December 2013 Favorites

Trying something new here… I have been thinking that at the end of each month I am going to share some things that I have been loving.  Here’s my list for December:

Lush Snowcake Soap

This is one of Lush‘s seasonal items (and it is currently BOGO!).  It’s definitely a favorite of mine this time of year.  It’s a super creamy soap, so it tends to melt really fast, but the smell is ahhhhhmazing!  It smells like sweet almond fabulousness.  It’s super moisturizing and the scent lingers on your skin.  My bar is sadly already gone, which is why I was so glad I got this for Christmas:

Lush Snowcake Perfume

Every once in awhile Lush will release limited edition perfumes based on some of their most popular products, and this time one of the perfumes they released is Snowcake Perfume!  I was so excited to have been able to get one of these before they sold out.  Now I can smell like my favorite soap anytime I want.

EOS Lip Balm in Lemon Drop

I know I am late to the party and these things have been trendy for awhile now, but I picked one up at Ulta the other day and have kept it at my desk at work and with this drier air, my lips have quickly become addicted.  I also love the fun spherical shape and the lemon flavor.  I think I need a few more to leave around…One for the car and one for the house would be nice.

Nail stamping

For awhile now, I have been fascinated with nail stamping.  It started with YouTube videos like this one:

So, inspired by this, I asked for some nail stamping supplies for Christmas.  I ended up with a stamping tool, scraper, and 76 different image plates!  I also got a ton of new nail polishes.  After some trial and error, I discovered that it’s really important, especially when you are first learning, to have the correct type of nail polish for stamping.  The consistency needs to be slightly thicker than standard nail polish so that it is easily visible with one thin coat, and it can’t dry too quickly on the image plate so that the image transfers to the stamping tool properly.  I have ordered some stamping polishes in white and black and I am currently waiting for them to arrive.  In the meantime, some metallics can work well, so that is what I have been experimenting with.  Below was my first try.  Base color is Germanicure by OPI and I stamped the fish scale pattern with Luxe by Orly.

Definitely far from perfect, but I need to practice more.  Not too awful for a first try though.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles for December

I am always burning Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles.  I tend to rotate between two different scents at any given time.  In December I cycled through one set before Christmas and one set after Christmas.

Before Christmas, it was Fresh Balsam (Tadd’s favorite) and Twisted Peppermint:

“With the first big snowfall of the season comes the delightful scent of balsam and fir trees, layered with notes of fresh eucalyptus”

“Merry and bright peppermint celebrates the season with notes of vanilla and sugary musk in this cheer-filled scent”

After Christmas, it was Champagne Toast and Vanilla Snowflake:

“Pop, clink and sparkle with an effervescent blend of Champagne, juicy nectarine and blackcurrant”

“A delectable blend of creamy vanilla, winter mint, and a touch of coconut.”

Return to Lush!

Let me tell you a story…

There once was a time that I was crazy into bath & body products.  I actually had a whole cabinet in my bathroom devoted to them.  It started with Lush, which was my absolute favorite.  They offer fresh, handmade products with a focus on natural ingredients and minimal packaging.  They have some really innovative items, such as solid shampoo, solid body butters, and the ever-popular bath bomb.  They sell soap by weight and cut it off of a huge block (see the soap display in the photo below).  Some of their items even require refrigeration because they are made with fresh, food-grade ingredients.

About 10 years ago, I traveled to Boston with a very good friend and I knew I wanted to check out this bath & body shop on Newbury Street that I had heard so much about.  At the time, there were only a few Lush stores in the US, and they were all in major cities, including Boston.  I remember, we could smell it a block away.  I purchased a few small items to try that day at Lush, and almost immediately I was hooked.  So was my friend.  A very short time later, Lush opened a store in the Orlando airport, and then soon after another one opened at the Florida Mall.  I joined the online forum on the Lush website and learned about the many themed parties the various Lush shops would throw.  The product was quite expensive for me at the time, but the parties included specials, raffles, and awesome goody bags, so I would buy a few items, and end up with a whole bunch of stuff for free.  Pretty soon, I had a huge stash!  Trying the newest products & scents, discussing them in the online community, and attending the Lush parties had become somewhat of a hobby of mine.  Several of my friends got hooked too, so we would all attend the parties together.  Even Tadd enjoyed some of the products.

Over time the parties started to become less frequent.  Also, around that same time I got really into CVS couponing, and ended up with huge amounts of free or near-free bath & body products.  And we started saving diligently to buy a house.  So my Lush and other bath & body indulgences dwindled, tapered off, and eventually stopped altogether.

Recently I was thinking about how much I  missed some of these products, so I decided to place my first Lush order in ages.  I wanted to share what I got!

First of all, the box made me smile…Love the dueling bunnies “fighting” animal testing.

I got Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo…Yes, beer for your hair!  I have kind of fluffy, very very thick hair.  This stuff tones down the fluff without making it look flat and weighed down.  And for the record, it does NOT smell like beer.

And I got my number one, favorite Lush product EVER, American Cream!  I have missed this stuff SO much!  It’s the best conditioner in the whole world and to me it smells like vanilla milkshakes.

I actually washed my hair last night using the Cynthia Sylvia Stout and American Cream, and almost instantly my hair felt different.  Your mileage might vary of course, but for some reason my hair absolutely loves this stuff.  I was left with glossy, silky hair that smelled amazing.  I told Tadd I am never going back to any other combination of shampoo/conditioner.  This is it for me!  And as a bonus, I will be sniffing my hair all day long.  Weird, I know, but it really smells THAT good.

I got Ocean Salt body & face scrub, which smells awesome.  It’s ocean-ish, but also ever so slightly sweet.  Not in a cloying way, but in a light, fruity way.  This stuff works wonders on my rough elbows and knees.  I also like their Buffy solid body butter for exfoliation, but it’s designed to melt at body temperatures, so it’s really not possible to order it when it’s hot outside because it will melt in transit.  The bonus with this scrub is that it’s gentle enough to use on your face too.  Not the case with Buffy.

We have a nice-sized garden tub, and while I’m not a big bath-taker, Tadd actually is, so I got him a few manly bath products.  I got him a Geo Phyzz bath bomb, which sounded like it had the earthy scents he likes.  Pretty much anything scented with pine is a safe bet with him.  And the Hawaiian sea salt is supposed to help relieve achy muscles.

I also got him an old favorite from back in the day; Honey Bee bath bomb.  It’s a nice, neutral scent that I think pretty much anyone would enjoy.

I also got him this new (to us) bubble bar (basically solid bubble bath) called The Wuss.  Funny name, but it was actually developed for guys.  Here’s the description from the Lush website:

Created in the honor of manly man Mark Wolverton, CEO of LUSH North America, it smells like ground coffee, martinis with olives and a sprinkling of tobacco. We stopped short of adding in the scent of freshly ironed jeans and pointy shoes.

I thought that sounded interesting…kind of Mad Men-ish?  So I got one for him to try.

I got a couple of soaps, one for me (17 Cherry Tree Lane, which smells like cherry blossoms) and one for Tadd (Honey I Washed The Kids, which I think smells like gummy bears, but it’s supposed to smell like honey…another nice, neutral scent that pairs well with the Honey Bee bath bomb).  Check out the pretty honeycomb on the top of the HIWTK soap!  Mine is just plain white, but it’s super moisturizing.

Maybe this is TMI, but I have been experiencing very dry feet lately, so I decided to get the online-only Happy Feet package.  It came with Volcano foot mask, Fair Trade foot lotion (which has an awesome pepperminty scent!), Stepping Stone solid foot scrub, and another Geo Phyzz bath bomb (which I gave to Tadd).

As you can see, the Fair Trade foot lotion leaked a smidgen, which was kind of messy and annoying but was easy to clean up.  It’s actually quite liquidy, but it works and smells great.

My new stash:

My love for this company is definitely renewed!  Planning a trip to the Florida Mall location with my girlfriends soon to try to hook some of them!  I probably won’t buy much, since I’m pretty well stocked up now, but I could at least buy myself a Buffy bar and one of their Fresh face masks, which are only available in stores (because they require refrigeration).

Disclaimer: Lush is not aware of this post, and I was not compensated in any way.  The products were purchased with my own money and the thoughts and opinions are my own.  Just thought I would share something I love!