Review: Lush’s Garden Party gift set

Last Christmas, I was lucky enough to be given one of Lush’s beautiful gift boxes by my sibling.  Whilst everyone else was busy unwrapping boxes of chocolate and bottles of wine, I was in my own little world of cruelty free and vegetarian cosmetics.  Now that I’ve had a chance to use all of the products, I decided today would be a good time to round up the positives and negatives of each of the products.

Just to note: two of the products from this gift box, Rose Jam and Sleepy, are no longer available to buy as they were winter exclusive products. Apologies, but hopefully next winter you’ll be able to pick some up for yourself.

Respect Your Elders soap (vegan, £3.50 for 100g, link here)

Initially I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this product, as I’ve never been the biggest fan of using bars of soap.  However, I was won over by the scent of Respect Your Elders, which has a lovely, light berry fragrance.  It’s does a brilliant job of cleaning my hands as it lathers up very well, and the scent lingers on my hands for ages after each wash.

Ro’s Argan body conditioner (vegan, £16.50 for 225g, link here)

If you’re a fan of rosy scents, then Ro’s Argan is the product for you.  This body conditioner is extremely buttery and decadent, and it really makes me feel like I’m pampering myself when I use it.  I often get patches of very dry skin on my arms during winter, but Ro’s Argan has kept these at bay.

Sleepy body lotion (vegan, no longer available to buy)

When I went into Lush in December, I gave Sleepy a sniff and I honestly wasn’t a very big fan of the scent.  I also wasn’t a massive fan on Christmas morning, when I opened up the tub to give it another try.  However, I used the lotion one night after a shower and the fragrance absolutely transforms itself when it’s rubbed into the skin.  It’s a wonderful comforting fragrance of lavender, and it helped me drift off to sleep that night, as the name suggests.

Rose Jam shower gel (vegan, no longer available to buy)

If you want to have a wonderfully decadent shower, I recommend using Rose Jam, followed by Ro’s Argan.  The fragrance of roses lingers on the skin for hours after your shower – I couldn’t stop smelling my arms!  Rose Jam is an excellent shower gel, which cleanses effectively yet gently.

What do you think of these products? Which of Lush’s winter products are your favourites? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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Supporting local businesses in Sleaford: Katezart Designs, Crafts and Gifts

Now, anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time will know how much I love to support independent retailers and clothing brands – they’re such a great way to buy high-quality clothes that you won’t find on the hangers of every department store, as well as individual homeware and other accessories.

Since I returned to the little town of Sleaford for my summer break from uni earlier in the week (hence the silence on this blog – the last couple of weeks have been ridiculously hectic), I figured I should make the most of the independent retailers on my doorstep and go exploring in town.

First of all I went to Katezart Designs, Crafts and Gifts, located in the Bristol Arcade in the centre of town.  The store doesn’t just contain Katezart’s products – there are also a number of other small independent retailers who sell their wares in store on an individually hired shelf-by-shelf basis.

The atmosphere is really lovely, and honestly I could have walked out of there with an empty bank account and half of the stock of the store.  However I settled for purchasing a set of four drinks coasters with an awesome retro comic book design.

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The design is great quality, and they feel like they will last for a long time.  Plus, at only a fiver for four coasters, they were a bit of a bargain too!  Their website is a little bit outdated, so check out their Facebook page for up-to-date photos and information about what’s in stock at the moment.  I especially love their collection of scarves, as well as their clutch bags and purses made out of old reclaimed vinyl.

I find it so satisfying, purchasing from independent retailers and knowing that my money goes directly towards keeping the business alive.  I would always recommend buying locally if at all possible.  If you’re ever in Sleaford or the surrounding areas, I suggest you take a look in Katezart’s store for yourself!

In a few days time I’ll be writing about the other independent shops I visited in little old Sleaford, so keep an eye out for that.  Until then, TTFN!

Currently listening to: Rescue MeYou Me At Six & Chiddy