Fun Times and Facepaint

So, after Boxing Day, I was feeling a little exuberant and decided to hit the online sales with my Christmas monies. After perusing the various offerings of the interwebs, I came across the Lime Crime website and realised that they had a truly excellent sale on – of course, I decided to jump on it like a starving mountain lion.

Even though it came all the way from the States, my little package arrived really quickly without any issues. And oh my, what a package it was:

 

Is that not the MOST adorable packaging you’ve ever seen? I ordered a few things – namely, an eyeshadow palette, a lipstick and a liquid eyeliner, all at drastically reduced prices. So here are my thoughts on the aforementioned items. (Please note – I epically suck at taking photos, so please excuse my general rubbishness…)

 

First up, the eyeliner. This is Lime Crime’s liquid liner in the shade Reason – it’s a very well pigmented metallic silver. The tube was a little smaller than I’d anticipated, but I kind of love that – it makes for easier application, and besides, as far as I’m concerned, the smaller something is, the cuter it is (well, when it comes to inanimate objects, anyway).

It applies very easily with a classic brush applicator  – I usually don’t love these, and prefer a felt tip style, but this one worked a treat, being neither too flimsy or too bulky. The eyeliner itself is of medium viscosity, not crossing the line to too runny while still being liquid enough to apply without exerting too much force. In the past, I’ve had issues with metallic liners being too translucent, but this one is pleasantly pigmented. My only issue is that some of the bristles of the brush applicator arrived bent back , which could potentially be problematic.

 

 

Next up, I bought one of the iconic Unicorn lipsticks in the shade Chinchilla – I have lusted after this for a LOOOONG time, as I have a deep love for grey-tinged purples in all aspects of my life. As it was down to under £5, I kinda had to grab it. Right?

The packaging is freaking adorable, but I guess that goes without saying…! I was deeply impressed with the colour itself – my biggest issue with greylacs (greyish-lilacs – I’m such a wordsmith) has been that they are too light and make me look pretty corpselike; being ill 24/7, facial deathliness isn’t something I want to play up particularly, seeing as I look highly cadaver-esque on my own. This is a mid-to-dark greylac, and worked well against my light/neutral skintone, especially when deepened with a lipliner (Nyx liner in the shade ‘Never’).

The formulation was satin-to-matte, which meant it stayed put on my lips pretty well without being super drying (which is a big issue for me and my weird desert lips).  That said, I wouldn’t be buying this again unless it were at a similarly low price – although the colour is great and very unique, the packaging feels a bit flimsy and the formulation of the lipstick isn’t anything to write home about.

 

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Now, THIS. THIS is what I got excited about. It’s the Venus II palette, and it looks like it was packaged by Michelangelo – I’m deeply in love. I have a real problem with collecting eyeshadow palettes – they are basically my favourite makeup item – and I had a deep desire to add this one to my collection. OK, so the packaging was a solid part of my attraction, but also the shades of the shadows themselves…

 

Please let me apologise for my DREADFUL swatching. I’m trying to improve.

So, there are 8 good sized eyeshadows in this palette, all varying in tone but sticking to the theme of early 90s grunge (which is my jam, for sure). The box is magnetised and a cute chunky size (without being over-large) and it has a decent sized mirror in it – although, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve EVER used the mirrors included in eyeshadow palettes. It’s good to know they’re there, though.

The shadows themselves are a mix of matte and shimmer shades. From top left, the names are Pigeon, Filter, Marsh, Mustard, Fly, Jam, Mud and Boot. I’m in-freaking-love with virtually all of them, although Filter (matte cornflower blue, second from top left) came off a bit chalky and isn’t quite my cup of tea when it comes to eyeshadows. Pigeon, Marsh, Mud and Boot are probably my favourites, and they do seem fairly unique – none of my current palettes have dupes of these shades available. It’s a really impressive range of tones for an eight-shade palette, and I think this is a good ‘makeup investment’ – which is TOTALLY A Thing.

 

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OK, so I have to apologise again for my shoddy photographic abilities – but in this picture I’m wearing the liner, lipstick and shades from the palette above. My eyes aren’t exactly visible… I should have taken a closeup. Sorry! But Chinchilla is making a reasonably good showing, and I hope you can see what I mean about it actually being a very wearable shade.

I know there’s quite an anti-Lime Crime feeling in the online makeup-fanatic-community, and it’s for very good reason. I wouldn’t buy these full price, and I am always on the lookout for dupes. HOWEVER, I was deeply infatuated with Venus II and I wanted it – I can only apologise that I keep catering to my aesthetic whims. I will add, though, that if they tested on animals, I wouldn’t have even thought twice – I’m not cool with that.

But, as it stands, they did alright. I love the eyeshadow, and like the other two products (even though they are retailed at far too high a price).

Happy face-painting, kids.

Rachel Rabbit

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Inky Philosophy

Tattoos. Depending on who you are, they may be a thing of joy, a point of contention, beautiful, ugly, pointless, rebellious, artistic… and so on and so forth.

As you might know, I am a big fan of tattoos. I think I might have mentioned it. I love them on other people, I love them on myself, I love getting them done and I love the people who dedicate their life to this form of art.

But there is more than just ‘liking tattoos’. Over time, I’ve noticed that fellow tattoo lovers have rules and philosophies by which they regulate their body art. It’s more than just one person preferring colour and another liking blackwork. It’s a very complex system, and it’s fascinating hearing the ways people choose their tattoos. And so I have decided to document a few of the stories which people have told me regarding their inky decisions.

So, we may as well start with me (because my ego simply will not allow me to be in any other place but first…!)

For me, tattoos are a complex thing. I have made up very intricate rules regarding placement and so on: only black/black and grey work on my torso, colour on my limbs; male artists can do the top half, female the bottom, and non binaries can go wherever they like; carnivores on my right side (representing tenacity, masculinity, ferocity and night time) with herbivores on my left (symbolic of femininity, grace, serenity and the day); and on and on the list goes. #neurodivergentproblems, amirite?

I also have styles which I lean towards – I’m a big fan of neotraditional work, and things which have a Japanese influence, as well as woodcut-style line work, dotwork and natural imagery. I am pretty sure I’ll never have any script based tattoos because they’re simply not my thing (although, if worked in on a banner in an Americana style, I might be swayed). I’m a BIG fan of getting tattooists to design the work themselves based on a prompt (such as ‘fox’ or ‘wolf with some art nouveau-y stuff’). I may provide some photo reference, but I would NEVER attempt to design a tattoo myself, even though I am an illustrator. Watercolouring on paper and jabbing ink into living skin are both very different practices, and I trust the experts to know what would look best on my body.

And why? Well, I think I’ve mentioned before, but I’m kind of poorly. I have EDS-3, POTS, ME, fibro, asthma, eczema, allergies, IBS, recurrent cystitis, migraines and tension headaches, food intolerances AND I’m still undergoing investigations to see what exactly is going on with me. So my meatsuit sucks, basically. Tattoos are a way for me to take back control of a very wobbly body, and to make me feel proud of said body once again. Despite gaining weight, and using mobility aids, and not managing to shower/wash my hair/shave my legs (!!) on as regular a basis as I’d like, I am still more confident in my physicality now than I have been for a LONG time – and that’s down to my tattoos. Having art permanently a part of my being makes me feel more beautiful and gives me a deep sense of joy.

Each one has a certain amount of meaning attached to it, but some are more aesthetic than symbolic. Imagery is very important to me – I’m a very visual person – and so beauty for its own sake is a good enough reason for me to get a tattoo.

Artists are picked both for their style and for their proximity to my flat – I’m not well enough to go on up to Liverpool or Glasgow for a tattoo, so I have to be sensible about the artists I choose. I do, however research diligently, and will only choose an artist once I am absolutely sure that I love their work. I am EXTREMELY lucky that one of my regular(ish) tattoo artists, Chrissy Hill, is literally a 5 minute drive down the road from me – as well as being a stupendous tattooist. Can’t wait to get her to do my carousel horses (once I’ve saved up enough, obviously. Money is the bane of my existence).

So –  here are some excellent humans talking about their tattoo dogmas and experiences and thoughts and feelings.

Cass

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Mine symbolise my journey through life. It’s a way of wearing scars that need to be seen, reminding myself where I have been and saying that it’s okay to be where I am.  I stick to the same two artists because they feel and understand me and my outlook

 

Hazel

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I now have two tattoos, they’re about 12 years apart. I don’t rush into getting tattoos. I take it really slowly –  the first one took 2 years for me to finally settle on a design. They have to be something that is important to me and not done on a whim. My first one is a Triskele Spiral on the back of my right shoulder; I had that one done in 2002 (pre M.E). It’s related to re-incarnation as that is something I strongly believe in. My 2nd one was my 40th birthday pressie from my partner (2014). It’s the International symbol of disability but with a twist. I changed the colour on one part by adding the colours of the gay rainbow (aka Freedom Flag). I’ve been a wheelchair user since 2005, and it’s not going to change any time soon. Even if I do get well (I have M.E), it’s still an important part of my life.

Betty

I did it to spite myself,  because I don’t really like them or believe in them! I used to say “Ohhh why would you want to do that to your beautiful skin…” And then one day I was like “FFS betty how dare you go on about something so much, how can you be so SURE about anything or any opinion in your life?” I hadn’t exactly got it right up until that point – so I got one.

 

Reign

 

I plan to have a tattoo for every stage of my life, as well as a Disney sleeve. I have a Harry Potter one as it’s a true love of mine. I have the dandelions because I just thought it would look pretty and free, so I drew my on design. The Pocahontas Colours of the Wind leaves are for my freedom and love of nature, but also my love of Disney; I plan to work it into a sleeve of all different Disney things, each with a meaning. I think you can get a tattoo and it doesn’t have to have a meaning!

 

Rebecca

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Sometimes I have images I plan and sometimes it’s spontaneous – my tattoo friend Jeni doodled on my leg one Tuesday afternoon when I was in a depressed state and I got it tattooed later that day.

When people ask “won’t you regret them later?” I always say NO because they are markings of chapters in my life, reminders to make me stronger. My gecko is a reminder of my incredibly lonely stage at the beginning of uni, where I promised myself I would never be alone again… The African symbols remind me that i got through uni, and that I am powerful, strong, and I endured… The big piece on my arm is just fucking pretty!
So when i am older and look back, I won’t regret them, because they are a reminder of the good and bad times, like chapters in a book, even if I don’t like the imagery anymore.

M******

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I was 21 when I started getting tattoos. Growing up LDS I never wanted them or imagined by now I would have nearly 20 tattoos.

When I was 20, I was raped. I developed severe PTSD from the sexual trauma that I survived. PTSD took over my life and severe depression set in, anxiety set in, and the overwhelming desire to kill myself became my every day life. Suicidal idealization world my life every minute of every day and interfered with my professional life in a workplace, my friendships, my relationships with my family, and my dating life. My reality was altered and I didn’t know how to process anything.

At my darkest I decided that just like the wall in my room which I had decorated with positive quotes ( intended to try and keep me focused on more positivity), I needed a way to keep deeply rooted lessons that I had learned and positivity with me at all times. Every chance I got I would think about how I wanted to die, ways to die…

My first tattoo was done at a popular tattoo shop here in Salt Lake City Utah. It was overpriced, and I learned my lesson. The lady was quite rude and had no social skills.

They say once you get one tattoo, you won’t stop. My life lessons that I learned continue to Roland and I found a way to pull those lessons into my personal life where I could turn them into a positive experience.

I went with a friend to a tattoo shop in Midvale Utah, and she introduced me to the artist who has done most of my work. Laura is a phenomenal artist – she knows so much about tattoo placement, color saturation, how to be fast and light handed and she is a lovely person – to this day we are still very good friends. She has a good heart, and I always appreciated how well she took care of me and how honest she was with me to make sure that I didn’t have any regrets about the tattoos that I was getting.

For a period of time she moved away and while she moved away I became very sick, because of my chronic illnesses I wasn’t able to get tattooed and I didn’t get new tattoos until my cousin took me for my 25th birthday to go and get a tattoo done with her in honor of her father.

Although many people in the LDS church view me as a rebel or whatever, I don’t care. My tattoos have saved my life. They have helped me through depression, and through many suicidal thoughts and even an attempt.

And the LDS church we have temples, inside these temples there is beautiful artwork on the walls. I love myself very deeply now. Over the last five years I’ve grown and I’ve learned so many lessons that have made me one hell of a woman and I love who I’ve become. I believe my tattoos on my “temple”are my artwork, my decoration for my soul and they serve as a constant reminder about my purposes with living.

I don’t know if there’s another way that I could have done anything differently, I don’t regret my tattoos, I don’t think I will look ugly when I’m 80. All of my tattoos have been carefully thought out and planned for months.

 

Natalie

My first tattoo is on a dolphin on my hip when I turned 18 – I got it because I could!  For some reason I wanted a dolphin there, even though it’s not even in my top 5 favourite animals..!
My second is a purple unicorn on my ankle because that is my favourite animal.
Then I had Kieran (my son) so names started getting done: his on my wrist, Tiegan on my foot, Hollie on my right arm & my latest, Logan, by my collar bone.
After our wedding me & Danny got each other’s name tattoos across the top of outback & just before that we got stars by our ears with initials in – sort of a way of saying ‘this is big, it’s forever’.
We also got matching jelly beans on our wrist because we love them!
I have a butterfly on the bottom of my back because this is another favourite animal.
I’m in the middle of getting Logan’s – I’ve just had his name with a rainbow as he’s a rainbow baby & I’m extending Hollie’s to have holly leaves & white feathers falling down my arm to join her name.

After that, I want:

Two horseshoes for both my boys; a Green Day one for my fav band; a water colour love heart dripping down my back – they look so cool; four small hearts for me & my sisters;
and the word ‘Believe’ for surviving each day.

I have them because they are my memories, they represent important stages of my life that I want to take me & enjoy looking at.

 

Hannah

I decided to get my tattoos because I like the idea of being original and having images of things I like on my body, or of things that mean something. I choose my artists dependent on the type of work I’m getting (geometric, dot work, etc) and based upon recommendations. I also have this thing where I want every tattoo in a new city/country so that they’re all entirely unique. I plan out my tattoos but often, my ideas change. I only get tattoos I’ve been set on for a year or more to avoid any regrets!

 

Jackie

I never really have an agenda. Just a rough idea that’s very open to change. I rarely know what I’m going to get, as Helena ‘s ideas are so much more creative than mine. I like to be just as surprised as everyone else as to how my ink evolves. I like just giving a general idea or bit of inspiration, and watching how Helena interprets it

 

 

Sam

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I got my tattoo for a few reasons-

First, I’ve had a slight obsession with death and the afterlife since I was a child.

Second, I am planning to expand it into a tribute to lost friends and family.

And third- I am a massive fan of the show Sons of Anarchy, so getting this was my little nerdy way of paying tribute to my favourite show.

I spend a lot of time looking at artists as I obsess over imperfections, so finding an artist who loves and obsesses over their work as much as I do is important. I’ve been planning my work for years- lots more to get, just not enough cash.

 

 

Aimee

I always used to say I wouldn’t get tattoos –  now I love having mine! In the middle of having most of my back done by an amazing artist, I moved, and floated between a couple of artists but I wasn’t happy until I stumbled upon my current girl. Due to my EDS I feel like my tattoos are the only thing about my body that I can actually control, they’re really the main thing that makes me feel good about myself!

 

 

Rosalie

 

I don’t have a grand plan for my body, but now that it is getting fuller I worry that I will run out of room or a new artist will come along and I won’t have space. I follow loads of people on Instagram and as I run Things&Ink’s blog (th-ink.co.uk)  I am always finding new artists. I chose things mainly because I like them… My tattoos make me happy and remind me of brighter days when I am feeling low. I love how they look on my body and I notice them before I see any other parts of my body. I love how even when I am naked I am not really naked

 

Amy

Mine are all things that mean a lot to me. Not sure I could have something random just because  I liked it incase I ever stopped liking it.

 

 

 

Oonagh

My tattoos are not perfect, but I love them because they mean something. Can’t wait to get my new one!

 

 

Liz

When I was little I always pictured myself with tattoos and piercings. It’s just how I always wanted to look!!
I chose my primary artist because we worked together and she’s incredible! Other artists have been chosen for styles that I love and she doesn’t specialise in.
I have no real plan apart from “keep going”! I prefer colour but do have black dot work pieces.

 

 

 

Maxene

Mine are all reminders really, how I want to live, to remember to prioritise things. Most that I’m planning are reminders too!

My absolute must have for picking an artist is someone who is willing to discuss and get a feel for what I want – because even the simplest tattoos, people generally have little tweaks and ideas they’re looking for. Like my little word “Live” I chose a font that looked handwritten, and I asked the artist to make it look written, with gaps and thick & skinny bits etc. I got it touched up (too much sunbed use ) and I didn’t get much chance to talk to the artist, so trusted that he’d stick to the design but he didn’t – it’s getting covered up soon!

 

Judith

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I just like having beautiful black lines all over my body. They don’t really mean anything.

 

Nick

I’ve not got much choice of tattooists here but was lucky that my most recent one was done by someone who really did care what I wanted and worked with me. The first one I got was done by a sullen guy in Warrington who was just interested in taking my money (thankfully it’s small and I have a plan of how it will be covered). The other one turned out different to what I had originally thought, but I’m still fond of it. None of them are perfect but they are all intended to mean something in both design and placement. The one on my foot is a swallow with some nautical stars with the bass line of a Bjork song behind it. It represents my brother and his kids and my family in general (as they keep me grounded!). The butterfly on my arm is upside down until I look at it and then it reminds me that I can come through adversity and be “reborn”. The one on my back…. well, that had all meaning taken out of it because the tattooist did a bad job.

 

Hannah

(Possibly my favourite anecdote EVER)

Why I picked my tattoo artist …  he had previously been my hairdresser, about whom I’d had a sexual fantasy since I was 14 – I fulfilled sex and tattoo fantasy in one! Both worked out well…!!!

 

 

So, there you have it. I could keep going forever, as there are probably as many tattoo-philosophies as there are tattooed people  – we all have very personal takes on the art which adorns us. And here’s the thing – it really doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with these people, or even if you like their tattoos; all that really matters is that their body art means something to them, be it a superficial, artistic, personal, aesthetic, or religious meaning. What other people might think of their tattoos is kind of irrelevant.

 

And here’s a thought to end with:

If anyone ever says to you “Oh, but your skin will look terrible when you’re 80!”,

you say to them “When have you EVER thought that an 80 year old had beautiful skin? Age is gonna do far more damage than a tattoo ever will – and besides, wrinkles don’t come with anything like as many stories as my tattoos do.”

Rachel Rabbit

A Cup Of Life

(featured photograph courtesy of Merle Hunt Illustration)

So , those of you who are poorly (and some of you who are not) should have probably have heard of The Spoon Theory. If you haven’t, take a look at it HERE. It’s a really helpful way to understand chronic illness, using spoons as a way of quantifying energy – each spoon is a unit of energy, each task takes a spoon and on top of that, chronic illness means you have fewer spoons to start off with. It’s a really great metaphor, and the term ‘spoonie’ is widely used by the chronic illness community to define us sick kids.

Now, although the spoon theory is open to interpretation concerning what kind  of energy counts as a spoon, within my life, I tend to see them as ‘physical’ energy counters. You know, having an assisted shower (3 spoons), doing my physio exercises (4 spoons), brushing my teeth (1 spoon), getting dressed into clean PJs (2 spoons), and so on.

For me, EMOTIONAL energy is like a cup of tea.

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I would say I start the day with half a cup; not half full, not half empty, just half. I’m neither up nor down, and although I have some emotional energy to pour into things, it is limited.

Some activities top up my cup; journaling, painting, singing, drawing, crocheting, shopping, Lush-fuelled self care time. They may drain my spoons (my physical energy), but they replenish me emotionally and leave me feeling positive and happy, if a bit wiped out.

Some activities drain my cup; dealing with DWP, drama on Faceb0ok, checking my bank account, doing anything admin-y. Each one of these things tips a mouthful out of my little cup of emotional energy.

Similarly, people can top up or drain our cups. For example, time spent with my mum may be physically exhausting if I’ve pushed myself to go for a wheel around a charity shop, but it also leaves me feeling happy and fulfilled for spending time with one of the most important people in my life. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a happy activity; just seeing these ‘topper uppers’, be it in person or via skype/Facebook/whatever, is a spiritually nourishing experience. I’m lucky enough that I have several friends and people involved in my life who are this kind of person, someone who always pours into my cup and leaves me feeling better than I was before.

There are also the people who take from your cup. These can be people you love or like, even – I have friends and family who I know have taken from my cup, even if they are kind to me in words or actions or practical matters. These are the people you must limit time with, even if you care deeply for them. It is just a truism that in life, some people are givers and others are takers. Making sure you spend controlled amounts of time with the takers is an important part of caring for yourself – which is ESPECIALLY valid if you are chronically ill, with a physical, psychological, emotional, neurological, or WHATEVER type of condition. Because, in the same way as your spoons are limited, there is only SO MUCH emotional tea your cup can hold.

The most important rule?

LEAVE SOMETHING IN YOUR CUP FOR YOURSELF

I have cut out several people from my life who, however well intentioned, drained my cup past the point where I should have let them, leaving me no emotional energy to deal with day to day events. I’m neurodivergent, and it’s possible that I need a fuller cup for the necessities of life than other people do, and it’s important to figure out what your line should be to make sure you have enough left to deal with your own life. At the end of the day, dealing with your problems and celebrating your successes is more important than sorting out another person’s online drama or relationship issues. Help your friends cope with these things, by all means – in fact, doing so will probably lead to a stronger friendship – but MAKE SURE that the people in whom you invest your time and effort are also investing time and effort back into your life. Pour into each others’ cups, and you will both leave not only as full as you started, but with a more complex, nuanced and delicious brew to sip.

Prioritise. Put your needs high on that list, and make sure that your cup is full enough that your life isn’t left wanting because of bailing other people out. Keep your cup as full of tea as you can, because you never know when a huge even it going to come over and spill it all out. *Insert storm in a teacup joke here* . That is the time when you really need your friends, and when you will really know who are the ‘filler uppers’ and who are the drainers.

It’s a complex lesson to learn, and I’ve definitely oversimplified it here, but this post is inspired by words of advice a very wise Duck once gave me regarding a ‘friend’ at university, and a boyfriend of whom I have long since disposed.

Keep your teacups full, but not by being stingy – by filling your life with people, activities and things which will keep topping you up though the good and the tough times, and making sure you lend friends a teabag or two if they come knocking. Relationships matter, and you matter, and only by sharing tea and keeping some left in your own cup can you strengthen both.

Time for a cuppa, I think.

Rachel Rabbit.

Thought For The Day

If you’re ever feeling down about the way you look, remember this:

Some of the most beautiful people in the world have the ugliest knees.

No, really. I look at photos of models and actresses looking perfect, and then I realise their knees are really unpleasant.

THIS IS GOOD NEWS, because-

a – I have nicer knees than that model on Project Runway, and

b – Those ugly knees? They don’t stop those people from being incredibly beautiful.

So even if there is something you HATE about yourself (like my hands, my thighs, my jawline…), remember that even though those bits may not ever be perfect, that doesn’t mean that YOU’RE not wonderful and magical and glorious. The seeds of beauty lie in our imperfections.

So, today, challenge yourself and find something about you that is really really GOOD, be it aesthetically, functionally or emotionally. Like this:

AESTHETICALLY, I love my eyes, because they’re almond shaped and dark and borderline Disney-villanesque;

FUNCTIONALLY, I love my voice, because it’s clear and bright and happy;

EMOTIONALLY, I love my strong sense of self, because it grounds me and reminds me that no matter what anyone says, who I am is worthwhile and wonderful.

It’s not easy to find these things, but you MUST find them, because ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?!’

Can I get an amen up in here?

Rachel Rabbit

Merry Lushmas! (Part Two)

As promised, here is the second part to my Lushmas haul. The following were mainly purchased either in the Lush boxing day sale or on eBay, in a frantic attempt to get the things I’d missed!

 

So, firstly, here is the Merry Christmas box! This little chap had 5 bath products in it (from left to right and top to bottom): the Peeping Santa bubble bar (strawberry and shea butter); Dashing Santa bath bomb (mandarin, bergamot and orange flower); the MASSIVE Golden Wonder bath bomb (sweet orange, cognac and lime); the Lord of Misrule bath bomb (patchouli and black pepper); and the Cinders bath bomb (almond, sweet orange and cinnamon). Each of these is a product I would happily have bough alone, full price, and so to get all of them at a totally ridiculous sale price was a huge win.

Bonus – The box (which is clearly beautiful) STILL smells amazing, and it has been repurposed as my sensory First Aid box for when my Sensory Processing Disorder goes haywire (might do a post about this at a later date).

 

The 2015 Season’s Greetings gift box seems to be very different from the 2014 version – much smaller, much more ‘colour-themed’ and much more mascu-centric. I got it at a really good price on eBay, and found a lot of products which are really worth spending money on within. The Seanik shampoo bar is one of my all time faves, sharing its scent with the Sakura bath bomb and Rub Rub Rub body scrub – I’ve added it to my growing pile of little blue discs. The Lord of Misrule scent is one that I know I love (which will be demonstrated further as you continue reading this post…), so this little travel sized bottle is a handy thing to have for, say, hospital visits or hotel stays when visiting a far flung medical specialist. I’ve wanted to try Kalamazoo for AGES – I don’t have a beard, but I’ve been using it as a cleanser and it’s a wonderfully moisturising, creamy, pineapple-y face wash. And finally, the Outback Mate soap (nudge nudge wink wink) is one I intend to save until summer – eucalyptus, peppermint and lemongrass sound perfect for fighting POTS and staying cool on nasty, sticky summer days.

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A few individual  purchases made during my January splurge. First is the Reindeer Rock soap, delightfully redolent of lingonberries and cassis and bergamot (not totally unlike The Comforter). The reindeer design on the large slab of soap that this little guy was cut from is taken from a prehistoric French cave painting, which I think is pretty awesome. I was stoked to have one with a full reindeer on it! To the right is The Rough With The Smooth scrub bar (which you use to exfoliate in the shower). It share its scent with the Lord Of Misrule shower cream mentioned earlier, a strong and earthy mix of patchouli and black pepper which is incredibly strong and memorable. I accidentally bought two of these. #sorrynotsorry

 

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The GIGANTIC Holly Golightly bubble bar is a silver-and-green leviathan which turns your bath emerald and reeking of Christmas. Clove, cinnamon and patchouli make a super warming and relaxing bath to get you through the January blues. Funny story – mum picked mine up to look at it and it literally EXPLODED for no good reason, which was frankly the funniest thing I’d seen all year. No issues – we scooped it all back into the bag and I’ve been using the sieve method to bubble it up into the bath. Simples. Next up, is a giant LoM shower gel (WOO!) and a Aliens and Monsters FUN bar. This is a cylinder of soap-slash-playdough which is a surprisingly good multitasker – I use it when my carers are shaving my legs, and sometimes just as hand soap (because I’m a total rebel). This particular FUN bar is in shades of fuchsia/plum, hot pink and bright green (all of which bring me joy) and scented with the LoM fragrance, hurrah.  My only issue with this one was it comes with three sets of paper eyes to add to your sculpted FUN creations, and having those in the – slightly gooey – soap dough disturbed me and it really triggered my SPD when I was taking them out. But I powered though, potted the FUN up and now it’s paper free and ready to rock.

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The Unicorn Horn bubble bar is actually a spring product, and this one does look a tad sorry for itself compared to the photos of this product which Lush put to press. But I grabbed it when I saw it on eBay, as lavender, ylang ylang and neroli and three of my favourite fragrances and I really wanted to give it a go.  I’ll let you know if it has any life left in it when I get to using it. On the right is a little slab of Yog Nog soap – WHICH I ADORE. I’ve used it a few times in the bath/shower and it’s a true delight, combining soy yoghurt, clove and ylang ylang, with a good dusting of nutmeg on the top – it’s genuinely hard not to eat this. I haven’t licked it yet but I make no promises for the future. Future-me is a nut.

 

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Finally, I got a tiny bottle of this for far too high a price on eBay, but I had to see what the hype was about. Twilight Shower Gel. WHAT a glorious little bottle of goo. It smells of lavender, but not in a floral way – more a herby way, with creaminess added by tonka beans to make it an all round soothing and relaxing fragrance. It’s a winner, and I’m gutted that I missed out on nabbing some of this when it was in the Lush Kitchen recently. NEVER MIND – there will be other times, I am sure.

So, now that’s all done with, what Lush products are you wildly in love with? Did you discover any new ones this festive season? Are you, like me, deciding which ones shall come into hospital with you to make you feel a bit less ‘bleghh’ about the whole ‘having minor surgery’ thing?

Hope you’re all doing well and living life as best you can.

à bientôt!

Rachel Rabbit

Merry Lushmas! (Part One)

…And a Happy New Year!

My Christmas was filled with lovely things; family, food and Dan ‘helping’ crochet a lurcher jumper….

 

Additional loveliness was provided by Lush, via my Mother Duck. We did a Big Excursion in November/December last year to the Portsmouth branch of Lush, in my nearest highstreet. Duck had never been there before – thus,  we spent far too much time and money in there, and she ended up sorting out about 1/3 of my Christmas presents in one fell swoop.

These kinds of things make me feel more human – having products which smell nice to use when I do manage to have an assisted shower (or a bath with my bath lift) makes me feel less grotty after spending a week in PJs. Being able to put on scented moisturiser, or a face mask, or some fancy lipstick, makes me feel human again; as I guess some of you know, illness can make you feel like the worst kind of smelly slug monster, so this is one way of keeping my self esteem high and my body odour low.

 

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Here’s the pile of Duck-given goodies! Also, I’m going to mix in a few of the sale items I purchased in the Big Lush Boxing Day Sale. Now, let’s have a little riffle through the collection….

 

First, a present; and one which I was deeply excited about unwrapping. I already have two of Lush’s liquid lipsticks, and so when I saw Confidence, I already had an inkling that it would be general perfection. They are the most glorious lipsticks – they stay on FOREVER and are extremely pigmented. This colour is a dark brick burgundy/maroon kind of colour, with hints of cool blue lustre shining through when the light hits it. I am obsessed. My fave berry shade at the moment.

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Now, here’s a little something I got for myself – the It’s Christmas Deer gift box, at a drastically reduced price. This is full of epically Christmassy goodies , pictured in the top left circle (below): Beautiful, a gorgeous peachy, apricot-y shower gel; The Spirit of Christmas, a star shaped bubble bar, redolent of oranges, cinnamon and clove; Karma Kream, a body lotion scented with Lush’s famous Karma fragrance; Golden Wonder, a citrusy/congnac-y bath bomb which RATTLES when you shake it; and Snowcake, a little sweetie scented with rose and benzoin. This set was a STEAL at half price, and I am already working my way through it. I am in love with virtually all of these products. (Can you see a theme developing? Yeah, I kinda like Lush.)

 

 

Other bits which came in that order were the Magic Wand (top right), a reusable bubble bar in the same scent family as Lush’s seasonal favourite, Snow Fairy (excited to us this one!). Another bath bomb, Shoot For The Stars (bottom middle) – big, blue and invigorating, full of orange and bergamot to pep you up (even if you are suffering from painsomnia or P.E.M…!). Rub Rub Rub bar (bottom right) – an exfoliating bar, something which those of us with crocodile skin need use of, made floral and fancy with jasmine and cherry blossom. I also got a bunch of little testers which I have yet to explore – hurrah!

And, back to Christmas Presents! Here are some lovely body bits (alas, not new joints!). The big bar (top left) is one of my favourite things – a massage bar! Which can be used for massage (when someone is willing to work on my useless and knotty shoulders), but which I tend to use as a solid moisturiser. This one is Each Peach (and Two’s a Pear), a delightfully  joyful fragrance, full of sunshine and citrus and brightness.

Below is another moisturiser, this time non-solid; Charity Pot. This is a Lush staple, and for good reason – each pot sold, Lush gives 100% of the price (minus taxes) to a small charity. It’s a gorgeous lotion too, thick enough without being as greasy as my eczema creams (!), with a touch of cocoa and a whole heap of rose. I’m planning on buying a HUGE tub of this next time I get into town.

Lastly, a face mask (top right and middle right), recommended for its calming and anti-redness properties. Rosy Cheeks is another rose scented product, and it is TO DIE for. I struggle with face masks, but even though this felt tight while drying, it caused no irritation and left my skin feeling taught, fresh and brand new. Highly recommended – although best to skip it if rose isn’t your thing.

 

 

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Another sale item! (And thank you to Lush Portsmouth’s Twitter page for the photo – linked in the image – as I neglected to photograph mine before tearing it open and sniffing everything….) The Fire Cracker gift set is full of sparkly, delicious bath items – The Experimenter and Intergalactic bath bombs and Candy Mountain bubble bar. They all smell crazy good, but I have only so far sampled The Experimenter – it was a delight, filling the bath with a veritable rainbow of vetiver, vanilla and tonka, offset by an unexpected rumble of popping candy spreading through the bath. It was splendid. I look forward to trying the other two.

Back to mum’s presents – some assorted things to make my carer-assisted showers exciting. The Rose Jam fragrance is one that I love (having made very good use of the Pearl bubble bar earlier last year), and so I am excited to have it in a shower gel – I’m taking this little beaut with me to hospital later this month so that I can be fragrant for the surgeons.

The Avocado Cowash was recommended to me by Roma, a sales associate in Lush Portsmouth, and it’s scrummy. It’s a shampoo bar, but actually a solid conditioner, working on the premise of the CoWash (ie, only using conditioner to wash your hair). As my hair is bleached and dreaded, it needs moisture as and when I can get it, so this was a great shout. My carer used it today and, apart from wax-related issues (my bad!), it went really well. My hair now feels super soft and smells of lime cheesecake, so I’m sold!

 

 

FINALLY (for this post, at least.. hehehhh…), some bath bits from Duck.

The first little guy is a bath oil called Floating Island, a vanilla-y, sandalwood-y, lemon-y hit of fragrance and moisture to melt into the bath. I might combine this with a more drying bath bomb to make a mini-Lush Cocktail… but I haven’t decided yet. Tell me your thoughts!

The next chap is Milky Bath, a pretty gigantic bubble bar. Doesn’t look like much? Well, don’t let that fool you. I used half, thinking that would make for a subtly bubbly bath; boy, was I wrong. It created a veritable SNOWDRIFT of orange and patchouli scented bubbles, and filled the bath with silky, cocoa infused water. It was amazing. I gave Duck the other half and she thought it was ace too – and I brought another convert to the church of the bubble bar.

Lastly, another innocuous looking fella, the Stardust bath bomb. It’s strongly scented of vanilla, with a touch of bergamot thrown in, but I wouldn’t say it was the biggest hitter when it came to fragrance. Neither was it super visually appealing – as it fizzed, a bunch of dissolvable, multicoloured, star-shaped confetti appeared, which was cool, but you’re left in a murky white bath with floating, melting bits in it. Not too aesthetically fabulous. However – it was VERY moisturising. The water felt almost buttery, and it did my skin a world of good. So, not a total loss!

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So, I should warn you – THIS POST HAS A PART TWO. I bought some stuff on eBay, and a few more bits in the Lush sale (which kept going WAY longer than I expected),  so you’ll be seeing more ramblings about how things look and smell in a week or so.

After that, we’re back to regular programming – I’ve got a minor surgery later this month, so I’ll be filling you all in on what’s happening there. Happy days!

Love you guys, always – even when I’m neck deep in bubbles and ignoring the entire world.

 

Rachel Rabbit.

New Year, New(ish) Rabbit.

Hey guys!

 

Wow.

I have been awful at this blogging business of late, haven’t I?

As always, health got in the way of something I enjoy and I am cross about that. So I’m back! And I shall be posting  things again, even if they are asinine, vacuous nothings – because I LIKE writing, and I think I should keep it up, if only for the sake of my mental health.

My first REAL post should be up tomorrow – stay tuned if you like Lush. Because, dear Lord, there is going to be a lot of Lush-natter on here in the near future.

Happy New Year, chaps. I hope you all had a great festive season (my Christmas was poorly but lovely) and are enjoying the start of 2016.

Love ya’s all.

Rabbit