Howdy, hey, gang!
So, this year has been a bit of a tits-up, right? It's been hell. Like someone on Twitter said '2016 needs to take a gap year and go find itself.' Maybe get some air, read a few books. Drink a lot.
I know we're supposed to be grateful for every second we have in this super-precious life, but like your bed after a really long day, 2017 is looking dreamy AF, and I'm glad this year is coming to an end. Donald Trump for president. I still don't get it. Anyway.
The year closing all around us means that we're heading for the festive season. I don't practice Christianity, so Christmas isn't a spiritual time for me, but it's still a family holiday. A holiday involving scary amounts of sugary coolers, and the practice of acting with enough gratitude to make sure people think you liked their gift, but also with the right amount of deadened humility to let them know that you're just the tiniest bit disappointed that they don't know you better. Wouldn't swap it for the world, Christmas.
And with Christmas comes LUSH's limited edition goodies! Walking into their festive stores really feels like walking into Santa's workshop - if Santa was vegan and way into skincare. I did this haul over one day and two stores. I sneaked in post-workout at Cavendish, then again at V&A when G and I were shopping for his Youtube Awards outfit (proud!). Each time, I strolled in to the sound of an angel's chorus, an invisible camera panning around my smiling face. Le bliss.
If you've got a LUSH near you, drop by to test out the new goodies. If your wallet's looking 'meh', I've got some 'LUSH on a budget' tips for you near the end of the post. All of the scrolling, fam! Otherwise, here's what I bagged.
christmas limited edition haul
Normally sweet smells drive me up the wall. Especially during my period, when my sense of smell outdoes the average bloodhound, mind the pun. Which is why I found it strange that I took to Snow Fairy so easily. It's something that I think, in theory, is best suited to younger women - even girls - but buying this babe felt like the most natural, age-appropriate shit ever. Basically, LUSH have done the impossible.
Tapped in to every woman's childhood desire to be like a fairy, and made it possible twenty or so years later. Coming for your man, Tinkerbell.
The friendly Lushie who cut my soap handed it to me saying, 'Did you want something bigger? I just tried to give you the most glitter.' So, obviously we're now best friends and shopping for friendship bracelets. This small Snowcastle babe was another sweet suprise, and its shiny goodness has helped make my bathroom smell ah-mazing. 10/10 would buy again - but it's limited edition.
I know we have way bigger problems but it still sucks, okay?
Jingle bell time is a swell time, to go riding on a reindeer slay! Listen you guys, I'm having a neroli moment. I first experienced its playful wonder in a L&M Calming Body Balm, and I've been pretty hooked since. I mixed it it with some avocado oil, marula oil, and frankincense for a nourishing stretch mark oil and damn, it's a thing of beauty. This is the only item on my haul list that wasn't a spot-buy. I walked passed and sniffed this boo like a hundred times. Which, taken out of context, might just be the weirdest thing I ever said. Leaves skin feeling soft and vibey.
Lavender and Ylang Ylang are packed into this sparkly lilac before-bed lotion. It's moisturising and non-greasy, so it's not going to take ages before you can climb into bed with your linen unscathed. Yay! Also, this reminded me of 'Sleepy' from Snow White (1938) and the little girl in me was like, 'TAKE ALL MY MONEY!'
The Snow Fairy in a dusting form, this is a kind of sprinkable perfume that'll convince you that you can fly a la Peter Pan, Wendy, and her brothers.
Another version of the Snow Fairy, only this time as a body conditioner. Cherry, mango, and avocado butter make for a sweet moisturiser that will have you smelling divine all day. That said, it's always good to try strong-smelling products out before buying them - what's good for you in-store might not be as appealing a few hours into wear, and what smells good to me might make you gag. If you can't get to a LUSH store, take a gamble and order online. You can always gift any unwanted products to a really, really nice friend.
Satsumas, dried cranberries, and brandy - this LUSH cutie was clearly made for Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. But it's still fun! Haven't given this a good go yet, so won't comment on its efficacy, but thanks to its Kaolin and cocoa butter, I'm sure it's going to work well as a deep but enriching cleanser.
other bits and bobs
I'm especially excited to try out the Ocean Scrub 'cause I've never seen a recommendation to use an exfoliator every day on oily skin. Wanna see what that's about fo' sho'. Also, I'm in between facial cleansers right now after polishing off Herbalism. It worked okay, but not wonders, so looking for something to replace the makeshift kaolin and bentonite clay mix I've got going in the mean time (it's a tad too drying).
I also grabbed some LUSH makeup - Feeling Younger Skin Tint, and Emotional Brilliance Eyes in 'Dynamic'. The skin tint is a baller highlighter that's going to strobe the hell out of my cheekbones, and the eyeliner is probably going to find most of its use as an eyeshadow. Blush tones for the win, you guys! A pale smokey eye looks good on everyone. Take a look at more LUSH makeup here.
lush on budget
When I was a student, I'd walk past LUSH and sigh. The colourful, sparkly and good-smelling storefront said 'holla girl, come in!', but the prices said 'you know, maybe not?' It sucked.
Certainly, there are worse things, but since this is in part a beauty blog, I hope you'll forgive the frivolity. I'm not trying to cure world hunger here, but I am trying to make this blog an accessible space for beauty lovers running a tight spending ship. Ready, fam? Here you go:
1. Samples, samples, samples.
Did you know that LUSH has a generous samples policy? Well, it does. You're allowed free samples of almost everything in store. Samples are a good way to see if you dig a product, and also how much you'll need of said product on each application and so on. Something might look inexpensive, but it has a short expiry date (as it's self-preserving), and you'll need to use a whole bunch of it in a small space of time. Knowing this ahead of time makes for better buying decisions later. Which is kinda sorta like saving money.
Hit up some samples of your wishlist items every time you buy a full-sized products, or just on their own every now and then. Weekly masks are especially budget-friendly 'cause you can easily use a sample size over a whole month! That's fantastic value. Plus you get to see real results from using the mask, 'cause it takes around four weeks for your skin to really reap the benefits. Vibey!
2. Buy soaps.
You might not have a couple of hundred bucks to spare on scrubs or cleansers, but you may just get away with buying some gorgeous-smelling soap. Having someone cut you a bar from a beautiful array of soaps has a special, old-timey shoppe feel to it. It also means you can take your time smelling and trying out a few soaps in-store, adding to your shopping experience in a way that buying the cheapest tampons on the rack doesn't.
If you've got fifty bucks to spare at the end of the month, consider buying a soap that's going to make you feel and smell like heaven. Plus it's a lot like giving your bathroom a makeover. For fifty bucks? That's pretty reasonable.
3. Say it with me, '100g or less is my BFF'.
When it comes to soap or shower scrubs and gels, LUSH's smaller portions are going to be your go-to for some spoils. If you just can't say no, grab a little buddy and make it last. I've popped an Olive Branch in my gym bag and it's lasted eons.
4. Emotional Brilliance.
LUSH's makeup range is multi-purpose, meaning it can be used in many different parts of your face. Don't have money for a blusher, lipstick, and eyeshadow? Why not buy one goodie that can be used for all three? Like this lip colour in 'Charm'. Save them dollars, babe.
5. Keep your tubs!
For every five full-sized tubs that you bring back to LUSH, you'll get a Fresh Face Mask for mahala! How amazing? Big ups to LUSH for this money-saving kiffness that's also great for our planet. Hoorah!
That's it, folks. Let me know what your favourite LUSH festive treat is, and which of these you've liked the most. See you in the next post!