UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Discontinued Lush Products // 2015

an image of discontinued lush products 2015
Every so often we have to say goodbye to some of Lush's delights to make way for more exciting goodies. Usually I'm not too saddened by this though this time around a whole bunch of my favourites are being given the kick. The only positive being that hopefully this means some of the exclusive Oxford Street products may start appearing on all store shelves. I'll be sad to see Phoenix Rising leave along with Rose Queen. Granny Takes a Dip is disappearing too though I'm hoping the Oxford Street bubble bar edition is on it's way. Other products such as Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, Aqua Mirabilis body butter and Aqua Marina cleanser have been in my lush routines and since I started shopping with Lush. Have you spotted any of your all time favourites?
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Bath Bombs // Space Girl, Granny Takes a Dip, Phoenix Rising & Rose Queen Bubble Bars // Dorothy & Amandapondo Shower // Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, Grass Shower Gel, Flying Fox Shower Gel, You Snap The Whip Body Butter & Aqua Mirabilis Body Butter Soap // Godmother, Ice Blue, Dirty & Magnificent Face // Aqua Marina Cleanser Body // Lovely Jubblies, Formulae Known As, Lustre Dusting Powder & Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder Hands & Feet // Tiny Hands, Putty For Your Hands & Stepping Stone Foot Scrub
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Detangle with // Wet Brush Pro

an image of wet brush pro detangle professional
an image of wet brush pro detangle professional
Over the years I've tried many detangle brushes, my favourites have all been featured on  LW with their own individual reviews. Recently I was lucky enough to be sent a brush from Wet Brush, a brand I've only ever heard praise for. The Detangle Professional paddle brush takes place in the Wet Brush-Pro collection, designed by professional for professionals to achieve the highest quality detangling brush currently on the market.

What makes the Pro collection so special? The Pro Range has various technology behind it starting with the exclusive IntelliFlex Bristles, designed for healthier and more beautiful hair. Each of the bristles are thin, firm and yet flexible. Each feature an exclusive SofTips on the end, an ultra soft poly tip which has been twice dipped to stay soft, full and permanent for gentler styling. The brush glides through thick, curly and straight hair without pulling, snagging and causing spilt ends. It's even suitable for hair extensions and wigs!

'Wet Brush' you'd also assume the brush only works on wet hair? The brush works for both wet and dry. Though the design does feature AquaVents, which is the all new improved Shower Friendly design for even and thorough distribution of conditioner, shampoo and dry shampoos. The rubberised handle is a godsend in the shower, so many other detangle brush say they can be used in the shower....if only they'd hear the racket when I've taken one in. The soft, sure grip will most definitely be your best friend - If you suffer from a highly sensitive scalp like myself, you'll adore this brush.

The Detangle Professional is the first of it's style I've used, previous detangle brushes I've used have been quite chunky to hold and regularly fly out of my hand. Others have been very narrow, which when I had longer hair turned into a nightmare to use. Currently I'm growing my hair out (again), totally regret getting the chop last December after all the time and care I'd put into getting the 'luscious' long locks I'd wanted. My hair is now medium length and very thick with a mind of its own. I've loved having a large paddle brush to effortlessly make my way through without a single tug or tear whether my hairs wet OR dry. I actually mostly use the brush on dry hair, I've found my hairs much healthier and there's a lot less stray hairs around the place as well as looking shinier than ever. If you're looking for a brush to help with your tangled locks I'd highly recommend Wet Brush & Wet Brush Pro with the Paddle brush first on the list. If Paddle Brushes aren't for you then there's also the Shine Brush which features Mongolian Boar Bristles mixed with the IntelliFlex Bristles and their Go Brush, perfectly handbag sized. 
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Summer Garden Haul with Homebase // Lucyy Writes

From previous blog posts on LW you may know that last year we decided to give an area of the back garden a little makeover when the insane storms decided to destroy the brick built shed. The only option was to knock it down. As a family we've always spent a lot of time together and can always be found outside when summer arrives. Our back garden isn't the largest, it's definitely more of a 'courtyard'. So what was once a shed full of nothings is now a dining area where we like to spend most meal times out there whether we're all home or alone. When Homebase recently got in touch I couldn't wait to find a few smaller items to give the space a little more character without cluttering it up.
an image of summer with homebase
an image of summer with homebase
Before I share what I purchased on my recent trip here's a purchase from last summer when we started creating the area. We've owned the Rimini six seater garden furniture set for about a year now and boy did it get a lot use last summer. Homebase still carry the Rimini range, in fact I'd go as far as saying it's their most popular since our local seemed to be dominated by the entire range set out beautifully. The Italian inspired set has been the perfect place for dining - come summer we eat every meal outside and our little Westie can always be found sleeping underneath the table or curled up on one of the chairs. If we aren't dining the table turns into an outside office with so much room to play around with or myself filling the table up with blogging related items. For those with a smaller space there are many more options - including a bench and 'sofa' sets. 
an image of summer with homebase
First purchase of the day? Flowers. When we brought Harry home the amount of flowers in the garden soon started to rapidly decline. The only flowers to survive our mischievous West Highlander were in hanging baskets. With ours needing a little TLC we decided it was easier to replace a couple with the pre-planted options Homebase have which just so happen to be on offer for just 2 for £20. Each basket is full of various flowers and colours, our local had a lot of choices - more than displayed on the website which is understandable.
an image of summer with homebase
an image of summer with homebase
We've been meaning to pick up some solar lanterns for quite some time. Our store had the full range of solar lights from intricate metal fairy lights, a dupe of my Cable & Cotton lights and my favourite the Mason Jar Fairy Lights. Available in two sizes, I decided on the medium rather than large as we were to team it with another style of lantern. I actually wish I'd put more in the trolley as come evening when the jar had had enough sunlight it looked incredibly beautiful. Such a simple design yet very effective and an item I urge to you to pick up when passing your local Homebase store. The lights are bundled into the jar which has a removable lid with a hidden on/off switch to save your solar energy. Our second lantern is rather different to the firefly-esq lantern with it taking on a Rattan effect and available in various sizes/shapes. We both thought the rattan design would work well with our Rimini furniture which was purchased the previous summer. Inside the rattan basket sits a fake candle which reflects the light attached to the inner lid of the lantern. The styles work together really well and provide just the right amount of light to create a lovely ambiance. I wish I could say we've sat outside and enjoyed them many an evening though with the amount of hospital visiting recently we've not had the time or energy. Last week I did manage to find the time for a spot of baking and a few glasses of iced tea for a well deserved unwind.
an image of summer with homebase
an image of summer with homebase
Other items come from the concession in my local Homebase, Lots of Living. Lots of Living feature in a select few Homebase stores. I'm not entirely sure what's happened to the website since my purchases, it's not directed back to the wholesaler. If you're lucky enough to have one of the concessions I urge you to visit if you're a fan of the white and grey washed trends. I'd love to hear if you're thinking about giving your garden a makeover this summer. Lucy xx
Disclaimer: press sample in voucher, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Summer Homeware Haul with Homebase //

an image of homebase homeware haul 2015
an image of homebase homeware haul 2015
It was inevitable that inviting my Mum along for an afternoon of browsing homeware and garden accessories while leaving my Dad to 'dogsit' Harry would turn into one of our most comical adventures yet. I've been feeling a little uninspired with my current decor, my little haven didn't seem quite 'there' despite it only being decorated only a year ago. I always make a conscience effort to keep the place clean and free from clutter though it's all gone out the window with everything turning a little chaotic. With my favourite place needing a slight makeover I was of course going to jump on board when the guys at Homebase recently got in touch.
Armed with my budget I couldn't wait to see what delights Homebase had to offer this SS15. They really are more than just a 'DIY or Garden store', we go absolutely crazy for their Christmas collection each year, you only have to flick through old posts on LW to see how much we adore them for their designs and quality. Not only did I find a tonne of items to give my room a little makeover I found some gems for the garden's seating area we started last summer. I'll save that for another blog post.

Before setting off I decided to have a look online where I found our nearest store had actually shut down just weeks ago. That'll teach me for ordering via online so much. Armed with directions we headed to another store which turned out to be incredible with one very special concession inside that won our hearts over in an instance. Our nearest store being Worle is one of the few to have a Lots of Living concession. It's literally a 'bloggers' paradise with a sea of white+grey washed items and elegant pieces every way you turn. Getting there however proved to be quite the challenge with Google giving us the wrong directions at the beginning - that'll teach us for leaving Deirdre at home, anyone else name their Tom Tom? SO many roundabouts were to be accomplished, maniac female drivers (that really don't help with stereotype we ladies carry) and a Fiat 500 every 10 meters taunting me after a disastrous driving lesson that morning. 
Obviously I couldn't resist the Scottie Dog Door Stop £12.99 at the start of the home section, making it the first item to enter the trolley...one of two trolleys by the end of the trip. Since owning Harry I feel the need to purchase all the adorable dog themed items I see. The ditsy floral print of Dora fits perfectly into my shabby chic boudoir and our little Harry is besotted - he actually thinks I've purchased it for him and continues to run off with it. The kitchen doggy doorstop actually has to go to bed with him....every night.

I then headed for the cushion display. My cushions on the daybed really needed updating and while in Homebase I came across two which couldn't have been any more perfect to what I've been looking for. The floral cushion was actually on sale for just £7 while the large grey cushion was £19.99. Normally I think cushions are completely overpriced but this waffle effect cushion is the softest most squidgy cushion I've ever had. It literally feels like memory foam is inside and you can also find the cushion in cream too.

Forcing myself away from the cushions I headed for the glassware. Last year I switched over bedrooms and wanted a new way to store my Lush. I've seen a lot of people use large glass vases, a great way to brighten up the room - the corner of my room needing that. I have rather an excessive stash of bath bombs and bubble bars which are all super decorative. The search for a large glass jar finally finished with Homebase having this large glass trifle dish hidden away on the bottom of their glassware section. I'd considered purchasing a similar item from the concession I've mentioned and so glad I waited until viewing the whole store because at £9.99, a third of the previous I much prefer this one.
an image of Homebase home haul
Everyone loves a good fake flower? I couldn't resist adding the fake pot of Lavender to my trolley. I've been wanting to find the 'right' ones to pretty the place up and for livening up my blog photography. I'm not sure the photo's truly do the plant enough justice, everyone compliments them thinking they're the real deal - great when you can't be trusted to keep them alive or to not knock over vases of water. For just under £20 I'd happily purchase a couple more in the future, they suit any room and we won't be pestered by buzzy bees.

When it comes to bedding you can't beat a nice crisp white set. Again, something I'm incredible fussy over but once seeing the print on this set from Homebase I had to purchase. White bedding really helps to brighten the place up with the material of this set being incredibly cooling now that the nights have turned very humid. It's one of the softer bedding sets I own and I love how the flock print isn't so in your face as others and looks SO pretty when the sun comes shining through along with just the simple detailing of a few buttons carrying the beautiful print. Homebase had a lot of bedding with it all being very affordable, King Size in this pattern was just £40.

My last item I spotted while heading for the till. These beautiful white, wooden jewellery boxes were hidden away again on the bottom shelf of a display cube. They really should be out on display more. I've been calling it my very own Pandora's Box, again this was really inexpensive at just £12.99. The wooden box has both a drawer and lift that reveals a mirror. When I first brought this home I really didn't have a space for it though I've finally de-cluttered the dressing table and have this taking pride of place with my Neom diffusers on top - if I'm to have the mirror up I wouldn't see the intricate wooden carved lid. I do however use the small drawer to keep track of my hairbands, earrings, hair clips and a few essentials I'd be prone to knocking off my table. It'd also make someone a lovely gift, without breaking the bank and definitely looks more expensive than it was. 
Disclaimer: press sample voucher, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Laura Thomas // Flower Candle Review

an image laura thomas flower candle review
an image of laura thomas flower candle review
an image of laura thomas flower candle review
an image of laura thomas flower candle review
If there's one thing you've learnt from reading LW over the years it's my passion for home fragrances. I'd love nothing more than to be able to whip up my own wax creations one day. Recently I was introduced to Laura Thomas Linens, home to high quality cotton bedding and hand poured candles. LT started when Laura was living in New Zealand and struggling with the lack of high-quality crisps white linens. Now based back in Scotland Laura Thomas has one mission to be the leading online bedding and homeware brand.

A week ago one of Laura's wonderful creations landed on my doorstep. The candles are a fairly new addition to the range with Laura taking the time to hand pour each and every candle herself. Every candle is made with soy wax, essential oils, textile grade cotton wick and high grade fragrance oils. Since Laura uses Soy Wax for all her candles this means that they burn much slower and cleaner than candles that contain paraffin wax. Currently there are three scented candles to decide over; Flower, Lavender and Lime & Basil. I also came across a festive candle while scouring through Instagram, I'm hoping it returns this Christmas for both personal use and gifting. Each fragrance is available in two sizes, 6oz and 8.5oz while keeping to the same simplistic glass jars for an elegant touch to every room.

Flower was inspired by Laura's time in New Zealand, Laura wanted a perfume to match that of her old garden which was home to orange, lemon and grapefruit trees. With Rose, Neroli and Lemon blossom oils drifting through the room you're transported to tranquillity every burn. With such awful weather in the UK it's been the perfect scent to have while transitioning into 'summer'. At least I can feel some what summery despite the continuous downpours. Laura kindly sent over the 8.5oz of Flower which retails for just £19, £4 more than the 6oz. The larger of the candles have a burn time of 30+ hours while the 6oz have 25+ hours, great value for such a luxurious candle. So far I've burnt my candle only for a few hours though in those few it burned equally and proved to be clean when it came to blowing out the candle - just what you expect from a 100% soy wax. It's no wonder Laura Thomas candles have been recognised as some of the best candles in the UK. 

Had you heard of Laura Thomas before? Lucy xx
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.
© Lucyy Writes

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