink will need to be removed. I will use Catch a Wrinkle from Soap and Glory as usual for my daytime moisturiser. Trying to get into a better routine as I can be very lax about it given that apart from dry skin I don't really have problem skin at all!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Home manicure

Have made a vow to myself to try keep my nails in better condition and went for a manicure in my beauticians not that long ago. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed! The nail polish was applied too thickly and as a result smudged over 2 hours later when it should have been well dry in my opinion. During my decluttering I had organised all of my nail varnishes and emery boards, orange sticks and so on into easily accessible containers so one of the days last week I decided to give my nails a tidy up myself! We're in a recession y'know!

All I needed was:
Nail varnish removal wipes
UltraBland cleanser (Lush)
Ocean Salt Scrub (Lush)
Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (Lush)
An orange stick
An emery board
and a neutral shade of nail varnish (Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail polish in Brilliant Blush)

  • First step was to make sure my nails and hands were clean so I just gave my nails a wipe down with a nail varnish remover wipe before giving my hands a thorough washing.
  • I then covered my hands in UltraBland cleanser and scrubbed them well with Ocean Salt Scrub before giving them another good washing.
  • Following this I put a good amount of Lemony Flutter on each finger nail making sure to cover the cuticles well and left it on them while I went about the house doing some bits and pieces - probably for about 30-40 minutes in total - before massaging it in.
  • At this stage I set to work with the orange stick and pushed back each of my cuticles well, tidying them as I went. I added a small bit more Lemony Flutter to each nail and then started on the boring job of filing.
  • Once each nail was done I massaged in the remaining Lemony Flutter and again washed my hands giving a quick tidy again with the orange stick where needed.
  • At this stage I have to admit my nails were looking pretty well so all that was left was to add a few coats of the nail varnish. I prefer to add 3-4 coats of varnish thinly over time than do two thick layers as they did in the beauticians. I find it dries faster, leaving it less likely to smudge and you get a more even colour overall.
I did this last Wednesday and it is now Monday and none of the nails have chipped so I'm pretty impressed with myself! Perhaps with a little practice in time I will even be able to perfect the painting of white tips and be able to give myself a french manicure!!

Lush: Spring Fling 06/03/2010

My Lush store on Grafton Street had a 'Spring Fling' event on Saturday for the entire day. There was a 10% discount on purchases before 2pm, free hand massages and facials, and a grab bag with every purchase over €30! They also had some of the new products out, although I was disappointed to find that they aren't expecting the new skin serums in until this week. I'd been hoping to try one as my skin has been very sore and sensitive over the last week or so due to a variety of factors.

Items I purchased:
BB Seaweed fresh facemask
Colour Supplement in Light Pink
2 Ickle Bot ballistics
Turkish Delight Body Polish
Karma Solid Perfume
Sakura Solid Perfume
HIWTK soap

I made two purchases and each qualified for a grab bag. Both bags had the exact same stuff in it! By my calculations each bag was worth approximately €20 and I'd use all the stuff in it so they suited me down to the ground!!

They included:
Heavenly Bodies Butter Cream
American Cream Solid Perfume
Love Soap
Up You Gets emotibomb
Samples of Skin Drink and Vanishing Cream moisturiser

What was particularly cool (in my opinion) was the fact that I had picked up Sakura and American Cream solid perfumes initially but when getting my freebies the sales assistant warned me that there were solid perfumes in some of them, checked my bag, saw it was American Cream and gave me the option to swop for something else!! Yet another example of awesome customer service!!

Also, my friend who was with me opted to get a facial done as she was new to Lush so didn't get to shop until after 2pm (we only arrived at 1:30!) and the sales assistant made sure to give her the 10% discount regardless!! Have to say, my Lush is always an awesome shopping experience!! Well done to all the staff there!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lush: Robots have invaded!

One of my friends on twitter asked me when I last posted there about my blog if there would be a post about killer robots soon... And I know he was being smart but knowing that this new product was in the pipeline I responded 'yes, if by killer you mean awesome!'... So here it is!!

The latest of the 'ickle' bath ballistics has arrived!! The Ickle Bot Ballistic has literally gone on the Lush website in the last hour so it really is new!! This awesome ickle ballistic joins the already very popular Ickle Baby Devil and Ickle Baby Angel ballistics. Although (unfortunately) rumours are already saying that the arrival of the Bot may be paving way for the disconuation of the Devil and Angel forms.

All three of the Ickle ballistics are made with chamomile, lavender and sandalwood essential oils so are designed especially with the purpose of calming and are ideal for a hyper child's pre-bedtime bath!! Both Angel and Devil weigh in at 50g (costing £1.40 on and the Bot weighs in at 65g (£1.75).

Personally I think the Angel and Devil are a lovely gift for little girls in particular (due to the pink and purple colours) and the addition of the Bot (in green) now gives boys a chance to get in on the action!!