31 January 2016

Sunday Pamper 026 | Cinderella's Big Night 

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sunday-pamper-lush-cocktail-Cinderellas-Big-Night-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 4 sunday-pamper-lush-cocktail-Cinderellas-Big-Night-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 3 sunday-pamper-lush-cocktail-Cinderellas-Big-Night-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 1 sunday-pamper-lush-cocktail-Cinderellas-Big-Night-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 5 sunday-pamper-lush-cocktail-Cinderellas-Big-Night-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 2 Ingredients
1 Cinders Bath Bomb
1/2 Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar
Celebrate Body Lotion

Surprisingly this year was the first time I even thought about trying Celebrate Body Lotion but I am so glad I did. I really like the formulas of the body lotions and the orange, lime and cognac scent lingers on the skin for hours afterwards. This is one of the plainer bath cocktails I've tried so far and wasn't too fun to watch. This one is definitely all about the scent. I love the spicy scent of cinders and the smaller size but there isn't any surprises when it comes down to how it fizzes away in the bath.

All Lush bath cocktails can be found on Jens blog, All Things Lush. They have all been created by either Jen or her readers, I am simply testing them out and sharing on my own blog.

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30 January 2016

The Repurchases 010

the-repurchases-0010-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog Bumble And Bumble Surf Infusion | £21.50 // I use this salt spray and oil infusion from Bumble And Bumble every time I wash my hair after using a traditional salt spray. Since the salt spray can dry the hair out, the oil helps to put the moisture back in and shine. I've got about a third of the bottle left and I didn't want to be without so I went ahead and bought a new bottle. I love how this makes my hair look and am glad I discovered it.

Lush Twilight Shower Gel // Oh how I missed this shower gel! Although I can buy the bath bomb whenever I fancy it, there's just something different about the shower gel. The scent is the same but I just can't put my finger on how it is different. Luckily this was brought out in the Kitchen the other month but a mini bottle is available in the Relax gift set. The scent is a mix of lavender and malt and might not appeal to everyone but I love it. I find the scent so relaxing and calming.

Liz Earle Eye Bright | £13.25 // This eye treatment has been featured a lot on my blog as well as in The Repurchases series itself. It's one of my all time favourite products and I will buy it either until they stop selling it or until it stops working for me. I use it as my daily eye make-up remover as well as a treatment for when my eyes are feeling irritated and sore.

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara | £9.99 // I used to try a new mascara every time I needed to buy a new one but these days I've just been sticking to Volume Million Lashes from L'Oreal. It's a reasonable price and can usually be found on offer either in Boots or Superdrug. I prefer the extra black version although the original is just as good. It holds a curl well, gives volume as you'd expect and it also lengthens which is pretty much all you can ask for in a mascara.

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo | £10 // The eczema on my scalp has been flaring up quite badly recently and my scalp gets really itchy a day or two after washing which it hasn't done for a really long time. The other week I finished off the travel size tube that was half empty and my scalp didn't feel itchy or irritated for the whole week. Now I don't know if it was a complete coincidence but if it's at all possible it was down to this shampoo then I just had to buy the full size tube. I used the shampoo and conditioner when Liz Earle first brought out the hair range and really liked it. Lets hope my scalp behaves!

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29 January 2016

Skin Care On Trial 003 | Samples

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When it comes to skin care products, I prefer to try a sample first before I buy the full sizes. I tend to prefer more expensive skin care and if I don't like a product then I've wasted quite a lot of money. This is where Naturisimo comes in. The site sells a lot of natural and organic products but they also sell amazing sample sizes. You do have to buy something to be able to buy the samples which is the only downside but it's a great chance to try before you buy. The samples vary in price and although £1 might seem like a lot for a sachet you could essentially get for free, if it turns out you don't like it and have saved yourself money then I think it's worth it. Also for me who hasn't got say a Space NK counter near me, the only way to try the majority of products is to order them online.

Kiss The Moon Glow After Dark Face Oil | £3 // I love the pipette on this sample and it makes it really easy to use rather than a pump. It's the small details like this that impress me. My skin has been very dry recently, more so than normal, and an facial oil is a winter essential. The full size of this oil is £48 which is a lot of money to risk on a product that might not work for you. This generous sized sample is perfect as there is enough product for you to properly test it out. Not enough to test out for three months like they say you should with skin care but enough to know if you want to buy the full size or not. While I really liked it and the effects it had on my skin, I think I'd prefer the calm version which is actually at a reduced price from Look Fantastic at the moment for only £20. Calm contains sandalwood which is one of my favourite scents!

Kiss The Moon Dream After Dark Bath Oil | £3 // Although technically not a skin care item, I love bath oils so this one from Kiss The Moon had to be added to my order. It's about the same size as the smaller bottles from Aromatherapy Associates which I can usually get a couple of baths out of. This is the only sample I've tried out properly, everything else will be reviewed once I finish them in a Project Sample Use Up post. The lavender, bergamot, cedarwood and chamomile scent is nice but it's not one of my favourites. I think it's the bergamot that I'm not a fan of as I like the other three scents in bath products. It is very moisturising though and a tiny amount is all you need. Again there are other versions which I think I'd prefer but these two were the only options at the moment on Naturisimo.

S5 Calm Serum | £7.33 // I've heard good and bad reviews of this serum from S5 so I definitely wanted to try a sample first. The consistency of this serum reminds me of Caudalie Vinosource Thirst Quenching Serum which is one of my all time favourites. I've only used this once so I'll update properly once I have finished it.

Elemental Herbology Cell Food | £1 // The downside to this sample is that it only contains one use so I've been saving it for the right moment. This serum is designed for skin suffering with stress, seasonal changes and pollution. Anyone tried it? What did you think?

Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost | £1 // This has been raved about by various bloggers. The full size is £78 and you definitely cannot test it out with just one use but I thought I'd get the sample anyway. If you break down the price to how much it costs per ml you're saving quite a bit as this sachet is 2ml. You could buy five sachets and get 10ml of product for only £1. If you paid the full price per ml then it would be about £15. You apply this as your night cream to boost your skin overnight. It's suitable for all skin types but especially suited dry and mature skin.


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28 January 2016

Wishlist 008

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This is a very luxe wishlist and although I want to try each and every product here, it'll most likely be over a very long time. Oh how I wish I could just buy them all right now in one order! Instead when I need to buy a new salt spray or hair oil then I'll be picking one from this list.

Oribe Split End Seal | £42 // Now I know nothing works as well on split ends than a good trim but still want to try this one.

R + Co Rockaway Salt Spray | £23 // I love trying new salt sprays and I love R + Co's packaging.

Bumble And Bumble City Swept | £22 // I intend to use this similar to Oribe Dry Texturising Spray after curling my hair with tongs. I find the Oribe version leaves my hair feeling a bit too sticky and have heard good things about City Swept.

Oribe Curl By Definition | £45 // This is an expensive one but I can imagine you'll only need to use a small amount and you get quite a lot for of product for the price. I struggle with finding curling products that work without leaving the hair feeling sticky or crunchy and I like to try everything at least once.

Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil | £35 £17.50 // This was already sold out when I was browsing the Space NK sale but I did manage to pick up the shiner serum for only £10. I've heard rave reviews about the Intensive Hair Oil though and will be keeping an eye on it to see if it comes back into stock. I think Sachajuan have changed the packaging and might be why a lot of the products were in the sale.

Bumble And Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil | £32 // I already have the mini shampoo, conditioner and primer so I feel like I need the oil to complete the set. I love the hairdressers range scent and I can imagine this oil is going to be really nice for adding moisture back into the hair but without weighing it down.

Oribe Apres Beach | £34 // I feel like this is a salt spray in aerosol form. It's described as a light-hold, beach-inspired styling spray that creates naturally beautiful waves while delivering moisture and shine.

Sachajuan Scalp Treatment | £30 £15 // This is another one from the Space NK sale and again was unfortunately sold out when I discovered it half price. I'm still including it in my wishlist as I'm hoping it'll come back into stock at some point and I'd buy it even if it was full price. Sachajuan is a brand I have fallen in love with and I've liked every product I've tried so far.

Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse | £35 // There's only a few curling mousses that I like and although expensive, I'm thinking this will be another one that I love.


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27 January 2016

Empties | January 2016

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Liz Earle Eye Bright | £13.25 // I've started using this as my eye make-up remover again and I can't imagine not using it. It doesn't irritate my eyes and actually feels really nice and cooling on the eyes when I use it especially if I'm feeling tired or it's been a long day at work. Using it every night does mean I go through them pretty quickly, a bottle usually lasts me a month, but I'm ok with that as I've had allergic reactions to so many other products that I now stick with what works. And this certainly works.

Lush Butterball Bath Bomb | £2.65 // This is one of my favourite bath bombs from Lush as it's so moisturising. It's packed full of cocoa butter and although one of the plainer bath bombs available, it's one I will always repurchase. It's also smaller in size which I prefer.

Lush Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb // This is another favourite and I bought way too many in the boxing day sale. It shares its scent with Honey I Washed The Kids Soap and really puts on a show in the bath.

Lush Pooh Stix Bath Bomb // If you don't like floating bits in your bath then this Kitchen exclusive isn't for you. The bath bomb is inspired by Winnie the Pooh and the Pooh Sticks game so there's a whole load of cinnamon sticks inside. It took quite a lot of effort to clean out the bath after this one and I even ordered a plug drainer to use with the other Pooh Stix bath bomb I have. The scent was ok but I wouldn't buy it again.

Lush Star Dust Bath Bomb // Another Christmas bath bomb and again another favourite. I love the subtle vanilla scent although this is on the plainer side.

Lush Error 404 Bath Bomb // I was quite surprised with the scent of this one as I don't love it. It has quite a soapy scent and although I love how this fizzes away and the different colours, I don't think I'd buy this again if it comes out in the Kitchen.

Lush Lord Of Misule Bath Bomb // This one on the other hand, is another favourite. Can you tell I have a lot of Lush favourites?! I wish it was available all year round but I tend to stock up on them before they sell out. I didn't get a chance to this year though as I spent way too much money on the Kitchen around Halloween. Luckily there was a Lord Of Misrule bath bomb in one of the gift sets I bought in the sale so I at least have another one.

Lush The Experimenter Bath Bomb | £3.95 // I really enjoyed watching this bath bomb fizz away as the mix of colours makes an incredible show. It's like a rainbow in the bath water. The colour the water turns once it's all mixed together isn't that great though as it's a dark murky grey colour. I couldn't hear the popping candy that is supposedly inside it which was disappointing. The vanilla, toka and vertivert scent is very strong although I do like it.

Lush Volcano Foot Mask | £6.75 // I was a bit disappointed with this foot mask and it didn't live up to expectations. First of all it only has a four month expiration date which sounds like quite a long time but really it's only using this about once a month. The other foot mask I have from Jessica lasts a lot longer but also contains a lot more uses. I think I only got five uses out of Volcano which isn't a lot really considering the price. While I did notice a difference in how my feet felt after using this, I prefer the results from the Jessica mask which is a lot easier to use.

Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub | £7.95 // This has been on my list to try for a really long time and it met my expectations. The scent reminds me of a cocktail and has hints of lemon and lime. I would never use this on my face but it works amazingly well as a body scrub. It's abrasive but doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. This is only the smaller tub but I will be buying the larger one at some point.

Eadie & Wallace Fresh Lemon Zest Handwash // This hand soap was a TKMaxx find and I always always buy them there. You can't usually buy the same one twice but I've enjoyed trying a lot of different brands and scents. I have a grapefruit one from E&W which I am currently using and then I'll need to go buy some more. I think this was about £4 which seems quite expensive for a hand wash but it lasted a long time and I like that it has a pump.

Weleda Skin Food | £9.95 // This is a must have for me and I'll always have a tube to hand. I've been using it on my elbows every night recently as my skin has become incredibly dry. I love the sweet almost chocolate scent and how thick it is, a little goes a long way. Plus I can use a tube squeezer on it to make sure I use up every last bit. I have another tube to use but will be buying another ASAP.  

Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask | £8 // I've lost count with how many tubes of this scalp mask I've been through. I'll always have a tube to hand and I've already started a new tube. If you have an itchy, flaky or eczema prone scalp then you need to try this as it really does make a difference.

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo | £18 // Sad to see this shampoo empty as it's become one of my favourites. I really love the brand Sachajuan and will buy this again at some point. I wouldn't say it helps to reduce my itchy scalp like the Philip Kingsley shampoo does but it's gentle and doesn't irritate my scalp. I like to mix my shampoos as the PK one works so well but I don't want my scalp to become used to it and it stops working so I use shampoos like this one from Sachajuan in between.

Ojon Rare Blend Oil | £30 // This is another one that I've really liked using and lasted a long time. I use this when I curl my hair or when I feel like my hair just needs a bit of moisture injected into it. For now I'm using an oil from Phyto but I would buy this again. It has quite a thick consistency but doesn't weigh my hair down, plus a really love the scent of it and how the oil looks when separated.

Davines Hairspray* // I feel like I've had this hair spray since I started blogging back in 2009. It has lasted such a long time as I only tend to use it when I curl my hair and that's not too often, I tend to just leave my hair natural. I don't think this version is even available to buy anymore and I have no idea how much it is, it was one of the first blogging samples I was sent. I'd buy it again if it was available but for now I am using one from Kerastase.

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26 January 2016

Skin Care Diary | January 2016

Throughout each month, I'll be keeping a skin care diary and jotting down what I use on a daily basis. At the end of the month, I'll tally up what has been used the most and share the products with you. I have combination skin that can change between being extremely dry, spot prone, oily and sensitive as well as having eczema flare ups.
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Liz Earle Eye Bright | Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel | First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads | REN Tonic Moisture Mist | A-Derma Epthielle A.H Cream | Dior Creme De Rose. 


This months skin care products haven't really changed from last months with the exception that I have changed toners because I finished the tiny bottle from Pai. I've started using my old favourite again from REN and I still look often to see if it's back in stock. I've had quite a few allergic reactions this month that has caused the skin on my face to become extremely dry, irritated and itchy. I still have no idea what causes it but the only thing that helps to soothe my skin is the A-Derma Epithielle cream. My lips have also been very dry this month so I've kept a lip balm to hand at all times.


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25 January 2016

Favourites | January 2016

favourites-january-2016-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog 2 Lush The Comforter Shower Cream | £4.95 - £27.95 // The Comforter is one of my favourite scents from Lush and I was so excited to hear that a shower gel was being added to the collection last year. It's actually a shower cream so is more moisturising than usual and just look at the colour.

Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar | £4.95 // How can I not mention the bubble bar? This is probably the Lush product I've repurchased the most. It's one of the larger bubble bars so I can usually get five or six baths out of it which makes it pretty good value for money. It creates an abundance of bubbles which last throughout the whole bath and the scent lasts for hours.

Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb Perfume | £49.50 // This is one of my all time favourite perfumes and it's what I've worn every day this past month.

Dior Creme De Rose // My lips have been incredibly dry the past couple of weeks. It's a mix of the weather getting colder as well as my eczema. Creme De Rose is quite thick in consistency and a layer or this creates a barrier and lasts a good amount of time. I'm pretty sure this lip balm has now been discontinued though which is such a shame as it's one of my favourites. I'm about half way through the pot now and will be sad to not be able to repurchase when it's empty.

Mac Syrup Lipstick | £15.50 // I love this berry toned lipstick as it's not too dark but has a bit more colour to it than a nude does. I really like the formula of it as well and although my lips have been very dry, this lipstick doesn't highlight these patches.


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24 January 2016

Project Sample Use Up 040

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Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes | £3.25 // I didn't use these face wipes on my face and instead used them when swatching make-up. I find face wipes irritate my sensitive skin so even though I always have a pack in my dressing table drawer, they're always for clean ups and I usually just pick up the brand that is on offer.

Elie Saab Le Parfum | £58 // This mini bottle of Le Parfum came in a gift set along with the full size which I finished quite a while ago now. I was trying to make this bottle last as long as I could as I've put myself on a no buy when it comes to perfume until I've used up what I have. I spent a good couple of weeks smelling of Le Parfum again and I loved it and I can see myself buying another bottle at some point.

Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser | £28 // I prefer a balm cleanser although I did enjoy using this cleanser. The travel size was a really good way to try it out before buying the full size. It was also perfect to take on holiday which I did twice.

Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water | £8.50 // I love the samples from Lush and how I can try products out before buying the full sizes. These little black tubs contained a cotton pad soaked in the toner which I thought was a really great way of sending a liquid product out. While I don't think I'd buy the full size toner, it was nice to try it out.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer | £29 // I seem to have built up quite a collection of these mini tubes of elasticizer thanks to various beauty boxes. This is my all time favourite hair mask and despite trying a lot of different products, I haven’t found anything better. Spending that little bit more money really does make a difference with this product. You apply it to damp hair before washing, I tend to combine it with the PK scalp mask, and my hair is left incredibly soft and less frizzy. This is an essential for me and I’ll always have a tube of this in my collection.

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo | £10 // I had a good couple of weeks when I was using this and the eczema on my scalp didn't seem to flare up. I have no idea if this was a simple coincidence or it was down to the shampoo. It does make me want to run out and buy a bottle though! I've both the shampoo and conditioner in the past and really liked them so I think they're next on my list to buy.

Oilatum Junior Bath Additive | £9.19 // I have a million of these mini bottles of bath additive thanks to my friend who works in dermatology. They are the perfect size to take traveling as I always want to be able to take something with me to soothe my eczema if it flares up. I don't mind using the junior version as normally it's the only one in stock in Boots when I go to buy it.

Pai Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Tonic | £30 // I really liked this toner although the spray on this mini version wasn't very fine. I'm hoping the full size bottle will be better!


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23 January 2016

Hair Routine | January 2016

hair-routine-january-2016-rottenotter-rotten-otter-blog My last hair routine post was back in July and there's been a few changes in the products I'm using so I thought I'd write an update. My hair routine is split into two, an every day set of products and then every now and again products as well as treatments. Also this routine contains all of my favourite hair care brands; Philip Kingsley, Bumble And Bumble, Sacha juan, John Masters and Sebastian.

Neutrogena TGel Therapeutic Shampoo | £6.99 // I was a bit wary of trying this shampoo out when I first bought it as there are some scary side effects written on the cardboard packaging and since I already have sensitive skin, especially my scalp, I wasn't sure how I would get on with it. The coal tar in this treatment shampoo is meant to help with scalp eczema and since I was at a bit of a loss with how to stop flare ups, I felt like I had nothing to loose and started using it. I mix a small amount in with my usual shampoo so it isn't as potent and after just over six weeks of using it, and washing my hair once or twice a week, I haven't reacted badly to it. It hasn't been a miracle worker and completely cured my scalp but I do think it has made a difference. I'll still have bad weeks were I get a lot of new flare ups, this week has been particularly bad, but I'll also have good weeks were my scalp doesn't feel itchy.

Naked Mild Shampoo // This is the shampoo I mix with TGel and although it's nothing to write home about, it does what it says on the tin. Or bottle I should say. It's a gentle shampoo that doesn't irritate my scalp, keeps my hair feeling clean and doesn't dry my hair out which is all I really want in a shampoo. I stocked up on a couple of bottles when it was reduced to £1 from Boots about six months ago since the brand Naked no longer exists.

Naked Gentle Conditioner // Again I stocked up on quite a few bottles of this conditioner when it was reduced in price. Unlike the shampoo, I have previously tried this conditioner and really liked it. I think I'm onto my third tube now and I really wish it was still available. Again it's gentle so doesn't irritate my scalp but it also doesn't irritate the skin on my face which other conditioners have. It also keeps my hair feeling soft and doesn't really have much of a scent which I like.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist | £18 // After my hair has sat in a towel for about fifteen minutes, I move onto styling products. My hair routine is very basic and minimal but it works. I use a sea salt spray all over my hair and then touch up my parting a bit. Although I have a few favourites, I really love this one from Sachajuan. I love the bottle design, scent and how it works in my hair. No matter how much I use, my hair is never left feeling hard or crispy. I have naturally curly/wavy hair so I use salt sprays to enhance this without it going too frizzy.

Bumble And Bumble Surf Infusion | £21.50 // Salt sprays can leave the hair feeling a little dry so this is where Surf Infusion comes into play. Once I applied Ocean Mist, I go over my hair with this one from B&B which is an oil and salt spray mix. It adds shine and moisture back into my hair that the salt spray can sometimes take out. I've nearly finished this bottle and have just ordered a back up so I'm not without it.


Treatments

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer | £29 // I've tried a lot of hair masks and deep conditioners over the years but Elasticizer is my favourite and the one I repurchase over and over again. It's a pre-shampoo treatment and I usually combine it with the PK scalp mask as both need the hair damp before you use them. You let this sit on the hair for about thirty minutes and then rinse and wash your hair as normal. Whenever I use this I find I need to use less conditioner and my hair always feels amazingly soft afterwards.

Lush H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment |  £9.75 // This is a newer hair mask I've been using and while it doesn't beat Elasticizer, I have been enjoying it. The scent of this one is odd and I know a lot of people wont like it and would be put off using it because of this. While I don't love the scent, I can ignore it because it really does work. It's ingredients list is full of fresh ingredients such as eggs, bananas and avocado so it's shelf life is much shorter than usual hair products. I would like the tub to be slightly smaller and for the price to decrease simply because I haven't been able to use it all before the expiration date came and went. It still smells ok and looks the same so I'm going to carry on using it for now. As well as the fresh ingredients, it's also packed full of different oils so it's incredibly moisturising. This is another pre-shampoo treatment but you apply it to dry hair. Despite the strong scent to begin with, once I shampoo and condition as normal the scent disappears.

Philip Kingsley Itchy/Flaky Scalp Toner |  £20 // Now my scalp has improved dramatically over the past six months to a year, I only reach for this toner when I need it rather than after every wash. When my scalp is feeling itchy, all I need to do is apply a little bit of this water to the areas that need it and my scalp is instantly soothed and the itchiness goes. I still wish it was available in a spray bottle as I feel like this would make it easier to apply but it's a product I will never be without.

Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask | £8 // On Sundays I always use some sort of scalp treatment and although I have a few that I like, I usually reach for this scalp mask from PK or the scalp serum from John Masters. You apply this all over the scalp, I usually get my mum to do it for me and we'll catch up with a tv show, massage in and then leave for about twenty minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual. When you use this it can feel like it's not doing anything as it doesn't tingle or anything like you'd expect given the name exfoliating mask but it just helps to maintain the eczema on my scalp.

John Masters Organics Scalp Deep Scalp Purifying Serum |  £23 // This one on the other hand you can feel working. It helps to soothe my scalp so it's the one I reach for when it's particularly itchy. This is also one of the few scalp treatments I have that doesn't look like you've got anything in your hair once it sinks in. This means it can be applied in the morning and you're able to get on with your day without having to wash it out. Again, I get my mum to apply it for me and then I just let it sink in.

Sebastian Professional Potion 9 | £25 // I reach for this styling cream/gel when I want to add moisture to my hair and I usually use it after I wash my hair on a Friday night. This works amazingly well at enhancing my natural curls especially if I go to bed with my hair still slightly wet. I first heard about this from Meg and I am so glad she blogged about it as its become a firm favourite and I'm going to buy the larger size when this one is empty.


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22 January 2016

Lush Samples | Part Two

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I wrote about asking for samples when ordering from the Lush website in November which you can read here. A few months later and I've collected some more which I thought I'd share as I just like how these photos look! There's just something about these little black pots lined up with various colours. It reminds me of the organised food photos I've seen pop up on Pinterest. So this lot is a mix of toothy tabs, roulades, shampoo bars, hair conditioners and body conditioners.

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21 January 2016

Eczema | Keeping A Diary

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Twenty-sixteen is the year I get rid of my eczema. At least I am telling myself that as I know positive thinking will help. I haven't been free of eczema since 2008 so that's over seven years. If you've read any of my other posts about eczema then you might have heard about my seven year theory. I believe that eczema, at least my own, comes in seven year cycles. It started when I was four and cleared when I was eleven. It then flared up when I was eighteen and hasn't gone away since then. I am into the seventh year and by this time next year I hope I can say I am free from eczema. For the next seven years at least!

My eczema isn't typical. My skin isn't particularly dry like others is. I find moisturising my skin only makes it itchier and actually my eczema disappears quicker if I let my skin dry out. The eczema on my hands is different to that on the rest of my body and the eczema on my feet is completely different. Don't even get me started on my scalp! Each part of my body has to be treated differently and the only way I can try and work out what causes my eczema is by keeping a diary and tracking everything.

I've had patch tests done and the results came back as negative. I didn't react enough to anything that was tested which I expected. I knew this since apart from things linked with hay fever, I'm not allergic to anything. Instead I think I am sensitive to certain things and it's this that I am trying to work out. I also know stress is a major factor in my eczema and I am taking steps to live a more peaceful life. I'm making an effort to switch off more and have down time instead of being on a computer twenty-four seven, seven days a week.

To do this I am going to keep a daily record of:
  • Food | what I eat in the day
  • Drink | what I drink in the day
  • Moisturise | have I moisturised? and what did I use
  • Steroid Cream | if I've used a steroid cream or not
  • Eczema patches | a list of where I have eczema
  • Other | anything else that I think is important

I think I'm going to make this into a monthly series so I'm able to keep track of things more easily if it's written down. It might also help others who are trying to do the same thing.

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20 January 2016

Lush Kitchen | December 2015 Part Two

For those who don't know, the Lush Kitchen cooks up small batches of exclusive products that are only available for a limited time until they sell out. The products available are a mix of Oxford Street exclusives, old favourites that have been discontinued or one off's. Since I've tried the majority of the Lush bath bombs and bubble bars that are in the permanent collection, I've been loving the Lush Kitchen recently and have been making quite an order pretty much every week. I'm mainly interested in the bath bombs, bubble bars, bath melts and shower gels. Although there are a few products that I have bought simply because I've never tried them before.

Instead of posting several different shopping posts, I'm going to be writing a little overview of the previous months Kitchen products. Since there is a limited amount of each made, then by the time each one arrives in the post it'll probably be sold out. Instead I'm hoping this post will high light any products you'd like to try in the future or simply because you're just as obsessed with Lush as I am.
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My order containing the two shower gels took a lot longer than expected to arrive as well as the two bubble bars so I missed adding them into my December round up post. I was going to add them to January's post but it was getting a bit too long so I thought I'd just post a part two. You can see part one here.

Party On Shower Jelly | £7.95 // I wasn't sure what to expect from this shower jelly as I didn't read up on it before buying. The scent is fresh mint, menthol, lime and rosemary. It surprisingly works well together and is incredibly refreshing, one that I like to use in the mornings or if I'm not feeling too well.

Twilight Shower Gel | £11 // Just after I bought the gift set containing a mini bottle of Twilight, the Kitchen brings out a 250g bottle. Needless to say, I still bought it. I love the lavender and malt scent of Twilight and cannot wait to use this properly without worrying that I don't have much left.

Karma Shower Gel | £11.25 // I couldn't resist buying this shower gel so I could use it with the bubble bar, bath melt and body lotion that all shares the same scent. I feel like the pine, lemongrass and chamomile scent isn't going to be for everyone, it's very strong and sometimes overwhelming but I love it. The shower gels smells slightly different to the bubble bar but it lived up to the expectations with how amazing it is. I also got the Karma Kream Body Lotion in a gift set so I cannot wait to have a Karma scented bath!

Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar | £3.95 // This bubble bar smells of straight up cinnamon and it's incredible. There is also meant to be clove in there but I can't really smell it but I do smell the hint of orange.

Three Gold Rings Bubble Bar | £3.95 // I know I've had this one before when it was released one Christmas but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it smelt like when I ordered it. I still can't quite make up my mind if I like the scent of this one or not. When I opened the box, the first scent I could smell was honey even though I don't think that is on the list on ingredients. Lush describes the scent as a mix of sweet orange oil, Fair Trade vanilla absolute and myrrh resin.

Iced Wine Shower Jelly // The Mumkin Bubble Bar took longer than expected to be made so Lush sent this shower jelly and the Violet Nights Bath Oil as a surprise to those who ordered one. I'm still waiting for the bubble bar even though it's been longer than the seven days they said it would take for it to arrive but I can't really complain with customer service like that. They've sent out over £20 worth of product even though I only ordered one Mumkin which was about £4. I couldn't make up my mind to get the Iced Wine Shower Jelly when it was part of the November menu one week and am glad I didn't now as I have this one. It has quite a sweet fruity cocktail scent so I think I'll save this for the summer months and might even try putting it in the freezer before using it.

I also love how the Kitchen include these polaroids of who has made the products along with the product itself. It's a nice way of keeping track of what you've tried and when it was released when you don't have the product itself anymore.

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19 January 2016

Reading | January 2016

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For the third year running, I am taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Again, I hope to read one hundred and four books this year which works out to two a week. A read a lot and while it might seem like a huge number of books, I've managed to complete both 2014 and 2015 challenges plus a few extras. I know I'll be able to complete it although I haven't got off to a very good start as I am already two books behind schedule.

The Rifle Paper Co version of Little Women has been on my wishlist for such a long time and I finally bought it when I bought a couple of things from the Anthropology sale. The cover is gorgeous and I hope to buy the other books as well.

The New Hunger is the prequel to Warm Bodies, a favourite of mine I read in 2013. It's only 170 pages so will be a quick read and then I want to read the second book in the series, The Burning World.
Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. 
My mum and I started the The Lunar Chronicles last year and we're just about to start the last book in the series, Winter. The first book, Cinder, is still my favourite but as a whole, I think this is one of my favourite series. It makes me laugh out loud and it's nice to get completely lost in a new world. Another series we've both read is by Ransom Riggs. While I liked the first book and hated the second, I'm still going to give the third book a read. I've also just found out they're turning Miss p
Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children into a film.
A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.
I've nearly finished the second book in the Daughter Of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor. This has been what I call my bath book as it's too heavy to take to work with me so instead I read it when I want a long soak and have a pamper bath.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.


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18 January 2016

Keeping A Journal

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I find it hard to switch off and stop thinking about things. I let my mind wander and it really doesn't help my stress levels or my anxiety. To try and help this and also to have something to look back on in years to come, I have decided to keep a journal.

On and off since I was a child, I have tried to keep a diary but have always failed. I'd write in it for a week or two and then stop for no real reason. I think my problem was that I told myself I had to write in it every day and sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Instead I'm just going to write in it as and when I feel the need. This might be every day or a couple of weeks could go by with nothing written and that is ok. So far I've really enjoyed it and feel it's very therapeutic to write all my thoughts and feelings down on paper. There's also something to be said for writing with pen and paper. It beats typing when it comes to keeping a journal.

So when I decided to keep a journal, it took a while to find the perfect vessel. I wanted something timeless that I could imagine myself still writing in in ten years time. I had no idea where to look though so I headed to google and simply searched journal and came across The School Of Life website. When I saw their journal I knew that's the type of notebook I wanted. It's A5 and I love the linen cover. It isn't lined paper though, instead a grid which I have actually come to love. I bought the single green Journeys journal but have since bought the pack of four which works out a lot cheaper. I also had to pick a pen to write with and chose my favourite blue Bic biro.

Do you keep a journal?


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17 January 2016

Sunday Pamper 025 | A Spoonful Of Lush Helps The Stress Go Down

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Ingredients
1/3 Pop In The Bath Bubble Bar
1/2 Blackberry Bath Bomb
1 Butterball Bath Bomb

This Lush cocktail looks quite plain but it's actually one of my favourites I've tried so far. Pop In The Bath is one of my favourites as it shares the same scent as Olive Branch Shower Gel and I love how moisturising Butterball is. Blackberry adds a nice mix of bergemot and frankincense as well as turning the bath water purple.

All Lush bath cocktails can be found on Jens blog, All Things Lush. They have all been created by either Jen or her readers, I am simply testing them out and sharing on my own blog.

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16 January 2016

Tools 001 | Skin Care

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The Body Shop Facial Massager | £6 // This purchase was inspired by Caroline Hirons and although it's not something I use too often, it something I try to do every now and again. I find it relaxing to just sit and catch up on Youtube while giving myself a five minute facial massage. I probably don't use it enough to see much difference in my skin but I keep at it.

Yu Ling Jade Roller | £22 // This gets more use in the summer months as I find it's one of the few things that makes my eyes feel better when I'm having a particularly bad hay fever day. The jade keeps the roller cool and it helps to reduce puffiness. It may not be an essential for everyone but it is for me.

Clarisonic Mia | £120 // I've added this into the mix to remind myself I need to use it more. I have the sensitive brush head on it at the moment to make sure I don't damage my skin. When I do use it, it's only once a week as a treatment rather than to cleanse my skin. Out of the cleansers I currently have, I find Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish works best.

Asda Cotton Pads | £1 // Some might not think twice about cotton pads but I love these ones from Asda. They're big enough that I can take off my mascara on both eyes with just one. They also don't fall apart from soaked in eye make-up remover. They also don't fall apart from I use them to take my nail polish off like some others do.

Kojac Sponge With Bamboo Charcoal | £7.99 // Think of this as a more natural version of the Clarisonic. You use it in conjunction with your cleanser of choice and it gently exfoliates the skin and making sure your skin is as clean as it can be.

Muji Cotton Buds 200 pack & Thin | £3.50 & £2.50 // I've used these ever since Anna mentioned them and I am so grateful. The bigger cotton buds are pretty standard but it's the thinner ones that I need to rave about. They are tiny and make removing mascara smudges or perfecting eye liner so simple. If you keep the original packaging then you can buy a refill pack for 50p cheaper which makes them even more of a bargain. I'll be stocking up on these so I'll never be without.

Liz Earle Sponge | £2 // I don't like to use a muslin cloth to remove face masks and instead prefer to use this sponge from Liz Earle. It removes the mask with ease while also gently exfoliating the skin. They also last a decent amount of time especially if I make sure it's rinsed out properly and dries out between uses.


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15 January 2016

Winter Accessories | 2016

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I am a winter person through and through and nothing makes me happier than bundling up in a thick jumper, boots, coat, hat, scarf and gloves. I thought I'd share a few of my favourites that have been making their way into my outfits on a daily basis.

I think the dalmatian boots are one of my favourite purchases and I stalked the ASOS website until they came back in stock. Kate first blogged about them and I knew I had to have them. I have become slightly obsessed with dalmatian print over the past few months would love to have a shirt of the same print. Not that I would wear them together! I just love how these boots look with a simple dress or jeans and a t-shirt.

I had a pair of gloves in this style when I was a teenager from Accessorize and I wore them until they completely fell apart. I don't know why it's taken me so long to buy another pair but I really love them. They keep my hands warm but I can take off the mitten part and am able to use my phone etc with ease. You can't really tell in this photo, but these gloves are tiny and this is coming from someone who has small hands to begin with. When I first bought them I thought I might have picked up the children's size by mistake. If you're going to buy these then make note of it.

For the life of me I cannot remember where I bought these two necklaces from but I worn them a lot recently. I like that the pink necklace adds a bit of colour to an outfit and has a slightly longer chain. The plain gold one acts more like a collar necklace for when I'm wearing a jumper with a higher neckline.

You can see my summer accessories post here.

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14 January 2016

Sale Shopping | Lush Part Two

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It's Christmas Deer Gift Set | Merry Christmas Gift Set | The Rough With The Smooth Body Scrub.

I've split my Lush Boxing Day buys into two posts simply because this lot took so long to arrive! There was a problem with the Mumkin Bubble Bar from the Kitchen which delayed the whole order. It finally arrived two weeks later and I couldn't be happier to be reunited with Peeping Santa Bubble Bar. I really wish I had bought more of them!
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It's Christmas Deer | £13.25 // Magic Of Christmas Reusable Bubble Bar | Beautiful Shower Gel | Golden Wonder Bath Bomb | Snowcake Soap | Karma Kream Body Lotion.

The main reason I ordered this gift set is because I wanted to try Karma Kream Body Lotion without buying the full size and everything else in the set are good products. I didn't buy a slice of Snowcake Soap this year so I'll be saving this until I finish the current hand soap I'm using. The Magic Of Christmas bubble bar is another favourite and I think I have four or five of them now so it'll definitely last me until it's available again.
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Merry Christmas | £9.98 // Peeping Santa Bubble Bar | Golden Wonder Bath Bomb | Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb | Dashing Santa Bath Bomb | Cinders Bath Bomb.

Oh how I wish I had bought a million Peeping Santa Bubble Bars. I love the strawberry Yummy Mummy scent and its incredibly moisturising. I also didn't stock up on Lord Of Misrule so at least I have one more till it's available again in ten months. Dashing Santa isn't one of my favourites but I'll happily use it.

Did you buy anything from the Lush sale?


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13 January 2016

Shopping | Boxing Day Sales

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I feel like I haven't had a good ASOS browse in a really long time. I also told myself I wouldn't even look on the site when the boxing day sale went live but really, there was no way that was going to happen. I got sucked in when I saw that a couple of things in my saved basked were reduced. I then got sucked into the website completely and ended up with seven things in my basket after telling myself I wouldn't buy anything. Also I kept, and loved, everything that I order which never usually happens with ASOS. Usually I keep about 30% of what I order and send the rest back either because they didn't suit or fit or the quality wasn't as good.

The only thing that wasn't part of the sale is the pleated midi skirt which has been on my to buy list for a long time. I've been on Pinterest quite a bit recently and a lot of outfits with pleated skirts have been pinned. It's something I can dress up easily or wear it on casual summer days with a stripe t-shirt and Birks.

The speckled jumper was an impulse buy that I wasn't sure if I would keep. In the photographs on the site it looks really nice but on the catwalk video it looked thin and not very good quality. You can never tell what it's going to look like but luckily it looks really nice on. I was worried anything that I wore underneath would stand out like a saw thumb but it actually looks okay. I can wear a grey, nude, navy or black t-shirt under it and it isn't too noticeable. I also really like that I am adding a tiny bit of colour to my wardrobe with this jumper but staying very much in my comfort zone. I have a lot of black, grey and blue jumpers but I don't have a white jumper and I really liked the rib effect this one has as well as the loose neck.

A mini black bag was missing from my collection. I have a couple of mini bags that I love but they're quite bright in colour and don't always go with what I'm wearing so this one is perfect. A smaller bag means that I carry less with me when I'm out which makes my back and shoulders happy.

The boots are perfect for day or night and the fake snake skin breaks up the plain black. I also like that the hardware is gold. When I was watching Liv's capsule wardrobe video the other week I realised I was missing a pair of interesting ballet flats from my collection. I've always had leopard print ballet flats in the back of my mind to buy but I never found a pair I really liked. These slippers from Park Lane are a different style to what I had imagined but I really like them. They might make my feet look a lot longer than they are but hey, I'll go with it.

The final thing in my order is a scarf that looks more like a blanket. We just need the weather to get colder so I can wear it!

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12 January 2016

Mini Reviews 056 | Bumble And Bumble

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I have wanted to buy the full sizes of the Invisible Oil products ever since I tried a sachet of the shampoo and conditioner a year ago and loved them. I had plenty of other shampoos and conditioners to use up first, and I still have, but I couldn't resist buying this set of minis although I know I'll buy the full sizes at some point. I love the packaging of all Bumble And Bumble products but I think the Invisible Oil has to be my favourite. I especially love the box it came in with the highlighter paint splotches. I almost don't want to throw it away but keeping with the KonMari method it has already served its purpose. I suppose it does bring me joy so do I keep it?!

Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo | £23 // Finally I can add another shampoo to my short list of ones that don't irritate my sensitive scalp. It's sulfate-free and gentle but still cleanses my hair. It's also nourishing and I find I don't need to use as much conditioner as normal when I use it as it contains six different lightweight oils. It doesn't weigh my hair down though and my hair feels soft and less frizzy. I also love the sweet fruity scent the whole range shares.

Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Conditioner | £25 // Although the hydrating shampoo means I don't need to use as much conditioner, this is extremely moisturising. It's actually my favourite out of the three and it's perfect to use with a clarifying shampoo that can sometimes strip the hair. If it wasn't so expensive for the full size, I'd use it every time I washed my hair. Instead I'm saving it and using it as more of a hair mask than a daily conditioner.

Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer | £20.50 // This primer hasn't had much use as more often than not, I wear my hair natural and use a salt spray. It does make a nice leave-in conditioner though when I feel like my hair just needs more moisture put into it. When I have used it though it leaves my hair smother and my natural wave/curl less frizzy.


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11 January 2016

Project Life Update | January 2016

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I started a Project Life album at the start of last year but apart from a few Instagram photos, I haven't really shared anything. I've already filled one album so it was about time I started a new one. At the moment I've just been filling the albums with all my old photos that I've had printed over the years and all the mementos that I've saved. At some point I'll be up to date and can just add in as I go along the year. For now though I'm printing a year of photos each month and putting them into the album. This new album is 2007 to 2010.

I've also recently bought a new core kit as I was running low on some of the sizes and designs from the original I was using. Both core kits are designed by Liz Tamanaha for Project Life and I really like her own blog as well. I like that they're all pretty plain in design, monochrome or subtle colours and work well with each other. I'll probably write a post going into a bit more detail on the core kits if anyone is interested. I'm also thinking of making this update into a monthly thing where I can share some favourite pages, post about inspiration or what I've bought.
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10 January 2016

Winter Edit | 2016

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Life NK Float Away Milk Soak // Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum | £40 // Elemental Herbology Tree Of Life Balm | £22 // Lush Holy Golightly Bubble Bar // Weleda Skin Food | £9.95 // OPI On Pinks & Needles // OPI Alpine Snow // OPI DS Glow // OPI So Eelegant // Fushi Scalp Soother Oil | £15 // Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme | £30 // Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb Perfume | £50.

This year my skin has become a lot drier than usual so I've had to up the moisturising levels of the products I use. The Elemental Herbology balm and Weleda Skin Food have become products I use on a daily basis for my hands and elbow instead of every now and again. I've enjoyed using the Float Away Milk Soak I bought in the sales this time last year as it smells nice, is hydrating and turns the water milky. It also does a pretty good job at creating bubbles as well. I've still been using Lush though and one of my favourites from this years Christmas is the Holy Golightly Bubble Bar. It's not a new release but one I always buy each year.

The red bumps on the tops of my arms that are so hard to get rid of have flared up again this winter and the only product that works in the Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum. I discovered this product when watching Caroline's Bathroom video with Sali Hughes. I love the almost perfume scent of it and it works so well at smoothing my skin and also moisturising it.

Not only has my skin been drier, but my hair has as well. The original Elasticizer from PK was working well at keeping my hair looking and feeling nice but I felt like I needed something more. This is where the Elasticizer Extreme comes in. Since this is so powerful, I don't need to use it often. To combat the dryness of my scalp, an application of the Fushi scalp oil has become a weekly occurrence.

I haven't worn nail polish much this winter but when I have I've chosen one of these three shades from OPI with Alpine Snow acting as the base for the two glitters. I'll be posting NOTD's over the next few weeks.

What are your winter must haves?


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09 January 2016

Sale Shopping | Lush Part One

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Golden Wonder Bath Bomb | The Magic of Christmas Resuable Bubble Bar | Cinders Bath Bomb | Five Gold Rings Bubble Bar | Snow Angel Bath Melt | Each Peach (And Two's A Pair) Massage Bar | Dirty Massage Bar | The Rough With The Smooth Body Scrub  | Father Christmas Bath Bomb | Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub | Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb | Christingle Body Conditioner.

The other week I shared what I had wanted to buy in the Lush Boxing Day sale but I thought I'd share what I actually bought. If you're as obsessed about Lush as I am then you'll love this type of post. I'm still sad I couldn't buy any Peeping Santa Bubble Bars or Salt And Peppermint Bark Body Scrubs but I'm pretty happy with what I got. Especially that Christingle was available later on in the day when I thought it had sold out.

Along with the Christmas range, there were a few of the permanent products in the sale for half price so I picked up a couple from my to try list. It was strange to see them mixed in with the limited edition products but I can't complain about getting them for cheaper when I would have paid full price for them anyway. I bought another Rough With The Smooth Body Scrub as I love the Lord Of Misrule Scent along with the solid version of Rub Rub Rub. The liquid version is my favourite body scrub so I have high hopes for the solid version. I also took the opportunity to buy a couple of the massage bars that I wanted anyway. I use these as in my bath by cutting them into small pieces and using them like I would a normal bath melt. 

Did you buy anything in the sale? 


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