Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: LUSH FUN

Fresh from what I imagine is LUSH's Willy Wonka-esque chocolate soap factory comes FUN, the multi-purpose soap that will brighten up your bathroom and your imagination. Available in five colours, LUSH touts this as "bubble bar, shampoo, soap, and play" in one product. In a nutshell, they're delicious-smelling Play-doh alternatives that also soap up.

Pink FUN is scented with tonka absolute and benzoin resinoid (think vanilla and ice cream). Personally, I feel like it smells more like cotton candy. I think people who enjoy the smell of Snow Fairy will absolutely love this.

Blue FUN is made with lavender and chamomile oil for a relaxing scent. I do think the smell is pleasantly calming.

Green FUN is bright and fresh with the scent of lemon and lime oils. I love the smell of refreshing citrus, so this was definitely my favourite of the three I received.

Yellow FUN uses vanilla and gardenia for a creamy marzipan scent.

Red FUN is fruity and cheerful with the scent of orange and mandarin oils.

Each colour is wrapped in biodegradeable cellophane in a style that reminds me of Jolly Rancher or other cellophane-wrapped candies. Between the packaging and the Play-Doh angle, this product certainly reads as a "kids" product; I think kids would love sculpting soaps in the bath, and it might even help resistant kids be more enthusiastic about washing up. However, I do think this is also a fantastic product  for your inner kid! I have no problem imagining a grown man or woman having a relaxing bath while molding a masterpiece.

Molding aside, I like to use FUN is simply as a hand soap. I love how the smell of the soap lingers for a long time on my hands after washing; it's a nice pick-me-up. I can't use it as a shampoo because my dry scalp really needs the magic powers of LUSH Soak and Float (but that's another post). I don't take baths so I haven't tried it as a bubble bar either, although I can only imagine how fantastic and refreshing I'd smell and feel after soaking in a tub with some Green. I did use it as a body wash in the shower, and it lathers up perfectly well with the help of sodium laureth sulfate while the glycerine helps keep skin from drying out.

Bf also helped me discover another use for it:
Bf: "Hey, I like that soap."
Me: "What, that pink candy-smelling soap I put in your bathroom?"
Bf: "Yeah, it makes my bathroom smell nice!"

My bathroom at home is larger so I don't notice this, but it will lightly perfume the air of a small bathroom after use. Even with the soap sitting next to the sink, the heat and moisture from a shower will help the soap's smell pretty up your bathroom.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adventures in Whistler

Recently, I took a weekend trip to Whistler with some friends, so here's a journal of my (non-)adventures. Whistler is a really popular spot for tourists, especially after the 2010 Winter Olympics, but Vancouverites also like to come up for a day trip or longer since it's only a two-hour drive away. (Click to enlarge pictures)

We stayed in Whistler Village, which is the main area where hotels, restaurants, shopping, and gondolas to take you up the mountains are all in walking distance. Vancouver is such a huge city that it's refreshing to be able to walk to everything in this cute village. Naturally, there's a lot of touristy shops here with things like $10,000 geodes on display. I've also noticed that very "Vancouver" stores like TNA/Aritzia, lululemon, and Roots have a strong presence here.

Whistler Mountain officially opened for snow season the weekend we arrived. This was kind of a minor detail for us, since we were there just to hang out and get away for a bit; skiing and snowboarding definitely weren't in the budget! This probably sounds weird to people living anywhere else in Canada or any non-Canadians that believe we all live in igloos, but we don't experience much snow in Vancouver, so it was nice to see snow-dusted trees and mountains closer-up.

Being a tourist destination, pretty much everything about Whistler Village is expensive, including the restaurants. We decided to save some money by going for a hotel room with a full kitchen (we'll use "full" loosely here...) and bringing along groceries to cook most of our meals. I made a rip-off of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana for dinner one night. It's spicy, filling, and satisfying, all the things you'd want in a meal after traipsing around in the cold! My friends liked it so much, I was forced swayed into making it again for breakfast on our last day.

... Unfortunately, all the cooking and cleaning I did wreaked total havoc on the fresh polish I applied the night before we left ;__;  I was really loving butter London's All Hail The Queen, too! This is the photo I took in crappy hotel lighting after realizing my mani would not survive the trip.

Friday, November 23, 2012

LUSH FUN + Quickie Holiday Preview

LUSH has rolled out a few new things for you to love, including holiday goodies and a FUN new product:

FUN is a bubble bar, shampoo, hand/body soap, and creative play all in one. Basically, it's Play-Doh that you can take into the bath. There are five colours (red, yellow, pink, green, blue) in five enticing scents to appeal to kids--actual kids or your inner kid ;) A surprise fifth function: a portion of sales will go towards LUSH's FunD, which helps provide outdoor recreational activities (i.e. fun!) to children in areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

I received a few colours to experiment with, so stay tuned to find out what I made :>

Although LUSH has a ton of products for the holidays, this is hands-down the one I am most excited about. Let The Good Times Roll is an exfoliating cleanser that uses maize flour and corn meal to cleanse gently, and glycerin and corn oil to moisturize dry winter skin. It's supposed to smell like sweet and salty popcorn, but to me it smells more like yummy toffee, which is awesome.

I love Mr. Punch because of all the bright, holiday-ish colours in this soap, but I know a lot of other people will love it because it's made with gin! It's inspired by the "boozy fruit punches" that you tend to see around this time of year. It smells like it looks--delicious. If gin isn't your thing, there's also Spice Mountain (inspired by mulled wine) and Ponche (inspired by Mexican punch, with a real shot of tequila!)

There were way too many new products for me to photograph, from bath bombs to bubble bars and scrubs, but you can see them all on LUSH. Which product(s) are you most excited about?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

butter London Wallis

If my last butter London post hasn't convinced you yet, let me introduce you to the finishing blow. Wallis is named after Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who married the former King Edward VIII. It's "former king" because a consort with two living ex-husbands was pretty scandalous at the time (it might be even now), so Edward was forced to abdicate the throne to be with her (source). A great deal of mystery and rumor surrounded her, inspiring a glimmering, metallic, dark olive-gold that basically sings fall/winter. It has a glow and a mystery to it that keep you staring. It's beautiful and really, the glow part is important to emphasize.

Application is smooth and opaque in two coats. What's especially nice is that it's also missing the streakiness that sometimes comes with metallic polishes.

There's nothing at all like it in my collection. On first glance, I thought it might be close to Rimmel Rags to Riches, but I realized I was way off after comparing swatches. Although also metallic, Rags to Riches has much less gold and is cooler-toned. I have heard whispers of a dupe in Forever XXI's Love and Beauty house brand, but otherwise it seems to be a very unique polish.

Conveniently, I've just found out through Nouveau Cheap that on Black Friday (November 23), butter London is offering Wallis free with any orders over $50 using the code celebrate12. (Is that the walls of your resistance I hear crumbling?)

Friday, November 9, 2012

What to do with a manicure on its last legs...

China Glaze Pelican Gray • Sinful Colors Snow Me White
Practice your dotting skills of course! (Or just remove it, I guess...)

I bought a set of nail art dotting tools a little while ago, but hadn't touched them after tucking them away to my nail polish drawer. I really hate to mess up a perfectly good application of colour with crappy nail art, so I was putting off trying them out. Looking down at my worn-down, grown-out polish one night, I finally decided to give it a shot. If it was terrible, I could take it off and not feel bad about wrecking an otherwise good mani, since I had already been wearing Pelican Gray for several days. If it was good, I could wear it for another day or two before the massive gap between the colour and cuticle drove me insane.

For my first time trying to dot my nails, I thought it turned out pretty okay! It's a bit tricky to consistently apply the same amount of pressure with the dotting tool for every dot. The dots are not very even in spacing, shape, or size when you get a chance to stare at them up close like this, but in person I could get away with it. I even received a few compliments!

Note that it isn't necessary to use a dotting tool to create dots like this. Everyday objects like toothpicks and pins work too. The round bits on the end of a bobby pin are especially well-suited to dotting. I only happened to buy the set while ordering my nail sticks since it was pretty cheap online (~$5 for five dual-ended tools, if I remember right).

Not bad, right? Will you be practicing your nail art skillz on your next worn-out mani?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

butter London Pillar Box Red

With my nail polish collection having grown at a somewhat frightening rate, it's a little surprising that I haven't bought a proper red creme until butter London's Pillar Box Red. Whether it's lipstick, clothing, or nail polish, red exists in my mind as that super-sexy, bold femme fatale (all things which I am not) colour that I shy away from. On my nails, I'll wear deep navy that skirts on the borders of black, bright metallic green, gold glitter, and so on, but red polish is like this weird final frontier.

Of course, the fact Pillar Box Red applied so beautifully smooth and just so, well, buttery, helped distract me from my red hang-ups. This is the first butter London I've ever tried, and I can honestly say I'm in deep trouble, guys. I was in shock mid-stroke with how fantastic the formula is. The size of the brush also happens to fit the curve of my cuticle perfectly. Basically, I can never go back to a time when I could resist paying $17 CAD for a nail polish, knowing what I know now.

The tomato red quality of Pillar Box Red has a brightness that makes it look fresh and not at all moody like I had expected. Although it doesn't seem to get as much love as its sister, Come To Bed Red, comparison swatches I've seen make them look almost identical. Come To Bed Red is possibly a bit deeper, but if someone swapped my bottle, I might not even know it. I really like this colour and spent a lot of time admiring it, but I think I still couldn't shake my thing about wearing red. I couldn't feel 100% comfortable wearing it, although even bf said that it "suited my skin tone" >ω<

Do you love red polishes, or do you have some kind of hang-up about them like me?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Essie Going Incognito

There's no denying that Essie Going Incognito is a fall/winter shade. Besides the obvious dark = fall/winter thing, its deep forest green really reminded me of the spiky, dark green holly leaves you often see in Christmas decorations. I even considered layering a chunky red glitter on top to be the holly berries for a seriously Christmas-y vibe.

Since most of the greens in my collection are pretty much turquoise, Going Incognito is definitely unique to my collection. Sadly, it's just like and not love. It might not be apparent in the photo, but in person it feels like it's missing a richness that would make it really special in my books. This shade might be perfect for someone else, but it's not quite there for me.

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