BPAL Lilith’s 2016 Review

So it’s that time of year again, the release of the Lilith collection from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

This is my First BPAL order direct from the Lab (I’m in the UK) and I have to say despite the expensive postage, I am thrilled with this years Lilith’s!  I was very pleased to receive my order FAST fast and loved the extras.  In my parcel I received 8 free imps and a pretty post card along side my 5 bottles, which were mostly foody types.

OK review and pretties time…

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First off I’d just like to say how beautiful Lilith and her labels are! And there wasn’t a bottle I didn’t like! I brought from The Motherhood collection 2016 (the second part of the release) and these scents are incredible! So from left to right:

‘The Devil Will Find Work for Idle Hands. This scent is a ridiculous mélange of blue cotton candy, strawberry marshmallows, and whipped cream with sprinkles.’ This is a sweet treat for sure. Strawberry marshmallow leads, followed by a soft dry down of blue creamy candy. Love it.

‘Vampire Night at the Movies. An odd mix of salted popcorn, butter, clove, and a few drops of stage blood.’ This is natural popcorn (as apposed to a more synthetic smelling super sweet popcorn scent) The clove note to me smells more like soft cinnamon which adds a nice warmth to the scent. There is also a powdered sugar smell to me, the sort of sugar that coats doughnuts. I really like this one. But it does dry down powdery.

‘Perfect Fifths. Bow rosin and bubblegum.’ Oh yes this is pink childlike bubble gum and bow rosin. The bow rosin adds a sharp chemical powdery smell, but it’s quite pleasant. This perfume is super strong.

‘Little Lady Frankenstein. This should smell like electricity and potions.’ This was the only scent I was on the fence with. It doesn’t really smell like the (sort of) description lol. This is like white electricity and strange floral’s on me. There is also a tinge of lemon grass? and a semi citrus note. I like the smell in the bottle… but having tested it twice, it’s odd on skin.

‘Motherhood. Snake Oil, lavender, bubblegum, and gummi bears.’ OK so I was sure this would be the one I liked the least (I hate lavender) but it turns out I love it the most. This will be the sell out hit for sure. On cold sniff, this is blue sour candy and something dark lurking around the corner. On the skin… oh WOW, PURPLE snake oil! The bubble gum and candy swirl around in this dark purple mysterious scent. I can tell this will age beautifully, if it lasts that long haha.

So all in all… worth every penny. Grab them whilst you can. I’m now eagerly awaiting the ‘Weenies’ release (Halloween) too. So many pretties, so many!

 

 

Market Make up. Cheap cosmetics, crazy colour palettes and matte lips!

My last blog was about pricey cosmetics at bargain prices. It felt only right to follow up with cheap ‘market brand’ cosmetics and their quality.

I will let you know quickly… I have spot prone very light skin with an oily t zone and dry elsewhere… yes i’m working with washed out colourless hell lol. So products are brought based on my pale icky complexion lol.

I would never normally have ‘gone market’ when it comes to make up (Icky 80’s memories of gritty, strangely smelling  cosmetic cheapies!) However I felt that drug store brands have been lacking colour and matte variety recently. I was also curious as to if known brands could be rivalled?!

I am a big fan of both matte and multi-use make up, variety and decent colour pallets are a must along with quality. I’m also a lover of unusual shades. Lets face it… I WANT IT ALL lol. So here’s what I brought and how it went…

The photo below:

Left hand palette W7 ‘Neon Nights’ electric eyes £3.99 from Superdrug

Right hand palette Technic ‘Electric beauty’ £2.49 from local market

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WOW these are PIG.MENT.STRONG. Yes after testing, i’m impressed. I will say that the neon yellow and pastel orange are the weaker colours, they are more a ‘hint of’ than bold. But even this worked well. What I love about the W7 palette is that it is well constructed. Beautiful chunky clear acrylic cases with nice sized pans.

Between the two sets, I love the scope… From metallics and neons to pastels. Very nice! No smell and with a good primer… they last hours! I was shocked with the variety of pallets offered by W7 and the range of colours are beautiful. I WILL be buying the Mermaid palette with all the greeny bluey purples.

OK, next up are my top pick correctors, highlighters and face powder. (Needed with my skin which is a hot mess lol) Ouuu and a blush which works as a face powder!

Top left. MUA ‘Pro-base prime and conceal.’ £2.99 Superdrug

Top right. MUA ‘Pixel Perfect Multi-Blush’ (Pink Blossom) £1.99 Superdrug

Bottom left. Make Up Gallery ‘Smoothly Does It’ pressed powder (Natural Beige 2) £1.99 Market

Bottom right. W7 ‘Let’s Go’ Illuminating face powder £1.99 Market

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OK first up TL: This is a hard pressed correcting base. Now this is solid, I’d recommend a hard powder brush. Despite that, this is a very good corrector. Not overly heavy, and the pan is big enough that if you need more of one colour, just use the brush to pick it up. (I used to be a fan of Avons colour correcting balls… but it didn’t give me the ability to select more of a certain colour, well this does!) I do wish it was a softer powder though, i really have to work the brush to get powder to transfer.

TR: I LOVE this, but not for its intended use lol. It is marked as a ‘blush’ but the blossom shade is so light and soft… I use it as an all over powder. It gives a very natural pale pink glow to my skin. It is softer than the pro-base and lasts longer. For a coloured pan, it’s comes out whitish pink… gorgeous! I love the ‘English Rose’ look.. and this gives me exactly that! Well done MUA!

BL: This is a straight up face powder. It covers pretty well. I like that it is LIGHT light. But it doesn’t cover as well as my usual choices (Either Rimmel or my beloved Soap and Glory powders) This is the one that feels most like ‘market cheap’

BR: W7 for the win again… this is a decent all over powder but also great for that dewy glowing look. It does have a micro pastel glitter in the mix… but this is not overly obvious on the skin. This would suit any light/medium skin tone, but I can imagine red heads rocking this shade!

So, the next photo quickly covers creams… conceal, prime, glow!

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On the left we have the Multi Concealer Palette ‘Hide It!’ 69p from Body Care. This is a Technic product. I like the creams and they work pretty well but the case is kind of falling apart on me. I later found out that this is a tester product and Technic sell a bigger concealer palette. The only issue with this product, is that it takes some blending… these are block colours and quite heavy.

On the right we have the W7 ‘Prime and Glow’ illuminating primer. £1.99. This is the better quality cream base. Very light… very bright! How ever, I struggle to mix creams and powders. So I’m not a massive fan of either of these products. They are fine for a more natural look… but when you begin to introduce other make up components these both go a little ‘cakey’

 Next are my beloved matte colour and natural shade lipsticks! £1.99 each

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First off I must apologise for the overly bright photo (taken with my phone) the colours are a touch darker in real life. So from left to right:

1. W7 Matte ‘Angel’ (soft chalk pink)

2. W7 Nude Kiss ‘Naughty Nude’ (soft chalk peach)

3. W7 Mad about Matte’s ‘All About Me’ (dusky mauve)

4. W7 Mad About Matte’s ‘On A Roll’ (deep purple)

5. MUA Matte ‘Totally Nude’ (warm pinky beige)

6. W7 Shimmer Lips ‘Pearl Shimmer’ (pearl white)

W7… wow well done. Matte FANTASTIC! 1-4 great colour choice. Nice thick even application. Surprisingly long lasting, minimal transfer. I reapplied after 4 hours in general… but that was after eating, drinking etc…  so not bad at all. I REALLY like these and I love the colour range.. it’s vast. The only downside was that the dark purple stained my lips… but this was easily removed by adding lip balm then wiping off. (The balm lifts the colour)

Now W7 Pearl Shimmer was the only one that wasn’t a winner for me. It was a little patchy. Number 5.

MUA was a nice shade matte but faded faster… I seem to reapply this more often. But for the price… you can afford to.

The biggest let down in cheaper lipsticks were the Technic range. (Not shown in photograph) I could not get them to last and they were very patchy. ‘Pink Lady’ was a bright pink shimmery lipstick in the tube… on application there was NO colour on my lips… it went straight in the bin.

So my last photo’ includes a few random buys I grabbed out of curiosity.

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Top to bottom:

Technic Eyeshimmer stick in a sort of ‘dark purpley plum’ £1.49. This was a beautiful colour and applied really smoothly, but lasted seconds. This smudged everywhere and would not hold its colour.

Brow Wow pencil ‘Med/Dark’ Barry M. 99p and worth every penny. This is dark and comes with a brow brush. Long lasting. Nice little buy.

Miss Beauty ‘373 Glitter’ nail polish. £1. From Pound Land. This is a clear varnish with a blue pink pearly shimmer and micro glitter. With a decent clear top coat.. this lasted days without chipping. I love those hard to find pearl effect cosmetics!

Finally the last 2 lipliners are from Wilko’s (yep I know! lol) 99p. ‘In The Nude’ and ‘Honey Berry’ Both are the exact colour of the outer pencil. These needed a little warming up from my breath first befor the were soft enough to apply without scratching my lips lol. But did last longer than expected. I’m still not excited by these, and the packaging design feels cheap.

Soooo.. all in all there is a clear winner in the cheapie stakes. W7 well done, a quality array of cosmetics, fantastic colour choice and finish. I’m impressed! Love the Matte lipsticks. MUA comes a fair second and Technic’s crapped out lol. MUA  ‘Pixel Perfect Multi-Blush’ (Pink Blossom) has become a staple make up bag must, along with W7 Matte lipstick in that unusual dusky Mauve colour.

Who would have thought market make up had come so far!

Cosmetics, my £200 make up haul for under £30. You can too!

Did I really get so many branded products for so little… yes. Did I need to sell my soul… no. Did I fill in questionnaires or provide my bank details… hell no lol.

I am one of those annoying people who always seems to swipe a bargain, on the very same item someone else brought 5 minutes befor for 10 times the amount.  Now don’t get me wrong, I do put the hard work in. I will compare, hunt, coupon, swap, shop and take advantage of those 3 for 2 offers. But there is an easier way to grab branded make up at a fraction of the cost… keep reading!

So first off, let me show you some of the Max Factor cosmetics I currently use and a breakdown of their recommended cost. (Just so you know that I didn’t pull my pricing out of thin air, most of these products I looked up on the Boots drug store website)

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Max Factor RRP:

 Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 foundation and Serum £12.99. Smokey Eye Effect 2 step eye shadow £6.99. Flipstick colour effect £8.49 x2. Gloss Cube £6.99 x2. Vibrant Curve Effect gloss £7.99 x2. Colour X-pert liner £6.99. Liquid Effects Pencil £6.99. Mono Eye Shadow single £3.99. Wild Shadow pots £4.99 x2

Next up we have my L’oreal, Mabelline and Rimmel cosmetics currently in use.

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Maybelline RRP:

Big Eyes Liner £4.99. Colour Show Blush ‘em £5.99 x2. Big Eyes shadow palette £6.99 x2

Rimmel RRP:

Glam Eyes HD £6.99

L’OREAL RRP:

Paris Glam Shine Gloss £7.99 x2.

Burt’s Bees RRP:

Tinted £3.69

And finally my L’OREAL Infallible eye shadow pots collection £6.99 x6

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So there you are, my collection of 29 goodies with a RRP of £ 194.42!

And for the ACTUAL amount I paid… drum roll please… £27! That’s right 27 pound.

How you ask… simple. £1 shop and 99p stores. Also stores like Home Bargains. That’s it!

A lot of people I spoke to about this subject admitted not wanting to look in such places as they assumed these stores well full of lower end market make up. Or that the make up was some how faulty or a copies of known brands.

This is not the case. Shops like that fill up on over stock from other retail outlets. They also take last seasons left overs, colours that weren’t as popular perhaps or stock that never made it to it’s original destination. Meaning there are real bargains to be had, if you are happy to look through the stacked shelves of the 99p store!

In some cases, items are even sold in sets of two or three items for the same price. It is possible to shop on a shoe string and look stunning for less Stirling!

Hard Candy Cosmetics Review, lid says ‘yes’

OK being in the UK, Hard Candy is a brand I was initially unaware of. However I did like the look of their products, they have a ‘colour pop’ Barry M feel. So here are a few items I grabbed

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The purple and green colour pop eye shadow sticks are bright and strong. Quite creamy, so I’d advise a blending shadow brush. Although I do love the colour of the purple stick, it did initially have a strange almost oily white layer on top. (Seen in the photo below.)

I wasn’t jumping up and down with the loose showgirl glitter either. It was very mediocre and the grain wasn’t as fine as i’d have hoped for. Barry M have a micro glitter range that top this by far! Added  to which the nail polish was patchy and watery. Took three coats, could have done with four but I didn’t want to wait an hour and flap around trying to dry.

However it wasn’t all bad. I LOVE the Mocha lip gloss. It is a nice coffee shade and smells the part. Taste wise, it tastes sweet.. pretty good.  It is a shimmery hint of colour and not at all sticky. I love the tube it comes in too… when I unscrewed to apply.. I got that ouuu it’s like a sweetie tube feel lol.

Finally I tried the Fortune glosses. The yellow gloss smells a little like lemon drops and the green is a candy peppermint. Both smell, well yes artificial but my sweet tooth got the better of me. These are both gloss heavy and taste sugary good. They are a little sticky, i made the mistake of wiping one off with tissue… oh crap haha tissue mouth! However I did spend quite a while playing with the glosses as the lids have this 8 ball theme. Shake the lids and get 8 ball answers.

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So should I use Hard Candy again? Magic lid says ‘yes’ sure why not. They are cheap and cheerful and all in all quite fun.

The Best of Barry M cosmetics

All the glitters. So Barry M are a mid priced cruelty free cosmetics company and for all my UK friends, can be found amongst the shelves at Boots. They are mostly pitched to a younger demographic but don’t let that put you off, this Mama is down with the kids lol.

Barry M are well known for their beloved dazzle dust pots (eye shadow pigment pots) amongst other things. So very quickly i’m going to show you a few of my favourite must haves and colour loves.

First up we have Barry M  Lip Lacquer crayons. They have been around since 2010 (I believe) and are still a staple quick fix in my make-up bag. They are a high gloss finish and real easy to apply. And yes… the lacquer goes all the way to the end of the pencil, unlike other brands. (Meaning more for your money.) Plus this is one of the few companies who have a ‘blue pearl’ colour in their range. (Clear colour with a blue pearl tinge) Which i LOVE.

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Next up are the Dazzle dust post. These are incredible! Available in a few hundred shades (I kid you not) Some pastel, some metallic, you are bound to find a colour and finish to fit any look! I cannot rate these enough, and with a eye primer, these powders last all day! Barry M also sell these cute quads too. (Hard pressed shadow) Offering quite the palette for standout eyes.

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So the next photo includes blushers, brow kits and  Illuminating Strobe Cream! Which has been a ‘this year must have smash’ everywhere. the strobe stick is a great highlighter, but I like it most because on its own with a quick brush across your cheeks.. you get the beautiful dewy English Rose look!!

I must give a quick shout out for the brow kits too. Having tried every damn brow kit going, this one does the job perfectly. You get your powder to fill in your brows, a coloured wax to blend and fix. And yes this tames the strays too, keeping them in place. And a white highlighter. These kits come in three shades and the mid brown is warm enough to cover those beautiful red heads out there. Very nice product!

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Now I wouldn’t have done this company justice if I didn’t mention the array of polish available. I’m not a massive nail painter lol, so don’t have the biggest collection. However the range of colours and finishes are once again extensive. I love the Jelly Pastels. But their coconut oil range are selling like wildfire! And for the metal heads.. the metallic range are equally as popular!

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So there you are. Find a little of what you love, and paint your face happy. Enjoy.

Blooddrop Perfume Review

I have been meaning to  check out Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries for awhile, after receiving some of their perfumes in a swap. Originally I had recieved ‘Sheer Pink Stockings’ which is a beautiful pink sugary blend and ‘Rootbeer & Vanilla Ice Cream Float.’ Both bottles smell incredible and have aged beautifully.

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I also recieved a bottle of Merci (A free gift for spending $50 or over.) The idea behind Merci (thank you) bottles being that they are a complete mystery, with no notes listed. Which makes for a little fun.

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So after hearing about Blooddrops ‘Summer Simplicities’ range and ‘Bastille Day’ Collection and having seen an offer on B.D Facebook page, I placed an order. The owner of Blooddrops was very kind in helping me avoid certain notes I have allergies to. The order itself was easy to place and TAT (turn around time)  very reasonable to the UK!

So with the F.B offer I brought 4 bottles and received 2 bottles free, plus a bottle of Merci. That is a whopping 3 bottle free… making for a very generous parcel! And when my goodies arrived they were beautifully wrapped and accompanied by a personal handwritten note and cute little ‘artwork cards’ for want of a better word.

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OK so first up I tried the Summer Simplicity collection:

Spun Sugar. A white neutral sugar (not your stereotypical ‘pink floss’.) It is very ‘one lump or two’ and makes for a great layering note without being too sweet.

Pavement. In the bottle, a strange concoction of tar and cough mixture. On the skin…. oh wow this is a morpher, changing with the time of day. It reminds me of those hot HOT summers where concrete cracks and tar oozes a dark rainbow of oil… and then the storm hits and rain drops meet warm sidewalks. Pavement is a journey and i’m happy to be on it!

Fudge. This smells like homemade chunks of granny made fudge. It is not the super sweet cheap holiday fudge I was expecting. Spun sugar layers with this well! I would loved for this to have been sweeter, but that’s just my tooth talking lol.

 Bastille Day:

Fraternite. This reminds me of grabbing a coffee in a suave historically steeped bar, on some cobbled back street somewhere. Initially this is a smokey strong scent, with creeping coffee and aged wood. It dries down to a soft smokey ale. This is a dry smoke, not the rich tobacco note I was expecting. But non the less,  a very dark perfume full of mystery and memory. Nice!

Freebies:

Solstice. I’m quite taken with this, it’s dark and fruity. It’s purple and overripe with hints of greenery… gorgeous.

Chocolate Apple Cider Doughnut. This is interesting, no particular notes stand above or dominates. It is a very sweet cider with a lump of chocolate, tinge of apple and a hint of freshly baked doughnut. On the dry down… Cider for the win!

Merci 116! Ouuu or should I say ohhh *scratches head* I smell milk chocolate, snapped straight from a big chunky bar. But what.. oh what is that background note. Something familiar, something that will plague my thoughts and then pop up at the most random time with a big *THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE* lol! This game is fun.

I had been striking out with ‘Indy companies’ recently, so all in all i’m really glad I ordered! Blooddrops are little postal bundles of happiness. Long lasting, decent throw, great selection… what more could I ask for… well apart from more lol.

So go on give them a go, no don’t let me keep them all for myself. OK i’ll share… maybe, I changed my mind get your own lol!

Demeter perfume and painting with scent

Demeter are an American company known for a large Library of fragrance. If you are in the UK you’ll find a selection of their perfume sprays in Boots drug store.

Now their collections are vast and their scents are known for vanishing pretty quickly. This to me is actually ideal! Their bottle size is big enough that you can afford to keep topping up as you go. I also like their fade fast scents, because it means I can change my scent choice through out the day.

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Demeter are my company of comfort, being able to select a scent to suit my mood! And as they have a huge selection of single notes, it makes for a great blending collection… I can create scents personal and unique.

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The other great thing about Demeter is that they group scent. (Have selections of similar notes or themes) Allowing you the illusion of running away with your dreams. It’s like painting a scene with perfume or creating a certain atmosphere.

Now I did mention the lack of longevity, however I find the 8ml samples do last a lot longer and seem to be stronger (have a better throw) So you may wish to check them out. They are also great handbag sized bottles.

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One last Demeter tip is that to look at a Demeter bottle, you’d be forgiven for thinking they are sealed. Well actually they are screw top! So I have been decanting some of the perfumes and adding them to 10ml spray bottles, so I can keep an array of scent for linen and atmosphere sprays. (The oil is light enough to spray on fabric without leaving oily marks)

This also means that I can mix custom blends for myself and add them to decorative bottles of my choice. Oh the fun of bottle shopping my Demeter lovers! Happy sniffing!

Sugar and SPITE bathery perfume review

Some time ago I received a bottle of S&S ‘Barnum’ and fell in love with the creamy hay and golden tobacco scent drifting from the bottle. After checking out customers Facebook photos of their Dram sets, I went ahead and brought 2 sample sets of my own. (Each set should contain 5 sample bottles, 1 Dram each)

So today my order came and initially I was impressed with the outer packaging. Nicely wrapped, decorative, cute wax seals.

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But unfortunately that is where my excitement ended.  Immediately both boxes felt, well damp and I knew there were leaky products. But forever the optimist, I grabbed some tissue and prepared for the clean up.

The second problem came when viewing the perfumes… erm ok, 1ml samples. (Not what I ordered) I checked the website again, and they were still listed as 1 Dram (3.6ml) and other customers had still been receiving 1 Dram samples. Why not me?!   Added to which, other customers had an array of free perfume samples with their orders too.

So a few excuses.. erm I mean Emails later, it was explained that it was a ‘clerical error’ followed by ‘a costing issue’ and that there had never been a complaint about leaks befor. And without warning my order has been downsized lol. (And so you can see, i have included two photos below. The first is my smaller, leaky order. The second is a recent Facebook photo of another customers Dram set order) My samples don’t even fit in the box properly.

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In S&S’s defence, she did refund the initial costs. However, between exchange rates, customs charges and Postal handling fees… I lost my ass on this one! Which is a shame, as although some of the samples are very generic there are a few scents I would have ordered full bottles of. I may also have ordered other products. But as it stands I feel a little brushed aside and certainly left with ‘Dram envy’ lol. If you advertise something… deliver.

Lets Talk LUSH

So this is my third LUSH post and lets face it, who doesn’t like to smell like unicorn farts and rainbows lol.

There are a few musts for me, starting with Breath of Fresh Air face toner at a cost of £8.50. Now this is a great product for reducing redness and cooling the skin, it is also my favourite ‘face hack.’   In short, this is also a pretty good make up remover and a great quick fix for freshening up through the day.

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And as we are talking multi use, I have to talk shower jelly! This is a strange product that reminds me of those goo pots children play with lol. I personally use it as a hand soap but it has a much more devious use… coaxing my Son into the shower lol. Yes, he is of THAT age where he’d rather stink than wash, so this makes for a good bribe lol.

Me personally, i stick to the shower gels and creams. The Comforter (£12.95) being a particular favourite, mostly because the strength of the scent means I can smell it on my skin after showering… heaven! Don’t Rain on my Parade being a close second. This is a ‘green’ violet. Fresh and rain soaked, not the candy violet you’d immediately think of. It’s a great morning shower gel.

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I also like to use as part of my routing, LUSH lip scrubs. If I remember right they are roughly £4.50 and a little goes a long way. I have big lips and they need a good polish lol. Highly recommended! And for those who are a big fan of Snow Fairy, The Kiss is very similar.. a mixture of Raspberry and bubblegum. I also use their Popping Candy lip scrub, which I believe was a limited edition. It’s still going strong, so these products have a great shelf life. Popcorn scrub, for the curious… smells exactly like!

Finally my last skin must have is LUSH ‘Love Lettuce’ fresh face mask. This is a soft grain face mask that also exfoliates. 15 minutes of looking like Slimer from the Ghost Busters, and you are good to go! This needs to be kept in the fridge and has a short shelf life… but leaves my skin soft and ‘glowey’ (yes I know that isn’t a word lol)

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The only downside to LL is the smell, it is Lavender heavy. I’d like to have this smelling closer to its namesake. But this is a multi fix must have!

One last note, for those who recycle, LUSH have a take back scheme.. take 5 empty full size pots/bottles back and receive a free product. Great stuff!