Tag Archives: Beauty

My Lush Addiction

My name is Julie, and I have a problem: I have a Lush addiction. It started out small, a bath bomb here and there, and then I started using the shower jellies. Before I knew it, I was forcing my friends and family to let me stop and shop every time we passed a store. I lost the ability to merely browse. Every in-store trip ended with one of their brown paper bags and a handful of samples. When I realized that I had caches of products stashed in both the guest and master bathrooms, I knew I had a problem.

Sadly, I am only slightly embellishing the situation. Lush is a great company; their products are cruelty free and vegan. I dearly wish we had one locally, so I could work there part time and get an employee discount. I’ve introduced many of my friends and family members to the wonder of their products, and now I am going to share a few favorite items with you.

1. Woosh Shower Jellie – One of my favorite products to use on those dreary hard to get moving mornings. The bright teal zingy citrus blend gives me the kick I need to knock that last bit of sleepy out of my head and get started with all that annoying adulting that the work week demands.


2.Beautiful Shower Gel – This is my go-to in the summer months. Rich lather, slightly fruity with a hint of spice; I get the moisturizing I need, and it leaves my skin softly scented. I was really impressed with how well this stuff works: I only need a dollop the size of a quarter to wash my entire body.
3. Fizzbanger Bath Bomb – My second favorite bath bomb. The cinnamon toffee scent is absolutely perfect for fall or winter, or when you want to crank down the thermostat and pretend that it’s fall or winter. Usually, the use of this bath bomb is accompanied by a mug of tea.
4. Dragon’s Egg Bath Bomb – My favorite bath bomb. I try to keep at least two of these in the house at any time. The citrus scent is perfect for any time of year, and the confetti makes every bath feel like something special. This is my go-to recommendation for any first time bath bomb user.

4. New! Shampoo Bar – Occasionally, when I am under larger amounts of stress, my hair will start falling out. Not an ideal situation for anyone, but it’s even worse when you’re a woman. I picked this bar up during some major work drama last year, and it really did help encourage new growth and made the rest of my hair feel and look thicker. Fortunately, I haven’t needed it in a while, but I will be express shipping a bar to Tallahassee if I ever do.
5. Shimmy Shimmy Sparkle Bar – This was an impulse buy that worked out incredibly well. On my last trip, I complemented the girl behind the counter on the shimmer she had on her arms and chest. She told me about the bar and then let me try a sample piece. I was delighted with the soft lavender scent and with how soft my skin was  (with none of that greasy residue that we all hate). Granted, I can’t really wear it to the office, but it is fun on the weekends.

If you aren’t already a Lush enthusiast, check out the store nearest to you or the company website. If  you are, I’d love to hear about which products you love best.

Broken & Beautiful

In May, florist Lisa Waud filled an abandoned Detroit home with 4000 flowers over 48 hours, creating an installation that was both wistfully beautiful and heartbreakingly fragil. Drawing inspiration from the 2012 Dior show outside of Paris and the wrapped Pont Neuf bridge in Paris by Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Waud put her plan into motion by purchasing two abandon properties for $500, one to use for the May preview and one for a larger installation piece to be completed in October. Here are some amazing shots of the preview.

Flowers 10 Flowers 2 Flowers 1 Flowers 4 Flowers 5 Flowers 6 Flowers 7 Flowers 11 Flowers 12 Flowers 9 Flowers 8 Flowers 13 Flowers 3

The full installation, to be unveiled in October, will include over 100,000 blooms. I can only imagine how breathtaking it will be. One of the things I love most about this project is the long term plan for the home; after the final event the structures will be dismantled, recycled, and the space used to grow flowers.

This piece really touched my heart. I feel like our homes can become part of our families. Their walls protect us, and their roofs shelter us. They give us a safe space to live our lives, and it makes me so sad to see them abandoned and unloved. It’s like the artist and her assistants are giving these structures one last hurrah, allowing them to go out being part of something beautiful and special, and when the curtain falls, their pieces are going to be used to create new stories. Not a bad way to go out.


Images from here.


$20 a Month: March 2015

This month’s $20 a month is a little odd. The normal retail for these beauty products would total closer to $30, but I had a coupon and caught some of the items on sale, so I figured you guys would forgive me since it meant there would be more to review. Here we go…


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipcolor – Nothing life changing, but a solid okay.  Coverage was good, and there wasn’t any strange taste or texture. I had to reapply after eating, but I usually do that anyway. I picked up Smokey Rose (a mauve-ish natural pink) and Rose Dew (peach-y pink), both colors I could wear at the office and throw on without having to worry about lip liner. They both now reside in my desk as my part of my back up stash. I’ll use the tubes I purchased, but I don’t think I’ll buy a second round where they’re gone.

Paladio Retractable Waterproof Eye Liner – This product was a really pleasant surprise. I am a bit of an eyeliner snob; usually for pencil or twist up liners I only use the Urban Decay 27/7 liner. I’ve been looking for a good drug store alternative, and I’d heard good things about the Paladio brand, so I picked up Exotic Plumb on my last trip to Ulta. LOVE! While the formula isn’t as smooth as Urban Decay, it’s the closest thing I’ve ever come across. The twist up applicator is easy to use, and with a little extra time spent on building your line, you have something that looks nice and will last all day. Bonus: it costs less than a third of what I shell out for my Urban Decay liner. I’ve already picked up a second color (Eggplant).

Burt’s Bees Pink Grapefruit Towelettes – Probably one of the best face products I’ve ever tried. Drug store, prestige brand, special order, anything, it beats them all. The slight grapefruit-y scent is pleasant without being overpowering and fades away in an hour or so. The towelettes are durable and even on a heavy make up day I never needed more than one to get my face clean. I now use these every night to wash my face before I go to bed, which is sort of a big deal, because my skin can be a bit temperamental, and I usually have to alternate products every few days to avoid dryness or redness. This is also the first “no water needed” product that I haven’t felt like a needed to rinse my face after using. My face feels clean and lightly moisturized, and there is no soapy or oily residue left behind. Best beauty purchase EVER.

$20 a Month

$20 a Month

Tried some really interesting products this month with seriously mixed results; let’s dive in:

Sweet Ease Leg Waxing Kit – Right up front I am going to say I don’t know if I correctly used this product. The instructions were very minimal: rub strip between hands to warm, peel apart, stick on leg, and rip off. They actually had more illustrations on how to not use the strips then they did on how to use them. I tried warming the strips using my hands like the package suggested, but it barely made the wax warm enough to pull apart, let alone rip my hair off my legs. The best technique I came up with was sticking the strips in the back of my waist band and letting the heat from my back/the couch warm them up. Once I finally managed to apply the strips I had the worst time getting it to pull the hair off. I ended up applying the strip rubbing my hand over it a few times to warm it back up, then ripping off. That actually took about 2/3 of the hair off. 13 strips out of the 20 pack later I decided I was better off shaving my legs and threw the rest of the kit in the trash.

Contact Lens Case Case – I found this at Target in the stocking stuffers area and thought it would be good for traveling. I have the worst luck with my contact lens cases not sealing all the way, and I thought this would keep the inside of my suitcase/purse from being unintentionally wetted. It worked. It also had the added benefit of keeping my lens case safe from Oliver. He thinks the clattering sound it makes when it hits the floor is the best things ever, and it makes an excellent kitty toy once it’s down there. The bulky hard case isn’t nearly as much fun: he pawed at it, sniffed indignantly and decided he didn’t want to play on the counter anymore.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya – This was such a pleasant surprise; I am a little snobby when it comes to drug-store lip color, but I really like this product. I’m not going to say it’s as good as MAC or some of the other higher end brands I’ve tried, but it’s actually pretty close. Now, this isn’t going to be your thing if you are looking for a hyper pigmented lipstick, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a sheer wash of color with a little sparkle. Heck, with the shade I picked, I didn’t even have to bother with a mirror when I put it on.

Body Shop Sink-In Moisture Mask – I’ve tried Body Shop masks before and I like them a lot, but this was horrible. The strong perfume smell came rushing out the minute I opened the pack, which was a little off putting, but not a deal breaker. I applied the cream to my face, carefully avoiding my eyes and lips as recommended, and set the timer for 10 minutes. After three, my face was tingling, but I waited it out the full ten and then wiped it off. After an additional five, I was in the shower scrubbing my face and neck because it BURNED! I was lucky, and aside from being a little pink and tender, my face was okay, but NEVER AGAIN!!!

Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask – After the previous experience, I decided I wasn’t going to try any more of these masks for a while.


$20 a Month

After fudging the budget a little on last month’s products, I strictly held myself to the $20 limit. It was a little difficult since I didn’t buy everything in the same place at the same time, but I managed. So here we go.

$20 a Month - April

Soap Box Apple Body Wash -I got to try their “Black Soap” body wash in my Vegan Beauty Box. It was a little too strongly scented for me, but the idea of one bottle providing vitamins for a child for a year made me willing to give it another go. Fortunately, my local Earth Fare stocks several different scents so I decided to try the apple. It’s a great body wash, nice lather, leaves my skin soft and free from residue. The apple scent was a lot better than the black soap, still not really my thing, but I’d buy it again. For the children.

Sally Hansen T ripple Shine Nail Polish – I was really disappointed in this polish. Sally Hansen is a pretty solid brand, one that I used for years before I could afford to invest a little more in my cosmetics. The coverage was inconsistent, and even worse, it never fully dried. The first time I tried it I thought maybe I put on too many coats trying to even the coverage out, so I tried again a few days later with only two thin coats, and an hour and a half later it still wasn’t dry. Fail.

Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Face Scrub – my Friend Jenn is a HUGE fan of  Body Shop beauty products and she has been encouraging me to try them for a while now. For me, the biggest draw back was the price; I don’t mind spending $5 or maybe even $10 on something I may only use a couple of times, but $20+ was more than I was willing to invest on something I might not like. I was in Ulta a few weeks ago, and they had a bunch of Body Shop samples by the register for the low low price of $2.50 each, so I decided to give it a go and grabbed a face scrub. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! While my skin is usually really smooth, I will occasionally get bumpy dry patches. This scrub lessened the irritation, got rid of the dead skin, and left my skin feeling hydrated. Bonus, I got three uses out of a single packet. I went back for a full size, but they were out, so I grabbed the last two sample packs to hold me over until they restock.

Freeman Facial Enzyme Pineapple Mask – this was a cheating a little bit; I already knew I was a fan of this mask. My friend Stefanie and I used this for spa nights while we were in college, and I loved it then.  But it’s been a few years and the formula or my skin could have changed right? Fortunately, neither has; the smell is fruity and wonderful, it doesn’t drip, and it leaves your skin feeling so very, very soft.


Some really good stuff and some not so good, but all in all not a bad month product-wise.