Seasonal Beauty

Lush Fathers Day Products 2018 Review

It’s that time of year again when the sun starts to peep out and we all get our thinking caps on for what to buy our dad or partners for Fathers Day.

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Lush have a whole range of products coming out on Friday 11th May and if I’m honest I really do love a lot of this years choices.  It’s also worth noting the whole range is naked and so great choices for the environmentally conscious dad looking to avoid excess packaging.

If you have a fan of the Dirty fragrance in your house then you are in such good luck because not only do they have the naked shower gel in but also Dirty scented soap!

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Dirty naked shower gel at the September showcase in 2017.  I make no secret of the fact I love the naked shower gels!  To give you an idea of how long they last,I’m still using a Twilight one I bought on November 1st last year!  Okay it’s rather small now but I for sure will get another month out of it and I shower every other day.  I love the fact it saves plastic from landfill.

The soap can be used to make a face but only if you buy 3 bits.  While I know the smell is loved in my house I will not be buying 3 bits just for the sake of letting the kids make a face for 5 minutes.

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The Superdad bath bomb makes a return, sharing a beautiful sandalwood fragrance with anyone who comes into contact with it.  I love sandalwood, it’s a really comforting happy smell for me so I also love the smell of this little guy.

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The Modfather is also back.  I’m not a lover of citrus smells and don’t find the fragrance of this one great so it won’t be on my “to buy” list but worth a sniff if you enjoy a citrus fragrance.

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Fun For All The Family is the final offering for the Fathers day bath range.  Shaped like a Sheriff badge, this reusable bubble spinner will offer enough baths for all the family if dad will share.

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The solid beard oil “No Trouble” also smells amazing.  It’s made with softening jojoba oil and has a lovely woody fragrance that brings joy to my heart.  Good to keep beards in a soft and healthy condition while making them smell amazing.

You can of course still get your dad his favouites from the Lush all year round range as the store is 100% cruelty free and all products are clearly marked for what is vegan and vegetarian, sharing that cruelty free love 💕

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beauty, Christmas

The best cruelty free advent calendars for 2017

I get it, it’s only October and you don’t want to think about Christmas yet BUT if you want one of the really good beauty advent calendars you generally need to get in there early to avoid disappointment because some of them are already selling out!

I have been browsing my favorite brands and here are my top suggestions for Cruelty Free Beauty advent calendars for 2017.

The Body Shop, £45-£99 (Vegetarian)

These guys have not one, not two but three options ranging from £45 – £99 depending on the budget you want to stick to.  The great thing with these ones is you get more product value than you pay for the calendar.  There are however none suitable for vegans which is a real shame when they had 3 boxes to play with.


 

Lush, £67.50 (Vegan)

Lush gift boxes are always beautiful at Christmas and this year is no exception.  The 2017 range again includes the 12 days of Christmas which is as aesthetically pleasing as always and vegan friendly.  At £67.50 it does work out more than buying the products individually but if like me you love the boxes and reuse them then it’s a winner!

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Sleek, £35 (Vegetarian)

This one looks like it has already sold out Boots.com but may still be available in your store if you are lucky.  It is also part of their popular Christmas 3 for 2 mix and match. Packed with loads of beautiful cosmetics it’s a sure fire winner for anyone who loves makeup treats and also contains some exclusive items!

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NYX, £50 (Vegetarian)

Lip lovers rejoice, this advent calendar by NYX is for you.  24 lipsticks to see you through the Christmas season and more with a variety of colours and textures to suit everyone.

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Soap and Glory, £40 (not vegetarian or vegan)

Also taking part in the Boots 3 for 2 offer is the Soap and Glory “it’s a calendar, girls” which is filled with sweet smelling delights.  All items are minis and perfect for anyone who likes to try smaller sizes of new products or for putting into your travel bag.

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Revolution, £50 – currently on offer for £30 in Superdrug (Unsure)

Perfect selection of makeup for a beauty enthusiast with this calendar containing a range of products for the face, eyes and lips.  If you love your hilighters then I also feel this will be a winner for you.

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Revolution, £120 currently on offer for £70 in Superdrug (Unsure)

Say what now? Revolution again? Well, yes.  They also have this fabulous Christmas Tree advent calendar available with a great range of makeup and brushes hidden in its boxes.

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Charlotte Tilbury, £150 (would be vegan if it weren’t for the lip colours)

Another 12 day option with beautiful high end products.  Note that they sometimes use carmine (yuck!) And i believe they use it in the lip colours.  Fine if you just want cruelty free, not so much for veggies and vegans.

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Superdrug Bloom, £24 but currently on offer for £12 (vegan)

12 days of new fragrances with this cute little offering from Superdrug.  Perfect if you aren’t looking any new makeup but enjoy trying new scents.

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Superdrug Studio London festive as beauty, £16 currently on offer for £8 (vegetarian)

If you don’t want to commit to a big spend on a cosmetics advent calendar then this is a great option with lots of fun cosmetics to try out.  It contains everything from eyeshadow quads to mascara and lip gloss.  I’d say It would also be perfect for a teenager starting to experiment with make-up.

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Bare Minerals box of wonders, £75 (shockingly neither vegetarian nor vegan!)

Amazing value for money as it contains £238 worth of product.  A 24 day calendar and a must for any Bare Minerals devotee.  It’s such a shame it includes Carmine or I think this would have been my first choice of advent calendar for 2017!

beauty, Christmas

Lush Creative Showcase 2017

I’ve spent the last 2 days in London at the Lush Creative Showcase and it was even more magical than I had expected!

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The queue to get in was pretty massive at 9:05 when we arrived but the wait was worth it.

The usual Lush smell was there and everywhere you looked there were contraptions, bright colours and a giant slide?!  I mean who doesnt want to go down a slide to change floors!

To our right surrounded in a rainbow of beanbags was the stage we would later see Brian May and Jeremy Corbyn speak on.  To our left we could see skincare and product making and bath bombs… and did I mention the slide? (Yes, I am a big fan of the slide idea).

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There were some pretty special products including giant Golden Wonder bath bombs.  These are 6 times the size of a normal Golden Wonder and boy can you feel the weight when you lift them up.

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Naked products and reduction of packaging were a big part of this years showcase.  I will be forever amazed at the ways Lush reduce their packaging year after year, it’s a big part of why I love them.

This year’s inventions included the Naked shower gels, solid skin conditioners, solid body lotions, solid lip scrubs and solid lip balms.  Having tried the solid shower gel I have to say I am a convert, they don’t dry the skin out like soap sometimes can but you can drop them and the lid wont break like on a shower gel bottle and that’s a winner for me.  The shower conditioners and body lotions felt rather amazing too.  The jury is out on the lip scrubs and lip tints until I get to try them properly but they do seem to do what they say on the tin so to speak.

 

We got to spend some time exploring new inventions and stumbled upon them working on 3d printed soap and bath melts.  They had a stand showing a new programme I can’t wait for you all to try called Lush Concierge, a bit like Siri but for all things Lush.  We also got to see what it’s like to work in the factory by packing our own gifts which then went to Oxford Street to be sold on the Christmas Launch day.

 

So much information and I haven’t even mentioned the sparkle jars! This year we will have Twilight and Snow Fairy dusting powder in a solid massage bar styled like a trinket box.  Even Santa and his elves were enjoying the look of them.

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Upstairs we had a swag shop, a Christmas shop to buy the new products and bikes you could peddle to charge your phone – clever!

 

I could go on and include so much more that they had on show and activities people could take part in, I wont but what I will say is that you should for sure visit the Creative Showcase in 2018 if you can to experience the magic yourself and that Christmas 2017 is the best range I’ve seen yet.

I will close the post with photos of some of my favourite products coming into local stores on October 6th!  But for now you can shop for Christmas in Oxford Street and online at lush.co.uk

 

 

 

Happiness

Reduce, reuse, recycle. When items get new life.

I may have squealed in work yesterday when a random bag arrived in our delivery because this jug was inside.

 

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My pretty new jug

In Lush we have a green hub that tries to distribute items no longer being used to people who will use them (be it to charity or to staff). A few weeks ago there was an email offering some display items from the spas that included a range oc items such as sugar bowls, mugs, loaf tins and enamel jugs. I didn’t think I stood a chance of getting one of the jugs due to there only being 2 available but I emailed a request in and as you can see, I got one 😀

I’m actually allergic to flowers but think I shall get some dried lavender to pop in the jug and set it in the hall to make me smile when I go in and out of the house.

I love that our company does its best to never just bin usable items. It breaks my heart seeing a dumpster or skip filled with items that had the store spent a bit of time, they could have found homes for them.  Last summer i walked past a store that will remain unnamed and it had a dumpster it was filling with old notebooks, calendars and annuals.  And when I say filling it, I mean FILLING it.  All I could think was “why are they not donating these to schools or youth groups to use for crafting?!”
Does your work run a similar scheme to Lush? Or is it something you could think of suggesting?

Xx

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An example of this style of jug being used in a display at Lush Leeds
beauty

Lush are a step above the rest when it comes to breastfeeding mums!

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I make no bones about telling people I love my job because I really do.  I’ve worked for Lush for 4 years and been on maternity leave twice in that time.  Most recently I returned to work just over a month ago when Ethan was 8 months old.

Ethan like my girls is breastfed, however, unlike my girls he won’t take a bottle and barely takes a drop from a cup.  We have tried a variety of formula brands all of which he rejected and I express in work to send a bottle of expressed milk in for him to refuse to drink in nursery each day.  Because of this, he drinks a lot of milk during the night to make up for what he isn’t drinking during the day.

Fast forward to me being asked to go to Cardiff with work for a managers meeting…. for 4 days!  There is no way I could leave Ethan for 3 nights when he is refusing fluids other than his breastfeeds.   Queue the people support team being asked if I could bring Ethan with me to the meeting.  I figured I could either keep him with me at all times or leave him with a responsible adult during meetings to still enable me to nurse him morning, evening and night to ensure he has enough fluids.

Their response was overwhelmingly good!  Not only did they say I could bring Ethan but they would also pay for me to bring somebody to watch him while I was in meetings.  Yes, they are flying me over with Ethan and my mum for the 4 day trip to ensure that I feel supported in both my return to work and in my breastfeeding journey.

Lush have made some amazing changes in the last 6 months, from paying all staff the living wage to increasing maternity pay to 6 months full pay before statutory maternity pay kicks in. And from my experience I also believe they are going above and beyond what is expected to keep staff supported and motivated with regards to returning to work after having a baby.  Heck, they even pay for 20 hours of nursery care each week to help take the financial strain off mothers returning to work.

So many women struggle to return to work after a baby and I feel very lucky to work for Lush, to feel that they really do have my back when it comes to maternity leave, returning to work and breastfeeding.   Here is hoping that while they continue to make positive changes and lead the way, the paving slabs they leave on their route will guide other companies to start treating the mothers on their teams with the same level of support and respect that I have experienced.

Without Lush helping make my return to work so pleasent, I can honestly say it is quite likely that not only wouldn’t I be going to this meeting, I quite likely would have contemplated not returning to work for a few years.  I know some mum’s enjoy staying at home and have the support to do so but I both need to work for financial reasons and for my sanity, though in spite of loving my job juggling kids, work and childcare is still bloody hard work so thank you Lush for making it as easy and financially viable as possible for me to come back to work after baby number 3.  You quite simply rock as an employer.

 

 

beauty

5 things you genuinely won’t know about Lush… unless you work for them.

I always see lists of things I won’t know about Lush and then they start by telling me about getting samples or claiming a free mask with my 5 clean black pots. Yawn.  If you are a fan of Lush these are things you for sure already know!

So I thought I would let you into some secrets of the staff and things you genuinely might not know.

  1. We like to have fun.  I don’t just mean the shop staff, I mean the compounders, the packers, EVERYONE.  Our bath bombs and bubble bars arrive into store in big boxes and often they packers and compounders will have a little fun with it.  You may find a note or a cheeky drawing on the box.  Last week our store had a box come in and written on it was the name of a new musician and a song title, of course the staff googled it and listened to it.  They also loved the song, all thanks to a packer sharing the love.  Other times they might make a product look a little funny/cute like this butterbear with a heart that Lush Leeds received to give them a smile this week ❤

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    Photo credit @HarryKRogers @LushLeedsSpa
  2. Our manager meetings are all vegetarian or vegan.  Lush do their best to stay true to their ethics right down to the manager meeting food being meat free.  It used to all be vegan but I believe in recent years it has had a few vegetarian options.  Of course staff can eat whatever they like when working and do not have to be vegetarian or vegan, however if the company are paying for it, this is what they provide.  It is lovely food though.  I especially love when desserts are themed around products!

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    A Cinders themed pudding from 2015 managers meeting
  3. ALL staff get Christmas gifts.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The company send us all gifts (In the UK anyway).  We generally get a staff box with a selection of Christmas products to try and then at some point we get sent a big box full of Booja Booja chocolates (yummy! I have serious love for the hazelnut ones).

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    This years generous and beautiful staff box.
  4. Staff can talk to the founders/owners of Lush. Unlike most companies, we know who owns and runs our company as it is 100% possible to talk to them.  It doesn’t matter if you are a store manager or a sales assistant working 4 hours a week.  We can all join the Lush staff page and post our concerns, questions or funny stories and praises.  These can be things you just want to share with the rest of the staff or put to the product inventors and founders.  They are actually pretty great at answering questions if I am honest.  Helen gives wonderful answers to questions regarding products or ingredients and Mark likes to give us insights into what he is working on.
  5. We count in Christmases.  When working for Lush you will also find we tend not to count how long we have been with the company in years from when we started…. we count the Christmases.  If you happened to start as a temp at Christmas this works out well because when you have been with the company for only 1 year you can say “I’ve been here 2 Christmases” which sounds longer.  I think it’s kind of cute as most of us really do love Christmas

So there you have it, a few things about Lush you probably didn’t know unless you work for Lush too.  Genuinely one of the best jobs I have ever had and a company who share my values and ethics to keep beauty cruelty free and be as environmentally conscious as possible in the process.  If you have ever thought it would be nice to work for Lush then I can confirm it is true.  It’s fabulous to work for them and I am technically on Christmas number 4 this year 🙂

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Me loving my work Christmas 2015  x
Day Trips

First night out after having a baby…

Ethan is 3 months old today and Saturday was my work Christmas party.  I know I am on maternity leave but I love my team at Lush and I wanted to enjoy the night out with them.

The bit that most people find hard was actually my less stressful part, picking an outfit and some jewellery to go with it.  Although stupidly I didn’t realise one of the strands on my necklace was broken when I bought it.  Thankfully it was an easy fix with some Loctite glue though, yeay!  Secret Santa buying was a little tricky as I had never met the girl I was buying for but I went for safe options, a sparkly glass photo frame, scented candles and chocolate – if you work for Lush it is almost a given you will love these things… except the chocolate, my risk was i didn’t know if she was vegan (she wasn’t).

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Me all excited and ready to go.

The tricky bit is that Ethie pants is breastfed.  I went out and bought a new baby bottle and some formula to save me having to express and had it all on the bench sterilised and ready before I left.  I fed Ethan at 7 and left the house at 7:15 … got half way to my destination and then had to go home again as I forgot my secret Santa gift whoops.  I left again at 7:45, Ethan was sound asleep and I got to the restaurant for 8:15.

I was doing that thing, you know the one, where you constantly keep glancing at your phone to see if it is flashing to say you have a message?  I gave into my anxiousness and by 9:30 text only to find Ethan was still .  Phew, I was mighty impressed he was giving his daddy an easy night.  A false sense of security really as then he started to stir.  Daddy got the bottle ready and the milk warmed up, thinking he was on the ball but Ethan had other ideas.  The poor wee man went into melt down, refused point blank to take his bottle and cried his wee heart out no matter how much daddy cuddled and tried to distract him.

I managed to shovel the last bit of dessert into me before everyone else had even started theirs and vanished to head home by 10pm to my hungry little man.  I was home by 10:30 which meant he was fed only 3 1/2 hours after his last feed in spite of him acting like he had been starved for days.  This photo is the wee scamp once I had fed him.  As if nothing was ever wrong ha!

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Despite the mini drama of the wee man only wanting mummy to feed him, I had an enjoyable (all be it brief) time out with my friends.  I loved meeting the Christmas temps we have this year and I’m rather sad I haven’t had the joy of working with them as they seem a rather smart and lovely bunch.

I also brought home the most wonderful secret Santa gift.  My love for chocolate is well known and I was gifted super festive white chocolate and peppermint M&Ms and what looked like a little storage jar.  It was only when I read the tag I realised how wonderful the jar was, it contains 31 little folded up pieces of paper each with a motivational/inspirational note.  I love any excuse to start the day on a high and so I plan to use this gift for the month of January to keep myself starting the days off positively.

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With regards to the M&Ms I had to google to check the red food colouring was veggie friendly and true story, apparently it is made from coal!?  Very very odd…. I still ate it though!

So what would I take from my slightly failed attempt at my first night out?  If there is an event coming up and you can’t bring the baby, just plan to go to it anyway.  If it doesn’t work and you have to go home so be it.  You still get the fun of dressing up and getting out of the house didn’t you?  Worst case scenario, you go home early.  There is no point in not enjoying the time you are there and no point beating yourself up over leaving early and the baby getting a bit upset over their milk not arriving in their format of choice.