Lush Oxford Street

After the election results on Friday my boyfriend and I were in desperate need of some hippy green retail therapy. Lush’s newly opened, 3 storey flagship in the heart of Oxford Street seemed like the perfect place. I thought I’d share some of their 200 exclusive products, as well as our amazing experience. IMG_6300Despite it being a busy Saturday, we spent almost three hours wandering around this incredible shop, checking out loads of the new products and testing them, playing with their new bath bombs, smelling everything and wishing we had a bit more disposable income (not that that’ll be happening any time soon, thanks to the UK electorate) IMG_6279 They have so many new soaps. SO MANY. Unfortunately I don’t have anywhere to put solid soap in my bathroom so I didn’t get any, but hopefully one day… IMG_6291 That grapefruit one is incredible. And the hairy one is the perfect smell for anyone who loves the outdoors – it smells like nice dirt. IMG_6306 This Guardians of the Forest bath bomb has a very subtle scent and I couldn’t smell it at first. Then one of the lovely staff members (and I mean lovely – I know Lush employees work hard but these people knew everything, and were so nice!) told us to sniff ourselves before sniffing the products to get the scent. This one really does smell like a forest, it’s beautiful. The one above it smells of parma violets but not quite so sweet. Yum. IMG_6307 It’s impossible to walk around this shop and not feel happy. With the famous lush scent, lovely employees, fascinating products and wonderful atmosphere, we didn’t want to leave. IMG_6283 Here’s the shaving corner. Everything in Lush Oxford Street is so beautifully presented, and after 10 minutes in this part I ended up a with tub of shaving cream (for my legs) and beard wash (an early birthday present for my boyfriend). IMG_6287The only part I didn’t spend much time looking at was the facial skincare – I’ve haven’t tried much Lush skincare, apart from Ocean Salt which I liked, but was probably not the best product to use 10 years ago on my sensitive teenage skin. IMG_6285 However, they have so many more products now, and the staff here are so good, that I’m definitely going to come back and look at the facial skincare soon. I bet there’s something there that my combination, self destructing skin will love. IMG_6308 I loved the look of this striking Coalface facial soap, with charcoal to help absorb oil and liquorice root to soften the skin. This would be something my boyfriend, who has very oily skin, could use daily, while I could it from time to time when my skin gets shiny or spotty. IMG_6290One of the best parts of Lush Oxford Street is that there are chairs surrounding their fresh mask area, where the staff can show you all their amazing masks while you sit down. Perfect for all the tired shoppers who pass through Oxford Street every day. IMG_6289 This also gives them a really good opportunity to talk to you, which is where the amazingly knowledgable, lovely and interesting staff come into their own. It was a pleasure to talk to the lady who was applying testers of their gorgeous masks to our hands. IMG_6312 We tried four, the ones you see here are an Oxford Street exclusive ironically named Don’t Look at Me, and The Sacred Truth, a mask with papaya to brighten and exfoliate. We also tried brightening and refreshing Cup of Coffee and soothing, calming Rosy Cheeks. IMG_6309I ended up buying Rosy Cheeks, because I have lots of exfoliating, cleansing, polishing and brightening products, but nothing particularly calming. This smells beautiful and my hand was wonderfully soft afterwards. Obviously I’ll review it when I actually try it on my face! IMG_6294As you go down into the basement area, there’s a whole corner given over to feet. I can see this being popular as the weather gets warmer (popular with me at least, I hate having sweaty feet) IMG_6296Then you’re downstairs, in the headily scented massage bar and perfume section. There’s a sensory exhibit here about their Gorilla perfumes, but we didn’t end up checking it out (there’s always next time). My boyfriend had a look at the perfumes and fell in love with a smoky, whisky inspired scent that he’s already saving up for… IMG_6297 …while I cooed over the massage bars. Lush massage bars are some of their best products – Each Peach, Pearl, Dirty, Tender is the Night and Soft Coeur are all joint favourites for me. IMG_6300 Then we headed over to the deodorant/dusting powder section. Again, everything was so gorgeously laid out. I think the shopping experience here is on a par with Liberty’s for excitement, beauty and all around enjoyability. IMG_6303I picked up one of these gorgeous deodorants, a Lush Oxford Street exclusive called Deo my BO (hahaha) that smells stunning. It’s really fresh and lively. I’ll be trying it out this weke and will review asap! IMG_6304 Elbow Grease is one of many exclusive products that I of wish I’d picked up. It’s a really melty balm, intended, I think, for making tattoos shine really nicely, but also for soothing rough skin. I have a few dry patches that I think this would be perfect for. It melts away in your hand and smells gorgeous. IMG_6336 So…if you’ve made it all the way through this marathon post, you’re probably wondering what I actually bought. There’s Deo My BO deodorant, a sample of Roots scalp treatment, Flowering Tea reusable bubble bar, I Am A Radiant Being solid bath oil, Five O’Clock Whistle shaving smoothie, a sample of Giant’s Gel hair gel, Rosy Cheeks face mask, a sample of Curly Wurly shampoo, You’ve Been Mangoed solid bath oil, Damaged hot oil hair treatment and Kalamazoo beard and face wash. Lush Oxford Street is a stunning place to get lost in, their exclusive products are incredible, and they have done something I didn’t think anyone could ever do: make Oxford Street smell nice.

Ten things I won’t let out of my sight this summer

It’s really hard not to live up to my sterotype and start this post with a comment about the hot weather. No. I will not do it. TMI warning: I had my first cervical screening the other day, and what did we talk about? THE WEATHER. For those of you yet to experience/dreading to experience that particular facet of womanhood, let me reassure you it isn’t that bad. Don’t skip it out of embarrassment.

WELL, that was quite the way to kick off a post, wasn’t it? If you’re still reading, here are the things I’ve been using/buying/banging on about since the sun started coming out.

1. DHC Blotting Paper

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I reviewed this a while ago and predicted that this super cute little box would be ever by my side this summer. And I was right! Central London is hotter than anywhere else in the UK that I’ve ever been, and these babies have come in so handy, while on the tube, bus and after walking anywhere, so basically, all the time. My friends have been hella grateful for them too, and I still can’t get over how they don’t affect my make up AT ALL. Get it for £4.

2. M&S white ankle socks

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Here’s a life lesson you probably already knew that I recently learned: NEVER WEAR CONVERSE WITHOUT SOCKS.  I used to find it hard to wear ankle socks with my shoes because I have very wide feet at the toes and they seem to pull the socks down inside the shoe. Of course, it turns out that all I had to do was buy better quality ankle socks. Years of picking up a multipack from Primark, I’d kind of forgotten that other places sell them too (in fairness, I used to trampoline, and there’s no point buying good ankle socks for that because they’ll get destroyed two weeks after you buy them). Anyway, these M&S ones are great, they have a ring that goes around the arch to hold them in place, so they don’t slip down! Here they are, 3 for £5.

3. Travalo Travel Perfume Bottle 

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I don’t like to go anywhere without my favourite perfume, Philosykos by Diptyque, but the gorgeous glass bottle is heavy, and I’m always worried about breaking or losing it (£80 ya’ll). I was also reluctant to buy an ordinary spray bottle because I’d have expose my precious perfume to the air whilst decanting it, which might damage the fragrance. This travel bottle has a nifty rubber hole at the bottom, and all you have to do is remove the atomiser from the perfume, attach the travel bottle, pump a few times, and voila. Portable Philosykos. Amazon is where I got mine, for about £9.

4. Ambre Solaire Clear Protect SPF30

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Sun protection is hell of a thing. Endless choice, very little unbiased advice. Should I go with an all-natural version that doesn’t have EU certification and has questionable SPF, or should I get one with five different logos and a host of chemicals in it? Cream or spray? Pricey or budget? Well, this one just spoke to me – a dry oil that doesn’t need to be rubbed in, I really like the way it feels on my skin, because it isn’t sticky. Also, because of the fact that it isn’t a cream there aren’t any parabens in it. Bonus. Get it here!

5. A massive pretty dress several sizes too big for me

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If you haven’t thought of this yet, then seriously, do. The pretty pattern means that it retains a bit of style, but the extra fabric means my poor overheated skin can get some air without having to get sun at the same time. This one was from River Island and I got it in the sale. I got the largest size I could find and it feels so comfortable and summery. Glorious.

6. Bobble Bottle

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Buying one of these was the best desision I’ve made in a long time. The water tastes SO much better, and it’s a very pleasant bottle to drink from, which means you’re more likely to stay hydrated. If you’re in London or any other big city, one of these is an absolute must – especially since bottles of water are more expensive! They come in a huge variety of colours, and most of them are clear plastic rather than coloured. Mine is a Bobble Sport which means the body is made out of more robust plastic than the clear ones, because I don’t trust myself with anything. Oh and lots of different sizes too! Check them out.

7. Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser

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I reviewed this the other day, and all I can say is I regret not doing it much sooner. This is the perfect cleanser for summer. My skin gets oily in hot weather, and this is perfect for removing excess oil while leaving my skin soft and fresh. Plus, I still can’t get over the foaming action.

8. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Hair Care

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If you’ve read my blog at all – well, then you know. I’m obsessed with Palmer’s. The coconut oil products are just SO great for my hair as the sun tries it’s hardest to fry it, plus they smell nice and summery too. Treat your locks.

9. Cute colourful ear studs

IMG_3590 I got my ears pierced relatively recently, in comparison to most women, when I was 22. I don’t know if it’s because I never grew up with them or if it’s just a facet of my scatty personality, but I suck at earrings. I forget about them for weeks at a time and I’m always annoyed at myself as I have lots of nice ones, but I’m always worried about looking too ‘overdone’ when I wear them. This casual set of studs is perfect for me, because I can just put in whichever set I see first and go, whatever I’m wearing (ok I make a bit more effort than that, but still). They’re simple, easy and the perfect accessories for when I’m desperate to get out of my boiling hot bedroom in the morning. I got these pretties from ASOS.

10. Smooze Mango Coconut

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Coconut milk and mango ice lollies, I mean come on, do I need to say any more? Get them from your local health food shop. There is a possibility that they’re made for children, but I literally do not care. They are delicious. Here’s there website for help finding them (if you live near a Whole Foods or As Nature Intended, I know they sell them, but I’m not sure about anywhere outside of London!)

Review: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave In Conditioner

Hello reader! Thank you for visiting my blog. Before you read about this product, I wanted to give you the opportunity to read about my updated haircare recommendations. I wrote this blog post a long time ago, and have since found products that are FAR better than this one. Read more here

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Oh wow is it hot in here. And by here, I mean ALL OF LONDON. It’s ridiculous. I had two job interviews this week and had to go out and buy new clothes because I don’t own anything smart but breathable enough for this weather. Anyway, sweating almost as much as I did in the Amazon aside, this kind of heat does all kinds of dreadful things to my hair, things of the dry frizz variety. Enter: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave In Conditioner.

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First things first, this stuff smells DIVINE. I used it just before going out one night (you’ll see the effect below) and one of my friends was drunkenly telling me over and over how good my hair smelled! It’s coconutty, but doesn’t get the stale smell that pure coconut oil gets if you put it on you hair. Consistency-wise, its a very watery lotion, so its perfect for my super thick hair, as cream takes an age to distribute.

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Hope you like my set up. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to break out the ludicrous hawaiian shirt I bought on Brick Lane. Have you ever seen such an angry toucan? Anyway, back to the thing I was supposed to be talking about…

I’ve used the Leave In as a product on wet hair, and to revitalise dry hair, and it’s been great for both. After washing, I needed to dry my hair better than I usually would, because obviously its quite a liquidy formula, but it’s such an amazing defrizzer that it didn’t matter. My hair feels so smooth when I put it on, really really silky and soft.

IMG_3417You have no idea how hard it is to take good selfies of my hair…

After following with my other styling products, the curls stayed soft for several days, which was amazing. But then naturally, they started to frizz up a bit after that. So I reapplied. Here’s a before and after of how that went (hint: really rather well)

IMG_3406And here’s another one from just after washing, because when my hair looks good I really like to get as much coverage as possible.

I LOVE this Leave In. It goes perfectly with the Coconut Oil Hair Milk to leave me with silky soft, shiny, perfectly defined curls. I don’t like to use things that make my hair crunchy, but equally I hate having fluffy hair, and this hits it right in the middle. I can’t use the milk when my hair is dry as I can’t brush it, so the leave in is the ideal alternative. And it’s super cheap – only £4.99 on feelunique.com! 

While I was setting up this ridiculous set of photos, I realised that I’ve accumulated quite the collection of Palmer’s products! Not even I realised I loved the brand this much, but I do!

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Before I go, I want to talk about that awesome little thing down in the bottom right. Cocoa Butter Lip Balm.

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Again with the angry toucan, I can’t get enough of it. This lip balm has obviously been around forever, but this was a shape I hadn’t seen before, its oblong rather than round. They do loads of different cocoa butter swivel sticks (a friend of mine used to use a gigantic one that I always thought was cool because you could use it on dry skin too) but I really like this version.

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This is the point where I gave up and just made the photo all about the angry toucan. But do you see what I mean? It’s a really nice shape to use, and its the wonderful Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm you’ve doubtless bought before and loved. If you haven’t – try it out, it goes on silky, and really nourishes wonderfully. Get it from Superdrug for £1.89!

Natural Curly Hair Care Routine

Hello reader! Thank you for visiting my blog. Before you read about these products, I wanted to give you the opportunity to read about my updated haircare recommendations. I wrote this blog post a long time ago, and have since found products that are FAR better than this one. Read more here

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Soooo…here it is! Everything I use on my hair aside from my Tangle Teezer and towel (I’m not showing you my Tangle Teezer, it looks like a dog chewed it…nope, just my hair). You can probably see a theme here, which is that I try to use products that are as natural as possible. Something you might not know about conventional hair care products is that they often contain ingredients that are illegal to put into skincare. The idea being that you can’t absorb stuff from your hair into your bloodstream, so they’re ‘not as hazardous’. I’m hardly one to preach though because I don’t even know what the ingredients of the last product are, I just use is because its works so well! So anyway, lets get on with it… Continue reading

Miracle Curly Product: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Hair Milk

Hello reader! Thank you for visiting my blog. Before you read about this product, I wanted to give you the opportunity to read about my updated haircare recommendations. I wrote this blog post a long time ago, and have since found products that are FAR better than this one. Read more here

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Big news. Its taken me quarter of a century, but I think I might have PERFECTED MY HAIR CARE ROUTINE. And when I say that’s big news, I really mean it. For me, my hair has been a nightmare from the day it started to grow (ok so given the fact that I was bald until I was a toddler maybe I’m exaggerating the length of time, but not by much). I’m going to make a more detailed post about my new hair care routine later on, with all the products I use, but for now I just wanted to share the most recent one, because this one is had such an INCREDIBLE effect that I had to share it right away. Don’t ask me why I photographed it next to my lavender, because all I can tell you is that I’m rather proud of my decorative arrangement and it was just sitting there when I went to take the photo.

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Thank you Palmer’s, for your Coconut Oil Formula Replenishing Hair Milk, because my hair has literally never been this soft or shiny. Almost as soon as I smoothed it onto my wet hair I could feel the difference I’d been looking for. My hair stayed smooth as it dried, it didn’t frizz, and its really shiny. Being curly, thick, frizzy and dry, my hair can’t be washed often so keeping it soft while avoiding build up is essential, and this has helped to keep my hair in incredible condition for FIVE days. Absolutely unheard of. Its a very soft cream, that absorbs really easily, which is exactly what I need because I have to use water to form my curls (more on that later) so combing product through my hair isn’t an option. Afro, curly and dry hair will soak this up with relish, it’s just gorgeous. Smells deliciously coconutty too (you know how sometimes coconut stuff can be a bit disappointing? This is NOT one of those times).   Now, are you ready for some hair? …

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No, not even taking a selfie for my blog will get me out of my fleece hooded poncho when I’m in it. It’s got pockets for heaven’s sake. I will post some clearer pictures of my hair when I do the post on my full routine so you can actually see the result. But this was taken yesterday, and I washed it on Saturday, so you can see how well the curls have stayed.

The best thing about this Coconut Oil Hair Milk is that I got it on offer at my local Sainsbury’s for under £3! Normally £5, which is still an absolute bargain for such an amazing product. Even I only needed a couple of globs for my whole head (trust me, I have more hair than you do) so it’ll last for ages – Thank you Palmer’s!

Silkskin Pillowcase

I’ve just moved to London, and have spent the past few days trying to absorb as much of the city as I can.  Of course this involves visiting lots of shops, and Harvey Nichols was high on my list, as I’ve actually never been there before. I had a beautiful walk from Kensington High Street along  Hyde Park and past the Royal Albert Hall. Harvey Nick’s definitely didn’t disappoint – I was particularly impressed by the fact that there’s a guy in a top hat who opens the door for you. How sweet is that? Ok, so, onto my purchase…

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Having very curly, frizzy and thick hair, I encounter seemingly endless issues when it comes to putting my damn head on a pillow and waking up with my style intact. Apart from a couple of lucky mornings where I must have somehow risen from the bed and slept in the air, my curls are always destroyed come morning. Which is frustrating because it takes three hours for my hair to be anywhere near dry after I wash it, plus if I wash it more than every four days it turns into a haystack. That’s where this bad boy comes in…

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Those are some pretty lofty claims right there on that packaging. Lofty and a little exciting – though to their credit I don’t think I’ve ever actually been frizz free so I won’t be holding them to it too strictly. All I want is to wake up with hair isn’t framed by a massive floppy halo. As for the pillow itself, I love it. It has a really interesting feel to it – nothing like a normal silk pillow where you feel sweaty and like you’re about to slide off it all the time. It feels a lot more like cotton, or (and trust me, this is actually not as weird as it sounds) like really, really soft skin. I guess that’s where the name comes from! It doesn’t make you feel sweaty at all, and when I woke up my skin felt great, really soft and a lot calmer than normal.

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As for my hair – I am impressed. Even though it had been blown around all day in the wind and then frizzed up in a club all night, I still woke up with soft curls, and MUCH less frizz than I would have done normally. I’m looking forward to seeing how my skin and hair get on as I keep sleeping on it! I really recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the condition of their skin and hair, especially if, like mine, yours can be quite high-maintenance.