Skin Care: Lush

This is my third post on skincare. See my other two here and here . Today's post is about Lush. According to their website, Lush originated in England with the first North American store opening in Vancouver in 1996.  Lush's tagline is fresh handmade cosmetics and they reportedly supply their stores from two cosmetic kitchens in Canada.

I've been using products from Lush for about six months now. I would always see their store in my local mall and one day I just went in to see what they were about. I walked out with the Dark Angels Face/ Body Cleanser(4.0z as pictured) and the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask. Over the next several months I tried out several different face masks and their Tea Tree Toner Water. I have been very impressed with their products. My favorites so far are the Dark Angel Cleanser, the Tea Tree Toner and the Cupcake Fresh Face Mask. I have combination skin and my specific skincare concerns are cystic acne, hyperpigmentation and eczema.

The Dark Angel Cleanser gives me a great clean while gently exfoliating my skin without any irritation. It has a scent that is difficult for me to describe. The best I can come up with is it smells slightly spicy and sugary to me. The first ingredients listed are rhassoul mud, cold pressed organic avocado oil, glycerine, powdered charcoal and black sugar. It has the consistency of a finely milled sugar and flour mix and applies like a paste. It rinses black so if you have any surfaces that are easily stained you will need to use extra care when using this.

I like a lot of people have been kind of meh about toners. It's an extra step. Do you really need it?
Yada, yada yada.  Lush's Tea Tree Oil Toner Water(3.30z as pictured) has completely changed my mind. The first ingredients are melaleuca alternifolia, grapefruit water and juniper berry water. I keep mine in the refrigerator and it is like spritzing a little bit of heaven on my face every time I use it. It is so soothing and calming. I get what they were going for with the name Tea Tree Oil Toner but if you ask me they could have also called it the Barry White Heaven Spritz.

Lush's Cupcake Facial Mask(2.1oz as pictured) is promoted as a calming and soothing mask for spotty skin and I agree. The first ingredients are rhassoul mud, glycerine, linseed infusion, talc cocoa powder/butter and mint. It is reportedly vegan, has to be kept in the fridge and has an expiration date.  Just about all of the Lush products that I've tried have a sticker with a picture of the person that made it, the date they made it and an expiration date. The masks usually have about a 20 day expiration window per the label. I generally push it to about 28days...shhh I feel fine. I have a good fridge ☺

Have you tried anything from Lush? 

Stardate :15027.02


Estee Lauder Nail Laquer and Lipstick- Insolent Plum & Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme- Magenta

The plan was for this post just to be about the Estee Lauder products but I grabbed the wrong lipstick when I was taking the photo above so my darling duos post became a trio. These things happen but the show must go on folks.☺

Estee Lauder 'Vivid Shine- Pure Color' Long Lasting Nail Lacquer- Insolent Plum($21/.3fl. oz.)
First up we have the Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Insolent Plum. I'm wearing two coats plus a salon top coat in the pictures above. This could definitely be a one coater though as the first coat was completely opaque. I love crème polishes and I thought the color on this one was so rich and deep. I can attest to it being long lasting as well. These pictures were taken on day two of my manicure and as I was able to get about 6 days before my first major chip. And yes, I do all my own household stunts.
 Marc Jacobs Lip Crème- Magenta($30/.12oz)
 I have some nail polishes from the Marc Jacobs Beauty line that I was very pleased with so I decided to test out some colors from his new Lip Cremes at my local Sephora. I tested some reds which were great, a brown which was a little too nude for me and ended up leaving with Magenta because clearly I'm having a shades of purple moment.  From the Marc Jacobs Beauty website:
Indulge your pout with Marc’s new revolutionary 10-hour lipstick that covers your lips with buttery, creamy vibrant pigment with one pigment-saturated swipe. Experience unprecedented color payoff from concentrated color-boost pigments that are triple-milled and steeped in hydrating ingredients, so your lips experience ultimate long-lasting color and moisture.

I just got Magenta so I've only worn it twice so far. I will say that the first day I wore it I had a 10 hour day and I remember looking in the mirror at around 3 in the afternoon after having tea in the morning, an apple, lunch(Starbucks brown rice salad) a second apple and being impressed that my lipstick was still on. This one is definitely long lasting and highly pigmented. I do agree with it being creamy but I didn't find it especially hydrating. I think if you are prone to dry lips you would definitely need some type of balm before applying this one.
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting  Lipstick- Insolent Plum($30/.12 oz)
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick- Insolent Plum

Last but definitely not least we have the Estee Lauder lipstick in Insolent Plum. I think this is such a beautiful color. The formula is creamy, moisturizing perfection. I'm wearing Insolent Plum with no balm or gloss under or over it in the pictures above. I love it. Don't my lips look happy? I also appreciate that the nail polish of the same name actually matches the color of the lipstick. I get slightly annoyed when a brand has a lipstick and a nail polish with the same name and instead of being in the same color family they look like total strangers to each other. If I had to compare the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick to the Marc Jacobs Lip Crème I would say the Estee Lauder isn't as long lasting. You will need to reapply the Estee Lauder lipstick after lunch.
So to recap all three products worked well for me but I am totally smitten with the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick. You can find more colors here. I have my eye on "Thrilling."
Have you tried anything from Estee Lauder or Marc Jacobs lately?
Stardate :15016.02

A Sunday Well Spent


A Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Wishing you all a great week!

Stardate :15008.02


She's With The Band

Jacket: Calvin Klein
T-Shirt: Boutique in Barcelona
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Target..... I know ☺
Purse: Marshalls

Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquer- Snap & Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil- Cruella

Hello February!

This is what I wore to see the movie Paddington. I loved the movie so much I came home and bought the book from this online book store Thrift Books.  I had no idea there were thrift bookstores online but that is just another reason I love the Internet. The book was described as being in good condition. It was $3.45 and the shipping and handling was free. I'll keep you posted.

No spoilers here but Downtown Abbey fans who see the movie will enjoy seeing Robert Crawley as the father, Mr. Brown.   The story the movie is based on has Paddington in my favorite city London, so it was probably a given that I was going to like it.  I've seen the Paddington Bears around but I don't recall reading any of the Paddington stories.  I remember reading a lot of stories about Anansi, The Adventures of Tintin, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys as a child but no Paddington.

What about you? Tell me about some of your favorite childhood books.
Edited to add: The book arrived within the time frame promised(8-14 days). It was obviously   
                        previously loved by a little girl who lived in Newburyport, MA- she wrote her
                       address in the book in pencil, which gives the book some added charm. All the pages
                       are intact and unmarked so I am pleased and will definitely check them out again.

Stardate :15031.01

Burn Notice: Christian Dior Bois D'Argent Candle

Inside this beautifully wrapped package from Dior is my newest candle love- Bois D'Argent (6.80z/ $65):  Smoked Yémen wood incense oils, Tuscan iris extracts, essential Somalian myrrh oils, Indonesian patchouli oils and Alicante honey.
It's described as having a powdery and slightly woody scent and I agree with that. I would also say that if your ideal lover is someone who would be able to safely start a fire and then bring you some pretty native flowers to put in your hair if you guys were stranded on an island or in the woods, this scent is for you.

I am a sucker for good packaging so the sleek black glass with the white label and black block print appeal to my shallow side.
 I've been using this one regularly(1-2 hrs/night) for the past two months and I'm impressed. It has a nice throw cold and even more so when lit. It also has been burning perfectly even with no tunneling which I love.
Dior has three other candles that I'd like to try out, 30 Montaigne, Eau Noire and Ambre Nuit. You can check them out here.  

What are you burning lately?

Stardate :15001.02

Big Shiny Things

Sweater: Gap
Jeans: Old. My best guess would be Target. Also worn here.
Shoes: Ann Taylor  here.
Necklace: Nordstrom Rack
Jacket:  Photographer's not mine

Everybody just be cool. I know it's the last week of January and Mercury is reportedly in retrograde but just remain calm folks.  Everything is going to be fine. Breathe in deeply, exhale slowly and repeat after me- Today will be what it is. I will be who I am, and there will be beauty in both. I don't know who came up with that phrase. If you do please give them a big cyber hug for me because that was good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff I am writing this post from my brand spanking new laptop. Every time I turned on my old laptop this very nice lady kept asking me If I wanted to play. I kept saying no but she kept popping up and winking at me. It was starting to get really weird.

I went back and forth about what type of laptop to get. I considered the forbidden fruit company, especially since I love my Ipad but in the end I just couldn't bring myself to fork out that kind of dough for something I have to plug in.  Twenty-five dollars for nail polish, sixty-five dollars for a candle and I probably will not bat an eye. I'm not going to ask you to buy it for me either so relax.  However, once we get into the four figure range I want a complimentary eye mask and socks.

So I got a Toshiba. What's that you say? You don't know anyone with a Toshiba laptop Well now you do.  And yes, I'm sharing this with you so that when if one day I cave and get a Mac you can use this post to mock me ☺.

I'll show you a pic of Toshi next time. Have a great week!

Stardate :15026.01

Victoria Beckham x Nails Inc: Judo Red & Bamboo White

Nails Inc. x VVB - Judo Red ($25/0.4fl.oz)
Nails Inc. x VVB - Judo Red/ 2 coats/ Day 4 Mani
Nails Inc.  x VVB -  Bamboo White ($25/0.4fl.oz)
Nails Inc.  x VVB -  Bamboo White/ 2 coats/Day 1 Mani
VVB - Bamboo White brush

Judo Red and Bamboo White are the two colors that were part of the collaboration between Nails Inc. and your favorite Spice Girl/fashion award winner/business mogul/mother- Victoria Beckham. The colors were reportedly inspired by her Japanese influenced Spring/Summer 2015 collection. I took a chance when I bought these because I couldn''t find any swatches online. I got both of them from Net-A-Porter here.  Judo Red is still available at Sephora here.

I was pretty sure I was going to like Judo Red. It is described as an orangey- red which is right up my alley. Bamboo White though which is described as a nude was a different story. I think it's safe to say that one woman's nude is another woman's "why does it look like I'm wearing muddy water on my nails?"  Especially if that other woman is darker hued. So I crossed my fingers, added my purchases to the cart and hoped for the best.

From the minute I opened the delivery I was pleased. I have a weak spot for nice packaging and I love the boxes the polishes came in. I''m sure some of you nifty DIY folks could probably figure out how to grow a bamboo plant in one of them. I think I'll just store those spare buttons you get when you buy a shirt in mine. The square rectangle (Geometry was a long time ago)  bottles themselves were also nicely done. A matte black for Bamboo White and a white for Judo Red. They have a nice weight to them and the polish is only visible from the clear glass sides.

Judo Red was just as fabulous as I thought it was going to be. It's a creamy, bold orangey-red that will definitely get you noticed. I liked this color on me and so did a lot of the people I ran into the week I wore it. It was opaque in one coat but I always use two coats for a thicker finish. The formula applied easily and it lasted until I took it off to change the color a week later.

It turned out I had nothing to worry about with Bamboo White. No muddy water issues, and it had the same great formula as Judo Red. With one coat there was still some visible nail line with this one which was gone by the second coat. I haven't worn this one for a full week yet but I will keep you posted.

The colors are not particularly unique but for what they are- a classic red/orange and nude cream polish that would flatter a multitude of skin tones, they are excellent. I think this is Mrs. Beckham's first foray into beauty products. Judo Red and Bamboo White are reportedly limited edition offerings. I would love to see more from her because I think these were really well done.

Let me know if you've tried these and/or what you think about them.

**Edited to add: The Bamboo White lasted a full seven days with minimal tip wear

Stardate :15010.01