I am a LUSHIE!!!

Ever since I got my first Tarte product, see previous post, I have been on the lookout for products that do not support animal testing. I have always been an animal lover, so any brands that has the leaping bunny symbol makes me so excited! That is also one of the main reasons I started using Tarte cosmetics.

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Although I know that all cosmetics or skin care should be tested, it should be done on human volunteers and not on animals. Not only do animals not have the same genetic make up as us (hence what works on them might not work on us, and vice versa), they do not have a choice. I seriously doubt bunnies and monkeys need any form of make up or skincare applied on them.

So when I learnt of this brand called Lush, from Marzia Cutiepie, raving about BIG shampoo from Lush, I immediately went to check this brand out. BIG is basically a shampoo that consists of sea salt, so it adds tons of volume to your hair.

I went on to research further about this brand, and I have to say, I LOVE THEIR PHILOSOPHY! Not only do they fight against animal testing (founders have been fighting against animal testing for years, and they don’t do business with any supplier that supports animal testing), they use natural products (they are all biodegradable), makes their products by hand using little to no preservatives, packaging is all recycled and they support community fair trade. What is there not to love?

I was so excited about Lush that I went down to their outlet a few days later. Although they are not the most convenient, but I somehow managed to persuade my man to bring me there, and I wasn’t disappointed. The whole shop looks so fun! Although it can be a tad daunting since there were so many products, covering every corner of the shop, the staff were really friendly and patient, answering my silly questions.

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One day, I will get my hands on these when I get a bath tub

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I had a few products in mind that I wanted to try since they had raving reviews, mainly Angels on Bare Skin, Dark Angels and Herbalism, but since it was my first time there, I decided to just ask the staff what is suitable for my skin.  I went there particularly to look for a facial scrub and maybe a hydrating mask, since the only mask I have at home is my Glamglow Super Mud mask, which was meant for clarifying, doing nothing much for the moisturizing department, in my opinion. I also wanted to get the BIG shampoo, however, the staff said that it will cause my bleached and dyed hair colour to wash away. The staff seemed really enthusiastic about their products, unlike any other brands (I’m looking at you, Sephora!). She recommended me Ocean Salt for my oily skin, and since I told her my skin is a tad sensitive, she recommended me the self-preserving ones, only difference between the two is that the self-preserving ones are a lot more gentler and do not have any preservatives; like Parabens.

She then went on to recommend me a few masks that are freshly made, so they need to be refrigerated when not in use, or else they will go mouldy (eeewww).  I tried the Cupcake on my left hand and Cosmetic Warrior on my right. To be honest, one of the main reason I went with Cosmetic Warrior, is that the colour does not resemble fecal matter. Also, the smell of cupcake is too sweet and offputting.

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How can anyone not feel hungry? These are face masks and not ice-cream. Now chant that while choosing a mask to use.

While I tested and talked to the staff, my man went browsing around the store, and a soap called Porridge, caught his eye. He started joking about it, saying how we can eat it if we’re hungry in the shower, and what do you know, he bought said soap and a exfoliating scrub soap bar called Sandbox. It was surprising to me, since my man is one that only sticks to certain brands for life, even if it does nothing for his skin. I love how you can just tell the staff how much soap you intend to buy and they just cut it to that portion, feels like buying meat in a marketplace, since the prices stated are per 100 grams.

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Finally done with my purchase and on the way home, really excited to try it.

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The review:

I bought both the Ocean Salt and Cosmetic Warrior in small sized, since this was my first time trying this brand, just in case, ya know, it doesn’t work. Although a lot of people says its pricey for such a small tub, about SGD$26 each, personally I do not mind paying, since I know they are fresh and handmade, and knowing that I’m supporting so many good causes with my purchase. And c’mon, these are a lot cheaper than the Glamglow mud mask and facial wash that I have raved about, those tubs are waaaaay smaller and costs 3 times as much!

Ocean Salt

IMG_5287 IMG_5288The first thing that hits you when applying this was the smell. Maybe this is the same for all their products, but the smell of this reminds me of sipping Lime Magarita by the seaside. Slowly it became a bit warm as you scrubbed on, maybe due to the vodka in this formula (yes, there’s vodka in this). This is quite grainy as there is course seasalt in this. At first, I was a bit worried, since I had a few really painful pimples on my face and this is literally applying salt to wound. But all i got was a slight tingly sensation, and the warming effect. However, after washing off, AWW MAA GAAWWDD, my skin has not felt so soft! Its amazing! It also comes with this sticker at the side, which tells you who made the formula you’re using, when he/she made it and when you should use it by. Reminds you of Freeds Classics no?

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Sorry if this is super blur. It says that this product is made by Imrek. So , HI IMREK!!

As you can see, almost everything on the ingredients list is recognizable and natural (please ignore the hole in the cloth, it was quite late last night when I took these pictures)IMG_5292

Cosmetic Warrior

After using the Ocean Salt as a scrub, I used the Cosmetic Warrior as a mask. As this has been in the fridge, the cooling sensation of the mask was really quite something. Although there has been tons of reviews saying how bad this smells, I personally enjoyed the smell of it, and thought that it was quite relaxing. This contains antibacterial garlic and tea tree oil to rid of breakouts, egg whites for pore tightening and honey. I left it on my face for about 10 mins, since they said to wash off before the product dries and GAAWWDD, my face was sooo smooth and soft its unbelievable! Angry pimples seemed to have calmed down a bit as well. I know I keep saying ‘GAAWWWD’, but that was seriously what I thought while in the bathroom using these products.

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Only downside of this mask, is that it has a really short shelf life, about 3 weeks, when stored in the fridge, due to the natural ingredients that is used.

So far, I’m in love with the products that I’ve got. My man has yet to try his soaps since they require a soap dish to store it properly, and he’s got none. But I’ve got to say, homegirl here is a convert. Where has Lush been all my life and why am I knowing this brand only now??  If there are any Lush products that are Holy Grail status, or in your opinion is really good, please do let me know!

I am a LUSHIE!!!

Signing Off~

Aquarium Overhaul

I had a bout of itchy green fingers again, and browsing through Pinterest, looking at the lush aquariums some people have done, isn’t exactly helping. Since last week was a long weekend in Singapore as Polling Day falls on a Friday (which I hope, all my fellow Singaporeans got whoever they voted for), I decided to give in, because what better to get rid of temptation?

I went Driftwood hunting a few weeks back, in the pursuit of that perfect, branchy looking one. Finally, I ended up with 2, rather nice looking ones. I had the idea of putting both of them into the tank, and went on to soak them in hot water for about 2 weeks prior to the overhaul, trying to get rid of any nasty stuff and tannin (boiling would be best, but I doubt I will be allowed to ‘cook’ my wood in pots used for cooking, with my germaphobe dad around).

Polling day came, my man bought me Macdonald’s breakfast, because, what better way to start the morning but with hot pancakes and scrambled eggs, before I went to do my part as a citizen, secretly hoping the potentially elected will result in a 5th mall in my area, and maybe, just maybe, Chacott will open a store here (hint hint). Anywaaay, after citizen business, its back to my tank. I drained about half the water out of my tank, which required several huge pails, since my tank is about 14 gallons, or 60 litres, not exactly fun. Luckily, my man was around to do the heavy duty. I then removed most of my plants, since it might be easier to get my fauna out without the obstructions. Which led to a conundrum, yanking my plants out will lead to an ammonia spike, which is why I wanted to remove my fauna in the first place. So which comes first?

In the end, I tried to remove the plants as gently as I could, praying that each cloud of dust will settle soon. At the same time, trying to remove as much fauna as I could into a little pail with an airstone, with little success, since I only managed to get about 1/3 of the population out. The Platys and Betta are not much of a problem, since they are relatively slow, some rummy noses were caught by trapping them against the glass and net, the Celestial Pearl Danios proved impossible, and the Shrimps and Otocinclus, needless to say, are impossible. I’m sorry to say, homegirl here has no patience in catching fishes. By now, I have removed most of my plants, except those that I thought looked good in that area and my tank was as hazy as Singapore right now. Occasionally, I managed to catch a glimpse of red (from the remaining rummy noses in the tank).

I kept the filter of the main tank running, to try to get rid of the cloudiness. I then proceeded to put in the Driftwood. Lo behold, homegirl has overestimated the size of her tank once again, and putting both driftwoods in would be impossible. It’s ok, I can work with one. Rescaping the soil would not be a great idea since I still have some fauna in there and I have no wish for them to die from the Ammonia (my heart breaks whenever one of them dies, don’t judge!).

After close to 5 hours of all these shenanigans, I am now really proud of my tank. It looks so much better and less cluttered than before! Still waiting for the Microswords and Micranthemum Monte Carlo to carpet…

So here’s the before…….

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….. and the after

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Let my know your thoughts, if anything else can be improved.

On the ballet front, I haven’t been going for classes, since I had exams and then it was term break for my ballet school. I feel awfully guilty for not attending classes as regularly. Anyhow, World Ballet Day is coming up soon (1 October!), and I’m super excited. They will be streaming 5 ballet companies LIVE on Youtube! It seems just yesterday, I was camping in front of my laptop, with bags of chips, and feeling the pangs of jealousy of how my extensions are not as high, or that petite allegro still befuddles me, BUT STILL, watching them practice is really inspirational! Even genius ballerinas do not get away with training! 23 hours of watching behind the scenes footage from The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and San Francisco Ballet.

Here’s the schedule if you need it:

British Standard Time
3 am – 8 am: The Australian Ballet live from Melbourne
8 am – 11 am: The Bolshoi Ballet live from Moscow
11 am – 4 pm: The Royal Ballet live from London
4 pm – 9 pm: The National Ballet of Canada live from Montréal
9 pm – 2 am: San Francisco Ballet live from San Francisco

Eastern Standard Time
10 pm – 3 am: The Australian Ballet live from Melbourne
3 am – 6 am: The Bolshoi Ballet live from Moscow
6 am – 11 am: The Royal Ballet live from London
11 am – 4 pm: The National Ballet of Canada live from Montréal
4 pm – 9 pm: San Francisco Ballet live from San Francisco

Signing off~