Lush Oxford Street Exclusives – Rosy Cheeks Mask and Deo My B.O. Deodorant

When you walk into Lush Oxford Street and are immediately greeted by that trademark scent, combined with the scent of 200 new products you can’t get anywhere else, it’s quite an experience for anyone. Let alone someone like me who’s basically been obsessed with Lush from the get-go. I couldn’t wait to track down these exciting products and see what treats the Lush Kitchen had come up with.

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I bought loads, so I decided to break it down into easily manageable chunks (I could hardly try everything at once, could I? Well, I could, but my flatmates wouldn’t appreciate me taking over the bathroom for 12 hours). This first one is a deodorant bar called Deo My BO. I don’t like antiperspirant, having struggled with the skin under my arms for years I’ve taken the all natural, all gentle approach. Antiperspirants are boring anyway, they all smell like chemicals and fake fragrances. When you open yourself up to natural deodorants, things get interesting, and this deodorant bar is no exception.

IMG_6384 The base of this deo bar is bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and lycopodium powder (do you know what that is? It’s the lube powder you get on latex gloves and condoms! So I guess this must be what helps the deodorant spread over the skin without leaving it feeling weird and powdery). The scent is amaaaaaazing – lemon oil, bergamot, juniperberry and neroli oil make it sharp and refreshing, which is just what you need to combat BO as well as give you nice treat every time you lift your arms up.

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This is the base – they cover it in green wax to give you something to hold on to. So, if you’re still reading, I’m guessing it’s because you want an answer to the question DOES IT WORK?! And I am delighted to inform you that gawd yes, it works. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to, but it really does, and I’ve had a BUSY few weeks. I have run for at least three trains since I started using it and every time my underarms get to the end of the day as happy and decent smelling as they were in the morning. Nice one, Lush!

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The second product I want to talk to you about is the Rosy Cheeks Mask. We tried four different masks in Lush, and it was really hard to choose just one. I chose Rosy Cheeks because even after a different mask had been applied and washed off my hand, I could still smell the gorgeous light rose scent. With calamine to calm the skin, and kaolin to gently exfoliate I thought this would be great for my consistently grumpy skin. There’s rose oil in there too, which just like it’s famous sister, rosehip seed oil, is great for the skin. It helps to even out the colour of the skin, and obviously smells beautiful.

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Its gorgeously thick, and instantly soothes the skin when you put it on because it’s cold – then as it warms up the calamine continues to calm the skin down, while the rose fragrance calms the senses. This is an all around gorgeous experience, and my skin was so soft, soothes and lightly scented after I washed it off. I have a couple of angry spots at the moment and they were immediately diminished! Once again, Lush, very well done.

IMG_6390My boyfriend made me take this picture. It’s a rose comet! Anyway…Lush have truly exceeded all my expectations with their new products, and I really, really hope they absorb some into their main product range so that more people can enjoy them! These innovative products have filled holes in my beauty routine that I didn’t even realise existed. Get yourself to Oxford Street if you possibly can!

REN Micro Polish Cleanser

I’m always drawn to products with papaya extract in them – whilst they can be irritating to some, I’ve found my skin has improved so much since I started using them. So when I decided to up my exfoliation game with a new scrub, REN’s Micro Polish Cleanser, with amber granules, gylcolic acid from pineapple and papain from papaya was an instant yes. IMG_6355 It looks like I made the right choice, because I loved it so much I felt compelled to literally draw it a picture. This scrub does not mess around. It’s a gorgeous creamy consistency, with gentle exfoliation from the granules. I wouldn’t say this is a gentle product, but the granules definitely don’t give me that ‘Wow am I actually bleeding?’ feeling, which is nice! And the scent is beyond gorgeous – tangerine, orange blossom and grapefruit. It’s a gorgeous citrusy scent that makes it perfect for waking up in the morning.

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I use it in the evening though because I like to pile on my moisturiser afterwards to give my skin a real treat, and when your moisturiser is a pure oil you can’t really apply a faceful of makeup and trot out the door. Anyway, using it in the evening  is still great – the scent gives you a lovely sensation of lifting the day away. My skin really does look brighter and smoother since I’ve been using this. I really think that most people need a bit of physical exfoliation occasionally, and using this twice a week has given my skin a serious boost. It flaked a bit after the first use – I had a sample that lasted for three uses – but after the second go my skin was absolutely LOVING it.

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As you can see it’s a lovely creamy texture, that spreads evenly over the skin to distribute the amber granules, papain and glycolic acid. I adore it. REN’s Micro Polish Cleanser is it’s perfect for the warmer months as it deeply cleanses, restores radiance and provides a beautiful uplifting sensation, for both your skin and your nose.

How to shave your legs like a feminist

1. Acknowledge that, as a feminist, you never want to tell other women what to do with their bodies and anything you may or may not say about hair removal is merely a suggestion based on subjective experiences.

2. Grow out a different body hair area to ensure there’s always a part of you that doesn’t unintentionally cater to the male gaze. With smooth legs comes great responsibility to ensure men don’t think you’re on their side.

3. If you start dating a man, be sure to grow out enough body hair in the first few months that you can be certain of any feminist ideals he might claim to have (if there isn’t a man, skip to the end of step 4).

4. Once you’re sure of the aforementioned man’s regard for you and the choices you make about your body, or you get bored of the fur covering your lower extremities, decide that it’s time for a shave.

5. Invest in some nice products. You’re doing this for you, after all. May as well get it right.

6. Choose your first product: An exfoliator. These come in several shapes, a konjac sponge, a body brush, exfoliating gloves, or my personal preference, a scrub. I LOVE Jurlique’s luxurious Exfoliating Body Gel, or for a wallet-friendly option, any of & Other Stories’ beautiful Body Scrubs.

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7. Choose your razor. I always used to preach that expensive razors were a joke and that we should always go withthe 10 for a £1 orange Bic multipack, but I’m told by some of my fellow feminists that women with thicker or coarser hair actually need to take a three-bladed approach to their hair removal. So pick whichever razor you like, but DON’T go for the higher priced pink option just because it claims to be specially designed for your legs. It isn’t.

8. Second product: shaving aid. You don’t need to use special shaving gel on your legs, but don’t cop out by using your shampoo, or worse, conditioner on your legs. I know so many people who do this and I don’t get it – you’re shaving the hair off for heaven’s sake! When you shave, you’re leaving the product on your legs for longer than normal so it’s imperative to use something actually designed for your body, not hair. A moisturising and gorgeously scented shower gel is what you want. Korres Bergamot Pear, or any of & Other Stories’ Shower Gels are perfect.

9. Warm your skin under the shower to soften the skin a bit, and then exfoliate. This’ll help make the exfoliation more effective.

10. Turn the shower off because otherwise you’ll waste a tonne of water. I actually have a little plastic pot in the bathroom, which I fill with water to rinse the hair off the razor as I shave.

#sustainability on the #newyork subway

A photo posted by @cia_m on

11. Try not to cut yourself. (If you do slip, cool the area asap. Your blood vessels are open from the warm water, which is why shaving injuries bear a striking resemblance to the elevator scene in The Shining. I usually just rinse the blood with cold water and then apply a flannel soaked in cold water as I hobble back to my bedroom…)

12. Should you manage to complete your shave without abandoning due to injury, gently pat your skin dry.

13. Time for the third product. Lush’s Silky Underwear Dusting Powder contains cocoa butter, cornflower and jasmine. It smells unbelievably sexy, and it makes your body feel smoother than smooth. Sprinkling it over freshly shaved legs gives the ultimate smooth shave feeling. I don’t know if people with dark skin tones can use aggressively white dusting powder, and if I’m right, then try my other favourite body moisturiser. Korres Bergamot Pear Body Milk contains aloe vera, almond and shea butter as well as the most beautiful fragrance known to humankind. These are two of the best body products I’ve ever tried.

14. Do this:

15. Go outside and show your legs off! Only if you want to (and you slather on some SPF) of course.

Lush Oxford Street

After the election results on Friday my boyfriend and I were in desperate need of some hippy green retail therapy. Lush’s newly opened, 3 storey flagship in the heart of Oxford Street seemed like the perfect place. I thought I’d share some of their 200 exclusive products, as well as our amazing experience. IMG_6300Despite it being a busy Saturday, we spent almost three hours wandering around this incredible shop, checking out loads of the new products and testing them, playing with their new bath bombs, smelling everything and wishing we had a bit more disposable income (not that that’ll be happening any time soon, thanks to the UK electorate) IMG_6279 They have so many new soaps. SO MANY. Unfortunately I don’t have anywhere to put solid soap in my bathroom so I didn’t get any, but hopefully one day… IMG_6291 That grapefruit one is incredible. And the hairy one is the perfect smell for anyone who loves the outdoors – it smells like nice dirt. IMG_6306 This Guardians of the Forest bath bomb has a very subtle scent and I couldn’t smell it at first. Then one of the lovely staff members (and I mean lovely – I know Lush employees work hard but these people knew everything, and were so nice!) told us to sniff ourselves before sniffing the products to get the scent. This one really does smell like a forest, it’s beautiful. The one above it smells of parma violets but not quite so sweet. Yum. IMG_6307 It’s impossible to walk around this shop and not feel happy. With the famous lush scent, lovely employees, fascinating products and wonderful atmosphere, we didn’t want to leave. IMG_6283 Here’s the shaving corner. Everything in Lush Oxford Street is so beautifully presented, and after 10 minutes in this part I ended up a with tub of shaving cream (for my legs) and beard wash (an early birthday present for my boyfriend). IMG_6287The only part I didn’t spend much time looking at was the facial skincare – I’ve haven’t tried much Lush skincare, apart from Ocean Salt which I liked, but was probably not the best product to use 10 years ago on my sensitive teenage skin. IMG_6285 However, they have so many more products now, and the staff here are so good, that I’m definitely going to come back and look at the facial skincare soon. I bet there’s something there that my combination, self destructing skin will love. IMG_6308 I loved the look of this striking Coalface facial soap, with charcoal to help absorb oil and liquorice root to soften the skin. This would be something my boyfriend, who has very oily skin, could use daily, while I could it from time to time when my skin gets shiny or spotty. IMG_6290One of the best parts of Lush Oxford Street is that there are chairs surrounding their fresh mask area, where the staff can show you all their amazing masks while you sit down. Perfect for all the tired shoppers who pass through Oxford Street every day. IMG_6289 This also gives them a really good opportunity to talk to you, which is where the amazingly knowledgable, lovely and interesting staff come into their own. It was a pleasure to talk to the lady who was applying testers of their gorgeous masks to our hands. IMG_6312 We tried four, the ones you see here are an Oxford Street exclusive ironically named Don’t Look at Me, and The Sacred Truth, a mask with papaya to brighten and exfoliate. We also tried brightening and refreshing Cup of Coffee and soothing, calming Rosy Cheeks. IMG_6309I ended up buying Rosy Cheeks, because I have lots of exfoliating, cleansing, polishing and brightening products, but nothing particularly calming. This smells beautiful and my hand was wonderfully soft afterwards. Obviously I’ll review it when I actually try it on my face! IMG_6294As you go down into the basement area, there’s a whole corner given over to feet. I can see this being popular as the weather gets warmer (popular with me at least, I hate having sweaty feet) IMG_6296Then you’re downstairs, in the headily scented massage bar and perfume section. There’s a sensory exhibit here about their Gorilla perfumes, but we didn’t end up checking it out (there’s always next time). My boyfriend had a look at the perfumes and fell in love with a smoky, whisky inspired scent that he’s already saving up for… IMG_6297 …while I cooed over the massage bars. Lush massage bars are some of their best products – Each Peach, Pearl, Dirty, Tender is the Night and Soft Coeur are all joint favourites for me. IMG_6300 Then we headed over to the deodorant/dusting powder section. Again, everything was so gorgeously laid out. I think the shopping experience here is on a par with Liberty’s for excitement, beauty and all around enjoyability. IMG_6303I picked up one of these gorgeous deodorants, a Lush Oxford Street exclusive called Deo my BO (hahaha) that smells stunning. It’s really fresh and lively. I’ll be trying it out this weke and will review asap! IMG_6304 Elbow Grease is one of many exclusive products that I of wish I’d picked up. It’s a really melty balm, intended, I think, for making tattoos shine really nicely, but also for soothing rough skin. I have a few dry patches that I think this would be perfect for. It melts away in your hand and smells gorgeous. IMG_6336 So…if you’ve made it all the way through this marathon post, you’re probably wondering what I actually bought. There’s Deo My BO deodorant, a sample of Roots scalp treatment, Flowering Tea reusable bubble bar, I Am A Radiant Being solid bath oil, Five O’Clock Whistle shaving smoothie, a sample of Giant’s Gel hair gel, Rosy Cheeks face mask, a sample of Curly Wurly shampoo, You’ve Been Mangoed solid bath oil, Damaged hot oil hair treatment and Kalamazoo beard and face wash. Lush Oxford Street is a stunning place to get lost in, their exclusive products are incredible, and they have done something I didn’t think anyone could ever do: make Oxford Street smell nice.

Dr Paw Paw Tinted Ultimate Red Balm

I’d heard about the Australian love of paw paw as an ingredient years ago, when I used to use Aussie hair care (I am aware that Aussie isn’t Australian, don’t worry). So when people started talking about how paw paw ointment is a staple in every Australian’s life, I was curious. Dr Paw Paw isn’t actually Australian, but it’s a great product and I’ve really enjoyed using it.

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I stumbled across Dr Paw Paw in Urban Outfitters and decided to go for the red tinted one because I’m always on the lookout for fuss free ways to apply pigment to my lips (lipstick stresses me out SO much). As well as the un-tinted original, they do a peach pink colour, and a giant tube of the original version.

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The reason for the giant tube is that paw paw ointment is a multipurpose antibacterial and antimicrobiral balm. Fermented paw paw (aka papaya) is an antioxidant, and helps repair the skin. There’s aloe in there to help calm and soothe, as well as olive oil to nourish and petroleum jelly to protect. This is one of those multipurpose magic balms that does it all for chapped, irritated or dry skin. I put mine to the test on the dry, cracked skin between my fingers. Aside from looking distinctly pink from the red pigment, the skin is smooth and soft, with no white bits at all. That’s something that almost all hand creams and balms struggle to get rid of, so I’m very impressed, and will be purchasing an original colourless balm as soon as I can!

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As you can see, the Ultimate Red Balm is a gorgeously rich colour, and I’m actually really impressed with the colour payoff. It’s subtle, but way better than any other coloured lipbalm I’ve tried. Because my lips are quite full and there isn’t a clean line between my lips and the skin around them, I find it really hard to get lipstick to look good. So a balm like this is perfect.

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This balm is great. It’s only £6.95 for a 25ml tube, and leaves the skin soft and nicely coloured for a good while. I think the clear one will go down really well with my boyfriend, who’s lip cracks in the middle a lot (poor baby), as well as with my cracked hands. After applying the red stuff between my fingers, it’s actually kept the dryness at bay for about 3 hours now, which is really impressive!

Korres Bergamot Pear Body Milk and Shower Gel Review

In August last year, I visited New York for the first time. The first of many times, I very much hope. My friend and I stayed in a wonderful Airbnb apartment with a friendly couple and an adorable dog. The apartment was in South Williamsburg, and I’m so glad we chose somewhere a bit different rather than going for the centre of Brooklyn or Manhattan. Naturally, being tourists, we spent all our time in those areas anyway, so it was great to see a bit of New York that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It really is an amazing city. I ate so much pizza and so many bagels.

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It was August, and nothing could have prepared me for how hot it was. Hotter than the rainforest – and I would know, I spent two months living in one. I’d worn a very loose dress (#5 on that list) with a strappy back for comfort on the plane, but after getting out of the subway and realising I was surrounded by Hasidic Jewish people, I almost cooked myself keeping my hoodie on as I attempted to find the apartment. At least I didn’t offend anyone!

Before I left for NYC, a combination of job interviews an a terrible cold resulted in me doing some extremely last minute holiday prep. As I wasn’t going to be staying in hotels, I needed shower gel. This compact and beautiful Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel bottle caught my eye. Although it’s 250ml like most shower gels, it just seems to take up less space than others. Maybe it’s my imagination, but a basic bottle of Radox definitely looks bigger, yet holds the same amount. Perhaps Korres are cutting down on packaging? They certainly seem like the kind of company who would – they have a lovely ethos.

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I didn’t open the shower gel until several days later when, jetlagged, boiling hot and possibly a bit smelly, I undressed in our host’s walk-in shower. Tiled in dark red, with a waterfall shower head attached to the high ceiling, it was cool, quiet and calm in that shower. The water fell heavily and I set it to cold. I flipped the lid and poured some gel onto my travel sponge, and as I massaged the gel over my hot skin I absolutely couldn’t believe how gorgeous the scent was.

The Bergamot Pear fragrance is sweet and fruity from the pear, but there’s a gorgeous freshness and bit of sharpness to lift it up. As I stood there in the shower the scent restored me completely. It woke my mind up and washed away all the drowsiness in my muscles. Although it’s sweet, the fragrance is incredibly clean, so you get all the benefit of a super freshening shower gel without the artificial tang.

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As the boiling hot New York summer progressed, we spent sleepless nights under thin sheets, and long days exploring the city. Naturally, I showered a lot – waking myself up and cooling myself down in that beautiful bathroom, and whenever I’ve used the shower gel at home since, it reminds me of the wonderful time I had.

With aloe vera gel and wheat proteins, the shower gel isn’t just good for the senses, it’s great for the skin too. The cooling aloe is probably why it felt so good on my skin after long days out, and the wheat has kept my skin soft and supple all through winter too – I’ve been using it almost constantly since the summer.

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I saw the Body Milk in Liberty’s a while ago, but because I have so many body oils, creams and lotions, I stopped myself from indulging. I really wanted to though. That scent is hard to resist, so after I got my new job, I decided to treat myself. Well, I’m glad I did; This is the ultimate summer body lotion. The milk sinks into the skin immediately, leaving it incredibly soft, and beautifully scented. There’s aloe in there again to cool, along with shea butter and jojoba to soften. I’m completely obsessed with it – I usually to forget to moisturise after a shower because I’m really not a morning person, but since buying this I’ve remembered to do it every single day.

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I really can’t describe how gorgeous these products are. I know that’s technically the whole point of blogging about products, but to be honest I just really want you to go to your nearest retailer and have a sniff, because I know you’ll buy it. If you’re looking for some fruity, clean and fresh smelling body care for the summer months, these are your guys. At £10 for the Body Milk and £8 for the Shower Gel, you can’t really argue with the price either.

Fig Fiction Body Wash from & Other Stories

Have you ever been in & Other Stories? It’s right next to Oxford Circus tube station, but for some bizarre reason I had absolutely never seen it before until a friend pulled me in there. It’s magic. Everything in there is sophisticated and beautiful, yet affordable. I got a trio of gold bangles (ones that are actually small enough to sit on my tiny hand properly) for £15, and they are gorgeous as well as really high quality. They have great branding too – so far this year they’ve had a lesbian couple and the worlds longest serving supermodel modelling their clothes, and have worked with Lena Dunham.

The thing that surprises me most about & Other Stories is that not only do they sell stunning clothes, bags, shoes and jewellery, they also have an incredible beauty department, with lots of own label stuff including make up, skin care and body care. I haven’t looked at the face stuff much yet, but that’s only because every time I go in I get distracted by their unbelievably beautifully scented body care.

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Although they have a huge selection of stunning scents, I think Fig Fiction is my favourite. I adore the scent of fig, and the fragrance in this body wash is incredibly well developed. It’s so vibrant and fresh, with sweet notes and aa bit of wood. It’s one of the most wonderful smells. In fact the reason I decided to photograph it on these bedsheets is because this body wash kind of makes my nose feel the same way that they make my eyes feel.

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& Other Stories uploaded this to their Facebook recently, isn’t it beautiful? It’s a breakdown of the different scents in their Fig Fiction range. Currents, pepper, plum and rosewood, combined with fresh fig. Perfection. The other thing I absolutely adore about this body wash is that it leaves my skin feeling unbelievably soft. To the point that I noticed it after I got out of the shower and wondered what on earth I’d done to my skin! It would have been easy for them to just make a generic soap with a gorgeous scent, but they’ve actually made an amazing formula too. Plus, it’s only £5!

IMG_2017My boyfriend bought his mum a body lotion and body scrub for mother’s day, in the Shinjuku Bloom fragrance. When we visited at easter I tried the scrub, and it is amazing. The scent is fresh and light but still really sweet. It’s a sugar scrub and extremely thick, so it’s seriously effective. When my Jurlique Exfoliating Gel runs out I think I’ll be getting one from & Other Stories, especially since they’re £7 instead of £28…

& Other Stories is a beautiful shop with a great ethos, amazing products, clothes and accessories. If you’re in London, pay them a visit, and if you aren’t, pay them a visit.