Posts tagged ‘Lush’

March 15, 2012

On Mothering Sunday

On Mothering Sunday, I would like the following:

  • To say thank you to my lovely, amazing mother, mother-in-law and grandmother for all their love, support and all round brilliance. I am proud and very fortunate to be related to such wonderful women.
  • To have a lie in bed for a little while longer than usual, instead of being rudely awoken at the crack of dawn by my little son jumping on me carrying all his toy cars, most of which get dropped on my head as he clambers into my bed for a morning snuggle.
  • A cup of tea in that same bed, with a slightly-later-than-usual morning cuddle with both of my lovely, beautiful and bright children.
  • A card, preferably home-made, slightly wonky, liberally applied with glitter and with my daughter’s very own writing inside.
  • Pancakes. With lemon and sugar. They’re not only for Shrove Tuesday, you know.
  • A bit of time for reading my book, ‘I Capture The Castle’ which I’m re-reading in preparation for being a book giver on World Book Night.
  • Possibly even a bath using my  Lush Madame Butterfly reusable bubble bar on a stick. I bought this myself, because for me, there is no gift better than a little bit of peace and a few pancakes. I’ll admit, I’ve used it already. Because I am impatient and because it has the same beautiful rose, geranium and lemon fragrance as my favourite Rose Jam Bubbleroon from Lush.
  • A day of peace. When they’re playing nicely together, there is nothing in the whole world that makes me happier than just watching my kids play. So, if they really want to get me the best gift, it will be a day of peace. No squabbling, bickering or fighting of any kind. All day long. I might as well ask for a miracle, but there is no harm in trying.
  • While I’m on the subject of things I might as well ask for, if there is anyone who would really like to buy me this, I would love it. Not just on Mothering Sunday, I’d be happy to receive it any day you like. It’s a bicycle necklace from Alex Monroe. Not only is it utterly lovely, but the whole collection is named ‘Daisy Bell’, the first song I sang to my daughter when I was finally allowed to hold her, days after her very early arrival.

January 27, 2012

Gorilla Perfumes

I realise, as I write this, that I could be accused of turning this blog into some kind of Lush Love-Fest. It’s my second post about the company in as many weeks. And no, I’m not getting anything out of it. I’m going to plough on regardless, because I spent a brilliant time in the company of a member of staff at the Lush Leeds store recently during an evening to promote their new Valentine’s Day collection. All of which is very cute, and I may well indulge in a couple of  bubble bars, but that’s not what I ended up spending the whole event playing with. I ended up with the perfumes…

I love perfume, there is no secret there. I’ve written before about it: herehere, here and here. I also worship my two copies of ‘Perfumes: The Guide’ (by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez) like they’re religious tomes. Even though I am happy to make my own opinions about perfume, all of those I already owned before I bought the book are highly rated by them, so perhaps we have similar tastes.

Part of the Valentine’s Day collection at Lush is a new perfume called 25:43. Although I can tell it’s going to be popular, it’s not really me – too sweet. When I said that to the member of staff, she took me over to the table where the Gorilla perfumes were displayed and we spent a good long while playing with these:

The brilliance of this is that there are no names, no fancy packaging, just the scent. So you cannot be influenced by anything other than your nose. So, there are no assumptions on hearing the name of a fragrance such as ‘Dirty’ – which actually has a strong minty top note…

Some of these perfumes originally started out with the B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful part of the company, which no longer exists as a separate business. Thankfully, the perfumes moved across to be part of the Lush business and are available online or in larger stores.

In this blind perfume testing, there were three standout fragrances: Breath of God, The Smell of Weather Turning (which has an incredible minty note alongside oak and grassy smells)  and the Smell of Freedom. These are complex,multi-layered perfumes, unlike anything I’ve smelled anywhere else. I bought Breath of God and have worn it every day since. It still catches me out as it dries down. Amazing. It has an incredible five star review in the Turin & Sanchez book too.

‘Wearing it, I feel a sense of wonder that so late in the perfume game there can still be such a profound invention’ Tania Sanchez.

What I utterly love about the Gorilla perfumes (aside from the lack of fancy packaging showing me great perfume is not about the bottle) is that you can buy different parts. So, Breath of God can be bought as Inhale and Exhale – which you can wear individually or together.  Even more exciting is the triptych of perfumes making up The Smell of Freedom. This is really a perfume journey like nothing you can get in mass market department stores, no matter how much budget you have.

The Smell of Freedom can be bought as one perfume, or as:

Part One: Fire Tree, a warm and woody herbal perfume, with Australian influences from lemon myrtle and fir tree oil. This part is inspired by an Australian Aboriginal artist.

Part Two: Old Delhi Station, again a warm perfume but with a spiciness to it and a feeling of incense. Inspired by a journey made across India to meet an exhiled Tibetan Monk, this contains sandalwood, jasmine, black pepper and patchouli.

Part Three: Oudh Heart, my favourite of the three individual parts, this is inspired by a remarkable man called Sami, imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay without trial, he was freed as a result of work by Reprieve and Lush. This part is full of oudh (one of my favourite ingredients) sandalwood, cedar and orris root.

Again, the three can each be worn individually or layered together. It’s the closest many of us will come to really getting a glimpse into the art of perfumery as well as the inspiration behind a fragrance. Lots more about the story behind these perfumes can be found on the Lush website. I am enchanted by them and I really do urge you to go to your nearest (large) branch of Lush and try them for yourself.

January 20, 2012

Sprinkles: why it’s time for serious skincare.

I went for a run the other day. The first one in months, and of course, the day we decided to venture out, it was minus 4 degrees. Covered up in as many layers I could practically manage whilst still retaining full mobility, with a pink Buff secured over my ears, I looked great. By which, I clearly mean, a bit rubbish. The run itself went really well. It was bloody cold, but the fact I am pretty unfit meant I was soon warm and running through the woods, jumping over fallen branches and avoiding frozen puddles was as much fun as I remembered it being before my stupid foot injury, so I was really pleased. At the end, I was steaming like an out-of-condition racehorse, so the weather wasn’t so much of a problem.

Only when I got home and went into the bathroom for a shower did I notice the skin on my face. I’m blessed with that ‘lovely’ pink skin. You know, the kind that turns red at the hint of the sun, rarely tans, just gets more freckles, and in my case, turns bright purple after exercise and stays that way for hours… So, naturally, it was purple at that moment. It was also really sore though and it still is.

My skin appears to hate the cold. Which is weird really, because it hates hot weather too. So basically, my skin is against ‘weather’ in general. That’s helpful.

Alongside this revelation is my lovely son’s obsession with my ‘sprinkles’. I must have spent most of my life being in a state of shock because I always seem to raise my eyebrows. Always. Which means that although I’m not massively wrinkly on the rest of my face, I do have lines across my forehead, deep furrows like perfectly ploughed field. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but they are there. And my son is very concerned about them. The other day, he gave me a little cuddle, then ran his hand across my forehead, talking about my ‘sprinkles’. Then he frowned with all his might, and pointed to the teeny tiny furrows between his eyes.

This is why I forgive him…

Adorable though it was, I have now started spending a lot more time in front of a mirror peering at them, pulling at the sides of my face to see what I might look like if I had a facelift and imagining a perfectly-Botoxed and therefore furrow-free forehead. Not that I’m going in for surgery. The mere idea of voluntarily injecting myself with any form of Botulism purely out of vanity makes me shudder – although each to their own and I know lots of people do.

What I am going to do, though, is invest a bit more in my skin care. I need a serum, decent moisturiser, face masks. Whatever it takes to make me feel a bit better about it, and stop my face feeling so sore. At the moment I am hacking off the tops of off my lotions and potions to make them last until pay day. Once it arrives though, I am planning to spend a bit of money on saving my face. First up is an emergency treatment to take away the soreness, then I’ll look for a serum and moisturiser to help me deal with my sprinkles…

Here are my favourite emergency skin-saving remedies:

Eve Lom TLC cream – rich, designed for more mature skin and great for taking away the tightness of dry and sensitive skin and the soreness of my wind-chapped cheeks.

Neals Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm. I use this lots-  as a creamy cleanser and exfoliator (when used with the muslin cloth it comes with) or, more often as a rich, use anywhere, moisturiser. It smells wonderful, and although it has quite a greasy texture, it sinks in well. I really recommend this for things like chapped lips too.

Darphin Aromatic Renewing Balm. This works really well as an overnight balm on dry and sensitive skin and the combination of essential oils makes it smell amazing. Great as protection against environmental conditions.

I admit that they’re all pretty expensive but they do last me for months and months.

I’ve also heard very good things about the following two creams. Although I haven’t tried them yet, I intend to soon:

Lush Skin Drink – Designed for dry and sensitive skins and great at helping you to winter-proof your skin. Plus this one is quite a lot cheaper than the others, so  could use loads if I needed it!

Lush Skin’s Shangri La – Described as being great for winter, and leaving you cheeks that are soft to the kiss!

So, that’s my chapped cheeks dealt with. Next is the search for a great moisturiser and extra treatments to save my face in the longer term!

My sprinkly face…