UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Insane Topshop Haul & Beauty // 2013

I didn't go too crazy in the sales this year, however just over a week ago while 'snowed in' I was lucky enough to actually win one hell of a prize. I won Etail PR's blogger competition. I've been part of their bloggers network for quite a while, so by adding the badge to the network to my blog I was entered into probably one of the best giveaways out there? They always hold amazing giveaways, who knows you may actually win!? A £250 Topshop voucher arrived Thursday/Friday and was spent by Saturday morning. With the thanks of Jess, I managed to get a cheeky 10% off. My order came to a whopping £260.10, so really all the above Topshop goodies cost less than a pound each.

Rio // Celebrity Brow Define Review

Just before Christmas, Celebrity Brow Define arrived at my door from Rio Beauty. Despite owning many brow kits I hadn't heard about Rio's very own addition to the market, their many nail art pens have always drawn me in. This compact black box has everything you'll need to reach brow perfection, without having to head to your local salon. Rio have catered for all meaning this kit would be great to bring along to one of your girly pamper nights! 
Included in Celebrity Brow Define are; three brow powders - Blonde, Brown and Black, three brow pencils and brush - Brown, Grey and black, a singular brush, shaper and 10 stencils. I'm impressed with how pigmented the brow pencils actually are, little pressure is needed and they sharpen without a single problem. Each pencil has an accompanying brush at the other end with secure metal caps. All three brow powders are not at all chalky, the blonde brow powder is a dream to apply. With 10 brow stencils you'll have no trouble finding one to suit your natural brow shape for a simple tidy up or a new more suited could have different brows every day. There also won't be any missing brows with Brow Define, the eyebrow shaper is sharp, however once you've outlined with the stencil, sweeping under the brow is no problem. There's plenty of instructions, even for those with sparse brows. The kit's fit to burst!
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.
- note a full tutorial will follow this review?

Soap & Glory // Sugar Crush Body Scrub

Sugar Crush was my very first Soap & Glory product, who remembers when this delicious concoction happened to be the odd product out, being packaged in a blue tub.  Sugar Crush finally got it's very own makeover last year, along with  Soap & Glory extending the mouth watering range. Though for me personally only the body scrub will own a place in my heart. It's two accomplices make me feel rather nauseous, the trio of products do not smell the same, that's for sure.

Being the oldest staple product in my shower routine, the benefits of this scrub will always take a lot to beat. Containing smashed brown sugar and macadamia grains this sticky cocktail gently exfoliates any rough, dry patches. Perfect before any fake tan applications & defeating my troublesome bumps on the tops of my arms. I always have a back up in the house, currently three thanks to Christmas, who can resist this lime refresher?

While you try your very best to avoid the temptation of tasting this scrub, take a generous amount of Sugar Crush and get scrubbing whether you're in the shower or bath. Packaging wise I prefer my scrubs in tubs, the water doesn't get in nor do you end up dropping and creating a sticking mess while making sure you get every last grain. Who else has a sugar crush?

Amie Skincare // Radiant Dawn & Skin Shield

Amie Skincare is a fairly new brand to me, I'd spotted a few of their products in previous beauty boxes, always receiving positive reviews wherever on the Internet and magazines. Ex Estée Lauder marketing executive set about wanting to create products for her very own daughter to use. With this in mind the brand Amie was created with no harsh chemicals, this natural range is affordable, effective and extremely gentle. I've been using these products for quite some time now, a review is well over due.

Out of the two products I received Radiant Dawn, an exfoliating daily wash has to be my absolute favourite. Just like Amie claims, it's gentle and effective formula really has become my best friend. The refreshing apple & lemon scent is delicious, but also tones the skin and balances oils. Blueberry seeds and vitamin E bursting beads exfoliate away dead skin, dirt and unblock pores. You'll be left with soft, nourished and of course radiant skin. This wash is dermatologically tested and free of any soap, oil, parabens, sulphates, mineral oils and animal extracts. Making it suitable for sensitive skin, vegans and vegetarians. The only 'niggle' to be found is the packaging, too much product comes out, you have to be extremely careful it's very easy to waste. 

Finding a moisturiser to keep my skin happy proves to be almost impossible, I'm currently using Amie's Skin Shield or Naked's Thirst Aid. My use with Skin shield has been up and down, though since I've been using Soap & Glory's Peaches & Clean a few times a week I've needed a good SPF but struggle as I have sensitive skin. I whipped out Skin Shield and we've become great acquaintances, I was obviously using too much before. Skin Shield contains an SPF of 15 as well as anti-ageing protection - I'm still a little too young to be looking at 'anti-ageing' ingredients and blessed with a baby face. The moisturiser is very light, yet hydrates my skin leaving me with a great base to apply my makeup each morning. Like Radiant Dawn, this is another of Amie's delicious scents containing extracts of sunflower to nourish your skin while kakadu plum and blueberry shield against environmental damage and premature ageing. At £5.95 this is the most 'expensive' item in the range, would I repurchase? Yes, I doubt I'll come across a more effective SPF that also doesn't break me out. Have you used any Amie products? What would you recommend me trying next?
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Go Lush Yourself // Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly

Who else remembers when you could walk into a Lush store with several huge Lush shower jellies wobbling away ready to be sliced and put into a box prone to leaking? My local was always plagued by people going slightly OTT with them. I've always been a strict The Joy of Jelly user until it sadly left us, now I've moved on to Sweetie Pie. There's currently only two shower jellies available until we hit Christmas where Lush usually create one, or they bring back favourite retro's. I still have a tub of The Jilted Elf hanging around.... Sweetie Pie retails for just £3.10 for a 100g pot or £6.25 for a whopping 240g, along with the clear pot being one of five steps away from a free face mask.

A large pot of purple, shimmering Jelly as weird as it's sounds is hard to resist. Why? If you love your sweet scents you'll be rushing off to your local Lush store. Sweetie Pie shares the same scent as The Comforter, the ultimate product for beating Mother Nature every month, lets double team it! This cherry berry and coconut scent clings to your skin, while seaweed extracts leave you soft and supple till the next time you need a wobbly good time.

I'm sure some of you are thinking how an earth am I supposed to use a shower jelly? Well either take the whole jelly or break little chunks off. I sometimes slice mine up before taking my baths and showers. Either lather the jelly all over your body, over someone else' cheeky or create a lather with a shower pouf. Jellies are best kept in the fridge, surprisingly mines survived sitting by my radiator for a few days, whoops? You can also freeze them, though even in the hotter UK summers I'll pass on this one. Depending on how big of piece you use will determine how many showers you'll get out of one pot, but mine definitely last for some time and past their 'use by date' they're still wobbling up a lather. Are you a Sweetie Pie? Whoosh? Or missing out on the joy of jelly?
Who noticed the snow!? I was pretty close to turning into a snowwoman ;)

Real Techniques // The Core Collection Review

Despite the entire Real Techniques collection being on my wish list from the release and reading constant reviews online I hadn't yet invested. By my surprise the Core Collection appeared in my stack of Christmas presents. The underlining on my list and constant babbling paid off. Over the past 3 weeks I've used these brushes every day, along with many deep cleaning sessions... there's something about new brushes that always gets me back into a strict brush washing routine.
The Core Collection consists of four brushes (all with cruelty free taklon bristles) and one panoramic case, retailing for just £21.99. Two more brush sets are available along with many separate brushes from various worldwide online retailers and selected Boots stores for those in the UK. The four brushes are all intended for use of creating the perfect base following the Real Techniques colour coded system on the extended aluminium ferrules and clear usage labels/names. Orange brushes as seen here are used for creating the perfect base (foundation, concealer and powder), Pink brushes have been designed for those perfect finishing touches (blush and powder), while the purple are all eye brushes (shadows, liner and brows). The panoramic case you receive with every set is a nice touch, though I'm unsure how much use I'll get from it due to owning the sigma cases/brush holders. Although the toggle and Velcro secure the case shut, brushes aren't completely shut away from all other products or items you may travel with. Individually sold brushes have been designed to free stand on your dressing table.

Buffing Brush | The brush that makes everyone buy the collection purely for itself due to not being sold separately. I can honestly agree that for once a hype really is true, it applies Estee Lauder's Invisible Fluid, Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid and L'oreal True Match Foundation like a dream. I avoid powder use with this brush due to having dry skin, I already have enough coverage to keep those freckles hidden with my liquids.
Contour Brush | I love this brush more than the Buffing brush, it fits the hollows of my cheekbones perfectly. I then blend with the sides. This brush has made me love bronzers I hated such as the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer, I can actually pick product up. It's also a brilliant accomplice for Lush's Charisma. 
Pointed Foundation Brush | This brush is fairly small compared to other foundation brushes so I tend to use it with concealer, though with more time on your hands you can certainly build the perfect finish.
Detailer Brush | This is a concealer brush for me, mainly used for blemishes and around my nose, where the buffing brush is a little too big to cover. It's also great for highlighting your cupids bow.
I've been impressed with how easy and how quick all four brushes clean. I had visions of the Buffing brush being incredibly annoying to wash, along with the longest to dry but out of ALL the brushes I own these really do dry incredible fast, use very little product to clean.

note - I'll fix bloggers silly game tomorrow. There shouldn't be such a huge gap!!

Lush // Ruby Red Slippers

This week has definitely been one for long hot, sparkly bubble baths. Despite Christmas being over I HAVE to blog about my favourite Lush wonder that appeared in my handbag....yes my Mum wrapped all my Lush up in the handbag she gifted me and the smell STILL hasn't disappeared. Pretty sure if there are any South West bloggers around you'll be able to smell me or assume a new Lush store has opened when out and about. Ruby Red Slippers arrived back in the Retro side of Lush's Christmas collection for just one month. I was trying to keep to my spending ban, my hinting paid off.  I pray for this bubble bar to return every year despite it retailing at almost £4 it's worth every penny.
If you happened to stumble across my Lush Christmas dupe post you'll already know that Ruby Red Slippers smells incredible, it shares the same scent with Lush's very own celebrity Potion, body lotion, seriously I don't know anyone to not like this gem. A combination of Rose, Tangerine, Clove and Carnation get you clicking those heels. Depending on how you feel a quarter is enough, I needed half a bar. Don't worry you don't come out in a glitzy birthday suit, the glitter disappears, leaving creamy mountains of bubbles and soft milky waters.

Lush Christmas Dupes // 2012

It's no secret that I'm a walking Lush encyclopedia, not long after each limited edition collection is released my dupe radar goes off. After looking through, smelling and of course using I've managed to come up with a dupe for most, if not all of the 2012 Christmas product - including Retro this time around.
Bath | Bath Bombs | Bubble Bars | Wands | Melts
Following in the steps of Lush's Easter collection, they created a huge Cracker - Crackersnap. Crackersnap retailed at £7, which considering how heavy this bath ballistic is, you could definitely justify it, especially if you grabbed one in the sale. Crackersnap shares the same scent as the famous Avobath, bath ballistic - perfect if you became addicted to the cheeky citrus scent. Though you'll have to be without a joke, party hat and reusable crocodile bubble bar.

Party Popper shared similar fragrance notes to Crackersnap, though I find a similar dupe is Dragon's Egg, paired with You've been mangoed bath melt to make the perfect cheery cocktail. Instead of popping candy and annoying melon soap disks, Dragon's Eggs disks dissolve fast and deliver a golden surprise.

Cinders has been around for years, if you read last years dupes then you'll know that the perfect match for this fiery bath bomb is Fizzbanger. Fizzbanger makes a great year round treat, mixing cinnamon with toffee apple while it fizzes and crackles.

Satsuma Santa returned this year as Father Christmas, with his sack made into a separate product. Lush packed him with a lot of glitter and a surprise vivid green centre. Sunnyside bubble bar would make a fab alternative, turning your bath into shimmering liquid gold.
Golden Wonder returned to 2012 complete with rattle, sharing the scent of their famous Snow Showers, You'll find Dragon's Egg the perfect fizzy champagne dupe.

Lush gave So White an upgrade this year, this was once a bath bomb I'd grab due to it being one of the smaller and cheaper products in the Christmas line up. Not only did they enlarge So White, they also gave us all a surprise. Rather than it's suggested bergamot and rose description I find So White to smell just like Snow Whites crisp apples still. Of course there's no exact dupe but again Fizzbanger does contain a toffee apple fragrance.
I was so excited to see Lush had created yet more of their amazing Bubblebar Wands for Christmas 2012. Bubblebeard appeared just as Movember was starting, though designed with Father Christmas' beard at mind rather than the charity it was still a huge hit. This relaxing scent really did allow me to get a good nights sleep and all my worries were pushed away. Ceridwens Cauldron - the one most struggle to say, well at least I did - provides the same scent, even more moisturising and becomes a scrub once melted away.

Magic Wand magically returned this past Christmas, smelling just like the famous Snow Fairy, meaning Godmother soap is the exact dupe. Though if you want bubbles still The Comforter would make a brilliant substitute along with being excellent value for money.

The third and final Bubblebar wand, Rocket. Last year saw Lush making his bath bomb brother into the permanent collection as everyone fell for the candy stick fragrance. The Rocket Bubblebar Wand couldn't smell any different if Lush tried, Swish this wand by it's fire to release a ginger and violet scent. Though to me it smells just like Geophyzz which is being retired. Who knows this wand could be the first wand to make it into the permanent collection? 

Santa's Sack received a few concerned looks every time I mentioned it, filthy minds. Despite this it became one of my favourite new items for 2012. Despite being a little more than other bubble bars, this contained 2 presents made from the harder bubblebar mixture the wands are made of. Your looking at three products in one. It's hard to find an exact dupe, though Karma bubblebar would make a good alternative.

Christmas Eve is always one I cross my fingers to appear back, it's my Mum's absolute favourite Lush product. A lot of her old favourites such as Bathos & Wavering Not Drowning were discontinued, finding products that have the right Patchouli and Ylang Ylang fragrances are hard to come by. Luckily for her Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds makes a good enough dupe to keep her going all year round. It's also hugeeeee!

Candy Mountain returned, this time with a new outfit. Instead of it's old boring pink and white stripes, Lush added green. Though I still miss the old days of Candy Cane, it was much easier to split. Creamy Candy is the EXACT dupe, since all they do is dress it up for the season. I prefer Creamy Candy myself, it just seems softer, creamier and stronger rather than in mountain form?

This little guy will always have a place in my heart, instead of sharing the Snowcake scent, The Melted Snowman bath melt glowed this Christmas, sharing Glogg's fragrance. There's no exact dupe again for this product, it's incredibly Christmassy, though Phoenix Rising bath bomb is very, very similar. If you're after a moisturising bath then Butterball bath bomb is perfect. Another bath cocktail to try out?
Shower | Shower Gel | Scrub | Soap
Ponche was a new addition this year which also landed in my products of 2012, this fruity punch wasn't always my favourite. At first I wondered why an earth I'd picked it up, until I jumped in the shower. I've got my back up bottle ready, if you haven't a similar alternative would be Olive Branch shower gel, though it won't be as boozy. 

It's no secret that Godmother soap is in fact Snow Fairy in solid form. If I buy a block of Godmother it's gone within the week because my Mum cheekily uses it to death and never replaces.

Twilight was another of my favourites because I missed the forum special every time. The dupe is obviously the Twilight bath bomb. Look out for forum specials, they've made perfumes of Twilight in the past.

Unlike most Christmas products I don't have a dupe for the Sandy Santa, if you picked him up it's down to his cute face and scrubbing abilities. The ordinary Sugar Scrub is as close as you'll get to both scrub and clean scent.
Until I started this blog post I didn't realise how many Christmas soaps Lush actually had on sale for the season. Northern Lights is one I wish I'd stocked on, simply because if you feel nauseous this soap stops it. Though there's plenty of other citrus soaps on offer such as Sexy Peel.

Angels Delight is one I always end up with ridiculous amounts of, it has to be one of their prettiest soaps created. Wouldn't it be amazing to purchase a whole soap cake of Angels Delight. This sits between Godmother & Rockstar soap, why not grab a block of both?

Snowglobe is another firm favourite in my house, is it any wonder since it contains grapefruit, lemon and ylang ylang. Bohemian soap makes a great alternative, despite not looking as appealing as Snowglobe. While on the topic of snowy products, I don't have a dupe for Snowcake, it's one to pray for it's return each year.

As if we needed an excuse for more soap Lush!? They created the Northpole soap, which split into two different fragrances. Pink carried a creamy chocolate scent, Soft Coeur not only smells similar but also gives you the excuse to grab a massage off your partner. While the pink had a refreshing mint scent similar to the Dirty range.

We still haven't finished yet, Lush produced one more Soap - Mr Punch another boozy fruity product. This time around he was packed with lime, gin and blackcurrant. I didn't get round to purchasing my own slice however my all time favourite Sultana of Soap will carry you through to next Christmas.
Skincare | Cleansers | Lip Scrubs | Massage

I'd heard Büche De Noel was returning during the summer months, I can't recommend it enough. If you love using Angels On Bare Skin, BDN does the exact same magic with a delicious Christmas scent.

Let The Good Times Roll was a new addition to the Christmas range, despite the sugary toffee popcorn scent the formula is very similar to Herbalism - the green roll of cleanser. Following the popcorn theme I have no dupe for the Popcorn lip scrub only the three other lip scrubs on offer.

Midnight Massage, massage bar was another I sadly missed out on trying, though reading through many descriptions it sounds very similar to Sex Bomb, a bath ballistic I frequently buy. If you love Jasmine scents I hope you didn't go without this one or the massage!
Retro | Bath | Body | Shower 
Not everyone gets round to trying the retro line since you can't buy in store, I won't go into too much detail. I received my first Twinkle bath bomb this year and I can't wait to use it. Twinkle shares the same scent as American Cream. My ultimate Christmas favourite finally returned and appeared in my pile of presents. Ruby Red Slippers smells like the famous Potion body lotion, which I'll be getting hold of now I've got just half a bar left. Lush even decided to produce Snow Showers Shower Jelly which shares a similar scent with Dragons Egg. Glogg shares with Phoenix Rising while I have no other dupe for Gingerbread House bubble bar other than bake a ginger cake. Jingle Spells bath ballistic returned. A good match would be blue skies, while Once A Year massage bar can be found as Hottie, another massage bar. Iced Wine from a few Christmas' back returned for the month of November, Flying Fox and The Olive Branch shower gels contain similar notes - I actually found some still in my Fridge, perfectly fine!? Sexy Boy doesn't have too much of a dupe though therapy could be a good enough stand in, while Spice Mountain despite being 'spicy' contains rose and carnation making Lust a nice alternative - though Lust isn't sticking around for much longer.
© Lucyy Writes

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