Lush Cosmetics products for the perfect pamper

Lush pamper picks

Since attending the Lush Swansea store opening event last week, my already big obsession with Lush has just intensified further. This has caused me to dig out some of my new and long-time favourites from the brand, and I’ve noticed that all of these products have one thing in common; they’re perfect for an evening of pampering…

As someone with dry, sensitive hands, I do my best to take care of them, and I’m never too far from a hand cream (I have one sitting on my desk at work, as well as one in my bathroom at home). The Handy Gurugu Hand Cream is the one I kept at home and it’s the perfect pampering pick; it’s very thick and creamy (as it contains shea, peanut, cashew and almond butters), so it’s great one to pop onto your hands before bed.

Before using this, however, I’m also really enjoying the Salted Coconut Hand Scrub. As the name suggests, this smells amazing, and the fine, gritty texture leaves your hands really soft. Sure, you could probably use a regular body scrub instead, but I just adore the texture and smell of this hand scrub. Plus, I think a little of this will go a long way!

I’m a big advocate for moisturising your body, and Lush’s Dream Cream is my current favourite body lotion. It has a nice mild smell that I find really calming, and it contains oat milk and rose water, so it’s soothing on the skin too. I also love that it sinks in fairly quickly; although I slather this on, there’s no risk of me slipping all over the place.

Last but not least in my Lush pampering products round-up is the Retread Hair Conditioner. The texture of this is a little unusual, and it doesn’t feel extremely moisturising when you first apply it (it doesn’t contains silicones, which gives many hair products a smooth, slippery feel). Nonetheless, it makes my bleached hair very soft, and just more manageable. It does need to be rinsed out thoroughly though!

What are your favourite Lush products to use when you’re having a pamper evening?

An evening with Lush Cosmetics: Lush Swansea new store opening event

Lush Swansea new store opening

Lush Cosmetics has been one of my favourite brands since I first ventured into one of their stores early last year, and I now love nothing more than popping in, smelling the gorgeous displays, and finding something new to try.

Living just half an hour away from Swansea, I was obviously pretty excited to hear that they’d be moving to a new bigger space. So, when I was invited to check out the new Lush Swansea store before it officially opened with my friend, Siobhan, I didn’t waste any time in accepting!

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The new Lush store can be found at 808 Oxford Street, which is just around the corner from their old home. It’s also conveniently located a couple of doors up from the likes of Topshop, Marks and Spencer, Next, and Starbucks, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it!

Inside, the store is a lot bigger than their old one, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how far back it went. It’s also beautifully set out with everything in its own special place; haircare, bubble bars and perfumes can be found on the right, body products at the back, and skincare, makeup, and shower gels on the left.

You’re also greeted by a wonderful display of bath bombs and FUN as you enter the store (with plenty of sinks for you to see the products in action), and the famous Fresh Face Mask Bar towards the back (is this anyone else’s favourite part of the store?).

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I swear only one of these drinks was mine…

The store opening also gave us the opportunity to see some of Lush’s new releases in the flesh, such as the Jelly Bombs, Jelly Face Masks, Body Sprays, and Hot Oil Treatments. I was very excited to be able to demo one of the new Jelly Bombs during the event, and was very grateful to be gifted some of the new products to take home with me. I can’t wait to try them out and share my thoughts!

Another highlight was making my very own Intergalactic and Dragon’s Egg bath bombs, which turned out pretty damn good (if I do say so myself). My skills aren’t a patch on Lush’s Bath Bomb Makers, though…

Although I was nervous to attend my first blogger event, I had a great evening and the lovely, friendly staff quickly put me at ease. I was also given a bunch of product recommendations to suit my needs, and I now have a wishlist as long as my arm.

I’d definitely recommend giving the new Lush Swansea store a visit if you can, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to Lush for letting me see the new store early!

Will you be popping into the new Swansea store to grab some goodies? What are your thoughts on the new store and product releases?

How to save money when buying beauty products

Saving money

If you’re as much of a beauty lover as I am, then you’ll know that it can become quite the expensive hobby; especially if you get through certain products very quickly (such as face powder or eye makeup remover, in my case), or you’re a sucker for a new release.

Fortunately, you can save a few pennies if you know the right tricks. Here are my top tips for saving money when buying beauty products…

Get a points reward card

Most of us have a Boots Advantage Card, but did you know that most beauty retailers now have their own points reward systems? Debenhams, House of Fraser, and Space NK are just a few of the stores that have their own version, and I actually prefer their systems to Boots’ because you can use your points as soon as they reach £5 (or £10 or £15…) and have been transferred to your card.

The time this takes varies from retailer to retailer, but I think it’s still worth the wait to be able to pay with a mixture of points and cash.

These retailers also often run offers that are exclusive to reward card holders (such as ‘earn double points’, or ‘spend £50 to get £10 worth of points’), so try to wait for these before doing a big restock!

Take advantage of offers and voucher codes

Feelunique and Lookfantastic are two of my favourite beauty retailers because their delivery is pretty quick and free (although you need to spend £15 for this to apply to Feelunique). They also stock a wide range of brands between them, from Estee Lauder and Urban Decay, to Oskia and Jurlique.

As well as regularly running great offers (such as flash sales or a certain percentage off your order), on the off chance that there isn’t a promotion on, voucher codes that give you between 10 and 20% off your order can often be found on Hot UK Deals.

Signing-up for newsletters can also be a good way to get offers sent straight to your email inbox (as long as you don’t mind getting a lot of emails). In fact, many retailers will send you a reward just for signing-up; Cult Beauty, for example, will give you free shipping on your first order.

Look out for free gifts with purchase

Estee Lauder, Clinique, and Clarins frequently run a Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotion when you visit their counters, and these can be a great way of discovering a new favourite product that you never would have thought of trying! As these are usually miniature products, they’re also very nice to have if you travel a lot; more often than not, they’ll come in a makeup bag.

However, one thing to be wary of is spending more money just to qualify for a free gift; you’ll typically need to purchase two products for that gift, so make sure you’re buying things you definitely want! There’s also no need to spend more money for the free gift if  it doesn’t contain products you’ll use, so always ask about the contents first.

Ask for a sample!

For a beauty lover, there’s no worse feeling than buying a pricey foundation, getting it home to try out, and realising the colour or the formula just doesn’t work for you. This is especially annoying considering the fact you can only return beauty products in the UK if you’ve kept the receipt and have had an allergic reaction (and even then, not all brands will take it back).

Foundations, primers, moisturisers, cleansers, and many other skincare items are just some of the products you can get samples of before you splash the cash, and many high-end counters will be happy to give you one if you ask! MAC, Dior, Benefit, BareMinerals, Chanel, and Estee Lauder are just some of the brands I’ve  snagged samples from without needing to spend a penny, though they’re usually pretty generous if you do ask for one when you purchase something else…

Search for affordable dupes

Finally, if you really can’t afford that £40 eyeshadow palette (or can’t justify buying it if you’re not going to use it all that often), then check out Makeup Revolution; they make really good quality dupes of some of the most hyped-up beauty products. Many of Sleek‘s products have also been claimed to be similar to certain high-end products.

NYX and KiKo are also very affordable brands with a wide colour range, and the quality of their products is comparable to that of more expensive brands. Definitely check them out!

What are your top tips for saving money when buying beauty? Share them in the comments!

The bad skin day saviours: 3 skincare products for clear and glowing skin

Bad skin day saviours

Bad skin days: they suck, and they happen to the best of us. In fact, despite having a solid skincare routine that I follow pretty much religiously (even when I stumble in from a night out at 3:00am), there are a couple of things that cause it to become sensitive and a bit spotty; a.k.a. stress, a lack of sleep, and one too many chocolates.

For these occasions, I present to you three products that help almost every type of bad skin day…

The one that brings the glow back

The REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is the product I always reach for when my skin is looking a bit dull and blotchy, which is often the case after a breakout. This thick, fruity smelling face mask exfoliates using four AHAs (including glycolic acid and lactic acid), so it always leaves my skin feeling soft, as well as looking clearer and more even in tone.

Although it provides quite an intense exfoliation (meaning my face can be a bit red after use), this tends to disappear quickly, and I don’t find this product to be too harsh for my sometimes sensitive skin.

The one that calms sore and angry skin

Next up in my bad skin day toolkit is the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, which is a product you’ve probably already heard a lot about! It’s received its fair share of praise from the blogging community and for good reason; it’s a light, hydrating mask that soothes angry, red skin, while the antiseptic properties of the honey tackles spots and helps them to clear up quicker.

This face mask is basically just a great all-rounder, and I’d recommend it for all skin types!

The one that gets rid of spots

If I have a particularly bad spot and I want to get rid of it fast, then I know the one thing that’ll always have my back; the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Containing a mixture of salicylic acid, zinc oxide, sulphur, and titanium dioxide (the pink mixture at the bottom of the bottle), and isopropyl alcohol (which sits on top of the mixture), this dries your spots out as you sleep, and I find it only takes a few days for mine to disappear completely.

Just remember not to shake the bottle, and to apply the pink mixture directly to the spot without rubbing it in!

What are your go-to bad skin day products? Have you tried any of my picks?

My current morning skincare routine

Morning skincare routine for combination skin

Having had teenage acne and both very dry and very oily skin in the past, skincare is something that’s very important to me, and I’m always trying new products to find my ‘perfect’ skincare routine. Put simply, this is a routine that’s able to balance my shiny patches (hello there, t-zone), hydrates my drier ones (a.k.a. my chin and under eyes), and doesn’t break me out or clog my pores.

Because of this, my skincare routine changes quite frequently, though I’m currently using a mix of products that seem to be working well for my skin. So, here’s what my current morning skincare routine looks like… (thanks Amy at A Little Boat Sailing for the post idea!)

When it comes to morning skincare, I want lightly layered products that sit well under makeup, as well as a cleanser that won’t dry out my skin or leave it feeling stripped, which is why I’m loving the BareMinerals Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser. My skin seems to really like a clay cleanser, and this one is no exception; it leaves my face feeling clean and smooth, but never tight due to its clay-to-cream texture.

Next up is toner, and my current go-to is the Caudalie Grape Water. Yes, I know that a lot of people don’t see the point in spray toners, but I find this step refreshing in the morning, and I do think it helps to add an extra layer of moisture. After I’ve left this to sink in for a few seconds, I’ll use the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream because it’s light and has a slight sheen to brighten under eyes.

As my skin’s been getting a bit sensitive and dehydrated lately, I’ve been favouring products that contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that helps your skin to ‘lock-in’ water from anything you layer on top of it. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is really affordable and it appears to be doing the job, though it needs to be applied quickly as it’s quite tacky.

Finally, I apply a light layer of the Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser. This is a really good pick for summer as it’s oil-free (so great for those shinier days!), it sinks in quickly, and it gives a nice smooth base for makeup. My current tub is on its last legs, and I can see myself purchasing many more of these…

What products are in your current skincare routine? Do you have any good recommendations for oily and combination skin?

Current beauty and style favourites: March 2017

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It might seem a little early for a monthly favourites post but hey, I’ve been loving (and trying) a lot of new things lately!

Plus, as I haven’t updated in a while (I’ve been really busy with a combination of work, driving lessons, and going on holiday last month), consider this as a bit of a two-in-one as these are products I’ve been using a lot over both February and March.

So, as I have a few makeup favourites, let’s start with those…

I’ve been really into warm eyeshadow looks lately, and have been searching for the perfect red and orange toned palette. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette seemed like it would really fit the bill, and I must say I’m not disappointed. There’s a good mix of warm and cool shades, as well as mattes and shimmers, so you can achieve a variety of looks for both day and night with this. The quality of the shadows is also a lot better than I expected; extremely pigmented and easy to blend.

Make Up For Ever is a brand I’ve been wanting to try for a while, so when I stumbled across the counter in the Bristol Debenhams, I knew I just had to try a few things! One of the items I picked up was the Ultra HD Foundation. Not only does this have a great shade range (the lovely girl on the counter tried 3 colours on me before finding my match), but the finish is perfect on my combination-oily skin. It gives a medium level of coverage, seems to smooth my pores better than any other foundation I’ve tried, and lasts an 8-9 hour workday with minimal fading on my chin and around the sides of my nose.

Lipsticks are something I’ve been wearing a lot lately, and I’ve recently discovered two new favourites. The first is the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Super Cindy, which is described as being a “taupey nude”. I just find this to be really flattering on my paler skintone, and it’s versatile enough to be worn with a range of eye looks. The second lipstick to make it into my favourites is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita I. This has a great formula (very creamy and long-wearing) and I love the mauve-y nude shade; it’s very 90s.

Primark are killing it lately; especially in the jeans department. When I visited the Bristol store a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the style and colour range of their skinny jeans, and I just couldn’t resist grabbing a few pairs as they were all priced at around £8-12 each. The only thing I’d advise? Try them on in store, if you can; although I bought the same size, some were harder to wiggle into than others!

As I’m like a magpie (as I’m attracted to anything shiny and sparkly), I also just had to get the silver loafers on the same trip. I love how they look with a baggier style of jeans (such as the Mom or Boyfriend fit), and if I remember correctly, they were only around £8 so they were a total bargain.

Still with me? Good, cause we’re nearly done! In terms of haircare, there’s only one product I’ve really been loving; the Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finish. This is my go-to for nights out after I’ve straightened my hair as it adds volume and texture back in. As someone with a lot of fine hair, I find my hair can easily look flat without it.

Lastly, I’ve been slowly making my way through Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes, a book that I’ve really been enjoying. I think her attitude (e.g. that “it’s perfectly normal to love both lipstick and literature”) is great, and I like how the book gives honest advice on a variety of things, such as how to shop at beauty counters and apply makeup on public transport, as well as which skincare items you actually need to invest in. If you’re a beauty junkie like I am, I’d recommend picking it up!

What are your current beauty, style and lifestyle favourites? Have you tried any of mine? Chuck me some recommendations!