Monday, 28 November 2011

December Plans

The season of yuletide is almost upon us! (I've promised myself no decorating or seasonal themed music until December 1st! including not changing my blog background!) Before I inform you of my plans for the coming month I'd like to say thank you for subscribing, I've now reached 20 followers, which to me is is a lot as I didn't think I'd even get one let alone anyone finding my blog but thank you all :)

December is going to be a busy month for me, 3 blog parties which you can find more info about in the side bar and in the previous few posts. I've also got my school's Winter Ball on the 14th (and I'll put some photos up!) and my piano exam the day after :(

Winter is a time that I feel most connected to the earth and the elements. Everything about it is so magical. I'm particularly looking forward to the snow and working with Skaði as I'm being more and more drawn to the Norse pantheon. Hopefully I'll get some snow magic in there too, but I shall save that for one of my blog party posts. I hope you all have had a wonderful autumn and a magical Yule! Hannah xx

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Spiderweb Cheesecake Recipe

I made this cheesecake for Samhain & the Witches Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon blog party. It's safe to say it was the first thing everyone dived for and kept eating even though they felt sick, so it must have been really great. It is a very rich cheesecake and definitely not kind on the hips but we all deserve a treat every now and then :) This recipe is taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book.

Serves 8-12

For the biscuit base

220g (8oz) digestive biscuits
100g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake topping

4 leaves of gelatine
600g (1lb 5oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence ( I used extract, it has more real flavour)
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
200ml (7fl oz) double cream
60g (2oz) dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

One 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form tin
Piping bag with a fine (no.2) writing nozzle (I just used a spoon and let it drip)


1. Line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment, then, in a food processor, whiz the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs using the blade attachment. Alternatively, place the biscuits in a plastic bag, seal it shut and crush with a rolling pin.

2. Tip the biscuit crumbs into a bowl, pour over the melted butter and mix together with a spoon. Pour the buttery crumbs into the lined cake tin, pressing them into the base of the tin, then place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to cool and set while you make the topping.

3. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of tepid water to soften. Using a hand-held electric whisk or freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.

4. In a small saucepan, on a very low heat, melt approximately 200g (7oz) of the cream cheese mixture. Allow it to warm slightly, then remove from the heat, add the softened gelatine and let it melt in the cream cheese.

5. Add the remaining cold cream cheese to the warm mixture in the pan, mixing it in 3 tablespoons at a time and stirring continuously,. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture and then pour on to the prepared base in the tin. Smooth down the top of the cheesecake using a palette knife.

6. Break the chocolate into a glass bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour the chocolate into the piping bag and pipe on to the cheesecake in evenly spaced concentric circles. Using a toothpick or the point of a sharp knife, draw a fin line from the centre circle to the outer circle to create a spiderweb effect. Clean the toothpick or skewer after drawing each line.

7. Place the finished cheesecake in the fridge and allow it to set for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight.

Of course this cheesecake's design was ideal for any Halloween or Samhain celebrations, just changing the design will make it suitable for any occasion, although the more darker of us can make it feel like Samhain any day of the year with the spiderweb design :) Enjoy!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I Knew It!

I was so sure I took a picture of the spiderweb cheesecake I made at Samhain & was confounded that I couldn't find it but I finally did, almost a month late but ah well it was my favourite out of everything I baked for the Witches Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon :)


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

So Many Blog Parties, So Little Time

I've joined yet another blog event! This time it's one dedicated to baking!
Here's the schedule for all the events I'm participating in as well as links to the hosts' blogs:

Yuletide Cupcakery! - December 5th
The Witches Yuletide Ball - December 10th
Yuletide Blessings - December 18th
Yule Magic - December 21st

Be sure to check these out on the day and support the other bloggers who enjoy the season!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Doing What's Right For You & Anti-Bullying Week

This week marked Anti-Bullying Week in the UK with the slogan 'Stop and think - words can hurt' which focuses on verbal bullying. As someone who has been a victim of verbal bullying for a very long time I thought it was right to share my experience to let people know how serious of an issue bullying is.

I was bullied for over 4 years from primary school right into secondary school. It started out as 'just joking' but it was clear to many people that all the jokes and snide remarks were aimed at me even if they could be applied to anyone. While people might think this is a bit of fun, me included at the beginning, it evolved into me believing what was being said. Usually I didn't care what people thought of me but hearing not so nice comments to my face everyday started to take hold and I was letting people tell me I was worthless and there was nothing good about me. I hid it pretty well, I've always been good under stress and at faking a smile so as not to drag other people into it, but what amazed me is how none of my "friends" stood up for me or said enough when they knew it was getting out of hand. I've never been one to want to ask for help as I don't like getting other people down because of how I am feeling and I never told the people saying the comments where to go because I didn't want to hurt their feelings even though they didn't care about mine.

Then one summer I just broke down. It came as a shock to many people, including my family who didn't even know what was going on. I couldn't handle feeling like that and pretending I was ok when I wasn't. As a result I became extremely ill, having to take a year off school due to a chronic cough which was affecting me whole body. Now I get sick any time I get too stressed and the cough comes back, but thankfully it goes away again. I didn't deserve to be treated like that but what made me angry is that the school did nothing about the bully because there was "no evidence" regardless of many witnesses every day. They might as well have said I was making it up and I should have wrote it down (how you couldn't just make that up I don't know) and why would I want to replay it in my head? I just didn't want to think about it. But, because of this the bully didn't get any punishment; they get to leave school at the right time, do their important exams and live on as if they never did anything wrong while I had to go back a year, into a year without knowing anyone, having to redo coursework and learn some of the teaching myself because the syllabus had changed whilst still being ill. How that is fair I do not know.

What annoyed me the most is that school goes on about preventing bullying and say that they take it very seriously but in my case they did nothing. The only way they could have had evidence is if it was cyber bullying or did they want me to record it?!

In the past few months however I've been regaining my confidence and getting back to the old me. I've stopped letting people walk all over me. Yes we all want to be nice to other people but if it is harming your happiness then what's the point. I told some of my "friends" that also didn't treat me correctly that I didn't think we should be friends, including my "best friend" from I was 2 years old. I pity people who treat other people that they supposedly care about or are friends with in a way that they would not want to be treated themselves. Anyone who makes other people feel worthless to make themselves feel better is only pointing out what they are insecure of themselves and they should learn that it will get them nowhere in life. Just know that if you are being bullied it is the bully that has a problem not you. You are worth something if it is you they decide to verbally attack and you're better than to listen to what they have to say. Stand up for yourself but don't become a bull yourself or you're just as bad as the other person.

If you are feeling down about yourself I highly recommend you check out these 50 Life Secrets and Tips that are sure to improve your sense of self, I know they helped me! (and of course so did my discovery of paganism!)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Shopping Saturday

I went shopping for my formal dress today and found the perfect one more quickly that expected so was able to go for my annual holiday shopping with my mummy as this is usually when I buy new clothes and get part of my present, so I thought I'd share some of the stuff I got. These first few things are from Debenhams.

Illamasqua Freak Limited Edition Gift Set, MAC Studio Finish Concealer, MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate! & Morning Frost
 (Yes, I know I already have Illamasqua's Hemlock Nail Polish but my mummy is taking this one.)

Illamasqua Freak Eau De Parfum

"Freak is a concoction of dangerously exotic unconventional flowers which Illamasqua has unashamedly blended together to celebrate the night.

Celebrate the night with Freak, the first fragrance from Illamasqua. An expert blend of dangerously exotic midnight blooms, this intoxicating scent awakens forbidden floral tones that are unashamedly seductive, magical, timeless and unforgettable.

Top Notes: Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna bewitch the senses into uncontrollable lust and passion.

Heart Notes: Poison Hemlock, Datura and Queen Of The Night blossom, caress and kiss.

Base Notes: Aromas of Frankincense, Oud and Myrrh, addictively mesmerises and captures the senses.

The rich and daringly provocative opening notes of Black Davana cast a magical spell of desire across the senses to celebrate the night. This compelling Burnt Orange Bloom base is highly prized the world over for its ability to enhance the wearer's natural perfume. The subtle mustiness of Poison Hemlock haunts the background tone of Freak, adding alluring depths of mystery.

Datura, The Moonflower, and intoxicating scent that as long been used as a heady aphrodisiac. The exquisitely rare Queen Of The Night blooms fleetingly for a single night each year, and completes this daringly provocative concoction with its warm, soft floral scent touched with sweetness."

I tend to get a new perfume as part of my present every few years. I've been wearing Estee Lauder's Sensuous quite a lot these past few years so it's night to have a change. This perfume is definitely something different. Like most other perfumes it smells different on everyone but what makes this one unique is how much the scent changes as the time goes on; the scent when you first spray it and the scent when you have been wearing it for an hour are so different but the notes change so subtly, it just works! I love the little snail climbing up the bottle, hehe :)

Illamasqua Limited Edition Pure Pigment in Queen Of The Night
"Bringing a gloriously rich shimmer to the night's darkest hour, this high-shine metallic powder was made to be played with. A blackened plum, use on its own, with Illamasqua Eye Shadow, or mix with Sealing Gel to create a colour-rich metallic eye liner."

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Queen Of The Night - Intense then blended

Illamasqua Limited Edition Sheer Lipgloss in Datura
"Kiss and tell in the moonlight with bruised, sensual neutral mauve lips - this super glossy, seer colour mirrors its namesake, the Moonflower, to enhance your lips and add sexiness to your smile. Use over Illamasqua Lipstick for added pout."

Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Datura
MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC 15
I've been looking a heavy duty concealer for quite a while now so who better to get one from than MAC. I tend to have big dark circles under my eyes and I have broken capillaries on my cheeks so because that and with my formal coming up I needed something with a bit more coverage.

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pot in Let's Skate & Morning Frost
These are from MAC's newest Glitter & Ice collection and the colours are beautiful; Let's Skate! is a pale pink with pearl and Morning Frost is a Shimmering Champagne Taupe. I've been looking to get a MAC paint pot for a while so now I have two :)

MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate! & Morning Frost

I also popped into the actual Lush shop for the first time too. (I used to think it was a cheese shop cause they had big wheels of soap in the window which I thought was cheese haha!)

Christmas Eve, Gingerbread House, The Melting Snowman, Amandopondo
I decided to go with a festive theme (bar Amandopondo) it all smells so great, I had a hard time choosing what to actually get.

Christmas Eve Bubble Bar
"This bubble bar was invented for those times when you are getting ready for a big event.  Soak in a bath and relax in mountains of bubbles and rise with a hint of sensual jasmine fragrance lingering on your body.

Irish moss powder in this bar ensures that your skin feels smooth and soft whilst the essential oils will relax you and leave your mind and body ready for great things.  

Designed by some of our ( more party-animal ) shop managers, who wanted something to use after long days at work, when they had parties or nightclubs to go to.  They wanted something to refresh, wake themselves up and also leave them smelling fantastic.

They put a night sky and moon on the bar, because to them that heralds the time to get going and get out!
For the less party prone amongst us – this bar is great for use at all times of the day or night, but always when you want to be left feeling fantastic."

Gingerbread House Bubble Bar
"Ginger and spice and all things nice. That’s what our little bubble bar house is made of.  

With its little snowy roof and cinnamon stick chimney, this bubble bar looks as good as its edible cousins.  But, when you come to use this one, instead of a stale gingerbread biscuit, you get mountains of spicy, fruity foam and a jolly good wash.

With ginger powder and ginger essential oil, this is a warming little number.  But we’ve also given it lemon oil and a fruity scent based around the blackcurrant notes of buchu oil.   It’s a wonderful treat that you’ll want to lose yourself in.

If you’re feeling the winter blues a soak in this will help you find your way out of the woods."

The Melting Snowman Bath Melt
"Our little snowman is about to shuffle off this mortal coil – but not before you get one last bath from him as he disappears for another year. 

It is a short but glorious life that our Melting Snowman lives. He may not have long to go, but boy is he going to make a grand exit.

Exquisitely fragranced with a blend of oils containing vanilla absolute and sweet wild orange, giving him a deep marzipan fragrance with notes of rich fruit, reminiscent of Christmas cake and figgy puddings. Which means he smells exactly the same as our bestselling Snowcake soap.   

But if it isn’t enough to smell of our most popular Christmas fragrance,  he’s also got a body made of water-softening bicarb of soda, cocoa butter and shea butter. This means that when the heat gets to him and he finally melts away, he fizzes those wonderful butters through your bathwater, leaving you soft and moisturised. What a way to go !

His legacy is your great skin – which means he lives on in the memory of all who knew him."

Amandopondo Bubble Bar
"A gentle bath for times when the world owes you a favour. Let the rose wrap you in a comfort blanket and the lemon lift your mind and spirits.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best – a bath of uncomplicated bliss.   

This bubble bar was inspired by the idea of forgiveness. For those times when life is unfair or people untrue. We all know a bouquet of roses is a good place to start putting things right – so we wanted to sum that up in a bath-time experience.

At Lush we love trading with family businesses. We buy the rose absolute that we put into this bubble bar from a family in Turkey who have been growing roses and distilling their oil for over three generations. We’ve learned so much from their passion and expertise in the years we’ve known them."

Friday, 18 November 2011

Spicy Roasted Butternut Soup & Homemade Wheaten Bread Recipe

This soup screams autumn to me. It's just so yummy and warming and comforting, like it's giving your tummy a hug :) My family aren't really that keen on things like butternut squash or sweet potato and I don't know why, I love them, but I think I've brought them round with this recipe! This recipe is from the Women's Institute Soups for All Seasons cookbook & the recipe for the bread is one I was given in school

Ingredients for the soup:

1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
dash red chilli in sunflower oil
600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish


1 Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/400°F
2 Thickly peel the butternut squash. Scoop out the seeds and chop the flesh into chunks. Place in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.

3 Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the onions, ginger and chilli. Cover and sweat for 10mins, until softened. (At this point I made the wheaten).

4 Add the roasted squash to the pan with the stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

5 Cool slightly, remove the bay leaf and purée in a liquidiser until smooth.

6 Reheat until piping hot. Check seasoning.

7 Divide the soup between warmed serving bowls and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients for the bread:

200g wholemeal flour
50g pinhead oatmeal (I prefer it without this)
75g porridge oats
50g margarine
25g castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
250mls buttermilk


1 Rub margarine into flour.

2 Add oatmeal, oats sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

3 Add buttermilk, to give a soft dough.

4 Pour into a 900g loaf tin; press some oat flakes on top.

5 Bake in a preheated oven, 200°C, gas 6 for 40 mins.

I didn't have any toasted pumpkin seeds :(

Sunday, 13 November 2011

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Amarya Beauty Box Nov 2011

My first Amarya Beauty Box arrived last week! With the success of previous Beauty Boxes Birchbox, Glossybox, Boudoir Privé, Feel Unique etc. Amarya have released their own containing only natural and organic products available in their store. As I'm trying to convert to using as many products that aren't harmful to me as possible I knew this was the one for me! It is currently £10 a month including p&p and always contains full sized products up to the vale of £20, trial sized products and samples as well as a mystery offer only available to Beauty Box subscribers.

 The box is very like a shoe box, made of cardboard but it is sturdy. When I've found somewhere to put the products I will use the box for storage. I love the simple design, very clean and pretty.

So this is what you are presented with upon opening your first box.

The first card has message from the Amarya team welcoming you to your first Beauty Box. The next has a run down of the products and a discount code of 15% off all four brands. The third has a message about inviting your friends to join, by which you both get a free box each (if anyone is thinking of joining let me know then we can get free boxes :) )The final piece of paperwork is a little Christmas catalogue.

They also throw in an eco friendly shopper with your first box!

Hiding behind the pink tissue paper are this months products. Amarya have been really smart with their packaging; only some tissue paper and a few foam pieces, no little bits of paper anywhere to be seen!

WELEDA Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil - £19.95 full sized sample
"Fantastic for tired skin, to nourish and revitalise. Dermatological tests have shown that Pomegranate Body Oil accelerates natural skin renewal by 50% in two weeks. Apply a small amount to your damp skin. Massage in thoroughly until absorbed." I don't really get Weleda's packaging, I always think it looks cheap and dated, but that's just my opinion. I'm a fan of Bio-Oil so I'm keen to try this out.

 BODHI Body Moisturiser - £23.00 full size 250ml, 40ml sample.
"This luxurious range of body creams has just been launched to compliment the fabulous body washes. Leaves your skin velvety soft and wonderfully scented." I received the Ylang-Ylang Incensa Sensual Body Moisturiser and it smells amazingggggggg! Just like an incense I have that has ylang-ylang in it. The other possible moisturisers were Jasmine Falls, Pep Noir & Rosemary Chi. I can't wait to use this and I love the bag it came in! I have a few of them already which are handy for keeping my crystals in.

SANTAVERDE Aloe Vera Cream - £28.00 full size 30ml, 2ml sample.
"A simple yet effective range of face creams that absorb easily, allowing the aloe vera to support your skin's natural regeneration." I'm always on the look out for a new moisturiser so I'm glad one has been included, especially at this price as I probably wouldn't purchase the full sized product unless it worked really well.

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask - £28.00 full size 50ml, 5ml sample.
"REN make clean products that are free from skin-unfriendly ingredients, allowing you to treat your skin gently whilst ensuring that it's kept in tip-top condition." I assume that the REN sample was random as the info is just about the brand and not the product. The description on the website is "A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone.
Removes dead skin cells to renew the complexion 
Skin looks brighter, healthier, more radiant 
Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles 
Combats congestion, blackheads and blemishes"
 I'm quite excited to get using a product that costs almost £30 quid, this is why I love beauty boxes!

Overall I'm really pleased with this box and I will definitely try out all the products. A great deal for your money!

Nail Polish Haul

I've acquired a multitude of new nail polishes from a few different brands over the past month or so (I think I'm maybe addicted :/) so I can show the swatches.

China Glaze: L-R; Ick-A-Bod-Y, Mummy May I & Zombie Zest
These three polishes make up Awakening Collection that was released for Halloween 2010.

China Glaze: L-R; Sugar Plums & Jolly Holly
These to polishes are from the 2010 Holiday Tis The Season Collection.

China Glaze: L-R; Ick-A-Bod-Y, Mummy May I, Zombie Zest, Sugar Plums & Jolly Holly

SpaRitual: L-R; Howl & Running With Wolves
These polishes are from the the Autumn 2011 Wilde Collection. It is a gorgeous collection and I intend to get all of the polishes.

SpaRitual: L-R; Howl & Running With Wolves
Illamaqua: Hemlock
This was a limited edition polish released at the launch of Illamasqua's first perfume Freak Collection for Winter 2011. It is impossible to photograph but it is an iridescent opal like green that changes in the light to an almost lilac colour. It is a sheer colour but can't be build up to almost opaque with three coats. A very whimsical fairy-like colour, one of my favourites and definitely nothing like anything I already have. It can be worn alone or as a top coat over dark polishes which makes it really stand out (particularly when worn over dark green.)

Illamasqua: Hemlock
I also received an Illamasqua catalogue promoting the Theatre of the Namless Collection as well as showing all the other products available on their site. It is a really gorgeous one, I wish there were magazines with this styling!

Essie: L-R; Going Incongnito & Mink Muffs
From the 2010 Winter Collection & the 2009 Autumn Collection.

Deborah Lippmann: L-R; Don't Tell Mamma & Bitches Brew
I love these colours! They're just so dark and vampy and me!

NARS: Tokaido Express

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Carmine Beauty Box Oct 2011

Carmine is the newest brand to arrive on the beauty box scene. It is currently £10 a month plus £2.75 p&p. I actually got their first box for free because I had problems when ordering (I was the first person to have problems ordering with maestro so they kindly didn't charge me for the box.)

As I got the box near the beginning of October I didn't get to take any photos of it when it arrived so I've just got pictures of what was inside.

Firstly was little card with a message on the back giving ideas of what you can do with your box. I'm currently using the base to store my nail polishes and the lid to keep any samples and sachets.

Inside is a little welcome message introducing the first box and then a run down of the products as well as the discount offers for last month's products and brands.

So here is the content of the box!
Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream
Trind Nail Repair Natural
TheBalm FratBoy All-in-one shadow/blush
Daniel Sandler Eye Delight in Peach
Caudalie Quenching Sorbet-Crème.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream
 "Made by the experts in natural skincare, this multi award winning cream will get you soft and smooth from head to toe - with delicate aromatherapy scents included!"
£14.50 full size 100ml, 30ml sample.

I've really been liking this hand cream, it's thick but absorbs easily and doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy. The aromatherapy scent is also divine! I'm likely to purchase this when this tube is done. 

Daniel Sandler Eye Delight in Peach or Ice
"A pot of sweet, shimmery dust to give your eyes a little something to smile about. Created by professional make-up artist Daniel Sandler, this incredibly versatile eye colour can be swept across the eyelids or mixed with water for a bolder effect."
£10.25 full sized sample. 

I received the Peach shade but I would have preferred Ice, I don't think I've seen any reviews with someone who got Ice. However I'm sure that I can use this shade as I wear a lot of orange and copper toned eye looks. The packaging is pretty smart too as it prevents powder from ending up anywhere.

Trind Nail Repair Natural
"Produced by Dutch experts in nail, cuticle and hand care, this little lacquer is not just another nail varnish. Made with TLC, brush it on to naturally strengthen and protect your nails."
£12.95 full sized sample.

I don't see anything natural about a product that contains formaldehyde and I wasn't really wanting to use it for this purpose, but I gave it a go and it really does work. I put it on under my base coat and it stops my nails from peeling which they tend to do a lot. I will more than likely continue to use it because of the drastic change in the condition of my nails when I have it on.

TheBalm All-in-one shadow/blush

"Want to get noticed by those college frat boys? This peachy-apricot-coloured blush doubles up as an eye shadow and miraculously adds life to any skin tone. So hold the ketchup, here's a taste of vintage America that will also go nicely in your handbag."
£16.34 full sized sample.

A lovely peachy pink shade that will compliment most people, not more else I can say. I would never spend this much on a blush so it's a nice inclution.

Caudalie Quenching Sorbet-Crème
 "This deliciously creamy sorbet will naturally refresh and hydrate your skin with all the anti-oxidising powers of red grape seed. It's the perfect way to quench your thirst after your summer holidays!"
£20.00 full size 40ml, 10ml sample.

I've been looking to try Caudalie for a while now so I was glad to see it in the box. I used this as my daily moisturiser throughout October and I quite liked it. It's very cooling on the skin so would be great in summer or if you live somewhere hot. It has a lovely fresh and uplifting scent too.

Overall the box is great value for money (well for free in my case!) I'm unsure wether or not I will continue with the subscription as I am currently subscribed to Amarya's Beauty Box.

Halloween LUSH Haul

I (finally) got my camera back so can share some of my recent purchases!

I made my first ever purchase from the Lush website (despite there being a store in Belfast that I've never been in) the week before Samhain. I've heard a lot of good reviews about Lush's products so thought I'd give them a go!

Skullduggery Bath Ballistic, Pumpkin Knot-Wrap, Potion Retro Body Lotion, Ghost Retro Shower Gel, Flying Fox Shower Gel, Brimstone Body Scrub & Bewitched Retro Massage Bar.

Skullduggery Bath Ballistic
"Skullduggery is an eerie but magical celebration for your bathtub. We used brightening and refreshing lime and neroli for the fragrance and olibanum (also known as frankincense resinoid) to help that citrusy smell stay on your skin until the witching hour and beyond. 

Lime oil is a popular ingredient in remedies to combat congested skin, cellulite or simply to wake you up!
We use expensive neroli oil as it is one of the few essential oils to be scientifically proven to increase serotonin production in the brain - Arriba!

Olibanum resinoid, otherwise known as frankincense, has a woody, slightly fruity aroma and covers the skin with a thin, protective film, softening the skin. It is extremely effective on sore, cracked, de-hydrated skin." I really like the smell of this one and intend to buy more soon before they're gone until next year!

Pumpkin-Knot Wrap
"Turn every ballistic into a Halloween treat with this neat knot-wrapping trick." I thought this wrap would be a cute addition to my Samhain decor. I it also came with a card of ways to use it in other ways, similar to the Japanese style of using scarves as bags. (Our Japanese teacher actually showed us one the week before I purchased this!)

Potion - Exquisitely Perfumed Body Lotion

"The sexy scent of carnations wafts from your supremely soft skin after moisturising with Potion Lotion. It's a bewitching concoction full of luscious and smoothing ingredients; a light touch of almond oil and cocoa butter to soften, with rose petal infusion and toning tangerine. We want to smell like Potion all the time, so we take it everywhere we go and smooth it on (it's especially nice as an after sun lotion too).

A magical blend of natural oils, tangerine, carnation and rose to tone, soften and condition your skin. To refresh, smooth and rejuvenate. (Essential if you're over 20 and when you've caught the sun.)" I actually am not very fond of this lotion, it works fine but the scent is too overpowering for me. What I assume is the scent of carnations is very like cinnamon, which I hate the smell of (why around the holidays does everywhere smell of cinnamon?! :( ) I'll probably give this to my mummy.

Ghost - Shower Gel for Body and Hair
"The season of spooks is upon us, and with it comes our very own spectre – the gorgeous Ghost shower gel. Pure white and carrying a subtle shimmer, this is one phantom you won’t want to exorcise.
Ghost brings with it the haunting aroma of lilies, jasmine, ylang ylang and neroli – the same fragrance as that found in our lovely Liliy Savon soap. It’s made with rose water and dove orchid infusion, a beautiful combination that’s mild and gentle on the skin.

Ghost’s thick creamy texture is made even more luxurious with the addition of jojoba oil, to gently moisturise and soften. We’ve even added a soupcon of white wine vinegar, so if you’re the kind of person who likes to use shower gel on your hair too, you’ll find it should have a little extra shine (don’t worry, you won’t smell it!).

Spiritually uplifting, shimmery white shower gel, with the haunting scent of lilies. Don't get into the shower alone." I'm on the fence about the scent of this shower gel, it's quite powedery and floral. Not awful but not great either.

Flying Fox - The Sex-Appeal Honey Shower Gel
"You can use Flying Fox at any time of the month, but it’s especially good at The Time of the Month, because we’ve added the top essential oils for calming PMT. Use this for washing your hair too and get those essentials oils wafting with every flick.

There are times when you want to feel sexy in body and mind. 

This magic gel is crammed full of specialist honeys from around the world that will make your skin feel great. We then added the sexiest perfume we could, packed with aphrodisiac essential oils to set you on the rampage!

Lascivious, licentious, vivacious, and insatiable. With the finest aphrodisiac essential oils - masses of jasmine! (Plus the best three for controlling PMS)." An intoxicating scent of honey and jasmine, good enough to eat! Who doesn't want to feel like a goddess who's bathed in honey?

Brimstone Body Scrub
"Don't worry; the apocalypse isn't coming quite yet. Brimstone was inspired by our UK team member Shakira's visit to St. Lucia, where they use sulphur for all manner of skin complaints. Brimstone is a deeply fragrant, hardcore body scrub, with natural sulphur to condition the skin and keep it clear of problems.

Sulphur has been used to treat skin problems for hundreds of years.

Sulphur, Sea Salt, Hemp oil and Jasmine - A scrub to soften the roughest of skins." I confess I was a bit suprised to sea sulphur in a body scrub but after learning that it is safe and effective I decided to get it and give it a go. I've never used a solid scrub before so it'll be a new experience for me.

Bewitched Massage Bar
"We make Bewitched with essential oils to help to bring you closer: violet leaf is said to restore the bonds of friendship, lime oil to help get rid of apathy, cedarwood to stop people straying and chamomile to get your massagee to forget the past. Bewitched is made with knobbly bits on one side; smooth it all over your favourite person's body to give him or her a bewitching experience. It's like having two strong hands firmly working magic on your muscles!" I used to hate getting massages (what kind of crazy person doesn't like getting a massage?!) I think it's because I was so tense and the hurt but after a few years of going to osteopaths, physiotherapist and acupressurists I've been converted. This bar smells lovely so I can't wait to get using it (I could be doing with a massage now!)