July Empties!


Empties time! I’ve used up quite a lot of products this month, so let’s get straight to it!

P1010149Haircare first – I finished up my Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine shampoo, eventually. I loved the shine this product gave me, but hated the tendency it had to get in my eyes EVERY SINGLE TIME I washed my hair. I am a grown up. I can wash my own hair. But not with this. I even left it at home during summer term for my brother to finish, but he didn’t like it either, so I had to slog through the last bit. Nice hair once the pain was over, though!

I also used a whole bottle of Alberto Balsam Raspberry conditioner. This is probably my Holy Grail conditioner – it’s cheap, and it does a great job, and it smells good! I rotate between raspberry, blueberry and pomegranate, whichever I find, and don’t think there’s really any difference between them.

Then there’s the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner. I did like these, but if you’ve checked out my detailed review, you’ll know that I thought they were overpriced, and not as good as the old formula. Shame.

P1010150In terms of moisturising bits and pieces, with the heatwave and a sunburned arm, I got through quite a bit. I finished off my night cream, Nivea Pure and Natural Regenerating Night Cream, which I like and would use again, although I am a little bit bored of it, and am always on the hunt for rose or peach scented creams. Body-wise, I used up my sample of Lush Dream Cream, which is gorgeous, and a small bottle of Bio Oil that had been kicking around for ages. Dream Cream is the perfect summer moisturiser; Bio Oil is nice, but quite messy to apply – probably one best saved for winter if you’re planning to use it all over. Then finally, NSpa Coconut Ice Cream Body Cream, which was a really nice, slightly-lighter-than-body-butter cream. Unfortunately, NSpa doesn’t make this scent any more, which is a shame, because it’s one of the few coconut scents I like.


Bits and bobs! Yes, that is the matching shower gel to the coconut body cream above, NSpa Coconut Ice Cream shower gel. This is quite nice, but the little bottle was too hard to squeeze, and I wouldn’t choose coconut for myself, even though this is quite a nice one.

Then there’s the tiny sample of Lush Aqua Marina face wash, which actually lasted me a good two months of every day use – imagine how long you’d get out of a big pot! I loved the consistency of this and the clean but moisturised feeling it left on my skin, but I did feel it smelled a bit fishy. Literally. A bit like tuna. If I can get over that, I’ll buy it again, because I’ve realised that I hate foaming face wash, and I think Aqua Marina might actually be unique on the market.

I used this ancient sample-sized No7 Total Renewal Microdermabrasion Exfoliator as a body scrub – waaaay too scrubby for my face, and I normally love scrubby! This is so old I have no idea if they even make it any more! Yes, boringly, there’s deodorant in there – Sure Crystal Clear Pure deodorant (wow, put a lot of clean words in there!) which was fine, but I prefer not to use a spray deodorant.

P1010155And finally, two little Lush pots that slipped through just after I’d taken the photo of everything together! BB Seaweed face mask, which I didn’t love as much as Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask, because I thought it smelled a bit garlicky… and Volcano foot mask, a present from the lovely Miranda – you can see my review of this here!

I have one more product I used up this month, but it’s a very special one that I’ve already repurchased, and I want to do a separate post on – oh, the suspense!

As always, let me know if you want full reviews on anything, and let me see your empties posts!

Asha x

Letting go…

I’ve been trying to declutter, and I ended up going through my wardrobe on Monday and ditching around two thirds of my clothes – ones I just no longer wear. I want to create something like a larger version of a capsule wardrobe: no limit on the number of things, but only things I look and feel good in, so I never have those “try-everything-on-in-a-panic-i-hate-everything” moments.

Some of the decisions I made were easy, and some were more difficult – like this one:


Excuse the weird hands, it’s hard posing!

This checked shirt was a staple of my wardrobe from about the age of 17 – worn like this over a cami with skinny jeans. It never did up (presumably the cut, because it is my size), so I always wore it like this.

DSCF1690So, it still fits, and it still looks nice like this – why ditch it?
Well, it’s more a question of style. Do I still want to dress like this? No, I’m trying to dress more smartly and more feminine…ly. The faded, casual thing is really not very me any more. So although I like this outfit, I don’t want to wear it. So I’m getting rid of it. Someone else can love it!

How ruthless are you with your wardrobe? I still have a long way to go – for starters, my wardrobe only had dresses and tops in, my large collection of skirts is yet to be tackled… and also, I’m now dying to fish this out of my swap bag. I know I should let it go, but I’m struggling…

Asha x



Review: Lush Volcano Foot Mask

Working as a waitress means that I spend several hours at a time on my feet, and when I get back from work, they’re always exhausted and in need of a little bit of TLC.

So that’s where Volcano foot mask comes in. This is a cooling, scrubby foot mask made with pumice and tomatoes which you apply liberally onto your feet, leave to dry, then rinse off with water (scrubbing as you go). I reckon there’s three applications in this little £5.75 pot, which I think is pretty expensive, but overall I do like this mask, as it’s a bit more luxurious than just scrubbing with a pumice stone.


First of all, I feel that I should warn you loudly: THIS IS THE MESSIEST THING IN THE WORLD. 

Obviously, this is a product for your feet, and therefore if you want to move, mess. I was pretty stupid the first time I put it on, and sat on the end of my bed to do it, thinking ‘oh, I’ll just stay still for ten minutes’, before realising I’d need to wash my hands and having to lean across to construct a sort of pathway of paper and plastic bags… This time, I sat on the edge of the bath, which kept the mess to a contained and easily-cleanable area. Although it still got everywhere, like a messy grey Midas touch.  Continue reading

An Accidental Pay-Day Book Haul…

One of my favourite things about going on holiday is that trip to the bookshop a couple of weeks beforehand, to pick up lots of new, shiny books to read on the aeroplane, while lounging by the pool, on car journeys and ferry journeys and bus journeys, in bed when it’s too hot to sleep… Okay, I basically read all the time on holiday.

And yesterday was that bookshop trip. A good half hour spent in the local Oxfam bookshop furnished me with plenty of new reading material!

So, you could say I’ve fallen off the July spending ban wagon rather spectacularly. Or, if you were feeling generous, you might point out that while I did get some books yesterday, my very kind mother swooped in with her card as I was at the till.

You might also point out that I misremembered when my holiday was (10 days time, hurrah!) and thought I could pick up some books for that in early August after the ban was over…

But still. In the spirit of not acquiring any more books to add to the crazy TBR pile, I’ve failed quite badly. Care to take a look?



Sorry for the low-light photo!

Not all of these are for my holiday – the Lindsey Davis is to add to my collection of Falco novels (only one to go now!), and the copy of Chocolat is to replace my current copy, which has ‘Free with Good Food magazine’ plastered across the back. I also probably won’t take Becoming Bindy MacKenzie on holiday, since no-one else will read it, but I loved Jaclyn Moriarty’s books when I was a teenager, and never read this one, so I had to grab it!

I’m also definitely not taking The Lore of the Land on holiday, just because I think it would take up all my weight allowance in my suitcase! This is a really gorgeous, luxurious book telling local legends from around Britain, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it and show you in more detail.

I also loved Sarra Manning as a teen, especially Guitar Girl, and I’m intrigued to try her adult fiction – even if it’s trashy, I like to read that sort of thing by the pool. I also picked up Peony in Love by Lisa See, a tragic romance novel set in 17th century China, and Nocturnes, a collection of short stories/novellas by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Think this little lot will last me a week?

Asha x

Review: Lush Aqua Mirabilis Exfoliating Body Butter

Yes, you read that right, an exfoliating body butter.

This is another one of Lush’s in-shower/bath moisturisers, although it’s not quite the same as the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, since it comes in a solid bar format, rather than a tub.


BEWARE: Aqua Mirabilis is very melty – you’d probably be best to cut off a little bit to use for each bath or shower, rather than take the whole thing in with you. I used one sixth of mine, which was enough to exfoliate my entire body: arms, legs, feet, back, the lot. This really does go a long way, but it won’t if you get the whole thing wet!

Continue reading

Soaking Exhausted!

Remember my resolution to get fit over the summer?

Well, I’m into my third week of the Couch to 5k plan, where you build up over nine weeks from the lowest start (puffing through a 60 second jog) to being able to run 5k/30 minutes at a time. Today, I decided to balance my exercise with a bit of a resistance workout, and had a lovely session with one of the personal trainers at the gym to create a weights programme I can actually do.

And I did this in 32 degree heat. After a very busy five hours at work (Classicist by term, waitress by holiday!).

So, I’ve been sweltering and very active all day, and when I got home, muscles complaining, all I wanted to do was flomp down and relax. And that’s where my soak in the bath came in!


I ran a bath rather cooler than usual, and used an array of relaxing lavender-camomile Lush bits and pieces to get me ready for an early night. I slicked on some Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask, used about a quarter of my French Kiss bubble bar for heaps of bubbles, and exfoliated with the Aqua Mirabilis body butter bar. Add to that an excellent book and a cup of Pukka Dreamtime tea, and I was all set!

What do you do to treat yourself after a busy day?

Asha x

What’s In My Make Up Bag?

After a quick trip to Oxford at the weekend, I have been reunited with my make up bag and all my everyday make up! Since I missed it so much during the week I didn’t have it, I thought, what better time to show you what I rely on to make my face look a bit normal?


Obviously, I’m still loving the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and Concealer, both in Shade 51. In case my glowing review here didn’t convince you of my love for these two products, let me tell you a little fact – this is the BEST foundation ever. It’s light coverage, gives the perfect slightly dewy texture, and is the perfect colour for me. The concealer is also excellent, but after using my mum’s Collection Illuminating Touch concealer, I might have been won over to that as a slightly more budget buy… We’ll see how it goes when I run out of this! Continue reading

Review: Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

In the face of all the hype about Nivea’s new In-Shower Moisturiser, I thought I’d take the opportunity to review what, in my opinion, is the best in-shower moisturiser of all, Lush’s Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner.


This is absolutely beautiful. Ro’s Argan is a thick pink cream, slightly lighter than body butter consistency (mine has gone a little thinner due to the leaky shower which ruined my Rub Rub Rub), which you smooth over yourself in the shower after washing, and rinse off. It contains all sorts of fabulous butters and oils, including the much-hyped argan oil, and feels really smooth and good on your skin. Continue reading