Mask Monday 10-Minute Challenge: Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask

The challenge begins again! And this time, we have a special guest: my sister Maddie! (Also known as Aggie).

Today we’re trying one of Lush’s famous fresh face masks. We would have gone for the chocolate one, but it had sold out. Alas. Instead we’ve purchased the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask, which is blueberry flavoured. Yay!


20:30 – Effie: Oh dear. There’s a puddle of liquid in the bottom of the tub. I knew I should have put it in the fridge…ah well, mixing it around a bit can’t hurt.

20:31 – Effie: Trying to get it to stick to my face. It sticks better than expected, which is good, but the blue/grey colour of the mask makes me feel like Shrek with a cold. At least I smell better than Shrek.

20:31 – Aggie: Blueberries blueberries!

20:31 – Effie: How does it feel Aggie?

20:32 – Aggie: I feel a bit like an avatar. Cos my face is blue.

20:32 – Aggie: I don’t really know. I don’t wear that many face masks. How am I supposed to feel?

20:32 – Effie: *checks packet* Calmed and cleansed. With blueberries.

20:32 – Aggie: Oh.

20:33 – Effie: For fun facts, it also contains calamine and chamomile, rose, and almond oils to soothe and soften the skin. 

20:33 – Aggie: My top lip itches.

20:33 – Aggie: YOU CAN’T WRITE THAT!

20:33 – Effie: It’s supposed to be truthful. My face is starting to go hard.

20:34 – Aggie: Mine already went hard. Now it’s kind of cracking.

20:34 – Effie: Maybe we should stop talking…

20:35 – Effie and Aggie both start rapping in French, because the last episode of Sex and the City is on the telly. “La belle et le bad boy” just came on.

20:36 – Effie: This is a really cool song.

20:36 – Aggie: MC Solaar.

20:37 – Effie: Alexander Petrovsky is such a twat.

20:37 – Effie: How does your face feel now?

20:37 – Aggie: Um. Um. Um. Hehehhehe.

20:38 – Effie: Don’t laugh, your face will crack.

20:38 – Aggie: Um…it feels…HAHAHAHA.

*both start laughing*

20:38 – Aggie: Kind of softy and cleansey.

20:39 – Effie: That works.

20:39 – Aggie: But my cheeks feel tight. Don’t say that out of context. My face cheeks. MY FACE CHEEKS.

20:39 – Effie: Is ok Aggie, my lips feel tight too.


20:39 – Aggie: And the corners of my nose feel tingly.

20:39 – Effie: My forehead itches.

20:42 – Effie: Is it time to wash it off now?

20:42 – Aggie: I dunno.

20:42 – Effie: It did say 5 to 10 minutes…

20:43 – Aggie: Lololol.

20:43 – Effie: What?

20:43 – Aggie: I burped…


…A few minutes later…


Effie: That was easier to wash off than I expected. It sort of melts under the water.

Aggie: I’m sleepy.

Effie: How does your face feel?

Aggie: It feels soft but not in an oily way. Most of the time when I do face masks, my face feels really tight afterwards, but this one just feels cleansed and not tight.

Effie: Yay! Thumbs up?

Aggie: Yeah. Would’ve liked more blueberries.

-The End-



Massive Ikea Haul!

20140517-232348.jpgNot so long ago I mentioned that I have recently been in the process of flying the nest. I’ve driven for five hours, found a job and a little flat in Manchester, and settled myself in one of those cute urban villages not far out of town.

As is the grand tradition of first homes, I have been feathering this new nest with Ikea. I’m renting the flat on a furnished basis, but dammit, I wanted a bookshelf.

I couldn’t get over how cheap Ikea was! When I went with my Mum, we spent a good couple of hours browsing things we didn’t need in the showrooms, whilst Dad sat in the car getting increasingly grumpy. Back home, our nearest Ikea is an hour and a half away, so having one at a significantly shorter distance felt very exciting. And Dad had his book and his iPod so it was all fine. Sort of.

Anyway, I bought a lot. Observe! (If you fancy, that is).


These little beauties were 95p each. NINETY. FIVE. PENCE. They make my entire bathroom smell of vanilla – even when they haven’t been lit for a week. Amazing.



This is the Benno DVD Tower. £18. Seriously!


I was inspired to purchase this little pot by Victoria at Inside My Wonderland, as it was part of her ‘Vanity Tour’ and looked so pretty! You can find that post here.


Practical purchases were also made. How cool are those bendy Drälla chopping boards? You can roll them up and pour things into pots much more neatly, and the malleability makes them so much easier to wash too. Oh, and a 2-pack is £1.40. Whaaat.


So much pink! The towel, bath mat, and loo brush are all from Ikea. The towel was a bit more expensive – about £11 I think – but it’s really big, so I like that. Also beware the loo brushes if you don’t own any ridiculously tiny screwdrivers – that one screw will drive you insane!


I’m really proud of this last bookshelf. It’s an update on the Expedit Series called the Kallax, and costs £45. I bought it after Mum and Dad left, so was on my own in Ikea. Lifting it off the warehouse floor, into the trolley was hard enough, as was lifting it from the trolley into my little car. Thankfully, if you struggle with a large cardboard flatpack for long enough, somebody will usually come and help you.

I got it out of the car ok when I got home again, and sort of waddle-walked it up to the front door, but getting it up the stairs to my flat was HARD. Especially as the package was taller than me and very heavy, and there was no obvious place to grip it without my hands slipping. It took a good five minutes to get up the stairs, and at one point I had to lie on top of it, panting and exhausted, halfway up. I got there in the end though, and put it together all by myself, so there’s a real sense of achievement whenever I look at it now!

Have you ever put flatpack furniture together? There are usually amusing stories associated with the experience, and I’d love to hear yours!

Thanks to Victoria for partly inspiring the trip! And to Dad for putting together the DVD tower while I unpacked my stuff. There seemed to be much less swearing when he Ikea-ed.

Swedish love,

Effie xx

Mask Monday 10-Minute Challenge: Dermalogica Anti-Bac Cooling Masque


20:27 – Back from a run again, so my pores are all nice and open. It’s time to try another masque from Mum’s spa haul – and this time it’s in a bottle! Fancy!

20:28 – This one isn’t like a masque I’ve tried before. It’s a sort of clear gel, and it smoothes onto the skin nicely.

20:29 – It’s supposed to be cooling though. I feel no cooling.

20:29 – That said, it’s meant to be soothing, isn’t it? I can tell this masque is gentle from the way it went on, so maybe that’s why I can’t feel a cooling tingle, like with other masks.

20:30 – So maybe it wouldn’t be that disastrous if I got this one in my eye. Or hair. Or nostrils.

20:31 – I wonder how this feels if you’ve got a lurker? If it’s anti-bac and cooling, it’s probably meant for lurkers…


20:33 – Maybe all these masques are good for my skin after all? Who knew? *reads the back of the packet*

20:34 – Oooh, it’s got some fancy essential oils in, this stuff. Rosemary, Sage, and Orange. With antibacterial and calming effects. Lovely.

20:35 – And menthol. Yo, Dermalogica, you’re menthol!

20:36 – Ew. Licorice extract…I hate licorice…

20:37 – I can hardly feel it on my face now. It’s certainly soaked in/dried off.

20:38 – You know what that means? I don’t have to wash it off yet!

20:39 – …Delaying tactics…

20:40 – Having added water to wash it off, it’s clear that there was something left on my face after all. Always deal with residue, readers. Always.

20:41 – Hmm. My face definitely feels more balanced oil-wise, and my nose pores have shrunk more than I’ve ever seen them shrink before.

20:42 – That said, I didn’t really like the experience. I couldn’t feel it working, the clear gel didn’t feel very luxurious…if you’re looking for something that delivers results, this is it. But if you want to make an event out of Mask Monday, or choose something for a girlie sleepover, or even just pamper yourself a bit, I wouldn’t choose this one if I were you. The chocolate ones you can buy in Asda’s are more fun than this.

Verdict: Boring but brilliant. Shame.

May Day May Day! – Part 2: Review

So yesterday you may have noticed that I had a little bit of a rant about badgers.

This is what Lush does with its charity projects – it makes you buy nice smelly objects that fizz in your bath, and then it makes you care about things.

Fortunately, I already cared about badgers, which is why I bought the adorable ‘May Day’ bath bomb which Lush had displayed in its window. Hopefully, though, now you too will care about the badgers. And that, beauty chums, is the lush thing about Lush.


I realise that the first paragraph of this post sounded a little bit crazy. I apologise. It’s very warm outside.

So anyway, although I purchased this bath bomb for its charity credentials, it also turned out to be a really nice product. The cute little badger face made it very difficult to cut in half, but luckily I was able to man up and get myself two nice baths for the price of one.


Doesn’t it look like a perfect, powdery snowball? The aesthetic appearance of this product actually gives a little clue as to the scent, which is very reminiscent of lemon sherbert. There’s something floral in the fragrance too, and according to the Lush website it includes fennel oil, bergamot oil, and rosewood oil for their various soothing, stimulating, and uplifting effects.


Despite its calming purpose, May Day did not disappoint when it came into contact with my bath, and was fizzing away merrily for at least a minute. I was a bit annoyed when it migrated to the side of the bath, as it made it harder to take pictures, but the little half-badger managed to do a good circuit of the bath before it disappeared completely.


You can just about see it fizzing in the top left corner of the bath there. Given the colour of this predominantly white badger, it didn’t change the colour of the bath water at all, but the fragrance was lovely.

The first time I tried May Day, it was after I’d been for a run, so I was a bit disappointed when the smell of the run stuck to me more than the smell of the flowery citrusbadger. However, for a soothing evening soak, it’s perfect.

May Day May Day! – Part 1: Background

Sorry to alarm you with that title. ‘May Day’ is actually the name of a new bath bomb from Lush, with an adorable badgery emergency theme.

May Day Badger 1


If you’re not from rural England, you might not know that in recent months, a lot of badgers have been killed in our country. This is because a lot of farmers got upset when their cows kept dying of tuberculosis. The distress is understandable, as the cows, after all, form an important part of their agricultural livelihoods. However, the next item in the story is a little bit less easy to get a grip on. The farmers wanted to stop the cows from dying, so, ever-logical and sensible, they picked up their guns and said “Let’s kill all the badgers!”

Apparently bovine vaccination wasn’t considered.

Anyway, the next thing we knew, there was a big clash between the farmers and The Badger Protection League. I may have made that last name up, but hey, it’s better than UKIP. The coalition government decided that a badger cull should be allowed, as it would supposedly prevent the transmission of TB between badgers and cows. I can sort of see how they made that leap, but it’s still a much more brutal solution than just giving the cows the BCG jab when they turned twelve, like they do for us hoomins.

My biomedical-science-studying sister is now probably crying at my level of understanding of microbiology and immunology. But hey ho, I studied English.

Either way, I think we can safely say that a badger cull was not the most obvious choice in this situation. Thousands rallied against the decision to allow it, including ‘Queen’ legend Brian May, who is in fact descended from badgers himself.* Nevertheless, the cull went ahead in two pilot areas in West Somerset and West Gloucestershire.

Except it didn’t. Farmers were given permission to complete the cull using a “free shooting” method, which basically meant that they were all allowed to tramp into the woods and kill hundreds of badgers as part of yet another violent countryside sport. It also meant that the cull was unsuccessful. The aim was to kill 70% of badgers in the two trial areas, and the crap shots failed to do this by a strong margin, despite extensions to the cull period. The BBC also reported, upsettingly, that up to 18% of the badgers killed took more than five minutes to die. In other words, they suffered, and because the cull didn’t do its job, they suffered for nothing.

Although the culls will not be rolled out nationwide in 2014, as first intended, further culls will still go ahead in the original pilot areas.

And that’s why Lush has released May Day.

All proceeds (excluding VAT) are going towards anti-cull projects in the UK, to help keep our badgery badgers alive. Go out and buy one, will you? If nothing else, it will help to stall the nationwide rollout of ineffective slaughter, and force the farmers and the government to consider a better solution. 

Sorry to bend your ear about badgers on a beauty blog, but because you all love Lush so much, I felt it was important to tell you the story behind the bath bomb. It’s Lush’s fault, really. Part 2: Review will be out shortly :)

Big, badgery love,

Effie x


*Probably not a fact.