Friday, 28 February 2014

February Favourites | Monthly Faves

Another month has come and gone, very quickly might I add, so today I'm here with my February favourites of course! Sadly for my bank account most of my favourite products this month are high end but I'm completely in love with all of them! I'd love to know if you've tried any of the products mentioned and what you thought so be sure to leave me a comment!

First up I've been seriously Lush obsessed this month- and I'm not talking my usual ballistics and bubble bars. I've really branched out with Lush recently and have tried a range of things from skincare to haircare. Two of my favourites have definitely been the Big shampoo which you can see my review of here and the Mask of Magnaminty, a peppermint mask designed to soothe and clear up your skin and it certainly does just that. It leaves my face feeling so smooth and fresh, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone!

I'm also still completely in love with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which was featured in my January favourites and I reviewed here. It gives the perfect amount of coverage and really brightens the face up. I think this concealer has hit HG status, sorry bank account for all the repurchases to come! Another product which I'm still loving from last month (I think I forgot to include it in my January favourites-whoops) is Stila's eyeshadow in Kitten. With the extensive amount of hype surrounding this eyeshadow I thought 'Surely it can't be that great, can it?'. It is, believe me. It's such a beautiful colour that you need. Mine already has a huge dent in it!

This month I decided to revisit a few old favourites and spread the love around in my make up collection as I always end up loving a few certain products and then not touching anything else for months! I pulled out the famous Orgasm blush by Nars which is beyond gorgeous as well as one of my favourite nail polishes ever, It's My Year by OPI.

Lastly, new lip products. What's better than new lip products? Nothing. If you saw my recent haul you'd know that I treated myself to a couple of YSL lippies and while I do love both of them, the YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in Luscious Cherry has definitely been my lipstick of choice. It's a gorgeous sheer red that just brightens up your face and looks stunning on. I also stepped out of my comfort zone a bit by trying a NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée that my friend gave me after the colour didn't suit her. I usually hate anything that's overly glossy but I've actually really been enjoying this, it's not too glossy or sticky and is really easy to just throw on!

Of course it wouldn't be an Actually Ash favourites post without a ton of random favourites. I went to see the new Zac Efron movie, 'Are We Officially Dating?', on Valentines Day and it was very cute but oddly enough I think that's the only movie I saw out this month. TV wise I've been getting back into some Kardashians as well as loving all my usual favourites (check my Twitter for lots of TV ramblings). The Following is back with season 2 and oh my god is all I can say. If you don't watch it, you need to. I also started watching Rizzoli and Isles which I successfully watched all three and half seasons of in under a week- it's safe to say I'm obsessed and secretly wish I was Rizzoli. I haven't really been listening to any new music but I'm going to a music festival (Soundwave for all you Australians) on Monday and I am so beyond excited! 

Anyway, hope you all had a good month. Make sure to let me know what you've been loving! Now, roll on Autumn!

Ash xx
Thursday, 27 February 2014

Lush Big Shampoo Review

It's not very often that I fall in love with a shampoo, because to me shampoo is just shampoo, and pretty much anything works. That was until Lush's Big Sea Salt Shampoo made it's way into my haircare routine. I picked this up on a whim a couple of months ago, and despite the fact that I've really been loving it, I haven't reviewed it yet so here goes!

Lush's Big Sea Salt Shampoo uses clarifying sea salt, seaweed and fresh citrus juices to provide volume and leave hair feeling and looking soft and silky. It's a little bit awkward to use at first as the bits of salt fall everywhere but it lathers up really nicely and leaves your hair feeling and looking amazing. You don't need much product either to create a nice lather so the whole product itself does go quite far. I was a bit concerned as to how well this would work with bleached hair as salt can be very drying but as long as you don't use it too often there really is no problem. Lush recommends using Big once a week to keep your hair nice and healthy but using it everyday might be a bit much, especially if you have dyed hair. 

Big has a really interesting look to it which can be a bit off putting at first but I promise you won't regret giving this baby a shot. Another thing that was slightly off putting at first was the smell but over time I've really come to love it. Big is described as having an uplifting fragrance containing neroli, mandarin, orange flower absolute and vanilla, a lovely fresh scent once you get used to it. 

Despite the price being a little bit hefty, I do think it's worth it if you want shiny and healthy looking hair. Big has quickly become my favourite shampoo and I honestly can't recommend it enough!

You can purchase Big online or in store at Lush for $26.95 (330g).

Ash xx

P.S: Deeply sorry for the lack of posts but I started university this week and I'm already so stressed out. I'll definitely try to pick my game up next week!
Thursday, 20 February 2014

Another Haul: Beauty, Haircare & Stationary

Shopping has become a real problem for me lately. Every single time I'm at the shops, I just can't resist and end up saying 'yes' to everything that catches my eye. Today was no exception. I was supposed to be getting my hair done and buying some stationary essentials which I'll need for university come Monday, however my willpower failed and this haul happened. 

First up today, on a huge whim might I add, was David Jones. I decided to go to David Jones because for some reason I all of a sudden remembered that they stock The Balm and considering I've never tried any of their make up, I thought it was about time I gave it a shot. I picked up two products, the Frat Boy blush along with the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter which I've heard nothing but good things about. I definitely can't wait to give both of these a try tomorrow!

After recently trying and falling in love with Lush's 'Big', a gorgeous, sea salt shampoo, I couldn't not restock, but then also ended up buying the smaller size of the very popular Ocean Salt facial scrub. I can already tell this is going to be a huge favourite of mine. 

Next up was Mecca, and first on my list was the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer thanks to Tenneil and her gorgeous blog which convinced me that I needed this primer. Unfortunately the full size is somewhere around $80 so I decided to trial the mini one (which is still $25) first. I also gave in and bought another Nars blush in Gina after seeing it raved about so many times but it really is beautiful!

Of course no haul of mine is complete without a trip to Priceline however this time I didn't actually buy all that much! I needed a new shampoo and conditioner so I decided to try a couple of colour preserving and damage repairing ones from Joico. 

Last but definitely not least, I finally got around to getting what I actually went to the shops for, some pretty stationary for uni! When I say stationary, I really did mean to buy some notebooks and what not, but a gorgeous mermaid pencil case and ocean themed pens sucked me in so much that I forgot I needed books. I got these along with a very cute 'Weekly Chore List' pad from Kikki K. 

My bank account is definitely calling for a spending ban next month!

Ash xx
Friday, 14 February 2014

NOTD: Valentines Edition

Another Valentines themed post?! I know, I know. Last one, promise. Valentines Day is nearly over in little ol' Perth but only just beginning in some places so I thought I'd quickly show you some simple nail art that I wore today.

I started by applying a base coat, the Essie All In One being my first choice. I then applied three coats of China Glaze's Something Sweet and waited until morning so that my nails could dry completely. To create the hearts, I used a piece of sticky tape- folding it in half and cutting half a heart, only to reveal a full heart when opened up (does this make any sense at all?). I then stuck the sticky tape over my nail and painted over it in Topshop's Pillarbox. I then removed the tape and did some small touch ups with Something Sweet. I also would have gone over with a top coat but I didn't have enough time to wait for them to dry completely and the red would have smudged, however if you do have enough time I'd definitely recommend it.

Even though I only got to have these for one day because of work, I think they're a perfect yet simple way of adding a bit of flair on Valentines Day!

Did you do any nail art for Valentines?

Ash xx
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Lush Love Locket Bath Bomb

I don't really like to do negative reviews as I like my blog so be full of happy things and products that I love, but there was a lot of excitement over the Lush Love Locket Bath Bomb on my Lush haul post so I thought I'd do a review anyway even though it definitely wasn't a winner.

The Lush Love Locket bath bomb was released as part of this years Lush Valentines Collection and when I saw it I was beyond excited. Visually, it's one of the most beautiful bath bombs I've ever seen, a pink and yellow heart inspired by love locket necklaces containing photos of loved ones. It also has quite a pleasant scent, both sweet and floral without being too intense.

Love Locket is designed to be cracked in half which then reveals a secret, smaller bomb inside, meaning there are three bath bombs in total. Firstly I started by using one half but then decided to throw in the rest as it really wasn't all that exciting. Unfortunately, even after throwing in the whole thing, I didn't love it any more. It fizzled away very quickly and there certainly wasn't anything overly exciting like there is with other bath bombs such as Golden Wonder.

Very quickly the water transformed to a dusty hot pink shade and spurted out confetti hearts. Sounds cool right? Unfortunately the hearts weren't all that noticeable and floated right to the bottom leaving me feeling very underwhelmed.

Overall, for me, Love Locket was a very underwhelming bath bomb and for $8.95, I'm sure you could find something more exciting and worth it at Lush.

Have you tried Love Locket? What were your thoughts?

Ash xx
Monday, 10 February 2014

Pretty in Pink

With Valentines Day right around the corner, the main thing on my mind is which pretty products I'll be using come Friday. Despite the fact that I'm going to see Vampire Academy with my best friend instead of going on an actual date, I'm still pretty excited and thought I'd share some of my picks for the perfect and pink Valentines products!

With blushes being my absolute favourite make up product (other than lipsticks, of course), it wasn't hard to choose a few. Nars Orgasm was the first blush that came to mind as despite the excessive amount of hype it receives, it really is a gorgeous colour. Orgasm is a shimmery, slightly peachy pink which gives the most gorgeous glow when applied to the cheeks. Along with Orgasm, MAC's Mineralize Blush in Dainty and Nyx blush in Dusty Rose are perfect pinks to add a splash of colour to the cheeks come Valentines Day.

One of the easiest ways to show some spirit for Valentines Day is to throw on a pink hued lippy. Some of my favourite pinks for the occasion include MAC's Angel and Saint Germain, Topshop's lipstick in Innocent and Strawberry Shortcake from Revlon's Lip Butter range. However, if you're after a more matte finish, I'd definitely recommend the Nyx Soft Matte Lip Creams, Istanbul and San Paulo in particular.

If you're not so keen on nail art, plain pink nails are definitely a must on Valentines Day and are also very easy to do. Some of my recommendations include Essie's Fiji, Essie's Secret Story and the Revlon ColorStay polish in Cafe Pink. However if you are keen on nail art, I will hopefully have some Valentines themed nail ideas posted soon!

What do you have planned for Valentines Day?

Ash xx
Friday, 7 February 2014

Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon

The Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon first came into my hands a few weeks ago when my dad brought a few Lush goodies back for me to try from New Zealand. As they weren't purchased by myself, these goodies are things I wouldn't typically go for but it's always nice to open your mind and try new things. Anyway, here's my review!

The Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon is described as a 'bright and uplifting treat disguised in a rich warm fragrance of cocoa absolute and tonka'. The cocoa absolute and tonka are designed to comfort and add warmth while grapefruit and bergamot oils are designed to 'lift your mind' and add a bit of a citrus kick. The scent of this is quite unique however I don't pick up on much of the cocoa and instead get the full hit of citrus, which is fine by me as I'm a huge citrus fan!

Bubbleroons, which I assume are essentially the same as Bubble Bars, are designed to be crumbled under running water in order to produce bubbles, and produce bubbles it did! I don't usually tend to follow the rules when it comes to Lush products so instead of crumbling it under running water, I threw the whole thing into the bath and hoped for the best. Despite not following instructions, the Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon still produced a huge amount of bubbles, filled the room with a gorgeous aroma and left the bath water a right yellow toned orange.

I don't know if I would purchase it again, simply because I'd rather try new things, but if you have a few bucks to spend in Lush, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go!

The Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon retails in store and online for $6.50.

Hope you all enjoyed reading my review! Have you tried any new Lush products recently?

Ash xx
Sunday, 2 February 2014

Lush Valentines Haul

It has been way too long since I did a little Lush post and I am beyond excited to share with you guys a few products from the latest Lush collection- Valentines themed, of course! When the lovely lady at the Lush counter asked me if I'd heard of the up and coming Valentines Day collection a few weeks ago, I was quite surprised that I didn't faint right then and there. Nothing makes me happier than sweet smelling bath products, especially when they're pink!

I haven't had a chance lately to go in to a Lush store and give some of the products a smell so instead I placed an order online for some of the things I knew I would love. First up, the product that stood out majorly for me, the Love Locket Bath Bomb. The scent is sweet but also quite floral so I think it would appeal to almost everyone. I can't wait to try it out as I'm sure it's going to be a very pretty bath.

Along with my love of bath bombs, I'm also quite fond of the Lush Bubble Bars so the bright pink Two Timing Tart Bubble Bar was right up the top of my list. Two Timing Tart, available online only, has a very sweet, girly fragrance made up of strawberries and coconut cream, so I'm definitely very excited to try this one.

Despite not being a huge fan of bar soaps, the gorgeous Neon Love soap called my name and well, I bought it anyway. Neon Love is described as having an uplifting, fruity fragrance (the best type of scents). Lastly, I pretty much jumped for joy when I saw the Prince Charming Shower Gel on the Lush website. It has a new fragrance of sandalwood, geranium and grapefruit essential oils, and while it may not overtake my love for Snow Fairy, I'm sure I'll love it anyway!

Lush was also kind enough to throw in a little freebie, the Mask of Magnaminty face and back mask. I've already used this one once and can safely say that I love it. Review will be coming very soon on this and the rest of the Valentines collection!

Have you bought any of the Lush Valentines collection? If not, do you plan on it?

Ash xx