Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lush Product Review

In the last six months I have become obsessed with Lush. After repeatedly walking past the store in our local mall and being intimidated by the interesting layout, I bravely ventured in. I was confronted by farmer's market-style displays that featured fresh face masks and piles of bath bombs. After several trips to three different Lush stores (including one in Paris), I have finally learned how to navigate the stacks and find things I like. 

One of the bath bombs I have had my eye on for a while is the Honey Bee. The colors and scent seemed so subtle that I imagined it would be a soothing touch of honey in the tub. It was a bit of a let down, though, as the scent was barely there and it left a weird brown residue in my bathtub. 

I couldn't find this next item on the website so I don't think they're selling it in this form anymore, but there is a similar gift set here. I received this as a present on my birthday and it consists of a shower jelly and a soap wrapped in a patterned fabric handkerchief. 

The Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly smelled amazing when I first opened it, a light fruity scent, but the consistency had me perplexed. I wasn't quite sure how to use this product as it is one solid piece with a thick gel feel. After consulting Google, I discovered the best method was to scoop a piece out of the tub with my fingers and rub it into a loofa until it produced suds. I enjoyed this and look forward to trying it again soon now that I know how. Yes, there were several failed attempts to use it without the loofa at first, which resulted in awkward fumbling and general wastefulness. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Adventures Abroad Part 2: London

To my great surprise, I preferred London over Paris, despite studying French in college and having a few too many accessories featuring the Eiffel Tower. As soon as we arrived at the Kensington-Close Hotel in the Kensington area of London, it felt like home. We quickly located the nearest coffee shop, a Café Nero up the street, and fell in love with its coffee, muffins, and free Wifi. There was also a Boots store, similar to Duane Reade in New York, right next door to the Café Nero, which we visited muktiple times that week for makeup and shampoo.

Our first full day in London we took the tube over to Covent Garden, a huge market area that had both indoor and outdoor markets. There were stands selling souvenirs, bakeries, restaurants, and one especially cute boutique that had a basement styled like a wine cellar. The Covent Garden market is broken up into sections depending on the type of stores there, with one covered marketplace that was similar to an American flea market. The small stores, most the size of a large walk-in closet immediately reminded me of Bryant Park in New York City at Christmas time. 

We walked around quite a bit and made some purchases before finding somewhere for lunch. In one of her YouTube videos, British Youtuber Zoella mentions a pizza place called Fire and Stone that was located in Covent Garden and had delicious food for a reasonable price. My favorite. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adventures Abroad Part 1: Paris

A few weeks ago my mom and I returned from our trip to London and Paris, but things have been so hectic that I haven't had a chance to sit down and write about it. I actually just purchased a new Macbook Air after having a white Macbook for 6 years, so now I am back to blogging.

Paris was amazing of course and definitely felt like more of a foreign country than London did, but my mom and I preferred London. That's not to say Paris wasn't amazing, it was, it just didn't feel as accessible as London. This was probably due to the language barrier as well as the cultural differences apparent in meal times, shopping, and such.

We stayed in the 1st Arrondisement in the Hotel Vendome, which is located in the beautiful and pricey Place Vendome. The area definitely prevented us from getting an authentic experience of everyday life in Paris, but there was something so surreal about walking out of the hotel to see Chanel and Cartier right next door. We were also conveniently located to major tourist sights such as the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay, without being right in the center of the crowds.

I don't really recall exactly at this point when we did what so I'm just going to cover some of the highlights of our trip. We read in our travel guide that the Louvre had special hours on Wednesdays and Fridays where they stay open until 11PM instead of their usual 6PM closing time. We walked over around 7 and went inside.