LVL Lashes

LVL Lashes Experience

LVL Lashes

I’ve been wanting LVL Lashes for a while now, probably going on a year. With my wedding coming up next month I thought I would try them out with a view to if I liked them I would have them redone for the big day and (hopefully) honeymoon. I went to Laura Dossett in Norwich a couple of weeks ago so thought I’d do a little write up on my experience and let you know whether I would have the treatment done again. The appointment lasted about an hour from start to finish and the time went by quickly. Laura asked me to pop in ahead of my appointment so she could do a patch test and ensure I didn’t have any adverse reactions to the products she was going to be putting on my lashes. On the day, Laura had me fill out a form with my details, my doctors surgery and if I had any medical conditions, once that was out of the way the treatment started. I’d made sure to arrive at the salon sans makeup and Laura used a wipe to remove any excess products and oils around my eyes and lashes. A shield was placed on each closed eyelid and my lashes were brushed up onto it, ensuring they were all straight and pointing the the right direction. The lifting product was then applied to the base of my lashes and left on for around 10 minutes. After that, the solution was removed from my lashes with a tiny little tool – this is the only part that felt a little uncomfortable, but that was just down to me worrying Laura might poke me in the eye which, of course, she didn’t. None of the process was painful in the slightest though. Another solution was applied to my lashes and left on for around 5 minutes then removed before the tint was applied to both top and bottom lashes.

LVL lashes

My immediate thoughts upon seeing my new lashes was that they weren’t as dramatic as I was hoping they would be. For some reason I thought the treatment was going to stretch out my lashes to make them longer but really it just lifts and tints them, which makes them appear longer naturally. The lashes were clumped together a little bit as they were still wet and I was told once they dried they would fan out more so I left in the hopes that I would love them more the following day after I was allowed to wash them (you’re not supposed to get them wet or wear mascara for the first 24 hours, so along with washing my face before the appointment I also washed my hair the night before so I didn’t have to worry about water running over my face and lashes).

LVL lashes

The next morning it was nice waking up and actually looking more fresh faced and awake than normal thanks to the lashes, but applying mascara has bit made more difficult and messy. I think if I didn’t tend to wear mascara most days then I would maybe get LVL lashes again. My lashes are naturally relatively long and have a bit of a curl to them, and when I wear mascara I get a similar look to LVL but with a bit more volume and length. Going forward, I’d be interested to try just tinting them at home myself and going back to using Rapidlash to make them a little longer – I feel like that would work out a bit cheaper in the long run and perhaps give me more of the results I was hoping for, but I’ve heard bad things about lash tinting so I think I need to do a bit more research before I jump into that. Let me know if you’ve had any experience with that yourself and if you have any lash tinting products you can recommend I try out.

So bottom line, I’m glad I tried it out but I don’t think I’ll be having it redone. Maybe I’ll look into lash extensions next….

LVL lashes

Weekly Makeup Basket

Weekly Makeup Basket

Weekly Makeup Basket

If you guys have been following my blog or YouTube channel for a while, you might be aware that I do a weekly makeup basket. Basically, all that means is I go through my makeup collection and decide which products I want to use for that week and place them all in a little basket on my desk. This makes getting ready in the morning so much quicker and easier because I don’t have to hunt through my collection trying to decide what to wear each day. It’s also helpful if there are certain items that I’m trying to use up, like when I’m doing a Project Pan for example.

I always give myself a couple of options in one area, just so I don’t get too bored with using the exact same things every day. So one week I might give myself a couple of different lip colour options, the next I might include an eyeshadow palette so I can switch up my looks a bit throughout the week. This is great if, like me, you get overwhelmed with the size of your makeup collection and feel a little guilty for letting products get pushed to the back of the drawer and forgotten about. A weekly makeup basket enables you to focus on using a selection of products for a week before rotating them out for something else. One week you could be getting use out of a long-time favourite lipstick, and the next you could be trying out that new blush you got for your birthday. So without further ado, here is what is in my makeup basket this week:

Weekly Makeup Basket

Starting with base: I have my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in shade 51, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer in shade 52, MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 and the Maybelline Matte Maker face powder in Natural Beige. I love the Bourjois products and Studio Finish is the best high coverage concealer I have found for my face. Maybelline’s Matte Maker is okay, but nothing special to write home about – I would repurchase it in future but I’d happily use something else instead, it’s not holy grail for me.

Moving onto the cheeks: I’ve been using The Body Shop’s Honey Bronzer in Light for a while as it’s the perfect shade to give me a subtle and natural looking contour at this time of year. For colour I’m using MUA’s Blusher in Candyfloss for the 2nd week running and loving it. It’s such a pretty flush to the cheeks, easy to blend and just the right amount of pigmentation. I finish this off by sweeping Makeup Revolution’s Radiant Light powder in Breathe over the top and everything just looks dreamy and glowy.

The final steps, eyes: I have a couple of eyeshadow bases in here – MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre and My Little Beauty’s Eyeshadow Crayon if I want a bronzy base. If you saw my Pan That Palette challenge for 2016 you’ll know I’m trying to pan Urban Decay’s Sustainable Palette this year, so of course that is in the basket. Liner is either ELF’s Shimmering Eyeliner in a charcoal shade if I want something subtle, or Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner if I want to create a flick. I’m currently using the Volume Glamour Max Holidays mascara from Bourjois which I like, and to finish everything off I have Stila’s Stay All Day Brow Colour in Medium to fill in my brows, and Fresh’s Sugar Rose Lip Treatment as my lips have been really dry lately.

So that is what’s in my weekly makeup basket this week. I’d love to know if you do something similar to get use out of your products, and if so, what’s in your makeup basket this week – be sure to leave a comment below!

Weekly Makeup Basket

How I Use Coconut Oil

how i use coconut oil

I mentioned in a video a couple of months ago that I was having issues with certain products and wanted to head down a more natural route. This is going to be a very slow process for me because, let’s be honest, I can’t afford to get rid of all my current products and replace them with more natural versions all at once!

One of the first things I did was switch over to using coconut oil for my cleanser and I thought I would share with you how exactly I use it for that purpose as well as other ways I incorporate it into my life in case you were intrigued or were thinking of trying it out yourself.

How I Use Coconut Oil

Face Cleanser
I’ll start off with this as it’s what I use coconut oil for most often. Basically, to use it as a cleanser it’s a simple as massaging it over your face and using a damp, warm cloth to wipe it off. I take about a thumbnails worth of the solid oil, warm it up slightly with my fingers and massage it over my face and down my neck. I use this over my eye area too and it’s very effective at removing waterproof makeup, the only downside to this is if it gets into your eyes it can make them a little blurry but it doesn’t make them sting at all. Once I’ve spent a minute or so massaging the oil in, I then take a flannel, hold it under the hot tap (or shower head usually), and wring out the excess water. I place the flannel over my face for a few seconds before using it to wipe away the oil and makeup. I then repeat the process once more to ensure I’ve got all the makeup off my face and cleansed it. The oil works by breaking down the makeup and lifting the dirt and oil from your skin, which then gets wiped away with the cloth. My face is left completely clean with a little bit of residue from the coconut oil, which helps add moisture to my skin (an added bonus!). I do only use this at night because of that residue but I love this as my cleanser and haven’t had any breakouts since using it!

Hair Treatment
This is a more common use that you’ve probably heard of. The molecules in coconut oil are small enough to get inside the hair shaft and nourish it from inside the strand (as opposed to some treatments/conditioners that just smooth down the outer surface). There’s a couple of ways I use it as a hair treatment – one is to apply it to my dry hair, prior to washing it, and leave it to sit for as long as possible (sometimes wrapped in a towel to keep the heat in). I’ll try to leave it on for at least an hour before shampooing and conditioning as normal. I do find I need to shampoo twice otherwise my fine hair ends up looking a bit limp and greasy.
Another way I use it is mixed in with my regular conditioner. This is great for those times when I feel like my hair needs a little extra TLC but I don’t have the time to do the above for whatever reason. All I’ll do is mix a little bit of coconut oil with my conditioner in the palm of my hand and apply as normal. I’ll try to leave that on my hair for a few minutes whilst I wash the rest of me and then rinse it out. My hair always feels so, so soft when I use coconut oil on it.

Body Treatment
I recently found coconut oil works great when mixed in with my body wash! I’m not sure if it would work the same with all types of body washes but I mixed a small amount of coconut oil with my shower gel, really mixed it well together in my hands before washing my body and it felt really luxurious. Whilst the shower gel was cleansing my body, the oil was stopping it from getting dried out and it seemed to work really well. You can also use a tiny bit of coconut oil as a moisturiser for any particularly dry patches once you’ve got out of the shower and that works well too.

Cooking
Of course, you can always use it with food, whether you want to add it to smoothies, bake with it, or use it to cook with. Ben and I love using coconut oil when cooking veggie stir fries, use can cook on high heat, it’s said to be a healthier oil to consume, plus it just adds a lovely taste to our food. There’s lots of ways you could experiment with adding coconut oil into your diet, a quick search on Pinterest will give you lots of inspiration.

how i use coconut oil

So that is how I use coconut oil in my day-to-day life. For reference, I use the Groovy Food Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Let me know if you have any other ways you recommend trying, and let me know if you try out using it in one of the ways I’ve mentioned!

Lush Cinders Review

Cinders Lush Review Bath Bomb thegirlinspired

I couldn’t do a series of Lush reviews at this time of year and not include Cinders. For any of you that have seen any of my Lush holiday hauls you’ll know this is my all-time favourite Lush product. I’m sure some of you will think this is quite boring, or just plain don’t like it, but I love it and always have several (either bought myself – I’ve been known to have purchased 10 in one go in the past… – or gifted by lovely people who know how much I love it) at this time of year.

I’ll be honest, if you want a bath product that actually does something, this isn’t for you. It doesn’t leave your skin amazingly soft and moisturised or anything like that. I love this so much purely for the experience. Cinders is a bath bomb, so another one that you pop into your bath once it’s full and it fizzes up, changing the water into a cosy orange colour. This smells of cinnamon, clove and sweet orange oil, perfect for the festive season, and so warm and comforting on cold nights. Along with the warm colour of the bath and the yummy scent, this also has popping candy, which crackles and pops in the water, leaving you feeling like you’re wrapped up in a cocoon of cosiness.

Cinders Lush Review Bath Bomb thegirlinspired

That scent is to die for and I can never get enough of it. The past few years the scent has seemed a bit diluted, not as strong, and didn’t seem to crackle as much, but this year it is back to how I remember it being when I first discovered it – sweet, warm, and comforting with lots of crackles. This is the one thing I look for every year and hope Lush never discontinue it, I think I would cry if they did! It’s the perfect thing for a cold winters day and you’d better believe I’ll be grabbing more before they disappear for another year.

Available from Lush for £2.95

Lush The Magic Of Christmas Review

The Magic Of Christmas Lush Reusable Bubble Bar Review bath thegirlinspired

This one has snuck it’s way into my festive Lush reviews as it was given to me by a friend recently. The Magic Of Christmas is a reusable bubble bar, so it creates bubbles, as you might imagine, but rather than crumbling it under a running tap, you swish it through the water with the help of the handy stick it comes attached to.

The stick in this case is a cinnamon stick, which smells amazing. Combine that with the clove in the bar itself, and the cosy orangey colour it turns the water, and you have something that’s quite similar to Cinders – which if you haven’t guessed by now is my favourite thing from Lush and they’ll be a review of it up on Monday (saved the best til last)!
Because of the way these bars are formulated, once you’ve swished and swirled them around in your water, you can just pop them on the side of your tub to dry and be used again in another bath. My only issue with this one was that it didn’t really create many bubbles, so instead I held it under my running tap. I’m not sure if that’s a common problem with these, or if my particular bar was “defective”, but if you have the same issue you might want to try what I did.
The Magic Of Christmas Lush Reusable Bubble Bar Review bath thegirlinspired
Overall it was a lovely bath and I can’t get enough of that scent – Lush need to bring it out in shower gel form! Although it’s not quite as strongly scented as Cinders, you do get multiple baths out of it, so I’ll let it off. Plus it looks super cute and adds a little bit of fine gold glitter to your water, what more could you ask for?!
Available from Lush for £5.95

Lush Bar Humbug Review

Lush Bar Humbug Bubble Bar Review bath holiday christmas thegirlinspired

When I heard Lush had come out with their holiday selection I got online at the earliest possible opportunity and made a wish list of all the things I wanted to pick up. My wish list was a bit long in the end so I only ended up grabbing a select few but this one was at the top of my list (almost, nothing can replace Cinders in my heart!) The Comforter is one of my year-round favourites so when I saw Bar Humbug looked very similar with it’s swirly pattern, only purple and sparkly (!) I knew I had to have it.

All that being said, when I saw it in person I was a little bit disappointed. It still looks very pretty, all white and purple and silver glitter, but it’s so small compared to The Comforter! Of course the size is reflected in the price so it’s not all bad news, but I split this in half and used it in 2 baths whereas I feel like it would have been better all in one.

If you’re familiar with Lush’s bubble bars you could probably guess that this creates big, fluffy bubbles and turns the waters a pinky purple. The glitter is just an outer overly and doesn’t cover your tub in glitter so if that’s a concern don’t let that put you off. Bar Humbug contains bergamot, fennel and tarragon oils and Lush’s website describes it as having a liquorice scent. To me it smelled quite like their Dragons Egg bath bomb which smells like sherbet – maybe that’s just a weird association I’ve created thanks to the liquorice and sherbet sweets from my childhood?!

Lush Bar Humbug Bubble Bar Review bath holiday christmas thegirlinspired

Anywho, this bubble bar was much like Yog Nog in the sense that it was nice enough but not really all that special, and I won’t be running out to grab a few more before they leave the shelves in January. I’ll probably just stick with The Comforter.

Available from Lush for £3.65

Lush Shoot For The Stars Review

Lush Shoot for the Stars bath ballistic bomb review thegirlinspired

This is my favourite of Lush’s holiday bath products that I’ve tried so far this year. If you want to see my thoughts on everything else I’ve tried you can click to read my review of the Snow Angel Bath Melt, Five Gold Rings Bubble Bar, Yog Nog Bath Ballistic, and Needles and Pines Shower Jelly.

Onto Shoot For The Stars… This one is supposed to smell quite citrusy with Brazilian Orange and Bergamot oils, but to me it smells a bit like Lush’s Butterball for some reason. I could understand if I had been keeping this with a Butterball but I haven’t! Anyway, the scent is very nice and relaxing, soft and soothing.

What I love most about this bath bomb is what it does to my water. After you’ve run your bath and popped this in it takes its time to fizz out. Whilst it’s doing so, it covers the surface of your water with a milky froth and swirling colours of pink, blue, purple and yellow. It’s so pretty to watch but it doesn’t stop there. As the colourful swirls melt away the inky purple water is revealed and it is full of fine silver shimmer. It looks just like the night sky and is mesmerising.

Lush Shoot for the Stars bath ballistic bomb review thegirlinspired

The downside of this is that the bottom of your bath is left covered in that silver shimmer, but it’s nothing a quick rinse won’t fix and the upsides far outweigh the down in my opinion. This is one that I definitely want to use again.

Available at Lush for £3.65

Lush Shoot for the Stars bath ballistic bomb review thegirlinspired

Lush Needles & Pines Shower Jelly Review

Lush Needles and Pines Shower Jelly Review thegirlinspired, Lush Needles & Pines

It has been years since I last had a shower jelly from Lush. It’s such an odd concept to get your head around when you first use them – a body wash that is in the form of jelly, like the wibble wobble kind.  I had originally wanted to get Santa’s Belly but when I smelled it in store it just didn’t appeal to me, so instead I picked up Needles and Pines.

To use it you could just take the entire thing out of it’s tub and rub it over your skin but I find it doesn’t really lather up all that great when used that way. I prefer to take a shower puff (shower lily, loofah, whatever you like to call them), break off a small piece of the shower jelly and scrunch it into the wet puff. When I use it this way it lathers up 10 times better, and the puff acts as a manual exfoliator, leaving you squeaky clean and smooth.

Lush Needles and Pines Shower Jelly Review thegirlinspired, Lush Needles & Pines

Needles and Pines is a very accurate name for this product in my opinion. It has a fresh, pine tree smell, like fresh snow in the woods, and is definitely what I would call a unisex scent. Sometimes scents intended to be unisex can be just a touch too masculine, but this one is perfect and one that could easily be used year round.

Available from Lush for £3.75 (100ml)

Lush Yog Nog Review

Lush Yog Nog Bath Ballistic Bomb Review thegirlinspired

This is the least Christmassy bath of the one’s I’ve tried so far, so if you’re not into the all-out festivities, you might still be interested in Yog Nog (£3.95) To start off with, this is one of Lush’s bath ballistics. With these you just pop them into your bath once it’s full and watch them fizz up. Sometimes they fizz up quickly, but Yog Nog was slow to fizzle and had a couple of surprises for me…

The first surprise was that it turned my water a lime yellow colour – totally NOT what I was expecting! Given the yellow and white exterior I assumed this would add a diluted yellow hue to my water. The other surprise was that there were full on sticks of butter inside! Shea butter that is, not the regular kind you spread on toast obviously, but it did surprise me to find such big sticks of it. Usually when Lush have cocoa or shea butter in a product they are much, much smaller chunks which enables them to melt quickly into your water. The butter in this particular ballistic took quite a while to fully melt but my bath did become wonderfully moisturising, which I really needed – has anyone else’s skin become suddenly very dry?

Yog Nog has a lovely, subtle toffee scent that isn’t overly foodie, and a silvery lustre, which is my favourite kind of bath shimmer as you aren’t left covered in glitter! In general this is a nice bath, as long as the lime yellow water doesn’t put you off!

Lush Yog Nog Bath Ballistic Bomb Review thegirlinspired

Available from Lush

Lush Snow Angel Review

lush snow angel review bath melt thegirlinspired

Lush is one of my favourite things at this time of year. The weather gets colder, the evenings are darker, and all I want to do is lay back and relax in a nice warm Lush bath. If you saw my last haul over on my YouTube channel you’ll know I picked up a few of their holiday goodies, and I figured I would review each of them individually over here…

I’m starting off with Snow Angel as it’s the one my skin craved most. This is a bath melt, so for those of you that aren’t aware what that means, once you’ve run your bath you pop this into the water and it melts into the most silky, moisturising bath you could hope for. This one in particular contains Fair Trade cocoa butter to seriously soften and hydrate your skin, and a blend of cassie absolute, rose absolute and benzoin resinoid to subtly scent the water. This actually smells a lot like Lush’s Snowcake soap.

lush snow angel review bath melt thegirlinspired

The bottom half of this melt is the buttery side which will transform your tub into a luxurious oil-bath, perfect for dry skin. The top half is more like a bath ballistic formula that fizzes up and creates a foamy froth on the top of the water. The top half also has the cute angel design whilst the bottom is covered in glitter, turning your bath into a glimmering haven.

This would be a good bath melt to have closer to Christmas time when you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed and frazzled, and just need a little “me time” with something inoffensive but pretty.

Available from Lush – £3.95

lush snow angel review bath melt thegirlinspired