Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Lush Spa experience - Lush Meadowhall

Throughout September Lush Meadowhall are offering a number of invitation only Luxury Spa experience evenings for VIP customers and on Sunday I was invited along to a blogger preview. When we arrived we found the store closed and in darkness and for a second or two we thought we'd got the wrong store or the wrong day, but then we spotted candles flickering away inside. The shutter was lifted and we were greeted by relaxing music and the store gently lit by several tea lights dotted around. Because the store was dark this means some of my pictures are a little dark but it provided an amazing atmosphere that I think does come across in the pictures.

When we went in we were offered a choice of lovely fruit infused waters made by one of our hosts for the night (yet again I've completely forgotten names, start making notes Becky!) with our options being orange and raspberry or lime and cucumber. There were little cakes instructing us to eat them, which obviously we did, and some Jammy Dodgers on a record cake stand.

There were three treatments available for us to try on the night including the Validation Facial, The Spell and The Comforter.

Validation Facial

A natural facial that will make your skin feel beautiful, while offering a touch of the supernatural to change the way you feel from the inside (60 mins £75)

The Spell

The Spell is a magical treatment; let your worries vanish right before your eyes. Releasing body tensions and calming the mind by stimulating reflex points through the feet, The Spell helps you to stand in truth with courage (60 mins £55)

The Comforter

Dive into a world of pure imagination with a hot chocolate body scrub followed by a rose massage that will leave you feeling uplifted and your skin gently nourished (60 mins £75)

Despite currently sporting an under the skin spot that is comparable in size to Mount Everest I decided to let my makeup come off and I tried the Validation Facial*. The full facial may include more products (or just more time spent on each stage) but mine included a cleanser (9 to 5) toner water (Breathe of fresh air), serum (Full of grace), face mask (Oatifix), moisturiser (oops I can't remember!), lip scrub (Mint julips) and lip balm (Whipstick). The specific products used in each facial will depend on your skin type and any skin concerns you may have such as redness. In the full Validation Facial the face mask would be removed with a hot flannel but as this wasn't possible in store mine was removed with toner water. After the facial I was then given a brief massage that involved kind of tapping the base of my neck and shoulders to make them relax. I have to say I did feel really relaxed afterwards and my skin felt (and smelled) lovely.

I actually took five empty Lush pots along with me that I exchanged for an Oatifix face mask, which was the one that was used in my facial. I can't wait to give it a try at home, it smells like flapjacks! I did a post a few days ago on how to recycle your Lush packaging, if you'd like to take a look you can find that post here.  

The Spell involves a bath for your feet using one of their bath bombs, which I believe was Big Blue, followed by a foot massage and stimulation of reflex points on the feet. I wasn't sure about having this one as I have really tickly feet and wasn't sure if I'd be able to stop myself pulling them away. If my boyfriend even slightly touches my feet it usually results in him being kicked! As I didn't have this treatment myself I can't confirm exactly what was included, but one of the ladies who had the The Spell commented that at times during the treatment her feet kind of felt like they were numb as they were so relaxed and Rosie commented that afterwards it felt like she was walking on air. Sian and Jemma both had The Comforter and although again I can't confirm exactly what this included as I didn't have this treatment I know that it does include a body scrub, followed by a massage using one of their massage bars and that this leaves you with soft, smooth, beautifully smelling skin.

Although the Meadowhall store isn't actually a spa store the Leeds store is so there is one close by if you're based near Meadowhall. Other spa stores include Edinburgh, Liverpool, Poole, Kingston, Kings Road (London) and the good news is more spas will be opening soon. If you'd like to book a treatment you'll need to call your spa of choice and all contact numbers can be found on the Lush website.

Would you visit a Lush spa?

*PR sample - This was a complementary treatment


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sally Faye Cotterill for the #BirchboxManithon in aid of Coppafeel

Last week I did a quick post to let you know about the #BirchboxManithon supporting the charity Coppafeel (you can find the post here). As I said in that post I wanted to try and get some nail art ready to post on the day of the Manithon but obviously I didn't manage this. Unfortunately I've been a bit busy this week, but I'm only a few days late!

I didn't have much time to create any kind of fancy design so I just went in with a dotting tool and created a couple of flowers on my ring finger and a cascade of dots down the side of each nail. It's a little bit rough so that's why I've not include a close up picture. As you can see I forgot to do my thumb and I didn't even attempt the other hand!

As I said in my last post even if you couldn't get down to the Manithon you can still contribute by buying one of the limited edition T shirts* designed by Sally Faye Cotterill, which I'm modelling above. Sorry for the chopped off head but I hadn't had time to wash my hair! Being a size 10 but sometimes a 12 if the sizing is particularly small I went for a 10-12. This size is now sold out but you can still find sizes 6-8, 8-10 and 12-14 but be quick as once they're sold out they're gone. The T shirts are good quality and if you're a beauty blogger or nail varnish fan the design is amazing. You can find the T shirts in the Birchbox e-shop here.  

Did you manage to make it to the #BirchboxManithon?

*PR sample


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Recycling your Lush packaging

When I was breaking down a box that contained a Lush order ready to pop the cardboard into the recycling I noticed that on the inside of the box Lush have printed some information on the various ways you can recycle or reuse their packaging.  In case you've never spotted this, or have never ordered online, I though I'd do a post letting you know what you can do with any Lush packaging you have rather then just popping it in the bin.

As I've just said if you've ordered online the cardboard box that your order comes in can go into cardboard recycling and this is also the case if you have any empty boxes from Toothy tabs.  The little squishy foamy type bits that protect your order while it's on it's way to you are made from potato starch so they biodegrade quickly and can be added to compost bins or put around your house plants. If you have anything that is wrapped in cellulose, which is a clear film, this is made from plant materials and so again this can go in your compost bin or in with food waste.

As I'm sure any Lush fan is aware (as it is printed on the pots) if you wash out five full-size black pots and take them back to any Lush store they'll reward you with a free fresh face mask.  This doesn't include the little sample pots but if you're storing bigger pots to take back to store you can pop any sample pots you have in a bigger pot and take them back too.   

If you have any empty lip balm tins Lush suggest you can use these as travel tins, maybe to keep earrings safe, but if you don't want to reuse them you can pop them in recycling with your drinks cans.  If you have any small glass jars like the ones the lip scrubs come in you can use them to put creams in to travel or otherwise you can return the lid to a Lush store and recycle the glass bottom in standard glass recycling. I actually have an empty lip scrub jar that I'll be decorating shortly to use for storing my rings and I'll write a post to show how I decorated it.

If you have any shower gel bottles the lids can be returned to a Lush store and the plastic bottle can be put in plastic recycling.  If you have any Emotional Brilliance bottles, although the actual applicator can't be recycled the glass bottle can be recycled as normal and again you can return the lid to any Lush store. 

Do you recycle your packaging?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lush Sesame suntan lotion SPF10

I'll be completely honest and start by saying that I haven't actually used this product, but bare with me and I'll explain why. One of the main reasons why I haven't given it a try is because I'm not really sure how I would go about using it.

Lush Sesame suntan lotion

Lush Sesame suntan lotion
First of all I'll tell you a little bit about the product. Lush have recently launched a range of sun protection products and Lush Meadowhall kindly sent me the Sesame suntan lotion* to try out. This contains Walnut leaf infusion and Cocoa butter to condition the skin and Aloe vera to keep you cool and obviously soothe. This was made with fresh ingredients in June 2014 and it has a use by date of August 2015, so you have 14 months to use this product (although I often use Lush products past their date as long as the smell and feel of the product hasn't changed).  This product is also suitable for vegans.

I've never actually come into contact with any toasted sesame seeds, but this smells exactly how I would expect them to smell and to be honest it's not really a smell that I'm keen on personally. It's also quite strong, as many Lush scents are, in fact it's only in the last few years that I've actually been able to go into Lush stores because of the strong smell from the products. I'll talk about this a bit more in a minute but this product takes quite a while to be fully absorbed and until it has absorbed you can still smell the sesame seed scent quite strongly.

Now this product has an SPF of 10 which is very low (it does state this on the bottle) so this isn't something that I would consider using on holiday as I'm pale and burn easily and would only use a minimum of 30 at least in a hotter climate. So this means this is something that I would only use in the UK, but I wouldn't use it for sunbathing in the garden unless I was only staying out for a very short period of time. If I'm using a sun protection product for something like walking round town I'll only use something that absorbs very quickly and doesn't leave any kind of greasy or oily residue behind as I don't like this coming into contact with my clothes. Although I haven't actually tried this out properly I did pop some on the back of my hand to see what it's like and I found that it took an awful long time to be absorbed and until it was fully absorbed it left a slightly greasy kind of sheen to the skin. So I don't think I would use this for light protection for something like shopping either.

Because of the Cocoa butter and Aloe vera this can also be used as an aftersun lotion and I think this is the only thing that I would actually use this product for. As I said I'm not keen on the smell, but this does disappear once the product has been absorbed, so I could live with this if it does make a good aftersun lotion. Would I actually buy this myself though? No I wouldn't, especially as this is £8 for 100g and £15 for 250g. As you're supposed to apply this generously this wouldn't last very long at all so I think it's quite expensive. Although I am a Lush fan, this particular product isn't for me.

Have you tried the Lush Sesame suntan lotion?

*PR sample


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Models Own Bottleshop - Meadowhall Sheffield

This is really just a quick post to let anybody based in the north know that there is now a Models Own Bottleshop in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. Previously the only Bottleshops were down in London, so it's great that two have recently arrived in the north (the other being in White Rose shopping centre in Leeds). When I popped over to Meadowhall for the MHBloggersHub cocktail making sessions I made sure I nipped into the Bottleshop to check it out.

The great thing about the Bottleshops is that they don't need premises to move into, they are a completely self-contained shop that in theory could be popped into every shopping centre in the UK as long as the have the spare space.  Even better is that the Bottleshops are actually in the shape of a nail varnish bottle.  So they're a giant bottle containing hundreds of small bottles of pretty nail varnish, amazing hey! 

I've never actually been able to get to a Bottleshop myself, as although I do travel to London occasionally I'm usually on a long shoot, so I was excited to see one for myself for the first time. The bottles are stored upside down so you can see the shades clearly and are neatly stored to create a rainbow effect of colours along the shop. Just look at how amazing they look! There are also displays showing off the shades in each of their different ranges. Along with their nail varnishes you'll also find their other products including makeup, makeup brushes and nail art accessories. Oh and in the Bottleshop you can mix and match any 6 items for £20, meaning you'll save at least £10 on the cost of buying them separately.  

As there are now Bottleshops in the south-east (London) and the north (Sheffield/Leeds), making them a minimum of 160 miles apart, this might mean that Bottleshops will start popping up around the country so more Models Own fans can start experiencing shopping inside a giant nail varnish bottle.

Where would you like to see a Bottleshop open?