Hi altrocklifers! You probably wouldn’t believe it if you looked out of the window today, but summer is drawing ever closer. As the weather gets warmer, we must say goodbye to our boots and shoes and replace them with sandals and flip flops, and those poor feet that haven’t seen the light of day in six months are suddenly exposed to the outside world. When you’re constantly wearing proper shoes and slippers it becomes easy to neglect your feet, so if you’re looking to get summer ready, or just give your toes a treat, here’s my foolproof method to get gorgeous feet.
You will need:
A pumice stone, or electric foot exfoliator – I use the SilverCrest electric hard skin remover
This exfoliator is a low effort way to tackle hard skin.
Can’t beat a bit of Lush!
This product is full of gritty pumice and clay.
This scrub is the perfect shape to hold whilst using it on your feet.
You simply cannot beat this foot cream!
Step one – exfoliate
Exfoliation is always the best way to start a foot routine, especially if it’s been a while since you last looked after your feet! There are all sorts of manual exfoliators available, some from as little as £1 from discount shops, but I personally like to use the SilverCrest electric hard skin remover. It gently removes any built-up hard skin on the heel and balls of your feet, and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth. If it’s been a long time since you last exfoliated your feet, I can guarantee that this will be extremely satisfying.
Step two – mask ’em up
Next up, it’s time to grab your Volcano. I recommend applying this sat on the edge of the bath or with your feet in the shower tray, as you wouldn’t want to spill this anywhere! I apply Volcano in a thick layer on the bottom of my feet, focusing on the heel, the balls of my feet, and the bottom of my big toe, as this is where I get the most hard skin build up. The Lush website recommends using the mask all over the foot, but I don’t find it makes much difference to the skin on the top of my foot. This also means the pot lasts longer, so that’s a plus too! Once you’ve applied the mask, take your plastic bag and tie it at the ankles, to stop the mask drying out too much. I also put a pair of thick socks over the top of the bags, to help keep my feet warm which prevents the mask from drying out. I then leave the mask on for anywhere up to half an hour.
Step three – get scrubbing
Now it’s time to remove the mask. I tend to take a folding chair into the shower with me, so I can sit down whilst rinsing off my feet and prevent slipping over, but if you can think of a better method, let me know! I take the bags off my feet, get my hands wet, then gently massage the mask into my feet for a couple of minutes. Then, I use my hands to rub the mask away. Once my feet are clean, I grab my Pumice Power foot soap and scrub it into the same areas I applied the mask to. Leave the orange scented lather on your feet for a couple of minutes before rinsing away. Get out of the bath or shower and pat your feet dry gently with a clean towel.
Step four – moisturise
The final step of this routine is to apply a generous layer of Heel Genius all over your feet. I can’t recommend this product enough – I’ve been using it for years to maintain the softness of the bottoms of my feet, and I find it’s the perfect ending to this routine. Just pop a pair of clean socks over the top to allow the cream to soak in without walking it all over your home.
So, there you have it! Have you used any of these products before? What did you think? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.
Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, and discuss my recent foray into purchasing from ethical cosmetics giant, Lush. The company, which had humble beginnings in Poole in 1995 (the year I was born!) has reached worldwide acclaim for their 100% vegetarian and cruelty free products.
Now, Lush always seemed like a niche shop to me, and I used to be quite nervous about going inside and asking questions. Plus, a lot of their long term customers, AKA Lushies, can be a little bit fanatical about the brand. I went pescatarian last May and fully vegetarian in January, so since then I’ve been making a more conscious effort to purchase toiletries from cruelty free and vegetarian brands. I’m very glad I did, as the products are fantastic and I can use them guilt free! Plus, all of the staff in my local branches (Bournemouth whilst at university and Lincoln whilst at home) are absolutely lovely and were brilliant at helping me find the best products for my skin and hair.
I’m going to go over the products I’m currently using and how I feel about them, as well as products I’ve tried in the past and didn’t continue to use and why.
Soak And Float – solid shampoo bar
I’ve always struggled finding suitable shampoo, as I have mild dandruff and medicated shampoo only ever managed to keep the worst of the flakes at bay. Thankfully, Soak And Float is absolutely fantastic at calming my scalp, and I’ve seen nary a flake since starting to use this solid shampoo about two months ago. It’s fantastic value for money as well: Lush suggests that each bar lasts up to three months, but because I have very short hair I think mine will last even longer than that. Scent wise, I can’t put my finger on what the dominant scent of this product is, but it’s quite gentle and a little sweet.
Price: £5.95 for 55g Recommended for: People with sensitive scalps or dandruff Status: Vegan My rating: ★★★★★
American Cream – conditioner
American Cream has mixed reviews across the board: some hail it as a conditioner deity, others think it smells like curdled milk or baby sick. Personally I lean much further towards the former. Whilst I don’t think this conditioner smells like strawberry vanilla like it’s supposed to, it does have a sweet, pleasant creamy smell which reminds me of crème brûlée before you caramelise the top. I have fairly thick hair, and this conditioner is thick enough to thoroughly condition whilst being light enough not to weigh down my natural curls.
Price: £9.95 for 250g Recommended for: People with normal to thick hair Status: Vegetarian My rating: ★★★★☆
Hair Custard – hair dressing
Last time I went to Lush in Lincoln the person who served me suggested I give Hair Custard a go, and I’m glad they did. It’s a light, creamy product with a strong vanilla fragrance which I use to fight the frizz which comes hand in hand with curly hair. I also use it as a light styling product to keep my curls in place. The product is ideally used in wet hair before blow-drying, but because I leave my hair to air-dry I don’t know how well it works in that way. I’ll definitely be buying a full sized tub next time I go to Lush.
Price: £12.95 for 100g Recommended for: People who want to tackle frizz or hydrate their hair Status: Vegetarian My rating: ★★★★☆
Cup O’ Coffee – face and body scrub
I absolutely love coffee, so I was drawn to Cup O’ Coffee straight away. It has a very sweet, chocolatey smell, with crushed coffee beans which add the exfoliating touch. I have combination skin – oily in some places and dry in others – so the crushed coffee beans help to exfoliate away dead skin, and the agave syrup and coriander oil soothes and moisturises. You can use this product to exfoliate your body too, but at the moment I only use it on my face.
Price: £6.75 for 150g Recommended for: People who get dry, flaky skin Status: Vegan My rating: ★★★★★
Popcorn – lip scrub
This was part of a lovely birthday gift from my sister, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. It’s lasted a very long time, and it does wonders for exfoliating my lips. I get very chapped and dry lips, especially in the winter, so I like to exfoliate with Popcorn and apply a moisturising lip balm before bed. It’s got a lovely sweet taste, and actually does smell like popcorn! Bonus.
Price: £5.50 for 25g (but it lasts a really long time!) Recommended for: People who frequently get chapped lips Status: Vegan My rating: ★★★★☆
The Olive Branch – shower gel
At first I was a little nervous about using this product, as it contains olive oil and I was worried I would end up with more spots on my back and chest than before. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case, and The Olive Branch helped my dry arms and legs become smooth and moisturised. It has a lovely citrus scent thanks to the mandarin and bergamot oil. It is very runny, which took me aback when I first used it, but once you get the hang of how much you need a bottle goes a long way.
Price: £9.95 for 250g Recommended for: People with dry skin Status: Vegan My rating: ★★★★★
PRODUCTS I NO LONGER USE AND WHY
Veganese – conditioner
I absolutely love the scent of Veganese – it has a very strong and refreshing lemon scent. The product was recommended to me by one of the members of staff in the Lincoln store, because I was looking for a fairly light conditioner that wouldn’t weigh down my curls. Unfortunately for me this conditioner was too light, and didn’t leave my hair feeling conditioned at all. I passed Veganese on to my Mum, who has straighter, thinner hair than I do. She really likes it, so I can vouch for it being a good quality product, but it just wasn’t right for me.
Price: £9.95 for 250g Recommended for: People with normal-to-thin, straight hair Status: Vegan My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Angels On Bare Skin – face and body cleanser
I actually used up two whole pots of this cleanser before moving to Cup O’ Coffee, and it really served me well whilst I was using it. It has a very strong lavender scent, which I love, but others seem to find overpowering. The ground almonds in this cleanser exfoliated my skin whilst the chamomile and lavender calmed and soothed. Unfortunately I found that it didn’t exfoliate enough, and my face was left with patches of dry, flaky skin. I also found the process of adding water to the product before mixing to a paste quite tedious.
Price: £7.25 for 100g Recommended for: People with slightly dryer skin who don’t need too much exfoliation Status: Vegan My rating: ★★★☆☆
Are you a fan of Lush? Have you tried any of the products above? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.