Lush Face

Terrible title, I know. What can I say, I’m sleepy and distracted by Rain Apocalypse 2010 and the impending Christmas festivities!

So! As you might (or, more likely, might not) recall, I embarked upon a Lush skin care routine some time back. I was having some skin issues (odd dry patches, clogged pores, and the like), and since I’m a huge fan of Lush’s bath and body products, I figured it was high time to try out their skin care stuff and see if that sorted things out. After much hemming and hawing, I selected a few products that I thought might work well for me:

I have also augmented this routine with a couple of other items:

Now that I’ve been using this stuff for several months, I’ve formed some opinions. And here they are!

First off, the cleansers. I really, really like both Angels on Bare Skin and Buche de Noel. They’re similar products in that they’re both solid cleansers. As a former user of bar soaps, it took me a while to get accustomed to them; they have a cookie-dough-like texture, and you mix a pea-sized amount into a paste with water in the palm of your hand. It didn’t take me long to figure out that it takes very little water to achieve the required consistency. Both of these cleansers are very mild, and they have a gentle exfoliating effect as well. Buche de Noel is somewhat like a more moisturizing version of Angels on Bare Skin, and I’ve come to LOVE it; I suspect that it might be a Christmas-only product, and if that is the case, then I will CRY. It smells so good that I want to eat it.

I like both of these cleansers a lot, and would/will definitely purchase them again. In fact, I’m tempted to buy a backup of Buche de Noel RIGHT NOW, just in case they yank it after the holidays. I do think my skin has cleared up a bit since I started using them (although, to be fair, it was fairly clear before), and it certainly FEELS a hell of a lot better. So, yeah. I’m sold on these two.

Moving right along to the other new cleanser in my arsenal, 9 to 5. This is a makeup-removing “cleansing lotion,” and you use it like a cold cream, which is to say you smear it all over your face (including eyes and, if required, lips), and then wipe it off with cotton balls or a washcloth.  I don’t wear foundation or blush, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness in removing them. It’s fairly effective and non-greasy as an eye makeup remover.

However. I swear that one of the ingredients in this product reacts with certain mascaras that I wear, creating a STINGING-EYEBALLS-FROM-HELL situation. But this only happens with certain mascaras. DiorShow? No problem. Clinique High Impact? OH HOLY HELL MAKE THE BURNING STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I don’t know what’s up with that, and I don’t know if other people have had the same experience. I use this pretty regularly, and I would buy it again, but if I have the Clinique mascara on, I stick with Clinique eye makeup remover.

I’ve also become pretty fond of the Bubble Gum lip scrub. I’ve read some complaints about this product to the effect that it’s basically just flavored sugar mixed with oil. Which, OK, is true. But the flavoring is DELICIOUS (if you like like Snow Fairy/Godmother/Candy Fluff, you’ll like this). And it’s relatively cheap (US$8.95), and a little bit goes a LONG way. So I’ll continue to use it, and I think it’s a great value. For extra awesomeness, scrub your lips with this, then follow up with Whipstick. Mmmmmmmmmm soft and yummy.

And finally, Celestial moisturizer. My new love. At US$22.95, this isn’t particularly cheap, but it’s one of Lush’s more affordable moisturizers. I definitely think it’s worth the price. It smells delicious–like vanilla ice cream and almonds–and it’s incredibly soothing to my skin. It’s noticeably moisturizing without being greasy. I like it at least as much as the significantly pricier Paradise Regained, which is what I was using before I bought this one. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I adore this and would/will buy it again.

So! There’s my rundown. Have you used any of these products, and if so, what did you think? Is there some other magical Lush wonderment that I’m missing out on?

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Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 10:17 am  Comments (1)  
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Sap and a Dress

Note: Since it’s Thanksgiving Day in the US, I did one of those sappy “Things I Am Thankful For” entries today. If that kind of thing makes you roll your eyes, feel free to scroll to the end for pictures of me in a pretty dress and red lipstick.

I’m the kind of cheesy dork who tries to appreciate the small things in life. Part of why I like Thanksgiving (aside from the pie) is that it celebrates this kind of navel-gazing. It really lets you revel in gratefulness and humility, and it encourages you to spend some serious time thinking about your life and what’s awesome about it. Plus you get to eat until you can’t move and lie around watching The Twilight Zone all day. What could be better?

Thanksgiving 2010 has been pretty great so far. This morning I slept in. I get up just before 6:00 AM during the week, so sleeping in has become a bit of a luxury. This morning, I didn’t get out of bed until about 9:45. And it was GREAT. I love sleeping, and being in bed in general. It’s warm. It’s comfortable. It’s relaxing. And you know what are awesome? Pillows.

After we got up, the Mister and I took a walk. We live just a few blocks from the ocean, so we made some hot coffee, poured it into thermoses, and walked about a mile and a half down the beach. On the way back, we walked along Ocean Boulevard, which has some great old buildings (I’ll post pictures one of these days)–a green one called “The Empress,” an Art Deco one, a brick one that we refer to as “Toad Hall.”

Once we got home, I took a hot shower while the Mister made a second pot of coffee. I washed my face with Lush Buche de Noel (which smells delicious and is just a tad more moisturizing than Angels on Bare Skin–perfect for winter), and then used Haus of Gloi bubbling scrub in Parkin, which is like Christmas in a jar. It smells AMAZING. (ETA: I used it on my arms, not my face!) I like to ponder the coming day while I’m in the shower, so I thought about what was ahead of me today: cooking, eating, knitting, a phone call to my family in CO, probably a hot bath later. Post-shower, I took the pie I made last night out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature, and then sat down to blog.

I have so many things to be grateful for today: A job that gives me holidays off and pays well enough that I don’t have to have a second one, which means I got to sleep in on Thanksgiving. A nice warm bed to sleep in, and a fabulous man (and a seriously obnoxious cat) to share it with. A quirky old apartment in a friendly neighborhood a stone’s throw from the largest ocean in the world. Access to a reliably hot shower and fancy-schmancy smelly products to use once I’m in there. A close relationship with my family, and the fact that we’re all healthy and happy. Enough money and leisure time to indulge in my hobbies pretty much at will. A computer and camera with which to create this blog entry and Internet access so I can post it. The list goes on.

My life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m sure that some people would be humiliated to live the way I do. No house? No children? No Lexus? No CABLE??? And you know what? To hell with them. I’ve had some tough times, but I’ve worked hard to build a life that I love, and there’s not much I would change about it. I’m so utterly fortunate. And I do my best to keep that in mind, even when–ESPECIALLY when–the going gets rough.

And finally, I’m so fortunate to have met you all through this blog. I don’t have a ton of readers, but hey–quality over quantity! Thank you for reading, even when I am a sucky inconsistent blogger. Please know that your support and comments mean a lot to me.

Holy sapballs, Batman! Let’s cut through the treacle with some clothes and makeup, shall we? Today I am wearing my new dress from Lucie Lu. (Sorry for the squinty pictures–it was bright out!)

It’s super comfy, although it’s a bit bigger through the bust than I’d like. I might take it in, I might not. The Mister thinks that it looks like lingerie. I think he’s full of poo. The dress is actually sleeveless; I’m wearing it over a short-sleeved top.

Outfit details–now with sizes! (I think it’s useful when people post sizes along with outfits–do you? And would you find it useful for me to post my physical stats? People usually do this on Fatshionista OOTD posts, and I find it really helpful.)

  • Teagan Dress from Lucie Lu, size 1x (14/16)
  • Lacy sweater from Old Navy a couple of years ago, size L
  • Tights from Target, I forget what size
  • Belt from Old Navy, size M/L
  • Born shoes–although in reality, I wore these shoes all day:

And a better look at the makeup!

I did sort of pinup-inspired eyeliner and red lipstick today. The eyeliner is Urban Decay 24/7 in Crash, which is a gorgeous eggplanty purple with glitter. I really like it, but I always end up with glitter all over my face. I left these next two huge so you can see the glitter.

The lipstick is L’Oreal True Red mixed with a bit of Chocolate Truffle. I like my red lipsticks on the dark and brownish side, and it’s hard to find the exact right shade. So I usually have to mix a couple lipsticks together.

  • UDPP in Eden
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon eyeshadow in Brulee
  • UD 24/7 eyeliner in Crash
  • UD lash primer
  • DiorShow mascara on top lashes only
  • L’Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in True Red and Chocolate Truffle

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Pictures of food tomorrow.

Lush Update and Quick & Dirty Fyrinnae EOTD

My Lush skin care stuff arrived on Wednesday, so I’ve had a chance to use it a few times. And damned if I’m not impressed with all of it! Just as a reminder, I bought Angels on Bare Skin and 9 to 5 cleansers and Celestial moisturizer.

So far, I LOVE 9 to 5. It’s a “cleansing lotion,” which is kind of weird to me; I don’t believe I’ve ever used one before, unless Noxzema counts. It does a good job of taking off my makeup, even mascara. And shockingly, it works even better if I actually use it the way you’re supposed to, i.e., wipe it off with cotton balls or a washcloth rather than rinsing with water. Using water doesn’t work so good. It also leaves my skin really soft–none of that tight, dry, flaky feeling at all. Nice! Plus, I’m hoping I’ll be more dedicated to washing my face at night now that I’ve seen what ends up on those cotton balls. Bleah! No wonder I have cloggy pores!

Angels on Bare Skin is nice too. Weird, but nice. (I’m pretty sure someone wrote that about me in my high school yearbook, come to think of it.) It comes in this big roll thing and you pinch off a piece about the size of a pea, then mix it with water into a paste. Odd or no, it seems to work very well. It actually feels like a very mild, gentle exfoliant. But again, when I get done with it, I don’t end up with that tight feeling.

And you might have predicted this, but I’m liking Celestial too. It smells AMAZING … very nice if you’re into almondy/vanilla-y scents, which I am. It also leaves my skin really soft, and it definitely moisturizes, but it doesn’t feel greasy. Plus, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, like the last Lush moisturizer I bought, Paradise Regained (and have you seen this one? WTF???). Honestly, I think Celestial does just as good a job, and for less than half the price.

Of course, this is my very-early-stage, “I’ve been using these products for three days,” honeymoon-phase review. It’s entirely possible that in three weeks I’ll be back here going “DAMMIT! 9 to 5 is making me break out, Angels on Bare Skin has degenerated into common garden mud, and Celestial SEEMED nice at first, but I noticed that 20 bucks were missing from my purse this morning.” So no guarantees yet. But so far, so good–and my skin already feels a hell of a lot better.

And just so this whole thing isn’t a wall of text, here’s a quick & dirty Fyrinnae eye of the day! It’s sort of the lazy, everyday version of this one, using the same shades: Daemon’s Tail and Polar Bear.

Daemon’s Tail on the lid, Polar Bear in the crease. Forgive the crapness of these photos; I took them after work, about 9 hours post-makeup-application.

And some swatches, since I didn’t do any last time. With flash (DT on the left, PB on the right):

Fyrinnae Daemon's Tail and Polar Bear eyeshadow swatches

Direct sun:

Fyrinnae eyeshadow swatches, Daemon's Tail and Polar Bear

This one is, um, “blurred to show sparkles.” Also, complexity? In reality, all my direct sun photos came out blurry and this was the best of them. However, in the big version of this photo, you CAN see purple sparkles in Daemon’s Tail that I didn’t notice at all until I saw it in the sun. And THAT’s what I mean when I say that Fyrinnae shadows are complex; I’m always noticing some new nuance. Keep ya guessing, they do!

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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Ladies Who Lush

Yes, I know it’s not just the ladies who like Lush, but I cannot resist a pun.

So. Lush! I love it! And I know lots of other people who also love it. But not until I started reading makeup/cosmetics blogs and forums did I realize that opinions were as polarized as they are on this controversial topic. But they are! There are apparently people out there who think that Lush products are TOO SMELLY. There are even–it’s true–people who believe that Lush products smell BAD.

Yes! Smell BAD! Consider my pearls clutched!

I love Lush. I love everything of theirs I’ve ever tried. Well, almost everything. I didn’t love this, which might mean that I’m not as open-minded about patchouli as I could be. It instantly takes me back to this one particular head shop in Boulder, and it’s a scent that I feel is much better suited to head shops in Boulder than to my bathroom in Long Beach.

But I really love most of their stuff. I’ve tried lots of Lush things–soaps, lotions, scrubs, solid fragrances, body butters, dusting powders, I’m about to give a few of their skin care products a whirl–and I just keep coming back to the bath products. I love anything that smells sweet and desserty, and they have those fragrances in spades. My favorites?

Speaking of MMM Melting Marshmallow Moment, here’s something that Lush does that irks me a little bit: they use the same fragrance across multiple products but don’t call them the same thing. Or, if not the same fragrance, very similar fragrances. For instance, is it just me, or do MMM Melting Marshmallow Moment and Bubble Gum lip scrub both smell like Snow Fairy, which smells the same as The Godmother soap? I might be wrong about this, but I think they’re all the same scent, in which case, I wish they would give them all the same name and be done with it. (Come to think of it, the Think Pink bath bomb is the same fragrance as Rock Star soap, which I believe is also the same fragrance as Candy Fluff dusting powder. Why, Lush? Whyyyyy?) They could even, like the good people at Haus of Gloi, go a step further and let you shop by scent. Wouldn’t that be nice?

But I’ll forgive them their categories weirdness as long as they keep producing their incredible-smelling, highly moisturizing bath stuff. I spend a LOT of time in the bath–ask anyone–well, ask anyone who knows me–so I’m constantly on the lookout for bath products that really moisturize. And Lush stuff REALLY moisturizes. You know when you use a high-quality bubble bath or bath bomb, and you can just tell by the way it makes the water feel that your skin won’t be dry when you get out? That’s how Lush stuff is. I can’t get enough of it.

And disagree with me if you will, but there IS something addictive about the fragrances. I don’t know what it is … it’s like they all have this common undertone of CRACK SMELL that makes you want more, more, MOOOOOORE, until you have a whole shelf in your medicine cabinet devoted only to Lush, and you grow increasingly antsy as it starts to get depleted, until one day you lose all semblance of self-control and place an order that costs more than your monthly car insurance bill, which is pretty impressive considering how high your premiums have been since an old boyfriend totaled your car. OK, maybe that’s just me.

So, now that it’s perfectly clear that I’m Team Lush all the way, tell me … what are your thoughts on Lush? Tried it? Not tried it? Addicted? Not interested? One of those “Lush is smelly” people? Have another favorite bath/body line?

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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