Monday, December 28, 2015

-Lush Perfumes Winter 2015-

-Lush Perfumes-




This winter all of the Lushies out there were given and extra special little treat when Lush released some of the most coveted scents available in their perfume forms. I'm lucky enough to live in London and thus have access to the mecca of Lush stores - Oxford Street. Oxford street proudly displayed all of these little beauties for a few weeks this December and The Kitchen did a few days run of them. Oxford Street also appears to have an ever growing gorilla perfumes section - so here's to the future!


The scents that they released are as follows: Snow Fairy, Honey I Washed The Kids, Celebrate, Lord Of Misrule and Tuca Tuca. There was one other, Tramp, although I cannot bear the smell so it doesn't make an appearance in my very own little line up.

-Snow Fairy-



Snow Fairy is sweet and subtle, it shares its scent with the most beloved Snow Fairy shower gel and replicates it perfectly in a perfume form. It smells like sweet candy floss and hard boiled sweets - on first sniff it's almost like you have walked into an old fashioned sweet shop and stumbled into a pot of candies. Although the scent is powerful at first I don't find it to be particularly lasting, one spitz may last a couple of hours but doesn't linger around beautifully until the end of the day. I suppose it's like a bag of sweets - a moment in your hand then gone in a flash.

-Honey I Washed The Kids-


Honey I Washed The Kids is another sweet and fresh smell, it has a rich honey like note matched with citrus twangs and a deep toffee like note that rounds it all off. It comes from the Honey I Washed The Kids smell family, so if you enjoy Shoot For The Stars, Honey I Washed The Kids Soap, It's Raining Men Shower Gel, Honey Bee Bath-bomb or even Gold Fun, then you're in for a treat with this one. As for the staying power I find that it lasts a good few hours on the skin, a little longer that Snow Fairy, however it would need a re-spritz if you're having a long day out and about. It does make me question the staying power of sweeter smelling perfumes - but this is just too gorgeous to pass up and I honestly don't mind reapplying from the delicate glass bottle it comes in.


-Celebrate-


Celebrate is often associated with Celebrate Body Lotion's festive appearance, making a lot of people smell the scent and think of Christmas. For me, however, this is really not true. I think that this is a scent that can be worn all year round, a fresh burst of citrusy goodness with a little boozy kick on the end. When you compare the scent of Celebrate perfume directly to the lotion I feel that the perfume has something more to it. It's less a citrus blast and has a more rounded scent with a slightly musky tinge on the end note. Although you get the full citrus blast of the orange and lime this is a more grown up citrus scent, it's definitely something that will be staying on my perfume shelf for a long time to come.
As for the lasting time of Celebrate I feel that this one does last a good while, it burns down from its powerful citrus wake up call to a somewhat musky citrus linger.

-Lord Of Misrule-


Lord Of Misrule is probably one of the most well known Lush scents right now - people are going mad for it! I even saw that someone had a bottle for sale on E-bay for a whopping £90 - sheer madness!
As for the scent of the perfume it matches the Lord Of Misrule scent perfectly, it's sweet and woody and slightly mysterious. The over-ruling smell is that of the patchouli but it is wonderfully softened from a somewhat hash smelling oil into a sweet yet robust fragrance. The pepper adds a little kick of a spicy note and brings both the patchouli and vanilla together wonderfully. This is also, by far, one of the longest lasting scents released this winter. Putting it on at the start of a day it's vibrant and strong, towards the end of the day it gently fades down to a softer version of it's starting self. I've never had the need to re-apply this and have found that it lingers in just the right ways - it catches people attention, but not because they're gagging!

-Tuca Tuca-


-Tuca Tuca-

Tuca Tuca  is a rich mesh of Violet, Vetivert and Sandalwood and for a long time didn't share its scent with many things - then along came Don't Rain On My Parade in the Oxford Street releases and BAM it was back on people's radars.
Let me start by saying Vetiver is one of my favourite smells, ever. To me it's like having a whiff of a fresh log fire and I seem to love anything that its included in - that includes Dear John the 'mens' fragrance that I regularly wear (don't start me on gendered fragrances). Tuca Tuca did not disappoint, when you first take a whiff you get whisked up in a mix of violet, sandalwood and vetiver and it almost takes you off to a forest glade to hang out with the fairies for a while. It's also very strong and very lasting, it doesn't give up on you all day and I noticed you could even smell it in the mornings if you forgo a night-time bath.

Overall these fragrances have been some of my favourite releases from Lush in a long time and I have to say they have made me really excited for things to come!

If you've made it this far - have a lovely day and see you soon! ;)

love,

Holly.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel Review

-Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel Review-


If you're in need of something spicy that warms your soul then you've stumbled on the right thing for you. Hot Toddy comes packing a spicy cinnamon punch, with a sweet gold speckled after note and it's really not for the faint hearted.

I picked my bottle up during the Christmas season of 2014, this is the only one that remains and you can probably tell that its seen its fair share of love since. But what's so special? You ask. Well, let me tell you, it's a fiery burst of cinnamon with a sweet kick of lemon, lime and benzoin wrapped up in gold flecked fiery red luxury. 


The smell can be directly compared to Holly Go Lightly the green Christmas pudding bubble bar that a lot of people have become acquainted with over the 2014 and 2015 Christmas periods. It's hot and sweet and soul warmingly good, although if you don't like cinnamon... things could go badly for you here.



As for the actually gel, it's of a mid thickness, a lovely rich red colour (like cinnamon, again, so. much. cinnamon.) with flecks of gold running through it. Don't worry however, you won't be left looking like tinkerbell has thrust her dust all over you, it washes off fairly easily and leaves your skin strong smelling and deeply festive.



As you can see there's quite a hefty list of ingredients in this one!

Until next time, have an amazing day!

Love,

Holly.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Lush Happy 4 Sad Shower Gel Review

-Lush Happy 4 Sad Shower Gel Review-


Happy 4 Sad was originally designed to be uplifting during the darker times of the year, and, since I'm from the UK, it was a definite must have when I saw it in the kitchen back in April (yes - its been with me that long, what can I say, I'm a hoarder!). When you first pick up a bottle of Happy 4 Sad there is one major thing you notice - it's so darn runny. This is by far one of the most runny, watery shower gels that Lush makes, the top ingredient is a Dove Orchid Infusion followed by water and a little further down the list it makes its way to aloe vera - all of which are not the most gloopy of ingredients.


When you trickle it out of the bottle into your hand (yes it trickles, no it doesn't splooge) you are met with a light purple gel and the most gorgeous smell. In fact the scent of Happy 4 Sad is by far one of my favourite smells that Lush make - it's zesty and fresh, with a mix of grapefruit and mandarin oil it leans more towards the orangey scent line. The nice thing about this gel is that it is also undercut with a soft floral twinge, something very delicate that cuts through the harsh acidy smell that citrus can sometimes have and leaves you with a perfectly blended mix. 



Does it really make you happy is you have S.A.D? Well the smell certainly lifts my spirits, it doesn't feel like it weighs you down and lasts a few hours on the skin, giving you that citrusy lift when you really need it.

Here's the full list of ingredients for those of you who like to be nosey (like me!):


Have a lovely day and see you soon!

Love,

Holly.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lush Butterball Shower Gel Review


 -Lush Butterball Shower Gel Review-



Hello! Its been a while hasn't it? Today I thought I'd brush the dust off of my blog and bring you a review of the most coveted, most loved, most amazing smelling Butterball shower gel from Lush Cosmetics. Butterball was recently bought into the kitchen and, being in the same family of products as Butterball Bathbomb and Butterbear bathbomb, I just had to get my hands on it.


When you first twist the top off of Butterball you have a very definite waft of cocoa butter meeting your nostrils, the sweet chocolatey creamy fragrance that you'll be very familiar with if you've ever used a cocoa butter enriched product. The part I was really amazed by was that the smell was so perfectly cocoa butter, it wasn't chocolate, it was rich, sensational, unrefined cocoa butter. Now I say this as a user of raw cocoa butter, I make lotions, chocolates and hair masks, I'm very used to the smell of pure cocoa butter and I love it, so this was a perfect surprise for me. Although the top of the ingredients reveals it's set in a ylang ylang infusion I can't detect a floral note, maybe a hint of sweetness but nothing on the level of something like Rose Jam or Happy 4 Sad.


When you finally jump into your bottles and begin to lather it up you're met with an extremely thick gel, so thick that it's almost like a lotion. I must add at this point that a little goes a long way, it lathers really well (although I think my local water could lather a stone, I guess I'm just lucky!). The smell lasts on the skin for quite a while, just a soft powdery cocoa butter touch and nothing so overpowering that you couldn't wear another scent over it.

As for the ingredients:


The list is pretty simple, lots of cocoa butter and coconut oil along with a a lashing of shea butter make this a moisturising treat for sorry winter skin.

Overall this an amazing shower gel, the smell is a little bit of perfection and the feeling of your skin after use is just divine! What do you think to butterball?

Love,

Holly

(See you again soon ;) )

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Lush Mother's Day Releases 2015


It only seems like two minutes since the Lush valentines set was released (and I'm sure it will be only another two until the Easter lot land) but this little Mother's day selection is not to be missed! If you had to pick an overall scent for the whole lot it would be toffee and rose with hints of wood, blossom and jasmine. Awesome.


Bubblegrub | Bubble Bar


Their permanently shocked little bubbleroons are the cutest little things, with vanilla ears and chocolate button eyes staring out at you I would almost feel bad crumbling one into the tub. They have a woody scent with a sweet vanilla after note, a mix of sandalwood and vetiver these are definitely the cutest of the releases.

Mother Superior | Bubblebar


Each with their own squid face, Mother Superior, steals Sakura's scent and puts it into a chunky bubblebar form. these guys are a lot bigger than I thought they would be, a generous palm size with plenty of uses to come form them. The smells is wonderfully soft and light, with a fresh zesty tone in the background, perfect for a lively tub time. 

Rose | Bubble Bar


This years mother's day realises are all about the bubbles, Rose is very self explanatory, it's not a newcomer but is certainly worth its returning spot. The rose scent is pure and unadulterated, its tiny shape is cute and the perfect amount for one bath. If you like those then do not avoid this one.

Rose Bombshell | Bath Bomb


Carrying on with the rose theme we have the rose bombshell, it has a tangier rose scent than the rose bubblebar but smells beautiful all the same. Inside there are layers of rose petals that call for a glass of wine and a luxurious hour long soak.

Secret Garden | Bathbomb


This is another returner, with an overall rosey scent you'll find yourself bathing in a garden of petals and a deep green water. The bomb itself takes a little while to burn out, shedding layers of pink, green and yellow and finally shooting out petals of all colours. Perfect for floral lovers and pairs well with grass or rose jam.

Love You Mum | Soap


This has to be one of my favourite smelling soaps ever. It's wonderfully scented with jasmine and bergamot, with a creamy after note. It is so so so soft and when you first pick it up in the store it can quite easily slip out of your hands! If you like jasmine, and you love softening soap, pop this one in your basket!

Yummy Mummy | Body Conditioner


I have died and gone to heaven. Yummy Mummy smells like yognog and it's raining men had a love child that likes to run around in flowery fields. It's sweet and toffee like with a late floral lightly strawberry note. It soaks in amazingly well and nourishes the skin like an absolute dream. Why do the best things have to be limited?!

Yummy Mummy | Shower Gel



Yummy Mummy shower gel shares the same scent as the body condoner, meaning that layering one scent never got easier. The shower gels has a whole host of silver lustre, but not too much, you'll find a couple of bits clinging on for dear life after a bath, but it's not going to make you go all Edward Cullen. If this sexy twosome doesn't come back next year I'm going to drive over to lush HQ myself!

Now for the sad news, there was one final product, one little beauty i was so excited about, but unfortunately Lush Regent Street hadn't had their shipment. So we're missing out ultraviolet this time, but do check back soon as I'll be clawing at their doors to get it!

Holly

xox







Sunday, January 25, 2015

Giving Up Sugar | Part One | 5 Sweet Alternatives to Sugar




Sugar is a nightmare and arguably an addiction we all have, it's a sweet, sweet instant satisfaction and giving it up can be the hardest thing to do. So I thought I would put together a little series of posts on how to give up sugar. Now this advice isn't coming from someone that is trying it out for the first time, or from someone that has read the books and hasn't given it a go. I have successfully stayed of the white stuff for a year and a half, so my journey is well under way and I really hope what I have learnt can help you!



-Part One | Sweet, sweet alternatives-



One of the hardest things about giving up sugar is going cold turkey, when you take away everything sweet your body goes a little bit crazy and you can find yourself craving things you never would have before. When you first begin you should try out some sweet alternatives, they won't raise your blood sugar as much and have a much smaller impact on your system, but they're sweet all the same! So here we go:

Xylitol | Birch Tree Sugar
Xylitol is extracted from birch trees, it's mainly made of polyols (a non-digestable sugar) so it's a fantastic way to sweeten things up without the sugar rush. It's perfect for diabetics and also those that want an almost like-for-like sugar alternative. One warning - if you eat too much it's a laxative. Your bum will be on fire. TMI I know.

Coconut Sugar | Coconut Nectar
Coconut sugar comes in two forms; granulated and syrup. It's perfect for sweetening up your tea and baking healthier brownies, its low GI means its impact on your blood sugar is also very low. Taste wise it's more like brown sugar, it's rich and warm. Plus it has a huge amount of minerals and amino acids in it, so it's actually beneficial to your body!


Honey | Raw or Unpasteurised
Now I'm being a bit specific with raw honey, this means it stills has its antibacterial, somewhat medicinal properties. If you go for a refined honey (think rowse/supermarket brand) they've bee through the works and have very little goodness left, you might as well pour fructose syrup on your porridge. Honey sweetens things up, helps your immune system and can also help rid you of hay fever if you source it locally.

Agave Nectar 
This one comes from the same plant as tequila whoooo but doesn't get your tipsy not so whoooo. It's made of mainly fructose with a dash of glucose, so again it does't raise your levels up to drop them back down. Agave had all the attention a few years ago, but now it's not so much in the lime light, it only comes in syrup form, making it more useful for beverages and liquidy meals than anything else.

Maple Syrup
This one is a little bit too similar to sugar for my taste, but it has a whole different level of nutrition. It has a host of minerals and actually benefits your body, rather than just putting it into overdrive. 


So there we go, some sweet alternatives, part two will be all about cravings, how to get rid of them and how to satisfy yourself when you're first giving up, so stay tuned!

Holly

xox


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The candle that smells like a log fire | Muji Log Fire



Over this winter period I have fallen love with one candle and one candle alone. That's not to mean that other candles haven't tried to fill that waxy gap in my life, but this beauty has left me truly longing for more. I don't think it really needs an introduction, but here's one anyway:

Log Fire | Feu De Bois | Muji | £3.50

It smells like a burning log fire in a rustic cabin hidden in the woods with a hunky woodsman chopping up some logs in the background somewhere. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but it does smell damn delightful. It's amazingly fragranced for a fairly cheap candle, I can smell it burning away from the other side of my flat, I might not live in a mansion but I don't live in a box either so that smell sure has to travel.

To describe the smell, it's quite smokey with layers upon layers of indistinguishable scents that just leave you filled with a cosy warm feeling. Plus it has an 18 hour burn time, 18 hours! If you're into woody scents and cosy feelings, give this one a shot!



Holly

xox

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Secret Girl's Survival Kit


Every girl needs their own little survival kit, something that can fit into every bag and is there for emergency use. So here's how to put together your very own modern day survival kit. The little bag I am using is a small coin purse from Irregular Choice, it's only about 3" by 3" big (10cm by 10cm) and fits a whole little world inside.

Beauty | The essentials


Face Wipes | you can pop a single or more, your choice face wipe into a ziplock bag, these work wonders for make-up emergency, or maybe you've stuck your hand into something sticky on the tube and are just too far away from the next bathroom.
Skin Oil | Skin oil packs a punch, a tiny little bottle goes a thousand times further than moisturiser and is perfect for a number of uses, from dried out nails to sorry looking skin.
Sun Cream | It's only when you really need suncream that you don't have it on you. Sample sachets fit perfectly into a small space and have enough in them to cover all your delicate areas and keep you safe.


Perfume | Mini trial bottle fit in well, they're perfect if you get asked out on a last minute date or just need to freshen up. Ask around beauty counters for some samples and keep one in your kit.
Lip Balm | Who doesn't need lip balm, I'm currently using the kiss by Lush and it works wonders and also comes in a handy teency tiny tin.


Hair Styling Products | I use a tiny little tin, that once contained the charity pot by Lush, and have decanted off a bit of Dirty (again by Lush, I know I'm obsessed) and keep it there for those bad 'fro days.


Bobby Pins | What doesn't break on you like an elastic bobble? What can you carry thousands of and never notice? What helps with every hairstyle? Bobby pins. Don't leave the house without these beauties.

Health | The Essentials


Plasters | From blisters from heels, scraped knees again from heels or any general scratch and scrape, plasters are a saviour on so many levels.
Medicine | You never know when a headache or a cramp could spring up, or when your buddy could really be in need. Cut down your pain medicines to make them easy to carry about!
Tooth Pick | Ain't nobody wants food in their teeth. Keeping a floss pick in your bag can help you out in dental emergencies, run to the bathroom and floss away.


Tampons | I don't think I need to explain this one, just be that girl who always has one.

The Final Essential


Money |  Tuck away a note or some change, any other challenge you face, from taxi fares to phone calls, can be easily dealt with. Plus you won't panic so much if you loose you credit card.

What would you have in your survival kit?

Holly

xox








Sunday, January 18, 2015

10 Reasons Chocolate is good for you (and should be guilt free!)


10 reasons why chocolate is actually good for you or I just baked a batch of muffins and need to justify myself.

Damn muffins.
1| Chocolate is a superfood, the active part of chocolate, cocoa, is so rich in flavanols that it can increase blood flow to the brain, reducing signs of ageing and keeping us in tip top condition.

2| Chocolate is high in magnesium, helping us to relax both our mind and our body. This makes it fantastic for PMS i swear this isn't just justifying the 40 bars of chocolate I eat during that time, it's actually true.

3| Chocolate contains ananadamine, a neuro transmitter that helps you regulate your mood, so when you're feeling like a grumpy bunny, don't lash out, reach for the bar (of chocolate, not the mojitos).

4| Chocolate's high levels or plant sterols and flavonoids can help keep both your cholesterol and blood pressure in check. If eating the good stuff now helps for future health, count me in!

5| That antioxidants found in chocolate can help prevent signs of ageing, from the things happening inside, to external signs too!


6| When picking your bar of goodness, reach for one with a higher cacao content, or even go raw and unprocessed. Raw chocolate retains so much more goodness and much higher levels of antioxidants, you can see my list of awesome raw chocolates here!

7| Chocolate contains l-theanine, which increases levels of dopamine, that's the stuff that just makes you feel plain happy.

8| There are low levels of caffeine that occur naturally in chocolate, meaning it can wake you up and keep you up beat.

9| Chocolate can actually help weight loss, it keeps you happy and on track, letting you have a little feel good treat with a huge nutritional value.

10| It can help keep your blood sugar level, meaning you won't get those sudden hunger pangs and you will get a happy tummy.




Now go out and get yourself a guilt free bar of chocolate!

Holly

xox


Friday, January 16, 2015

How I switch off from the world.


Take your phone off of the hook and sign out of twitter yes you can do that this is all about some much needed alone time. In the modern world it can be quite hard to find a moment to properly disconnect from life and I really believe it's something we all need to do from time to time. 


One thing I love to do on my me evening is cook up something interesting. I love spending time in the kitchen and there's something so refreshing about having the time to try something new out and not having to resort to a takeaway pizza. If you don't like cooking as a whole, try baking, nothing beats making something from nothing, it's a really rewarding little luxury.


As the night wears on, you've completely destroyed your kitchen with a mix of tomatoes, cocoa powder and what looks like mayonnaise, it's time for a bath. When you're going for the full me time extravaganza it's great to take a long soak in the tub and pamper yourself a little bit. When you have no place to go, no-one to entertain and the only worry you have is which bubble is going to pop last, you've got yourself a perfect slice of relaxation.


When you're properly relaxed, the only thing left to do is let your mind escape for a while, tuck into a book, switch your fairy lights on and drift into a world without so many burdens.



Remember you can always switch off.

How do you spend a relaxing evening alone?

Holly

xox