UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Beauty // an October pamper night

an image of an october pamper night
an image of october beauty routine
an image of pamper routine
As a new series on LW I've decided to share the products to enter my winter pamper evenings. The weeks seem to be flying by and I've been glad of a few pamper evenings this week as all my spare time seems to have been filled by helping everyone else and shoving my to do lists to the side - with the odd trip to minor injuries for myself.

Bed Head TIGI Colour Goddess Shampoo & Conditioner*
I decided to carry on using the Colour Goddess shampoo & conditioner from TIGI which I received from Hairtrade. As you can guess, the range has been designed for the serial hair abusers amongst us. I may not dye my hair yet but I sure do abuse it with a lot of heat to manage my unruly waves.

Lush Sparkler Bath Bomb
No pamper night is complete without a Lush bath product. I ended up picking Sparkler bath bomb, one of Lush's newest additions to the winter collections. I felt let down by the lacking display and artificial scent that doesn't come close to the wonderful Rose Jam fragrance I love very much. It's not a product to rule out though, with the approaching Bonfire Night in the UK this is one product to consider if you too like to retire to the bath tub.

Lush So White Shower Gel 250g
Usually I'm all about the warmer, spicy shower gel Lush bring out for Christmas but this year So White shower gel seems to be taking over from this years Hot Toddy. For those who aren't so into Lush, So White was originally a little white bath bomb, before the apple scented bath bomb received a makeover with a surprise centre....which has now lead to a Shower Gel being whipped up for this years offerings. So White is a much lighter, delicate fragrance with notes of apple, rose and neroli compared to the sugar rush of Snow Fairy and boozy punches we're used to. I'm over the moon to have a delicious apple scented shower gel again, I can remember as a child loving The Body Shop's apple shower gel - who also seem to have whipped up an apple scented shower gel for Christmas 2014 too.

Lush Celebrate Body Lotion
I received this little black pot of Celebrate Body Lotion in my recent Lush order, a product I seemed to overlook last Christmas. I'm not the best at remembering to moisturise my entire body, I like to use body conditioners in the shower that save me the time. Nobody wants to be standing around in winter waiting for the lotions to sink in. Celebrate however sinks in really fast, leaving skin hydrated and smelling oh so good. If you love the zingy fragrance of Golden Wonder you'll most definitely want this lightly whipped body lotion to prepare you for the festive season.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser
Angels on Bare Skin has been a staple in my skincare routine for years - I'm talking way back to when I was in secondary school. It's seen me through my teenage years and now with me into the twenties whether my skins dry or breaking out. I picked this large pot up back in July, you only need a pea-sized amount to mix with water to create a gentle, exfoliating cleanser. As I'm almost finished, I'll be picking up another as well as the festive addition Buche de Noel.

Lush Ultrabland Cleanser
Another product I picked up in the summer, used a religiously before opting for
a cleanser that wasn't so hydrating. Now the weather is cooling down my skins getting drier and I'm needing all the hydration I can get. Ultrabland is such a basic cleanser yet very effective balm cleanser that breaks down and removes all the dirt and makeup.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate*
The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is fairly new to my routine and one I use when my skin really needs a bit of TLC. With 99.8% naturally derived ingredients a few drops of this facial oil replenishes skin over night and has skin looking younger by morning. My skin always looks so healthy and glowing come morning. The packaging is adorable, with a recycled glass bottle, dropper and plastic squeeze top to protect and not waste the's certainly not cheap.

Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm*
Burt's Bees lip balms are some of my absolute favourites, the honey being an absolute classic and oh so sweet! This guys packed with beeswax, shea butter, almond oil, cocoa butter and lanolin to keep lips soft and hydrated.

Burt's Bees Hand Salve*
Included as part of the Honey Pot Collection gift set for this Christmas, the Burt's Bees Hand Salve is a hard balm, packed with botanical oils, herbs and beeswax to keep hardworking hands moisturised as a highly intensive hand treatment. This teen tiny pot will go far this winter.

Scholl Velvet Smooth Night Mask*
The velvet smooth night mask from Scholl is a product to sit firmly beside my bed and is part of the Velvet Smooth range including the Express Pedi Electronic Foot File. Whether I use the entire range or this the night mask does an amazing job at keeping my feet baby soft and is one of my most favourite foot products.

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
If your accident prone like myself you'll always have bruises or a cut or two. A not so glamorous product to finish this little 'pamper night' though one I rely on and keep to hand whether I'm at home or out and have a miniature in my handbag. The extremely thick cream helps heal up cuts much quicker and soon allows me to use much more exciting beauty products. Which beauty products have you included in your pamper evenings? Lucy xx

Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Home Touches // with Kylie Minogue for House of Fraser

an image of kylie minogue noralla bedding range
an image of kylie minogue noralla bedding
an image of kylie minogue noralla bedding range
an image of kylie minogue noralla bedding set
There's nothing quite like a new set of bedding right? Especially when winter is approaching and the nights are drawing in, all I want to do is snuggle up in my bed after walking Harry and having a relaxing festive themed soak. I've recently received pieces from the exclusive Kylie Minogue collection for House of Fraser, which couldn't be anymore fitting for the time of the year. With champagne tones, glistening sequins and the silkiest material you'll have put your hands on you'll be in heaven.

Kylie Minogue Noralla Bed Linen | King Duvet Cover*
I thought I had found the silkiest duvet cover, little did I know the Kylie Noralla set would soon be coming into my life. The champagne duvet cover really could pass as real silk despite containing polyester while the reverse is 100% cotton. Even after being put through the washer a few times, sequins aren't missing and the material is still as smooth and soft as when it arrived. The whole range dries much quicker than regular bedding, you'd assume it was thinner right? No, it's neither thin, see-through or heavy enough to feel uncomfortable. I like how the swirly pattern has been continued across the runner of embellishment on the duvet cover, a lot of celebs would have gone for a much bigger and tacky design.

Kylie Minogue Noralla Bed Linen | House Wife Pillow Case*
Each pillowcase is sold individually rather than included as a bedding set with the duvet, something I'm a fan of as the quality is always by far more superior this way. To carry on the luxurious feel to the range, an embellishment of sequins runs down one side of the pillowcase for the most perfect glamorous and sophisticated look. There are hundreds of sequins on each pillow, I dread to think of how many go onto the duvet and accompanying runner in the Noralla range. The bronzed swirls catch the light and contrast so beautifully with the champagne silk. Now that I've had the bedding set for quite a while I can safely say I've not spotted a single sequin missing or floating around the house. They wash beautifully every time and barely creases.

Kylie Minogue Noralla Direct Coordinate Cushion*
I'm a cushion hoarder, I like to fill my bed with as many as I can & arrange them only one way, only to throw them onto the floor hours later. This cushion has been taking pride of place on my own bed, right at the front reflecting my fairy lights. It may not match my shabby chic theme going on but over the next 10 weeks or more it's going to fit in well when I truly get into the Christmas decorating mode. The cushion is fabulous, squishy enough to relax with yet firm enough it pings back into shape. Again, no sequins are missing and they really aren't scratchy. Even little Harry seems to like the cushion, he's jumped up onto the bed and snuggled in without nibbling any of the embellishment. It may not be the cheapest of cushions but it sure it beautiful and worth the price...especially on sale. It's decided this years Christmas theme for sure.

What are your thoughts on celebrity homeware collaborations? Kylie's exclusive line to House of Fraser sets the bar high for quality, style and value for money.

Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Home Touches // Cable and Cotton in Marshmallow

an image of cable and cotton lights
an image of cable and cotton lights
an image of cable and cotton lights
an image of cable and cotton
an image of cable and cotton lights
an image of cable and cotton lights
an image of cable and cotton
an image of cable and cotton lights
Us bloggers seem to love our twinkling lights, right? I sure do with my latest addition being from Cable & Cotton - the company behind a unique take on fairy lights as well as bigger lamp shades suitable for table or ceiling being added. Whether you're hosting a summer party, a cosy cold...October night or wanting soothing night lights for your child, the handcrafted, illuminated balls sure are beautiful. Cable and Cotton lights arrive arranged neatly in the box, needing you to attach the balls over each individual bulb. Instructions are provided, it takes less than 5 minutes for the 20 string.

Deciding on which of the various Cable and Cotton pre-made sets to go for proved to be harder than I originally thought, they're all so pretty and perfectly paired!? Eventually I settled on Marshmallow, which seems to be their most popular via reviews online. As someone who loves having various fairy lights around the room, I already have sets on my dressing table and shelving unit which are much smaller and daintier than Cable & Cotton. I've actually chosen to have them around my TV & I love having them there on evenings where I want to snuggle up in bed with various box sets (Gilmore Girls, Devious Maids or Scandal) to hand. The harsh bright light coming from the TV isn't anymore, nor do I need any full bedroom lights on. Since I've had my C&C lights for quite a while now I can shout and rave about their quality, I've not had a single bulb blow out on me, nor have any of the balls broken - in fact putting them together was a breeze with very few caving in and needing the light string to be pulled to reshape them.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has a set of C&C lights? With Christmas coming I think the option to create your own shade mix is perfect, we'll certainly be looking into creating some for around the house. Lucy x
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Lush // Sparkler Review

an image of sparkler bath bomb
an image of sparkler bath bomb review
an image of sparkler bath bomb from lush
an image of sparkler bath bomb
an image of sparkler bath bomb from lush
With quite the collection of festive bath bombs and bubble bars still hanging around and last weeks review of Lord of Misrule to live up to, I decided on Sparkler to be my next treat. Taking place in the Halloween collection, Sparkler is actually hanging around until December 26th, perfect for Bonfire Night and New Year. This bath bomb may look rather plain but in true Lush style a few surprises are waiting to be unleashed into your tub. 

Sparkler was of the new creations to really excite me when placing my order due to containing the famous Rose-Jam fragrance of Rose Oil, Sicilian Lemon Oil and Geranium Oil. It also seemed great value for money at just £3.50 as the long, stick design can easily be broken into more uses. Sadly I've been left disappointed, with a not so glowing review to share of the bath bomb described as 'a crackling and fizzing Rose-Jam scented bath bomb that makes bath night fireworks night'. The scent wasn't there, it almost seemed fake compared to the bubbleroon and body conditioner I religiously buy. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I wouldn't call the display in my bath great, it was okay and consisted of various froths than swirls of colour. It was dull to watch. Popping candy was also nowhere to be seen or heard. Glitter made an appearance the bucket load. You'll leave the bath covered from head to toe of golden lustre. With orange waters shimmering and piles of leftover glitter sinking to the bottom - enough to sell back to Lush. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Sparkler bath bomb? Lucy x

Lush // Lord of Misrule review

The crown-esq bath bomb inspired by the ruler of the Pagan Fest of Fools has returned for a second year in a row. Lord of Misrule (£3.50) received a lot of love last year though I didn't actually get around to trying the mischievous bath bomb with green casing, packed with surprise centre and a sweet yet spicy kick. As my first item from my recent Lush Christmas haul I couldn't have picked a better product to start the festivities off - even if the original did arrive a little worse for wear, you have to hand it to Lush - they're brilliant at fixing any niggles you have with orders. 

As soon as Lord of Misrule enters the tub the fun begins. The green outer layer immediately starts to fizz away while pink and white froths start to creep out onto the surface before the bomb starts it's hypnotic swirling around the bath. As the swirling continues and popping candy crackles, the froths merge together  creating deep wine coloured waters full of silver lustre. The sweet yet spicy and almost musky fragrance of Lord of Misrule is phenomenal, with black pepper oil, vanilla absolute and patchouli oil lingering on your skin and hair for hours after. Let it be noted that no glitter sticks to your skin nor is your bath stained by the red wine waters. I also noticed just how much more moisturised my skin felt after this bath, even more than the classic cocoa butter packed butterball. If you're having a tough week I urge you to fill your basket with this magnificent creation.

Lush Christmas Haul // 2014

an image of lush christmas haul 2014
Having placed my first festive Lush order of the year on launch day I've been eagerly awaiting for its arrival to start pampering on the cold winter nights and to review the delights on LW. I like to concentrate on the new Lush items before picking up any returning favourites, I also usually skip the Halloween though this year it seems pretty spooktacular. I haven't used an awful lot of my haul yet though there are three products to have won me over already. After forgetting to pick up a Lord of Misrule (£3.50) last year I knew I had to this year after hearing so many people rave about the little green bath bomb. Mine actually arrived looking worse for wear with it crumbling, speckled and feeling very, very damp. Alas a replacement arrived and I was able to enjoy the full festivities this bath bomb is packed with. I'd even go as afar as to say this is Lush's best bath bomb to ever be created. I've also tried both of the new shower gels for Christmas 2014, with Hot Toddy (£3.95 per 100g) being my favourite of the two. Its great to see last years favourite Rose Jam shower gel back on the menu, though it will be Hot Toddy to appear on my Christmas list. If you could pack Christmas into a bottle, Hot Toddy is the product. With a warming aroma of fresh ginger, cinnamon leaf oil and lemon oil, this deep red shimmering shower gel & golden lustre reminds me very much of the past Christmas gel Glogg. So White shower gel (£8.95 per 250g) smells exactly like the bath bomb and makes a great morning refresher. What items have caught your eye this year? Holly Go Lightly smells just like Hot Toddy, I can't wait to team the two along with moisturising Butterbear. He may just be Butterball in his annual costume but he smells much stronger as well as being super cheap at £1.95.

Home Touches // & Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

an image of where I blog and notebooks
an image of Christmas magazines and notebooks
an image of Dassie Chevron Mug with Nutella Hot chocolate
an image of Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe
Winter seems to have arrived in full swing, skipping past Autumn here in the South West. With the awful weather taking over this past weekend I decided to use the time to stay in and catch up on my Youtube subscriptions, favourite blogs and start planning my festive series. The spare room has taken on the roll of being my 'blogging space' with it's recent white and grey themed makeover being the perfect place to sit back and relax. The new Michigan Snuggle Sofa Bed from Next arrived a few weeks back, with the fabric choice turning out to be a complete success since we hadn't ventured in store to look at fabric samples. The sofa is firm without being uncomfortable with the right amount of 'squish' and when used as a bed, has been delightful. The cushion on the sofa was a recent find in Dunelm, with the matching curtains also coming home. With a selection of my favourite home magazines, teamed with cute stationary I'm ready to get LW organised and to keep on insisting Blog Lovin fixes the feed issues I'm having with the App. As someone who isn't much of a hot drink lover there is one I'm partial to, a Nutella Hot Chocolate incredibly easy to make and poured into my favourite mug you may have already seen on LW. 

Nutella Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1 cup of Milk (I'm using Alpro Coconut still)
1 cup of Water
1 very heaped teaspoon of Nutella

Nutella Hot Chocolate 'Recipe'
Pour all ingredients into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over a medium heat while whisking and once ready pour into two mugs. Measurements are the mugs I'm using rather than actual measurement cups.
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more. - mug and burts bees

Lush Halloween Collection // 2014

an image of lush halloween 2014
As I'm sure most of you will already know, the Lush 2014 Halloween and Christmas ranges are now available to buy both online and in store. This year the Halloween collection and I have really hit it off, all but the soap have been ordered and I'm praying a box of Lush turns up at my door this afternoon. What are you looking forward to seeing? I'm happy to see LOM return. Lucy

Lush Christmas Collection // 2014

an image of Lush Christmas 2014
an image of Lush Christmas 2014
It's no secret that this is my favourite time of year. Here's this years collection of goodies from Lush. What are you looking forward to? I'm looking forward to stocking up on Snow Fairy, Snow Cake Soap, Christmas Eve and Shooting for the stars! Lucy x

Home Touches // New In For Autumn

an image of autumn homeware haul
an image of Dassie King of Hearts
an image of chalkboard jar and dassie enamel mug
an image of dassie cheese oak board
an image of move hand towels
Today's post contains the homeware pieces I've been collecting over the past few weeks, most of which are very autumnal as well as a few very special and unique items I can't wait to share.

Stoneware King Of Hearts* | Dassie
How incredible is this King Of Hearts from Dassie. I have never seen such an item, or one the size and weight this one carries. At first I had no idea what to do with the item, it's far too heavy to hang on any of our walls...I wanted it on the stairs/landing....can you image the comments I received from folk...not a good idea. This decorative heart has been taking place outside as a table decoration when we're out in the evening relaxing by candle light, tea lights look great stood on top. Sadly this week those evenings seem to be no more, it's started to become chilly and ever so dark. The charmer is now sat inside looking beautiful, if my bed had posts compared to filled in wooden bedstead I'd hang the King at the end. In true Dassie style, this handcrafted piece is made from concrete, crushed shells and wooden beads - each one will vary in texture and reflect the human touches during the making process. With the gift giving season upon on this is one to keep in mind for something a little different.

Mini Oak Cheese Board* | Dassie
I've never owned a wooden chopping board and expected them to be incredible hard to clean. Instead I'm quite smitten with the Minature Oak Cheese Board from Dassie. I'm sure you'll see it feature in more Lucyy Bakes posts here on LW due to it's smaller size. It's quite incredible to hear how Dassie resource their materials with the wood for these boards coming from the Western Cape region of South Africa of 100 year old, weathered oak wine barrels. It's truly wonderful to see the transformed, unique items that are eco-friendly and supporting fair trade. The board is un-oiled for a rustic look, fitting perfectly into our kitchen and the genuine leather thread allows it to be stored and displayed easily.

Enamel Chevron Mug* | Dassie
Have you caught a glimpse of this cutie already? I've shared it across my social media and have been using it for both hot and cold drinks. It's been the perfect excuse to make myself a hot chocolate with all the trimmings due to the size being half of my regular mug. I love how Dassie have added the popular Chevron trend to such an iconic tableware. As excepted each mug has been handcrafted from porcelain fused with steel, each mug will differ a little. It's worth noting that these mugs are childproof....or Mamma Writes proof as she's had a run of smashing all the mugs.

Chalkboard Canister | George Home, Asda
When I go to help with the food shopping, it's the time the trolley load is doubled. Asda are killing it at the moment with their AW addition, I want so much yet have no need for any of it!? Something we did actually need were new kitchen storage canisters. Having always eyed up pretty jars in Next, to then find the lids are impossible to remove and the likelihood of the contents and jars smashed across the kitchen floor, we've let them go. Since receiving my M&S diffuser and candle, I've hopped onto this chalkboard trend that's appearing everywhere and these storage jars are topping the 'collection'. Last week we created a hamper as an additional birthday present, we popped a chalkboard jar in teamed with coffee and a cafetiere.

Apple Cinnamon & Vanilla Pumpkin Diffuser Refill Oil | Home Senses
Diffusers. I love them and regularly feature them on LW. With my current M&S diffusers running low, on a recent trip to Home Senses I discovered two 300ml refill bottles for just £4.99 each. Each bottle will be enough to provide three refills, incredible value for money. So many of you are back to Uni and aren't allowed to light candles, right? Diffusers are perfect for scenting your room, flat or shared houses...especially if you're sharing with smelly guys. My favourite of the two is Vanilla Pumpkin which I'm to use in my bedroom while Apple Cinnamon will be more suited for around the house. Having only refilled with Apple Cinnamon, I'm hoping Vanilla Pumpkin turns out to be as fragrant as it is in the bottle. I can now understand why folk either love or hate the festive lattes. If you aren't a fan of the AW scents, they had so many others I wished I'd also picked up.

Red Berry Reed Diffuser | George Home Asda
Another diffuser!? I love to try all the brands of diffusers I can. Sometimes the cheaper alternatives are damn right awful with some being quite destructive to surfaces by spilling or evaporating out onto them rather than through the reeds. The Asda Red Berry Diffuser is a good'un and for £3 you can't go wrong or feel guilty for popping one into your trolley. Described as a summery scent, it's definitely more of an Autumn scent, perfect to transition us as it's a particularly warm Autumn. P.S this diffuser really is the bomb as my ever so manly brother adores his I popped into his recent birthday hamper.

Kyle Minogue for House of Fraser | Noralla Cushion*
Kylie homeware!? I haven't always been so fond of celebrity bedding collection though Miss M has proved me wrong. This cushion has been taking pride of place on my bed and will be most fitting over the next couple of months when things get all festive. I love a bit of sparkle which doesn't always fit with the shabby chic theme going on, though for this one I don't care. The cushion itself is so, so squishy yet firm!? It pings back into shape and I haven't spotted a single sequin out of place or on my floor. Not the cheapest of cushions, but can certainly justify the price. The matching bedding is a whole new post of its own, which will be coming shortly too! Eeek.

Move Contrast Seagull Cheneille Hand Towels* | House of Fraser
Now if you've followed LW for quite some time you'll know that in my bedroom there are quite a few shabby chic birds floating about - even painted on a couple pieces of furniture. The two new Move towels I received recently may not have such cute birds on, though the seagull pattern is effective and looks pretty. Having not heard of the brand until now, I'm definitely wanting more of their items, in preparation for winter skincare routines and cosy winter bath nights. The quality of each towel is exceptional, incredibly thick and absorbent, not harsh on the skin when it comes to patting my skin dry after a cleanse. After each wash they still come out feeling brand new, with no dye running, fading or loose threads.

Grey Check Brushed Cotton Bedding Set | Matalan
Now we're into Autumn, all the brands are launching their new bedding designs in time for winter & Christmas. Checks and Tartan are my absolute favourite patterns and something I wish I could incorporate into my own bedroom. Sadly I have wallpaper that would clash entirely, no matter the shade or thickness of said checks. While flicking through a recent Matalan mailing, I noticed their grey check, brushed cotton set which is perfect for my brothers new flat. We always find Matalan bedding to be of a great quality, especially as this bedding set is only £25 for a Double. Have you found any nice Autumn-Winter picks?
© Lucyy Writes

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