Lushoween 2016

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October is the best time of year. Never mind the leaves changing or the move into fall fashion, nope, it’s because you get both Halloween and Christmas candy. My sweet tooth goes into overdrive with happiness. The OTHER great October treat is Lush‘s Halloween and Christmas launches. The only time you year you can enjoy a glitter filled, pumpkin pie scented bath while eating a chocolate Santa #luxurybathtimegoals.

Lush Halloween 2016

I have picked up a bunch of the new Halloween items (and one or two sneaky bits which are technically from the Christmas range) so I am sharing these with you today.

Lush Boo Bath Melt

First up is this adorable little guy. I got mostly bath bombs except this one which is the Boo Bath Melt (£3.50). This is a ginger scented melt which when run under hot water will produce a small amount of bubbles as well. He makes the water soft and is great for the skin. Mine was snuggled up against the Sparkly Pumpkins in store so he’s got a bit of glitter on him but they don’t have glitter as part of the deal. Boo.

Lush Monsters Ball Bath Bomb

Here we have the Monsters’ Ball Bath Bomb (£4.25). He is the floral-sweet scented love child of Monsters’ Inc’s Sulley and Mike Wazowski and is freaking adorable. That eye of his is solid cocoa butter so you can massage this into your skin once his body has fizzed away. He is very powdery and soft so he really explodes into a cloud of pink and blue froth when you dunk him. He leaves the water a deep indigo colour. I just wish he had a core of silver glimmer to really up the wow factor.

Lush  Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb

This is the Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb (£3.75) and this is a lovely seasonal addition for those who really aren’t into the spooky Halloween shtick. Like a fallen carpet of fallen leave it turns your bath into a myriad of yellow, greens and reds. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the smell of this one (it is a woody-grass scent) but it is nice and fresh. I do prefer the sweet and spicy options this time of year but this makes a good change. Unfortunately it turns your water a bit of a blah rusty colour and it’s not particularly moisturising but it’s a fun spectacle while it lasts.

Lush Pumpkin Bath Bomb

Is this not just the most perfect pumpkin? This Jack O’ Lantern is the Pumpkin Bath Bomb (£3.95) and is a sweet cinnamon dream. I was really sad that they didn’t bring back the cinnamon scented Cinders but if anything this one is better. It has a hint of creaminess that really boost the moreish fragrance to the next level.

Lush Skullduggery Bath Bomb

This sugar skull is the Skullduggery Bath Bomb (3.75) and is actually my first purchase from the Lush Kitchen. This has the Calacas lime fragrance so is zesty and uplifting. I haven’t used him yet so I’m not sure if he is all that exciting in the water, but he’s a skull and it’s Halloween so I had to add him to the cart.

Lush Northern Lights Bath Bomb

The Northern Lights Bath Bomb (£3.95) was my favourite product from the 2014 A/W ranges so I was really excited to see it back. It’s in a more compact form with the blue and yellow inners now visible. Sadly it now doesn’t have stars or popping candy but it still have the same relaxing scent of ylang ylang and jasmine. It is fun to watch swirl in the bath and it softens the water well.

Lush Never Mind the Ballistics Bath Bomb

Finally, the least Christmassy Christmas product ever released: the Never Mind the Ballistics Bath Bomb (£4.25). This is super super sweet and fruity, like a pick ‘n’ mix essentially. It has orange, lime and banana included on the ingredients list so no, it’s not Christmassy at all but it also has a massive dose of cocoa butter (all that pink topping) so it’s a good one for your skin in the cold winter months and offers a zippy pick me up. It spins in the bath and is just a little punk rock – as much as a bath bomb can be at least!

Lush Halloween Haul 2016

And so ends my Lush Halloween haul. With the exception of Northern Lights, I only picked up things I hadn’t had before so I think that all of these products are new for this year (with the possible exclusion of Pumpkin, I’m not sure on that). I really miss the Lord of Misrule bath bomb as it has one of my favourite scents ever but it is around until Christmas so I might still get one or try to pick it up in the sale. Trying to save money this time of year is a bummer.

I’m sure I’ll be back with my Christmas purchases soon, there is a t-rex shaped bubble bar that has my name aaalll over it!

Pop Culture Snowflakes DIY

Today I wanted to share some links with you for these awesome DIY snowflakes. At work we have a little competition between the offices – a Christmas Dec-Off – to see who has the best decorating skills. Obviously we’re going to win in Bristol, we’re going for a handmade theme so I whipped up these snowflakes. I feel like we should get extra points for them being based on film, TV and games since that’s our biz.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s what I made and the links to the templates so you can make your own.

Pop Culture Snowflakes DIY

Game of Thrones House Sigils from Krystal Higgins. These don’t actually have a lot of internal bits to cut out so they’re the easiest of the bunch even though they look pretty complicated. I love them all but I think the Night’s Watch and the Baratheon ones are my favourites.

Pop Culture Snowflakes DIY

Star Wars by Anthony Herrera. There are so many Star Wars options on Anthony’s website, it’s amazing! I must admit I went for the easiest looking ones but I might attempt a few more. These are the original pop culture snowflakes and the best.

Pop Culture Snowflakes DIY

Minecraft snowflakes via Instructables. These ones were actually pretty difficult due to all the right angles! Make sure your knife/scissors are sharp.

Mario Mushroom from Atelier Drome. They also have a Kanye West template. Oh yeah.

Pop Culture Snowflakes DIY

Frozen by Anthony Herrera. I think Olaf is my favourite of the whole bunch. He is so adorable! Anthony also has Guardians of the Galaxy ones on his website too so make sure you check them out too if you’re a fan.

Making all of these took me pretty much an entire day but I enjoyed it and I’m revelling in all the compliments I’m receiving for my mad paper cutting skills.

Let me know what you think of these! Hopefully you’ll love them as much as I do.

Lush Christmas Haul

Lush Christmas Haul

I really was not intending on doing a Lush Christmas haul this year. Let’s be honest, there are more sensible things to spend your money on that bath bombs. I managed to resist right up until December but then my resolve well and truly crumbled. I sent David out with a list and came home from work last Friday to a big bag bulging with bath goodies. Happy days! I decided to get all stuff that I hadn’t tried before bar Cinders (fave bath bomb of all time so I had to get one) and most of it is new for this year. Here’s what I picked up:

Lush Christmas Haul

Buche de Noel Cleanser (£12.09). This is a gentle exfoliating cleanser with cranberries, almonds and cocoa butter. I’m not totally sold on the smell of it, like a dirty cake is the best way I can describe it. But I do love how it feels. My skin needs a good scrub on the reg but while also hanging onto as much moisture as possible and this is exactly what Buche de Noel does. Really happy I have such a big pot of it!

Lush Christmas Haul

Stardust Bath Bomb (£2.95). This is a lovely simple looking bomb, you can’t really see from the photo but it is covered in a very fine silver glitter. It is vanilla scented and quite inoffensive. I have used this and I’m afraid I didn’t love it though. It fizzes away to a blue centre so leaves your bath a slightly milky colour and it releases a bunch of multi-coloured dissolvable stars. It doesn’t really add anything beyond that though so overall a bit boring I’m afraid.

Lush Christmas Haul

The Magic of Christmas (£5.95). Another new star shaped product for this year. This is a reusable bubble bar which is basically Christmas on a stick. A cinnamon stick to be exact. It’s a large orange bar overlaid with a bright gold glitter (think Sparkly Pumpkin) and studded with cloves and star anise and finished with a bell and a red bow. The design team must have had a ball with this one! It smells like cinnamon (obviously) and orange. It’s lovely!

Lush Christmas Haul

Cinders Bath Bomb (£2.65). Next up is one of my favourite bombs, I always pick up a couple each year – lucky that it’s one of the cheaper ones. This is quite a small bomb but it’s enough. It is a sweet cinnamon scent and this one is packed with popping candy which is meant to make your bath sound like a crackling fire. I think this will be perfect with some bubbles from The Magic of Christmas so this will be the combo I’ll use for my Christmas Eve bath (I like my bathtime traditions).

Lush Christmas Haul

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar (£3.95). Aw, how cute is this Santa? There’s a teeny bit of shimmer to him, but not too much like with Stardust. He is strawberry scented so a nice change to the spicy scents that tend to dominate this time of year. Th white parts are actually bath melts (like the bubbleroons are) so he does a create job of softening the water and your skin as well as producing lots of bubbles.

Lush Christmas Haul

Yog Nog Bath Bomb (£3.95). This is a giant beast of a bath bomb! Based on the very popular soap, this one smells like cinder toffee – very sweet but also warming. I can see two big chunks of cocoa butter in mine so I know it’s going to be supremely moisturising. It’s very crumbly though so I’m having to keep it in it’s packaging to avoid getting Lush dust everywhere.

Lush Christmas Haul

Bar Humbug Bubble Bar (£3.65) This one is possibly the least Christmassy product of the range this year but it’s one of my favourites. It’s as though someone has stuck a liquorice stick in the Comforter so it’s sweet and fruity but with a kick of something special. I hope this one does well.

And that’s everything I got. I might try to get some other bits in the Boxing Day sale such as some of the Snow Fairy scented things I’ve had in the past as I really do love them and the festive Cranberry face mask. However, the Lush sale is a stress so I might not bother!

What are your favourites from Lush this Christmas?

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

I am a big fan of Arran Aromatics for their bath and body products. I associate them with luxury, posh hotels and wild Scottish scents. However, I must admit, it didn’t really cross my radar that they did home fragrance until fairly recently. Thankfully I’ve got my hands on one of their Christmas gift sets featuring all eight of the Perfumer Collection candles, and I must say, I’m converted.


Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

The Christmas gifting collection for 2015 has some really gorgeous packaging – very traditional with a design that incorporates evergreens and Nutcracker figures. The Light Up the Season Candle Sampler* (£30) comes in a tin that’ll save you on wrapping and is a lovely keepsake.

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

Light up the Season with Arran Aromatics

Included in this gift set is eight travel sized scented candles in glass jars. The fragrances are: After the Rain, Just Grapefruit, Bergamot & Geranium, Jasmine & Philadelphus, Amber Wood, Wild Gorse, Ultimate Fig and Cedarwood & Citrus. So it’s a good mixture of fruit, floral  and woody scents. Even though they are small in size they pack a real punch perfume-wise, easily scenting the room they are lit in.

I think this is a really great gift option for a couple as most of the scents are quite unisex as is the design of the candle. David has already squirrelled away the Cedarwood & Citrus and the After the Rain candle for his office! I’m a fruity fan so I am loving Just Grapefruit and the Ultimate Fig ones.

Arran Aromatics Gift Guide

Here are a few more picks from the Arran Aromatics gift section – all of them can be found here. Apart from the candles, my top choice is the Christmas stocking range that starts at just £12.50 – it’s packed with products and the stocking will be reused for years to come.

Hotel Chocolat | The Everything Collection & Gift Guide

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For me the perfect winter night consists of a few key ingredients – heating on, cosy pyjamas and fluffy socks adorned, David Attenborough on the telly and some chocolate to hand. Usually it’s whatever sharing bar was £1 that day in ASDA, but for a proper treat there’s nothing quite like a box of chocolates to dip into. And for the ultimate indulgence, for that box to be from Hotel Chocolat.

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Hotel Chocolat invited me to try something from their current gifting range and I knew I had to plump for the appropriately named Everything Collection*. A beautifully presented mini hamper, The Everything Collection offers samples of Hotel Chocolat’s most loved products, from white to dark chocolate, their take on popular desserts and a good dose of the ever popular ingredient  – salted caramel.

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For gifting, this set is a perfect present in itself at £25 but as the products are all individually wrapped they can be split up and given as small hostess gifts, stocking fillers, or that ‘in case of emergency’ back up present.

 

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Hotel Chocolat also have a tonne of special Christmas items at the moment. They have a wide range from £1.95 chocolate lolly stocking fillers to a £300 ultimate hamper stacked with chocolate and booze. Wow! Here’s my own wishlist/mini gift guide from the Christmas collection:

Hotel Chocolat Gift Guide

All items from £1.95 – £36. Shop the Christmas collection here.

 

Benefit Real Cheeky Party Gift Set | Review

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Obviously, buying Christmas presents is super duper fun. I love online shopping, reading gift guides and searching the shops for that special gift that will make someone’s day. Buuuut, inevitably in all that selfless hunting you will stumble across a gift for yourself. Sure, you can drop hints, you can write to Santa, you can outright demand that your boyfriend buy you it, but sometimes it’s easier just to buy yourself a little present.

The Benefit Sweet Cheeks set that came out last year was this for me. Last year I resisted buying it and missed out. So when the Real Cheeky Party palette was released this year I just had to get it.The RRP is £29.50 (apparently it’s worth £110.23) and is currently available at John Lewis for £26.55.

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The packaging itself is gorgeous, the inside is tin in the same design as the outer box. The pink and green might not be to everyone’s taste but I personally love it. The leaflet inside includes mini face maps to show you where to use each of the different powders to their best effect.

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The kit includes four blushers, a bronzer, a highlighter, an eyeliner and a mascara. Last years was the same, except instead of the eyeliner and mascara you got a fifth blusher (Bellabamba) and a small brush.

The bronzer is their famous Hoola bronzer which seems to be widely loved. I actually find it a bit orange toned for me so probably won’t get much use out of this one.

In terms of the blushers, I have had Dandelion and Coralista before and loved them both. Along with Rockateur and Sugarbomb, they are soft with a light pigment so are buildable and wearable. They have varying levels of shimmer with Dandelion being almost matte and Rockateur having the boldest shimmer.

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The ‘extras’ are a nice sample of the Watt’s Up highlighter and a mini of the They’re Real mascara and eyeliner. I really don’t like either of the They’re Real products – the eyeliner is flaky and the mascara is just not for me (I’ve found that people are either They’re Real fans or Roller Lash fans, I’m definitely the latter), but I love the Watt’s Up sample. It’s great that it is removable from the palette and has a cover to prevent dreaded powder fallout getting in it.

In a totally ideal world I would swap out the eyeliner and mascara for another blush – I really would have loved Hervana to be included as it’s so unique – and maybe even a sample of the Majorette cream blush in a similar style to the highlighter. Wishful thinking perhaps but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the 2016 edition!

Overall, I love this palette and I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of use out of it. It would of course make a fabulous Christmas gift for any make up fan, or like me, why not treat yourself? You deserve it!

For more gift ideas, check out my gift guide for the Beauty Queens here.

Christmas Gift Guides 2015 | For the Crafter

 

 

The Christmas gift guide bonanza continues with ideas for all your craft-loving pals. Whether a sewer, a knitter, or a er, candlestick maker, a hobbyist or a business boss, hopefully you’ll find some inspiration here.
Christmas Gift Guides 2015 | For the Crafter

Top row left to right: Mollie Makes Subscription (from £5 – special offer); Singer Sewing Machine Screenprint (£20); Knitting Needle Bag (£14.95); Sewing Skyline Mug (£8)

First up, everyone’s fave modern craft magazine, Mollie Makes. This is perfect for the hobby crafter as it comes with a mini project every month; Singer sewing machines are iconic vintage chic so this will look great in any craft room regardless of the interest; I do love a pun! This knitting needle bag is great and there’s also a matching tote bag for the wool; Crafting and tea goes as well together as crafting and cakes so this understated mug will be sure to go down well.

Bottom row left to right: Cross Stitch Kit (£6.50); Handmade Iron On Embroidery Patch (£5.44); Business for Punks (£10.49); Sewing Basket (£42)

I’ve been a regular subscriber to the Geeky Little Stitcher box for a few months now and I love it. There are lots of options on this Etsy shop for cute, simple cross stitch projects, and even an option for a build your own box; This patch is beyond awesome!; There are plenty of creative and craft business books available but I like the look of this one (craft beer is crafting in a way!). I don’t agree with a large amount of BrewDog’s marketing strategy but they’re certainly an interesting case study and I’m sure it’ll be thought provoking for any small business owners; Lastly, a bit of a classic – a Cath Kidston sewing box – ideal for all ages.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the gift guides. Let me know what is on your crafty wishlist.