THE MUST-TRY LIST: RADICAL SKINCARE.

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Radical skin care is a a brand I’ve been hearing about from UK bloggers for years now, but until recently I hadn’t head much buzz about the products Stateside. Which is ridiculous, because let me tell you, they’re life-changing. Yes, I really said that. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Lets be honest for a second here. My skincare shelf/stash is constantly overflowing with products, so coming to the point where. I’m completely committed to not just one, but THREE different products from a single brand, so much so that I won’t travel without every single one, is something to write home about. I recently got the chance to test out their Hydrating Cleanser*, Instant Revitalizing Mask*, and new SPF, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30*, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m hooked. I’ve been using the products steadily for a few months now to really get a feel for how they work into my routine, and at the moment, I can’t see myself ever being caught without all three in my stash. The Hydrating Cleanser* was my introduction to the brand; it was the first product I heard about from the range (thanks to Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup), and is probably my favorite of the bunch. Though meant as more of a post-cleanse after you’ve taken off the bulk of your makeup, I’ve been using this religiously as my morning cleanser and have found that it dipoles wonders , to really brighten and plump dull tired skin. A dollop of this massaged onto dry skin is the perfect morning facial that smells lovely and feels oh-so-wonderful. Additional note: I’m a sucker for peach, and the peach shade of this cleanser instantly gets rid if those Monday morning blues. Peach or non-peach-colored, this stuff is damn good. it’s on the pricier end of cleansers at $45 a pop, but I’ve been using my tube every morning, as well as some nights, for around three months now and I’m not even halfway done with the tube. 100% worth the price tag. The Instant Revitalizing Mask* does what it says on the tin: perks up dull skin and injects a good serving of hydration while leaving skin feeling clean afterwards. The brand describes it as: “the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy, and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions. It leaves skin amazingly revitalized, healthy, and glowing.” I must say, this is without a doubt one of the most fun products you’ll ever put on your face. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and it fizzes, pops, and bursts as the mask does its work, giving a lovely tingling sensation that tickles rather than stings. It’s the perfect pick-me-up mask for days when you need a quick fix for sallow or tired looking skin that leaves it looking refreshed and awake, as well soothing any redness or irritation you might have going on. A foolproof fix I’ll never be caught without in my skincare trove. The final product is the brand’s newest product, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30. We’ve all heard it before: SPF, SPF, SPF. Sun damage, they say, is the #1 source of wrinkles. But let’s be honest, no one wants to oil on yet another layer of product in the morning before we get to work on the tough job of putting on the daily face. Unless, that is, you’ve got an SPF in your arsenal that’s too light to detect on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast, and pumps up the glow factor, making your skin look dewy and lot-from-within before you’ve applied a drop of makeup on top. Enter, Radical Skincare’s solution to the sunscreens of days past. It looks slightly pink when squeezed out of the tube, but even on my über yelllow-toned skin it blends in effortlessly and doesn’t leave an odd tint behind. It does contain a bit of shimmer to add some dew to the mix, but on the skin it’s undetectable disappearing to add a seamless glow to the face. I know, we’re getting a little glow-heavy here, but there really isn’t a better word to describe the effect this gives. It doesn’t add any oil to the skin or have a that odd silicone-y feel, but simply does what it claims to: blurs imperfections and enhances the look of skin before makeup, giving a dose of protection without feeling like an extra layer of product. Enough said.

Have you tried anything from Radical Skincare?

FRIDAY FIXER.

bathtime routine

friday fixer 2I do my best to have a pamper night every Friday; I think it really helps to be able to just unwind after a long week. A good book, lots of candles, and of course a yummy-smelling bath bomb usually do the trick for me, so I thought I’d share my usual routine today. I tend to buy Lush bath products over more high-end oils; I just find them a bit more fun and obviously cheaper (although I do have my eye on the aromatherapy associates deep sleep oil). I usually pop in a half a bath bomb with some of my Apotheke-m shower oil which is basically a glorified bubble bath that smells like a fig grove in Greece. I kid you not. This week’s bath bomb of choice was the Luxury Lush Pud, which you might have seen in my Lush haul a few weeks ago here. It turns the bath this majestic shade of fuschia with little bursts of color, but has the same scent as my all time favorite bath bomb, Twilight. On the candle front, I usually opt for my three favorites: Yankee Candle’s Salted Caramel and Whoopie Pie (the most incredible chocolate scented item there ever was), and Bath and Body Works’ Mahogany Teakwood. I usually keep tea-sized versions on hand to pop on the side of the bath; it’s just easier than trying to fit three large candles on top of my tub (not to mention cheaper.) As a chronic film buff, I’ve been reading Roger Ebert’s “The Great Movies, which is every cinephile’s dream read. What are your must have bath time products?

A VERY LUSH CHRISTMAS.

Let it come as no surprise, I am a huge lushie. I love most everything about the brand, from their whole natural philosophy to their adorable merchandise. So I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t at least a little giddy when their Christmas collection came out. The full collection includes over 30 different bath and body products, as well as a few skincare bits. I recently popped into the shop after a trip to my not-so-local Ikea store, but I mainly stuck to bath bombs, with a few scrubs in the mix.

cindersFirst up, meet Cinders. This one’s described as a “warming cinnamon crackler” by the brand, and it’s priced at $4.95 here. It’s meant to give you the experience of sitting fireside, and I have to admit it does make your tub look (and smell) like a vat of bubbling cider. While it did fizz when first popped in and bubbled for a while, I had expected more of the “crackling” action to be going on; instead, there’s a few pops in the beginning and then it kind of settles to a normal bath bomb experience, although it did leave my skin feeling soft and smelling yummy after use. It’s nice, but I don’t think I’ll be stocking up on this one for the year.

snowmanNext, we’ve got the scrumptious vanilla ballistic, Snowman, priced at $5.95. For any Butterball lovers, this one has the same scent, if in a bigger size. Lush says that, “Snowman’s cocoa butter melts into hot bath water to get skin seriously soft,” which I have to agree on. I’m a big Butterball fan myself, and this cute rendition is irresistible. Love.

secret santaAs soon as I saw this next one in the store, I almost fell over it’s so freaking cute. Enter, Secret Santa. Here’s what Lush has to say about this one: “Modeled after the very first LUSH Shop in Poole, England, this limited edition holiday invention holds an exclusive new perfume called 29 High St! Drop the entire house into your tub or break it in half for two baths and revel in the cheerful orange water as notes of jasmine, lime, tonka and Sicilian lemon envelop your senses.” This definitely smells of a lush shop (I’m even considering picking up that new perfume just because it smells so damn good) and I love that you can break it into three pieces and get three full baths out of it. It’s on the pricier side of their bath bomb range at $9.95, but totally worth it in my opinion for the large size. My personal favorite.

bombardinoThe undisputed winner of cutest bomb (which sounded way better in my head) is baby Bombardino. This little guy smells of lemon cheesecake and is supposed to have a bit of champagne in there too. In summation, he smells divine. Great quickie bath and great gift, especially for kids.

puddy in your handsLet me preface these next two bath ballistics by saying that I’ve got some pretty amazing friends, one of whom was shopping at the nearest Lush and immediately called to ask what I wanted her to pick up. SQUEAL. First we have Mr. Pud (whose full name is Luxury Lush Pud, if you were wondering.), who smells exactly like my all-time favorite, Twilight, but with festive colors. I love this one, and I love that it’s big enough to split into two baths, since I hate only getting one use out of bath bombs.

sex bombThe second bath bomb she picked up for me, which is actually not a part of the Christmas line but their most popular item I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, Sex Bomb. They’re not kidding, this one smells seriously sexy. It’s packed with Jasmine, among other things like Sandalwood to keep things sweet but a bit musky.

oh yes, please pass me my ponchoOff the bath train and into the shower, I picked up the Ponche shower gel. This stuff smells amazing, especially for those mornings when you’re feeling particularly groggy. It’s got orange and tequila in it, and really gets me going for the day. I would say use a scrub afterwards, as it leaves things a little film-y, which would normally be fine, but because of the color, it is a bit annoying to towel off and see that the cloth has turned orange-y. Guilty as charged.

I did also pick up the Popcorn Lip Scrub and was given the Santa’s Lip Scrub as another gift by the same amazing friend (are you sensing a trend here?), and I have a review on both to come, so stay posted!

We are also still in the midst of Blogmas, and the giveaway is ending in six days! If you haven’t already entered, please do so below! What are your favorites from the Lush Christmas 2013 line?

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WOMT #1: ESSIE LAPIS OF LUXURY

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Oh, I do love a good pastel blue. This one is no exception, but it’s a bit of a twist on your classic sky-blue, with more periwinkle and purple-ish undertones. While the shade IS gorgeous, the formula is kind of funny compared to your usual creamy, milky pastel polish, since this one’s really sheer. Here, I had to layer on three coats to get full opacity, but a white base might help.  All in all, a gorgeous spring and summer shade if you’re willing to put in extra work. While this was from a resort collection a few years’ back, you can get it here.