Valentine’s Day at Lush- Video!

Hello kittens!

Apologies for the silence following my 2015 planning post. I’ve been very ill with the flu, and it’s taken me a while to recover and get myself going. As promised, I’ve made a video! I’ll still be writing here, but one of my goals for this year was to give YouTube another go.

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This time, I’m looking at all of the great products Lush have given us for Valentine’s Day- two bath bombs, three bubble bars, a soap, a shower gel and two lip products. Look out for DeeDee chiming in part way through!

As per the video, I am living for the Unicorn Horn. I’m a huge unicorn fan in all walks of life, so the name and imagery is right up my street. What wins it for me, however, is the cosmic, magic potion-y herbal fragrance- it’s very relaxing for body and mind.

The Kiss lipgloss is a super addition to my lip care products. I’m not much of a gloss girl, but this one I can get behind- it’s smooth and subtle, not sticky or tacky. It looks really pretty over colour, or on nude lips, and is really kind to your skin.

Prince Charming, Prince Charming, ridicule is nothing to be scared of… not that I would EVER ridicule this guy. I LOVE this fragrance, LOVE the effect the combination of softening, soothing vanilla and enzymic fruit notes have on my skin, and love the sweet-tart fragrance on my skin. Yum!

All of the products in the video are being discontinued on saturday in the UK- Valentine’s Day itself. Therefore, if you love any of these, or want to try them, stock up as soon as you can!

That’s all for today- I’m going to go and rest up so I can bring you more content soon.

Later days!

sigdraft

Lush Christmas: Bubblebars and Wands

Hello kittens!

Here’s the second segment of my Lush Christmas review. Today, we’re looking at the ultimate bubblebath experience- bubblebars.

Bubblebars

Bubblebars, like the bomb formula, were developed by the Lush founders to provide a gentle alternative to commercial bubble bath products. They’re also solid and ‘naked’, like many Lush products, which reduces packaging. They soften the water, produce lovely bubbles and just like ballistics, are vehicles for colour, skin kind ingredients and fragrance. However, unlike bombs, bubble bars can be broken up for multiple uses. Most bars can provide two baths worth of bubbles- some of the larger ones can do six or more.

Holly Golightly

Oh god I love this beautiful creation. Like a Christmas pudding plated in perfect Tiffany silver, this large bubblebar is the perfect gift for anyone who a) likes festive spice and b) enjoys an Audrey Hepburn reference.

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Holly Golightly’s holly topped and silver lustred outer coating yields to a vivid, holly-jolly green. She shares her fragrance with the shower gel Hot Toddy- warming cinnamon leaf oil, festive cloves and aromatic patchouli give a mulled feeling, only richened by the sweet orange and lime oils. It’s a really festive and restoring bath- perfect for a pick me up or a refreshing cool down after a hard day.

Being so large, you can get 4-6 baths out of this bubblebar. I like deep baths, and I like to spoil myself, so I use about half.

 

The Christmas Hedgehog

This cutesy little fella has a clarifying, cool fragrance, shared by last year’s Christmas soap, Noriko. He’s one of the most moisturising bubblebars out this year, thanks to his blue spines being made from a cocoa and shea butter rich bath melt formula.

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Floral ylang ylang complements balancing lavender in this bubblebar, with rose absolute to help with redness and soreness brought on by the cold weather.He’s also covered in pretty glitter and star confetti, for added festivity. In terms of size, he’s quite small, so he’s really only good for 1-2 adult sized baths.

 

Drummers Drumming

This bubblewand makes me smile every time I see it. Now, a bubble wand is like a concentrated bubblebar that you don’t crumble. Instead, you swish it like a magic wand in the water to release the bubble mixture, or run the tap over it into the bath, then allow it to dry off. In this way, bubble bars can be used again and again for 6-10 or even more baths.

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Drummers Drumming has a sweet strawberry scent, the same as the massage bar Strawberry Feels. It contains frankincense (aka Olibanum), if you weren’t feeling festive enough already, plus lovely bright bergamot and sweet, toning geranium. All I know is that is smells delicious, lasts ages, and looks like a retro drumming toy. You can actually use it for this purpose, as the jingle bells (also reusable- my cats are going to hate me) will give great percussive noise as the wand is spun.

 

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has been a festive favourite for several years at Lush. Its beautiful, dreamy fragrance of sexy jasmine and floral ylang ylang have been recaptured in the bath bomb Northern Lights this year, but I know no bath of mine is complete without some bubbles.

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Last year this fair sized bar (about 2-3 baths worth) was purple, but this year she’s a deeper blue, which I think gives a nicer colour in the bath.

 

The Christmas Penguin

If you like Monty, you’ll love this returning little guy. The Christmas Penguin is almost too cute to crumble. Almost.

He’s quite a large bubblebar, so you can easily get 2-3 baths from him. His fragrance is all citrus- aromatic bergamot, sweet orange blossom, bright and brassy lemon and bold mandarin give him a real zing to perk you up.

I love this little guy- he’s a great present for any penguin lover, and he also boasts a super unisex fragrance, so he’s a good option for any pink-shy men in your life. I know my brother received a few of these last year (for the former reason- he loves penguins).

 

Candy Mountain

Creamy Candy is one of the most popular year round bubblebars. Candy Mountain, its shimmery, swirly festive sibling is like a bigger, better version of it. Bigger, because its tall cone shape makes it suitable for 2-3 baths, and better because it’s shiny. Pink and white swirls give this bomb a real touch of Hooville charm. And now I need to rewatch the Grinch. Oh no.

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Like Creamy Candy, this bubblebar has a sweet candy fragrance and is packed with delicious and moreish vanilla. This also means it’s great for sensitive skin. This is a really pretty bubblebar in the water, and just as she comes.

 

Magic Wand

Snow Fairy fans! Bubble fans! Fear not! The Magic Wand has returned to fill your bath with pretty pink bubbles and oodles of pear drop-esque candy sweetness. Just like Drummers Drumming, this wand will last you for ages.

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Finished with a lovely little bell, I feel like a true mahou shoujou (magical girl- it’s an anime thing) with this one. Someone get me my moon tiara and shuffle my Clow cards.

 

I really love the selection of bubbles this Christmas, but with out a doubt my favourite is Holly Golightly. I love her intensely spicy smell, pretty glitter, festive form and bright green colour. Second place goes to Drummers Drumming, as it makes me smile, smells fantastic, and the beautiful two tone effect it creates in the water is super pretty.

Tune in next time for bath melts and soaps!

Later days!

sigdraft

 

Lush Christmas: Bombs and Ballistics

So… this post is somewhat belated, considering the Lush Christmas range launched in October, but hey, I try not to feel festive until after Halloween. Let’s do this.

Lush LOVE to go bonkers with new product releases for all holidays, but none so much as Christmas. Ignoring the Halloween products which are staying for the festive season, Lush has 30+ Christmas products this year, excluding gift sets (which are plentiful and GORGEOUS). For ease, I’ve separated them off into their categories: Bath Bombs, Bubblebars, Bath Melts, Soap, Shower and Miscellaneous, which covers a mixture of lip, skin and face care. Today, I’m looking at at the ever popular bombs. Obviously, this post is very picture heavy.

Bath Bombs

Also known as ballistics, these bath fizzers are designed to soften water for sensitive skin, whilst infusing the water with colour, skin kind oils and beautiful natural fragrance. These products are pretty much a gateway drug to the world of Lush- many people never get beyond this part of the shop, and many don’t know that Lush do a whole lot more than just make lovely bath goodies. That isn’t to say they aren’t excellent at making lovely bath goodies, as they surely are.

Dashing Santa

As bright and sunny in fragrance as his boots are gold, this bath ballistic (or bomb, if you like, though he’s hardly bomb shaped), Dashing Santa is a classically festive shaped bomb with bright festive colours. His shape is based on the Cosmetics to Go delivery man logo (this is the company that preceded Lush), but dressed in up a traditional santa outfit. His fragrance is all things orange- gutsy mandarin, sweet orange flower and aromatic Bergamot.These beautiful oils and extracts make for an uplifting, citrussy bath- perfect for the party season.

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Cinders

Cinders has been a Lush Christmas favourite for years, so it’s no surprise she’s back. Sweet and spicy, she simulated the fizzing and crackling of a warm hearth, filled as she is with popping candy and cuddly warming ingredients and scents. Sea salt softens the bath water and provides extra skin nourishing trace minerals, while almond and sweet orange oils sweeten and cinnamon leaf oil warms. This bomb is good enough to eat and leaves you smelling and feeling like a festive confection.

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So White

So White is inspired by Snow White, with her bubble-mix rich white ‘skin’, and her red-as-roses core. Crisp apple fragrances are quite apart from a lot of the usual Christmas fare. Light and beautiful flower notes complement this fragrance- namely rose, orange flower, bergamot and neroli. She’s quite a grown up and pretty bomb, and goes well with the So White shower gel if you need more bubbles.

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Luxury Lush Pud

Another returning Christmas favourite, this technicolour Christmas pud has the same sweet and lovely fragrance and the year round bomb, Twilight. Lavender is sweetned and softened by caramelly Tonka and perfuming Ylang Ylang for sophisticated candy sweetness. I adore Twilight, so I love this bomb.

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Shoot For The Stars

If you like honey, caramel and glitter, you’ll love this bomb. This bomb leaves streamers of bold colour and silver glitter on a deep blue backdrop as it fizzes round your bath, and has the same delectable fragrance as the ever popular Honey I Washed the Kids soap and year-round shower gel It’s Raining Men. For those who don’t know, it smells like honeyed creme brûlée. It has a citrussy addition of sweet orange and bergamot to balance out the fragrance.

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Golden Wonder

This returning creation is probably the most grown up and indulgent fragrance in the bomb range this year. Sharing its chocolate, citrus and boozy notes with two other products in the Christmas range, Golden Wonder is a treat for the senses. This large ballistic is covered in gold lustre, and has a secret filling. It’s and indulgent, grown up and beautiful bath that anyone would be overjoyed to take. Lime and sweet orange provide zingy citrus, while cognac oil adds sophistication. An alcohol-free version of this product is available online.

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Father Christmas

This ballistic returns each year with a new twist and different classic fragrance. This year he has the beloved Snow Fairy fragrance, so he’s a great addition for any S.F. fan. For those who don’t know, Snow Fairy smells like sweets, particularly (to me, anyway) Pear Drops. It’s sweet, intoxicating and addictive, and has been a seasonal favourite for years. Big and super festive, he’s a classic stocking filler. He also has a touch of bubble mix in his formula, so he’s extra softening and lovely.

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Butterbear

Oh my gosh, is this guy cute. He’s also super reasonable. Butterbear has the same sweet and heady vanilla-tonka fragrance as the year round classic Butterball, but instead of being round, he’s a cute, tubby little bear with a cocoa powder nose. He’s adorable. He’s a nice size and price for a stocking present or kid’s bath bomb, and with added chunks of cocoa butter he’s lovely and moisturising too. Perfect for the cold and skin-cruel winter months.

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If I had to pick a favourite from this selection, it would have to Golden Wonder. Cinders is a close second, as I love anything spicy, but as a little bomb, it is kind of the pauper to the prince that is Golden Wonder. Plus, Golden Wonder has the more exciting light show in the bath.

I’ll be back soon with the next segment of my review.

Later days!

sigdraft

Summer means Strawberries…

… and Strawberries means Strawberry Gateau.

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Strawberry Gateau

Ingredients

  • 300g Caster sugar
  • 250g butter or Stork
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 250g self raising flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 pint/600ml double cream
  • A couple of punnets of fresh British strawberries (approx 800g- try to get them from your home county if available)

For the sponge, preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and grease two round tins. I personally line mine with greaseproof… if I can be bothered. Usually I just liberally spritz them with fry light.

In a mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and 250g of the sugar until it is pale yellow and fluffy. Next, beat in the eggs until the batter is uniform.

Add in your vanilla and give a quick mix through, before folding in your flour.

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. My oven takes about 28 minutes, but my old oven took 23, so I’d check at around 20 odd minutes *particularly* if your oven doesn’t have a viewing window or light.

Allow your cakes to cool for at least an hour. I cool mine in their tins because I’m lazy.

Once the cakes are cool, hull your strawberries. Reserve 18-22 smaller strawbs, particularly those with nice shapes. Hull these. The others need to be hulled and then cut in half.

Whip the cream with the remaining 50g of sugar until it holds in stiffish peaks. Spread a thin layer of this on the cake you are using for the bottom of the Gateau.

Line up the cut tops of the half strawberries with the edge of the cake, working your way around before completing rings inside. Fill up the space as best you can- you should be able to fit in 3 or so riings of berries, plus the odd half in any big gaps.

Pour 2/3 of the remaining cream on top of the berries and spread it out into a lavishly thick layer. Be sure to not let it extend beyond the edge. To the edge is perfect.

Pop the other cake on top and press it down a little to make sure it is well set. Spread the remaining cream on the top in an even layer that is a little thicker around the rim,

Press the hulled strawberries into the cream around the edge of the cake. Finish, if you like, with a dusting of icing sugar. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

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This cake is simple enough, yet voluptuous, scrumptious and a real showstopper when you bring it to the table. Serving it in early summer, it is the perfect celebration of the season and a crowd pleaser for all ages. The cream is cool, light, fluffy and sweet, but not too cloying. The sponge should be moist, light and buttery, pleasingly sweet with vanilla. The strawberries are the real star ingredient, however. It is important to use in season fruit for this cake, as their summery sweetness, bursting with juice and goodness is what *makes* this dessert.  This cake will easily serve 8-10 as part of a meal, as it did at my Grandparent’s house (as per the pictures.

Enjoy. It’s bloody hot out- you deserve this cake.

All the best,

sigdraft