29/09/2014

Lush Review | Mask of Magnaminty

Am I the only one who literally took ages to figure out how to pronounce the name of this bloody mask?! For ages I thought it was 'mag-na-min-ity' like some sort of foreign word for a volcano (because clearly, my reading/language skills are second to none). It's minty. M I N T Y. As if the scent and all the peppermint in it didn't give it away already. I question how I passed my exams sometimes. 



Anyhoo, I thought I'd write up a good ol' review on Lush's Mask of Magnaminty as I received the new, self-preserving formula as a birthday gift, yay! This is the first mask I've tried from Lush, and the self-preserving aspect plays a big part as to why. I only really use masks once in a blue moon, as most of the cheaper options tend to burn my skin red raw (hashtag allergy child problems). The whole 3-week expiry, keep it in the fridge thing for Lush's fresh masks just wasn't my cup of tea - I'd never get through it in time and end up throwing away half a pot. This one has a 3 month expiry rather than 3 weeks, and is au-naturel so I had no excuse not to give it a go!

I'll start with ingredients, as I think that's the most important thing about any Lush product. Peppermint oil is the main and most noticeable ingredient in this mask, and as soon as you remove the lid you're hit with a wave of mint and vanilla (although I've heard it's not as strong as the fresh version). Kaolin, marigold oil and honey also play a big part in nourishing and treating the skin, along with evening primrose and aduki beans acting as an exfoliant. All good things, all good things... but does it work?

I left my mask on for around 10 minutes the first time, 15 minutes the next, and there's no denying my skin looked a lot more refreshed. It was crazy, I scrubbed it off and for the first time in forever my skin was not red raw and didn't feel the slightest bit tight! I was having a bit of a stress breakout on my forehead, and after removing the natural green sludge from my face, I did notice a huge reduction in redness and general scabbiness, especially around bigger blemishes (mmm, sludge and scabs, this is such a classy conversation, right?). My skin looked very plump, bright and hydrated as well, everything the mask promised it'd do. Winnerrrr.

After using this I've definitely been persuaded to try some of the fresh face masks, I never realised quite the benefit a mask can have on the skin. I'd really like to investigate into the difference performance-wise between the self-preserving and fresh versions of this, let me know if it's something you'd like to see!

x
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28/09/2014

The Interview.

Ah, the dreaded job interview. It's the feeling that comes after the joy when you get an invitation, it's the feeling of dread when you realise just how much is riding on a simple conversation with a manager. As you might have read in previous posts, university wasn't something I wanted to pursue after college, and I managed to get a job interview yesterday with a very very well known high street fashion store. Anyhow, 'ere's what I wore!


I thought I was alright with fashion, although I'm not the bees knees, I thought I had a fair knowledge of what was 'in' and what was 'Autumn/Winter' - until I was faced with having to be bang on trend and smart and stylish all in one go. I decided to go with a structured tartan print, slightly cropped shirt from Dorothy Perkins - is it just me, or do DP's come out with some right little gems sometimes? It's not all old lady clothes, people! I paired it with a leather look A-Line skirt from Topshop, and was somewhat worried the textures would clash and be too much, but once the look was all pulled together, I quite liked it.


To bring out the colours in the tartan, I decided to go for burgundy/dark red accessories, with a pop of blue in the shoe. Absolutely fell in love with these chunky chelsea boots by Henry Holland, and did actually end up blowing ALL my birthday money the same day I bought these, mostly on more shoes. I also wore MAC's Viva Glam III lippy to complete the look, there will be a post coming soon (it's my very first MAC bullet, shock horror! Bad beauty blogger). Also, can we just appreciate how gorgeous this bag is?! I do love a good structured bag, and this is my little New Look bargain. The gold hardware makes it feel very luxurious and in my opinion, a lot more expensive than it actually is. Love love love it. 

As for the interview, well I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. I was told that if I was successful, I'd receive a call today or tomorrow - needless to say I will be waiting patiently with my phone glued to my side. I'll keep you updated!


SHOP THE POST:

x



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23/09/2014

Early Birthday Celebrations | Big Cat Experience

I am a dog person. That is, until it comes to big cats. It's no secret within my family that tigers are my favourite animal in the world, and as a child I had countless tiger teddies, huge ones, tiny ones, you name it - I had it. My birthday isn't until tomorrow, but yesterday my dad surprised me with a 'big cat experience' as part of my present! 

This is what I looked like before I left in the obligatory 'mirror selfie x3'.
I spent forever that morning trying to sort out my winged liner - we weren't the best of buddies to say the least. On my lips is e.l.f's mineral lipstick in 'Runway Pink', my watch is Michael Kors, and I'm wearing an Urban Outfitters Vintage Renewal military jacket (a £4.99 eBay purchase, might I add. Bargain alert).

We trekked for around an hour down the M25 before arriving at Paradise Wildlife Park, and were greeted with juice and biscuits in the Discovery Centre before meeting our lovely tour guide, Ian. Our little group, armed with phones and cameras, followed him out  into Big Cat Territory and onto the 'Catwalk' to meet the while lions! 

Ian seemed to know everything there is to know about these gorgeous animals, and had brought the male up since birth which was so cute! They were so lovely and calm, two of the girls were mother and daughter, and all the male wanted to do was protect his girls. The sound of Ian's little microphone kept setting the big guy off, which meant we got to hear him roar - the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

Next we moved onto the Cheetah, who was so shy that Ian had to pretend he had food so she'd come out! These are the only glimpses I managed to catch of her before she crept off further into the enclosure, but I must say that cheetahs are a lot smaller than I thought they were considering they can hit speeds of 70MPH (this was genuinely caught by researchers with a police speed gun out in the wild, woah!). Nevertheless she was so slender and gorgeous, and even had a little greyhound-type track around the edge of the enclosure that she goes for runs around every morning! I wish I had that type of motivation...

 The wildlife park had a male and a female snow leopard, who were both absolutely stunning. Their tails are really long and so fluffy, apparently when they sleep they wrap their tails around each other and use them as pillows! It was crazy to learn that before zoos, it took a researcher 5 years just to take his first photo of a snow leopard, they're that sneaky and elusive!  

The highlight of the day had to be by far going back to the enclosure later on, where I literally sat face-to-face with the male. The photos came out kind of weird because of the reflection of the glass, but I sat for ages nose-to-nose with this beautiful creature and it made my day. 

Next we moved onto the Jaguar, who after having a little sleep, went around the corner and started playing with his ball for all of us to see. No lie, this guy was by far the scariest of all the big cats - our guide mentioned that jaguars are the only big cats that will pounce from above and quite literally crush the skull and spine of their prey to kill it. Their jaws are a hell of a lot more powerful than any lion or tiger, and I definitely wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of one! 

Finally, onto my babies, the Tigers!!! There were two girls and one male called Rocky, who  just like a pet, knew his name when Ian called him! Awwwwww! The two girls were very shy and didn't really come out, but Rocky sat proudly on the top of his enclosure and had a proper pose for us all. We proceeded to have lunch in a cafe with a glass wall right next to their enclosure, which was crazy! I just wanted to take Rocky home with me, he was so gorgeous. 

After our tour was over, I went to seek out the White Tiger and found him in all his glory, rolling around in the grass having a great time. He was HUGE, and being able to walk around the edge of the enclosure right next to him, separated by just a fence was such an amazing experience. We also found out that he'd come to you if you rattled your keys - I think he thought we had food to give him!

I apologise for the picture heavy post, but these big cats were toooooo gorgeous not to show you! I had such an amazing time and learned so much form Ian and his wealth of knowledge about my favourite wild animals. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever. Are you a fan of big cats?



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18/09/2014

Review: Divergent Book Series


Want a good Autumn/Winter read? I have just the thing. Something a little different today, but I just can't resist a good book. Just before my holiday in August, I decided I wanted to start reading more. After all, beauty is knowledge, right? I bought Divergent by Veronica Roth well over a year ago and couldn't really get into it - it was on my e-reader anyway so I decided to give it another try before I bought anything new... man I'm glad I did!

I finished Divergent in two days, and immediately bought the next two books in the series. I was on holiday for 9 days and by the end of the trip and a 6 hour car drive later, I had finished the whole series. Bear in mind, these are not small books (the third and final book has 56 chapters - I'm used to around 20), but I have never read a series of novels so gripping with such shocking twists and turns. 

Book 1 - Divergent follows a 16 year old girl names Beatrice (Tris) living in a post-war city with her brother and parents. In a nutshell, she has to choose a 'faction' in which she will live for the rest of her life. I won't tell you which one she chooses as I don't want to spoil it! She meets an instructor named Four in said faction, and I don't think I've ever been so attracted to a fictional character in all my life. Holy crap.

Book 2 - Insurgent, and Book 3 - Allegiant are a lot harder to explain without telling you what happens in the previous books, as when you finish one, the next follows straight on afterwards with no break, which I LOVE. Insurgent almost gave me a heart attack when it ended and Allegiant made me cry multiple times and left me emotionally scarred for days. Yes they're that good. 

To anyone that's seen the Divergent film or is thinking of watching it - don't bother at least until you've read the book. I had to explain what was going on multiple times to my dad and boyfriend who were very confused as to what was going on. It misses out a lot of the good stuff, as well as some important bits too, so the books are a must read.

This series is definitely one for the readers who like to escape into the world of the book, and give it complete, undivided attention. It's got fights, deaths, romance, thrills, spills, and everything in between, and treats each situation in a mature, surprisingly realistic way. Who's read this series?! Let me know so we can swoon over Four together. 


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17/09/2014

Review: Lush - Retread Hair Conditioner


If you've had a nosey at my recent Lush haul (here), you'll have seen I picked up their Retread hair conditioner. I'm a big fan of Lush haircare anyway, and since the ends of my hair were looking a little lack-lustre, I decided this could do no harm!

Retread is mostly natural-yoghurt based, and no lie, it literally feels like you're sticking your hand into a Müller corner dessert then slathering it onto your hair. The point of this conditioner is to coat and repair the outer shaft of the hair cuticle, which is exactly what was needed for my ends, that were forever breaking off. 
The ingredients in this conditioner definitely pack a punch, with Agar Agar gel to soften and moisturise, whilst fresh cantaloupe melon conditions and cleanses. All that is then combined with 3 essential oils (jojoba, avocado, extra virgin olive oil) to add extra shine. And boy does it do shine well! I apply a scoop of conditioner to each half of my hair, then twist it all up and let it sit for a few minutes while I shave/wash my body/chill in the tub. 

The smell in the pot isn't the greatest - but the weird thing is that once the hair is all dry, it actually smells very fresh and has that 'clean' scent to it. Used in conjunction with my 'Curly Wurly' Lush Coconut Shampoo, I can safely say that my hair has never felt cleaner. Ever. 
I must admit it's not the greatest for detangling and I still find myself dragging my tangle teezer through my locks before I put it up to dry, but for sheer conditioning, it's great. My hair feels and looks so much healthier, shinier and more moisturised after using this, and it lasts right through until the next wash. 

In other reviews I've read, the new Retread formula apparently seems to work better on thinner hair rather than thicker hair. I wouldn't say I've got either thick or thin hair, I'm somewhere in the middle and it works just fine applying it to my ends!

Rating: 8/10 (Would be higher if it detangled better!)


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13/09/2014

19th Birthday Wish List



19, Nineteeeeen, the big One Nine. Since turning sixteen I really feel as if the years are slipping away from me a lot faster than usual. This will be my last year of full on teenage-hood, before I start having to be a responsible 20-year-old adult, which scares the living crap out of me! 

Miss Dior Le Parfum - I received a sample of this in a Birchbox a while ago, and usually I'd be a bit funny about getting something I can go get for free from the Perfume Shop, but I REALLY like the smell of this. I'm ridiculous at describing smells, so just click on the link to see what Dior say about it, and take my word for it when I say it smells gooood. 

LUSH Gift Boxes - Anyone seen the LUSH Legends box?! Yes per-lease! Any sort of LUSH gift is a winner in my books, I picked 'Pop' and 'Hello Gorgeous'. Hello Gorgeous has one of each scrub, moisturiser, lotion, bath bomb and bubble bar to properly set you up for a good pamper, and I couldn't scroll past Pop, as it's full of 10 amazing bath bombs (inc. Think Pink, Sex Bomb and Honey Bee, which are personal faves). 

MAC Lipsticks - (L to R: Media, Lingering Kiss, Viva Glam III) I have been lusting over Viva Glam III for aaaaages. Having an autumnal birthday means it's a great chance for me to try out new styles of makeup, and in this case, vampy red lippies. I've never been a red lipstick girl but for some reason I can't seem to get enough of darker, plummy/browny reds, which MAC have no shortage of as their choice of shades is amazing. 

Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set - This brush set is everywhere in the blogosphere, and it's clearly marketing done right because oh boy do I want this brush set. I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over brushes for a while, I have a few MACs, a few Real Techniques and I kind of wanna add a few Zoeva essentials into the mix.

alt-J Tickets  - alt-J are pretty much my all time favourite band. If you were wondering what that weird looking splodge was in the bottom right corner, it's their new album cover! They're playing Alexandra Palace in London on THE DAY of my birthday and it'd be an absolute dream to go and see them play live. 

I realise this wish list is very beauty-based, I'm so bad at thinking of gift ideas, and I suppose it's what you lot like to see anyway so everyone's a winner! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to endure a horribly long day at work (crying face emoji). See you tomorrow!

x

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12/09/2014

Hey Hey Hey!

I only really meant to include two 'Hey's in the title but if you read it in the style of the song 'Blurred Lines' it'll all make sense. I'm getting delirious, can you tell? 


Topshop's line of cosmetics is really starting to make a name for itself, and I for one struggle to hold myself back whenever I come close to a counter. After a little browse I came across this nail polish in the shade 'Hey Hey' and became besotted by it.

Autumn's almost here and the darker, deeper shades of reds and greens and burnt oranges are creeping up on us, but no matter what the season, I am always a sucker for pastels. In Topshop's ever-so-cute signature polka dot packaging, I can safely say I've never seen anything like this nail polish before. It's got little white flecks distributed throughout the colour that really remind me of winter and ice and snow, especially against the pastel blue. I'm not sure if I'm more excited for Autumn or Winter, what's worse is I have an autumn birthday and I think I'm still looking forward to Christmas more.  Hence this purchase. 

I believe they had another lilac-y shade (the name escapes me) in the same style as this, but it just didn't please the little person inside of me longing for winter to come. The one issue I have with Topshop nail varnishes is that I find they chip quite easily, so I'd definitely recommend investing in a good quality top coat (Seche Vite etc.).

Are you excited for the colder months or am I getting waaaay ahead of myself?

x

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10/09/2014

All I Hope To Do In Lists

Something a little different than the usual today, something a bit more personal. It's about to get sensitive up in here! Through my school and college years I went through a lot mentally, my health deteriorated and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't difficult. I've had to be a bigger person, put myself first for once and take the decision not to pursue university. Which is very scary. Whilst everyone around me is currently moving to new places and making 'don't forget for uni' lists, I'm out with the world at my feet and I'm not quite sure how to cope. 

My Future Listography - £11.95 
 That's where this little book comes in. I struggled through education (and still struggle today) with anxiety attacks and depression, but that's a story for another day, doom and gloom is not what I'm going for here! I was actually on the hunt for The Pointless Book when spotted this and a few other 'listography' books in Waterstones and thought they were too cute. They had just a normal 'listography', a music one, a film one, and a future one, which is the one I picked up.

'List moments in your life you don't want to forget'.
You're probably wondering the reason I'm opening up about all this and what the hell it has to do with a book (I don't blame you!). Through all my experiences, I've developed a lack of positivity and positive thinking, and flicking through this little book made me feel all warm and optimistic thinking about what I'd write on each list. The idea behind buying this other than to kill boredom with, is for the times when I'm feeling nervous, or down, or panicky, I can sit and write a list and feel positive about it.

'List animals you'd love to adopt'.
Aside from everything else, it's a lovely little idea and I'm glad I found it as so far, it's really helped as a method of coping (It's even helped prevent a few anxiety attacks here and there). This post seemed relevant as we're now in the season where people are thinking about their futures, off out into the scary big wide world like me, or off to high school/sixth form/college or university (in which case, hey I found a series of books for you to keep your lists in, yay!). I saw this book as a handy way to deal with stress and a way to list future hopes and aspirations in a fun way, which I suppose can be relevant to all of us in some way, one day or another! 



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09/09/2014

Another Lush Haul (I Have A Problem...)


The shock and disappointment that was felt when opening my 'LUSH storage' box to find it completely empty was horrifying. It meant only one thing - I had to go and stock up. Now it's September the colder, darker nights that call for bath-time are fast approaching and it was a vital, life threatening emergency (maybe not quite 'life threatening', but you get the idea). I'll start with bath ballistics...

Dragon's Egg - £3.25
I'll usually make a beeline for every sweet smelling creation I can find in LUSH, but every once in a while it's nice to use something a bit fresher - especially with dark, groggy winter mornings fast approaching, I need something more to drag me out of bed. Dragon's Egg contains lemon oil, so it smells lovely and lemony fresh (round of applause for Captain Obvious over here). Apparently it includes popping candy and glitter too which makes it all the better. 

Butterball - £2.50
Another thing I love about LUSH is how wonderfully inexpensive most things are. Like this little gem. Butterball isn't the typical all singing, all dancing bath ballistic, instead it's packed with cocoa butter and ylang ylang and fizzes away gently. Did I mention it smells amazing?

Twilight - £3.25
I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing over this pink blob for a long time. Today was the day I cut my losses and took the plunge. This has been filling my room with the scent of lavender all day and it's so relaxing. Twilight contains bundles of essential oils to aid sleep so I can't wait to pop this into a warm night-time bath after a busy day. 

The Comforter - £4.50
I suppose you could call this my 'usual' bubble bar, I've repurchased this bad boy time and time again. The Comforter is massive and little goes a long way - I usually get 3 or 4 bubble baths out of one bar. It smells like blackcurrant and berries and you end up with a lovely pink, bubbly bath. Winner. 

MMMelting Marshmallow Moment - £3.95
If you know LUSH, you know Snow Fairy and THIS. SMELLS. LIKE. SNOW. FAIRY. UGH.
I'm such a sucker for that classic Christmas scent and I think I've found it's doppelgänger. I've only ever tried the Dreamtime bath melt and have wanted to try another ever since, they're super moisturising and soothing and perfect for when you want something a little gentler than a bath ballistic. 

None Of Your Beeswax - £5.75
No stranger to my blog, the None Of Your Beeswax Lip Balm is a firm staple of mine. (You can read a review of this and a LUSH Lip Scrub here). However, I went and left my old one in a hotel in Reading, after we left the for the festival. Was I disappointed? Hell yes. So I needed a new one... And that's all really. 

Tea Tree Toner Water - £7.50
 This is something I've heard so many good things about, so I decided to give it a try myself. Toner is a step I've missed out in my skincare routine for ages, and now winter's coming I decided I want to give my skin a bit more love. I've always had good experiences with tea tree so I have high hopes!

Retread - £10.25
The ends of my hair are a state, there's no doubt about it. I considered purchasing the Hair Doctor mask at first, but I don't think the whole 'keeping it in the fridge' thing is for me, I'll just end up forgetting it's there. Instead I opted for Retread as it's a repairing, soothing, heavyweight conditioner which is right up my street. Can't say it smells all that great but if it does the job, I don't mind.



Also, does anyone else loooove how the 'LUSH Times' has had a bit of an upgrade? The lady at the counter popped this in my bag with the rest of my stuff and it's so cute. The catalogue in the back of the magazine means I can discover new things and put them on my 'want' list, without having to be anywhere near a LUSH store, and the little stories inside really opened my eyes to LUSH as a company and why they do what they do.

Have you tried any of these bits from LUSH? I'm all up for trying new things so if there's anything you recommend, reveal all please!


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